Be True to Your School
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|"Be True to Your School"|
|Single by The Beach Boys|
|from the album Little Deuce Coupe|
|B-side||"In My Room"|
|Released||October 28, 1963|
|Songwriter(s)||Brian Wilson, Mike Love|
|The Beach Boys singles chronology|
|Endless Summer track listing|
"Be True to Your School" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for American rock band the Beach Boys, released as the third track of their album Little Deuce Coupe on October 2, 1963, and later as a single on October 28.
The song features the melody of the University of Wisconsin's fight song, "On, Wisconsin!", although it is a tribute to Hawthorne High School, which the Wilson brothers attended. Hawthorne High School's fight song uses the same melody as "On Wisconsin".
The Beach Boys recorded two studio versions of this song. The original recording, which appeared on the album, was made on September 2, 1963, and was in a higher key and at a slower tempo than the second version which was released as a single. The second version features The Honeys chanting various "cheerleader yells" before each chorus. The concept for the single version, recorded later that week, was born in the same studio session that Brian and Mike created the original idea for "Fun, Fun, Fun", backstage in Farmington, Utah.
The single version was backed with "In My Room", a collaboration between Brian and Gary Usher, released as Capitol 5069. "Be True to Your School" charted at number 6 on the Billboard charts, and number 4 in the Music Reporter trade paper top 100 and in the United Press International top 20 survey of jukebox play across the United States. It rated number 3 in New Zealand's Lever Hit Parade, number 6 in Sweden, and number 10 in Sydney, Australia as cited by a contemporary issue of Billboard. Rising to popularity when the Beach Boys were still thought of as a Southern California phenomenon, it did best in Los Angeles: three weeks at #1 (KFWB).
The cover photo for this single (and for the associated album Little Deuce Coupe) included member David Marks but not Al Jardine, though Jardine had returned to create a six-member band for the recording sessions for this single and album. This single, with its B-side "In My Room", were the last two of eight charting songs to include Marks for nearly 50 years (2012's "That's Why God Made the Radio"), though he remained a legal member until September 27, 1967. This album was shortly shipped off to disc jockeys in the United States, coupled with a list of automobile-related terms to get them familiar with the language used on the songs, such as "Shut Down" and "Little Deuce Coupe".[original research?]
- Brian Wilson – backing vocals, piano, organ
- Mike Love – lead vocals
- Al Jardine – backing vocals, bass
- David Marks – rhythm guitar
- Carl Wilson – backing vocals, lead guitar
- Dennis Wilson – backing vocals, drums
The Beach Boys
- Brian Wilson – backing vocals, handclaps
- Mike Love – lead vocals, handclaps
- Al Jardine – backing vocals, handclaps
- David Marks – possible backing vocals and/or handclaps
- Carl Wilson – backing vocals, handclaps, possible lead guitar
- Dennis Wilson – backing vocals, handclaps
- Additional musicians
unknown – guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, saxophones, percussion
Covers and Later Versions
- The Knights covered the song in 1964 on their album Hot Rod High.
- Jan & Dean included the song on their 1985 album Silver Summer.
In popular culture
- The song is featured in an episode of Gilmore Girls, where the town troubadour (portrayed by Grant-Lee Phillips) is playing it during a pep rally.
- The song is played during the title sequence of the 1988 dark comedy Mortuary Academy
- The song's title is parodied by heavy metal band Twisted Sister in their song "Be Crool To Your Scuel".
- Mike Love performed the song on a telethon on the Full House episode "Our Very First Telethon".
- The song is featured in the 1980s American TV series Riptide. The song is also the title of the episode (Season 2 Episode 7).
- The song was part of an oldies melody in the 2005 Tokyo Disneyland parade/show "Disney's Rock Around The Mouse".
- The song is featured in the ending credits of the HBO series Vice Principals Season 1 Episode 1.
- Badman, Keith. The Beach Boys. The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band: On Stage and in the Studio Backbeat Books, San Francisco, California, 2004. p. 42
- Jenny Price. "Fight on for Her Fame", On Wisconsin Magazine, Winter 2009.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 50.
- Stebbins, Jon; David Marks (2007). The Lost Beach Boy. London: Virgin Books. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-85227-391-0.
- Flavour of New Zealand, 26 March 1964
- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
- Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1964