Sidewalk Surfin'

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"Sidewalk Surfin'"
Single by Jan and Dean
from the album Ride the Wild Surf
B-side"When It's Over"
ReleasedSeptember 1964
RecordedJuly 29, 1964
LabelLiberty Records
Songwriter(s)Brian Wilson, Roger Christian
Producer(s)Jan Berry for Screen Gems, Inc.
Jan and Dean singles chronology
"Ride The Wild Surf"
"Sidewalk Surfin'"
"(Here They Come) From All Over The World"

"Sidewalk Surfin'" is a song with music by Brian Wilson and lyrics by Roger Christian, which was recorded by 1960s American pop singers, Jan and Dean. The song was recorded as a single and then appeared on the 1964 album Ride The Wild Surf, and later on the Little Old Lady From Pasadena album. The B-side of the single is "When It's Over."[1] "Sidewalk Surfin'" reached up to number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 31, 1964, which was Jan and Dean's lowest charting single in a year and a half since the release of their number one hit single "Surf City."[2][3] Jan and Dean were known for their music of the 1960s surf era with songs like "Dead Man's Curve," "Drag City," and "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena."


Jan Berry, Dean Torrence's partner in the Jan and Dean Duo, wanted to write and compose about another sport other than surfing. He came up with the idea to make music about skateboarding. After trying, unsuccessfully, to come up with a song about that sport by himself, he decided to go with the Beach Boys' song "Catch a Wave," a song drawn from the group's 1963 album Surfer Girl. Berry asked the composer, Brian Wilson and Wilson's then-current lyricist associate, Roger Christian, to rewrite it. They complied, and eventually came up with "Sidewalk Surfin'," which is "Catch a Wave" with different lyrics associated about skateboarding.[3]


When the original recording of "Sidewalk Surfin'" got reissued as a single 12 years later, in the summer of 1976, the single got radio attention once again. This time, the single hovered right under the Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at #107. It became their first, and only, single to get major radio attention, and come close to a placement on the charts, since 1967.[3][4]

Live versions[edit]

Jan and Dean performed a lip-synchronized version of the song on American Bandstand on August 22, 1964.[5] On December 29, 1964, Berry and Torrence performed the selection live at the T.A.M.I. Show.[6]

Cover versions[edit]

Jan Berry covered the song by himself as a single in 1976, rewriting some of the lyrics to keep up with the new names and tricks of skateboarding of the 1970s. The lyrics were also easier for Berry to sing after the aphasia Berry sustained from his car accident near Dead Man's Curve, on April 12, 1966.


  1. ^ "Jan & Dean - Official Jan Berry Website - 1963-1964". Archived from the original on 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  2. ^ "Jan & Dean - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  3. ^ a b c William Ruhlmann. "Sidewalk Surfin' - Jan & Dean | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  4. ^ "Jan & Dean - Official Jan Berry Website - 1970s". Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  5. ^ "American Bandstand - Season 7, Episode 48: Jan and Dean / Major Lance / Fabian (interview)". 1964-08-22. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  6. ^ "Teen Age Command Performance (1964) : Soundtracks". Retrieved 2015-02-27.