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100 Most Influential Rock ‘n’ Roll Artists

1. Elvis Presley
2. The Beatles
3. Chuck Berry
4. James Brown
5. Bob Dylan
6. Buddy Holly
7. Jimi Hendrix
8. Ray Charles
9. The Beach Boys
10. Little Richard
11. Aretha Franklin
12. Led Zeppelin
13. Sam Cooke
14. Stevie Wonder
15. Pink Floyd
16. Clyde McPhatter
17. Bill Haley & The Comets
18. Fats Domino
19. The Velvet Underground
20. Bo Diddley
21. The Rolling Stones
22. The Who
23. Johnny Otis
24. Black Sabbath
25. The Byrds
26. The Kinks
27. Prince
28. Neil Young
29. The Everly Brothers
30. Sonny Til & The Orioles
31. Eddie Cochran
32. Sly and The Family Stone
33. The Supremes
34. The Ramones
35. Cream
36. Big Joe Turner
37. David Bowie
38. Link Wray
39. The Clash
40. Janis Joplin
41. The Shirelles
42. Marvin Gaye
43. George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic
44. The “5” Royales
45. The Sex Pistols
46. Nirvana
47. Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions
48. Otis Redding
49. R.E.M.
50. Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
51. Roy Orbison
52. Joni Mitchell
53. The Stooges
54. Carl Perkins
55. Van Halen
56. Patti Smith
57. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
58. The Yardbirds
59. Queen
60. Van Morrison
61. The Temptations
62. The Doors
63. Iron Maiden
64. U2
65. Professor Longhair
66. Deep Purple
67. The Flying Burrito Brothers
68. Bob Marley
69. The Ventures
70. Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
71. MC5
72. The Grateful Dead
73. The Red Hot Chili Peppers
74. Jefferson Airplane
75. Metallica
76. Little Willie John
77. The Pixies
78. King Crimson
79. The Allman Brothers Band
80. Elvis Costello
81. The Ravens
82. AC/DC
83. Roy Brown
84. Kraftwerk
85. The Isley Brothers
86. The Clovers
87. The Band
88. Alice Cooper
89. Crosby, Stills & Nash
90. Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
91. Bruce Springsteen
92. Booker T. & The MG’s
93. Pearl Jam
94. Lynyrd Skynyrd
95. Dion
96. Guns ‘n’ Roses
97. Jerry Lee Lewis
98. Rush
99. Todd Rundgren
100. Alice In Chains

Based on: – Factored by the following: Cultural Influence, Musical Influence and Performing Influence.
Artists from other musical genres from outside rock ‘n’ roll are not included on this list.

100 Greatest Beach Music Songs

1. Sixty Minute Man – Dominoes
2. Carolina Girls – General Johnson & the Chairmen
3. I Love Beach Music – Embers
4. Ms. Grace – Tymes
5. Summertime’s Calling Me – Catalinas
6. Stay – Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs
7. My Girl – Temptations
8. Cool Me Out – Lamont Dozier
9. Under The Boardwalk – Drifters
10. Myrtle Beach Days – Fantastic Shakers
11. Brenda – O.C. Smith
12. One Mint Julep – Clovers
13. It Will Stand – Showmen
14. Rainy Day Bells – Globetrotters
15. Lady Soul – Temptations
16. Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy – Tams
17. You’re More Than A Number In My Little Red Book – Drifters
18. Hey Baby – Bruce Channel
19. With This Ring – Platters
20. Nip Sip – Clovers
21. Party Time Man – Futures
22. Club Savoy – Rockin’ Louie & The Mamma Jammers
23. Thank You John – Willie Tee
24. Think – Five Royales
25. (I’m Just Thinking About) Cooling Out – Jerry Butler
26. My Guy – Mary Wells
27. Come Get To This – Marvin Gaye
28. You Bring Out The Boogie In Me – Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
29. Hello Stranger – Barbara Lewis
30. 39-21-46 – Showmen
31. Green Eyes – Ravens
32. It Ain’t No Big Thing – Radiants
33. Work With Me Annie – Midnighters
34. Anna – Arthur Alexander
35. Don’t Drop It – Wilbert Harrison
36. It’s All Right – Impressions
37. Baby I Need Your Lovin’ – Four Tops
38. Good Rockin’ Tonight – Wynonie Harris
39. I Got The Fever – Prophets
40. Just A Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody – Louis Prima
41. Safronia B – Calvin Boze
42. Going Back To Louisiana – Delbert McClinton
43. Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart – Coasters
44. This Old Heart Of Mine – Isley Brothers
45. Stubborn Kind Of Fellow – Marvin Gaye
46. You’re So Fine – Falcons
47. Searchin’ – Coasters
48. Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee – Stick McGhee
49. The Entertainer – Tony Clarke
50. Lipstick Traces – Benny Spellman
51. She Shot A Hole In My Soul – Clifford Curry
52. Give Me Just A Little More Time – Chairmen Of The Board
53. Just One Look – Doris Troy
54. But It’s Alright – J.J. Jackson
55. What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am) – Tams
56. I Need Your Loving – Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford
57. Easy Comin’ Out (Hard Goin’ In) – William Bell
58. Girl Watcher – O’Kaysions
59. White Cliffs Of Dover – Checkers
60. Annie Had A Baby – Midnighters
61. I Do Love You – Billy Stewart
62. A Quiet Place – Garnet Mimms & the Enchanters
63. Kissin’ In The Back Row Of The Movies – Drifters
64. I Can’t Help Myself – Four Tops
65. Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On – Gloria Hardiman
66. Something Old, Something New – Fantastics
67. It Started With A Kiss – Hot Chocolate
68. Kansas City – Wilbert Harrison
69. Shakin’ The Shack – Fantastic Shakers
70. I Used To Cry Mercy, Mercy – Lamplighters
71. Walking Up A One Way Street – Willie Tee
72. Surely I Love You – Rosco Gordon
73. Kidnapper – Jewell & the Rubies
74. More Today Than Yesterday – Spiral Starecase
75. Across The Street – Lenny O’Henry
76. Mercy Mr. Percy – Varetta Dillard
77. Jamie – Eddie Holland
78. I Got Loaded – Peppermint Harris
79. Hold Back The Night – Trammps
80. Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love) – Swingin’ Medallions
81. Wee Baby Blues – Joe Turner
82. Lonely Teardrops – Jackie Wilson
83. That’s Summertime To Me – Dale Van Horn
84. Rub A Little Boogie – Champion Jack Dupree
85. Flamingo – Earl Bostic
86. (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean – Ruth Brown
87. Smoky Places – Corsairs
88. Cry To Me – Solomon Burke
89. I Love You 1,000 Times – Platters
90. Searching For My Love – Bobby Moore & the Rhythm Aces
91. Chicken Shack Boogie – Amos Milburn
92. May I – Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs
93. I Just Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind – Four Tops
94. Would You Believe – Tempests
95. Candy – Astors
96. The Last Of The Good Rocking Men – Four Jacks
97. I’m Gonna Miss You – Artistics
98. Ocean Boulevard – Band Of Oz
99. Love Makes The World Go Round – Deon Jackson
100. Bless Your Heart – General Johnson & the Chairmen

Definition & Criteria:
Beach Music is extremely popular in the Carolinas, as far north as Virginia and as far south as northern Florida. It has nothing to do with surf music or the Beach Boys or California. It is mainly R&B music with a beat that is good for doing a dance called “The Shag.” Very simply stated, the Shag is a slowed down jitterbug with a few fancy steps, but it was danced slightly different depending on your location in the Southeast. Basically a “perfect” song to “Shag” to is 120 beats per minute.

Beach Music was born after World War II and evolved from two different sources. It was a combination of the black big band sound (i.e. Tiny Bradshaw, Todd Rhodes, Lucky Millinder, Paul Williams, etc.) and the country blues of the South. The juke boxes at the beaches of the Carolinas were instrumental in exposing the young people to the “new” sound. Most of the Juke Boxes in the clubs down by the beaches (in the Black AND White venues) were stocked with many of the same records. The white kids found this new music fresh and addictive and a new dance (The Shag) was created around the early R&B sound.

White kids could “HEAR” the music of the late 40’s & early 50’s on the black radio stations in the large cities in the Carolinas. Also a major force was 50,000 Watt WLAC from Nashville, which broadcast R&B at night for over 30 years. The problem was that, because of the segregated society at that time, the white kids could not “celebrate” this music in their hometowns. The Carolina kids escaped to the beach, away from their parents, preachers & teachers, to party, drink & dance to their beloved music.

Beach Music has evolved over the years and is still going strong today 60 years later in the Southeast. Although most of the music on this list is over 40 years old, Beach Music is truly a timeless culture. In the southeast Beach Music is popular with people of all ages, from 8 to 80.

These songs were ranked based upon their initial and lasting poularity among Beach Music fans, and on their impact and influence on Beach Music and its culture.

100 Greatest Surf Rock Songs

1. Surfin’ U.S.A. – The Beach Boys
2. Wipe Out – The Surfaris
3. Pipeline – The Chantays
4. Misirlou – Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
5. Surfer Girl – The Beach Boys
6. Surf City – Jan & Dean
7. Let’s Go Trippin’ – Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
8. Surfin’ Safari – The Beach Boys
9. Walk-Don’t Run ’64 – The Ventures
10. Penetration – The Pyramids
11. Ride The Wild Surf – Jan & Dean
12. The Lonely Surfer – Jack Nitzsche
13. Surfer Joe – The Surfaris
14. Honolulu Lulu – Jan & Dean
15. Baja – The Astronauts
16. Catch A Wave – The Beach Boys
17. Surfer’s Stomp – The Marketts
18. California Sun – The Rivieras
19. Moon Dawg – The Gamblers
20. Mr. Moto – Bel Airs
21. Surf Beat – Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
22. Surfin’ Bird – The Trashmen
23. Bombora – The Atlantics
24. Diamond Head – The Ventures
25. Lonely Sea – The Beach Boys
26. Bustin’ Surfboards – The Tornadoes
27. Point Panic – The Surfaris
28. Perfidia – The Ventures
29. Soul Surfer – Johnny Fortune
30. Stoked – The Beach Boys
31. Noble Surfer – The Beach Boys
32. Surf Rider – The Lively Ones
33. Mr. Rebel – Eddie & The Showmen
34. Tell ‘Em I’m Surfin’ – Fantastic Baggys
35. New York’s a Lonely Town – Trade Winds
36. Beyond the Surf – Jack Nitzsche
37. Let’s Go! – The Routers
38. Surfin’ – The Beach Boys
39. Shake N’ Stomp – The Surfaris
40. King Of The Surf Guitar (vocal version) – Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
41. My Big Gun Board – The Rip Chords
42. Kame-Kaze – The Challengers
43. Tidal Wave – Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
44. Surf Jam – The Beach Boys
45. Pipeline – Dick Dale with Stevie Ray Vaughan (1987)
46. Mar Gaya – Fender IV
47. Surf Sacrifice – The Eliminators
48. Surfer’s Delight – Bruce Johnston
49. Banzai Washout – Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
50. Surf-Ari – The Challengers
51. The Inebriated Surfer – The Tornadoes
52. Surf-A-Nova – Bruce Johnston
53. Surf Man – Richie Allen & The Pacific Surfers
54. Surfers’ Slide – Richie Allen & The Pacific Surfers
55. He’s My Blonde Headed Stompie-Wompie Real Gone Surfer Boy – Little Pattie
56. In-Liner (Surf Beat ’97) – Dick Dale
57. Balboa Blue – The Marketts
58. Surfin’ And Spyin’ – The Ventures
59. Big Wednesday – The Rip Chords
60. Surfin’ ‘Round The World – Bruce Johnston
61. K-39 – The Challengers
62. Fiberglass Jungle – The Crossfires
63. Toes On The Nose – Eddie & The Showmen
64. Santa Cruz – The Ventures
65. Surf Trek – Davie Allan & Dick Dale
66. Gone Surfin’ – Gary Hoey
67. Save Your Sundays For Surfin’ – Fantastic Baggys
68. Surfer Dan – The Turtles
69. The Sweet Ride – The Supertones
70. I Live For the Sun – The Sunrays
71. Malibu Run – Fender IV
72. Surfin’s Here To Stay – Bruce Johnston
73. Black Surf – Surf Guitar Villains
74. Surfer’s Life – The Blue Stingrays
75. Shootin’ The Pier – The Lively Ones
76. Summer Means Fun – Bruce and Terry
77. Two On The Beach – The Ventures
78. Surfin’ Tragedy – The Sentinals
79. Surfin’ Natasha – The Mel-Tones
80. Surfin’ Time Again – Little Pattie
81. The Perfect Wave – Neil Norman
82. Surfin’ School – The Del-Tinos
83. Surf Party – The Blue Stingrays
84. Shangai Surf – The Supertones
85. Pray For Surf – The Essex
86. Curl Rider Stomp – The Mel-Tones
87. The Ninth Wave – The Bomboras
88. Caught in the Undertow – The Retroliners
89. Surfmania – The Aqua Velvets
90. King Of The Surf – The Trashmen
91. Parafin Jungle – The Eliminators
92. You’ll Never Surf In This Town Again – The Mel-Tones
93. Sex Wax – Surf Nation
94. Sultans of Surf – Surf Guitar Villains
95. Return Of The Surfin’ Headhunters – The Mel-Tones
96. Surf Blaster – The Vara-Tones
97. Surf Nouveau – The Aqua Velvets
98. Curl Rider – Surf Nation
99. Ghost Wave – The Verbtones
100. Little Miss Red Riding Hood Surfer Queen Of Hollywood – Jim Pewter

Definition & Criteria: ‘Surf Rock’ originated in Southern California in the early ’60s where the sport of surfing and the young people who followed the trend became a sub-culture of their own. Dick Dale, a surfer himself, originated the sound on 1961s instrumental “Let’s Go Trippin”, using a generous amount of ‘reverb’, fast staccato picking, and use of the ‘whammy bar’ to to generate the excitement of rushing down a crashing wave. Other Instrumental bands followed the ‘surf’ sound including ‘The Ventures’, The Surfaris, The Chantays, and The Tornadoes. In ’62 & ’63 the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean recorded harmony-filled songs and ballads with the surfing theme. After its peak year of 1963, the instrumental surf-rock style gradually faded from prominence, while the vocal-oriented surf-rock style began to shift towards ‘hot-rod’ music, which consequently had the potential for even broader national appeal. In the 1990s, the popularity of the soundtrack from the movie “Pulp Fiction” (1994) brought about a whole new generation of instrumental Surf Rock bands, such as ‘The Blue Stingrays’, ‘The Aqua Velvets’, ‘The Mel-Tones’, & ‘The Bomboras’. Today there are hundreds of ‘Surf Rock’ bands from around the world keeping the original sound alive.

This list strives to give the best representation of the Surf Rock sound, by consideration of impact, influence, popularity, originality and adherence to the original surf rock guitar & harmony sound.