Jan And Dean were an American rock duo consisting of William Jan Berry (April 3, 1941 – March 26, 2004) and Dean Torrence (born March 10, 1940). They were pioneers of the California Sound and helped to popularize surf music in the early 1960s. Their biggest hits include “Surf City” (1963), “Drag City” (1963), and “Dead Man’s Curve” (1964).
Jan & Dean met while attending high school in Los Angeles, California. They began collaborating on songs while Berry was recovering from a nearly fatal car accident in 1958. After Berry’s recovery, the duo began performing live and recording together.
Their first hit, “Baby Talk”, was released in 1959 and reached #1 on the local charts in Los Angeles. They followed up with a string of successful singles, including “Surf City” (1963), “Drag City” (1963), and “Dead Man’s Curve” (1964).
The duo’s popularity began to decline in the late 1960s, but they continued to perform and record together until Berry’s retirement in the early 1970s. Dean Torrence continued to perform and record as a solo artist and with other bands.
Jan Berry died in 2004 after suffering a seizure. Dean Torrence continues to perform and record, and is also active in the preservation of the duo’s legacy.