John Blair - Southern California Surf Music, 1960-1966
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Dick Dale & the Del-Tones began holding weekend dances at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa, California, in the summer of 1960. Over the next year and a half, Dale developed the sound and style that came to be known as "surf music." The result was the development of more powerful guitar amplifiers, a dramatic increase in the sales of Fender guitars and amplifiers, and a shift from New York to West Coast recording studios. More and more people were drawn to the sport of surfing, which became an important part of teen beach culture at the time. Even landlocked teenagers were captured by the moment, carrying surfboards atop their woodies in Phoenix or bleaching their hair blonde in St. Paul. For hundreds of thousands of kids, though, the attraction was not the connection to surfing; it was the connection to the music pioneered by Dick Dale.