From 1963, king of the surf guitarists Dick Dale’s Capitol single “Surfin’ & A-Swingin'” is this week’s treasure. Born Richard Anthony Monsour, Dick’s unique style & use of reverb & over-amplification led him to partner with guitar maker Leo Fender & the Altec Lansing speaker company to develop innovative new equipment & guitars fitting for the “Father of Heavy Metal”. Dick & his group the Del-Tones had a number of minor hits throughout the 60’s & appeared in a few ‘beach movies’. “Surfin’ & A-Swingin'” was featured in the movie “Beach Party” starring Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello. Although not credited, this single was produced by legendary L.A. pop producer Gary Usher, who also co-authored this hit. After the popularity of surf music waned, his career was revived during the mid-80’s surf-punk revival. Dick was plagued with a number of serious health problems, including colorectal cancer & diabetes which often sidelined his attempts to regain popularity. His unique guitar style was considered influential by noted guitar players Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, & Stevie Ray Vaughn among others. In 2009, he was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville; also the Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach CA. Dick Dale often noted that he was forced to continue a heavy touring schedule for his remaining life due to his numerous health problems & their associated costs. He last appeared in Seattle in June 2009 & had tour dates booked through November 2019. Dick Dale died this past March 16 as a result of both heart & kidney failure. The staff at Puget Sound Media hope you have a great weekend & thanks for your input & comments!
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