JUST WHEN WAS IT RELEASED?
The following treatise should be of interest to both Australian Surf Music fans and American Surf Music fans as it deals with The Sandells/Sandals of THE ENDLESS SUMMER fame.
Although The Sandals were an American band, THE ENDLESS SUMMER itself had a huge impact on Australian audiences during the early to mid ‘60s and as a consequence, the music of The Sandells/Sandals was well-received. The fact that both The Endless Summer single and THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP were issued in Australia twice, by two very diverse record labels is also an interesting story. In fact, it was the first Australian release of THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP that subsequently changed the previously held notion that the original American release of THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP by World-Pacific Records first appeared in late 1966!
Here then is the story …
Since publishing my book REAL GONE GASSERS in October 2008 and with regards to The Sandells/Sandals story (pgs 101-111), a number of interesting facts have emerged, mainly from an Antipodean perspective.
Internationally, the San Clemente based group was much more successful in Australia than anywhere else, achieving a national Top 5 hit with their Theme From The Endless Summer, released Downunder by Philips Records (BF-149) in late 1964.
At the time of writing REAL GONE GASSERS, this author was not 100% convinced that Philips Records (Australia) had also issued THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP by The Sandals. I certainly did not buy it when it came out as my family did not own a record player until the late ‘60s.
I had been given conflicting information that the LP had and had not been released in Australia by Philips and NO one I knew actually possessed a copy.
In fact, it was not until early 2014 that I finally received confirmation that Philips DID issue the LP when I finally acquired a copy after being offered it by a personal friend after he himself had obtained it from a non-mutual acquaintance. It was released in MONO only and bore the catalogue number of Philips PD-163.
The confirmed existence of the LP created an interesting “problem.”
First of all, the “accepted” release date of The Sandals’ THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP has been given as “sometime” in 1966, published as “?/66” in American John Blair’s extensive book The Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music 1961-1965 (Fourth Edition published in October 2008). No ACCURATE date for the LP’s original release on World Pacific Records had ever been determined, largely because of the nature of World-Pacific Records, an offshoot of Pacific Jazz Records, founded in 1952 and headed by Richard Bock.
In my book REAL GONE GASSERS, I listed August 1966 as the release date of The Sandals’ THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP on World Pacific, issued in both Mono (1832) and Stereo (S-1832).
How I arrived at the August 1966 release date now escapes me, but I imagine that it was interpolated from “evidence” I discovered, including the fact that the LP charted (and peaked) on Boston, Massachusetts radio station WBZ at #5 on December 31, 1966 (and also the following week) and the fact that Bruce Brown’s 35mm version (with soundtrack by The Sandals) premiered on June 15, 1966 at Loew’s Kips Bay Theatre on Second Avenue in Manhattan. It was this “version” of the film that is now recognised world-wide, having shortly thereafter been “picked-up” by Columbia Pictures for international distribution.
With this information (and subsequently confirmed by the U.S.A. based Schwann – not always accurate – which gave the release date as August 1966), I had come to the conclusion that August 1966 was a likely release date.
This also fitted in with the assumption that I had reasonably held that with such renewed interest in the film (which had first been released in early to mid 1964 in 16mm and without an accompanying soundtrack – Brown would narrate the film live and play music from a tape recorder), World-Pacific Records, which by this time had been “absorbed” by Liberty Records, had issued The Sandals’ THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP to coincide with the major release of the 35mm print of the film. This would have been a couple of months after the film’s initial Brown sponsored premiere in New York.
At this point, it should be pointed out that The Sandals’ THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP (World-Pacific 1832/S-1832) is in fact a re-issue of the group’s April 1964 LP SCRAMBLER! issued under their then group name of The Sandells as World-Pacific 1818/S-1818. Both THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP and the SCRAMBLER! LP share exactly the same recordings, but feature completely different packaging.
The focus of the SCRAMBLER! LP was the then emerging “Motorcycle” music trend, with most of the instrumental tunes sporting motorcycle themes. However, the LP did include the group’s Theme From The Endless Summer, together with the notation “Theme From The Endless Summer and other selections from this album can be heard in BRUCE BROWN’s new surfing adventure film entitled THE ENDLESS SUMMER (filmed on location in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Tahiti, Hawaii, California and Japan).”
The inclusion of this notation and the release date of April 1964 more or less establishes the fact that the film THE ENDLESS SUMMER was already being shown by this time, or at the very least, being readied for release.
The earliest confirmed screenings of THE ENDLESS SUMMER known to this author date from July 1964, namely July 21-24 at the Laguna Beach High School Auditorium, Southern California.
In July 1964, World-Pacific Records also released the single (under the group name of The Sandells) of Theme From the Endless Summer b/w 6-Pak (WP 415) which Philips Records released in Australia around October-November as Philips BF-149 also under the group name of The Sandells.
By the time the Philips Records release of The Sandells’ Theme From The Endless Summer single had surfaced in Australia, The Sandells had decided a name change was in order. As a result, the group’s next U.S. single Always (I Will Remember) b/w All Over Again (World-Pacific 421) was issued (in October-November) under the group name of The Sandals, peaking at #4 on the KMEN (San Bernardino, California) chart of January 1, 1965.
This single was NOT released in Australia in this form. However, Philips Records released the coupling Endless Summer b/w All Over Again as BF-171 in about March 1965, which drew together the A-side of World Pacific single Endless Summer b/w Theme From The Endless Summer (WP-423) and the B-side of the previously mentioned World Pacific single WP-421.
Endless Summer featured on both the Philips and World-Pacific singles is a vocal recording, with lyrics reflecting the travels of the surfers in the film THE ENDLESS SUMMER. The melody of this vocal recording is NOT the same as Theme From The Endless Summer.
The “vocal” nature of the tune was noted as such on the Australian Philips Records single – with “(Vocal)” shown under the title – whereas the World-Pacific single bears no such notation.
However, the U.S. single (WP 423) does include the notation “from LP album 1832/’The Endless Summer” on the Theme From The Endless Summer side – whereas the Australian release (BF-171) does not.
The inclusion of the aforesaid notation on the U.S. single is significant because it more or less indicates that the LP of THE ENDLESS SUMMER must have been released by the time the single was issued.
Unfortunately, no accurate release date for WP 423 has been ascertained. John Blair in his The Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music 1961-1965 simply lists “?/65.”
However, all is not lost because the Australian version of the single (BF-171) was issued in March-April of 1965, indicating that the U.S. release of THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP by World-Pacific was most likely out by this time because the Australian single used the B-side of WP-423, the label of the A-side of which, Theme From The Endless Summer, indicates that the tune is culled from THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP and already available – at least the indication is as such.
The release of both the U.S. and Australian versions of this single were obvious tie-ins to promote Bruce Brown’s film which was still in its original 16mm format and being shown around surfing areas throughout America and Australia. Paul Witzig’s “Surfing Promotions” handled the film in Australia.
This just about brings us back to the gist of this story which concerns THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP by The Sandals.
As previously noted, the LP was issued in Australia by Philips Records as PD-163 which, by my reckoning – using various factors including known release dates of other Philips Records LPs (as no ACTUAL release date for The Sandals’ Philips’ LP is accurately known) was released between late December 1964 and early/mid 1965; most likely April-March, bearing in mind that neither World-Pacific nor Philips Records (Australia) were prolific when it came to LP product.
One can basically assume that Philips Records did not take it upon themselves to release The Sandals’ THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP and instead were following suit with World-Pacific in California. Philips Records in Australia was not a big label, being a subsidiary of Philips Electrical Industries Pty. Ltd. and largely responsible for simply issuing in Australia product by overseas labels such as Mercury, Philips, Fontana, Smash, Riverside, Polydor, etc.
With this knowledge, it is hard to reconcile the Australian release date of late 1964/early 1965 of The Sandals’ THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP with that of the original World-Pacific LP, previously accepted as August 1966.
At this point it should be noted that the front covers of the Philips and World Pacific THE ENDLESS SUMMER LPs are virtually identical, while the rear covers are different, but incorporate the identical liner notes, simply re-arranged. Also, the Philips LP does NOT feature any photo of The Sandals, whereas the World-Pacific LP features one photo of all five group members seated in “director’s” chairs with their names emblazoned on the backs.
When confronted with the discrepancy of the two release dates for THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP, I contacted my good friend John Blair (and my co-author on the upcoming revised edition of our The Illustrated Discography Of Hot Rod Music 1961-1965) and asked him if he could check Billboard magazine for ANY World-Pacific LPs in and around the World Pacific catalogue number of 1832 (THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP catalogue number). I was already aware that there was no mention of THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP in Billboard in the period in question.
John diligently went through his complete collection of Billboard magazine and reported back to me.
His summation was that ALL of World-Pacific’ LP releases between #1830 and #1845 are listed in the ‘New LP Releases’ section of various issues of Billboard EXCEPT for four of them, namely 1837, 1838, 1839 AND, of course, 1832!
Nonetheless, Billboard did include dates for World-Pacific LPs #1831 and #1833 (either side of THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP catalogue #1832). These were noted is issues November 11, 1964 (#1831) and June 19, 1965 (#1833), a rather broad range within which one can only assume THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP on World-Pacific was released.
As John wrote, “This would SEEM to indicate that the ES album was released between December ’64 and June ’65.”
By sheer luck (or anal retention), I was subsequently able to confirm the late 1964/early to mid 1965 release date of THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP when, while viewing The Sandals’ early 1990s DVD SUMMERS, SONGS AND SIDEBARS, I noticed a royalty statement for THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP flash on the screen indicating it was for the period ending June 30, 1966. An earlier statement ending December 31, 1965 was partly noted.
As John also noted when I revealed this additional information to him, “It certainly seems like the LP had already been out AND had been selling for over six months.”
With all this additional information in my hands and with a consensus of opinion shared with John Blair, I can now state that The Sandals’ THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP on World-Pacific Records was first released between December 1964 and June 1965 and NOT August 1966.
As previously explained, this can be narrowed down further to most likely March-April of 1965 due to the notation included on World-Pacific single 423.
However, the August 1966 date as shown in Schwann (and adopted by me in my October 2008 book REAL GONE GASSERS) may well be the date of a re-release of the LP by now Liberty Records owned World-Pacific to coincide with the release of Bruce Brown’s 35mm and soundtracked version of THE ENDLESS SUMMER with international distribution by Columbia Pictures.
In fact, Liberty re-released The Sandals’ Theme From The Endless Summer single (with the B-side 6-Pak now spelled 6 Pac) as World-Pacific 77840 in 1966 with the notation “From The Original Sound-Track of Bruce Brown’s Film ‘The Endless Summer’” under the song title. This notation was NOT included on the original release of the single as World-Pacific 415 and adds credence to the assumption that this release and the re-release of THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP in August 1966 was to coincide with the major promotional push by Columbia Pictures and associates for their revitalised version of Brown’s film THE ENDLESS SUMMER.
Both The Sandals’ Theme From The Endless Summer single and LP were also re-issued in Australia during 1966 by Festival Records who had acquired the rights to issue Liberty Records (among other) product in Australia.
The Festival Records single, with the same B-side spelling as the U.S. release of the time and including the notation “From 12” L.P ‘The Endless Summer’ – (S)FL32,032”, was released in October 1966, as was THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP, this time in both stereo and mono as Festival FL-32,032 and stereo SFL-932,032. Once again, the U.S. and Australian LPs feature the same front cover and the same liner notes on the rear, with the Australian Festival release re-arranging the position of the notes and excluding any photo of The Sandals. It should also be pointed out that the rear covers of the Australian Philips and Festival LPs are also different, but include the same liner notes.
The Festival Records release of The Sandals THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP stayed in print for a considerable amount of time. It is this copy of the LP that I purchased in the late ‘60s.
As well as releasing THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP and single by The Sandals (Festival also issued a number of later singles by the group), Festival Records also released the EP THE ENDLESS SUMMER (FX 11,239) which featured Theme From The Endless Summer; Out Front; Wild As The Sea and Trailing; all tunes culled from the LP of the same name.
The front cover of the EP features the same silhouette cover that graces the LP of the same name, originally conceived as the poster for the film. The poster had been designed by American graphic artist John Van Hamersveld. This is the iconic silhouette image of three surfers with the setting sun in the background.
However, for the EP, the colours were altered. Instead of the sky being pink as on the LP (and poster), the EP’s sky is blue; the sun white (instead of orange) and the foreground light red (instead of dark red). The only colour remaining unaltered is the black silhouette of the surfers – Bruce Brown in the foreground with surfboard on his head; Mike Hynson to his right and Robert August far right with surfboard on his head.
Festival Records’ THE ENDLESS SUMMER EP was released in January 1967; wedged in between EPs by Chris Montez (TIME AFTER TIME, FX 11,238) and Sonny And Cher (LITTLE MAN (FX 11,240). The release date of the EP is verified by the matrix numbers accompanying it.
But still, this in not the end of this story.
According to the U.S. based website ARSA – The Airheads Radio Survey Archive (http://las-solanas.com/arsa/index.php), The Sandals’ THE ENDLESS SUMMER EP entered the chart of Canberra (Australian Capital Territory) radio station 2CA on January 9, 1965 at #36. A week later it was #9, the following two weeks it sat at #4, then fell to #30 (February 6), and then #36 (February 13) before it exited the chart. The catalogue number allocated to this EP is shown as “Festival (Australia 11239) ” which of course can NOT be correct because the Festival Records EP was not released until 1967!
Festival Records in January/February of 1965 had NOT yet acquired the rights to release product owned by Liberty Records (of which World-Pacific would became a subsidiary), so who could have issued this EP?
Although the ARSA site includes the notation “Festival (Australia 11239) ” indicating the provenance of the EP is Festival Records, this can not be the case. The only Australian label who had the rights to release World-Pacific product in Australia at that time was Philips Records!!
This therefore leaves the questions; was the EP a Philips Records (Australia) release and was the Festival Records catalogue number inadvertently used by mistake?
This may sound odd, but the chart shown on the ARSA site is NOT an original chart from the period, simply one seemingly re-typed. The individual responsible may well have added the Festival Records information simply because The Sandals THE ENDLESS SUMMER EP on Festival Records is well-known among collectors.
As for a Philips Records EP by The Sandals – which would in fact be more likely by The SANDELLS as that is the group name under which the single was issued, I certainly have not sighted one, nor has anyone I know. However, the same did apply to the Philips Records release of THE ENDLESS SUMMER LP (issued under the group name of The SANDALS – who underwent a name change at the beginning of 1965) until early 2014 when its existence was most definitely established when I acquired a copy! And EPs in Australia are considerably rarer than LPs from the period, certainly anything on small labels such as Philips.
Sadly, there is no LP or EP catalogue of product released by Philips Records in Australia to my knowledge. Because it was largely a label that simply released records from overseas, its “collector” value has been considered somewhat negligible, except for the few actual Australian releases it issued – and these are hugely collectible and significantly rare.
HOWEVER, it is also possible that the chart (of which no original copy is available) is in error in so much as it refers to the SINGLE release (by Philips) of Theme From The Endless Summer and NOT an EP! After all, the Philips single WAS charting at the time around the country!! AND it is highly unlikely that Philips Records would release a single and an EP of the same name at the same time!
A more thorough look at THE ENDLESS SUMMER (in particular its influence on Australia) and Philips Records (Australia) can be found in the 38 page document THE ENDLESS SUMMER SUPPLEMENT, uploaded to Payhip.com/CMusicBooks.