Author: Jim Murphy

CANDIX Enterprises Discography

CANDIX Enterprises, Incorporated, was formed August 26, 1960, by the four Dix Brothers—twins Richard and Robert, Sherman, and Albert, of Fresno, California. A fifth brother, Theodore, and a sister, Sarita, were not involved in the record company. The name CANDIX, which they insisted be capitalized, was an amalgam of their surname Dix and that of William Silva, who preferred his stepfather’s surname Canaday, the man they hired as president of the company and to manage its day-to-day operation. They soon hired Joseph F. Saraceno as Artist & Repertoire director, and John Blore and John Fisher as record promoters. CANDIX Enterprises was distributed in Southern California by Dorothy Freeman’s Buckeye Record Distributors on West Pico Boulevard and its account was handled by record promoter Russ Regan.   CANDIX Enterprises released forty-one singles (two additional records were released on its Storm subsidiary, one record on its X Records subsidiary, and CANDIX distributed the sole release on Castil).  CANDIX ceased operating by September 1963. Contrary to some reports, Bob Dix did not file bankruptcy. He simply let the label’s …

Be True to Your School: the ’59 Cinderella Season

This article commemorates the 56th anniversary of the start of the 1959 football season for the Hawthorne High Cougars.  In this Cinderella season, the Cougars went undefeated in eight regular season games, two post-season play-off games, and squared off against the mighty Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) championship in front of 14,906 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Friday, December 11, 1959.  In a happy coincidence, dates and days of the week are the same this year as they were in 1959.   The night before Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev landed in Los Angeles to begin his historic visit to the United States, Hawthorne High students had a decidedly less global event on their minds.  The traditional Kick-Off Dance was held in the boys’ gymnasium Friday, September 18, from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.  The dress code was dressy cottons for girls and slacks and sport coats for boys.  It was the first social event of the new school year and was designed to get the student body pumped …

Endless Summer Quarterly Book Review

Review by Ian Rusten Fall 2015 Edition, Issue 111, Volume 28, Number Four Let me just start by saying that this is a fantastic book and a must read for any true fans of the Beach Boys!  James Murphy, a veterinarian by trade and a lifelong Beach Boys fan, decided to investigate the crucial early years of the Beach Boys and has uncovered a wealth of detail that escaped past chroniclers of their career, including myself. Murphy has interviewed a wide range of important people from the Beach Boys’ past that, as far as I can recall, have never been interviewed before.  He managed to track down Brian’s first serious girlfriend Judy Bowles, Shindig host Jimmy O’Neill (who hired the Beach Boys to play at his club Pandora’s Box in 1962) and the president of the Beach Boys fan club Jodi Gable, just to name a few. Becoming the Beach Boys delves deeply into the family history of the group, revealing a ton of new (or seldom discussed) information.  Past authors have concentrated solely on …

The Recoup Book Review

REVIEW BY JOSEPH KYLE on SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 • ( 0 ) The Recoup Becoming The Beach Boys, 1961-1963 James B. Murphy McFarland The Beach Boys had finished playing a concert. Though the splash they made on the West Coast was just starting to ripple through to the rest of America, the boys were busily playing every show they could get. Back at their hotel room, they awaited their post-show per diem, expecting their usual fifty dollars. To their amazement, their promoter brought in a large trash bag and poured it out on the bed. It was nearly three thousand dollars in cash. The five young men stared wide-eyed and silently; had they really just earned all this money? Were they really popular enough to have made all that cash? Yes, indeed they were. This story is but one of the many interesting, compelling, and, frankly, unknown stories from the nascent days of “America’s Band” that can be found in the in-depth and quite essential biography, Becoming The Beach Boys. Though the band’s earliest music has …

Murry Promotes the Beach Boys in Sweden in ’62, Writes the Morgans

In late November to mid December 1962, Murry Wilson traveled to Europe for a trip combining promotional efforts on behalf of the Beach Boys and personal medical reasons. On Wednesday, November 21, 1962, the day before Thanksgiving, Murry completed Department of State Form DSP-17, Passport Renewal Application, at the Los Angeles Passport Agency on Wilshire Boulevard.  Two days later, at 3:00 p.m., he paid five dollars and picked up his renewed passport in person. Murry had to renew his passport because the last time he had used a passport was for a business trip to England and France (Paris) from September 4 through September 19, 1959. He was under a tight deadline now as he stated on his application he planned to depart LA November 28 aboard Scandinavian Airlines to Denmark.  He indicated over the next seventeen days he would travel to West Germany, where the stated purpose of his visit was for medical reasons, Switzerland, and England.  It is unclear what medical reasons took Murry to West Germany or how many days he spent …

Seattle’s Spanish Castle and Party Line — A Research Challenge

This is the first in a series of articles in which I will discuss researching Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963. The topics will include locating and interviewing people connected to the story; searching for newspaper articles, advertisements, handbills, posters, programs, telegrams, tickets, records, and rare memorabilia; finding photographs that had not been published in other books about the band; unearthing heretofore unknown personal appearances and attempting to place dates on appearances for which dates were unknown. First, a little bit about the mystery of human memory. When I interviewed people for the book we discussed events that happened nearly half a century ago. I knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, for them to recall exact dates. I tried to gently jog their memories by asking if they could associate the event with something specific—the season, the weather, a national holiday, songs on the radio, national or world news, events in their own lives—anything that might spark an additional clue. I found with many people the simple act of strolling down memory lane and …

Library Journal Book Review

Murphy, James B. Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963. McFarland. 2015. 422p. photos. notes.  bibliog. index. ISBN 9780786473656. pap. $39.95; ebk. ISBN 9781476618531. MUSIC On the heels of the Brian Wilson biopic film Love and Mercy, this meticulously  researched and presented title gives readers a “boots-on-the-ground” look at how the  Beach Boys, one of the most influential groups in the history of popular music, got  its start and is the definitive book on the humble beginnings of the band. Describing  from their first moments as the Pendletones up till the end of their “surf” years in  1963, the book details how the band formed and offers original interviews and primary  source documents, creating a history that flows through the pages, making the title  an easy read for those interested in these little tidbits. It’s almost as if those  beautiful Beach Boys harmonies-intricately arranged, soaring, and pleasing to the  listener-are invoked in the book’s layout. VERDICT A must-read for Beach Boys fans  and popular music historians. These readers will love the depth of research, but  casual fans …

Russia Comes to LA and Hawthorne High

On September 8, 1959, 1,900 students trudged through the doors of Hawthorne High, including seventeen-year-old seniors Al Jardine and Brian Wilson, and Brian’s fourteen-year-old brother Dennis, one of 500 entering freshmen of the Class of ’63.  As much as they hated to return to school, there was some good news.  The school day would be thirty minutes shorter this year.  It still began sharply at 8:30 a.m. and each of the seven periods still lasted 53 minutes, but a half-hour was shaved from the two lunch periods.  The new schedule gave cafeteria workers more time to restock food and prepare for the second lunch period.  The not-so-good news was getting accustomed to the new bell system signaling when to change classes as students had seven minutes to scurry to their next class.  The lunch periods began at 11:23 a.m. and 12:23 p.m., and each lasted thirty-eight minutes.  If you didn’t pack your lunch, you spent a great deal of that precious time waiting in line. Senior Jean Robertson returned to Hawthorne High after spending her …

Hawthorne’s Plaza Theater and The Tingler

Movies were a popular pastime for teenagers in the 1950s. And for parents, they were an unbeatable value. For less than a dollar, movies got the kids out of the house, occupied them for an entire afternoon, and, even after forking over a little spending money, were still cheaper than a babysitter. The kids would leave late morning and not be seen again until dinner time. They were treated to about five hours of entertainment—cartoons with Tom and Jerry, and Woody Woodpecker, boring newsreels, coming attractions, serials of Superman, Tarzan, Zorro, and Flash Gordon, and at least two feature-length movies. And since theaters weren’t emptied between showings, lots of kids stayed to see a movie again. Another movie phenomenon of the time was hearing, from somewhere in the darkened theater, “Oh, this is where we came in.” No one paid attention to timetables or when movies started. You just went, began watching at whatever scene on which you entered, and stayed until that scene came around again. People stood up, excused themselves down a row …

Capitol Tower Transforms LA Landscape

On Friday, April 6, 1956, fourteen years after its founding in 1942, Capitol Records celebrated the grand opening of its new, state-of-the-art, centralized headquarters at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.  As searchlights crisscrossed the LA sky, Capitol and E.M.I. executives gathered to show off their new corporate headquarters.  The Capitol Tower, now a worldwide symbol of Hollywood and the music industry, was built by the architectural firm Welton Becket & Associates, and designed by Lou Naidorf. As Angelenos watched the construction progress while driving along the Hollywood Freeway, they joked construction was delayed because workers didn’t know whether to “put it on at 33⅓ or 45.”  Others joked “you can’t corner girls in a round building.”  Although the unique circular structure resembles a stack of records loaded onto the spindle of a turntable, that was a happy accident.  During a construction tour, Capitol co-founder and president Glenn E. Wallichs told reporters, “We don’t want people to think it’s supposed to look like a stack of records.  The round design was the idea of the architect, …