Jan Berry

Jan Berry

Original Name William
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Death 26 Mar 2004 (aged 62)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Donated to medical science
Memorial ID 8565984 · View Source
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Singer. William Jan Berry and partner Dean Torrence were frontrunners in the "surf music" genre of the 1960s. Jan and Dean first met in High School in West Los Angeles. Jan had initial success with a song called "Jennie Lee" that hit the top 10 nationally in the late 1950s under the name Jan and Arnie with partner Arnie Ginsberg. In 1960, when Arnie decided to pursue college, Jan teamed with Dean. The pair hit the music jackpot with the release of their first falsetto-driven surf song, "Linda" in January 1963. Many hits followed including "Surf City," "Dead Man's Curve," and "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena." Their meteoric ascent up the charts ended with an almost fatal car crash in 1966 that left Jan brain-damaged. In 1968, still unable to speak, but fully intact mentally, Jan started composing new material. In 1972, he was ready to sing again. In 1977, a highly successful TV movie was made entitled "Dead Man's Curve." This movie, starring Richard Hatch as Jan and Bruce Davison as Dean, started a new national enthusiasm for Jan and Dean's music that put them on the comeback trail in 1978, 12 years after Jan's accident. They toured intermittently, up until Jan's death. Jan passed away as the result of a seizure, that was partly caused by his accidental brain damage so many years earlier.

Bio by: Kelley G


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Kelley G
  • Added: 27 Mar 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8565984
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jan Berry (3 Apr 1941–26 Mar 2004), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8565984, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Donated to medical science.