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The Sandals

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Biography

The Sandals were the first true surf-rock group to score a major surf film, virtually defining the sound of the genre with their soundtrack to director Bruce Brown's landmark The Endless Summer. Originally dubbed the Twangs, the group was formed in San Clemente, CA, in 1962 by guitarist Walter Georis and his keyboardist brother Gaston -- recent transplants from Belgium, the siblings brought with them the profound influence of Europe's most popular instrumental band, the Shadows, while lead guitarist John Blakeley, bassist John Gibson, and drummer Danny Brawner were shaped in large part by the Ventures. Rechristened the Sandells, they signed to the World Pacific label in 1964, soon issuing their debut single, "Out Front." Filmmaker Brown was already licensing World Pacific material for his projects, but had previously employed West Coast jazz recordings -- he felt the Sandells perfectly complemented his latest picture, the surfing documentary The Endless Summer, and the group quickly wrote a new instrumental title theme, changing their name to the Sandals to better suit the project. (Their previous World Pacific recordings were also repackaged as the film's official soundtrack.) Although the Sandals dissolved in 1968, their second and final LP, the soundtrack to Dick Barrymore's The Last of the Ski Bums, did not appear until the following year; Blakeley soon resurfaced in Stoneground, while the Georis brothers later operated the Tri-Surf label. ~ Jason Ankeny
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