Bill Dann is on a surfin’ safari of his own.
The Howard songwriter, the author of more than two dozen novelty and pop songs recorded with Altoona musician Jack Servello, has struck again with a Beach Boys tribute “They Bring the Beach to You.”
Dann and Servello are riding a wave of success with the tune. Since its inception last month, interest has grown. More than 50 radio stations nationwide have given it airplay, including the influential Surf 93.7 FM in Flagler Beach, Fla., Dann said.
“Your track is outstanding!” wrote Vern Shank, owner of Surf 93.7, to Dann. “We have added it to our lineup here on our station and sent it over to the syndicated show Wilson Beach radio for consideration as well.”
No less an expert that former Beach Boys manager Fred Vail, who owns a Nashville, Tenn., recording studio today, gave the song and an accompanying YouTube video a thumbs up.
“Great lyrics and graphics, Bill,” Vail wrote.
It’s all been fun, fun, fun, for Dann since he was inspired by the Beach Boys coming to the Bryce Jordan Center this fall for an Oct. 29 concert.
A lifetime fan of surf and beach music, Dann felt called to promote them.
“The marketing guy in me came out,” he said.
One day in the Lock Haven University library, he sat down and penned lyrics that he hoped encapsulated the essence of the Beach Boys and their place in American musical and pop culture.
“You’ve heard them on the radio/And jukeboxes far and wide,” starts the song. “In malt shops and at record hops/They played all their 45’s.”
Then, as he’s done many times, he turned his creation over to Servello. The resulting music floored him.
“That captured the beach, honestly, the best I’ve ever heard,” Dann said.
“He’s done great things with my lyrics, and this was no exception. I really think this is the next level of our music. This has launched us to the next plateau.”
Their videographer, Michelle Peters, cut a video now on YouTube, and they’ve been getting good vibrations ever since in the form of Facebook praise and MP3 requests from stations.
Even some classic rock stations that normally would steer clear of Brian Wilson and company have aired the tribute, Dann said. He attributes that to the group’s timeless appeal.
“The Beach Boys span many decades,” he said. “They’re not just an oldies band. Everybody knows the Beach Boys.”
The video can be found on YouTube by typing in the song’s title. Dann can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for MP3 requests or $13 copies of his and Servello’s greatest hits album, “Heroes, Legends and Laughs,” released this summer.
Dann’s scheduled to talk about his Beach Boys tribute at 4 p.m. Oct. 25 on WTRN 1340 AM in Tyrone. If all goes well, he’ll have something new to share — a revised version suitable for the Beach Boys themselves to sing.
“We would love to present this to them during the evening of their concert,” Dann said. “We just feel they definitely need to see and hear this.”