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First Class “Beach Baby,” A Summer “1-Hit Wonder!”

"Rock The Sailboat" (Craig Allen photo)

Sand…Surf…Sun…and FUN!  Summer is “officially” here!  And whether you’re headed “down the shore,” or just wishing you could get there sometime over the holiday weekend, there’s nothing like “Jersey’s Favorite Summer Hits” to instantly create the perfect mood!

Case in point: whether you hear “Beach Baby” by “First Class” now, or in the dead of winter, you’re instantly transported in mind and mood to a blanket on the warm summer sand! Ironically, the writers and singers (performers) were far from ANY beach at the time!

The group “First Class” was an in-studio creation of British singer-songwriter John Carter, and the singers Tony Burrows and Chas Mills.  It served as an outlet for the songs written by Carter and his wife Gillian (Jill) Shakespeare. They wrote “Beach Baby” in early 1974, at their home in East Sheen, South West London, very far from the California beaches that the song uses as its inspiration.  The musical arrangement, vocals, and lyrical style of the song effortlessly mirrors the classic “Beach Boys sound.”

“Beach Baby” was an instant hit here in the states, where it peaked at #4 on the charts in the summer of 1974.  It went to #13 in England. Ironically, Carter and Burrows were not interested in touring to support the album, so a touring group was assembled for a few concert dates. Also, ironically, while the tour group members are seen on the “First Class” album cover, none of them actually play on the album! Want yet another irony? You know Tony Burrows by voice, but not by name!  In 1970, he sold 8 million records under 4 different group names: Edison Lighthouse (“Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes”), White Plains (“My Baby Loves Lovin”),  Brotherhood Of Man (“United We Stand”), and The Pipkins (“Gimme Dat Ding”).  When Tony would release a song under his own name, it would fail to chart! Amazing!

Relaxing! (Craig Allen photo)

Be it “Beach Baby’s” summer of 1974…or 1969…or even 1989…its a different summer each hour! Enjoy our ”Jersey Summer Hits Weekend” on New Jersey 101.5, and here at!  Just click “Listen Live!”

And….pass me a “Cheeseburger In Paradise!”  Thanks!

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