The Beach Boys brought rock to Sioux Falls in 1965
By the early 1960s, the Beach Boys were a force to be reckoned with on American airwaves, and by the mid-1960s they were a major line of defense, if any, against the British invasion. At that time, teenagers in Sioux Falls listened to the music they loved, regardless of their national origin. On August 12, 1965, the Argus Leader published an announcement for an upcoming concert at the Sioux Falls Arena, which had just been completed. The Beach Boys would perform on August 24.
The Beach Boys were formed in Hawthorne, Calif., In 1961. The group consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love and a school friend, Al Jardine.
In 1958, after receiving a two-track recorder for his birthday, Brian Wilson began recording along with other members of his family. His father, Murray, was a musician, so their little house was always filled with music and there were always instruments available to Brian. Brian listened intently to the vocal harmonies of The Four Freshmen and similar bands. The Wilsons, Love and Jardine have formed a group called The Pendletones. Murray had a few connections in the music industry, and before long they had a contract. They were renamed The Beach Boys by the record company. Their first release, Surfin ‘, became a regional hit and reached No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100.
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The Beach Boys frequently record and tour to support their albums. They performed their music on television and appeared in a few films of the day, including Disney’s “The Monkey’s Uncle,” released in 1965 and starring Annette Funicello and Tommy Kirk. The group had taken root in the collective consciousness of the American teenager.
Tickets for the Sioux Falls concert could be purchased for $ 2 at Williams Piano Co. or at the box office. Customers were told, “If you’re ordering by mail, be sure to include a stamped envelope with your address!” The Beach Boys’ opening bands were The Original Stingrays and The Mustangs, which had small success with “That’s for Sure.” Bobby Vee and Myron Lee and the Caddies, who performed at the Coliseum, also performed in Sioux Falls in August. The Trashmen, who recorded with Surfin ‘Bird in 1963, performed at the Arkota around the same time. Those with more conservative tastes could rest assured that normalcy would return when Lawrence Welk plays at the Arena on September 7.
On the day of the concert, fans were waiting in front of the Arena at 5:30 a.m. for the 8 p.m. show. Early ticket sales had reached 4,000, half filling the hall. Over 2,000 additional tickets were sold at the box office just before the show. There were three charter buses from Sioux City to take fans to see their musical heroes.
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The Argus Leader report on the show, by writer Ron Schoolmeester, 21, compared the screams of young audiences for the red-blooded American musicians to those received by The Beatles in the Twin Cities over the weekend previous: “Unlike The Beatles, The Beach Boys had a kind of haircut and were doing pretty well without the ‘yeah-yeah-yeah’ track. While the group performed a cover of “Monster Mash”, a member of the group jumped into the crowd and risked being beset by a crowd of teenage girls before returning to the stage. Schoolmeester had no idea which band member which was, but knew a few of the songs played: “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “Little Deuce Coupe”, “409” and the audience favorite, “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena “. “
The next day, two crafty girls who attended the show thought they might take another look at the Beach Boys at the airport before they left. Dee Knutson, 11, and Barbara Carlson, 13, saw the performers eat at the airport cafe and were invited to join the group. They were too excited to eat what they ordered, but the group picked up the check and signed their autograph books.
The Beach Boys may have been the first rock band to make the arena headlines, but they wouldn’t be the last.