Vintage Video: The King of the Surf Guitar, Dick Dale, Turns 80

by VVN Music

The legendary surf guitarist Dick Dale turns 80 today.

While Dale never had the chart success as such stalwarts as the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean, his style of guitar playing was extremely influential and can be heard in many other recordings by other artists of the genre.

Dale was an actual surfer when he was young and wanted his music to reflect the sound that he heard in his mind. Employing extremely fast playing of scales on the guitar, he not only created the sound but did it by playing a right handed guitar left handed and not restringing it the way that artists like Jimi Hendrix did.

Amazingly, only two songs by Dale ever charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and neither got above number 60. His best known song, Misirlou, didn't chart at all but, nonetheless, became a classic and was resurrected in the 1994 film Pulp Fiction.

Here are just a few examples of Dale's playing from throughout his career









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