Surfin’ With Sweet Little 16

November 15, 2009 at 11:48 pm (Entertainment, General, Music) (, , , , , , , , , )

web_surferGreetings, fellow web surfers! And my apologies – it’s been over two weeks since I last posted. Life’s been getting in the way. (And that’s getting annoying…)

But let’s get on with the fun, and revisit the “Stolen Songs” theme that I was doing a couple months ago. For some reason, this one came wandering through my head the other day like some sort of melodic vagrant, mooching for spare change. First, the original moldy oldie – from 1958, Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Sixteen:

Chuck Berry is, without doubt, one of the biggest influences ever on rock & roll. Everybody learned to play his songs, covered them in bars and clubs, and his records were in every jukebox. That probably explains why The Beach Boys song, Surfin’ USA, sounds so much like it.

I’m kind of surprised that I never really noticed before. Chuck Berry sure did -in 1963, he apparently accused Brian Wilson of stealing the melody, and Murry Wilson – Brian’s father – seems to have agreed. He signed the rights to Surfin’ USA over to Chuck Berry… including the royalties for the lyrics!

And before I get slammed for ripping off someone else’s blog, I will insist right now that my connection between these two songs was not prompted by the October 15th entry on  But here’s the link, nevertheless.

Back soon with more goodies, everyone!



  1. richardtimothy said,

    Sadly, I’d never listened to that Chuck Berry song before. So thanks for posting about it. And for the record, I do like it more than the Beach Boys version :).

    I always find the musical borrowings from an original classic a bit of a grumblesome experience. The first big insult to this I remember was Vanilla Ice “borrowing” from Queen. The most current example of this, which has bugged me for well over a year now, is Kid Rock’s All Summer Long borrowing from Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London, which I love. For months upon months every time I heard the intro of All Summer Long I’d get all excited because I thought I’d be listening to Werewolves of London, but no, it turned out to be the crap Kid Rock song.

    Regardless, I’m enjoying your blog so far. Keep up the good work.

  2. lordhelpus said,

    Thanks for the kind words, Richard. I too hate Kid Rock. He’s an over-rated, pompous ass who – for reasons unknown – got to bonk Pam Anderson. Just goes to show, the jerks get all the cute girls.

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