Song of the Day: Jan & Dean, “Little Old Lady From Pasadena”

Allmusic says that Jan & Dean were the hottest vocal surf/hot rod act after the Beach Boys, and that some of their songs border on the absurd. Take this one, for example: it was one thing to see a teenaged boy (or maybe a little older) at the wheel of a hot car, but a sweet little old lady with gardenias in her flower beds and a garage in bad need of repair? Not who you might expect to see at the wheel of a brand-new shiny red Super Stock Dodge, particularly taking on all the young studs at the wheels of their hot cars. This went to #3 in the US and #1 in Canada.

22 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Jan & Dean, “Little Old Lady From Pasadena”

  1. Always been more partial to Dead Man’s Curve. I recall this ‘little old lady’ line being used by many used car salesmen to justify low mileage and gentle treatment.

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  2. I remember the made for tv movie back in the 70s I believe about the two… I started to listen to them a lot my Jr Year in 84… haven’t stopped.

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        1. Surf is still a great subgenre of rock, with bands like The Surfaris, The Chantays and others. There’s a current band called Los Straitjackets that does some excellent surf arrangements of popular tunes, like the “Batman” theme and “Linus and Lucy” from the Peanuts specials. They perform in masks, for whatever reason. They even have a Christmas album. If you’ve never heard them, they have lots of stuff on YouTube.

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  3. Love this tune. I remember being absolutely delighted when, during a business trip to Pasadena (my first time there), the taxi turned onto Colorado Boulevard … all because of the little old lady. 🙂

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      1. It did get me thinking that we think of the Beach Boys as pretty unique. Probably wrongly, but we’re a long way away. But there must have been several bands of that kind of era, of that kind of style.

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