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The Tornadoes


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Redlands CA, United States

The Tornadoes from Redlands, CA was the first band to receive national airplay with a surf instrumental. The song was Bustin’ Surfboards released on Aertaun Records in 1962, and it has since become a classic and mainstay of the surf genre. One of its distinctions, and appeals, was the fact that the song opened with the sound of an ocean swell (that continued throughout the song), thereby creating a sense of actually being at a beach. The album with the same name was released in 1963. The band, however, did not manage to follow up on their success, their song “Shootin’ Beavers” was banned from airplay due to its suggestive title. The band momentarily changed their names to The Hollywood Tornadoes, due to the fact that the British band The Tornado(e)s, were charting with the song Telstar.

“Bustin’ Surfboards” was included on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack in 1994, thereby renewing interest in the band. The Tornadoes still perform today and have four of the original band members. The members are brothers Gerald (bass) and Norman “Roly” Sanders (lead guitar), their cousin Jesse Sanders (rhythm guitar), Leonard Delaney (drums) and George White (saxophone).

They recently released a new CD called “Now and Then” on The Crossfire Publications label that has 29 tracks including live recordings from their performance at The Zappanale concert in Germany in 2003, cuts from a 1998 CD and 2 new recordings.


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