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The Impacts

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Biography

Before beginning his career as a vocalist and songwriter, the multi-faceted Merrell Fankhauser was the lead guitarist of surf group the Impacts. He has repeatedly claimed in interviews that they recorded the original version of "Wipe Out," only to have the song and arrangement stolen by the Surfaris, who had a huge hit with it in 1963. The Impacts didn't get any hits themselves, but they did manage to release a respectable instrumental surf album on Del-Fi in 1962, as well as a few tracks on obscure compilation samplers issued in the early '60s. ~ Richie Unterberger

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