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Jan & Arnie

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Biography

Jan Berry (b. William Jan Berry, 3 April 1941, Los Angeles, California, USA, d. 26 March 2004, Los Angeles, California, USA) and Arnie Ginsburg. Berry later went on to great success with Jan And Dean, one of the most popular vocal duos in rock history. Before that pair’s success, however, Berry and Ginsburg had one US Top 10 single together. Berry, Ginsburg and Dean Torrence were members of a group called the Barons (which at one point included drummer Sandy Nelson and future Beach Boys member Bruce Johnston). When that group split, the three friends recorded, in Berry’s garage, ‘Jennie Lee’, a tribute to a stripper in a local club. While Torrence served briefly in the US Army Reserves, the tape of that song was brought to the attention of Arwin Records, (owned by Marty Melcher, the husband of actress Doris Day) by then-unknowns Herb Alpert and Lou Adler. Credited to Jan And Arnie, the record rose to number 8 nationally in May 1958. Two more Jan And Arnie singles were released, one of which (‘Gas Money’) charted. By that time Torrence had returned and Ginsburg dropped out of the group, paving the way for Jan & Dean’s quick rise to stardom.

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