Wednesday, August 17, 2016

SHG: The Four Preps: "26 Miles (Santa Catalina)"

The Four Preps: “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)”
Entered the chart on: 1/20/1958
Peaked on: 3/10/1958
Weeks at #2: 3 weeks
Songs at #1: “Get a Job” by the Silhouettes and “Tequila” by the Champs

That name isn’t a joke. Apparently, these guys formed a singing group at prep school. So...more squeaky clean white boys singing harmony. It seems I have heard this song before, but I’m not conjuring up any memory of the actual melody. I do know that it’s about taking the ferry to Santa Catalina, as the parenthetical subtitle helpfully informs us. On the other hand, David Sommerville (a.k.a. David Troy) of the Diamonds was later a member. And this was a self-penned number by two of the group members. So there’s two things in its favor right off the bat. I promised to be open-minded during this series...

Anyone else thinking The Addams Family when hearing that guitar intro? The whistling also gives this a bit of a mysterious air to it. Vocally, I’m having a hard time from separating this from other Wonder bread vocal harmony groups like the Four Lads and the Crew-Cuts. The song’s protagonist claims he’s looking for romance in Santa Catalina, but it’s not clear if he means that his sweetie lives there, or if he just plans on hitting on beach bunnies until one consents to make out with him. I’m guessing the latter, considering the line about “island pearls.”

Eh...I’m kind of running out of things to say about this. It’s OK for what it is, I guess, but the exotic arrangement kind of strikes me as more memorable than the song itself. Cute, but insubstantial.

Rating: 2

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