America’s Band

Beach Boys coverThe Beach Boys

This was submitted by a middle school library. I’m of two minds about this one. On the one hand, middle schoolers could not care less who The Beach Boys are. They are having Fun, Fun, Fun with Taylor Swift and The Biebs and clueless about The Beach Boys.

On the other hand, this is a Rock & Roll Hall of Famers series, and The Beach Boys are Hall of Famers, whether anyone in the target age group for the book has heard of them or not. Wouldn’t It Be Nice if middle schoolers were be exposed to Hall of Fame bands they’ve never heard of?

The pictures -at least, those submitted – are from the 1960s. I *hope* that this book talks about the changes in members this band has had over the years and includes more current pictures. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, after all.

Back to the first point, today’s middle schoolers have parents who were middle schoolers in 1988, and grandparents who were middle schoolers in 1961 when the band was formed. The subject of this book is of more interest to adults, but its format is clearly for a tween/teen audience.

Verdict: I’m Picking Up Good Vibrations about this series. I think I’d keep it if it were in good shape and I had space. After Surfin’ USA (ie. Worldcat), I see that a lot of libraries own this book.  Pair it with a biography of the band One Direction and you’re covered.  If it never, ever circulates after a few years, though, it’s a candidate for the chopping block. (And by chopping block I mean book sale.)

Help Me, Rhonda. Help Me Weed!


Beach Boys pose with dragster

Beach Boys pose backstage


  1. Actually it’s probably easier for a tween today to access classic Beach Boys than it would have been for me as a tween to access, say, Big Band music from the 1940s which was closer to my time. But still, I think your recommendations makes good sense.

  2. In my school there is a gang of 15 year old girls who go mad for 1960s music. Retro is cool!

  3. You should be so, so ashamed for what you did up there. Well played.

    The Beach Boys will come back around. During their 80s revival, my teenage cousin was horrified to realize that our moms not only knew who this hot new band was, but that they knew all their songs better than she did. I can’t help but hope that she gets a similar experience with her own kid.

  4. Well my middle schooler loves the Beach Boys — she says it’s her Dad’s fault. He does have the CD on constant play in his car. She has been known to go to school with Wouldn’t it be Nice stuck in her head. Her friends did not appreciate it.

  5. As a person who is going into 9th grade, I can testify that there are, in fact, plenty of middle school students (including me) who are interested in music from older time periods. Also, having books like these are useful for projects in music class when we need at least one book source. Peace and love.

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