Be True To Your School

Album: Little Deuce Coupe (1963)
Charted: 6
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  • The Beach Boys' school was Hawthorne High School in Hawthorne, California, which is where Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Al Jardine all went. Brian, who wrote the track, incorporated some of Hawthorne's fight song - "Scarlet and Gold" - into the middle eight of "Be True To Your School."

    The cheerleaders on the track (chanting "Push 'em back! Push 'em back! Waaaaaay back!") were a girl group called The Honeys: sisters Marilyn and Diane Rovell, and cousin Ginger Blake. Brian Wilson produced some tracks for the group (most notably "He's A Doll"), who also cut demos for the Shangri-Las. They also sang backup on Glen Campbell's song "Guess I'm Dumb." Brian and Marilyn got married in 1964 and had the daughters Carnie and Wendy, who later formed Wilson Phillips. Marilyn and Diane formed a group called Spring, which released a self-titled album in 1972 with Brian as executive producer. The single "Good Time" got some attention, but failed to chart. Brian and Marilyn divorced in 1979.
  • Early Beach Boys songs like this one dealt with issues important to teenagers - girls, cars, surfing, and in this case, pride in your school. Musically, the group stood out thanks to Brian Wilson's songcraft and their distinctive harmony vocals. The songs also connected because of lead singer Mike Love's lyrics, which captured a slice of life in the high school halls. It was something he learned from Chuck Berry, whose song "School Day" provided a template for Rock n' Roll school songs. In our interview with Mike Love, he explained: "You can feel the influence of Chuck Berry in songs like 'Surfin' U.S.A.' which is patterned after 'Sweet Little Sixteen,' and songs like 'Fun, Fun, Fun' and 'Be True To Your School,' so many of the songs that have the lyrical impulse that Chuck Berry would put into his songwriting."

    Until 1994, when Mike Love won a lawsuit awarding him composer credit on this and 34 other Beach Boys songs, Brian Wilson was the only credited songwriter on the track. The publishing rights to these songs was administered by Brian's father Murry Wilson, who Love claims often left him off the credits.
  • This song entered the Top 40 on November 23, 1963, which was the day after US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Four weeks later, the song made its chart peak of #6.
  • The Little Deuce Coupe album was issued three weeks before this song was released as a single. The version on the album doesn't have the chant and is more simplistic; the song was re-recorded for single release.
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Comments: 3

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaBrings back memories of when my oldest brother played High School football and when our senior year we won CIF. All the cheer stuff now is complicated and looks nothing like it did back then. Also a lot of Schools would have had to look really hard for school songs without the On Wisconsin and Notre Dame Fight song to put lyrics to.
  • Joe from Middle Of Nowhere, CaNeedless to say none of the Beach Boys attended Decatur High School in Federal Way, Washington. Otherwise the song would be titled "Screw Your School."
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 15th 1963 "Be True To Your School" by the Beach Boys peaked at #6 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on October 27th and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    It was the boys' 3rd Top 10 record for the year 1963 (the others were "Surfin' U.S.A." (#3) and "Surfer Girl" (#7)...
    The B-side, "In My Room", also charted, it reached #23 and stayed on the Top 100 for 11 weeks...
    R.I.P. Dennis (1944-1983) and Carl (1946-1998).
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