“Beach Boys Party!” from 1965 was a fun compilation of cover songs; Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys sang songs by contemporary bands like the Beatles along with doo wop classics. Played on acoustic instruments, the songs seemed to be recorded live at a house party; in fact, the album was recorded in the studio and then laughter, applause, and chatter were added for effect. The album produced one of the Beach Boys’ biggest hits: a cover of the Regents’ “Barbara Ann.”

The Party!” The LP was recorded shortly before the Beach Boys’ masterpiece “Pet Sounds” due to pressure from Capitol Records for a new album. Frontman Brian Wilson wanted something that wouldn’t take a long time to record but That Could Still Be Fun: A selection of songs the group enjoyed growing up.

Fellow surf rockers Jan & Dean, who were recording in the studio next door, were invited to perform at the sessions, but their label, Liberty Records, threatened to withhold their royalties if they participated on a Capitol album. That didn’t deter Dean Torrence, who joined.

Torrence shared lead vocals with Brian Wilson on “Barbara Ann”, but Wilson later admitted that in the final mix, Torrence’s voice got stronger than his own. Radio programmers began playing “Barbara Ann” directly from the “Party!” album; due to the response, Capitol released it as a single, which became a Top 10 hit.

The song’s roots date back to 1958, when the Desires, a struggling doo wop group from the Bronx, New York, recorded a series of unsuccessful demos at New York’s Regent Sound Studios. Hoping their luck would change, the group changed their name to Regents.

In a studio session, the group had ten minutes to spare, so frontman Guy Villari suggested that the group record a song that was frequently used as a warm-up number. Written by tenor Chuck Fassert’s brother, Fred, the song is named after his sister: “Barbara-Ann” (scripted in the original).

The group decided that, of their demos, “Barbara-Ann” had the best chance of becoming a hit; they took the song to more than 50 record labels without success. Discouraged, the Regents broke up in late 1958.

Fast forward to 1961. Eddie Jacobucci, younger brother of Regents bassist Don Jacobucci, was in one place. Eddie’s group, The Consorts, were missing original songs. Eddie remembered his brother’s demo of “Barbara-Ann,” which he played for his band.

The Consorts convinced Lou Cicchetti of Cousins ​​Records in the Bronx to let them record their own version of “Barbara-Ann”. When writer Fred Fassert found out, he brought the Cicchetti the Regents demo; Cicchetti liked it enough to release the original Regents as a single.

Fred Fassert quickly went to work finding the members of the Regents. Once reformed, the Regents recorded “I’m So Lonely” as the B-side to “Barbara-Ann”. Released in March 1961, “Barbara-Ann” was an immediate hit, peaking at number 13 on the chart. Billboard pop graphics.