Pipeline – The Chantay’s | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#4) and R&B (#11); 1963

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Out of the flood of surf instrumentals that flowed out of Southern California in the early 1960’s, only two made the national Top 10: Wipe Out and Pipeline, the latter created by a quintet of high school students from Santa Ana.

In the summer of 1961, classmates Bob Spickard and Warren Waters decided to take up guitar and bass, and form a surf band. They were soon joined by Brian Carman (guitar), Bob Marshall (piano), and Bob Welch (drums).

Spickard and Carman came up with a twin-guitar tune they called Liberty’s Whip; later changed to Pipeline after an infamous Hawaiian surf line located on Oahu’s north shore. Pipeline b/w Move It was released on Downey Records with Move It designated as the A side.

A local radio station started airing Pipeline instead, generating enough response for Dot Records to pick it up for national distribution. On April 20th, 1963, Pipeline entered Billboard magazine’s Top 10; the first surf record to do so.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Art Wenzel

Lyrics Written by:

  • Bob Spickard
  • Brian Carman