KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #353: Misirlou by Dick Dale.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their list, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #353: Misirlou by Dick Dale.

I am curious to know how many of you, if any, have ever heard this song title or performer? I certainly had not. However, as soon as I clicked on the link and heard the opening notes, I realized that “Misirlou” by Dick Dale is far from being an unknown song. In fact, I am willing to bet that it is a song that you will all recognize immediately, too, if you give it a shot.

First off, “Misirlou” is an instrumental guitar classic that has, as its origin, Middle Eastern roots. Dick Dale was a multi-instrumentalist in the 1950s and 60s but, gained fame for playing the guitar. Early in his playing days, he came into contact with a man named, Leo Fender, who was a guitar maker. Over time, Fender went on to become one of the most famous names in the world of guitars, with the Fender Stratocaster becoming one of the most famous guitars ever made. But, in the early days, Fender would make guitars and Dick Dale would test them out. Dale played hard and loud and used to hold his guitars upside down and backwards. Dale used thick strings to produce, what he called, “thick sounds” and he invented a style of picking that saw him go up and down in quick succession thus, simulating the sound of drumming, while making guitar notes at the same time. Working with his friend, Leo Fender, Dick Dale was, also, one of the first guitar players to use high decibel amplifiers and speakers while performing. He is credited with being one of the original role models for Heavy Metal guitarists that followed.

But, most of all, Dick Dale is noted for his “surf-oriented” guitar songs and has been dubbed, “King of the Surf Guitars”.The song “Misirlou” was a hit for him in the 1960s. It gained renewed fame in recent times, when director Quentin Tarantino used this song over the opening credits in the hit movie, “Pulp Fiction”. Dick Dale passed away in 2019 but, he was playing and giving classes and seminars in his own unique brand of guitar playing right up until the end of his life. I am confident that you will have your day perked up when you click on the link for this song. “Misirlou” by Dick Dale, is one of the classic songs in the history of Rock n’ Roll. Enjoy.

The link to the video for the song, “Misirlou” by Dick Dale, can be found here.

The link to the video for “Misirlou” by Dick Dale (as seen in the movie, “Pulp Fiction”), can be found here.

The link to the official website for Dick Dale can be found here.

Thanks, as always, to KEXP, for supporting good music, whether it has lyrics or not. A link to their wonderful website can be found here.

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