Readers Poll: The Greatest Summer JamsYour top 10 picks, from the Beach Boys to Will Smith
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9. The Beach Boys, 'California Girls'
Does any single song sum up the Beach Boys' worldview better than "California Girls?" Some might point to "Surfin' U.S.A" or "Surfin' Safari" – but my vote goes to "California Girls." It celebrates not only their beloved California, but also the native women. There's a reason they've opened up countless concerts with it during the past five decades. It sets the tone for the entire night. The Beatles paid tribute to the song with "Back In The U.S.S.R," and in 1985 David Lee Roth scored a big hit with a cover of the song – featuring Carl Wilson on background vocals. It's also unlikely Katy Perry would have ever written "California Gurls" without the inspiration of the Beach Boys.