Artist Info

P.F. Sloan

A seminal figure in the evolution of West Coast pop, singer/songwriter P.F. Sloan composed and produced some of the most enduring records of the 1960s. While his solo efforts remain folk-rock cult classics, they were barely promoted by longtime label Dunhill, and his subsequent exit from the company was the start of a fall from grace that culminated in a three-decade absence from the studio. Born Philip Gary Schlein in New York City on September 18, 1945, he spent the lion's share of his adolescence in Los Angeles. While browsing the Sunset and Vine music store Wallich's Music City, the 12-year-old met Elvis Presley, who agreed to an impromptu introductory guitar lesson. Within a year Sloan signed to Aladdin Records, issuing his debut single, "All I Want Is Loving," to little notice. The Mart label effort "She's My Girl" met a similar fate, but in 1961 he resurfaced as a staff songwriter with Screen Gems, which teamed him with fellow composer Steve Barri under the supervision of producer Gary Usher. As the Fantastic Baggys, Sloan and Barri capitalized on the budding surf craze with "Tell 'Em I'm Surfin'." They also co-wrote the Round Robin hit "Kick That Little Foot, Sally Ann," and when Screen Gems exec Lou Adler broke ranks to found his own label, Dunhill, he brought Sloan and Barri with him to write and produce. Throughout the mid-'60s, the Sloan/Barri partnership proved a hitmaking force to rival the likes of Bacharach/David or Goffin/King. Smashes like Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man," the Turtles' "You Baby," and the Grass Roots' "Where Were You When I Needed You" were instrumental in defining the sound of Southern California rock & roll.