The Tornadoes were a surf band from Redlands, California, the first to receive national airplay with a surf instrumental. The song was "Bustin' Surfboards", released on Aertaun Records in 1962, and it has since become a classic and mainstay of the surf genre. One of its distinctions, and appeals, was that the song opened with the sound of an ocean swell (that continued throughout the song), thereby creating a sense of being at a beach. The album with the same name was released in 1963. The band, however, did not manage to follow up on their success. Their song "Shootin' Beavers" was banned from airplay because of its suggestive title. The band temporarily changed their names to The Hollywood Tornadoes, because the British band the Tornado(e)s, were charting with the song "Telstar".
"Bustin' Surfboards" was included on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack in 1994, thereby renewing interest in the band. The Tornadoes continued to perform through 2007. Members as of 2007 (including four members of the original band) were brothers Gerald (bass) and Norman "Roly" Sanders (lead guitar), their cousin Jesse Sanders (rhythm guitar), Leonard Delaney (drums) and Joel Willenbring (saxophone).
In 2005, they released a CD called Now and Then on the Crossfire Publications label containing 29 tracks, including live recordings from their performance at the Zappanale concert in Germany in 2003, cuts from a 1998 CD and two new recordings.
According to the band's website as of November 2008, the band has decided to retire and is no longer touring or performing.