The place, where garage rock would get a real pump was Minneapolis (Midwest US) with Soma Records in its center. The label was founded by Amos and Daniel Heilicher in 1957 and initially was focused on cutting 7" singles for amateur local bands in their own Kay Bank studio. Everything was going down, but mainly rockabilly. A track of The Fendermen released by Soma in 1962 hit #3 on Billlboard Charts.
But Soma was to really break through in December 1963, when Amos Heilicher eventually took over a distribution of Surfin' Bird / King Of The Surf by The Trashmen - recorded for even smaller Garrett records - which swiped through American airwaves with Surfin' Bird injecting a lot of cash into his pocket. You need to check particularly King Of The Surf, which perfectly represents a period of surf mutating into garage rock - 1964 was this short time when both genres crossed over - with its catchy choirs in the horus and stripped surf arrangement. Check a review Of The Trashmen's first LP on our blog too.
Although Amos Heilicher was doing some nasty black PR to his own boys being quoted by the press with ridiculous comments, other talents were signing on anyway. Among them there were The Gestures from Mankato, Minnesota, who released their first, fantastic single Run, Run, Run / It Seems To Me in October 1964. It climbed to #44 on the Billboard Charts, which is not so great, but Run, Run, Run is treated as a great garage classic today!