Happy Birthday To Beach Boy Carl Wilson

12/21/2010
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(Gibson) On this day in 1946, rock and roll welcomed into the world one of its all-time great voices, Carl Wilson. A founding member of the Beach Boys along with older brothers Brian and Dennis, cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, Carl's beautiful and very distinctive voice would color the songs of a band that would go on to define surf music in the 1960s. He was also an extremely talented and underrated guitarist with the chops to sit-in with the studio musicians who recorded on many of the Beach Boys albums.

As a young teenager, Carl shared a bedroom with his two older brothers in their family's home in Hawthorne, California. Their father, Murry, was a huge music fan and especially fond of vocal groups who used complex harmonies, like The Four Horseman. Murry instilled this this appreciation for vocal harmonies in his sons. Murry's sons would practice their own harmonies, singing quietly night after night so as not to wake their parents. Sometimes the boys' mother would join in on these early vocal sessions, too.

Family gatherings at the Wilson house often turned into musical affairs. Cousin Mike and Brian eventually teamed up with a few school friends and performed "Hully Gully" at Hawthorne High School - the audience just ate it up. Brian eventually recruited classmate Al Jardine, who'd been playing guitar in a folk group called The Islanders, as well as Carl and cousin Mike. They spent many hours rehearsing and singing in Brian's bedroom, and everyone pitched in and lent their own special talents, including middle brother Dennis, who at the time still didn't play an instrument. Brian later confirmed that Dennis brought an integral energy to the group, an energy that would ultimately help The Beach Boys attain superstardom. (In reality, Dennis was the only true surfer in The Beach Boys.) more on this story

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