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Brian Wilson Biography

Brian Wilson Biography Birth name               : Brian Douglas Wilson Born                         : June 20, 1942 (age 69)            ...

Brian Wilson Biography
Birth name               : Brian Douglas Wilson
Born                         : June 20, 1942 (age 69)
                                   Inglewood, California, U.S.
Genres                      : Rock, pop, psychedelic rock, surf rock, experimental rock, baroque pop, art rock
Occupations              : Songwriter, bassist, pianist, vocalist, producer, composer, organist, arranger
Instruments               : Vocals, bass, piano, organ, synthesizers, mellotron, clavinet, violin, saxophone,  
                                     percussions, guitar, electric piano, moog synthesizers
Years active              :1961–present
Labels                       : Capitol/EMI
                                    Sire/Reprise/Warner Bros.
                                    Brother/Reprise/Warner Bros.
                                    Giant/Warner Bros.
                                    Caribou/CBS
                                    Nonesuch/Elektra
                                    Walt Disney
Associated acts          : The Beach Boys, The Four Freshmen, Jan and Dean, Van Dyke Parks
Brian Wilson  was born on June 20, 1942 at Centinela Hospital in Inglewood, California. He was the eldest of three boys; his younger brothers were Dennis and Carl. When Brian was two,the Wilson family moved from Inglewood to 3701 West 119th Street in nearby Hawthorne, California, a town in the greater Los Angeles urban area about five miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. He spent his entire subsequent childhood years in this middle-class family home.

Brian Wilson's father Murry Wilson told of Brian's unusual musical abilities prior to his first birthday, observing that the baby could repeat the melody from "When the Caissons Go Rolling Along" after only a few verses had been sung by the father. Murry stated, "He was very clever and quick. I just fell in love with him."

At about age two, Brian heard George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", which had an enormous emotional impact on him. A few years later Brian was discovered to have extremely diminished hearing in his right ear. The exact cause of this hearing loss is unclear, though theories range from Brian's simply being born partially deaf, to a blow to the head from Brian's father, or a neighborhood bully, being to blame.

While father Murry was ostensibly a reasonable provider, he was often abusive. But Murry, a minor musician and songwriter, also encouraged his children in this field in numerous ways. At an early age, Brian was given six weeks of lessons on a "toy accordion", and at seven and eight sang solos in church with a choir behind him. By most accounts a natural leader by the time he began attending Hawthorne High School, Brian was on the football team as a quarterback, played baseball and was a cross-country runner in his senior year. However, most of his energy was directed toward music. He sang with various students at school functions and with his family and friends at home. Brian taught his two brothers harmony parts that all three would then practice when they were supposed to be asleep. He also played piano obsessively after school, deconstructing the harmonies of The Four Freshmen by listening to short segments of their songs on a phonograph, then working to recreate the blended sounds note by note on the keyboard. Brian received a Wollensak tape recorder on his 16th birthday, allowing him to experiment with recording songs and early group vocals.

Brian Wilson is an American musician, best known as the leader and chief songwriter of the group The Beach Boys. Within the band, Wilson played bass and keyboards, also providing part-time lead vocals and, more often, backing vocals, harmonizing in falsetto with the group. Besides being the primary composer in The Beach Boys, he also functioned as the band's main producer and arranger. After signing with Capitol Records in mid-1962, Wilson wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits including "Surfin' Safari", "Surfin' USA", "Shut Down", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Be True to Your School", "In My Room", "Fun, Fun, Fun", "I Get Around", "Dance Dance Dance", "Help Me Rhonda", "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations". These songs and their accompanying albums were internationally popular, making The Beach Boys one of the biggest acts of their time.

In the mid-60s Wilson used his increasingly creative ambitions to compose and produce Pet Sounds, considered one of the greatest albums of all time. At this point his music was considered to rival that of Lennon–McCartney. The intended follow up to Pet Sounds, Smile, was cancelled for various reasons, including Wilson's deteriorating mental health. Wilson's contributions to The Beach Boys diminished as the years went by, and his erratic behavior led to tensions with the band. After years of treatment and recuperation, he began a solo career in 1988 with Brian Wilson, the same year that he and The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since then he has toured for the first time in decades with a new band and released acclaimed albums such as a reworked version of Smile in 2004, for which Wilson won a Grammy Award for "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow (Fire)" as Best Rock Instrumental, That Lucky Old Sun, and Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin.

In 2008, Rolling Stone magazine published a list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time", and ranked Wilson number 52. He is an occasional actor and voice actor, having appeared in television shows, films, and other artists' music videos. On December 16, 2011, a 50th Anniversary Reunion was announced and Brian returned to The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson remains a member of the Beach Boys corporation, Brother Records Incorporated.

Brian enrolled at El Camino Community College in Los Angeles, majoring in psychology, in September 1960. However, he continued his music studies at the college as well. At some point in the year 1961 Brian wrote his first all-original melody, loosely based on a Dion and the Belmonts version of "When You Wish Upon a Star". Brian's tune would eventually be known as "Surfer Girl". Brian has commented that he wrote the melody in his car, then later at home finished the bridge and harmonies. Although an early demo of the song was recorded in February 1962 at World-Pacific Studios, it was not re-recorded and released until 1963, when it became a top ten hit.

Brian and his brothers Carl and Dennis Wilson along with Mike Love and Al Jardine first gelled as a music group in the summer of 1961, initially named the Pendletones. After being prodded by Dennis to write a song about the local water sports craze, Brian and Mike Love together created what would become the first single for the band, "Surfin'". Over Labor Day weekend 1961, Brian took advantage of the fact that his parents were in Mexico City for a couple of days and intended to use the emergency money they had left for the boys to rent an amp, a microphone, and a stand-up bass. As it turned out, the money they had left was not enough to cover musical expenses, so Al Jardine appealed to his mother, Virginia for assistance. When she heard the group perform, she was suitably impressed and handed over $300 to help out. Al promptly took Brian to the music store where he was able to rent a stand-up bass. After two days of rehearsing in the Wilsons' music room, Brian's parents returned home from their trip. Murry was irate, until Brian convinced him to listen to what they'd been up to. His father was convinced that the boys did indeed have something worth pursuing. He quickly proclaimed himself the group's manager and the band embarked on serious rehearsals for a proper studio session. Recorded by Hite and Dorinda Morgan and released on the small Candix Records label, "Surfin'" became a top local hit in Los Angeles and reached number seventy-five on the national Billboard sales charts.

Dennis later described the first time Brian heard their song on the radio as the three Wilson brothers (and soon-to-be-band member David Marks) drove in Brian's 1957 Ford in the rain: "Nothing will ever top the expression on Brian's face, ever ... THAT was the all-time moment."

However, the Pendletones were no more. Without the band's knowledge or permission, Candix Records had changed their name to The Beach Boys.

Wilson's surviving home tapes document his initial efforts singing with various buddies and family, including a song that would later be recorded in the studio by The Beach Boys, "Sloop John B", as well as "Bermuda Shorts" and a hymn titled "Good News". In his senior year at Hawthorne High, in addition to his classroom music studies, he would gather at lunchtime to sing with friends like Keith Lent and Bruce Griffin. Brian and Lent worked on a revised version of the tune "Hully Gully" to support the campaign of a classmate named Carol Hess who was running for senior class president. When performed for a full high school gathering, Brian's revised arrangement received a warm round of applause from the student audience.

Enlisting his cousin and often-time singing partner Mike Love, and Wilson's reluctant youngest brother Carl Wilson, Brian's next public performance featured more ambitious arrangements at a fall arts program at his high school. To entice Carl into the group, Wilson named the newly-formed membership "Carl and the Passions". The performance featured tunes by Dion and the Belmonts and The Four Freshmen ("It's a Blue World"), the latter of which proved difficult for the ensemble to carry off. However, the event was notable for the impression it made on another musician and classmate of Brian's who was in the audience that night, Al Jardine, later to join the three Wilson brothers and Mike Love in The Beach Boys.

Brian enrolled at El Camino Community College in Los Angeles, majoring in psychology, in September 1960. However, he continued his music studies at the college as well.[16] At some point in the year 1961 Brian wrote his first all-original melody, loosely based on a Dion and the Belmonts version of "When You Wish Upon a Star". Brian's tune would eventually be known as "Surfer Girl". Brian has commented that he wrote the melody in his car, then later at home finished the bridge and harmonies. Although an early demo of the song was recorded in February 1962 at World-Pacific Studios, it was not re-recorded and released until 1963, when it became a top ten hit.

Brian and his brothers Carl and Dennis Wilson along with Mike Love and Al Jardine first gelled as a music group in the summer of 1961, initially named the Pendletones. After being prodded by Dennis to write a song about the local water sports craze, Brian and Mike Love together created what would become the first single for the band, "Surfin'". Over Labor Day weekend 1961, Brian took advantage of the fact that his parents were in Mexico City for a couple of days and intended to use the emergency money they had left for the boys to rent an amp, a microphone, and a stand-up bass. As it turned out, the money they had left was not enough to cover musical expenses, so Al Jardine appealed to his mother, Virginia for assistance. When she heard the group perform, she was suitably impressed and handed over $300 to help out. Al promptly took Brian to the music store where he was able to rent a stand-up bass. After two days of rehearsing in the Wilsons' music room, Brian's parents returned home from their trip. Murry was irate, until Brian convinced him to listen to what they'd been up to. His father was convinced that the boys did indeed have something worth pursuing. He quickly proclaimed himself the group's manager and the band embarked on serious rehearsals for a proper studio session. Recorded by Hite and Dorinda Morgan and released on the small Candix Records label, "Surfin'" became a top local hit in Los Angeles and reached number seventy-five on the national Billboard sales charts.

Dennis later described the first time Brian heard their song on the radio as the three Wilson brothers (and soon-to-be-band member David Marks) drove in Brian's 1957 Ford in the rain: "Nothing will ever top the expression on Brian's face, ever ... THAT was the all-time moment."

However, the Pendletones were no more. Without the band's knowledge or permission, Candix Records had changed their name to The Beach Boys

Recording sessions for the band's first album took place in Capitol's basement studios (in the famous tower building) in August 1962, but early on Brian lobbied for a different place to cut Beach Boy tracks. The large rooms were built to record the big orchestras and ensembles of the 1950s, not small rock groups. At Brian's insistence, Capitol agreed to let The Beach Boys pay for their own outside recording sessions, which Capitol would own all the rights to, and in return the band would receive a higher royalty rate on their record sales. Additionally, although it was very rare at the time for rock and roll band members to have a say in the process of making their records, during the taping of their first LP Brian fought for, and won, the right to be totally in charge of the production- though his first acknowledged liner notes production credit did not come until the band's third album Surfer Girl, in 1963.

In January 1963 The Beach Boys recorded their first top-ten (cresting at #3 in the United States) single, "Surfin' USA", which began their long run of highly successful recording efforts at Hollywood's Western Recorders on Sunset Boulevard. It was during the sessions for this single that Brian made the production decision from that point on to use doubletracking on the group's vocals, resulting in a deeper and more resonant sound.
Brian Wilson with The Beach Boys in 1966.

The tune, adapted from (and eventually entirely credited to) Chuck Berry, is widely seen as emblematic of the early 1960s American rock cultural experience. The Surfin' USA album was also a big hit in the United States, reaching number two on the national sales charts by early July 1963. Brian and his group had become a top-rank recording and touring music band.
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