The Beach Boys

By Catherine Lewis

Surf Rock

History of the Beach Boys

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The Beach Boys are an American rock band from Hawthorne, California. The group formed in 1961 and consists of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. They emerged with a California sound and gained early popularity internationally for their distinct vocal harmonies and lyrics that reflected the California lifestyle.

They were influenced by Jazz based groups, 1950's Rock and Roll, and Doo-Wop. Brian Wilson and his brothers grew up listening to their father Murry Wilson play the piano, harmonies of vocal groups and Brian would teach his family how to sing back up vocals. For his birthday Brian got a tape recorder and used it to record his mother and brother singing harmonies while he played piano, and his neighbor played guitar. Soon enough Brian and Carl would listen to radio shows to pick out rhythms and the structure of the songs. Then, Brian called Al Jardine and Mike Love to come and practice with him in his bedroom and the band began to form and find their sound.

Brian Wilson led the band to experiment with many different sounds, and finally they decided that Brian Wilson's creative ambitions and sophisticated songwriting abilities dominated the group's musical direction. Brian while leading the band struggled due to he suffered from substance abuse and mental health issues and the group struggled to remain in the spotlight.

What Propelled them to Fame?

Pet Sounds and "Good Vibrations" were released in 1966, they had international success for their surf themed music.

The group had over eighty songs chart worldwide, thirty-six of them United States Top 40 hits. They reached number 4 on the Billboard Top 100 Charts. Eventually, around 1980 Dennis drowned and Carl died from lung cancer. Mike Love and Bruce Johnson continued to tour in the early 2000s while others pursued solo careers. They were one of the world's best selling bands of all times, and are listed at number 12 on Rolling Stones magazine's 2004 list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."

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Top Songs and Albums

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"God Only Knows"

"I Get Around"

"Wouldn't it be Nice"

"California Girls"


"Don't Worry Baby"

"Help me, Rhonda"


Pet Sounds

Surfin' USA


Endless Summer


Characteristics of Surf Rock

-Has guitar, drums, and bass

- has lyrics that relate to the beach/summer

-has an earthy/beach sound

-a lot of harmonies

-creative freedom

surfin U.S.A whith lyrics

"Surfin" SHMRG Chart

S- electric guitar, drums, keyboard, back up vocals, main vocals, clapping, and bass

H- electric guitar, drums, keyboard, back up vocals, clapping, and bass

M- Main Vocals

R- fast, in 4

G- Soft- Medium- Soft


intro- verse 1- chorus- verse 2- chorus- interlude-chorus- outro

Surf Rock

Works Cited

"The Beach Boys Biography". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 30, 2014.

"The Beach Boys Overview". John Bush. AllMusic. Retrieved July 12, 2008.

"The Beach Boys Pet Sounds." Platendraaier. N.p., 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

"The Beach Boys." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.