The Beach Boys

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  • Inducted by:
    Elton John
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The Beach Boys embodied the sun-kissed dream of California, courtesy of their buoyant surf-rock vibe and heavenly harmonies.

Thanks to the imagination, vision and production gifts of Brian Wilson, however, the group also reinvented what pop music could sound like.

Hall of Fame Essay


Michael Hill

The Beach Boys started out strictly as a family affair. The Wilson brothers, brought up in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne, had always been around music; their father, Murry, had been a professional songwriter, and Brian, the  oldest son, had studied music theory in school.

According to writer David Teaf, the boys simply happened upon their gift for harmonies: "In the bedroom they shared, Brian taught his younger brothers to sing. Drummer Dennis and lead guitarist Carl learned the harmonies that Brian had ab­sorbed from countless listenings to Four Freshmen and Hi-Lo’s records. Joining in at holiday gatherings was Mike Love, the Wilson brothers’ first cousin.”  

Al Jardine, a teammate of Brian’s on the Hawthorne High football squad and a folk-music fan, rounded out this informal group.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 1988
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They are what America is, a very wonderful place.
Elton John