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.