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Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963

Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963, examines the iconic band's origin story: how five teenagers with no musical training formed a band, wrote a song about the surfing craze gripping the West Coast, recorded it with the help of several key individuals, and scored a #3 hit in Los Angeles. They dodged being called the Pendletones, a musical homage to the Pendleton wool shirts favored on chilly nights at the beach, or the Surfers, when fate intervened and gifted them the name Beach Boys. But what separated them from every other high school garage band? Raw talent, persistence, and a wellspring of creativity launched them on a musical journey now in its sixth decade. Helmed by the musical vision of Brian Wilson, one of the twentieth century's most gifted composers, the Beach Boys blended ethereal vocal harmonies, searing electric guitars, and lush arrangements into an unparalleled musical legacy. Drawn from original interviews and newly uncovered documents, the book untangles many of the myths of the band's convoluted early history. It is the true story of how five teenage boys formed America's greatest rock 'n' roll band and the obstacles they overcame on the way to becoming the Beach Boys.
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About the Author

James B. Murphy is a companion animal veterinarian in Washington, D.C. USA. He lives in Bowie, Maryland.


"This meticulously researched and presented title gives readers a 'boots-on-the-ground' look at how the Beach Boys got its start and is the definitive book on the humble beginnings of the's almost as if those beautiful Beach Boys harmonies...intricately arranged, soaring, and pleasing to the listener...are invoked in the book's layout...a must-read for Beach Boys fans and popular music historians...readers will love the depth of research...recommended"--Library Journal; "no definitive rock history collection or Beach Boys fan should be without this reference, which packs in statistics, black and white photos, and insights not available elsewhere"--Midwest Book Review; "recommended...engaging and entertaining"--Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal; "the most in-depth look...fascinating details about the creation of each absolute must"--Examiner; "fascinating...the research is astonishing...Murphy provides far more detail about those three years than has ever been available before...exhaustive detail"--American Songwriter; "Murphy is a very good writer, and the book he always wanted to read was definitely worth writing. He lets no detail go important historical document through and through. A top ten best retro Popculture book of 2015."--Psychobabble.

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