The Beach Boys are undeniably Southern California’s hometown heroes. They’ve created a signature sound that defines the laid back California beach lifestyle, infatuation with classic cars and young romance, and now after 50 influential years in music, the group has revisited its sunny roots for a brand new album.

Having just returned to their home state for two Southern California shows on their 50th Anniversary tour over the weekend, the Beach Boys are now celebrating the release of their new album, That’s Why God Made The Radio, released this week on Capitol Records. The Beach Boys’ surviving members, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks, joined L.A. sister station K-EARTH 101’s Morning Show with Gary Bryan on record release day (June 5) to talk about the album, their reunion tour and their evolution as a band. In the first installment of this multi-part video interview, the Beach Boys looked back 50 years to recall the group’s founding. Watch below.

Growing up next door to the “five geniuses” of the Wilson household in Hawthorne, CA, David Marks remembers the three Wilson brothers, Brian, Dennis and Carl, having regular music sessions and sing-alongs with their cousin Mike Love and himself. It wasn’t soon after that their musical pastime would turn into something much more.

“It naturally evolved, I think, by default,” Marks said.”The brothers were singing together with Mike all the time. Carl Wilson and myself started learning guitar together when we were very young. Al [Jardine] hooked up with Brian in high school and they were singing all the time, so it was just automatic I think.”

The group discussed being approached by a producer in L.A. to record a folk song, but not being interested in recording folk music, the group “stuck to [its] guns” and recorded the music they wanted to create.

“We like folk music. We like The Kingston Trio, we like Peter, Paul & Mary and all that, but Brian and I were more into the R&B and early rock and roll,” Love explained. “So we said, ‘Let us come back to you with something.’ So we went back to his house and we came up with a song called ‘Surfin’ – our first song. It became a minor hit, a pretty good sized hit in L.A.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

– Britt Bickel, K-EARTH 101


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