31 Facts About Carl Wilson


Carl Dean Wilson was an American musician who co-founded the Beach Boys.


Carl Wilson was their lead guitarist, the youngest sibling of bandmates Brian and Dennis, and the group's de facto leader in the early to mid-1970s.


Carl Wilson was the band's musical director on stage from 1965 until his death.


Carl Wilson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Beach Boys in 1988.


Carl Wilson was a member of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, a religious corporation.


Carl Dean Wilson was born the youngest of the three Wilson boys in Hawthorne, California, the youngest son of Audree Neva and Murry Gage Wilson.


Carl Wilson showed me some fingerpicking techniques and strumming stuff that I still use.


Carl Wilson developed as a musician and singer through the band's early recordings, and the early "surf lick" sound shown in "Fun, Fun, Fun", recorded in 1964 when Carl Wilson was 17.


Also in 1964, Carl contributed his first co-writing credit on a Beach Boys single with the guitar riff and solo in "Dance, Dance, Dance" co-written with Mike Love and Brian Wilson.


Unlike the other members of the band, Carl Wilson often played alongside session musicians and recorded his individual guitar leads during the Beach Boys' vocal sessions, with his guitar plugged directly into the soundboard.


Carl Wilson's main writing partner in the late 1970s was Geoffrey Cushing-Murray, but for Keepin' the Summer Alive he wrote with Randy Bachman of the band Bachman-Turner Overdrive.


Carl Wilson told Michael Feeney Callan, writer-director of the RTE 1993 documentary The Beach Boys Today, that Bachman was his favorite writing partner, accordingly: "Basically because he rocked, and I love to rock".


Carl Wilson befriended and gave guitar lessons to Alex Chilton when The Box Tops toured with the Beach Boys.


Frustrated with the band's sluggishness to record new material and reluctance to rehearse, Carl Wilson took a leave of absence in 1981.


Carl Wilson quickly recorded and released a solo album, Carl Wilson, composed largely of rock n' roll songs co-written with Myrna Smith-Schilling, a former backing vocalist for Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin, and wife of Wilson's then-manager Jerry Schilling.


Carl Wilson undertook a solo tour to promote the album, becoming the first member of the Beach Boys to break ranks.


Carl Wilson recorded a second solo album, Youngblood, in a similar vein, but by the time of its release in 1983 he had rejoined the Beach Boys.


Carl Wilson frequently performed that song and "Rockin' All Over the World", as well as "Heaven" from the 1981 album, at Beach Boys' concerts in the 1980s.


In 1988, the Beach Boys scored their biggest chart success in more than 20 years with the US Number 1 song "Kokomo", co-written by Mike Love, John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, and Terry Melcher, on which Carl Wilson sang lead in the chorus.


In 1992, Carl Wilson told Michael Feeney Callan his hope was to record new material by Brian.


Carl Wilson recorded the album Like a Brother with Robert Lamm and Gerry Beckley, while continuing to tour with the Beach Boys until the last months of his life.


Carl Wilson became ill at his vacation home in Hawaii in early 1997.


Carl Wilson was diagnosed with lung cancer, and was started on chemotherapy.


Carl Wilson had been smoking cigarettes since his early teens.


Carl Wilson died of lung cancer in Los Angeles, surrounded by his family, on February 6,1998.


Carl Wilson's death occurred just two months after the death of his mother, Audree Wilson.


Carl Wilson was interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.


Carl Wilson can be heard on the continual stream of Beach Boys archival releases, most notably as a central voice in the November 2011 release of The Smile Sessions.


The band harmonized with isolated vocal tracks of Carl performing "God Only Knows" and of Dennis singing "Forever", as the band's crew projected images of the individual Wilson brothers on a large screen behind the band onstage.


Carl Wilson declared himself a conscientious objector and refused the draft to join the American military during the Vietnam War.


Carl Wilson had an Irish Setter named Shannon, whose death inspired the emotional 1976 hit song "Shannon" by Henry Gross.