Formed in 1961, the group’s hits include Surfin’ Safari, God Only Knows, Good Vibrations and Kokomo.
Along with senior brothers Brian and Dennis, Carl Wilson started playing guitar as a teen.
The group soon became popular world-wide, using their trademark harmonies and Southern Californian beach and surf-themed tunes. They released their first single, “Surfin’,” in December 1961, and within several months, the tune had made the Billboard Hot 100 singles list, eventually peaking at No. 75 and staying on the graph for six weeks.
The Beach Boys signed with Capitol Records in 1962. The exact same year, they released their first complete record, Surfin’ Safari, which reached No. 32 on Billboard’s albums chart.
The Beach Boys released a harvest of hit singles through the early 1960s.
Carl Wilson wed Annie Hinsche in 1966. The couple had two sons: Jonah, produced in 1969, and Justyn, produced in 1971.
Wilson wed Gina Martin, daughter of entertainer Dean Martin, in 1987. The couple was married until his passing.
Carl Wilson left the Beach Boys for a brief while in 1981 to create his first solo endeavor, the self titled Carl Wilson, touring with his own group. He rejoined the Beach Boys the next year, and stayed with them for the remainder of his profession.
In a 1985 interview with all the La Times, Wilson talked about the adversities the group had survived: “Sure, we have had our fair share of ups and downs,” he said. “But I do not know if we have had more than any other rock band … We only possess a style of getting ourselves into hot water.”
In 1988, the Beach Boys, who were still touring widely, performing their tried and true surfing tunes, once again had a long-awaited No. 1 hit with “Kokomo.” The exact same year, the group was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2001, the group was presented together with the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.
Even after being identified as having lung cancer, Wilson toured with the Beach Boys for their 36th annual tour in 1997. He died from complications of the condition on February 6, 1998, in La, in the age of 51.