On This Day

Brian Wilson

Singer-Songwriter Brian Wilson
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Profession: Singer-Songwriter

United States of America

Why Famous: Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and influential songwriters and record producers in music history, Wilson co-founded the 1960s rock band The Beach Boys. In this group he co-wrote two dozen Top 40 hits for them.

Wilson's mastery of recording techniques and unorthodox approaches to songwriting helped The Beach Boys define the 1960s California sound, distinguished by their vocal harmonies and the influence of jazz-based vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and black R&B.

He co-wrote and produced several of their albums, including Pet Sounds (1966), one of the most influential records ever made. After suffering a nervous breakdown, Wilson's contributions to The Beach Boys diminished and the follow-up to Pet Sounds, named Smile, was cancelled.

Often called a "genius", Wilson's contribution to popular music helped lead to the supplanting of New York by California as the center of music production and radically altered the way music was produced, particularly by allowing artists to enter the studio as their own co-producers or producers. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Born: June 20, 1942
Birthplace: Ingelwood, California, USA
Age: 79 years old

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Horse
Star Sign: Gemini

Married Life

  • 1995-02-06 "The Beach Boys" leader and chief songwriter Brian Wilson (52) weds former model Melinda Ledbetter (47) at Palos Verdes in Peninsula, California

Historical Events

  • 1976-07-03 Brian Wilson performs with the Beach Boys after 12 years apart