Mr. Media: The Kent Crowley Interview

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Is it fair to call Carl Wilson the “accidental” Beach Boy?

He was the youngest brother – and cousin – in the world’s most enduring and prominent California surf band, the one that probably had other youthful pursuits in mind when older brother Brian recruited him to the band in the early 1960s at age 15.

But the rest of The Beach Boys were lucky he got around – I mean, came around – as Carl eventually became the band’s musical director, lead vocalist and its conscience in the absence of brother Brian.

In his new biography, Long Promised Road: Carl Wilson, Soul of the Beach Boys, writer Kent Crowley tells the story of the Brother who spent much of his life in Brian’s shadow, even when Brian was nowhere in sight for years and years.

Know the Boys’ music but not their history? Maybe you didn’t realize those are Carl Wilson’s vocals in your head from the immortal beach tunes “Good Vibrations” and “God Only Knows,” among many others.