Crowley makes a case not only for Carl’s guitar innovations but also for Murry’s much maligned musical talent. The father didn’t have the son’s genius, but he was a songwriter who got cuts. Murry’s “Two-Step, Side-Step” was performed by Lawrence Welk on national TV and recorded by Rockabilly Hall of Famer Bonnie Lou. Murry’s “Tabarin” was recorded by the Red Callender Orchestra and by the doo-wop group, the Hollywood Four Flames, featuring Bobby Day. Murry proved to his son that a nobody from a lower-middle-class suburb like Hawthorne could get his foot in the door of the music biz. There’s a touching scene in the new documentary DVD, The Beach Boys/Pet Sounds, where today’s Brian sits at a piano and demonstrates how his dad taught him to play boogie-woogie rhythms in his left hand. Then he plays and sings Murry’s song, “His Darling And Me,” remarking how beautiful it is and emphasizing that his dad wrote that. None of this erases the reality that Murry was a needlessly harsh disciplinarian, who reacted with juvenile jealousy when his sons outgrew him musically, but the other side of the story deepens the picture and explains why Brian co-wrote a song (the delightful “Breakaway”) with his dad after angrily firing him a few years earlier. “People probably don’t imagine the Wilsons crammed into a tiny two-bedroom house in a poor neighborhood,” David Marks told Crowley. Marks lived across the street, was Carl’s best friend and served as a Beach Boy for a while. “There was one bunk bed and one cot in the bedroom, and … they didn’t really have any material possessions to speak of, other than the instruments in the music room. All the stuff you hear about Murry being a prick. For me, it was an average, normal household. My dad was... Sign In to Keep Reading
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