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“The Pendletones” performing for the first time at Hite Morgan’s home studio, September 15, 1961
1. Luau [Previously Unreleased]
2. Surfin’ [Previously Unreleased]
First Beach Boys recording session, October 3, 1961
3. Studio Chatter
4. Surfin’ (First Attempt) [Previously Unreleased]
5. Studio Chatter
6. Surfin’ (Master Take; X-301, Candix-301, 331, Capitol LP T-1081)
7. Studio Chatter
8. Luau (First Attempt) [Previously Unreleased]
9. Luau (Master Take; “B” Side of X-301, and Candix-301, 331)
Recording as “Kenny and The Cadet,” March 8, 1962. Issued on Randy-422
10. Barbie (Stereo)
11. What Is A Young Girl Made Of (Stereo) [Previously Unreleased Take]
Candix recording session of February 8, 1962
12. Surfin’ Safari [Previously Unreleased Take]
13. Studio Chatter
14. Surfin’ Safari (Take approved as master)
15. Studio Chatter
16. Surfer Girl (Take approved as master)
17. Judy [Previously Unreleased Take]
18. Judy (Take approved as master)
19. Beach Boys Stomp (aka Karate) [Previously Unreleased Long Version]
20. Surfin’ Safari (An attempt at overdubbing, previously unreleased) (Stereo)
Demo from 1961
21. Lavender [Previously Unreleased]
DORINDA MORGAN REMINISCED ABOUT THE BEACH BOYS BEFORE SHE PASSED AWAY IN 1988:
It was a dreary September afternoon in 1961. My husband Hite and I were in our office on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. We were just about ready to call it a day when young Al Jardine came in. we knew Alan, he had come to us before with a young group of singers. They had been very good, but there were imitators, not innovators. It is hard enough to get a new group off the ground, impossible if they don’t have something different to set them apart.
Now Alan was back with a new group. We were sure they would have something to offer because Alan was a good musician, with a great ear for harmony. The tallest boy in this group, who looked to be around nineteen or twenty, said, “Mrs. Morgan, I’ll bet you don’t remember me. I am Brian Wilson, Murry Wilson’s son.”
He was right, I didn’t remember him. We knew his father and Audree his mother very well, but we had only seen Brian once and that had been several years before. Murry had brought him to our house to audition as the lead singer for a group that was going to be on Art Laboe’s Original Sound record label. Art turned him down, a mistake that he might have regretted a few years later! I had been very impressed with Brian’s voice at that time, a high, clear tenor. He sang with a lot of feeling, but I think that Mr. Laboe thought he was too young. Now, here he was again, about a foot taller. He was twenty now, and his two younger brothers were with him. Dennis, the middle brother, was of medium height and very handsome. Suntanned Carl, only fifteen and looking even younger, was the baby. Their cousin, Michael Love, was six months older than Brian and very confident. He was already married and the father of a baby.
Of course were predisposed to favor the family of good friends, and all of the boys had such nice manners and clean cut good looks. They did several ‘top ten’ numbers for us, and were very good, with a smooth vocal blend and catchy arrangement. But it is a tough world, and my husband asked Brian if he though he could write something along the lines of Chuck Berry; something with a good backbeat and simple chords. Brian and Michael looked at each other and nodded. We told them that what they needed was an original idea, something that hadn’t been done to death. To our surprise Dennis broke in excitedly and said “No one has ever written a song about surfing!”
We all looked at him in amazement. Surfing? Undaunted, Dennis continued “But all the kids listen to the surfing reports on the radio. It’s new, but it’s bigger than you think.”
I was intrigued. It might work. I asked Dennis to write down a list of surfing terms. He did, and Brian and Michael starting writing immediately. They had a rough draft of Surfin’ before they left our office. All of a sudden the day wasn’t so dreary anymore.
A few days later they came back with the finished song. It was pretty good. My husband recorded them performing the Surfin’ along with a tune our son Bruce wrote called Luau.
At the beginning of October, 1961, the boys re-recorded Surfin’ and Luau. At first we pressed it up on our own “X” records. My husband took it to Herb Newman of Era Records. Herb liked it, but he didn’t like the name the boys had chosen: The Pendletones. I think that the Wilson boys were hoping for some free shirts! They were very cute. At any rate, Herb, along with Joe Saraceno and Russ Regan were in our office when the name “The Beach Boys” was decided upon. Herb had some copies of the single pressed on his Candix label and we delivered them to Bill Angel at KFWB Radio in Los Angeles. That is what put Surfin’ on the map. When Murry and Audree returned from a vacation that they were taking in Mexico, the boys were on the “top ten” list at Music City. It all happened so fast, it was incredible. Brian told us that when he first heard Surfin’ coming out of the car radio he almost passed out. I think that moment meant more to him than many that have come after. It was a magical time for all.
(Found among her personal papers)
MEMOIRS OF A 3-YEAR OLD ROCK AND ROLL WRITER
Chapter 116: How I Came To Meet Brian Wilson and What Happened
by Robert S. Levinson
I check the files of my mind and find it hard to believe it was 25 years ago that a publicity director of Capitol Records drove me by some circuitous route to the home of Brian Wilson; 25 years ago! Brian was 23 then, rich and famous, and already a five-year survivor in a business that takes no prisoners. By my reckoning, I was three years old in 1966, the youngest journalist turning out a regular weekly column about that upstart rock and roll for a major city daily, the old Los Angeles Examiner.
In fact, it was the nation’s first regular weekly column ever. It had come into being after I convinced a feisty Sunday editor, Bob Epstein, that rock and roll was the music of the future. Bob agreed to give it a try, so long as there was an occasional piece, too, about musicians his readers really might care about; S/Sgt. Barry Sadler, I suppose; Bobby Vinton, Petula Clark, Connie Francis, Tom Jones, Herb Alpert, The Highwaymen and, for all I remember, Mr. Acker Bilk.
Those were the days, my friends.
The publicity director’s names was Ron Tepper, and we had been copy boys together at the times, and he was doing me a favor or he need a favor from me, and it was probably both. He was giving me an opportunity to interview Brian himself, the backbone of the Beach Boys, who no longer did interviews.
I was being handed a rare opportunity to sit down and shmooze with somebody who already had a reputation within the industry for being slightly, well, “unusual,” possibly a quarter mile to the right of “eccentric.”
Tepper had another word for it: Genius. And, he was confident others as close to him to the Beach Boys shared that opinion.
With the first splashes of success for the Beach Boys, Brian had retreated into home and himself.
And, his music.
This was five years after the Wilson brothers, Brian, Dennis, and baby Carl, with cousin Mike Love and Al Jardine, Brian’s high school football pal, talked to Hite and Dorinda Morgan about making records.
The Morgan’s were music publishers, whose writers, including the Wilson’s father, Murry, and as close to the real record business as five young kids calling themselves Carl and the Passions could get. Their credential at that time were heavy on assemblies at Hawthorne High in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, performing the radio hits of others. Hite Morgan was polite and impressed enough to suggest they come back with original material. Come back? Before they left the Morgan’s office, they had fashioned the beginnings of something called “Surfin’,” and a few days later they were ready to begin the recording session lost to time and history for 30 years.
Now, they were the Pendletones.
Shortly, the names was changed again, to, well, you know…
And the hits just kept on rolling, like waves to the future.
And, here I was en route to interview the reclusive Brian.
By this time, he had stopped touring with the group. The official reason had to do with a hearing impairment in his right ear. It had been aggravated by the amplified music of the studio and the stage, and doctors had urged him to ease off, the story went.
“The kid is a genius,” Ron Tepper kept repeating on the drive to Bel-Air. “You’ll see what I mean. Wait until you sit down to talk with him. He’s almost half deaf, yet he keeps turning out the music he does.”
“What about the sandbox?”
Legend already had it that Brian had a sandbox in his living room, and that’s where he got some of his greatest inspiration.
“He’s a real genius,” Ron said, ignoring the question.
“He can be a little strange.”
“Don’t talk about Murry,” he said.
“You already said that.”
“Just wanna be sure,” he said.
So, there it was again, I deduced, the reason Brian was so amenable to sitting down with me: Murry Wilson, his father. Today, Brian might not want to discuss his dad, but he wanted equal time in print.
My invitation had come on top of a column piece about Murry and the Sunrays, the Beach Boys knock-off he invented and managed to modest back-to-back hits after a falling out with his sons. Murry said he resigned; publicly, his sons said nothing.
Murry confessed to me, “All the time I managed my sons I was ill and nervous. This recording business is a very exciting, very trying and nerve-wracking affair. It reached a point where I couldn’t go on.” He credited Carl with bringing the Sunrays to him and confided: “At first they were so bad they couldn’t even sing two-part harmony. But I remember that no one wanted the Beach Boys at first, and I couldn’t find anyone to put an honest effort in behind my sons.”
Murry told me he owned the Beach Boys’ publishing company and all of Brian’s songs, boasting, “I’ve got more money than I’ll ever be able to spend in a lifetime.” He was spending a lot of it on the Sunrays, he suggested, and there was an underlying bitterness when he remarked about his sons. “I still worry about them and miss them. I still worry about my little monsters. That’s what I call them, ‘my little monsters.’ But now I’m dedicated to helping the Sunrays become a success.”
Tepper had warned me that it might be tough dragging answers out of Brian and as we neared the Wilson residence, he seemed to grow tense. He wondered if I was ready with questions. If I knew what to ask?
Well, I had the Capitol press kit with the usual bio full of puffery, praise, and a discography that indicated the group was presently on the Billboard charts with “Sloop John B,” as well as the two historic photos that everyone knows by memory (Beach Boys and surf board; Beach Boys and Little Deuce Coupe), as well as an introduction Brian had written for a Beach Boys song book. (Bio and photos were long ago commandeered by the notorious rock and roll pack rat maven and archivist, Michael (Himself) Ochs, but a copy of Brian’s notes somehow survived erosion in my files and, in part, is reprinted hereabouts.)
None of it mattered.
Brian and I talked for two hours.
Rather, Brian talked and I mostly listened.
He greeted us warmly and from first handshake to last, when he walked us to the door about two hours later, could not have been more gracious, congenial or talkative. Even Tepper, who became apprehensive as we approached the front door and rang, started to relax after two or three minutes. He gave the impression that this version of Brian Wilson was a revelation even to him.
Brian and I were a couple of kids relaxing over soft drinks and a hard love affair with rock and roll, and he was clearly quite comfortable with a role he had not sought but owned anyway, as a trend-setter and creative influence in contemporary music. The Beach Boys already had released 8 albums and sold more than 20 million records. Every one of their albums and singles had made the best-seller charts, and five of the albums had gone Gold, no easy feat in the 60s.
“Bob Dylan and so many people are spokesmen for the world and the world situation,” Brian decided. “I’m a spokesman for young people and what they can do for themselves.”
I wrote then (and continue to remember) how his thoughts came quickly, ratatat-tat fashion, jumping, leap-frogging and sometimes pirouetting from one tope to the next. His spontaneous enthusiasm was unabridged. Yet, he always managed to complete an idea or carry it forward into his next observation.
“I don’t like to come on politically,” he said, “I’m interested in people as people. Someone once classified Dylan and the others as the Realist Idealists’ and I was called a Romantic Conservative. I buy that. What I must do is condense two or three powerful emotions into three minutes of music. It has to be simple, easy to listen to. People will always want simplicity, and I always try to think in those terms. Another one of my objectives will always be good taste.”
Clearly, Brian already was competing with Dylan for a place in the forthcoming literature of rock and roll, but he recognized the larger shadow looming over his shoulders.
I said, “Let me ask you about…”
Tepper gasped, fearing the worst. “…The Beatles.”
It was not only a fair question, it was an obvious one. There was a competition going back and forth between the two groups. Less than a year ago, the Beach Boys had knocked “Ticket To Ride” out of number 1 on the charts with “Help Me Rhonda.” Some time before that, “I Get Around” had fallen to “A Hard Days Night.”
Brian nodded effusively, his head bouncing like one of those ducky dippers in the back window of a car.
“I feel we’ve become an institution, like the Beatles,” he said, pride clearly getting better of modesty. “Look at the consistency of our album sales, our single sales, our concert sell-outs. These are the only measuring sticks in pop music. As an American act, we’ve gone the whole route. What’s left, except to expand musically.”
He began to describe the next Beach Boys album scheduled for release. It was called “Remember the Zoo,” (and rockologist are invited to immediately jump in with the title under which it was released, replete with pet sounds then and now).
What he liked best about it, Brian decided, was the humor he had injected into his songs. He predicted, “It won’t be long now until young people move into humor, I mean the spontaneous humor of the situation. Absurd humor will become big, because it’s the distinct humor of this generation. It’s hard to put it on a record and let it remain what it is, but it can be done.”
At an early point, we moved to his piano off the living room, and he seemed especially comfortable punctuating his words at the keyboard. And, now, rock historians please note:
The piano was sitting smack dab in the middle of what was clearly a goddam sandbox. There was not much sand in it, hardly more than traces but it was a goddam sandbox. More than that, it didn’t seem strange or at all out of place, it fit just fine, thank you.
Brian sampled some of the songs I could expect to hear on “Pet..” (err) “Remember the Zoo.” And then he snapped his fingers.
He’d been working on a song that couldn’t be finished in time for that album. Would I be interested in hearing a rough mix? (No, Brian. Instead, why don’t you cut off my right ear and send it to Vincent Van Gogh.)
He led me to a music room and loaded a tape onto the reel to reel. We were hearing “Sloop John B.” Brian shook his head and signaled he’d be back in a minute. He returned before the tape played out, holding up and wagging a small white box that contained the song he wanted me to hear. It had been in the trunk of his car since the last session at Western Recorders.
Brian watched my face as I stared off through a wall, my eyes wide as I got a fresh sense of the destiny of rock and roll through a song he was apologizing still needed fine-tuning. He was calling it “Good Vibrations.”
With his parting handshake came talk of how much he had enjoyed the conversation and laced it with an invitation to come back some time.
It never happened, the encore, although we continued to meet regularly through his music.
It is now September, 1990.
The phone rings.
I recognize the voice of Marshall Blonstein, president of DCC Compact Classics, whose label often adds a piece of our rock and roll heritage to its catalog.
He is a happy man.
I can picture him jumping up and down on the other side of the connection as he carries on joyously about having acquired the rights to the first recording sessions ever undertaken by Brian, Dennis, Carl, Mike and Al, 1961.
The Hite Morgan tapes, thought to be lost for years, have been located by the label’s dauntless producer, recording engineer and swami of the sound studios, Steve Hoffman, who followed a tip to Las Vegas for a meeting with the Morgans’ son, Bruce. Bruce knew he was homesteading the session reels from the Beach Boys’ first three trips to the studio with his father, and gladly went to pull them from a storage closet shelf.
The intrepid Steve trailed along and a moment later his curiosity was aroused a small-storage box, the kind people use to tuck away scrapbook items and other souvenirs of the passing years, only this one was labeled “Surfing Song.” Steve inquired, and Bruce waved off the box as something that had not been opened for a quarter of a century, at least.
Anybody else would have let it go at that, but understand: Steve’s habit of prowling through studio vaults and dustbins searching for lost or misplaced music treasures is legend throughout the business and collecting circles. He picked up the box and examined it from all directions. He saw it was labeled “Surfing Song,” and now he had to know what was inside. Not had to know, mind you, or had to know, but HAD TO KNOW!
The scrapbook box contained a small reel with three songs the Boys had recorded in Hit and Dorinda Morgan’s living room, even before they got to the Real Studio.
Steve gets on the speaker phone to confirm the story.
He is happier than Marshall.
He will be reworking and digitally remastering all these pre-Capitol Records treasures for release in early 1991 – a full 30 years after the Beach Boys were created. //The tape, he reports, are in perfect shape. No shedding. No drop-outs. The Morgans had used a brand that in those years promised to last forever, or a lifetime, (whichever was longer), because its lubricant was whale oil, not the artificial oils that ultimately helped save the whales, but came to endanger the species known as tape masters.
It gets better than that, for, according to Steve: DCC will be using these masters for the first time. They had not even been used for the 45s originally released.
His voice is doing cartwheels as he tell how the tape reel in the storage box has the kids singing “Surfin’” a Capella in the Morgan’s living room, the first time they ever performed the song for anyone but themselves. There’s also a song called “Lavender” and another called “Luau,” and, he declares. (his own voice fairly singing): “You have to stand back and remember that Carl is only 15. Already, you can hear them sounding the way they will five years later.”
Clearly in the making is a genuine gift to the rock archives.
“It’s a genuine coup,” Marshall declares.
“A little deuce coupe,” I suggest.
One small pun for a man, one giant leap forward for rock and rollers.
It is now December, 1990.
A messenger delivers a cassette reference copy of The Beach Boys: Lost and Found. Even before I shove it into my deck and push the button I’m feeling those good vibrations.
And, now, it’s my turn to jump up and down.
All of it is here.
The items that have been released or bootlegged over the years, albeit never with this quality, join take after alternate take on the nine songs, among them the classic “Surfin’,” “Surfin’ Safari,” and “Surfer Girl.”
And, studio chatter, on its own crisp bands. Here are cheerful, young voices full of harmony and vision, enjoying every minute of the creative process, before the musical notes they made were translated into the bank notes we paid.
And, there’s the discovery:
“Lavender,” written by Dorinda Morgan and never issued, reveals that historians err when they talk about the Beach Boys’ developing a Four Freshman kind of sound after the act was established and Brian could play games and go exploring in the studio. It’s already here, fully developed, in 1961.
Hite Morgan’s son, Bruce, is the author of “Luau,” written as the flip side to “Surfin’,” the first song ever written about the sport, here as it was heard for the first time, certified, bona fide, amplified, mint-condition fresh.
Before Capitol Records.
Before Al Jardine briefly left the band, to be replaced by David Marks on the first Capitol albums.
Before they hit it big and hard and the Powers That Be wouldn’t let them lay down their own instrumental tracks. (For example, it’s the inimitable Hal Blaine drumming of “Surfin’ USA,” not Dennis Wilson.) Every note here is played by a Beach Boy.
“Barbie” and “What Is A Young Girl Made Of” are songs that began as Hite Morgan demos. There was music, but no vocal track. Just before the group signed with Capitol, Morgan asked Brian to sing the lead lines and he obliged. Another voice on the tape: the Wilsons’ mother, Audree. The 45 was released as a single on multi-colored vinyl, as performed by “Kenny and the Cadets.”
The “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfer Girl,” “Judy,” and “Beach Boys Stomp” “(Karate)” tracks dated February 8, 1962, stem from the frenzied efforts of Candix Records to find a follow-up to “Surfin’.” This is the first time they can be heard off the original masters, the way they were meant to be heard.
Possibly, better than they were meant to be heard.
Time and history have a way of doing that.
Especially to legends.
Certainly, to legends like the Beach Boys.
It is now January, 1991.
The Beach Boys: Lost and Found.
What a wonderful gift 30 years after the fact.
Songs hardly a day older than when they were recorded.
How old was I then?
And, how old were you?
The Beach Boys: Lost and Found
by Paul W. Urbahns
This project started when Neal Umphred reviewed current Beach Boys collections on compact disc in the 1990 Beach Boys issue of Goldmine Magazine. Neal stated that “while a few CD’s on the early material of the group have reached the market, few are worth owning.”
I had been aware of this problem myself. These semi-bootleg discs had no notes, not much music and no real sense of historical perspective. The uniformity of the irritating bad sound had given the public a general belief that the original tapes were extremely poor quality. It was not until Gregory Orme of Fayetteville, NC pointed out that perhaps all of these issues were made from the same set of dubs that fired the hope that maybe the original tapes were never used at all and were just hanging around someplace, waiting to be found.
Knowing Steve Hoffman’s work from his years at DECCA/MCA Records and seeing the quality of releases coming out under his supervision on Marshall Blonstein’s DCC Compact Classics label, I decided to “drop him a line” requesting a release of the Beach Boys Hite Morgan sessions on compact disc. Hoffman was familiar with the material as he had included two Morgan produced Beach Boys songs on the DCC Surf comp, “Beach Classics.” Hoffman’s response hit me like a brick and established a challenge. On elegant DCC stationary Hoffman replied, “Of course I would like to release a complete ‘Morgan’ Beach Boys compact disc. Who wouldn’t? The only problem is where are the darn master tapes? I have never been able to find them. Only fourth and fifth generation dubs like everyone else has used in the past.”
Then came the challenge, “I’ll make a deal with you, Paul. If you can find the tapes, you can write liner notes and help with the producing of this release.”
My phone bill went up immediately. I located several sources for the songs but no session tapes. After many “bum steers” it dawned on me to contact Guild Music which was listed as the publisher. Knowing the firm was long gone from Los Angeles, it was necessary to consult BMI. They in turn referred me to the right place. Bingo! Pay Dirt. The Goods. Etc.
Steve Hoffman and myself agreed that our compact disc had to set the record straight. So much of the early information regarding the group was conflicting that the story had become confusing and totally inaccurate over the years. We will present this material in a true historical perspective. Hoffman’s frustration showed through in one letter as he wrote, “It is amazing how everyone has got it so wrong. My God, it wasn’t that long ago.”
For the Beach Boys fans there are revelations abounding in this collection. Answering many questions which have surfaced over the years. The first recordings prove beyond a doubt that the Wilson brothers, cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine were very polished for “ just a group of kids.” Brian was firmly in control when this first session was held in Hite Morgan’s living room studio on September 15, 1961.
With the simple accompaniment of Carl’s acoustic guitar the group performed Dorinda Morgan’s Lavender, her son Bruce’s Luau, and Brian and Mike’s composition Surfin'. The performances show quite a bit of practice involved prior to this occasion.
Hite Morgan’s “living room” studio was actually permanent equipment, an Ampex 200 recorder which was left in place and used frequently. “It was a good place to work things out,” said Bruce Morgan. Well suited for working on arrangements, timing and rehearsals. The room wasn’t acoustically insulated from the outside world and it is possible to hear cars going by in the street. The group could hear what they sounded like and Hite decided to book studio time. The group’s name is confirmed by the markings on the old tape box labeled simply “Pendletones Surfing song.”
About two weeks later, October 3, 1961 the group assembled at the World Pacific Studio to record their first single. The decision was made to record Surfin’ and Luau. It had long been reported that a version of Surfin’ Safari was also recorded. Close examination of the session tapes reveal 12 takes of Surfin’ and 10 takes of Luau, indicating that Surfin’ Safari had not been written at this early date. The studio chatter proves Brian was again in control of the session.
The Morgan’s operated several small labels out of the Stereo Masters office on Melrose Avenue including Deck and X Records. Pressing a small quantity of the Beach Boys new single on X-301 the record made enough local noise for Hite to arrange a distribution deal with the larger Candix label. Eventually, Surfin’ reached #2 in Los Angeles and Top 100 nationally.
Collectors have paid outrageous prices for these early singles. The number of Beach Boys fans grow from year to year, creating a growing market for the limited number of original X and Candix Records.
Capitol Records later licensed the Surfin’ track for use in the Beach Boys first Capitol album, “Surfin’ Safari,” Steve Hoffman verified the Capitol release is the same recording, not a re-recording as Capitol claims. Prior to issuing the Morgan’s tape a master number, Capitol speeded it up one whole tone, DCC now presents the song in it’s original key.
Because of the success of the Surfin’/Luau single Hite Morgan returned to World Pacific Studios on February 8, 1962 for more songs. Surfin’ Safari; Surfer Girl; Judy; and Beach Boy Stomp.
Surfin’ Safari was the obvious choice as a followup to the Candix hit, Surfin’. Written in a similar style to its predecessor, Brian got more adventurous and attempted overdubbing which resulted in the stereo version included here. This overdubbing technique was utilized later in the group’s Capitol recordings to allow Brian to achieve a fuller sound. Shades of later things, it is possible for you to listen to only the right channel and achieve a “Stack O’Tracks” effect.
Surfer Girl, no doubt influenced by Lavender from the September 15 session at the Morgan home, is classic Brian Wilson. The song was held by Brian and later re-recorded to provide the group a hit in August 1963 and title song to their third Capitol album. Judy was Brian’s dedication to his current girlfriend Judy Bowles. Beach Boy Stomp aka Karate is an instrumental in the current surf style of that day. The difference in titles come from an uncertainty of which to use. The session master was marked with both titles.
Once signing with Capitol, the Beach Boys re-recorded Surfin’ Safari and Surfer Gil. Hite felt that the boys owed him two more songs and Murry agreed. On March 8, 1962 a few members of the Wilson family showed up at the studio to add voices to instrumental tracks previously recorded. Barbie was written by Bruce Morgan and so names because “the Barbie doll was new then.” As Morgan explains, “It was a simple teeny bopper type thing.” Barbie features a Brian Wilson lead with Al Jardine, Carl Wilson and Audree Wilson on background vocals.
“What Is A Young Girl Made Of” was primarily written by my mother,” Bruce admits. Both songs were paired on a single (Randy 422) which sank without notice.
The Beach Boys did not invent surf music but rather are the essence of surf music much in the same why, White Castle established the first fast food restaurant in 1921, but it is McDonald’s that became the essence and popularized the fast food form.
The Hite Morgan recordings have often been called the Beach Boys “Sun Sessions” referring to the rough recordings made by Elvis Presley for Sam Phillips small Sun Records label in Memphis prior to h is contract being bought by a major label, RCA. This analogy is partially correct. True, the Beach Boys recordings for the Morgan family are crude by the standards established by the group on Capitol. But without the experience gained by Brian during the short association with Hite Morgan, the resulting success at Capitol may not have happened.
Additionally, Elvis’ departure from Sun effectively ended his “Rock-A-Billy” years and moved Presley into mainstream Popular music. The Beach Boys style did not change. Rather it grew. Brian Wilson learned from both Dorinda and Hite Morgan and those lessons allowed him to create the immortal music the group would become know for. In 1964, Brian wrote of the founding of the group and the inspiration from Hite and Dorinda:
“Sometime late in August, 1961 my brothers Carl and Dennis, my cousin, Mike Love, our friend, Al Jardine and I sat in our den trying to write a song about surfing. We really didn’t accomplish much that night, but it was probably the most significant evening in our whole lives – it was the first group gathering of what is now known as “The Beach Boys.” Actually, Mike and I ended up writing the song several days later…it was called “Surfin’.”
As if by magic, the future took its course. We all decide to buy instruments and learn to play and sing together. We pooled our money and bought a set of drums and rented a guitar and bass. My folds had been visiting some friends in Mexico during this time, and by the time they returned, we were called “The Pendletones” and had a little stage act worked out. We owe a special thanks to our father, Murry, who became our manager and has been a great motivating factor in our career; and to our mother, Audree, who has been an inspirational guide all along and has never been wrong.
The real magic came when Hite and Dorinda Morgan, owners of Guild Music Publishing Company of Los Angeles, called my Dad, who had written songs for years, needing some young singers to try out a folk song. It turned out the song we had written “stole” his interest…fascinated by the Surf craze which had literally taken California by storm, both Hite and Dorinda Morgan suggested that we immediately make a record pressing of our song under their guidance. Little did we know that we would hear our recording of “Surfin’” on the radio three weeks later. This introduction into the music world was the birth of a new, young image.”
Here, then, are the legendary first session by the Beach Boys. Time has aged them well.
Original sessions produced by Hite and Dorinda Morgan.
Compiled and mastered for compact disc by Steve Hoffman
Concept: Paul Urbahns
All songs written by Brian Wilson except Surfin’ written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, Barbie, What Is A Young Girl Made Of written by Bruce Morgan, Beach Boy Stomp (Karate) written by Carl Wilson and Lavender written by Dorinda Morgan
All songs published by Guild Music Co. BMI
Licensed from Deck Records
THE BEACH BOYS:
BRIAN WILSON, CARL WILSON, DENNIS WILSON, MIKE LOVE, and AL JARDINE
Barbie also features AUDREE WILSON
The original master tapes were used in the making of this compact disc.
(P) © 1991 Compact Classics, Inc.
Pre-production director; Marcia McGovern
Cover Photograph: Jim Zuckerman
Package design: Tim and Diane Bryant, Bryant + Assoc.
Recorded at World-Pacific Enterprises, 8175 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA
Original session engineer: Dino Lappis
Session player on tracks 10 & 11: Val Poliuto
Compact disc mastering: Steve’s Place, West Hills, CA
Second engineer: Kevin Gray