Happy Birthday to Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys, who turns 79 on Sunday (June 27th). Johnston joined the group on April 9th, 1965 to become the permanent live replacement for the group's leader and bassist Brian Wilson, who had quit the road the previous December to focus solely on songwriting and producing. Soon after Johnston had joined, Wilson featured him prominently on the group's next single, 1965's Number Three hit “California Girls.” Johnston's tenor voice was also notably featured in the fadeout of “God Only Knows” from the group's 1966 Pet Sounds album.
Johnston's signature Beach Boys classic, 1971's “Disney Girls,” is among the tracks revamped on the recent set, The Beach Boys With the Royal Philharmonic, which sailed to Number One on both Billboard's Classical Albums and Classical Crossover Albums charts.
Bruce Johnston explained why he was so desperately needed out on the road with the group back in 1965: “Brian Wilson had about 10 jobs. He had to write it, arrange it, produce it, do vocal arrangements. . . and it means you have to stay home to do it. So that kind of opened up a door for me to be on the road — and record, I guess.”