Well, after years of working on this little by little (until, last year when I decided to give it my all), my big day has arrived. Welcome to the world - if you can stomach it - my second Murry Wilson single. Both vinyl and digital releases are now available.
Murry Wilson became a copy-written songwriter the year before he became a father and 20 years before he became the “father of the Beach Boys.” He was a working songwriter, with copyright listings beginning in 1941.
I started this project in 2002, but gave up after a basically fruitless year of research. The internet wasn’t loaded with enough Murry yet.
I resurrected the research last year, and found that beyond the obvious stuff all BB fans know about (Many Moods, Sunrays, Honeys, Beach Boys), he also wrote songs recorded by The Jets, The Four (Hollywood) Flames, Red Callender Sextet, The Bachelors, Bonnie Lou, Johnnie Lee Wills and His Boys, Johnny Hall and His Star Rangers, The John Buzon Trio, and more.
In short, Murry wrote (or co-wrote) over 50 songs between 1941 - 1972. Mostly vocal songs. About 20 were recorded and released in Murry’s lifetime by a small variety of acts. About 30 were never recorded. More than half of his songs are currently ‘lost’ as I see it, unless they are sitting in a Wilson family archive box somewhere. Even the Library of Congress destroyed all of his submissions due to age and relevance (I didn’t know they destroyed copyright submissions).
The two songs on this single were originally recorded by The Bachelors, a 1950s L.A. accordion-led trio under bandleader Jimmy Haskell. Vinyl copies can be extremely hard to find. I’m thrilled to get new versions of Murry’s compositions out in circulation again, over 60 years since their debut.
I wanted to thank all of you who have supported this odd release. Rodney Bingenheimer played the Christmas song on his Sirius show last week (although he mistakenly mentioned the songs were from Many Moods) and the reviews have been great so far:
"One of the strangest ideas for a Christmas record we've ever seen – but a nicely deep concept that certainly wins over our ears!" - Dusty Grooves "Funny idea, and smart. Happy Happy Holiday is like a BBs X-Mas album track recorded circa "California Girls" - The Big Takeover
There are about 100 copies of the vinyl left if you want one (500 copy run), available via Discogs. Digital releases/streams are here.
Thanks again, everyone. This has been a lot of fun. Now I just have to decide if the Murry project next year is two of the 'lost' love songs, or two military-themed songs.