Infobox Musical artist
Name = Bruce Arthur Johnston
Background = group_or_band
Birth_name = Benjamin Baldwin
Born = birth date and age|1942|6|27
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
Bruce Arthur Johnston (born Benjamin Baldwin on
June 27 1942in Peoria, Illinois) is a member of The Beach Boysand a Grammy Award-winning songwriterfor composing " I Write the Songs." Johnston was not one of the original members of the band. He joined the band on April 9, 1965 after Glen Campbell(who was substituting on stage for the group's chief song writer Brian Wilson) decided to embark on a solo career. Johnston's first vocal recording with the Beach Boys was "California Girls."
As a child Johnston was adopted by William and Irene Johnston of
Chicago, and grew up on the West side of Los Angelesin Brentwood and Bel-Air. His adoptive father was president of the Owl RexallDrug Company in Los Angeles after moving from Walgreensin Chicago. Johnston attended private school in Los Angeles and also studied classical piano in his early years. In high school, Johnston switched to contemporary music. He performed in a few 'beginning' bands during this time and then moved on to working with young musicians such as Sandy Nelson, Kim Fowleyand Phil Spector. Soon Johnston began backing people such as Ritchie Valens, the Everly Brothers, and even Eddie Cochran. In 1959 while still in high school, Johnston arranged and played on his first hit record called "Teenbeat" by Sandy Nelson. The single record reached the Billboard Top Ten chart. The same year Johnston made his first single under his own name, "Take This Pearl" on Arwin Records (a record label owned by Doris Day) as part of the Bruce & Jerry duo.
In 1960 Johnston started his record production career at
Del-Fi Records, producing five singles and an album- "Love You So" - by Ron Holden (for good measure, all but two of the album's eleven tracks were written or co-written by him). In 1962 and 1963 Johnston resurrected his recording career with a series of surfin' singles (vocal & instrumental) and an album, "Surfin Around The World", credited to Bruce Johnston and another 'live' album, The Bruce Johnston Surfin' Band's "Surfer's Pyjama Party". In 1963 came the first collaboration with his friend Terry Melcher, a mostly instrumental covers album credited to The Hot Doggers. The first artist the pair produced was a group called The Rip Chords. Johnston and Melcher were now working as staff producers at Columbia Records, Hollywood and by the time they were producing the million selling "Hey Little Cobra," a knock-off of the Beach Boys car song vocal style, they also wound up singing every layered vocal part for the recording using an ad-hoc Ampex eight track recording machine (without sel-sync!). The two of them made a few recordings as Bruce & Terry, or The Rogues, but Terry Melcher began to focus more on his production career ( The Byrds, Paul Revere and The Raiders). On April 9, 1965, Johnston joined the Beach Boys, replacing Glen Campbellwho was playing bass on the road and singing Brian Wilson's vocal parts. Johnston did not start playing bass until his first tenure with the Beach Boys, and the very first vocal recording Johnston made as one of the Beach Boys was " California Girls". On his solo album from 1977, "Going Public", he recorded a version of the Lynsey De Paulpenned "Won't Somebody Dance With Me". He also scored a hit on the disco charts with a dance oriented remake of the Chantays' hit "Pipeline". Also in 1977 he sang back-up vocals on on Eric Carmen's LP, "Boats Against the Current," and can be clearly heard on the hit single, "She Did It."
Johnston is frequently credited as one of the original greatest supporters of the Beach Boys' 1966 signature album "
Pet Sounds". He flew to Londonin May 1966 and played the album for John Lennonand Paul McCartney. He wrote several Beach Boy songs, notably, "Disney Girls (1957)" (1971), a favorite of Brian Wilson's, which was covered by both Captain & Tennilleand Art Garfunkel.
He wrote the Billboard number one,
Barry Manilowhit ("I Write the Songs") for which he won a Grammy. "I Write The Songs" has been recorded by over two hundred artists (including Frank Sinatra) and it currently has a cumulative singles/albums worldwide sales figure of twenty-five million copies. In addition, Johnston wrote backing vocal arrangements and also sang on the recordings for Elton John's " Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" and Pink Floyd's album " The Wall."
Johnston left the Beach Boys in 1972, returning to the fold in 1979 to appear on (and produce) the album "
LA (Light Album)". In 2008, Johnston is still a member of the touring version of The Beach Boys, performing 170 concerts a year. Despite his long involvement with the band he no longer has a full membership in Brother Recordshaving traded his shares (but not his artist royalties) in 1972. Johnston still retains his equal ownership of the band's ASCAPpublishing company, Wilojarston, and is the only member of the band to have earned a Song of the Year Grammy.
The Beach Boys
* [http://www.mmguide.musicmatch.com/artist/artist.cgi?ARTISTID=782779&TMPL=LONG#bio Bruce Johnston biography] provided by
*imdb name|id=0426552|name=Bruce Johnston
* [http://www.btinternet.com/~bellagio/bruce.html Bruce Johnston solo discography (very basic)]
* [http://BeachBoysBand.net/ Beach Boys Band - Current touring band]
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