Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mike Love

Michael Edward "Mike" Love (born March 15, 1941) is an American singer/songwriter and musician with The Beach Boys. He was a founding member of the band along with his cousins Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, and their friend Al Jardine, and continues to perform with the band to the present day. Love, along with the other founding Beach Boy members, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Love was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Emily Glee (née Wilson) and Edwin Milton Love. In addition to being cousin to the Wilson brothers, Love is the brother of former NBA basketball player Stan Love and of Pink Martini harpist Maureen Love, and the uncle of Minnesota Timberwolves basketball player Kevin Love. Love's son Christian Love tours with The Beach Boys in their backing band.

Although Love played the saxophone in the first years of the band, he was mainly the co-lead singer, along with Brian Wilson, of the Beach Boys. His R&B styled voice was heavily influenced by classmates at the predominantly black high school, Dorsey High, and the songs he listened to on two of Los Angeles' R&B radio stations. Love sang the lead vocal on many of the Beach Boys' biggest hits, mainly fast-paced rock'n'rollers (while Brian Wilson handled the early ballads), including "Surfin' Safari", "Surfin' USA", "Shut Down", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Be True to Your School", "Little Saint Nick", "Fun, Fun, Fun", "I Get Around", "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)", "Little Honda", "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "California Girls". His lead vocal roles later diminished as other members' voices began to be heard more, but he remained one of the most recognized voices in the group, due in part to his nasal sound, on songs such as "Do It Again". He is also known for his bass vocals, such as the vocal break in "I Can Hear Music" and the bass line in "Good Vibrations". Brian Wilson once stated that band members Mike and Carl had voices from heaven. Onstage, Love has always served as the Beach Boys' MC, introducing songs and band members.

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