All posts filed under: Interviews

Chronicling the Beach Boys

Posted by the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association on April 13, 2016 As with veterinary medicine, Dr. Jim Murphy approached a new venture in his life, chronicling the early days of  one of America’s enduring bands, as both an art and a science. The lifelong fan wrote “Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963” because other books gave conflicting facts and short shrift to the band’s early days. He also created a companion website. Dr. Murphy spent eight years researching, doing interviews, and writing his book, weathering rejections until it was published in summer 2015, three days after a new movie about the band was released and a month before the group headlined at the AVMA Annual Convention in Boston. “It is an academic look at the band’s origin and not always a light read for a day at the beach,” he says of the 436-page book with its 12 appendices, 1,100 end notes, bibliography, and index. Fifty of the photos had never before been published, except some in yearbooks. His scientific approach also drew on his right brain. As an undergrad, he …

The Beach Boys Beginnings Examined Through Book

Goldmine Magazine Interview by Ken Sharp All images courtesy of James B. Murphy From performing in school cafeterias to tearing it up on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl, James B. Murphy’s book, “Becoming the Beach Boys 1961-1963” chronicles the back story behind how it all happened in exhaustive detail. Culling original and archival interviews, newly discovered documents and illustrated with scores of previously unseen photographs and ephemera, the book is a marvel of research teeming with revelatory information about the group’s formative years, puncturing myths and setting the record straight about this seminal period in the group’s history. Goldmine: Hite and Dorinda Morgan are key movers and shakers in the band’s early career. Tell us about them and their importance to the group’s career arc. James B. Murphy: Hite and Dorinda Morgan, a husband and wife songwriting team in their late 40s, were friends of Audree and Murry Wilson for a decade before the Wilson brothers decided they wanted to make a record. The Morgans recorded aspiring artists in a make-shift recording studio in …

Veterinarian Alumnus and Lifelong Beach Boys Fan Hears Pet Sounds

  Article written by Manhattan College News staff Jim Murphy ’79 not only used his liberal arts education to attend and graduate from veterinary school many years after college, but his fascination with the Beach Boys enticed him to write a book on the true story of how the band formed and went on to become one of America’s most popular rock groups. Jim Murphy’s love of the Beach Boys began at the age of 10, when he accompanied his brother on a quest to locate the newly released Good Vibrations single. The Bronx resident was hooked after hearing the song, which was released in October 1966. Earlier that year, the Beach Boys released their landmark album, “Pet Sounds,” of which Murphy is still fond, particularly in his work life. Today Murphy is a veterinarian in Washington, D.C., and hears pet sounds daily in the exam room. His science degree from Manhattan College and the lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian enticed Murphy to make a career change and graduate from veterinary school 17 years after college.Another …

Catch a Wave: a Chat with Beach Boys Author James B. Murphy

Written by Ken Sharp November 6, 2015 From performing in school cafeterias to tearing it up on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl, James B. Murphy’s new book, Becoming the Beach Boys 1961-1963 chronicles the back story behind how it all happened in exhaustive detail. Culling original and archival interviews, newly discovered documents and illustrated with scores of previously unseen photographs and ephemera, the book is a marvel of research teeming with revelatory information about the group’s formative years, puncturing myths and setting the record straight about this seminal period in the group’s history. Essential reading for Beach Boys fans or rock music aficionados, Becoming the Beach Boys 1961-1963 is the definitive portrait of their launch demonstrating in detail how a bunch of kids from Hawthorne, California caught a musical wave and were soon sitting on top of the world. Highly recommended. Rock Cellar Magazine: What prompted you to write Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963? Jim Murphy: I was introduced to the music of the Beach Boys when my older brother, Rich, first heard Good …

A Word About Podcasts

The website is my way of sharing research that didn’t make its way into the book and the experience of writing Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963.  Additional posts are in the works and will appear soon.  Some of the site’s posts expand on stories that appear in BBB61-63; others are Beach Boys-related but outside the purview of the book. It occurred to me some additional stories are better served by the telling rather than the reading.  Accordingly, I’ve added a Podcast menu page that initially will contain radio interviews I’ve participated in, but that will later include discussions of Beach Boys-related events and people back in the day.  First up on the Podcast page is a radio interview with WFDU that aired August 23, 2015:  Third Annual Beach Boys Bash on “The Vintage Rock & Pop Shop,” conducted by Ghosty.  There are also links to Ghosty’s interviews with David Marks, David Beard, and Barbara Eden. Does anyone want to hear what it was like for me to pull the book together (the research, interviewing the folks behind the …

Bowie Veterinarian Is Fond of Pet Sounds

Article By John McNamara July 21, 2015 In Jim Murphy’s work as a Capitol Hill veterinarian, pet sounds are an occupational hazard. At home, they’re a welcome retreat. “Pet Sounds” by the Beach Boys is one of the Bowie resident’s favorite albums. Since the age of 10, Murphy has been a Beach Boys fan. He remembers the fall day in 1966 when his big brother burst into the family’s Bronx apartment, announced that he’d just heard a song called “Good Vibrations.” They had to go out and buy the 45-rpm record right away. They practically wore it out, playing it over and over and over again on the family’s Zenith turntable. Murphy guesses he’s seen the group perform about two dozen times and he has tried to read everything he can about the group. Yet, he never located a definitive account of the band’s formative years. So he wrote one himself. “Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963” was released by McFarland Press earlier this year. Murphy initially thought of the project as a simple essay, perhaps …