Brian Wilson Signs with Walt Disney Records

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Brian Wilson Signs with Walt Disney Records

Beach Boys Co-Founder to Record Two Albums, Including Covers of George and Ira Gershwin Classics

[/floatright]Burbank, CA — Two giants of popular entertainment have come together as Brian Wilson, the pioneering musical genius who co-founded the Beach Boys and wrote many of the band's greatest hits, has signed with Walt Disney Records.

In the months ahead, Wilson will record two new solo albums for the label's Disney Pearl imprint, including one featuring covers of classic songs by great American songwriters, George and Ira Gershwin. For that recording, the Gershwin estate has given Wilson access to rare, unfinished pieces of music by George Gershwin, with which he will craft collaborative compositions unlike anything the world has seen.

He will follow that with an album of classic Disney songs, which the artist promises to "Brian-ize" with his trademark vocal stacks and unique arrangements. Release dates for each album have yet to be determined.

Said David Agnew, Walt Disney Records president and general manager of the Disney Music Group, "We are honored to be in business with one of the greatest musical artists of all time. It is impossible to overstate the impact Brian has had on contemporary music and culture — it has been nothing less than profound. We look forward to partnering with Brian on this exciting new voyage in his musical journey."

"I've always tried to make music that entertained people," Wilson said. "I also wanted my music to last, to be able to speak to any generation. Thankfully, nearly 50 years since the Beach Boys were born, that seems to have come true. Now, a new musical chapter begins for me, and teaming up with Disney means it's going to be a chapter to remember. I promise."

Wilson chose to record George and Ira Gershwin songs because he considers the late composers of classics like "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Summertime" as a critical influence on him. "I've always loved George Gershwin. The earliest music I remember hearing is 'Rhapsody in Blue,'" says Wilson, referring to Gershwin's groundbreaking 1924 orchestral piece. "Along with Irving Berlin, Gershwin basically invented the popular song, but he did something more. He had a gift for melody that nobody has ever equaled yet his music is timeless and always accessible. This is the most spiritual project I've ever worked on."

Said Todd Gershwin (George Gershwin estate) and Michael Owen (Ira Gershwin estate): "The Gershwin families are delighted that the legendary musician Brian Wilson has chosen to record a collection of George and Ira Gershwin songs for his next project. In every generation, American music has been pushed forward by visionaries, from the Gershwin brothers to Brian Wilson. This latest interpretation will be a new opportunity to discover the magic of Gershwin music."

Like Gershwin, Brian Wilson is one of the great composers of the last 100 years. The Southern California native, along with his brothers, a cousin and a friend, formed the Beach Boys while still in his teens. With Wilson as chief songwriter and arranger, the band not only enjoyed dozens of hits, but changed music forever thanks to Brian's innovative melodies and harmonies. Songs like "I Get Around," "Help Me, Rhonda," "California Girls," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," and the #1 smash "Good Vibrations" remain indispensable staples in the rock 'n' roll canon. The band's "Pet Sounds" (1966) is regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time.

Wilson continued to make great music after the Beach Boys, with 10 solo albums including his breathtaking "Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE," which he began recording in the 1960s and finally completed in 2004 to thunderous critical acclaim and Top 20 chart success (as well as earning a Grammy). A member of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, a Kennedy Center honoree and recipient of multiple Gold and Platinum records, Brian Wilson has earned his well-deserved pop music immortality.