The Beach Boys are an American rock band formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. Distinguished by their vocal harmonies and early surf songs, they are one of the most influential acts of the rock era. The band drew on the music of jazz-based vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and black R&B to create their unique sound, and with Brian as composer, arranger, producer, and de facto leader, they often incorporated classical or jazz elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways.
One of the first self-contained rock groups, the Beach Boys began as a garage band led by Brian and managed by the Wilsons' father Murry. In 1963, the group gained national prominence with a string of top-ten singles reflecting a southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance, dubbed the "California sound". They were one of the few American rock bands to sustain their commercial standing during the British Invasion. From 1965, they abandoned beachgoing themes for more personal lyrics and ambitious orchestrations.