Carl Dean Wilson (December 21, 1946 – February 6, 1998) was an American rock and roll singer and guitarist, best known as a founding member, lead guitarist and sometime lead vocalist of The Beach Boys. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. He was the younger brother of fellow Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Dennis Wilson.
Wilson played the Chuck Berry-esque guitar parts on many of the band's early hits. Because the band first became successful when he was in his teens, he was still developing as a musician and singer. His lead vocals in the band's first three years included "Summertime Blues" (duet with David Marks), "Louie, Louie" (splitting the lead with Mike Love), "Pom Pom Play Girl," "All Dressed Up for School", and "Girl Don't Tell Me". When the band started being augmented or replaced by session musicians on many of their mid-'60s recordings (they contributed the majority of the instrumental work themselves on the early-'60s recordings), unlike the other members of the band Carl often played side by side in the studio with the session pros that Brian increasingly turned to from 1964 onward, or recorded his guitar leads during the Beach Boys vocal sessions, with his guitar plugged directly into the soundboard.
Following his performance of the lead vocal on "God Only Knows" in 1966, Carl was increasingly featured as lead vocalist for the band (a role previously dominated by Mike Love and Brian Wilson), singing many leads on the Smiley Smile and Wild Honey albums, including the hit singles "Good Vibrations," "Darlin'," and "Wild Honey," then on 1969's "I Can Hear Music," which served as Carl's first major studio production. He is widely recognized as an important singer in popular music. The renowned high tenor, Iestyn Davies, interviewed by Mark Lawson on BBC Radio 4's Front Row on 16 December 2009 referred to Wilson's lead in Good Vibrations as " wonderful male alto solo; exactly the same sound you'd hear from a good singer in a cathedral or on a Baroque opera stage. It's a wonderful sound".