Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Charles McGovern

Committee Members

Jerry Watkins III

Arthur Knight

Richard Lowry


This thesis rethinks the history of American rock band The Beach Boys from 1961-1998 in terms of how its members tapped into the zeitgeists of the sixties, seventies, and eighties to create successful music and branding. In its analysis, it draws upon methods of cultural history, business history, and biography in order to dispel popular myths surrounding the band and consider the meaning of its impact within United States history and American popular culture as a whole. The Beach Boys, in recording innovative music and marketing a winning brand, created a durable pop cultural institution that defined its times just as much as it was defined by them.

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