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Author Topic: The Beach Boys in the 1950 US Census  (Read 2273 times)
Cork On The Ocean
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« on: April 10, 2022, 08:10:17 AM »

The 1950 US Census was just released, the first the boys appear on. It's mostly not been indexed, so isn't searchable, but you can view the images by location/district.

The Wilson family at 3701 W 119th in Hawthorne. Brian, Dennis and Carl ages 7, 5 and 3. Murry's a painter? Carl is on sample line 17 for additional questions, but since he's 3, there's not much to answer!

https://1950census.archives.gov/iiif/2/1950census%2F43290879-California%2F43290879-California-152919%2F43290879-California-152919-0052.jpg/full/4274,/0/default.jpg?download=true

The Love family at 5120 Valley Ridge, just south of Mt. Vernon and Fairway. Mike's on sample line 19, in the 4th grade.

https://1950census.archives.gov/iiif/2/1950census%2F43290879-California%2F43290879-California-200371%2F43290879-California-200371-0029.jpg/full/4338,/0/default.jpg?download=true

The Jardine family at 356 Sunset St. in Rochester, NY, just before moving onto Parkview Terrace off Lake Ontario. Al's mom Virginia is on sample line 4.

https://1950census.archives.gov/iiif/2/1950census%2F43290879-New_York%2F43290879-New_York-190983%2F43290879-New_York-190983-0004.jpg/full/4194,/0/default.jpg?download=true

The Marks family at 504 Martin St. New Castle, Lawrence, PA.

https://1950census.archives.gov/iiif/2/1950census%2F43290879-Pennsylvania%2F43290879-Pennsylvania-008603%2F43290879-Pennsylvania-008603-0017.jpg/full/3828,/0/default.jpg?download=true

The Johnston family at 2327 La Mesa in Santa Monica, before moving to Linda Flora Dr in Bel-Air. Incidentally, and although I'm sure there's many more, when I was first perusing the census images for Linda Flora and the surrounding streets, I glanced Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Milland, Red Skelton, Howard Hawks, Arthur Freed and Delmar Daves, among others. Quite the neighborhood.

https://1950census.archives.gov/iiif/2/1950census%2F43290879-California%2F43290879-California-213417%2F43290879-California-213417-0004.jpg/full/4226,/0/default.jpg?download=true

  
« Last Edit: April 10, 2022, 01:46:09 PM by Cork On The Ocean » Logged
Don Malcolm
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2022, 03:58:22 PM »

Good stuff, thanks. In 2022, LaMesa Drive is still the toniest part of Santa Monica, at the north end of town with many of the homes on the north side of the street overlooking the Riviera Country club--it's basically a western extension of the Brentwood Park area and is not far off the "aura" of Linda Flora Drive, which is only 2-3 miles away from Brian's former house on Bellagio Road (all north of Sunset Blvd. in Bel-Air).
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2022, 07:48:54 AM »

Funny side note, Brian and Alfred Hitchcock were indeed neighbors for a time, and years ago I found one of Hitchcock's old drivers licenses or something on an auction site which is how the address rang a bell. I wondered at that time and still do wonder if Brian and Hitchcock ever crossed paths on a casual walk around the neighborhood or something similar.
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2022, 03:37:04 PM »

Murry's a painter?

He painted with teardrops of blue, as I hear…
« Last Edit: April 11, 2022, 03:56:16 PM by “Big Daddy” » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2022, 08:57:05 PM »

I'm just smiling thinking of Mike at age 8, Brian, Bruce and Al at age 7, Dennis at age 5, Carl at age 3 and David at age 1.
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2022, 10:16:50 PM »

So what was the deal with "lumbermill saw operator" Earl Finney at "3701 1/2 " 119th Street?   Typically a "1/2" address is associated with some sort of in-law unit, guesthouse, garage apartment with its own entrance, etc.    Did the Wilson house have something like that?

Out in the Wilson yard, Earl Finney's chopping lumber?
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2022, 11:32:21 PM »

So, I guess it would be someone on Audree’s mothers side of the family?

http://genealogie.meindert.tv/ps159/ps159_495.html

I don’t know the standard of a US census, but in my country it can be a visitor staying a night on the census date.
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Cork On The Ocean
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2022, 05:10:48 AM »

Yes, you're right. I believe Earl is Audree's uncle - her mother Ruth's older brother.
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2022, 08:19:50 AM »


It's been awhile since I listened to any of Murry "I'm A Genius Too" Wilson's album "The Many Moods...", and listening to that it's a total shambles of a song. It wanders, meanders, like walking blindfolded in a dark room musically. And respect to the session musicians who played that stuff, but damn it sounds like they didn't have enough in the budget to record a better take.

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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2022, 08:26:08 AM »

So what was the deal with "lumbermill saw operator" Earl Finney at "3701 1/2 " 119th Street?   Typically a "1/2" address is associated with some sort of in-law unit, guesthouse, garage apartment with its own entrance, etc.    Did the Wilson house have something like that?

Out in the Wilson yard, Earl Finney's chopping lumber?

Could this have been the area which eventually became the Wilsons' music room maybe after "Uncle Earl" found his own pad? I know I could look up the history but hopefully someone knows. In 1950 at least, I'd imagine that space which became the music room could have been an in-law quarters type of thing but I don't know for sure. I think the music room came a few years after 1950.

And having in-law quarters or converting rooms or garages to such areas was more common than people realize today, during and after the war there was a serious housing shortage and crisis that lasted well after 1945-46. I'm sure you'll find a lot of that in the '50 census overall, depending on the area.

And Murry being a "painter"? That's not even close to being true, maybe a mistake by the census taker.
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Cork On The Ocean
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2022, 01:54:21 PM »

Regarding the formation of the band, early demo recordings, the Wilson's Mexico trip etc., I see on wikipedia and in James B. Murphy's book Becoming the Beach Boys 1961-1963, that it appears there's little definitive proof for the exact dates things happened? That was published in 2015. Is this still the case?

About the Mexico trip, it says "Everything about this trip is controversial - when they went, where they went, how long they stayed..." They went with a British couple, "Barry Haven...and his wife", he a sales rep for Murry's lathe manufacturer. When the two couples came back to the Wilson's house was the moment they supposedly found the boys had blown the grocery money on equipment, heard the new songs, etc.

Forgive me if this is already known and been seen since the book was published, but when I took a look to see if I could find a mention of Murry being a painter, I found California Arriving Passenger cards for Murry, Audree, and a British couple, Tom Barry and Nellie (I think) Barry (her last name is corrected to Berry) all coming back to LAX from Mexico City on Wednesday, November 8, 1961 on CMA 900. (CMA I suppose being Compañía Mexicana de Aviación). According to James Murphy's book, the lathe manufacturer was Binns & Berry Ltd. Same last name as Tom Berry, so related/partner? Also, this couple list the US address they're staying at as 1301 W 119th Hawthorne. Same street, different house number (incorrectly given, or staying with others? would have to be another house since the Wilson's was pretty small and crowded, no?). I looked into Tom Berry some more, since his birthdate and location are given on the card, and I found him in 1959 on another Passenger Card, out of New York, and he gave his US address as Able Machinery Co Los Angeles.

If this is new info, I'll keep digging around.     
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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2022, 08:40:15 AM »

Just to clarify, in 1950 Murry was running his industrial equipment rental business A.B.L.E. established a lot from loans he took out on his mortgage, so the notion of his occupation being a "painter" in any way shape or form just doesn't add up. Unless someone has other info, it was either a mistake or something else, but he definitely wasn't paying his bills as a painter in 1950, and leading up to 1950 he worked in a tire plant and at an aeronautics manufacturing plant before starting his rental business.
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2022, 06:24:20 PM »

So what was the deal with "lumbermill saw operator" Earl Finney at "3701 1/2 " 119th Street?   Typically a "1/2" address is associated with some sort of in-law unit, guesthouse, garage apartment with its own entrance, etc.    Did the Wilson house have something like that?

Out in the Wilson yard, Earl Finney's chopping lumber?

Could this have been the area which eventually became the Wilsons' music room maybe after "Uncle Earl" found his own pad? I know I could look up the history but hopefully someone knows. In 1950 at least, I'd imagine that space which became the music room could have been an in-law quarters type of thing but I don't know for sure. I think the music room came a few years after 1950.

And having in-law quarters or converting rooms or garages to such areas was more common than people realize today, during and after the war there was a serious housing shortage and crisis that lasted well after 1945-46. I'm sure you'll find a lot of that in the '50 census overall, depending on the area.

And Murry being a "painter"? That's not even close to being true, maybe a mistake by the census taker.

I like your hypothesis that Uncle Earl's "1/2" was the legendary music room.

I found this excerpt online from appears to be a published interview of Brian from the '80s....


"Q. What part of the house did you write in when you were still at the house? Did you write in your room?

[Brian:] Oh no. There was a music room that was like a garage my dad had converted. There was a hi-fl and a piano and an organ in
there, and so I'd go there every day after school. It's two steps down from the living room. Two little steps down, then you
walk down a little corridor, and there's a whole beautiful piano in there. So I wouk get down there and sit at the piano, and I would go, "Well, this is really going to be great."


Note that Brian say that the music room was "LIKE a garage" not that it was the garage.
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2022, 07:00:55 PM »

So what was the deal with "lumbermill saw operator" Earl Finney at "3701 1/2 " 119th Street?   Typically a "1/2" address is associated with some sort of in-law unit, guesthouse, garage apartment with its own entrance, etc.    Did the Wilson house have something like that?

Out in the Wilson yard, Earl Finney's chopping lumber?

Could this have been the area which eventually became the Wilsons' music room maybe after "Uncle Earl" found his own pad? I know I could look up the history but hopefully someone knows. In 1950 at least, I'd imagine that space which became the music room could have been an in-law quarters type of thing but I don't know for sure. I think the music room came a few years after 1950.

And having in-law quarters or converting rooms or garages to such areas was more common than people realize today, during and after the war there was a serious housing shortage and crisis that lasted well after 1945-46. I'm sure you'll find a lot of that in the '50 census overall, depending on the area.

And Murry being a "painter"? That's not even close to being true, maybe a mistake by the census taker.

I like your hypothesis that Uncle Earl's "1/2" was the legendary music room.

I found this excerpt online from appears to be a published interview of Brian from the '80s....


"Q. What part of the house did you write in when you were still at the house? Did you write in your room?

[Brian:] Oh no. There was a music room that was like a garage my dad had converted. There was a hi-fl and a piano and an organ in
there, and so I'd go there every day after school. It's two steps down from the living room. Two little steps down, then you
walk down a little corridor, and there's a whole beautiful piano in there. So I wouk get down there and sit at the piano, and I would go, "Well, this is really going to be great."


Note that Brian say that the music room was "LIKE a garage" not that it was the garage.

It would seem to make sense, based on the history of that era of converting garages and basements and the like to partial living quarters due to the housing shortages or just family needs in general, and also that this room was the same that became the Wilson music room as Brian described. And according to some sources, it was right around 1950 and 1951 when Murry got the serious itch to become more of a professional songwriter himself, so maybe whenever the uncle left that's what Murry did with it, not as much for the kids but for himself to write songs.

It's all speculation short of more info, but everything lines up pretty well.

And I've seen the TV listings for when Murry's novelty song "Two Step Side Step" was going to be performed on the Lawrence Welk TV show, I could get the exact dates but it was 1952 I believe. Again it was at this same time (50-51-52) when Murry was getting bored with his day gig and really started the push to get his songs out there, and having a music room somewhat removed from the main house would have been a perfect fit.
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2022, 11:27:12 PM »

The Love family at 5120 Valley Ridge, just south of Mt. Vernon and Fairway. Mike's on sample line 19, in the 4th grade.

And to think I'd always been led to believe that the Loves actually lived *at* Mt. Vernon and Fairway. Interestingly, if you look at the street view on Google Maps, there is a house at that intersection that is blurred out....
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« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2022, 04:50:09 AM »

They did move to the corner of Mt. Vernon and Fairway at 3600 Fairway in View-Park-Windsor Hills, as early as 1952. By 1962 they're on 10212 6th Ave in Inglewood.
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« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2022, 06:58:20 AM »

Just to clarify that date of the early Lawrence Welk broadcast, it was Friday November 7th, 1952 when Rocky Rockwell described as a "comedian trumpeter" performed "Two Step Side Step" on Welk's KTLA channel 5 evening show in Los Angeles.

There are some other dates and items in the Murry timeline that might need clarification. One is his company "ABLE Machinery Company" or A.B.L.E. as printed in the literature. The question is, were there two "ABLE Machinery" companies, was it a buyout situation where Murry's interests took over another name company, or is something off in the timeline? There are classified ads appearing in the newspapers from the spring and summer of 1954, advertising for the equipment Murry would be dealing with, mills, lathes, etc.  The company listed is "ABLE Machinery Company", with an address of 6825 S. Santa Fe, Huntington Park, phone LOgan 84556. (love those old phone numbers...).

So without all the resources in front of me now, how could a company with a specific name like "ABLE Machinery Company" be doing business and advertising publicly in 1954 if they didn't start until 1955 when Murry took out a loan as some sources have cited? You cannot form a business using the same exact name as an existing business in the same general area dealing in the same types of industrial equipment...so is the timeline off, was there an existing ABLE business that got bought out, or is the answer something much more simple like a typo error? Because a business that didn't start until 1955 wouldn't be advertising their business in mid 1954, I'd think. And the address listed doesn't line up between sources either.

Just more questions from this same time frame. And likewise, no mention is made in some sources of the November 1952 Lawrence Welk broadcast on KTLA of Murry's song "Two Step Side Step", while the TV listings clearly show it on the schedule.
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« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2022, 07:28:57 AM »

Just more items of interest, it's been published that Murry went to work for his younger brother at "Admiral Machinery Company" prior to starting A.B.L.E. So Admiral Machinery did basically the same thing as ABLE, industrial machine rentals and service. They advertised basically the same way, lathes, milling, etc. Admiral was established June 27, 1952 as a partnership between Charles S. Wilson and Wendell S. Wilson. Their business address was 7601 S. Santa Fe in Huntington Park, note that it would be on the same street and maybe a block or more away from where ABLE would reside at 6825 S Santa Fe.

In March 1953 the Admiral Machinery partnership was dissolved, and Charles Wilson retained sole ownership, and Wendell was removed from all business affairs. I'm wondering what happened to cause the dissolution of the partnership, and where Murry's job fit in (if he was still there at that time).

The partnership lasted less than a year, and almost exactly a year later (Spring 1954) "ABLE Machinery" was placing ads, doing the same business, and listed in the same town and on the same street as Admiral.

It just adds some more backstory to what was going on with Murry's side of the family, and his business dealings, and the timeline of all these events is pretty interesting to speculate about what was going on with the Wilson clan. But I'll raise the point again, there seems to be some pretty close connections between ABLE and Admiral, minus the fact Murry and his brother were involved along with other Wilsons, and when the ABLE business began advertising in 1954, it suggests it had already been established (it had to be in order to publicly advertise and do business legally) prior to Murry taking out his loan, an event that has been listed as 1955.
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2022, 02:51:55 AM »


It's been awhile since I listened to any of Murry "I'm A Genius Too" Wilson's album "The Many Moods...", and listening to that it's a total shambles of a song. It wanders, meanders, like walking blindfolded in a dark room musically. And respect to the session musicians who played that stuff, but damn it sounds like they didn't have enough in the budget to record a better take.



🎶One step, two step, talk about a new step, it's the Murry Wilson show🎶
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