Brian Wilson 'In My Room': See Him Sing With Tammy Wynette - Rolling Stone
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Flashback: See Tammy Wynette, Brian Wilson Harmonize on ‘In My Room’

Posthumously released performance features fragile country icon with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys on the band’s 1963 classic

In August 1996, 28 albums into their monumentally influential career, the Beach Boys released Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1, a newly-recorded collection of some of the band’s classic songs, featuring collaborations with several country artists, including Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, Lorrie Morgan, Junior Brown, Doug Supernaw, Sawyer Brown, Collin Raye and T. Graham Brown. It would be the last LP to feature one of the group’s original members, lead guitarist Carl Wilson, who died in February 1998.

Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson, who turns 75 years old today, was in personal and creative limbo in the mid-Nineties, only performing and recording with the group sporadically while also attempting to mount several solo projects, some of which never materialized. But considering the title of Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1, there was an obvious intention to follow up with another collection. That set never saw the light of day but one of the performances originally planned for it did show up later. 

Country-music legend Tammy Wynette, who was born one month before Wilson, recorded a painfully poignant version of the 1963 single “In My Room,” intended for the second Stars and Stripes collection, but it would go unreleased for a couple of years. Included in a TV documentary, Beach Boys: Nashville Sounds, the above performance of “In My Room” captures Wynette at her most vulnerable, with Wilson looking on and singing along, his face expressing his own emotional connection to the very personal song. When Wilson originally wrote it, the solitude of his room was the introverted and increasingly troubled musician’s sanctuary, or, as he would refer to it, his “kingdom.”

Tammy Wynette would pass away at just 55 years old, not long after this performance, on April 6th, 1998. Five months later, the tribute LP, Tammy Wynette Remembered, would be released, featuring the Country Music Hall of Fame member’s most memorable tunes rendered by Elton John, Rosanne Cash, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Wynonna Judd and others. The LP closed with Wynette and Wilson‘s duet on “In My Room,” the only cut on the collection to feature the late country legend.

Brian Wilson, who is currently touring with performances in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys’ landmark album, Pet Sounds, will be the subject of a first-ever anthology of his solo recordings with Playback, an 18-track compilation from Rhino Records coming September 22nd. 


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