Marilyn Wilson-Rutherford

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Marilyn Wilson-Rutherford
Birth name Marilyn Sandra Rovell
Also known as Marilyn Wilson
Born (1947-02-06) February 6, 1947 (age 70)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Vocal surf, psychedelic pop
Occupation(s) Musician, real estate agent
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1961–present
Labels Capitol Records, Warner Brothers, Rhino Records, United Artists Records, Columbia Records
Associated acts American Spring, The Honeys, Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys

Marilyn Wilson-Rutherford (née Rovell; born February 6, 1947) is an American singer best known as the first wife of Beach Boy Brian Wilson, and as the mother of singers Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson of Wilson Phillips. In the 1960s, she founded the Honeys, and after their dissolution in 1969, she founded American Spring with her sister Diane Rovell.



Rovell and Wilson met when she attended a Beach Boys concert at Pandora's Box, a Sunset Strip nightclub, in October 1962 with her sister Diane and their cousin Ginger Blake, who was dating Brian's then collaborator Gary Usher.[1] Wilson and Rovell started conversation between sets and then began dating. Wilson was 20 years old, while Rovell was a 15-year-old high school student.

Wilson became the producer of the Honeys, a girl group consisting of Marilyn, Diane and Ginger. Wilson and Marilyn married on December 7, 1964, as the Honeys' career was declining.[1] The couple had two daughters, Carnie and Wendy.


In 1971, Marilyn and Diane formed the band Spring (later renamed American Spring) and together they recorded a few singles and an album. In 1974, due to Brian's growing seclusion from the outside world, following his father's death, Marilyn temporarily stopped her music career.[2] In 1976, Marilyn persuaded Brian to begin psychotherapy[3] by pretending to go herself and returning home happy, in contrast to Brian's dark moods. He recovered somewhat, but after his family and members of the Beach Boys insisted he cease therapy and return to making music full-time, Wilson's mental health worsened.[citation needed]

Marilyn and Brian amicably divorced in 1979.[3] Marilyn recounted to Rolling Stone magazine in the early 1990s that Brian's increasingly erratic behavior was affecting their two daughters, and that she told him, "I love you, but the girls have got to have a normal home life". She also recalled that she told the girls that their father was "a genius", but also mentally ill. Brian was likewise supportive of Marilyn, and though estranged from the girls during his recovery, was finally able to connect with them as adults.[citation needed]


Marilyn and the Honeys reunited for a comeback record in 1983 called Ecstasy and they again reformed in the 1990s and performed at occasional venues in southern California. Marilyn has appeared in numerous documentaries and other programs about the Beach Boys, Wilson Phillips, and the music of the 1960s and 1970s. She was portrayed in The Beach Boys: An American Family, and in the earlier Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys. In 2012 she also made appearances in her daughters' reality TV series Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On.[citation needed]

She has since remarried and is now known as Marilyn Wilson-Rutherford. She now works as a real estate agent in Los Angeles, California.[4]


  1. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "Biography of The Honeys". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Biography of Spring". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Carlin, Peter Ames (1998). "Love and Mercy". People Magazine. 50 (1): 69–73. 
  4. ^ "CA Real Estate By Marilyn Wilson-Rutherford". Retrieved 4 August 2015. 

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