Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys celebrates his 71st birthday today . Wilson co-founded the group in 1961 with his late brothers Dennis and Carl Wilson, his cousin Mike Love, neighbor David Marks, and high school buddy Al Jardine. It was Wilson’s genius for arranging intricate harmonies that first set him apart from his peers, an ability made even more impressive because he is 97 percent deaf in his right ear. He is the sole-surviving member of his immediate family, with his father Murry dying in 1973, his brothers Dennis and Carl dying in 1983 and 1998, respectively, and his mother Audree passing on in 1997.

Against all odds, 2012 saw Wilson back out on the road with the surviving Beach Boys, touring behind their first Top Ten album in 36 years — and their first Top Three hit since 1965 — with That’s Why God Made The Radio, which Wilson co-wrote and produced. Wilson is currently in the studio with his longtime band — along with Beach Boys co-founders Al Jardine and David Marks recording his 11th solo set for Capitol Records. Guest artists involved also include Don Was and Jeff Beck, who’ll perform with Wilson, Jardine and Marks on October 20th, during the trio’s closing night of their mini-tour at L.A.’s Greek Theatre. Coming on August 27th is the Beach Boys’ latest career-spanning box set, chock full of hits, alternate takes, and breathtaking unreleased gems, called Made In California.

Between 1962 and 1967 Wilson produced a total of 22 Top 40 hits, including the group’s classics “Surfin’ U.S.A,” “In My Room,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Surfer Girl,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “I Get Around,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “California Girls,” “Barbara Ann,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Good Vibrations,” and many more.