When last we saw Wilson Phillips, they were singing their signature tune, “Hold On,” at the wedding of Maya Rudolph‘s character in “Bridesmaids.” Now, the trio is back with a new album, and a new reality show, “Wilson Philllips: Still Holding On,” which debuts this Sunday on the TV Guide Network.
You could say the new album, “Dedicated,” was the album that the group was born to make — it’s a collection of cover versions of songs by the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas. Carnie and Wendy Wilson are, of course, the daughters of Beach Boy Brian Wilson, while Chynna Phillips is the daughter of Mamas and the Papas members Michelle Phillips and the late John Phillips.
Phillips jokes to ABC News Radio that Wilson Phillips had been together for about “two days” before someone told them they should make an album like “Dedicated.”
“Seriously, people have been saying for years, ‘Are you guys gonna record your parents’ music?’” she says. “But we knew early on that that would just be suicide because basically, people already gave us such flack for, ‘You know, everything was handed to you on a silver platter,’ which was completely not true. We had to work for everything that we’ve received.”
But now, 21 years into their career, Chynna says the time is right for them to acknowledge their heritage. The most difficult part, however, was choosing which of their parents’ classics to tackle. “There are so many great songs to choose from, and, you know, it’s like, they’re all our favorite. So, how do you choose?” says Carnie Wilson. The trio decided to go with a mix of uptempo songs and ballads, and include not only big hits like “Good Vibrations” and “California Dreaming,” but also some of the lesser-known tracks like “I Can Hear Music” and “Got a Feeling.”
The best part of the project, though, was getting the reaction of their parents. “We purposely didn’t let them hear anything we were doing,” Wendy Wilson tells ABC News Radio. “We were very curious to see what their reaction would be. And when they heard it, I mean, Chynna’s mom [Michelle] was in tears. I mean, she was bawling her eyes out…our dad [Brian] was just over the moon. He was ecstatic!”
As for the new reality show, it’s a chance to see how the three lifelong friends work and play together. “I think that people are gonna be pleasantly surprised to see that we’re down to earth and we are girlfriends and we’re business partners,” explains Phillips. “It’s a little complex ’cause that’s never an easy tightrope to walk, and the three of us, I think, do it pretty gracefully. But we definitely fall off the wire every now and then!”
Carnie’s recent lap-band surgery, which she revealed that she had earlier this year, will be discussed in the new show. That procedure, which is helping Carnie with her ongoing weight issues, came 13 years after the singer famously underwent gastric bypass surgery. “It is really the focus of the fist episode,” explains Carnie. “It just worked out that that was the timing…it really was happening in my life, and I thought to myself, ‘Well, I can hide it and not share it, but that’s not my style at all.’”
Ultimately, Phillips says the reality show is a way to remind people that Wilson Phillips is still around and still, yes, holding on.
“We’re so excited that the fans are gonna get a chance to get to know us better, and that this is gonna give us an opportunity to get ourselves back out in the media, and back in the public eye so that we can interact and engage with our fans again,” she says.