Frankie Valli recorded and released the first version of the song but his single achieved only limited success, charting on Billboards Bubbling Under Hot 100 singles chart but not making the Hot 100 itself. Although it was recorded in a Four Seasons recording session (with the other group members at that time), it was Valli's first official "solo" single in over a decade.
In 1966, The Walker Brothers released their remake as a single. Retitled "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore", this version met with much greater success than Valli's. It topped the UK Singles Chart, and also became their highest rating song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S., where it peaked at #13. The single also hit the top 10 in the Netherlands. Their version was an imitation of the "Wall of Sound" style of Phil Spector, including a wordless Chorus, Strings, and echo effects. The Walker Brothers sounded like the Righteous Brothers, with the lead singer imitating Bill Medley.
In 2010, the Walker Brothers version was used in the promotional trailer for the AMC television series The Walking Dead.
In 2004, the British group Keane recorded a special version of this song. Unlike the original version, Tim Rice-Oxley, pianist and composer of Keane, changed the guitar for piano. He also takes the lead vocals in the second chorus, like the original version. The single was selected in summer 2004 by readers of the NME and first released as a download-only single in September 2004. The song was given for download to the War Child foundation website and one thousand vinyl copies given as a gift to some fans of Keane, who had supported and helped the band. The numbered copies each included a handwritten note by Tim Rice-Oxley, composer of the band and signed by the other two members, thanking them for their support.
The song also features prominently in the 1991 bittersweet romance film Truly, Madly, Deeply, starring Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson, with Nina (Stevenson) playing the main chords in the chorus on the piano and Jamie (Rickman) playing the main riff on the bass strings of his cello, and both of them singing. The singing of the song is a game the couple often played. The choice of this song in particular, given the events in the film, emphasize the poignancy of the lyric especially well.