California Sun

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"California Sun"
Song by Joe Jones
Written Henry Glover
Morris Levy
Published 1961
Writer(s) Henry Glover
Morris Levy
Recorded by The Rivieras, The Dictators, Ramones, Bobby Fuller

"California Sun" is a song written and originally recorded by Henry Glover and Morris Levy and performed by Joe Jones. It was then released by Roulette Records in the winter of 1961.[1] It peaked at #89 on the charts.

The Rivieras cover[edit]

"California Sun"
Single by The Rivieras
from the album Let's Have A Party
B-side "H.B. Goose Step"
Released 1963
Format 7"
Recorded 1963
Genre Rock and roll, Surf Rock
Length 2:23
Label Riviera sub-label of USA Records which is currently owned by 43 North Broadway, LLC.
Writer(s) Henry Glover
Morris Levy
The Rivieras singles chronology
"Played On"
"California Sun"
"Little Donna"

The most successful version of the song was released by the Rivieras in 1964 and became the group's biggest hit in their short career. This song was the result of their first recording session at Chicago's Columbia Recording Studios in 1963 (purchased by manager Bill Dobslaw). The lineup for this session included Marty Fortson on vocals and rhythm guitar, Joe Pennell on lead guitar, Doug Gean on bass, Otto Nuss on organ, and Paul Dennert on drums. The original single cut from this session included the song "Played On" as the A-side, with "California Sun" as the B-side and was released on Dobslaw's Riviera label in 1963. DJ Art Roberts ensured that the "California Sun" side saw significant airplay on WLS. In response to the growing success, Dobslaw got the band a national distribution deal with USA Records, and the song was adequately distributed with "H.B. Goose Step" as the B-side.[2]

The song entered the charts on January 25, 1964 and reached No. 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, staying on the chart for 10 weeks.[3] The song was further hailed as the last American rock and roll hit before the British Invasion. Shortly after the song's release, the band experienced internal problems as Fortson and Pennell enlisted in the Marines, in addition to various lineup changes afterwards. A re-recording of the song with new lyrics, titled "Arizona Sun" was recorded in 1964, but not released until 2000 on the compilation Let's Stomp with The Rivieras! Unissued 1964 Recordings. "California Sun" was eventually featured on the band's debut album Let's Have A Party. A later version was released later that year as "California Sun '65" on their second and final album, Campus Party.

The song was used in the 1987 movie Good Morning, Vietnam, as well as on its soundtrack album.

This version was one of many California-related songs played throughout "Sunshine Plaza" in the original Disney California Adventure.[4]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1964) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5] 5

Other versions[edit]

"California Sun"
Song by Ramones from the album Leave Home
Released February 1976
Recorded February 1976
Genre Punk rock
Length 1:58
Label Sire/Philips
Writer(s) Henry Glover
Morris Levy
Producer(s) Tony Bongiovi, Tommy Ramone
Leave Home track listing
"What's Your Game"
"California Sun"


External links[edit]