Sunshine Records (Australia)

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Sunshine Records was an Australian independent pop music record label of the mid-1960s. It was established in late 1964 by promoter Ivan Dayman in collaboration with musician-producer-arranger-songwriter Pat Aulton and entrepreneur, producer and songwriter Nat Kipner (who subsequently founded the Spin Records label). Although his enterprise was short-lived, Dayman was arguably the first Australian popular music entrepreneur to create a fully integrated pop music company that included artist management and bookings, record production, record labels, venue management and concert promotion.

Most of the label's releases were made in the period 1965–67. Its biggest act was solo singer Normie Rowe, Australia's top male pop star from 1965 to 1968, who scored a string of Australian hit singles including "It Ain't Necessarily So", "I (Who Have Nothing)", "Que Sera Sera" and "Shakin' All Over".


Label founder Ivan Dayman reportedly ran a gravel quarry in his hometown of Adelaide, South Australia before moving into pop management and promotion in the early 1960s. He was very successful for a few years and at its height in 1965-66 his Sunshine group included two record labels, a concert promotion and booking agency, artist management and a string of venues in capital cities and major towns from Adelaide to north Queensland, including the famed Cloudland Ballroom in Brisbane.

In late 1964 Dayman expanded his business by establishing the Sunshine label, to record and produce the pop artists he already had under contract and to launch new discoveries. The label's parent company, Sunshine Productions, was a partnership between Dayman, expatriate American entrepreneur Nat Kipner and musician Pat Aulton. Kipner had teamed up with Dayman when the latter expanded his pop promotions into Brisbane, where Nat was producing TV pop shows for Channel 7, among many other ventures; he also ran a record store, wrote comedy skits and songs for the George Wallace Jr TV variety show Theatre Royal, ran a small publishing company with Johnny Devlin, and wrote songs with Devlin, country musician Geoff Mack (author of "I've Been Everywhere") and Nat's teenage son Steve Kipner. Pat Aulton had met Dayman in Adelaide in the early Sixties while fronting The Clefs; Dayman hired him to work as an MC and opening act for his concerts, and Aulton eventually became Sunshine's musical director and house producer.

Sunshine established a manufacturing and distribution deal with by Festival Records, similar to those that Festival made with other contemporary independent labels including Clarion Records, Spin Records and Albert Productions. Sunshine was (in local terms) a relatively productive label, with over 100 singles, more than 30 EPs and at least dozen LPs released between 1964 and 1971.

This is a similar volume of releases to its successor, Spin Records, and both labels existed for a similar time-span, but while Sunshine and Spin released almost identical numbers of singles and EPs, Spin issued many more LPs. This difference can be explained by the rapid growth in sale of LPs in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During Sunshine's peak period from 1964 to 1967, singles and EPs were by far the biggest selling vinyl formats in Australia while LPs—still something of a luxury at that time—formed only a small percentage of total record sales.

In early 1964 Dayman took over the Saturday night lease on Melbourne Festival Hall and renamed it "Mersey City". On 2 May 1964 the venue opened with Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays, attended by over 4500 teenagers. Dayman also used Worsley and the Blue Jays to open several other Queensland venues in Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Inala, Surfers Paradise and the city and by the end of the year, with the success of their first single, they were one of the hottest pop acts in the country.

The first Sunshine single release, in October 1964, was the single "Jay Walker" by The Blue Jays, who were already well established in their home town of Melbourne and had released instrumental singles on the small Crest label. In early 1964 Dayman teamed the band with a young Brisbane singer, Tony Worsley. The Blue Jays continued to release records under their own name, but it was the teaming of The Blue Jays with Worsley that launched Sunshine on the national pop scene. In November 1964 Sunshine issued the first single jointly credited to Tony Worsley and The Fabulous Blue Jays, "Sure Know A Lot About Love", which charted in Brisbane, and the band broke through in other capitals with a their powerful version of Rosco Gordon's "Just A Little Bit" in early 1965.

Another notable early release was the Pat Aulton-produced single "Lost My Baby"/"Slowly But Surely" by The Pacifics, a Brisbane-based four-piece instrumental group that had previously recorded two instrumental singles for EMI's Parlophone label, produced by Nat Kipner. The B-side of their second single was written by Nat's young son Steve Kipner, who went on to front Sydney-based beat band Steve & The Board and subsequently formed the British-based pop duo Tin Tin with fellow Australian Steve Groves.

Sunshine's greatest success was solo singer Normie Rowe, who scored a string of major Australian hits between 1965 and 1968, and his double-A-sided 1965 single "Que Sera Sera" / "Shakin' All Over" became one of the biggest-selling local hits of the 1960s and is still one of the biggest selling Australian singles of all time.

The Sunshine roster featured several male solo singers including Normie Rowe, Peter Doyle (who later joined The Virgil Brothers and The New Seekers) and Mike Furber. Its more 'left field' signings included hardcore Brisbane blues-R&B band The Purple Hearts, highly rated NZ pop/R&B group The Librettos, Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays, Normie Rowe's backing band The Playboys, Marcie Jones & The Cookies, highly rated Sydney teen singer Toni McCann, renowned surf band The Atlantics, Ricky & Tammy, Melbourne's feedback kings Running Jumping Standing Still, NZ folk duo Bill & Boyd, Rev. Black & The Rockin' Vicars, popular Brisbane solo star Jonne Sands and Brisbane pop band Wickedy Wak, whose Sunshine single "Billie's Bikie Boys"—the recording debut of future star Rick Springfield—was produced by Ian "Molly" Meldrum.

Many earlier Sunshine recordings, including most of Rowe's early singles and albums, were produced by Nat Kipner, but in late 1965 Kipner sold his share in Sunshine and the Sydney Bowl nightclub. During mid-1966 Kipner collaborated with independent producer Ossie Byrne on the short-lived Downunder Records. During this period he briefly took over the management of The Bee Gees and persuaded Festival's Leedon label to release the band from their contract and signed them to the newly established Spin Records, which he had just joined as A&R manager. Following Kipner's departure, Pat Aulton took over as Sunshine's main producer, but both he and Kipner also produced recordings on Sunshine's short-lived sister label Kommotion, which was set up to promote the acts who appeared on the TV pop show of the same name. Aulton produced and engineered many later Sunshine singles and albums, as well as providing uncredited vocal and instrumental backing and contributing to arrangements.

Sunshine Productions ran into serious financial problems around the end of 1966, but the full story behind the company's collapse is still not known. Pop historian Bill Casey has suggested that the financial strain of Normie Rowe's extended overseas stay was a contributing factor, but it seems likely that the main cause of the company's demise was Dayman's questionable business practices. The Kommotion label folded at the start of 1967, and Sunshine was taken over by Festival and become a wholly owned subsidiary label.

After the collapse of Sunshine, Pat Aulton discovered that Dayman had made him a director of the company without his knowledge, and when Sunshine's creditors moved in to recover their debts, Aulton's unwitting liability cost him his car, furniture and other assets. Fortunately, he was by then well known to Festival managing director Fred Marks, who rescued Aulton with the offer of a position as a staff producer at Festival. It is not known whether Dayman retained any interest or played any role in the company after 1967, although he continued to operate his promotions and management business in several cities.

Sunshine's recording assets were acquired by its distributor, Festival Records during 1967. The label's releases declined rapidly from this point and it ceased operations after two final singles released during 1971.

The Sunshine catalogue remained in the archive of Festival Records until that company went into liquidation in 2005, when the combined Festival-Mushroom Records recording archive was sold to the Australian division of the Warner Music Group for a reported A$10 million.




Catalog no. Date Artist Title Notes
QK-747 Oct. 1964 The Blue Jays "Jay Walker" / "Path Finder"
QK-778 Nov. 1964 Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays "I Sure Know A Lot About Love" / "Me You Gotta Teach"
QK-798 Jan. 1965 The Blue Jays "Motivate" / "We're Friends"
QK-799 1965 The Pacifics "Lost My Baby" / "Slowly But Surely"
QK-833 1965 The Playboys "Exodus" / "Sabre Dance"
QK-903 Mar. 1965 Tony Worsley & The Blue Jays "Just a Little Bit" / "If I"
QK-918 1965 The Playboys "Swan Lake" / "Camptown Races"
QK-902 Mar. 1965 Peter Doyle "Speechless (The Pick Up)" / "Like I Love You"
QK-935 Apr. 1965 The Blue Jays "Zoom Gonk" / "Hey Jack"
QK-951 Apr. 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys "It Ain't Necessarily So" / "Gonna Leave This Town" Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-952 1965 The Playboys "Desperado" / "The Mean One"
QK-983 May 1965 Tony Worsley & The Blue Jays "Talking About You" / "I Dream of You"
QK-984 May 1965 The Blue Jays "Beat Out That Rhythm On a Drum" / "I'll Make You Cry Too"
QK-985 1965 Marcie Jones "I Wanna Know" / "Quiet"
QK-999 1965 Toni McCann "My Baby" / "No"
QK-1000 1965 Ricky and Tammy "Won't You Tell Me" / "Little Girl"
QK-1001 June 1965 Peter Doyle "Stupidity" / "Heigh Ho"
QK-1041 1965 The Playboys "He's Awright" / "Torture"
QK-1069 June 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys "I (Who Have Nothing)" / "I Just Don't Understand"
QK-1103 Sep. 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys "Que Sera Sera" / "Shakin' All Over" Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-1105 1965 Marcie Jones "I Just Can't Imagine" / "When A Girl Falls In Love"
QK-1075 Sep. 1965* Normie Rowe & The Playboys "I Confess" / "Everything's Alright" *withdrawn
QK-1087 Aug. 1965 Tony Worsley "Velvet Waters" / "Rock-A-Billy" Produced by Nat Kipner
QK-1105 1965 Marcie Jones "I Just Can't Imagine" / "When A Girl Falls In Love"
QK-1132 1965 The Five "I'll Be There" / "How Can She Know"
QK-1138 1965 The Purple Hearts "Long Legged Baby" / "Here 'Tis"
QK-1162 1965 The Librettos "I Cried" / "She's a Go Go"
QK-1137 Nov. 1965 Peter Doyle "Watcha Gonna Do About It?" / "Do It Zula Style" Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-1158 Nov. 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys "Tell Him I'm Not Home" / "Call On Me"
QK-1169 Nov. 1965 Tony Worsley "Missing You" / "Lonely City"
QK-1184 1965 Frankie Davidson "Don't You Just Know It" / "So Little Time"
QK-1182 Jan. 1966 Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys "Just a Poor Boy" / "Mailman Bring Me No More Blues"
LK-1208 1966 The Atlantics "That's Old Fashioned" / "Gotta Lotta Love"
QK-1198 1966 Ricky & Tammy "Summers Long" / "All Around"
QK-1207 Feb. 1966 Peter Doyle "The Great Pretender" / "Everybody Loves a Lover"
QK-1213 1966 The Purple Hearts "Of Hopes and Dreams and Tombstones" / "I'm Gonna Try"
QK-1237 1966 The Playboys "Happy Organ" / "The High and the Mighty"
QK-1238 Mar. 1966 Normie Rowe and the Playboys "The Breaking Point" / "Ya Ya"
QK-1241 Feb. 1966 Tony Worsley "Something's Got a Hold On Me" / "Something"
QK-1243 1966 Dave Howard "Go Catch the Moon" / "What a Kiss Can Do"
QK-1244 1966 The Five "I Can't Find Her" / "There's a Time"
QK-1244 1966 The Five "I Can't Find Her" / "There's a Time"
QK-1250 1966 Frankie Davidson "The Dollar Auctioneer" / "Just For Today"
QK-1251 1966 The Librettos "Rescue Me" / "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?"
QK-1227 Feb. 1966 Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys "You Stole My Love" / "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" released simultaneously as Kommotion KK-1227
QK-1317 1966 Peter Doyle "Something You Got Baby" / "Go Away"
QK-1318 1966 Marcie Jones "Danny Boy" / "That Hurts"
QK- 1341 1966 The Librettos "Kicks" / "Watcha Gonna Do About It?" Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-1343 1966 Ricky & Tammy "Through My Fingers" / "Can I"
QK-1344 June 1966 Normie Rowe and the Playboys "Pride and Joy" / "The Stones That I Throw" Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-1366 June 1966 Tony Worsley "Raining In My Heart" / "Knocking on Wood"
QK-1417 1966 Frankie Davidson "Leave a Little Love" / "Clap Your Hands"
QK-1382 1966 Tony Shepp "Come On Over to My Place" / "Don't Ask Me Why"
QK-1433 1966 The Atlantics "It's a Hard Life / "Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do"
QK-1442 1966 The Sounds of Seven "Dominique" / "Daddy's Little Girl"
QK-1448 1966 The Purple Hearts "Early in the Morning" / "Just a Little Bit"
QK-1453 1966 The Five "Bright Lights, Big City" / "Wasting My Time"
QK 1469 1966 The Lost Souls "Peace of Mind" / "This Life of Mine"
QK-1495 1966 Russ Kruger "Keep Me Satisfied" / "Tell the Truth"
QK-1529 1966 John Rowles(as Ja-Ar) "Please Help Me I'm Falling" / "Girl Girl Girl"
QIK-1565 Nov. 1966 Normie Rowe "Ooh La La" / "Ain't Nobody Home"
QIK-1605 Dec. 1966 Normie Rowe "It's Not Easy" / "Mary Mary"
QK-1531 Nov. 1966 Peter Doyle "Tweedlee Dee" / "Mr Goodtime"
QK-1556 Jan. 1967 Tony Worsley "No Worries" / "Humpy Dumpy"
QK-1557 Jan. 1967 The Atlantics "I Put A Spell On You" / "By the Glow of a Candle"
QK-1567 1967 Marcie Jones "That's the Way It Is" / "Big Lovers Come in Small Packages"
QK-1589 1967 The Purple Hearts "You Can't Sit Down" / "Tiger in Your Tank"
QK-1590 1967 Ricky & Tammy "We Don't Do That Anymore" / "Paradise"
QK-1633 1967 Russ Kruger "Look At My Baby" / "My Little Girl"
QK-1691 1967 The Atlantics "You Tell Me Why" / "Come On"
QK-1692 1967 Bill & Boyd "Two By Two" / "Symphony For Susan"
QK-1717 1967 The Running Jumping Standing Still "Diddy Wah Diddy" / "My Girl"
QK-1718 1967 Marcie Jones "You Can't Bypass Love" / "He's Gonna Be Fine Fine Fine"
QIK-1731 Apr. 1967 Normie Rowe "Going Home" / "I Don't Care"
QK-1733 1967 Mouse "(Wear A) Yellow Raincoat" / "Pink Fairy Floss"
QK-1736 1967 The Purple Hearts "Chicago" / "Bring It on Home"
QK-1772 1967 Julian Jones & The Breed "Regrets" / "No Matter What You Do"
QK-1817 1967 Normie Rowe "I Live in the Sunshine" / "Far Beyond the Call of Duty"
QK-1820 June 1967 Normie Rowe "But I Know" / "Sunshine Secret"
QK-1839 1967 Bill and Boyd "If I Were a Rich Man" / "Little Miss Sorrow, Child of Tomorrow"
QK-1849 1967 Mike Furber "It's Too Late" / "I'm So Glad"
QK-1858 1967 The Escorts "The House on Soul Hill" / "Sound of Your Voice"
QK-1859 1967 Ross D. Wyliewith the Escorts "Short Skirts" / "Paper Bunnies"
QIK-1872 1967 The Playboys "Black Sheep RIP" / "Sad"
QK-1819 1967 The Running Jumping Standing Still "She's Good To Me" / "Little Girl"
QK-2022 1967 Ross D. Wylie "A Bit of Love" / "Last Day in Town"
QK-2008 Oct. 1967 Normie Rowe "Turn Down Day" / "Stop to Think It Over"
FK-1986 1967 Bill & Boyd "Les Marionettes" / "She Chased Me"
QK-1998 1967 The Escorts "On a Day Like Today" / "Sitting By a Tree"
QK-2012 1967 Mike Furber "Bring Your Love Back Home" / "If You Need Me"
QK-2014 Oct. 1967 Tony Worsley "Reaching Out" / "Do You Mind"
QK-2225 Mar. 1968 Rev. Black & The Rockin' Vicars "Down to the Last 500" (Vanda-Young) / "Sugar Train" Produced by Pat Aulton -- #30 Brisbane, 4 weeks
QK-2238 May 1968 Normie Rowe "Penelope" (Brian Peacock) / "Lucinda" (Brian Peacock)
QK-1728 1968 Tony Williams "If You Lose Her" / "It's Alright Now"
QK-2381 1968 Jonne Sands "It's Your Life" / "I'll Never Dance Again"
QK-2479 1968 Rev. Black & The Rockin' Vicars "Such A Lovely Day" / "Sorrowful Stoney" Produced by Ron Dalton
QK-2458 1968 Jonne Sands "Mothers and Fathers" / "Isn't It"
QK-2493 Aug. 1968 Normie Rowe "Born to Be By Your Side" / "Break Out"
QK-2514 1968 Johnny Mac & The Zodiacs "Mister Sticker Licker" / "Just Step Back"
QK-2596 Oct. 1968 Normie Rowe "Walking on New Grass" / "Open Up The Skies"
QK-2577 1968 Jonne Sands "Change of Mind" / "Gingerbread Man"
QK-2693 1968 Geraldine Fitzgerald "Something to Think About" / "Let's Go"
QK-2752 1969 Rev. Black and the Rockin' Vicars "Walking and Talking" / "How Does It Feel?" Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-2819 1969 Normie Rowe "Just To Satisfy You" / "Drinkin Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee"
QK-2880 1969 Jonne Sands "Let the Sunshine In" / "Wish It Were You"
QK-2890 June 1969 Normie Rowe "You Got Style" / "Don't Say Nothing Bad (About My Baby)"
QK-2982 1969 Coloured Rain "Angie" / "What More Do You Want"
QK-2983 1969 Jonne Sands "Yeah I'm Hip" / "I've Just Seen a Face"
QK-3115 1969 Inside Looking Out "Long Live Sivananda" / "On Whom Her Favour Falls"
QK-3118 1969 Wickedy Wak "Billie's Bikie Boys" / "Chitty Chitty Bang Band" Produced by Ian Meldrum
QK-3183 1970 Jonne Sands "Oh Girl" / "Confessions of a Lonely Man"
QK-4085 1971 Normie Rowe & The Playboys "Que Sera Sera" / "Let Me Tell You" re-release
QK-4412 1971 Jelly Roll Big Band "I've Been Away Too Long" / "Son Of a Preacher Man"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Record Labels – Sunshine Records". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2017.