The Rivieras – California Sun

This was garage band rock and roll at it’s best. It’s hard not to feel good when this song comes on the radio. It was covered by the Ramones along with many others. The song peaked at #15 in the Billboard 100 in 1964.

The song was written by Henry Glover and recorded first by Joe Jones and his version made it to #89 on the Billboard Charts. Instead of guitars, Joe Jones’s version used horns.

From Songfacts.

“California Sun” is a song with a shadowy history, so let’s try to fill in the gaps as best we can: It is originally credited to Henry Glover and Morris Levy. Glover was a producer for an independent record label King Records; Levy was the founder and owner of Roulette Records, which Tommy James told us was run by the mafia. Their song ended up being recorded by the New Orleans singer Joe Jones and released by EMI, fizzling out after barely scratching the top 100.

The Rivieras then covered it and launched themselves into history by becoming one-hit wonders. So, were The Rivieras from Orange County, California, during this heyday of the surf rock revolution? Nope, they were from South Bend, Indiana, specifically alumni of South Bend Central High School. And they were literally a teenage garage band, in which the lead singer Marty “Bo” Fortson left shortly after this single came out to join the Marines and go off to Vietnam. The other band members dropped out one by one under pressure from their parents to go on to college and stop this rock ‘n’ roll nonsense at once.

California Sun

Well I’m going out west where I belong
Where the days are short and the nights are long

Where I’ll walk
And they walk
I’ll twist
And they twist
And I’ll shimmy
And they shimmy
And I’ll fly
And they fly
Where they’re out there having fun
In the warm California sun

Well, I’m going out west
Out on the coast
Where the California girls
Are really the most

And I’ll walk
And they walk
I’ll twist
And they twist
And I’ll shimmy
And they shimmy
And I’ll fly
And they fly
Where they’re out there having fun
In the warm California sun

Well, the girls are frisky
In old ‘Frisco
A pretty little chick
Wherever you go

And I’ll walk
And they walk
I’ll twist
And they twist
And I’ll shimmy
And they shimmy
And I’ll fly
And they fly
Where they’re out there having fun
In the warm California sun
Where they’re out there having fun
In the warm California sun

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

2 thoughts on “The Rivieras – California Sun”

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