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|Single by Joe Jones|
|B-side||"Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone"|
|Joe Jones singles chronology|
"California Sun" is a rock song first recorded by American rhythm and blues singer Joe Jones. Henry Glover is credited on the original 45 rpm single as the songwriter, although Roulette Records owner Morris Levy's name sometimes fraudulently appears on later renditions. In 1961, Roulette issued the song with "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" as the B-side. The single reached number 89 on Billboard's Hot 100.
The Rivieras cover
|Single by The Rivieras|
|B-side||"H.B. Goose Step"|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
|The Rivieras singles chronology|
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 guitar, Otto Nuss on Vox Continental 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.
The song entered the charts on January 25, 1964, and reached number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remained for 10 weeks. 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. It was also featured in the 1991 biopic The Doors. It was also one of many California-related songs played throughout "Sunshine Plaza" in the original Disney California Adventure.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||5|
|Song by Ramones|
|from the album Leave Home|
|Producer(s)||Tony Bongiovi, Tommy Ramone|
- Australian rock band Johnny Chester with The Thunderbirds, from Melbourne, released a sax and drum laden version in 1961. W&G EP WG-E-1360
- Annette Funicello covered it in 1963.
- A group called the Invaders recorded a cover in 1968, which sounds similar to the Rivieras version.
- The Crickets recorded their version for their LP of the same name in 1964 (Liberty LRP 3351 / LST 7351).
- The New York City rock band the Dictators included their own cover of the song on their 1975 Go Girl Crazy! debut album.
- The song was performed by the Ramones on their 1977 Leave Home album and used in their 1979 Rock 'n' Roll High School motion picture. This version is on various compilations, including All the Stuff (And More!) Volume 1 and Hey Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology.
- The Ramones' cover was also used in Jackass: The Movie (including its album for the film) and in The X-Files season 11 episode This, while the Rivieras's version was used in Oliver Stone's The Doors film, when Jim Morrison (played by Val Kilmer) arrives in Venice Beach.
- Bobby Fuller recorded a cover of the song that can be found on El Paso Rock: Early Recordings Volume 3.
- Tommy James & the Shondells recorded a cover of the song for their 1967 album, I Think We're Alone Now.
- The song has often been played live by Chris Isaak and his band Silvertone, with the drummer Kenney Dale Johnson assuming lead vocals and Isaak playing the drums.
- The song was covered by Frankie Avalon in the 1987 movie, Back to the Beach.
- Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk uses various versions in their radio and television advertisements, notably for their 100th anniversary in 2010.
- It was used in the 2007 film, Alvin and the Chipmunks during the fight over the remote control.
- The Offspring covered the song (in the style of the Ramones) on their Days Go By Tour in 2013.
- English band Palma Violets covered it as the B-side of their single "We Found Love".
- A version by Swedish band Ola & the Janglers was released in 1970 (sung in English).
- Portuguese rock band Peste & Sida released in 1989 a Portuguese version titled "Sol da Caparica" (referring to the famous beaches of Costa da Caparica).
- Suzanne McDermott recorded her original song with the same title on her album Souvenir, released in 1995.
- A version of this song was covered by Brian Wilson for the movie Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!.
- American rock & roll band Garbo's Daughter covered the song for their 2011 West Coast Tour cassette on Burger Records.
- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002
- "The Rivieras - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- "Sunshine Plaza". Theme Park Music. Archived from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Infinity Charts - German Top 20
- "The Invaders (31) - California Sun / Love And Hate". Discogs. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "The Offspring Concert Setlist at Gran Parque de la Exposición, Lima on September 5, 2013". setlist.fm. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
- "The Offspring Concert Setlist at Estadio Cubierto Malvinas Argentinas, Buenos Aires on September 8, 2013". setlist.fm. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
- "We Found Love - Single by Palma Violets on Apple Music". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Bob Greene "Take a guess where "California Sun" is from", Jewish World Review, June 7, 1999