… and California Dreamin’ is becomin’ a reality…

(from Creeque Alley by The Mamas and Papas)

Earlier we said that Sunshine Pop (whatever that is) had its origins in California.   Since we started with the quintessential British band and a non-Californian group, let’s head to California for our next two tracks.  In today’s first track you have a group which defined the “California sound” of the 60’s.  Hawthorne, California was home to three brothers, a cousin and a best friend.  Collectively we know them as… The Beach Boys.

Track Three

So many songs which fit our “sunshine pop” criteria.   Good Vibrations could in fact be considered the epitome of the Sunshine Pop genre.  And yet it is such an obvious choice, I thought I’d select a song from the same period (1967) which is just a bit less famous (it reached #19 on the Billboard charts).  Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it features Carl (Wilson) as lead vocalist.  The song… Darlin’.

The Wilson brothers with Al Jardine and Mike Love... the Beach Boys.
The Wilson brothers with Al Jardine and Mike Love… The Beach Boys.

Track Four

California imports.  The members in this group actually formed on the East Coast (of the United States) but were invited to California to audition for Lou Adler, co-owner of Dunhill Records.  With the success of their hit single, California Dreamin’, The Mamas and Papas became inextricably linked both the state and the genre.  I’ve chosen Dedicated to the One I Love as the next track for this compilation.  The song reached #2 on the charts in 1967 in both the U.S. and the UK.    Although it had been a hit a few years earlier for The Shirelles, I’ve always been drawn to this “sunny” arrangement.

A short-lived but very successful union.
A short-lived but very successful union.

And… if you haven’t seen the group “live”, here they are performing California Dreamin’ at 1967’s pivotal Monterey Pop Festival.

It was fifty years ago today… (a postscript)

Hard to believe!  A big tribute on CBS last Sunday on the occasion of The Beatles‘ first appearance on Ed Sullivan.  I spoke of my own “Sullivan experience” in an earlier post.  I thought (given how our Sunshine compilation begins) I should make mention of this anniversary.

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