Sunshine Pop / Everything Is Sunshine 1965 – 1969


1 BEACH BOYS / Let Him Run Wild / Summer Days (And Summer Nights) July 1965

2 THE VOGUES / Five O’Clock World / Single A Side October 1965

3 LOVIN’ SPOONFUL / You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice / Single A Side November 1965

4 MAMA’S AND PAPA’S / Somebody Groovy / If You Can’t Believe Your Eyes And Ears February 1966

5 THE CYRCLE / Cloudy / Red Rubber Ball June 1966

6 THE ASSOCIATION / Along Comes Mary / Single A Side June 1966

7 THE LEFT BANKE / Pretty Ballerina / Single A Side December 1966

8 THE TURTLES / Happy Together / Single A Side March 1967

9 JAN & DEAN / Yellow Balloon / Save For A Rainy Day March 1967

10 HARPERS BIZARRE / 59th Street Bridge Song / Single A Side April 1967

11 SAGITTARIUS / My World Fell Down / Single A Side 1967

12 YELLOW BALLOON / Springtime Girl / Yellow Balloon May 1967

13 SUNSHINE COMPANY / Back On The Street Again / Single A Side June 1967

14 M.C. SQUARED / My Mind Goes High / Single B Side June 1967

15 SIMON DUPREE & THE BIG SOUND / Castle In The Sky / Without Reservations August 1967

16 SPANKY & OUR GANG / Lazy Day / Single A Side October 1967

17 THE FREE DESIGN / Kites Are Fun / Kites Are Fun November 1967

18 FIFTH DIMENSION / Magic Garden / Magic Garden December 1967

19 ORPHEUS / I Can’t Find The Time To Tell You / Orpheus January 1968

20 THE LEMON PIPERS / The Shoemaker Of Leatherware Square / Green Tambourine February 1968

21 THE COWSILLS / Grey Sunny Day / We Can Fly March 1968

22 ETERNITY’S CHILDREN / Mrs Bluebird / Eternity’s Children March 1968

23 MARGO GURYAN / Sun / Take A Picture May 1968

24 THE MILLENNIUM / To Claudia On Thursday / Begin July 1968

25 ROGER NICHOLS / Snow Queen / Roger Nichols & The Small Circle Of Friends

September 1968

26 MARK ERIC / Don’t Cry Over Me / A Midsummer’s Day Dream January 1969

27 MARMALADE / Butterfly / Single A Side February 1969

28 THE MONKEES / Someday Man / Single A Side June 1969

29 NEON PHILHARMONIC / Morning Girl Later / The Moth Confesses August 1969


    By the summer of 1965, the youth of America, desperately searching for their own identity, had already been through a multitude of styles, from high school to doo-wop to surf. More recently, the British beat invasion had changed the way rock’n’pop was played while the American folk movement had changed the way it was perceived.

    The studio wunderkinds of California began to turn their hands to a softer brand of pop. Brian Wilson’s genius was their original inspiration but with his mind stuck in neutral, a gap had appeared in the harmony pop market, which was only partly being filled by folk rock. As established groups like the Lovin’ Spoonful and Mama’s And Papa’s began using softer vocals, West Coast writers and producers began to skip happily into the land of parks, kites and sunshine.

   Curt Boettcher (The Association, The Millennium), Gary Zekely (Yellow Balloon) and Gary Usher (Sagittarius) all helped define sunshine pop. All three were writers and artists but they were also inventive studio wizards who made the most of the sudden advances in technology. Working under an ever-changing variety of names, they took harmonic influences of the Beach Boys and the lighter end of doo-wop, merged them with strong, melodic hooks and sprinkled them with the dippy scent of psychedlia. The Summer of Love provided the perfect backdrop, so much so that ultimately  even mediocre British groups like Simon Dupree and Marmalade, cottoned onto the possibilities and after some dubious early attempts, quickly became au fait with the art. Of course, it was all pure escapism, meaning absolutely nothing but 40 years later the music remains as dreamy as ever.                                


May 2009