FORT WORTH (CBS11) – In 1962, six guys from South Bend, Indiana Central High School formed a rock band called The Rivieras. Their style was surf rock, frat rock and just plain ole rock and roll. They were a one-hit wonder group but only by the skin of their teeth!
In early 1964, the British invasion of music artists was quickly landing in America, with The Beatles being at the forefront of the charge. The Fab Four hit the Billboard Top 40 on January 25, 1964 with “I Want To Hold Your Hand” that went all the way to #1. Nine days later, on February 1, 1964, the Rivieras hit the chart with “California Sun.” Written by Henry Glover and Morris Levy, the lyrics go like this:
“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
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”
Given the enormity of the British rock invasion hitting America, if the Rivieras had waited too much longer, this song might have gotten lost! It ranked #5 on Billboard with a nine-week run on the chart, but that would be it for the group who later broke up in 1966. Performed with organ, bass, guitars, and drums, these guys had a moment of fame on American Top 40 radio and the American music scene. This is one of my favorite summer songs of all time, with a run time of 2:23.
So from 1964, The Rivieras with “California Sun”!!