Monday, January 18, 2016

Music Monday - "Come to the Sunshine" by Harper's Bazaar (1967)

Now here is an oldies song you don't hear often, even on SiriusXM radio.  They play it occasionally - that's where I first heard it.  (I have no memory of this song from my childhood.)   It's such a fun sunshine pop song ... really perfect for a cold winter day.

"Come to the Sunshine" was written in 1966 by Van Dyke Parks.  He was inspired in part by his father's Depression era big band, The White Swan Serenaders.  Before his musical career, Van Dyke Parks was a child actor on tv shows.  He had a recurring role as Little Tommy Manicotti (the kid from upstairs) on The Honeymooners.  He released a 45 of this song in 1966.

Van Dyke Parks later worked as a lyricist with Brian Wilson, including for the Beach Boys' Smile album.  He worked with many other major artists, including Ringo Starr, Donovan, The Byrds, Tim Buckley, and U2.

This song was covered in 1967 by Harpers Bazaar.  Harpers Bazaar was a 1960's sunshine pop band from Southern California.  Several of the band members were original in the Tikis.  Van Dyke Parks, who wrote the song, played piano on this record. This is the version of "Come to the Sunshine" that gets the most oldies radio airplay.

There is also a great retro music podcast called Come to the Sunshine, hosted by Grammy nominated producer Andrew Sandoval.  It specializes in sunshine pop, and this song is the theme song of that podcast.  You can find it on TuneIn radio or any podcast player, or just listen online:  Come to the Sunshine.

Here's this retro gem ... let me know what you think!   This is the poppy version by Harpers Bazaar. 

And here is the original version, by Van Dyke Parks from 1966.  His version features overlapping vocals, mandolin, and jazz piano.