The Sunrays: I live for the sun (California, 1.10.1965, Capitol 15416)
This ain’t the great Beach Boys! “I Live for the Sun”, a classic surf blast, is a 1965 single written by Rick Henn and performed by Californian pop band The Sunrays, capturing the essential summer feeling. It reached #51 on the Billboard Hot 100, #20 on the Australian Singles Chart and was also a Top 20 hit in the UK. It was included on their 1966 studio album. Glenn Campbell joins in on guitar. Managed by the Beach Boys’ Wilson clan’s father Murry!
This is the story told by the Sunrays:
We all started playing in a band in 8th grade. As the Renegades, we recorded songs under the following names: The Snowmen, The Rangers, (pre-Sunrays).
Kim Fowley produced these songs. I played saxaphone in the Renegades and rhythm gutiar. Our first song recorded was “Sidewinder.” These early songs can be heard on our box set called “Vintage Rays.” The Sunrays sang 5 part harmony. We were really a blues and soul band when we started out. It was 1964 when our first Sunray release was a song called ” Car Party,” which Murry wrote. It did not do well at all. I wrote the song “I Wanna Know” about our group breaking up. Ricky wrote a song called “Our Leader” for Murry Wilson’s Christmas present. Murry cried when we gave him the record on Christmas Eve. We all paid for the session. Glen Campbell did play guitar on “I Live For the Sun.” Murry Wilson was the niecest man ever. We never saw any abuse towards us or his sons, the Beach Boys. Capitol Records did start a new label, Tower Records, just for The Sunrays. If we did not smile on stage we would either have to stand on our heads or pay a $100.00 fine, which would go into a fund for music accessories. Barney Kessel (Jazz Guitarest), Mickey Rooney’s stepdad, used to help us arrange some of our songs.