Category: Australian-owned independent record label

1964 - ca. 1974

Brisbane, Qld (?)


- Ivan Dayman, Nat Kipner, Pat Aulton, 1964-67
- subsidiary label taken over by Festival Records, 1967
- label closed 1974
- catalogue acquired by Warner Music Australia in 2005
following the liquidation of Festival Mushroom Records

See also: Kommotion Records


Sunshine Records has an important place in the history of the Australian music industry, and it was especially significant to the business of its distributor Festival Records, providing a vital bridge between the peak years of the Leedon label in the late 1950s and early 1960s and that of the Spin label from 1966-71. The importance of this vibrant independent imprint has never been properly acknowledged, and a comprehensive history is long overdue.

The label's founder, the late Ivan Dayman, reportedly ran a gravel quarry in his hometown of Adelaide before moving into pop promotion in the early 1960s. He became extremely successful for a few years and at its height in 1965-66 his Sunshine empire included two record labels, a thriving concert promotion and booking agency, a star-studded artist management roster, and a string of venues in capital cities and major towns from Adelaide to north Queensland, including the famed Cloudland Ballroom in Brisbane. 

With the pop music scene booming and his promotions company prospering, in late 1964 Dayman expanded his business by establishing the Sunshine label, to record and produce the various pop artists he already had under contract and to launch new discoveries. The label's parent company, Sunshine Productions, was a partnership between Dayman, a dynamic expatriate American called Nat Kipner and an Irish-born Adelaide musician, Pat Aulton. Kipner had teamed up with Dayman in Brisbane, where Nat was producing TV pop shows for Channel 7, among his many other ventures -- he also ran a record store, wrote skits and songs for the George Wallace Jr TV variety show Theatre Royal, ran a small publishing company with Johnny Devlin, and wrote songs with Devlin, country musician Geoff Mack (author of "I've Been everywhere") and Nat's teenage son Steve. Pat Aulton had met Dayman in Adelaide in the early Sixties while fronting The Clefs; Dayman hired Pat to work as an MC and opening act for his concerts, and he eventually became Sunshine's musical director and house producer.

Sunshine's recordings were manufactured and distributed by Festival Records, presumably through a lease similar to those Festival made with other companies like Clarion Records and Albert Productions. It was a very productive label -- so far we have identified 113 singles, 33 EPs and 13 LP released between October 1964 and 1971, putting it on a par with its successor, Spin Records. Sunshine and Spin released almost identical numbers of singles and EPs; the notable difference is that, over roughly the same time span, Spin issued three times more LPs than Sunshine (thirty-eight to thirteen). However this difference can be be accounted for by the rapid growth in sale of LPs in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Singles and EPs were by far the biggest sellers in Australia during Sunshine's peak period from 1964 to 1967, while LPs (still something of a luxury at that time) formed only a small percentage of total record sales.

In early 1964 Dayman took over the Saturday night lease on Melbourne's Festival Hall and renamed it "Mersey City". On 2 May 1964 he opened with Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays, and over 4500 teenagers attended ("500 more than the Beatles", according to Tony). Dayman also used the group to open several other Queensland venues in Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Inala, Surfers Paradise and the city and by the end of the year, with the success of their first single, they were one of the hottest pop acts in the country.

The first Sunshine single release, in October 1964, was the instrumental single "Jay Walker" by The Blue Jays. This highly-rated band was well established in their home town of Melbourne and they had already released a couple of instrumental singles on the independent Crest label. In early 1964 Dayman teamed the band with a young Brisbane singer, Tony Worsley, but Sunshine hedged their bets with its first release, perhaps hoping to catch the tail-end of the surf boom with this solid Shadow-style instrumental. The Blue Jays continued to release records under their own name, but it was the teaming of The Blue Jays with Worsley that put really Sunshine on the map. In November 1964 Sunshine issued the first single jointly credited to Tony Worsley and The Fabulous Blue Jays, "Sure Know A Lot About Love", which charted in Brisbane, although the band didn't break through nationally until their rip-roaring version of Rosco Gordon's "Just A Little Bit" in early 1965.

Another early release was by The Pacifics, a Brisbane-based 4-piece instrumental outfit whose main claim to fame is their single, the first commercial recording by Nat's teenage son Steve Kipner, who played guitar in The Pacifics and went on to front Steve & The Board after the Kipner family moved to Sydney. The label's greatest success was solo star Normie Rowe. He scored a string of huge Australian hits between 1965 and 1968, and his double-A-sided 1965 single "Que Sera Sera" / "Shakin' All Over" became one of the biggest-selling local hits of the 1960s and is still one of the biggest selling Australian singles of all time.

Dayman exerted an unusual degree of control over his clients, since he typically managed them, booked them and produced their recordings and regularly sent them out on gruelling package tours, which of course included apperarances at his various venues. He was reputed to have been a tough businessman, and he evidently knew talent when he saw it. This is demonstrated by the strength of Sunshine's artist roster and the quality of the material they produced.

Sunshine boasted solo singers like Normie Rowe, Peter Doyle and Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys as well as hardcore Brisbane blues-R&B band The Purple Hearts, highly-rated Kiwis expats The Librettos, Beat Boom stars Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays, Rowe's backing band The PlayboysMarcie Jones & The Cookies, gravel-voiced teen punkette Toni McCann, , The Librettos, surf legends The Atlantics, Ricky & Tammy, Melbourne's feedback kings Running Jumping Standing Still, trans-Tasman folk duo Bill & Boyd, Rev. Black & The Rockin' Vicars, Brisbane solo star Jonne Sands and Brisbane pop band Wickedy Wak (which featured a young Rick Springfield).

Many earlier Sunshine recordings were produced by Nat Kipner, but in late 1965 Nat sold his share in the company (and the Sydney Bowl nightclub) and went to work for the newly established Spin Records, as well as setting up and producing for the shortlived Downunder label with independent Sydney producer Ossie Byrne. Following Nat's departure, Pat Aulton took over as Sunshine's main producer, and he and Nat also produced some recordings on Sunshine's shortlived sister label Kommotion, which was set up to promote the acts who appeared on the TV pop show of the same name. Aulton produced and engineered many later Sunshine singles and albums, as well as providing uncredited vocal and instrumental backing and contributing to arrangements.

The Sunshine empire ran into serious financial problems around the end of 1966, but the full story behind the company's collapse is still not known. Historian Bill Casey has suggested that one factor may have been the financial drain of Normie Rowe's extended overseas stay, but it seems likely that the main cause of the company's demise was Dayman's questionable business practices. The Kommotion label folded at the start of 1967, and Sunshine was taken over by Festival and become a wholly-owned subsidiary label. It is not known whether Dayman retained any interest or played any role in the company after 1967, although he continued to operate his promotions and management business in several cities.

Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays

By the early 1960s Dayman was promoting dances in Brisbane, where he spotted a handsome, feisty young Brisbane rock singer called Tony Worsley, whose outrageously long collar-length hair, wild stage presence and repertoire of Merseybeat tunes had earned him the nickname "Brisbane's Beatle". Dayman was soon on the lookout for a suitable backing band for his young discovery and he found it when he made a new addition to the Sunshine roster, popular Melbourne dance band The Blue Jays. 

Dayman's offer of £35 per week to sing with The Blue Jays was too good for the young singer to refuse -- it was sveral times more than what Tony was making in his day job -- and the teaming of Tony with this tight, professional and versatile outfit in early 1964 proved to be a huge success. The Blue Jays were already well established in Melbourne and one of the city's leading dance groups. When they became part of Dayman's Sunshine management stable, singer-guitarist Laurie Allen departed to begin his solo career, eventually teaming with another Dayman alumnus, Bobby Bright.

The band began working with Tony at the start of 1964, at which point their name was glamorised to "The Fabulous Blue Jays". Tony's strong voice, good looks and magnetic stage presence was backed up by one of the tightest and most competent bands in the country -- the Blue Jays' trademark "fat" sound blended sax and guitar in a potent instrumental assault, giving them a much heavier sonic attack than many of their contemporaries. From his new Brisbane base at the Cloudland Ballroom Dayman promoted the group on his popular "Bowl" dance circuit package extravaganzas and Tony & the Blue Jays soon earned a reputation for upstaging the main acts with their riotous delivery.

In mid-1964 Tony and The Blue Jays left for Melbourne. Dayman had taken up a Saturday night lease on Festival Hall, renaming it "Mersey City", and on 2 May 1964 he opened with Tony and the Fabulous Blue Jays. Over 4500 teenagers attended -- "That was 500 more than saw the Beatles" according to Tony -- and Dayman also used them to open several other venues in Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Inala, Surfers Paradise and Brisbane. 

In late 1964, Dayman established his independent record label. His partner in the business was an enterprising and multi-talented expatriate American, Nat Kipner. As a young serviceman Kipner had been stationed in Australia during WWII, where he met his future wife, and after the birth of their son Steve in the USA the Kipners returned to Australia and settled in Brisbane. After working for some time as a real eastate saleman on the Gold Coast, Nat had managed to fast-talk his way into a job as a producer of TV pop shows. It was in this role that he first came into contact with Dayman and the pair eventually joined forces as partners in Sunshine Records.

Sunshine signed a distribution deal with  Festival Records and released its first two singles late in 1964. The first Sunshine 45 (October), was an original instrumental by The Blue Jays called "Jay Walker". The second (November) was the debut single by Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays, and it was a killer combination: the A-side was a scorching version of "Sure Know A Lot About Love", backed by a terrific acoustic original, "Me You Gotta Teach", an original track composed by guitarist Mal "Beaky" Clarke and bassist Royce "Baby" Nicholls.

Either with Tony, or under their own name, The Blue Jays were crucial to Sunshine's early success; Glenn Baker rightly says that in many respects they were Sunshineand Tony Worsely/Blue Jays releases accounted for seven of the label's first thirteen singles. Together they also rank as one of the most prolific recording units of "the scream years", churning out between them three full albums, eight EPs and seven singles in less then two years. Their Sunshine tracks including many original tracks by Clarke and Nicholls, which was fairly unusual for bands of the time. The Easybeats were one of the few other Australian outfits playing mainly original material, and most local beat groups relied on covers, typically covering blues or R&B songs by UK bands like The Beatles, The Stones, The Hollies or The Animals, which were themselves often covers of originals by American artists.

Normie Rowe

In early 1965 Dayman made his biggest discovery, teenage singer Normie Rowe. The former PMG apprentice had become a popular draw on the Melbourne dance circuit and was already making appearances on Melbourne pop TV shows like Teen Scene and The Go!! Show. According to rock historian Ed Nimmervol, EMI apparently had the chance to sign Rowe but turned him down claiming that he couldnt sing! Sunshine had no such qualms and Dayman signed him to a recording and management deal. 

Sunshine's musical director Pat Aulton, was the former lead singer of Adelaide band The Clefs (which was, coincidentally, led by Tweed Harris, who went on to found The Groove with former Librettos and Playboys guitarist Rod Stone). In the liner notes for The Early Anthology, Pat recalled his introduction to Normie:

"Ivan said to me one day 'We've found this kid, comae and have a listen and tell me what you think'. So I saw Normie sing at Preston Town Hall and thought 'Well, he's pretty good'. The girls loved him, and he had great presence. He really worked hard. He'd get out there in front of the crowds and he really punched the sky, and I liked that. So I took Normie down to Armstrong Studios to record his debut single."

Normie's first single,"It Ain't Necessarily So" (April 1965) was huge debut success, making the Top Ten in most cities and peaking at #6 in Sydney, #1 in Melbourne, #3 in Brisbane and #5 in Adelaide. Its lower chart position in Sydney was reportedly due to the fact that Sydney pop station 2SM (then owned by the Catholic Church) banned it because of its supposedly 'sacrilegious' lyrics. Over the next twelve months Normie enjoyed a virtually unbroken run of hits around Australia inlcuding his double-sided smash hit "Que Sera Sera" / "Shakin' All Over", which became still one of the biggest-selling Australian singles of the 1960s.

By mid-1966 Normie was the biggest solo pop performer in Australia, and the next logical step was to try his luck in the UK. In preparation he revamped the Playboys lineup. Cartwright, Billings and McArthur wanted to stay in Australia for family reasons, so Normie replaced them with Brian Peacock (bass) and Rod Stone (guitar), both from the recently defunct New Zealand band The Librettos. Arriving in London in August 1966, ahead of his band, Normie took on Ritchie York as his London agent, and began to record with producers Trevor Kennedy and John Carter, using the cream of London's session musos, including Big Jim Sullivan, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, famed drummer Clem Cattini and vocal group The Breakaways. The London sessions produced a clutch of new songs -- "Ooh La La", "It's Not Easy", "Mary Mary", "Turn On The Love Light" and "Can't Do Without Your Love".

Despite Normie's absence in London, his run of chart success in Australia continued unabated. His next single, "Ooh La La" / "Ain't Nobody Home" (Nov. 1966) was another double-sided hit Top 5 hit in most capitals (#2 in Sydney, #1in Melbourne and Brisbane and #4 in Adelaide). Up to this point there had been no national pop chart in Australia, and most pop stations in the state capitals and major cities published their own competing charts. However, on 5 October 1966 Go-Set magazine began publishing its own weekly national Top 40, compiled by Ed Nimmervol. "Ooh La La" / "Mary, Mary" debuted at #6 on the new chart on 7 December 1966, and it hit the top spot in the 21 December chart, giving Normie his first official national #1 hit. It stayed at #1 for two weeks before being briefly supplanted by The Easybeats' "Friday On My Mind" on 4 January, but returned to the top for the next two weeks. "Ooh La La" reportedly also made it into the lower end of the British Top 40. While "Ooh La La" was riding at the top in Australia, Normie's next single "It's Not Easy" was also shooting up the chart. It debuted at #17 in the Go-Set chart in the last week of December 1966, and reached in the Top Ten by the second week of January; through the end of January and into February, Normie enjoyed his greatest chart success to date and achieved an Australian 'first' by having two singles simultaneously in the national Top 3 for three consecutive weeks. The new Playboys lineup arrived in London in December and Normie briefly flew home for Christmas, which no doubt assisted the chart ascent of "It's Not Easy". Capping a year of extraordinary success, Normie was voted Australia's top male singer in the first annual Go-Set Pop Poll.

Normie worked in England for ten months and toured with the likes of Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity, The Spencer Davis Group, Kiki Dee, Gene Pitney and The Troggs. There were high hopes of a British breakthrough, and there's no doubt that Normie had the talent, ambition and work ethic to see it through. In the early months of 1967 the pages of Go-Set were filled with breathless predictions of imminent UK stardom, but it never materialised. Meanwhile, back home, Normie's British stay was proving a heavy drain on Sunshine's finances, and sometime in late 1966 or early 1967 Sunshine Records went into liquidation and was evidently taken over by Festival, which was presumably Sunshine's major creditor.

Much has been written about the reasons why Aussie talents like Normie, The Easybeats, The Twilights and the Masters Apprentices weren't able to break through in the UK. Some have pointed the finger at the so-called "Pink Mafia" who allegedly controlled by British pop industry, but this explanation seems far too simplistic. In retrospect, the biggest obstacles was the sheer difficultly of making any impression against the overwhelming volume of talent on offer in the UK without top-line management, full support from record labels and a virtually bottomless bucket of money. 

Another factor which had a significant impact on the exposure given to Australian artists on British radio was the emergence of pirate radio. Transmitting from ships and sea-towers just outside the UK territorial limit, pirate stations Radio Caroline, Radio London and Radio Atlanta shook up the hidebound British music scene, giving Britons their first taste of the weird and wonderful world of commerical pop radio. Although it's not well known, many Australians were prominently involved in these pirate stations -- Radio Atlanta was in fact founded by expat Austyraslians Alan Crawford and Ken Evans, and many Australian DJs worked on the 'pirates' in this period, including former 2SM 'Good Guy' Tony Withers (by then calling himself Tony Windsor), future 2SM breakfast star Ian McRae, and future Sounds producer Graeme "Spider" Webb. Many Australian acts including The Easybeats and Johnny Young were given solid support by patriotic Aussie pirate DJs and this seems to have had a major effect on the eventual success of "Friday On My Mind" in particular. However, by early 1967 the British government was becoming deeply concerned about the massive popularity of the pirate stations and on 1 June 1967 the declaration of the Marine Broadcasting Act 1967 closed the loophole that allowed the pirates to operate, effectively put them out of business overnight.

Normie returned to England in January and in March 1967 he and The Playboys embarked on a tour of the UK supporting The Troggs, Gene Pitney and Sounds Incorporated. Around this time Phil Blackmore left the group for family reasons and returned to Australia; he was replaced by English keyboard player Trevor Griffin. Rod Stone left in April 1967 and returned to Australia (where he joined The Groove) and he was replaced by former Adam Faith sideman Mick Rogers.

In June, Normie and The Playboys travelled to North America, supporting Roy Orbison on a US tour, and along with The Seekers they represented their country in a special "Australia Day" performance at Expo '67 in Montreal. Normie returned to Australia in July, where he appeared as a special guest at the Hoadleys Battle Of The Sounds final in Melbourne. Graeme Trottman also returned to Australia but the rest of the band remained in the UK, drafting in former Librettos drummer Craig Collinge to replace Trottman. The Playboys secured a one-off single deal with Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label, and they recorded and released one single "Sad" / "Black Sheep RIP" in August. Meanwhile, Normie scored another Top Ten hit in late 1967 with "Going Home" / "I Don't Care". It debuted at #22 in the Go-Set chart in late April and stayed in the national Top Ten until the end of May, peaking at #7. His next two singles, produced in the UK by Giogio Gomelsky were "Sunshine Secret" / "But I Know" (June 1967) followed by "Turn Down Day" / "Stop To Think It Over" (October), which charted in Melbourne. But in September 1967 Normie received his call-up notice for national service. In October Normie and The Playboys parted ways. The group remained in the UK, changed direction and re-emerged in December as one of Australia's first progressive rock bands, Procession.

The Purple Hearts
Around August 1965, Brisbane R&B band The Purple Hearts joined The Easybeats, Vince Maloney, Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays, Ian Saxon and others on a marathon north Queensland tour from Brisbane to Cairns and back, organised by Dayman, which was the first ever 'beat band' tour of those areas. Dayman immediately saw The Purple Hearts potential and soon signed them to the Sunshine label. Their first Sunshine single (recorded at Festival studios in Sydney) was a re-recording of "Long Legged Baby" (which they had previously recorded for the Brisbane label Soundtrack) backed by a new B-side, "Here 'Tis", which was released in October 1965. Thanks to their dedicated following in their hometown, it made the Top 10 in Brisbane. For the remainder of 1965, Dayman kept the band busy promoting the single and holding down a residency at the Brisbane Bowl. By early 1966 the Hearts were looking south to the major markets of Sydney and Melbourne and their first big break came when they scored the opening spot on the Sydney leg of the Herman's Hermits/Tom Jones Caravan of Stars tour promoted by Harry M. Miller, plus more gigs at Dayman's Sydney Bowl.

Dave Miller
New Zealand singer Dave Miller, who subsequently formed The Dave Miller Set, was able to establish himself in Sydney in 1966 thanks to Dayman's organisation. Dave and bandmate Al Dunster came to Australia in early 1966 and because Dunster knew the then manager of The Bowl, this enabled Dave to get a job at The Bowl in Castlereagh St. Graham Dent, a fellow New Zealander, was also managing Max Merritt & The Meteors at that time. Dave worked at The Bowl and other venues for several months as an MC, compereing for Sunshine acts like Normie Rowe and Peter Doyle, and performing as a DJ and solo singer. This period proved important for Dave in making connections on the Sydney music scene, particularly Spin Records A&R manager Nat Kipner.

By late 1966 Dave was considering moving into to the lucrative club circuit, but he was drawn back into the pop scene in late 1966 by Dayman and Dent's decision to revamp The Bowl as a discotheque and rename it the Op-Pop Disco. Dave was asked to put together a house band, so he contacted an old friend from New Zealand, drummer Ray Mulholland, (ex- The Rayders) who was keen to come over and work in Sydney. Dave then recruited a talented young bass player, Harry Brus (ex-Amazons) who went on to become a longtime backing player for Renee Geyer and one of Australia's most respected musicians. The lineup was completed by guitarist Mick Gibbons (ex-The Bluebeats) and keyboard player Greg Hook (who later worked with Respect, Odyssey, Stevie Wright and Lindsay Bjerre), thus creating the first lineup of The Dave Miller Set. However, by the time Dave had put the group together, Dayman and Dent had changed their mind about the house band and the DMS were forced to find work elsewhere.

The Atlantics
Late in 1966 renowned Sydney surf band The Altlantics (who had been dropped from the CBS label) signed with Sunshine and over the next year they issued three gritty rock singles -- "It's a Hard Life" b/w "Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do?" (July 1966), a cover of the Screamin' Jay Hawkins' classic "I Put a Spell on You"b w/ "By the Glow of a Candle" (January 1967) and the renowned "Come On" b/w "You Tell Me Why" (March 1967), all of which are now considered classics of Aussie '60s rock, and are often classified in the 'garage-punk' genre, a somewhat innacurate label originally coined to cover the music of American "garage" bands of the 60s. Raven Records included "Come On" on their original LP version of their acclaimed 60s 'garage-punk' compilation Ugly Things in 1980, and Sydney band Wet Taxis (led by the legendary Louis Tillet) recorded their own version, released as a single in 1984.

Financial crisis and takeover by Festival
1966 was the turning point for the label. It appears that Dayman overextended his businesses -- supporting Normie Rowe and The Playboys in the UK was reportedly a heavy drain on company finances, but Dayman may simply have over-extended -- in early 1966 he set up a second label, Kommotion,  owned or managed a chain of venues in several capital cities, as well as his management and agency operations. 

Tony Worsley parted ways with The Blue Jays, who then split up. He put together a "New" Blue Jays, which included such future OzRock luminaries as Vince Maloney (Aztecs, Bee Gees, Fanny Adams), John A. Bird (Country Radio) and Phil Manning (Chain). In December 1966, Tony and the 'new' Blue Jays played at a major Dayman-promoted package event, "The Johnny Young Show", at Brisbane Festival Hall, which featured most of the Sunshine roster -- Ronnie Burns, Peter Doyle, Mike Furber, Ross D. Wylie, Thursday's Children, Graham Chpaman, Greg Anderson, The Escorts, Marcie & The Cookies, The Pleazers, and Julien Jones & The Breed. Tony Worsley managed to steal the show with his version of James Brown's famous fainting routine, in which he pretended to collapse and have to be led off-stage, only to only to be doused with water, revive and return for encore after encore.

This all-star Brisbane concert proved to be a de facto memorial for the Sunshine label. By the end of 1966, in spite of his continued run of Australian hits, Sunshine was heavily in debt and the receivers were called in, most likely by its distributor Festival Records, which was presumably its major creditor. According to Spin Records historian Bill Casey, Dayman was also forced to close his Bowl venues in Sydney, Brisbane and Toowoomba. Founding partner Nat Kipner had already sold his share and moved on to work for Clyde Packer's new Spin label, but Pat Aulton was still a director, and as a result of his liability, Pat had his car and furniture repossessed by Sunshine's creditors. Fortunately, his salvation came in the form of a job offer from Festival MD Fred Marks, who hired him as a staff A&R manager and house producer. From 1967 on, Sunshine became a subsidiary of Festival, who continued to operate the label until 1974. 

Sunshine released 28 singles during 1967, only four fewer than its peak year of 1966, but its output dropped sharply in 1968 (11 singles) and only eight singles came out  during 1969, during which time Normie Rowe's contract with the label expired. By 1970 Sunshine was virtually inactive, with only one single released; two more singles were issued during 1971, after which the label was retired.

Dayman continued in business as a manager and promoter. In mid-1967 he was involved in the first Australian visit by top New Zealand band The La De Das. The group were hired for a residency at the Bowl, now renamed The Op Pop Disco. Back in NZ, the two singles from their Find Us A Way album did extremely well in spite of the band's absence -- "All Purpose Low" / "My Girl", (June '67) and went to #3 on the NZ charts, followed in August by "Rosalie" / "Find Us A Way" which reached #5. However, the La De Das hadn't had a single released in Australia since "Don't You Stand In My Way" (June 1966) so their NZ producer Eldred Stebbing negotiated a deal for a new single on Sunshine, which was by this time had been taken over by Festival. Unfortunately, the session was a disaster -- the La De Das were used to having their own way in the studio, and they clashed with producer Steve Neale, leading to the mutual termination of the contract.

In July 1967, The Master Apprentices made a tour of NSW, including shows at the the famed Sydney Stadium, at Rushcutter's Bay (July 30th) and The Trocadero. Heading to Queensland, they toured extensively for Dayman and while in Brisbane lead singer Jim Keays had a memorable meeting with Johnny O'Keefe, who praised the Masters as the most "Australian" new band in the country. A press report (probably in Go-Set) dated April 1968 claimed that The Valentines were to join Sunshine; it's not known whether this meant the label or the agency, but the deal never eventuated.

Dayman went on to manage Sydney bands Rev. Black & The Rockin' Vicars (early 1968) and The Affair. The latter band won the 1969 Battle of the Sounds, defeating 1863 Establishment; the guitarist in the latter group, Jimmy Cerezo, has claimed that Dayman subsequently admitted to him that he had bribed the judges to give the prize to The Affair, even though most people (including the band) felt that 1863 Establishment had given the better performance.


Discographical notes

Sunshine's recordings were catalogued in Festival's standard popular release series. 45rpm singles were prefixed "QK", although there were several releases under the Sunshine International banner in 1966-67 (which were prefixed "QIK"). EPs were prefixed "QX", plus a few Sunshine International releases, prefixed "QIX". LPs were catalogued in Festival's "L-30000" series with the addition of a "Q" prefix, an exception being Bill & Boyd's Talent Plus album, which appears to have been one of the last Sunshine LP releases and was catalogued under Festival's new "L-900000" series and given a "SQ" prefix, presumably indicating 'stereo'.

Because they were pressed and distributed by Festival -- who numbered other labels in the same sequence as their own singles -- Sunshine's catalogue numbers do not run in strict numerical order. However, the relatively close spacing of catalogue numbers on Sunshine releases indicatea that its singles and EPs comprised a significant portion of Festival's new releases between 1965 and 1967.

The QK series continued until late 1971; the latest confirmed Sunshine single we have located was a 1971 single by the Jelly Roll Big Band (QK-4412) and then the label appears to have gone into abeyance until 1974. Over that year Festival released eight singles (with its new "K" prefix), inlcuding one single (catalogue number unknown) by Sydney soul-funk group Hot City Bump Band. The last two Sunshine singles were released in December 1974, after which the label was evidently closed down for good. Festival did not revive the imprint for its 50th anniversary in 2002, although it did reactivate the Spin label for several CD reissues and its anniverary anthology.


Cat. # Date Artist/s Titles Notes
QK-747 Oct. 1964 The Blue Jays "Jay Walker"
"Path Finder"
QK-778 Nov. 1964 Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays "I Sure Know A Lot About Love"
"Me You Gotta Teach"
QK-798 Jan. 1965 The Blue Jays "Motivate"
"We're Friends"
QK-799 1965 The Pacifics "Lost My Baby"
"Slowly But Surely"
The only known recording by this group, which included Steve Kipner (guitar), later of Steve & The Board
QK-833 1965 The Playboys "Exodus"
"Sabre Dance"
QK-903 Mar. 1965 Tony Worsley & The Blue Jays "Just a Little Bit"
"If I"
QK-918 1965 The Playboys "Swan Lake"
"Camptown Races"
QK-902 Mar. 1965 Peter Doyle "Speechless (The Pick Up)"
"Like I Love You"
QK-935 Apr. 1965 The Blue Jays "Zoom Gonk"
"Hey Jack"
QK-951 Apr. 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys "It Ain't Necessarily So"
"Gonna Leave This Town"
Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-952 1965 The Playboys "Desperado"
"The Mean One"
QK-983 May 1965 Tony Worsley & The Blue Jays "Talking About You"
"I Dream of You"
QK-984 May 1965 The Blue Jays "Beat Out That Rhythm On a Drum"
"I'll Make You Cry Too"
QK-985 1965 Marcie Jones "I Wanna Know"
QK-999 1965 Toni McCann "My Baby"
QK-1000 1965 Ricky and Tammy "Won't You Tell Me"
"Little Girl"
QK-1001 June 1965 Peter Doyle "Stupidity"
"Heigh Ho"
QK-1041 1965 The Playboys "He's Awright"
QK-1069 June 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys "I (Who Have Nothing)"
"I Just Don't Understand"
QK-1103 Sep. 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys "Que Sera Sera"
"Shakin' All Over"
Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-1105 1965 Marcie Jones "I Just Can't Imagine"
"When A Girl Falls In Love"
QK-1075 Sep. 1965* Normie Rowe & The Playboys "I Confess"
"Everything's Alright"
QK-1087 Aug. 1965 Tony Worsley "Velvet Waters"
Produced by Nat Kipner
QK-1105 1965 Marcie Jones "I Just Can't Imagine"
"When A Girl Falls In Love"
QK-1132 1965 The Five "I'll Be There"
"How Can She Know"
QK-1138 1965 The Purple Hearts "Long Legged Baby"
"Here 'Tis"
QK-1162 1965 The Librettos "I Cried"
"She's a Go Go"
QK-1137 Nov. 1965 Peter Doyle "Watcha Gonna Do About It?"
"Do It Zula Style"
 Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-1158 Nov. 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys "Tell Him I'm Not Home"
"Call On Me"
QK-1169 Nov. 1965 Tony Worsley "Missing You"
"Lonely City"
QK-1184 1965 Frankie Davidson "Don't You Just Know It"
"So Little Time"
QK-1182 Jan. 1966 Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys "Just a Poor Boy"
"Mailman Bring Me No More Blues"
LK-1208 1966 The Atlantics "That's Old Fashioned"
"Gotta Lotta Love"
QK-1198 1966 Ricky and Tammy "Summers Long"
"All Around"
QK-1207 Feb. 1966 Peter Doyle "The Great Pretender"
"Everybody Loves a Lover"
QK-1213 1966 The Purple Hearts "Of Hopes and Dreams and Tombstones"
"I'm Gonna Try"
QK-1237 1966 The Playboys "Happy Organ"
"The High and the Mighty"
QK-1238 Mar. 1966 Normie Rowe and the Playboys "The Breaking Point"
"Ya Ya"
QK-1241 Feb. 1966 Tony Worsley "Something's Got a Hold On Me"
QK-1243 1966 Dave Howard "Go Catch the Moon"
"What a Kiss Can Do"
QK-1244 1966 The Five "I Can't Find Her"
"There's a Time"
QK-1244 1966 The Five "I Can't Find Her"
"There's a Time"
QK-1250 1966 Frankie Davidson "The Dollar Auctioneer"
"Just For Today"
QK-1251 1966 The Librettos "Rescue Me"
"What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?"
QK-1227 Feb. 1966 Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys "You Stole My Love"
"It's Gonna Work Out Fine"
released simultaneously 
on Kommotion KK 1227
QK-1317 1966 Peter Doyle "Something You Got Baby"
"Go Away"
QK-1318 1966 Marcie Jones "Danny Boy"
"That Hurts"
QK- 1341 1966 The Librettos "Kicks"
"Watcha Gonna Do About It?"
(Produced by Pat Aulton)
QK-1343 1966 Ricky and Tammy "Through My Fingers"
"Can I"
QK-1344 June 1966 Normie Rowe and the Playboys "Pride and Joy"
"The Stones That I Throw"
Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-1366 June 1966 Tony Worsley "Raining In My Heart"
"Knocking on Wood"
QK-1417 1966 Frankie Davidson "Leave a Little Love"
"Clap Your Hands"
QK-1382 1966 Tony Shepp "Come On Over to My Place"
"Don't Ask Me Why"
QK-1433 1966 The Atlantics "It's a Hard Life
"Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do"
QK-1442 1966 The Sounds of Seven "Dominique"
"Daddy's Little Girl"
QK-1448 1966 The Purple Hearts "Early in the Morning"
"Just a Little Bit"
QK-1453 1966 The Five "Bright Lights, Big City"
"Wasting My Time"
QK 1469 1966 The Lost Souls "Peace of Mind"
"This Life of Mine"
QK-1495 1966 Russ Kruger "Keep Me Satisfied"
"Tell the Truth"
QK-1529 1966 John Rowles (as Ja-Ar) "Please Help Me I'm Falling"
"Girl Girl Girl" 
QIK-1565 Nov. 1966 Normie Rowe "Ooh La La"
"Ain't Nobody Home"
QIK-1605 Dec. 1966 Normie Rowe "It's Not Easy"
"Mary Mary"
QK-1531 Nov. 1966 Peter Doyle "Tweedlee Dee"
"Mr Goodtime"
QK-1556 Jan. 1967 Tony Worsley "No Worries"
"Humpy Dumpy"
QK-1557 1967 The Atlantics "I Put A Spell On You"
"By the Glow of a Candle"
QK-1567 1967 Marcie Jones "That's the Way It Is"
"Big Lovers Come in Small Packages"
QK-1589 1967 The Purple Hearts "You Can't Sit Down"
"Tiger in Your Tank"
QK-1590 1967 Ricky and Tammy "We Don't Do That Anymore"
QK-1633 1967 Russ Kruger "Look At My Baby"
"My Little Girl"
QK-1691 1967 The Atlantics "You Tell Me Why"
"Come On"
QK-1692 1967 Bill & Boyd "Two By Two"
"Symphony For Susan"
QK-1717 1967 The Running Jumping Standing Still "Diddy Wah Diddy"
"My Girl"
QK-1718 1967 Marcie Jones "You Can't Bypass Love"
"He's Gonna Be Fine Fine Fine"
QIK-1731 Apr. 1967 Normie Rowe "Going Home"
"I Don't Care"
QK-1733 1967 Mouse "(Wear A) Yellow Raincoat"
"Pink Fairy Floss"
QK-1736 1967 The Purple Hearts "Chicago"
"Bring It on Home"
QK-1772 1967 Julian Jones & The Breed "Regrets"
"No Matter What You Do"
QK-1817 1967 Normie Rowe "I Live in the Sunshine"
"Far Beyond the Call of Duty"
QK-1820 June 1967 Normie Rowe "But I Know"
"Sunshine Secret"
QK-1839 1967 Bill and Boyd "If I Were a Rich Man"
"Little Miss Sorrow, Child of Tomorrow"
QK-1849 1967 Mike Furber "It’s Too Late"
"I’m So Glad"
QK-1858 1967 The Escorts "The House on Soul Hill"
"Sound of Your Voice"
QK-1859 1967 Ross D. Wylie with the Escorts "Short Skirts"
"Paper Bunnies"
QIK-1872 1967 The Playboys "Black Sheep RIP"
QK-1819 1967 The Running Jumping Standing Still "She's Good To Me"
"Little Girl"
QK-2022 1967 Ross D. Wylie "A Bit of Love"
"Last Day in Town"
QK-2008 Oct. 1967 Normie Rowe "Turn Down Day"
"Stop to Think it Over"
FK-1986 1967 Bill & Boyd "Les Marionettes"
"She Chased Me"
QK-1998 1967 The Escorts "On a Day Like Today"
"Sitting By a Tree"
QK-2012 1967 Mike Furber "Bring Your Love Back Home"
"If You Need Me"
QK-2014 Oct. 1967 Tony Worsley "Reaching Out"
"Do You Mind"
QK-2225 Mar. 1968 Rev. Black & The Rockin' Vicars "Down to the Last 500" (Vanda-Young)
"Sugar Train"
Produced by Pat Aulton
#30 Brisbane, 4 weeks
QK-2238 May 1968 Normie Rowe "Penelope" (Brian Peacock)
"Lucinda" (Brian Peacock)
QK-1728 1968 Tony Williams "If You Lose Her"
"It's Alright Now"
QK-2381 1968 Jonne Sands "It's Your Life"
"I'll Never Dance Again"
QK-2479 1968 Rev. Black & The Rockin' Vicars "Such A Lovely Day"
"Sorrowful Stoney"
Produced by Ron Dalton
QK-2458 1968 Jonne Sands "Mothers and Fathers"
"Isn't It"
QK-2493 Aug. 1968 Normie Rowe "Born to Be By Your Side""
"Break Out"
QK-2514 1968 Johnny Mac & The Zodiacs "Mister Sticker Licker"
"Just Step Back"
QK-2596 Oct. 1968 Normie Rowe "Walking on New Grass"
"Open Up the Skies"
QK-2577 1968 Jonne Sands "Change of Mind"
"Gingerbread Man"
QK-2693 1968 Geraldine Fitzgerald "Something to Think About"
"Let's Go"
QK-2752  1969 Rev. Black and the Rockin' Vicars "Walking and Talking"
"How Does It Feel?"
 Produced by Pat Aulton
QK-2819 1969  Normie Rowe "Just to Satisfy You"
"Drinkin Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee"
QK-2880  1969  Jonne Sands  "Let the Sunshine In"
"Wish It Were You"
QK-2890  June 1969 Normie Rowe "You Got Style"
"Don't Say Nothing Bad (About My Baby)"
QK-2982 1969 Coloured Rain "Angie"
"What More Do You Want"
QK-2983 1969 Jonne Sands "Yeah I'm Hip"
"I've Just Seen a Face"
QK-3115 1969 Inside Looking Out "Long Live Sivananda"
"On Whom Her Favour Falls"
QK-3118 1969 Wickedy Wak "Billie's Bikie Boys"
Chitty Chitty Bang Band
Produced by Ian Meldrum
QK-3183 1970 Jonne Sands "Oh Girl"
"Confessions of a Lonely Man"
QK-4085  1971  Normie Rowe & the Playboys "Que Sera Sera"
"Let Me Tell You"
QK-4412 1971 Jelly Roll Big Band "I've Been Away Too Long"
"Son Of a Preacher Man"


QX-10990 1965 Tony Worsley & The Blue Jays Sure Know A Lot About Love
QX-11037 1965 The Playboys Exodus
QX-11074 1965 The Blue Jays Pathfinder and Jay Walker
QX-11059 1965 Tony Worsley & The Blue Jays If I
QX-11060 1965 Peter Doyle Stupidity & Speechless
QX-11056 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys It Ain't Necessarily Rowe
QX-11061 1965 The Playboys Desperado
QX-11068 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys Normie Rowe Sings "I"
QX-11092 1966 Tony Worsley Velvet Waters
QX-11110 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys Que Sera Sera
QX-11131 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys Shakin' All Over
QX-11132 1966 Tony Worsley Missing You
QX-11138 1966 Normie Rowe & The Playboys Tell Him I'm Not Home
QX-11139 1966 Normie Rowe & The Playboys Call On Me
QX-11151 1966 Peter Doyle The Great Pretender
QX-11158 1965 Ricky & Tammy Starring Ricky and Tammy
QX-11164 1966 Tony Worsley Something's Got a Hold On Me
QX-11173 1966 The Purple Hearts The Sound of the Purple Hearts
QX-11182 1966 Normie Rowe and the Playboys Pride and Joy
QX-11187 1966 Normie Rowe and the Playboys The Stones I Throw
QX-11197 1966 Tony Worsley Raining In My Heart
QX-11143 1966 Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys Just a Poor Boy
QX-11202 1967 Russ Kruger with The Atlantics Look At My Baby
QX-11234 1967 John Rowles (as "Ja-Ar") Please Help Me I'm Falling
QIX-11250 1967 Normie Rowe Ooh La La! It's Not Easy
QX-11265 1966 Pat Aulton Mob / The Blue Jays March of the Mods
QIX-11277 1967 Normie Rowe Going Home
QX-11295 1967 Normie Rowe Normie's New Four
QX-11325 1967 Bill and Boyd If I Were A Rich Man
QX-11406 1967 Normie Rowe Turn Down Day
QX-11488 1968 Normie Rowe Penelope
QX-11555 1968 Jonne Sands Mothers and Fathers
SUN 3 1968 Sylvia Moore Jungle Magic


QL-31646 1965 Tony Worsley & The Blue Jays Tony Worsley and the Fabulous Blue Jays
QL-31734 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys It Ain't Necessarily So But It Is...Normie Rowe
QL-31722 1965 Various Artists The Bowl Show
QL-31759 1965 The Playboys The "Sound Award" Album
QL-31802 1965 Normie Rowe & The Playboys Normie Rowe a Go Go
QL-31863 1965 Tony Worsley Velvet Waters and Other Great Songs From Tony Worsley
unknown 1966 Various Artists Sunshine All-Star Spectacular
QL-31760 1966 Tony Worsley
Ray Brown & The Whispers
Normie Rowe & The Playboys
Peter Doyle
Split: The Big Four
QL-31863 1966 Peter Doyle Peter's 1st Album
QL-31871 1966 Normie Rowe & The Playboys A Wonderful Feeling
QL-32046 1966 Tony Worsley My Time Of Day
QL-32198 1967 Normie Rowe & The Playboys Normie's Hit Happenings
SQL-932604 1967 Bill & Boyd Interfusion: Talent Plus

References / Links

Hank B. Facer
Downunder label discography: Discography#26 (Museum of Indigenous Recording Labels, Sydney, June 1982)

Bill Casey
Spin Dried: A complete and annotated discography of Australia's Spin record label 1966-1974 (Moonight Publications, 2007)

Ian McFarlane
Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (Allen & Unwin, 1999)

Noel McGrath
Australian Encyclopedia of Rock (Outback Press, 1978)

Terry Stacey
Rev Black & The Rockin' Vicars