The Rivieras were a frat rock/surf rock band from South Bend, Indiana that became famous during the early 1960s. The original members, who were all students at South Bend Central High School, consisted of Paul Dennert, Doug Gean, Otto Nuss, Joe Pennell (d. April 21, 2011), and lead singer Marty "Bo" Fortson (d. September 26, 2012), with some personnel changes along the way. The group disbanded in 1966, and since then, there have been several reunions over the years.
The Rivieras made their chart debut in 1964 with the song for which they are best known, "California Sun," a rock and rock remake of the 1961 hit by Joe Jones. This exuberant surf rock classic, which became a Top 5 hit, kicks off with an explosive drum intro and also features memorable guitar and organ riffs. "California Sun" was followed later that year by three minor hits: "Little Donna," "Let's Have A Party," and a cover of the Bobby Day 1958 classic, "Rockin' Robin."
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- California Sun 1964
(This song was previously a hit for Joe Jones (1961).)
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