Its grandiose musical arrangement was reminiscent of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, and the melodramatic vocalists could easily be mistaken for The Righteous Brothers. Still, The Walker Brothers’ 1966 hit “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” ranks as one of the most indelible hits from one of the greatest years for rock, ever.
And a pair of New Jerseyans wrote it.
Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe, best known as the songwriting and production team for the Four Seasons (of which Gaudio was also a member, singing and playing keyboards), co-wrote the song, and Gaudio has in fact said that they had the Righteous Brothers in mind when they did so. Still, the first person to record it was Four Seasons lead vocalist Frankie Valli, who released it as a solo project. After Valli’s single went nowhere, though, the Walker Brothers — a Los Angeles trio, who weren’t really brothers — tried their hand at it with a different production team, and their version rose to No. 1 in England, and No. 13 in the United States.
Gaudio, who grew up in Bergenfield (Crewe grew up in Belleville), included both the Walker Brothers’ version and Cher’s 1995 cover on his two-CD anthology, “Audio With a G: Sounds of a Jersey Boy — The Music of Bob Gaudio,” which was released this summer.
Gaudio has called this song his favorite among all the songs he has written.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.