California Nights

Album: California Nights (1966)
Charted: 16
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  • This was written by Marvin Hamlisch and Howard Liebling. Hamlisch is a famous film composer, and he scored his first Pop hit with an earlier song he wrote with Liebling that was recorded by Gore called "Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows," which appeared in the movie Ski Party.
  • Lesley Gore sang this on the popular Batman show in 1967, where she played the role of Pussycat, who was Catwoman's evil helper. Her uncle, Howie Horowitz, was the show's producer. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Johnny - Chicago, IL

Comments: 13

  • Mavis from Upper MidwestMy first boyfriend was moving to the West Coast when this song was popular, so thought of him with some cute beach babe whenever I heard it. I was 16, but even then I knew this was one heck of a sexy song.
  • Marinegrunt66 from Inwas in Vietnam when this came out
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 8, 1967, Lesley Gore performed "California Nights" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #25 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, three weeks earlier it had peaked at #16 {for 2 weeks} and it spent sixteen weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1963 and 1967 the Brooklyn, NY native had nineteen records on the Top 100 chart; four made the Top 10 with one reaching #1*, "It's My Party", for two weeks on May 26th, 1963, and it was also her debut record on the Top 100...
    Besides "It's My Party", her three other Top 10 records were "Judy's Turn To Cry" {#5 in 1963}, "She's A Fool" {#3 in 1963}, and "You Don't Own Me" {#2 in 1964}...
    Ms. Gore, born Lesley Sue Goldstein, passed away at the age of 68 on February 16th, 2015...
    May she R.I.P.
    * She just missed having a second #1 record when "You Don't Own Me" peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} in 1964, but she was the first victim of the British invasion, for the three weeks that "You Don't Own Me" was at #2, the #1 record for those three weeks was "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles, their first of twenty #1 records.
  • Sam from Sherman OaksWhat's even more ironic about this track, is despite the fact that it glorifies the gold star state in a really big way, it was actually recorded in New York. with Bob Crewe producing and Hutch Davie arranging. Although Lesley did move to LA after this became a hit, this was unfortunately her last big hit. her subsequent singles released after this one scrapped the bottom of the barrel on the Hot 100. she had later fallen into obscurity shortly afterwards, although her career was revived when stuff found a home on Oldies Radio in the 80's and she toured the Oldies Circuit, along with several other artists of her era.
  • K.c. from NhI definitely remember her showing up on "Batman" singing that! I believe she wore a pink cat outfit. I obsessed over finding a copy of the song as an adult (I was too young to buy it myself back then; I was 2, for goodness' sake), and finally found it on 45. I now have an MP3 of it as well. I love singing along with it.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 19th 1967, Lesley Gore guest starred on the 'That Darn Catwoman' episode of the ABC-TV series 'Batman'...
    She played the character of Pussycat, the sidekick of Catwoman...
    During the show she performed "California Nights"; and sixteen days later it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on March 12th it peaked at #16 (for 2 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1963 and 1967 she had nineteen records make the Top 100; with four reaching the Top 10 and one peaking at #1 ("It's My Party" for two weeks, and it was also her debut record on the Top 100)...
    Ms. Gore, born Lesley Sue Goldstein, will celebrate her 68th birthday in four months on May 2nd (2014).
  • Thelastdj from San Diego, CaI was a little too young to remember this from when it came out. But in the early 80s, I was an all night DJ for an oldies station that pretty much let us nighttime people play what we liked. "California Nights" was an instant favorite...beautiful in its simplicity, and also it seemed like the female counterpoint of the whole macho Beach Boys culture. Hearing this one today brings back a flood of memories from my time in radio...and of the person I was kissing as this song played.
  • Martin from Fresno, CaI remember her singing it on "Batman". I heard her earlier songs as oldies later on but this was the first song of hers that I remember.
  • Alan from White Lake, MiJust a great songwriter with her voice singing great lyrics. Her best in my opinion.
  • David from St.louis, MoIf I decided to end my life,I will do so by driving 100mph on the depts of the Grand Canyon listening to CALIFORNIA NIGHTS. It will be the
    last song I hear and hopefully I will hear it
    for eternally. DALP planet VEnious
  • Ted from Phoenix, AzThe funny thing about this song is that it wasn't big in Los Angeles where I was living as a 3-year-old at the time. If you look at the charts at for KFWB, KHJ, and KRLA, the three hot top-40 stations in the Los Angeles area at the time, the song barely made KFWB's and KRLA's top 40 and didn't chart on KHJ's top 30 at all.
  • Reed from New Ulm, MnFor sure, one of my favorite songs by Lesley.
  • Mark from St. Paul, MnThis is one of Lesley's favorite songs of mine. I was in 9th grade and I was falling head over heeels for the first time in my life in the spring of the year. I imagined my girlfriend singing this to me as madly in love with me as I was for her. I could only imagine what it would be like, walking along the beach with my girlfriend in California rather than along the snowy sidewalks in Minnesota! Great song! I still play it on my CD player in the car and sing along 40 years afterwards and wipe a tear or two from my eyes.
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