SUNSHINE (Las Vegas, NV / Los Angeles, CA)
Makes My Day 1977 (Obregon/Album World AW 14017) [the last 2 tracks on side 2 are missing from most but not all copies]
The Sunshine Makes My Day album on Obregon/Album World is probably the best LP on this infamous tax scam label, along with Ilian. Recently I was able to dig up some info on the sources for the music, which was released in 1977 under the fictious Sunshine band name.In actuality, half of the tracks come from two 45s released c1974 by a Las Vegas band called Skurow, who were under contract with London Records. The track titles and songwriting credits given on the Album World LP are correct, but the band name Skurow isnowhere mentioned. The four tracks range from good to excellent, and remind me of Felt and Homer in places. The 45 versions are identical to what's on the tax scam LP.
The other half of the Sunshine LP has songs credited to P Kachaturian -- this is probably Philip Kachaturian, who wrote 7 songs for the original Gone In 60 Seconds movie soundtrack. You can hear his soundtrack songs on the net -- good stuff, not quite in the Sunshine LP style. There was never an official release of these soundtrack tunes, but curiously there exists an Album World tax-scam LP credited to Viva (see Acid Archives book) which seems to feature these very Kachaturian movie tunes. What's on side 2 of the Sunshine LP may simply be further outtakes or demos from this LA-based songwriter. In any event, there is a definite link between the Sunshine and Viva albums, beyond the label.
But that's not all. Some of the Skurow tracks on side 1 of Sunshine are part-credited to "G Kato". This is Gary Kato, who was in hit band the Merry-Go-Round with Emitt Rhodes, and later formed a band with ex-members of the Knack -- the '60s Knack from LA, not the "Sharona" dudes. Kato also performs on Rhodes' acclaimed American Dream album. After this, Gary Kato turned up in Pinkiny Canady, who had a very obscure LP release on UNI. And later still, Gary Kato became a member of the Skurow band in Las Vegas, named after band leader Ronnie Skurow. What's intriguing here is that there is also a link between Phil Kachaturian and Gary Kato, since one track on Sunshine is co-written by "G Kato-P Kachaturian". So while the tracks on the Sunshine album seemed to have been pulled from two (or more) completely different sources, there may still be some sort of connection between these sources.
I've been in contact with Ronnie Skurow, but apart from expressing surprise at the Sunshine album's existence, and recognizing the four songs on side 1 as his old 45 recordings, he had no additional info concerning Kato or Kachaturian. Someone else may want to take this further, not least since the music in question is quite good!
As a final twist, there are two different pressings of the Sunshine album, one of which contains only 3 songs on side 2, even if 5 songs are listed in the credits. It was believed that all copies were like that (not unusual with tax scams) but recently a Sunshine copy popped up that included the two missing songs on side 2 -- a loungey version of "When A Man Loves A Woman" and an odd latin rock number titled "Space Flying", both of which sound completely unlike the rest of the album. Thanks to James B for excavating and forwarding these two long lost numbers.
The dead wax markings for the copy I have without the last 2 songs reads as follows: ' 'IRDA/AW 14017-2 (MINUS LAST 2 CUTS-O.K.)'As mentioned above, a good story can probably be pieced together from the Skurow-Kato-Kachaturian connection. Hopefully someone will be able to find out more.