PUT A LITTLE SUNBEAM IN YOUR LIFE

Also known as PUT A CHRYSLER SUNBEAM IN YOUR LIFE and PUT A LITTLE SUNSHINE IN YOUR LIFE

BACKGROUND

Put A Little Sunbeam In Your Life is a song by Petula Clark that was issued by CBS Records as a single ( S CBS 6245) on the 14 April 1978 and included on her 1978 album Destiny released by CBS (CBS 82608). The song was recorded in November 1977 at PYE Studios, London. The album featured five songs written / co-written by Petula. 

Put A Little Sunbeam In Your Life Destiny released by CBS in 1978

The original version, co-written by Clark, Put A Chrysler Sunbeam In Your Life, launched the new car called the CHRYSLER SUNBEAM.

The Chrysler team needed a superstar to launch their product, so they approached Petula and her husband Claude. It was reported that Petula initially said "No" when she was first asked to appear in the Chrysler Sunbeam commercial.

Pet Hits The Right Note

WRITING SUNBEAM

South African composer Gus Galbraith was hired in January 1977 to start writing the music.

In the beginning, the car didn't have a name and the art director Richard Truman had to write lyrics for the song. 

The working title was PUT A CHRYSLER LA-LA IN YOUR LIFE. Throughout the development of writing the song, the lyrics continued to change until the creative team were given a name for the car: THE CHRYSLER SUNBEAM.

Put A Chrysler Sunbeam In Your Life was written by Gus Galbraith (music) and the lyrics were written by Richard Truman, David Climpson, Richard Krupp and Petula Clark.

By the time the advert was launched, the lyrics had been rewritten 17 times! For Put A Chrysler Sunbeam In Your Life Petula had made changes to two of the words and a change in the rhythm.

Chrysler Sunbeam Lyric

Creative and co-writer Richard Truman recalls: "Petula's infectious exuberance swept over all of us, Petula is indeed one of a kind, a creative force that is missing today in an era of global music factories. In the end, it is to her credit that the song was ever created - Petula added everything to every step in the process."

RECORDING SUNBEAM

Petula recorded her vocal to Put A Chrysler Sunbeam In Your Life at PYE Studios (Studio 2), London. The track was used in the TV and radio commercials and issued as a 7" flexi disc issued in an album sleeve to dealerships.

Petula recording the Chrysler Sunbeam song

LP cover containing 7" flexi disc and campaign materials 7" flexi disc

THE CAMPAIGN

The Sunbeam Chrysler campaign was launched on 16 October 1977 as 60 second and 30 second commercials in cinemas, on TV and radio.

Chrysler Sunbeam launch

National televison and Petula sings the Sunbeam song

Petula on the launch

The Sunbeam Show Stopper

There's never been a show like it!

CINEMA & TV ADVERT

 

PRESS / CAMPAIGN ADVERTS

There's no business like Sunbeam business!

Press book

Press ad

Press ad

RADIO ADVERTS

 

Radio campaign

Radio Campaign

SUNBEAM AND DESTINY

Petula extended the song into a full length single for commercial release on the CBS label entitled Put A Little Sunbeam In Your Life that was featured on her 1978 album Destiny

RADIO BAN

Following the release of the full length single on the CBS label on 14 April 1978 the BBC and the ITC refused to play the single saying that "the record could be taken as plug for the Chrysler cars, whose "Sunbeam" advertising jingle is also sung by Petula". A spokesperson for the BBC commented: "With any song based on a commercial, we always advise that certain keywords are changed".

Petula Ban Over Sunbeam In Her Song from the Scottish Daily Record

A new version was recorded by Petula and quickly issued as a single on 21 April 1978 after Petula went back to the recording studio to replace the offending Sunbeam with Sunshine. On radio, Petula performed Put A Little Sunshine In Your Life as part of a mini-concert-set for the BBC's International Festival Of Light Music recorded at The Royal Festival Hall.

Put A Little Sunshine In Your Life

Petula's album Destiny featured the original Sunbeam version. The album and many of its songs, including Put A Little Sunbeam In Your Life was performed by Petula on her 1979 BBC TV special Petula ... and Songs Of Love broadcast by the BBC on 10 February 1979. In 2007, Zone Records issued a previously unreleased version of Put A Little Sunbeam In Your Life on the album Don't Cry For Me Argentina - The CBS Years Volume Two featuring an alternate vocal and arrangement.

 

CD Releases (2):

Songbird released in the UK on Pickwick Music in 1992 (PWKM 4094) Don't Cry For Me Argentina - The CBS Years Volume Two released in the UK on Zone Records in 2007 (ZONE 1016)

amazon.co.uk | amazon.com

For further information on creating the Chrysler TV advert, creative and co-writer Richard Truman is the author of Mods, Minis, and Madmen - the entire last half of his book is dedicated to Petula, her music and the commercial director Richard Lester. Richard's book is available to order from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com


© 2016 www.petulaclark.co.uk

Researched, compiled and created by Steven Warner & Tim Hutton
Selected graphics by Ray Leaning @ Muse Fine Art & Design 

Images / videos / ephemera from the Petula Clark Archive - Warner / Hutton Collection. Multimedia files used on this website are presented for entertainment and study purposes only and are used within the guidelines of the fair use law. Copyrights held by the various / respective owners who may request their withdrawal by e-mail

 

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