The Golden World Story
The Sunliners

photograph courtesy Ralph Terrana

Perhaps trying to recapture the glory of the Reflections, another new pop group made their debut at Golden World towards the end of '65.

Known as the Sunliners, their drummer, Pete Rivera had a hand in the production of their one off release, "The swingin' kind" c/w "All alone".

Pete recalls, "When we got the invite to go to Golden World we got very excited. I remember going there with my drums and working with Sonny Sanders. We were putting a couple of songs together, and I remember meeting Ed Wingate for the first time and thinking "What a far out dude he was....I still see his fingernails in my mind....long, long, and funky. Ed was a nice man. "

Ralph Terrana was still with the Sunliners when he first met Ed. "We were without a contract and were going to do some recording to see if we could get a deal.  

"Before he got hot with Shades of Blue, John Rhys Eddins approached us with a song he had written, and suggested we go along to Golden World to record it, as it was the best studio in town.

"During the session, a storm knocked power out for a while, so, we decided to send out for food while we waited for the power to come back on. The food arrived, and we were sitting around the control room eating it when this huge guy came walking in. 

"John greeted him as Uncle Ed, and introduced us. 

"We invited him to eat with us. He was quite a sight, his suit  didn't seem to fit very well and the pants cuffs were almost dragging on the floor. For some reason I kind of felt sorry for him, he was such a big, friendly guy. 

"Once we began talking  however it soon became apparent that this was Ed Wingate, the owner of Golden World.

"During the next week or two he heard what was coming out of the studio and approached us about signing with Golden World. He had us meet with JoAnne
Bratton who was handling the business for the studio.

"She was knock down gorgeous.

"Anyway, we signed with the company, and recorded 'Heart of the City'. It was a great song but it was never released due to Ed's superstitions. 

"Unfortunately, someone had just had a big 45 with a song which contained the word 'city' in the title and that was enough for ours to be shelved. I often think about that song and would love to hear it again.

"Thinking back, Ed was a real character. I always remember Al Kent passing on the secret of knowing if Ed was around or not.  If you weren't sure, you could go to the front door and look at the entrance throw rug. Ed kind of shuffled when he walked, so if the rug was messed up, he was in the studio.  

"My brother Russ likes to recall one of Ed's famous moments.

"One day at Golden World, Wingate came in. He had just won a bundle at the horse races (in fact, I think he owned race horses). He went into the studio and I think he stopped a recording session and told everyone to leave the floor. So everyone went into the control room and watched in amazement as he began to throw tons of cash into the air." 

I have heard from a number of sources that Wingate was a very generous man, especially when the hits were flowing. 

Ralph summed him up.

"We had a long and great friendship with Uncle Ed. He absolutely loved my brother and me and we loved him. He was quite a guy."



Notes by David Meikle

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