60s Music

Sunny Gale – The Forgotten Legend

Sunny Gale

 

Introduction to Sunny Gale

Sunny Gale (born Selma Sega on February 20, 1927 in Clayton, New Jersey) is a former traditional pop singer who was popular in the 50s music scene. Her first record was “Wheel Of Fortune,” released on a small label Derby. It sold very well that it became her first Top 20 hit in 1952; it remains her best-known single. She then moved on to a major label, RCA Records, and released other singles such as “I Laughed At Love,” “Teardrops On My Pillow,” (her biggest hit at #12) “A Stolen Waltz,” “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight,” “Smile”, and “Let Me Go, Lover” – all were Top 40 hit singles. Gale’s last charting single was 1956’s “Rock and Roll Wedding.” Gale had also recorded for another major label Decca, and for smaller imprints Warwick and Blaine.

 

Sunny Gale – the forgotten legend

Sunny Gale was born on Selma Sega on February 20, 1927 in Clayton, Jersey. Sega later spent her formative years in Philadelphia where most of the future singers in the fifties and early sixties originated. Gale decided to try her luck in the music business in 1951, but she was a having a hard time to qualify for auditions and try-outs. However, she later had her chance to cut a session for Derby Records, an independent label in New York specializing on rhythm and blues recordings. Later that year, Gale issued her debut record for Derby, “Wheel of Fortune” back with “You Showed Me The Way.”

 

 

“Wheel of Fortune”

Gale’s debut single “Wheel of Fortune” started to roll on the chart after a few weeks of its release. It also sold over fifty thousand copies which was already big achievement for an independent record. Several artists issued cover versions of the song after that Gale’s, including The Four Flames, The Cardinals and Kay Starr whose version reached the pop chart.

 

 

 

 

Gale on RCA

Gale returned shortly after her triumph as an independent artist, signing to the big label, RCA Records. The following year, she released her debut single on RCA “I Laughed at Love.” The single peaked at #14 on the national pop charts. Not long thereafter, the second single was released “Teardrops on my Pillow” which was Gale’s biggest hit, reaching #12 on the pop chart. Further pop hits followed from 1953 to 1955 such as “A Stolen Waltz” (#18, 1953), “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodbye” (#27, 1953), “Smile” (#19, 1954), and “Let Me Go Lover (#17, 1955). In 1956, she had her last charted single with “Rock and Roll Wedding” which peaked modestly at #66.

 

Gale’s later years

After Gale’s time on RCA, she continued releasing singles for another two major labels Decca and Warwirck. However, all of these failed to repeat the success of her previous recordings.

In recent years, a couple of compilation CDs were released which features the timeless songs of Sunny Gale: The Story of Sunny Gale (1998, Marginal) and Sunny Gale Sings (2000).

Contrary to reports that she had passed away a long time ago, Sunny Gale is still alive. She reportedly resides at a retirement home in Florida.

 

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