The Sunshine State

Do you remember the song, “Life is great in the sunshine state”?

Jackie Ellison and Clyde Collins, 11 July 1967. Image number 193417. Jackie Ellison and Clyde Collins, 11 July 1967. Image no. 193417.

The Sunshine State by prolific Queensland composer Clyde Collins was written for the centenary of Queensland in 1959. It is still performed regularly by bands and choirs, especially on Queensland Day, 6 June. The State Library owns the Clyde Collins Papers, a collection of his musical compositions, arrangements and writings.

The Sunshine State by Clyde Collins, 1958. Image no. 428844. The Sunshine State by Clyde Collins, 1958. Image no. 428844.

Songwriter, harmonicist and clarinettist Horrie Dargie (1917-1999) recorded the song in 1959 with the famous Horrie Dargie Quintet. The quintet’s farewell concert in Sydney Town Hall before their tour of England (1952) became Australia’s first Gold Record, selling 75,000 copies.

 The Sunshine State by Clyde Collins, recorded by the Horrie Dargie Quintet – Open the score

Laurel Dingle

Senior Librarian – Arts and Humanities