I first heard this song a number of years ago on Vin Scelsa’s Idiot’s Delight Show and found it incredibly moving. The song, was written by Van Dyke Parks for a collaboration album (of the same name) that he did with Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys in 1995.
Van Dyke and Brian had worked together on The Beach Boys’ “Smile!” album 30 years before and reunited to do this. All the tracks on the album were written by Van Dyke. As nice as this song is the album failed to chart after release. I think it’s a lost classic.
I don’t usually post more than one version of a tune but in this case I’m making an exception. The first version is Van Dyke and Brian Wilson duet from the original 1995 OCA album. The second is a clip from the documentary film ” “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” by Don Was. (That’s also the title of a Brian Wilson solo album and the name of a Beach Boys song on Pet Sounds. I’ve added that too…)
The title refers to those beautiful, miniature works of art that are found on the sides of orange crates. They are meant to evoke a nostalgic look back at California and in this case Sonoma.