Dream a Little Dream of Me

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"Dream a Little Dream of Me"
Song by Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra
Released1931
RecordedFebruary 16, 1931
Genre
LabelBrunswick
Composer(s)
Lyricist(s)Gus Kahn

"Dream a Little Dream of Me" is a 1931 song with music by Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt and lyrics by Gus Kahn. It was first recorded in February 1931 by Ozzie Nelson and also by Wayne King and His Orchestra, with vocal by Ernie Birchill. A popular standard, it has seen more than 60 other versions recorded, with one of the highest chart ratings by Mama Cass Elliot with the Mamas & the Papas in 1968.

Early recordings[edit]

"Dream a Little Dream of Me" was recorded by Ozzie Nelson and his Orchestra, with vocal by Nelson, on February 16, 1931, for Brunswick Records. Two days later, Wayne King and His Orchestra, with vocal by Ernie Birchill, recorded the song for Victor Records. "Dream a Little Dream of Me" was also an early signature tune of Kate Smith. In summer 1950, seven recordings of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" were in release, with the versions by Frankie Laine and Jack Owens reaching the US top 20 at respectively numbers 18 and 14: the other versions were by Cathy Mastice, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Jordan, Vaughn Monroe, Dinah Shore and a duet by Bing Crosby and Georgia Gibbs. Other traditional pop acts to record "Dream a Little Dream of Me" include Louis Armstrong, Barbara Carroll, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Joni James, and Dean Martin.

The song was again recorded in 1968 by Mama Cass Elliot with The Mamas & the Papas, and then by Anita Harris. More than 40 other versions followed, including by the Mills Brothers, Sylvie Vartan, Henry Mancini, The Beautiful South, Anne Murray, Erasure, Michael Bublé, and Italian vocal group Blue Penguin (see below: List of recorded versions).

Cass Elliot version[edit]

"Dream a Little Dream of Me"
The Mamas and the Papas - Dream a Little Dream of Me.jpg
Single by Mama Cass with the Mamas & the Papas
from the album The Papas & The Mamas
B-side"Midnight Voyage"
ReleasedJune 1968
Format7-inch single
GenrePop
Length3:14
LabelDunhill
Composer(s)Fabian Andre
Wilbur Schwandt
Lyricist(s)Gus Kahn
Producer(s)Lou Adler
The Mamas and the Papas singles chronology
"Safe in My Garden"
(1968)
"Dream a Little Dream of Me"
(1968)
"For the Love of Ivy"
(1968)
Audio sample

"Dream a Little Dream of Me" was recorded for the Mamas & the Papas April 1968 album release The Papas & The Mamas. The group had often sung the song for fun, having been familiarized with it by member Michelle Phillips, whose father had been friends with the song's co-writer, Fabian Andre, in Mexico City where Michelle Phillips' family had resided when she was a young girl. "Mama" Cass Elliot suggested to group leader John Phillips that the group record "Dream a Little Dream of Me". According to him she was unhappy while recording the song, objecting to its campiness. However, Elliot herself would later tell Melody Maker: "I tried to sing it like it was 1943 and somebody had just come in and said, 'Here's a new song.' I tried to sing it as if it were the first time."

In the album version, recorded with the Mamas and the Papas, a spoken introduction from an engineer is heard mentioning a drink, and then concluding with the words: "And now, to sing a lovely ballad, here is Mama Cass". Only the last part was heard on the single version of the song. Cass did her own whistling, which is heard before the song's fade.

By the time of the album's release, there were strong indications that the Mamas & the Papas were set to disband, a perception strengthened by the failure of the lead single "Safe in My Garden". Having an opportunity to promote the group's best-known member as a soloist, Dunhill Records gave a June 1968 single release to the "Dream a Little Dream of Me" track with the credit reading - to John Phillips' displeasure -[1] "Mama Cass with the Mamas & the Papas"; in its UK release the artist credit simply read "Mama Cass". Promoted in the US press and on billboards with a photograph of a discreetly but obviously nude Elliot lying in a bed of daisies,[2] "Dream a Little Dream of Me" peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 that August (its Cash Box peak was #10 and in Record World it reached #8). The Billboard Easy Listening chart ranked the single as high as #2.[3]

In the UK, "Dream a Little Dream of Me" reached #11 that September; the track also afforded Mama Cass a hit in Ireland (#13) and South Africa (#8). In Australia the Go-Set Top 40 chart ranked "Dream a Little Dream of Me" at #1 for the weeks of 4 & 11 September 1968.[4] "Dream a Little Dream" was released as a single in Europe in 1992 - credited to the Mamas and the Papas and featuring that group's #1 hit "Monday, Monday" as the B-side - to reach #5 in Germany and #22 in Switzerland. In Australia the song spent two weeks at #1,[5] and was the 16th biggest hit of 1968.[6]

A slightly different version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" was included on Elliot's solo debut album, Dream a Little Dream.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

Anita Harris version[edit]

The release of the Mama Cass single of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" prompted a cover by Anita Harris which was recorded at Olympic Studios in a session produced by Mike Margolis with Alan Tew as musical director. Released 26 July 1968, the Harris version debuted in the UK Top 50 dated 10 August 1968 at #46 ahead of the Cass version at #49 although the latter would vault into the Top 30 and then Top 20 over the next two weeks while the Harris version would never reach the Top 30. However Harris's version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" would maintain a lower chart presence throughout the ascendancy of the Cass version with Harris's single peaking at #33 the week after Cass's peak at #11.

Robbie Williams version[edit]

"Dream a Little Dream"
Robbie Williams - Dream a Little Dream.png
Single by Robbie Williams
from the album Swings Both Ways
Released13 December 2013 (2013-12-13)
Genre
Length3:33
LabelIsland
Composer(s)
Lyricist(s)Gus Kahn
Producer(s)Guy Chambers
Music video
Robbie Williams featuring Lily Allen on YouTube

English singer-songwriter Robbie Williams recorded "Dream a Little Dream of Me" (retitled "Dream a Little Dream") for his tenth studio and second swing album, Swings Both Ways (2013). While the album version is a duet with Lily Allen, she was omitted from the single version, which was released on 13 December 2013 as the album's second single.

Music video[edit]

The video features Williams singing the song whilst presenting a Christmas show in the style of The Dean Martin Show.

Track listings[edit]

  • Irish digital download[18]
  1. "Dream a Little Dream" – 3:10
  • German, Swiss and Austrian digital download[19]
  1. "Dream a Little Dream" (single version) – 3:11
  2. "You Got Old" – 3:43
  3. "Puttin' on the Ritz" (remix) – 2:18

Charts[edit]

Album version featuring Lily Allen
Chart (2013) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[20] 16
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[21] 34
Denmark (Tracklisten)[22] 18
France (SNEP)[23] 160
Germany (Official German Charts)[24] 88
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 67
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[26] 144

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Ireland[18] 13 December 2013 Digital download Island
Austria[19]
Germany[27]
Switzerland[28]

List of notable recorded versions[edit]

Year Performer Album Source
2001 Al Martino The Magic of Al Martino [29]
2004 Anne Murray I'll Be Seeing You [30]
2014 Barry Manilow My Dream Duets [31]
1995 Beautiful South French Kiss (Soundtrack)' [32]
1957 Bing Crosby Bing with a Beat [33]
1959 Dean Martin Sleep Warm [34]
2007 Diana Krall We All Love Ella [35]
1990 Dinah Shore Long Songs Sung [36]
1958 Doris Day Day by Night [37]
2011 Eddie Vedder Ukulele Songs [38]
1993 Ella Fitzgerald 75th Birthday Celebration [39]
1957 Ella Mae Morse Barrelhouse, Boogie, and the Blues [40]
2013 Emilia Mitiku I Belong to You [41]
1963 Frankie Laine I Believe [42]
1994 Gerry Mulligan Dream a Little Dream [43]
1969 Henry Mancini A Warm Shade of Ivory [44]
1968 Louis Armstrong What a Wonderful World [45]
2010 Michael Bublé Special Delivery [46]
1999 Nat King Cole Dream a Little Dream of Me [47]
1968 The Mamas & the Papas The Papas and the Mamas [48]
2002 Tony Bennett & k.d. lang A Wonderful World [49]
2008 Max Raabe und das Palast Orchester Heute nacht oder nie [50]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The New York Times, 14 July 1968, p.D22
  2. ^ a b Fiegel, Eddi. Dream a Little Dream of Me: the Life of "Mama" Cass Elliot (London: Sidgwick & Jackson. 2005. ISBN 0-283-07331-4) pp.256, 261.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 153.
  4. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts ~ 1968". Poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  5. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 11 September 1968". Poparchives.com.au. 1968-09-11. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  6. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - Top Records for the Year of 1968". Poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  7. ^ a b c d "Songs from the Year 1968". Tsort.info. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts - Search for "Mama Cass" or "Dream a Little Dream of Me"". IrishCharts.ie. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  10. ^ "Mama Cass - Dream a Little Dream of Me - hitparade.ch". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  11. ^ "Mama Cass: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  12. ^ "Mama Cass Elliot Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  13. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 147.
  14. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 8/31/68". tropicalglen.com. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  16. ^ "Top 100 1968 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  18. ^ a b "iTunes - Music - Dream a Little Dream - Single by Robbie Williams". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  19. ^ a b "iTunes - Musik – "Dream a Little Dream - Single" von Robbie Williams". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  20. ^ "Ultratop.be – Robbie Williams feat. Lily Allen – Dream a Little Dream" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – Robbie Williams feat. Lily Allen – Dream a Little Dream" (in French). Ultratip.
  22. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Robbie Williams feat. Lily Allen – Dream a Little Dream". Tracklisten.
  23. ^ "Lescharts.com – Robbie Williams feat. Lily Allen – Dream a Little Dream" (in French). Les classement single.
  24. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Robbie Williams – Dream a Little Dream". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  25. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Robbie Williams feat. Lily Allen – Dream a Little Dream". Swiss Singles Chart.
  26. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "CHART: CLUK Update 30.11.2013 (wk47)". Zobbel. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  27. ^ "iTunes - Musik – "Dream a Little Dream - Single" von Robbie Williams". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  28. ^ "iTunes - Musik – "Dream a Little Dream - Single" von Robbie Williams". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  29. ^ "Magic of Al Martino - Al Martino - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  30. ^ "I'll Be Seeing You - Anne Murray - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  31. ^ "My Dream Duets - Barry Manilow - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  32. ^ "French Kiss [Original Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  33. ^ "Bing with a Beat - Bing Crosby - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  34. ^ "Sleep Warm - Dean Martin - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  35. ^ "We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song - Various Artists - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  36. ^ "Love Songs Sung - Dinah Shore - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  37. ^ "Day by Night - Doris Day - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  38. ^ "Ukulele Songs - Eddie Vedder - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  39. ^ "75th Birthday Celebration - Ella Fitzgerald - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  40. ^ "Barrelhouse, Boogie, And the Blues - Ella Mae Morse - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  41. ^ "I Belong To You". 11 February 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2018 – via Amazon.
  42. ^ "I Believe". 6 November 2001. Retrieved 15 August 2018 – via Amazon.
  43. ^ "Dream a Little Dream - Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Gerry Mulligan - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  44. ^ "A Warm Shade of Ivory - Henry Mancini - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  45. ^ "What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  46. ^ "Special Delivery - Michael Bublé - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  47. ^ "Dream a Little Dream of Me - Nat King Cole - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  48. ^ "The Papas & the Mamas - The Mamas & the Papas - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  49. ^ "A Wonderful World - Tony Bennett, k.d. lang - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  50. ^ "Heute nacht oder nie - Max Raabe und das Palast Orchester". Retrieved 5 October 2018.

External links[edit]