Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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When You Wish Upon a Star

First performed by Cliff Edwards (1940).
Hit versions by Cliff Edwards (US #1 1940), Glenn Miller & His Orchestra (US #1 1940), Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (US #4 1940), Dion & the Belmonts (US #30 1960), Linda Ronstadt (MOR #32 1986).
Also recorded by Mary J. Blige, Barbra Streisand & Chris Botti (2013).

From the wiki: “‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ was written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for Walt Disney’s 1940 animated adaptation of Pinocchio. The song won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Original Song, and was also the first Disney song to win an Oscar. It has since become the representative song of The Walt Disney Company (e.g., the ships of the Disney Cruise Line use the first seven notes of the song’s melody as their horn signals).

“The original version was sung by Cliff Edwards (‘Singin’ in the Rain‘) in the character of Jiminy Cricket, and is heard over the opening credits and in the final scene of Pinocchio. Edwards’ original recording for ‘Pinocchio’ won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Song. The American Film Institute ranked ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ seventh in their 100 Greatest Songs in Film History, the highest-ranked Disney animated film song.

“Edwards recorded another version in 1940 for an American Decca Records ‘cover version’ of the score of Pinocchio, conducted by Victor Young and featuring soprano Julietta Novis and The King’s Men. This version, plus cover recordings by the Glenn Miller and Guy Lombardo orchestra, went Top-5 on the Hit Parade. Other charting version of ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ include covers by Dion & the Belmonts (Brian Wilson admits that the melody of the Beach Boys hit song, ‘Surfer Girl’, is loosely based on the Dion & the Belmonts version of the song), and by Linda Ronstadt who, in 1986, recorded the classic song for her Platinum-certified album For Sentimental Reasons. Released as the album’s first single, it peaked at #32 in Billboard magazine at year’s end.

“Mary J. Blige recorded a jazzy version with Barbra Streisand and Chris Botti for her 2013 holiday album, A Mary Christmas. Their pairing marked the first time Streisand allowed a duet to be released first on the other artist’s project.”

Cliff Edwards, “When You Wish Upon a Star” (1940):

Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, “When You Wish Upon a Star” (1940):

Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, “When You Wish Upon a Star” (1940):

Dion & the Belmonts, “When You Wish Upon a Star” (1960):

Linda Ronstadt, “When You Wish Upon a Star” (1986):

Mary J. Blige, Barbra Streisand & Chris Botti, “When You Wish Upon a Star” (2013):

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