Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Dream a Little Dream of Me

First recorded by Ozzie Nelson & His Orchestra (1931).
Also recorded by Wayne King & His Orchestra (1931), Kate Smith (1931).
Hit versions by Frankie Laine (US #18 1950), Jack Owens (US #14 1950), “Mama” Cass Elliot with the Mamas and the Papas (US #12/MOR #2/CAN #7/UK #11/AUS #1 1968).

From the wiki: “‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’, written by Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt and lyrics by Gus Kahn, was first recorded in February 1931 by Ozzie Nelson & His Orchestra (with the vocal by Nelson) and also by Wayne King and His Orchestra (with vocal by Ernie Birchill). ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’ was also an early signature tune of Kate Smith (‘God Bless America’).

“Then, in the summer of 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 #18 and #14.

“‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’ was recorded for The Mamas & The Papas April 1968 album release The Papas & The Mamas. By the time of the album’s release, there were strong indications that The Mamas & The Papas were set to disband. 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. Having an opportunity to promote the group’s best-known member as a soloist, Dunhill Records gave a June 1968 single release to the recording with the credit reading – to John Phillips’ displeasure – ‘Mama Cass with the Mamas & the Papas’; in its UK release the artist credit simply read ‘Mama Cass’.

“A slightly different version of ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’ was recorded for Elliot’s solo debut album, Dream a Little Dream, also released in 1968 after the breakup of The Mamas & The Papas. The album was recorded in no more than ten days at Wally Heider’s studio in Los Angeles. Instead of spending countless hours doing retakes as she had done with The Mamas & The Papas, Elliot recorded almost every song live in one ‘take’. In post-production, Elliot’s re-recording was introduced at the beginning of the album with the sound of rain and a thunderstorm and then with the static of someone changing a radio station.”

Wayne King & His Orchestra, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (1931):

Kate Smith, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” live TV performance c. 1950:

Frankie Laine, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (1950):

Jack Owens, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (1950):

Mama Cass with the Mamas & The Papas, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (1968):

“Mama” Cass Elliot, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” solo (1968):

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