Dream a Little Dream of Me

dreamalittledream“Dream a Little Dream of Me” is a song, from 1931, 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, more than 60 other versions have been recorded, but some of the highest chart ratings were in 1968 by Mama Cass Elliot with The Mamas & the Papas.

“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.” (source Wikipedia)

The Window Cleaner

FORMBYThe Window Cleaner” (also known as “When I’m Cleaning Windows”) is a comedy song performed by Lancastrian comic, actor and ukulele player George Formby. It first appeared in the 1936 film Keep Your Seats Please. The song was credited as written by Fred Cliff, Harry Gifford and Formby.

The song was so successful that George Formby recorded another version of the song entitled “The Window Cleaner (No. 2)”. This song uses similar orchestration to the original version and it is about further things which were seen on a window cleaning round.

George Formby, OBE (26 May 1904 – 6 March 1961), was a British actor, singer-songwriter and comedian. He sang light, comical songs, usually playing the ukulele or banjolele. He was a major star of stage and screen in the 1930s and ’40s, when Formby became the UK’s highest-paid entertainer. His songs such as When I’m Cleaning Windows were particularly popular during the Second World War (1939–45).

When he and his wife travelled throughout the war, creating improvised lyrics to songs to fit the situation, they delighted their audiences. It was estimated that they played before three million Allied servicemen and women.

His 1937 song, “With My Little Stick Of Blackpool Rock”, was banned by the BBC because of its suggestive lyrics. Formby’s cheerful, innocent demeanour and nasal, high-pitched Lancashire accent neutralised the shock value of the lyrics; a more aggressive comedian such as Max Miller would have delivered the same lyrics with a bawdy leer.

His best-known catchphrase was probably “It’s turned out nice again!”. In 1960, his last recorded song “Happy Go Lucky Me” / “Banjo Boy”, peaked at number 40 in the UK Singles Chart. Since his death in 1961, a remix version of When I’m Cleaning Windows by 2 In A Tent charted in the early 1990s. (source Wikipedia)

Over the Rainbow

749px-Judy_Garland_Over_the_Rainbow_2“Over the Rainbow” (often referred to as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”) is a classic Academy Award-winning ballad, with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg.

It was written for the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, and was sung by actress Judy Garland in her starring role as Dorothy Gale. Over time, it would become Garland’s signature song.

The song is number one on the “Songs of the Century” list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. The American Film Institute also ranked “Over the Rainbow” the greatest movie song of all time on the list of “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs.”

It was adopted (along with Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”) by American troops in Europe in World War II as a symbol of the United States. Garland herself performed the song for the troops as part of a 1943 command performance. (source Wikipedia)