• July 22, 2024

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Cover “Dream a Little Dream of Me”

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong recorded “Dream a Little Dream of Me” for the album Cheek to Cheek (1950). It’s a lovely recording with a light, airy quality and lovely lyrics. Unlike some of their other duet recordings, this one was made in just one day and mostly in single takes. Fitzgerald and Armstrong were having so much fun that they didn’t even feel like they were recording.

The song’s highest chart success came in 1968 when it was covered by Cass Elliot with the Mamas & the Papas and again the same year by Anita Harris. The Harris version would peak higher on the charts than Cass’s but it would ultimately fade out of the top 20. More than 40 other recordings followed, including the Mills Brothers, Sylvie Vartan, Henry Mancini, The Beautiful South, Anne Murray, Erasure, Michael BublĂ© and Italian vocal group Blue Penguin.

A couple of weeks ago, English singer Robbie Williams released a cover on his tenth studio and second swing album Swings Both Ways (2013). He and his band, featuring pianist Jason Steele, reworked the original music into a contemporary sound. The result is a sultry and intimate version that has more in common with jazz standards than with popular music. Williams has recorded the song before in different versions, but this one is definitely worth hearing. It’s the most recent of the many covers that have been released and also a great way to get an idea of what the song sounds like in its original form. ella fitzgerald dream a little dream of me

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