Article by Lloyd Schwartz
The eponymous release features four classic songs recorded in just one day and most in single takes, and it sounds great. Whether you’re a Fitzgerald fan or not, this album should be in every jazz lover’s collection. Old standards make great lullabies in general; the lyrics are usually written at more innocent times, so you don’t have to worry about inappropriate content, and the melodic sophistication and subtle wordplay make it easy enough for regular people to play on the piano. Plus, little kids don’t understand irony yet, so earnest is the tone to go for.
Originally recorded in 1938, the song enjoyed its highest chart presence in 1968 when it was covered first by Mama Cass Elliot with The Mamas and the Papas, followed shortly afterwards by an English recording by Anita Harris. More than 40 other versions have been recorded, including the Mills Brothers, Sylvie Vartan, Henry Mancini, The Beautiful South, Anne Murray, Erasure, Michael Buble, and Italian vocal group Blue Penguin.
The song was also sung by Zooey Deschanel at fashion designer Erin Fetherston’s 2007 show, and it can be heard during the final scene and closing credits of 2010 Jude Law movie Repo Men. It was used as a theme for the short-lived TV show Ray Stevens Show in June 1970, and was performed live by Pete Doherty and Carl Barat on their 2013 album Swings Both Ways. The music for “Dream a Little Dream of Me” was composed by Fabian Andre and Wilber Schwandt, while the lyrics were written by Gus Kahn. ella fitzgerald dream a little dream of me