The song was officially recorded by the Mamas & the Papas and included on their final album but Dunhill Records decided to promote Mama Cass alone instead
Mama Cass Elliot releases her first solo single “Dream a Little Dream of Me” in 1968
Written in 1931 by Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt with lyrics by Gus Kahn, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” was first recorded in February 1931 by Ozzie Nelson. It became a timeless classic that was able to cross from the 1930’s era into today’s modern Pop music. Despite having been recorded for several acclaimed music names such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, and even Dean Martin, it was the 1968 Mama Cass version that made the song popular to new generations and made it timeless. By 1968, the Mamas & the Papas found themselves in a crossroad, despite the worldwide success they enjoyed through the second half of the 1960’s, the band was falling appart. Member Michelle Phillips had a personal connection to “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, due to her father being friends with the song’s co-writer, Fabian Andre, and often the band would cover the song but never actually recorded it. “Mama” Cass Elliot suggested then to group leader John Phillips that the group record it to include on their album “The Papas & The Mamas”. However, sensing the band falling appart, and having an opportunity to promote the group’s best-known member as a soloist, Dunhill Records gave a June 1968 single release to the “Dream a Little Dream of Me” track with the credit reading “Mama Cass with the Mamas & the Papas”, much to the displeasure of the rest of the band. Around the world, it end up mostly being credited to Mama Cass only, and became this way officially her first solo single. In the US press and on billboards, it was promoted with a photograph of a discreetly but obviously nude Elliot lying in a bed of daisies. It peaked to No.12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a big hit worldwide. Soon after, Mama Cass end up launching a serious solo career and the Mamas & the Papas disbanded. A slightly different version of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” was included on Elliot’s solo debut album, “Dream a Little Dream” in 1968.
Watch Mama Cass Elliot performing “Dream a Little Dream of Me” in 1970
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