For this installment, I am again focusing on a song, “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” It was composed by Isham Jones with lyrics by Gus Kahn and published in 1924 with the first recording in December of that year. Isham Jones conducted Roy Miller’s Orchestra, with Frank Bessinger handling the vocals. There were other popular versions released in 1925, most notably by Marion Harris, Paul Whitman, Ford & Glenn, and Lewis James. The song was sung by Jeanne Cain in the film “Margie” (1946) and was chosen as the title song for the 1951 film “I’ll See You In My Dreams,” (a musical biography of Kahn). In the film the song is sung by a chorus during the opening and closing credits, and also by Doris Day at a surprise party in the movie. It has also been featured in several other films over the years. In 1962, Pat Boone’s version was a chart hit, and several people have covered that version as well.
In fact, there are so many different covers of this song, as well as covers of cover versions, that I could spend the entire year searching for them, and probably still not be able to find them all. When thinking about this, I remembered a great piece of advice I received from my senior thesis advisor when he asked me how the writing was going and I said: “I’m just waiting on another book to be published soon; to which he replied: “There will always be another book, just write the f%$#^ing thing!”
Below you will find the original recording, followed by a quirky ukulele duet by a husband and wife, a fingerstyle guitar version, a live performance by two well-know guitarists from very different eras, and finally another live performance of a version (with slightly altered lyrics) that is probably the best known. It was performed at a tribute concert for George Harrison, one year after his untimely death. I hope you enjoy the musical voyage!
Isham Edgar Jones was born on January 31,1884 and died on October 19, 1956. He was born in Coalton, Ohio to a musical and mining family. Jones was the leader of one of America’s most popular dance bands in the first half of the 20th century, between the two World Wars. He had a remarkable string of chart topping compositions between 1922 and 1925, in collaboration with lyricist Gus Kahn, and later Charles Newman, that included eight number one records, an unequaled body of work for a bandleader.
Shortly after meeting and falling in love (insert the appropriate ahhhh…here), Bill & Lizzie also fell in love with the idea of playing music and harmonizing together, Since then, they have been covering classic songs across many different genres from the 60s to current music as well as writing their own material. They can be seen playing at weddings, festivals, cafes, and beer gardens, accompanying their harmonies with ukuleles! Their version of “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” was recorded on June of 2017. The harmonies are divine.
Brooks Robertson was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1989. After seeing a performance by American, fingerstyle guitarist Buster B. Jones (1959-2009), at a festival near his home when he was 11, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. Jones, who was known to take young guitarists under his wings, dedicated some of his spare time to teaching Robertson the secrets of the fretboard. And if his version of this song is any indication, he was a very good student!
Mark Knopfler & Chet Atkins
Mark Knopfler was born in Scotland (but raised in England) on August 12, 1949. He is a singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter for the rock band Dire Straits. When the band dissolved in 1988, and again in 1995, after a five year comeback, Knopfler pursued a solo career and is now known as an independent solo artist. He is also known for his fingerstyle technique on the guitar.
Chet Atkins was born on June 20, 1924, in Luttrel, Tennessee and died on June 30, 2001. During his long and storied career, he was known as “Mr. Guitar” and “The Country Gentleman.” An American musician, who along with Owen Bradley and Bob Ferguson, helped create the Nashville sound, a kind of hybrid country music style, which expanded its appeal to adult pop music fans. Although primarily a guitarist (with a signature picking style), he also played mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and ukulele, and on occasion, sing as well. Their version of this song was at a live performance in 1987 at the London Palladium. It also includes a bonus cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
Joseph Roger Brown was born on May 13, 1941, in Swarby, Lincolnshire, England and is a rock and roll singer and guitarist. He has performed for more than six decades. He was a stage and television performer in the late 1950s, but since the 60s he has primarily focused on being a recording star. He is highly regarded in the music business as a “musician’s musician,” and is respected and admired by a wide range of artists. For this performance at the George Harrison Tribute concert, he is playing the ukulele, and accompanied by an all-star lineup.
Until next time!
Los Angeles 2023
2 thoughts on “DUTC#4 January 29, 2023”
Lovely little tune and some fine renditions there as well. It’s amazing that a song almost 100 years old continues to be played! Even with so many versions this one doesn’t come close to getting into the top 200 most covered songs. Nevertheless I enjoyed learning about it and the composer and the lyricist.
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Thanks. Yeah, after reading your stats on the most covered songs this one’s got a ways to go! Thanks for reading.
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