Released in 1959, “Dream Lover” is a rock & roll and doo-wop style kind of music. It was conceived by singer-songwriter and actor Bobby Darin. In one of his accounts, Darin shared that he personally decided to stretch out some chord changes he found on the piano and add strings and voices in order to give a new taste of music. And so he did, and the result was spectacularly great!
“I had just discovered the C-Am-F-G7 progression on the piano. I stretched them out and I like the space I felt in there, and the words just flowed.”Bobby Darin (1959)
Furthermore, he then presented the conceptualized piece to his producers, Ahmet Ertegun, and Jerry Wexler. Later, they submitted it to Tom Dowd who engineered the song.
On April 20, 1959, “Dream Lover” was officially released as a single on Atco Records. As what has Darin envisioned, the tune became a multi-million seller. With no surprise, “Dream Lover” charted at no. 2 for a week on the U.S. charts. Also, it entered the R&B charts and reached no. 4. Despite its growing fame and success, it was kept from going to the top spot by “The Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton. Nevertheless, “Dream Lover” reached the no. 1 spot in the U.K. for four weeks during the months of June and July.
Darin’s voice was not the only highlight in the song. In fact, Neil Sedaka was on the piano for the hit.
The Story Behind the Song
Bobby Darin penned “Dream Lover.” The song is all about a guy who wishes and prays for the girl of his dreams to come to him so that he doesn’t have to dream anymore.
Before the song was released, Darin was unsure of the song when he presented a demo for his bosses at Atlantic Records. However, it eventually became a big hit for him. Much more, it earned him more creative control as a songwriter and artist.
Darin’s ingenuity and diction in his “Dream Lover” appealed mostly to adults who greatly appreciated his conservative lyrics. Also, the audience praised his wholesome image. Hence, he was thought of as “a guy you wouldn’t mind dating your daughter at a time when Elvis Presley was singing ‘A Big Hunk O’ Love.'”