In 1958, country singer-songwriter Hank Locklin penned and recorded the song “Send Me the Pillow You Dream On.” With it, he scored his fifth consecutive Top Ten country hit. The song shortly became a minor crossover hit on the pop chart. Two years later, The Browns (featuring Jim Edward Brown) revived the song but his version went only as a mid-chart pop. It also reached the country chart with unspecified ranking.
What has been considered as the most successful version of the song came out in 1962. It was Johnny Tillotson who recorded it. The “Talk Back Trembling Lips” singer was able to bring the tune to the pop chart’s Top 20. His cover of the song made it the biggest pop hit. In addition to that, Tillotson’s record reached the Top 20 of the country chart. Listen to his version of the song below.
About the Song and Other Covers
The song’s narrator is a deserted lover who is speaking, or more likely, writing, to his ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately, the man never heard from her and so he decided to give up. Locklin’s approach in writing the song was considered as a novel type and a unique one as no other artist has ever done a tune that way. Its theme resonates with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet romance. Seeing Juliet lean her cheek upon her hand, he wished to be a glove on that hand. Hence, the line:
Send me the pillow that you dream on
So, darlin’, I can dream on it, too.
After Tillotson, Dean Martin recorded the song in early 1965. His version has been considered as the most unusual, taking it on a rock and rock waltz style. Martin’s cover has once again brought the song to the pop chart’s Top 20. With that said, the single made its fourth appearance on the chart in seven years.
Although the song was a highly successful pop hit, it has remained a country standard recorded primarily by country artists over the years. Among the country stars who covered the song were Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams, Jr., Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Hank Snow, Dwight Yoakam, and many others.
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