Dream Lover

Album: Darin at the Copa (1959)
Charted: 1 2


  • Darin wrote this song, which is 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 any more - or as he puts it in his grammatically incorrect but lyrically - no more. Darin wasn't so sure of the song when he demoed it for his bosses at Atlantic Records, but it became a huge hit and earned him more creative control as a songwriter and artist - his next single was the unlikely "Mack The Knife," which stayed at #1 in the US for 9 weeks. In the '90s, Darin was inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
  • "Dream Lover" appealed to adults who appreciated the conservative lyrics and Darin's wholesome image - he came off as a guy you wouldn't mind dating your daughter at a time when Elvis was singing "A Big Hunk O' Love." Most songs that pulled this off were written by New York songwriters and crafted for mass appeal, but Darin managed to compose his own song securing his teen idol image. He was 22 when the song was released.
  • Neil Sedaka played piano on this track, and also the B-side of the single, which was a song called "Bullmoose." Sedaka had a song on the charts called "The Diary," but was not yet widely known as a solo artist. Along with his songwriting partner Howard Greenfield, he had written "Keep a Walkin'," which Darin recorded in 1958. Darin was comfortable with Sedaka's style, and gave him the leeway to play what he thought was right for the track.
  • Musically, this song was built on a Latin dance rhythm. Darin said of writing it: "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."
  • Rick Nelson released an intimate, countrified version of this song shortly after performing it when he was the musical guest and host of a 1979 episode of Saturday Night Live. The single was re-released in 1986 a few months after Nelson died in a plane crash.
  • Darin found his dream lover a year after this song was released when he married the actress Sandra Dee, a union that would last until 1967.
  • Other artists to record this song include Don McLean, Dion, Johnny Nash and Tony Orlando. Mariah Carey had a #1 hit with a different song with the same title, although hers was rendered "Dreamlover."
  • Darin performed this on his first Ed Sullivan Show appearance on May 31, 1959. He made five more appearances on the show.
  • Rich Podolsky's book Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear tells the story of how Darin introduced this song to Don Kirshner and Al Nevins, producers of the then-newly-formed Aldon Music. Kirshner and Darin were lifelong friends, having teamed up in their teen years before either one of them got their first break, having been best man at each other's weddings, and after Darin's tragically early death, Kirshner named his daughter Daryn after him. So when Darin made it big before Kirshner got established, he promised that he wouldn't leave Kirshner behind.

    So a few weeks after Darin's new contract at Atlantic Records forced him to let Kirshner go as his manager, he dropped by Aldon Music to give them a preview of "Dream Lover," along with "Queen of the Hop." Kirshner relates that Darin sang it "as if he were performing it at the Copacabana nightclub." Afterwards he couldn't wait to tell Al Nevins about it.
  • This song made one more trip to the Hot 100 when the girl group The Paris Sisters ("I Love How You Love Me") took it to #91 in 1964.

Comments: 14

  • Jennifur SunAm curious does anyone know what other songs Neil played piano on besides his own? Was interested to find out he played on this one. Thanks.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NySixty years ago today on May 31st, 1959 Bobby Darin performed "Dream Lover" on the CBS-TV Sunday-night musical variety program, 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    At the time "Dream Lover" was at position #3 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, two weeks later it would peak at #2* {for 1 week} and it spent seventeen weeks on the Top 100...
    For the two weeks before and the two weeks after peaking at #2, "Dream Lover" was in the #3 position for those four weeks...
    And on July 3rd, 1959 "Dream Lover" peaked at #1 {for 4 weeks} on the United Kingdom's Official Top 30 Singles chart...
    Between 1958 and 1973 the East Harlem, NY native had forty records on the Hot Top 100 chart; ten made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Mack the Knife", for nine weeks later in 1959...
    Mr. Darin, born Walden Robert Cassotto, passed away at the young age of 37 on December 20th, 1973 {died after open heart surgery}...
    May he R.I.P.
    * The week "Dream Lover" was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "The Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton, and for the fourth week that "Dream Lover" was at #1 on the U.K. Singles chart, the record at #2 was a covered version of "The Battle of New Orleans" by Lonnie Donegan...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 1, 1980, Glen Campbell and Tanya Tucker performed "Dream Lover" on the NBC-TV network late night musical variety program 'The Midnight Special', they were also the show's co-hosts...
    Their covered version would reach #59 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart...
    Exactly twenty-one years earlier on August 1st, 1959 Bobby Darin's original version was at #29 on the Top 100, seven weeks earlier it had peaked at #2 {for 1 week}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyAs stated above, on May 31st, 1959 Bobby Darin performed "Dream Lover" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    At the time the song was at #3 on Billboard's Top 100 chart; eight days later on June 8th, 1959 it would peak at #2* {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for a half-year {26 weeks}...
    And on the same 'Sullivan' show he also performed "Mack the Knife", it debut on the Top 100 on August 18th, 1959 and eventually peaked at #1 {for 9 weeks}...
    * The week "Dream Lover" was at #2 on the Top 100; the #1 record for that week was "The Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton...
    Sadly, both Mr. Darin and Mr. Horton passed away in their thirties; Mr. Darin on December 20th, 1973 at age 37 and Mr. Horton on November 5th, 1960 at age 35...
    May they both R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 7th 1964, "Dream Lover" by the Paris Sisters entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #100, it stayed on the chart for 4 weeks and peaked at #91...
    The sisters; who were really sisters; Priscilla, Albeth, and Sherrell, had four Top 100 records with "I Love How You Love Me" being their biggest hit, it reached #5 in 1961.
  • Pierre from Chelsea-upon-gatineau, QcBobby Darin was an extraordinary performer!
  • Coy from Palestine, TxDarin had a near genius IQ and was so talented he did albums (and had hits) of Rock and Roll, Country and Western, Folk, Christmas songs and Big Band Standards. He was also a talented song writer, music publisher and actor.
  • Roman from Barrie, Onyes he was quite a talent for his time; does anyone have any info about the futuristic custom car he had built for himself?
  • John from Mansfield, TxBobby Darin was definitely ahead of his time!!He started out as your typical 50's Teen Idol with"Splish Splash"and"Dream Lover"then ventured into Dean Martin/Frank Sinatra style crooning with"Beyond the Sea"then in the 60's became a Dylanesque Folkie then before his untimely death in 1973 was trying to get back into his"Beyond the Sea"groove again!!
    If he was alive today,who knows what he'd be doing??Would he be on the"Golden Oldies Circuit"appearing on PBS Pledge Drive Weeks
    or would he be hosting his show at Branson,Missouri??
    Would he be jamming with Brian Setzer and the Brian Setzer Orchestra or would he be crooning with Tony Bennett or appearing on"American Idol"??
    One can only wonder!!
  • Marecadtitanic from Oak Lawn, IlMR BOBBY DARIN is a genius. Not only can he sing.
    He can also, dance, play multiple instruments, act & generally out-perform any one at any time.
    There is no body, today, that can hold a candle to MR BOBBY DARIN today. He simply would blow that candle & artists(?) today off the stage !!!
  • Bob from Comox, B.c., CanadaBobby Darin was not only an accomplished singer/songwriter but a superb actor as well. He was
    nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a shell-shocked soldier in the
    1963 film "Captain Newman, M.D."
  • Carrie from Roanoke, VaThis has to be one of the best pop/rock songs of all time. Also one of the saddest...the background vocalists sound like wailing ghosts in the intro. Darin has such a sweet, soulful voice. If I'd been alive in the '50's I probably would've had a crush on him solely based on hearing him sing. He definitely expresses sentiments from another era. Most guys nowadays don't care about finding a soulmate, just the next sex partner. I know I'd like one. Til I find one, I'll just keep listening to this song.
  • Derek from Carmel, InGood song. Good artist.
  • Neville from Perth, Western Australia, Australia:Glen Shorrock, lead singer of the Little River Band, had a big hit with this song in Australia in 1979. :Neville, Perth, Western Australia
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