Mr. Sandman – The Chordettes

For this review, I will be talking about a specific song by The Chordettes called “Mr. Sandman.” But first, a little background information on The Chordettes. This popular female group of the 50’s consisted of four members: Dorothy Schwartz, Jinny Lockard, Carol Buschman and Janet Ertel. However, Dorothy Schwartz and Jinny Lockard were later replaced by Lynn Evans and Margie Needham. The Chordettes started off singing folk music but ended up changing their style. These four girls would harmonize in a barbershop-style kind of way, and each member sang in a specific tone. Dorothy Schwarts (who was replaced by Lynn Evans) was the lead, Carol Buschman baritone, Janet Ertel bass and Jinny Lockard (replaced by Margie Needham) tenor. In my opinion, this style of hers is one of the bests because, not only are they using their voice to sing lyrics, but they’re also using it as a musical instrument. Even if there were no background sound produced by other musical instruments (if they sang a cappella), their voices would be enough to make a good song sound great. One example I can think of is a group I’ve heard while riding the subway. This group consists of four men and they use this style of music to sing average songs that I’ve heard before but they make them sound different and better. I feel that this style makes you appreciate the melody of the song even more.

Back to the Chordettes, this group released their first single called “It’s You, It’s You I Love” but it wasn’t very successful. Their second single, which was their first hit, went number one in the U.S., 11 in England and spent seven weeks at the top of Billboard’s Best Seller chart. This second release of theirs is called “Mr. Sandman.” This song, written by Pat Ballard, was published and recorded in 1954 by the Chordettes. It was released on the Cadence Records label. The song is about the girls asking the Sandman for a man that will love them and become their significant other. They describe what kind of guy they want and they are basically asking him to give them their perfect man:

“Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream

Make him the cutest that I’ve ever seen

Give him two lips like roses and clover

Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over.”

When I first heard this song and I didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics, I thought through the song the speaker was asking for their perfect man because she was tired of all the other men that weren’t good enough. After really listening to what the lyrics say, though, I found out that it’s not because the speaker is tired of men that are not good enough, it’s because they feel lonely:

“Sandman, I’m so alone

Don’t have nobody to call my own

Please turn on your magic beam

Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream.”

This song has been covered by many famous artists including Marvin Gaye and The Supremes and some change the lyrics a little. It has also been featured in a number of movies like Grease 2 and Philadelphia. The Chordettes released a couple more hit singles after this but, in my opinion, they weren’t as good as “Mr. Sandman.” Another famous song by them is called “Lollipop” and was released after Mr. Sandman. Here is a link with both of these songs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fty3Nzc-oiY

– Karla Estrada

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