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Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (And Dream Your Troubles Away) (1931)

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Origin and Chart Information
Several of Bing’s early hits were Barris songs....

- Chris Tyle

AKAWrap Your Troubles in Dreams
Rank 190
Music Harry Barris
Lyrics Ted Koehler
Billy Moll

Bing Crosby introduced this tune in 1931 on a Victor recording accompanied by members of the Los Angeles-based Gus Arnheim Orchestra. It was the first recording of Crosby as a soloist to hit the charts:


Chart information used by permission from
Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954

1931 was the year Crosby embarked on his solo career. Although a member of the vocal trio the Rhythm Boys, first with Paul Whiteman and then with Gus Arnheim, Crosby frequently stepped up to the microphone without the other two “Boys,” Al Rinker and Harry Barris. Whiteman’s record of “Ol’ Man River,” with Crosby’s vocal, hit number one for 11 weeks in 1928, and the almost operatic-sounding Crosby on “Great Day” was number one for nine weeks in 1929. A substantial number of solo Crosby vocal recordings with both Whiteman and Arnheim were in the top 10 during 1929-1931.


More on Harry Barris at JazzBiographies.com

More on Bing Crosby at JazzBiographies.com

The music for “Wrap...” was written by Rhythm Boy and pianist Harry Barris. Barris’ songwriting efforts figured prominently in the first phase of Crosby’s career. Bing’s first solo appearance (off screen) is singing Barris’ “Music Hath Charms” over the title credits at the beginning of the 1930 King of Jazz. Several of Bing’s early hits were Barris songs, including “At Your Command,” which was number one for nine weeks in 1931, and “I Surrender, Dear,” recorded with Gus Arnheim’s band that same year, which led to Bing’s employment on a CBS radio network, coast-to-coast, weekly broadcast.


More on Ted Koehler at JazzBiographies.com

More on Billy Moll at JazzBiographies.com

Ted Koehler, taking a busman’s holiday from his partnership with Harold Arlen, co-wrote the lyrics to “Wrap...” along with Billy Moll, who penned the lyrics to Harry Barris’ tune “So the Bluebirds and the Blackbirds Got Together,” also in the King of Jazz.

Crosby utilized the tune as a radio theme song for a short time, replacing it with “Where the Blue of the Night Meets the Gold of the Day.” In 1939 he did a remake of “Wrap...” along with several of his early hits, and although this version didn’t hit the charts, it prompted a bit of a resurgence in popularity. Trumpeter Erskine Hawkins, whose swing band was popular in the late 1930’s and ‘40s, recorded a pleasant ballad version featuring a vocal by alto saxophonist Jimmy Mitchell.

More information on this tune...

Thomas S. Hischak
The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia
Greenwood Press
Hardcover: 552 pages

(Hischak discusses the song’s history, including its performers and films in which it has appeared.)

Chris Tyle - Jazz Musician and Historian

Recommendations for This Tune
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Harry James & His Orchestra
Harry James 1937-1939
Classics France/Trad Alive
Original Recording 1938

James’ band swings irresistibly through this Jimmy Mundy arrangement of “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams.” James’ skillful trumpet is featured prominently, though the relaxed drumming of Dave Tough has much to do with the track’s ultimate success.

Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra
Melodie Jazz Classic
Original Recording 1941

Hawkins’ popular big band scored a hit record with this version of “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams.” The slowly swinging arrangement and performance are very well-done, and the band’s longtime saxophonist Jimmy Mitchell contributes appealing vocals.

Stan Getz
Original Recording 1950

Getz takes this song at a relaxed though swinging tempo. His tenor saxophone work is melodic and flowing, both on the melody and on his solo.

Hampton Hawes
For Real
Original Recording 1958

This ballad performance features pianist Hawes and tenor saxophonist Harold Land. The feeling is fairly exploratory, in large part due to the creative and unpredictable work of bassist Scott LaFaro.

Bill Evans
Original Recording 1962

Pianist Evans swings hard on this performance, which is no surprise given the presence of bassist Paul Chambers and drummer “Philly” Joe Jones. Evans solos nimbly and creatively, as do Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and Jim Hall on guitar.


- Noah Baerman

Tony Bennett
Who Can I Turn To
1995 Columbia 66503
Original recording 1964
Bennett is in fine form on this slow, swingin’ version of the song. His warm, smooth tones and powerful delivery invite listeners in, wrapping them in a soothing atmosphere.
Slam Stewart/Major Holley
Shut Yo' Mouth
1991 Delos 1024
Original recoding 1981
This has to be heard to be believed! The highly original, extremely entertaining reading features the two bassists bowing, singing, and scatting simultaneously. Holley’s froglike voice in collusion with Stewart’s, which is pitched an octave above, are enhanced by Dick Hyman on piano/organ and Oliver Jackson on drums.
Keith Jarrett
Whisper Not
2000 ECM Records 314543816
Original recording 1999
On his live interpretation of the song Jarrett is uncharacteristically upbeat and airy while bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack De Johnette keep the rhythm moving forward at a steady clip.
Maxine Sullivan with the Scott Hamilton Quintet
Swingin' Sweet
1990 Concord Records 4351
Original recording 1986
The remarkable vocalist Maxine Sullivan recorded this live concert in Japan in 1986 just seven months before she died at age 75. Her voice is ageless and she swings like a teenager. Saxophonist Hamilton’s group is obviously having fun, too.

- Ben Maycock

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