I'll SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS
(Gus Kahn, Isham Jones)
I'll See You in my Dreams Sample
Patrick VW: vocals
Bill Champlin: background vocals
Delbi Smart: background vocals
Shawn Ishimoto: ukulele
Duane Padilla: violin
Pierre Grill: bass, accordion
Mike Couchois: drums
Recorded & Mixed By: Pierre Grill
Additional recording by Patrick VW
I had heard this song played at the end of the Concert For George Harrison after his death. Joe Brown came onstage and played the ukulele and sang. Mrs. Harrison and everybody in the audience cried and I cried too while watching this video. It was very moving. I thought it was wonderful and also kind of odd that the closing song for this memorial was the only song played that night that George Harrison hadn't written.
I downloaded the song and started singing it right away. It was another one of those great older songs that captured the emotions of loving and losing someone.
O.K. this is the part like telling you how the sausage is made. I have recorded many songs with and for many people, but never anything quite like this. Here goes.
After the Hot Club of Hulaville session with Sonny, David, Duane and Pierre where we cut the 3 jazzy songs and hit the jackpot, I was feeling pretty high and wanted more. (Ain't that always the case?)
So, we came back in with Sonny on guitar, Duane on violin and me singing. We tried for a few hours to get this song and we cut it about 8 or 10 times, but we could not really capture the feeling that I was looking for. I really wanted an ukulele to set the rhythm. We all left a little disappointed that day. I let the song sit for a few months while I was working on other pieces.
We found an ukulele player (not too hard to do in Hawaii) named Shawn Ishimoto. Pierre had worked with him many times and said that he'd be perfect for this song. Although there are a lot of ukulele players there, there aren't a lot who could play this piece.
He came in and listened to the Joe Brown version in one key and quickly adapted the feel and chords to the way I wanted to do it in another key. We then played the best vocal track from the previous sessions and had Shawn overdub to my voice. I wasn't so sure about this because I did not think I had done a good track, but the other guys all insisted that it was good and would work with what Shawn was now playing. I was still skeptical but went along. Of course, they were right and Shawn made it sound terrific. We now had a track to build on. We then used some of Duane's violin parts and put them in place. Pierre quickly added a great accordion track and bass part on the keyboard and it was starting to sound pretty good.
I came back to California and asked Mike Couchois to do his usual great drumming which he did in a jiffy.
I then called in a few special people to sing background voices.
I asked Bill Champlin, the great studio singer and lead singer for the band Chicago for 30 years to come and help out. The first record I had ever worked on was his solo album with David Foster and all the great Hollywood studio cats back in the mid 70s. Bill taught me how to record vocals and especially background vocals as well as how to have a blast in the studio while doing a great job. We have worked on many sessions together over the years.
I also called Delbi Smart and asked her to join Bill. She was thrilled and the 2 of them sang the beautiful ooohs and aaaahs in the solo and the end of the song. We stacked about 10 tracks. (we also cut another fun piece that night called Whiner Blues - for the next CD.)
I then brought all of this back to Pierre and we mixed it until it came out right.
When I played it for my mom, she cried. (gotta stop making these people cry.)
Well, I hope it moves you and maybe youll get a little bit weepy too.
Thanks for listening.
Patrick von Wiegandt