November 11, 2018 posted by James Parten

A Hit Is A Wish the Chart Makes

We have seen that Tin Pan Alley–the establishment of the music industry at the time of Disney’s Cinderella–gave some of the songs from the score short shrift.

“Sing Sweet Nightingale” was ignored entirely, with nobody “covering” it on record.

Both “Cinderella’s Work Song” and the dreamy waltz ballad “So This Is Love” were only recorded by Ilene Woods, the voice of Cinderella in the film.

With “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes”, things were a little bit different.

Ilene Woods did record this for the RCA Victor “Bluebird Series”, where it was issued on both 78 (30-0020) and on the newfangled 45 (54-0015). Harold Mooney conduced a string-laden orchestra behind her on this record.

RCA Victor, however, undercut Miss Woods’ version by issuing another coupling on their “parent” label.
Perry Como wasone of the top stars on radio and records, and would become a star on the small screen as well. (He really didn’t make much of a mark in moves.) Como’s version appeared on 78, issued on 20-3601. It may also have appeared on 45, which RCA had introduced earlier in 1949, and which they were really pushing as an alternative to the 78.

Columbia gave the song to one Marjorie Hughes, a “thrush” who was about as big as she was ever going to get around this time.

Marjorie had made her name with Frankie Carle’s dance band. Well she might–she was Carle’s daughter, using her mother’s maiden name to avoid being accused of trading on her father’s fame. Her version may well have also appeared on the seven-inch “Long Playing” records that Columbia was trying to push as an alternative to the 45s that RCA was peddling. It didn’t work–Columbia abandoned the format in late 1950, at around the same time that RCA began to market long-playing records.

For those who preferred to dance, both Decca and Mercury were willing to provide dance versions of the tune–by two widely disparate bands.

Mercury gave this song to Lawrence Welk, whose band was popular in the Midwest, and was gaining popularity on the West Coast.

Decca, on the other hand, gave it to a fairly unlikely band–that of Sy Oliver. Oliver, after paying his dues with various “territory’ bands, got established as a trumpeter and vocalist with Jimmie Luceford’s stage band–and became known for providing arrangements as well.

This led to Oliver being retained as an arranger and vocalist by Tommy Dorsey, who led one of the top orchestras in the country during the Thirties and ‘Forties.

This led to him getting his own record dates, for various labels, including M-G-M, Decca, Bell, Jubilee and others. Oliver’s record was also issued in the United Kingdom on Bruswick.

But we’ll hear more about that in posts yet to come.


  • What I always found interesting was the story on how Woods got the role of the title character (her originally being hired for screech recording of the songs). From my understanding, that was sort of a Cinderella story itself. Was that story really true or was it slightly made for publicity of the film?

    • Nic: What’s “screech recording”?

    • Sorry, I mean scratch recording. It’s a demo placing for either a song or a voice track before the actual singers’ or actors’ recordings.

  • –Both “Cinderella’s Work Song” and the dreamy waltz ballad “So This Is Love” were only recorded by Ilene Woods, the voice of Cinderella in the film–

    No they weren’t. As I pointed out last week, “So This Is Love” was covered by Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra (RCA Victor 3606) and by Vera Lynn (London 584). “The Cinderella Work Song” was covered by the Fontane Sisters (RCA Victor 3621) and byJudy Valentine (MGM 10657).

    “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” was also covered by the Jubalaires (Capitol 845) and by Russ Case and His Orchestra (MGM 10604).

  • To introduce “Guest Star Day” on “The Mickey Mouse Club”, Mickey plays “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” on a grand piano.

  • Mike Douglas (later a daytime TV show host) sang for Prince Charming, when he did a duet with Woods on “So This Is Love” on the Cinderella soundtrack (WDL-4007, later DQ-1207). Douglas was later credited in the 2005 DVD re-release of Walt Disney’s 1950 animated film.

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