From one of music’s most enduring stars to perhaps the first UK number 1-hit wonder. After a month at the top with Memories Are Made of This, Dean Martin relinquished the top spot to a group with a unique story.
The Dream Weavers was primarily a vehicle for aspiring US songwriting duo Gene Adkinson and Wayne Buff. They were both at different high schools when they first met, before attending the University of Florida together. Other members of the then-unnamed group would come and go.
Taking part in a freshman talent show, they performed in front of thousands of students and won, earning themselves their own radio show. As they closed their first show in 1955, they performed It’s Almost Tomorrow, a song they wrote together in 1953, with Buff taking up lead vocal duties. Chuck Murdock, the announcer on their show, ran a contest to choose a name for the group. The winner announced felt their song was so dreamy, they should be called The Dream Weavers.
I’m not sure ‘dreamy’ is the right word to describe It’s Almost Tomorrow. As the sun comes up, the singer is already mourning the loss of his loved one, and is preparing for their break-up. The lyrics show a depth beyond the writer’s years, and it’s set to a moving tune. It really works in the song’s favour that Buff isn’t an amazing singer. You don’t want smooth crooning on this song, you want to feel the singer’s vulnerability, and you can. In a way it’s old-fashioned, and sounds like it could have been made in the 40s, but at the same time, it sounds pretty fresh. A modern-day cover could work well, providing they sorted out the messy ending, and ditched the female backing vocals that date the sound.
The Dream Weavers couldn’t get a record company interested in the song, so they went and made a recording themselves. A very unusual move back then, but they were convinced the song could be a hit, and they were right. Decca were impressed and the group recorded the version that topped the UK charts. After a fortnight it was toppled by Kay Starr’s (The) Rock and Roll Waltz, but reigned again for a further week a fortnight later. Adkinson and Buff failed to come up with anything that good again, and faded into obscurity following Buff’s marriage to Mary Rude (who had been a backing singer) while the song was in the charts.
It’s Almost Tomorrow is an interesting footnote in the story of number ones. It broke the rules and proved a group could write and record their own material, years before this became the norm.
Written by: Gene Adkinson & Wade Buff
Producer: Gene Adkinson, Wade Buff & Milt Gabler
Weeks at number 1: 3 (16-29 March, 6-12 April)
Actor Robert Newton – 25 March
24 March: Devon Lock had a clear lead in the Grand National before shocking attendees by collapsing near the finish, making 100/7 outsider E.S.B. the surprise winner.
7 April: The young Manchester United team won the Football League First Division.