POLKA DOTS AND MOONBEAMS, by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen, was Frank Sinatra’s first big hit record.
Although the lyrics take odd turns — initially one stumbles over the idea of a “pug-nosed dream” as the brand-new Love Object, it remains an endearing song. Lester Young, Clifford Brown, Paul Desmond, Glenn Miller, and Wes Montgomery recorded it, among others.
The song seemed especially endearing this past March when Dawn Lambeth sang it during a Van Heusen tribute set at Dixieland Monterey / Jazz Bash by the Bay, accompanied by Yve Evans and friends.
One of my favorite singers, Dawn is a sophisticated artist who manages to make the dream-castles she creates seem real, withour straining. Easy and casual; she summons up deep emotions without feeling the need to act them out. A performance by Dawn lingers in the memory with sweet swing. Her song winds its way into our hearts.
Incidentally, the song has a verse that no one sings — a very brief prelude to introduce the story of love found in a garden:
Would you care to hear the strangest story? / At least it may seem strange to you. / If you saw it in a moving picture / You would say it couldn’t be true.
But Dawn makes it perfectly true.
May your happiness increase!