Jan 182008

Hello fans! My name is Kurtis and I run Covering the Mouse, a daily blog that features cover versions of famous Disney tunes! Ray is out of town this week so he asked me if I would post some songs this week!

Ever since its appearance in Pinocchio in 1940, When You Wish Upon a Star has become the signature song for Walt Disney and his legacy. Walt came from a poor family in Kansas. His rise to fame was not an easy one and it took many years for someone to even look at his animation reels and give him work. When You Wish Upon a Star is Walt’s theme song because he lived it. Dreams do come true for those who believe.

Because of the meaning behind this song, many people have covered it. I’m talking dozens of recordings that I have in my collection, dozens more I know exist and I’m sure there are dozens more that I don’t know about. I have chosen ten versions of this song, all in different musical styles.

JAZZ – Dave Brubeck Quartet
There have been many jazz versions of this song over the years. This one is from the Disney tribute album Dave Digs Disney which features a variety of Disney songs done in their jazz quartet style.

OLDIES – Dion and the Belmonts
Here’s a trio from the 50s that give this song a nice do-op aproach. This track is off the second of two albums they released before Dion split from the Belmonts. Trivia: Dion and the Belmonts were supposed to be on the same plane as Buddy Holly, Ritchie Vallens and the Big Bopper but couldn’t afford the airfare.

R&B – All-4-One
This version drives me nuts because the lead singer feels the need to come in late on every line! I’d feel okay if he does it once in a while because its R&B but he does it every line! It sounds like he is constantly making mistakes!

NEW AGE – Gheorge Zamfir
When I say this song has been covered by everyone, I mean EVERYONE! Zamfir has found that the best way to make money is to record panpipe versions of popular music. His panpipe version of this song is just that and is more novel than anything.

NOVELTY – The Chipmunks
Speaking of novel, here is a cut from the Chipmunks Disney tribute album When You Wish Upon a Chipmunk and while this track is pretty good, the album as a whole is just as bad as their new movie.

ROCK – American Hi-Fi
There are not too many rock covers of this song out there, but American Hi-Fi has one and they do it really well. It can be found on the Japanese exclusive Mosh Pit on Disney

CLASSICAL – Donald Fraser & the English Chamber Orchestra
A few years back there were two albums released of Disney songs arranged in the style of famous classical composers. This one is in the style of Johann Strauss who is known for his waltzes and operettas. You may have heard of the Blue Danube?

A CAPELLA – Apotheosis
This is actually a cover version of a cover that NSync did a few years earlier but I figured I’ll let the lesser known band get the exposure. This college group from Texas has gone on to some pretty big shows in their career and show no signs of slowing down.

JPOP – Yasuharu Konishi & the Pizzicato Five
Yes, JPop deserves to be its own genre because it is often much weirder than mainstream pop. Case in point for this track by Yasuharu Konishi & the Pizzicato Five. Just skip to the half way point in the song and you’ll hear what I mean. This whole album, Readymade Digs Disney is really good if you can find it.

REGGAE – Dean Fraser
Dean Fraser has been making reggae records with his saxophone since the mid 70s. He is regarded as one of Jamaca’s top musicians. If you want more covers by him please note that he has recorded two albums of Bob Marley cover songs.

For more versions of When You Wish Upon a Star please click here or visit Covering the Mouse for more Disney cover songs!

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