Arrangement of the 1954 hit made famous by the Chordettes
“Mister Sandman” was written by composer Pat Ballard in 1954, a few years after he had officially retired from the music business. Encouraged by the success of another post-retirement hit he had written the previous year called “I Get So Lonely”, he came up with the lyrics and music for “Sandman” over a period of about 2 weeks. It was originally recorded by Vaughn Monroe as the “B-side” of single he released called “Mambo”, but no one seemed to notice “Mr. Sandman”. Later that same year, Archie Blyer heard the tune, and decided to have a group he was managing and producing at the time record it. The Chordettes’ version became an immediate smash hit, and stayed at the top of the Billboard charts for nearly 6 months. The following year, Ballard wrote a new set of lyrics to use it as a Christmas tune – “Mister Santa”. Chet Atkins’ first big hit was his recording of “Mr. Sandman”, and it has also been recorded by Les Paul, Marvin Gaye, the Mills Brothers, the Deltones, and the trio of EmmyLou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt, among others.