Moon River… Peter Gunn, and…. Dreamsville???

A kid sits down at the piano, plays a few chromatically ascending open 5ths, and we immediately see the mental image of a cartoon Pink Panther.

We hear a vocalist wistfully sing a few lyrics about “my huckleberry friend” and, if we’re a movie buff, we immediately see the mental image of Audrey Hepburn strumming a guitar on a New York City apartment’s fire escape.

A jazz pianist plays a beautiful C major 7th to Gm7/C chord progression and we immediately see the mental image of… nothing!


That’s because while Henry Mancini’s theme from “The Pink Panther” and hit song “Moon River” are indelibly associated with famous movies, his song “Dreamsville” doesn’t conjure up a similar visual association. It was used several times in the soundtrack for the 1950s TV show Peter Gunn, but wasn’t the theme song so it didn’t generate the same kind of excitement as the other songs I’ve listed here, or even the actual theme from Peter Gunn (which was covered years later by Emerson Lake and Palmer.)

If you like, you can learn more about the song’s use in Peter Gunn here.

And if you want to hear how you can play “Dreamsville” as a jazz ballad on piano, this video will give you some ideas, particularly in terms of various pianistic textures you can use:

Dreamsville: Journey Through The Real Book #102

As always, enjoy the journey and “let the music flow!”


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