Dreamin’ – Vanessa Williams | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#8) & R&B (#1 for 2 weeks); 1989

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Historically, the talent portion of the Miss America pageant wasn’t always the winner’s strong suit. However, in the case of 1983’s champion – one Vanessa Williams from New York State – her talent was as stunning as her beauty.

Not only could Miss Williams sing, at age five she could already play the piano, violin, and flute. Post-pageant, Vanessa sang backup on disc for George Clinton, appeared on the big screen in The Pickup Artist, and landed her own record deal.

The first two singles off her debut album were R&B hits, yet, failed to make headway on the Top 40. Dreamin’, her third outing, had been originally recorded by the Guinn family on Motown. For Vanessa’s version, her label brought in Dreamin’s original producer, Don Robinson, to work with her.

Robinson slowed things down, added more pop elements, and brought in Guinn vocalist Lori Fulton to sing backup. The resulting record conquered both the R&B and pop worlds, and earned Vanessa a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance – Female.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Donald Robinson

Lyrics Written by:

  • Lisa Montgomery
  • Geneva Paschal