Milwaukee Record is proud to present Public Domain. The monthly video series features Milwaukee musicians setting up at Colectivo Coffee to adapt some of the world’s best-known songs in ways they’ve never been heard before. Watch the entire series here.
This installment finds Tigernite taking the stage before a live audience at The Back Room to perform a re-imagined rendition of “Beautiful Dreamer.” Milwaukee’s favorite glam rockers applied an upbeat and energetic sound to a song that Stephen Foster—also known as “the father of American music”—wrote in 1862, but that was published months after his 1864 death. During his 37-year life, Foster also wrote time-tested public domain favorites like “Oh! Susanna” and “Camptown Races.” Still, “Beautiful Dreamer” may be the most popular and gorgeous work of Foster’s storied and tragically short life.
Though the list of musicians who have covered “Beautiful Dreamer” is too long and laborious to document, some standouts who have tackled the song include Bing Crosby, The Beatles, Roy Orbison, Sheryl Crow, Ray Price, Tony Orlando, Al Jolson, and Bobby Darin. Versions of the song have also been heard in Gone With The Wind, The Twilight Zone, Batman, Office Space, The Simpsons, and That’s So Raven.
The video was shot, recorded, and edited by Cheston Van Huss of Effigy Media (with additional camera support by Samantha Kirchoff). Grant Steskal engineered lighting. Travis Whitty produced the opening sequence. Public Domain is sponsored by Colectivo Coffee Roasters, Wilson Center Guitar Festival, and Transfer Pizzeria Café.