'California Dreamin' Hits No. 1 After 50 Years, Thanks to Dance Remix

Courtesy Photo
Freischwimmer

The Mamas & the Papas classic reigns at last thanks to Freischwimmer's cover, which tops Dance Club Songs.

A half-century after its original run, an iconic composition crowns a Billboard chart for the first time.

On the Dance Club Songs chart (dated Feb. 13), German DJ Freischwimmer (real name: Sebastian Bernhardt) hits No. 1 with a trop-house cover of The Mamas & the Papas classic "California Dreamin," which rises 2-1. The original hit No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 nearly 50 years ago (March 12, 1966).

Remixes from Calvo, among others, have helped club-goers dream of California (on these winter's days) all over again. (The song features uncredited vocals by Caroline von Brunken.)

Despite a storied history on Billboard charts, "Dreamin" had never before hit No. 1 on any ranking. The original became The Mamas & the Papas' first of 16 Hot 100 hits. (Follow-up "Monday, Monday" ruled the chart for three weeks in May 1966.) The group's John and Michelle Phillips wrote "California" while in New York during an icy winter, as the latter was wistful about her sunny SoCal roots.

Three other versions of the song went on to hit the Hot 100: by Bobby Womack (No. 43, 1969), America (No. 56, 1979) and the Beach Boys (No. 57, 1986). Meanwhile, Diana Krall and Sia are among other acts that have taken their versions of "California" to other Billboard tallies. Another dance remake, by Royal Gigolos, reached No. 19 on Dance/Mix Show Airplay in 2004.

And, honorable mention to Adele, who references the beloved title in her 10-week Hot 100 No. 1 "Hello": "Hello, can you hear me? / I'm in California dreaming about who we used to be ..."