This past week, marked the 25th anniversary of Selena's classic album 'Dreaming of You,’
I have to admit I’m still surprised at the life it’s taken on since I wrote it with my dear friend and collaborator Tom Snow in 1989.
It seems like yesterday that we were sitting in his home studio, atop Laurel Canyon and he played the melody to the verse on his Yamaha Grand. He’d barely played it three times when I started singing:
“Late at night when all the world is sleeping,
I stay up and think of you,”
…and by the late afternoon we were singing:
“I’ll be dreaming of you tonight,
I’ll be holding you tight.”
We thought it would be great for the Jets. We demoed it, set up a meeting with their dad—who was also their manager—but he didn’t think it was right for them. Such is the life of a songwriter.
Fast forward to October 1993, I traveled to New York with my husband, who was there to record the 10,000 Maniacs Unplugged album. While there, I visited my friend publisher, and A&R exec extraordinaire, Nancy Brennan. She told me about a young girl she was really excited about, who would soon be recording her first English album and needed songs. She then played me a video of The Barrio Boys featuring this young singer, Selena Quintanilla.
Always being prepared, I had a cassette of “Dreaming Of You” with me. Nancy loved it and asked if she could keep the tape and play it for Selena. The rest you could say, is history.
What followed can only be described as an unimaginable tragedy, a beautiful life cut short, taken away within minutes. Just a couple of weeks prior, I’d spent the afternoon and evening with Selena. We were all so happy and excited about the recording. I remember her smiling ear to ear, ecstatic with the end result and walking into her brilliant future.