Dion McGregor

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Dion McGregor dreamt out loud, fully narrating his vivid and often bizarre dreams, which were recorded by his roommate from 1961 to 1967. By his late thirties, McGregor's sleep talking had grown beyond…
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Dion McGregor dreamt out loud, fully narrating his vivid and often bizarre dreams, which were recorded by his roommate from 1961 to 1967. By his late thirties, McGregor's sleep talking had grown beyond the usual mumblings of somniloquists; he was speaking out loud and clear. McGregor was raised in N.Y.C., but moved to Hollywood after dropping out of college. By 1953, the aspiring song lyricist was back in N.Y.C., collaborating with Bob Cobert (who later scored for the Dark Shadows TV series). In 1955, he met Mike Barr, and the two began collaborating exclusively as songwriting partners. They recorded a single in 1958 for the Glory label as Mac & Mike, but this didn't lead to any further work or recognition. Around 1960, McGregor's roommate (British writer and filmmaker Peter DeRome, who later became a prominent director of erotic films) told Barr about McGregor's loud dreams. Barr had him move in, and began taping his unpredictably scheduled dreams. McGregor agreed to the recording, hoping to get some lyrics out of the process. Although no song lyrics were culled from the material, Barr played some of the intriguing tapes for groups of friends, which one night included someone in the record industry. This led to the 1964 release of ten dreams on the Decca label. A book of even more dream transcriptions followed a few months later, but the releases were a flop commercially and were quickly pulled out of print.

Still struggling as song lyricists, McGregor and Barr got their big break in 1965: their song "Where Is the Wonder" was on Barbra Streisand's release when she hit big with My Name is Barbra. Somehow, though, no further success was to follow. By the late '70s, McGregor moved back out to the L.A. area and, ultimately discouraged, he gave up writing song lyrics by the early '80s and by the end of that decade had moved to Oregon. Despite his lack of success as a song lyricist, McGregor's narration of his vivid dream life provided a more unique artistic contribution than any usually recorded. In 1999, N.Y.C.'s Tzadik label released a posthumous successor to the Decca recording, Dion McGregor Dreams Again, providing 20 more of McGregor's dreams.