I had no idea when I moved to Marietta, Georgia in 1987 that this was such a musical area. Billy Joe Royal, Joe South, and Travis Tritt hail from here (I believe our subdivision was built on land once owned by the Tritt family), and recently I found out something about one of my favorite songs, “A Rainy Night In Georgia.” Tony Joe White, who wrote the song (and who had a hit with “Poke Salad Annie” back in the Sixties) was inspired to write it after many rainy nights in Marietta, where his sister lived and he moved after high school. Seems he used to drive a dump truck for GDOT and he didn’t have to work on rainy days, so he’d sit at home playing the guitar and writing songs. When he moved on to Texas later, he wrote the song remembering how much time he spent when it was raining.
Brook Benton did the song in 1970 and it became a major hit, and his version of it is the one most people remember. This morning when I was planning this battle, I heard Tony Joe’s version for the first time. This isn’t part of the Battle; I just want you to hear it.
It’s been covered many times over, including the two versions here. Your job is to choose which you like better
CONTESTANT #1: Conway Twitty and Sam Moore This must have been taped in the late Eighties or early Nineties, as Conway passed on in 1993. Sam Moore, of course, is one-half of the soul duet Sam & Dave. I saw him sing this at an oldies concert a few years ago.
CONTESTANT #2: Aaron Neville featuring Chris Botti This is from Aaron’s 2006 album Bring It On Home… The Soul Classics. Chris Botti adds some nice muted trumpet to this one.
So, which one did you prefer? The classic artistry of Conway and Sam, or the smooth vocal of Aaron Neville? Vote for the one you liked the best in the comments below and tell us what it was that did it for you. I know, it’s hard to top Brook Benton’s version, and the author of a song always brings something special to it, but I liked both of these versions, and there are these versions, each wonderful in its own way. That’s the power of a great song.
When you’re done with this battle, check out the other folks doing battles today:
Tossing It Out
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands *
Your Daily Dose
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
Evil Pop Tart
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
* Check Stephen’s blog for further updates to this list!
I’ll announce the winner of today’s battle next Monday, so be sure and get your vote in by then.
The lines are now open… best of luck to everyone!