BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “A Rainy Night In Georgia”


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
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
Evil Pop Tart
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Angels Bark
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Quiet Laughter

* 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!


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

14 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “A Rainy Night In Georgia””

  1. Oh how I love this song! Both versions are fabulous but I’m going with Aaron Neville and Chris Botti. Love Aaron’s voice and the trumpet just seals the deal.
    Great battle John.

    Michele at Angels Bark


  2. I’m going with Conway and Sam. They really did a great job on this song. I do love Aaron Neville, but I don’t think he has the right voice for this particular song. Conway and Sam nailed it.


  3. I never thought I would vote for Conway Twitty but I am! I prefer the duet of Twitty and Moore and their musical styling more than the other guy. I actually am not a fan of that type of trumpet and I actually found his voice annoying because it sounded a bit nasal to me.


  4. Sweet battle! Tough call, but I’m going to give my one and only vote to Aaron Neville! Such a unique voice and so relaxing…love it.


  5. Twitty and Moore do an impressive job with this song. They seemed like an unlikely pairing but it works well. Going into this contest I was pretty sure that I’d vote for Neville as I think his vocals are always superb. On this song they are indeed exquisite and Botti’s trumpet playing is a nice touch. However, I felt the Twitty/Moore duet was more convincing in this case.

    Surprisingly, I’m going with Conway Twitty and Sam Moore. It’s a great rendition.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


    1. There was an album years back called “Rhythm, Country, and Blues” a number of years ago where they paired R&B artists with country artists. That song is on it. It’s really amazing how good it sounds; the two types of music fit very well together.


  6. Fabulous song, JOHN. And I’ve also had this one on my “Songs To BOTB” list since about the beginning of BOTB. Only I have two different artists listed, so perhaps I’ll still use this song sometime down the road.

    Coming into this, I was sure I’d be voting for Neville & Botti because I like both of them better’n I do Twitty & Moore. But to my great surprise — NO. Conway & Sam just captured the mood of the song better and made a great, if unlikely, duet.

    I’ll end with a funny story that comes from Waylon Jennings’ autobiography:

    He wrote about a time that George Jones stopped by his (Waylon’s) house for a friendly visit. Jones was notorious for being the biggest party animal in Nashville and he was really jacked up this particular night.

    After awhile, something set Jones off and he became a wild man. Waylon eventually had to wrestle George to the floor, tied him up, then propped him up on the couch and said, “Now you be still. I’m going to call your manager to come pick you up.”
    George sneered back at Waylon, “I’ll get you, you Conway Twitty-actin’ son-of-a-bitch!”

    Waylon laughed because he had no idea what that meant. And he never did find out. Somehow, it seems like only Country music could produce a story quite like that one. (One has to wonder if a drunken George Jones had previously been wrestled down and tied up by Conway Twitty. Ha!-Ha!-Ha!)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’


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