BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “September Song”


We start my third year of Battles with “September Song,” written by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson and introduced by Walter Huston in 1938 for the Broadway musical Knickerbocker Holiday. Wikipedia tells us “The song is an older person’s plea to a younger potential lover that the courting activities of younger suitors and the objects of their desire are transient and time-wasting. As an older suitor, the speaker hasn’t ‘got time for the waiting game.'”

Bing Crosby was one of the first to record the song in 1943, and Frank Sinatra recorded it three times, as a single in 1946, on his 1962 album Point of No Return, and on his 1965 album September of My Years. Here is that version, which isn’t part of today’s battle.

All right, here are the contestants for today’s battle.

CONTESTANT #1: Jimmy Durante Jimmy recorded the song as the title track for his 1963 album of pop standards.

CONTESTANT #2: The Platters The Platters did their version in 1961 for the album Encore of Broadway Golden Hits.

So, which will it be? Durante, or The Platters? Take a moment to listen to both, and let me know in the comments which you prefer. Then, how’s about visiting some of the other participants, who might also be 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 next Thursday, so be sure and vote before then. The lines are now open… best of luck to Schnozzola and The Platters!

Author: John Holton

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

17 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “September Song””

  1. I used this song in 2014 with very different artists ( ) . It is such a truly great song with so many versions that Battles could be done for years to come.

    In your pairing, both versions are excellent for different reasons. The version by the Platters is impeccable as their vocal renditions typically are. However there is a poignancy about Durante doing this song since it seems so fitting for him. Something about Durante’s delivery of any song he does is particularly moving. His sound is rough around the edges, but so well presented. In this Battle I have to give my vote to Jimmy Durante. Listening to him takes me back to when I was a child watching his TV show with my parents. I loved him then and still do so many years after his passing.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  2. I like the Platters version best. They have such a great sound. Please give them my vote.
    I don’t believe I’ve ever heard any of Jimmy Durante’s singing…so thanks for that!

    Michele at Angels Bark


  3. JOHN ~
    Errrr… OK, I totally love this song. Unfortunately, neither of these versions send “a thrill up my leg”.

    I’ve always liked Jimmy Durante, but it has to be the right kind of song for him. I mean, let’s face it, he really can’t sing. Everything about him screams “novelty”. And I wanted to say that for me to really dig him the song can’t be too serious. And then I remembered he did a great version of ‘As Time Goes By’, which includes the same sort of nostalgic, melancholic feeling that he somehow really failed to capture this time. I dunno why, but somehow I felt kinda-sorta nuttin’ coming from him in this recording, as if he wasn’t really committed to the sentiment of the song. He sure captured it in ‘As Time Goes By’ though!

    Ya gotta like The Platters! Always great songs with fantabulous harmonizing, but… they missed it on this one, too. They’re too-upbeat version sounded almost as if they were celebrating something, rather than ruminating wistfully about something.

    Durante knew what the song was going for, but he didn’t genuinely find it in himself, so he couldn’t honestly convey it. And The Platters were apparently too young to even understand what the song was saying.

    Frank may have the most well-known version, but in my opinion, when Willie Nelson recorded it for his 1978 album ‘Stardust’, he completely took ownership of ‘September Song’. In fact, my 28th BOTB installment ended with Willie convincingly beating Sarah Vaughan on this very song. I don’t think anyone could beat him on this. Maybe someday I’ll let “The Chairman Of The Board” give it a shot, even though I think he’d lose even worse than Sarah did.

    Anyway, long story short (too late for that, I know), I’ll vote THE PLATTERS. It just sounded better, and if neither artist truly captures the sentiment, then go with the best presentation.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’


  4. Hi John! I really thought I’d be voting for he Platters, being a big fan, but Jimmy Durante gives the song more life. Show my vote for him, please.


  5. Jimmy Durante for his great showmanship. Obviously he’s not in The Platters league musically, but he sure is fun to watch and listen to.


  6. The Platters have a perfect style I. The singing and their voices are superb but Durante has the acting, if I can say that, behind the words of the song’s meaning and so I go with Durante…he holds my attention while the Platters is beautiful but I could talk over the, singing.


  7. John, The Platters harmony is superb and everything about their cover is enjoyable. However, I think Jimmy Durante gave the song personality with his gruff, near reminiscing-like quality of his cover. So, Durante gets my vote this round. 🙂


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