BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Stormy”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

“Stormy” was a song by the Classics IV, a band out of Jacksonville, Florida. It was written by lead singer Dennis Yost, guitarist James (J. R.) Cobb, and producer Buddy Buie (the latter two would go on to form the Atlanta Rhythm Section in the Seventies) and released in 1968 on their Mamas and Papas/Soul Train album. As a single, it reached #5 on the Hot 100 that year. Here it is, and please, it’s not in the running, so don’t vote for it.

It’s been covered by, among others, O. C. Smith, Santana, and practically every bar band around. Today, we’re going to feature two performances by women. Give both a listen and see what you think.

CONTESTANT #1: Bobbie Gentry Bobbie recorded this but it was never released as a single or on an album. I don’t know why.

CONTESTANT #2: The Supremes The Supremes recorded this for a compilation album called Northern Soul Conoisseurs, released some time during the 1990’s, according to AllMusic.

So, which of these versions did you like better? Do you prefer Bobbie Gentry’s simple guitar-and-voice version, or The Supremes’ classic Motown Sound? Whichever the case, leave me a comment with your choice, and if you feel like telling me and everyone else why you preferred that one over the other, the floor is yours. Then, take a trip over to Stephen T. McCarthy’s blog, where he has the current list of BotB participants (in the right-hand column, a ways down) and check out the other bloggers who are likely doing a Battle of their own today, and vote in their battles as well.

I’ll announce the winner of this battle next Wednesday, November 22 (a/k/a Thanksgiving Eve), so be sure and get your vote in before then. The lines are now open. Best of luck to Bobbie and The Supremes!

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BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “I Only Have Eyes For You”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

“I Only Have Eyes For You” was written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin for the 1934 movie Dames, which starred Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler. Here’s the original version, from the movie. It’s done later in the movie as a Busby Berkeley production number.

This song has been done a lot, most notably by The Flamingoes in the Fifties; their version was copied by Art Garfunkel in the Seventies. I’m not going to use either of those versions in this battle, because people are quite familiar with them. Likewise, Frank Sinatra is famous for the song, so I won’t use him, either. Instead, here are a couple of obscure versions you might not have heard.

CONTESTANT #1: Ben Selvin and His Orchestra, Howard Phillips vocal From 1934. Ben Selvin started recording for Victor in 1919 and for a number of labels until 1927, when he signed with Columbia. He was A&R director for Columbia from 1927 through 1934, and again from the late 1940’s until the mid-1950’s.

CONTESTANT #2: Freddy Gardner with Peter Yorke and His Concert Orchestra Freddy Gardner was a well-known British saxophonist who by the late 1940’s was a featured soloist for Peter Yorke, who was heard regularly on the BBC. This is from 1948.

So, now it’s up to you: which version of the song did you prefer, Ben Selvin’s or Freddy Gardner’s? Let me know by leaving a comment below, telling me your choice and a little bit as to why. Then, bop on over to Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands blog, where you’ll find a list of the other blogs which might or might not be doing a BotB today as well. I’ll announce the winner as part of next Sunday’s The Week That Was post, so get your vote to me before then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Ben and Freddy!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Love Of The Common People” Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

To recap: This battle was between The Everly Brothers and Waylon Jennings, who both recorded the song “Love Of The Common People” in 1967. I received the last vote just seconds ago; here are the results.

The Everly Brothers: 6
Waylon Jennings: 9

Congratulations to Waylon Jennings and a pat on the back to Don and Phil Everly for making this one so close.

I guess we’re going to a once-a-month schedule, so I’ll see you back here on October 15 for the next Battle of the Bands.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Love of the Common People”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

Kip suggested this back in July, and I would have done it last month had it not been for the death of Glen Campbell. The Blogger’s Best Friend tells us this was written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins, eventually released by Hurley in 1970, but it was done in 1969 by The Four Preps. Here’s Hurley’s version.

It’s been covered a bunch of times by a Who’s Who of pop and country artists, including these two.

CONTESTANT #1: The Everly Brothers Their 1967 cover only reached #114 in the US, but #70 in Australia and #4 in Canada.

CONTESTANT #2: Waylon Jennings Waylon released this as the B side of “The Chokin’ Kind” in 1967. His version reached #67 on the Country chart.

You know the drill: listen to both covers, decide which one you like better, and vote by leaving me a comment below, teling me who and why. Then, go visit Stephen T. McCarthy’s “Battle of the Bands” blog, where he has a list of all the current blogs doing a Battle of the Bands, and visit the other bloggers. (This isn’t necessarily a guarantee that you’ll find one there, but they’re the ones most likely to.)

I’ll announce the winner next Friday, September 22, so be sure and get your vote in before. The lines are now open. Good luck to Don & Phil and Waylon!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

In our last battle, we sent two members of the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, head-to-head using Jimmy Webb’s beautiful “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” popularized by the late Glen Campbell in 1967. Here are the results.

Frank Sinatra: 7
Dean Martin: 11

Congratulations to Dean Martin and a pat on the back for Frank Sinatra.

Many of you said that Glen Campbell owned this song, that no one did it better than he did, and I agree: his version of the song is iconic. Interesting, though, that Glen’s was not the first recording of the song; Johnny Rivers recorded it first, in 1965. Here’s his version of the song. Being a Johnny Rivers fan, I have to say, while not as good as Glen’s, his version is pretty good. It’s from his 1966 album Changes.

My next battle will be on September 15, after which I’ll probably go back to the twice-weekly Battles. See you then!