BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Shame and Scandal in the Family”


I think I would have remembered at some point that it was Battle of the Bands day, anyway, but I got up this morning and found that one of my favorite YouTubers, Matt the Saiyan, had posted this to his channel: a clip, from the Australian TV show Bandstand, of French pop singer Sylvia Penzes lip-synching her hit record “Shame And Scandal In The Family.” (This version is not a contestant, so please don’t vote for it.)

Wikipedia, Blogger’s Best Friend ™ that it is, has this to say about the song:

“Shame and Scandal in the Family” is a song written by calypso singer Sir Lancelot for the movie I Walked with a Zombie in 1943 and originally titled “Fort Holland Calypso Song”. Sir Lancelot issued his recording of it in the late 1940s. The Sir Lancelot version was covered by folksingers Odetta and Burl Ives. In 1962, Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Melody wrote new lyrics for the verses while keeping the melody and the chorus. The Historical Museum of Southern Florida said of Lord Melody’s version that “No calypso has been more extensively recorded”.

“Extensively recorded” tells me the song is ripe for a BotB. So, here are two versions of the song, done 40 years apart, for you to listen to.

Trini Lopez

From 1967, it was released as a single but didn’t chart. It was included on his 1968 album It’s A Great Life.


From their 2005 album The Dangerman Sessions Vol. 1. It was released as a single and reached #12 in France and #38 in the UK.

OK, it’s time to vote: Do you prefer Trini Lopez’s version of the song, or Madness’s? Let your voice be heard by leaving me a comment with your preference, and maybe a little about why you prefer that one. Then, visit Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands blog, where he has his own battle going (and be sure to vote in his, please) and where he has a list of everyone else who’s a part of this blog hop, visit those blogs and cast your vote in them as well.

The results of this battle will be announced in my The Week That Was post next week, April 22, so be sure and get your vote in by then, The lines are now open. Best of luck to Trini Lopez and Madness!


BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Eleanor Rigby”


“Eleanor Rigby” was written by Paul McCartney and was recorded by The Beatles for their 1966 Revolver album. Wikipedia says this about the song:

The song continued the transformation of the Beatles from a mainly rock and roll- and pop-oriented act to a more experimental, studio-based band. With a double string octet arrangement by George Martin and striking lyrics about loneliness, “Eleanor Rigby” broke sharply with popular music conventions, both musically and lyrically. Richie Unterberger of AllMusic cites the band’s “singing about the neglected concerns and fates of the elderly” on the song as “just one example of why the Beatles’ appeal reached so far beyond the traditional rock audience”.

It’s hardly my favorite Beatles tune, certainly my least-favorite song on that album, but there’s something about it that I just can’t put out of my mind. Anyway, Vevo has been nice enough to put many of The Beatles’ songs on YouTube (after making sure all the fan videos were removed and those who posted them chastised). Here it is, with graphics from Yellow Submarine (which I’ve only seen once, so I’m not sure if this video was part of it).

For this battle, I chose two instrumental versions of the song by jazz artists who were quite popular in the Sixties. Here are your choices.

Wes Montgomery

Wes had established himself as a preeminent jazz guitarist with his 1960 Riverside album The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, and by 1965, concurrent with his move to Verve, moved in a considerably more “pop” (i.e. “commercial”) direction. He moved to Herb Alpert’s A&M Records in 1967. His first album for A&M was 1967’s A Day In The Life, where he covered two Beatles tunes, the title track and “Eleanor Rigby.” Wes died of a heart attack at home in Indianapolis about a year after this was recorded.

Vince Guaraldi

Most of us know Vince Guaraldi from the music he wrote for the Peanuts animated specials, but he also was a factor in the Latin and bossa nova scene during the early Sixties. He recorded this for his last album, 1970’s Alma-Ville. This was the last song he played before dying of a heart attack in February 1976.

So, listen to both versions of the song, decide which you prefer, and leave a comment below telling me which you prefer and, optionally, why you chose that one. Then, hop on over to Stephen T. McCarthy’s BotB blog, where he has a list of all the blogs that might be having a Battle today, vote in his battle, then visit the other blogs to see what they have in store.

I’ll announce the winner of today’s Battle next Sunday, April 8, 2018, so be sure and vote by then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Wes and Vince!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Our Day Will Come” Results


Given that my last battle was such a lopsided victory, this one was a surprise. No, not a surprise, a relief. Just to recap, the song was Ruby & The Romantics’ “Our Day Will Come,” and the contestants were Amy Winehouse and Brenda Lee.

Brenda Lee: 6
Amy Winehouse: 5

I thought Amy Winehouse would run away with this one when the first several votes put her ahead 4-1, but then Miss Dynamite came roaring back and took this one. Which doesn’t surprise me, actually: there are good things about both versions, both women sound great, and you can’t beat the song. I put the two versions up against each other because I liked both of them and was hoping for the kind of battle I ended up with.

Anyway, congratulations to Brenda Lee and kudos to Amy Winehouse.

The next battle will be on April 1, coincidentally also the first day of the A to Z Challenge. This time I won’t pick a song that could be construed as part of that challenge… Join us then!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Our Day Will Come”


Given the decisive victory enjoyed by Ruby & The Romantics the last time out, I thought this week we’d put a couple of covers of their most famous song, “Our Day Will Come,” up against each other and see which one you like best.

Amy Winehouse I’m generally not a fan of 21st Century music, so I was surprised that I enjoy the late Ms. Winehouse’s voice on a number of songs, including this one. She recorded this for her 2011 album Lioness: Hidden Treasures and released it as a single that year. It didn’t chart in the US and only reached #29 in the UK.

Brenda Lee On the other hand, anyone who’s been reading this blog for any length of time knows much I love Miss Dynamite. Brenda Lee recorded this on her 1963 album Let Me Sing.

So, please listen to these two fine performances of the song, decide which you like better, and vote for it in the comments below. If you feel like it, you can even tell me why. Then, please hie thee over to Stephen’s BotB blog, vote in his battle, then look in the right-hand column, where he has a list of all the known participants in Battle of the Bands and check out their battles. I’ll announce the winner of this battle next Thursday, March 22, so be sure and get your vote in by then.

The lines are now open. Best of luck to Amy and Brenda!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Hey There Lonely Girl/Boy” Results

This doesn’t happen often, does it? A shutout!

Ruby & The Romantics: 6
Eddie Holman: 0

Now the voting was light, which I’m sure had something to do with it. Still, this is the first time I’ve had a shutout. Usually there’s one person who votes for the runner-up, but not here. I think Ruby’s record company should re-release the record, you know?

So congratulations, Ruby et al., and Eddie, gee, don’t know what to tell ya…

We’ll have another battle next Thursday that features the biggest hit by today’s winners. Stay tuned!