BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Got To Get You Into My Life”


I’m back! I think I said I’d take the summer off, but I’m not sure. Anyway, I’m here, so let’s have a Battle of the Bands!

“Got To Get You Into My Life” by The Beatles (but you already knew that). Paul McCartney wrote it (although he shared writing credit with John Lennon) and sang it for the Fab Four’s 1966 album Revolver. In interviews, Paul has said that the “you” in the title refers to marijuana, which he and the rest of the band were consuming in mass quantities at the time (but none so much as Paul). Here’s the original, in case you’re one of the ten people or so who has never heard it. This way, no one will accidentally vote for it.

It’s been covered lots of times, most notably by Earth, Wind & Fire, whose version is so good I refuse to even use it as a contestant. Chicago would end their concerts with it in the ’70’s, and other versions come to us from the cast of Glee, Cher, and the golden throat of Joe Pesci.

I’ve chosen two versions of the song that I think are evenly matched. Your job is to listen to them, decide which you like better, and let me know what that is in the comments, as well as (optionally) why you chose that one.

Cliff Bennett & The Rabble Rousers From 1966. Paul McCartney produced this version and played piano on it.

Blood Sweat & Tears featuring David Clayton-Thomas I guess DC-T insisted on star billing after he was persuaded to return to BS&T. From their 1975 album New City.

Once you’ve voted, how about visiting Stephen and vote in his Battle, then following the links in his right-hand column to the other battles happening today?

I’ll announce the winner as part of next week’s The Week That Was, so get your vote in by then. The lines are now open!




“Avalon” is a song written by Al Jolson, Buddy DeSylva and Vincent Rose in 1920. It’s one of his more popular songs. Here’s the way he did it. (It’s not in the running, so don’t vote for it.)

It has since become a jazz standard, where it’s played considerably faster. I have three versions of the song in this Battle of the Bands, kind of like Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy from MAD magazine. I was struggling with which one to leave out of this battle, and finally decided to use all three.

The Benny Goodman Quartet The Benny Goodman Quartet was Goodman on clarinet, Teddy Wilson on piano, Lionel Hampton on vibraphone, and Gene Krupa on drums. From 1937.

Django Reinhardt et al. I believe this was recorded in 1934, and the only musicians I know for certain are on it are Django on guitar and Stephane Grappelli on violin. I used to have a roster which came with the Djangology box set, but of course it has been lost forever…

Louis Armstrong et al. The players are listed on the graphic in the video. I believe they’re members of The Dukes of Dixieland. This was recorded in 1960, so the sound quality is better than on the other two.

So the question remains, which of these three versions of the song do you like best? Listen to them, decide which you like the most, and vote by leaving me a comment with your choice, and a little bit about why you chose that over the other two. Then, if you’d be so kind, take a trip over to the Battle of the Bands blog of Stephen T. McCarthy, who will likely be running a battle today and who has a list of all the blogs whose owners might be having a Battle as well. Vote in Stephen’s battle and in the battles of those listed in the right-hand column. You need not be a participant in the Battle of the Bands to vote. The more the merrier, I say. I’ll announce the winners of this battle next Tuesday, May 22, so make sure I receive your vote by then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Benny, Django, and Louis!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Sweet Georgia Brown” Results


I should have posted this yesterday, but it slipped my mind. Actually, I could have posted the results Friday.

Stanley Jordan: 9
Lenny Breaux: 0

I’ve never had a shutout, I don’t think. Anyway, congratulations to Stanley Jordan and condolences to Lenny Breaux.

Next battle next Tuesday. See you then!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Sweet Georgia Brown”


If you’ve ever seen the Harlem Globetrotters warm up before one of their games, you’ve heard this song. (This is not one of the contestants, so any votes cast for it will be disqualified.)

“Sweet Georgia Brown” was written by Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard, with lyrics by Kenneth Casey, in 1925. It became a standard almost overnight, and hundreds of covers of the tune, both instrumental and vocal, have been recorded, including by Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald… heck, who HASN’T done “Sweet Georgia Brown”? Okay, I doubt Justin Bieber or Nicki Minaj have…

Anyway, I decided to do a battle on this because, face it, we just finished the A to Z Challenge and I was pretty well wiped after that. Among the many, many versions of the song on YouTube, I found two of them that featured the incomparable Chet Atkins with some pretty fantastic guitar players, both different in style but not in spirit. So, this is kind of a “Chet vs. Chet” battle.

With Stanley Jordan Stanley Jordan made a name for himself in the 80’s and 90’s for his unique (at the time) style of playing the guitar with both hands on the neck. This live recording was done in 1990.

With Lenny Breaux Lenny Breaux was an enigmatic but remarkable guitarist from Canada who specialized in playing the 7-string guitar. This recording is estimated to be from before 1982, when Chet’s signature model Gibson electric classical guitar was made for him. Apologies in advance for the quality of both the picture and the sound. I had to crank the sound all the way up to hear this.

Those are our contestants in this Battle of the Bands. Listen to both, decide which you like better, and cast your vote by leaving me a comment indicating which you liked better and why. Then, support the other people who are doing battles today, whose names and links to their blogs can be found on Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands blog. I’ll announce the winner of this battle next Tuesday, May 8, so be sure and get your vote in by then. You don’t have to be a participant in Battle of the Bands to vote, but if perchance you would be interested in conducting a battle yourself, please do so and let Stephen know.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Stanley Jordan and Lennie Breaux!

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!