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Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!


This is
'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two "Battles" per month, on the 1st and 15th. Six days later (the 7th and 21st), I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.

Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of 'DOG BITE High Gravity Lager' (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!

[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Sunday, February 15, 2015

'BATTLE OF THE BANDS: 2015, FEB. 15' (Or, 'JO STAFFORD VS. WILLIE NELSON')

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Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...
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THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (‘BOTB’)
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Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!
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Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’)
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Alright, let’s get on it...
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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OK, here's a classic, a standard that has been recorded countless times. This song is so seductive that I had a hard time deciding whose versions to use because, honestly, I don't think its possible to sing such a great song poorly.

Fun Fact: "Moonlight in Vermont" is a popular song about the U.S. state of Vermont, written by John Blackburn and Karl Suessdorf and published in 1943. The lyrics are unusual in that they do not rhyme. John Blackburn, the lyricist, has been quoted as saying, "After completing the first 12 bars of the lyric, I realized there was no rhyme and then said to Karl, 'Let's follow the pattern of no rhyme throughout the song. It seemed right." The lyrics are also metrically interesting in that each verse (not counting the bridge) is a haiku. The song is considered an unofficial state song of Vermont and is frequently played as the first dance song at Vermont wedding receptions.

I learned this song via my Pa, so ultimately I decided to go with two of my Pa's all-time favorite singers. Jo Stafford wasn't his very favorite female singer (that would be Dinah Washington) but Stafford was definitely in the running. Her version was recorded first, so we'll hear her sing it first.

'MOONLIGHT IN VERMONT' - JO STAFFORD


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOJ5k6G8-pA
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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This next selection comes from Willie Nelson's 'STARDUST' album. As you know, it was this album that started the whole fad of contemporary singers recording old American standards. 'MOONLIGHT IN VERMONT' was the first song put together for the album. In fact, Nelson hadn't even decided to record a whole album of standards at this point. He merely asked his friend Booker T. Jones (of 'Booker T & The MGs' fame) to arrange 'Moonlight...' for him. Willie Nelson was so pleased with the results that he decided to record an entire album of standards arranged by Booker T. Some folks told him he was not suited for this kind of material and the 1978 album might ruin his career. And that's why you listen to your heart rather than to so-called experts. Ruined his career? Pshaw!

Wackypedia:
In 1979, Nelson won a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for the song "Georgia on My Mind". Stardust was on the Billboard Country Album charts for ten years—from its release until 1988. The album also reached number one in New Zealand and number five in Australia in 1980. In 2003, the album was ranked number 257 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was originally certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in December 1978. In 1984, when it was certified triple platinum, Nelson was the highest-grossing concert act in the United States. In 2002, the album was certified quintuple platinum, and it was later inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

'MOONLIGHT IN VERMONT' - WILLIE NELSON 



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj6CW6OafNc 

[At one point I was thinking of putting Jo Stafford OR Willie Nelson up against Frank Sinatra, just because I wanted to watch that cocky Italian bloke get his butt kicked by a woman or a redneck. (I would have bet the farm that both Jo and Willie would clobber "Ol' Blue Eyes" on this song in a BOTB contest.) But I decided to put A-list Vs. A-list, rather than an A-list against what I consider Frank's B-list. Nevertheless, if you're a big Sinatra fan and want to hear Frankie-baby's ultra-slow, bleached white bread version of this song, I'll give you an opportunity to vote for him in this BOTB. Just click HERE. If I know anything about music, your vote will certainly be in the minority. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Due to a hectic schedule right now, I may be a little slow in getting around to all YOUR BOTBs, but I promise to get there and submit my vote before time expires.]
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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 
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After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)
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Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THIS BELLE ROCKS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ALEX CAVANAUGH' (when BOTB falls on a Mon., Wed., or Fri.) by clicking HERE.
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As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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53 comments:

  1. This happens to be among my favorite songs. I never noticed the lack of rhyme--the lyrics are so poetic that the meter carries things well without the rhyme. That was an interesting point for me to learn since this is a song that I've listened to so many times.

    The version I was first exposed to and continue to prefer was Sinatra's so I'm in that "minority" who would have voted for his version since it is so settled into my brain and has so many good listening memories. And I do think Sinatra does a great job with the tune.

    Willie Nelson's version is well done and not too much to complain about, but this is one song where his voice just doesn't fit quite as well.

    Jo Stafford on the other hand gives the song the more traditional treatment that is called for. It's all smooth, conservation, and like a evening in Vermont should seem to me. Then there's the sax solo which cinches the contest for me.

    Jo Stafford wins my vote.

    Great song and Battle.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BOIDMAN ~

      Glad you liked this BOTB, Brother Boid.

      Since Sinatra's version IS eligible for voting (as an alternative to the main combatants) and since his IS the version you like best of these three, I will count your vote in the final tally for Frank instead.

      Unless you have some reason that you REALLY want to vote for Jo Stafford in this contest, there's no reason not to use your vote on the recording you genuinely like best of the three that are eligible to receive votes.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. I guess I overlooked that I could vote for Frank. Sure give him my vote since his version is my preference.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
  2. I am not one for Frank as I usually want to punch him in the face so I am glad he is not in the running. I hurl every time I hear him sing Ole Man River. Now as for these 2 I go with Jo Stafford. Her voice is full and full of dreaminess which goes with the song. I actually really enjoyed Willie Nelson's version. He sings it so well but I go with Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BIRGIT ~
      Thanks so much for your vote and devotion to BOTB. You are much appreciated here!

      I kind of have a "Like/Hate" relationship with Frankie-baby. My Ma loved him (she told me it was "all in the phrasing"); my Pa liked him but not nearly as much as my Ma (and Pa said Frank was pretty nervy to record 'Mack The Knife' after Bobby Darin had such a massive hit with it and it became his 'signature song').

      I have two Sinatra albums (gifts from my Ma). I love 'We'll Be Together Again' (and had a strange mystical-ish experience with it while my Ma lay dying). A few of Franks songs I like a great deal (such as 'Winchester Cathedral' and 'It Was A Very Good Year') but overall, I think the guy was highly overrated (yeah, you should HEAR me say that, because it's all in my phrasing). Plus, with only a few exceptions, I'm not really a fan of "the crooners".

      Thanks again. Glad you go for Jo.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  3. Both are nice versions, but I will vote for Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, thanks Mike.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  4. You, Mr. McCarthy are a dangerous man, and your BOTBs even more so.

    What is it about the moonlight and songs about them (or at least with Moonlight in the title) that absolutely make me melt? I dunno, but this is definitely one of them.

    As an aside note, I have been in 40 of the 48 contiguous states in the US. The 8 I’m missing include both Carolinas and the New England States (Main, VERMONT, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island). So, although, I’ve never been to Vermont, the lyrics of this song still conjure up images of OTHER, I guess, similar places in my mind.

    Anyway…I love this song. It is beautiful, romantic, and has the ability to set my mind off to a tranquil place where everything is right with the world (kinda like that other ‘Moonlight’ song), and true love for all eternity is a real possibility.

    Miss Stafford does a lovely job here. Her voice is soft and beautiful. It has that smooth silky sound that is different from the jazz smokey silk sound (at least to my ears), but kind of pure and clean, like a fresh mountain stream. The instrumental backup in her version is superb. That Sax…Who Wee. The same soft silky sound as Miss Stafford’s voice. What a beautiful compliment to each other. I can imagine she will garner many votes in this contest. You might have even come close to having a shut-out on your hands here.

    BUT, knowing that Willie’s ‘Stardust’ is my all-time favorite album, I’m pretty sure you knew you could count on me for at least one vote in that direction.

    I’m sure Mr. Six will disagree with me (and maybe everybody else for that matter), cause comparing Willie’s vocal talents to those of Miss Stafford are almost laughable. There is no comparison; Jo most definitely has the better voice. BUT, just those first few unmistakable notes of Willie’s guitar and I’m done for. His version is what DOES IT for me. Ruin his career – HA! HA! HA! This song alone, if not the entire ‘Stardust’ album prove what a versatile performer that ‘ole redneck is.

    Since I’m on a kick for 2015 to be as positive as I possibly can, I’m not even gonna comment on Ole Blue Eyes (never a favorite of mine) and his version of this lovely love song.

    Just to be sure you, and everyone else ‘got it’. Make mine Willie by miles, and miles, and miles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please, make that Maine. I know better 'n that. Jus' in a hurry this morning.

      Delete
    2. >>... I have been in 40 of the 48 contiguous states in the US.

      Since when is it only 48? Don't you remember Barack Obama's geography? Barack Obama says there's 60 states in the union, so some mo' of those MUST be on this continent, right?

      You inspired me to break out my Road Atlas to check my travels. I've got you beat but not by much. I've been in 43 states here (if being in the Minneapolis airport waiting for a connecting flight counts for being in Minnesota).

      (Have you been in Hawaii and Alaska?)

      I'm missing Washington state, Nebraska, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Michigan. I missed being in Michigan by maybe one mile, but I've got a gal in Kalamazoo.

      >>... Miss Stafford does a lovely job here. Her voice is ... pure and clean, like a fresh mountain stream.

      That's a PERFECT description of her voice!

      Yeah, I was sure you would vote Willie. But as you can see, Willie's holding his own here, and this wasn't going to be close to a shutout.

      Going into it, I was guessing Jo would win but Willie would keep it within shouting distance, and so far that seems to be playing out.

      Thanks for your reliable vote, FAE.

      I'll get to your BOTB tonight. I've already heard the songs and know how I'll vote, but I needs to get some sleep and then get some stuffs done first.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  5. Tough battle. I didn't even listen to the Sinatra version. No point in confusing things in this poor brain.

    I'm constantly amazed at Willie Nelson's versatility, which is fully apparent on this album. This is the second (or third?) song you've used from this album. I believe that I voted for Willie the other time. Anyway, I really liked his version this time around, too.

    BUT, Jo Stafford is pretty dang stellar. I can see why your Pa liked her so much. Her vocals are just... wow. And while I don't get all gooey-eyed over a sax solo, this one was pretty terrific. Not too long, but very well-done, adding just the right notes to make the song reverbate in my ears even after it quit. (Quite a feat!)

    So, chalk one for Jo Stafford.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GIRL WONDER ~
      I'm pleased you enjoyed this Battle and found it tough voting.

      I agree with everything you said about Jo's singing. Yep, can't go wrong with either of these versions. With Jo, it's a sax break; with Willie, it's a harmonica break, but both of them really capture the mood musically.

      By the way, I guessed ahead of time that Jo's singing would 'Wow' you and get your vote. I didn't know whether or not you'd ever heard her before, but I knew you were going to like this recording.

      Jo should be better remembered than she is, and Frankie-baby should be less celebrated than he is. Those are my opinions, and I'm sticking with 'em.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  6. I'm listening to Jo, and the sax takes a turn and I'm dancing barefoot. Glasses of iced "Roma Rocket' clink together. I see those long shadows through the trees, while man in dark clothing surround the house. Oh how the snow glistens... and I'm where? What happened to Bora-Bora? And who is this woman I'm dancing with? ((smooth sound))

    Suddenly I am transported to a far-out country... a sweet wrinkly man with a red bandanna sings to me. Our mutual love of pigtails threatens to play "Stormy Weather," in Vermont? A lone guitar, a rising organ(not that), a few tinkles of the ivory...ooh, big harmonica sound... (thanks, Mickey). ((smooth sound here too.))

    Did you know that Jo Stafford once did a cover of the Bee Gees' dico-blitz: "Stayin' Alive"? No?

    I liked them both, but my pigtails belong to Willie. I vote Willie Nelson.

    (What a battle - could you have made it any harder?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >>... ooh, big harmonica sound... (thanks, Mickey)

      Mickey Raphael on harmonica. Hey! You really know this album don't you, DIXIE POLKA?

      No, I did NOT know that Jo Stafford once did a cover of the Bee Gees' 'Stayin' Alive'. To be honest, I think I wish I STILL didn't know that. Ha!

      >>... my pigtails belong to Willie

      HA!-HA!
      Great line; great way to place a vote!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  7. You're right, I would have voted against Sinatra, only liked him a bit in his younger days (movies). Willie gets my vote, he's an old fave since he broke out of his country mode. I like several of his songs. He became better when he changed his hairdo. . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. D.G. ~
      It's all in the hairdo (to paraphrase my Ma and steal her line about Frankie-baby).

      I really wasn't sure how you'd vote on this one, but I'm DAMN GLAD you did. Thanks for your continued BOTB support, Damn Glad Hudson! (Whoa! Methinks you just acquired a nickname here.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. There are a lot of times when I am Damn Glad, so you made me chuckle when I needed to!

      Delete
  8. All three are good versions. But you dissed Frank. And that slight cannot go unanswered by a paison (well, half).

    You shouldn't oughta given me the opportunity to vote for the Chairman of the Board.

    Willie versus Jo, I think I'd give it to Jo, but not by much.

    But I'm going to give it to Frank, but again, not by much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DOCTOR DISCDUDE ~
      I hope (and trust) your vote genuinely reflected your objective music opinion and wasn't just a simple act of revenge.

      Look, let's face it: Sinatra wasn't bad. In fact, sometimes he was pretty good. But if not for the support of the Corleone Family, and the effect of a decapitated horse head in bed, Frank would be less well known today and Nelson Riddle (also Billy May) would be better known.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. You are onto me-revenge is my sole motivation. I will stand up against Sinatra haters wherever I find them, and keep the world safe for cannoli!

      I spent a lot of my childhood years with my mother playing Sinatra records (my two uncles had supported SInatra a few times, and I'm sure Frank's Italian heritage may have influenced her taste)

      And as you know, I have Stardust in my collection.

      Of the two, I simply prefer Sinatra to Nelson. No contest for me.

      However, Jo Stafford made it interesting, because I actually like that song better sung by a woman, which is why she beats Willie.

      Both choices were pretty close-all three versions are good.

      But in the end, I who know nuttin' 'bout music simply like Sinatra better.

      Didn't Ol' Blue Eyes work pretty closely with Riddle (and Billy May)?

      I'm not sure you can blame him for them not being household names*, although he certainly owed them as well for helping make him a success..

      The guy in front of the microphone gets the chicks.

      Which is why the band may be named "Van Halen" but everyone thought of David Lee Roth first.

      Or did you think Mick Jagger was landing all those super-models because he was charming (it sure as heck wasn't those big-ass lips!)?

      -The Musical Ignoramus

      *I would have actually considered Nelson Riddle a household name. Due to my mother, I knew of his work with Ella and Frank, which led me to purchase the records with Linda Ronstadt for her as gifts (later I got them on CD for myself). I guess I figured if Ronstadt was working with him, he had cred.

      Delete
    3. >>... Didn't Ol' Blue Eyes work pretty closely with Riddle (and Billy May)?

      Yes, yes! That's why I mentioned them. I think he did more work with Nelson Riddle arranging, with Riddle's Orchestra backing him, than he did with May. But it was May who arranged his 'Come Fly With Me' album, which 'Moonlight In Vermont' comes from.

      I like both Riddle AND May, and I used to tell my Ma that I'd like Frankie-baby's songs better if there were no vocals and I could just focus completely on the band behind him. (There are a few exceptions to that opinion, but not many.)

      Funny, because for me (ever the nonconformist) I ALWAYS thought of Eddie Van Halen first when the band 'Van Halen' was mentioned. From the very first time I heard a Van Halen song ('Runnin' With The Devil') it was immediately apparent to me that the guitarist was the heart, soul, and star of THAT show.

      David Lee Roth? There's plenty like him to be found: mongrels who ain't got a penny, sniffing for tidbits like Eddie on the ground.

      >>...I guess I figured if Ronstadt was working with him [Nelson Riddle], he had cred.

      That's ironic because for me, I thought of it in the exact reverse: If Nelson Riddle is working with Linda Ronstadt, she must be better than I thought.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  9. Well, well, well. Sigh.

    I may have said it before, but if you ever simplify your BOTBs to include just Karen Carpenter, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Mathis, that's when I stop voting. Just an FYI.

    I am not a big fan of the song anyway, and obviously Wee Willie does nuttin' for me. My belief (though perhaps it is just because "I don't get it," because I certainly DON'T) is that many people think that Willie's crappy voice adds character to a song. That somehow his crusty, whiney voice is perceived as appropriate because "it doesn't sound good, therefore it must have feeling. Sung from the heart!"

    Sorry. I'm not buyin' what he's sellin'.

    Jo Stafford has an excellent voice... for a mezzo-soprano, which are never my favorites. Her vocal quality is excellent both with her highs and lows. Your pa was correct in liking her, though off-base in his affection for the Willster.

    However, I must prove my poor taste and complete and utter lack of musical knowledge (ha!) and vote WONDER BREAD. Pasty-white and soulless, bleached and ultra-ultra-slow Frankie-baby for me. Baby. LC apparently knows nuttin' 'bout music neither!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SHEBOYGANBROTHER SIX ~

      >>... if you ever simplify your BOTBs to include just Karen Carpenter, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Mathis, that's when I stop voting. Just an FYI.

      Dog-nap it, Six, you done forced me to do the math (and nobody hates me doing the math more than I do!)

      I didn't really believe I had excessively featured Karen Carpenter, Willie Nelson and Johnny Mathis in my BOTBs, so I started counting and my results will surprise you:

      From my very first BOTB up through this current one, I have featured a total of 81 CONTESTANTS.

      Of those 81 artists, I have featured...

      Karen Carpenter = 2
      Willie Nelson = 2
      Johnny Mathis = 0


      In other words, 77 of the 81 artists I have featured in BOTBs have been someone OTHER THAN your hated trio of Carpenter, Nelson, and Mathis.

      By contrast, I have also featured...

      Frankie-baby Sinatra = 2
      Danny Gatton = 2
      Satchmo = 2


      I think you like all 3 of them, don't you? At least Sinatra and Gatton I'm pretty sure you do, and I seem to believe you also dig Satchmo some, amirite?

      You seem to remember me using people you hate more than people you appreciate. Why, how come, what for?

      Do the MATH(is) and you WILL(ie) find you got nuttin' to really CARP(enter) about.

      >>... I must prove my poor taste and complete and utter lack of musical knowledge (ha!) and vote WONDER BREAD. Pasty-white and soulless, bleached and ultra-ultra-slow Frankie-baby...

      Well, indeed, Frankie-baby is pretty damned bland on his 'Moonlight In Vermont' recording. For one thing, he sings it so slow that the melody is almost lost entirely.

      I own the compact disc 'CLASSIC SINATRA: His Great Performances 1953-1960', and it comes as no surprise to me that 'Moonlight In Vermont' is not found amongst the CD's 20 Sinatra recordings. There's a reason for that.

      Brother Six, there's also a reason that...

      "Stardust was on the Billboard Country Album charts for ten years ... reached number one in New Zealand and number five in Australia ... was ranked number 257 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time ... the album was certified quintuple platinum, and it was later inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame."

      For sure, you hate Willie Nelson's singing voice, but I think there's something going on here that simply doesn't appeal to you but which a lot of people are honestly enjoying (and well beyond a Willie's voice "doesn't sound good, therefore it must have feeling" way).

      >>... LC apparently knows nuttin' 'bout music neither!

      Well, LC "may" have voted Sinatra just to dig at me for saying something negative about "the cocky Italian bloke's ... ultra-slow, bleached white bread" performance. But I think it may have been you (not me) who inadvertently criticized LC's music knowledge more, when you consider the fact that LC wrote...

      All three are good versions. ... Willie versus Jo, I think I'd give it to Jo, but not by much. But I'm going to give it to Frank, but again, not by much.

      Even LC likes Willie's version of the song. And I doubt he likes it just because he's been convinced that "Willie's crappy voice adds character to a song."

      Are we good now? Or do I need to BOTB Jim Morrison and The Doors against Johnny Mathis on The Ides of March?
      [;-)}

      Incidentally, I expect to be sending an E your way sometime tonight, delivering the lowdown on uptown Reno.

      If you saw my last comment to you on the previous blog bit, then you've undoubtedly already guessed what I'm going to tell ya, but I'll go on and yak it straightforwardly anyways.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. Oh no, you cannot twist this into ME insulting LC! It was not me who said:
      "I'll give you an opportunity to vote for him (Sinatra) in this BOTB. Just click HERE. If I know anything about music, your vote will certainly be in the minority."

      Clearly, that is voter-tampering as well as insulting to anyone who votes Sinatra.

      I agree that I'd not put this tune on Sinatra's Greatest CD... but I would not put this tune on ANYONE'S greatest CD. It is not that great a tune.

      Also, I am more puzzled than impressed by Nelson's long tenure on the Billboard charts. As I said: I don't get it. You say that it is because he is so good. But are you consistent then by agreeing that Mariah Carey must be a great artist, since had a number one hit in each of 11 years in a row? (more than anyone else, ever.) Or that Katy Perry is a great artist because she had a number one hit in the top ten for 69 weeks (more than anyone else, ever.) Or that The Black Eyed Peas must be great as are the only artists to have more than one "best of all-time" songs on the same studio album. Their album The E.N.D contains "I've Gotta Feeling" (6th best of all-time as listed by Billboard), and "Boom Boom Pow" (51st best of all-time, as listed by Billboard). I didn't think you agree with those artists as being great.

      So these Billboard achievements and listings are still the result of subjective-collective opinion, enough people - many of them with lousy taste - like someone like Nelson. Who can explain it? I certainly can't.

      Sorry to have forced you into doing math. I think it must only have SEEMED you have done a lot of Willie because I believe some BOTB-ers (and you know who you are) have used him also. Mathis? I am just on tenterhooks waiting for that shoe to drop. We are more in danger around the holidays, but we slipped past that iceberg this year. The Doors? They are growing on me after 50 years, so I will not complain if you use them again.

      I'll appreciate the E when you have the chance. These public conversations are nice, but do not replace a tailored and personal communication.

      Delete
    3. BROSIX ~

      Ha! I sincerely love EVERYONE'S Pro and Con Passion.

      >>... If I know anything about music, your vote will certainly be in the minority."

      Well, so far it IS in the minority, so it seems (so far) that I DO know something about music.

      >>... Clearly, that is voter-tampering as well as insulting to anyone who votes Sinatra.

      Well, that's all I INTENDED it to be. It wasn't meant as an overly ambitious statement.

      ... But are you consistent then by agreeing that Mariah Carey must be a great artist, since... Katy Perry is a great artist because... The Black Eyed Peas must be great as they are the only artists to... I didn't think you agree with those artists as being great.

      Sure, I'm consistent. And, no, I certainly don't think those are great artists.

      You left out a very important element in your analysis: Those are the results of ongoing, highly effective, systematic dumbing-down of young people in ALL facets of life. There's been a whole lot more dumbing-down since Willie's 'Stardust' was on the charts.

      Let's not forget that the majority of people who love those aforementioned "artists" also voted as their president a man who thought there were 60 states in the union. (See my comment and link to FAE above in this comment section.)

      I know FAE used Willie in a BOTB. I can't recall off the top of my head if anyone else has. Perhaps so, but a year and a half of graveyard shi(f)ts has absolutely wrecked my mind and memory (that is true and not meant as hyperbole or humor), so I can't be sure of much anymore.

      Anyway, I loved the back and forth exchange. Thanks for inspiring me to try thinking again.

      Yak in E tonight, Sixgun. (Can you believe it? I still haven't even fully unpacked from the trip yet, and now I have all these belongings to pack up for the move. Arrrggghhh! Good and Bad Times have found me.)

      ~ D-FensDogg

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  10. Hah! You're trying it again!!!

    You think you an get me once again to eat my "I don't like Willie Nelson" words with a dash of crow and humble-pie.

    You're again attempting to yank my Willie-phobia, hoping to turn it into Willie-philia!

    Well, THIS time it ain't gonna work!

    OK -- yes. I do like the sparse, clear, gentle arrangement that Willie does. It's smooth and compelling, and I'm surprised to discover that I like it so much more than Frank's version (although that is enjoyable, in a familiar kind of way, too).

    BUT --

    Jo Stafford's version is simply hauntingly, achingly beautiful. I love the arrangement and the way Jo can effortlessly move from those throaty low note to those crystal pure high notes. The sax is melancholy and soothing, the strings are interesting and do a really great job of accentuating without overwhelming the song, and the tinkly piano fits perfectly. But those vocals are what really makes the song -- it's a dreamy, moonlit night and you're completely pulled into it.

    So Jo Stafford for me!

    (Although I do also wonder what the JIM Stafford version would sound like...???)

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    1. GgC ~

      Thanks for your vote! I need to get over to your blog and see what's new in Create 52. (I was outta state for over a week, so I'm way behind in my friends' blog bits.)

      >>... You're again attempting to yank my Willie-phobia, hoping to turn it into Willie-philia!

      Ha! No, not really. Actually, this was one of the songs I immediately put on my 'Potential BOTB Songs' list right from the outset, even before I had posted my first BOTB. That was before I'd "met" you and we became blog buddies.

      I love the song and I love Jo's and Willie's versions of it, so this one was certainly going to get posted eventually. I just didn't get to it until now.

      So, I'm afraid I wasn't really "working on ya". And besides that, I would never try to convert you to "Willie-philia". I understand that's illegal and conviction of it results in a long stretch of prison time. If you went to prison, I'd miss your blog postings.

      Thanks for the vote. I agree with everything you said about Jo Stafford.

      Jim and Jo Stafford... those two shoulda got married.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  11. It's been so long since I've heard this song. Jo Stafford had such a great vocal range, and really put a lot of feeling into the song. I understand why she was one of your pa's favorites.

    Julie

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    1. GEM JULIE ~
      Hey, how you?
      Thanks for coming by.

      You didn't directly state it, but you seemed to implicitly indicate you're voting for Jo Stafford. If not, please correct me.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  12. I can't get past Stafford's soulful voice. That's going to have to be my vote.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. MICHAEL D'... ~
      Hey, pleased as (spiked) punch to have your input. Thanks so much for the vote.

      Jo Stafford was a wonderful singer and I think she deserves to be remembered much more than she is. Some of us real old-timers still remember her, but this new generation - caught up more in P.R., style, and stupid Tweets - is more apt to know of the Katy Perrys, Madonnas, and Lady GagGags than they are a truly exceptional singer like Jo Stafford.

      Michael D', I hope you will return and vote on ALL of my future BOTB installments. Thanks again, Man!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underdog'

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  13. As I write this, I happen to be listening to one of my Frank Sinatra "Duets" CDs, so I do enjoy him... but not so much on this song. When I'm in the mood, I enjoy listening to Willie, but for this song, I've gotta vote for Jo. Beautiful voice, and a nice dollop of sax music? Works for me!

    Oh, and you can use as many Doors clips as you'd like. My favorite is "Riders on the Storm." A little longish, maybe, but I love it. Then again, what do I know? I like Johnny Mathis, too...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. SUSKI ~
      Thanks for voting!

      Ha! Yeah, I like Johnny Mathis and 'Riders On The Storm', too.

      Favorite Doors song? Definitely 'Peace Frog'.
      I also like... well, almost everything on 'Morrison Hotel'. 'Roadhouse Blues' is a big favorite. Also like 'L.A. Woman', 'The WASP', 'Break On Through', 'Five To One', and... well, too many to list, really.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. Favorite Doors song?

      Definitely "Light My Fire" -- the album cut, NOT the single.

      Yes, it was the "hit" that has been heard a gazillion times, but it also has these great features:

      -- Was mainly written by guitarist Robbie Kreiger, NOT Jim Morrison (he added a few words).

      -- Has a long organ solo with some really great playing by Ray Manzarek.

      -- Has a long guitar solo with some really fabulous playing by Robbie K.

      -- Has a cool jazzy groove, partly due to it being so heavily influenced by 'Trane's "My favorite Things" -- primarily during the solos (have I mentioned the solos?).

      -- Has a long, extended instrumental part with solos (I've mentioned those, right?), during which there is absolutely ZERO singing by the self-absorbed, self-destructive, narcissistic Jim Morrison.

      Yep. Definitely "Light My Fire."

      Delete
    3. >>... during which there is absolutely ZERO singing by the self-absorbed, self-destructive, narcissistic Jim Morrison.

      CHRIS, if you think I'm going to stand idly by while you denigrate all of the qualities that make America the greatest country in the world, you are sadly mistaken. I'm going to sit idly by and take a load off my feet.

      Yeah, a lot of people don't realize that Robby Krieger was responsible for two of the The Doors' three biggest hits. As you mentioned, he wrote the vast, vast majority of 'Light My Fire', and he also wrote 'Touch Me' in its entirety.

      For me, I reached the saturation point and burn-out with 'Light My Fire' long ago. It was the radio's fault, not The Doors'. I always liked it though and still do. It's just a song I've heard 100 times too many. (I even like the Jose Feliciano cover, but I'm probably in the minority there.)

      The Doors were once one of my very favorite bands, but when my tastes turned almost exclusively to pure Blues and Jazz, I kind of forgot about The Doors. About ten years ago though I rediscovered them and repurchased a few LPs by them.

      Morrison was known to confess he wasn't much of a singer, but actually I think he was much better'n most people - including himself - realized. There was an interesting quality to his voice that made it perfect for the sort of music The Doors did.

      If I were a woman, I would probably melt hearing Jim sing some of the more ballad-like songs such as 'Blue Sunday' and 'Touch Me'. And of course the band was very innovative, being at the forefront of that style of "Performance Rock" where the music is also interpreted in a physical manner, too.

      If I had been born earlier and drank more than I do and did some LSD, I could have been the first Jim Morrison. That would leave Jim Morrison writing blog bits that relatively few people read. Ha!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  14. Both versions are done beautifully and that surprises me considering I'm not a Willie Nelson fan. My first thought was Jo is going to trump Willie on this song and I really like her cover, but strangely I found that I'm a wee bit more fond of Willie's version. So, my vote goes to Willie! Good battle, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. CATHY ~
      Thanks for coming by to vote.

      Wow! This feels like a super-close race between Jo and Willie. I rarely count the votes until the very end, and I'm not going to count them early this time either, but this "feels" to me like it's anyone's ballgame (except Frankie-baby's).

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  15. Well, my vote was incredibly easy and I was able to choose without a second thought. Jo, Jo, Jo. Man, that is a SEXY voice. I could listen that woman read the phone book. Coupled with that beautiful music, and well, I think I'm gonna have to dig up some more music by this wonderful woman later. This is the first I've heard of her but certainly not the last.

    My cohort, on the other hand? He expected that Willie would run away with this one. He's a very big Willie Nelson fan. Note I said expected, because even he loved Jo's version... just a bit more. Jo by a landslide, and Jo by a nose.

    Also, I'm sorry to tell you this, but you've been ripped off again. This time by our local brewery (the one that makes Dale's Pale Ale). They just posted this on Facebook and I couldn't help but laugh.

    http://i.imgur.com/LYdbMP3.png

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 6-B ~
      My thanks to you and Brandon for your votes. Wow! Double whammy for Jo. But this BOTB win still feels like it's up for grabs.

      Dang! Now they're combining beer WITH Battle Of The Bands? I better come up with some new thang quick or I'm going to be perceived as "so thirty minutes ago".

      I need to start revolutionizing EVERYTHING!
      I think I'll start with this slogan:

      "Black is the new Black"

      Whew! OK, I think that probably bought me about twelve minutes. Now (to quote Winnie-The-Pooh), "Think!... think!... think!"

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  16. Hands down, Willie for me! I just love his voice. It's so stripped-down, yet powerful and gives almost everything he sings (the slower songs anyway) a melancholic twist. Willie Nelson for me. Yep.

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    1. Sorry I'm so late getting around to the battles....I am blaming it on work again, but I guess 8 days in a row with some 12 hour shifts thrown in for good measure will do that.

      Delete
    2. KIM ~
      Thanks for taking the time to listen and vote.

      And, hey, no need to apologize for the time you got here. You're not really "late" until the voting has been closed and the votes tallied up and a winner announced. THEN you're late (and better start apologizing in all caps). Ha!

      Thanks again. Catch ya later.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  17. Why am I not seeing this in my blog list that scrolls at the bottom of my dashboard? Because your blog is hidden. Why is it hidden? I have no idea; I don't even know how that happened but I have to figure out how to "un-do" it. Let's just say I'm an idiot and apologize.

    But I'm back now, baby!

    Willie gets my vote - Jo sounds lovely but it remind me too much of my Dad taking control of the Sunday afternoon radio - it would be Jo (or similar artists) all day. Kinda ruined me for it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. CHERDO ~
      The reason you're not seeing this blog bit in your Dashboard may be because I recently activated the "Hide Blog From Children" option. Perhaps you accidentally got caught up in the dragnet. Have you recently eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or brought home a stray dog and asked Hubzam if you could keep it?

      No, seriously, I have no idea why you're not seeing this blog bit in your Dashboard. (Actually, yes I do. It's because Blogspot has always been fairly buggy. I encounter all kinds of weird problems that occur from time to time. Oh, well. You get whatcha pay for, eh?)

      Thanks for da vote. Willie just refuses to back down. (Whoa! That didn't sound right. Maybe I really should try to find a way to hide this blog from innocent children.)

      ~ Stephen

      Delete
  18. Al Bondigas here. Woow Stephen, great match up!! Im not sure who to choose. I think I could choose the Stafford version, and then, an hour later change my mind and go with Nelson's. Ok, I know gig, no ties. Well, this hour I go with Jo Stafford. That's it. That's my rulin'. Oh, by the way, Thank you for slamming the overrated stick figure Frank Sinatra. Good work!!

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    1. You are quite welcome, JUDGE BONDIGAS.
      "Frankly", I think the best performance Sinatra ever gave was as A SINGING SWORD in 'WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT'.

      Frankie-baby: thin body, thin voice, cuts right through me like shards of ice, the skinny punk!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. My Wrote By Rote post today was inspired by some of the interchange about Sinatra that appeared in this comment section.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Wrote By Rote

      Delete
  19. STMcC’s Vote On ‘BOTB - 2015, February 15th,
    - Jo Stafford Vs. Willie Nelson (Vs. Frank Corleone & The Horse's Head)'
    And The Final Tally:


    First of all, a hearty "Thank Y'all" to everyone who voted in this Battle Of The Bands installment. It was a very nice turnout with a total of 20 votes (mine included).

    As I stated in my blog bit, I figured Frankie-baby Sinatra wasn't going to fare well against these two stellar versions of 'MOONLIGHT IN VERMONT' by Jo Stafford and Willie Nelson, and I predicted that accurately. (Just call me "Carnac The Magnificent".) Frank's performance seems rather lackluster compared to Jo & Willie's and I seriously doubt he'd have done any better in the voting had I given him equal billing.

    I think both Jo and Willie sound fabulous singing this song. They bring different qualities to it - female Jazz vocalist Vs. male Country vocalist - but in both cases they present the song in a more mainstream Pop form than either solidly Jazz or Country. One thing they had in common though was A-list musical backing.

    Jo has a pure, spring water, lovely voice and the music break features a soulful saxophone.

    Willie (although singing about a Wintry scene) has a very intimate, gentle voice (like he's singing this just for YOU) and the music break features a harmonica solo that sounds like warm, liquified honey being poured on fresh pancakes.

    There is no wrong vote - these are both A-list interpretations of a great, romantic song.

    In the end, I myself sided with the gentle, male, warm honey over the soulful, pure spring water female, but I have nuttin' but respect for those who preferred the "vice-a versa" (as Billie Dawn would say).

    I didn't dare predict the winner beforehand because I knew this one was gonna be close, and again I was right. (I'm Carnac The Magnificent, remember?)

    Jo Stafford = 10 Votes
    Willie Nelson = 7 Votes
    Frankie-baby Sinatra = 3 Votes


    Again, my thanks to all y'all. And please return on March 1st for my next BOTB blog bit featuring Willie Nelson Vs. Karen Carpenter Vs. Johnny Mathis (a Special Edition dedicated to my buddy Sheboyganboy Six).

    Nah, I'm kidding. It's going to be a Two-Hit Wonder Black Guy Vs. A White Guy Who Had Lots Of Hits But Isn't Really Famous For Doing THIS Type Of Song.

    Be here or be...
    in my doghouse.
    [;-)}

    ~ Stephen

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    Replies
    1. I still think the vote for Frank would have been better had not the contest been skewed so much against his version--no video clip for one thing and the heavy negative commentary against his version to influence voters. C'mon admit it.

      Next one? Otis Redding vs Frank Sinatra with "Try a Little Tenderness"? Yeah, I can see that happening.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Wrote By Rote

      Delete
    2. BOIDMAN ~
      You don't get to be Carnac The Magnificent by playing fair. You gotta "Try A Little Cheating" to be right all o' da time.

      Well, there WAS a video for Sinatra, but you had to click on the link to see it.

      Frank had NO CHANCE of beating Jo or Willie on this song, so I just tossed him in there as an afterthought to give you old geezers (and Mob man LC) someone to get excited about.

      I saw and read your Wrote By Wrote blog bit even before I posted my results here. Before I go to bed for the night (which I will be doing very soon), I will stop by and say something snarky for ya. : )

      That's not a bad guess of my next BOTB song and contestants, except that Otis Redding's hits went "up to eleven", which is more than two, but my math is so bad I'm not sure how many more than two it is.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  20. I'm surprised at the results, expecting Jo to receive more votes than listed. In fact I thought it possible that she and Frank would edge out Willie all together. You never know, (referring to me, as I'm not 'Carnac' either.)

    # 2 surprise - you voting for Willie. Oh those little battle write ups can be so deceiving... Frank distracted many from your 'wiley' ways... unless of course you had a change of heart later? I felt sure you were voting for the 'spring stream,' (not to be confused with Bruce.)

    Either way, I enjoyed this battle. Have a great week, sir.

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    1. DIXIE POLKA ~
      Nope, no change of mind. I knew I would be voting Willie right from the outset.

      Maybe I won't do that "Here's a third option, should you want it anymore". This time I did it with Frank. I've done it a couple other times also (once with Fats Waller, and he received a fair amount of votes, even beating one of the two "featured" performers).

      So, I think from now on, it will be either an equally presented 3-Way or just the normal 2-Way Battle. No more 3rd performers represented by just a link sans full video.

      That way, no one can say "So-And-So might have won if you had given them equal billing".

      I'm glad you liked this Battle, and I'll catch yaz later, DP.

      ~ D-FensDogg

      Delete

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