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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.]

Saturday, August 1, 2015

2015, AUG. 1: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, NAT COLE VERSUS NATALIE COLE)

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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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I'm pretty sure that no one has put blood relatives against each other before in a BOTB match-up. Today I've got NAT "KING" COLE in a contest against his own daughter, NATALIE COLE, and the song, 'NATURE BOY', has an interesting history. 
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My Pa's favorite singer was Nat King Cole, and I have always loved the haunting melody of 'Nature Boy'. I remember speaking with my Ma about it once, and she said that supposedly it was about Gypsy Boots, whom she saw standing on Sunset Boulevard waving to drivers when she first arrived in L.A. from Cincinnati, Ohio.
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Of course, the Internet had not yet been invented by Al Gore at that point, so she couldn't confirm the rumor - which was not accurate but DID contain a certain seed of truth to it...
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GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS
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Wackypedia sez:
The lyrics of the song relate to a 1940s Los Angeles-based group called "Nature Boys", a subculture of proto-hippies of which eden ahbez was a member. ... Gypsy Boots (Robert Bootzin), also a member, ... was an American fitness pioneer, actor, and writer. He is credited with laying the foundation for the acceptance by mainstream America of "alternative" lifestyles such as yoga and health food.
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Decades ahead of the Hippie movement, Bootzin and his companions lived a carefree existence and were seasonal fruit pickers. The group became known as "Nature Boys". ... The 1948 Nat King Cole hit "Nature Boy" was inspired by Bootzin and his fellow "tribesman", and composed by fellow tribesman eden ahbez.
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In 1941, a 33-year-old George McGrew arrived in Los Angeles and began playing piano in ... a small health food store and raw food restaurant on Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The café was owned by John and Vera Richter, who followed a Naturmensch and Lebensreform philosophy influenced by the Wandervogel movement in Germany.
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Their followers, known as "Nature Boys", wore long hair and beards and ate only raw fruits and vegetables. McGrew adopted the philosophy and chose the name "eden ahbez", writing and spelling his name with lower-case letters. It was there, while living in a cave near Palm Springs, that ahbez wrote "Nature Boy". Partly autobiographical, the song was a tribute to his mentor Bill Pester...
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In 1947 ... ahbez approached Nat King Cole's manager backstage at the Lincoln Theater in Los Angeles, handed him a tattered copy of "Nature Boy", and asked him to show it to Cole. However, his pleas were ignored and a disappointed ahbez left the sheet music of "Nature Boy" with Cole's valet, Otis Pollard. From him, Cole came to know of the song and loved it. 
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Cole began playing "Nature Boy" for live audiences, and he received much acclaim. Irving Berlin, who was present during one of the performances, initially offered to buy the track from Cole, but Cole decided to record it for himself. He needed to get permission from ahbez, however, before releasing it as a single, but he was not able to find the songwriter since ahbez had disappeared without providing any contact details. After ahbez was discovered living under the Hollywood Sign, Cole got his permission and recorded the song.
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The record debuted on the Billboard charts of April 16, 1948, and stayed there for 15 weeks, ultimately peaking at number one. It also reached a peak of number two on the R&B charts.
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... "Nature Boy" helped to introduce Cole to a wider audience, especially the white music market, and generated royalties for ahbez. In 1999, the song was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
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'NATURE BOY' - NAT "KING" COLE



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQerH4nRTUA
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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Unforgettable... with Love, also known as simply Unforgettable, is a 1991 album by Natalie Cole, which focuses on covers of standards previously performed by her father, Nat King Cole. ... The album was certified 7x platinum as of 2009 by the RIAA, winning the 1992 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and five additional Grammys: Record of the Year, Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year, Arrangement Accompanying Vocals and Producer of the Year, as well as the Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Album, Female the same year. 
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'NATURE BOY' - NATALIE COLE



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr20qGZkQVo 
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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whoever you are) to vote for your 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.
@ '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.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' 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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61 comments:

  1. I was familiar with the hauntingly beautiful melody of this song and its magical words, but I never knew the history of it until I read it in the wee hours of this 139th birthday of the state of Colorado. I don’t believe in coincidence and it certainly isn’t one that you would chose this song, on this day.

    This lovely tune brought tears to my cheeks early this morning as I was reminded of an extraordinary man in my life. A beautiful man who taught me about being loved and learning to love in return; my very dear friend John Walters. John made me feel beautiful, intelligent, and of great worth at a very low point in my life. He was never a lover or even a boyfriend, but he loved me and I him, all the same.

    True friendship is many things, but above all, I believe that in a true friendship it is our privilege to create an atmosphere where we help someone to feel their invaluable worth in this lifetime. John taught me this and also, that it was my honor to pass that onto to true friends that I would encounter in the future. I don’t know if I have been successful in this, but I have tried.

    For me, John is the epitome of ‘Nature Boy’; an ‘old hippie’ who never got the chance to be ‘old’. I can still see the Santa Clause twinkle in his eye as he would sit by the fire or under a tall pine and play his lovely Dobro guitar. When I look upon a snowy mountainside I see him on his long board skies making graceful telemark turns in the fresh snow. I feel his presence in so much music and hear is voice as the wind sighs through the tall pines. His shadow is ever present lighting the kerosene lamps at Wakefield Mine.

    All of those references would only be familiar to Coloradans who know their way around Summit and Park counties; places that haunt my memories on lonely nights like this. It’s at these times when I long for a true friend like John to help pull me from the funk I’ve been struggling with for the past several months. But, my heart is warmed by the knowledge that at one time in my life I had the opportunity to encounter many amazing people, places, and experiences. For this I will continue to be grateful.

    Thank you for posting this song and indulging me in this memory and comment. Both versions are stunning. I cast my vote for Nat King Cole, but love the fact that his daughter did him honor in her recording.



    ReplyDelete
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    1. NITRO ~
      That was a beautiful (and poetic) comment! I'm glad my BOTB song choice could ignite warm memories for you.

      My two very best friends didn't get to be "old" either.

      I'm glad you liked both versions of 'NATURE BOY', even though I was sure you would go with Nat.

      Fun Fact: I chose this song for this BOTB because I feel very close to it in several different ways, and it's marking the upcoming birthday of another sort o' "nature boy" whom I know.

      Remember me telling you about the unseen guy who was singing Nat King Cole near the Truckee River shortly after I moved here? Well, the second Nat song he sang (second witness) was 'Nature Boy', and that's when I KNEW this was coming from my Pa.

      My next BOTB will also be meaningful, but we'll get to that on the 15th. After that, I need to do something really rockin' or really different to shake off the mellowness.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  2. Foul! Unfair match-up! These are both excellent versions of a great song. I've always liked this song, but never knew the story behind it. Very cool to learn. That's what's great about so many of these BOTB posts.

    Both versions have similar orchestrations that are both very beautiful. Likewise the vocals in each are exquisite.

    However, that being said, I'm going to have to cast my vote for Nat. First it's a male vocal which is usually my preference. And I think he puts more feeling and style into the song. Then there is that brief violin solo.

    Nat is the King and he gets my vote.

    Very nice Battle and a peaceful way to kick off my Saturday so early on this New Jersey morn.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
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    1. LEE ~
      Yeah, I usually lean toward the male vocalists too (unless we're yakkin' Karen, Mahalia, or Astrud).

      I'm glad you liked this one so much.

      Ha! I knew beforehand that the violin in Nat's version was going to seal the deal for you. I really did think about that days before posting this and predicted the violin would sway you if nothing else did.

      I've found that Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong are almost impossible to beat in BOTBs. Satchmo did lose to Bocephus in my 7th BOTB installment, but that's the only time I can remember Satchmo losing a match. (And that one was right, because in my opinion, Bocephus flat-out OWNS "Ain't Misbehavin'".)

      Hmmm... maybe I needs to find a song where I can put Satchmo against Nat King Cole, just to see who might win that one.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  3. I'm familiar with the song, but not the history behind it. What a fascinating story! Thanks for sharing it. Natalie does her father proud, but Nat's voice is just a bit more pleasing to my ears. Put me down for Nat.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. DEBBIE ~
      Yeah, I don't think too many songs have a more interesting and strange history behind them.

      Even if a person didn't like the song, I think they ought to like the way it came to be born.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  4. Oh you devious man, you. I hope you're enjoying the difficulty I'm having with choosing between two stellar vocalists.

    My decision is coming down to three points. The first one being vocal choices. I like the way Natalie draws the notes out just a bit longer than her father did on this one. And the second factor is when the band plays solo. On Nat's version, it's all strings and while I like strings, the use of them here is a bit "cold". Now in Natalies version the solo relies primarily on horns and I love me some horns. There's a warmth and a human quality to the voicing of the instruments in the arrangement. Also with Natalies version I felt more like I was sitting in a club listening to her sing live. Absolutely nothing wrong with Nat's version and I almost feel guilty not voting for him.

    This was a good one Stephen and I'm very interested in seeing how people vote.

    Enjoy your weekend dude!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ANNE O' ~
      Ha!-Ha! I'm as pleased as spiked punch that my Battle was so well-chosen that it was tough for you to choose.

      I really liked the way you analyzed the recordings and explained how you arrived at your vote.

      And, yes, the arrangement in Natalie's cover is a bit more "updated" (meaning less emphasis on the strings).

      That trumpet that starts in at 2:10 is absolutely FANTASTIC! I love the moodiness of it. I only wish it hadn't been quite so muted in the mix. I know they were featuring the piano there, but I still feel the trumpet could have been bumped up a shade in the mix and it would have been even better. Still fantastic though!

      And incidentally, my reference to the B-52s on Lee's blog wasn't actually a nod and wink to the fact that you voted for them. I didn't even remember that you had. (You DID? How COULD you?! Ha!) That was really just me being a little snarky for Lee's amusement.

      Thanks for the great comment! And thanks for ending the shutout here.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. I would have liked the instrumental section on Nat's version better if they'd have brought in a cello or a deep sax to put some bottom end underneath all those high notes.

      I can't guess which way you'll vote, but just based on the "Lee" factor, I'm half inclined to say you'll go with Natalie. But then again, by reading the comments I can see just how much this song means to you in regards to your father. So basically I'm stumped.

      I liked your last one as well because I couldn't figure out why in the hell you put Seeger up there. From what I've come to know of you, he's just the kind of arsemonkey you would despise, yet there he was. When I read your explanation, I got it. He got the trouncing he deserved, too bad he's not alive to see it :0)

      Delete
    3. "THE LEE FACTOR" - Ha!-Ha! Now it has an official name.

      Sheboyganboy also voted for Nat, which would seem to make my vote for Natalie a done deal. But then again, the last couple times, Lee, SBB-6 and I have all voted alike. (Shocking that the world hasn't come to an end yet.)

      >>... Seeger ... got the trouncing he deserved, too bad he's not alive to see it :0)

      I like the way you think! (Maybe because I was thinking the same thing [:-)}

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  5. I am in the minority in never particularly liking Natalie Cole's voice. I think that she is a mere shadow of her father. She gets closer to "good" than Frank Jr. and Nancy get to Sinatra Senior... but not close enough for me.

    Nat King Cole was an icon, though never a favorite in our home. Never was an UN-favorite, either. But he was certainly smooth and cool. Along with your Pop, I'm voting for him.

    Interesting facts about the song. I knew none of it.

    You are eliciting strong emotional reactions from some of your readers, so you have picked a good one this week!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. SBB-6 ~
      I like Nat pretty well considering that he was a crooner and as you know, I'm not a real fan of the crooning style (Frank, Bing, Dean, etc.) The two crooners I like really well happen to be two that you don't like (surprise, surprise!), namely Bobby Darin and Johnny Mathis.

      But I like Nat pretty well. Partly because my Pa liked him so much, but also because I think Nat did a lot of A-list material ('Nature Boy', 'Stardust', 'Non Dimenticar', 'Orange Colored Sky', 'Route 66', etc.) So sometimes, for me, it's not even that it's Nat, but simply that I like the song. And no question, the guy had a smooth voice.

      Yeah, I think this was a good and unique match-up (pitting father and daughter against each other). I figured for sure Nat would win, but Natalie would score enough to make it a respectable Battle.

      Thanks, as always, for your input, Brother!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  6. Oh, boy. This is tough. I've listened to both versions twice now and I still can't make up my mind. They're both so lovely, similar and unique at the same time. Natalie's Unforgettable holds a special place in my heart (my dad died in '92, when the title song was all over the radio, and the fact of both a tribute to her father and an opportunity to make a duet with him from beyond the grave landed on very fertile soil), but Nat Cole's voice is the richer of the two.

    And then there's the actual musical arrangement. Somehow in Cole's it doesn't quite come together (for me)... Maybe it's the stylistic preferences of the time. Maybe it's a more accomplished arranger in Natalie's. I don't know.

    I DON'T KNOW!

    Fine. I'm going with Dad. (And I'll never forgive you for this, Stephen. Never ever.)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ha!-Ha! GUILIE, I love that my Battle gave you fits! I wish every Battle could be so hard to decide.

      Yeah, that 'UNFORGETTABLE' duet of Nat (from the grave) and his daughter truly WAS unforgettable.

      I own copies on CD of BOTH these recordings of 'Nature Boy', I have a compilation album of Nat's stuffs, and I own Natalie's 'Unforgettable With Love' CD, too.

      One day (probably in '92), my Aunt was telling my Ma about Natalie's album. I just happened to overhear the conversation. Next thing I know, my Ma was playing a cassette copy my Aunt had recorded for her, and I'm just shaking my head and thinking: Damn! This is GREAT!

      It wasn't long before I'd purchased my own CD copy, and it still gets plenty of time on my player.

      Thanks for struggling your way to a vote. If it was so tough that I'm unforgiven, then I've done my part as a BOTB conductor.
      :-)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  7. I had to read the comments to see if you had a shutout brewing, because this is tough.

    Normally I want to go for the original, but I was one of the people who put Natalie's cover on the charts a quarter century ago (give or take) and that's the version I know.

    I listened to Nat's version twice, but am still going to give my vote to Natalie....but it's a close one.

    LC

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    1. DOCTOR DISCDUDE ~
      Nat has a solid lead, and I'm sure he will win this thing (and I expected as much beforehand). Although Natalie has fallen too far behind to catch up at this point, I feel good that so many people have said that it was no easy task deciding which way to vote.

      Sometimes a Battle is really a helluva lot closer than the final score would seem to indicate, and I think this is one of those cases.

      As long as plenty of voters have trouble deciding, I feel like I've put together a successful BOTB installment, regardless of the final vote count.

      Thanks for checking in and helping Natalie make a respectable showing, which she's doing, considering she's having to Battle her Pa who is an American music legend.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  8. Oh what a haunting song. I love the story behind it-did that man living in the sign get any money for it? Oh this is so tough but I go with Nat King Cole. I feel he understands the song better and I love his style of it even though his daughter also captured it wonderfully. Anyhoo, I vote for Nat

    ReplyDelete
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    1. BIRGIT ~
      Yep, the writer made money - enough that he could begin cooking his food and didn't have to continue eating everything raw. Ha!

      Yeah, it's a great song that has a great story behind it, too. Thanks for your vote, Birgit!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  9. I wholeheartedly endorse this battle of the bands because I was thinking of doing it myself. I love Nat King Cole, but I cast my vote for Natalie because her voice brings such a great ethereal quality to the song.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JANIE ~
      Warped minds think alike, eh?
      Considering that Natalie's biggest selling, most famous album is comprised entirely of Nat King Cole cover tunes, lots of Nat Vs. Natalie contests could still be configured.

      In fact, my first idea was to put Natalie against Nat on 'Orange Colored Sky', and I may still do that someday down the road.

      You are spot-on in using the word "ethereal" in conjunction with Natalie's vocal on 'Nature Boy'.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  10. Nice battle. I will go with Natalie, I like her vocals better and the orchestration of the song a little bit better than Nat's.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. MIKE ~
      That gives Natalie 3 of the last 4 votes cast. She's hanging in there.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  11. I just left FAE's place and her battle was Tough for me. Turns out, you have two amazing contenders here. I can't vote against Nat King Cole, so he gets my vote.

    Thanks for sharing the history on this song. That was some good Stuffs.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. GIRL WONDER ~
      Before publishing this Battle, I couldn't really guess how most of my readers would vote. I did, however, feel pretty certain that Lee would go for Nat. And I was nearly as certain that you would vote for Natalie.

      Only got one of my "sure things" right. I guess that goes to show how tough this contest really is.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  12. I'm going to have to say the daughter outstrips the father on this one :)

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    1. Thanks, MICHAEL, for keeping Natalie in the fight. I doubt she could win at this point, but she's certainly making a respectable showing.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  13. Jiminy Crickets, STMcC...Cole versus Cole?

    In the youthful house of Cherdo, Nat King Cole was played a lot. My Dad loved him, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, Dean Martin, Bobby Vinton, Frank Sinatra...there was a regular line up that he had piped in.

    When Natalie Cole came out with this album, I bought it for my Dad and he loved her version, too.

    Now - a face off? What ta do, what ta do...?

    Gotta go with the original...Nat was one of a kind. That voice! So smooth. Yep, Nat it is. Sorry, Natalie, wherever you are...Daddy got the vote.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Jiminy Crickets, CHERDO, I guessed wrong on your vote, too. I figured you were going to help Natalie's (now lost) cause.

      But, hey, we'll always have Brenda Lee.
      (I'm still a little ticked that she lost my 15th BOTB to Wilbert Harrison. That was just... WRONG!!! I should go back, see who voted for Wilbert over Brenda, and ban them from future BOTB voting here. Ha! Usually, I really don't care which performer wins my contests, but that was one of the rare exceptions.)

      So, it's Nat, huh?
      Well, OK. "Let your conscience be your guide."

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  14. What a great story behind the song! I'm glad that eden got royalties, as he rightly deserved them. My vote goes to Natalie Cole for this one. I like her voice better. And this was interesting to pit father against daughter: great battle!
    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks so much for your vote, MICHELE!
      And I'm pleased you liked the song and the concept for the Battle. Yeah, I thought it was a neat idea to let blood relatives battle it out, since it was something that hadn't been done before in BOTB.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. POSTSCRIPT:
      It probably seems like I'm rooting for Natalie but in fact, what I'm really rooting for is the closest Battle I can get. The smaller the margin of victory for the winner, the better I likes it (so long as there IS a winner).

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  15. Wow, this is a tough one for me. I like both artists and have several albums from each artist. It's also interesting to note, that usually when there is a song battle where the match-up is between a male and a female vocalist, I usually favour the female vocalist. But, in this case, I think I'm going to have to choose Nat King Cole. He is, after all, the King. Actually, it was a tough decision for me, so I opted to give my vote for the originator.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, JEFFREY.

      I really don't mean to boast (hope it doesn't come off that way), but this being my 49th BOTB installment, I have had a good number of them where voters have said they had a real difficult time trying to decide where their vote should land.

      Yeah, I've definitely had some major blowouts too (my 48th Battle doesn't count though, because I deliberately set that one up as a blowout). But mostly I've had some really tight Battles, and I suspect more ties than anyone else (not that I like 'em).

      In my first two Battles, the losers each scored just one vote. But I think that with experience I began to really get a handle on what makes for a good BOTB match-up, and conversely what has the earmarks of a tremendously lopsided result.

      But I gotta say, I think THIS Battle has probably had more voters bitchin' 'n' moanin' 'bout how tough it is than perhaps any of my previous contests.

      Lee said: "Foul! Unfair match-up! These are both excellent versions..."
      Anne said: "Oh you devious man, you. I hope you're enjoying the difficulty I'm having..."
      Guilie said: "I'll never forgive you for this, Stephen. Never ever."

      And a few more of you have expressed how "tough" it was to settle on a vote.

      So, I'm thinking that this might be one of my very best BOTB contests ever, even though it's clear Nat, the legend, will beat his daughter by a decent margin.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  16. Stephen, great song and history. I don't know what we ever did before the father of invention, Al Gore, gave us the internet?! *snicker-snicker* One thing for sure is we didn't hold these crazy BOTB rounds. :D Anyhoo, I love Nat King Cole! His voice is pure silk!! That being said, I also love Natalie Cole doing her daddy's song with a soft, seductive, almost haunting quality. Both versions are equal and frankly I did not have a bit of trouble coming to a quick decision because tonight my mood swings with Natalie Cole on this cut, so give my vote to Natalie! Nice battle.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's right, CATHY!
      BOTB owes its very existence to Al Gore. What would we be doing right now without him?

      You're one of the few who were able to reach a quick voting decision.

      My vote, to be posted on Aug. 7th, is also a no-brainer. I'm not voting for Nat OR Natalie.
      I'm voting for Al Gore.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  17. I'd heard Natalie's version of this before, and it never made much of impression on me. Nat's really did; his strong and clear vocal made this much more enjoyable. He gets my vote.

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    1. JOHN ~
      With only 4 of my "regulars" did I feel I could (likely) guess how they'd vote ahead of time.

      Your vote and Lee's vote, I guessed correctly.
      Robin's and Cherdo's, I missed.

      50% - that's not too good.

      However, I was absolutely CERTAIN that I could foresee your vote. At least I was right regarding the one I felt strongest about.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  18. You made this one hard for me. I thought I would easily vote for Nat, but then that solo came on during Natalie's version, with those lovely horns, and I had a much tougher time of it. Like you (and Lee) I often do tend toward male vocalists over female, so I think I will ultimately vote for Nat. But it's damn close.

    My cohort actually picks Natalie this time, and I can't fault him for it.

    I'm surprised no one mentioned it yet, but have you seen the movie Moulin Rouge? Heard the David Bowie cover? I knew I recognized this song when I heard it, but it wasn't until I really thought about it that I realized AH, this was the song Bowie covered for that sappy romance movie all the girls went nuts for in high school.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCbeoorsN38

    ~6B

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    1. 6-B ~
      Thanks for your votes, you BEER BOYS!
      If someone had held a gun to my head and said I HAD to guess which way you were gonna go, I s'pose I'd have said Nat. But I would have braced myself for the bullet. Too close for me to call.

      I knew that this song had been used in 'MOULIN ROUGE' but I can't remember if I made it far enough in the movie to hear it. I rented 'MOULIN ROUGE' years and years ago but cut my loses at a certain point and turned it off well before it was over.

      The cinematic style of it was obviously "borrowed" from 'ONE FROM THE HEART'. It was a pretty picture, but it didn't have the humor and the music that OFTH had, which keeps me watching it again every couple years.

      I listened to Bowie's cover. Hokey-Smoke and Hoo-Wee! You gotta give that boy (girl?) credit for guts, if nuttin' else. That he would go on record with that ATROCIOUS version of a great song (following Nat's and Natalie's beautiful recordings) displays a lot of courage (or stupidity). I couldn't even make it all the way through Bowie's rendition... just like I couldn't make it all the way through 'Moulin Rouge'.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  19. Al Bondigas here. I enjoyed both versions, but I gotta go with The Nat Man. I never really got acquainted with Nat's music like you, ma and pa did. I feel like I really missed out, because every time I hear a song of his now, I take notice and find that I really like it. Anyway, that's it. That's my rulin'.

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    1. Thanks for your rulin', JUDGE BONDIGAS.

      At one time, earlier on in his Jazz trio days, Nat was known as one of the better piano players. But later, his vocals really caught on with listeners, and then his musical style changed from more straight Jazz to crooning Pop standards.

      He sang a lot of great songs, and his versions of 'THE CHRISTMAS SONG' and 'ROUTE 66' are considered the gold standards for those tunes (although I still feel Van Morrison & Them should have won that BOTB contest on the latter song). Not holding a grudge on that one, though.

      Here's one that I'll bet you've never heard but which I think you'll like:

      (Link:->) 'SEND FOR ME'

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  20. Hi Stephen, what a fantastic battle!!! Both versions are just so stinkin good its hard to chose. At the end of the day, I think my vote goes to Natalie. I thought she sounded so smooth and the music fit perfectly.
    I was out of town on the first so I didn't play along but I will be back for the battle on the 15th.

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    1. Hi, HOLLI! I'm so glad you made it over to cast a vote.

      Well, Natalie is hangin' tough. I'm sure her Pa has an insurmountable lead, but she's made him battle for the victory. This sure wasn't any walk in the park for the "King".

      I look forward to whatever musical entree you serve up for us on August 15th.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  21. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.

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    1. MOBILE ASS DEVELOPER ~
      You are most welcome indeed. How should you give me "thanks"? Well, one thousand, thirty-seven dollars and eighteen cents would be a fine start. (If I think of anything else, I'll be sure to let you know.)

      Hey, you were so effusive in your gratitude that you forgot to say who you are voting for here. So, who is it, Nat Cole or Natalie Cole?

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. LOL. Glad to see I was not the only one hit by this spam.

      Delete
    3. JEFFREY, I subscribe to some comment threads via Email, and I have already seen at least 2 or 3 other bloggers I follow got hit by it overnight as well.

      One wonders how this consistently got through everyone's Spam filter. (Maybe an inside connection to someone at Blogspot?)

      Normally, I'd just delete such a thing, but this time I figured I'd make some hay with it.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    4. I used to do the same thing with those 419 scammers. Bait them with a fake interest, to see how long I could get them to keep emailing me before they realized I was wasting their time.
      As for these spams, I fail to see the point as they are easily recognizable as spam.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, definitely. How many people do they think will actually click on their name link? And, really, after they have insulted your intelligence with an obviously bogus comment, would you (or anyone) think that "honest" business could be conducted with a person who was dishonest right out of the starting gate? Sheesh!

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  22. Part 1 of 2:

    STMcC’s Vote On '2015, Aug. 1st: Battle Of The Bands' (Or, 'Nat "King" Cole Vs. Natalie Cole')
    And The Final Tally:


    In putting this Battle Of The Bands installment together, by no stretch of the imagination did I think Natalie could emerge victorious over her Pa. Nat's version was a huge hit and Nat is an American icon in music. Just his legendary reputation alone assured that he would win. Which he did. No surprise to me.

    But I was also equally certain that I had in Natalie Cole's cover a recording that would give Nat more trouble than he wanted. I KNEW without a shred of doubt that this was not going to be a blowout - that it would be competitive from beginning to end. And it was. No surprise to me.

    Natalie's great album of NKC covers, 'UNFORGETTABLE... WITH LOVE' is worthy of every accolade and sale it ever got! And I submit that you could put ANY of the songs found on it up against Nat's original and wind up with a very competitive Battle. (I think she would even win 2 or 3 of them. And somewhere down the road, I might well give her a BOTB rematch against her Pa. She certainly earned one.)

    Her album was produced by Tommy LiPuma, a very talented, perceptive producer. Scroll through the music credits and you will find some of the great names in the music industry: Nelson Riddle, James Hughart, Ray Brown, Marty Paich, Joe Sample, Alfred Viola, etc.

    In an early comment above, I wrote: "I usually lean toward the male vocalists too (unless we're yakkin' Karen, Mahalia, or Astrud)"

    However, here and there, you'll find other exceptions as well. And THIS is one of them! As much as I love Nat's smooth original (and it is indeed a great recording), to my mind, Natalie's version is even BETTER.

    Why? Well, for one thing, I prefer the musical arrangement. I don't dislike them, but I'm not wild about the flute nor the violin in Nat's version. They seem to stand out too much and slightly distract rather than embellish.

    Musically, I think Natalie's cover is superior. In one comment I mentioned that piano and trumpet break. Hokey-Smoke! That was just so PERFECT for this song, and that trumpet added a wonderfully moody touch.

    Continued Below...

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    1. Part 2 Of 2:

      Then we get to the vocals. I think Natalie wins that contest, too! This is a very, very mystical story tune, and Janie said, "...her voice brings such a great ethereal quality to the song". BINGO!

      And Anne O'Leary nailed it, too, in another area of Natalie's singing when she said: "I like the way Natalie draws the notes out just a bit longer than her father did on this one." BINGO again!

      Natalie holds certain notes, and bends others at times, in such a way that I FEEL the genuineness of what she's singing slightly more than I do when Nat sings it (although there ain't a thing wrong with his interpretation).

      Someone (I can't remember who) said they felt the sentiment more when Nat sang it. For me, it's exactly the opposite: It seems slightly more sincere the way Natalie applies her voice to the lyrics.

      Regardless, my vote couldn't get Natalie the win. (Heck, this is one time when I would have been ecstatic to see it end in a tie, because to tie Nat on his original #1 hit would be a hell of an accomplishment for anyone!)

      But Nat jumped out to a 3-0 lead and Natalie staged a good fight - actually scoring more votes than Nat did after that start - but she was never able to catch up:

      Nat "King" Cole = 12 Votes
      Natalie Cole = 10 Votes


      I thought this was a great Battle. Natalie actually made it even closer than I originally imagined. (I figured she'd lose by 4, maybe 5 votes.) She may get a rematch here someday. Maybe even one of the other BOTBers will want to try their own Nat Vs. Natalie Battle. That would be cool!

      I thank each and every one of yaz for voting and I hope to see ya here again for my August 15th Battle Of The Bands installment.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      POSTSCRIPT:
      No Lee, Sheboyganboy, and Stephen 3-Way agreement THIS time. Maybe all is right with the world again.

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    2. This was an epic battle and I'm glad the results were close. Both versions of this song are amazing! See you next time.

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    3. Thanks! Yeah, I really liked this one also, and the 2-vote margin of victory indicates that the contestants were well matched.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  23. Thanks for this match-up, it was great fun.
    Producer was Tommy LiPuma? That's awesome!
    He's done most, if not all, the production on Diana Krall's work too.

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    1. Yeah, JEFFREY, that guy really knows what he's doing and has a great touch and instinct. If I were a singer and/or musician I would JUMP at the chance to have Tommy LiPuma produce me.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  24. Very cool battle! Glad the King won, even though I voted for Natalie (I think). And glad it was so close -- great match-up :)
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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    1. Thanks, GUILIE.
      You had a rough go of it, but ultimately came down on Nat's side. So, put yourself in the Winner's Circle, too.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  25. I love this song and loved this BATTLE, along with the memories it conjured up.

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    1. I "got a goot one!" And you know, they don't call me 'The Supreme Ninja Captain of the Universe and BOTB' for nuttin'.

      I'm pleased as spiked punch that my song choice brought back such fond memories for ya, FAE.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  26. This was a great battle and I'm pleased to see that although she didn't win, it was close. When her album came out I bought it right away. I was so pleased that she'd done these songs, that she'd done them with love and that she'd done them justice. I don't remember how long it took before I could listen to it without crying over the beauty of it, but it was awhile.

    Again, a great battle and I look forward to the next one.

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    1. Thanks, ANNE!

      I liked this one a lot, too. Of course, when you start with a truly great song, half the challenge of putting together a nice Battle is already handled.

      Of my own 49 BOTB installments, I think I'd put this in my Top Ten. I was thrilled that Natalie made it so competitive. I wasn't expecting it to be THIS close (Nat being "King" an' all), even though I did think it would remain interesting all the way through.

      Next Battle in 3 days? Dang! Time flies... on a rocket!

      ~ D-FensDogG

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