BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Go Away, Little Girl”


Eydie Gorme won the last BotB, so let’s feature a song made famous by her husband, Steve Lawrence.

“Go Away, Little Girl” was written by the songwriting supergroup of Gerry Goffin and Carole King in 1962. It’s only one of nine songs to reach #1 on the Hot 100 more than once, first by Lawrence in 1963, then by Donny Osmond in 1971 (when he was thirteen; guess they could have gone away together). Here’s the Steve Lawrence version, for your musical enlightenment (it’s not part of the contest, so don’t vote for it).

It’s been done by lots of other singers, including Bobby Vee, who did the first recorded version, Marc Wynter, who reached #6 on the UK charts in 1962, Del Shannon and Dion DiMucci, not to mention today’s contestants.

CONTESTANT #1: The Happenings

The Happenings recorded their version in 1966, and it reached #12 on the Hot 100.

CONTESTANT #2: The Lettermen

The Lettermen never charted with this, but it was on their 1964 album, Look At Love.

Now, it’s time to vote…

Which of these two versions of “Go Away, Little Girl” did you like better? The Four Seasons-influenced harmonies of The Happenings, or the trademark smooth and easy harmony of The Lettermen? And why, if you don’t mind me asking? Vote in the comments below.

And then, if you would, visit the other blogs who participate in the Battle of the Bands. The list below is more or less complete, but every time I turn around there’s another one to add…

Tossing It Out
Far Away Series
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
Your Daily Dose
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
This Belle Rocks
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Angels Bark
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Women: We Shall Overcome
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Quiet Laughter

I’ll announce the results of this Battle next Friday (since practically everyone has voted by then), August 7. Have fun!

23 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Go Away, Little Girl”

  1. John, I didn’t know the history of this song before now and here I thought this song belonged to Donny Osmond, but then again that was in my days of music ignorance. Thankfully, I’ve learned to suspect all songs are do-overs. I’m giving my vote to The Lettermen. Great harmony and smooth vocals!


  2. This is a tough one. I like both. But I like the Lettermen better. Their harmonies are so smooth! My vote goes to the Lettermen. And I do remember Donny Osmond’s version. So long ago…
    Michele at Angels Bark


  3. I prefer The Lettermen over the Happenings because of the slowness to it. It seemed to go better with the lyrics and the way they sang it as well seemed to convey the words better


  4. I liked both of these. Boy, this is a tough one.
    I think I’ll go with The Happenings and their uptempo arrangement, but The Lettermen were also excellent. Two great contenders, John!


  5. JOHN ~
    I’m still trying to figure out which version of this song I know best. It was by a male singer, and didn’t focus on multiple vocalists harmonizing through most of the song. It was from the ’60s. My Ma liked it a lot. Maybe it was Bobby Vee. I’ll have to try to track that down when I have time.

    At any rate, in this Battle, I liked BOTH recordings but I definitely preferred THE LETTERMAN. They sounded more sincere, and I loved the strings and the harmonizing better. They sounded much like THE FOUR FRESHMAN, whom I really dig (and so did Brian Wilson, obviously).

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’


  6. The Letterman version is closer to what I remember, and I too, love those mellow harmonies, so I’m voting for the Letterman. I had no idea Carole King wrote stuff like this. Goes to show how little I know about one of my favorites.


  7. The Lettermen, hands down. The smooth harmony is so awesome! Their version just sounds like the way the song should be sung.

    Btw, unlike Debbie, I like Donny’s version. It’s probably my favorite. That’s what I grew up on, and I was a huge Osmond fan, both Donny and his brothers.


  8. The only versions I’ve ever heard are Steve’s and Donnie’s (“yech” to that one!). My ears prefer the smooth harmonies of The Lettermen. Should be an interesting contest! ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. The Happenings version is the one I remember the most.

    The Letterman version was too slow and rather loungy. My vote goes to the uptempo version by The Happenings.

    Tossing It Out


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