BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Moonlight In Vermont”



A to Z Challenge notwithstanding, it’s time for another Battle of the Bands, and this round I’ve chosen the classic “Moonlight In Vermont.” See, several bloggers I’ve run across are doing haiku for the challenge, and I remembered reading the description of the song on Wikipedia, where it said that when John Blackburn wrote the lyrics for it, he realized that each verse was a haiku, except for the bridge. The song was initially recorded by Margaret Whiting with the Billy Butterfield Orchestra. Here’s that original, and as always, it’s not a contestant.

I had considered a number of versions (there are thousands) of this song, including Frank Sinatra’s and Ella Fitzgerald’s (neither of whom have done well in previous battles), and while vocal versus instrumental battles have never been good to the instrumentalist, I just had to try it again. Listen to both and let me know which you like better.

CONTESTANT #1: The Johnny Smith Quintet with Stan Getz


CONTESTANT #2: Jo Stafford


Now, it’s time to vote…

So, which version did you like better: the beautiful chord-melody version by Johnny Smith, or the equally beautiful version by the lovely Ms. Stafford? You know the drill: listen to both and tell me which one you liked better.

Then, go visit the other blogs who might or might not be holding battles today:

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
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Angels Bark
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Quiet Laughter

* Check these blogs for further updates to this list!

I’ll announce the results of this battle next Friday, April 8, so be sure and get your votes in by 12:01 AM next Friday.

Good luck to Johnny and Jo!

19 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Moonlight In Vermont”

  1. Both are really good, but I prefer Johnny Smith’s instrumental version – I’m more of a music person than a lyrics (and to some degree, vocals) person, so the musical version actually spoke to me a lot more clearly. Did that make any sense?


  2. the earliest version that I was familiar with is Sinatra’s. I loved the way he did it and used to listen to the album it was on repeatedly when I was in junior high. I thought I might have a preference for the first version with Stan Getz, but it seemed to lack something for me. Give my vote to Jo Stafford–lovely lush strings and sax solo.

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


  3. Thought I already voted here, I know Iistened. My favorite version is by Willie Nelson, but since he’s not in the running I’m going to go with the instrumental. Give my vote to Johnny Smith.

    Good Luck with your A to Z.


  4. The problem with putting a vocalist up against an instrumental is that unless the singer is horrible, it usually ads a new dimension to the song. I think that was the case here as well. However, I did like the first version and was relaxed by it as I ate my supper. So I’m going to surprise you and vote for Johhny Smith Any other day, I probably would have gone the other way.


  5. Both versions were enjoyable, but for my taste, the instrumental really put me in a mellow mood. Very smooth! Please give my vote to the Johnny Smith Quintet.


  6. John, no matter which artist wins this they both do beautifully with the song. This is hard for me because I do like them equally well, but I think the deciding factor is how it made me feel and chorded melody of the first contender created a dreaminess. That won me over, so give my vote to Johnny Smith. Nicely done!

    Curious as a Cathy
    All Things Vintage: Artists #AprilA2Z #BoTB


  7. Loved them both. I give a very slight edge to Ms Stafford. Both are definitely crossword puzzle music.


  8. I have to say, I like the vocals over the instrumental version. I can feel the intended meaning of the song through the use of vocals moreso than with instrumentation only. Please give my vote to Jo Stafford.
    Nice song, nice battle.

    Michele at Angels Bark


  9. I tend to pretty much always prefer a song with excellent vocals. Miss Stafford has excellent vocals. Really lovely rendition of the song. She gets my vote!


  10. Interesting pairing. Stephen McCarthy did Jo versus Willie Nelson awhile back. Then I listened more to the voices. To day I tried to get closer to the instrumentals of both…Both have excellent saxophone playing, but Jo gets my vote! She and the orchestra are so smooth.

    Best of luck with your A-Z; I’ll get by and have a read!


  11. Okay – this is a tough Battle. I’m going to tell you what I did – I listened to each like a good doobie would – then like the rebel gal I am – I played them together. So satisfying – even though it is impossible to get it exact for obvious reasons. If I have to choose I’ll choose the instrumental – Johnny Smith with Stan Getz. Yummy.

    And that word! Portmanteau. also yummy.


Comments are closed.