BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Big Blue Diamonds”


A few weeks ago, I did a Monday’s Music Moves Me where I featured songs that have the word “diamond” in the title, and as usual asked if anyone had any others. That Friday, I featured your songs on The Friday Five, one of which was “Big Blue Diamond” by Jerry Lee Lewis, suggested by the lovely Calen. As I said then, a substantial number of covers of this song had been done, and promised that I would do a BotB around it today.

“Big Blue Diamonds” (also called “Big Blue Diamond” and “Blue Diamond”) was written in 1950 by Earl J. (Kit) Carson. The first recording of it was a 78 RPM single by Red Perkins. Here it is, and please note it isn’t in the running; I offer it only for comparison, and because there’s a killer pedal steel guitar solo in the middle.

The Blogger’s Best Friend tells us that, while this was written as a country song, it’s been recorded as an R&B and a rock song. Give a listen to the next two songs and let me know in the comments which you like better.

CONTESTANT #1: Van Morrison From Van’s 2006 album Pay The Devil, where he gave us twelve covers of country tunes.

CONTESTANT #2: Percy Sledge One of the comments on YouTube tells us that Percy recorded this one on his 2004 album Shining Through The Rain.

So, give these two covers a listen and let me know by next Thursday (June 22) which you prefer, and maybe a few words why you prefer it. Then, hie thee over to Stephen T. McCarthy Presents Battle of The Bands, where he has a list (in the right-hand column) of other blogs which might also be having a Battle today, visit them, and make your voice be heard.

The lines are now open. Best of luck to Van and Percy!

13 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Big Blue Diamonds”

  1. Can’t say that I’ve heard this song before–at least I don’t remember it. But then I’m not especially fond of it so I could have easily dismissed it if I had heard it at some time in the past.

    Van perfunctorily delivers the song as one would expect from the pro he is. He didn’t sway me enough to go out and buy his album, but I enjoyed his version okay.

    I’ve long been a Percy Sledge fan and I think he does a nice job of giving this song a memorable twist. I like the style setting he’s put the song in and the performance got me moving to the beat.

    I vote for Percy Sledge in this match.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  2. I’d never heard this song before, either. Generally, I’m much more a fan of “Slurring” Van Morrison than I am of Percy Sledge.

    I thought Van’s version was OK but didn’t particularly thrill me in any way. From those very first rolling piano lines in Percy’s recording, this Battle was immediately O-V-E-R for me.

    Mr. Sledge took the sledgehammer to Van-The-Man and crushes him to pieces in this Battle. I predict that Van is going to have a very tough time avoiding a shutout in this contest.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    [Link:) Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…


  3. Poor Van Morrison sounds like someone was stepping on his toe every few moments. I really like the smoothness of the sound that Percy brings to the battle. My vote goes to Percy Sledge.



  4. I liked both but I would have to give my vote to Van Morrison because he combines a bit of country with blues and creates a unique style to this song. Percy is good but I didn’t find it unique enough


  5. Hey John. Happy Father’s Day!
    I never heard this song before but I like it. I’ve always been a Van Morrison fan so I figured I’ve vote for him as soon as I saw him up as a contender but Percy really performs on this one. The piano and the brass help bring Percy to the forefront in this contest, for me anyway… So my vote goes to the mighty Percy Sledge.

    Great battle. Thanks for introducing me to this song…

    Michele at Angels Bark


  6. John,

    “Big Blue Diamond” is a new-to-me. I enjoyed the very different covers of this song. Van Morrison kept true to the country version which was nice but I really liked Percy Sledge this morning with his bluesy, rockability cover. So here’s another score for Percy Sledge! Thanks for stopping in to vote and I’m sorry for the delayed visit, my friend. I hope you had an extraordinary Father’s Day!


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