BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Stormy”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

“Stormy” was a song by the Classics IV, a band out of Jacksonville, Florida. It was written by lead singer Dennis Yost, guitarist James (J. R.) Cobb, and producer Buddy Buie (the latter two would go on to form the Atlanta Rhythm Section in the Seventies) and released in 1968 on their Mamas and Papas/Soul Train album. As a single, it reached #5 on the Hot 100 that year. Here it is, and please, it’s not in the running, so don’t vote for it.

It’s been covered by, among others, O. C. Smith, Santana, and practically every bar band around. Today, we’re going to feature two performances by women. Give both a listen and see what you think.

CONTESTANT #1: Bobbie Gentry Bobbie recorded this but it was never released as a single or on an album. I don’t know why.

CONTESTANT #2: The Supremes The Supremes recorded this for a compilation album called Northern Soul Conoisseurs, released some time during the 1990’s, according to AllMusic.

So, which of these versions did you like better? Do you prefer Bobbie Gentry’s simple guitar-and-voice version, or The Supremes’ classic Motown Sound? Whichever the case, leave me a comment with your choice, and if you feel like telling me and everyone else why you preferred that one over the other, the floor is yours. Then, take a trip over to Stephen T. McCarthy’s blog, where he has the current list of BotB participants (in the right-hand column, a ways down) and check out the other bloggers who are likely doing a Battle of their own today, and vote in their battles as well.

I’ll announce the winner of this battle next Wednesday, November 22 (a/k/a Thanksgiving Eve), so be sure and get your vote in before then. The lines are now open. Best of luck to Bobbie and The Supremes!

17 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Stormy”

  1. Hi John; This is interesting! I knew the original, (your video doesn’t work for Canada, though) but not the two contenders. Thanks for the introduction. The Supremes more or less stuck to the original melody and it was good, but honestly, I prefer Bobbie Gentry’s rendition. It has a dreamy, jazzy quality and really showcases her beautiful voice.

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  2. You and Michele at Angel’s Bark must have collaborated in this round of Battle. Or maybe it’s just a Classics IV sort of day.

    I’ve always liked this song. Both of your picks are excellent. My preference though is the Bobbie Gentry version for the same reasons previous voters already stated. I think The Supremes are going to have a tough time in this match.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh how cool John: we both used a Classics IV song in this battle! Love Stormy! This is a tough one really. I like both versions. I was inclined to vote for Bobby Gentry: hers is simple and her voice is so very appealing.
    And then I listened to The Supremes: I really liked the full music behind the vocals, with the horns especially.

    I’d be thrilled if I could just split my vote but I know that’s not how this works. The two are so different and each puts me in a different mood and I guess today I’m just in the full music Motown mode so my vote is going for the Supremes.
    But honestly, I almost feel bad not voting for Bobby Gentry because her version is awesome.

    It was a tough call and I listened to each version FOUR times before I made up my mind. While I was listening, I read this Rolling Stone article on Bobby Gentry that you might find interesting: http://www.rollingstone.com/country/features/bobbie-gentry-ode-to-billie-joe-singers-secret-life-w493809

    Excellent battle John.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is interesting because I would choose differently depending on what I am doing at the time I am listening. For example, right now I’m sitting in my favorite chair at 9:10pm getting ready to do a little reading: Bobbi Gentry would be my choice. Tomorrow I’ll be in our car driving somewhere and I always prefer listening to something a little more upbeat in the car: The Supremes would be my choice. Since I’m currently in a wind-down mood my vote goes to Bobbi Gentry. (Is that wishy-washy enough for you?)

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  5. To me, some songs just loose their appeal when done by the sex opposite from what it was originally written to be sung by. I loved the Supreme’s and Bobbie Gentry’s voice, but I only like the original of Stormy.

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  6. Wow! Loved the original, of course, and I didn’t know about either of these covers.

    I like what Jack Connelly said about it depending on WHEN you listen to the two covers. For me, I’m up early this morning (3:30) and the house is dark and quiet. Bobbie Gentry’s version blew me away, and it did seem to fit better than The Supremes’ take, which was a little over the top (but isn’t that what we loved about them?!)

    BOBBIE GENTRY for me, John.

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  7. Howdy, JOHN ~
    Funny how close you and Michele came to committing a BOTB faux pas this time. Ha! Dang, that was cuttin’ it close. :^D

    I love this song, and both of the renditions you chose were top-notch — I enjoyed listening to both. However, although Bobbie Gentry is obviously going to win this Battle, I’ll help close the gap a tad by voting for THE SUPREMES, who are one of my Top Three favorite Motown acts, along with Stevie Wonder and Rare Earth.

    My favorite version of this song, though, is easily Santana’s, with the criminally underrated Greg Walker on vocals. I believe that sometime in 2018 (after Gentry has officially cleaned house here), I will put Gentry up against Greg & Carlos. And I’ll go so far as to predict that Greg & Carlos do to Gentry what she is doing now to The Supremes. …But then I’ve been wrong in BOTB before.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents ‘Battle Of The Bands’

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  8. Glancing upward, I noted the STMcC and I agreed on this one: I think Bobbie Gentry is gonna take it – she gets my vote, too. I’ve always thought she was a bit underrated, anyhow.

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