If you’ve ever seen the Harlem Globetrotters warm up before one of their games, you’ve heard this song. (This is not one of the contestants, so any votes cast for it will be disqualified.)
“Sweet Georgia Brown” was written by Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard, with lyrics by Kenneth Casey, in 1925. It became a standard almost overnight, and hundreds of covers of the tune, both instrumental and vocal, have been recorded, including by Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald… heck, who HASN’T done “Sweet Georgia Brown”? Okay, I doubt Justin Bieber or Nicki Minaj have…
Anyway, I decided to do a battle on this because, face it, we just finished the A to Z Challenge and I was pretty well wiped after that. Among the many, many versions of the song on YouTube, I found two of them that featured the incomparable Chet Atkins with some pretty fantastic guitar players, both different in style but not in spirit. So, this is kind of a “Chet vs. Chet” battle.
With Stanley Jordan Stanley Jordan made a name for himself in the 80’s and 90’s for his unique (at the time) style of playing the guitar with both hands on the neck. This live recording was done in 1990.
With Lenny Breaux Lenny Breaux was an enigmatic but remarkable guitarist from Canada who specialized in playing the 7-string guitar. This recording is estimated to be from before 1982, when Chet’s signature model Gibson electric classical guitar was made for him. Apologies in advance for the quality of both the picture and the sound. I had to crank the sound all the way up to hear this.
Those are our contestants in this Battle of the Bands. Listen to both, decide which you like better, and cast your vote by leaving me a comment indicating which you liked better and why. Then, support the other people who are doing battles today, whose names and links to their blogs can be found on Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands blog. I’ll announce the winner of this battle next Tuesday, May 8, so be sure and get your vote in by then. You don’t have to be a participant in Battle of the Bands to vote, but if perchance you would be interested in conducting a battle yourself, please do so and let Stephen know.
The lines are now open. Good luck to Stanley Jordan and Lennie Breaux!