BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “That’s Why I’m Cryin'”

“That’s Why I’m Cryin'” is as close to a blues standard as you’re going to get. It was written by Sam Maghett, better known as Magic Sam, and covered by lots of blues singers over the years. Today you’ll have the opportunity to listen to it sung by two lovely ladies of the blues. Then I’m going to ask which you like better.

Koko Taylor I spent many evenings when I was in college at Biddy Mulligan’s in Chicago drinking Old Chicago Dark and listening to Koko Taylor. This first appeared on Koko’s 1975 album I Got What It Takes.

Janiva Magness I hadn’t heard of Janiva before now, and I’m sorry I hadn’t. Read her bio on Wikipedia, this woman has lived a life of the blues. This is from her 2003 album Use What You Got.

All right, then, you know what to do: listen to both, decide which you like better, and vote by leaving a comment below, and maybe a few words as to why you liked it better. Remember, you don’t have to be a Battle of the Bands participant to have a vote. Then, go visit Stephen over at his Battle of the Bands blog and vote in his battle, then find the list of participants he has in the right-hand column of his blog, visit them, and vote in their battles, too. And, if you’re interested in running a Battle of the Bands yourelf, tell Stephen, and he’ll add you to the list. I’ll announce the winner of this Battle next Friday, February 8, so be sure and have your vote to me by then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Ms. Taylor and Ms. Magness!

13 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “That’s Why I’m Cryin'”

  1. Can you believe it is February 1st? It’s a balmy -16C here and I listened to both gals. I give it to Koko whose voice, to :e, sounds gritty which seems in keeping to this song plus I like the musical styling better than Janiva’s version. Now I have to go and read Janiva’s bio

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If it’s February then it must be time for the blues. Not my typical choice in listening, but when it’s good then it’s worth taking a listen to. Never heard this song before but it’s good and it’s what one might expect from the blues.

    Janiva’s version really rocked and shook the house. Vocals were very good, but in all it reminded me of a upscale casino lounge act. Great listening experience though. What a fantastic band.


    I gotta vote for Koko’s authenticity and soulfulness. I had to go back to that one and groove to the music. Janiva’s version had more polish and production, but Koko and company touched my heart and soul.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great Battle, JOHN! You know I dig the Blues.

    Dang! I want to give my vote to Koko for her voice, but I want to give my vote to Janiva for that terrifically outstanding band. Hokey-Smoke do they ever smoke! And Janiva’s vocals are damn fine, too.

    I read the bio on Janiva, also. Never heard of her before. Both parents committed suicide while she was in her early teens. Hell yes, that’s a pre-punched ticket straight into the heart of the Blues! What a heart-breaking shame.

    I had to listen to both recordings twice each. I’ll go along with the crowd (so far) on this and vote KOKO, but it was really close and I could have been satisfied voting for either one. I think that deep grit in Koko’s rendition was the deciding factor for me.

    ~ D-FensDogG

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John,

    I’m on the outside, KOKO’s gritty vocals is what steers me away. I prefer Janiva in this round. I liked her vocals and mewsic arrangement better over her contender easily. I’m not feeling at all because it’s February. That just means we’re movin’ closer to spring. I’m tired of the cold. Good battle, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I prefer Koko. Didn’t see much difference between the two, but I thought the song sounded more like a Koko song than a Janiva song (whatever that means).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the blues, well blues music and not the blues mood! My vote goes to Janiva Magness because I feel like her voice is more attune to the blues music. You can also feel it in her version more.

    Liked by 1 person

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