Happy New Year, everybody! Hope 2020 is better than 2019 was for you.

Today we have two lovely R&B singers doing different songs called "Operator." So, without further ado…

Brenda Holloway

Brenda Holloway’s song "Operator" was written by Smokey Robinson and was recorded at pretty much the same time by Mary Wells, who used it as the B side for her single "Two Lovers." Brenda’s version reached #36 on the R&B chart and #78 on the Hot 100 in 1965.

Gladys Knight & The Pips

Gladys Knight’s version of "Operator" came out in 1962, before she was signed by Motown and her career took off. Recorded on the Fury label, it was from her debut album Letter Full of Tears. It only reached #97 on the Hot 100.

In case you’ve forgotten how this works…

  1. Listen to the two songs.
  2. Decide which song you like the best.
  3. Vote for your favorite by leaving me a comment with your choice. If you feel like telling us why, feel free.
  4. Then, visit the other participants and vote in their Battles:

I’ll tally the votes next Wednesday, January 8 and announce the winner then, so be sure and vote before then. And remember, everyone is welcome to participate, no purchase necessary.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Brenda and Gladys!

14 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Operator”

  1. John,

    I thought I’d go with Gladys but it turns out I prefer BRENDA HOLLOWAY. Her vocals were sweeter sounding and her arrangement just appealed to my ears better, too. Again, happy new year to you, my friend. Let’s rock 2020!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like the others, my preference is for Jim Croce. But, as he is not listed as a contender and I do not wish to commit a cardinal sin for casting my vote for him, I am voting for Brenda Holloway as she was the more pleasing to my ears.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JOHN ~

    Did you announce the winner of your last BOTB contest in December? If so, I guess I missed it somehow. (Well, it was a crazy-busy December for me, and I didn’t know if I was coming or going most of the time.)

    Yeah, I’m with Lee on this one: I’m voting for Jim Croce. (Although, if I felt “smooth” right now, I’d possibly vote for Sade’s operator.)

    Alright, alright… I like Gladys Knight & The Pips quite a bit, but I definitely preferred BRENDA HOLLOWAY’s ‘Operator’. Better song with a great early ’60s vibe.

    ~ D-FensDogG


    1. I announced it in my January 22 “Week That Was” post. Turns out it was a three-way tie, which, given the songs, was the only way it could have gone. I was hoping for just one more vote to see if I could get a winner, but, alas, couldn’t cajole any other readers into it.


  4. Happy New Year! A new year and it will go by like a flash but today it is all about the BOTB and I have to go with Brenda who gave more depth to the song.


  5. These are a couple of blasts from the past. Personally, I’d rather listen to Jim Croce’s “Operator”, but since I’m not given that choice I’m going to go with –hmmm, decisions–I’ll go with Brenda Holloway’s song since it seemed more lyrically interesting to me.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


Comments are closed.