BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “One Less Bell To Answer”

Happy Fourth Quarter! I hope those of you who live in Ian’s path are safe and sound and that you won’t have too much cleanup in his wake.

I used “One Less Bell To Answer” by the Fifth Dimension yesterday as my Song of the Day to honor Marilyn McCoo, who did maybe the most popular version of it. The song was written in 1967 by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for Keely Smith, maybe best known as the wife of Louis Prima and vocalist for his band. She’ll be the first contestant today.

Her opponent in this battle is Dionne Warwick, Burt and Hal’s “go-to gal.” Dionne’s covers of their music have always been well received. This is from her 1972 album Dionne.

Those are our contestants. I hope that everyone reading this plans on voting. It’s easy to do!

  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:

Next Saturday, October 8 at noon, I’ll tally up the votes and announce the winner, so be sure and have your vote in by then.

The lines are open! Good luck to Keely and Dionne!

14 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “One Less Bell To Answer”

  1. Two of my favorites from the old days. Surprised to read that the song was written for Keely; I thought Bacharach used Warwick to introduce his songs. Anyway, I vote for Keely Smith. Glad you reminded me about her. I spent a half hour or so watching her and Prima on YouTube.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I listened the Keely twice because I wanted to make sure I was not overthinking but, after listening, I went with Dionne even though I am not a huge fan of her. Her style of this song stuck with me more whereas Keely still floated into the background for me so Dionne gets my vote.

    Liked by 1 person


    I got Louis & Keely from my Pa, as he loved them. And it was a great thrill for me, not too many years before my Pa passed on, to get to see Keely and Sam Butera live at The Sands in Las Vegas with him. They put on a really terrific show – I loved it! Today, none of them are still with us (my Pa, Keely, Sam, and The Sands).

    This is a really good song. I don’t think the great version by the great 5th Dimension can be topped. But Keely does a really excellent version of it, too. I’ve always liked the music of Dionne Warwick, but in this case, I feel like she kind of “oversings” the song. It’s a bit TOO emotive when in fact it’s supposed to evoke a kind of melancholic mood. I think Dionne turns it into more of a showcase for her voice and isn’t really conveying the sadness in the words. In other words, I’m not really buying that she’s feeling any of the stuffs she’s singing about.

    Vote: Keely

    ~ D-FensDogG

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey John,

    I love the songs written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. I’m not a big fan of Dionne Warwick. It was super easy to give my vote to the beautiful sound of Keely Smith. Have a bandtastic weekend, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s a bit of spooky tension in the music, but Keely has a lovely voice. Always loved Dionne, and hers was the only version I’d heard before now. Always wondered why the guy would ring a bell in the first place. A vote for Dionne, please 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The first time I remember hearing this song was on the TV show It Takes a Thief in an episode that featured Marilyn McCoo playing a character similar to her real life persona. Not a show that I normally watched but for some reason I watched that episode and the song really stuck with me. I think a lot of it was in the line “one less egg to fry” which sounded kind of funny to me, but memorable.

    Both versions in your Battle are excellent. I like just about anything Dionne Warwick does and the arrangement of her version is exquisite. However, I’ve had a big Keely crush since I was a wee lad and I like her singing so much.

    Give my vote to the great Keely Smith.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

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