BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Please Come Home For Christmas”

Something tells me this might not be the only battle on this song. I don’t care.

A couple of weeks ago in my M4 “Xmas Music Xtravaganza 2018” post, I included Charles Brown’s “Please Come Home For Christmas”, which he released in 1960 and reached #1 in 1972. A number of acts have covered it, most notably The Eagles in 1978. I’ve picked a couple that I like, and would like to know which you like better.

Jon Bon Jovi Bon Jovi covered the song for the 1992 album A Very Special Christmas 2, and it charted in the UK (#7) and Ireland (#6) in 1994.

Kelly Clarkson Kelly covered the song for her 2013 album Wrapped in Red, and it reached #6 on the US Adult Contemporary chart.

Okay, you know what to do: first, listen to both of these, decide which you like better, and vote by leaving a comment below, announcing your pick and a little abut why, if you’re so inclined. Next, visit Stephen’s Battle of the Bands blog and vote in his battle, and finally, visit all the other BotB participants (the list, with links, can be found in the right-hand column on Stephen’s blog) and vote in their battles. Remember, you don’t need to be a BotB participant to vote. I’ll announce the winner next Saturday, December 22, so have your vote in by then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Jon and Kelly!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Hello Stranger” Results

The results of my latest battle can be summed up in six words:

Same exact battle, same exact results.

Yeah. I managed to run the exact same battle I had run back in July 2016, having lost track of my battles. And you gave me the same exact results, no one noticing that we’d done this one already. Mike Spain and I were just talking about this: he said he was having trouble keeping track of his battles and was therefore making a list, and I said I thought it was a good idea. I should have sat down right then and made a list of mine, because it would have saved me the embarrassment of having to own up to this rather major gaffe. (The only thing that keeps me from being too embarrassed about it is that no one else noticed it, either.)

I now have a list of all my Battles, icluding winners and runners-up. It’s a Google Docs sheet that I’ve embedded into the page, so I can update it in Docs and have it show up on the page automagically. Maybe I should do the same with my Two for Tuesdays as well.

In any event, congratulation to Yvonne, a pat on the back to The Capitols, and let’s just put this whole mess behind us. Next battle will be next Saturday, December 15, and I’ll be sure it doesn’t duplicate any previous battles.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Hello, Stranger”

“Hello, Stranger” was a 1963 hit by Barbara Lewis, who wrote and recorded it in 1963 at Chess Studios in Chicago, backed by The Dells, who were recruited by Barbara’s manager, Ollie McLaughlin. It hit #1 on the R&B chart and it crossed over to the Pop chart and reached #3. Here’s a link to the song, in case you haven’t heard it before, though it’s hard to imagine you haven’t, seeing as how it’s been recorded a whole bunch of times, including by the two artists who will be competing in this battle.

Here are your choices:

The Capitols In 1966, Ollie McLaughlin produced The Capitol’s hit record, “Cool Jerk” (which I featured in my November 1 BotB), and suggested they cover the song for the “B” side.

Yvonne Elliman The lovely Ms. Elliman, whose first appearance was as Mary Magdalene on the Jesus Christ, Superstar album, recorded “Hello Stranger” for her 1977 Love Me album. The song reached #15 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

So, you know the drill: listen to the two covers of the song, decide which is better, and leave a comment below telling me who it is and (optionally) why. Then, go visit Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands blog, vote in the battle he has there, and then check out the right-hand column, where he has a list of other Battle of the Bands participants, visit their blogs, and vote in their battles.

I’ll publish the results of this battle next Saturday, December 8, so be sure and get your vote to me by then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Yvonne Elliman and The Capitols!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Poinciana” (Again) Results

Now, that’s more like it…

Having been less than thrilled with the results of the last “Poinciana” battle, where The Four Freshmen cleaned up the floor with Wulfpeck, my most recent battle pitted The Four Freshmen against Manhattan Transfer on the song. Here are the results…

The Four Freshmen: 3

Manhattan Transfer: 5

I was happy to see that a few of you had trouble picking a clear winner and had to listen to both covers a couple of times before you could pick a winner. Not that I want to cause any undue stress, mind you, but it shows me that this battle was a little better-conceived than the last “Poinciana” battle. A couple of you also pointed out that on a different day, your vote might have been different, so the results might have been the complete opposite of what they were.

Anyway, congratulations to Manhattan Transfer, and a pat on the back to The Four Freshmen, who have to be satisfied with a split.

My next battle will be on December 1. Tune in then!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Poinciana” Again

I know, “Didn’t you just do ‘Poinciana’?” Well, yeah, I did, and ended up with a lopsided result. When I saw that The Four Freshmen were running away with it and some of the negative comments Vulfpeck received, I realized it was a terrible miscalculation on my part. So, I’m going to choose another challenger for The Four Freshmen and run the battle again. OK? OK!

First, here’s The Four Freshmen’s version. This is the 1953 single, so it’ll sound a little different from the version I used in the first battle.

Their challenger this time is Manhattan Transfer. They recorded this for their 1976 album Coming Out.

So, if you’d be so kind, listen to the two covers of the song, decide which you prefer, and vote for it in the comments below. If you’d like, I’d be interested to know why you chose that one, but it’s not important. Then, take a quick hop over to Stephen’s blog and vote in the battle I’m sure you’ll find there. He has a list of the other BotBsters in his right-hand column, and I’m sure they’d be just as happy if you’d stop at their blogs and vote in their battles, too. Remember, you don’t need to have a Battle of the Bands on your blog to vote. (You don’t even have to have a blog to vote.)

I’ll announce the winner of this battle next Wednesday, November 21, because Thursday is Thanksgiving and Friday is Black Friday and I’m sure you’ll all be busy celebrating the holiday. Be sure to get your vote to me before then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to The Four Freshmen and Manhattan Transfer!