BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”

I was a big fan of "rock with horns" when I was in high school. Chicago was my favorite band, but I liked other bands with a similar sound, most notably Blood, Sweat & Tears. I got Blood, Sweat & Tears’ Greatest Hits for Christmas 1972, and knew most of the songs on it, but two stuck out like a sore thumb: "I Can’t Quit Her" and "I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know". Not that they were bad (in fact, they were my favorite tracks on the album), just different. Most notably, this wasn’t David Clayton-Thomas singing, and I didn’t know exactly who it was.

I did some research, and learned that BS&T was started by Al Kooper, whom I had first encountered on the Supersession album he did with Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills. He had recorded on BS&T’s first album, 1968’s Child Is Father To The Man. This was a surprise: I knew all about the band’s eponymous 1969 release, with songs like "Spinning Wheel" and "You’ve Made Me So Very Happy" on it, and thought that was their initial release. The next time I was in a record store (remember those?) I found and purchased their actual first album.

Source: Discogs

Recently, this album re-emerged from the depths of my mind, and as I was playing "I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know" on YouTuve, I noticed that there were several songs by the same name. I played a few of them and discovered they were covers of BS&T’s.

That’s how I came up with today’s battle. Here are two covers of the song.

Donny Hathaway

This was on Donny’s last album, 1973’s Extension Of A Man.

Amy Winehouse

Not sure where this is from, and I’ve checked Wikipedia, Discogs, and Allmusic.

Now comes the audience participation portion of our show. If you’re a member of my audience, you show remarkably good taste, and your input would be most appreciated. For that matter, if you’re not a regular reader of this blog, but would like to participate, be my guest, and don’t be a stranger! Here’s what you 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:

At noon Eastern (US) Standard Time on February 8, 2023 (that’s next Wednesday), I’ll tally the votes and announce the winner shortly thereafter.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Donny and Amy!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “The Big Hurt”

Welcome to another year of Battles of the Bands, where you get to listen to two musical performances and decide which one you like better!

Recently, I had a couple of Top Ten Tuesday surveys that had the song “The Big Hurt” by Miss Toni Fisher on them. As I was talking to everyone who commented, I realized that the song has been covered a few times, and decided it would make a great Battle of the Bands. So…

One cover, by Del Shannon, was released in 1966 and reached #94 on the Hot 100.

A second cover was done by Scott Walker, formerly of The Walker Brothers, on his 1967 debut solo album, Scott.

A third cover I found was by Bruce Blackman, former front man for the sunshine pop band Starbuck. This is from his first solo album, Moonlight Feels Right 2014.

So there are our contestants. Here are the instructions for those of you wishing to write (which I hope is everyone)…

  1. Listen to the three 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:

Voting ends next Sunday, January 22 at noon Eastern time, after which I’ll tally the votes and announce the winner.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Del, Scott, and Bruce!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Sleigh Ride” Results

Only a few hours late. So?

My most recent Battle of the Bands was over the classic Leroy Anderson song "Sleigh Ride." The contestants were two school bands, the Oconomowoc High School Wind Symphony from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and the Longfellow Middle School Symphonic Band from one of a half-dozen places in the US that has a Longfellow Middle School. Two voters, Lynn and Bluebird of Bitterness, were unable to choose between them, which, as you’ll soon discover, wouldn’t have made a difference.

Oconomowoc – 3

  • Birgit
  • Arlee
  • Mary B

Longfellow – 8

  • Diedre
  • Ed
  • Eugenia
  • Hilary
  • Willow
  • Dan
  • Stephen
  • Cathy

Can’t choose – 2

  • Lynn
  • Bluebird

So, Longfellow Middle School would have won regardless of how Lynn or Bluebird would have voted. I wouldn’t have been able to choose between the two bands, either. I’m just proud of all the kids that worked so hard to put on a good show. And, really, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? So congratulations to Longfellow Middle School for winning and to Oconomowoc High School for doing well in defeat.

Our next Battle of the Bands will be posted on Monday, January 16, 2023 at noon Eastern time. See you then!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Sleigh Ride”

I was starting to go through the various Battles of the Bands and was wondering how I was going to outdo the ones I had already seen. I wanted to do a song with a winter theme, since today is the unofficial start of winter, and something that was more or less Christmasy, since we’re coming up on that magical holiday. The song I came up with was "Sleigh Ride," by the wonderful Leroy Anderson.

I wanted to put a different spin on this, so I chose two school bands to feature here…

Oconomowoc High School Wind Symphony, 2017

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin is west of Milwaukee. This features a young man named Drew playing the whip.

Longfellow Middle School Symphonic Band, 2015

I Ducked "Longfellow Middle School" and found six of them: Falls Church, Virginia; Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; LaCrosse, Wisconsin; Norman, Oklahoma; San Antonio, Texas; and Berkeley, California. I’m not sure which one it is…

Just a personal note: It does my heart good to see such talented young people.

Anyway, those are your choices. Here are your instructions:

  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 will count the votes and announce the winner Next Thursday, December 8, 2022, at 12 noon Eastern time, so be sure and have your votes to me by then

The lines are now open. Best of luck to Oconomowoc high School and Longfellow Middle School!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “You’re No Good” Results

My most recent Battle of the Bands was a three-way battle on who did the best job of doing the song "You’re No Good." Thank you to all of you who voted! Here are the results:

Dee De Warwick – 2

  • Birgit
  • Bluebird

Betty Everett – 4

  • Arlee
  • Lynn
  • Dan
  • Max

Swinging Blue Jeans – 3

  • Eugenia
  • Sicilian Storyteller
  • Willow

Congratulations to Betty Everett for her win and to Dee Dee Warwick and the Swinging Blue Jeans for making this a great battle.

Our next battle is Thursday, December 1. See you all then!