BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Autumn In New York” Results

To refresh your memory, my October 15 battle pitted Japanese vocalist Kimiko Itoh against Jo Stafford on the timeless classic, “Autumn In New York.”

When the votes started rolling in on this battle, I thought I had made another error in judgment and that Jo Stafford would slaughter Kimiko Itoh, then Kimiko started getting votes, and I felt a little more at ease, and when it ended, it turned out to be pretty close. The results:

Kimiko Itoh: 4

Jo Stafford: 6

Congratulations to Jo Stafford and a pat on the back to Kimiko Itoh, who did very well in this one.

The next battle is scheduled (and has been for a couple of weeks; I’ve been organized!) for next Thursday, November 1. See you then!

Two For Tuesday: Jo Stafford

Classically-trained Jo Stafford was active from the 1930’s through the 1980’s and peaked during the Baby Boom years. She formed a singing group with her sisters that had some success on records and in film. She met future members of The Pied Pipers on the set of Alexander’s Ragtime Band, joining them and becoming their lead singer. They were hired by Tommy Dorsey in 1939, with whom she worked, both as a member of The Pied Pipers and solo, until 1944.

Her first #1 single was in 1945 (a little outside the scope of the Baby Boom era) was “Candy,” which she performed with Johnny Mercer. The Pied Pipers also performed on the record.

“You Belong To Me” is her best-known song. Released in 1952, it reached #1 on the Billboard and Cash Box charts. In addition, it appeared on the first-ever UK chart in November of 1952, and reached #1 on that chart in January 1953, only the second #1 in that chart’s history.

Jo Stafford, your Two for Tuesday, October 31, 2017.

Two for Tuesday: Jo Stafford


Jo Stafford originally planned on being an opera singer, but chose popular music instead, teaming with her sisters and later with a group that would become The Pied Pipers, who sang for Tommy Dorsey in the Thirties and Forties. She left that group in 1944, and by 1945 had her first hit, “Candy,” with Johnny Mercer. Her biggest hit was 1952’s “You Belong To Me,” a #1 song in both the US and the UK, the first time a female artist reached #1 in the UK. She was active in television and film, and has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

You Belong To Me – 1952

Candy (with Johnny Mercer and The Pied Pipers) – 1945

Jo Stafford, your Two for Tuesday, November 1, 2016.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Moonlight In Vermont”



A to Z Challenge notwithstanding, it’s time for another Battle of the Bands, and this round I’ve chosen the classic “Moonlight In Vermont.” See, several bloggers I’ve run across are doing haiku for the challenge, and I remembered reading the description of the song on Wikipedia, where it said that when John Blackburn wrote the lyrics for it, he realized that each verse was a haiku, except for the bridge. The song was initially recorded by Margaret Whiting with the Billy Butterfield Orchestra. Here’s that original, and as always, it’s not a contestant.

I had considered a number of versions (there are thousands) of this song, including Frank Sinatra’s and Ella Fitzgerald’s (neither of whom have done well in previous battles), and while vocal versus instrumental battles have never been good to the instrumentalist, I just had to try it again. Listen to both and let me know which you like better.

CONTESTANT #1: The Johnny Smith Quintet with Stan Getz


CONTESTANT #2: Jo Stafford


Now, it’s time to vote…

So, which version did you like better: the beautiful chord-melody version by Johnny Smith, or the equally beautiful version by the lovely Ms. Stafford? You know the drill: listen to both and tell me which one you liked better.

Then, go visit the other blogs who might or might not be holding battles today:

Tossing It Out
Far Away Series *
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands *
Your Daily Dose
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Angels Bark
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Quiet Laughter

* Check these blogs for further updates to this list!

I’ll announce the results of this battle next Friday, April 8, so be sure and get your votes in by 12:01 AM next Friday.

Good luck to Johnny and Jo!