BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “You Light Up My Life” Results

This was a lot closer, and the outcome was different, than I thought:

Kasey Cisyk: 5
Debby Boone: 4

A lot of you were unhappy with my choice of songs, which is fair enough. Arlee seemed almost relieved that I did it, because that way he didn’t have to; two of you left comments telling me that you weren’t going to vote; Birgit said she wanted to see Big Jim McBob and Billy Sol Hurok from SCTV’s “Farm Film Report” blow Debby Boone up real good; and several of you indicated that you’d feel differently if the song hadn’t been played into an EBS Special. Most of you picked up on the difference between the two songs (Ms. Cisyk sang it as a love song, Ms. Boone as a Christian praise song), which I think was the point of the whole exercise.

Anyway, congratulations to the late Ms. Cisyk, and a hearty “well done!” to Ms. Boone.

I already have the next battle drawn up and in the chute, ready to be released next Thursday morning, so be sure and tune in then!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “You Light Up My Life”

I thought about doing this a while ago, and almost did it last time, but a better option became available. But I still wanted to do this, and now seemed like the perfect time, because I didn’t know what else to do…

You Light Up My Life was a 1977 movie that starred Didi Conn, Joseph Silver, and Michael Zaslow. IMDb has this plot summary.

Laurie has been in show business since she was a child. Her dream is to be a singer, songwriter and actress. Her father wants her to be a comedian like him and Laurie only tries because it pleases her father. But she is a lousy comedian. She auditions for everything and is engaged to Ken, but Ken does not understand her needs. She has a one night stand with Chris, only to later find that he is a director. She has many emotions that have not yet been addressed and she must face them before she can get on with her life.

Mary and I went to see it before we were married, and it was a mostly forgettable movie with a great soundtrack, written by Joe Brooks, for which he received Academy Awards in 1978 for Best Original Song, a Grammy and an Oscar for Song Of The Year, and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song – Motion Picture. The soundtrack album reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 200 and finished 1978 as the #10 most-popular soundtrack album.

The adorable Ms. Conn’s voice was dubbed by the equally-adorable Kvitka (Kasey) Cisyk, who sadly died in 1998 from breast cancer. Ms. Cysik’s version of the title song reached #80 on the Hot 100 in 1977. It might have gone higher had it not been for the fact that the also-adorable Debby Boone (daughter of Pat), with the encouragement of producer Mike Curb, recorded a version of it and released it before the original cast version could be. Ms. Boone’s version shot to the top of the Hot 100 and stayed there for ten weeks, the longest any song had spent in that position to that point, and earned her a Grammy for Best New Artist and a Golden Globe for Favorite Pop Single for 1977.

The main difference between the two versions has less to do with the song itself and more to do with the motivation. Ms. Cisyk’s version was intended as a love song, fitting with the plot of the movie; Ms. Boone, perhaps by her association with her father, transformed it into a Christian worship song. Both are excellent, but one must be a little more excellent than the other. So, here are the two versions of the song.

CONTESTANT #1: Kasey Cisyk

CONTESTANT #2: Debby Boone

So the question is, which of these versions is the more excellent of the two? Give them both a listen, decide which you like better, and vote in the comments. A short explanation of your choice is appreciated but not necessary. After you finish voting in my battle, please hie thee over to Stephen’s Battle of the Bands blog and vote in his battle, and check the other BotB blogs (of which he has a list in the right-hand column) for other battles being held today. I’ll announce the winner of my battle next Thursday, so be sure and get your vote in by then.

The lines are now open. Best of luck to Kasey and Debbie!