Wednesday, March 1, 2017

BOTB Frank Sinatra vs Petula Clark

Time for the next round of Battle of the Bands!



Here’s how it works: I’ll be posting two versions of the same song and after you give a listen to each, place your vote for your favorite and reason for the way you voted in the comments section.


The Battles take place on or around the 1st and 15th of each month, and the results will be posted on or around the 7th and 21st. As I only post Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, the posting date will be closest to those dates as possible.

The other blogs participating in the Battle of the Bands are posting different battles (different songs), So once you’re done voting and commenting on my battle, take a moment to visit the other participants and vote & comment on their battles.  There are some really good battles going on!




The Song:  "Winchester Cathedral"

Stephen's latest battle got me to thinking about my dearly departed sister.  She had this album from The New Vaudeville Band, and listened to it frequently. I loved the sound.  So today's battle and the next battle will be in honor of my sister.

Wikipedia tells us this:
"Winchester Cathedral" is a song released in late 1966 by Fontana Records, whereupon it shot to the #1 spot in Canada on the RPM 100 national singles charts and shortly thereafter in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was released by The New Vaudeville Band, a British novelty group established by the song's composer, Geoff Stephens. Stephens was a big fan of tunes from the British music hall era (or what Americans would call "vaudeville"), so he wrote "Winchester Cathedral" in that vein, complete with a Rudy Vallée soundalike (John Carter) singing through his hands to imitate a megaphone sound. Although the song was recorded entirely by session musicians, when it became an international hit, an actual band had to be assembled, with Fontana trying unsuccessfully to recruit the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. The recording is one of the few charting songs to feature a bassoon.  The band toured extensively under the tutelage of Peter Grant, who later went on to manage The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin.

The tune went to No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart. It went all the way to the top in the U.S., however, displacing "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by the Supremes on December 3, 1966. After a one-week run at No. 1, "Winchester Cathedral" was knocked off the summit by the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations", only to rebound to the top spot the following week. After two additional weeks, it was knocked off the top for good by "I'm a Believer" by The Monkees.

"Winchester Cathedral" topped the Billboard Easy Listening chart for four weeks.

For your reference (NOT A CONTENDER)



The First Contender: Frank Sinatra






The Second Contender: Petula Clark








Who will you choose?

Alright now, it’s time to cast your vote! In the comments, please enter who you are voting for and why you chose them. Voting will close March 7th @ 6pm EST  Stay tuned, results will be posted on the 8th!


And don’t forget to visit these other battles going on today!



Will you be joining us for 2017 AtoZ Challenge?

Be sure to visit http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ 
for all of the details

I've got a fun theme planned for this year, and I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with!





24 comments:

  1. Mary,

    What a sweet way to honor your belated sister! Frank does a good job but his style just doesn't seem to match the song. Petula on the other hand gave the tune that little bouncy flair needed which suited the song purrfectly. Give my vote to Petula Clark. Good battle! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cathy! A vote for Petula Clark is logged into the books.

      ~Mary

      Delete
  2. I loved that New Vaudeville Band album. My mother also had a copy and I used to play that thing til it just about wore out.

    I think she used to also have that Sinatra album as she had a bunch of his albums which I also used to play often.

    Pet Clark was also a favorite of mine. I had a crush on her when she first appeared on the pop scene with "Downtown" and later saw her perform live in Toronto in 1981.

    Regarding this song, neither version achieves what New Vaudeville Band accomplished for my musical taste. Frank is frank with his swinging interpretation--not always my favorite Sinatra style, but I can't knock it much.

    Petula delivers a more appealing version to my ears. My vote goes to Petula Clark.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arlee, I tend to agree with you that neither version can top New Vaudeville Band. I think that both Frank and Petula brought a little something to the song to make it their own. Another vote for Petula Clark

      Thanks for stopping in! I'll be around a little bit later in the day.

      ~Mary

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  3. I've decided to vote for Petula Clark. I'm sorry you lost your sister. As the youngest in my family I wonder when that sort of news will reach me. We're all pretty young yet but you never know. ~hugs~ Be well!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Darla!

      My sister was the oldest of us kids. I am the youngest. There are 4 brothers between us. My sister passed in 1996 from colon cancer at the age of 42. I lost my oldest brother about 4 years ago, also to colon cancer, and ironically, the third oldest brother is now currently battling colon cancer. I like to think that I'm still young, but those years keep rolling on by...

      I've got you down as a vote for Petula Clark

      ~Mary

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  4. I'm also going with Petula Clark, loved the song's style in her version. Even though Sinatra's is also great! What a great way to remember your sister <3

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    1. Thank you Sara!

      She does have a pretty great style. I've got you down for Petula Clark Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Mary

      Delete
  5. MARY! MARY!... ~
    Here I come to save the d-aaa-y!

    I have always loved this song. And you know what they say: Start with a great song and you're already 2/3rds the way to a good BOTB. (Well, that's what I say, anyway. And you can quote me.)

    I'm pleased that I inadvertently helped inspire this Battle.

    I like Petula Clark, but have never been a really big fan of Frank's. However... Petula's voice sounds a little more high-pitched than usual to me here. And... it just so happens that I LOVE Frank Sinatra on this song. If it's not my all-time favorite song sung by Frank, it's certainly Top 2 or 3. (Although I gotta say, maybe Frank recorded this song more than once because this recording doesn't sound exactly like the version I'm used to and which I have on a cassette tape. Then again, perhaps it's just because I'm hearing it through these small computer speakers.)

    It's an easy, Easy, EASY vote for SINATRA to kill this shutout dead, Dead, DEAD!

    I'm sure glad you didn't put Frank up against the New Vaudeville Band. In that case, I would have had to agonize over my vote, because I totally dig the original. And, no kidding, I really do love that "megaphone" sound -- at least as much as, if not more than, cowbell. (Tiny Tim fan here, ya know?)
    [:o)

    There's a song by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band titled (something like...) 'My Brother Makes The Noises For The Talkies'. Ha! Such a fun novelty song that I immediately think of any time someone mentions the Bonzo Dog Band.

    ~ Bonzo D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. Yo Bonzo!

      Thanks for saving me from the shutout! I listened to a whole variety of versions of this song, and there were none that I felt that would have a smidgen of a chance against the New Vaudeville Band. I do have a favorite of the two contestants, but will save that information for the big reveal.

      It's crazy to think that this song was popular in 1966 because I was just a baby then. I'm sure I must have been closer to 4 or 5 when I first discovered the song. The opening bah-dah-dee-bah-dah reels me right in! The megaphone and the whistling, too! Oh my!

      I'm sure Frank thanks you as well for the vote! Got you down for Ol' Blue Eyes

      ~Mary

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    2. MARY! MARY!...
      This song is a damned "earworm" to me. I was whistling it for about 8 hours at work yesterday. (The last 4.5 hours I managed to break free from it.)

      You know how you wrote...

      >>... Stephen's latest battle got me to thinking about my dearly departed sister. She had this album from The New Vaudeville Band...

      And you know how "one hand washes the other", right? Well, it's not like I don't already have a list of potential BOTB installments a mile long, but...

      You doing THIS song inspired me today to put on a CD I have of very, very old music. And as I was listening, my favorite track played and I thought: I MUST USE THAT SONG IN A BOTB!!

      It's not "megaphone", but it does have that "antique" sound.

      So, I just got done looking into it at YouTube and they DID have what I wanted, plus a bunch of really worthy competitors. This will be my next Battle. Now all I have to do is agonize over narrowing down the 4 or 5 competitors to 1. GAH!

      But, anyway, thanks for inspiring me back! It's that beautiful "Cycle Of BOTB". (Ain't BOTB grand?!)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Check out my new blog @
      (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
    3. >>...And you know how "one hand washes the other", right? Well, it's not like I don't already have a list of potential BOTB installments a mile long, but...

      Glad I could be of service to you. Sorry for the late response. I was kidnapped yesterday and forced to work for wages in the afternoon and all day today. I would have had to work tomorrow as well, but the manager I was covering for had forgotten that she already had someone else covering her Saturday shift. Oh yes, I do like a little extra meat in my paycheck.

      ~M

      Delete
  6. Well this was a toughy. Loved both versions. I think I'll go with Petula on this one. She has just a bit more snap and pep in her voice. Although this should be a sad song, it just doesn't "sing" that way to me.

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    1. Thank you, Dolorah!

      I've got you down for Petula Clark

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Mary

      Delete
  7. I liked this song when it first came out, and since the heck hasn't been played out of it, it's still a favorite.

    I liked both covers. Pet's version had saome funky organ in it, while Frank's could have used a few "hey!"s at the ends of lines (he did a few at the beginning of lines), e.g. "Winchester Cathedral... hey! You're bringin' me down."

    Pet did a lovely version, but Frank's... all Ol' Blue Eyes. It reminded me of the episode of Frasier where Martin gets it in his head he's going to write a song for Frank, helped by his sons. Frank rejected it, but they did manage to use it at Martin's sister-in-law's (?) funeral...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wmAwimQXOM

    Give my vote to Frank!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, John! I don't think I recall that episode, but it sure looked fun!

      I've got your vote counted for Frank Sinatra

      Appreciate you taking the time to stop by!

      ~Mary

      Delete
  8. I really liked Petula Clark on this one.

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    1. Thanks Robin!

      This is starting to look like a clear winner. I've got your vote for Petula Clark counted. Thanks for stopping in!

      ~Mary

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  9. I'm sorry you lost your sister, Mary. This is a lovely tribute, though. ♥ The original Winchester Cathedral is too firmly ingrained in my memory banks to really like either of these remakes. Frank's style doesn't really suit it. At least Petulia sticks to the spirit of the song, so she gets my vote.

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    1. Thanks, Debbie. It's hard to imagine that she's been gone for almost 21 years now. Time sure does fly! Being that we were the only 2 girls we shared a room, and I was greatly influenced by her musical choices. I vividly recall waking each morning to a situation similar to Groundhog Day, It was either The Carpenters or Donny Osmond that played on her radio first thing in the morning.

      I've got your vote for Petula Clark counted. I truly appreciate you taking the time to stop by to cast your vote.

      ~Mary

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  10. I man not a Sinatra fan but I like his styling of this song better than Petulia Clark's version so blue eyes gets my vote

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    1. Thanks, Birgit!

      A vote for Frank Sinatra it will be. Appreciate you stopping by!

      ~Mary

      Delete
  11. It is a close one but Sinatra gets my vote!

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    1. Alright Mike!

      Another vote for Sinatra in the books! This battle is looking up!

      ~Mary

      Delete

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