Sunday, April 15, 2018

April Mid-Month Battle of the Bands





Time for the Mid-Month Battle of the Bands.

Today’s battle was inspired by a recent battle posted by Mr Stephen T McCarthy. In his battle, he had placed Nat King Cole up against his daughter, Natalie Cole. The battle got me to thinking about one of the first CDs I purchased many years ago. That CD was Natalie Cole’s “Take a Look”.  One of my favorites on the CD is “Cry Me A River”. I have my good friend, Jill, to thank for that purchase.



I did some research and found that John over at Sound of One Hand Typing had previously done a battle in October 2014 using this song. His contenders were Joe Cocker and Michael Buble’. I had thought about using his contestants against Natalie Cole. But as I was reading his post battle results, he stated that his battle had become more of a “Not-Cocker” versus “Not-Buble’”.

Now, I know there have been several artists that have covered the song, so I did some listening and researching. Mostly because I want people to vote for the contender they PREFER rather than “anyone but THAT one”.


I guess a little bit of background on the song might come in handy here.


Arthur Hamilton composed the music and wrote the lyrics. It was his hope that Ella Fitzgerald would use the song in her film “Pete Kelly’s Blues” (1955).  Fitzgerald recorded the song, but it was dropped from the film.  Julie London also recorded the song and used it in her film “The Girl Can’t Help It” (1956). The song became widely popular at that time. Ella Fitzgerald released her version of the song in 1961.


I listened to quite a few different artists, and I have narrowed the list for today’s battle. I predict it will be a tight race, so please only vote for your favorite of these three. (Be sure to LISTEN first)


Contender #1 - Joan Baez



Contender #2 - Diana Krall



Contender #3 - Natalie Cole



YOU DON’T NEED TO BE FAMILIAR WITH AN ARTIST OR A SONG TO KNOW WHICH ONE YOU PREFER.  There are no right or wrong votes, unless you vote for someone not listed as a contender or don’t vote at all.

I’ll keep the voting open until Sunday, April 22 with results posted on Monday, April 23. 

I’d like to encourage you to visit the other bloggers participating in the battle of the bands as well. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into putting together these battles and they are a lot of fun. Each blogger has a different battle taking place. You can find a current list on Stephen’s blog (you can also request to join the battle of the bands blog hop on his blog).







26 comments:

  1. This is very tough since they are so so similar in style and arrangement. I guess I prefer Krall's voice over all.

    I'll go with Diana Krall.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thanks, Lee!

      First vote of the battle goes to Diana Krall. Appreciate you stopping in to offer the support.

      ~Mary

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  2. MMQE ~
    This Battle was a lot more difficult than I thought it could be. I figured my vote for Natalie would be a slam-dunk, but I wound up listening to all three songs twice.

    I have NEVER been a Joan Baez fan -- that high, screechy voice in her Folk years was like the proverbial "nails on a chalkboard" to me. But -- WOW! Drag her away from simplistic Folk music and put some real musicians behind her, and she can really sing. This Joan Baez recordings was a revelation to me.

    Diana Krall -- with apologies to our long-lost BOTB friend Jeffrey -- I have never liked. She strikes me as being completely full of her "sultry" self and her entire shtick is modeled on stuffs that had already been done long before she was born. However, she sounded good here and the backing musicians were first-rate (which is usually the case with her recordings).

    I think NATALIE COLE has the best pipes of this group and I loved that Bluesy guitar supporting her. Plus, the strings -- this song almost seems to demand a string section. OK, maybe not necessarily a whole section. But, I mean, really, shouldn't there be at least one "violin" in this song? Ha!-Ha!

    Yeah, I'll go with my gal, NATALIE but, to me, she definitely had some competition in this Battle. I never dreamed I'd need to listen to each song more than once before giving Nat's daughter my vote.

    Great Battle, Mary! Really made me have to think.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

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    1. Stephen darlin'

      See... it just goes to show that you really can't judge a book by it's cover (or an artist as we have learned to know them) Hope you didn't hurt yourself with all that extra 'thinking'. :)

      I think it will be interesting to see how the votes add up at the end of the week.

      Working on my May 1 battle now... can't wait. I'm taking a tiny step outside of my comfort zone, but I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it.

      As usual, I appreciate you stopping by and your insightful input. I'll be around to you battle soon.

      ~MMQE

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  3. Wow they are all wonderful voices! Diana Krall

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    1. Thanks, Mike!

      This is turning out to be quite a slow start to a battle, but as they say.... quality over quantity, right? Thanks for stopping in!

      ~Mary

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  4. I do love Joan Baez--but Natalie Cole's version of this song has my vote hands down!!

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    1. Thanks, Miki!

      Another vote for Natalie! Thanks for stopping by :)

      ~Mary

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  5. Mary,

    WOW, you put three awesome female artists up for this battle. They all did a fabulous job covering 'Cry Me a River" but I know only one can win in this showdown. I was able to eliminate Krall from the battle instantly. She did a fine job but lack the emotion to stimulate my heart. I had to listen to Joan and Natalie twice before deciding who I like the best. I sorta knew almost from the start between these two but being fair I took I wanted to hear each before casting my vote which goes to...Natalie Cole Great battle!

    You'll find my mid-April battle in an all-in-one post with my 4M & A2Z share this morning iPad Art Sketch 'N' is for Naptime for Baby.

    ~Curious as a Cathy

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    1. Thanks, Cathy!

      I almost left Natalie out of the battle completely, but since she was the inspiration behind the battle, I thought I had better give her an opportunity to compete as well. Thanks for dropping by with a vote.

      ~Mary

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  6. To me, the gold standard for this song is Julie London's version, with Barney Kessel and Ray Brown. Natalie Cole's version started out that way, and I thought "If it stays like this, she wins," but it didn't, so she doesn't.

    I keep feeling that I should like Diana Krall much more than I do, but her songs tend to drag, and this was no exception.

    Surprisingly, because I really don't care for Joan Baez, I liked her version the best of the three, and I'm not just saying that because she wins by default. There was something that I really enjoyed about it. So a vote for Joan.

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    1. Hi John!

      Nice breakdown of the voting process. I, too, was taken by surprise by how well Joan Baez did this one. And she appreciates the vote as well. It's not going to be a shut-out now that all three contenders have a vote.

      We'll have to see how the week shakes out to see who comes out on top.

      ~Mary

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  7. Diana Krall has such a beautiful voice! She's got my vote.

    This is such a neat idea. I've never heard of any of these ladies, it's a great way to find new music!

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    1. Thank you!

      Did you know that Diana Krall is also married to Elvis Costello? Such an interesting pair they make. I sure do appreciate you stopping by and casting a vote.

      ~Mary

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  8. This was so close as they are all so good. I have to go with Natalie though, love her voice and just sounds so classic

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    1. Hi Di!

      You are right, this is a close one! Sure do appreciate you stopping in to vote :) We'll find out on Monday who wins this battle.

      ~Mary

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  9. Love the idea of this post! I haven’t heard of these artists before but love learning new things.

    www.pixieox.com

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    1. Thanks, Pixie

      Do you have a vote for your favorite contender? See, voting is what makes the post really fun. Don't be a killjoy. come back and vote :)

      ~Mary

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  10. I have to say Natalie Cole is a personal fav since my dad sang her songs (and her dad's songs) to me when I was a little girl.

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    1. Hi Elaine

      She certainly does have a great quality to her sound. I'm glad that I could take you down a trip down memory lane.

      ~Mary

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  11. Natalie Cole wins hands down for me. She evokes that old world singing which I love plus the way she sings the song, you know she truly knows the words. I always like Joan Baez and she sings this song quite well. Diane, bleccch, Krall sang this a little better than I thought she would because she normally starts mumbling thinking that it is sultry and sexy when it’s just annoying. I can’t stand her...her singing or the woman.

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    1. Thanks Birgit!

      This battle is turning out to be quite interesting. I love hearing how everyone had come to the decision of which contender they choose.

      ~Mary

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  12. Wow! Three phenominal singers here. I was surprised that Joan Baez would record something like this and she did a great job wtih it. That said, I've always been a huge fan of Diana Krall (and she's a homegirl too, from Vancouver). Her vocal tone was the most pleasing to my ears, so she gets my vote. Loved the arrangement as well!

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    1. Debbie

      For as many haters that Diana has, she has done remarkably well in this battle. The results may surprise quite a few. Thanks for stopping by with your support :)

      ~Mary

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  13. What a great battle! Think I would have to go for Diana Krall.

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    1. Thanks, Jeany!

      This has turned out to be a rather fun one. Thanks for stopping in with a vote!

      ~Mary

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