#BOTB: First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Welcome to the second battle for the month of February!

Today’s battle is in conjunction with the Love Is In the Air series that I’ve got going every day this month.  You can find today’s #LoveIsInTheAir post here.

I’ve been holding on to this battle for a few years. The song has been covered several times, and by some heavy hitters.  It was a bit of a challenge narrowing the contestants down, but I think I’ve got some good selections here.

As a reminder for you seasoned readers and to help out those of you who may be new here

Here is how a battle works:

Step One - Listen to each of the contenders. TRY not to be persuaded by the videos

Step Two - Pick  the contender that you prefer the most (not just the one with the name you are familiar with) Pick ONLY from the contenders provided in THIS battle.

Step Three - Comment  with your selection. The comment section has been set up so that anyone can leave a comment. I do ask that you please include your name, should you use the anonymous feature.

Step Four - Visit Stephen’s blog to check out his battle and for a list of other bloggers that have battles going on. We each have different battles, so please be sure to visit everyone. I'll provide a link below the videos to Stephen's blog for your convenience.

Now that we’ve got the formalities out of the way, let’s get to it!

Contender #1 -  Peter, Paul, and Mary
Peter, Paul and Mary was an American folk group formed in New York City in 1961, during the American folk music revival phenomenon. The trio was composed of tenor Peter Yarrow, baritone Noel Paul Stookey and contralto Mary Travers. The group's repertoire included songs written by Yarrow and Stookey, early songs by Bob Dylan as well as covers of other folk musicians. After the death of Travers in 2009, Yarrow and Stookey continued to perform as a duo under their individual names.

Contender #2 - Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. CC OOnt is a Canadian singer-songwriter guitarist who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music. He is credited with helping to define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s. He is often referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter and is known internationally as a folk-rock legend.

Contender #3 - George Michael
George Michael was an English singer, songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! and later embarked on a solo career. Michael sold over 80 million records worldwide making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He achieved seven number one songs on the UK Singles Chart and eight number one songs on the US Billboard Hot 100. He was widely known for his success in the 1980s and 1990s, including Wham! singles such as "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Last Christmas" and solo singles such as "Careless Whisper" and "Faith".

Now, to repeat myself:

YOU DON’T NEED TO BE FAMILIAR WITH AN ARTIST OR A SONG TO KNOW WHICH ONE YOU PREFER. You only need to listen to the videos and choose which one sounds better to you.  There are no right or wrong votes, unless you vote for someone not listed as a contender or don’t vote at all.

For those of you who may be interested in joining in our fun - The battles take place twice a month. Once on the 1st, and again on the 15th. Some participants have chosen to participate only once a month - and that’s okay - we’re just happy to have you join us! Your battle can consist of covers of the same song, different songs with the same title, or even a themed type battle. We just want you to join in the fun!  Catch the link to Stephen’s blog to join in - all you need to do is drop him a comment on his blog stating you’d like to participate and he’ll add you to the roster of participants.

I’d like to encourage you to visit the other bloggers participating in the battle of the bands blog hop as well.  We’ve all 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 of participants on Stephen’s blog (don't forget you can also request to join the battle of the bands blog hop by simply commenting on his blog that you'd like to join us). 

Alright now… Cast your votes for Peter, Paul and Mary, Gordon Lightfoot,  or George Michael!
Voting will end on Thursday, February 20 with results being posted on Friday, February 21.


  1. I must admit I went into this a little biased as a big George Michael fan. But I gave each one a listen.
    Peter, Paul and Mary took me back to my southern roots. Growing up on the Bible belt, this had a churchy, folk vibe.
    The second I heard Gordon Lightfoot's version, if I hadn't already known it was him, I would have immediately. It was predictable.
    George Michael's version brought me to tears. When a performer and song touches your soul, it's special and spiritual. It's a gift he truly had.
    So, as I suspected, I must give George Michael my vote on this one.

    1. Hi Teri!

      Good to see you here :) You have voted just as I suspected you would (mostly because that's how I would have voted as well)

      Appreciate you stopping by to cast your vote.


  2. George Michael for me for sure! That is the closest to the one I remember from the movie Play Misty For Me sung by Roberta Flack. I've also heard a version by Leona Lewis that is pretty darn good too. Such a beautiful song. Good battle.

    Janet’s Smiles

    1. Thanks, Janet!

      I just looked up Leona Lewis' version. She really does a good job.

      Thanks for stopping by with a vote!


  3. Of the three, Gordon Lightfoot's was the one I preferred. George Michael made it sound like Roberta Flack, which is okay except it dragged a little, and Peter, Paul, And Mary made it sound too much like it was Peter, Paul and Mary were doing it...

    1. Hi John!

      Yay! You saved this battle from being a complete shutout :) I snickered a little when you said that Peter Paul and Mary sound a bit too much like Peter Paul and Mary.

      Thanks for the vote!


  4. MMQE ~

    I just want you to know that I actually turned off my compact disc player, which was playing Stevie Wonder's album 'INNERVISIONS', in order to listen to these 3 recordings you presented here. So, yes, I am sometimes willing to make sacrifices for the sake of BOTB.

    Before playing any of these renditions, I checked to see who the competitors were, and in my mind, I thought: Almost certainly I will be voting for GORDON LIGHTFOOT.

    And that goes to show you how well I know my taste in music . VOTE: GORDON LIGHTFOOT.

    For some odd reason, I have always really been drawn to the album cover of Peter, Paul & Mary's 'The Best Of Peter, Paul & Mary: Ten Years Together'. Decades ago (in the LP era), I even considered buying it simply to have that album cover in my collection. There's a long-lost sense of happy childhood innocence about that album cover.

    But... musically, I have always felt that Peter, Paul & Mary were a very bland and very soulless commercial outfit. There's no sincerity, no passion, no individuality in them. Even their group name smacks of crass commercialism.

    Gordon Lightfoot is a true artist, and I really enjoyed his rendition! I would still place Roberta Flack's massive hit above it, but even so, Gordon added his own individual touch and vision to it. Very good!

    Georgette Michael -- the less I say about him(?), the better. To me, he is one of several persons who pretty much exemplify the death of real music. . If I were to give an award to 'The White Male Singer Who Best Impersonated A Black Female Singer Singing A Billboard #1 Hit (That Stayed At #1 For 6 Consecutive Weeks)', Georgette would DEFINITELY get my vote.

    Incidentally, although I no longer usually do BOTB installments on the 15th of each month, I made an exception this time because today is the birthday of one of my all-time best friends, who was killed by a car thief in 1989. So, I decided to put together a Battle that relates to him in a couple of ways, in honor of his birth.

    ~ D-FensDogG

    1. Hey there McStephen!

      I'm slowly getting around to responding to votes and comments here. It's been a crazy weekend here. The Cute One has a cold from H E Double HockeySticks and you know how you men can be when you are not feeling well... I am just crossing my fingers that he isn't contagious. That would not be good for me, but the boy insisted he needed some TLC (no we didn't swap body fluids!) He spent most of the weekend sharing the loveseat under a fluffy blanket, watching Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime. Good show if you haven't seen it yet.

      I have good news and bad news for you... The good news first. This week will be my last week of radiation. The bad news - tumor has not changed in size at all. So on the 24th, I'll be admitted into the Hospital as inpatient while they zap me some more with even higher dosages of radiation. If that doesn't work, then they are talking possibly chemo - but no surgery as the doc is afraid I won't make it through that. Yes, I have made a note to myself to order some of those Apricot seeds. I tried to find some locally, but have not been successful. And yes, I've made a note to start reading those books again that you sent me. I have to first finish a book the Cute One wants me to read - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig

      I'll be around to vote in your battle hopefully this evening or possibly in the morning. Thanks again for all that you do!


  5. I've only been familiar with the Roberta Flack version and that one took some time to grow on me--I didn't care for it when I first heard it. Now I like it quite well.

    Your choices are all pretty good, but overall I think Peter, Paul, and Mary do the version that most appeals to me.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi Lee!

      Yay! First vote for PP&M, Now I don't feel bad for including them :)
      Thanks for the vote!


  6. Mary,

    I think Stephen describes precisely how I feel about Peter, Paul, and Mary but could never find the exact words to express myself. So thank you, Stephen! I might add that PPM's cover sounded rackety.

    I love Gordon Lightfoot! At first I wasn't too sure about his cover. It took two times to hearing his version before it clicked. I prefer his cover 110% more than the others.

    George Michaels' cover is full of melancholy but trying to keep his version so close to Roberta's might have been his down fall. I don't want to think of a woman when a man is singing, you know? It just seems weird. Nice job but my vote definitely goes to GORDON LIGHTFOOT!

    Incidentally, I think you and The Cute One forgot to tell me who gets your vote in my battle. Don't worry about it, though. You have other pressing things on your mind. I just wanted to let you know. :)

    You're in my prayers darlin'! Sorry to hear TCO has been sick. I hope he doesn't pass it to you. Have a good week!

    Heart and Soul #BoTB showdown

    1. Hi Cathy!

      Oh no! I can't believe I forgot to include my vote for your battle - I'll get right over there to fix that.

      TCO is not having the best month. 2 weeks ago, some guy did a U-turn into oncoming traffic and smashed the side of his truck, giving him a bad case of whiplash. Thankfully, he's being treated well for that, but he's been dealing with insurance agencies etc and it makes him grumpy (as it would anyone) His truck is one of those prized possessions that you just don't mess with (Seriously, I'm not even allowed in it unless there is absolutely no other option)

      Thanks for dropping by! I'll be sure to get on over to your post again to cast my vote.


    2. Mary,

      Yikes, I'm sorry to hear about TCO's accident. At least our November incident didn't result in any injuries. People don't take near the care as they once did behind the wheel. This is due to a number of reasons like 'nothing will happen to me' or 'I don't care what happens' attitude to just not having the necessary judgement to make the right decisions. Whatever the cause, it's never good for those who truly do care about their vehicles and life. I hope his whiplash heals fast and I hope he's over the cold/flu now.

  7. Hi Mary! I've loved this song from the moment I first heard it in the movie Play Misty For Me. All three contenders covered it well, but Gordon Lightfoot's vocals always give me chills. I have to choose him. Sorry this is late. Crazy/busy long weekend! Thanks for voting in my battle, as well.

    1. Hi Debbie!

      No worries on the lateness - you're still here with plenty of time to spare before the voting ends :) I know how those crazy weeks go - Next week is going to be that way for me.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  8. This is a tough battle as you have three great contenders! I have to choose Peter, Paul, and Mary because I like their folk rendition of the tune.

    1. Hi Amy!

      I got your vote counted :) Thanks for stopping by!


  9. I am finally trying to listen to all the BOTB and I really like this song. I vote for Gordon Lightfoot who added his own style to this slow song. Peter, Paul and Mary and George Michael were just a bit too slow and bland for my taste

  10. George Michael, he had the best vocals

  11. This post follows a trend...I've been totally into Gordon Lightfoot again lately. "If You Could Read My Mind" is one of my all time favorite, I never tire of it...and I love love love "Edmund Fitzgerald"...what can I say?

    Give my vote to Gordon! Thanks, Mary B.!

    1. You got it Cherdo!

      This has been a pretty good turnout!


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