Sunday, November 1, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: ISRAEL "IZ" V. KATHARINE MCPHEE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the November 1, 2015, Battle of the Bands.

Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions  you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month. On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.

Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.


All righty, then. Let's have fun! Our song is Somewhere Over the Rainbow.



Our first competitor in the battle is Israel, a.k.a. IZ. If this video doesn't relax you, then I don't know what will.



Our second competitor, Katharine McPhee, brings her own beautiful sound to the battle. McPhee sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow on American Idol.





Which version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow do you prefer? In your comment, please vote for IZ or Katharine McPhee. On November 7, I'll tell you the winner.

And don't call the phone number to vote for Katharine. She's not on American Idol now. That was years ago.

I look forward to seeing your choices.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


P.S. The obvious winner of this battle is Judy Garland. Because she sang the definitive version, she's not one of the competitors. When I announce the winner, I'll share some Judy with you.

42 comments:

  1. Hi, Janie Junebug! Well now, missy, since you were the queen of brutal honesty when you reluctantly voted in my latest BOTB, I'm sure you won't mind if I return the favor and tell you that I honestly don't care for this song. However, since you are expecting me to vote, I will choose the version that I find marginally tolerable, and that's the one by the uke strumming kid, Israel, simply because it's refreshingly different. Katharine McPhee is nice to look at but I don't like her singing, Moreover I detest American Idol and I even bailed out of her TV series Scorpion after a half dozen episodes. I vote for IZ.

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    1. Shady needs a nap! That's why he's so fussy. I LOVE this song. I haven't watched American Idol in many years, but Katharine McPhee is popular so I thought she made a good choice for my battle. I didn't know she had a TV series.

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  2. Such a classic song with so many great performances.

    Israel's version is so gleefully infectious that one can't help but like it.

    McPhee's version is exquisitely executed and well produced, but it a bit over dramatic for me. She good but not IZ.

    I vote for Israel. Anyway I say it that sounds good.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. She is a over the top, but I like having drama v. simplicity.

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  3. Though I do think McPhee has a lovely voice, I have to cast my vote for Israel. I loved his version when I first heard it and still do but sadly I think it has been overused commercially.

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    1. I was unaware of IZ until my son mentioned him for my battle. That shows you how little I know about what's going on in the world.

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  4. Oh most definitely give my vote to IZ. I love what he did with this song and I love the ukulele too. Kathryn McPhee has a beautiful voice for sure but I just like Isreal's version much better. It was more enjoyable for me. Sad at the end of his video when they were pouring his ashes into the ocean...
    Really great battle!
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I didn't understand the video until you told me. I had no idea that he passed away.

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  5. I vote for IZ. That's such a unique treatment of that song.

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  6. It has to be IZ. He is gone now, but that sweet voice isn't something you hear every day.

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    1. I didn't know he had died until I read the comments.

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  7. McPhee!! Did you know just before "The Wizard of Oz" was released the producer was told the film was great but he should lose the "Rainbow" song?

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    1. YES! They said it slowed down the movie. Remember the story about Fred Astaire auditioning for a film studio? The description was something along the lines of "Sings. Dances a little." We all have our opinions.

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  8. Now this is a really difficult one!!! OMG! I have heard both versions before and love both of them for different reasons. Besides Judy's, these are my favorite renditions. I think I will go with Israel's because his is unique and soothes my soul. I could listen to his version on repeat because it is almost like a sweet meditation of love. His singing calms to the core and fills you up with joy. Hers lifts you with yearning and a tinge of sorrow--like Judy's. I vote for peace, love, and joy. :)

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    1. I vote for peace, love, and joy, too, Rita Pita Pan.

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  9. Of Course I think of Judy Garland with this song but funnily, not from the famous film, but from a early TV show she did in the mid 50's. She had just finished singing "We're a Couple of Swells" and she is in full hobo make-up when she sits down on the edge of the stage and starts to sing. She misses the first few bars and the orchestra has to start again. The longing and pain coming from her experiences and emanating from this song made me cry...literally. Now on to these 2 versions. I know the Katherine McPhee version well because I actually watched that series that year and loved it but now hearing it again against the simplicity of Israel makes me vote for him. She has the stronger voice but, due to her youth, I felt she didn't capture the words and what they meant totally. I also dislike when any singer starts to use their voice differently from that song. Israel keeps it simple and eloquent so he gets my vote

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    1. I have seen the clip of Judy Garland doing We're a Couple of Swells and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I think it was her TV show, which was on for a total of one season. Can you imagine people not flocking to their TV sets to watch Judy Garland?

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  10. Hi Janie; Believe it or not, I remember Katharine singing that on American Idol. She's a big-time TV star now, on the show "Scorpion". ☺ I liked both versions. IZ gave it a bit if a Reggae slant, but I preferred the original style of Katharine's rendition. Please give my vote to her. Looking forward to hearing Judy Garland!

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    1. I haven't watched American Idol in a long time. Katharine has a sweet voice.

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  11. I'll always prefer the Judy Garland version but I do like what Israel did with the song.

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    1. Judy is the greatest. I think we need to watch several videos of her.

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  12. Love both! But I'm going with IZ, it's just such a lovely version!

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  13. Janie, this is a gem! I love Israel's version. I think I need to put it on my phone. A VOTE FOR ISRAEL!!

    Remember Sam Harris' version of this song? I just looked it up (he won Star Search in 1983). Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZyjSuOrRBw

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    1. I never watched Star Search, but I'd heard of Sam Harris. I enjoyed his rendition of the song.

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  14. My vote is IZ. But, take a listen to this version. It's by far my favorite.
    https://youtu.be/y5JicO2bKec

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    1. That's a lovely combination, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing the link. What a beautiful voice IZ had.

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  15. My vote is for IZ but McPhee sang her heart out!

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    1. Thanks for voting! My son told me about IZ.

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  16. I've come to love it so much that for me the Izzy version is the definitive one. I listened to McPhee to humor her, but for us both she just can't touch Izzy. We both eagerly vote for the big guy who left this earth way too young.

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    1. I felt foolish when I learned that the end of the video was a celebration of his life and the scattering of his ashes. I had no idea he died.

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  17. IZ, by far. I like his ukulele playing and singing better.

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  18. Back in the day I used to write blog reviews on American Idol. This was probably one of the last seasons I watched. McPhee has a great voice but I never liked her rendition of this song. On the other hand, the version by IZ I'm very familiar with. When his version was used on ER when Dr. Green died, it literally brought tears to my eyes. One of the few times a TV show has moved me that way. His version is so unique and different and yet is a classic in itself. It would be an injustice if I voted any other way.
    I'll ask if you can tabulate my vote manually as his voting number is missing for some reason. ;)

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    1. I always tabulate votes manually, so no worries. I didn't watch ER, but I'm sure this song made a moving episode even more special.

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  19. SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW... there's an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet that's free, never closes, and they never kick you out.

    Yeah, IZZY had a special knack for this song. I gotta run with the crowd on this one.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  20. Back in the early days of BOTB I hosted a BATTLE with IZ against Judy Garland on this song. I voted for him then and I vote for him now.

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    1. That's quite interesting. I thought that if I made Judy a contender that everyone would vote for her.

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  21. Janie, I like Judy Garland's version quite a bit, but even if you put her against IZ then I'm not sure she's come out on top. I remember Katherine McPhee's stellar performance on AI of this classic. It's hard to do this song bad period. I'm giving my vote to IZ because I just love it!

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    1. I sing this song around the house all the time--until Franklin gives me that look, you know the look that means Mom had better cut it out.

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  22. Wow, Janie... This one was on my BoTB to-do (must-do?) list, haha... Though not with Katherine (never heard of her until today)... My contender would've been Judy Garland—and I'm so glad you beat me to it, and that you chose Katherine instead, because I read above that FAE *already* did that exact same battle I was planning, haha.

    You're right... Judy would probably be tough to beat. But I love-love-love IZ's version. As much as I love her (and the Oz context of the song), I think—like FAE—I'd vote for him in that Battle. And I vote for him in this one, too. Katherine has an amazing voice, and she did an outstanding job with this. (That's kudos to you, for an excellent contender pick.) There is something about IZ's version, though... The voice, the strings, the simplicity... It wins me over every time.

    Wonderful battle. (And so sorry about the late vote... Hopefully I'm getting in just under the wire :) )
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.