Monday, August 15, 2016

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND V. LOGGINS & MESSINA

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the August 15, 2016, Battle of the Bands.

Our host, 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 today is House at Pooh Corner, one of the first songs Kenny Loggins wrote while he was in high school.


 "(I was) going on graduation in high school, and for some reason, I was thinking about that last chapter in The House at Pooh Corner," Loggins explained to The Tennessean. "It was the first book I ever read."

"The last chapter is where Christopher Robin is leaving the Hundred Acre Wood, and he's telling everybody goodbye," he continued. "I felt like that was akin to what I was going through in high school. Some part of me knew that I was leaving my childhood behind. I didn't really think it through like that. It just sort of came through."



The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band heard the song, loved it, and recorded it in 1970 for their album Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy (an album that continues to reside in my record cabinet). That's when I heard the song for the first time and fell in love with it.

The next year, Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina, who joined in a brief partnership, recorded House at Pooh Corner for their album Sittin' In. According to Wikipedia, "It has since become one of Loggins' most popular and beloved compositions, and it remains a staple of his live performances."

Our first contender is The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, because they recorded the song first:





And now, Loggins & Messina:



I chose this song because it's been wild times at my house lately. I want a song that's sweet and soothing––a song in which the biggest problem is a honey jar stuck on the nose of a bear.

Please vote for your preferred version of House at Pooh Corner in your comment, and if you can, tell us your reason for your decision. I'll return on August 21 to count the votes and declare a winner. I hope you'll visit Stephen T. McCarthy to vote in his battle and to find the list of other participants so you can visit them. We welcome you to join us.

Mr. McCarthy, this Battle of the Bands is dedicated to you.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

63 comments:

  1. Professionalism lies in the mighty pen for a write and voice for the singers...All the best

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  2. This was a pleasant surprise! I like your explanation for choosing this song - we could all use a little simplicity I think :-)

    I thought for sure I was going to choose Nitty Gritty but... I actually think the Loggins/Messina version is more "sweet and soothing" to borrow your words. They get my vote!


    I've bounced around a few BOTB posts this morning, and I'm going to try and join the blog hop at some point. Not sure how my musical taste will fit in, but I'd like to try!

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    1. My first BOTB was Frank Sinatra v. Sid Vicious on My Way. You can try all sorts of music and be accepted, as long as you're polite and I know you will be.

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  3. I like Loggins and Messina. The other sounds very 70ish. I prefer a more classic style. (I was actually surprised that I had heard this song before.)

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    1. Because I had The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album, I thought it was their song. I didn't learn until I was an adult that Kenny Loggins wrote it. I've been an adult for about three months now.

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  4. Janie, first off I finally figured out why I was having trouble going to your blog every time I clicked on your URL that you used when logging into WP. You're just gonna love this, too. In your web address you used www which gives me an error every time, but if I enter your address without the www prefix then it goes. Mystery solved! Ok now on to your BoTB. This is a sweet song and I like both artists, but I think I may like NGDB a little better. Maybe, it's because they did it first, I don't know, but for whatever reason I'm giving my vote to NGDB! Thanks for sharing such a delightful song to start the week off. I really needed this!

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    1. Usually when I fill out one of those address thingies, the thingy doesn't accept it unless I use www. You are a genius detective, Cathy.

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  5. I'm not voting, Janie, cuz I hate this song, no matter who sings it.

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    1. I appreciate your honesty. Some music is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

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  6. I've always been a fan of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, but in the case of this song I prefer the sound of Loggins and Messina. They make it a bit sweeter and more mellow.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  7. Oh I love both these bands! The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's version is sweet. I really like the harmonies of Loggins and Messina's version. So who to vote for? I think I like the instrumentation of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band better so I'll give my vote to them.
    This should be a tight battle, I bet. A great one for sure!
    I needed this song this morning too! Thanks for that. :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I'm glad the song makes you happy. I've been singing it all day. You might not want to hear that.

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  8. I like the Loggins version the most, probably of the beat and clarity. A great pick for this rainy morning Monday.

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  9. Although both versions are wonderful, Loggins and Messina get my vote. The voices and the harmonies are sweeter.

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    1. We have a lot of sweet comments this time. I'm good with sweet.

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  10. My vote goes to Loggins & Messina. I like his arrangement better and he sings clearer to you get all the words--and he wrote it, too. ;) Sorry Nitty Gritty!!

    Aside:
    I worked briefly at Daytons department store in downtown Minneapolis (in men's underwear on first floor) must have been in 1968-69 and they had The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band set up on the first floor playing one whole afternoon for the customers. I had never heard of them, to be honest. There was a lot of camaraderie with the band. They seemed to think the gig was really funny. Gave it their all and entertained each other, really. Playing to enjoy the playing whether anyone was listening or not.

    Also: I saw The Fifth Dimension singing at the opening of some big discount store around the same time--maybe earlier 67-68. They had no band with them--just standing on the side by a wall with mikes and a tape recorder that played the background music and somebody was running that for them. Never heard of them, either. Just singing as customers walked by. I remembered them because back then in Fridley, Minnesota we hardly ever saw black people so they stood out. And that little girl was so cute--really pretty. She was friendly and smiled a lot. We made eye contact and I stayed and listened for a while. She had a bright aura about her.

    Later I heard both bands on the radio. Rough starts for the bands, eh? They had to play wherever they could get paid.

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    1. That's so funny! I can't imagine The Fifth Dimension singing to a tape recorder. I'm glad The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band guys were good sports. If you can't have fun on the way up, then you might as well not bother.

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  11. The Loggins version is best, although this was never a favorite.

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    1. I love this song. I bet you would throw Winnie the Pooh out a window, Grumpy.

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    2. He probably hates Santa Claus, too. 😉

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  12. I'm going to give it to The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Usually songs are better by their composers, but not in this case.

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  13. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band gets my vote, although they sound like the 'country' version of the song. I like their work better than Loggins and Messina, so in view of that, I choose their version.

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    1. Yes, the Dirt Band has a country edge.

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  14. This was a fun song to listen to (both versions). I always like to multitask when doing these battles, and this was great in the background. I'm going to give my vote to Loggins/Messina it just sounded a little bit better to me.

    Great battle!

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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  15. Loggins and Messina, hands down. This song has been a favorite of mine. I used to be quite the fan and you have stirred that up in me once more.

    Thanks, Janie-poo!

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  16. This is one of the best songs ever. I love it. I hope it helped. Wait, why do some of our smart bloggy friends hate it? I never studied the words. Does it have an underlying message about Satan? I'll have to listen again. For now, though, my vote goes to Loggins. I like that version better.

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    1. No Satan messages. It's about growing up. Maybe it's too sweet for some people. It's okay. We're all good.

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  17. awww Loggins and Messina just a clear sweet voice to match a Winnie The pooh Song.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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  18. Don't know this one! A little sweetness and light can be soothing, at times. That said, it's not my favourite type of music, but both contenders did a good job. Nice harmonies from Loggins and Messina. Still, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band lived up to their name and gave it a little more "grit". Please give my vote to them.

    I was reading Cathy's comment above about sharing your blog link - same thing happened to me. It's best without the www.

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    1. As I told Cathy, often those forms won't accept the address without the www. I get rejected until I add it.

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    2. Blogger and Wordpress don't always play nice together, but no worries. If there's a problem with anyone's link I usually fix it. ☺
      I'd love your opinion about my BOTB post. Thanks!

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    3. I haven't been there to vote? I must be losing my mind. Or I lost it long ago.

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  19. I'm going with Loggins. This was a fun, sweet battle. Thanks, Janie!

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    1. You're welcome, Chrys. I hadn't thought before about using this song. I'm glad I did.

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  20. I love that not one, but TWO bands recorded serious songs about Winnie the Pooh. I like the sound of the Loggins version better.

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    1. Some other artists have recorded it, too, but I wanted to use the first band to record it and the writer of the song.

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  21. This is a sweet song and should be sung sweetly so I give it to Loggins and Messina. They have a ballad like singing in their voice and so melodic which I didn't find in the Nitty, Gritty Dirt Band

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    1. Besides, Kenny Loggins was so darn hot once upon a time.

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  22. LOVE JANIE ~
    First of all, E-Ticket thanks for the dedication. You couldn't possibly have found a better song for the dedication even if you'd tried for the next 20 years!

    And I had to laugh because I know you know that I know how you came to think of this song and to dedicate it to me.

    I own the Loggins & Messina CD 'The Best Of Friends' and I own it very specifically for this song. Here's why...

    On my blogs I've mentioned a number of times my old friend Kelly (aka "Andy") who committed suicide in 1986. Well, every year on the date of his birth and death I would (and still do) honor him by playing songs that reminded me of him.

    The thing is though that Kelly was a huge Old School Country music fan above all else. Merle Haggard was his god and he hated almost all Rock / Pop music. (He was one heckuva character!) I eventually got him into The Mamas & The Papas circa 1980, and that was about as "modern" as I could nudge that guy.

    So, I always had songs I could play that made ME think of HIM, but I could never think of any one song that I knew HE loved, other than just "Merle Haggard music" generally.

    Then one day in the late 1990s, I was checking out in a grocery store when they played 'The House At Pooh Corner' by Loggins & Messina over the store's PA system. Eureka! I had found it! It reminded me of the time in the late '70s when Kelly had purchased the 45 single of this song and used to play it over and over again. Really. He set up his record player so that song was on continuous play for hours and hours... maybe even days!! (I told you he was one heckuva character.)

    Since then, this song -- which I myself absolutely love regardless of the "Kelly Konnection" -- has been the cornerstone of those tunes I play to honor him on those significant dates.

    I adore the E.E. Milne books, I adore the Disney animated adaptations, and I adore 'The House At Pooh Corner' by Loggins & Messina!

    Interesting "Fun Facts" about the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band having recorded it even before Loggins did. I didn't even know there was another recording of the song other than the one by L&M.

    You know how my vote goes! Even if I didn't have so much personal history wrapped up in this song, my vote still would have gone the same way because the slower, softer version by L&M captures the sense of nostalgia and melancholia better'n the NGDB does.

    Great song, Janie, and a great song to use in a dedication to me! That was almost like Holy Spirit-guided. Or maybe just Kelly/Andy-guided. THANKS AGAIN!!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Oh, my goodness, your comment almost made me cry. Almost. I didn't think about using this song until our discussion of "a rescue is being thought of." I will agree with Holy Spirit guided.

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  23. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band version is pretty good, but Loggins and Messina just have such a great sound together. It has more emotion to it. We both vote for that one.

    Now, since we can't even compare to Stephen's comment, we're just going to leave an inappropriate joke. I always loved Winnie the Pooh, but this is one of my favorite recent Pooh inspired comics.

    http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/993/358/f68.png

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    1. That's horrible, but of course it made me smile because I am evil. I know I am because my ex-husband said so.

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  24. Maybe it's because I have been familiar with the L&M version for so long, but I really feel like they capture the "for kids" vibe and NGDB does not.

    Based on that, L&M get my vote.

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  25. I haven't heard this song before. But I liked the Loggins and Messina version. I hope things get better for you soon. Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog. Also, Thank you for always believing in me. It means so much, Janie. Thank you.

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  26. I understand wild times, lately. And not the party sort of wild times. UGH. Had to get DJ back to school.
    And can I decide which one I like more after I'm finished crying in the corner?

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    1. Cry all you want. I'll cry in my corner, and you cry in yours.

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  27. Hi, Janie,

    I have to agree with the masses... The Loggins and Messina version does it for me....

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  28. This was more difficult than I expected. That said, the Loggins and Messina version was the one I remember most from my childhood. Loggins and Messina it is!
    On a pleasant note, I enjoyed being transported back to my younger days.

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  29. I don't know if it's because it's late and I'm in bed (really should be sleeping) but the dreamy quality of the L&M version is perfect. I want to play it again, but I really need to call it a night. Tomorrow...

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  30. I like your theory for your song choice! A simple song for those hectic says is a great idea. I vote for the original.

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  31. I didn't even know this song existed. Initially I thought I'd pick NGDB (I love Fishing in the Dark), but L&M was so much nicer to listen to! They get my vote. Thanks for introducing me to the song. Phil is a huge Pooh fan, so I'll have to see if he know it. I'm sure he'll play it 327 times just to drive me crazy.

    -andi

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  32. Loggins & Messina gets my vote with a smoother delivery

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