Thursday, September 1, 2016

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: JANIS V. LADY DAY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the September 1, 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!

I noticed that some of you in Blogland have mentioned the arrival of autumn. Your children returned to school. You feel a change in the air. 

Not I. At the earliest, the leaves on the tree in my front yard will change color and fall during December. 

Yet I acknowledge that--techinically--autumn will arrive later this month. September 22 to be exact, which is also the birthday of my dear blog baby Rachel at When A Lion Sleeps, Let It Sleep. Rachel hasn't blogged much lately, but we shall not chastise her. She is a busy girl.

Since summer is singing its swan song, my selection for the Battle of the Bands is Summertime.


George Gershwin composed the aria for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. DuBose Heyward wrote the lyrics. According to Wikipedia, "The song is recognized as one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music, with more than 33,000 covers by groups and solo performers."

How to choose versions for my battle?

I begin with my favorite by Janis Joplin:





For the second contender, how can I choose anyone other than Lady Day?



I've made my selections. Now it's your turn to vote in your comment for the version you prefer. Will it be Janis Joplin or Billie Holiday? If possible, tell us how you made your decision.

I'll return on September 7 to count the votes and announce the winner. I think this can be quite an exciting battle.

Please visit our host with the most, Stephen T. McCarthy, for a complete list of participants in the Battle of the Bands. We'd love to have you join us.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

43 comments:

  1. Fabulous battle, Janie! I love this song AND both versions presented here. Tough one. ☺ In the end, my old "rockchick" heart wins out. Please give my vote to Janis.

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  2. It's very hot out here in L.A. so this song suits me just fine in spirit though personally I'm ready for "Wintertime".

    I really like the horn intro on the Joplin version and I love the instrumental back up, but I have a tough time with Joplin's vocals. She was pretty great, sure, but it's just not a style that I like as much as Billie Holiday. And I do prefer that jazzy band behind Billie. Give my vote to her.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I wondered if this battle might become a generational thing. We'll see. I fell in love with Janis when Pearl came out.

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  3. This is hard because they are such different renditions. I am voting for Lady Day only because I am a jazz nut and listen to it daily.

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  4. You have set us an IMPOSSIBLE choice, Janie! I love them both so much. But I'll throw my vote to the amazing and unique interpretation by Janis Joplin.

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  5. I vote for Billie Holiday!
    Another version of this song that I love is by a band called Sublime.

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  6. Ah, give this one to my girl Janis! I love her version of this song. Billie Holiday's version is nice but Janis owns this one, in my opinion.
    Nice battle!
    Summertime lives on here too in Texas... :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Do you get any winter other than some lower temps? My sisters who live near Dallas say they get one or two ice storms every winter.

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  7. This was tough, really, really tough. This song has lonnnng been a favorite of mine, and I own several versions. I'm going to vote for Janis although I love Lady Day! I love the freaky arrangement and the way the song seems ripped from Janis' soul.

    And for a couple of unusual versions of Summertime, check out Billy Stewart's take on it, and Rick Nelson's spin (if only to hear a riff later stolen by the Blues Magoos!).

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions. Rick Nelson!

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  8. I love Billie and Janis so this was hard. I have heard Janis sing a better, clearer version that I loved (just hearing Janis brings back my teen years) and her version is so 60s. Yet Billie's is so classic 30s with the horns and clarinet. I have to choose? Going strictly by these renditions I will have to pick Billie's clear gravely voice over Janis this time. Take another little piece of my heart, why dontcha--LOL! :)

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  9. I can never get enough of Billie Holiday or that wonderful jazz sound of the 30s/40s. I can, however, get more than enough of Janis's voice (never been a fan). One happily cast vote for Billie, please.

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    1. Maybe you're not old enough and mature enough to be a Janis fan.

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  10. Ah, this is a tough one! I have always enjoyed Janis Joplin's version of this song, but when placed against Billie Holiday, I have to vote for Billie. Janis's version has a lot of soul to it, but the opening notes of Ms. Holiday's immediately put me in a time and place, making me feel as if I were there in the middle of the 1930s at a club.

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    1. You can see the setting, can't you? I can't see the setting with Janis. I see only Janis.

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  11. I'm a fan of both artists, but on this one I go with Billie Holiday.

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    1. Stephen, I'm shocked that you're so adamant about your vote. You usually say that you can't choose between the two because both are good.

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  12. Billie Holiday gets my vote. I love jazz and Billie Holiday, who can sing anything with her style, IMO. I prefer Janis' blues singing, where she belts out the song.

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  13. LOVE JANIE ~
    Being a "confident heterosexual", I've never been a Janis Joplin fan. Given the opportunity to sleep with it (man? woman? Woolly Mammoth?), I'd pass. ...And pass on the offered bottle of SoCo, too.

    Two Janis songs I've always enjoyed though were, first and foremost, 'SUMMERTIME', and followed by 'Piece Of My Heart'.

    However, against Billie and a Who's Who of Jazz legends (Artie Shaw, Bunny Berrigan, Cozy Cole), Janis hasn't got a homosexual's chance in the 'Country Outlaw's Saloon Of Texas'.

    Still, I LOVED the stylistic dichotomy of this Battle. THIS is what BOTB is all about! And with votes falling both ways, I think you've got a winner on yer hands, LJ!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Janis Joplin? Confident heterosexual? Janis Joplin had plenty of male lovers. I think that raw voice full of Southern Comfort is quite sexy. I, too, am a confident heterosexual, and I find Janis attractive. Not that I swing that way. I love Summertime and Piece of My Heart and many others. I want a really good Janis movie.

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    2. The "confident heterosexual" line comes from a really funny satire of Western movies called 'Rustler's Rhapsody'. (For those who may not know, there's a life and death difference between a "heterosexual" and a "CONFIDENT heterosexual". It bombed at the box office, making it perhaps the most underrated movie of all time.)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. Ah, I should have known it was a movie line. My son and I sometimes speak to each other almost exclusively by quoting movies. I'll have to mention Rustler's Rhapsody to him. He might be familiar with it.

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  14. Janie, it's not fall here. Phew, I'm ready for it to cool down! True the kids are back in school. Can't figure that one out, as they went back on August 11th. That's just too early, but that's okay. Maybe we can go to the mountains without so many tourists hanging around. lol I'm thankful they flock to this area because it keeps so many folks in business. Now on to the battle. I'm not sure if I remember this song or not, but Janis Joplin just didn't do anything for me. She's a great bluezy kinda gal, but her vocals weren't right for this song. However, Billie Holiday...what I can say I loved everything about her version. It just felt vintage and her voice is so nice to listen to. Please give Billy Holiday my vote! Good battle!

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    1. It seems to me that kids go back to school earlier every year. My kids used to start school the day after Labor Day. Then it became the last week in August. I never understood starting school and then having a three-day weekend.

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  15. Janis gets my voe. I like her arrangement better.

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  16. I vote for Will Smith's Summertime. What's that? Not one of the choices? Well then, I shall remain in the stifling confines of your binary and vote for Billie Holiday. Also, in the beginning of the Joplin video, it looks like someone picks up Janice when it's time for her to sing.

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    1. I failed to notice that is appears JANIS is picked up and still do not see it in spite of your kindness in pointing it out.

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  17. Gosh, Janie, this is some battle you've got! May I have BIlly's clearer vocal with Joplin's band? What to do?

    Listening again...show my vote for Janis, please.

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    1. Chalk another one up for Janis, thanks to darlin' Dixie.

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  18. Whew we have right here what is called a BATTLE! I love it when everyone is divided about who should win. Personally, I loved Janis' version. Please cast my vote for Janis.

    ~Mary

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    1. It's fun when it's pretty evenly divided, but I enjoy the battles even when one band blows away the other.

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  19. Lady Day all the way for me. I love both renditions but you can hear the experience in Billie Holiday's voice. She lived those words so she gets my vote

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