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Thursday, January 15, 2015

I Only Have Eyes for You (BOTB)



        It's time for another Battle of the Bands, the blogging event first introduced by our friends at Far Away Series and  StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

        In this round I'm doing something different from my normal approach.  We've been discouraging using more than two versions of a song, but this time I'm going with three and I'll do some explaining later.   Also I'm going to tell you in this post which version I'm voting for, not to influence anyone's vote, but once again for reasons I'll explain after you listen to the first two brief offerings.

         This post is packed with some great music so let's get on with it!

I Only Have Eyes For You

        I thought I gave some pretty obvious clues in my guessing game of the previous two posts, but no one quite caught on even though this song is such a well known classic.

       "I Only Have Eyes For You" was written in 1934 for the film Dames.  The song is on ASCAP's list of the 25 most recorded songs of the 20th Century.   Several different recordings of the song have appeared on the charts by a number of artists.   The recording by The Flamingos ranks #157 on Rolling Stone magazines 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  

         The song was composed by Harry Warren, a songwriter in whose long career successfully turned out numerous well known songs including 21 that charted at #1 on "Your Hit Parade", and Al Dubin, a lyricist best known for his collaborations with Warren.   

The Flamingos "I Only Have Eyes For You"  (1959)

         Starting off we have what I think is the most romantic do-wop recording ever.   I'm not a big do-wop fan, but this cover of "I Only Have Eyes For You" transcends the genre to create a piece of music that I think would be nearly impossible for anyone not to like.  The vocals are celestial with an insistent hypnotic rhythmic background that draws us into a nearly dreamlike trance.  To me pop music does not get much better than this fine arrangement of an old song.   Yes, this is actually an old song first introduced in a 1934 film.  More on that later.   First the Flamingos.  





Chris Connor with Maynard Ferguson "I Only Have Eyes For You" (1960)

          I'm pretty sure that some of you who were sure they'd vote Flamingos will be faced with an agonizing decision after hearing this next version.   If you've never heard this swinging big band take with veteran jazz singer Chris Connor backed by the legendary Maynard Ferguson, be prepared to get blown away.   Great horn playing with classy swing singing makes this version of the song almost irresistible.   Will you only have ears for this version?    Take a listen.




     

Busby Berkeley and gang "I Only Have Eyes For You"  (1934)

         There are few things that can make me smile more than this wonderful film clip.  The clip runs a few seconds over ten minutes so it is a long one, but I think it might be worth your time to view whether you've seen it or not.   In a sense this is a compilation of variations of essentially the same arrangement of the song--in the stage musical form combination of conversation and singing, in angelic choral singing, and then in a pop-style near symphonic proportions orchestral arrangement. Smooth vocals of tenor Dick Powell with assistance of the lovely singer, dancer and actress Ruby Keeler makes this production an absolute delight.
   
         This excerpt of Dames displays movie magic attained not by computer generated images, but achieved with meticulous planning, clever editing, elaborate stage sets, and real people behind everything seen by the viewer.  The camera work is quite striking as well.

        I do enjoy much of the amazing CGI work in today's films, but much of it still has a fake quality that becomes a bit boring to me after seeing so many of these effects driven films.   I'll take work such as these great old Busby Berkeley numbers any day.   I've watched this clip over and over and never fail to grow tired of it.  It's truly amazing!  All I can do is encourage you to watch this clip carefully to see if you agree with what I'm saying about it.

         If you aren't willing to invest the ten minutes it takes to evaluate the clip from Dames then just pick from the first two versions and we'll see how the vote goes in the end.   As much as I like the versions by The Flamingos and the jazzier take of Chris Connor, I'm going with the original Dames version not only for the sentimental reasons from my heart, but most of all for the spectacular song arrangement and the production quality of the scene in the film.   For me it is amazing, romantic, and happy.

        If you are willing then take a listen, but be sure to watch the visuals as well:



Time to Vote!

          Which do you prefer?  I've started off the voting with one vote for the original version from the film Dames which as I said earlier is an optional choice in this contest.   I hope you will consider this one, but I'll understand if you only choose between the shorter versions.  

        Now it's up to you to determine the winner.   Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the one you chose.  Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around.   And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

FAR AWAY SERIES’ 

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

DC Relief Battle of the Bands

        The results of my Battle will be announced on Friday January 23rd.   On Monday January 19th I'll have some more to say about the films of Busby Berkeley and a further commentary about film making in our era.   Stay with me on this, but most of all please vote on this current contest as this one is near and dear to my heart in another way that I'll explain on Wednesday the 21st.

          If you don't like any version of this song, why? (You'd better have a darn good explanation for that one!)   Do you feel that older songs captured the concept of romance better than today's songs?   Why do you think that musicals are less popular in our time than during the first few decades of talking pictures?  





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92 comments:

  1. I'm voting for the Flamingos version. I think that was used in 'American Graffiti'? That's the one I've always liked. Had no idea it was such an old song though.

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    1. I would imagine the version by the Flamingos has been used in a number of movies about that early 60's era. It was such an iconic recording depicting romance.

      Lee

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  2. Loved the movie clip -- that 10 minutes of film took a LONG time and a LOT of people to put together! Look at how many shots were involved, with cranes, moving dollies, and all that huge stage production and post-production work to do the dissolves and double-exposures.

    But musically, I still go for the Flamingos version. I enjoyed the jazz version and the movie orchestra, but there is just too much mood and soul in the Flamingos rendition to vote against.

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    1. Thank you for your observations. That's what amazes me about the Busby Berkeley productions and this one especially. The total effect of it all is incredible especially considering that this was done over 80 years ago!

      The Flamingos is a good choice, but none of these is bad in my opinion.

      Lee

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  3. I'm going with Chris Connor with Maynard Ferguson. It's the funnest out of all of them. :)

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    1. No doubt that jazz version swings with energy.

      Lee

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  4. No set genre, Lee, you'll never be bored. Good luck with all your endeavours in 2015.

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    1. I rarely get bored and if I sense any inkling of boredom then I only have myself to blame.

      Lee

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  5. I'm giving my vote to The Flamingos after listening to all three versions. Busby Berkley came in second, and Chris Connor last. The up tempo of the latter didn't convey the same sentiments as the other songs. It was good, but knowing The Flamingos cover,then I feel it's a tough act to follow.

    I use to love musicals when I was younger, but I sorta fell out of love with them as time went by. Now days, I have to be in the mood for them and that's rare.

    Good battle, Lee!

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    1. I never tire of those old 30's musicals. I watch them frequently and even if I'm not in the mood just starting into one usually gets me in the mood.

      Lee

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  6. I'm here to thank you for stopping by. I'm not participating in this Band Battle, but since I do remember the version by The Flamingos, I would vote for it. You are right it's one of the best of that era.

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    1. The Flamingos might not need your vote as I think they could end up ahead, but thanks for your comment on that version.

      Lee

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  7. Since I can't be anything but honest, I'm going to tell you the TRUTH. I watched the last one through the heads (you know what I mean, right?) and then when she appeared on the rotating wheel, I thought, "Surely this is nearly over." Turns out it was only halfway through. BUT, here's the thing: I really enjoyed it until the "heads." It was everything you said: romantic and sweet. Just wonderful really. But the disembodied heads creeped me out, so it was all over after that. So, if this clip had stopped prior to the heads business, I think I would've voted for it.

    As it is, I really liked the jazz version start to finish. That would be the second one. And it gets my vote.

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    1. You should probably go back and study what is really happening in that Berkeley production. Those "heads' are manipulated by actual people and it's rather an amazing and complex thing that Berkeley did with it all. I guess I could get the creepy aspect of the visual, but I think what it represents is an ideal of focused love. If you want a really creepy Berkeley vision check out "Lullaby of Broadway" which has been referred to as fascism in dance or as John Waters described in his commentary on the number "Zombie-like. A Night of the Living Tappers". It's crazy wonderful like all of Berkeley's work.

      Got you for the jazz.

      Lee

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  8. Of the three, I still like The Flamingos best (most familiar), with the Dames version second and the jazz version third.

    Not that that I hated the jazz version, but being so familiar with the "traditional" version, Connor/Ferguson's version was (to me) a whole different song.

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    1. Yeah, the "whole different song" approach was my aim here. I think a truly great song can be covered effectively in many styles and this is a great song that can work in a number of ways.

      Lee

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  9. For me it just kept getting better and better. The Flamingo's version is great, and that's considering I don't really like doo-wop. Chris Conner's version has a great charm to it (love big band), but then I was really swept away by Dick Powell in Dames, so... give it to da Dames. It's got such a magical sound to it... and those visuals didn't hurt, either.

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    1. Yes!-- finally someone with highly discriminating taste! Musical + visuals don't get much better than a Busby Berkeley spectacle.

      My favorite vote so far!

      Lee

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  10. Lee!

    I love all three versions. In the first two I heard the music, the differences in harmony, orchestration, and rhythm.

    The Flamingos' soulfulness. A Saturday night slow dance at the club.
    Chris Connor with Maynard Ferguson's totally awesome swing, sensual voice, and oh those horns! Friday night at the USO.

    But you were thinking /looking of something that spoke to obsession, passion, romance - themes we might miss in music without film accompaniment? As a child I had two great pleasures. One was - grandparents who did the radio thing. You had no visual - no film. I also listened to recordings .of children's stories. Only years later was I privileged to see any of the stories played in theater or on film. Until then, I had imagination. So I went back and played all three. That's when I came up with the scenarios for the first two songs. It was a bit 'one on one' between the singer and the audience. In "Dames," it's something different. There are many voices telling the young lady that "He only has eyes for you." They 'see, feel, and understand' his obsession, passion and romantic endeavors... and are prompted to sing of them as well.

    Long before I ever saw the film and "knew" which voice matched what "occupation," I knew that there was, indeed, something real going on. Or maybe I'm so totally biased when it comes to group participation... like those children's recordings that "invite' me into the story... I feel invited into this one. Interestingly, when I played "Dames" the second time without looking - it seemed to take half the time to hear. I'll stop now, less I go on for... ever.

    My vote is for "Dames." Thank you!

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    1. I like your analysis. I'm playing the Dames version now as I reply so I can get the effect that you're describing and, yes, with just sound it all does seem to pass more quickly. Whenever this clip is on I'm always compelled to watch as I listen, but just listening is very cool.

      I agree that we can get a very different insight just listening to audio. I enjoy listening to radio plays and such and I think in our age we miss out on that depth of listening and seeing things in our minds. Those old days of gathering around the radio seem like wonderful times that are sadly behind us.

      I recall as a child having records where stories where told or enacted and I loved listening to those. Kids today have the video aspect added and watching my grandchildren I see how absorbed they become in these--almost zombified or hypnotized. It's sad in many ways and even scary to think a lot of kids may be losing touch with an ability to visualize things on their own. Imagination is a gift that should not be squandered.

      Gosh, I'm thinking of posts that I could do on this topic. I guess I could go on forever too. Fun isn't it.

      Thank you for a well considered vote and for an excellent in depth explanation.

      Lee

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  11. I actually prefer the version by The Flamingos. I love a 50s, doo-wop sound, so that did it for me. All versions were endearing, but my vote goes to The Flamingos.

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    1. Flamingos is not a bad vote at all.

      Lee

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  12. First, I vote for The Flamingos as they are what I'm used to.

    The third one started off sweet and everything but dissolved into some kind of hysteria or obsession with the lass. With just the audio, the other intruding voices make it fitful. Since it was a musical, it isn't fair to consider it without visual...

    And I didn't care for the second version at all, but I am not crazy about jazz.

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    1. I figured that jazz version would be a turn off to those who don't like jazz, but I think it's good for its genre.

      Lee

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  13. LEE ~
    A very good BOTB, muh Bruthuh!

    I liked the Connor / Ferguson version real well. You probably thought I'd vote for it because it's Jazz but, no, I'm going with The Flamingos because of the great harmonizing and that dreamy quality.

    There is a fabulous 2-CD 'AMERICAN GRAFFITI' soundtrack set which contains at least one track by damn near anyone worth mentioning from the late '1950s / early 1960s (well, except for "The King Of Rock And Roll").. You get Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Buddy Knox, The Platters, The Big Bopper, The Beach Boys, The Spaniels, Del Shannon, and so on and so forth. There's also a single disc "highlights" 'American Graffiti' soundtrack, but the 2-disc set is the one to get.

    The Flamingos singing 'I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU' is the 3rd track on the second disc, so I have heard it many, many times. It's wonderful, and even Maynard Ferguson can't top it with his excellent Jazz playing.

    I enjoyed the movie clip but music-wise it's a bit too mushy for my tastes. By "mushy" I don't mean romantically mushy, but musically mushy. All the instrumentation is run together so it has that typical old movie soundtrack sound of "sawing away". It's not bad and I don't mind hearing it while watching the accompanying scene, but it's just not something I would put on the Bose and listen to while I'm working at something in the house.

    Good song, LEE, good selections, and good BOTB, my man! Looks like you've got a pretty competitive one here, although The Flamingos will likely win it.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Well, I think the Dames version is rather a tour de force with so many musical ideas introduced that it comes close to being a pop version of a symphony. But I already know that classical is not your favorite genre, not that this is classical, but it's complexly arranged like a classical piece. I love the music from that era so this piece rings my chimes and I could definitely just listen as well as watch.

      I'm thinking the Flamingos will win and perhaps deservedly so, but I'm so totally knocked out by the original version that it's my real obsession (or is it a passion?).

      Lee

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  14. I am going with Dames. Those 30s movies have a flavor that is missing now. Many afternoons were spent watching b/w musicals.

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    1. I was too busy watching B grade sci fi movies when I was a kid so I missed a lot of the great musicals back then. I started catching on though after I got to college. Now I'll not only take those 30's movies over my beloved 50's sci fi, but over most of the CGI dreck that comes out now.

      Yay, another vote for Dames!

      Lee

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  15. Wow... this is a hard one. None of these are losers; I liked all three.

    The Busby Berkeley one was fantastic; it reminded me of the Saturday nights, sitting up too damn late, watching this movie on WGN because I couldn't get to sleep and that's what WGN would show too damn late on Saturday night, or more like Sunday morning. I half expected to see ten minutes' worth of local commercials for One Stop Food Store, Calumet Meat Company ("The Home of Moo and Oink"), and Berens Used Cars, featuring Lyn Burton "for certain." The vocal was beautiful (albeit likely dubbed; I don't know that Dick Powell could sing that well), and Ruby Keeler was adorable.

    So, I have to disqualify that one, not because I want to, but because what made it so good was the film around it. Take the movie away and leave the soundtrack, and there isn't much.

    The Flamingoes' version is the one I was most familiar with, and I really like the harmony and simple instrumentation of it. It's elegant in its simplicity. Unfortunately, Art Garfunkel had to steal this arrangement and ruin it for me. I hear this one, I'm thinking that one.

    That leaves Maynard Ferguson and Chris Connor. In high school, several of my friends were with the school jazz band, at least one a trumpet player, and I was bombarded with his music. And liked it! The big-band arrangement is missing Maynard's pyrotechnics on the trumpet, but that's all right; Ms. Connor's voice carried the song and the arrangement was tight.

    So, give my vote to Maynard Ferguson and Chris Connor.

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    1. I'm pretty sure the vocal was done by Powell since he started his career as a singer and recorded a number of songs. His vocal was undoubtedly dubbed into the film, but I'm sure the voice was his. I've found nothing to indicate otherwise. And I'd certainly disagree about your assessment of the soundtrack as the orchestration alone is pretty incredible at least to my ears.

      I thought Garfunkel's redo was okay but it was a tribute (or rip-off?) of the great Flamingos version.

      But I think your vote for the jazz version is quite alright. Can't really go wrong with that version.

      Lee

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  16. So good! Loved the 2 I could hear - the middle one wouldn't work for me (maybe because I'm in Canada - that often happens). I like swing so that might have pulled my vote. I think this one will go to the flamingos but it was close!

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    1. Too bad you missed the jazz, but I understand the situation. Flamingos for you it is.

      Lee

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  17. When I first read your post early this morning, I thought; oh no, not another three-way. I can barely make it through all the BOTB post, let alone having to do a three-way.

    When I came back and began to listen to the postings, I have to agree with an early comment that said, 'it just keeps getting better and better'. I'm most familiar with The Flamingos version and really do like it. But the jazzier, big band sound was equally great, just in a different way. BUT the grande finale, the Busby Berkley production from 'Dames' was spectacular. Give that one my vote, with or without the wonderful video.

    Excellent BATTLE Mr. Bird. Best three-way so far in all BOTB's

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    1. Since this Battle for me was really about the Berkeley version I felt that I had no recourse than to go with three options since the Dames clip is so long and really needs to be listened to (and preferable seen in its entirety and a lot of people wouldn't want to commit to a 10 minute clip. The other versions were good enough to create a sufficiently fine Battle so they stand alone, but I wasn't going to let Busby go.

      Thank you for the right vote. Well, there no right vote, but you agreed with my vote.

      Lee

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Though I really like the do-wop sound of The Flamingos, I'm still a sucker for a big blown-out Busby Berkeley production! I kept waiting for Esther Williams to swim by mid-song! I even changed my vote. Dick Powell kept singing while I was typing, and just when I thought the song was over, another musical extravaganza emerged. Seeing Dames was a real treat! Great selection, Lee!

      Julie

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    2. The great thing about those Berkeley productions is that they keep getting bigger and more impressive as they progress. I love that kind of stuff. Hope you'll go back and watch the whole film now--such fun!

      Lee

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  19. Nah, nothing replaces the Flamingos version.

    I did watch the clip and thought the version interesting, for about the first two minutes. The whistling was kinda cool. But, it just drags on too long. And I'm a real lover of big band, but not for this song. Although, If I were in a skating rink, I'd prefer this version :)

    Flamingo's gets my vote.

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    1. Yeah, the Flamingos version is a classic that is ingrained in the history of American Pop psyche.

      Lee

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  20. Now for the oddballs point of view... I would have voted for Art Garfunkel's version, because for me it took the best parts of the Flamingo's version and accentuated them. But, as that is not one of the choices, I'll take the Fs just nosing out the musical.

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    1. I haven't listened to the Garfunkel version in a long time, but I never thought it was bad at all. Maybe I'll have to listen to it again.

      Lee

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  21. I'm going with the Dames also. Those old musicals were such beautiful spectacles. I didn't care for the other two versions at all though I'm sure there are more modern versions I enjoyed.

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    1. "Beautiful spectacles' encapsulates the way I feel about those old musicals as well.

      Lee

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  22. I decided I'd have a vote on this one Arlee. I don't like the do-wop version, so that's out. I couldn't access the second version from here in Australia, so don't know what that's like.
    But I do love the "Dames" version, so that's my pick. I think the "heads" part was great - very apt for the words of the song.

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    1. Too bad you couldn't get the jazz version, but a heads up for Dames.

      Lee

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  23. I think of all the BOTB participants that perhaps your musical leanings are closest to my own.

    Others commenting here have said already what is obvious to me, which is that all three of these are excellent, and that they get better as they go along. The Flamingos? GREAT! Brings back many memories from my yoot... though I was pretty little when that was actually playing regularly on the radio. Connor/Ferguson? That really swings, and I prefer it exponentially to the first. This is the version I'd most like to hear on the radio these days.

    The Busby B. / Powell version is just magical, you sentimental old duff, you! (But like me, you also manage to enjoy and mix in classical and Alternative as genres you truly enjoy as well. Your age does not define your music.)

    The Dames version is my vote too.

    One thing I always look for is film editing and I thought the editing was great in this clip, as the scenes transitioned from crowded to empty. Dames was made the same year (1934) that they gave the Oscar for the first time for Film Editing. My grandfather won that award for "Eskimo." I checked: he didn't edit "Dames"!

    Seahawksboyganboy VI

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    1. Glad you picked up that editing (and I can understand why considering your history). Sadly, I think a lot of modern viewers just disregard a lot of these clips as old and dated without really thinking about the efforts involved in these pioneering films. Artists like Berkeley were blazing a trail that led to where we've come today in film making.

      Those crowded to empty scenes especially caught my attention as well as did that marvelous sequence where Keeler appears in the mirror and the ladies below form the handle and so on--what a fantastic dreamlike sequence done so smoothly and cleverly.

      Great stuff! I guess you and I just have more discriminating tastes than others as well as an appreciation for real art.

      Thanks!
      Lee

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  24. I'm going to vote for the Flamingos because their version brings back some very romantic memories. Hard to beat that! I didn't care so much for the Chris Conner one, only because I don't care that much for jazz. But the film clip was fabulous!!! I see what you mean about the effects: hard to believe they were doing that so successfully back in 1934! Wow, that blew me away. If this is to be a 3-way, I still have to go with the Flamingos, for the aforementioned reason. And that is why music is so powerful on so many levels: to be able to transport you back to a time in memory, like you were right there again. Ahhh.... Good BOTB Lee! (I'm going to try to comment as myself instead of my angelsbark wordpress account and see if that will alleviate the issues I've been having with the recaptcha...Stand by...)

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    1. Okay, it looks like I can comment as myself (Google) without encountering the robot checkbox. I'm going to try to publish this reply as my Wordpress identity and see what happens... Okay, Lee, that's where I encounter the issue: when I try to publish with my wordpress identity, the robot feature does not appear when using my laptop...but it will appear if I'm using my ipad. Strange!

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    2. That version by the Flamingos is hard to beat as a romantic tune.
      The issues with Blogger are weird. I've discovered that I can just ignore that CAPTCHA box and the comment will still go through. Don't know why they have it.

      Lee

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  25. The Flamingoes and much of that is sentimental value because it was a song my mom and dad danced to a lot. My Dad would also sing along and his voice was good. Good memory of a young kid watching parents that were still romantic and not afraid to show it.
    :-)
    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. I can understand that sentiment memory of the Flamingos version. I'll bet there are a number of people with their own romantic memories in relation to this song.

      I'll have a story about it in my post next Wednesday.

      Lee

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  26. I thought it was a different song until I listened. I like the Flamingo's version.

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    1. That's why I chose them--they do sound almost like different songs if you don't listen closely. Thanks for voting!

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  27. I like the original. I'm not a fan of cover songs in general, simply because most singers try to modernize a song in ways that the content simply doesn't call for.

    There have been a few that I like, mostly because the cover destroys the original (The Hooters version of "Boys of Summer" obliterates Don Henley's version to smithereenies, IMHO).

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    1. I guess I missed that Hooters cover of that great Henley song. Covers can be bad or good--it depends.

      Lee

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  28. My vote goes to The Flamingos. That is the one I'm most familiar with.

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    1. The Flamingos version is the most generally known I'd say.

      Lee

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  29. I like Flamingos version best. But it was cute to see it in the Dames clip.

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  30. I definitely think older songs caputre romance better, but I have to say that my era is really 70s/80s, so I equate romantic songs with those time periods. The Flamingos.

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    1. And now when you think about it the Flamingos recording is over 50 years old! 70/80's were more about issues and self-gratification. Not a whole lot of dreamy romance that comes immediately to my mind during that era.

      Lee

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  31. I really don't know which to vote for. Love the Flamingo version, but also the jazzy one. I vote for BOTH.

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    1. One cancels out the other! It's a tough choice I know.

      Lee


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  32. The film clip is wonderful but I still need to go with The Flamingos. The historical significance of that recording is mammoth. As you say, it transcends its genre but it also opened a lot of eyes as to what could be accomplished in a recording studio. The young Beatles and Beach Boys were surely paying attention.

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    1. When a recording still has a relatively unique and listenable sound after 50 years that does say something significant about it. I'm sure you're right about who was listening.

      Lee

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  33. Oh my gosh. This was the song my husband and I danced to first at our wedding. I can't vote...because I just love, love, love, the version done by Simon and Garfunkle. Nothing can compare to it for...for obvious reasons. Oh how I love this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9C53IEcg_0

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  34. Sorry. Art Garfunkle's version. No Simon there.

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  35. Garfunkel's version was fairly close to the Flamingos as I recall, but I accept your decline to vote. Hope you'll see my post next Wednesday as you might appreciate it.

    Lee

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  36. OK I am really late listening to this and I can't listen to the Chris Connor version! I even tried through youtube and it states it is not available! So I went by the 1st and the Ruby Keeler/Dick Powell. I really love this song and I really do like the Flamingos as it is the one I know the best but I have a soft spot for the original with the whole Busby Berkley extravaganza. Dick Powell had a wonderful singing voice and it is very clear. so I am voting for the 3rd one. Bummer I could not listen to the 2nd. I listened to another song they did and it is quite good especially the trumpet (it is that isn't it-sorry for sounding so dumb). I still have a smile on my face with the Busby spectacle. The precision and the different ways to showcase the song...magical to me.

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    1. A vote for the Connor version wouldn't have put them anywhere close to the other two contenders. So the Dames version it is. Powell had a lot of talent and was a delightful actor to watch. Some of his facial expressions are priceless.

      Lee


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  37. I'm voting for The Flamingos. I love their harmony.

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    1. They do show a nice display of harmony.

      Lee

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  38. The Berkeley arrangement was interesting - full of romance - though those heads were something else. Loved the visuals.
    Chris Connor one was not available ..
    Flamingos? Gets my vote ..

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    1. Guess I need to start checking to see if my video picks are available everywhere if there is a way to do that.

      Lee

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  39. I'm voting for the Flamingos version. I'm a sucker for a sweet do-wop.
    thanks for stopping by Sojourner in Labrador. I'm okay, just working a ton. I'll post this week. Promise.

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    1. I've been catching up with some of my own blogging stuff and just checking in on those with whom I haven't corresponded in a while. Good to be working--hopefully it's productive and satisfying work.

      Lee

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  40. I wasn't sure I'd like the second version of the song, but I did. Still, I have a certain fondness already for the version by the Flamingos, so I'm sticking with that one. The big band treatment was fun, though.

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    1. Connor and Ferguson work in the classic showy jazz style but it's difficult to outshine a real classic like the Flamingos' version.

      Lee

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  41. I'm going with The Flamingos. Perhaps because it's familiar.

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    1. And the Flamingos are taking an enormous lead in this Battle.

      Lee

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  42. I'm voting for the Flamingos too, It's perfection!

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    1. This looks like it's going to be a solid victory for a solid gold recording.

      Lee

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  43. This is an impossible choice, Lee. Each of these is a beautiful example of an era. I loved them all. So I'm stuffing the ballot box and voting each one.

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    1. Cop out! I know it's a tough choice. They are each very good in their own ways.

      Lee

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  44. I've only been familiar with The Flamingos version, as it was on one of the records my great-grandmother had when I was a kid and later noticed it on TV as the go-to song for a newlywed couple in episodes of the Soap Opera "Days of Our Lives." So, it was interesting so listen to the other versions that you highlighted in this Battle of the Bands. The renditions are nothing alike but I like two of them now. The Conner-Ferguson version just sucks. The jazz rhythm is a bit too upbeat and makes the tune sound less romantic. The Dames version oozes romance so my Vote is for that one in your BOTB with The Flamingos version as a close second. Still I would most likely listen to the latter song more often than the former one.

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  45. Oops I forgot to also add that yes I do think that older songs are better at capturing the essence of romance than today's songs. Probably because it's a sign of the times, in a sense that people aren't really romantic these days. Chivalry is also pretty much nonexistent on average and so the current music of today reflects the changes that have occurred out in the world. Art imitating life, I guess. I do think there are a lot of romantic songs out today. The delivery is just done in a different way and the actual melodies or musical arrangement behind the singing might also play a part in how romantic (or not) a song turns out to be once it's in the final mix.

    When considering musicals being less popular now, when I think "musical," I generally picture Broadway in my head rather than film. Maybe people aren't really into them on the big screen versus a live performance. When I go to the movies, I usually don't expect people to break out into song nor do I want that....I feel like if I wanted to watch someone singing, I would go to a concert instead of the movie theater. Just a thought.


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    1. I know what you're saying about that "break out into a song thing" as that's the way I used to feel about it, but I guess it's mostly a matter of suspending disbelief to accept the singing. These days I think a lot of songs are more about hooking up and physical attraction than long term romantic relationships that are supposed to last a lifetime. A reflection of our society I guess.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

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Lee