The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Friday, January 1, 2016

What's New? (#BOTB) --Happy New Year!

Sydney. Fireworks Newyear 2006. Opera House an...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Happy New Year!

     There's something sad about New Years Day--or maybe melancholy is the better word. That's how I see it at least. It's another year of life gone by with a new one looming ahead. When I was much younger that old year seemed like a lifetime, but now I have a lifetime of many years that now seemed to have passed much too swiftly.

     Those many many years ago I saw the future as an unfathomable distance in time. Now the future is an unknowable destiny that could be reached tomorrow or in still many more years. I'd like to think the latter is the case. Ten, twenty, eighty more years--I'll take what I get and only hope that I have used them wisely.

        And so at hand we have yet another year ahead of us.  It's a new year now, but it's getting older with each moment that passes.   So what about you this year?   What's new?


Battle of the Bands


        Another year has come to an end which brings us to the start of another month which means 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.

          Here's the song for this round:

"What's New?"

          Originally composed and recorded in 1938 as an instrumental called "I'm Free" for Bob Crosby's Orchestra (click the link if you're curious to hear this version), the song title was changed to "What's New" when the lyrics were added the following year.  The song has since been recorded by many.  My Battle pits an early version with a female vocalist against a later version also featuring a female vocalist.  It's a bit of old and new with the song "What's New?"

Artie Shaw with Helen Forrest  "What's New?" (1939)

          Here's one of the early renditions of the song with a female vocalist.  It's upbeat, but still to me there's a sadness to this.  For one thing the melody has a bit of a sad sound and the lyrics are a bit poignant.  Then again it just might be that the song is an old one--can you believe over 75 years?  It's many yesterdays ago.  Still it's nice to hear again.




Linda Ronstadt "What's New"  (1983)

        Some 44 years after the previous recording came Linda Ronstadt with her genre changing album backed by Nelson Riddle's orchestra.  I think she was at the top of her game with this exquisite release.  She puts a classic touch on some of the classics of pop music.  After this came out I purchased a copy on cassette.  Ronstadt's album was a regular in my listening rotation back in the mid-80's.   Now enjoy and compare to the first version.





Time to Vote!

        This is nothing new to most of you, but if you're visiting a Battle of the Band post for the first time then let me briefly explain.  Please give each song version a fair listen to decide which version you prefer over the other.   If you don't like either then at least tell us which recording was least innocuous to you.  This comes down to your preference and it's as easy as that.

      Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version 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'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

DC Relief Battle of the Bands

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Cherdo on the Flipside  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Janie Junebug Righting & Editing.
  
Book Lover

J. A. Scott  

Quiet Laughter

Holli's Hoots and Hollers

NovelBrews

Be ReInVintaged

Results on Friday January 8th

       It's vacation time right now, but I should have a week to catch up and get back to a norm of sorts.  Since I'm traveling right now I might be a bit slow getting to your posts so bear with me.  I've got lots planned for January including another blockbuster combo post for the next Battle of the Bands on the 15th.   At that time not only will I be participating in the Backstage Blogathon, but I'll be presenting a song that corresponds to my movie pick.   Click the link if you want more info about the Backstage Blogathon.  






64 comments:

  1. I understand your feelings about age......remembering I am older than you made me feel how ancient I am.
    I loved the Linda Ronstandt version, thought it was great.
    Happy New Year Lee despite our ages.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, I won't say any of us are "ancient" but we must accept the inevitable.

      First vote goes to Linda Ronstadt.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. I always thought September 1 should be the new year. Everyone goes back to school with all new outfits, the tv season is new, football/basketball/hockey all starts in the fall....

    Happy New Year Lee! I vote for Artie Shaw!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoJo, you make a good case for the September 1 New Year Day.

      And we're off in a tie with a first vote for Artie Shaw.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. Lee, I've always loved Linda Ronstadt's voice. I vote for her, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the instrumental version. I understand what you are saying about New Year. The years are racing by. I see it in my five children. All the best in 2016, Lee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victoria, five children for me as well as five grandchildren--the age is showing for sure these days.

      Got you down for Linda Rondstadt.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. I'm goig to give this one to Linda Ronstadt and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Artie Shaw's version was excellent: Artie's clarinet is superb, and he was at the top of his game here, but it seemed rushed when Helen Forrest was singing. As an instrumental, it would have been tremendous. Linda Ronstadt had a voice even more beautiful than she is, and she is quite beautiful, and I liked her "torchy" approach to it. Nelson Riddle's accompaniment was superb.

    Happy New Year, Arlee! I think New Year's should move back to April 1...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, April 1st as New Year's? That might be appropriate.

      Another vote for Linda Rondstadt

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Patricia, thank you and all the best for the coming year.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Well, this was a refreshing BOTB, LEE.

    I knew beforehand how my vote would land, but I played 'em both anyway. Well, I played 3 minutes of Linda's recording, anyway. By that point, she was DONE, even if she didn't realize it. Too slow and boring.

    I love Nelson Riddle's Orchestra, of course, but I've never been a fan of Ronstadt's, not even of her "Standards" phase.

    ARTIE SHAW, on the other hand, was terrific - truly one of the Big Band greats. Helen Forrest wasn't one of my favorite singers from that era, but she wasn't bad. I liked her well enough and she does have that nostalgic, old-time sound that appeals to me.

    In the end though, this was really between ARTIE & NELSON, and ARTIE wins my vote easily.

    Happy New Year, Lee!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, Ronstadt's interpretation is a bit more dramatic I suppose, but the big band sound is pretty great.

      Your vote goes to Artie Shaw.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. `
      "Dramatic"?

      No.
      That's just the video images yakkin'.

      I would say: "So slow that she completely abandoned the song's melody".

      But maybe that's just my musically untrained ears yakkin'.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  7. I love both but I have to give it to Linda Ronstadt because her voice was made for songs like this. She could do so much with that gift of hers. My mom loved her Spanish album dedicated to her dad. The way she sang the lyrics grabbed me. Happy New Year's Day and may joy and health follow you the year through

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, I wish you the same!

      A vote for Linda Rondstadt

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Beautiful Battle, Lee! My vote goes to Linda... Her version is the haunting kind of music that gives me chills. Artie Shaw's is fabulous, but in terms of vocals Linda won it for me. Excellent, excellent battle. And happy 2016!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guilie, you argued your vote well.

      Linda Rondstadt

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Oh Lee, I'm sitting here all teary-eyed. "Melancholy" suits this well... I'm with you.

    My Grandfather passed away January 1981. I owe my love of "big band sound" to him - all of those wonderful 78 lps. Bob Crosby, Artie Shaw were all time favorites.

    Ronstadt does it nicely but too sad for me. I don't think I could listen to it again. I like some of her songs but not this one.

    My vote goes to Artie Shaw and Helen, (what a crystal clear voice.)

    What's new? I hope to remain on internet this year. It's been tough, physically, and I miss giving attention to my blogging friends.

    Sentimental battle, eh? Happy 2016, Lee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dixie, yeah, it's a sentimental time I guess.

      A vote going to Artie Shaw.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. My vote goes for Artie Shaw and Helen. Though the intro was a bit long and I was thinking Of voting the other way but Helen's vocals swayed me back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, oddly the song is a mere three minutes long. I guess so much happens with the instrumental intro that it just seems long.

      Another vote for Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Hard to choose but I like the Linda Ronstadt version more. She has such a beautiful voice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann, I have a tough time choosing as well.

      The final vote goes to Linda Rondstadt

      Lee

      Delete
  12. Wow! This was the first time I've ever been able to listen to Ronstadt without cringing.She actually made the decision a bit tough, but not enough to sway me away from Artie and Helen! Cool battle, Arlee :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, close but no cigar for Linda.

      The decision goes in favor of Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  13. I love Linda Ronstadt's version. It's just easier to listen to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, in favor of the easier listening decision it's...

      Linda Rondstadt

      Lee

      Delete
  14. Linda Ronstadt's voice has always struck a chord with me -- no pun intended. :-) I try to live in the moment. Tomorrow is promised to no one. And each year, I make new friends. Those that have died enriched my life as I hope I enriched theirs. Nothing is forever ... except political lies. :-) May your new months be happy ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, so true, so true.

      I'll give your vote to Linda Rondstadt

      Lee

      Delete
  15. What a wonderful surprise! Loved all the versions and really enjoyed listening to them. The big band era of music is fantastic and I could listen to Artie day and night.

    But, then...there's Linda.

    Linda Ronstadt has such a pure, beautiful delivery of just about anything she does that I have a hard time voting against her (Loved the Trio album with Dolly and Emmy Lou...I think I'll look into using one of those for a battle some day).

    So, there you have it: Linda Ronstadt gets my vote today!

    Happy New Year, Lee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, I'd forgotten that trio album--excellent stuff!

      Another vote for Linda Ronstadt

      Lee

      Delete
  16. Oh this one is easy for me: please give my vote to Artie Shaw and Helen Forrest. I love the big band sound and Helen's voice is pretty. Linda's is fabulous but I just didn't like her version of the song. Too slow or too sad. The instrumentation of Artie Shaw's version drew me in within the first few notes.

    Sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Hopefully you'll be back to your old self soon enough and can begin enjoying the start of 2016. Happy New Year!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michele, I'm almost home and hopefully back to 100% or close.

      A vote for Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  17. Lee, this was an excellent battle. I like some of Rondstadt's stuff, especially the very early material. But she is way too slow, like she is basking in the sound of her own voice.

    Artie Shaw was a true great. This is really no contest to my ears. Shaw and Helen win this going away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SBB6, Nelson Riddle typically does a lot of slow lush arrangements I think so this fits what I'm familiar with as far as his music goes.

      Another Artie Shaw vote.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. Artie Shaw gets my vote, and I prefer the singer Helen's voice for this song. I do like Linda R. but she's better at belting out the blues (like Blue Bayou).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DG, Linda's been doing well for this Battle, but big band is making its presence known.

      Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  19. Happy New Year Lee. I still enjoy the beginning of a new year and I am somewhat older than you I think. As for taking what you can get for the rest of your life, I am afraid you have no option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo, on this trip home with sickness lingering I'm feeling very old. I'll take the better things to come.

      Lee

      Delete
  20. Again, I wish I could vote on looks... but since I can't I liked the big band from artie better than the symphonic from Linda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, it's all about the music--well supposed to be.

      A vote for Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  21. I knew who I was going to vote for even before playing the videos, but I still played 'em both to be fair. Love that big band sound. Just love it, and both Artie and Helen killed it. Never been a big Linda Ronstadt fan, and this is no exception. It's alright, but doesn't hold a candle to Artie and Helen. Needless to say, one very enthusiastic vote for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beer Boys, rah, rah, rah! Linda's lost favor for many I guess.

      Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  22. Hi, Lee! Happy New Year, good buddy!

    I pick "C" - eighty more years of living for you and for me. :)

    Now on to your first BOTB of 2016. My parents dated during the Great Depression and married in 1938. The Big Band sound was the music of their youth and when I came along they tried hard to steer me toward that style and away from rock 'n' roll. It wasn't until I was in my 20s, out of the house and on my own, that I discovered the joy of listening to those old orchestras and the female vocalists that fronted them. The arrangement on the Artie Shaw - Helen Forrest number is typical. The band plays for a couple of minutes before the lady even starts to sing. The performance of "What's New" by Artie and Helen is simply marvelous, and it was most likely one of my parents' favorites. Linda Ronstadt and that Bogey look-alike do a nice job with their rendition, but they don't come close to achieving the utter greatness that comes through loud and clear in that 1939 recording. Shucks, I always thought Artie and Paul were great (S&G :) but Artie and Helen came first and they come close to perfection on "What's New." Artie and Helen get my vote.

    It was nice to see a young, healthy Linda Ronstadt in that video. Wasn't it a shock when the news broke about Natalie Cole's death? Unforgettable... that's what she is.

    Thanks, Lee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shady, I was indeed shocked by the news of Cole's passing, but I guess things like that usually take us by surprise.

      Got you down for Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  23. Though I do like the big band sound, Linda Ronstadt's version gets my vote. I agree that it's a bit slow, but she really sings from the heart and makes this romantic ballad all her own. Hope you feel better, Lee and all the best in the New Year!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, I'm up in the middle of the night after extreme coughing spells. Be glad when I get home later today.

      Slow, but still a vote for Linda Ronstadt.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. Oh, sorry to hear that, LEE!

      I've been sick for awhile, too. Pretty crappy way for us to ring in the new year, eh?

      Take care of yourself, Buddy. Get warm, lots of fluids (craft beer works well), and old episodes of 'ALL IN THE FAMILY' should bring you around. (I'll let you know how it works for me.)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    3. Yes, I've been sicker, but any sick is sicker than I want to be. Now home and it's good to be stationary for a while.

      Lee

      Delete
  24. Happy New Year, Lee, and many thanks for being one of my top commenters in 2015! It's been such a pleasure getting to know you better in the past year. I am not participating in BoTB this go around, but I'll be back on the 15th. What a fabulous new-to-me song! I like the sound of the big band. Artie Shaw orchestra is a delightful listen. I believe I have a Christmas CD featuring this band. As much as I enjoyed contender 1, I think my vote swings more for the sound of Linda Ronstadt. She did a beautiful job on the number! Have a tunetastic week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, it's been great getting to know you this year as well. Artie Shaw is a big name in music history.

      Still, a vote for Linda Ronstadt

      Lee

      Delete
    2. Cathy, it's been great getting to know you this year as well. Artie Shaw is a big name in music history.

      Still, a vote for Linda Ronstadt

      Lee

      Delete
  25. Difficult, difficult choice for me. I've always been a Ronstadt fan and own several of her albums. But I really like the olde tyme sound of Artie Shaw & Helen Forrest. I hate to pick against one of my favourite artists, but I think I'm going to vote for Artie&Helen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeffrey, I understand the dilemma.

      A vote for Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  26. PS - Hope you feel better. I ended up not doing a battle this time because I was sick myself. Was in bed before 9:00 New Years Eve. The next day I was not feeling much better and stayed in bed (or on the couch) for most of the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jeffrey. Getting off the road and back to my own bed I've been getting more rest and nursing my cough. Not 100% yet, but feeling much, much better.

      Lee

      Delete
  27. Hey Lee,

    Sorry I'm skidding in late on this battle. I sure do hope you're feeling better by this time. Are you taking lots of Vitamin C and drinking water? Of course, Vitamin C (in large quantities) helps most when you just feel the illness coming on, but can't hurt now.

    Anyway, this was an interesting match-up. Two very different versions of the same song. I liked them both, but I *preferred* the big band sound of the first one. So cast my vote with Artie and Helen.

    Happy New Year!

    ~Robin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin, thanks for the advice. I've been taking care of myself and fortunate haven't gotten really bad like in some past years.

      Another vote for Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  28. Great beginning to the year. Loved Linda back in the day but Artie and Helen get my vote on this one. Love the big band sound and I think Helen has a terrific set of pipes.
    Hope you are over your bug and enjoying the season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, I'm getting much better now and life is getting back to the old schedule.

      A vote for Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  29. Linda's voice is lovely and her video is colorful and interesting, but she really slowed this one down to a melancholy dirge. Give me Artie Shaw and that 'licorice stick' any day of the week and Helen Forrest's vocals add some pep to this one.

    Hope you're feeling better. The Holidays and traveling kind of got the best of me too, this year.

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FAE, feeling much better after being home a couple days and getting some extra well-needed sleep. Things are almost back to normal, be that a good or a bad thing.

      Another vote for Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete
  30. hmm,can I vote for Arty's clarinet? Tough choice between the two ladies as they both sound awesome. But I like the faster pace of Helen's, and the clarinet just pushes it right over the top.

    Loved the orchestra in Linda's back up though. But give my vote to Helen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dolorah, that big band sound is pretty special.

      Another vote for Artie Shaw

      Lee

      Delete

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.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee