The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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

Friday, April 15, 2016

Manhattan (#BOTB) (#atozchallenge)


A panorama of Lower Manhattan as viewed from t...
A panorama of Lower Manhattan as viewed from the Staten Island Ferry. This is a composite of 12 segments stitched together. It was taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 70-200mm f/2.8L lens at 200mm and f/8. This is an edit of the original uploaded to wikipedia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Manhattan

         When I asked the question "What Does Manhattan Say to You?" many of the answers included something like what Alex J. Cavanaugh said--"Manhattan, New York, big city" while David P. King  added some more words to describe the city as, "small island, many big buildings." 

         Then there was Birgit who as though vying for a spot in my Battle of the Bands intro said:


"I hear the song by Rogers and Hart..."I'll take Manhattan..." sung by Mickey Rooney in a biopic about Hart but I also hear Fred Astaire who is so debonair:) There is a certain amount of class to this place in NYC. I half expect to see Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse dancing in Central Park"

          I could talk about musicals for hours, but instead let me just segue into my Battle of the Bands pick-- "Manhattan" or as sometimes is referred to as "I'll Take Manhattan":


Battle of the Bands
    1.  Battle of the Bands is the blogging event hosted by 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.
Manhattan 

         Sometimes known as "I'll Take Manhattan" or "We'll Take Manhattan", this popular song was written by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart. for the 1925 musical revue "Garrick Gaities".  It has been recorded many, many times over the decades by a wide array of musical performers.

Carmen Cavallaro  "Manhattan"  (1957)

         Carmen Cavallaro was a popular American pianist who performed from 1933 to 1989.   He recorded numerous albums with his band and appeared with many notable artists of his time.






Merv Griffin w/ the Freddy Martin Orchestra "Manhattan" (1952)

         Before he was a popular television show host and producer of TV game shows, Merv Griffin was a popular singer and entertainer.   In the following version Griffin sings the vocals backed up by the popular Freddy Martin Orchestra.




Time to Vote!

        Choosing the winner of this Battle is in your hands.  Let us know what you think about these versions. There must be one that you prefer over the other.  For me it's a tough choice.   If you're visiting a Battle of the Bands post for the first time then let me briefly explain.  Please give each song version a fair listen to decide which one 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.
  
J. A. Scott  

Quiet Laughter

Holli's Hoots and Hollers

Be ReInVintaged



Results on Friday April 22nd

         Stay with me as I wind down the latter half of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, but if you can't manage to make it every day at least be here to see if the song version you chose won or came in second.   There are no losers in this Battle.  

           Did you ever watch the Merv Griffin afternoon television show?   What is your favorite Merv Griffin game show?   Are you reading a lot of the April A to Z blog posts?
      

56 comments:

  1. At first I was going to choose Carmen Cavallaro because I so love piano and I was really digging his version...But then I heard the Merv Griffin version and decided that I like the song better with vocals. Although some would argue, if you're going to talk Manhattan, I think you need some lyrics. So give my vote to Merv.

    I didn't realize that Merv was a singer and entertainer! I only know of him from his talk show, which I watched many times back in the day...

    Great battle Lee!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I remember Merv singing on his show now and then so I did know he sang when he wasn't creating game shows.

      First vote goes to Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  2. I choose Carmen Cavallaro, why? well as I played the piano from the age of two years, there began my love of music I just loved the style this entertainer played an old favourite.
    Great post Lee.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I think Carmen has a great playing style. I wish I could play piano.

      A vote for Carmen Cavallaro

      Lee

      Delete
  3. I like the sound of Carmen Cavallaro

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    1. Jeffrey, that's pretty definitive.

      Carmen Cavallaro

      Lee

      Delete
  4. Neither really strike my fancy, but Merv Griffin's version is a little fuller.

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    1. Alex, I couldn't find a heavy metal version of this song.

      Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Oh this is a tough one! I will have to cast my vote with the Merv Griffith one - I do want the lyrics - hey! I'm a story teller.

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    1. Jan, the lyrics provide a lot of Manhattan info.

      Another vote for Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Hi, Lee!

    As I explained a couple of months ago, I was already familiar with the song "Mahnattan" and remember it being used in that "I'll take Manhattan (You'll take Afghanistan" TV campaign. While I enjoyed listening to Carmen Cavallaro tickle the ivories, I give my vote to Merv Griffin fronting the Freddy Martin Orchestra because more is more in this case. I love the long instrumental intros on those old big band recordings with vocals. I watched The Merv Griffin Show regularly and his afternoon series was carried by the NBC station where I worked in the 70s. I did voice-overs for the promos. My earliest exposure to Merv was as an actor in Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954), one of the many horror movies that my big brother took me to see during the Fifties.

    Thanks, Lee!

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    1. Shady, I tried to find more info about that commercial you had brought up but that conversation thread was about it. I wanted to find the actual video of the commercial but couldn't.

      I'm another who likes those orchestral intros that were so often heard during the big band era. So many afternoons I'd get home from school and watch Merv. It was an entertaining show. I recall seeing Phantom of the Rue Morgue but didn't realize Merv was in it.

      A vote for Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  7. I'll take Carmen tickling the ivories in this battle. I like me some hot piano:)

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    1. Robin, I thought of you when I put this Battle together. I figured you'd go for the piano man.

      Carmen Cavallaro

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Carmen's piano version is beautiful, but I choose Merv Griffin because I love the orchestra and vocals. Fun post.

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    1. Rebecca, I understand the reasoning.

      A vote for Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  9. I love the Carmen Cavallaro. Thank you.

    #AtoZchallenge
    Meet My Imaginary Friends

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    1. Kathleen, who can argue with love?

      It's Carmen Cavallaro for you.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. I'll go for Merv. I loved the lyrics and he did a great job with his version.

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    1. C.Lee, the lyrics seem to be swaying a number of voters so far.

      Another vote for Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Well, Lee - out of the four BOTB contests I vote on every time, you are the only one still standing. Everyone else took a break. I thought about taking a break this week myself... but no, here I am!

    I enjoyed your battle, of course. Nice number, both done well.

    I always liked Merv Griffin both as a singer and as a talk show host. He was a tremendous businessman. He came up with all the best game shows on TV. You know a main factor in his methodology for selecting game show hosts? The host HAD to have a big head. A big head means success. That's what I read about Merv Griffin, anyway.

    A vote for Merv.

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    1. SB6, I didn't realize so many BotB'er's were taking a break this round. Not me! I'm posting anyway for A to Z so why not BOTB?

      Merv was a very astute business guy as one can see from all of his holdings. Now I'll be looking more closely at these hosts heads.

      A vote for Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
    2. Check out the massive noggin on Pat Sajak!

      Delete
  12. I grew up in the Bronx and spent many afternoons in Manhattan, a borough which is so much more than what the typical tourist sees. For the purposes of music, may I recommend "Manhattan Tower", a composition by Gordon Jenkins. Written in the 1940's, it is a musical love song written about Manhattan. We performed it in summer camp, and it brings back many memories for me.

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    1. Alana, I found "Manhattan Tower" on YouTube. It's like a pop concept album or a modern song cycle. Thanks for directing me to this. Very interesting.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. I'm gonna pick Merv Griffin!

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    1. JoJo, I give him your vote!

      Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  14. I like the piano version much better.

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    1. Marie, sounds fair to me.

      A vote for Carmen Carvallo

      Lee

      Delete
  15. I remember when Merv would sing on his show back in the day, and all I'd ever think was, "Stick to game shows, Merv."

    While the piano version is slow, it has a beautiful melody that I don't get from the Merv version.

    An easy choice for me-Carmen Cavallaro

    Larry

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    1. Larry, I was never compelled to buy Merv's albums, but I did enjoy his show.

      And so it is--Carmen Carvallaro

      Lee

      Delete
  16. Well, you definitely called it in advance, LEE: I love this BOTB installment! IMO, this is your best in awhile.

    Loved BOTH recordings. In fact, after listening to Carmen Cavallaro (whom, oddly, I don't think I've ever heard of before), I was pretty sure he'd be nearly impossible to beat. I thought the video was fantastic, too.

    But, man, somehow MERV 'N' FREDDY beat Carmen. Not by a lot, but by enough to secure my vote.

    I did know that Merv sang, as I remember him doing so on his TV show, which I watched pretty regularly. But I had no idea that he sang THIS well! Well, back then, I was very young and I wouldn't have been able to appreciate this crooning style of singing regardless. His voice just went over my head. What can I say? I was young 'n' stupid and could only appreciate contemporary Pop music at that time.

    Listening to the MERV 'N' FREDDY recording, it's almost hard to believe that it was produced in 1952. Stylistically, it sounds to me way more as if it came out of the late '30s or early '40s. And that's actually a PLUS for me, because I LOVE music from that era!

    I was also surprised to find that I even liked the second video better than the first, because I thought the first was terrific!

    And you've got a tremendous Battle going here, because I see the votes are falling well on both sides.

    Great job, man! I really enjoyed this one.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    Replies
    1. STMcC, Glad you enjoyed this one. I agree that this sounds like a recording from at least a decade prior to the date it was actually recorded. Such a classic sound!

      Since my theme for this post was about the city I wanted to find videos with the appropriate imagery--especially since not all visitors participate in BOTB. These were two of the best I found that had fine recordings accompanying them. I really like them both so it's going to be a tough choice for me. I have one picked right now, but as I keep listening I might change.

      Got you down for Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  17. I've never seen the afternoon show, but I LOVED Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! I would watch them with my Grandma Maggie and we'd have a blast guessing the phrases and answering the questions. Even in the grips of Alzheimer's, Grandma always got them right. :)

    Yes, I'm reading about as many A to Z posts as I can keep up with. I have a list of those that I visit every day for the challenge, but starting today, I'm going to start visiting random blogs, too.

    Have a blessed day!

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    1. Suzanne, I guess Merv's talk and variety show was on back in the 60's and maybe the 70's. I seem to remember watching it when I'd get home from school in the late 60's. I'd watch his show and the Mike Douglas Show which was very similar.

      Have fun blogging through the A to Z list!

      Lee

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    2. Thanks! I hope that you're enjoying the A to Z challenge, too.

      I don't remember exactly when my family first got a television, but I know that we went for a very long time without one. I don't remember having a television until I was in upper elementary school, in the mid to late 1970s.

      Delete
    3. We always had a TV from as far back as I can remember since I was maybe 4 and from photos I've seen when I was younger it seems like there was always a TV. That was back in the fifties. Until about 1968 we always had a black and white set with a small screen no bigger than about 15 to 21 inches. That's what I was used to so I didn't really know much difference.

      Lee

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  18. Merv Griffin, without a doubt! I liked the "big band" vibe and Merv had a good voice. I enjoyed his talk show for many years, also.

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    1. Debbie, Merv's still got his fans!

      Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  19. Hi! Happy to be here from the A to Z Challenge. My vote goes to Carmen Carvallaro although I must say it was a hard choice to make. Thanks for thinking up the Challenge and for hosting it.
    www.kalpanaawrites.com

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    1. KM, Glad to have bloggers like you who enjoy the April Challenge.

      Carmen Cavallaro

      Lee

      Delete
  20. Carmen Cavallaro "Manhattan" (1957)
    I was in high school then and we'd travel into the city from NJ. Lots of fun and this song warmed my heart. Thanks!

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    1. MLQ, must have been exciting to have lived so close to the city.

      Another vote for Carmen Cavallaro

      Lee

      Delete
  21. copied from an email:

    Hi Arlee!

    I hope this works! I've been having trouble commenting on blogger blogs this time around I think due to some inconsistency between Apple and google, not exactly sure. I have found so many great blogger blogs on the A to Z list and I can’t comment, and it’s so frustrating! I have tried OpenID and Wordpress and even (shudder) google but my computers just refresh the “edit” page over and over. I don’t know how to fix that. But your blog is very special, so I will make the extra effort to comment by email :-) And because I LOVE your BoTB music this week!!

    I would like to cast my vote for Merv Griffin. I love both versions, but there is just something so romantic about that full orchestra/silky voice combo! Love it!!

    Thanks again for A to Z! It (and you) are awesome!

    Kelli (Jetgirl)

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    1. Kelli, thanks for reaching out through the email. Hope you find a way to resolve the commenting issues. I'm pleased that you took the extra effort to comment here.

      Got your vote for Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  22. Yippee! I guessed the song and didn't even know it. Thank you for the shout out too. This is a toughie and I can't believe I am writing this but I vote for Merv! I knew he sang because I would see him sing on his talk show but he never sounded this good. Even though this recording is from the early 50's, it seems to bring back the 20's or even early 30's and I don't mean because of the song but the way he sang it. The big band style also brought me back to that time. Merv gets my vote.

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    1. Birgit, maybe Merv didn't sound good to our young ears back then, but he obviously had a number of fans from our parents' generation. The sound is definitely that of an era earlier than the 50's. It's a good sound.

      A vote for Merv Griffin.

      Lee

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  23. I'll vote for Merv Griffin I like the vocals

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    1. Mike, The talk show host/game producer is coming in strong....

      A vote for Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  24. Firstly: no, not reading many A-Z posts, sorry Dude, took a break instead; Yes, I watched Merv in my younger years, and loved his show, and probably watched all his game show productions, though I can't think of which exactly but I was a game show enthusiast. As for what I think of when I think of Manhattan: the drink, of course. But also variety. So many things happen in and around Manhattan; movies, music, culture.

    Normally I'm a solid piano gal, but today I'm going with Merv and the orchestra. I liked the variety in the music; and Merv shows his "style" in the smooth vocals. Never knew he was a singer too. Well done.

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    1. Dolorah, Griffin had so many game shows over the years and many remain on the air that still bear the name of his production company.

      A vote for Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  25. I really enjoyed the piano piece, but I think for this song, it needed the lyrics. So for that reason, I'm going to give my vote to Merv.

    Mary
    #AtoZChallenge O is for O'Connor

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    1. Mary, the lyrics basically tell the story that you don't get in just the melody.

      Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  26. Lee, well I'm here finally. I'm struggling to keep up these days and I'm sorry for the late return visit. I enjoyed both versions of this vintage tune, but the second one I liked a little better. The warm tones of the woodwinds transported me back in time, way back like the 30s or 40s. So, I'm giving my vote to Merv Griffin w/Freddy Martin Orchestra. Now, that I'm here I'm going to get some reading down with your A2Z posts that I've missed. Thanks for hosting all the fun!

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    1. Cathy, no problem with the visit. I've been running way behind with visiting as well.

      Another vote goes to Merv Griffin

      Lee

      Delete
  27. Good morning Arlee - a pleasure to be back at #ATOZCHALLENGE headquarters again - I know it's too late to vote now, which is good because I wouldn't be able to choose definitively anyway. I listened to Merv Griffin first and it has inspired me to put a 50's playlist together for my next group exercise class... Then I listened to Carmen and am glad I can here the piano lingering in mind still - I guess knowing the words helped me picture what the music was saying. All in all both tunes have started my Sunday in a beautiful way that reminds me of the mornings my mum had control of the record player, far from Manhattan but also starting with M in Melbourne -
    Reflex Reactions

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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.

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