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Monday, December 1, 2014

Battle of the Bands: White Christmas

      Yes, it's that time again!   Christmas--can you believe another year is almost to its end?  It's also time for 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 and conveniently these days fall on Mondays this December.   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  Since we are in the holiday season, I'm going to use a song with a holiday theme for this Battle.

Johnny Cash  "White Christmas"

       When I think of Christmas I think of someone with the initials J.C.   Who could the singer be who has these initials?    Johnny Cash?   His name doesn't stand out for me as a Christmas icon, but his initials fit the bill.   With a song of the season, from one of his Christmas albums, I offer Johnny Cash's rendition of  "White Christmas". 

Judy Collins "White Christmas" (1996)

      Another J.C. could be Judy Collins.   Again, she's not someone I would associate with Christmas, but she sings the songs of the season quite beautifully.  Here she offers a version of "White Christmas" in a live performance at the amazing Biltmore Estates in Asheville, North Carolina.

Time to Vote!

           Which do you prefer?  Please vote on your favorite before heading outside to play in the snow.   Let 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.


 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands




 Alex J. Cavanaugh

           The results of my Battle will be announced on Monday December 8th.  I'm still dealing with my travels back east to tend to the affairs related to the passing of my mother so posting at Tossing It Out may remain a bit iffy on my blog as internet time has not been as easy to find as it is when I'm at home just living my normal life. 

          Cash got too much twang for you?   Is Collins too much of a bore?   Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?


  1. For me this is a challenge. I have never really liked Johnny Cash or Joan Collins - sheesh! (I'm so biased with White Christmas and Bing Crosby.) But I did listen and I vote for Joan.
    Hope things are better for you!

  2. What a fun approach to this month's BOTB! I like how you brought together artists who share the same initials of our Lord. I'm not a huge Johnny Cash fan, but I do have a certain appreciation for his style and heck I even have one of his Christmas CDs. I like a variety of artists singing Christmas cheer in December. I wouldn't say that I'm a Judy Collins fan, either, but I do like a song or two of hers. After listening to both renditions, it was easy for me to declare Judy Collins as my favorite between the two. It's a good thing you didn't use Bing Crosby because I wouldn't need to listen to anyone else. lol Nice song choice to kick off this month's battle.

  3. She performed at the Biltmore? Cool.
    Collins had such a clear voice and I like her more traditional approach - she gets my vote.

  4. I don't like either artist so as usual I'm putting in a vote that will be disqualified: Bing Crosby. He's the only one who should ever be singing White Christmas.

  5. I have to go with Johnny Cash just because he always makes me think of my dad. He had so many Cash albums.

  6. Dixie-- It would have been interesting to find a version of this song by Joan Collins, but I'll take yours as a vote for Judy Collins.

    Cathy-- You caught right on to my ploy with the initials. I'll still use it for the next battle, but we'll see who else catches the JC connection.

    Alex-- Someday I'm going to make it to the Biltmore.

    JoJo-- Someday I'll find an artist that you'll like. Grateful Dead I guess.

    Susan GK-- First vote for Cash!


  7. I'm partial to Bing Crosby's rendition of White Christmas.

    Hugs and chocolate!

  8. LEE ~
    First, I want to say how pleased I am that you were able to join us for this Holiday BOTB-fest.

    Clever way to play with the J.C. initials. Now you've got me pondering who the J.C.s will be in the December 15th BOTB.

    Johnny Cash - the best thing I can say about him is that he was a good friend of Waylon's. I don't think Cash is as overrated as U2, but I do think he was/is a highly overrated performer. I really don't get all the hoopla about him. His voice was always so monotone-sounding to me, and too many of his tunes seemed to d...r...a...g...

    Easy vote for Judy Collins in this Battle. (I think I'd have probably even voted for Joan Collins over Johnny Cash.)

    And, by the way, let me be the first to say... there are recordings of 'WHITE CHRISTMAS' that I like better'n BING CROSBY's (although his was certainly good).

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  9. Wow. So MANY great versions of this song, including Bing's, but I have to say neight of these quite hits me as well as some of those others.

    Would it have helped to know that "Bing" Crosby was really named Harry Crosby, Jr? And "HCJ" could stand for "Holy Christ Jesus?" I'd have voted for HCJ over either of these JC's.

    Johnny's singing is dull and kinda of lifeless in this version, but the country instrumentation is catchy in a hokie kind of way. But while I've never been a big Judy Collins fan, I have to give her credit for taking the intro of this song a capella and holding the notes very well.

    So between the two JCs, I'll go with Judy.

  10. I'm going with Judy, not that I'm a huge fan, but because Johnny's rendition sound kind of hokey to me...

  11. Judy's version is so pretty. I vote for hers.

    And back in 1996, you could tour the Biltmore at Christmas without having to take out a small loan to do so.

  12. This one's hard. I love Johnny Cash and I love Judy Collins. I'm tossing a coin. . .Judy has it. Besides, she does have the better voice and she's on key.

  13. Shelly--One non-valid vote for Bing.

    STMcC--I think it was more of a Cash persona thing than a talent thing.

    Chris - I like the instrumentation in the Cash version.

    Bish-- Judy is holding the lead.

    L.Diane-- Yes, the Biltmore is kind of pricey.

    C.Lee-- Johnny Cash and "on key" are two opposing ideas.


  14. No contest for me...too much twang in Johnny's version-an easy vote for Judy (she captures the season, while Cash makes me want to go out and rope cattle).


  15. First, very cleaver of you using that JC thing. I can't wait to see what you'll do on the 15th.

    Second, glad you're able to participate here today.

    Finally, I kind of like Johnny Cash and I really enjoy most country, but in this case; not so much.

    Judy on the other hand does a spectacular job with this tune. I love the clear bell like quality of her voice. So give my vote to the female JC in this BATTLE.

  16. I am picky about my Christmas music and always go for the more traditional (unless it is Porky Pig singing Blue Christmas). I am not fond of Johnny Cash's version at all-yup-too twangy and hip, if I can put those 2 words together. I much prefer Judy Collins and her gentle singing of this classic carol

  17. Unlike many of the other voters, I don't really have anything negative to say about the Johnny Cash version. I thought his voice was good on it and the melody catchy. Honestly, not a thing wrong with it.

    BUT, Judy Collins did an excellent job with her version. I loved the acapella beginning. The minimal instrumentation suited the mood of the song perfectly. I really enjoyed it (and my mom listened to both of these, also preferring Judy's version... not that you need to count her vote).

    So Judy Collins for me!

  18. Larry-- Or maybe rope reindeer?

    FAE-- Guess I didn't baffle many of my readers with my "JC" game.

    Birgit-- I like traditional.

    Robin-- Sure I'll count your mom's vote. Tell her thanks and she's always welcome to cast a vote.


  19. I must say that neither of these versions would be on my Itunes playlist.

    There was a time when I was actually a fan of Judy Collins. That time has passed, and now I cannot fathom how I could stand to listen to her. Must have had something to do with my ex-wife. THAT time has passed also.

    Neither am I a huge fan of Cash, though I like him better'n Collins. To me, he is like a better Willie Nelson with a deeper voice and short hair. You are right: it is more of a persona thang than a talent thang.

    I vote for HIS persona over her persona, and may the best persona win.

    Sheboyganboy 6

  20. I'm impressed you found a Christmas song by two singers with the same initials. I preferred Judy's version, simply because Cash's voice doesn't fit Christmas music for me. He has such a haunting voice, while she had a lovely, clear voice.

  21. I also was thinking why not the Bing Crosby number - I see others said so too.
    Johnny Cash gets my vote .. Judy Collins was too 'sweet'. Johnny Cash has an unmatched depth. Maybe the instrumentals were too twangy in his rendition but still.
    Thanks Arlee ... and hope you settle back in.

  22. Johnny's no Bing, but I think his deep voice adds to the rich tones of the song. Technically, Judy does have a better voice, but I've looked at both sides, and prefer Johnny's version for White Christmas. The Biltmore is beautiful, and I'm glad we got to see it with our son last year. Hope you're holding up okay, Lee.


  23. Sheybogan-- I'm kind of the same way about Collins. I stopped keeping up with her after her first couple albums. She never seemed to grow in an innovative way, though she is a good singer and I admire her long career.

    Shannon-- Cash and Collins jumped right out at me when I was thinking of artists with the JC initials.

    Susan-- Bing was a bit too obvious and it would not been much of a contest. He also didn't fit the JC profile.

    Julie---Thanks, I'm doing well. My mother left some confusing business behind that needs to be figured out and that's been the real challenge.


  24. Hi, Arlee. First I'm going to start off by saying that Bing Crosby will always be my number one favorite singer when it comes to singing White Christmas. The Carpenters come in at a close 2nd for me.

    Since neither of my top favorites are choices in the BOTBs, I'm going to choose Johnny Cash as my choice. I actually like his deep, twangy voice.

  25. Between these two, I'm going to have to go with Judy's version.

  26. First, let me say that there are some of us who think Johnny is FAR from overrated. Just because you don't like the style yourself doesn't take away from the talent or the soul of the performer.

    That said, I have PERSONALLY never been a Judy Collins fan. Outside of Both Sides Now, I find her a bit sterile for my tastes. She does a fine job on the song, one I'm sure I'd enjoy in an elevator. But the vote's for Johnny.

  27. Suzanne -- Don't think any version would have come close to Bing's.

    Chrys-- Judy it is.

    CW--I've enjoyed Johnny Cash for many years. Judy was good on her first few albums, but I stopped listening after that.


  28. Like everyone else (it seems) I prefer Bing, but of these two Judy Collins.

  29. Since I can't stand the twang, I'm going to have to say Judy.

    I hope you're holding up well with your mother's passing. My condolences.

  30. This one was easy for me. Judy - for her voice and the instrumentals. Lovely.

  31. Only Bing Crosby should ever sing this song, but since he is not an option, I vote for Johnny Cash. All that is seen is the album photo, so the focus is on the song, not the performance.

  32. These are two great performances. Judy Collins' voice is still clear as a bell, and she is a lovely woman. Johnny Cash is distinctive: when you hear his voice, you know it's Johnny Cash, regardless of what he's doing. In this case, I'm going with Johnny Cash, more because I like the twang and the arrangement, with the steel guitar and the faster tempo.

    True story: the town of Gainesville, Georgia had to cancel their Christmas parade one year because the Ku Klux Klan wanted to enter a float with the theme "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas."

  33. Wow! Never thought of Johnny Cash doing this song. HE definitely Countrified the song. Judy Collins is amazing and I enjoyed her version better though it is hard to vote against Cash.

  34. Actually liked the instruments in the Cash version but liked Judy's version overall much more...

    On another note: Nice to "see" you, Lee.

  35. Nice to have you back, Lee. In Singapore, we can't have a white Christmas, but that doesn't mean we don't have a cheery Christmas. :)


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.