Wednesday, January 1, 2014

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?





Can you believe it? At the stroke of midnight last night the year flipped over and, like magic, it's 2014. Man, I still remember all the fuss and  worry over the -1999 deal, where everyone was concerned the computers of the world would not be able to hand that flip, and here we are, like magic, barreling towards the half way mark in the second decade of this new century.


So, without further adieu let me wish each and every one of you the HAPPIEST OF NEW YEARS. May you experience peace, prosperity, and good health in this 2014.

Now, let's get down to business, shall we. Today being the first of the month it's time for another BATTLE OF THE BANDS.

 Christmas is over,  but I wanted to sneak in one more Christmas type tune. I'm one of those old fashioned sorts, who really doesn't like to hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving and after New Years, but there  are a whole bunch of 'Winter Songs' that traditionally we only hear around Christmastime, but they really don't mention anything about Christmas. I decided to choose one of these.

My song for January 1, 2014 was first introduced in 1949 in the movie 'Neptune's Daughter', starring Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban. This was not a Christmas movie and didn't really even take place in a winter setting, it's a story of a swimsuit designer and mistaken identity. I've seen and enjoyed the movie. Consider adding it to your Netflix. Incidentally, this song earned the Academy Award for the best original song in 1949.

Let's start off with the version from the movie. Here are Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban singing 'Baby It's Cold Outside'.



Next up with a  slightly different sound Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, who by the way, each add some musical touches that make it distinctively Willie and Norah: 



Those of you who have been playing along since August know the drill. For anyone new who just stumbled in this New Year's Day, please leave a comment and vote for your preference and tell me why. Next head on over to the home of the ever exciting (or should that be excitable), extremely intelligent, and always thought provoking  Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy and see what he has cooked up for you in his BATTLE.

Since it's early on New Year's Day and I'm somewhat cyber challenged, bleary eyed, still sleepy, there is absolutely no way I could give you a coherent list with links to the other sites, but I know Stephen will have a list and links to the expected parparticipants for today. Be sure to check every one  of them out and cast a vote. ALSO, if you would  like to join in the fun, leave a note in the comment box and a link to your site, so we can call come by for a little New Year's cheer to cast our vote.

I'll be back on the 7th of January to cast my vote and let you know who the winner of this BATTLE OF THE BANDS is. Now, I'm going back to bed, because; "Baby, It's Cold Outside'!

19 comments:

  1. #1 is my pick, they were more in tune with one another I think. Happy new year

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  2. It seems I've heard another version in a different movie. Whether or not it was in a movie or not, the version that I'm thinking of but can't recall who did it is the one I'd pick over these.

    Of these two I'm going with the Jones/Nelson duet since it's more musical and more involving.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  3. I'm voting for the Nelson/Jones duet because it's "less rapey".

    That's a joke.
    After my December 1st Christmas 'BOTB' installment, Beer Boy Bryan suggested I use "Baby, It's Cold Outside" for my second Christmas song on December 15th. And he suggested that I should ask my readers to vote on which of the two versions I used is "the least rapey". Ha!

    Actually, I'm voting for the Nelson/Jones duet because instrumentally I like it better; it's got that cool, lazy Jazz vibe going for it.

    Plus, I think Willie Nelson's unique voice has a quality about it that makes it work well for pop standards. One would never have guessed that prior to the release of his 'Stardust' album in 1978.

    The record was nicely produced by Booker T. Jones and it was a surprise hit. My Pa brought it home one night because he'd heard a song or two on the radio. My Ma didn't care for it but my Pa dug it.

    About a decade later, after my musical taste had graduated from Hard Rock to Jazz, I found some of those songs from Willie's 'Stardust' album on the jukebox at 'The Crest House Lounge' in L.A. I fell in love with them, realizing what my Pa was hearing all those years earlier. I bought the album soon after and it has remained one of my more frequently played compact discs.

    Nice song selection, FAE.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  4. My vote goes to Willie and Nora. Love Willie's voice.
    Happy New Year farawayeyes!

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  5. I'm a huge Willie fan; but I'm sure that's not biasing my choice, lol. I liked Willie and Norah better; Willie has so much warmth in his voice.

    Happy New Year FAE.

    .......dhole

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  6. Both songs were good in their own way. I felt the Back and Forth more in the original version, but I think that may have been because all of the emphasis was on the vocals. The Willie/Norah version was much better musically. The jazz aspect really comes through and their voices work (surprisingly) well together, so, I ultimately preferred it. (Vote Norah/Willie) Nice match up!

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  7. I'm going with Willie and Norah.

    I might have voted for the other, had Ricardo done it as the Khan character from Star Trek II.

    That would have been romantic.

    He got close after all....

    "Kirk...it's cold in space"

    Larry

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  8. Can't say I liked Ricardo or Willie on this one. But I did like Esther better than Nora- slightly- so I'll go #1.

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  9. Dangit! I wanted to be the first to use a Khan reference...

    Oh well, maybe I can suggest that the couch Ricardo keeps pulling her back to is made from 'fine Corinthian leather?'

    I think the movie really accentuates the words and the theatrical nature of the lyrics, although it seems a little silly to use it in a non-snowy setting. At least Will Ferrell (Leon Redbone doing the singing) and Zoey Deschanel sang it in New York in "Elf".

    I love Norah Jones, and do respect Willie Nelson -- he has enough musical mileage under his belt that he can sing any damn thing he wants. And the music is really emphasized here -- I love the piano and Willie's simple-but-effective guitar playing, although the harmonica didn't quite grab me.

    Still, overall Willie and Norah do a much more grabbing rendition, I think. Add another vote from me.

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  10. Interesting song choices. Not much of a Willie Nelson fan, so Ricardo and Ester win. Happy New Year!

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  11. Pat - Happy New Year to you also. I'll put you down as one for the 'original'.

    Lee - You may be thinking of a version by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer. I don't think it was from a movie, but it was the 'old' standard for this song. check it out on YouTube and see if it doesn't sound familiar.

    HGW - Noted, another one for the 'Original'.

    STMc - OK, I get the 'rapey' connection. Ha,ha,ha. That sounds like Bryan. But, seriously I like the cool, lazy jazz vibe also.

    When it comes to 'Willie and 'Stardust', you're talking one of my favorite albums (course you know me and Stardust - I just can't help myself). It's odd even to me, that I own ; 'you know where'), but have yet to replace it with a CD. I'll have to get on that. Another one I would like to slip into the player and fall asleep to. Your Pa, like his son, had good taste.

    Donna - No, of course, no bias at all. Ha, ha, ha. I agree about the warmth in Willie's voice.

    Robin - Thanks, another vote counted for Willie and Norah.

    Larry - Ha, ha, ha! You know I found it interesting that on Ricardo's movie page, (I had to go there to see how to correctly spell his last name.) Khan, is credited as his most famous role. I was surprised that it beat out 'Fantasy Island'.

    CW - OK a vote for Esther, dragging Ricardo along.

    Chris - I wondered if someone would bring up the 'Cordoba' ad. Ha! another vote for Willie and Norah. What no harmonica - it's so distinctively Willie.

    Donna - Happy New Year to you too. I'll add another to the 'original' column.

    I'm really loving the comments so far. I hope I haven't blabbed too much here and given my choice away too soon. Oh well, you guys know me!

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  12. Oh, if only you'd offered the Tom Jones/Cerys Mathews version!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv5AczsNr8k I LOVE THAT ONE!

    Your choices are tough because I prefer Ricardo and Norah's versions. Not a fan at all of Willie's rendition, however, so have to go with the original. Hadn't seen it before. Very fun.

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  13. Ha, Stephen beat me to my own joke. So I'll save the "this song sounds like a sexual assault about to happen" dig and get straight to my thoughts.

    Norah Jones has an amazing voice, but paired with Willie Nelson... there's just no chemistry. It's so mispaired, and I don't really care for it. So I've got to give it to Esther and Ricardo. The chemistry is definitely there, and isn't that the whole point, anyway? The cutesy back and forth thing?

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  14. Willie and Norah without a doubt!!

    And baby it really is cold outside!!!!

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  15. #1 and YES...so cold outside. I live in MN and it is frigid right now. Stay warm and happy new year!

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  16. Robin (Daily Dose) sent me over. :) I am going with #1.

    I love Norah Jones' singing, and my grandma loved Willie, but I wasn't a big fan of that version of the song. Surprised me too. :)

    Happy New Year to you.

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  17. Kim - I'll have to go and check that version out. Thanks for stopping by and for your vote.

    Beer Boys - No chemistry? YIKES! Just goes to show it's all a big matter of personal taste, because for me there is a tone of chemistry in this duo. I like the sharp contrast of Norah, Lazy laid back jazz sound up against Willie's lazy laid back country guitar. Oh well...

    Lucky Mama - One of Norah and Willie.

    Tracy Jo -Another one for the original. It's probably best to stay inside where you live, but if you do go out, bundle up, cause...Baby, it's cold outside!

    Rosey - Thanks for dropping by. Seems you are not alone. More than one Norah fan voted against her. I guess that's Willie's fault.

    I'll be back tomorrow with my vote and the over all results.

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