Sunday, March 8, 2015



So my last contest wsn’t much of a contest at all.

In the last battle, I gave three versions of the song “Hush”: the original version by singer Billy Joe Royal, the remake by Deep Purple, and a version by Joe South, who wrote the song. The results of the voting:

Deep Purple: 10

Billy Joe Royal: 1

Joe South: 1

There was quite a bit of discussion about Deep Purple lead singer Rod Evans’ choice of attire (or lack of attire) for their video, particularly when everyone else appears bundled up for the cold. I wondered about that myself, and came to the conclusion that it was the 1960’s, and therefore no explanation was possible. In the immortal words of Dr. Timothy Leary, “If you can remember the Sixties, you weren’t really there.” Well, I can remember the Sixties and I was definitely there (although, according to a friend of mine, I had been adamant that I didn’t want it to stop being 1959 — hey, I was three, what do you expect?), but I can’t say that I necessarily understood them. The older I get, the more I realize I wasn’t supposed to.

I suspect a lot of the reason Deep Purple’s version won so decisively was that it was the one most people were familiar with. After all, Billy Joe’s didn’t even make it halfway up the Hot 100, and Joe South’s version was an album track, while Deep Purple’s version made it to the top ten and, as I recall, was on heavy rotation on the Top 40 stations. WCFL (“The Voice of Labor” because the station was owned by the Chicago Federation of Labor, which was also largely responsible for the construction of Marina City, where Super ‘CFL’s offices and studios were located) in Chicago thought enough of it to include it on one of their albums of top hits alongside the Amboy Dukes’ “Journey to the Center of the Mind” (featuring some pretty hot guitar work by a young Ted Nugent), “Soldier Boy” by The Shirelles, “Kentucky Woman” by Neil Diamond, and the immortal “Johnny Angel” by Shelley Fabares (a song, as I recall, she was basically ordered to do by the showrunners of The Donna Reed Show). That was where I heard it first, anyway.

I sorta went all “stream of consciousness” on you there, didn’t I?

Tune in again next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, for another “Battle of the Bands”!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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