Sunday, November 1, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In”


So, yesterday was Hallowe’en, or “All Hallows’ Eve.” That would make today’s “All Hallows’ Day,” or as we in the Catholic Church like to call it, All Saints’ Day. But you knew that, right?

For this battle, I decided on an old gospel tune, “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In.” Wikipedia tells us that its origins are not entirely clear, but it appears to have risen from a number of songs from the turn of the century, among them “When The Saints Are Marching In” from 1896 and “The Saints March In For Crowning” from 1908. It started out as a slow and stately hymn apprpriate for “altar calls” and the like. As time went on, the pace picked up and soon it was being played by Dixieland and other jazz bands, and made the move to rock & roll in the 1950’s. In New Orleans, it’s used for funerals, played as a dirge on the way to the cemetery and as a quick march on the way back.

Louis Armstrong, who brought his improvisational skills to Dixieland jazz, did one of the early recordings of the song as a jazz tune. Here is a performance from what looks like the 1960’s. This isn’t part of the battle, but I included it as a sample and because there would be some of you asking why I didn’t include it otherwise.

The two contestants recorded rock versions in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. You have to decide which one you like better.

CONTESTANT #1: Bill Haley and the Comets

Bill and his Comets recorded their version, called “The Saints’ Rock ‘n’ Roll,” in 1955.

CONTESTANT #2: Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers

“The Beat Brothers,” of course, were Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Pete Best, who had met Sheridan on one of their early trips to Hamburg and would occasionally back him in the clubs and on records. This is from the 1964 album The Beatles With Tony Sheridan and Guests, although it was likely recorded earlier than that.

Now, it’s time to vote…

Which of these two rock versions of this song did you think was better? Leave me a comment and tell me which you liked better. I recognize that the sound quality of Tony Sheridan’s recording is a little less than optimal, especially when compared with Bill Haley’s, so be sure and take that into account when making your choice.

Then, be sure and stop by at the other blogs that are doing (or at least might be doing) Battles today and vote in those battles, if you’re so inclined:

Tossing It Out
Far Away Series
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
Your Daily Dose
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
This Belle Rocks
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Angels Bark
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Women: We Shall Overcome
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Quiet Laughter

Be sure and vote by this coming Saturday at 12:01 AM, and I’ll announce the winner later on Saturday.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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