Battle of the Bands

Wild is the Wind #BOTB

WOW, it’s a brand new month already! This past week has been a wretched cold mess with a few unexpected snow days thrown in the mix, which complicates my blog writing or lack there of.  While composing posts on Wednesday songspiration hit me like a great northern gust, I did say it was cold, didn’t I?

I came across this week a new-to-me song while planning my Monday musical post.  Johnny Mathis recorded the original in 1957. Man, oh man is he ever smooth! The song peaked at #22 on the charts and earning Mathis a nomination for an academy award. Did I say an academy award? Apparently, Mathis recorded the track for the film with the same name, Wild is the Wind.

I won’t include Mathis in BoTB, but will take a different direction. Who will win? Well, kittens & dawgs it’s totally up to you! Let the battle begin….

In 1959, Nina Simone recorded this cover. I had not heard of her before now and I really wanted to like her mellow, bluesy tone, but her voice simply didn’t ring well with me in the end.

When my eye caught another female R&B artist who kept close to the sound of Mathis’s original cut, I instantly fell in love with Randy Crawford. Her soft, crystal-clear voice is beautiful.

Amel Larrieux adds a lovely breathy quality to this song in this video and I liked it a lot, but in other videos I heard flaws in her voice which bumped her out of the contest.

Wanting two female vocalist to compete for the title of round one of March BoTB, I pleasantly stumbled across jazz singer, Jackie Ryan.  Her seamlessly, sultry cover is definitely a winner!


These women are incredible in their own right. It’s tough for me to say which one I like the most, but it’s a competition. I have to pick one. Who will you pick? It’s time to vote!
[wwm_survey id=”4″]
Okay, visit STMcCP to get the 411 on how Battle of the Bands works, but those who know what to do then it’s time to play along with the other members!

Like I said, it’s a close call in my opinion, but I cast my vote in favor of Ryan! Please tell us why you picked your choice before you leave. Thanks for stopping by this morning. I will be over in short order. Just a reminder, next week’s results will post in my regular slot of Sunday Sillies. I hope you’ll decided to check back to see, if your artist gets named the winner!

In my opinion, this song is best suited for a woman’s voice, but I decided to for Monday’s post to use a cover performed by an all male band. Curious? Join me tomorrow for Monday’s Music Moves Me! 😉

Until next time, have bandtastic day!


A personal note to my readers: I thought you should know that some of my commenters blog URL associated with WordPress does not link back to their actual blog making it difficult for others to find you. You may want to fix this to encourage newbies to find you easier! 😉

This is for sharing her music on #SaturdaySongsuasion!

I born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of southern WV. I was a child bride when I married my high school sweetheart in 1979. We moved to Knoxville, TN to begin our life. Determined to prove nay-Sayers from our community wrong, I completed my education and went on to earn an A.S. in computer programming. From 1983-1987, I worked as a computer system’s manager. That’s a glorified title for someone who trouble shoots and maintains system back-ups. After the birth of our first child in 1988, I took early retirement. What have I been doing for the last 25+ years? I am proud to say, I am a SAHM and for most of those years I home-schooled our three children from K-12. Now, the nest is empty.


  • Far Away Eyes

    Very nice song. I had never heard it before or heard of the movie. something to check out on Netflix, what’s your advice?

    I listened to Randy and thought it was beautiful, but I expected to like the bluesy version by Jackie better. Not so. It proved to be a little too slow for my taste.

    Give my vote to Randy. Now I’ll go listen to Johnny and see what he does with this lovely tune.

  • dcrelief

    Oh Cathy! I love Johnny Mathis. I had to play his version twice before I got into your battle. Hearing his song again was heaven. It’s all about air supply. He controls every molecule of air that passes across those vocal cords. Darlin’ there is no one like him. (I have a fantasy, but I’ll return, and share it on Wordless Wednesday, smile.) Battle on…

    I’m guessing with Randy Crawford, you’re referring to a possible orchestra similarity? Yeah, there are some lovely violins, but I hear that lonely, aching harmonica in Mathis’ version, and I’m swept away with it. [It’s that same harmonica sound in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”]

    I like Randy’s voice. She’s not breathy like Amel. She’s womanly, bluesy, and smooth. It’s heart and soul.

    Jackie is sultry, and more so than Randy. However at times, she takes on an operatic quality which doesn’t appeal to me. I wish I knew how to explain it.

    Cathy… an absolutely lovely battle! Thank you for the Mathis link.

    My vote goes to Randy Crawford.

  • Stephen T. McCarthy


    I know the original by Johnny Mathis. I love it and own it on compact disc. I expected the Randy Crawford cover to be similar to the Mathis version because you wrote that it “kept close to the sound of Mathis’s original cut”. So I was surprised by how different it was. I don’t think it “keeps close” at all (very different tempo, for one thing), but I thought she sang it wonderfully, and after hearing it I figured she was probably going to get my vote.

    Then I listened to the Jackie Ryan cover and thought: WOW! This is great, now I don’t know which gets my vote.

    But… the Jackie Ryan version was too slow to go on THAT long, and before it was actually over, I was done with it. Had it been a little shorter it would have had a serious shot at my vote. But in the end, I gotta vote for the Randy Crawford take. What an expressive voice!

    Both versions were really good, but I fall slightly more on Randy’s side.

    A really good BOTB installment. (So far, everyone I’ve visited has put together really interesting Battles for this date.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Stephen…when I compared Crawford to Mathis I just felt the music and the similarities had to be with the orchestra as Dixie pointed out. I get wrapped up in the moment and fail to notice the details like you or others pick up on. That’s ok because I love reading what y’all have to say and I find that I go back to pick up on what you hear. This is part of my musical education process ~ learning from those who have a natural ear for these things. My husband would be an excellent candidate to play in this little hop, if he blogged. He has a precision ear when it comes to music or sounds in general. He hears weird engine pings, strange rattles in the car, or unfamiliar outdoor disturbance that causes him to investigate. I’m usually clueless, too. lol

  • dolorah

    Wow, that is a lot of smooth tones. Beautiful voices on both ladies. I agree that Jackie Ryan has the smoother vocals; she can really hold a note. She gets my vote.

  • Birgit

    I was prepared to go with the first version since her voice is strong and beautiful and sticks to the song as I know it (from the film) but the 2nd one wowed me with her voice. Jackie Ryan has a great voice for jazz and so much more so I voted for Jackie

  • Arlee Bird

    What a lovely song! I don’t think I’ve heard it before, but I sure do like it. This is one of those classic sounding 50’s movie songs. I’d never heard of either artist you featured either.

    Ryan’s version is quite lovely, and as you say “sultry”. I don’t dislike it at all but it was a bit slower than I cared to hear.

    On the other hand, the Randy Crawford version has such a classic sound, almost like something that might have come from a James Bond film. I prefer the bigger yet still subdued orchestral arrangement and the over all song production just suits be better. And Crawford’s voice is wonderful.

    So I’m going with Randy Crawford on this one. Good pairing though–it was a close choice for me.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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