BATTLE OF THE BANDS – “Too Late to Turn Back Now”


It’s about time I got back to Battle of the Bands! I have been MIA for too long! You can read a little about why and what’s been going on in my most recent Monday’s Music Moves Me post from last week. I’m obviously still not truly “back in the saddle” as I didn’t have time to put together anything for yesterday’s 4M hop. But I’m moving in the right direction. Slow and steady. I’m thrilled to be back among my Battle of the Bands pals and looking forward to visiting you all this week!

Since it’s been a minute, just a quick refresher on how Battle of the Bands works. A bunch of us choose a song, find two covers of that song and then present a music video of each cover in a blog post and you all get to give a listen and vote on which cover is the best. Then I’ll tally up the votes 6 days later and declare the winner in a Results Post.

Some folks do this once a month (I’m in that category and will post my battles on the 15th of each month) and others do battles twice a month (on the 1st and the 15th). It’s fun! Join us! And be sure to visit all the other BOTB (‘Not Ready for Prime Time’) players. You’ll find links at the bottom of this post.

My battle for the month of May features the song “Too Late to Turn Back Now” by Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose:

“Too Late to Turn Back Now” is the 1972 follow-up single of Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose to their debut hit “Treat Her Like a Lady”. The single had previously been released in 1970 on the Platinum label.

Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose was a family soul singing group from Dania Beach, Florida, that was formed in 1970 and gained popularity in the early 1970s. It was composed of siblings Carter Cornelius, Eddie Cornelius, and Rose Cornelius, who were joined by sister Billie Jo Cornelius in 1972. Cleveland E. Barrett (a childhood friend), an original member of the group, was killed in a car accident before their chart success.

Rose Cornelius had already appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in June 1967 and had been performing in Las Vegas and worldwide, touring in 1970 with a group called the Gospel Jazz Singers. She went home to Florida at her mother’s request to help form the group. Rose wrote most of the background vocals while Eddie wrote most of the songs.

The group hit the pop chart in 1971 with the single “Treat Her Like a Lady” (U.S. R&B Top 20, Billboard Hot 100 #3). The record was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on 2 August 1971.

The act succeeded again in 1972 with “Too Late to Turn Back Now“. This song, written by Eddie Cornelius, had great success upon its re-release, peaking at #5 in the U.S. R&B, #2 in the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 in Cash Box’s chart of the Top 100 Singles for the week of July 29, 1972. “Too Late to Turn Back Now” is ranked as the 34th biggest U.S. hit of 1972. The record was awarded a gold disc on August 2, 1972 for one million sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

While the group failed to find any further success on the scale of their first two singles, two releases, “Don’t Ever Be Lonely” and “I’m Never Gonna Be Alone Anymore” reached the Billboard Top 40. Their final charting single was “Since I Found My Baby” in 1974, from their third and last album.

Here is their hit from the 70s that I so fondly remember. (NOTE: It is only included here for your enjoyment and is not eligible for votes. The battle contenders are listed below).


BATTLE CONTENDER #1:  Taylor Manning:

I didn’t find much about Taylor Manning but I believe she’s from the Carolinas and is well-known among the artists and groups in Carolina Beach. If found her on compilations of Southern Soul, Shag and Carolina Beach Music. She recorded the cover of this song in 2007.


BATTLE CONTENDER #2:  Pepe Marquez (featuring Steve Salas of Tierra):

This cover appeared on Pepe Marquez’ self-titled album released in 2010.


Okay, it all comes down to this:

TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why? When you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

Thanks for your participation and your votes! I’ll be back on the 21st to post the results. Until then, Rock On my friends…



21 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS – “Too Late to Turn Back Now”

  1. Hi, Michele!

    Once again your band battle features two excellent and closely matched covers of a great song. I well remember “Too Late to Turn Back Now“ by Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, a soulful group that I will be featuring on my own blog in the future. I enjoyed both version presented in your battle. The recording by Pepe M feat. Steve S is closer to the original, a characteristic that I usually favor in these contests. I also appreciate the spoken ad libs and the sax solo. However, I didn’t like the male lead vocal as much as the lead on the original, and the female backing singers seemed more of a distraction than anything else. The way the recording was mixed wasn’t as pleasing to my ears as I had hoped it would be.

    I am a long time fan of the Carolina Beach sound, having vacationed in Myrtle Beach in the 1970s and 80s, and I was delighted to hear the version by contestant #1, Taylor Manning. It’s fresh as a sea breeze, giving the original a brand new up tempo dance arrangement that works. Taylor has a soulful southern vocal style and I appreciate the male backing vocalists. Her version is a winner in my book. I vote for Taylor!

    Thank you very much, dear friend Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tom,
      Thanks for coming by to vote in my latest battle. As you can see, I’m late in getting the results posted — I just can’t seem to catch up on anything. I feel like my head is always swimming and I’m in a constant state of overwhelm…which you’ll probably hear again when I make my apology for being late in the Results post. So only going to take a moment here to say a quick Thank YOU and let you know that I’ll be posting the results here within the hour. Stand by…


  2. Michele,

    You paired up today’s cover artists quite well. Normally, I prefer male to female vocals but Pepe didn’t quite live up to my expectations but Taylor’s voice seemed a bit more seasoned, so I’m casting my vote that way. Give my vote to Taylor Manning. It’s great having you back in Blogosphere, my friend!

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    I Am Your Child #BoTB Showdown

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So good to have you back in the Battle arena. Things were starting to look a little sparse there for a while. It’s good to have more Battle choices to listen to.

    “Too Late” is a catchy song that I never disliked, but never liked well enough to buy any of the group’s albums.

    Stylistically the two versions are pretty similar. Musically I like more of what’s going on in Pepe’s version. Pepe gets my vote in this match.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Lee,
      Thanks for the welcome back. Things are still out of sorts over this way as you can tell with me being way late posting the results but they’ll be going up within the hour here. Thanks for stopping by and voting for Pepe. Stay tuned for the winner announcement…


    • Hi Janet!
      Thanks for coming by. I’m still trying to get back into the blogging groove and obviously not quite there yet as I’m late with the results. But will be posting those in just a little while. Thanks for your patience and of course for your vote. Another one for Mr Pepe…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Mary,
      Thanks for the welcome back! Seems like my BOTB engine is having a little trouble turning over as I’m sputtering along here trying to get the Results post up. But I’m revving up now and will have the battle winner announced within the hour. Thanks for your vote for Pepe. I’m still deciding for whom I’m going to cast my vote…


  4. First and foremost, a big WELCOME BACK, MICHELE!

    I’m happy to see you here! (And also, YES, this IS a gun in my pocket! :o)

    I have always liked this song. Never knew who did it, but I always liked it!

    That instrumental intro to TAYLOR MANNING’s recording sounds kind of “Disco-ish” to me. So my first reaction was “Uh-oh”. But then her vocals began and I was right in the groove.

    I think BOTH versions are good, and I really liked the saxophone solo in Pepe’s version. But I preferred the energy level of TAYLOR’s recording as it seemed a bit more like she was experiencing the exuberance of falling in love. She gets my vote.

    Good Battle to come back with, Michele, as both contestants are getting votes and this could be a real close one!

    ~ D-FensDogG

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Stephen,
      Hope you haven’t given up on me yet. I’ve been waylaid on this end and I’m just now getting back to my battle to tally the votes. The Results post will be going up pronto…
      Thanks for the warm welcome back! Glad you liked my come-back battle. And I have you down for Taylor’s version.
      Stand by. Winner announcement forthcoming…


  5. Welcome back to BOTB, Michele. We both returned at the same time! 😀 This was an easy choice. Pepe’s vocals sounded more pleasant to my ears than Taylor’s. Please give my vote to him. Hope your recovery is going well! Best wishes to your Mom, also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Debbie! How fun to be sharing a comeback battle with ya! I may have jumped into the drivers seat too soon though since I’m several days late in getting the Results posted. But they’re coming in just a few…
      Thanks for your vote for Pepe.
      Talk soon.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mike. It’s an exciting battle so far and I’m just now adding up the votes, which I’ll be posting here right quick. Thanks for your vote for Taylor. Results will be up within the hour of this reply…


  6. I have fond memories of this song, too. I vote for Pepe. I understand that Taylor didn’t record the song during the disco era, but it starts off sounding disco-y to me, which is an immediate turn off. Her voice is fine, but I like Pepe’s overall sound better.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Janie,
      Girl, we need to catch up! It’s been too long. I need to shoot you an email and get a dialogue going so we can check in with each other. But heck, I can’t even get my battle Results post up on time! Sigh. It’s a slow start this comeback… 🙂
      Thanks for your vote for Pepe…


  7. This is a good battle because it is tough to choose. Taylor has a strong voice but I love the smooth sound of Pepe so he gets my vote plus I love the musical accompaniment as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Birgit,
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m trying to get back in the groove and stumbling a bit here. Results are late but yours is the last vote in so I’m close to calling it. Will be up shortly. Thanks for your vote for Pepe…


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