Battle of the Bands with the DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN BATTLE OF THE SEXES

It’s mid-month already! How did that happen? It seems it’s been happening more and more lately, this flyin’ time thing. I find myself saying “Stop the bus! I wanna get off!” … I just want to take minute and breathe. Do you know what I mean?

So I’m going to grab that minute while I can. After dealing with one crisis after another over here I need to take a break. I’m going to pull back from blogging for a few months, at least until after the New Year. Today’s battle, the culmination of my Do You Know What I Mean Battle of the Sexes, will be my last for 2018.

So let’s talk about this battle: One of those crises mentioned above caused me to miss posting the Results for the Female round earlier in the month. Let me fill you in on how that ended. If you were following the comments, you might already know how it ended: Between Gwen McRae and Genya Raven, poor Gwen took a thumpin’. The battle was nearly a shutout but for the vote cast for Gwen by John. Genya Raven handily captured the win in the Female round with a 9 to 1 final tally (including my vote).

And now we have our final duel in declaring the best cover of Lee Michaels’ hit song “Do You Know What I Mean.” Will it be the version with male vocals or female vocals? While I think most will agree that no one does it better than the original recording artist. After all, Lee Michaels, who wrote, performed and produced the song, took it to #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Cash Box Top 100 in the summer of 1971. The song also closed the year with an impressive finish garnering a rank of #19 on Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1971.

You’ll get to decide which sex does it better as we kick off this Do You Know What I Mean Battle of the Sexes as our two finalists take the stage. First up is the male contender:

 Contender #1:  Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys

As a quick reminder: Kevin Naquin is a Cajun accordion player in south Louisiana from Ossun, Louisiana. Naquin is the lead singer and accordion player in the Cajun band Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys. In 2000, he won the CFMA – 2000 Album of the Year with his album “Pour La Premiere Fois” and CFMA – 2000 Song of the Year. He has recorded with Swallow Records and Bayou Groove Productions. He released a version of this song on his 2014 album, No Guarantee.

 

And here is this battle’s female contender:

Contender #2:  Genya Ravan

Genya Ravan, a.k.a. Goldie (born Genyusha Zelkovicz; April 19, 1945) is an American rock singer and producer. She was lead singer of The Escorts, Goldie & the Gingerbreads, and Ten Wheel Drive. In 2013, Genya released an album entitled Cheesecake Girl and this cover of the Lee Michaels hit is from that album:

 

Now it’s up to you to declare the winner in the Battle of the Sexes for Best Cover of Lee Michaels’ “Do You Know What I Mean”.

TIME TO VOTE! Which version gets your vote, the Female contender or the Male contender? 

When you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

Thanks for your participation and your votes! Voting will be open until midnight on November 22nd and I’ll post results shortly thereafter. Until then, Rock On my friends…

 

Battle of the Bands (BOTB) – Battle of the Sexes, Round 2: The Women cover Lee Michaels’ “Do You Know What I Mean”

It’s November 1st and time for another Battle of the Bands. Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween last night. As per my usual tradition, we turned all the lights out, pretended not to be home to avoid incessant doorbell ringing by neighborhood trick or treaters and watched scary movies (Scream and Scream 2).

Speaking of scary movies, I’ve been a long-time fan of the original slasher film Halloween, directed and scored by John Carpenter back in 1978, which introduced the world to the creepy (and until now, apparently indestructible) Michael Myers. Last year on Halloween night, I introduced my Mom to that movie and its many sequels. Yesterday I took her to the new 2018 Halloween.

Set 40 years after the original film, the plot follows Laurie Strode as she prepares to face Michael Myers when he returns to Haddonfield, Illinois, after his killing spree on Halloween night in 1978. Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprise their roles as Strode and Myers, respectively, with stuntman James Jude Courtney also portraying Myers.

So how was it? Well, the Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus gave it a 79% and had this to say:

Halloween largely wipes the slate clean after decades of disappointing sequels, ignoring increasingly elaborate mythology in favor of basic – yet still effective – ingredients.

I liked it okay. Jamie Lee Curtis was fantastic, in my opinion. And she looked terrific. I loved her attitude. And I really liked her hair…although that was probably a wig. But then, I’m a Jamie Lee Curtis fan. At the end I asked my Mom if she liked the movie. She said, “Honestly?” Yes Mom, honestly. “No.” So there ya go…

And that’s it for Halloween. Today’s battle has nothing to do with the creepy holiday. It is the second of a three battle event, the Battle of the Sexes for covers of Lee Michaels’ hit “Do You Know What I Mean” and will feature the Female cover artists competing for the chance to take on the winning Male cover artist later this month.

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In case you missed it, the first round was the Male round on October 15th, featuring Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys battling Myles Goodwyn (with Lee Aaron).

The Male Round RESULTS post announced that Kevin Naquin & his Ossun Playboys would be advancing to the final battle, to take on the winner from today battle.

So now we’re on to the Female cover contenders as they battle it out for the gender win in this three-part battle. If you’d like to listen to the original song by Lee Michaels for reference, this link will take you to YouTube to hear it. It is a great song and one of my favorites from the 70s.

Now let’s listen to our female contenders:

Female Contender #1:  Gwen McRae

Gwen McCrae (née Mosley, December 21, 1943, Pensacola, Florida) is an American singer, best known for her 1975 hit “Rockin’ Chair.” She began performing in local clubs as a teenager, and singing with local groups like the Lafayettes and the Independents. In 1963, she met a young sailor named George McCrae, whom she married within a week.

From 1963, she recorded as a duo with her husband George; the couple received a solo recording contract, with Henry Stone’s TK Records. The couple were discovered in 1967 by singer Betty Wright, who helped get them signed to Stone’s Alston record label.

Signed to TK subsidiary Cat as a solo artist, she found success on the U.S. R&B charts with her cover version of Bobby Bland’s “Lead Me On” in 1970, followed by “For Your Love”. Following husband George’s unexpected solo success with “Rock Your Baby”, Gwen went on to have a major hit of her own in March 1975 with “Rockin’ Chair”, a #1 R&B hit which also reached number 9 in the United States’ Billboard Hot 100. The follow-up “Love Insurance” also made the R&B chart (#16).

After TK Records collapsed, McCrae moved to New Jersey and signed with Atlantic Records, recording two albums and having another hit with “Funky Sensation” in 1981 (#22 R&B). She continued to record and the success of some of her earlier recordings on the UK’s Northern Soul scene maintained her popularity as a live act in Europe. McCrae moved back to Florida, recorded this cover, a one-off single for the small Black Jack label in 1984 called “Do You Know What I Mean”, and then temporarily retired from the music industry.

This is her long version so there is a lengthy introduction with a lot of “Do You Know What I Mean” line repeats and can get a bit monotonous when time is of the essence so to get right into the song, start at the 1:00 minute mark:

 

Female Contender #2:  Genya Ravan

Genya Ravan, a.k.a. Goldie (born Genyusha Zelkovicz; April 19, 1945) is an American rock singer and producer. She was lead singer of The Escorts, Goldie & the Gingerbreads, and Ten Wheel Drive.

Genya was born in Łódź, Poland, and arrived in the United States in 1947, accompanied by her parents and one sister. They were the only family members who had survived the Nazi Holocaust in Europe; she also had two brothers, who both died. They did not speak any English. Genya was named ‘Goldie’ by her mother, who claimed Genyusha was not American enough.

Goldie’s career started in 1962 on a dare in a Brooklyn club called The Lollipop Lounge, which is also the title of her autobiography published by Billboard Books. On a dare in a bar, she jumped up to sing. “That was the first time I ever heard my voice”. She was asked to join the band The Escorts. In 1963 she formed Goldie and The Gingerbreads after Genya met drummer Ginger Bianco in a Greenwich Village bar.

After seeing the band at a party for the Rolling Stones, Atlantic Records Chairman Ahmet Ertegün signed them to Atlantic subsidiary Atco Records. Goldie & the Gingerbreads were the first all-girl rock band in history to be signed to a major label and climb the charts.

While playing New York City’s hot spot The Wagon Wheel on 45th Street in Times Square, Mike Jeffries, Eric Burdon, Hilton Valentine, and Chas Chandler spotted them, and wanted them to come to England. Goldie and The Gingerbreads toured with the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Kinks, and Manfred Mann. They reached the charts with their hit “Can’t You Hear My Heart Beat” in 1965.

They recorded three albums for Polydor Records: Construction number 1, Brief Replies, Peculiar Friends Are Better Than No Friends. They had many fans, but the group did not take off. Genya left the band in 1971. She was signed to Columbia Records by Clive Davis where she made one album in 1972 titled simply Genya Ravan. Four more solo albums followed through the 1970s.

Ravan performed at the Atlanta Pop Festival, twice at Carnegie Hall and twice at Madison Square Garden, along with various clubs in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia, including the famous CBGB. She appeared on The Mike Douglas Show, The Johnny Carson Show, Della and The Dick Cavett Show television shows.

In 2011, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum included Goldie and The Gingerbreads in their Women in Music exhibit which traveled from state to state. Genya Ravan toured in 2013, selling out New York City’s Iridium and is going back by popular demand.

Also in 2013, Genya released a new album entitled Cheesecake Girl. This cover of the Lee Michaels hit is from that album:

TIME TO VOTE! Which version of the Female contenders do you like better and why? The winner of this battle will go up against the the Male Artist cover winner in the grand finale Battle of the Sexes on November 15th! 

When you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

Thanks for your participation and your votes! Voting will be open until midnight on the November 9th and I’ll post results on the 10th or shortly thereafter. Until then, Rock On my friends…

 

Battle of the Bands RESULTS – “Do You Know What I Mean” – the Male round

Wow, was this ever a close race! The two contenders for the Male round of the battle of Lee Michaels’ “Do You Know What I Mean“, Kevin Naquin and Myles Goodwyn, were neck and neck until the very end.

I liked both of these covers, which is why I chose them for this battle. Not everyone agrees of course, but I truly had a hard time deciding where to place my vote. In the end I went with Myles Goodwyn. I preferred the music and also the added vocals of Lee Aaron.

However, Kevin Naquin earned ONE more vote than did Myles. Final Tally:

Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys:   7 votes

Myles Goodwyn w/Lee Aaron:    6 votes

So Naquin will be in the wings awaiting the outcome of the battle of the Female artists who covered this song. On November 1st, be sure to come listen to the two Female covers and vote for the one you like best. The winners of that battle will face off with Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys in the mid-month November battle, the upcomingDo You Know What I Mean” Battle of the Sexes.

Although it was Kevin Naquin who won, I’m going to leave you with some early songs by Myles Goodwyn, back when he was fronting the Canadian rock band April Wine. A founding member of the band, Myles was the lead vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter. I remember loving the name of the band and I had their 1979 album Harder…Faster. Here is a playlist of all the tracks on that album. The first song is their signature song.

Thanks for participating in the premier battle in the Do You Know What I Mean Battle of the Sexes. Come back on November 1st for the Female covers of the song.

Until then, rock on…

 

Battle of the Bands (BOTB) – “Do You Know What I Mean” by Lee Michaels

It’s time for the mid-month Battle of the Bands and I think I have a fun one for you. (by the way, if you are looking for my Monday’s Music Moves Me post, click here. Or you can always find posts by title on the sidebar of my Home Page. But stick around first (or come back) to check out my battle and vote for your favorite!)

My mid-month battle song is Do You Know What I Mean” by Lee Michaels.

The song, written and performed by Lee Michaels, reached #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Cash Box Top 100 in the summer of 1971. The song was featured on his 1971 album, 5th. The single ranked #19 on Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1971.

Lee Eugene Michaels (born Michael Olsen, November 24, 1945, Los Angeles, California) is an American rock musician who sings and accompanies himself on organ, piano, or guitar. He is best known for his energetic virtuosity on the Hammond organ, peaking in 1971 with his Top 10 pop hit single, “Do You Know What I Mean”.

Here is the original for your reference and for your enjoyment. This is NOT one of the contenders!

(If copyright issues remove the embedded video, you can go directly to YouTube to hear it with this link)

I love that song! And I certainly like Lee Michaels doing it. But there are a few covers that intrigued me, four in fact, and therein was born an idea. Uh-oh. I know, I can hear you all sighing, “Aww man, now what is she going to make us do??

Here’s my idea: I liked these four covers. Coincidentally, two of them are male artists and the other two are female artists who have changed the lyrics to depict the gender change. So, let’s have a male vs female showdown!

First up will be the Male artists.

My next battle will be the Female artists.

And then the third battle will be the YIN YANG Hoedown Male vs Female Showdown!

So let’s kick off this Yin Yang showdown with the MALE contenders. 

Male Contender #1:  Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys

Kevin Naquin is a Cajun accordion player in south Louisiana from Ossun, Louisiana. Naquin is the lead singer and accordion player in the Cajun band Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys. In 2000, he won the CFMA – 2000 Album of the Year with his album “Pour La Premiere Fois” and CFMA – 2000 Song of the Year. He has recorded with Swallow Records and Bayou Groove Productions.

He released a version of this song on his 2014 album, No Guarantee.

 Male Contender #2:  Myles Goodwyn

Myles Francis Goodwyn (born Miles Francis Goodwin, June 23, 1948) is a Canadian record producer, guitarist, lead vocalist, main songwriter, and founding member of the veteran Canadian hard rock band April Wine. As the longest serving (and only original) member, Goodwyn has led the band from its modest garage band roots to multi-platinum sales.

Following the band’s peak years during the 1970s and early 1980s, Goodwyn disbanded the group to pursue a solo career. After a brief relocation to the Bahamas, Goodwyn returned to Canada and reformed April Wine in 1992. He continues to lead the band to the present day.

Myles Goodwyn featuring Lee Aaron released a version of this song as a single in 1988 which reached #47 in Canada. It was featured on his album, Myles Goodwyn.

 

TIME TO VOTE! Which versions do you like better and why? Please choose one contender from the Male Artist covers

The next battle will feature the Female covers…so be sure to c’mon back!

When you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

Thanks for your participation and your votes! Voting will be open until midnight on the 22nd and I’ll post results on the 23rd or shortly thereafter. Until then, Rock On my friends…

 

 

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS: Who will reign supreme, the Dog or the Cat??

This is the battle we’ve all been waiting for. To recap: My friend Mary (from Jingle Jangle Jungle) and I teamed up on putting together this fun Dog v Cat Battle of the Bands Tournament. It’s been so much fun and hopefully you’ve had a chance to check it out. But if not, no worries! You can still play in this very exciting AND HISTORICAL event!

After weeks of battles choosing best Dog songs and best Cat songs in the categories of Hard and Soft Rock, we had Playoffs to determine which song was going to Represent going into the Championship Battle. And now we are here with the exciting finish.

Last month’s mid-month battle of the bands was the Final Playoff to choose the Dog song going into the Superbowl of Championship Battles. And at Mary’s place (Jingle Jangle Jungle) was the Playoff to choose the Cat song to send to this Grand Finale.

Here voters had an opportunity to vote for either the hard-rock Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” or the soulful soft pop by Marvin Gaye, “I’ll Be Doggone”.

It was a super tight race and tied all the way up to the very end, when two votes came in, pushing Led Zeppelin over the finish line. The final playoff tally was 8-6. (FYI: I voted for Marvin Gaye’s song). So the NDC (National Dog Conference) is sending hard rock winner “BLACK DOG” to today’s big Battle Championship!

So just what Cat song is our Dog champ going up against? Mary’s NCC (National Cat Conference) Playoff winner is the beloved “CATS IN THE CRADLE” by Harry Chapin.

SO THIS IS IT! It’s time for the knock-down drag-out battle between CANINE and FELINE. Who will be the reigning victor of the first ever DOG v CAT BATTLE OF THE BANDS TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP??

It’s in your hands People! Are you a dog person or a cat person? LET’S HEAR FROM YOU!!!

And now, without further ado, Let’s Battle!

BLACK DOG by Led Zeppelin

 

CATS IN THE CRADLE by Harry Chapin

 

PLACE YOUR VOTES IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW. Being this is the Championship, both Mary and I have the same exact battles going today, using the exact same videos. We know that the regular BOTBers will be placing duplicate votes. Don’t worry about it; we’re going to take out the duplicates. PLEASE VOTE WHEN YOU VISIT EACH OF US. Thank you so much! Thanks for playing along…

VOTING WILL BE OPEN THROUGH SEPTEMBER 10th!

And Don’t Forget to visit the other Battles today. First go to Mary’s Jingle Jangle Jungle Dog v Cat Championship battle post and place your vote there. There are links to all participants at BOTB Host Stephen McCarthy. 

For your convenience, I’ve also listed the other cool battles going on with our fun group so be sure to visit and vote on all these battles:

Stephen McCarthy Presents Battle of the Bands

Tossing It Out

The Doglady’s Den

The Sound of One Hand Typing

Curious as a Cathy

Mike’s Ramblings