51 CommentsBattle of the Bands (BOTB), Music

Welcome to my inaugural post for 

Battle of the Bands BOTB

BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB), hosted by Far Away Series and  StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. is where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two “Battles” per month, on the 1st and 15th. Votes will be tallied and posted the following week. (See below for further details.)

For my first time, I’ve selected a song that most of you probably know,
but possibly not some of the versions I’m going to present here.



[for reference only – do not vote on these 4 examples]
 If this is too long, please go ahead and scroll down to the voting section.
I’ll try not to be offended. 😉 You could always come back another time.

This was likely an old English, Scottish or Irish folk song, that had been brought to Appalachian America by British settlers a hundred or more years before. Also known as “The Rising Sun Blues”, the words were obviously altered, as New Orleans was the den of iniquity in the old South. (Some may argue it still is. 😉  On the travel bucket list!)

The first known recording, as “Rising Sun Blues”,  was by Clarence “Tom” Ashley and Gwen Foster in 1933. Ashley said he learned it from his grandfather. That version is quite different from what we’re used to. See original lyrics HERE. The familiar melody and title, “House of the Rising Sun” was initially issued by Libby Holman and Josh White in 1942.

Considered to be one of the most recorded songs in history (it’s in the Public Domain), there are versions by Roy Acuff, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Glenn Yarbrough, Pete Seeger, Frankie Lane, Andy Griffith, Joan Baez, Dave Van Ronk*, Nina SimoneJody Miller, Dolly Parton, Five Finger Death Punch  and many more….

Bob Dylan included the Dave Van Ronk* adaptation on his debut album, released in 1962. The most successful rendition is the one released by Eric Burdon (one of my musical heroes ) and The Animals in 1964.  From Wikipedia: It became the first “British Invasion” number one hit that wasn’t a Beatles song, ranked number 122 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list and is also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and RollApparently, Dylan stopped playing it after that, because his version got relegated to “cover” status. Dave Van Ronk was vexed not to get credit for both arrangements. Eric Burdon claimed he first heard the song in Newcastle, England, performed by a folk singer named Johnny Handle.

The foregoing serves as background information only.
Now, on to the actual contest……

Frijid Pink

A Detroit area Blues Rock Band, Frijid Pink formed in 1967. Their first two singles went nowhere, but they hit it big with this hard-rocking interpretation. It reached the top 10 on the (U.S.) Billboard Top 100 in the Spring of 1970 and sold over one million copies. Not bad for what was merely a “filler” song at the end of a recording session! They were so popular at the time, that Led Zeppelin opened for them at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom. The band broke up in 1975 and subsequent attempts to reunite were unsuccessful.

The White Buffalo
with The Forest Rangers

Singer/songwriter Jake Smith uses the professional moniker, “The White Buffalo”, both singularly and for his band. An imposing figure with an impressive baritone, he writes about rebels and troubled souls, battling through life. Producers of the TV drama, “Sons of Anarchy” (lots of rebels and troubled souls there!), used six of his songs in their soundtrack. This was recorded together with the show’s house band, known as “The Forest Rangers” for the fourth season finale. Lyrics were altered to suit the story. Another version of the song, featuring “Battleme” was used earlier on.



Please state your preference in comments below and also why you chose it.

As an experiment, I added this polling widget, set to “anonymous voting” for ease of use.
We’ll see how that goes.
Click on your preference here too:
[socialpoll id=”2270727″ path=”/polls/2270727″ width=”350″]

Voting remains open until 6:00 p.m. EDT. May 21st, after which I will count the votes, add mine and publish the results.


These are the other BOTB regulars and semi-regulars.
Please cruise on by their sites and, if they have a post up, vote on their selections as well:
[Check back – there’s no set posting time]

Alex J. Cavanaugh   Angels Bark   Book Lover   Cherdo On The Flipside   Curious as a Cathy   

DC Relief Battle of the Bands  * Far Away Series *   Mike’s Ramblings   

 Shady Dell Music and Memories    Sound of One Hand Typing 

StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands *  

This Belle Rocks   Tossing It Out   

Your Daily Dose


As always, “Sharing is Caring”.
Spread this musical joy all over your social networks. Hashtag is #BOTB

Until next time.



Rockchick Rapture!


Come on back to The Den on Monday, May 18 and enjoy some Blood, Boobs and Carnage fun!

Blood, Boobs and Carnage Blogfest, The Doglady's Den

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Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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  1. I voted the other day, but thought I also commented. unable to locate my comment, so starting a new one here. Just stopping by to share the news!

    The boss man has given me the blessing of being able to sit at the cool kids table. My first battle will be June 1. So, if you want to add my name to your list of participants – I’d like that.

    Mary @ Jingle Jangle Jungle
    Mary Burris recently posted…The Guest: Echo – Memories and The Lion King!My Profile

  2. Hi Debbie, how very nice to meet you. Not sure what I’m doing wrong, but this is my second time trying to leave a comment here. Let’s see what happens.I apologize for my tardiness in getting around to your BATTLE. I’ve decided to visit three BOTB sites a day, so that I have the necessary time to fully devote my attention to the post and music. In this case I’m really glad I did. You have put together a marvelous and very informative post. This song has been used in the past in a BOTB, but we did not get this much information and you have chosen two very different versions.On another day, and maybe even time of time I might chose Frijid Pink. It is one of those songs that I could definitely get into trouble with if it were coming out of the stereo system of my car while tooling down the open highway.For this morning I like White Buffalo better. I’m a suck for a rich deep baritone. I also like the lazy way he performs this one. Somewhere in my mind, I feel that’s the way it should be. Great debut BATTLE Debbie. I can see you are going to be a great addition to this little hope. Welcome Aboard!

    1. Nice to meet you too, FAE. 🙂 I’m so sorry you had difficulties commenting! 🙁 Did you receive some sort of an error message? First timers are subject to moderation, but I’ve whitelisted you now, so hopefully, there won’t be any further issues. Happens sometimes though, as Blogger and WordPress are different platforms. No need to apologize for tardiness; responses are welcome any time. There’s more to life than blogging, yes?
      Oh yeah – I’d be right there with you, tooling down the highway, volume cranked to the max, listening to Frijid Pink. 😀 Also, like you, I love a mellifluous baritone. Another vote for White Buffalo. It’s a pretty close vote, so far.
      Thanks for the warm welcome to BOTB. Loving it!
      Debbie D. recently posted…WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEN – MAY AND BEYONDMy Profile

  3. I listened to the old song by Libby Holeman. Boy, what a haunting lilt she gives the song. I like The Animals version better, but I’m glad to get that background information on the wonderful song. I’m abstaining from your vote.

  4. Wow, that was a whole lot of history. Welcome to the BotB Debbie 🙂

    Funny, I was looking for the SOA version of Forever Young on Utube (Capt’n Battle left me a Bob Dylan link), and I left the video up so it would play out a list of SOA tracks, and of course I listened to White Buffalo version. Small world, yes?

    Listened to all four of the non-voters. The Animals would be my fav pic, always. Good thing it was changed from the original original. YeHaw! And the lady that changed it, uck.

    I give my vote to White Buffalo. I’d probably like Frijid Pink as a group, but not for this. The music was just too racy or something. Didn’t fit the lyrics, though the vocals was well done. I loved the Charming changes in the SOA version. For shame its off air. I sure miss Jax. Whenever I see Charlie Hunan in any other movie he looks really naked without his tatoos 🙂
    dolorah recently posted…BATTLE OF THE BANDS: I Hope You DanceMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the warm welcome, Donna. 🙂 I’m loving BOTB, so far! Yes, this song goes back a long way and the history buff in me couldn’t resist. I’ll try to keep subsequent posts a bit shorter. What a coincidence that you were listening to The White Buffalo. I’m a huge SOA fan as well (come back here on Monday and you’ll see that for yourself). Chibbs was more my taste (loved the accent!). Jax was cute, but too “grunge” and young, Tigg had a certain something – blue eyes with black hair! Anyway……thanks for your vote. Another one for White Buffalo. It’s still pretty even at the moment. Have a good weekend.
      Debbie D. recently posted…WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEN – MAY AND BEYONDMy Profile

  5. DEBBIE ~
    A very good BOTB debut by yew.

    >>… Frijid Pink…they hit it big with this hard-rocking interpretation. It reached the top 10 on the (U.S.) Billboard Top 100 in the Spring of 1970 and sold over one million copies.

    Very peculiar because I don’t recall hearing their version before and I was certainly cognizant of what was getting a lot of radio airplay in 1970. Or so I thought, anyway.

    Frijid Pink’s version can be summed up in one word: “HEAVY, MAN, HEAVY!” (I was always better at baseball and football than I was at math.)

    F.P.’s recording is probably #1 in my book. (Yes, better’n The Animals, whose version I’ve heard a godzillion times.) So… I guess you knows… where my vote goes.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’
    Stephen T. McCarthy recently posted…2015, MAY 15: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, PAUL SIMON VERSUS THE B-52s)My Profile

    1. Welcome, Steven! 🙂 It was a big hit, especially in Germany, where I bought the 45 in 1970.
      (Still have it! 🙂 )
      From Wikipedia:

      “House of the Rising Sun” / “Drivin’ Blues” (Parrot 341) 1969; No. 7 on Billboard Hot 100 (February 1970), No. 3 in Canada, No. 1 in Germany, No. 4 in UK

      Frijid Pink it is, then! Thanks for your vote and for hosting this fun party. Cheers!
      Debbie D. recently posted…WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEN – MAY AND BEYONDMy Profile

  6. This was an adventure for me. After listening to the first one, I started the second. And then it sounded like there were two songs playing at once (there were), and I couldn’t figure out where that second song was coming from. So, I clicked on the second song to send it to YouTube (now three songs playing). So, I came back here and found that the first song looped straight into another song. Clicked that off (or so I thought), but no. A different third song began. Finally, found the stop button on everything on this page, rewound the second version on YouTube and listened to IT all by itself. Yikes. What a crazy adventure.

    Now, after all that, I’m heartily giving my vote to the second one (The White Buffalo), which shocks me a bit because I really enjoyed the first one while it was playing. So, two great versions!!! Excellent battle:)
    Robin recently posted…Soundtrack and Battle of the Bands ~ Wicked GameMy Profile

  7. I haven’t heard Frijid Pink’s version of this song in I don’t know how long… maybe since it was on the Silver Dollar Survey in 1970. I remember liking it because it didn’t sound like The Animals’ version, and I still like it.

    The White Buffalo did an okay version of this, maybe a more traditional approach, and I’m sure that it suited the finale of “Sons of Anarchy” well. Had it not been up against Frijid Pink, it might have won.

    Give my vote to Frijid Pink.

    Good first battle!
    John Holton recently posted…RIP BB KingMy Profile

  8. This one is easy… The Animals… Without the commercial success of that track, the tune dies on the vine.

    Funny, I just listened to Dolly Parton version. I was in the mood for some disco.

    P.S. I am in serious mourning today, over the loss of B.B. King. The thrill is gone…
    Myke Todd recently posted…Weeping Willow Walk (for Lainey)My Profile

  9. This song has a lot of memories for me. It was one of the first 45’s I ever bought and a song that really started piquing my interest in rock music. It’s also the first rock song I ever learned on the guitar–the Animals version.

    Not too much wrong with the White Buffalo version other than I don’t care for it too much. I guess it’s partly the guy’s voice I don’t like in this song.

    Frijid Pink? Now you’re talking my musical language. I prefer this to the version by the Animals. It has that psychedelic San Fran sound with the wailing guitar. The plaintive vocal sounds far-off and full of regret and sorrow. The insistent bass line drives the song with urgency. Love it, love it, love it.

    Guess who I’m voting for! If you guessed Frijid Pink then you’re correct.

    Nice start for a first BOTB post.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Road trippin’ with A to Z
    Arlee Bird recently posted…Look for a Star (Battle of the Bands)My Profile

    1. Glad you liked the inaugural post, Lee! 🙂 Another vote for Frijid Pink. I still have the original 45 that I purchased in Germany, while on a return visit there in 1970. It was a huge hit in Europe as well. Crank it UP!! I love it as much as you do, but problem is, I love the other one as well. Decisions, decisions…..This BOTB party sure is a lot of fun!
      Debbie D. recently posted…WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEN – MAY AND BEYONDMy Profile

  10. Hi again, Debbie the Doglady! This is a sensational BOTB match-up. I never heard those historic versions of “Rising Sun” until you offered them here today. Seems to me that Jake Smith’s version harks back to those early renditions. As a teenager of the 60s, I was hooked on fuzz guitar distortion, psychedelia, prog rock and blues rock. I dug Zeppelin, Motor City Madman Ted Nugent and his Amboy Dukes and today’s BOTB challengers, Frijid Pink, who get my vote simply because I loved that sound back then and still do now.

    Thank you, dear Debbie, and have a great weekend!

  11. Hey Debbie. Wow, I had no idea this song goes all the way back to the 30s! I didn’t like the Libby Holman version at all (and I know that’s not part of the competition). At first I thought I’d be choosing Frijid Pink but then I heard the White Buffalo version and am choosing that as my pick. I love the Sons of Anarchy show and loved the soundtracks. I don’t know if I’m choosing White Buffalo because I recognize the SOA signature sound but I do like that one better. His voice is amazing.
    Great showdown!
    Happy BOTB! It’s going to be fun having this too in common, huh? 🙂 As always, you rock…

    Michele at Angels Bark
    Michele Truhlik recently posted…Battle of the Bands – “Without You”My Profile

  12. Welcome to BOTB, Debbie! This is an all-time classic. I had no idea of its rich history. Your band selections for this song are good ones, both are alike in someways and different in others. I prefer Frijid Pink to White Buffalo simply because they reminded me of The Animals a bit and that cover is the one grew up hearing. Excellent showdown!

        1. Thanks, Ann. The widget is anonymous, so I ask that people state their choice in comments and we (meaning all the BOTB members) also want to know why you picked it. 🙂 So that’s one for White Buffalo. I’m leaning towards it too, but also like the Frijid Pink, as I’m a sucker for such guitar prowess. I’ll add my vote at the end. That old hillbilly version sure was different, wasn’t it?

  13. I chose the Frijid Pink version, some pretty impressive guitar work there, and maybe because it is more like the Animals version, which in my opinion is THE BEST version. Did not like the Songs of Anachy version, sorry.