33 CommentsBattle of the Bands (BOTB), Blogfests, Music

It’s good to be back…


BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB), hosted by 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. (Please note: Effective July 2017, some of us switched to once a month on the 15th. Others may opt to continue with twice a month.) See below for further details.

Battle results this year haven’t been great – several blowouts and a tie! I’m hoping to break the curse by using a song that holds special memories for me. Back in the ’80s, we had a friend who played piano and sang at our favourite restaurant (read more about that HERE, if you’re interested) and this was one of his signature numbers.


Always on My Mind is an American country music song by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson, recorded first by Gwen McCrae (as “You Were Always On My Mind”) and Brenda Lee in 1972.
AllMusic lists over 300 recorded releases of the song by dozens of performers. While Brenda Lee’s renditon had stalled at number 45 on the country charts in 1972, other performers would reach the top 20 in the United States and elsewhere. Arguably, Willie Nelson‘s grammy-winning recording from 1982 is the definitive version.

[Reference only. Not eligible for voting.]

On to the contest!


Michael Steven Bublé, born Sept. 9/75 in Burnaby, B.C., is a Canadian-Italian singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. He has won several awards, including four Grammys and multiple Junos. “Always on My Mind” is the 11th track from his fifth studio album, “Call Me Irresponsible”, released in 2007. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and rose to number one in its second week, selling nearly 2 million copies in the US alone and over 5 million copies worldwide.



Elvis Presley (who surely needs no introduction) recorded his version of “Always on My Mind” on March 29, 1972, a few weeks after his February separation from wife Priscilla. The song received immense fame and critical appreciation and is considered one of the standout hits of the ’70s for Elvis. It was released as the B-side of the “Separate Ways” single, which reached Gold status in the U.S. Listed as a double sided hit, it rose to number 16 on Billboard Magazine’s Hot Country Singles chart in November 1972. In the UK, “Always on My Mind” was the A-side and “Separate Ways” the B-side. It was voted the number 1 song of Presley’s recording career in a poll conducted by ITV in 2013.


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

Voting remains open until 11:59 pm EDT Nov. 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]

Angels Bark / Cherdo On The Flipside / Curious as a Cathy / Janie Junebug Righting & Editing / Jingle Jangle Jungle / Mike’s Ramblings / Sound of One Hand Typing / HOST: StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands / 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.

ROCK ON!Debbie

♫♪♫♪♫ Rockchick Rapture!




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Debbie D.
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. Now, I’m gonna get myself in trouble. Not a fan of Elvis in the diehard, crazy manner whereby I’d love every single thing he ever did. And this is one of those songs I just didn’t like when he did it. Particularly the chorus.

    Michael Buble? YES, PLEASE.

  2. I like Michael Buble a lot and he did a great rendition of this song but my heart still goes to Elvis with his strong voice and the musical styling of this song. I love the drums in this and the power of it near the end

  3. Debbie,
    Funny thing. I did a variation on this battle quite a while ago. I used the Pet Shop Boys against Willie Nelson. As you might imagine, Willie destroyed them. It was one of my earlier battles and I hadn’t yet fully grasped how fully familiarity plays into our decision-making.
    In your battle, I’m going with Michael Buble. The more I hear him, the more I like him. His arrangements are almost always wonderful and I love his vocals.
    Thanks for a wonderful song this morning!

  4. Debbie,

    Willie set the bar on this song and although I’m not a hug fan I’d certainly pick him over all others. That being said, I was certain I’d go with the King but no, I actually liked Michael Buble’s sweet, remorseful rendition better. He made me feel like he was expressing his regrets instead of just singing the words. My vote goes to Buble. Well played!

    1. HI Cathy; You’re not alone in that opinion. (See Stephen’s comment.) 🙂 This is turning into a good battle. About time! Another vote for MB. Thanks and have a good weekend.

      1. Debbie,

        I read Stephen’s comment when I was here the first time which I failed to mention but his remarks mirrored the way I felt while listening to both contenders. I’m glad this battle has turned out so well for you. Have a good evening, dear friend!

  5. Welcome Back Rock Chick! 🙂 So good to see you here again.
    Love your song choice for your returning battle. I so love Willie Nelson’s version. For sure his version stands out. But I enjoyed both your contenders. I like Michael Buble and used him in a battle earlier in the year. His version is sweet and sensual and I really liked it. But then I listened to the version by Elvis and knew immediately that the King would be getting my vote here. He does it so well that I had to go back and listen to it again before moving on. The musical arrangement is fabulous.
    And wow, what a power-pic of him and Johnny Cash in that video photo montage! They were sure young there…

    Awesome come-back battle Debbie! Good to see you here again…

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Thanks, Michele. It’s good to be back! 🙂 Willie would probably have won this battle if I’d used him. Michael’s version was a surprise discovery and I thought he could give Elvis some serious competition. Looks like he didn’t quite make it here, though. Another vote for Elvis! This is shaping up to be a pretty good battle. After the previous duds, I’m really happy about that. Have a good weekend!

  6. When I think of this song, I think of Elvis–not Willie and certainly not Michael. I have to vote for Elvis on this one. His voice is so rich in the recording.


  7. DEBBIE ~
    I love this song, and I would agree with the statement that Willie Nelson’s is the definitive version. It was wise not to include him in this Battle.

    In the early 1980s, my buddy, Pooh, and I were the only two members of “The 99-Cent Club”. Between certain hours, a local Mexican restaurant called Azteca served 99-cent Margaritas. Pooh and I went regularly, and I always played Willie’s ‘ALWAYS ON MY MIND’ on the jukebox, as it made me think of a certain gal I’d known.

    Without doubt, “The King” had a great voice — even the better voice here — but I think I have to vote for MICHAEL BUBLE.

    The main reason is because this song is like a personal confession, and the Elvis version seems a bit too mannered, a bit too much like a “performance”. Also, the way the background singers are used, I think it’s really at odds with the deep, confessional nature of the lyrics.

    The slower tempo and less embellished arrangement on the BUBLE recording strikes me as more genuine and remorseful.

    Great song and top-notch singers, though!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents ‘Battle Of The Bands’

    1. Lots of memories attached to this song. 🙂 My friend sang it in the style of Willie, so it resonates the most for me, as well. You might have something there, about Elvis’ version. Michael certainly sings it with great feeling. Thanks for your vote. Michael, it is. Looks like this is going to be a good battle. Finally! 🙂

  8. As a true Memphian, I love Elvis like you love hockey. Hence, I am biased, and will go with The King.

    When I hear Michael Buble, all I can think of is, going separate ways… LOL

  9. Michael Buble has a good voice, and it’s nice to hear him sing one where he’s not competing with a horn section (and winning). Problem is, it’s painfully slow, almost funereal. As I find myself saying frequently during these battles, Willie Nelson’s version (the one I’m most familiar with) might be as slow, but the arrangement carries the tune and it doesn’t seem slow.

    Elvis… what can I say? He does a great version of this song, and the arrangement is almost perfect. He gets my vote here.

    Had you chosen Brenda Lee’s version, I would have gone with that. Little Miss Dynamite’s is great.

    1. I love Willie’s version too and he likely would have won, had he been in the running. 🙂
      That’s one vote for Elvis, but it’s still early. Thanks for participating in BOTB, Janet.

  10. I was convinced I’d be voting for Elvis as I’m familiar with his version and like it, but Michael Bublé gets my vote after listening. It’s such a dreamy sound.

    1. Hi Clowie; Yes, the Elvis version is more familiar. I only discovered Michael’s while doing research for this battle. That’s another one for MB. Thanks for voting! 🙂

  11. When I was listening to Michael Buble’ I had to keep coming back to the video to check that it was really him singing. There were moments when he sounded just like Willie.

    Elvis did a good job with the song as well, but I really preferred Michael’s version. Glad to have you back! Missed reading your posts.

    1. Hi Mary; It’s nice to be back. 🙂 Elvis had a hit with this song and Michael’s flew under the radar. It was a pleasant surprise to find it. Another vote for MB. Thanks!

  12. You picked a great song for this round.
    Since you had already dismissed Willie, I figured Elvis would be a shoo-in for me since his was the other version I knew. I’d never heard the Buble version and it’s beautiful.

    I think I’m going to give my vote for the extra mellow sounds of Michael Buble.

    Tossing It Out