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

July already! Can you believe it?
Time for another edition of Battle of the Bands.

Battle of the Bands, #BOTB ST. JAMES INFIRMARY

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. (See below for further details.)


[reference only – please do not vote on this one]

St. James Infirmary“, aka “St. James Infirmary Blues”, sometimes known as “Gambler’s Blues”, is an American folksong of anonymous origin, though sometimes credited to the songwriter Joe Primrose (a pseudonym for Irving Mills). Louis Armstrong made it famous in his influential 1928 recording.

“St. James Infirmary” is often said to be based on an 18th-century traditional English folk song called “The Unfortunate Rake” (also known as “The Unfortunate Lad” or “The Young Man Cut Down in His Prime”), about a soldier who uses his money on prostitutes, and then dies of a venereal disease. The familiar recorded versions (such as Armstrong’s) nevertheless bear little relation to the older traditional song.

The title is said to derive from St. James Hospital in London, a religious foundation for treatment of leprosy. (“Infirmary” is sometimes used to name a hospital, such as the Mobile Infirmary Medical Center in Mobile, Alabama). There is some difficulty in this, since it closed in 1532 when Henry VIII acquired the land to build St. James Palace. Another possibility is the Infirmary section of the St James Workhouse, which the St James Parish opened in 1725 on Poland Street, Piccadilly, and which continued well into the nineteenth century. This St James Infirmary was contemporaneous with the advent of the song. – WIKIPEDIA

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


The Animals were an English band of the 1960s, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne, during the early part of the decade. The band moved to London after finding fame in 1964 They were known for their gritty, bluesy sound and deep-voiced frontman, Eric Burdon, as exemplified by their signature song and transatlantic No. 1 hit single,The House of the Rising Sun, as well as many others. The band balanced tough, rock-edged pop singles against rhythm and blues-oriented album material. They were known in the US as part of the British Invasion. The Animals underwent numerous personnel changes in the mid-1960s and suffered from poor business management. Under the name Eric Burdon and the Animals, the much-changed act moved to California and achieved commercial success as a psychedelic and hard rock band. “St James Infirmary” is from their 1968 album, “Every One of Us”

Here’s an mp3 for those who can’t view the video:



The White Stripes were an American rock duo, formed in 1997 in Detroit, Michigan. The group consisted of the couple, married at the time, Jack White (songwriter, vocals, guitar, bass and keyboards) and Meg White (drums and occasional vocals). After releasing several singles and three albums within the Detroit music scene, The White Stripes rose to prominence in 2002, as part of the garage rock revival. Their inspiration for “St. James Infirmary” came from a Betty Boop cartoon. It appears on their self-titled debut album, released in 1999.


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

The voting widget has been retired, due to discrepancies between it and the comments, plus the extra time required to create and monitor it. I’m spending too many hours online and need to streamline these posts. Thanks for your understanding.

Voting remains open until noon EDT, July 7th
(adding more time in deference to the holiday weekend)
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 / DC Relief BOTB / eVil pOp TaRt / J.A. Scott / Janie Junebug Righting & Editing / Jingle Jangle Jungle / Mike’s Ramblings / Quiet Laughter / ReInVintaged / 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


Q of the month

Join us, will you?

Until next time.



♫♪♫♪♫ Rockchick Rapture!


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Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
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. There was a minute when I considered just listening to Eric and the Critters…I love them…but I’m glad I listened to the White Stripes because they are taking my vote today. Love the piano and the pounding rhythm. Thanks, Debbie!

  2. Wow! I’m usually all for Eric Burdon & The Animals. But in this battle, the White Stripes took the deal. Their version was quirky and fun.

    Happy 4th, Lady!

  3. Debbie, this is the coolest battle… My vote goes to Jack White & his gang—huge, huge fan of his. But I did love the Burdon version, and had it been paired with anyone else (well, maybe not with Armstrong…), they’d have gotten my vote. Great music, great musicians. Thank you!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  4. Okay, though it looks like I’m going to be a minority vote yet again, I’ll go with thw White Stripes. EBATA was a bit too dirge-y for me.

  5. DEBBIE, I know this seems sacrilegious to say here but… I’ve never been a big fan of Eric Burdon & The Animals. I liked them well enough, but never enough to purchase anything by them, which is the sign of my true fandom.

    In this case, I really liked those powerful piano chords in the WHITE STRIPES recording. That’s really what sealed my vote for them.

    As much as I dislike voting the same way Lee does, occasionally it just can’t be helped.
    :o) Ha!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    1. HI, Stephen; Musical tastes are highly personal and diverse. That’s what makes these battles so much fun. 🙂 Plus, it’s nice to see The White Stripes getting some action here. Thanks for your vote! It’s been fairly one-sided, so far and I was fearing a blowout. I’m sure you and Lee have plenty of common ground. 😉

  6. Are you sure I can’t vote for Armstrong? Happy Canada Day, by the way! I guess I’ll vote for the Animals, because I always loved House of the Rising Sun 😉

    1. He’s not in the running, but I guess that means you weren’t thrilled with either cover. 🙂 Happens to all of as at some point. Another vote (by default?) for EB & The Animals. Thanks and Happy Independence Day to you!

  7. Another great battle Debbie! I found the White Stripes very interesting and at first I was going to vote for them because they were so different…but I went back and listened again and just have to cast my vote for Eric Burdon and the Animals. I think their style and sound fit better with the story of the song. So bluesy, I just love it!

    Happy Canada Day!!! I hope you’re enjoying your holiday weekend. I have a houseful of dogs and am missing out on a great pool party this weekend but that’s the price we pay being in this business, right? The dogs are great comedy and they’re keeping me laughing though… 🙂

    1. Hi, Michele; I’m glad you enjoyed the battle. That’s another vote for EB & The Animals. Looks pretty one-sided, so far, but there’s still time.

      Happy Independence Day to you! Yes, the dogs keep us well -entertained, don’t they? 😀 Still, we are going out for a few hours tomorrow for a soccer viewing party. My homeboys (Germany) will be duking it out against hubby’s (Italy) in the European Cup quarterfinals. Anytime we go out, we always make sure to exercise the dogs first. Tired dogs are good dogs. 🙂

  8. Both of these are good, in fact I was surprised how much I like the 2nd one but I have to give it to the Animals. I love his voice, I love the blues vibe and the pain involved in this song so they get my vote. Happy Canada Day!!

    1. Happy Canada Day, Birgit! Thanks for taking the time to visit on your day off. 🙂 Eric’s voice is perfect for the blues. Another vote for EB and his Animals. This is starting to look like a blowout! Oh well, the last few were close ones.

  9. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    Thanks for waiting patiently for me to get here today. I was on the road and just got back home.

    When I was young (hey, there’s a song title for you 🙂 buying singles was more important (pain more painful, the laughter much louder – yeah). I didn’t start getting into albums and album tracks until 1969 and therefore missed Eric Burdon & the Animals’ Every One of Us and never heard their rendition of “St James Infirmary” until now. Holy crap! It’s a masterpiece! I love Burdon because he is rough, raw, earthy, blue collar and real. (Same reasons why I loved Joe Cocker.) I love Burdon’s recordings because they are perfectly imperfect. Some of them went to market with his vocal blunders left intact. Nobody sings the blues better than Eric Burdon and he does a tremendous job with this song. Plus the psychedelicized instrumental jam was terrific. The White Stripes cover cannot compare because the pain, suffering and feeling just aren’t there. Please don’t let me be misunderstood. The great state of mass confusion proudly casts its entire block of one vote for Eric Burdon and the Animals!

    Thank you very much, dear friend Debbie!

    1. Hi, Shady! 🙂 There’s plenty of time to vote in the BOTB; no rush. You sure did miss out on a lot of great music if you didn’t buy albums back then. If you like Eric’s recordings, you would love his live shows. He never performs a song the same way twice and it’s always good, regardless. 🙂 I’ll leave you with some concert footage I took in Nov. 2014. He’s over 70 and can still belt out those blues! It looks like the White Stripes are taking a beating, so far. Eric and the boys get yet another vote. Thanks!

  10. Debbie, it’s hard to pick either band over Armstrong’s rendition. I love the jazzy blues sound of his song! However, since I was taught to play fair then I know I can’t give my vote to oh Louis, so I will pick one of the rivaling bands. Think. Think. Think. Actually, it didn’t take a lot of thinking to figure this out. I was drawn more to contender one than the opponent. I liked everything better, so give my vote to The Animals! Have a good weekend and let freedom ring. 😉

  11. Call me an Animal, but I am opting out of voting for the White Stripes. Both songs are good and the WS video was interesting and entertaining at least. But I loved the singing and the arrangement of the Animals. Please give them my vote.

    1. Hi, Jeffrey; What kind of Animal are you? 😉 Eric Burdon’s voice is perfect for the blues, don’t you think? Thanks for your vote. That’s another one for Eric Burdon and his Animals.

  12. Of course, I love Louis’s rendition of St. James Infirmary. It’s the blues going down deep into the soul. I had to search for Eric Burdon and the Animals version of it because GEMA rules stopped me from seeing the version you put up in your post. However, I could see and hear the version from The White Stripes without any problems.

    So now to my vote. Definitely for Eric Burdon and The Animals. I like Eric Burdon’s deep voice. In fact, a deep voice can sing the blues in a very special way.

    Have a great weekend.
    Shalom aleichem,

    1. Hi, Pat; I’m sorry you couldn’t access the first video, but I’m glad you found an alternative. I added an audio file of the song, in case others have trouble with it. Eric Burdon has a fabulous voice, even now (we saw him last in Nov. 2014 – see the video clip below) and his favourite genre is the blues. Thanks for your vote. Eric Burdon and the Animals, it is!

  13. Love this song. My favorite rendition is the one in the Betty Boop cartoon. The versions in your Battle are both excellent which makes for a very very difficult choice. The Animals version is excellent. The White Stripes version has some very unique elements to it–especially with the piano work–so that’s where I’m going to place my vote.

    White Stripes.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. It’s a classic, for sure! 🙂 Cab Calloway was featured in the Betty Boop cartoon. I’m glad you enjoyed both versions and had a hard time choosing. Sign of a good battle, yes? First vote goes to the White Stripes.