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


Not only is it time for Battle of the Bands, it’s also day 1 of the April #AtoZChallenge Blogging extravaganza! This contest is directly related to my first entry: “A is for Airedale Terrier”. Read it HERE. Yup, it’s all about Airedales at The Den today; a two-post bonus!

Battle of the Bands, #BOTB Wess and the Airedales

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.)

How do you feel about some 60s funk and soul, originating in Italy?



The many incarnations of Wess & the Airedales started in 1961 in the US, when founder Doug Fowlkes fronted his Airedales band, recording a solitary 45 on the Viva label. More singles followed with singer Rocky Roberts at the helm, and things continued despite his relocation to Italy due to military service. The band inevitably took on some Italian members, and in 1967 Italian vocalist and bassist Wess Johnson (originally from North Carolina) took over from Roberts. The American influence is obvious, as the band performed and released many more LPs, Eps and 45s of American-style Soul music – sung in English and Italian!

Today, instead of different versions of the same song,
I’m going with different songs by the same artist.


Written by Doug Fowlkes, Wess Johnson and Jesse King, this song was originally released in 1967, as the B side of single “I Miei Giorni Felici” (Chapel of Dreams). It was also included on the album “The Sound of Soul” that same year.



This is another B side (paired with “Just Tell Me”), released in 1969. It was included in the comedy “Vedo Nudo” (I See Naked) and the album “A Warmer Shade of Wess”.


Please state your preference in comments below and why you chose it.
Click on your preference here too:

[socialpoll id=”2342652″ path=”/polls/2342652″ width=”350″]

Voting remains open until midnight ET, Apr. 6th
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 / Far Away Series** / J.A. Scott / Janie Junebug Righting & Editing / Jingle Jangle Jungle / Mike’s Ramblings / Novel Brews / Quiet Laughter / ReInVintaged / Sound of One Hand Typing / 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.



♫♪♫♪♫ 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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41 thoughts on “WESS and the AIREDALES – BATTLE OF THE BANDS #BOTB

  1. What a great idea for BOTB. I’m gonna go with ‘Crazy’,no particular reason, I just liked it better. Only disappointment about this post is no pictures of cute Airedale Terriers ;-0

  2. What a great way to sit back on a Saturday and listen to this. I have to go with the first one because I like the comical styling of it too. I love that you picked this band that seems to go with the doggie’s name

    1. Song #1 is leading the pack. Thanks for your vote. Glad you enjoyed the Airedale theme here. I remembered this band from when I lived in Europe. They fit right in! 🙂

  3. “I’ll Never Turn My Back On You” gets my nod. Just hanging around until it plays through… I played it twice.
    Okay, all done… Have a wonderful weekend, Debbie.

  4. I like the first version. I’ll Never Turn My Back on You.
    Rocking and rolling for sure. Great sound. I could get into this band.
    Thanks for sharing. See you around the rest of the month, I’m sure. LOL

  5. Ah, the sixties. What a decade that was for America! Both bands remind me of Motown Records (founded in 1960).
    “Crazy” got my toes tapping 🙂 thanks for the happy feet!

    1. Hi, Diedre; Wess was definitely influenced by the Motown sound. Lucky for him, this genre was also popular overseas. 🙂 “Crazy” gets another vote. Yay! This is turning into a much closer battle, now. Thanks!

  6. DEBBIE ~
    Never heard of this band before but I liked both of these recordings. It sounds like a cross between Wilson Pickett and James Brown. Wilson Brown?

    Of the two though, I definitely liked ‘I’LL NEVER TURN MY BACK ON YOU’ best. Great, great horns on that!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    1. Hi, Stephen; Yes, Wess was heavily influenced by Pickett (who was also hugely popular in Italy) and Brown. I’m glad you enjoyed the tunes. 🙂 Song # 1 gets another vote. Thanks!

  7. It looks like I’m going contrary to the others. Like the others, I’ve never heard this group before, but I’m going to have to choose “Crazy”. It just sounds more my style; ’60s music was good stuff, and these were both good, but “Crazy” just pulled at me a little more. And Michele was so right–they are both sooooo ’60s.

    1. I’m surprised you aren’t familiar with Wess, Mary, having lived in Italy so long. On the other hand, his heydays were in the 60s and 70s, before you arrived. 🙂 Nice to finally see another vote for “Crazy”. Thanks for dropping in.

  8. I’ve never heard these fellas before, but I liked them! Both songs were good. Hard to believe they were b-sides, no???
    Anyway, I choose I’ll Never Turn My Back On You.
    BUT, this wasn’t an easy one. It could’ve pretty easily gone the other way. Good battle!

  9. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    Holy smoke! It was a stroke of brilliance for you to present an artist name that matches your dog breed. I never knew you were into funky old soul and I absolutely love these forgotten flips by Wess & the Airedales. From their sound to the artwork used on their 7 inch record sleeve, the Airedales’ American roots were showing. Clearly these guys were heavily influenced by prominent American soul and R&B artists of the 60s. As Lee pointed out, the intro on recording #1 is ripped from the Bar-Kays’ hit “Soul-Finger.” I also hear the influences of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Bobby Womack. Cut #2 seems inspired by Arthur Conley’s 1968 hit “Funky Street” right down to the hand clapping:


    Both of these tracks are R&B nuggets that should have been pushed as the A side of their respective slabs. It is very hard to choose between them, but I think I will pick #1, “I’ll Never Turn My Back On You,” because it reminds me of Bobby Womack’s “Lookin’ For a Love”:


    A is for awesome, Debbie, and this double post is just that – a super start to your A to Z Challenge!

    1. Funky old soul and Motown sounds, in general, are always enjoyable. 🙂 I remembered the Airedales band from my years living in Europe. They were hugely popular over there. Wess was definitely influenced by his American roots and liberally borrowed some riffs. I’m surprised there weren’t any lawsuits! Thanks for sharing your examples, Shady. Your vote for song # 1 is duly noted.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the battle, Mary. I remembered Wess and the Airedales from my years living in Europe. They fit right in 🙂 That’s another vote for song #1. Thanks and have a great week!

  10. This band is sooo 60s! I love it. My vote is going to I’ll Never Turn My Back on You. I liked Crazy just fine, especially the clapping beats, but I enjoyed I’ll Never Turn My Back on You better.
    Thanks for the introduction to this band. They’re way groovy! 🙂

    Michele at Angels Bark