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Best rendition of "Always" - Choose up to two selections...

  • Pat Boone

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The Showtunes Sing-Off - Irving Berlin - "Always" - Part 2 of 2

1081 Views 21 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Belowpar
Irving Berlin | American composer | Britannica



Irving Berlin - "Always"

"Always"

Everything went wrong,
And the whole day long
I'd feel so blue.
For the longest while
I'd forget to smile,
Then I met you.
Now that my blue days have passed,
Now that I've found you at last -

I'll be loving you Always
With a love that's true Always.
When the things you've planned
Need a helping hand,
I will understand Always.

Always.

Days may not be fair Always,
That's when I'll be there Always.
Not for just an hour,
Not for just a day,
Not for just a year,
But Always.



Note: This is Part Two of a two part contest - Part One can be found here -



Pat Boone



Patsy Cline



Bing Crosby and Eugenie Baird



Bobby Darin

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Ella Fitzgerald



Mandy Patinkin



Della Reese



Frank Sinatra - 1961
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I'll be reducing this series to once or twice per week - Always on Wednesdays - Occasionally on Sundays...
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I'll be reducing this series to once or twice per week - Always on Wednesdays - Occasionally on Sundays...
Isn’t today Saturday? 😂 😂 😂
Isn’t today Saturday? 😂 😂 😂
I posted on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday this week - "Family leave" has ended - All is well with a very happy ending, thankfully - and it's back to work on Monday.
When I saw the list I was excited to see Patsy Cline on it. I thought her voice would be perfect for it. I don't own much music by her, but on my two disc best of set, she does a lovely intimate version of Cole Porter's "True Love" (originally sung by Bing Crosby). This song never needs to go louder than piano, and she blew it.

I also expected to like Bing, but he didn't dig into the lyrics. I hate to be so predictable, but I again ended with Ella who benefits from a small combo, which keeps things intimate even when they swing a book. The voices of Mandy Patinkin and Della Reese did nothing for me. Pat Boone seemed bland (surprise, surprise). Bobby Darin's arrangement was too much. At least Frank seemed to have fun with it (with the help of Nelson). So he gets my second vote.
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Pat Boone has a lovely voice, but he seems off key to me in some instances. Boring, too.

Patsy Cline‘s version is too dragged out, she does makes a mini-drama of this, mournful.

No Bing for me.

Bobby Darrin’s peppy version is wrong for this song, like he don’t care!

I love Ella! But isn’t this a hopeful song? She sounds sad. But what a smooth voice.

At first I thought Patinkin was a woman; he was singing in head voice. His rendition is the most apt for the mood of the song. The tempo is perfect. He moves me, despite the weird tremulous voice. It’s the only version I heard complete.

This was when Della Reese could still sing without the low wobble that invaded her voice. I like the tempo on her version, too. She reminded me of Eartha Kitt with that diction. Della for #2.

You don’t swing to these words. No thanks, Frank.
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When I saw the list I was excited to see Patsy Cline on it. I thought her voice would be perfect for it. I don't own much music by her, but on my two disc best of set, she does a lovely intimate version of Cole Porter's "True Love" (originally sung by Bing Crosby). This song never needs to go louder than piano, and she blew it.

I also expected to like Bing, but he didn't dig into the lyrics. I hate to be so predictable, but I again ended with Ella who benefits from a small combo, which keeps things intimate even when they swing a book. The voices of Mandy Patinkin and Della Reese did nothing for me. Pat Boone seemed bland (surprise, surprise). Bobby Darin's arrangement was too much. At least Frank seemed to have fun with it (with the help of Nelson). So he gets my second vote.
I try to give everyone a chance - The only requirement is that they made a legitimate effort to interpret the song to the best of their ability - I don't let personal preferences affect the selection process and I try to open it up as wide as I can but I always try to maintain a certain standard for every performance.
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I posted on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday this week - "Family leave" has ended - All is well, thankfully - and it's back to work on Monday.
I shall miss you, Shaughn! :D
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Pat Boone has a lovely voice, but he seems off key to me in some instances. Boring, too.
Patsy Cline‘s version is too dragged out, she does makes a mini-drama of this, mournful.
No Bing for me.
Bobby Darrin’s peppy version is wrong for this song, like he don’t care!
I love Ella! But isn’t this a hopeful song? She sounds sad. But what a smooth voice.
At first I thought Patinkin was a woman; he was singing in head voice. His rendition is the most apt for the mood of the song. The tempo is perfect. He moves me, despite the weird tremulous voice. It’s the only version I heard complete.

This was when Della Reese could still sing without the low wobble That invaded her voice. I like the tempo on her version, too. She reminded me of Eartha Kitt with that diction. Della for #2.
You don’t swing with these words. No thanks, Frank.
As always, MAS, very insightful take on the tunes that is greatly appreciated - I had no idea how the Patinkin tune would be received - Glad to see that I should always trust my judgement - Thanks for affirming that - Cheers!

I will still be here - Just not quite as often...
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As always, MAS, very insightful take on the tunes that is greatly appreciated - I had no idea how the Patinkin tune would be received - Glad to see that I should always trust my judgement - Thanks for affirming that - Cheers!

I will still be here - Just not quite as often...
Just couldn’t not do my best with all the trouble you take on these contests.
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Can anyone sing "Always" in a way that keeps me from saying "never"? Can someone make me think, "OK, sometimes," or at least "just this once"?

This song makes me think of a lovely little book called "Warm Poems for Warm Hearts by a Warm Hearth," handwritten with a quill pen, illustrated in egg tempera, and self-published in a limited edition of five autographed copies by my Aunt Hortense, who took courses in creative writing, painting and calligraphy after my Uncle Gus died and left her wealthy and free to take a lesbian lover and pursue the life of an artist. Unfortunately, these fond associations probably won't make the job of judging these performances any easier.

I struggled to make rhythmic sense out of Pat Boone's performance, but had to give up halfway through even though his voice is nice. Syncopation only works if the beat is clear, and I couldn't find one.

I used to be a Patsy Cline fan, and maybe I still am. She does tend to sound the same from song to song - great voice, same emotional tone - and this one is no exception.

I like Bing normally, but not here. Who's Eugenie?

Aunt Hortense would not like Bobby Darrin. I'm sure of that.

Ella Fitzgerald is really lovely. I'd have been content with the whole song sung straight like the first part, but the mild jazzification isn't offensive.

I totally get what Mandy Patinkin is doing, and it's kind of interesting, but that vibrato, if that's what it is (there probably isn't a term for it) is just too weird. Still, I was so fascinated I had to listen to the end. I was probably swaying like a cobra in a basket, watching a strange dude in a turban play one of those oboes or whatever they're called in Jaipur.

I didn't need to listen to much of Della Reese.

Frank Sinatra? With all that brass? So shallow and vulgar. Very American. Aunt Hortense would be turning in her grave. Uncle Gus would probably like it, but then he would've voted for Trump twice.

Nobody here makes me like this song, but I think Ella makes me dislike it least. Second place goes to Patsy Cline just because I like the sound she makes. Aunt Hortense approves, wherever she ended up (I'm really not sure).
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I try to give everyone a chance - The only requirement is that they made a legitimate effort to interpret the song to the best of their ability - I don't let personal preferences affect the selection process and I try to open it up as wide as I can but I always try to maintain a certain standard for every performance.
And it's much appreciated.
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Can anyone sing "Always" in a way that keeps me from saying "never"? Can someone make me think, "OK, sometimes," or at least "just this once"?

. . . .
As I mentioned in the thread for part 1, Berlin wanted to include the song in the stage version of the Marx Brothers' "The Coconuts," but the book writer, George S. Kaufman, refused, suggesting Berlin change the lyric to, "I'll be loving you Thursdays."
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Love the variety,
Boone bores me. and Patinkin as ever bamboozles me. I can't imagine a whole concert of him doing that, but I have a friend who swears his London gigs about 15(?) years ago were the best things he's seen

Perhaps for the obvious reason, I can relate to this this song when its sung slow and simple. :censored:

Frank yes indeed. Patsy Cline was the surprise package here. But the honky tonk piano and simple repeating bass guitar did make it to similar to her normal sound, with them removed it might have got my vote. But..

My Dad surprised us, in the only known time of him buying theatre tickets, for my 23rd birthday we saw Ella Fitzgerald at the London Palladium. Her accompanist that night was Oscar Petersen. Since then I've had a hot/cold feeling for her music. An immense talent and I've learnt so much from the songbooks; but too often she completely fails to get the meaning of the song and move me. She could sing the telephone book and it would likely sound like a contender for the great american songbook!

Occasionally and mostly in slower nos where she has no need to augment or "show off" she moves me. Like Woodduck I don't think the introduction of the band adds anything here, but its a beautiful performance. One vote.
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My favorite rendition of Always is by Maude Maggart with spare and stylish accompaniment.

Listening to the verse, I think Shaughnessy (and Wikipedia) may have been correct that Berlin wrote it for his second wife. That would not contradict Kaufman's rejection of it for The Coconuts. Once composed, Berlin would likely have wanted to use it somewhere.
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Write = wife? That was always my understanding.
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Write = wife? That was always my understanding.
Sorry - wife - corrected.
I know this will be behind a paywall for some, but in a NY Times op ed piece dated today, John McWhorter compared musicals to opera. Musicals come out rather well.
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