I finished Jan Karon’s newest book last night. It undid me. Seriously. I started crying on page 32 and sniffed and sobbed my way through the rest of the book. I loved it. But that is another blog post.
The first thing I wanted to write (in that other post) was how helpful it is to listen to the song Come Rain or Come Shine. Ten years ago I made a slide show for Curt’s Dad and Mom’s 50th anniversary, using Eric Clapton and B.B. King’s version as heard on Riding With the King— a CD which is right up there with A Vaughan Williams Hymnal , Eva Cassidy’s Songbird, Glorious Pipes Organ Music, and Ashley Cleveland’s God Don’t Never Change in my list of favorite albums.
So. In the slide show I matched photos to the lyrics: a picture of Mom and Dad with a mountain in the background when B.B. sings ♪♫♪ high as a mountain ♪♫♪ and Dad in the boat on the Snake River when the King sings ♫♪♫ deep as a river ♫♪♫. I own this song.
Before I could write you must listen to this song and make sure you listen to the B.B. King/Eric Clapton version, I would need to evaluate other covers. You, too, can listen to this song over and over (I stopped counting at 142): just type ‘come rain or come shine’ on the search engine in Spotify.
This song clearly demonstrates the difference between orchestra and band, how the style varies with the instruments, stringed, brass, or woodwinds.
— B.B. King and Eric Clapton, Riding with the King (perfection)
— Barbara Streisand and John Mayer, Partners. (same arrangement as BB/EC, I liked the male/female take, a big production, a big YES)
— Willie Nelson, American Classic (Willie brings it! His voice is well-suited for this song. The arrangement is inspired. It’s on repeat.)
— Natalie Cole, Still Unforgettable (clean, upbeat, pure notes, normally I prefer a slower tempo, but gracious, girl’s got pipes, fun cover)
— Etta James, Love Songs, (classic EJ, she sings “unhappy” with conviction)
— Norah Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Here We Go Again (breathy, good blend)
— Robin McKelle (sultry, lots of muted trumpet, brass background, her voice holds up with some sweet high notes)
— Monica Zetterlund, Waltz for Debby (unconvinced until 0:55, then YES)
— Sarah Vaughan, Sarah Vaughan in Hi-Fi (unadorned vocals, vibrato much, weird end)
— Rosemary Clooney, Jazz Singer (too fast, no nuance)
— Billie Holiday, Love Songs (too nasal, it’s all Billie, but Billie didn’t excel, sigh)
— Frank Sinatra, Ultimate Sinatra (he breathes life into the words, wonder-full)
— Ray Charles, The Genius of Ray Charles (Ray was great; background oohs were uninspired, not of fan of this slow tempo)
— Jamie Cullum, Interlude (methinks he’s trying too hard)
— David Hazeltine, The New Classic Trio (jazz trio, wandering, quiet, understated)
— Bill Evans Trio, Portrait in Jazz (piano-centric,
— Beegie Adair, Jazz Romance (elevator music, easy listening station)
— Art Blakey, Moanin’ (upbeat, loud, punchy, and maybe bumpy)
— Judy Garland, The Essential Capital Collection (the tempo, the pitch, the everything…all. wrong.)
— Chet Baker, Embraceable You (flat, insipid, vacant, absent)