Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Battle of the Bands ~ Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Hello friends. It's time for the final Battle of the Bands of this year. Can you believe 2015 is almost gone???

I chose the song It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas for my song this time. As is par for the course, I changed my mind repeatedly about who to put against who in this contest. Mostly, I tried to decide if I wanted to face two "contemporary" versions of the song against one another (Michael Buble vs. Jann Arden) or go with two contenders as I see as heavyweights. In the end, I decided to go with the heavyweights, and I hope that this battle is a close one (as in tough to decide).

The song was written by Meredith Wilson and originally made famous by Perry Como with The Fontane Sisters and Mitchell Ayres. Many of you will love it simply due to the recognition factor. I think it's the version my mom grew up on (and this is one of her all-time favorite Christmas songs).

So, let's give that version a listen.

But, mom also likes the second version. When I was a kid mom played Christmas records from Thanksgiving until Christmas. Seems like every night you'd find her in the living room wrapping gifts and listening to Christmas songs. We had at least one record of Johnny Mathis singing Christmas songs, so she likes this one, too. I'm not sure I could get her to commit to one version over the other!

Take it away Johnny!

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles:


  1. Perry, Perry all the way
    Climb aboard his Christmas sleigh
    Loved that guy, indeed I did
    Remember him when just a kid

    1. That version is really good. I confess I like them both!

  2. Definitely Perry Como! One of my favorites from the old days, and the older I get, the more respect I have for his talents.

  3. I'm a Mathis fan for sure, but this song is not my favorite from him.

    My preference is solidly in favor of the iconic Perry Como version. This is probably the best version of any as far as I'm concerned.

    Merry Christmas!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    There's probably no one who loves Christmas music more than I do. I dig the sacred and the secular, and there are only a few songs that I absolutely can't stand (I'm looking at you, 'SANTA, BABY'!)

    This one I like a lot. Both versions are good.

    But when it comes to Christmas songs, very few people can top JOHNNY MATHIS, in my op. To me, most of his recordings (most, with only a few exceptions) are the definitive versions. I own 3 Mathis compact discs of Christmas songs (including the one that contains this version of 'IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS'.)

    I literally grew up hearing his first one, simply titled 'MERRY CHRISTMAS', and if I could keep only one album from my collection of Xmas tunes, that would be the one.

    Good contest here, Girl Wonder! I think you chose two excellent versions to go toe-to-toe. But... my vote is an easy one to cast. Give it to "Mr. Christmas" himself. Give it to "MR. MATHIS".

    And a very, Merry Christmas to you, Robin, my good friend!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

  5. One of my Dad's great joys (IMHO) was the radio/internet system he installed our house. Correction: started to install. There was a great switchboard of a station near the snackbar in the kitchen and the music sounded incredible. He never added the units throughout the house because he liked to make a pot of coffee on Saturday or Sunday morning and sit right there in the kitchen and listen to it.

    Perry Como was one of his favorites. This was the 60s and 70s, after all, and you could pretty well lay out his play list: Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Bobby Vinton, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole...the crooners. He loved them.

    Robin, you're pitting equals against each other, ha ha. A perfect battle. I've gotta pull out my own Cherdo preferences and go with JOHNNY MATHIS. I love that man.

    Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and thank you for your friendship!

  6. Great song! I first heard this one the first Christmas I spent in the US (remember I grew up in Mexico); I was in the choir at school, and this one was in the repertoire for the Christmas recital. It's such a fun song, and I've loved it ever since. (Though I remember being shocked by the line, "and mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again"... As a spoiled only child, the idea that my parents could *want* to be rid of me seemed so absurd, haha.)

    I'm going to vote for Mathis. I love the Perry Como version, but... well, if I had to choose—which, actually, is exactly the case here ;)

    Great, great battle. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Robin!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  7. A wonderful battle! I really enjoyed both versions but I have to choose, I'll go with Mathis.

  8. I think I like the Mathis one better. It was more polished and smooth.

  9. I loved Perry Como's Christmas specials on TV. I vote for Perry.


  10. Hi Robin,

    Ah, this is a close one in my mind. Hope you're sitting comfortably because I do like both versions! However, I have to vote for Perry Como.

    Take care, my friend.


  11. Robin - great battle! As a kid I remember Perry Como, and thinking no one could ever take his place... but then along came Johnny Mathis. hard choice for me this time. My vote is for Johnny.

    Enjoy your holidays with peace and warmth. (smile).

  12. Always liked Perry's vocals better than Johnny. Como for me!

  13. There was always a little something about Mathis's voice that bothered me but I can't put my finger on it. I am a sucker for Mr. Laid back Perry Como. His voice seems a tad "deeper" if I can use that correctly. I like his rendition better than Mathis so Como gets my vote

  14. OH boy, this BOB took me way back. My grandma loved Johnny Mathis, in fact she loved both of these singers/songs/versions and I do too. If I have to pick one, I'm going with Como. It's a bit more cheery, but I do like them both.

  15. Both versions are new to me. I'm a bit of a Bublé fan. Out of the two I vote Como. Wishing you a fantastic Christmas.

  16. Ohhh, Buble version would have been cool. I'm certain I would have picked that for sure.
    However, in your battle, I have to concede I'd go with Perry Como as it's the more familiar version for me. I like the back-up singers too.

  17. I'm going to go with Perry Como's version: it takes me back and sounds like years gone, reminding me of the Christmas's of my youth. Please give my vote to Perry. Although Johnny Mathis did a nice version of it too... I liked them both really but I'm still going with Perry for my vote.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas!!

    Michele at Angels Bark

  18. I should vote for Perry as a nostalgia nod to my mother, she loved that guy. His version is very familiar to me, and quite nice.

    BUT, Johnny's is also; and I have to give it to whoever called him Mr Christmas (I'm sure that would have been STMc), because when it comes to the old standard Christmas Carols it's Johnny that I hear in my head. I like his version here better, so give Mr. Johnny Christmas my vote.

  19. I am probably backing a losing horse, but I'm going to Johnny, simply because the Perry version drives me crazy how he pronounces the holiday "Crisss miss." In choir we were taught to enunciate, and Johnny pronounces it better...Criss mas, up until the very end when he slides too!

  20. Yes, indeed! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I can't believe we're in the final stretch. The days slip away from me faster than I care to admit. Anywho, I have to give my vote to Perry Como, Fae. It's his version I listened to the most often over the years, but Mathis's cover is fantastic. In my opinion you picked two of the best! Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2016.

  21. Perry Como for me! It's the version I'm most familiar with as well. Although both covers are worthy, I loved the strings and the harmonies of Como's version and that pushes him a bit past Mathis :)

    Happy Holidays!

  22. Yes, a difficult choice. Would have been more difficult if you'd pitted Bing Crosby and Perry Como though. I grew up on those Perry Como Christmas specials, and I do miss the Bob Hope Specials. Highlights of the year-end growing up. Nothing compares these day.

    I'll vote for Perry today.

  23. It IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Awesome battle and not an easy choice. I like Perry Como, but ultimately I just like the sound of Mathis's voice a bit more. I vote for him.

  24. I vote for Johnny. His version sounds more cheery and playful.
    Thanks for your friendship, Robin.
    Have a very Merry Christmas.


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