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Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!


This is
'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') 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. Six days later (the 7th and 21st), I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.

Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of 'DOG BITE High Gravity Lager' (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!

[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

RESULTS: 2016, DEC. 1st BATTLE OF THE BANDS -- MURRAY HEAD VS. GLEN CAMPBELL

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STMcC’s Vote On '2016, December 1st: Battle Of The Bands' (Or, 'Murray Head Vs. Glen Campbell') And The Final Tally:
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First, as always, I want to thank every single one of you boys and girls, men and women, blokes and blokettes, cool cats and hot dogs for taking the time to listen to my Battle Of The Bands installment and cast a vote.


A few of you expressed an appreciation for this BOTB's concept, however I got the sense that overall it wasn't really one of my more popular contests. That would figure though, since (to quote Oh "Wild Thing" Donna quoting Waylon "Outlaw" Jennings) I'm always one step ahead or behind. And also, like Ricky Nelson said: "You can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself".
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I know I'm in the minority with the BOTB crowd, but I have always been a GLEN CAMPBELL fan. I love 'Gentle On My Mind', 'By The Time I Get To Phoenix', 'True Grit', the bittersweet 'Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife', 'Southern Nights', and so many more. A couple years after he had passed away, my Pa once used Glen's song 'Wichita Lineman' to get a message to me from "the other side". It was already my very favorite Glen Campbell song.


In 1978, I knew a guy who knew Glen Campbell and a group of us blokes drove to Las Vegas to see him perform at the Riviera hotel / casino. Due to the connection, we got to go backstage and meet Glen after the show.


Glen and I both lived in Phoenix in November of 2003 when Glen was arrested for DUI. I thank God no one was hurt, but that was a bad crime committed by a troubled Christian. I knew that Glen was a Christian, and I knew that Christians sometimes screw up. Glen's still a Christian even though today, due to Alzheimer's Disease, he doesn't even know who his family members are. He may not even know who he is. But I assure you that Christ Yeshua knows who he is!


I still have the newspaper clipping about Glen's arrest tucked into my 2-CD set of his music. I have some Spiritual connection to Glen Campbell that I really can't even begin to explain. I don't understand it, but I love the man. Loved him before the DUI, and loved him afterwards. I really don't know why. The arrest broke my heart (I remember watching the news story on TV and getting misty-eyed), and yet somehow, at the same time, it made me care even more about him.
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GLEN  CAMPBELL'S  MUG  SHOT
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'I KNEW JESUS (BEFORE HE WAS A STAR)' is not only one of my very, very favorite Glen Campbell songs, but it's amongst my very, very favorite Gospel songs, period. Why? Well, for one thing (as Beer Boy Bryan noted), the heart, soul and enthusiasm that Glen imbues that recording with! Despite the divorces and the DUI, how do I KNOW Campbell is a Christian? Because NO ONE could sing about The Savior and fake that much passion! No one! Listen again [link:] HERE.


You may remember that I used Glen once before in a Gospel BOTB contest. He was matched against The Edwin Hawkins Singers on 'OH, HAPPY DAY!' [click HERE], and although he lost in a very tight Battle, several people mentioned the genuine emotion evident in Glen's singing.


Poor Glen. He's one of the best Gospel singers I know and yet he can't win in BOTB. Yep, the Magic 8-Ball was wrong. The first six votes cast all went to Murray Head and 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and it looked like this was going to be a shutout. But, no, it wasn't even a blowout, because Glen Campbell came surging back... but just not back enough:


Murray Head = 13 votes
Glen Campbell = 9 votes


I feel this was yet another example of how nearly-impossible it is for a relatively unknown song to beat the Familiarity Factor in BOTB.
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I'd wanted to use Glen's 'I Knew Jesus' in BOTB for quite awhile, but I could only find two covers of it and neither one was very good. So I gave up on the idea. But then one day, while driving and listening to the song in my truck, I suddenly had the thought: Wait a second! You KNOW this song is an "answer" to the song 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. So instead of using two versions of 'I Knew Jesus', why not put it up against the song that it's answering and have "a battle within the Battle"? And that's how this BOTB installment came to be. (That idea immediately led me to conceive of another similar kind of "battle within the Battle" potential match-up which I gave to one of our fellow BOTBers to use someday.)
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As for 'Jesus Christ Superstar' -- although it's catchy and, to me, does have an (unfortunate) "earworm" element to it, I simply don't like it. Who can say why we embrace some melodies while others rub us the wrong way? But I have ALWAYS found the melody of 'JCS' to be somewhat annoying. When I was a stupid kid, I used to sing it as "Jesus Christ, Superstar, who in the hell do You think You are?" Then the damned thing would get stuck in my head for hours as punishment!


So, for me, it wasn't that I like 'I Knew Jesus' better than 'JCS'. It was that I LOVE 'I Knew Jesus' and I actively dislike 'JCS'.


And it doesn't help matters much that the play and movie, 'Jesus Christ Superstar', conspicuously and suspiciously ENDS with the Crucifixion of Jesus. Uh... hullo?! I think something rather remarkable and important happened 3 days after the Crucifixion which the play and movie left out. If that Resurrection thing had not occurred, not one person on the planet today would be familiar with the name Jesus and the play and movie 'Jesus Christ Superstar' would have never been written! The very existence of 'Jesus Christ Superstar', even with its unanswered question, points to the fact that He was who He said He was.
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So, you ask, how did I go from singing "Jesus Christ, Superstar, who in the hell do You think You are?" to becoming a believer in and follower of Christ Yeshua (Jesus)? Well, I wasn't looking for Jesus at all -- I had no interest in Him, really -- but on April 6th, 1994, He came looking for me; He had an interest in me.


But fear not! I never lost my personality and sense of humor. To this day, I'm the sort of "bad" Christian who writes notes in the margins of his well-worn Bible like this: In Genesis, God created the coffee bean BEFORE He created Adam, because God knew that Adam was going to need strong cups of coffee on mankind's first morning! (And it's Biblically true! The coffee bean was created BEFORE man was. God knows what He's doin'!) And notes like this: In the book of Esther, Mordecai is clearly the Road Runner and Haman is obviously Wile E. Coyote. (Read it for yourself and see if I'm lyin'!)
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Do you know why Christians are always bothering people by yakking about Jesus? It's not because Christians are just yakkingly annoying people. (Well, some of them are, but...). It's because Jesus is their Holy King, and JESUS TOLD THEM TO! You're supposed to do what the King says, right?


And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
~ Jesus
[from Matthew 28]



And it's for THAT reason I'm always willing to yak about Jesus with anyone who sincerely wants to discuss Him in a civil way. I'm happy to answer questions as best I can. But be sure NOT to check your sense of humor at the door. I promise you that Jesus has a sense of humor, even about religion. And therefore, so should we. I mean, who do you think invented the capacity for humor? (Did you know that Jesus is fond of playing practical jokes? He's not the stiff killjoy you may have been led to think He is.)


Anyone who might want to yak Yeshua with me, there's a good place for it right [link:] HERE.
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But even if you don't wanna yak Yeshua, you should at least do yourself a favor and read the book 'BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW: Experiencing The Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality Of Jesus' by John Eldredge. It's a fabulous book that comes with my highest recommendation and a grade of "R" (which is one step above A+). You can read my review of the book [link:] HERE.


Many thanks again to EVERYONE who participated in this BOTB, and I hope to see you here again for my December 15th Battle. It'll be a more traditional BOTB installment, and we'll see if the Magic 8-Ball can redeem himself.


Bless And Be Blessed!
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

2016, DEC. 1: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, MURRAY HEAD VERSUS GLEN CAMPBELL)


'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB')


Yes, it's time once again for 'Battle Of The Bands' ('BOTB').

Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!...

Since it IS now December -- officially "Christmastime" -- I thought I'd make this first December BOTB about "THE REASON FOR THE SEASON". Luckily for you, I was unable to find the Jingle Dog's recording of 'Go Bark It On The Mountain'.

EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER

Driving to my favorite local eating and drinking establishment about 2-3 months ago, I suddenly hit on an idea for a "Twisted Xmas BOTB" that I thought would be fun and interesting. But to "get it", you'll need some background info first (sorry). The following excerpts were taken from 3 Wackypedia sources and rearranged. For mo' better, extensive info, use these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_movement
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_freak
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_music

The Jesus Movement was a movement in Christianity beginning on the West Coast of the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s and spreading primarily throughout North America, Europe, and Central America, before subsiding by the late 1980s. Members of the movement were called Jesus People, or Jesus Freaks.

The term Jesus Freak was originally a pejorative label imposed on the group by non-Christian hippies, but members of the Jesus Movement reclaimed the phrase as a positive self-identifier. The Jesus Movement was partly a reaction against the counterculture from which it originated. Members of the movement ... embraced the term, and its usage broadened to describe a Christian subculture throughout the hippie and back-to-the-land movements that focused on universal love and pacifism, and relished the radical nature of Jesus' message.

GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS

The Jesus Movement was restorationist in theology ... as a result, Jesus People often viewed churches, especially those in the United States, as apostate, and took a decidedly countercultural political stance in general. [Remember that -- you'll need it later!]

"Jesus Music", which grew out of the movement, helped influence and create various musical subgenres of contemporary Christian music such as Jesus Culture and Hillsong. This also led to new instruments such as the guitar and drums to be included throughout churches all over the world in addition to the traditional pianos and organs.

Although the Jesus Movement lasted no more than a decade (except for the Jesus People USA which continues to exist in Chicago), its influence on Christian culture can still be seen. ... Jesus Movement's music and worship affected almost all evangelical churches. Some of the fastest growing US denominations of the late 20th century, such as Calvary Chapel, Hope Chapel Churches, and the Vineyard Churches, trace their roots directly back to the Jesus Movement, as do parachurch organizations like Jews For Jesus and the multimillion-dollar contemporary Christian music industry.

Jesus Music ... primarily began when large numbers of hippies and street musicians began converting to born-again Christianity in the late 1960s and early 1970s in population centers of the United States -- Southern California (especially Costa Mesa and Hollywood), San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago -- around 1969–70 ... They continued to play the same style of music they had played previously but began to write lyrics with a Christian message. ... Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, founded the first Christian Rock labels when he launched the Maranatha! Music label in 1971 as an outlet for the Jesus Music bands performing at Calvary worship services.

By 1973, Jesus Music was receiving enough attention inside the mainstream media that an industry began to emerge. By the mid-1970s, the phrase "contemporary Christian music" (CCM) had been coined ... By 1976, it was apparent that a new generation of performers who had grown up in the church wanted to play non-secular Pop and Rock music for other Christians ... and the first edition of CCM Magazine was published in July, 1977.

The Elton John song "Tiny Dancer" (1971) refers to Jesus Freaks, as does Felt's 1986 single "Ballad of the Band". There is an entire line about Jesus Freaks in Frank Zappa's 1978 song "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing". The term also appeared in the song "Nothing to Fear" by Oingo Boingo in 1982.

In 1995, a Christian Rock/Rap group, dc Talk, released an album titled Jesus Freak and its title song has since been covered by other Christian bands such as Newsboys, which features dc Talk member Michael Tait, Toby Mac as a solo artist, and Chasing Victory.

GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG

Those as old as I am remember what a huge movement this really was back in the day. It was so big that it spawned some major hits and even influenced some Jewish people. Perhaps you remember [link-->] THIS major hit by a Jewish One-Hit-Wonder?

And then there was the hugely popular play and movie 'JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR'. My best friend, Marty, who happened to be Jewish, owned that 1970, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, soundtrack on LP. The big hit song from that album was 'SUPERSTAR', sung by Murray Head and The Trinidad Singers, which went to #14 on Billboard. 

Fun Facts: Murray Head had an even bigger hit in 1985 with 'One Night In Bangkok', which I'm sure Robin fondly remembers. And, curiously, in 1971, there were 3 completely different songs titled 'Superstar' which all became Top 20 hits. One by The Carpenters, one by The Temptations, and the one by Murray Head from 'Jesus Christ Superstar'.

Alright, here's our first BOTB contender:

'SUPERSTAR' -- Murray Head
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHwAa3lVZYY 
 

RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN

You remember I told you earlier:  
The Jesus Movement was restorationist in theology ... as a result, Jesus People often viewed churches, especially those in the United States, as apostate, and took a decidedly countercultural political stance in general.

Well, Glen Campbell was born in the South to an Arkansas sharecropper and he was a product of the "Old School" Christian Church -- that very same type that the former-hippie Jesus People were now calling "apostate". And in 1973, Campbell recorded an answer to the "Jesus Christ Superstar" people: 'I KNEW JESUS (BEFORE HE WAS A STAR)' went to #45 on the Pop chart and #48 on the Country chart.

Glen was backed by the legendary group 'The Wrecking Crew', of which he'd been a member, and the song starts with a riff by Carol Kaye, the female bassist of nearly countless hit songs.

'I KNEW JESUS (BEFORE HE WAS A STAR)' -- Glen Campbell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiNLsjhChng

Well, funny, it seems as how everyone knows Him now
Suddenly they have found Someone who's been around
Back to the fold they come, seeking His wisdom from afar
I knew Jesus before He was a superstar!

Well, you know, I'm a believer in all that He's ever been
Stories I've read of Him, things that were said of Him
Songs that they glorify, I used to play on my guitar, yes, I did
I knew Jesus before He was a superstar!

I've known His goodness and mercy for all my days
I've seen His blessings around me in every way
In times of trouble when I had no hope in view
Who brought the Sonlight, the One Light that I knew?

Oh, yes, I knew He was always there, answering every prayer
Fame will not change Him much, He won't be out of touch
Great as he is today, great people stay the way they are, yes, they do
I knew Jesus before He was a superstar!
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Question: "Will Glen Campbell beat Murray Head in this BOTB?"
Magic 8 Ball sez: "Yes"
 
Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whoever you are) to vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote...

@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2016, NOV. 15: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, MARK KNOPFLER VERSUS JEANNIE C. RILEY)

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Winners Vs. Rioters, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...
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'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB')
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Shoop-Shooby -
Shooby-Duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah -
Buh-Doo-Wah!
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Yes, it's time once again for 'Battle Of The Bands' ('BOTB').
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Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!...
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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Quite some time ago, I was in a grocery store and perusing the Frozen Dinners section (you thought I'd say the Beer section, didn'tja?) when I noticed the song coming over the store's sound system was 'SETTING ME UP'. I recognized the song instantly because it's a track on what I consider to be probably one of the Top Ten debut albums ever:
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"DIRE  STRAITS" : 1978
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I'll never forget the first time I heard the song 'Sultans Of Swing' -- it was before the album or song had even been released and I thought it was Bob Dylan.
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GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS
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Anyway, back to the grocery store: Although I knew the song, I did not know the artist. It was a cover version of 'Setting Me Up'. But I thought to myself, "Self, I have a thought: This cover version might work in a BOTB installment."

So when I got home, I went to YouTube to listen to covers and to see if I could determine who I'd been hearing in the grocery store. Well, I determined that the band I was shopping to was Highway 101. However, in my search, I also stumbled upon a cover by Jeannie C. Riley, a firecracker of a woman famous for the 1968 #1 hit 'Harper Valley P.T.A.'.

I thought Jeannie's version was way better'n the Highway 101 version. In fact, I thought it was so good that Jeannie would probably give the phenomenal guitarist Mark Knopfler, of Dire Straits, some competition on his own song. And that brings us here and now. (Funny how some of these BOTB match-ups get born, huh?)
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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SETTING ME UP -- Mark Knopfler
**The person who uploaded the video at YouTube has the embedding feature turned off. So just click the title above or the URL-Link below and the video should open in a separate window**
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvObihK_M5g
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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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SETTING ME UP -- Jeannie C. Riley
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y35ikYV7pwQ

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Question: Will Jeannie beat Mark in this Battle?
Magic 8 Ball: "My Sources Say No" 

(In case you're wondering, the Magic 8 Ball hasn't missed yet.)

Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whoever you are) to vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote...

@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JANIE JUNEBUG, RIGHTING & EDITINGby clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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