Sunday, June 23, 2024

BOTB RESULTS: JUNE 15, 2024 (Or, THE BLUES BROTHERS Versus VAN MORRISON)

 
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The outcome of my latest BOTB's Battle Of The Booze came as a surprise to me. The contest took place HERE and it was between 'Hey, Bartender' by The Blues Brothers and 'If You Only Knew' by Van Morrison. I half-expected The Blues Brothers would have some difficulty keeping up with Van-The-Man, but in this case, the underdog didn't know it was a damn show, they thought it was a damn fight!
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My own vote was never in question because for many years I was a major Van Morrison fan (and owned all of his albums up to and including 1995's 'Days Like This'). And the last several notes that Pee Wee Ellis plays in his tenor sax solo on 'If You Only Knew' can literally send a shiver up my spine!
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However, even with my vote, Van wasn't able to match the Blues Brothers' vote total.
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FINAL TALLY: 
The Blues Brothers = 6 votes 
Van Morrison = 5 votes 
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Unfortunately, this wasn't a great turnout. (My sincere gratitude to every one of you who did take the time to visit and participate!!) Hopefully more voters will show up for my July 1st Battle Of The Bands installment, because I have something very special planned for that one. I'll be taking a one-Battle break from the booze and featuring the exploits of my ol' pals, The League Of Soul Crusaders. Meaning, of course, that the post will be extremely serene. ;^)
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"If You Only Knew" > related blog bit HERE.
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May you all... 
Bless & Be Blessed!
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy 

Saturday, June 15, 2024

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: 2024, JUNE 15 (Or, THE BLUES BROTHERS Versus VAN MORRISON)


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DogGs & DogGesses, welcome to my 12th installment of Battle Of The Bands' Battle Of The Booze
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This time we have The Blues Brothers going up against Van Morrison, or beer versus gin & vermouth (also known as a "martini").
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You probably recall that The Blues Brothers were "Jake" (John Belushi) and his brother, "Elwood" (Dan Aykroyd). What you may not have known was that their backing band included some really good musicians, such as Steve Cropper & Donald "Duck" Dunn (of Booker T & The MGs), and Matt Murphy, who had played guitar for Memphis Slim and Howlin' Wolf. 
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Included in Van-The-Man's band was Pee Wee Ellis, who was nothing short of a beast on the tenor saxophone and who had been a member of James Brown's band! So, we've got some really hot musicians in this contest, and I am curious to see who will emerge victorious.
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Without further ado... 
let's get on it! Let's get ON this thing!!
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Well jukebox girl is everything
All the cats began to sing
I heard somebody called and said
"Last round for alcohol!"
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I said, Hey bartender
Hey bartender
Hey bartender
Hey bartender
Draw one, two, three, four glasses of beer
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Hey Bartender 
by The Blues Brothers

Message In A Bottle
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I wouldn't want to cramp your style
But if you want to make it all worthwhile
You have to have your own breakthrough
If you only knew
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If you only knew what could happen to
A man for telling the truth
If you only knew all the scruples
That go down in gin and vermouth
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If You Only Knew 
by Van Morrison
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Remember: This is really about the songs and not the booze. So, in ye olde comment section, please vote for which song you liked better betwixt these two, and then please visit the other wonderful BOTBers and also drop your two cents in their comment sections.
* See the BOTBer links over there --->
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I'll return here on or about June 22nd with my own vote and the final tally.
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~ Stephen T. {*hick!*} McCarthy

Sunday, June 9, 2024

BOTB RESULTS: 2024, JUNE 1 (Or, ZZ TOP Versus GEORGE THOROGOOD)



Hi, Hello & Howdy, Y'All.
My sincere gratitude goes to everyone who graciously and generously took the time to visit my BOTB's Battle Of The Booze installment (HERE) and voted in the contest while I was mostly away on my vacation 'Stop 'N' Go, Slow-Moving, Burning Carcation'. Also known as 'Travels Without Muddy'. It was one hell of a trip! (Muddy is my stuffed dog and road trip good luck charm. Like a dern fool, I left Muddy at home this time and we suffered the consequences!)
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The Booze battle was between ZZ Top ('Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers') and George Thorogood ('I Drink Alone'). It began as a massive blowout in ZZ Top's favor. At one point they were ahead in the voting 7-1. But then George's fans sobered up enough to cast vote after vote after vote.
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Although I have always liked BOTH of these hard-rockin' songs a great deal, I slightly - only very slightly - favor the Thorogood tune for these 4 reasons:
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1. The wacky humor in staunchly drinking ALONE... along with Jack, Jimmy & Johnny.
2. The nasty sax.
3. (100-proof) Old Grand-Dad is my favorite family member!
4. Because.
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FINAL TALLY:
ZZ Top = 7 votes
George Thorogood = 6 votes

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Thank you, friends, for making this such an outstanding Battle! ZZ Top's 'Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers' will advance to BOTB's Battle Of The Booze playoffs, while George Thorogood is left behind, drinking alone.
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The 4 Highlights from my brief road trip were:
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1. Seeing my sister, >Bonehead, for the first time in two years.
2. Being served the very best Old Fashioned cocktail I've ever tasted, thanks to Bonehead's husband, Eric (the man should have become a bartender!)
3. Learning the word "bourbonomics" from M.W., a former member of The League Of Soul Crusaders.
4. Getting to stay for free one night in a Big Bear Lake cabin with Billy Gibbons Billy Buck, who sings ZZ Top's famous song 'La Grange'. (When I found myself sharing a room with Billy Buck, I knew it was an incontrovertible omen that ZZ Top was destined to win this Battle!)
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I hope to return here again on June 15th with a new Battle. And I hope YOU will return here again to vote in it! Until then, may you all... 
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Bless & Be Blessed!! (And try to remain somewhat sober, but without overdoing it too much.)
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: JUNE 1, 2024 (Or, ZZ TOP Versus GEORGE THOROGOOD)


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Howdy, Friends. Welcome to my 11th installment of BOTB's Battle Of The Booze. You should definitely crank this one "up to 11!" In this contest the hooch that gets mentioned is beer, bourbon and scotch (or Budweiser, Jack Daniel's, Jim Beam, Old Grand-Dad, and Johnny Walker). The winning song will advance to BOTB's BOTB post-season playoffs.
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Unfortunately, I will be out-of-state most of the time that this Battle is running, so I probably won't be my usual verbose self in the comment section. I may even be a day or two late in posting the results of this contest. But post them I will, on June 8th or as close as possible.
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In ye olde comment section, please vote for which song you liked better betwixt these two, and then please visit the other wonderful BOTBers and also drop your two cents in their comment sections.
* See the BOTBer links over there --->
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Alrighty then. Straddle your Harley, crank it "up to 11", and let's get ON this thing!
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BEER DRINKERS & HELL RAISERS
by ZZ Top

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09L0vTMDKwo
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I DRINK ALONE
by George Thorogood 
& The Delaware Destroyers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpzqQst-Sg8

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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
DogGtor of Alcohology &
King of Inebriation Nation

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

BOTB RESULTS: MAY 15, 2024 (Or, THE STRAY CATS Versus JERRY LEE LEWIS)

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My most recent BATTLE OF THE BANDS installment took place HERE, and it was felly ugly-uh! The Stray Cats with their "whiskey on the rocks" took on Jerry Lee Lewis and his "sherry wine" and beat him like a dead dog horse!
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As I mentioned to Sixgun McItchyfinger in the comment section: 
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Honestly, I thought Jerry's 
"G-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-owl" 
was going to be good enough to score five votes all by itself! 
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However, Sixy and I were the only listeners who voted for Jerry Lee Lewis. (The odds of that happening were nearly the same as humanity evolving from pond scum over six million years!)
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FINAL TALLY: 
Stray Cats = 8 votes 
Jerry Lee Lewis = 2 votes
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                     BLOWOUT CITY! 
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So, 'Rock This Town' by The Stray Cats will advance to the post-season playoff round of BOTB's BOTB. My sincere gratitude to everyone who took the time to visit my blog and submit a vote. I plan to return here on June 1st with a new and raucously rockin' Battle Of The Booze contest. I hopes to see ya then!
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~ Stephen-Boy

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

BOTB's Battle Of The Booze: 2024, May 15 (Or, THE STRAY CATS Vs. JERRY LEE LEWIS)


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Hello, ALL! Welcome to my tenth installment of Battle Of The Bands' Battle Of The Booze, which is an ongoing challenge between songs that mention a type of booze, a brand of booze, or a cocktail made with booze. (No Shirley Temples need apply!)
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Iz you SuperCats & UnderDogGs ready to get on down with yer bad, feline & canine selves and groove to some high-energy, old school Rock 'N' Roll (also known as Rockabilly)?
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HOW THIS CONTEST WAS CONCEIVED:
I bought my first Eddie Cochran album in 1978 or '79. And if I had been born 8 months later than I was, I could have been Cochran reincarnated. (As it was, I had to settle for being James Dean reincarnated.)
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My first Eddie Cochran album totally sold me on the 'Rockabilly' genre, and Eddie remains my #1 favorite Rock 'N' Roller of the 1950s. (Sorry, Elvis and Mr. Berry.) Have any of you seen the movie 'American Hot Wax'?
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Loving Rockabilly like I did, the first time - in 1982 - when I heard on the radio the song 'Rock This Town' by The Stray Cats, I headed straight to my nearest record store and bought their album. And I played the helck out of it!
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My Ma - God rest her soul - was born on May 13th, and a goot number o' years after I discovered The Stray Cats, I introduced my Ma to them. She fell completely in love with Brian Setzer's voice (particularly in the song 'Since I Don't Have You'). 
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I was unfamiliar with the Jerry Lee Lewis song 'Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee' until my buddy, Sixgun McItchyfinger, sent me this gift in 2012:
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Honestly, I am still surprised that song is in this collection, because it is definitely more Rockabilly than it is CountryAt any rate, that's the background behind this boozy Battle.🍸.
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In ye olde comment section, please vote for which song you liked better betwixt these two, and then please visit the other wonderful BOTBers and also drop your two cents in their comment sections.
* See the BOTBer links over there --->
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I'll return here on or about May 22nd with my own vote and the final tally. 
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Alright, let's get on it.
Let's get ON this thing.
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"Well, we found a little place that really didn't look that bad
I had a whiskey on the rocks
And change of a dollar for the jukebox
Well, I put the cold rock into that can
But all they played was Disco, man
Come on, pretty baby, let's get out of here right away!"
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Rock This Town
by The Stray Cats
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["Message In A Bottle"]
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"W-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ine!
Elderberry
Whoa, little taste of sherry
G-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r.......
Give it to me now.
Pick it, Killer, pick it, pick it!"
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Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
by Jerry Lee Lewis
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy 
DogGtor of Alcohology & 
King of Inebriation Nation

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

BOTB RESULTS: MAY 1, 2024 (Or, TOM & BETTE MIDLER VS. TOM & CRYSTAL GAYLE)

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Well, hoot 'n' holler!
Got change for a dollar? 
If not, I'll ask Rockefeller.
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My 9th, 9th, 9th, 9th, 9th, 9th, 9th, 9th, 9th BATTLE OF THE BANDS' Battle Of The Booze contest took place HERE. It may have been Chihuahua-like, but it warn't no dog!
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We talked about horse racing; 99-cent Margaritas; me ol' pal, General Poohregard; my dearly missed friend, Martin Brumer; and we also yakked about movies & music. And I thanks each 'n' every one o' youse who came by to listen and vote. It was a nice turnout!
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After adding in my own vote for Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle (I'm sure my vote came as no surprise to anyone), the BOTB outcome was very much like what I had anticipated:
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FINAL TALLY: 
Tom Waits & Bette Midler = 4 votes
Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle = 9 votes
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Waits & Gayle will advance to the post-season playoffs round. And on May 15th I expect to return here again for a very high-energy old school-like Rock 'n' Roll contest in the "Rockabilly" style. I hopes all y'all will return here, too! 
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Until then, may you all...
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Bless & Be Blessed 
and Cheech & Chong!
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy 
(Or a reasonably unreasonable facsimile thereof. Doeth thou understandeth?)

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: 2024, MAY 1 (Or, TOM WAITS & BETTE MIDLER VS. TOM WAITS & CRYSTAL GAYLE)


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INTRODUCTION
Warning: This Intro is going to be a goot amount of yakking, but it is important to me. I want to acknowledge some folks & explain my thought-process in concocting this BOTB's Battle Of The Booze  installment. However, if you are Patience-Impaired ("In your patience possess ye your souls"), skip reading this section and scroll down to where it says "START BATTLE".
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Mention the word "cinematography" and the first three films that pop into my mind are 'Koyaanisqatsi', 'The Black Stallion', and 'One From The Heart'. 
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I first saw 'One From The Heart' (movie trailer here) in an L.A. movie theatre when it was released in 1982. I was with Marty Brumer, one of the very, very best friends I've ever had. Marty was a professional actor who was killed by a car thief in 1989 (here). 
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Marty so loved the music in 'One From The Heart' that he bought the soundtrack on LP. I can't say with absolute certainty that 'Broken Bicycles' (here) was Marty's all-time favorite song, but it was unquestionably the song he was most often singing to himself. 
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As much as I loved 'One From The Heart' the first time I saw it, it wasn't until a few years later that I embraced the Tom Waits musical soundtrack the way Marty had: 
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For a short dog time in 1984 I was unemployed and decided I would make my living by betting on the horse races at Hollywood Park. (Ha! That "job" didn't last very long!) Mornings, I would drive to the race track and place that day's bets. Then I'd meet my dear pal Pooh and we'd go to Azteca Mexican Restaurant in Venice for a 99-Cent Club meeting. (Margaritas were just 99 cents until Noon.)
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After the 99-Cent Club meeting adjourned for the day, Pooh and I would go to his place (the house at Pooh corner) to drink beer and listen to music. It was then & there that Pooh thoroughly indoctrinated me into the music of Tom Waits via the album 'Small Change'. (The other album I most remember us listening to during that time in 1984 was Randy Newman's 'Trouble In Paradise'. We nearly played the grooves off those two LPs.) Before long, I owned all of the pre-'83 Tom Waits albums, including the soundtrack for 'One From The Heart', which I fell in love with! Finally, I understood Marty's fascination with those songs and, today, that is my second favorite movie soundtrack album of all time.
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START BATTLE
Although it is one of the most notorious movie bombs in Hollywood history, Francis Ford Coppola's 'One From The Heart' has always been on my Top 25 favorite movies list. Coppola wrote: "My son Gian-Carlo brought me a Tom Waits record ...it was 'Foreign Affairs', and it had this beautiful duet called 'I Never Talk To Strangers' with Bette Midler singing the female part, and I thought, wow, that's a concept! I can have the male voice and the female voice and they can be involved in dialog, working out issues in song, sort of paralleling the male and female protagonists in the story"
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This Battle Of The Booze contest features the Tom Waits song with Bette Midler that inspired Frances Ford Coppola to make the movie 'One From The Heart'. The challenger is an actual song from the movie soundtrack which has Tom Waits singing a duet with Crystal Gayle. Both duets happen to mention booze - or, as some of us call it, "evidence":
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"Bartender, I'd like a Manhattan, please." 
~ 'I Never Talk To Strangers'
(Psst! A Manhattan is a cocktail made with whiskey. And the line "You must be reading my mail" is one I have used countless times!)
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"I'll be living on chicken and wine after we're through, with someone I pick up after you."
~ 'Picking Up After You' 
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I Never Talk To Strangers 
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Picking Up After You 
Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle
 
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Please vote for your duet of preference in the comment section, and then please visit the other participants and also vote on their Battles
* See the BOTBer links over there --->
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I intend to return with my own vote and the final tally on or about May 8th of this year.
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~ STMcC

Monday, April 22, 2024

BOTB RESULTS: 2024, APRIL 15 (Or, SINATRA & RIDDLE VERSUS BASSEY & RIDDLE)


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MY FRIENDS, MY FRIENDS!! ~
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My most recent Battle Of The Bands' Battle Of The Booze contest took place HERE. The song was 'I Get A Kick Out Of You'; the contestants were Frank Sinatra & The Nelson Riddle Orchestra versus Shirley Bassey & The Nelson Riddle Orchestra; the booze was champagne
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Unquestionably, Shirley Basset Bassey had to be considered the underdog going into this match-up, and doggone if Frankie baby didn't capture the first 3 votes submitted! But Bassey & her bongos weren't going down without a fight. 
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Like many, I grew up listening to the (Classic) Rock of the '60s & '70s. I owned hundreds of LPs and went to the major concerts (Bob Seger, Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy, UFO, REO-Journey-Styxwagon, etcetera, etcetera). 
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In the '80s, my musical tastes began to change drastically and I eventually came to love Jazz far more than Rock. And that's why today, with only some rare-ish exceptions (e.g., The Beach Boys & The Carpenters), I'm more about the arrangement and instrumentation than I am the vocals. I definitely preferred Frank's singing to Shirley's singing, but I also preferred the Nelson Riddle Orchestra's musical approach to the song in Bassey's recording. As usually occurs, the music won out over the vocals for me, and I gave my vote to Shirley. This contest was a close call for me, and it was a close call for Frank and Shirley, too!
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FINAL TALLY: 
Frank Sinatra = 7 votes 
Shirley Bassey = 5 votes 
Nelson Riddle Orchestra = 12 votes 
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My great THANKS to every one of you who came by here with your two cents for the BOTB kitty! I intend to return here on May 1st with a new Battle, and I hope YOU will return here, too!
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I'll send you off with what Beer Boy Bryan rightly said was the best-ever recording of 'I Get A Kick Out Of You'
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Bless & Be Blessed, 
My Friends, My Friends!!
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy 
DogGtor of Alcohology & 
King of Inebriation Nation 

Monday, April 15, 2024

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: 2024, APRIL 15 (Or, FRANK And NELSON Versus SHIRLEY And NELSON)


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Howdy, Handsome DogGs & Pretty DogGesses!
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It's time for Round #8 of Battle Of The Bands' Battle Of The Booze.
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This time we have two classic singers - one male and one female - going up against each other. The hooch (a.k.a. "evidence") in the song is champagne (a.k.a. "bubbly"). The male singer is Frank Sinatra; the female singer is Shirley Bassey. BUT!...
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...a thing I find particularly interesting in this match-up is the fact that behind both singers is the SAME orchestra and conductor. Have you ever heard of Nelson Riddle and The Nelson Riddle Orchestra? Yeah, of course you has, you marvelously musically edgeukated friends o' mine!
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I also find it ultra-interesting how the same orchestra operating under the same conductor sounds so completely different in both versions of the same classic song! Listen and you'll see what I means:
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I Get A Kick Out Of You
by Frank Sinatra (& The Nelson Riddle Orchestra)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II78P4HxcX8


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I Get A Kick Out Of You
by Shirley Bassey (& The Nelson Riddle Orchestra)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDFA4NkDStc

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In ye olde comment section, please vote for which recording you liked better betwixt these two, and then please visit the other wonderful BOTBers and also drop your two cents in their comment sections.
* See the BOTBer links over there --->
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I plan to return here on or about April 22nd with my own vote (*if I can figure it out*) and the Final Tally of this BOTB installment. Until then... get a goot juan!
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~ Stephen-Boy