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.]

Sunday, October 23, 2016



meme by Stephen T. McCarthy

'ONE' by Three Dog Night

meme by Stephen T. McCarthy

blog bit by Stephen T. McCarthy

This has been a Stephen T. McCarthy production

Copyright 2016 by THREE DOG COPYR... NIGHT

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Yes, I was supposed to have posted this 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' Results blog bit yesterday but I held off, desperately seeking one more vote. I was hoping maybe a late straggler might come in to change the final tally, but it didn't happen, so here is...

STMcC’s Vote On '2016, Oct. 15th: Battle Of The Bands'
(Or, 'River Kwai Vs. 'Andy Griffith' Vs. 'Monty Python')
And The Final Tally:

The Battle took place HERE, and I thought it was fun. I really enjoyed reading all of the comments you submitted with your votes. I thank you all. It was a good turnout and a good time.

Although I really dig all three of the tunes I used, anyone who knows me at all also knew without a doubt that my vote was going the 'The Fishin' Hole' -- The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS) theme. And that means we wound up with the following outcome:

'Bridge On The River Kwai March' = 5 votes

'The Fishin' Hole' = 10 votes

'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' = 10 votes.

My BOTB ties now go "UP TO ELEVEN".


From the time I was just a little kid about Opie's age, TAGS was my Pa's all-time favorite TV show, so our whole family were regular viewers of the show. It eventually became MY all-time favorite TV show, too.


By the time my ill-fated Hollywood career was (kinda-sorta) underway, I had already seen every TAGS episode "In Glorious Black & White" countless times.

Whenever I was working on a production, I always tried to add a little something extra to flesh-out the character I was supposed to be, even when I had no dialogue. I considered myself a genuine actor (Ha!) so I always wanted to add a spark of life to even the most inconsequential "silent bit".

Below is the TAGS episode 'GUEST OF HONOR' (Season 2, Episode 21, 2/26/1962).

At the 22:00 mark, the thief, Thomas A. Moody (played by the wonderful character actor Jay Novello), is caught red-handed with the goods. He just stands there astonished and repeatedly blinking, like he can't *blinking*-believe" he got caught!

On April 6, 1981, I appeared in the episode of M*A*S*H titled 'Blood Brothers' (Season 9, Episode 18) which featured guest actor Patrick Swayze. Although I had no lines, I was one of "Rizzo's Crap-Shooting Grease Monkeys" -- as Father Mulcahy called us without any "jocularity" in his voice.

The first time we're seen playing Craps and Colonel Potter tells us to knock it off, my back is to the camera and I have my Army cap on backwards.

At about the 5:00-minute mark in the episode, we "crap-shooting grease monkeys" get caught doing exactly what Colonel Potter had told us not to. And aside from wearing my cap backwards, I wanted to do a "Li'l Sumpin'" extra. I wanted to add a little touch just for my own amusement.

I remembered that 'Guest Of Honor' episode from TAGS, and how, when caught red-handed, Thomas A. Moody had stood there in *blinking*-astonishment, so as a personal nod to Jay Novello, I decided to emulate his bit in 'The Andy Griffith Show'.

I don't know if the following links to the M*A*S*H episode are really going to work or not. But if they do, you can see Yours Truly doing his best Thomas A. Moody. When Klinger and Father Mulcahy come upon us shooting Craps in the dark, I'm the second guy from the right -- the one wearing his cap backwards and who can't *blinking*-believe" he got caught!



Again, my sincerest Thanks to everyone who took time to listen and vote. I hope you will all return again for my November 1st BOTB installment. It's another one that's a bit different and which I believe will also be kind of fun. (No whistling next time, I promise!)

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Deplorable Donald Vs. Crooked Clinton, 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...
Shoop-Shooby -
Shooby-Duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah -
Yes, it's time once again for 'Battle Of The Bands' ('BOTB') 'Battle Of The Whistlers' ('BOTW')

Yep! I've got something completely different for ya this time.

Do all y'all remember October 2015 when I did a BOTB installment where David & David went up against The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and I asked you to cast two votes, one for song and one for video? Well, in that comment section, in response to a poem I had written about Floyd the barber, the lovely GEM JULIE of the blog 'Empty Nest Insider' wrote the following:

Stephen, My vote for the song goes to Chili Peppers and David & David for the video. I agree with Robin that the long-haired, shirtless guy was too much. Maybe you and I can do a BOTW, Battle of the Whistlers. I still can't get the Andy Griffith song out of my head.

And I replied...

BOTW - Hokey-Smoke and Hoo-Wee! I love that idea, Julie! LOVE IT! Someday I may have to do a BOTW post, using different songs with good whistling in them. That's a GEM of an idea, JULIE. Thanks for mentioning it!

Well, guess what, Peoples! It took one year and two weeks (my world rotates very slowly) but... TODAY IS THE DAY! A-List, E-Ticket thanks and kudos to Gem Julie for the idea. I think this one's gonna be a hoot!

I immediately had 3 different tunes pop into my mind, but just in case there was something else out there that I might not have thought of and would want to use, I visited several website lists of songs with prominent whistling. However, in the end, I decided to stick with the 3 that occurred to me on my own. (Always go with your first impression.)

I'm NOT necessarily asking you to vote for the recording with the BEST whistling. I AM simply asking you to vote for the tune / song you like best, for whatever reason, whether you think it has the best whistling or not.  
Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!...
(Theme From 'The Bridge On The River Kwai')

Note: There is a slight pause in the tune between the opening and closing credits. Please let it play to the video's end...
('The Andy Griffith Show' Theme Song)

(From Monty Python's 'The Life Of Brian')

It seemed to me that these tunes were distinctly different in terms of mood, and therefore how a person voted might indicate their personality type.

The River Kwai March: You are classically, stylishly sharp and dignified.

The Fishin' Hole: You are casually fun and free-spirited.

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life: You are edgy with a slightly warped sense of humor.

But always in matters of great importance I double-check my beliefs with the Magic 8 Ball...

Question: "Does a person's vote between these three tunes render a scientifically accurate assessment of their personality type?"

Magic 8 Ball sez: "You may rely on it."

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 DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DISCCONNECTED' 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.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Saturday, October 8, 2016


STMcC’s Vote On '2016, Oct. 1st: Battle Of The Bands'
(Or, 'Kenny Loggins Vs. Ray Charles & Diana Krall')
And The Final Tally:

First of all, I'm a day late in posting this Battle's results. (Day Late, "You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me".)

Secondly, when the Magic 8 Ball said "You may rely on it" regarding a Ray Charles and Diana Krall victory over Kenny Loggins, I replied, "We'll see, we'll see..." because I was pretty damn-well certain that the 8 Ball was not just wrong but terribly wrong. Turns out though that it was I who was WRONG! (Shoulda knowed better'n to argue with the Magic 8 Ball.)

To me, this Battle was really a no-brainer and the Kenny Loggins recording of 'YOU DON'T KNOW ME' is at least TWICE as good as the one by Charles and Krall. And once again, most of my voters disagree with my musical opinion.

I consider the KENNY LOGGINS recording THE DEFINITIVE take on this song, and by far! Originally, I was planning to put him up against Patti Page because I thought she did it really well and would at least give Kenny some competition.

But later, when I learned that our friend Jeffrey Scott was returning, I decided to celebrate that by using the Ray Charles duet with Jeffy's girl, Diana Krall, even though I thought they'd lose by a fairly large margin.

I think maybe the very slow tempo of the Kenny Loggins recording turned some people off, but I believe it's PERFECT for this song. Remember the sentiment being expressed is this long, secret aching love for someone, and a pang of jealousy seeing another person go off with them when it should be YOU! It's a beautiful but mournful song, and the ache comes across palpably in Kenny's really A-list voice. Man, did that guy have some amazing vocal control!

'YOU DON'T KNOW ME' is the final song on Kenny's 1977 album 'CELEBRATE ME HOME', which is one of my very most frequently played CDs. (I love it so much that I gave FAE and my Brother copies of it as gifts some years back.) There's not a bad song on the set and some of them I flat-out LOVE (like 'You Don't Know Me'; the title track; the whizz-bang electric opener, 'Lady Luck'; and my favorite, 'Daddy's Back'). This album made me realize that Kenny Loggins is one of the best Pop singers EVER, including all genres. Yes, I'd put him up against just about anyone including Crosby, Sinatra, Nat King Cole -- you name it.

Unfortunately, the 'CELEBRATE ME HOME' album did not sell well (even though the title song has gotten regular radio airplay during the Christmas season year after year) and Kenny went on to record a bunch of commercial crap that made him rich and famous. But THIS album is the one, in a perfect world, that he'd really be remembered for. His vocals and the arrangements were simply stellar, and it pains me to see him lose this Battle

I like half of the Ray Charles & Diana Krall version well enough. It starts out very nicely, but at the 2:18 mark, Diana starts to slip into her "Jazz lounge singer" act. And in his very next verse, Ray grabs that and runs with it, going full blast into his trademark "Soul Brother R&B" shtick. And from then on, the two of them are completely bullshitting the song, totally ignoring the emotionally-hurtin' meaning of the lyrics and turning the piece into "A REALLY BIG SHOE!" (as Ed Sullivan would say). Neither one of them is feeling the sentiment at all, as they Jazz-up this great song into a flashy, empty suit. But nevertheless...

Kenny Loggins = 8 Votes
Charles & Krall = 12 Votes

My genuine THANKS TO ALL WHO TOOK THE TIME TO LISTEN AND VOTE, even if you didn't agree with my assessment of the recordings in this Battle.

I hope y'all come back now, hear? On October 15th I will be presenting a TOTALLY UNIQUE Battle like no one has done before and I think it's going to be a load of fun, a real blast! So don't miss it.

Question: "Will my next Battle on this blog be the most fun of all time?"
Magic 8 Ball sez: "Reply hazy. Try again."

Question: "Will my next Battle on this blog be the most fun of all time?"
Magic 8 Ball sez: "It is certain."

Question: "Well, if the answer to the question is so certain, why did I have to try it again?"
Magic 8 Ball sez: "Be careful or you're going to piss me off!"

This one's for Little Brother Nappy...



Howdy, All BOTBers  ~

Anybody who really knows me also knows that I am the furthest thing from "a rules guy" that they could find. I'm much more of a freedom kinda guy. I believe that we should just leave people be so they can be individuals and follow their own heart's desire. Or as that bulldog for liberty, Henry David Thoreau, wrote at the very start of his great essay 'Civil Disobedience'...

I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — "That government is best which governs least"

Unfortunately, however, occasionally a rule or two must be established. Up until now, over 3 years into 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS', the only real rule has been "Have fun with it." But now I find I must establish an actual policy to correct a problem that has developed.

In the comment sections of several blogs I have posted the following message. And I've decided to post it here generally, so that all participants in the 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' blogfest will be aware of it going forward:

Howdy, BOTBer (Your Name Here) ~

Naturally, I can't help wondering if you've decided to discontinue your involvement in 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'. Apparently you've had a pretty full plate lately and when that happens, something has to give. Unfortunately though, by keeping a link to your blog active on my blog, I've been sending BOTBers to your site when there's nothing there to vote on.

Currently there are, I believe, 5 links on my page to blogs that seem to be no longer participating in BOTB and I don't want to continue wasting people's time, sending them to places where no Battles exist. So, I'd appreciate it if you'd please get back to me and inform me whether or not you intend to continue with this blogfest.

In fact, beginning with the October 15th round of Battles I am planning to adopt the same policy that Alex Cavanaugh employs for his blogfest 'Insecure Writer's Support Group'. And that is that in the future, whenever a blog fails to provide a 'Battle Of The Bands' contest for two consecutive rounds (the 1st & 15th, or the 15th & the 1st), the links to that blog will be removed from my site, assuming that the blogger has decided to drop out of the blogfest. However, of course, if that blogger later decides to rejoin, all they need to do is inform me and I will immediately replace the link to their site in my sidebar and on my individual BOTB page for the next round of Battles.

I hope things are going well for you. And please let me know if you don't want the link to your blog removed from my next BOTB installment on October 15th.

Bless And Be Blessed.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy