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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!
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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. A new Battle gets posted on the 15th of each month and six days later, on the 21st, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
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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!
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[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2015, APRIL 15: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS VS. BOBBY DARIN)

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Republican Vs. Democrat, 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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THE 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...
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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Here's what Wackypedia sez about today's "Battle" song:

"A Taste of Honey" is a pop standard written by Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow. It was originally an instrumental track (or recurring theme) written for the 1960 Broadway version of the 1958 British play A Taste of Honey (which was also made into the film of the same name in 1961). Both the original and a cover by Herb Alpert in 1965 earned the song four Grammy Awards. A vocal version of the song, first recorded by Lenny Welch (and released on 17 September 1962), became popular when it was recorded by The Beatles in 1963. ...

We aren't using the Lenny Welch or the Beatles' versions today. We are, however, using the instrumental recording by Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass. My Grandpa used to have their album 'Whipped Cream & Other Delights', and that's how I first heard the song as a little kid... while staring holes through the whipped cream on that album cover. Here's Wackypedia again:

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass recorded the most popular instrumental version of the song with a cover on their 1965 album, Whipped Cream & Other Delights. This recording won four awards including Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards of 1966. The instrumental spent five weeks at number one on the easy listening chart, reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100.

'A TASTE OF HONEY' - HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC38-qqiVgg 
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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If you didn't dig that Soulfully Latin version by Herb & The TJ Brass, I just don't know what to say for you!

But I don't mind telling you that I flat-out LOVE both versions of 'A TASTE OF HONEY' here, and this is one of the most difficult BOTB votes I've ever had to cast. Now let's hear the competition for The TJ Brass:

'A TASTE OF HONEY' - BOBBY DARIN



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAz2k198dkY

HOKEY-SMOKE and HOO-WEE! I absolutely HATE that I'm going to have to vote AGAINST one of these versions. How 'bout you?
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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other.
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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.)
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Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' 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.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THIS BELLE ROCKS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ALEX CAVANAUGH' (when BOTB falls on a Mon., Wed., or Fri.) by clicking HERE.
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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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76 comments:

  1. No contest for me. I'll just say right off that TJ Brass wins this one hands down.

    Darin does a fine job for what it is. As I listened, I could see the opening credits scrolling for the imaginary James Bond movie of my mind A Taste of Honey. Even to me the sound of this is dated so I can imagine what the reaction might be from a younger listener. Of course, I'm used to this sound so it sounds fine to me and I do like it--maybe a tad cheesy sounding, but it evokes memories of another era.

    One the other hand the Whipped Cream is still fresh in the Alpert version. So is the cover and the woman on the cover. Like you, I spent a lot of pre and early teen times gazing at that picture and I'll just leave that there. I think I actually still have this album--one of LP's that I did not sell.

    Alpert's version of this song is probably the best around to my ears and it's got my vote. I wonder if this contest will end up a shut out?

    I'll vote again just to make sure that you got it: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and the lady with all the whipped cream on her.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BOIDMAN LEE ~
      It is indeed one of the most famous album covers of all time - and justifiably so. How many little boys... how many little boys... how many little boys realized they were heterosexual while staring at THAT album cover (and long before they even knew what that word meant)?

      For me, it was Julie Newmar as Catwoman, and this album cover that made it plain to me that boys and girls were different... and I liked girls better.

      And the recording is really amped-up and exciting. I still love it all these decades later. As a matter of fact, I dig the entire album.

      A lot of people probably don't realize that it was a "Concept" album: Every song was about some sort of food or drink, or a flavor for your taste buds...

      A Taste Of Honey
      Green Peppers
      Tangerine (another song I love!)
      Bittersweet Samba
      Lemon Tree
      Whipped Cream
      Love Potion #9
      El Garbanzo
      Ladyfingers
      Butterball
      Peanuts
      Lollipops And Roses

      >>... I wonder if this contest will end up a shut out?

      Ha!-Ha! Your predicted shutout lasted until the second vote was registered.

      I'll bet you've predicted a shutout for me at least 4 times and I ain't had one yet. In fact, most of my Battles have been pretty competitive, sometimes even a tie, or a tie my own vote broke at the end.

      When you gonna realize I know what I'm doin' over here with my BOTBs? [:-)}

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. The food/drink concept of that album never occurred to me back then. See what that whipped cream covered woman did to my 14 year old brain.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
  2. Hi, Stephen! I love your B of the B concept and enjoy staging similar competitions on my own blog from time to time. You're right. It's tough to choose between these two versions of "A Taste of Honey." I never heard Bobby Darin's version before and I thank you for presenting it.

    If album art was the deciding factor, Herb's iconic LP would win. (I recently bought "cover only" on eBay and keep it in my closet along with my stack of Big 'Uns mags.) However, if we're talking sound only, my Pick To Click is Bobby's rendition and here's why. Number one, I have always favored vocal recordings over instrumentals. Secondly, I have always loved Bobby Darin. Like Sinatra, Bobby Darin was one of those swaggering, masculine, totally composed and confident pros who could borrow a song, take total command of it and make it his own. On "Taste of Honey," like many of Bobby's other works, when his backing band kicks in near the end (listen to "Beyond the Sea"), it's time to hold onto your hat and Katy bar the door because your ears are in for a treat.

    Thank you, good buddy Stephen!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. SHECKY SHADY SHAFT !
      Welcome, my friend! And thanks ever so much for your first vote in one o' mine BOTBs!

      I really appreciate having you here, because I have come to respect your expansive knowledge of music. I've seen plenty enough of your blog bits already to know you know yer stuffs.

      >>... If album art was the deciding factor, Herb's iconic LP would win.

      Yeah, ain't that the twooth?!

      I have the 'WHIPPED CREAM' compact disc and it came with a mini-poster of the cover. I keep it hidden under my mattress where Mama won't never think to look.

      Speaking of Mama... my Ma was a HUGE Bobby Darin fan, and that's where I first heard him. Later, a girlfriend turned me on to Darin's lesser known cuts - the standards and ballads - which is what I like best, and which is how I first came to hear his version of 'A Taste Of Honey'.

      Sometimes I've put together BOTB contests that, on the surface, look like they're going to be utter wipeouts in favor of one artist, but they often turn out to be surprisingly close. I think this is going to be another good example of that.

      Sometimes I like to flirt with danger (shutouts are the one thing every BOTBer seeks to avoid), just to see how much I can get away with. (On the surface, The Edwin Hawkins Singers versus Glen Campbell on 'Oh Happy Day' looked like it had the makings of a shutout, but Edwin won by only 3 votes.)

      I myself am more of an Instrumental guy than a Vocals guy (being primarily a Jazz fan), but it depends on the song, of course.

      And you're right - Darin's backing bands were often outta sight! My choice is 'UP A LAZY RIVER'. Hokey-Smoke and Hoo-Wee! Darin just rages through that number and his band is like a giant blowtorch just burning down everything along the way!

      Great comment; thanks for the vote, S-3!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  3. ~ D-FensDogG:

    HA&TJB has always been a favorite. My Mom's album sits on the shelf four feet away from me. I gotta say, I always felt the whipped cream was a blatant waste... too many sundaes went unadorned to dress this chick. My two brothers had a different opinion. Anyway, this was the usual Saturday morning kick off album to do housework. No joke. My brothers usually had some sport practice session and avoided the house routine. They always said, "We'll be back." Ha! That's so funny [today], when I listen to Bobby Darin sing the words. Heck no - they never came back - on time - chores done without them! It was great hearing HA&TJB again. I have no stereo to play the album. No copy of the CD. But the memories it evokes... will never leave.

    I don't know that I've heard Darin sing this song, or have him confused with another artist, like Sinatra.(sic) It's definitely the 'lounge lizard' flavor of melodies. That croon me, spoon me, never maroon me, stuff. What I find intriguing is the combination of 'western movie' sound, big band swing, and the happy lizard. A tinkling piano, sweet horns, and that 'basa nova' drum, alternating with a driving drum beat... so joyful sounding... like he really means it - "I will be back." (Didn't Arnold say that too?!)

    Tough battle for me... I've listened six times now - my vote goes to Bobby Darin. Maybe he'll be back. Ha! (Yeah, I'm probably in the minority - but that's today's mood for ya'.)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. DIXIE POLKA ~

      >>... I gotta say, I always felt the whipped cream was a blatant waste... too many sundaes went unadorned to dress this chick.

      I don't care about the sundaes, but that whipped cream sure was in the way. All I ever wanted was a gigantic spoon and some bread crumbs so I could find my way home again in time for breakfast.

      >>... Anyway, this was the usual Saturday morning kick off album to do housework.

      Oh, I can TOTALLY UNDERSTAND THAT! It's so upbeat and energetic (and loud enough to be heard above a vacuum cleaner) that it's a perfect "Housework Music Album". My Ma's Pa had this album, so I'd get to see it (and hear it too) whenever we visited Grandpa.

      But my Ma didn't have this album. Her 'Housework Music Albums' were the Bill Black Combo's 'THE UNTOUCHABLE SOUND' and 'MOVIN''. Upbeat, instrumental R&B numbers with a strong bass just thumping through. She said she could get her housework done twice as fast as normal if Bill Black's Combo was playin'.

      >>... like he really means it - "I will be back." (Didn't Arnold say that too?!)

      Yeah, but Arnold DID come back. However, I DO think Bobby meant it. HE DEFINITELY MEANT IT! Just listen to the way he sings it. OF COURSE HE MEANT IT!

      I think he died in a shipwreck and that's why she never heard from him again. Remember, that was before instant news and Google and Email and cell phones. So, you go down with the ship, and if the wreckage isn't located, you sleep with the fishes and no one ever knows what became of you.

      I think it was a tragic romance, and she never knew what happened to him. Did he find another lover? No. The ship took on water and he went down trying to save it and his fellow crewmen.

      That's my watery tale and I'm sticking with it, beyond the sea and to de bottom o' de ocean.

      Thanks, as always, for your analysis and vote!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  4. As I listened to these two, I couldn't help but wonder if you'd attempted to predict the vote. I've made my proclivities fairly well known. I tend to enjoy the vocals over the instrumentals. The piano over the guitar. Etc. Whatever.

    Anyway, I surprised myself with this one. I figured my vote for Bobby Darin before hitting play on either song. I'll be dinged. HA rocked that song. Wowza. I was a bit bored with Darin and his version. Who'd a thunk that could EVER happen? But it did.

    So chalk one for Herb Albert and his big brass balls. I mean his Tijuana Brass. For the record, the gal in the whipped cream didn't affect my vote either way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GIRL WONDER ~
      Oh, no question, Herb Alpert and His Big Brass Balls TOTALLY ROCK this song! In fact, the whole album has some great, great rollicking numbers on it. This is the most famous one (amongst a few that are really well known), but I love the whole collection (except for just one track). The album's title track, 'Whipped Cream', was the catchy theme for the popular TV show 'The Dating Game'.

      I briefly thought about how I figured some of my usual voters would vote on this one but it was too hard, really. Yeah, I did suspect you would go with Bobby Darin, but I wouldn't have put any money on it.

      I think all bets are off on this one because both versions are really excellent, and so different, and I can see how either one might appeal to everyone. (That's my problem: I like both of them so much.) You get the tremendous blast of fun, Fun, FUN energy from Herb, or the melancholia of Darin's touching vocals and that emotional backing sound: the rhythmic Bossa-Nova clacking, the punctuation of the horns and that mournful choir that serves like a string orchestra.

      This one's tough for me to predict for everyone. We'll see. So far, it's really close... which I know is astounding Lee and Six, but not me.

      Thanks for the vote and amusing comment - even though I don't believe the gal in the whipped cream didn't affect your vote. How could she NOT?! C'mon, be honest. [:-)}

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  5. This is a great BOTB. It sets up an iconic and distinctive rendition of a song against one not well-known but by a famous artist. It adds the instrumental vs. lyric element.

    I have never been a fan of Bobby Darin, a prejudice acquired from my father. He always labeled him a "Sinatra wannabe" that is not as good. Clearly, he is not as good... and the wannabe evidence is as plain as the tower of Lebanon which looks toward Damascus on my face. At .48 seconds he sound like Joe Piscopo doing Sinatra impression, trying to settle-in and finally locate the note. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    I had to chuckle when I saw your BOTB today, because - coincidentally - "Whipped Cream and other Delights" was the last album I played on my turntable and our cream-covered honey is propped up and facing the room right now. I needn't say (but will anyway) that I loved this album cover as a 10 year-old boy.

    The album is out because I just watched the recently released (or was is re-released??) documentary "The Wrecking Crew," and was interested in hearing songs again that were actually recorded by this incredible bunch of musicians, rather than those depicted on the albums. Only Herb Alpert actually PLAYED on this album, the rest were the Wrecking Crew.

    Darin is fine on this song. I actually like it - some. But HA&TJB is another staggering iconic song and frankly don't see how anyone could vote against it. I am stunned that early voting already has it losing. Man!

    So here is at least one vote for Herb Alpert and The Wrecking Crew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SHEBOYGANBOY SIX ~

      >>... as plain as the tower of Lebanon which looks toward Damascus on my face.

      Ha! I love the way you can carry a theme. Really! Not sure if you can carry a tune, but you can certainly carry a theme, and that entertains me greatly.

      What were the odds that I'd have picked a famous song from the last LP you played? I knew I was waiting to use 'A Taste Of Honey' for a reason, but I didn't know what the reason was ...until now.

      >>... our cream-covered honey is propped up and facing the room right now.

      May it ever be so.

      Hmmm... I would definitely be interested in seeing that documentary someday. You are right that Alpert's real 'Tijuana Brass' band wasn't put together until the 'Whipped Cream' album took off and it was decided he should tour to promote it.

      Here are a few more Fun Facts: 'A Taste Of Honey' wound up with Herb Alpert because Al Hirt had turned it down. Ha! Also, it was originally released as the B-side of a single. According to the liner notes of my CD, Herb said that audiences went wild when he played it live and he finally realized that they were promoting the wrong song.

      Everything I've ever heard about (and from) Herb Alpert leads me to think he was a really great guy. He also has a sense of humor. Herb: "To this day, people come up to me and tell me how much they love the album. And then there are those who come up and say they really, really love the album cover!" Ha!

      More Fun Facts: The model on the cover was actually 3-months pregnant at the time (DOH!), and the whipped cream is really a blanket of shaving cream, because real whipped cream kept melting.

      You know I love Jazz, which means I love horns, which means I also love HA&TTB.

      Great (and informative) comment (as always). We may or may not ultimately agree with our votes here, but we certainly agree on the merits of this great, iconic album. I play it pretty often... and I have a LOT of horn-based music at my fingertips.

      Fantastic, horny music and an album cover that has caused me many whipped dreams.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  6. Darin gets my vote. his vocals make it sound more haunting

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MIKE ~
      Oh, it DEFINITELY has a very haunting quality to it. No doubt!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  7. Well it happened again. Can't access the Bobby Darin version, but doesn't matter. I know Bobby's music and I'd vote for him anyday. He does the best Mack the Knife next to Louis A., IMO. So mark one up for smooth Bobby D. from me. I'm not a fan of the Tijuana Brass, although I like horns and brass in general. . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DG ~
      Sorry to learn that the video problems continue. That's a drag.

      Normally, I can't count a vote unless the participant hears both versions but... in YOUR case, I feel completely comfortable making an exception.

      For one thing, I remember reading a comment of yours somewhere else awhile back in which you proclaimed your love for Bobby Darin.

      Secondly, the fact that you KNOW the Tijuana Brass and don't really care for them, convinces me fully that you WOULD have voted for Darin had you been able to hear both recordings.

      So, thanks for the vote. I'll add it to BD's total.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  8. This was tough for me, because while I lean towards the vocals, the TJ Brass version has a lot more spunk.

    Is the better use of dairy products on the album cover a valid factor in the debate?

    Cast my vote for Herb and TJ!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >>... Is the better use of dairy products on the album cover a valid factor in the debate?

      Absolutely! In fact, I think it should be one of the things most carefully considered when one determines whom they will cast their vote for.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  9. Bobby Darin--Love that seductive voice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SUSAN ~
      Thanks so much for stopping by, listening and voting. I don't recall you voting before, but consider the door always propped open and a personal invitation in your hand!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  10. Sorry it's taken me so long to visit back here :P I'm going with Herb, I love that happy and bouncy Mexicana.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, MICHAEL.
      Happy, bouncy Mexicana? Yep, that works. I'd say it's pretty damned ferocious, too! It's like three left jabs, a feint with the left immediately followed by a devastating body blow and a count of ten.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  11. Though I really like Herb Alpert's version, my vote goes to Bobby Darin. The last time I heard Bobby Darin was when Kevin Spacey played him in a movie. He did a great job impersonating him, but the real Bobby Darin had a style all his own. Smooth battle, Stephen!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GEM JULIE ~
      Thanks for your continued BOTB support.

      I saw that movie too, or at least some of it. Kevin Spacey is a good actor, but there "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing, Baby!"

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  12. Guess what? Couldn't watch Bobby Darin here. I got frustrated so I went to Youtube and I could hear it there. Not sure if it is the same version but it gives me an idea. He is such a swinger:) OK I love the first version-I love the horns and set up of it better

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BIRGIT ~
      Yep, DG had the same problem with the same video. What is UP WID DAT?!

      Well, thanks for taking the Extra Credit step and going to YouTube to listen to another video of the Bobby Darin version. I'm sure it must have been the same recording because I've never heard a second Darin version - not even live (although there may be a live take out there somewhere).

      Unlike your fellow Canadian, you went with the brassy version from South Of The Border (so to speak), so... that balances the books for my North Of The Border voters. Thanks!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  13. You've put me at odds with myself . I love both of these guys, but there's actually no contest.

    Which will I choose? Come on - guess!!
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    It's Herb, baby! Herb made this song hip and that's saying a lot coming from yours truly. I have mad Beatle love and Bobby Darin is the STUFF.

    You gotta give it to Herb, every time.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. CHERDO ~
      Ha! I really did stop scrolling down when you told me to "guess!!", and I guessed...
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      ...wrong.

      But thanks for the vote. We got ourselves a helluva horse race here. I really don't know WHO is going to win... and I LOVE that!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. If I look at this long enough, I'll change my mind. It's that close.

      Delete
  14. You weren't kidding; this IS tough! I really liked both versions, but I liked Bobby Darin's only slightly better (so my vote is for Darin, obviously). I love the arrangement and sound of Herb Alpert & TB, but I think Darin's version having vocals gave it just a little something extra that made it more appealing to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RING IN A BELLE! ~
      Thanks for your vote. Yeah, for sure, for sure, I think this is a tough, tough Battle. And I think it's one of my more interesting ones since the versions are about as different as they could be, and yet they're both just damned good and the boys seem like they're running neck-and-neck.

      It's pretty cool when you can put a mostly unknown ballad up against an ultra-famous, very uptempo, super-charged version of a song and come up with a vote count as close as this one has been so far. I gotta admit, I'm pretty pleased with myself right now. ;-)

      And by the way and for the record... I would have guessed that your vote was going to HA & TTB, which goes to show ya what I REALLY don't know.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  15. Oh, wow! I haven't heard this song in a coon's age! Really, it's been like forever and a day. I never knew this song had lyrics until now. Bobby Darin is totally smooth as silk ~ gorgeous voice, fantastic arrangement, but my vote totally goes to Herb Albert & the Tijuana Bass! I love it!!! Great BoTB!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CATHY ~
      Thanks so much for the clarification. I have always wondered exactly how long is a "coon's age"? Now, thanks to you, I know: it's "forever and a day".

      Thanks for the kind words and for checking in with a vote. I, too, am rather enjoying this BOTB installment because I love both versions of the song, and the voting is just... so... dang... close!

      Hope to see you with a BOTB post of your own on May 1st.

      Thanks again for adding a vote to the race.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  16. They're both good, and if you had two winners, one for best instrumental version, one for best vocal version, I'd vote for both. But you don't.

    I like Bobby Darin's version, but all other versions pale in comparison to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. They win my vote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JOHN ~
      Thanks! I totally get where you're coming from. It's like I said in my blog bit, I really do HATE that I'm going to have to vote against one of these versions because in my mind they are BOTH "A+" recordings. It's just a matter of being FORCED to pick one.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  17. Very interesting BATTLE Mr. McCarthy. As I told you, I had never heard the Bobby Darin version, but after listening to it, I realized that I had heard A VERSION somewhere by someone with the lyrics included. Not Bobby, but somebody, I simply can't remember, or maybe I never knew who.

    Anyway, Bobby's version is smooth, very smooth. Slow and sensuous, almost like 'the honey' he sings about. The notes seem to slowly drip and drizzle off his tongue. Those sustained notes are definitely pretty sweet. I certainly can't find any fault with this tune. I find that I really like it.

    Now, back to Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass. I love they was they kinda tease you with the slow start up and BAM! it really takes off. Then again maybe two thirds or three quarters of the way through, they give you another teaser with a soft slow down and you're thinking, 'ah gee! I'm really not ready for this to end', and BAM! they bring it back again with that rush of brass. I loves it.

    So, you have made it pretty tough to decide. Two very different version and both equally as good. since you've made it so tough on your voters, I'm kinda hoping you end up with a tie and YOU will have to cast the deciding vote.

    OK, I'm gonna go with BAM! Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. I had no idea this was a 'concept album' devoted to food. Kinda makes me wanna go get a pickle.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. FAE ~
      The way things are going, I think it's very conceivable that I could end up with a tie. It seems that every time one of these two contestants picks up a couple votes, the other guy comes right back and picks up a couple votes as well.

      I haven't counted the votes, and I won't until the 21st, but this one feels way too close to call. At this point, I really have no idea if either HA or BD are in the lead. It sure feels like they're all knotted up right now.

      This has been a very fun BOTB installment because it's going so back and forth. My guess was that Herb would win by maybe 3 votes. Right now, I'm not sure EITHER of them will win. Like I said, a tie almost "feels" like the inevitable outcome.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  18. Al Bondigas here. I never heard the Bobby Darin version before either, and didn't know what to expect, but, man I really enjoyed it. I get what Arlee Bird was talking about regarding the James Bond thing. In fact, right from the beginning I was thinking it sounded like a theme song to something dated. Then I read Arlee's post and said, "that's it"!! Well, good battle here, but, I'm going with Bobby Darin. That's it. That's my rulin'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your vote, JUDGE AL.

      Gotta admit, your vote surprised me a little bit. I figured you would like the Bobby Darin version but you would vote for the more energetic Herb Alpert recording.

      FAE (above you) voted for Herb, but I expected she would more likely vote for Bobby. So my "spidey-sense" is all askew in this BOTB contest. I missed my guesses with Robin, Mike, Cherdo, and Kim, too.

      Gee... I wonder if I'm even going to guess MY OWN vote correctly!

      I think only The Beer Boys are as yet unaccounted for. My guess: They both go for Herb. (Now watch 'em both go for Bobby.)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. POSTSCRIPT:
      Judge Al, are you sure you were listening to 'A Taste Of Honey' and NOT 'Jingle Bells'?

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    3. Al Bondigas here. Yeah, I'm a little surprised too. I really like Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, just never really cared for that particular song. It's strange, I know. I always liked Bobby Darin, but never to the degree that you and mom liked him. But, my rulin' is my rulin'. That's it. That's my rulin'.

      Delete
    4. Far be it from me to dispute yer rulin' because... [Links:]... YOU BE HIM.

      Bonus clip: THE DRESS AND THE DEVIL

      ~ D-FensDogG

      POSTSCRIPT: We're planning to TRT 'TORTILLA FLAT' on Monday. Lemme know if you want a link to it.

      Delete
    5. Al Bondigas here. Hahahaha. Yes sireee. Those were fun times. Yeah, send me the link. Tell the killer B thanks for the last link. Tried to get it in, but, had too many things to do and couldn't get it on in time.

      Delete
    6. JUDGE AL ~
      Okie-dokie, I'll axe him to send it.

      You know you better get you a bottle o' wine! You know you can't watch no 'TORTILLA FLAT' widout you got you a bottle o' wine!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    7. Thinkin maybe I don't already have one?

      Delete
    8. I'm thinkin' maybe you lead the League!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  19. We're both checking in late. Very late. Like, people are already starting to shut off the music and clean up beer bottles and we've just showed up. Sorry about that. Been a hell of a week. We listened last week, but just haven't had the chance to comment yet.

    I like Bobby Darin. I know he's of the cheesy Frank Sinatra variety, but I still like him, and he easily wins my vote. My cohort, on the other hand, likes Herb. We haven't agreed much on BOTBs this week, but at least we can still agree on beer. And wimens.

    ~6B

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    Replies
    1. Not a problem, 6-B.
      BEER BROTHER means never having to say you're sorry. (If you don't know where I borrowed that line from, consider yourself blessed.)

      I had you both pegged as Herb Alpert voters. Next thing I know you're gonna tell me you don't like nachos and Dos Equis. (Dos Equis? Better to stay thirsty, my friend.)

      Yeah, you blokes don't seem to vote the same way very often. Are you sure you're really brothers separated at birth?

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  20. Part 1 Of 2:

    STMcC’s Vote On ‘BOTB - 2015, April 15:
    - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Vs. Bobby Darin'
    And The Final Tally:


    This Battle started out close and it remained close all the way through to the bitter end. This was so neck-and-neck that I was concerned I'd wind up with a tie. I don't like ties. "A tie is like kissing your sister". Well, I've never kissed my Sister, but that's what Yogi Berra once said, so apparently he once kissed my Sister.

    Counting my own, there were a total of 21 votes, so you know what that means: We have a winner!

    I thank each and every one of you who tossed a vote into the ring and thereby made this BOTB installment fun and interesting. I appreciate your support and hope to see you back here for the next Battle which begins on May 1st.

    Although I sincerely LOVE both of the recordings of 'A TASTE OF HONEY' that I used in this Battle, my own vote went to Bobby Darin (who, by the way, was a damn-sight better'n Frank Sinatra EVER was).

    In 2004, I wrote a review for a Bobby Darin compilation album, and I am re-posting that review below which explains WHY my vote went to Bobby over Herb:

    It strikes me that the individual human response to music is one of life's most intriguing mysteries. What is that unexplainable thing inside us that resonates to a certain combination of musical notes, or to the tonal quality of particular instruments, but not others? And why is this response not universal?

    For me, the melody of MY FAVORITE THINGS is so pretty, so clever, so powerful that I can't hear it once without it bouncing around inside my skull for the next several hours. And yet I know people who are apathetic about it. How can that be? We even find this mystery taking place between people who inhabit the same musical orbit. The "King Of Rock 'N' Roll" might have two devoted fans; the first who loves SUSPICIOUS MINDS and MEMORIES, but is not overly thrilled by HOUND DOG and IN THE GHETTO. The second fan's opinion is the complete reversal.

    Some might think that this is comparable to our myriad responses to food flavors, but in that example there is a physiological explanation - something to do with chemical reactions in the glands, the taste buds. With music it's entirely intangible; some "it" within the inner being that responds, makes the body move, the toes tap, the mind rejoice... or mourn.

    Continued Below...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part 2 Of 2:

      That "it" within me loves Bobby Darin's music, but "it" is selective. "It" doesn't care for Darin's pop hits, of which only a few appear on this collection. And although "it" digs LAZY RIVER which has one of the greatest, most energetic vocal performances ever, we play this album for the fabulously moving standard ballads (some with Big Band arrangements.)

      'WAS THERE A CALL FOR ME?'; 'I GUESS I'M GOOD FOR NOTHING BUT THE BLUES'; 'DON'T DREAM OF ANYBODY BUT ME'; 'WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MADE'; 'BLACK COFFEE'; 'SKYLARK'; and even 'CHRISTMAS AULD LANG SYNE', these are the reasons you find me in this place. "It" likes 'em!

      There is a certain something - a quality - in Darin's voice that can be discerned on his ballads; an innate melancholia that can't be taught, nor faked. I have found this in the voices of only two other singers: the Jazz vocalist, Astrud Gilberto, and Karen Carpenter, who had it in spades! In fact, so much so that it sometimes bled through even on her uptempo numbers like 'TOP OF THE WORLD' and 'SING'. It's a kind of faint whisper of an intense inner aloneness, or a vague remembrance of something; a wistful yearning for what has passed and can't be retrieved, like a dream of something that glowed golden way back when, in the recesses of the mind.

      Hell, I don't know what it is, but "it" sure loves it! Anyway, that quality permeates so much of these recordings and that's why "it" makes me play them so often.

      If you know what I'm yakking about here, and if it appeals to your "it" too, then also obtain a used copy of the "out-of-print" 'CLASSIC DARIN' if you can locate one at a reasonable price. This collection also contains many ballad tracks like 'WHERE LOVE HAS GONE'; 'FLY ME TO THE MOON'; 'A TASTE OF HONEY'; 'SOFTLY, AS I LEAVE YOU'; and 'SOMEWHERE' with Bobby's "blue" voice thang goin' on.

      According to his 2004, July 14th review, it seems that The Big Dong, doesn't have this same "it" inside of him. You think maybe I should go see if his priest can exorcise my "it" too?

      Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass = 11 votes
      Bobby Darin = 10 votes


      Thanks again, EVERYBODY! You're all appreciated by me.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  21. Darin was "a damn-sight better'n Frank Sinatra EVER was"?!?!

    Hope you bet on the horses! If you do, we should go to the track sometime and I'll use you as a reverse barometer. Once again, as precisely as an atomic clock, you have gone against the tide of public opinion. Do a survey of who was better: Darin or Sinatra. Hell, Darin wouldn't even get 20% of the vote!!

    Fun battle and comments, though. Always entertaining!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SBB-VI ~
      Of course, I don't REALLY think Bobby Darin was better than Frank Sinatra. A person would have to be outta there mind to believe that.

      I only say that because I'm a "contrarian" and that's what contrarians do. Also, I say it to piss off the Mafia. Frank was the Mob's boy - he was well-connected to them and probably wouldn't have been anywhere near as big a star as he was without their support. You know, they basically ran the jukebox industry and had ties in radio, etc.

      So, I only criticize Frankie-baby to irritate the old Mafia gangsters with their pants pulled up above their belly buttons.

      I also say we never really sent astronauts to the Moon and back just because everyone else says we did.

      You know me, just tryin' to raise a ruckus. (And sometimes lying like a bad toupee.)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. ah-HAAA!

      Glad to see you fessin' up, Stephen McFibber!

      And I am pleased that good ol' LEE have done replaced me as number one OPPOSITE from your picks. Now, if I can just drop down to No. 6.

      Delete
  22. Replies
    1. dp~
      Thanks! I think it was too. Or so the voting seemed to indicate.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  23. I've been listening to that Bobby Darin version and it is a good one. Can I change my vote? Or wait no--I see you voted for Darin so I can't.

    Really though, Darin's version is good, but I still prefer TJ Brass because I have so much invested in that version and it takes me back to my junior high school days working on my stamp collection and building models on the floor of my bedroom in Indiana. Wonderful times and memories.

    That was indeed a good Battle. My results go up tomorrow and it was a close race as well. There have been a lot of close Battles going up. Don't know what that means, but I guess we aren't picking horrible versions that no one likes. I like the ties for that reason. Two good versions that comes down to the difference tastes of our audience.

    Looking forward to what you come up with next.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BOIDMAN LEE ~
      You could, of course, change your vote to Darin. That's not a problem, as I could then change my vote to Herb. Where we might encounter a problem though is in convincing Sheboyganboy Six that he too would then need to change his vote to Darin. Ha!

      Yeah, there have been a number of close BOTBs lately. Indeed, a sign that people are really getting a handle on this thing and figuring out how to put together competitive contests.

      I still think it's a lot of fun.

      My next one will be a pretty normal BOTB blog bit, with a relatively unknown song that means a great deal to me personally. But the next one after that (May 15th) is where I believe I'm going to try something "completely different" which will mystify everyone until I explain it at the end.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  24. I get 'IT'. I know those feelings that emotion, like it's something remembered from a previous life, and NOT an earthly one, that you get from certain melodies or voices. Music does that for me and I have several pieces or artists that are inspiration for me during various activities. Believe me when I say I need and use it often.

    BUT, all that said Bobby Darin doesn't really do 'IT' for me. I like him well enough (on some things better than others) and I too think he was far better that 'ole blue eyes' (or is that just the contrarian in me), but in this BATTLE I did vote for Herb and the guys.

    It was a fun BATTLE and although I had never heard Bobby's version before it was a good one, and he put up a pretty good fight here. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us next. Ha, ha, ha! BTW. I saw that comment at another blog (that shall remain nameless) YIKES!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. FAE ~
      With Bobby Darin, it's something in the timbre of his voice and which I only detect on the ballads. But I do hear it in pretty much EVERY ballad he sings.

      There's an actual (non-English) word for it: "Saudade".

      Check it out. That is PRECISELY the thing I'm referring to and I hear it consistently ONLY in the voices of Karen Carpenter (first and foremost), Astrud Gilbeto, and Bobby Darin ballads.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. I do know, or at least I think I know, EXACTLY what you are talking about when you refer to 'Saudade'.(I checked out the reference and read the entire article. Isn't it interesting that so many different languages and cultures have a word for this feeling.)

      For me this feeling has come more from instrumental pieces of music than the timbre, pitch,or anything attainable in a singers voice. I have had a very spiritual and special experience with a particular song and to this day it never fails to give me inspiration in times of need.( I'll tell you about it sometime, but not here, for it is way to personal and special to open up for just anyone to comment on.) For you it might just be another piece of 'new' or 'soft' jazz, a la Kenny G, but I get that feeling of 'Saudade' every time I here this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rp4nXlLKU0

      I was fortunate enough to see David in person a few years back and when he played this piece I had tears streaming down my face and didn't even know it. Yeah, I know that longing that is 'Saudade'

      Delete
    3. I was listening to THAT song and felt somewhat overwhelmed when I hit publish a little too quickly. I meant to also say, that I had never seen this 'Official Video' before and it broke my heart a little.

      Delete
    4. I just now watched and listened twice. Back in the LP era I owned one or two David Sanborn albums, so I don't dislike his style. He's not "Kenny G-ified" in my opinion.

      However, the saudade you get from it doesn't really happen for me. It must be something pretty uniquely personal to you. (I DEFINITELY want to hear that story though, the next time we yak! Don't forget!)

      As you know, I'm usually VERY CAREFUL with the words I choose to use. And in this sentence...

      "I hear it consistently ONLY in the voices of Karen Carpenter (first and foremost), Astrud Gilbeto, and Bobby Darin ballads"

      ..."consistently" meant that I DO hear it occasionally in other voices (on certain songs) and even in musical notes sometimes - a melody or even just a snippet of musical notes within a melody. But ONLY with Karen, Astrud, and Bobby (and strictly on his ballads) do I hear it MOST OF THE TIME - because I think it's a part of their souls - it's not something they're "doing"; it's something they "are". And it's a very human thing, which is why I think I hear it in voices more than notes.

      But... having said that, there ARE instrumentals where I also hear it. One that comes immediately to mind is this...

      ONE FOR LENNY

      Just listen to the first minute and a half, because if you don't hear it there, you won't hear it anywhere else in the instrumental.

      Sometimes I'm playing the CD I own with that track on it, and as soon as it starts to play I can feel the "sundown" in my heart.

      God, I love music! I don't understand it (no one really does) but it's so Spiritual and so mysterious! Why do we all react so differently to different notes, melodies and voices?

      That Sanborn video, do you know where it was filmed? A few of the buildings looked very much to me like they may have been downtown L.A. But there are certain buildings I see all the time in movies, TV shows and commercials that TOTALLY give it away as L.A. A couple of those buildings looked very familiar but there wasn't a total, downtown L.A. landmark that I could point to as 100% confirmation.

      Anyway... I wanna hear that story.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    5. Years ago our Brazilian exchange student introduced me to the term. She uses it each time she sends letters or emails to us, describing how she feels to be away from us; she considers us family, and is not sure if she'll ever see us again. It is a very powerful term. Though I (obviously... right StMcC?) don't feel that feeling from the individuals you mentioned, I do sometimes feel it when listening to music. I feel it when listening to Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto and Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 (second movement... good LORD, does that have saudade!!), and some Borodin. Lots of Russian composers, especially, seem to have it.

      Delete
    6. "One For Lenny' only needed the first 15 seconds to feel it there. Also, Albononi's Adagio in G Minor, most Gershwin, but especially Rhapsody in Blue. I'll agree with Mr. 6 on the Rachmaninoff, but I'll have to look up and listen to the Prokofiev (not familiar with that one, at least, off the top of my head). And definitely Debussy.

      When it comes to the pure music (no vocals) I do agree with you it's not something that is 'done;', but rather something coming from the soul of the composer, or maybe even deeper in a spiritual sense than that. It's as if their spirit is speaking to mine.

      As far as the Sanborn video, I have no idea where it was shot, but Los Angeles would have been my first guess, not even sure why.

      Delete
    7. Yes, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Borodin! Now we're talking real music.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
    8. HOKEY-SMOKE! I nearly missed seeing all these comments above from Six, FAE, and Lee.

      I don't know Classical music anywhere near well enough to hang in this conversation with you three, but I can tell you that I hear saudade in Schubert's 'Serenade'.

      And, yes, FAE, definitely in 'Rhapsody In Blue'.

      It's funny though that I hear it most strongly in the voice of Karen Carpenter, and even Darin's ballads. I get it from a number of Bossa-Nova songs, not always just Astrud Gilberto, although she had some powerful saudade in her voice, too.

      Very interesting yak here.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  25. Al Bondigas here. Woow!! You surprised me with your vote just as much as I surprised you with mine. Yeah, Darin was definitely better than Sinatra. I think the whole Sinatra thing is a perfect example of the emperor running around with his butt (and other parts) hanging out. A well dressed stick figure. That's it. That's my rulin'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha!-Ha!

      But Sinatra DID make a pretty stellar SWINGIN' SINGIN' SWORD

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. Wow! Judge REINHOLD would render a better rulin' than that!

      Delete
    3. Contempt of court!!!!

      Delete
    4. Six days or Six Thousand dollars for SI(C)X... whichever he chooses... the sic muhthafuh--- well, this is a PG blog, which is a stroke of luck for Six... that lucky muhthafucker!

      [:-)}

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    5. Well, that's more lenient than Roy Bean woulda done, anyway!

      Your stopping the curse early then resuming late reminds me of what my friend Frank ("the Eagle has landed") says. When he is trying to shush you and sound secretive, he'll speak in pig-Latin... but only to a point. He'll say: "I-et-quay, Ephen-Stay. Ut-shay the fuck Up-sahy." Ha! Obviously, everyone around LOOKS when they hear that middle part, so any secrecy is lost.

      Well, I think it is funny, anyway!

      Delete
    6. SIX ~
      I have (without a doubt) the best blog "in the whole United States of Georgia". What's sad about it is... I HONESTLY don't feel I can do any genuine "crowing" over it because... other than having initiated it... I can't take any real credit for it being what it is.

      It's my friends and their wonderful comments that have made it what it is. And you, sir, deserve some sort of award - a plaque of gold (or maybe a milkshake of gold) - for having left, overall, perhaps the best comments of all.

      And... pssst... just between you and me... Judge Al is really a... "judge-ette"... I'd call him "Judge Judy", but that name is already taken. Judge Alberta is closer to the truth. ...Even though (s)he IS pretty much correct about Ol' Mafia Eyes.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      POSTSCRIPT:
      Great news about my new Email address! 'Spect to get an E from me later today. I want YOU to be the first to hear from me via my new, highly private, super-secret E addy. So... please be watchin' yer InBox today.

      Going back to bed now (just got up to drain the brain, what little of it there is), but the first order of business for this day is to activate that new E address, and to send the first message via STMcC's 2015 "Pony Express". It shall be sent to "The Great Wizard Of Six" (even though you're NOT a number, but a "FREE MAN!")

      Delete
    7. SBB-6 ~

      >>... Well, I think it is funny, anyway!

      For the record, I think that's funny, too.

      As you know, 6Brother, I very rarely use that kind of language (you know, "muhtha--), but I graduated summa cum laude from ROGER RABBIT'S SCHOOL OF "NOT-AT-ANY-TIME-BUT-ONLY-WHEN-IT'S-FUNNY" (--fuhka").

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  26. Al Bondigas here. Judge Judy isn't fit to wear my bra. Opps!! That didn't come out right. Anyway, thats my rulin'. Now get outa my bra!!! Um, I mean bar.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. JUDGE AL ~
      You seem to be suffering from an identity crisis. Who are you? Judge Bean or "ol' Carol"? Will the REAL Judge Al please stand up... wearing pants in this courtroom?!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      POSTSCRIPT: One of the "Bonus" features on your copy of 'AMERICAN GRAFFITI' is a documentary (maybe 70-something minutes long) titled 'THE MAKING OF AMERICAN GRAFFITI'. You should watch it, 'cause it's fascinating. [As usual, the "suits" didn't think the movie was any good almost canned the whole thing. They even thought about just showing it on TV. The water balloon? It wasn't meant to hit "ol' Carol" in the face. Toad crashed his Vespa in that first shot totally by accident but George Lucas loved it.]

      Delete

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