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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.]

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ATTENTION: BOTBers, MAY I HAVE YER ATTENTION?

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McDoggs & McDoggettes ~

This is a public service announcement.

Please be aware that when you post a 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' blog bit, if you're going to include a photo of the "official" BOTB logo, it should look like THIS...
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It should NOT look like this...
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As much as I would like to steal the 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' Blogfest and claim ownership of it by skirting the Fifth Amendment and corrupting the protection against "eminent domain" abuse à la DONALD TRUMP 

[ http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/21478-trump-s-use-of-eminent-domain-to-take-what-he-wants ]

the truth of the matter is, I do NOT own BOTB. I like to think I do it pretty well, but I don't "OWN IT". (And unless it somehow starts generating money, I'm not going to try stealing ownership of it.)

So, please remember that BOTB belongs to ALL of us. Feel free to link your pages to my pages and my BOTB Participant List, but there's no reason to attach my name to the logo, y'all. "STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS" just happens to be the name of this blog. That's all. I guess that's been a bit confusing. Sorry 'bout that.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Saturday, August 15, 2015

2015, AUG. 15: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, THE SKYLINERS VERSUS BRIAN SETZER)

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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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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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This is my 50th BOTB! 
Alright, let’s get on it...
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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Like everyone else did, I loved 'AMERICAN GRAFFITI' when it hit the silver screen (I believe it might still be my Brother's very favorite movie). I purchased the soundtrack album which contained 41 classic Old School Rock & Roll songs. Years later, sometimes I'd wake up in the middle of the night / wee hours of the morning, get in my car and just drive the L.A. freeways with the 'American Graffiti' soundtrack playing and with no particular place to go. (100 points if you caught that one!)
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Back in the LP era (hell, in the CD era, too, for that matter) one of the all-time greatest collections of early Rock 'N' Roll & Doo-Wop was the soundtrack to the classic American movie 'AMERICAN GRAFFITI'. The double LP / double CD includes stuffs by Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys, Booker T & The MGs, Buddy Holly, The Platters, Fats Domino, Del Shannon, The Del-Vikings, The Big Bopper, and many mo'. No Eddie C. or Elvis P., but...

I LOVE the song 'Chantilly Lace' by The Big Bopper, which reminds me of this sweet girl, Lisa, whom I had it bad for, back when I earned my living on Hollywood movie and TV sets, and girls were girls and boys were boys. (A few times, I worked with Lisa on the TV show 'Happy Days' which, ironically, was inspired by the movie 'American Graffiti'. I remember that once or twice the director put us together at the diner because he thought we looked like brother and sister. Lisa was blonde; I had dark brown hair. I think it was the sexual attraction yakking, which the director picked up on. I should have asked Lisa to marry me. "Uhp! I was an idiot!")

Did you know The Big Bopper died in the plane crash "the day the music died"? Buddy Holly's bass guitar player, Waylon Jennings, let The Big Bopper have his seat on the plane, and Waylon took the bus. Good decision, Waylon! 
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GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2OoxzYqgNY
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Undoubtedly, I first heard this song by The Skyliners in the 'American Graffiti' movie and later on my soundtrack album. In the film, the song starts playing around the time that Laurie (Cindy Williams) gets into Bob Falfa's (Harrison Ford) "Wicked '55 Chevy" and it fades out just as Carol (Mackenzie Phillips) disappears inside the front door of her house after saying goodbye to John Milner (Paul Le Mat).
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Then Wolfman Jack says over the radio: "I haven't cried so much. And the tears and everything, man... I leaned down towards the microphone and almost shorted myself out!"
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Let's hear it now, shall we? 
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'SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU' - THE SKYLINERS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzyEd2soQkk
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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In 1998 or '99, I purchased a compact disc by Brian Setzer. There was one song on the album I thought my Ma would really dig big time, so I took it over to her house one day and played it for her. (Of course, she'd never before heard of Brian Setzer.)

Did she dig the song, 'You're The Boss'? 
Eh... it was... OK.

I played her a different song.
It was... alright.

Tried a third.
Mmmmm... not bad.

So, I was about to put the CD back in the case when, on a whim, I decided - just for the helluvit - 
I'd hit 'Play' on track #9...
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ALLAH'S  UNHOLY  TROUSERS! 
BINGO! 
JACKPOT! 
WINNER,  WINNER,  CHICKEN  DINNER!
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It knocked her for a row o' lib-labs! I used to call my Ma "Binky Buckeye, Ohio's Flippin' Squirrel". Well, yak about "flipping", she ABSOLUTELY FLIPPED over Brian Setzer's version of 'Since I Don't Have You'. I mean, "flipped" as in every single time I drove her anywhere, I was required to play that song in my car.

I mean, "flipped" as in she thought Setzer - at least on that song - probably had the "sexiest" voice of all-flippin'-time! (It gave her goosebumps. I'm not kidding, I saw her shiver many times at a certain point in the song. Thank God my Pa was already in Heaven!)

I mean, "flipped" as in 'Since I Don't Have You' by Brian Setzer was now one of her Top Ten favorite songs ever! More like Top Five. Quite possibly Top Three. All I know is that a whole lotta Sinatra, Count Basie, Bobby Darin, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey songs got bumped down a notch the day she heard Brian Setzer singin' 'Since I Don't Have You', and she started asking me questions like "Where's he from?" "How'd you hear of him?" "Is he a good guitarist?", et al.
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And there I was only seconds away from giving up when I hit "Play" on track #9. Ha!
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Every year, on my Ma's birthday and the anniversary of the day she went "Home", I play several of her very favorite songs (e.g., 'April In Paris', 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy', Tommy Dorsey's 'Boogie Woogie', 'We'll Be Together Again'). I KNOW that if I ever failed to play Brian's 'Since I Don't Have You', she'd come back and haunt me inside of 10 seconds.
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OK, let's hear it. (And by the way, I'm officially recording one vote for Brian Setzer on my Ma's behalf right out of the chute. At this very moment, Brian leads this Battle 1 to 0. What say you 'bout that?)
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'SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU' - BRIAN SETZER
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdNAMyG1Ti4
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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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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. 
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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.
@ '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.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' 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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Saturday, August 8, 2015

THE SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE (Or, 1978: 'OUTLAW' - BLOG BIT 6)

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I want to begin today's blog bit by saying that I'm in love with 'Saturday's Child'. Also, I wanna say that "I'm the young generation and I've got something to say".

Whew! What a relief to get that off my chest.

OK, onward and upward...

FUN FACT: It wasn't until just now, putting together this installment of 'TSOML' (inspired by Robin, Girl Wonder of 'Your Daily Dose') that I realized how significant Country music has been in my life.

You'll recall that in an earlier installment I said that 'HOME ON THE RANGE' by The Sons Of The Pioneers is the first song I can recall really connecting with.

Well, here's an oldie but a goodie:

My Pa was a real character. He was a handsome, manly man's man who knew his bourbon and loved sports, but he also had as wacky a sense of humor as you will ever find anywhere. 

When I was in 5th & 6th grade, my Pa would occasionally wake me up for school by suddenly playing Roger Miller's 'YOU CAN'T ROLLER SKATE IN A BUFFALO HERD' cranked up to 11. 

Well, you can't awaken a kid out of a sound sleep with 'You Can't Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd' and expect that kid to grow up "normal". I think Country music is what made me crazy...

'YOU CAN'T ROLLER SKATE IN A BUFFALO HERD' - ROGER MILLER



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYeW0yVRY2s

I was so painfully shy when I was young that, in a sense, I was always an "Outsider". I was an Outsider because I was such an "Insider". (You followin' this, Low I.Q.ers? ...Hey, don't blame me! That's what Mr. Know-It-All called you. I'm just quoting Bullwinkle.)

I didn't really begin to fully find myself until I got out of prison (aka "high school"). But by 1978, I was beginning to realize that STMcC was crazy, and that was OK because I was learning to love Saturday's Child.

In 2012, my blog buddy Gypsy Julie Fedderson challenged me to answer her 11 questions in a blog bit. (Gypsy Julie! Where are you? Come back, Shane Julie! Come back!) I was amongst those she selected because, as she said, "Just 'cause I'd love to hear the answers and we share mad love for Spinal Tap". I accepted the challenge. Here's question number 4 of 11...

4: What is the song that most defines your personality?

This was my answer:
Oh, now THAT’S easy – a piece of pie (‘cause I like pie better’n cake).

In late 1978, when I was 18 or 19 years old, I heard my first Waylon Jennings song. It was played on my Rock ‘N’ Roll radio station of choice – KMET, "The Mighty Met" – in Los Angeles. [*Yeah, a "Country Outlaw" tune played on a Rock station. Back in my day, they played a far greater variety of music on Pop stations than they do today.] I immediately recognized the song as a personal anthem and within days I bought my first of plenty o' Waylon albums. 
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I have changed a great deal over the decades since then, but I still can’t think of any other song that better defines my personality. My personal anthem remains...

'I'VE ALWAYS BEEN CRAZY' - WAYLON JENNINGS



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYRtU270yf4

I've always been crazy and the trouble that it's put me through
Been busted for things that I did, and I didn't do
I can't say I'm proud of all of the things that I've done
But I can say I've never intentionally hurt anyone

I've always been different with one foot over the line
Winding up somewhere one step ahead or behind
It ain't been so easy but I guess I shouldn't complain
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane

Beautiful lady, are you sure that you understand
The chances you're taking loving a free-living man?
Are you really sure you really want what you see?
Be careful of something that's just what you want it to be

I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane
Nobody knows if it's something to bless or to blame
So far I ain't found a rhyme or a reason to change
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane


Hearing Waylon's song for the first time, I thought: So it's not just me!

I still don't think of myself as a Country music fan in general. I like a lot of songs by a few performers, and a few songs by a couple of performers, and that's about it.

I loves me the "Country Outlaws" (Waylon, Bocephus, and some Willie Nelson), plus Roy Rogers & The Sons Of The Pioneers, Brenda Lee, Roger Miller, and Jim Stafford. I dig some stuffs by Kathy Mattea, early Dwight Yoakam, and a smattering of Country songs here and there. (56 years ago today, Johnny Horton's 'The Battle Of New Orleans' was at the top o' the chart. I still love that song!)

A lot of people complain about the "twang" in Country. Unless it's overdone or it's some New Jersey boy trying to sound like he's from Arkansas, I don't mind the twang at all.

Hell, the "twang" is like the vinegar-y taste in jalapeno peppers! 
It's what puts the vinegaroon ("whip-tailed scorpion - mean as hell") into the Country tune!

My heroes have always been cowboys, and I have always owned a cowboy hat. Not the same one. Some I outgrew, some I gave away, and some I lost, like this very expensive Stetson...
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Yeah, that wasn't the first cowboy hat I lost during a Tottering Night. When the drinks go "up to eleven", I tend to pick up rocks and lose my hat.

Well, I'm off (in more ways than one). I'm gonna buy me a dog 'cause I need a friend now. And then I'm gonna go to my favorite Reno lounge to celebrate having a new "best friend". ...I hope I don't lose my Stetson.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

My previous blog bits pertaining to 'The Soundtrack Of My Life' (TSOML) can be found by clicking the links below:

TSOML #1 - Prelude To An Introduction
TSOML #2- Introduction
TSOML #3 - 1959
TSOML #4 - 1967
TSOML #5 - 1974

For more TSOML participants, visit the blog of GIRL WONDER ('Your Daily Dose') by clicking HERE.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

2015, AUG. 1: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, NAT COLE VERSUS NATALIE COLE)

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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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I'm pretty sure that no one has put blood relatives against each other before in a BOTB match-up. Today I've got NAT "KING" COLE in a contest against his own daughter, NATALIE COLE, and the song, 'NATURE BOY', has an interesting history. 
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My Pa's favorite singer was Nat King Cole, and I have always loved the haunting melody of 'Nature Boy'. I remember speaking with my Ma about it once, and she said that supposedly it was about Gypsy Boots, whom she saw standing on Sunset Boulevard waving to drivers when she first arrived in L.A. from Cincinnati, Ohio.
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Of course, the Internet had not yet been invented by Al Gore at that point, so she couldn't confirm the rumor - which was not accurate but DID contain a certain seed of truth to it...
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GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS
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Wackypedia sez:
The lyrics of the song relate to a 1940s Los Angeles-based group called "Nature Boys", a subculture of proto-hippies of which eden ahbez was a member. ... Gypsy Boots (Robert Bootzin), also a member, ... was an American fitness pioneer, actor, and writer. He is credited with laying the foundation for the acceptance by mainstream America of "alternative" lifestyles such as yoga and health food.
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Decades ahead of the Hippie movement, Bootzin and his companions lived a carefree existence and were seasonal fruit pickers. The group became known as "Nature Boys". ... The 1948 Nat King Cole hit "Nature Boy" was inspired by Bootzin and his fellow "tribesman", and composed by fellow tribesman eden ahbez.
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In 1941, a 33-year-old George McGrew arrived in Los Angeles and began playing piano in ... a small health food store and raw food restaurant on Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The café was owned by John and Vera Richter, who followed a Naturmensch and Lebensreform philosophy influenced by the Wandervogel movement in Germany.
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Their followers, known as "Nature Boys", wore long hair and beards and ate only raw fruits and vegetables. McGrew adopted the philosophy and chose the name "eden ahbez", writing and spelling his name with lower-case letters. It was there, while living in a cave near Palm Springs, that ahbez wrote "Nature Boy". Partly autobiographical, the song was a tribute to his mentor Bill Pester...
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In 1947 ... ahbez approached Nat King Cole's manager backstage at the Lincoln Theater in Los Angeles, handed him a tattered copy of "Nature Boy", and asked him to show it to Cole. However, his pleas were ignored and a disappointed ahbez left the sheet music of "Nature Boy" with Cole's valet, Otis Pollard. From him, Cole came to know of the song and loved it. 
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Cole began playing "Nature Boy" for live audiences, and he received much acclaim. Irving Berlin, who was present during one of the performances, initially offered to buy the track from Cole, but Cole decided to record it for himself. He needed to get permission from ahbez, however, before releasing it as a single, but he was not able to find the songwriter since ahbez had disappeared without providing any contact details. After ahbez was discovered living under the Hollywood Sign, Cole got his permission and recorded the song.
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The record debuted on the Billboard charts of April 16, 1948, and stayed there for 15 weeks, ultimately peaking at number one. It also reached a peak of number two on the R&B charts.
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... "Nature Boy" helped to introduce Cole to a wider audience, especially the white music market, and generated royalties for ahbez. In 1999, the song was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
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'NATURE BOY' - NAT "KING" COLE



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQerH4nRTUA
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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Unforgettable... with Love, also known as simply Unforgettable, is a 1991 album by Natalie Cole, which focuses on covers of standards previously performed by her father, Nat King Cole. ... The album was certified 7x platinum as of 2009 by the RIAA, winning the 1992 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and five additional Grammys: Record of the Year, Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year, Arrangement Accompanying Vocals and Producer of the Year, as well as the Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Album, Female the same year. 
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'NATURE BOY' - NATALIE COLE



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr20qGZkQVo 
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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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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. 
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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.
@ '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.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' 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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