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. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st and 15th of each month and six days later, on 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.]

Thursday, January 7, 2016


STMcC’s Vote On '2016, January 1st: Battle Of The Bands'
(Or, 'Johnny Horton Vs. Hank "Bocephus" Williams, Jr.')
And The Final Tally, with additional stuffs I wanna yak at ya:


This is gonna be kinda "windy". Apologies to Oh Donna right from the get-go.

Well, first of all, as always, HUGE, SINCERE THANKS to each and every one of you who took the time to listen, comment and vote! This was a fun Battle for me and I enjoyed so many of the amusing and entertaining comments. This one was a blast and a lighthearted way to start my new 'Battle Of The Bands' (BOTB) year.

It was also kind of painful because I'm forced to vote against one of the two recordings I put against each other. I love both of these songs so much and have personal history with each of them. This is one BOTB contest that I WISH had ended in a TIE. Now that I have to vote, I'm sorry I put Johnny Horton's 'THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS' against Hank Williams, Jr.'s 'THE BALLAD OF HANK WILLIAMS'. (Why do I sometimes make these Battles so tough on me?)

For those not in the know, my brother Nappy also plays the part of Judge Al Bondigas in my comment sections, and the Judge Al role was inspired by Judge Roy Bean (Walter Brennan). In my 59th BOTB installment (click HERE), Judge Al wrote: " I love the 'Ballad of Hank Williams' as much as you do. ... We have so much fun using lines from that song in our conversations and in our texts that it actually makes me a little sad not rulin' in its favor. ... Last week I thought I was going to rule for Bocephus, but, after much internal deliberating in my chambers, this judge had to rule with sound judgement, seasoned wisdom and moral clarity. Johnny Horton gets my vote. That's it!! That's my rulin'."

This makes me sad, too. But the ironic part is that last week I thought I was going to vote for Johnny Horton, but in the 11th hour (yeah, it went "up to eleven"), I decided to cast my bittersweet vote for Bocephus. In these really super-tough Battles for me, I have to resort to a trick in order to find my vote. I ask myself: "If God said you could only hear one of these two recordings for the rest of your life, which would it be?" That helps me to find the bottom line.

And my reasoning was this: As much as I love 'THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS' (it's an A+), I've heard it a godzillion times and know every word. But I can listen to 'THE BALLAD OF HANK WILLIAMS' and still kinda-sorta get to hear '...New Orleans', but I also get entertained to the max. As many times as I've played it, 'TBOHW' still makes me laugh... every... single... time! And I just can't imagine never again getting to hear those hilarious exchanges between Hank and Don Helms. That gets a grade of "R" - the highest my grading scale goes up to (even higher than eleven!)

Nappy / Judge Al and I grew up with 'TBONO'. It was our Ma who introduced us to it, and we have drunk to it. Oh yes we have! It's got a great beat and you can drink to it!

But it was I who introduced Nappy to 'TBOHW'. And I think that may have been in 2008, when we were on vacation together (click: 'NOTES  FROM  AN  UNNOTEWORTHY  VACATION' and scroll down to the Monday, Sept. 15, 2008 entry.) 

In some ways, you couldn't find two people more different than brother Nappy and I are. But in other ways, we're like brothers separated at birth two dogs from the same litter litre. When it comes to recognizing good movies and very quotable lines, we're chugging from the same "knock-you-naked Margarita mix!" His movie recommendations are the only ones I trust 100%. And he and I have a weird knack for picking up on the same lines to quote over and over again. (We both know that the majority of the time, it's not the words themselves that matter, but it's HOW those words are said that makes 'em memorable.)

About 'TBOHW', he'd written: "We have so much fun using lines from that song in our conversations and in our texts."

He was referring primarily to the "Right, right" that Don Helms says at the very end of that song.  And knowing for months that I was going to use this song in this Battle, I saved some old real texts to share with y'all in this Results post:

OCTOBER 3, 2015
STMcC: U gonna watch 'The Thin Man' with us tonight at 7PM?
NAPPY: Yeah.
STMcC: Cool. ...So the drinking begins again at 7PM tonight, eh? It's the law! Did you download the movie yet? It takes awhile.
NAPPY: Doing it now.
S: Drinking, downloading, or both?
N: Ha Ha. Downloading, not down and loaded.
S: U been down and loaded? "Say it ain't so, Joe!"
N: Most of my life. I don't ever want to feel like I did in this life. 

[*This was a reference to my 53rd BOTB installment, a two-fer - Song & Video - featuring David & David vs. The Red Hot Chili Peppers*]

S: Now you know how I'm voting on this BOTB.
N: Yeah, I got you figgered out. Song: RHCP. Video: D&D.
S: Right X 2. ...Oops! I meant to say "Right, right".
N: Ha
S: You mean: Ha! Ha!
N: Right, right
S: Ha! Ha! (Monty Python? Pikers!)

Here's a shorter recent one:

DEC. 23, 2015
S: Who u predict will win the battle, Horton or Bocephus?
N: Hmmm. Not sure. Maybe Horton because it's a classic.
S: Should be a close Battle. But some people tend to vote what they know ("Familiarity Factor"), so Horton has that advantage. But if everyone gives both an honest chance, this should be a photo-finish.
N: Right, right. 

So, who DID win and just how close WAS it?

Johnny Horton = 14 Votes
Hank Williams, Jr. = 10 Votes

Not a photo-finish, but pretty dern close! Thanks all y'all, for voting and making this so much fun for me! A pretty nice turnout for a holiday-time Battle. I hope you'll all be back for my January 15th BOTB installment in which I will be doing something that no other BOTBer has done before. Uncharted musical notes.

In other unrelated news...

It seems my work schedule has finally been changed to what I was promised it would be back before Thanksgiving. Phew! So, finally, all you who feel I've been neglecting your blogs, your comments, and neglecting to Email you (because I HAVE been!), know that this should be changing soon.

Pretty soon, with more free time coming, I'm going to begin a Spiritual project, which I have ingeniously named "The Spiritual Project" (or equally creatively shortened to "TSP"). I'm going to try to find God again. (It seems He got lost somehow and hasn't been able to find His way back to me.)

In order to do this, I need to purify the temple of my body and detoxify my liver. So, last night, I stopped in at what has become one of my all-time Top Ten favorite bars - ROXY'S LOUNGE at Reno's Eldorado Hotel & Casino - and I said my "goodbye". It was kind of sad. I had a Mojito and a 'Dirty Dirty Pike' (a Martini that I partially invented at Roxy's). A classy place with great drinks, great music, and friendly, real bartenders (not just beer-pourers!)


And by the way, you remember my 52nd BOTB contest in which Duke Ellington and Nancy Wilson ended up in a tie over the song 'SATIN DOLL'? Well, that Battle occurred to me and was inspired by the piano player at Roxy's Lounge. Thanks to Gil, the cool, mafioso-looking man behind the keys.

Tonight I'll have a little Grand Marnier over ice in my special silver GraMar cup while I watch 'HEAVEN CAN WAIT' (1943) and 'TOMBSTONE' (1993) back-to-back, and figure out which one is going to make my '25 Favorite Movies' list. And after that, the purification process begins.

Buttermilk and Jesus, here I come!

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. Pretty good battle to start the New Year! Look forward to your next battle!

    1. Thanks, MIKE!
      Yeah, I thought it was a pretty good one, too. And I'm super-curious to see how my next one will go.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

  2. This was a great battle and I didn't think Hank Williams would get as many votes as he did. Love the Thin Man series!! This bar looks like a classy joint. The 2 words go hand in hand with this place. Enjoy Heaven Can Wait and Tombstone which is the one I prefer over the Kevin Costner one (although I like that one too). I thought Val Kilmer was perfect as Doc Holiday. Enjoy your spiritual journey and looking forward to your top 25 film list:)

    1. Thank you, BIRGIT!

      Actually, I thought it might have ended even closer than it did, but I expected Johnny Horton to win.

      I knew you would love 'THE THIN MAN' series. How could you not? Great old Black & White stories, clever writing, great cast, and Martinis on the house! Ha!

      Nick and Nora are two of my all-time favorite movie characters.

      "Classy joint" - right on! If it were just classy, they wouldn't let me in. And if it were just a joint, I wouldn't WANT to be in. (OK, that last part was a lie.)

      I watched both movies last night and made my decision. It wasn't easy though. And, yes, Val Kilmer's portrayal of Doc Holliday is one of the most charismatic in film history. That guy stole the entire movie.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  3. I'm not going to say anything about my vote and how your vote turned. These days whenever I think of Tim Horton I think of muffins and coffee, but when I think of Johnny Horton I think of TBONO and when I think of that song I think of that thread where we met. It's a great song that deserved the win here.

    Buttermilk and Jesus sounds good to me. Add some pork rinds or cornbread and I've got me a good ol' southern style communion lunch.

    My results will show up on Friday.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. LEE ~
      Yeah, once again, our votes were at odds with each other. That's normal. But in this case, mine could have gone either way. I love both songs thoroughly and it really did hurt me to vote against Horton. I don't mind his classic bar-rousing song taking the win. Yes, it probably deserved to. A tie would have pleased the hell out of me though.

      Oooh! I'll definitely pass on the pork rinds. How can you eat that? Don't look too closely or you'll start noticing all the little black hairs still attached to that fried skin. YUCK!

      Make mine buttermilk (I have some in the fridge as I type), cornbread, and maybe afterwards a glass of red wine, newly made from water by my lunch Companion.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

    2. Them hairs in the pork rinds are like a natural toothbrush--help keep my teeth cleaned and then scrub out my innards.

      Arlee Bird
      Tossing It Out

    3. UGH! I can't even laugh about that.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  4. As you say, you were expecting Horton to win (he did), but TBOHW fared pretty darn well. That song is so darn funny I had my mom listen to it. About the second or third time I played it (for myself), I said, "Hey dad, you listenin' to this???" I'm pretty sure he was:)

    I know. Right, right.

    When you say the spirituality project... are you talking about our 3-way? If so, I think I need some directions. I don't drink alcohol, so I don't need buttermilk. Right, right.

    1. GIRL WONDER ~
      Oh, yeah, just from the picture I saw of you and yer Pa in Vegas, I have no doubt he's the kind of guy who would appreciate 'TBOHW'. My Pa would have loved it, too. LOVED IT!!

      Yes, 'TSP' is what we've discussed before, except now it's a 4-Way (FAE's with us).

      My work schedule just changed from 62.5 hours per week to 37.5. All hours worked in 3 days, so that gives me 4 days off every week (barring emergencies or unforeseen crapola).

      I need to finish my 'SES' first, and then we'll all get on the same page and get started. (Buttermilk is optional, but Jesus is not.)

      Have I sent you what I've written so far of my 'SES' ('Spiritual Enlightenment Series')? The story of how I found Jesus (or, more accurately, how and when He came for me)? If not, I can if you're interested in reading it. Or wait until I complete it? Either way, it's not necessary for 'TSP'.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

    2. Cool. I'm glad FAE's on board. No, I haven't read your SES, but would love to read it!

  5. ~D-FensDogG... this was a touch choice for me too. I guess my lost & found memories, of Mr. Johnson, pushed me over the edge to vote for Horton. (I wonder what he would think of Bocephus' version? He'd probably laugh in that 'boyish' way he had, (smile). If, for no other reason than Mr. Johnson - this battle will stay in my heart. Thanks for that.) Who says a 'crush' isn't energizing?! Whew!

    Okay, so now I know that you and brother Nappy use a foreign language, not quite privy to the majority. I can sit back and laugh anyway. You TWO are funny!!

    Stay strong - you'll find what you're looking for, and He is closer than you think, right?!


      I fully understand why your vote had to go Johnny's way. I'd have felt the same way with a hot history teacher named Jolene.

      Glad it was entertaining though. It was tremendous fun for me because both songs are such fun and they elicited some wonderful comments, yours among them.

      Ha! Yeah, Nappy and I have a pretty well developed secret lingo. In fact, much of what we say are references to other things understood by the few, the proud, the hungover. Some of my buddies from 'The League Of Soul Crusaders' are still in touch and our conversations are always filled with references to old situations, discussions, fights, and movies.

      "What about my elbow?!"
      "Wha'dja do?"
      "Filly Waggit."
      "Have you seen THIS one?"

      So many silly little things we say that appear meaningless but have an understood history behind them.

      Thanks! I'm pretty sure I'll find what I'm looking for before I get called Home.

      In fact, I don't think anyone's really lost. We all just get a little turned around sometimes.

      Yak Again, Sister...

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

  6. "Buttermilk and Jesus, Here I come." - Lol! That cracked me up Stephen! I wish you luck in your purification process. I know how hard it can be to say goodbye to a bar. Roxy's looks like a cool place. I used to own a bar, back in the 90s. It was just a little beer & wine joint with a few pool tables and a kickass jukebox (I handpicked all the music and people would come in and say they heard about my jukebox and that's why they came to my bar. I was so proud of my music there. :) It was really fun for awhile but then it became a PITA. I had started an advertising agency so I was spending less and less time at the bar -- which you can't do! I had beer going out the back door and money disappearing out of the register. I used to hire a private investigator to sit and watch my bartenders and give me reports on who was stealing from me. My ad agency was really taking off so I sold the bar. Sometimes I miss it. Most times I don't. I'm happy with my dogsitting business and jewelry business now and happy that I don't have to be somewhere at a certain time and be stuck there until closing time. It was a ton of fun for awhile and I'm so glad I did it because it had always been a dream of mine to have a neighborhood bar. So I can check that one off my bucket list...
    I'm sure Roxy's will miss you!!! Don't be a stranger. You can always stop in and have a cup of coffee... :)

    Are you going to do the Lost & Found Valentine's blogfest to coincide with the Feb 1st BOTB? I hope you do. I'm working on my post right now.

    Have a great weekend Stephen. I'll think of you next time I see a carton of buttermilk... :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Howdy, MICHELE! Thanks for stopping by. And glad you liked my buttermilk and Jesus line. It just popped into my head and I feel it was particularly inspired.

      I really do love buttermilk and Jesus. Avocados, too. But "Avocados and Jesus" doesn't have the same pizzazz somehow.

      Cool story about your bar. I can see what a headache that could be, but I too have occasionally thought I'd like to own one. I've spent so much time in them that I think I know what it takes to create a memorable one with lots of style. And, yes, MUSIC would play a key role in establishing the personality of any bar I'd own.

      I'm glad you got to scratch one off the bucket list and that you're happy now.

      Yes, I'm signed up for the Lost & Found Valentine's blogfest. I'm not planning to do anything other than post a BOTB installment that coincides with the theme, and mention the blogfest with a link to it.

      But yes, my Feb. 1st 'Battle' will definitely relate to it. More like "Found & Lost Love". It's a song I've wanted to use in BOTB from the very beginning and it will fit in perfectly with the idea of the festival.

      See ya there... but 1/15/2016 BOTB comes first, and I'm ready for that one, too. Mine'll be very different, despite being the same. (You'll understand that when the time comes.)

      Thanks again for the visit. Take care, my friend.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

    2. Avocados are cool. :)
      I'll look forward to your 1/15 battle. You always create suspense leading up to your battles!

    3. Thanks, MICHELE.
      Avocados, Green Chiles, Chipotle Peppers, Ice Cream, Buttermilk, Grand Marnier, Roy Rogers... these are a few of my favorite things.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  7. "Is it over yet? Did I win?"

    Baby I didn't know you had that many words in you. Here's your sign - er, song.

    Hmm, I know what you mean about voting against your usual preferences - Hank Jr is hard to vote against, and that was one hell of a fun song. I remember I used to like fun, lol.

    Shame you're swearing off this drinking life, but I seem to recall Jesus turning the water into wine, so maybe you can still share a glass or six with me when I make it up there. Dang, sure hoped you'd show me Roxie's, but peach schnapps and cream is as close as I come to buttermilk.

    Sorry I'm so late to this party :) Don't sleep in too late on your day off.

    1. >>... Baby I didn't know you had that many words in you.

      Oh, yeah, I'm full of it. ...Words, I mean.

      And sometimes... I wanna yak about ME!

      I can always go to Roxy's and order a virgin Marga-- aww, never mind. No, I can't.

      I'll just have to have a glass of wine, I guess. Or maybe try a shot of that 150 year old Grand Marnier they have available.

      We'll see how this goes. I may determine that life without booze ain't worth living. Then we can get ripped at Roxy's and take a taxi cab to 'Boomtown' to visit Willie.

      ~ D-FensDogG


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