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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 and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st of each month and on the 7th, 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.]

Monday, August 1, 2022

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: AUG. 1, 2022 (Or, SPEED-SINGING: JOHNNY CASH VERSUS REUNION)


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Yes, it's time once again for Battle Of The Bands (BOTB).

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On July 11th, I wrote this to our friend [link> dIEDRE:

"Next Battle will be pretty unique. Here's a big clue: What do Speed Racer, Speedy Gonzalez, and The Roadrunner have in common?"

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Tha-aaa-t's right!  They're all cartoons very fast.

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Today's Battle features two songs sung very fast. I very cleverly call this "speed-singing". Today we have Johnny Cash and his recording of 'I've Been Everywhere' (1996) against 'Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)' which was a #8 Billboard smash for the one-hit-wonder group Reunion in 1974. 

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I have never made a secret of the fact that I think Johnny Cash was one of the very most overrated music "artists" of all time. I only like two of his songs (the grifter didn't write either one of them). And, helck, as the old saying goes: Even a broken, nutty squirrel finds a blind clock twice a day. 

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One of those two Cash recordings I like is the super-fast 'I've Been Everywhere'. Of course, Johnny didn't write it because he couldn't have -- he simply didn't have that much talent. But he DID record a good rendition of it. (If you're curious about the history of this interesting song, click HERE.) 

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I haven't been EVERYWHERE, but I have been to many places. Some examples: 

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I have been to Winnemucca, Mac. I have been to San Fernando Valley; Monument Valley; Silicon Valley; Simi Valley; Death Valley; and Goblin Valley. 

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Goblin Valley, Utah

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STMcC with a big ol' bottle of Almaden wine in Goblin Valley.

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I have been to Dogtown and to Prairie Dog Town. 

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STMcC and Muddy in Prairie Dog Town.

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I've been to Chicago; Chattanooga; New Orleans; New York City; Boston, Mass. and Hannibal, MO.

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STMcC in "that great city Babylon".

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Tom Sawyer's (i.e., Mark Twain's) boyhood home. That's STMcC's Marvelous Ma in Hannibal, MO.
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I've been to Saint Louie; and Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty. 

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STMcC's brother, Judge Al Bondigas, in St. Louis, 1984.
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...photo by STMcC.
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I've seen Flagstaff, Arizona - don't forget Winona - Kingman; Barstow; San Bernardino. (In fact, I got a speeding ticket just outside of Barstow in 1980.) 

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STMcC & Muddy hitchhiking on the original Route 66.

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I've gotten to Amarillo by morning, and I've been seen standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.

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Judge Al Bondigas, STMcC & Muddy standing on a corner in Winslow, AZ.

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I've been to Colorado; Kentucky; Washington, D.C. and the Devil's (other) Tower in Wyoming. 

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I've seen Grants Pass, Oregon; jumping frogs in Calaveras County; and I've fallen in love with the cute cashier at the Santa Fe drug store. 

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I've been in Maine; Mississippi; Minnesota; and Butte, Montana.

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I've been to Tonopah; Tucson; Tombstone; and Toontown. I've seen Gotham City; Bullhead City; Virginia City; the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia; and Hawkeye's "Swamp" in Korea.

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Judge Al Bondigas & STMcC in Virginia City, NV. (circa 1975).

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Okefenokee Swamp, GA., where I got completely lost one night with nothing but a flashlight and only one Lowenbrau beer to sustain me! The alligators were closing in and the hoot owl was "WHOooo"-ing. *I'm NOT kidding!*

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By the time I got to Phoenix, it was 1995 (degrees). I've been ON, ABOVE and UNDER the Vincent Thomas Bridge; and 40 years later, the authorities are still looking for me on Catalina Island!

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I once made a wrong turn and 12 miles later I found myself in McGill, Nevada. (Nah, I'm just joking. Nobody "finds himself" in McGill. McGill is a place you LEAVE in order to find yourself.)

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Oops!  Wrong turn.

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I've been to Appleton; Sheboygan; and Weyauwega, Wisconsin. 

(Why the helck was I in Weyauwega??!!)

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I've been in Kansas... (wait for it... wait for it...)

... but I don't think I'm in Kansas anymore.

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I have been in the state of Confusion and the state of Despair. I've been in Hot Water and A-Day-Late and A-Dollar-Short. I've been lost at sea in a fifth of Bacardi. I have hallucinated on the road out of Vegas, and I've gone to jail in Mexico. 

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Daphne Moon and I NEVER should have hired those undercover cops posing as "male escorts"!!

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I've even been in Monstro.

The beast swallowed me while I was watching the birdie. [Photo by the one & ONLY "Countess". Don't be fooled by cheap imitations like Jeanne Moreau!] 
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But worst of all, I've been in Fringe & Paisley...

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...and I killed a bottle of bourbon in Reno just to watch it die.

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The hangover I had when I took this picture in 1986, no mortal man could have survived. *I'm NOT kidding!*

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But unlike Johnny Cash, I haven't been EVERYWHERE... man. 

I never went to Katmandu, and I've never seen holy Toledo! 

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Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!...

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I'VE BEEN EVERYWHERE - Johnny Cash (1996)

[link> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov4epAJRPMw

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That was damned fast singing, wasn't it?

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Reunion says, "Hold my beer."

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LIFE IS A ROCK (BUT THE RADIO ROLLED ME) - Reunion (1974)

[link> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzfsH4eRSPo

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Which of those two speedy songs do you like better? Please vote in the comment section.

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Q: Will Cash beat Reunion?

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~ Stephen T. McCarthy

DogGtor of Alcohology & 

King of Inebriation Nation

Friday, July 8, 2022

BOTB RESULTS: JULY 1, 2022 (Or, THE BEACH BOYS WITH BLONDIE CHAPLIN VS. THE BEACH BOYS WITH RAY CHARLES)

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First & Foremost: Big Thanks to everyone of you who took the time to visit my July 1st Battle Of The Bands installment and contributed your two cents to the kitty. Although the Battle was a blowout, I still feel it was a goot juan, and I had some funs in ye olde comment section.

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The BOTB contest took place [link> HERE. The song was 'SAIL ON, SAILOR', and the contestants were The Beach Boys with Blondie Chaplin singing the lead vocal versus The Beach Boys with Ray Charles singing the lead vocal. Although our resident so-called "psychic" (Psychic Sidekick) unequivocally predicted a Ray Charles victory, Blondie Chaplin actually won... unequivocally.

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FINAL TALLY

Blondie Chaplin & The Beach Boys = 9 votes

Ray Charles & The Beach Boys = 3 votes

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Occasionally the underdog wins. And every once in a blue moon, the underdog even kicks the McNuggets out of the favorite. That's what happened this time.

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I actually love BOTH versions of this song a great deal, so for me, personally, this Battle was a lot closer than it was for our BOTB community. However, like most other BOTB boters, I sided with Blondie Chaplin's original recording. Maybe it was partly due to the fact that I grew up with the original recording, so familiarity bred contempt (too strong a word) for the "new" version. But also, when a song gets the classic "Blues" treatment (a la Ray Charles) it tends to alter the musical meter. Sometimes that's an improvement. But not this time, according to mine own ears.

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Anyway, I sure do appreciate those who voted for Ray, preventing a (first) shutout! And because I did manage to get at least 10 votes again (12 - *Thank you, Birgit's Hubby!*), I'll be back with another Battle Of The Bands installment on August 1st. I hope you'll all return for that one, because I've got something rather unique up my sleeve. It's an idea I've had on my 'To Do' list for quite awhile, and I'm thinking that the month of my birth is the time to bust out this one-of-a-kind musical Battle.

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My Friends, may you Bless And Be Blessed!!

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Friday, July 1, 2022

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: July 1, 2022 (Or, BLONDIE CHAPLIN & THE BEACH BOYS VS. RAY CHARLES & THE BEACH BOYS)

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Yes, it's time once again for Battle Of The Bands (BOTB).

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"Roll down the window, put down the top

Crank up the Beach Boys, baby

Don't let the music stop"

~ Randy Newman

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Well, well, well, we're now in the patriotic heart of Summertime. Having grown up in the shade of Lifeguard Station #26 in "Dogtown", California, this time of year fills my mind with good memories of Fourth of July celebrations, lemonade, body-surfing waves all day long, and the sunny, cheery songs of The Beach Boys. The Boys are on my very short list of all-time favorite musical artists.

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In 1975, I purchased my first three LPs in a single visit to Tower Records, and one of those three albums was this one:

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It included several lesser-known songs that I loved as much as I did the massive hits. One of those songs was 'SAIL ON, SAILOR', which actually got played on Los Angeles FM radio stations very frequently and, along with 'Good Vibrations', was the primary reason I purchased this LP. In putting together this Battle, I was shocked to discover that 'Sail On, Sailor' was never a Billboard Top 40 hit. I guess its massive popularity was more of an "underground" type of thing in L.A. back then.

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I've decided to put The Beach Boys up against The Beach Boys, with two different singers performing the lead vocals. Ray Charles needs no introduction. But who is this "Blondie", who sang the lead on the original recording?

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No, no, not *that* Blondie! "Don't let's be silly!!" 

Terence William "Blondie" Chaplin grew up in South Africa under apartheid where he was classified as Coloured, and where he played in the band The Flames... Beach Boy Carl Wilson heard The Flames while the band was performing in London and signed them to the Beach Boys' Brother Records label, producing their self-titled album, The Flame. In 1972 and '73, "Blondie" was a member of the Beach Boys and contributed to their albums Carl and the Passions' 'So Tough' (1972) and 'Holland' (1973).

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See which version of the song you prefer -- Blondie Chaplin's original, or Ray Charles covering it with The Boys themselves.

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Q: Will Ray Charles & The Beach Boys beat Blondie Chaplin & The Beach Boys?

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WARNING: This song can be a nasty earworm that keeps you awake all night long. Take it from an extremely tired guy who knows: Don't play this song shortly before bedtime!!

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Alright, let's get on it.  Let's get ON this thing!...

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SAIL ON, SAILOR - The Beach Boys (with Blondie Chaplin)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wYanztTi7k

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SAIL ON, SAILOR - The Beach Boys (with Ray Charles)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zFlvqTDVSE

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Please vote here and then check out the other folks in the BOTB Club to see what Battles they are running this week. (See the Linked List of "Participants" in the right-hand column, punks.)

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I should be back here on July 8th to announce the winner. Git you a Happy Fourth of July, my friends! (Don't gorge yourself on fireworks and then play with your food!!)

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~ Stephen T. McCarthy