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 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.
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.]

Friday, December 25, 2015



(Interviewed by Harold Ramis for
Playboy magazine - June, 1970)

I just got home from making my annual Christmas Day wish for Tiny Tim, that he might someday score a second hit song.

Since for the first time ever, my Brother Nappy, Sister Bonehead, and I aren't all together for Christmas Day, I wanted to post a few nostalgic items that are really a part of our longtime Christmas traditions. Nappy and Bonehead can enjoy them from Phoenix, and should anyone else enjoy them also, well that's just Chet's nuts roasting on an open fire walnuts on the fruitcake.

But first... a song!

I own quite a number of Christmas CDs, but one of my favorites is 'TINY TIM'S CHRISTMAS ALBUM'. Even when he was terrible (which wasn't all the time), Tiny was so sincere that I find it impossible not to love the big lug ("John Wayne!-John Wayne!"). 

And I think his version of 'The Christmas Song' may be my all-time favorite. (Eat yer heart out, Nat King Cole!) Did ANYONE ever have more fun singing this song? And make no mistake, Tiny really CAN sing. Wait until the song kicks into the high-gear uptempo part and really pay attention to Tiny's voice. It's GOOD! And he knows how to use it. If that ain't "Christmas fun", I don't know what is:


Nappy and Bonehead, these next three are for you two...

During my childhood, the Andre champagne commercial was as much a part of our tradition as was the decorations and the family Christmas tree. It wasn't until I was about 21 or 22 years old that I learned the name of the melody was 'Carol Of The Bells' and NOT "the Andre champagne commercial song".


'POPPY THE PUPPY' by Gene Autry
When we were just wee little tots, we had a record album titled '18 Christmas Songs' on Value Records which contained 'Poppy The Puppy', and this song and album were real favorites of We Three Kids. Well, one day, while the record was playing, Nappy (always a bulldog bulldoug in a china shop) accidentally broke it in an unsuccessful attempt to leap over the record player. My Ma tried to glue it back together as if it were just another Nativity set angel. Ha! Not THIS time, Ma.

Well, I still put the old record cover and the broken record out as a house decoration all these years later. And not a Christmas had passed since then during which my Sister and I had failed to mention the broken record and given Nappy dirty looks and nasty words.

A few years back, Nappy's conscience got the better of him and he finally got around to replacing the album... on compact disc, which was a long way from being invented when he broke our record circa 1969 or '70.

And now that I hear it again after decades, I realize that... 'Poppy The Puppy' wasn't really all that good of a song. I almost wish Nappy hadn't replaced it so we could still "give him the business" about the damaged album. I enjoyed criticizing Nappy every Christmas more than I like listening to 'Poppy The Puppy'.


Our family owned the soundtrack recording on LP of 'The Big Little Jesus' - the Dragnet TV show Christmas special. We listened to it every single year, the way some people watch 'It's A Wonderful Life' every year at this time.

The soundtrack recording was not just the music but EVERY LINE OF DIALOGUE in the show. The funny thing is that until just a couple years ago (and thanks to YouTube) I had never, ever seen the 30-minute TV show. I knew every word of the show's dialogue because I grew up with our soundtrack album, but I'd never seen the actors delivering those lines. Other than Sergeant Joe Friday (Jack Webb) I had NO IDEA what those actors looked like.

When I closed down my old 'STUFFS' blog in early 2012, my final blog bit there was titled GOING-OUT-OF-BLOGGING SALE! (50% OFF EUROPEAN ITEMS), and one of the final paragraphs said:

To all who read and commented on ‘Stuffs’... or read it but didn’t comment on it... or commented on it but didn’t read it... or neither read or commented on it... I thank you; my brother Nappy thanks you; Yogi Yoey O’Dogherty thanks you; Mister Flavin, Paco Mendoza, Father Xavier Rojas, and Claude Stroup at The Golden Dream Hotel thank you.
The blog bit title and most of that paragraph were inspired by the Dragnet TV Christmas special. Well, click the link below (YouTube doesn't allow the video to be embedded) and watch the very heartwarming show for yourself and see how many of the references made it into my final 'STUFFS' blog bit.

Original air date: December 24, 1953
A statue of baby Jesus is stolen from a church, and Friday must find it before Christmas.
LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMIRG-upZ2w

God bless Tiny Tim (and Christ Jesus bless all of you, too!)

Sing us and preach us out, Tiny, as only you can do...

'SILENT NIGHT' by Tiny Tim

Bonehead, this last little gift is for you...

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. Al Bondigas here. Well done!! Well done!! Yeah, I remember it really wasn't Christmas time until we saw the Andre champagne commercial. What, you couldn't find the Santa sledding on the Norelco razor commercial? Or the Rosey Grier Sports Illustrated commercial, where he was doing needlepoint? The Christmas drive this morning wasn't quite right without Tiny Tim's Christmas songs playing. Glad you got the Christmas house ornament, I was just thinking about it the other day. Merry Christmas brother.

    1. Your wish is my command:

      (Link:->) NOELCO RAZORS

      (Link:->) ROSIE GRIER

      YouTube is full of it!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

    2. Al Bondigas here. That wasn't the same Rosey Grier commercial. The original was a Sports Illustrated commercial, I believe. The one you linked came later and was a parody of the original,but using Miller Lite as the product, I think. It was still a good one though.

    3. Yeah, I knew that. I was able to find a couple commercials with Rosie Grier and references to his needlepointing hobby, but apparently no one has yet found and uploaded the Sports Illustrated one.

      I don't even remember that one specifically. You apparently recall it better'n I do.

      But that Norelco (Noelco) one is all over the place. The one I linked you to here included about 6 different versions of it filmed over many years.

      You and I, we're celebrities though - sorta-kinda - having worked with Rosie's brother. What was his name? Sam, right? Sam "The Talking Snowman" Grier?

      Remember, he's the originator of that great line we still love to quote: "Is uh, is uh, is... is that The Bible you're reading? That's good. That uh, that uh, that never hurt anyone."

      Or however it really went. That was uh... that was uh, a close approximation.

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Birthdayboy!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

  2. That is interesting how you knew the dialogue before ever seeing the show haha Sometimes we don't see the true meaning as kids, sometimes we see a better meaning too.

    1. PAT ~
      Yeah, literally, I had heard every single word and every single sound effect at least 50 times (perhaps more) before I ever got to see the accompanying images.

      In some places there are long pauses, and I always wondered what EXACTLY was happening during those pauses. Now I know.

      It was interesting to see how little the actors really looked from how I'd imagined them in my mind. Claude Stroup was probably the closest to how I mentally pictured him.

      There are some funny lines in that show which I still quote. Such as, "Why didn't you get her a catcher's mitt?" and "Oh, he's pretty old. About forty, maybe."

      ~ D-FensDogG

  3. Happy Doug Day and belated Christmas wishes. Loved the card. Happy New Year my friend!


    1. Poooooooooh!! Poooooooh!! These are pooh's not boos. Merry Christmas and happy 2016 General Poohregard!!

  4. Wow, Stephen, what a blog post! (This is quite a family tribute... and Happy Birthday to your brother, Nappy.)

    This year, I tossed a coin for Tiny Tim to have a second hit song. Listening to "The Christmas Song," I think it could happen. What a great version! "Silent Night" was impressive too. I think he has a great vocal range.

    Gene Autry's album was unknown by me, though I know he did, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

    Watching "Dragnet" brought back some memories. Though I'd never heard or seen "The Christmas Story," this first time view brought tears to my eyes. How very sweet. Thank you for sharing it :)

    No snow for Christmas this year. The weekend before it was so cold, and my furnace went out. I just knew snow was on the way. Maybe in January!

    What a touching post. (And now you've got me thinking about Andre Champagne, Ha!)

    May 2016 be kind to you :) DPP

    1. Thank you for the kind wish. Happy 2016!!

  5. Happy Birthday Nappy! Happy 2016 STMc! May you always find your ornaments in the same place. Ha, ha, ha!

    1. Thank you faraway. Happy 2016!!

  6. I feel like I've lost control of this Comment Section! HA!-Ha!

    Uh... let's see if I can yak a wee bit o' sumpin'...

    POOH! ~
    Last night, I had a weird dream. You, Nappy, and I were in it. It was strange, but it seemed I had gone back to work at UCLA and you and I were in a university vehicle that I was driving, and I couldn't remember if it was acceptable to drive on a certain street, and I had to ask you. You said it was alright, but I quickly realized it would have been smarter for me to drive up Hilgard or... that other street on the other side of the university... I can't remember the name of it at the moment.

    FAE ~
    Ha! Thanks! The ornaments can move around the Christmas tree, so long as the glittering West German-built HOUSE stays where I put it!

    Thanks for your tiny wish for TINY TIM. He deserved it. Like most people, I dismissed him as a ridiculous One-Hit Wonder. But later, looking into his life and recordings, I realized that - as usual - the mainstream view is wrong. Tiny was a weirdo freak for sure (and a REAL one - he came by it NATURALLY - it wasn't a put-on facade to gain attention) but the guy SERIOUSLY knew more about American music than probably any other living person at that time. And, he had some SERI0US talent!

    Believe me, no one could have been more surprised than I was, when I first realized that Tiny Tim was GENUINELY TALENTED. In some respects, he was his own worst publicity, but at the same time, he was ALWAYS being the GENUINE TINY TIM! And how many of us can say we're always the 100% Genuine Us?

    My respect for Tiny Tim is NOT some put-on nonsense in order to make myself appear avant-garde (as some bloggers whom we know do), but it's an honest assessment of an artist who was far more talented than the mainstream view would have us believe.

    Nappy, Tiny, and I thank you for your tiny Tiny Tim wish on Christmas Day!

    ~ D-FensDogG

  7. I guess I am too late to return your Kwanza wishes. Festivus greetings to the entire McDogg clan!

  8. Hello Mr. Stephen T! I've skimmed through this blog post and the newer one, but I promise to come back soon and read them in their entirety! As soon as I saw "Nappy's" name, I just had to read a bit more! Happy Belated Christmas....your card finally got put in the mail.... :)


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