Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Monday, December 10, 2018

It Ain't Easy Being an Angel (#BOTB Results)


      There are times when we just do things because they are the right things to do at that particular moment in time.  If we think too much about what we believe to be the right thing to do, then we give ourselves ample opportunity to talk ourselves out of doing them.  The brain can be an insidious device that cultivates fear and inaction...

         
Battle of the Bands Results


      My most recent Battle was between country superstars Alabama and the far lesser known Tutti Druyan singing the song "Angels Among Us".  The outcome was predictable, but I liked the idea of using the song in lieu of more tradition Christmas fare.  I enjoyed Tutti's version, but like most of you I had a preference for Alabama.  Thanks to all who voted!

Final Vote Tally

Alabama              18

Tutti Druyan          4


Next Battle on Saturday December 15th!

       It's coming soon!  This Saturday in fact!  Be there for my next song offering for the Christmas season. 

        Do you have a good internal guardian who keeps you from making a lot of rash dumb decisions?  How often do you talk yourself into being afraid?  What is the greatest decision you've made that was essentially irrational with a potentially disastrous outcome?








Wednesday, December 5, 2018

So That Answers That Question! ( #IWSG )



If you haven't voted on my Battle of the Bands for December 1st then you can go here and cast a vote for your favorite song version of "Angels Among Us".  




The Insecure Writer's Support Group



Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog


The co-hosts for the December 5 posting of the IWSG are J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker , Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey--Stop by their blogs to say "thank you!"  



December 5 question - What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?





     Was that "5" or "500"?   One might wonder looking at the above photo of my writing space.  Actually I've cleaned up the space since that picture was taken some months ago, but still it's pretty bad.  I tend to accumulate stuff since my writing space is also a multi-use area where I do all sorts of things. 

       So what are five objects that would always tend to be found in my writing space?  

       1)  My house phone:  If it rings then I don't want to be going to another room to answer it.  Though it might not be a bad idea to have to get up since that would provide some much needed exercise.

        2)  Pens and paper:   I don't often use pens and paper for writing these days, but sometimes I do feel an urge to scribble something down.

        3)  Miscellaneous office supplies:  Stapler, paper clips, scissors, and so on--after all, this space is my "office" so I should have office supplies even if I rarely use any of them.

       4)  Sound entertainment system:   I don't know if these are still called "boom boxes", but I do have a combo with radio/CD/cassette tape just in case I want to listen to music or talk radio.  I don't listen to these like I used to, but it's there if I need some background sounds. 

         5) My Computer:   This is the most important item since this is how I do most of my writing as well as research.   What did people do before there were computers anyway?  Well, I do know, but I don't think I want to go back to that time.

         So that also partially answers the question as to why I don't get much writing done.  Maybe I'd be better off taking a notebook and a pen to sit beside a secluded waterfall or upon a mountain top to write without distractions.  Are you kidding?  Then I'd be watching the water or looking at the view instead of writing.  I can always find an excuse not to do things I probably should be doing.

 
         Do you tend to accumulate clutter on your desk?  Do you have a desk?  Do you prefer to write at home or some other place?










Saturday, December 1, 2018

Angels Among Us (#BOTB)


      Reach out to a friend in need, or for that matter someone you don't know--not just during this Christmas season, but all through the year...

Be an Angel!
       


Battle of the Bands

      Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

Angels Among Us

       Not exactly a Christmas song, but it fits in well with the spirit of the Season.  This song was first released by the country group Alabama in 1993.  In this Battle I take the risk of putting the original artists up against an internet artist that you probably don't know.  Either way, enjoy the song and maybe let the message soak in some.  Let's be like angels during this Christmas season and then keep on doing it through the year to come...

 Alabama  "Angels Among Us"    (1993)
          
       From Fort Payne Alabama, this group touts its home state as their group name.  These fellows started playing together in 1969 under the name Wildcountry, but after changing their name to Alabama in 1977 they started hitting the music charts eventually becoming one of the biggest bands in the country music genre. 




Tutti Druyan  "Angels Among Us"  (2013)

     Tutti is a successful singer, actor, and voice-over artist from Israel.  She began her career at age 3 and now at age 25 she can be considered a veteran in the entertainment business.







Time to Vote!
      Come on!  Don't be a Grinch!  Vote!
  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside


A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday December 10th

           You'll have plenty of time to vote on this one even though I'll have an #IWSG post on Wednesday the 5th.  Busy time ahead for many of us as we head toward the New Year.  Can you believe we're reaching the end of yet another year? 

           Have you ever experienced an "angelic" encounter?   Do you do any volunteer projects that help others?   What is a nice gesture that you would recommend that others do to help someone who needs an angel?






Monday, November 26, 2018

Just Thinking As We Approach Year's End (déjà vu)



This is a re-post from my currently inactive memoir blog Wrote By Rote.  This post first appeared on December 31, 2011.   





Winds of Change Without Awareness--A New Year's Eve Once Upon a Time

                                                             Image via Wikipedia

I try to remember but I can't. It's the exact year that I don't remember, or most of the details of that evening. I do know it was New Year's Eve.

I was married to my second wife, Susan, at the time. We were in Tennessee at my parents' house. This is where we typically spent New Year's Eve. It was the more happening place between going to Richmond, Virginia, where her parents lived, and being with my family, who were the more fun party people.

My father was still alive at the time, our kids were still babies, and my wife and I were still in our thirties. The house was aglow with lights and music and chatter and laughter as the festivities pressed on toward the turning over of one year to the next. Everyone was having a grand time.

At one point Susan and I decided to go out into the dark quiet of the night to take a break from the activity in the house. It was unseasonably warm that end of December night. Strangely and unseasonably warm--more like a summer night, but with the crisp dryness of autumn.

In silence, we strolled into the expansive back yard to a point that was about fifty yards from the house and sat down side by side in the desiccated winter grass. Wordless, we smoked a joint under a cloudless starry sky and basked in the comforting balminess of the evening breeze. Gazing upon the big house with lights in every window silhouetted against the black night sky, I slipped into a meditation.

Here from where we sat in the back yard, the lights, the house, the people seemed so far away, and it was only Susan and I with our life together beautiful and filled with so much promise. A feeling of serenity and security enveloped me as I clutched Susan's hand. I felt that now was forever and this moment would have no end.

Then a whoosh of warm wind swept over us and I felt exhilarated. With a deep breath I leaned forward to breathe in the moment. It was only Susan and I. Our world was perfect. A mental image of a distant future filled my mind--a place peaceful and beautiful where my wife and I would grow older together and watch our grandchildren grow and we would fade into the twilight years happy with the satisfaction of dreams fulfilled.

That was then, one moment on a New Year's Eve many years ago. Not too many years after that night it ended. Things changed and became different. I'm not even sure what happened or why it happened, but only that it did happen. Susan left and what we had was over. Any dreams she had once had about us were simply shrugged off as she moved on, leaving me to shoulder the burdens of memory and the confusion of questioning why things had come to the point they had reached.

It was one New Year's Eve when things were weirdly warm and sublimely wonderful. It was only an illusion--my personal illusion I guess. The winds bring change that we don't even realize, things we don't understand even after they've blown past us. Life sweeps us forward to where the next adventure awaits. There is time for memories, but no real time for memories. The memories are only illusion.

A new year is a new year and an old year is an old year and all of the years just blend together. Our minds capture certain memories isolated without reference other than the years that came before and the years that followed, whichever those years might have been. And even then we sometimes don't know which years or why.

Capture this moment in time. Savor it and breathe it in deeply. This is the last time you will ever be here.

            Have you ever been swept by a magical wind?   When your expectations aren't fulfilled do you accept your circumstances with a shrug or clenched fists?   How much has your life changed in the past seven years?








Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Bob Beats Bob! (#BOTB Results)

May all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Eat well  and rest often--a recipe for a decent life.


Battle of the Bobs

         Let's just get to the point of the post:  Who won the Battle of the Bobs

          It's not a big surprise to me who won this match, though I do think it could have gone the other way.  I thought Bob Dylan did a credible and maybe even more convincing job of presenting the song.  He gave a wistful reflection that I could believe he had experienced.  But even though I liked Dylan's version a lot, like the rest of you I gave my vote to Bob Darin.  The orchestration was a big plus for me.  It put me in mind of records my mother used to listen to like Percy Faith with his lush strings. 

      Both versions carried me back to sweet memories and younger days.  But the song does that with its lyrics and dreamy melody.  This song has really touched me over the past week.  Once upon a time...don't we all think about that now and again?

Final Vote Tally

Bob Darin            19 votes

Bob Dylan             5 votes



Next Battle of the Bands on Saturday December 1

         My December Battles won't be Christmas songs, but I use some themes that are related to Christmas things.  Again, have a fantastic Thanksgiving.









Thursday, November 15, 2018

Once Upon a Time (Battle of the Bobs) (#BOTB)


     Knowing how to begin and where to begin is sometimes the biggest challenge in story-telling.  That is the point where readers will often decide whether a story is worth their time.

How Do I Begin?

         If you're doing NaNoWriMo this year then you are likely not reading this post of mine, but many who do read are writers so you still might have the concern of how to start a piece.  "Once upon a time" is an oft-used standard approach--trite perhaps--but it can be effective either verbatim or in some variant.  A story has to begin somewhere to fit within the parameters of a readers expectations and economic use of words.

        Then again I suppose any story can begin in any place that seems appropriate.  It depends on what a writer is trying to achieve and what is the most important information to give readers in order to achieve said purpose.

           "Once upon a time"?--it's a vague reference that begs continuance.

           Midway into NaNo month I hope participants are meeting goals while being productive and having fun.  But let's take a moment to listen to some music.  It's the "Battle of the Bobs"  and they both have a story to tell in their own personal styles.  Enjoy...


Battle of the Bands

      Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


Once Upon a Time

          This pop standard comes from the 1962 musical All American.  I don't know the musical, but I know the song well.  It has been recorded by numerous artists over the years.  It is a very slow but beautiful song.  I hope you'll give it a chance as it tells a wistful, but familiar story.  In this current Battle I offer two versions by two Bobs--Bob Darin and Bob Dylan.  These live performances were recorded fifty years apart.  The story never changes...



Bob Darin   "Once Upon a Time"   (1966)




Bob Dylan   "Once Upon a Time"  (2016)





Time to Vote!

       
Now that you've heard the beginning of my blog post story, it's time for an ending where you provide an outcome with your votes.  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside



Winner of this Battle Announced Wednesday November 21st

         Hope you take the time to listen and enjoy these song stylings.  Maybe you'll want to listen when you are wanting to get in a mellow mood.  I can understand if you might get bored, but really--this is a beautiful song and each rendition is special.  May the best Bob win.

          Do you find it difficult to write good openings to stories or other written works?   Are you more challenged by how to begin or how to finish?    Do you like hearing Bob Dylan sing pop standards?












Wednesday, November 7, 2018

My Theory of Evolution ( #IWSG & #BOTB Results)


       I didn't start out my writing life as one of a million monkeys with a typewriter, but as a regular ol' kid with a number 2 pencil and some lined notebook paper.  No monkeys in my family tree as far as I'm concerned though a few of us have been known to monkey around...

The Insecure Writer's Support Group



Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog

Co-hosts for the November 7 posting of the IWSG are Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman--be sure to stop by their blogs to thank them.


November 7 question - How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

      Since I've been writing as far back as the third grade, my creative life has grown along with my life in general.   I began thinking in musical terms as I began writing poetry and songs.  I played violin in the school orchestra.   I learned to juggle and joined our family juggling act.  Experience has been my greatest teacher.  A curiosity about life and the world around me evolved into a quest to create

       Writing certainly did not set off my creative life, however writing became an integral part of my creative life.  The ability to express myself through written word opened up a whole new world of imagination, communication, and analysis.  I welcomed most writing projects in school when others dreaded the idea.  In my spare off-school time I would often turn to writing as well as reading. I imagined myself as a writer early on.

        Maybe it would be more accurate to say that my writing evolved in tandem with my creative life.  Writing has just been one part of the creative side of me.  It has been but one of the many things that I am.  


Battle of the Bands Results



        This most recent Battle put Michael Jackson against Willie Nelson with the old ballad "All the Things You Are".   From the outset I figured that Willie would pretty well out-distance Michael in the final vote count, but I wasn't concerned about a shut-out for this match because I was sure there would be a few who don't care much for Willie Nelson's vocals.  I was right.  No shut-out and actually not a horrible outcome for the late King of Pop.

        Since "All the Things You Are" is one of those songs that I like a great deal, I had been planning on using it for quite some time.  Finding the unique disco take by Michael Jackson cinched that choice as one for me to use since it was new to me and I quite frankly liked it.   Still Willie does the song the way I think it should be done and does it exquisitely.  I've got to join in with the majority and cast my vote for Willie.


Final Vote Tally

Michael Jackson       5

Willie Nelson           16


Next Battle of the Bands on Thursday November 15th

          I'm doing a special NANO tribute post for my upcoming Battle of the Bands face-off.   This one will be a bit quirky and a Battle that I think you'll have some fun with.

         
      Did you enjoy writing when you were in school?   Which of your talents have you honed the most in your life?   What would you most want to be known for at the end of your days in this world?  







Thursday, November 1, 2018

All the Things You Are (#BOTB)


        There are so many things in life that we might dream of being.  On Halloween we can be some of those things for a fantasy fun time.  Sometimes the fun gets lost in the fantasy...


Sloppy the Clown Mask
from Morris Costumes
All the Things We've Been

       Another Halloween gone by and I hope yours was okay.  I've tended to mostly ignore Halloween since I stopped working in the business.  But the event of Halloween had a good run through my childhood.  I dressed up every year until high school and made my rounds candy gathering.  I was good at that sport, reaping a stash that would always last until the day after Thanksgiving.  On that Friday I'd either eat up whatever was left (and typically not much good was left by then) and then I'd dump the rest unceremoniously.

        Over the years we've seen so many costumes come and go as well as the traditional favorites that have likely been around for decades.  My mother usually bought us the packaged costumes.  One of my better costumes was the one I wore in 1962 when I was 11 years old.  My mother was in the hospital giving birth to my brother, Jeff, so my sister and I had to put together homemade costumes.  She used some old dance clothes and went as a ballerina.  I patched together some old clothes and hoop earrings and went as a pirate complete with facial hair drawn on with an eyebrow pencil.   Looking at a photo taken by a neighbor, I must say that my sister and I looked rather professionally costumed--far better than those prepackaged jobs we'd always gotten in previous years.

        It's not surprising to me that I eventually went into entertaining on stage and later managed a costume company.  I've played a lot of roles in my life, but we all do wouldn't you say?   Each day we can appear in different ways to different people.  Sometimes pretending just seems to be the way things are.  Some of us do our pretending with our writing.  With NANO now upon us there will likely be a lot of mental role playing as participants write (or attempt to write) their novels.

         What are your roles?   Who will you be tomorrow?   Or maybe we should just listen to a song about a more metaphoric, poetic way to look at this question...

Battle of the Bands 

Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

All the Things You Are

         This Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein tune was originally written for the mostly now forgotten 1939 musical Very Warm for May.  This is the most well known song from this "lost musical" having appeared in a few subsequent films and recorded by a myriad of artists over the years.  Unique in its melody and chord progression, the song has become a true jazz and pop standard.

        "All the Things You Are" is another of those haunting melody songs that I have heard and loved since I was a child.   My BOTB post of a year ago today was another similar type song, "Where or When" which was from the 1937 musical Babes in Arms.   Sadly, songwriters of recent times don't seem to write as many melodies such as these songs. 

          For this Battle I've chosen relatively recent versions by two very well known artists.  Who wins for you?  I have a feeling how this will turn out, but I'm almost always surprised by the outcomes of these Battles.   Take a listen to both and tell us who you like the best...
     

Michael Jackson  "All the Things You Are"  (1973)

         This recording comes against a visual backdrop of earlier live performances by MJ and his brothers before he became the "King of Pop" serving as a reminder of a more innocent but still immense talent that Michael Jackson was.  This version gets a lively injection of disco pop sound which might just get you to dancing in your seats...





Willie Nelson  "All the Things You Are"  (1994?)

        Slowing things down more in keeping with the original versions of the song, this video comes from a live performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.   I'm not sure about the exact date, but I'm guessing he was promoting the album that featured this song and that one came out in 1994.  With lush orchestration and Willie's expressive vocals, this rendition of the song might instill a reverie filled with memories or it might bore you to death.  You'll have to decide and let us know...





Time to Vote!

       
With elections coming up this is a good opportunity to get in voting practice while having fun.  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.



Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside



Winner of this Battle Announced Wednesday November 7th

       Not only will the winner of the above Battle be announced next Wednesday, but I'll also be submitting my contribution to The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Best of luck to all of you who will be participating in NANO.  I've chosen not to be a part of this once again, but that's become a tradition with me--not participating.  

        Are you doing NANO this year?   Did you dress up for Halloween?  Do you like to fantasize about living a life other than what you're living now?  What would that be?  















Monday, October 22, 2018

Does a Bear Sleep in the Woods? (#BOTB Results)


      With Halloween so near upon us, that means winter is almost here.  Maybe I should start thinking about Christmas 2019 since this year's Christmas will be here in a blink of an eye and I'll never be ready for that...

A snowy day in New Jersey several years ago.

        Are you ready for snow season?   It's unlikely I'll be seeing snow this winter unless I happen to go back East for Christmas.  I'm still trying to decide.  Maybe I will see snow up close and crunch through it even.  Or maybe I'll just have to settle for seeing it on the distant mountains.   Or maybe I'll hibernate like a bear.  

       If you find me sleeping then just let me be.   But I'm not in a state of torpor quite yet though sometimes I might appear to be.  Actually right now I'm here with my latest Battle of the Bands results report...


Battle of the Bands Results



         This recent Battle between Fairport Convention and Stoneground with their versions of the Jimmy C. Newman song "Alligator Man" was another horse race.  In the final stretch, Stoneground picked up the votes that put them in a decisive lead. 

         I really liked the version by Fairport Convention with the fiddle, tin whistle, and all--I've liked this band for many years.  Still, I preferred the boogie rock sound of Stoneground and that's where I put my vote.  My vote didn't have much effect on the final outcome.

Final Vote Tally

Fairport Convention            9 votes

Stoneground                       13 votes



Next Battle on Thursday November 1st 

          I'll be staying with a sort-of Halloween theme in that next Battle with the results being announced on Wednesday the 7th which will also be my contribution to the Insecure Writers Support Group. Until then, take care of your teeth.  Or not.  If Halloween candy is in the house then you are excused.

         Are you stocking up on Halloween candy this year?   Are you ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas?   Where do bears hibernate anyway?







Monday, October 15, 2018

Alligator Man (#BOTB)


       Halloween is that time when we can be whoever we want to be and as stupid as we want to be.  Sounds like the story of my life...

Arlee Bird with brother Jeff--What is this?  The Great Pumpkin Competition?
 A Halloween Story     

      I don't seem to have many pictures of my youngest brother Jeff, but I never saw him that often after I left home.  The few pictures I have of me and him together are not very good from a technical standpoint, still that's what I've got now.  He died unexpectedly last November.  I still think of him a lot.

        Jeff was born on Halloween of 1962, a year before we moved from San Diego.  In those days Halloween was a big event for me--a day that consumed many days of thought both before and after the day had passed.  All my life I had liked Halloween as well as all things scary--not so much now, but I attribute many great memories to Halloween.

         As I entered my forties with a family for which to provide, I moved to Downey California in 1991 to manage a wholesale warehouse that distributed primarily Halloween costumes.  That old joy of childhood was now a year round job.  Every day for the next eighteen years the accoutrements of Halloween were all around me.

          Then in 2009 my branch closed.  We were in California so that was a factor (some of you might understand what I mean).  There was also a matter of changing times that brought new ways of marketing and delivery of product.  Our company was feeling the same impact that many companies have felt in recent decades.   Fixtures and remaining product were sent back to the home office in Charlotte North Carolina.  I stayed behind.

            The end of this story is the beginning of another.  To retell this story that some of you might have missed in past posts where I discussed it, as I tried to find another job in a time when jobs were tough to find, I began to write a blog.  My blog theme was Halloween.  My first many posts were related to Halloween and the Halloween business.

             In a pumpkin shell, that's the story of Tossing It Out--or at least this blog's beginnings. Over the past many years this blog has evolved through a number of themes and topics.  The main thing I've been doing on this site of late is Battle of the Bands.  That's what I'm doing in this current post and as noted in my previous post my theme will be Halloween related.  Well, kind of...



Battle of the Bands


Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

Alligator Man

       This song originally written and performed by Cajun Country artist Jimmy C Newman (you can find his original version here) has been recorded a number of times by a range of artists.  The song is about a bayou dweller who catches alligators for a living as opposed to some guy who dresses up like an alligator or even looks like an alligator.

        So what's the Halloween connection?   This song first caught my attention when I heard it recently while watching the movie Dracula A.D. 1972.  When I saw that the film was going to be on TCM I felt compelled to watch it.  In my youth I had been a big fan of films from the Hammer Film Studios which made this film.  Also 1972 is a year that I've always considered to be a milestone of sorts in my life.  For one thing I turned 21 that year.  I don't actually remember many specifics of that year other than I was attending the University of Tennessee at the time.

        In any case, when I heard the Stoneground version of "Alligator Man" I had to look it up on YouTube and discovered that with the many versions available it would make a good song for Battle.  So here we are with an ersatz Halloween Battle using what I think is a pretty cool song.  See if you like it as well and which version you enjoy the most...



Fairport Convention   "Alligator Man"  (1971)

            Fairport Convention is a British folk rock band that has had a long reign that produced a number of impressive solo acts. A version of the band continues to perform, but looking at their website it looks like they won't be coming to the United States anytime soon.  Their version of "Alligator Man" stays somewhat close to the original with a touch of rock and roll...






Stoneground   "Alligator Man"  (1972)

          Watching Stoneground perform this song in Dracula A.D. 1972 they look pretty much like the consummate hippy band.  You can watch the movie clip here--they perform the entire song along with some visual shtick that's kind of fun.  Some of the members of the band went on to form the group Pablo Cruise.

          See what you think:  Do you enjoy this song more done as a rock and roll tune?









Time to Vote!

       
Don't be scared to vote.  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.



Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside



Winner of this Battle Announced Monday October 22nd

        We'll have a winner next Monday as long as some of you have voted.  I do appreciate your votes.   And maybe I'll have something else to say on that day.  I mean, I don't think I'm just gonna come here and announce winners and that's all.  But you never know.

           Have you seen Dracula A.D. 1972?  Are you a fan of Cajun style country music?    Was Halloween a big deal for you when you were a kid?