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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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

I'll Never Say Never Again Again (#BOTB)


      Words like "always" or "never" are overly rigid so I try not to use them, but I'm never successful and always end up using them at some point...


            For the past few years I've considered not doing the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge any more.  It's partly a result of the stress I've felt due to doing the Challenge, but my reluctance to continue is also due to a certain amount of frustration and disappointment I feel about the Challenge not being conducted in a way that is consistent with the Challenge of my dreams.

           Then, each May, it's all over and a lot of people seem happy and excited and I start thinking about the next year.   This past fall I was feeling especially despondent about doing another A to Z because of a number of factors that I won't go into in this post.   Thankfully my longtime A to Z blogging associate J Lenni Dorner got the ball rolling for me.

          Fellow blogger John Holton also provided his technical expertise which got us out of a few fixes that I certainly didn't know what to do with.  I almost feel like I grew up with John as we share many similar life experiences from what I've gathered on reading his blog.

           Csenge has also been helping for several years and was willing to provide her support again. New A to Z Team member Jayden brilliantly handled the lists and even provided helpful technical support to make finding participants more easily. 

             As long as I have other bloggers who want to keep A to Z going then I'm encouraged.  But it's like a lot of things in life.  I've tried to make a conscious effort of not saying that I'll never do something again.  It's a limiting phrase and I like to keep my options open. 

           I'm not going to say that I'll never say never again when there is some possibility that I will.  I might say it, but I try not to. 

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.


I'll Never Say "Never Again" Again

          Last year I happened upon an episode of The Jack Benny Show (one of my favorite shows from childhood) that featured Frankie Avalon singing a song that I had heard all of my life, but I couldn't exactly place the song.  Then I realized it was actually a meshing of two songs--"Never Say Never Again Again" and "Taking a Chance on Love"--cleverly interwoven.   Battle idea inspired!

         Since I couldn't find anyone else doing what Avalon did, I decided to focus on one song only--"Never Say Never".  Sometime later I'll do another Battle with "Taking a Chance", but that will be like eventually rather than right away.  But I'll never say never!

         For this Battle I'll be matching two very different versions by two artists who were stars of  television shows in the fifties...

Ozzie Nelson  "I'll Never Say 'Never Again' Again"  (1935)

        Ozzie Nelson had a long career as a band leader/singer as well as a star of stage, screen, radio, and television.  I grew up watching the Nelson family in "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet".  Now the music of son Ricky Nelson is more well known than Dad Ozzie, but still those cats back then could really swing...





Dinah Shore  "I'll Never Say 'Never Again' Again" (1957)

        Twenty-two years after Ozzie did it, Dinah did it in her own sultry way.  She'd been a musical star for almost as long as Ozzie and hosted several popular television shows into the 1990's.  Dinah's arrangement of this song is very similar to the one I'd heard by Frankie Avalon so I'm guessing he was basing his version on hers.  It's a sound of the times...





Time to Vote!

       
  Come on and play. 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 on Tuesday May 22

         That will likely be the next day I post here, but if inspired I will write.   The next Battle of the Bands post on my blog will be Friday June 1st.  Summer songs are a-comin'!


           Have you ever felt like quitting and then were lifted into action by others?  Did you ever say you definitely were not going to do something only to change your mind?   Do you have any favorite old television shows?  






42 comments:

  1. The singing helps so I'll go with the second one.
    Things evolve and change. The monthly blogging of the IWSG might one day stop, but the site itself - plus the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram groups - will continue.

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    1. Alex, they both had singing, but the first one had more instrumental.

      Voting opens with Dinah.

      Lee

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  2. That's why it helps to have others around you to buoy your enthusiasm.

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    1. L.Diane, the technical knowledge helps a lot as well.

      Lee

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  3. Lee,

    It amazes me how you carry the A2Z ball forward every year. Try to not get frustrated. You can't make everyone happy, not even me but...I know this and still look at the fun this challenge gives. Nothing in life is purrrfect. When it's out of my control, I try to roll with the flow. That's what others need to keep in mind when it comes to doing these blog hops. If you're not in the host or co-host, then don't be a killjoy! Suggestions if given politely I know are welcomed and that's what participants need to keep in mind. Like I said before my hat is off to you and all of your fine co-hosts. Y'all did an incredible job!

    Now on to your battle. I by far preferred the vocal arrangement. Give my vote to Dinah Shore! Did you know that at one point she lived in Knoxville? I believe someone said she had a home in Sequoyah Hills. We often like to drive the Dogwood Trial in this prestigious subdivision.

    Thanks for stopping by earlier to vote in my BoTB showdown!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Cathy, it's nice not to be so pressed by A to Z thoughts though I know they can never escape me totally.

      Dinah was a Tennessee girl after all. I didn't know she ever lived in Knoxville, but I'm not surprised.

      A vote for Dinah.

      Lee

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    2. Lee,

      I'm feeling a bit relieved to have the A2Z challenge behind me, too. I think lots of people take it way too serious, though. I might recall that Dinah had connections to Tennessee but I took a look at Wikipedia. She was born north west of Chattanooga and by the time she was in 5th grade her family moved to Nashville. I never detected that East Tennessee draw in her or at least I don't remember one. Do you recall if she had it?

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    3. Reruns of Dinah Shore's variety show from the fifties and sixties are sometimes shown on Jewish TV and I've gotten to listen to her a lot more than I ever paid attention to in the past. I think her TN accent definitely comes through.

      lee

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  4. I understand your mixed feelings about the AtoZ Challenge, having bowed out this year. I'll never say never again, but, we'll see how it feels next time. ☺ You've certainly done a wonderful job with it all these years and it's great that you have help to carry on!

    This is a really tough battle; like comparing apples to oranges. On the one hand, there's the classic "hep cat" 30s sound of Ozzie Nelson and on the other, the smooth jazz and dulcet tones of Dinah Shore. I'm torn! After listening a few more times, it's Ozzie who had my toes tapping the most. One vote for Ozzie Nelson!

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    1. Debbie D, A to Z seems like an obligation for me, but I still enjoy a lot of it.

      A toe-tapping vote for Ozzie.

      Lee

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  5. We all feel like throwing in the towel at some point in our lives. The key is to find something that gives us that little boost to make it through until we are ready to carry on again. For me, doing the 'unofficial' participation was just what I needed to find the right inspiration. I'm already working on posts for next years challenge - properly.

    For your battle, I am going with Dinah Shore. No real reason other than I like her rendition better.

    ~Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. Mary, learning to be flexible is something I've learned over the years. Who knows what the future holds?

      A vote for Dinah.

      Lee

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  6. I have to say, I liked Ozzie better. Just the cleaner, instrumental sound. I know I don't have what it takes to do the A to Z, that's why I do the mashup- to have a little fun and salute those who do.

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    1. CW, you do have what it takes to do A to Z as far as abilities, but mostly it's a matter of willingness to do it.

      A vote for Ozzie.

      Lee

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  7. Hi Lee!

    I'm going with Dinah Shore - the lyrics and her upbeat voice offer a buoyancy we could all use once in a while ;-)
    I think "Never" and "Always" both suggest constraints we may not want to adhere to forever. How fortunate we are to have the choice ;-)

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    1. Diedre, definitive words and phrases easily slip into our speech--I guess it's a natural way that we express ourselves.

      A vote for Dinah.

      Lee

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  8. I am giving this battle to Ozzie-I surprise myself but I like the style and the hip sound. I really disliked the way Dinah stretched the one word over and over..I think to be sultry but I just found it annoying. I get why you are/were thinking of stopping the A to Z but I am glad you get charged up. We tend to look at all the stressers instead of the fun. I prefer to have fun even though I feel and felt the stress.

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    1. Birgit, I get what your saying about Dinah's style. I think it was a common thing for singers from mid-fifties and on.

      I'd rather enjoy the fun and just deal with the stress without being overly stressed.

      A vote for Ozzie.

      Lee

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  9. Hi Lee - you started a great challenge ... personally it's got too complicated - but as I've scheduled in next year and it's the 10th I'm sure I'll be around to do it!! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, I was afraid that the list system would be overly complicated for many, but seems like most managed just fine. I'm glad you'll be returning in 2019. Maybe we can do more to simplify.

      Lee

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  10. Dinah Shore gets my vote! The female vocals wins it

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    1. Mike, this race is becoming a seesaw.

      Dinah.

      Lee

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  11. I gotta hand to you folks who can pull it off. I can hardly manage a post every week or two. That's amazing.

    I vote for Ozzie, definitely.

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    1. Harry, thanks! I've gotten to where I don't post as much as I used to. Getting out of the habit makes it harder I think.

      A vote for Ozzie.

      Lee

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  12. Terrific Battle, LEE!

    My vote goes easily to OZZIE NELSON. (I'm listening for a second time as I type this.)

    There was nothing wrong with Dinah Shore's version; I liked it well enough. But I've never felt there was anything particularly special about her vocals.

    Frankly, I could have done without Ozzie's vocals, too. They were OK, but I would have probably liked it even better had it been a straight instrumental. For me it was all about that "old timey" musical sound. I loved the arrangement with those horns! It had that early '30s sound all over it. Even sounded like it could have been recorded in the late '20s. Great stuffs!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

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    1. STMcC, both recordings have a definitive sound that matches the times when they were recorded.

      A vote for Ozzie.

      Lee

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  13. I love the song and words . My vote goes to Dinah Shore..
    Thanks again for a most wonderful song.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, thank you for taking time to vote.

      Another vote for Dinah.

      Lee

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  14. Hi Lee,
    I can completely understand the wavering feelings on the A-Z. You've done an amazing job with it all these years and thankfully you had what you needed to succeed for yet another year -- and that's the gracious help of people who hold your enthusiasm for the endeavor. The phrase "It takes a village" comes to mind.
    This is the second year that I sat it out. Last year I just didn't have time to do it and, as in years past, had not taken the time to pre-write my posts, which in my opinion is absolutely critical for this time-consuming project. This year I just had too much going on with my surgery and taking care of my Mom and naturally tax time doesn't help when one is a queen of procrastination. Again I hadn't taken the time to prepare my posts and I knew there was no way I could accomplish the challenge.
    I think I may at some point come back to it but right now I'm just having a hard time keeping up with doing a few blog posts each month!

    I am happy to be back among my BOTB friends. It's been a while since I've participated and I'm enjoying making the battle rounds.
    I enjoyed your battle. At first I thought Ozzie Nelson's was an instrumental -- it was a long instrumental lead in. I'm glad there were vocals. Although I found Dinah Shore's version to be okay, I didn't find it to be anything special.
    Ozzie's, on the other hand, took me to another dimension: it reminded me of a swanky dance hall scene in one of those fabulous old films. The music made me happy. So Ozzie definitely gets my vote here.

    Never say never...Indeed!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, as long as I keep my posts short and requiring minimal research time, I can manage my A to Z without a lot of early prep. The visiting other blogs is what has become most difficult to keep up with.

      I'm thankful that for the past many years we've had some outstanding bloggers helping to make each year a success.

      The Ozzie version is of that 30's style where the main element was the band with a vocalist featured almost like an afterthought.

      A vote for Ozzie.

      Lee

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  15. It's interesting to read that even you have doubts about the A to Z Challenge. It's probably good practice to avoid saying "never". I hear my 4yo whine that he never gets to do this or that, and I just have to raise an eyebrow at him.

    My vote is for Dinah Shore, because the musical lead in for Ozzie takes a little too long for me.

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    1. Loni, I've never had doubts of the viability of A to Z--I believe it has tremendous potential--but I realize I can't do it like it should be done just by me doing it alone.

      A vote for Dinah.

      Lee

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  16. I get stress plays on the mind but when friends sign up we motivate each other really. For 7 years I wrote A to Z Star Trek, and took a break last year because of a dislocated shoulder. Meh have to get older sometime

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    1. Spacer Guy, getting older is an inevitability and along with that is getting more tired. Motivation from others can be a big help.

      Lee

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  17. I looked for information on the A-Z I think in February, wanting to participate, but found nothing. SO I thought maybe it was over for good. The next thing I know, the A-Z was in full bloom. :)

    Yeah, I never say never anymore or else I have to eat my words.

    Teresa

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    1. Teresa, there was a buzz I guess, but no full scale push. I think at this point A to Z has developed a life of its own and would go on in some form for years to come--if people are still blogging.

      Lee

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  18. Sixgun McItchyfingerMay 16, 2018 at 8:55 PM

    I really liked both of these versions! I could have voted either way on them and listened a couple of times, going back and forth.

    In the end I am voting for Dinah Shore because something in it triggered memories (or maybe a fake memory?) Listening to her, suddenly I was transported back to when I was very young. A crackly a.m. radio playing Shore, a warm and sultry night with a few lazy flies buzzing around, a slowly spinning ceiling fan, and a fast-melting chocolate malt leaving a ring of condensation on the formica table.

    Dinah, baby.

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    1. 6Gun, I'll take that memory. It's a good image.

      A vote for Dinah.

      Lee

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    2. Sixgun McItchyfingerMay 21, 2018 at 8:43 AM

      I really chuckled at your heading: " Words like "always" or "never" are overly rigid so I try not to use them, but I'm never successful and always end up using them at some point..."

      Ha Ha! Perhaps everyone caught that? But did anyone comment? So maybe they didn't?

      Delete
    3. I've been opening most of my posts lately with what I think is a funny or thoughtful statement, but I don't think many people notice. Rarely do I get a comment about those quips. I appreciate that you've noticed. I think most of what I write on my posts ( and this is probably true on other blogs as well) goes unread as visitors just rapidly skim through and maybe just comment regarding my closing questions.

      Lee

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    4. I actually noticed the wordplay in that opening statement as well. I may not have commented on it, but it did NOT go unnoticed.

      And I think you're right, Lee. We are now such a post-literate society that not only do most people NOT read books, but most won't even fully read a blog post. They're just skimming to get the gist of the thing. Sad!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    5. We're all busy and mostly busy doing not much of value. I think this thing of not reading goes hand in hand with people not really listening to each other. No wonder our country has become such a mess.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee