This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

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

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

From the Land of Sky Blue Water (#BOTB)

I'm not in Minnesota or even anyplace that might be called "Land of Sky Blue Waters", but considering I'm somewhere in the desert then water sounds pretty good right now...

Random photo that kind of relates to this post but not really.

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.

From the Land of Sky Blue Water

       No, this song is not from the Hamm's beer commercial that I recall hearing when I was a kid.  If you weren't around before 1970 or so, you likely don't remember that jingle which was indeed inspired by the original popular song from 1909. 

        This song first caught my attention a while back when I saw the Marx Brothers' film Go West and immediately wondered, "Is there a Battle of the Bands somewhere in this?"  As things tend to go in this BOTB phase of my blog, yes, there is a Battle to be played starting with the Harpo Marx version of the tune.

Harpo Marx   "From the Land of Sky Blue Water"  (1940)

      I always thought Harpo's harp routines were so clever and well performed from a musical standpoint.  Now this clip might be seen as inappropriate in some ways, but that's what the Marx Brothers were all about, weren't they?   Enjoy this first entry...





Robert Maxwell  "From the Land of Sky Blue Water"  (1962)

        Space-pop novelty jazz artist Robert Maxwell wrote or performed a lot of stuff that you've heard but didn't know what you were listening to.  One of my favorites was the "Song of the Nairobi Trio" which was used in a recurring sketch on "The Ernie Kovacs Show" in the early sixties.  Even though some of the more sophisticated comedy went over my 10 year old head, that show was a big favorite of mine back then.  Recently I saw some episodes on TCM when they were promoting a newly released DVD set that is still available.  I was tempted to get it, but then I look at all the various media I have now and figure I don't need more stuff.

       But enough rambling.   Must be the space age pop music.   Get ready for take off...






Time to Vote!

     Like I said, this is kind of a weird Battle perhaps, but give it a shot if you will.   The video might weigh things in a certain direction, but it's worth watching.  Or just listen to each tune and judge solely on what you hear.  Which artist do you like best?   Pick one and have some fun!  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 Wednesday August 7th
   
           This will also be my next posting for The Insecure Writers Support Group.  At the moment though I'm not thinking much about writing.  I'm keeping my eyes on the road and my hands upon the wheel and enjoying my last couple days coming home.

         Is coming home one of your favorite parts of a vacation?  Are you an Ernie Kovacs fan?   Do you enjoy zany humor like Kovacs and the Marx Brothers?








31 comments:

  1. Hope you're enjoying your vacation Lee,
    I prefer the Robert Maxwell version. A song I hadn't heard before.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, back home again and trying to catch up.

      First vote goes to Robert Maxwell.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. Lee,

    I didn't see any naked people in the Marx Brother's video clip, so all is good, in my opinion. Yeah, I know what you're getting at but I'm not biting. We're a society of easily offender people because we of our past but not this gal. It is what it was and it's time to get over it, I say.

    Alrighty, movin' on to your battle songs. First off, I've gotta know did you and Mary conspire on come up with similar themed songs. You both used songs with the keywords blue + sky.

    At first I thought these were different songs but I believe they're the same. Am I right? The arrangment of each is unique from the other and both move me differently. As much as I enjoyed Harpo's harp playing which I always do I think it's the second version that makes me feel a little more light-hearted and happy, so give my vote to Robert Maxwell.

    I always like coming home after any extended time away from home, even a very long day trip. :) I don't think I've watched Ernie Kovac but yes, I'm a fan of zany humor like the Marx Brothers which is always great fun and sure to make me laugh out loud.

    Have a good day and upcoming weekend. I can't believe it's August already!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, the "Blue" connection between mine and Mary's Battle eluded me until now. Seems like collusion doesn't it!

      Kovacs seems more cultish than mainstream--kind of like the Marx Bros were back in the seventies.

      Another vote for Robert Maxwell.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. I certainly remember! That commercial jingle is practically hard-wired in my head. :)
    Unfortunately, I was never a fan of the Marx Bros. humor. While I didn't find anything offensive about Harpo's clip, Robert Maxwell gets my vote.

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    1. Myra, seems like that Hamm's commercial was on a lot in prime time. Not sure that I ever saw any Hamm's beer in our refrigerator though.

      Again it's Robert Maxell.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. The Marx bros. were brilliant.

    Going home is not part of a vacation. It is more of a pilgrimage. Seeing old places and family is a renewal of who I am and who I was.

    Robert Maxwell gets my vote. I did not have to see the physical humor to enjoy it. I have to say we never watched Ernie Kovac at our house. Don't know why, but I was not in control of evening time TV.

    Hope you have wonderful adventures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan K., going home indeed has a sort of ritualistic quality. It's good to get away now and then.

      Robert Maxwell.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Ha! "And now for something completely different..."

    I remember that Hamm's beer jingle so well. Of course, by the time I was old enough to try it, I'd already come to realize that Hamm's was pretty much the bottom of the (beer) barrel. :^D

    I liked this one, LEE. Very, very unique Battle. For me, though, it's an easy vote for ROBERT MAXWELL. A little harp goes a long way for me.

    That Maxwell piece was a novelty recording, but it was a pretty interesting novelty recording (and I like many novelty songs to begin with, anyway). It almost had a little "Chinese Water Torture" mixed in their, too. A pretty clever, amusing recording that put a smile on my face!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, I've always had a penchant for novelty music. Glad you liked this one.

      Robert Maxwell.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. This is a hard one, because I like both songs about the same for totally different reasons. On the one hand, Harpo Marx was a genius with the harp and could just about play anything on it. The parts in the Marx Brothers movies where he got to play were some of my favorites. (On another topic, anyone who wants to bad-mouth the Marx Brothers movies because elements in them offend their delicate sensibilities needs to get a life.) Robert Maxwell's song captures the essence of the Nairobi Trio and is just plain silly, which is why it worked so well. Since I need more laughs today (no reason, just that it's gloomy out in preparation for the inevitable rain), I'm going with Maxwell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, The Nairobi Trio was such a great concept. The music is still fun.

      Robert Maxwell.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. This is a different kind of battle and that's great, in my humble opinion.

    The Marx Brothers, in general, always amused me...Ernie Kovacs, too, but I saw a lot less of him. Once again, I'll put the blame for that minimalist exposure to some aspects of pop culture on a West Virginia childhood and limited television and theater options.

    I think I like the Marx Brothers because I love snark, in any package. Groucho stole the show for me.

    Zany stuff? BRING IT. I love crazy.

    As for the battle: ROBERT MAXWELL, hands down.

    Thanks, Lee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, summertime blogging gets to such a lull that I decided to use an odder sort of Battle. Thanks to TCM I've been able to see Marx Bros films on a pretty regular basis. I saw some in college when they would have free films at the Student Center.

      Again it's Robert Maxwell.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Lee

    I apologize for being so slow to comment here, especially since you seem to be johnny on the spot with my posts. I'm here now :)

    I like unique. I like the comedy of the Marx brothers, but I really enjoyed Robert Maxwell's take on this tune.

    My vote: Robert Maxwell

    ~Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary B, you made it well before vote tally time so that's okay.

      Another one for Robert Maxwell.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Robert Maxwell gets my vote, there was more to the musicalscape on his version

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, the variety certainly is there...

      Robert Maxwell.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. Hi Lee -

    What an interesting botb you have this time!

    I enjoyed the staccato feel of the Nairobi trio. Lot of diverse (and who doesn't love diversity JUST for its own sake these days) instruments. They even threw in the kitchen sink!

    But I am voting for the virtuosity of Harpo. I am not a big fan of harp music, but Harpo makes it very enjoyable - for about four minutes. After that I am ready for a less angelic instrument. I especially like it when he gets jazzy at around the 2:28 mark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-Gun, I hear ya on that jazzy interlude.

      Finally a vote for Harpo Marx.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. I remember watching Marx movies as a kid. Thats about all I remember though, lol. Except that Harpo was my fav. Loved his Harp playing. But for this battle, I'm voting for Robert Maxwell - so clever with all the different instruments and sounds.

    I love traveling around, but yes, I enjoy even more coming home. The familiar has its appeal too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dolorah, a balance between the travel and time spent at home would be ideal in my eyes.

      A vote for Robert Maxwell.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. I think we have become too PC and apologize for everything. Heck, good white heterosexual men should just apologize for being them. The old Hollywood would showcase people that, now, is considered, many times quite rightly, prejudiced but, at that time, they thought they were doing good( case in point, Fred Astaire phi g tribute to Bill Bojangles Robinson). I do go love on....anyhoo, I vote for Harpo Marx even though I love that other song. Harpo Marx was self taught! Later on, he took lessons to learn more but the harp is a difficult instrument to say the least. I love zany comedy and the Marx Brothers are great. Did you know that Irving Thalberg, creative head of MGM, asked them to come to his office. When they came, they waited for over 2 hours but he was a no show. He apologized and asked them again, only to stand them up again. The third time, the Marx Brothers would have none 9f that. They bi-passed the secretary and went into his office. When Thalberg finally came back to his office' there were the Marx Brother, nude, roasting marshmallows in his fireplace. Hahahaaaaa. I love going on vacation and love coming home but it is bittersweet because I love being away especially when I am in Europe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, thanks for the laugh. I needed that.

      I've decided to stop being apologetic for being me. But I also try to keep a low profile for now.

      A needed vote for Harpo Marx.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. Not that the other wasn't pretty- it was- but I fell in love with harps watching Harpo. No brainer for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, all the Marx brothers thank you for voting for...

      Harpo Marx.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. From my Cousin Tom on Facebook a vote for...

    Robert Maxwell.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  15. I was tempted to vote for the weirdness of Maxwell, but Harpo's harp playing wins this one and banishes the unsettling elements of the video.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, Harpo was a wonder at playing his instrument.

      A vote for Harpo Marx.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. I hope you had enjoyed a lot in your trip. I would just like to have a small suggestion from you about different songs that can be heard for refreshment during trip.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thomas, it was a great trip. Music of course is a matter of personal preference. I like good fast paced rock and roll sometimes when I'm driving. "Radar Love" by Golden Earring can keep a driver stimulated and focused on the road. These days I might prefer some stimulating classical music such as a Beethoven symphony. It's mostly a matter of the mood I'm in.

      Lee

      Delete

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