This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Theme for 2022 was My Vinyl Record Collection. For the 2023 Challenge I'll be doing something similar with my home book collection. Lots of book stuff from A to Z

Friday, September 22, 2023

Time to Face the Juggling Music ( #BOTB Results )

  Sitting on the edge of your seat, the music starts to play.  Let the juggling begin!  Or at least the blogging. Let the blogging about juggling begin! Yay!...


Battle of the Bands Results



The Real Juggling Music

       My most recent post featured a Battle of the Bands segment with Xavier Cugat's "El Cumbanchero" going head to head with "This Could Be the Start of Something Big" by Les Brown and his Band Renown.  These were both songs that my father had chosen as part of the music backing our family juggling act and for this Battle I used two of the actual recordings we often used.  

       Let me set the scenario up with a description of how the songs were used in the act. Sometimes my family did a whole show where my father did some comedy, my mother or sister would do an acrobatic dance specialty, and then we closed the show with the entire family doing a fast paced juggling routine. That latter portion was what my father called "The Big Act" and often we were hired to perform that act in a show that included other acts.

       We opened the Big Act with the entire family entering the stage while juggling to the song "This Could Be the Start of Something Big" as played by Les Brown & His Band Renown.  Only recently did the significance of this song choice occur to me.  My father probably purposely used a song with this title to open the Big Act, or maybe he just used it because it was popular at the time.

         Our closing used various recorded versions of "El Cumbanchero" that was Cugat's version for a few years until we discovered a version by The Pepper Pots which had a lengthy percussion part that made for an exciting climax to the act.

       As many agreed in the post comments, "El Cumbanchero" is the better juggling song.  In fact, it's among the most commonly used songs by jugglers and other performers--or at least back in our day it was. My parents had been using "El Cumbanchero" in their act even before my sister and I joined. "Something Big" was added when we joined after 1960.  The song is not the greatest for juggling, but it made for a nice opening.  

         "Something Big" was written by the great Steve Allen who has written a ton of songs over the years.  Allen was one of my childhood heroes--a likeable personality who did some creative stuff on his TV shows.  That's pretty much why I'm going to give my vote to Allen's song in this Battle, but if I were picking out music for juggling then I'd probably cede to that Latin sound.



Final Vote Tally

Xavier Cugat       7 votes

Les Brown           4 votes


Next Battle on Sunday October 1st




Friday, September 15, 2023

The Real Juggling Music ( #BOTB )

    The basement at my parents' Maryville TN house was, to me, my music room.  But it was very likely that my father saw the basement as a space to practice our juggling act.  Either way, the music was there...

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 there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   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.


Juggling Music

        My previous Battle centered around my attempt to introduce some rock music into the practice session.  My father wanted the same music we used for performance.  If we didn't have an actual band to back us up then we had prerecorded music on reel-to-reel.  Here are a couple of the actual recordings we used during our act.  Which one do you like best?


Xavier Cugat   "El Cumbanchero"   (1961)











Time to Vote!

           At least you don't have to juggle while listening to these.  Just listen and have fun.
  Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  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. I don't know if anyone else will be doing a Battle this time around, but you can still check out these sites.



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

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 







Results coming on Friday September 22


Friday, September 8, 2023

A Well-Deserved Outcome ( #BOTB Results )

       There are some things I want that I might not get and there are some things that I don't particularly want but end up getting anyway.  And then there are some things that I usually don't want but I'm happy to get because it just seems like the way things should be...



Battle of the Bands Results



The Notorious Record Toss

      My recent Battle centered around an incident from my early college years when I was still working with my family's juggling act.  We would have regular practice sessions where we would run through our routine several times to keep in shape.  One evening I put on a cut from one of my favorite rock albums to switch things up.  My father was infuriated with my song choice and ripped the LP off the turntable and sailed it across the room like a frisbee. The  mission of the Battle was to figure out which cuts from albums by Santana and Cream angered him so and which was--well, kind of--okay.

       Usually our goal is to avoid a complete shut out, but in the case of this Battle an obliteration of the opponent proves a point.  My father could not tolerate the Cream song "Rollin' and Tumlin'".   I never liked it much either, but I was not happy about my father throwing my record.  It survived and I still have it in my vinyl collection.  But I still don't like that particular song.  And it seems that the majority of voters agreed.  A few of you did like it, but not enough to vote for it.

         The consensus among all voters including me is that Santana's "Soul Sacrifice" was the superior recording.  With the drumming and fast-paced rhythms the song makes for outstanding juggling music. It was similar to some of the Latin music that we already used in our act so Santana was a natural for our practice session for at least one run through.   My father wasn't going to be updating the act with any rock music.

         At least I tried to contribute.  

Final Vote Tally

Cream           0

Santana       13

Yay!

???????

     Maybe I'll do another Battle on Friday the 15th  There is more to the juggling rehearsal story.



         

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Still Going! ( #IWSG )

 

         Gosh!  We've been at this blogging thing a while now haven't we.  I started up my blog in 2009 and not long after that I joined in with Alex and the crowd doing The Insecure Writer's Support Group. Yes, still plugging away at it...



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 theSeptember 6 posting of the IWSG are Sonia Dogra, J Lenni Dorner, Pat Garcia, Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen, and Meka James.





September 6 question - The IWSG celebrates 12 years today! When did you discover the IWSG, how do you connect, and how has it helped you?



          I've been here from the beginning.  Since Alex had been one of my earliest  blogging buddies and had been such a big part of helping me get the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge off the ground, when he started #IWSG I was more than willing to get on board.  I don't remember missing any posts, but I've always been here in spirit at least.  And my memory seems to be a bit faulty at times.  I do know that I found IWSG through my association Alex and I've been around since then.

         Congratulations for making this thing grow like it has over that past decade plus.  May there many productive years ahead.

         For me it's good to stay in touch with the community in which I've been a part of since my blogging beginnings.  IWSG is a great way to do it.  These days I don't spend as much time on computer as I did when my old computer was operational.  These days I have to share a computer.

        Besides, to a great extent I cut way back on my writing a few years ago. Not due to any insecurity in regard to writing, but mostly a change in the focus of my life.  Writing remains somewhere in my future I'm fairly certain, but for present I'm diverted.  

         Whatever it is, it's all fine with me.

         And IWSG--I plan to stick around.



       Hope you can take a listen to my current Battle of the Bands post and read about some music that my father truly abhorred.  See what other readers think about my "juggling music".   

        






       

Friday, September 1, 2023

Basement Juggling Rehearsal Hall ( #BOTB )

      Time for another visit to the past.  We all have songs that carry us to another time in our lives.  Here a couple more songs for my Songs from Lee's Basement series...

      In the summer of 1966 my family made a trial visit to Maryville TN where the company my father worked for had a big job.  Before summer had ended we all had made up our minds that this is the place we wanted to be.  Northern Indiana had been okay, but East Tennessee seemed like paradise in comparison.  In time for the beginning of a new school year, we had moved into our new house.

       What we called "the basement" was actually a daylight basement--a windowed room but half underground.  There was a back door that provided an alternate entryway from the backyard.  The basement was finished with a very nice large fireplace.  We didn't have much furniture at first.  Since the room was L shaped we had a couple of old plush chairs and a stereo in the small side of the L. That's where I'd often hang out and listen to my record albums. 

        The larger part of the room we used as our juggling rehearsal hall.  Since my family was still a working professional juggling act, we needed to practice regularly so to stay in top form. The presence of this space was likely a big selling point to my father since in previous homes we had to practice in a family room or a living room.  This basement rehearsal space was a dream for my father.

       Now me being a teenager into music my father didn't always approve of came into to frequent conflict.  My dad had his old school juggling music that we had always used.  I'd heard it all my life so I was used to it, but still I thought an update in music for rehearsal at least might inject a spark of something while I shared some of my music with the family.

      During our shows as well as in practice sessions, my father put me in charge of playing the music.  One particular evening I tested out two selections from two of my favorite albums at that time.  One song sent my father into a rage (he could be like that) and he snatched the record off the turntable and to my horror he sailed the vinyl disc across the room. I was furious. Fortunately the record was not damaged.

       Next I put on another selection from a different album.  This time we kept on juggling.  He was okay with this song.  It was more to his liking.  Not that he wanted to use it for our act or that he even wanted to hear it again.  It just didn't send him into a rage like the first song did.

         Which brings us to another...

      

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 there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   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.


Basement Juggling Songs

       Keeping in mind the story I told above, I present to you the two songs I played for my father as possible juggling songs.  After listening to each, please vote for your personal favorite and tell us why you voted that way.  Then, can you guess which of these song enraged my father so?

         

Cream  "Rollin' and Tumblin'   (1966)


(





Santana   "Soul Sacrifice"  (1969)






Time to Vote!

           Nothing to get upset about here I hope.  Just tell us what you think of these songs. 
  Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  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. I don't know if anyone else will be doing a Battle this time around, but you can still check out these sites.


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

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 







Results coming on Friday Sept 8 
 
          Also there will be a post for #IWSG on Wed the 6th.