Friday, November 1, 2013


Before I get into today’s Battle of the Bands I want to tell you a little story.

When I was a kid, that wacky duo that I call Mom and Dad used to whisk me away each summer for a couple of weeks up to the Minnesota north woods for Daddy’s annual fishing expedition, at a primitive resort, on a rather remote lake. We stayed in a lovely cabin that did have indoor plumbing, but not much else by way of modern conveniences. It was the absolute best of times. Of course, this is where I took a royal beating with a fiberglass fishing pole for calling my mother an old walrus, but that’s another story entirely that I have already told.

What I recall most about those summers up at the lake was the fact that there was no TV, no telephone or other worldly distractions. Each evening we would be down at the lodge where the jukebox had a wide collection of ‘old old’ standards, mostly by the famous ‘Big Bands’. There was something so romantic about it. Here I was introduced to tunes like ‘Harbor Lights’ and ‘Stranger on the Shore’ and the popular version of my BOTB selection for today.

I can remember sitting out on the end of the dock listening to the dreamlike sounds of this music wafting over the water as a big ole moon rose up in the night sky casing it’s searchlight beacon over the softly rippling water. As a very young girl, I recall that I felt surely it didn’t get any more romantic than this. I would imagine that one day I would be sitting at the end of that dock with someone who loved me, gently draping their arm around my shoulders while softly humming this sweet melody into my ear.

Well different lake, in a different part of the world, but I do live at the shore today. One can always hope. No matter the place, I’ll never look out over the water on a warm summer evening, without hearing this tune in my head and thinking where has all the romance in the world gone.

Recently, after hearing this song as part of a movie soundtrack a friend said to me that it was almost a spiritual experience for him. OK, I can go along with that, but first and foremost ROMANCE is what comes to my mind.

Carrying on with my theme of TRADITION I’ve chosen for my selection this time one of the most romantic songs I know. Coming to us from an era when a man took a woman into his arms and held her gently as they glided around the dance floor. They did not hold each other in a lustful clutch, but passion was obvious as they danced cheek to cheek among the beautiful strains of this song.

First up…Glenn Miller and his Orchestra with ‘Moonlight Serenade’.

Next, for the less traditional minded, we have a more modern version by another 'big band'. (my keyboard is dead, there are letters that won't type, so I am unable to name this band in print. It is the same as where I was born-got that)

Now you know the drill. Cast your vote and tell me why you chose as you did. Then get yourself on over to Tossing It Out the home of the very suave Mr. Arlee Bird and F- FFF the home of the multi-talented and effervescently handsome Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy to see what they have picked for their Battle of the Band selections.

Don’t forget to scan the comment box at each of the contest participants for others who might be posting a BOTB and vote there also. Likewise, if you are posting a ‘Battle’ at this time, leave a comment with a link so others may find you.

Following are the rules for the official contest.

Find The True Purpose For Voting On ‘Battle Of The Bands’ Installments: Win Compact Discs!-Compact Discs!-Compact Discs! Spectacular, Super-Colossal Blogosphere ‘Battle of The Bands’ Voting Contest!

Here’s The Deal: By voting on the ‘Battle Of The Bands’ blog bits here and at the ‘Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends’ blog, you can win the compact disc of your choice. Every 4 months, Stephen and I will add up how many times you voted on our blogs, and the person who has participated most often (i.e., submitted the most eligible votes) will get to select one compact disc that contains any one of the songs that were included in either of our ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installments (“Super-Colossal” expensive boxed-sets, imports, and ‘out-of-print’ compact discs not included). In the event of a tie, the names will be put in a Stetson and the name drawn from the cowboy hat will win the CD.

Rules For Voting: Stephen and I post new ‘Battle Of The Bands’ blog bits on the 1st and 15th of each month. We also post our own personal votes for the respective blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month (i.e., six days later). For your vote to be counted, it must be submitted in our comment sections BEFORE we post our own votes (BEFORE we make our own votes known on the 7th and the 21st).

Every 4 months there will be a new compact disc winner. In other words, ‘Battle Of The Bands’ #1 was posted on August 1, 2013, so at the end of November, one of you lucky voters is going to win a CD that includes one of the songs we’ve featured in our ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installments (you get to choose, and it doesn’t matter if the song won or lost its battle – if you like it, it’s YOURS!)

Alright, now... VOTE ON and ROCK ON! (while we ‘Count On...’)


  1. I'm participating today!
    I think I have to give it up for Glenn Miller. The Chicago one is almost too happy.

  2. I immediately clicked on the Glenn Miller version and began reading your beautiful introduction. What a brilliant piece of writing that was. With the music and your words I was transported to a magical place like times I too remember.

    Then I turned on the Chicago version and felt as though I'd been transported to some smoky skeevy casino lounge in some out of the way Nevada town far from the glitz of Vegas. I mean Chicago does a slick version and they are to be commended for reviving such a classic, but this could be from an episode of the old TV show "Love Boat".

    Again the traditionalist I vote for the classic Glenn Miller version. Don't know if anyone could ever adequately replace that one and all the memories it evokes.

    Tossing It Out

  3. Oh not even freakin' close!!! Glen Miller by a million miles!

    I've never been a huge fan of Chicago. In the early days they did have some tunes I liked ("25 or 6 to 4" comes to mind), but they devolved into a schlocky, sappy, big lounge act. I lost interest as more and more roman-numeraled albums came out in the '70s, and the death of Terry Kath in '78 was pretty much the end of it for me.

    Glen Miller's version is happy, but with an undercurrent of melancholy and wistfulness, evoking memories of time gone by and -- as you say -- Romance. It's subtle and very-well orchestrated, with a great interplay among the instruments.

    Chicago's is plastic and polyester and cheesy, with inane singing and a flaccid attempt at an up-beat tempo. There's no soul, no subtlety, no depth.

    Miller's is a romantic gourmet dinner at a French cafe, overlooking the lights of Paris; Chicago's is an plastic-wrapped, undercooked Big Mac and lukewarm fries, dropped into your car through the window of a turnpike combo McDonalds/gas-station.

  4. Miller all the way. We used to go to a cabin too, except it had no indoor plumbing, yuck lol never got beat with a fishing pole though haha

  5. Is it me or does the Chicago version not even resemble the Glenn Miller one? They don't sound like remotely the same song to me. And it isn't just that Chicago added vocals. Not particularly good vocals, but vocals. I think I might have liked the Chicago version better without the vocals. Hard to believe I am saying that b.c. I tend to be a person who loves the words, but there it is.

    This isn't even close for me. Glenn Miller all the way.

  6. I couldn't stand the Chicago version. Too jazzy for my tastes. Takes all of the passion and the emotion out of it. It's almost borderline cheezy. I couldn't even make it all the way through.

    I'm a sucker for Glenn Miller, though. Hearing that tune just makes me wish I had been born in another era, when dancing was dancing and, as you mentioned, it didn't just involve dry humping each other on a dance floor.

    Glenn Miller by a landslide.

  7. Glenn Miller for sure. That the quiet before the bebop explosion.

    Big bands opened up music in a lot of ways.

  8. Part 1:

    I just woke up, and I just took two sleeping pills, so I'm about to go back to seep again for a few hours.

    When I wake up again, I will compose my 'BOTB' bit and post it before going to work.

    HOWEVER... I am totally creeped out now. Well, not "creeped out" (that's too creepy sounding)... BUT... I am stunned. Amazed. Floored. This is just too weird.

    I did NOT have any intention of using 'MOONLIGHT SERENADE' in a future Battle Of The Bands contest, because who could possibly go up aainst Glenn Miller's version and have ANY chance of winning?

    I have not listened to these videos, and I don't need to. Just go ahead and record my vote right now for Glenn Miller's 'MOONLIGHT SERENADE', because it is my all-time, #1 favorite musical recording by anyone in history. Period! There is no musical composition I've ever heard in my 54 years of life that comes even close to Miller's 'MOONLIGHT SERENADE'. It beats every other song/instrumental by a ridiculously massive margin!

    Did I write this on some old blog bit? Did you remember that and deliberately do this to me? And did you know that I associate 'MOONLIGHT SERENADE' with a certain woman whom I sorta came close to marrying? She taught me the song. And she will be at the very heart of the song I will use on my own 'BOTB' that I'll compose and post later today, when I wake up for the second time ...later?

    To me, Glenn's 'MOONLIGHT SERENADE' is about BOTH Spirituality AND Romance. It's the best tune EVER recorded by ANYONE at ANY TIME in world history.

    In several ways, it speaks of a Heavenly condition for the individual soul. Glenn Miller's 'MOONLIGHT SERENADE' is the pinnacle of "art".

    I couldn't have pitted it against ANY OTHER version because it would have been a travesty. No other band would have had a chance against it.

    Continued Below...

  9. Part 2:

    Had I actually planned to use this song some day in a future 'BOTB' blog bit, but you beat me to the punch, I would have flown to Lake Tahoe and soundly beaten you with a fishing rod. (But like Warren's 'Rainbow Bar' girl, you probably would have liked that.

    Also... Did I ever tell you about my dream from decades ago, where I had a rendezvous with an unknown woman at a dock in Bass Lake? We went out on the lake in a small boat and I fell totally in love with her. I can still see that dream in my mind clear as day, and it occurred in the very early 1980s. (She wasn't you, was she?) I later wrote a poem about that dream.

    This 'BOTB' blog bit, occurring on THIS DATE, in conjunction with what I intend to post later, is simply off-the-charts "coincidental!"

    FAE, you are seriously worrying me now. Please don't steal my soul!

    I'm so drugged-up on Temazepam that I struggled for about an hour just to type this simple comment.

    I'm going back to sleep now, but hoping to wake up in 3 or so hours - in time to compose and post today's 'BOTB' blog bit, which REALLY MUST GET DONE TODAY because it's "All Saints Day", and that is a very momentous milestone.

    Wish me luck, because right now, I can barely even type my name without making a mistake.

    One last strange observation... It became apparent to me that Glenn Miller's 'MOONLIGHT SERENADE' was my all-time favorite piece of music while I was visiting the 2nd floor restroom circa 1991 or '92 in the Hotel/Casino 'THE SUNDOWNER' in Reno, Nevada. It's no longer there (having been converted into some upscale apartment building since then), but 'THE SUNDOWNER' was just a few blocks North of a Catholic Church, where Jesus answered a pressing question for me in what was one of the most jaw-dropping Spiritual experiences I've ever had.

    That story coming to an Email near you... someday.

    This 'BOTB' blog bit has totally floored me. I don't know for sure what's going on here, but The Spirit Of The Lord is unquestionably at work in our interactions lately.

    Please pray that I wake up early enough to get my 'BOTB' written and published TODAY before I have to go to work. This one MUST get posted while it's still 'ALL SAINTS DAY'. It's imperative that I don't mess this one up!

    I need a few more hours sleep before I can even attempt it, because just this comment took about an hour to type - my mind and fingers are drugged up beyond any usefulness, and I need 2 to 3 hours of sleep if I'm to get this 'BOTB' blog bit composed and posted.

    Seriously, FAE... please give me a Spiritual shot o'help.

    Yak Later...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  10. I am not about to go against the crowd, or Glenn. Though the Chicago version I think is okay, I'm a lot closer to McCarthy's opinion of Glenn's version. This song doesn't need words or frills, it sings to the soul without any help. Great choice of battles. You actually called your mom an old walrus? I called mine an old hag once when I wanted a bowl of cereal NOW. I got the bowl... it tasted like ashes to me. I would have rather got the fiberglass.

  11. CW's comment about names we call our mom's brought back my own meanness which I guess shows a difference in cultural upbringing. When I would get upset with my mom I would call her "Circus Woman". She really hated that. Now that I think back on it I would have thought she would have liked the title, but I guess it was my nasty way of saying it.

    A Faraway View

  12. Glenn Miller - There is NO contest. Glenn's version has been a favorite of mine for years. I can't hear it without thinking about someone very special to me. He knows who he is.

  13. I am very late to the party, even after a single day.


    While not as effusive about it as StMcC, it is indeed one of the all-time greatest pieces of music. (Does not reach Beethoven's 9th or Provfiev's Violin Concerto Nr.2, though!)

    The Chicago version was terrible, IMO. I actually like Chicago pretty well... but, ah... NO! Not on this one!

  14. While I like Chicago's take (puts me in the minority, it seems), I still have to follow the crowd and go with Glenn Miller.


  15. I've not been ignoring you guys, honest! I'm having some severe computer difficulties, right now I'm 'living on borrowed time', so let's get to it.

    Alex - too happy huh?

    Arlee - "out of the way Nevada town from the glitz of Las Vegas' the "Love Boat' - YIKES!

    Chris - Hey, I hear they have Mcdonalds in Paris.

    Pat - that would have been my great-uncles house in Wisconsin. No indoor plumbing and no electricity. I got some stories from those visits too.

    Holy Ghost - counted

    Robin - Like that great old standard 'Stardust', this song was written without lyrics and they were added lately; interesting that the same person wrote the lyrics to both songs.

    Beer Boys - a landslide recorded in Colorado.

    D.G. - That is a fact.

    STMc - I don't even have the words!

    CW - First person to even think Chicago was OK - WOW! And yes, I was fool enough to run afoul of my mom and in a 16" boat no less. Talk about a dumb blonde thing to do. Oh well, I was a pretty young dumb blonde at the time. If I could I would give you a link to the whole story but, 'you know me'.

    Arlee - Your comment suggests that you called your mom 'circus woman' more than once. Trust me when I say that I only EVER called my mom an old walrus ONCE.

    TN - Thanks for the vote.

    SB6 - Ha, ha, ha! I'll have to go and listen to Provfiev's Violin Concerto.

    Discman - Looks like you and CW are standing alone.

  16. Glenn Miller

    Beautiful writing, his song was in your words.

    Fancy technology today, get Moonlight Serenade on your phone (your YouTube version will even work) take that good for nothin fuzz ball down to the beach, sit down in your winter wonder and hit play....romance of old is still there everyday all around us we just have to stop, and listen for it