Wednesday, July 8, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Moritat von Mackie Messer” (“Mack the Knife”) Results


It was a shutout!

Dee Snider: 19
Dave Van Ronk: 0

The general consensus was that Dee Snider’s version, which started out like Bobby Darin’s before veering back into Twisted Sister, was less annoying than Dave Van Ronk’s. The feeling was that neither one was Bobby Darin, the most familiar and popular version of the song, but Snider’s was at least close to it.

Neither of these versions woulde be my choice, personally. There were many better versions than these. Bobby Darin’s was taken from Louis Armstrong’s, and, for my tastes, Satchmo’s is better. Likewise, Ella Fitzgerald’s version from Ella In Berlin, where she forgot the words, bluffed her way through it, and won a Grammy anyway, was superb. Lotte Lenya’s original, in German, is a classic; a couple of you mentioned that you never realized that it was part of “The Threepenny Opera” or that she had done it originally.

A sentimental favorite of mine is this one, an instrumental version by The Dick Hyman Trio. My mother used to listen to WFMF (later WLOO, or “FM 100″), a “beautiful music” station from Chicago (once owned by Marshall Field, as I recall), which used it at the top of the hour during their hourly station ID. My stepfather would whistle when he was ready to take our Lhasa Apso, Kuala the Dog from Hell, for a walk.

We’ll do another Battle of the Bands next week. See you then!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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