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!


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

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

  1. Is this the first shut-out in all of the combined BOTB contests? I don’t recall ever having seen anyone else get a shut-out, but I could be wrong. I would have expected at least a vote or two for Van Ronk, but his version was pretty bad from my point of view.

    Good try though.

    Wrote By Rote


    1. I would have no idea whether it was the first shutout, but it’s the first one I’ve had. Van Ronk is a legend in folk music, so I don’t understand why he didn’t manage any votes, regardless of what this particular version sounded like. It was a live recording, and I’m wondering if people at the concert had the same reaction….


    1. I didn’t think Dee was annoying, either. I’m just surprised Van Ronk didn’t get any votes, even though his version was pretty bad. Usually someone will say something like “I didn’t like either version, but I don’t like heavy metal and Dee Snider is a doofus, so I’m voting for Van Ronk.” This time, no one did.


  2. I do believe that Lee is in error, because I’ve had a shut out or two in BOTB. Never too happy when that happens, but like some other things; it does sometimes. I still think the best BATTLES are the ones that come closest to a tie, without actually being one, but sometimes when you you go for diversity (my mistake) you get a stinker in the mix.


    1. I thought there must have been more than just the one shutout in the entire history of Battle of the Bands. I agree, it’s always much better when the vote is close, and I’ve had one or two battles where I felt sure one artist would walk all over the other, and it’s either gone the other way, or it’s been really close. Maybe I should have put Snider up against Lotte Lenya…


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