BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Happy Days Are Here Again”


I’m not sure, maybe this song was done already, but in light of the fact that the election is now over (Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia!), I’m doing it again. Or maybe for the first time. Whatever.

A week ago yesterday, AM, who runs the blog Ramblin’ With AM (which you should be reading), posted two versions of “Happy Days Are Here Again” in honor of the election, and said “I could almost do a battle of the bands! (I won’t.)” Well, she wouldn’t, but I will, and she was kind enough to agree to let me do it. All the background material is over on her blog, so let’s get right down to the contestants.

CONTESTANT #1: Ben Selvin and The Crooners

CONTESTANT #2: Mitch Miller

All right, so here’s the deal: give them both a listen, decide which one you like better and tell me which it is by leaving a comment, along with a word or two about why you liked it better. Then, visit the other blogs which are doing Battles today and do the same thing. Here’s a list:

Jingle Jangle Jungle
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
Janie Junebug Righting & Editing
Tossing It Out
J. A. Scott
Angels Bark
Cherdo on the Flipside

* Stephen has the current list of participants on his site

I’ll announce the winner next Tuesday, so get your vote in by Monday night. The lines are open now. Best of luck to our contestants!

19 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Happy Days Are Here Again”

  1. John,

    My mom has a victrola that she inherited from her grandmother. I can imagine hearing Ben Selvin’s record spinning on it. It gets a point for nostalgia from me.

    But, I preferred the upbeat spin of Mitch Miller. The steady snare drum had my toe tapping. The vocals were enjoyable. Happy days are here again!


  2. JOHN ~
    I really enjoy that olde tyme sound of 1920s and early 1930s Jazz, so you can add my vote to the Ben Selvin and The Crooners‘ collection. I sure can’t say that any of those presidents shown in the video give me any happy thoughts, but I ain’t gonna hold that against Ben.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’


  3. I like the Ben Selvin version more. The second sounds too polka for me. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I like polka, after a fashion. But not for this song. The first has more of a vintage feel to it. Something which I simply adore.


  4. John, fabulous battle song and a great pick for the way I’m feeling with our new President-elect & VP-elect. I’m totally feeling like “Happy Days Are Here Again” Both versions of the song are great! Ben Selvin and The Crooners’ style makes me think of the flapper era with the woodwinds opening this number and it transports me to a different time. I love the vintage flavor it adds and I nearly went with it but I think I overall prefer Contender Two. The hip-hip-hooray vocals set my foot in motion and decided this was the version that moved me this morning. So please give my vote to Mitch Miller. Nicely done battle, my friend and thank you for visiting!


  5. Thank you for the shout out, John. I would vote for Ben Selvin and the Crooners, even though Mitch Miller was a staple of my childhood and a Rochester, New York native son (only 2 1/2 hours from here). The style was true to the Depression – slow because they were trying to convince themselves that happy days would be here again (some day).


  6. At first, while listening to Ben Silvan, I thought I would be going for Mitch Miller but I’m not! I did find the Ben Silvan a bit slow but more true since it felt like they were trying to tell us that good times will be here…they were trying to believe it themselves. This goes with the Great Depression and I like that old style. Mitch Miller’s version was too polka style for my taste and 50’s sounding…meaning they were in “good times” so the feeling of the song seemed lost.


  7. I don’t think Kip listened to the whole song. The Crooners came in about halfway into the song. I go with Ben Silvan and the Crooners. Takes me way, way back to my youth when this sound was the norm. I was a faithful viewer of Mitch Miller’s show and liked everything he did, but I prefer Silvan and the Crooners.


  8. Since there don’t seem to be any crooners with Ben Sylvan I have to go with Mitch Miller. However, the best version ever was by pack 3833, led by Jack Long.


  9. I think it remains to be seen whether “Happy Days Are Here Again”, or not. 😉 In any case, I preferred Mitch Miller’s version with vocals. It just “seemed” more upbeat and optimistic.


  10. Well aside from recalling how Democrats used to play this at their conventions (not sure if they still do or not), this song brings back memories because it was a song my father used to use in his juggling act. So many times I’ve heard this song! And it’s still a nice one to hear.

    Mitch Miller sure brings back memories as I used to watch his show every week. But in this pairing my choice goes wholeheartedly to the Ben Selvin version. Love that old style of music!

    Nice happy Battle you got here.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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