47 CommentsBattle of the Bands (BOTB), Blogfests, History, Music

Welcome to another edition of


Battle of the Bands BOTB

BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB), hosted by Far Away Series and StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. is where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two “Battles” per month, on the 1st and 15th. Votes will be tallied and posted the following week. (See below for further details.)

This is an all-instrumental battle, based on a folk song written in the 19th century.
[not to be confused with the Bob Dylan song of the same name]




“Dark Eyes” (Russian: Очи чёрные, Ochi chyornye) is a famous Russian romance song.

The lyrics were written by Ukrainian poet Yevhen Hrebinka. In 1843 he met his future wife, Maria, fell in love, and dedicated a short poem called “Dark Eyes” to her. The words were subsequently set to Florian Hermann’s Valse Hommage (in an arrangement by S. Gerdel) and published as a romance on March 7, 1884. Although often characterised as a Russian gypsy song, the words and music were written respectively by a Ukrainian poet and a German composer. Dark Eyes has been recorded and performed by many artists, going back to the early 20th century. Click HERE for more details.

[for reference only – do not vote on this one]

The foregoing serves as background information only.
Now, on to the actual contest……


Chester Burton “Chet” Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001) was an American guitarist, occasional vocalist and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley, created the smoother country music style known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country’s appeal to adult pop music fans as well. He recorded Dark Eyes in 1955, using his own unique arrangement for electric guitar.


The Tielman Brothers was the first Dutch East Indies (Dutch-Indo) band to successfully venture into the international music scene in the 1950s. They were one of the pioneers of rock and roll in The Netherlands, later becoming famous in Europe for playing a style of music called Indorock, a fusion of Indonesian and Western music with roots in Kroncong. Their version of “Dark Eyes”, entitled “Black Eyes” was first released in 1960.


Please state your preference in comments below and why you chose it.
Click on your choice here too:

[socialpoll id=”2279099″ width=”375″]

Voting remains open until 6:00 p.m., EDT July 7,
after which I will count the votes, add mine and publish the results.


These are the other BOTB regulars and semi-regulars.
Please cruise on by their sites and, if they have a post up, vote on their selections as well:
[Check back – there’s no set posting time]

Angels Bark Book Lover Cherdo On The Flipside Curious as a Cathy DC Relief BOTB
? Far Away Series? Holli’s Hoots & Hollers J.A. Scott Jingle Jangle Jungle
Mike’s Ramblings
Quiet Laughter
Sound of One Hand Typing
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands? Tossing It Out
Women: We Shall Overcome
Your Daily Dose


As always, “Sharing is Caring”. Spread this musical joy all over your social networks.
Hashtag is #BOTB

Until next time.



♫♪♫♪♫ Rockchick Rapture!

Happy canada Day

Happy July 4th!

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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  1. Wow, this one was tough! First, I don’t think I’d ever heard even the original, or either of the two contesting bands–which, maybe, made me more objective? One can hope 😉 I think the Chet Atkins has more merit in terms of skill; his arrangement looks complex and difficult to execute, so kudos to him. But music–like any art–isn’t only about skill, is it? And the Tielman Brothers version is the one I’d pick if I had to choose one to listen to for pleasure. Yep, my vote’s for them 🙂

    Great battle, Debbie! And thanks for the visit over at Quiet Laughter , and for adding me to the BoTB links… You’re a wonderful bloggy friend 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoyed the battle, Guilie. Yes, in the end, it’s about which version resonates the most for you. 🙂 Thanks for your vote; another one for The Tielman Brothers! I’m sure some of your fellow Curaçao residents are familiar with them; they were huge in The Netherlands and Germany. Always a pleasure to drop by “Quiet Laughter” and share your posts. I was happy to see another familiar face participating in BOTB. Welcome aboard!

  2. This is a true coin tosser.If I downloaded either on my Ipod, I would listen to both. At the moment, Chet Atkins wins my favor. He was a master guitar player. However, I love how the Tielman brothers bring a deeper, richer sound.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the battle Ann. 🙂 It is difficult to choose, I know. That;s another one for Chet; thanks for your vote.

      1. Caught in the act of waffleling. lol, I don’t know why I clicked the Tielmans, but they are good. Good battle of the bands Debbie.

  3. Chi Chi likes Chet. Tielman Bros is another mood a mood that rarely enters my conscience. I grew up with the older country, not this pop-style country of today, as well as progressive (again, not related to what we call progressive today) and album rock on the radio. I kept my dial set Gordon McClendon’s WPHD-FM in Buffalo for my music. So anyway , Chet is familiar as is his music and the country music of the 70’s.

    1. Thanks for your vote and your insights, Chi Chi. That’s one more for Chet. He’s catching up! 🙂 I liked some of the 70s country music too: Charlie Rich, Freddy Fender, Kenny, Dolly…

  4. I love that piece-adore it actually. So reminds me of Europe and it makes me feel at home. Thanks for putting this here:)

    1. You’re very welcome, Birgit. 🙂 It does the same for me. Kaffee und Kuchen mit Mutter und Oma in Bochum at a Russian Tea Room. ♥

  5. Damn, Debbie, this was a hard one. They’re both excellent. Chet Atkins is the guitar player’s guitar player, and he is remarkable, no matter what he plays, but you know what? The Tielman Brothers turned it into a surf tune, and I love it! They get my vote this time around!

    1. I know, it’s a tough choice and I’ll have a hard time deciding as well. 🙂 Thanks for your vote. Another one for The Tielman Brothers.

  6. When I first started reading your post, I thought, OMG, it’s finally happened someone is using ‘Lithuanian Folk Songs’, my code for the most obscure music a person could find. Then I sat back and listened. This is an incredible BATTLE, made all the more fun by it being so difficult to chose. I cheated here and read the other comments (something normally don’t do) and I have to agree; I started out thinking no way would I vote against Chet his version is marvelous. But as good as it is, I’ve got to go with the Teilman Bros. as theirs was even better.

    What a great BATTLE. Taught me not to judge a song by my very first impression.

    1. LOL Maybe I should make this a recurring theme. There are so many examples of old folk songs that became modern hits. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the battle, FAE and I know it’s a difficult choice. Thanks for your vote; another one for The Tielman Brothers.

  7. This song was on an album my parents had when I was a kid. The album by Eddie South, “The Dark Angel of the Fiddle” was jazz violin music and since I played violin his style interested me. I loved that album so much and years later I started looking for it again and actually did find it. Great stuff! His version of “Dark Eyes” was so haunting. I think the song was pretty much a gypsy violin standard back in the 50’s and 60’s.

    The Tielman’s do a fine Ventures style take on this, but my vote has to go for the virtuosity of the great Chet Atkins.


      1. I had also looked for a clip of “Dark Eyes” but found none. Not too many clips to be found of South. Just like looking for recordings of his music–kind of rare.

        The video you linked to was cool though it didn’t play so well on my computer where I am.


  8. As soon as I started listening to the Chet Atkins version I figured my vote would go there. I like Chet Atkins and respect his body of work over the years so my bias was tugging me in that direction. But then I heard the Tielman Brothers and it blew me away! I liked their version so much better than Atkins! So my vote goes with the Tielman Brothers.
    Good battle. Interesting backgrounds on the song and the bands. You always have great information!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the battle, Michele. 🙂 Tielman Brothers it is! I love doing research. Even better when it’s about music.

  9. This is a tough one. I’m listening to them both for the second time. I’d choose them both if I could. Seriously. I really like Chet’s version at the beginning, but I love The Tielman Brothers at the end. I have no idea what instruments they’re using to create that “funky” sound, but I love it.

    So, after much consideration and back and forthing, give my vote to The Tielman Brothers.

  10. Knowing it was not in the voting, and is a song I had not heard before, I did not want to listen to the Russian orchestra. But alas, I’m a sucker for castles, and the pictures lured in. So gorgeous!

    This song really showed of Chet’s guitar skills. He did well, and I liked the sort of folksy nod. I enjoy Chet Akins, my Dad’s fault, mostly for the guitar as I think my Dad played like him. But I’ll give my vote to Tielman for the energy, and the excellent instrumental arrangement. Loved this battle.

    1. You fooled me. 🙂 After reading your first sentence, I thought for sure your vote was going to Chet, but Tielman Brothers it is! Thanks for sharing your memories of your Dad, as well.

    1. Hi Myke; Thanks for your vote. Looks like Chet is catching up. Glad you liked this week’s offering. Happy 4th of July to you and yours!

  11. I love this song and know it well but never knew the history so thank you for writing this. I just loved Chet Atkins version. I was expecting a Hee-Haw twang to it but was so pleasantly surprised. His amazing ability with the guitar fascinated me and his style, in this performance, made me think of “The Third Man Theme” which is done with the Zither not the electric guitar. Hands down for me that Atkins gets my vote

  12. DEBBIE ~
    This was a great, Great match-up!
    I thought for sure I’d be voting for Chet – he was such a tremendous and influential guitarist – but THE TIELMAN BROTHERS version had that “haunting” thing going for it, and then really kicked into overdrive and stole my vote.

    Loved this one!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    1. Thank you so much, Stephen! 😀 Glad you enjoyed the battle and thanks for your vote. Another one for The Tielman Brothers.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the choices, Cathy. 🙂 Yours is the first vote for Chet. Hopefully, there will be a few more, to make it a closer battle.

    1. That’s another vote for Tielman Bros. They have a hefty lead, so far. I enjoyed your instrumental battle too, Jeffrey. Thanks for voting today. 🙂

  13. Good morning, dear Debbie the Doglady! This band battle boggles my brain! (Say that five times fast!) I applaud you for digging deep and finding two great instrumental versions of this old song and for providing the fascinating back story about the origin of the song and info about both competing artists. I admire Chet Atkins, pioneer of the Nashville sound, and found his electric guitar version enjoyable. However, I liked the exotic, hypnotic recording by the Tielman Bros. even more. With its dark and dangerous backbeat rhythm, the tune starts out sounding like a track from Twin Peaks. As I listened to the Tielmans, I pictured booze-fueled Laura Palmer and Donna Hayward staggering around the strobe lit dance floor at One Eyed Jacks in Fire Walk With Me. Suddenly the Brothers shifted gears to a percolating up tempo arrangement. I appreciated the complexity and musicianship of the Tielmans’ version and they get my vote.

    Thank you, dear Debbie!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the battle, Shady. 🙂 I aim to please. It seems the Tielman Brothers are on a roll. Thanks for your vote and your descriptive comment. (You have a way with words!) Twin Peaks is a show I haven’t seen, but have definitely heard of.

  14. I was initially drawn to the Chet Atkins version, but The Tielman Brothers gave the music body, so my vote goes to the Tielman Brothers.

  15. Welcome back Debbie! So glad to ‘see’ you again.
    I’m happy to say Gema didn’t butt in. I could hear all 3 versions of Dark Eyes. Very interesting that it was originally a Russian Gypsy song.
    My hands go up all the way for the Tielman Brothers. Loved it. I ‘m buying the song for my ipod.

    1. Glad you weren’t stymied by video restrictions this time! 🙂 Thanks for your vote. Another one for The Tielman Brothers.

  16. Debbie D. Interesting battle – I haven’t heard that song in years! I’m not a Chet Atkins fan, even though there a couple of songs he does that I like. I really enjoyed the Tielman Brothers, though I’d never heard of them. They really put a nice spin on this song. They have a Latin sound as well. My vote goes to them.

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