Tuesday, November 20, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Wilbert Harrison

Artist:Wilbert Harrison
Song:Kansas City
Album:Kansas City 1953-1962 Sides

I'm sure you have heard this classic oldie which topped the charts in 1959. It was the only big hit for Wilbert Harrison. He was born Jan. 5, 1929 in Charlotte, NC. He grew up singing in church. He moved to Miami after being discharged from the US Navy in 1950. Harrison performed a calypso style in clubs. Henry Stone signed him to his Rockin' label in 1953. The single This Woman Of Mine was Kansas City with new lyrics written by Stone. Harrison moved to New Jersey and signed with Savoy Records. He recorded several unsuccessful singles for Savoy. Then in 1959 Harrison met legendary New York record store owner Bobby Robinson and he released Kansas City on his Fury label. Kansas City topped the charts. The record featured a great guitar solo by Wild Jimmy Spruill. Kansas City was written by legendary songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller for Little Willie Littlefield in 1952. It was released by Federal Records as KC Loving but it was not a hit. Of course Harrison recorded it as This Woman Of Mine. Little Richard recorded Kansas City in 1955 and then he recorded it in 1956 as Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey. Several artists recorded it in 1959. But Harrison's recording was the big hit. The problem was Harrison was still under contract to Savoy. They sued Robinson and by the time that got sorted out Harrison had cooled off. He recorded for several labels in the 60s. Harrison scored a top 40 hit in 1969 with Let's Work Together. Canned Heat had a bigger hit with that song. You can get all of Harrison's 50s recordings on this budget comp. Harrison continued to tour until he died on Oct. 26, 1994 at age 65. His recording of Kansas City was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2001. Here's Wilbert Harrison performing Kansas City on the Dick Clark Beech Nut Show May 2, 1959.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Frank Pozen's Big Bad Podcast Nov. 19, 2018

WWE Survivor Series review.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-2018 Women's Survivor Series match

Here's the 2018 Women's Survivor Series match. All these matches are RAW vs Smackdown. I'm not going to go into detail. The match was OK but nothing special. The crowd was dead except to cheer Asuka and boo Nia Jax. Nia winning was predictable like the Evolution battle royal. She has a title match coming up next month so she had to win. I'm going to get into Nia Jax a bit more on my podcast. And I am also going to talk about Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte Flair on my podcast. The turning point of the match was when Bayley and Sonia Deville were counted out of the ring. That was lame. That left Nia and Sasha Banks vs Asuka. While Nia hid on the floor, Asuka and Sasha were going pretty good. Then Nia sabotaged Sasha and Asuka beat her with the Asuka Lock. Nia picked up the scraps and won. The thing you may not know is that Vince McMahon wanted a RAW sweep because Stephanie McMahon promised Baron Corbin that a sweep would get the interim taken off his general manager title. And Shane McMahon promised changes on Smackdown. We'll see what that is. So check out the match for yourself and check out my podcast for more that I am not covering here.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Herb Jeffries

Artist:Herb Jeffries w/Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
Album:The Prewar Vocal Jazz Story

Herb Jeffries was a jazz singer best known for singing Flamingo when he was in Duke Ellington's band in the early 40s. He also acted in cowboy movies and was known as The Bronze Buckaroo. He was born Umberto Alexander Valentino Sept. 24, 1913 in Detroit. There has been controversy about Jeffries' race because neither of his parents were black. He claimed that his great grandmother was Ethiopian. But his stepfather Howard Jeffrey was black so Jeffries took his name. This followed him for his entire career. But his skin was dark enough so he could pass as black. Jeffries sang in Detroit ballrooms as a teen. And Louis Armstrong spotted him and recommended him to Erskine Tate at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago. Knowing that this was a black band, Jeffries told Tate he was Creole. Armstrong may have told him to say that. Jeffries joined Earl Hines' band in 1934 and that was when he first recorded. While touring the south with Hines, Jeffries got the idea of doing a black cowboy movie. He was a big Tom Mix fan but Jeffries thought black audiences should have their own singing cowboy. He approached producer Jed Buell who agreed to do it. Jeffries starred, wrote the songs and could ride a horse. His co-star was Amos 'N' Andy's Spencer Williams. Harlem on the Prairie was the first of several films. Jeffries became The Bronze Buckaroo. He sang and did his own stunts. Then he returned to music and Duke Ellington in 1940. Flamingo was his biggest hit. It's now considered a jazz standard. The story goes that the songwriter Ted Grouya gave the song to Jeffries and asked him to show it to Ellington. Billy Strayhorn saw it on the dressing room table and started playing it on the piano. Ellington heard that and had his pal Edmund Anderson write lyrics for the song. Jeffries sang it and the rest is history. After leaving Ellington's band in 1944, Jeffries recorded solo with modest success. He moved to Europe in the late 40s and returned to the US in the late 50s. He recorded occasionally until he died on May 25, 2014 at age 100. Unfortunately there is no Herb Jeffries comp CD but you can get Flamingo on this 2CD various artists comp. Here's Herb Jeffries with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra performing Flamingo in a 1941 Soundie.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Frank Pozen's Big Bad Podcast Nov. 18, 2018

UFC Fight Night 140, NXT Takeover and Invicta reviews.

Big Bad Blog video Theater-Cynthia Calvillo vs Poliana Botelho

Here's the match video of Cynthia Calvillo vs Poliana Botelho from last night's UFC show in Argentina. Cynthia is returning from a drug suspension. She tested positive for weed. In 2018 no one should be suspended for testing positive for weed. Hell, it's now legal here in Canada. No, I don't smoke that stuff or anything else. Then she missed weight. Cynthia explained that she was having her period and the weight just wouldn't come off. And the last time we saw her, Cynthia looked awful losing to Carla Esparza, a fighter she should have beaten. So it's not surprising that Poliana was favored as she has looked good in the UFC. Poliana is a striker so Cynthia needed to take her down to beat her. And that's what she did. She won with a first round rear naked choke. I don't know what was wrong with Cynthia when she lost to Carla. But this was the Cynthia we saw before that. And that's what I needed to see from her. Hopefully she's back on track and heading to an eventual Strawweight title shot. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane

Here's the match video of Shayna Baszler defending her NXT Women's Championship against Kairi Sane from last night's Takeover show. This is a very good but flawed match. Shayna and especially Kairi performed great. The flaws are lamebrained booking decisions. I don't know why this was made two out of three falls. That kind of match was common decades ago. Because they are infrequently done today, modern bookers aren't familiar enough with that kind of match to do it properly. I thought Shayna and Kairi worked around the limitations well. The other thing is again the match was too short. It's like WWE management doesn't want them to steal the show because given twenty minutes, that's what they would do. And the War Games match that ended this show was way too long. So Kairi came out on fire until Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke came out and interfered. I told you on Friday to expect shenanigans. The interference led to Shayna winning the first fall with a choke. Shayna continued to dominate until Kairi countered an attempted suplex on the apron into a DDT. That should have been a count out to tie up the match. Instead they had Kairi bring Shayna back into the ring and tie it with her Insane Elbow finisher. Then they had Mauro Ranallo give a lame explanation for Kairi's actions. Phooey! Kairi is dominating the third fall when Marina and Jessamyn interfere again. Dakota Kai comes out to help Kairi followed by Io Shirai hitting a moonsault from the top rope to the floor. Kairi hits her elbow finisher which Shayna rolled into a pin for the win. That was a callback to Brooklyn when Kairi won with a flash pin. But it didn't look good and Kairi got her shoulder up anyway. That means this feud will continue but it has now been expanded. And that's what HHH said in his post show press conference. The only problem is it backs up the NXT women's division where Bianca Belair among others are ready for a push. Maybe they will do their next match in a steel cage. I can already envision Kairi doing her elbow from the top of the cage. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Vivienne Segal

Artist:Vivienne Segal
Song:Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
Album:Broadway: The Great Original Cast Recordings

Vivienne Segal was a popular Broadway musical performer in the first half of the 1900s. She is probably best known for introducing Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered in the 1940 production of the Rodgers and Hart musical Pal Joey. She was born Apr. 19, 1897 in Philadelphia. Her father was a physician and he financed Vivienne's stage debut at the Philadelphia Operatic Society at age 15. He also financed her Broadway debut in the 1915 Sigmund Romberg musical The Blue Paradise. This led to roles in the 1918 Jerome Kern musical Oh, Lady! Lady!! and the 1919 musical The Little Whopper. Vivienne also appeared in the 1924 and 1925 editions of The Ziegfield Follies. She also went to Hollywood and appeared in some early film musicals like the 1930 film Viennese Nights. That's where she met Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Vivienne appeared in the 1938 Rodgers and Hart musical I Married An Angel. She then played Vera Simpson in the 1940 show Pal Joey. And of course she sang Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered which is now a standard. There was no cast recording for that. So when record companies started making albums in the late 40s, Columbia asked Rodgers and Hart to assemble the Pal Joey cast for a studio recording. Vivienne appeared in that and she also returned to Broadway in the 1952 revival of Pal Joey. The studio cast is available on CD but it's too expensive. The 1952 cast is available on a poor quality European version that I can't recommend. Sony thought Vivienne's recording of Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered was significant enough to include it on their massive 100 Years of Sony Music box set. They split that into 2CD sets like this Broadway one. It has plenty of great performances. The 1952 Pal Joey was Vivienne's final Broadway appearance. After some TV appearances, she retired in 1966 and died on Dec. 29, 1992 at age 95. Here's a video of Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered by Vivienne Segal from the 1950 studio cast of Pal Joey.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Felicia Spencer is the new Invicta Featherweight Champion

Last night Invicta FC 32 was at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, OK. I watched it on UFC Fight Pass via Roku. The show was the usual mixed bag because of poor main card matchmaking. But that wasn't true of the main event. Felicia Spencer beat Pam Sorenson to to become the Invicta Featherweight Champion. She won with a fourth round rear naked choke. Felicia dominated round one. Pam did better in round two. But Felicia won round three and then in round four she won with the choke she was trying to get in round one. It went as I expected as Felicia is an elite fighter and Pam isn't. There's no way she gets a title shot if there is any depth in Welterweight. But most of the fighters in the division are worse than Pam. I don't know how long Felicia and her coach Mike Lee want to stay in Invicta. But we'll see her in the UFC in 2019. The co-main event had Mizuki winning over Viviane Pereira by unanimous decision. This was at Strawweight. Mizuki is now training with Ray Longo in Long Island, NY. He was yelling instructions through a translator. This was Viviane's first fight since leaving the UFC. She was doing the same things she was doing in the UFC, which is nothing much. Mizuki tried to finish her a few times but couldn't quite do it. In an Atomweight bout, Ashley Cummins beat Jessica Delboni by unanimous decision. It was an easy win for Ashley. She is now training with Manny Hernandez at San Diego Combat Club. Jessica was undefeated in the Brazilian regional circuit. She didn't look good and should not have been on the main card. I guess they are trying to build Ashley up to a title shot. In a 150lb catchweight bout, Kaitlyn Young won over Sarah Patterson by second round TKO. Sarah was a late replacement when the original opponent had visa issues. The fight went as expected but I would like to see Kaitlyn face better opposition. In a Bantamweight bout, Julia Avila won over Alexa Connors by second round TKO. The last time we saw Julia, she suffered a hand injury and the doctor stopped the fight. So this was my first good look at her and I like what I saw. We could see her in the UFC down the road. In a Flyweight bout, Erin Blanchfield beat Kay Hansen by majority decision. One of the judges scored it a draw and the other two scored it 29-28 for Erin. I was expecting a much livelier fight from these two so I was disappointed. In a Flyweight bout, Stephanie Geltmacher beat Liz Tracy by unanimous decision. This won fight of the night. They both performed well. But Stephanie seems to be an elite fighter. And she has charisma. some might think at 5'1" she is short for Flyweight. But she reminds me of Rin Nakai with her muscular build and low center of gravity. So I like her so far. In a Flyweight bout, Kathryn Paprocki won over Isis Verbeek by unanimous decision. Kathryn basically smothered Isis who looked inept. Isis is a Glory kickboxer who was bored with kickboxing and wanted to try MMA. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea. And in a Bantamweight bout, Chelsea Chandler won over Mitzi Merry by unanimous decision. Chelsea won easily over an inept Mitzi. I think it was one of Invicta's better shows. And congratulations to Felicia Spencer for winning the Invicta Featherweight Championship.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nirvana

Song:Smells Like Teen Spirit

The one thing Nirvana did while they were around was popularize alternative rock because Smells Like Teen Spirit was a top ten pop hit in 1991. Nirvana didn't capitalize on that because of Kurt Cobain's suicide. But it's unlikely that bands like Soundgarden would have been successful without Nirvana's success. Nirvana were from Aberdeen, WA. Lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic went to the same high school. But they became friends while practicing with veteran punk rockers The Melvins. Cobain wanted to form a band and he gave a demo to Novoselic. After three years he finally listened to it and agreed to form a band. They had difficulty finding a drummer. Cobain called the group Nirvana because he wanted a nice name. They moved to Tacoma and recorded demos with Dale Crover of The Melvins on drums. He moved to San Francisco and they settled on drummer Chad Channing. They signed with Sub Pop Records and released their 1989 debut album Bleach. They toured to support it. They went to Wisconsin to record their next album with Butch Vig of Garbage producing. Channing was unhappy because he wasn't involved in the songwriting. Cobain and Novoselic were unhappy with his drumming so he left. Meanwhile Nirvana's demos were attracting record companies. Crover did a tour with them but he wasn't staying. Buzz Osborne of The Melvins introduced them to Dave Grohl of the Washington, DC based group Scream. They had just split up. He auditioned and they knew he was the right guy. Nirvana then signed with DGC/Geffen and released the 1991 album Nevermind. DGC was hoping for sales similar to Sonic Youth's Goo of 250,000. But then the video for Smells Like Teen Spirit went into regular rotation on MTV. And that led to radio airplay and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Nevermind sold seven million copies in the US and 30 million worldwide. It knocked Michael Jackson's Dangerous off the top of the Billboard Hot 200. So now Nirvana are big stars. The first thing Cobain does is reorganize the songwriting royalties so he gets a majority of the money. This almost caused Nirvana to split up and ill feelings lingered. While waiting for Nirvana's next album, DGC released the album of early recordings Insecticide. They recorded In Utero with producer Steve Albini. The album sold over three million copies. They toured and while on tour, Cobain's wife Courtney Love found him unconscious in his Rome hotel room. It was a drug overdose. The tour was cancelled and Cobain agreed to go to rehab for his heroin addiction. After a week, Cobain left and returned to Seattle and shot himself on Apr. 8, 1994. As usually happens when a popular musician dies prematurely, there was a big spike in album sales. Cobain's death became part of their legacy. Of course Grohl has had great success with his band Foo Fighters. Novoselic's current band is Giants in the Trees. DGC has released several Nirvana box sets. This comp is the only single CD comp currently available. Nirvana was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2014. Here's the video for Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Frank Pozen's Big Bad Podcast Nov. 16, 2018

Invicta FC 32, UFC Fight Night 140, WWE NXT Takeover and Survivor Series previews.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brad Cotter

Artist:Brad Cotter
Song:I Miss Me
Album:Patient Man

TV talent contests can be a double edged sword. It's supposed to launch the winner to stardom. But sometimes it doesn't. And that's what happened to Brad Cotter. He won the 2004 season of the USA Network show Nashville Star. But then his career went nowhere. He was born Sept. 29, 1970 in Opelika, AL which is a suburb of Auburn. His father was a preacher. Cotter not only sang in the church choir but Jerry Redd of The Stamps Quartet got him a record deal and he released five gospel albums as a teen. His most successful album was the 1986 album On The Edge produced by Eddie Crook of Regency Records. It got some Christian radio play and Cotter toured the southeast. But he quit singing for a few years. He returned in the early 90s with the country group Silverado. They never recorded but Cotter signed a solo deal with RCA's BNA label. An album was recorded but never released. The same thing happened when Cotter signed with Mercury in 1996. An album was recorded but never released. Then he had success as a songwriter. His song She Said Yes topped the country charts for Chad Brock in 1997. Cotter signs a publishing deal. Maybe he should have stuck to songwriting. In 2001 he signs with MCA but he never recorded due to label management changes. His Nashville Star win got him a deal with Epic. The album Patient Man was produced by Steve Bogard and Rick Giles who had success producing Michelle Wright. The three wrote most of the album songs. Three singles were released including I Miss Me which Cotter sang on the Nashville Star finale. All three singles charted but not high enough for Epic to keep Cotter around. Sony closed Epic's Nashville office. Cotter released an EP in 2007. He released the 2009 album Right On Time on OMG Records. It doesn't look like they were in business very long. Cotter also wrote the book Nashville Scarred. There's a page for it on his website but I don't know if it was ever published. His website has been inactive since 2009. He's on Twitter and Facebook but he's not very active. So I don't know if Brad Cotter is still in music. Nothing seemed to work out for him. Here's Brad Cotter performing I Miss Me on the 2004 Nashville Star finale.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jay Ferguson

Artist:Jay Ferguson
Song:Thunder Island
Album:Super Hits Of The '70s: Have A Nice Day Vol. 21

Jay Ferguson scored a top ten hit in 1977 with Thunder Island. Though he is perceived as a one hit wonder one of his other songs charted. He was also lead singer of Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne. He has composed music for films and TV since the 80s. He was born May 10, 1947 in Burbank, CA. Ferguson took piano lessons as a child. As a teen, he played banjo with his fiddle playing brother Tom in the bluegrass band The Oat Hill Stump Straddlers. And he played in a few garage bands. This led to Spirit. Ferguson was lead singer and he wrote most of the songs with Randy California. Band infighting led to Ferguson and Mark Andes leaving Spirit in 1971 to form Jo Jo Gunne. They scored a big hit with Run Run Run. Andes then left to form Firefall. Jo Jo Gunne split up in 1975 after recording four albums. Eagles producer Bill Szymczyk asked Ferguson to come to his studio in Miami to play on Joe Walsh's 1975 album You Can't Argue With A Sick Mind. This was just before Walsh joined Eagles. I suppose Szymczyk could have had Ferguson join Eagles too. But instead he produced Ferguson's three albums on Asylum Records. Thunder Island was from the second album. it reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Walsh plays slide guitar on the record. Ferguson's other chart single was Shakedown Island in 1979. You can get Thunder Island on this Rhino various artists comp. After three albums for Asylum, Ferguson recorded two albums for Capitol. Since the 80s, Ferguson has composed music for film and TV. He has worked a lot for TV and he is currently the composer for the series NCIS: Los Angeles. Here's Jay Ferguson performing Thunder Island on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert 1979.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Charlotte Flair and Jeff Hardy vs Asuka and The Miz

Here's the match video of Charlotte Flair and Jeff Hardy vs Asuka and The Miz from last night's Mixed Match Challenge (MMC). This airs on Facebook Watch which is not available in many regions including Canada where I am. Most of the MMC matches have been awful. There's been way too much comedy for me. And turning it into a round robin tournament was done because the final will be in December so they had more time to kill. There was no logical reason to do that. This match is at least watchable because there is no comedy. Jeff Hardy filled in for AJ Styles after Styles lost to Daniel Bryan on the Smackdown main event. The only problem with this match is there is no heat because three of the four wrestlers are babyfaces. Asuka took the loss to Charlotte's figure eight leglock which I have never liked as a finisher. Look, they couldn't have Charlotte lose just before she faces Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. And it doesn't matter anyway because the tournament is round robin. I told you when this started that Asuka and The Miz wouldn't win. And he berated her in a post match interview. Unless she's turning heel, he shouldn't make her mad. They announced the other day that the winners of this tournament will get the number 30 slot in the Royal Rumble and a free trip anywhere in the world. That Royal Rumble slot could be motivation for Asuka and The Miz to go full blown heel. But I don't know if the WWE has the guts to do that. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dave Berry

Artist:Dave Berry
Song:The Crying Game
Album:Best of 60s British Beat

You probably heard this record in Neil Jordan's 1992 film The Crying Game. But you probably know nothing about it. It was a top five hit in England for Dave Berry in 1964. He got left behind when The British Invasion came to the US. He was born David Holgate Grundy Feb. 6, 1941 in Woodhouse, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. He started singing in local groups in 1960. His stage name was a tribute to Chuck Berry. Berry was spotted by producer Mickie Most and that got him a record deal with Decca. His first single was a 1963 cover of Chuck Berry's Memphis. It reached #19 on the British singles chart. The Crying Game was his fourth single. It reached #5 on the British singles chart. Berry was conflicted. He wanted to be a rock singer but he had his greatest success with weepy ballads like The Crying Game. The song was written by Geoff Stephens of The New Vaudeville Band. Remember Winchester Cathedral? He was mostly a producer and songwriter. The guitar solo is by Big Jim Sullivan. As I said, Berry's recording was used in the 1992 film The Crying Game. Boy George's cover was also in the film and it was a top twenty hit in the US. Berry's other hits in England were Little Things in 1965 and Mama in 1966. He never charted in the US. You can get The Crying Game on this various artists budget comp. Berry still tours the nostalgia circuit in England. Here's Dave Berry performing The Crying Game in 1964. If you're wondering why he seems to be hiding, apparently that was his performance gimmick.