Monday, March 19, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Joey Scarbury

Artist:Joey Scarbury
Song:Believe It Or Not
Album:America's Greatest Hero

Joey Scarbury's claim to fame was this 1981 top five hit Believe It Or Not from the TV series The Greatest American Hero. He's not quite a one hit wonder because a couple of other songs charted. But he's perceived as a one hit wonder. He was born June 7, 1955 in Ontario, CA. His mother encouraged him to sing and as a teen, he was discovered by songwriter Jimmy Webb's father. Webb got him a record deal with Dunhill Records. Scarbury released three singles that went nowhere. His producer was former Liberty Records house producer Dallas Smith. By then Webb started his own label Lionel Records with MGM. Lionel released the Five Man Electrical Band hit Signs in the US. The 1971 single Mixed Up Guy charted. But then Webb closed Lionel. Scarbury recorded singles for Bell, Playboy and Columbia. And he also sang backup for Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn among others. Those singles were produced by Mike Post who is mainly known for TV themes like The Rockford Files. Post was working on the music for The Greatest American Hero created by Stephen J. Cannell. The star of the show was William Katt, son of Perry Mason's Della Street Barbara Hale. ABC wanted an opening theme song. Post wrote Believe It Or Not with frequent songwriting partner Stephen Geyer. And I guess Post thought this would be Scarbury's big chance. When the show became a hit, so did the theme. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The guitar solo on the record is by Larry Carlton who also played the guitar solo on Post's hit theme for Hill Street Blues. Scarbury released an album on Elektra which is available as a budget CD. And that was about it. Scarbury recorded unsuccessful singles for RCA and Big Tree. He also had success as a songwriter, especially the 1989 #1 country hit No Matter How High for The Oak Ridge Boys. But mostly Scarbury is remembered for Believe It Or Not. Here's the video for Believe It Or Not by Joey Scarbury.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Holly McNarland

Artist:Holly McNarland
Song:Beautiful Blue
Album:Home Is Where My Feet Are

Singer songwriter Holly McNarland had modest success in her native Canada. But I think Universal Music had big plans for her and she never broke through to a wider audience. She was born Oct. 23, 1975 in The Pas, MB but she grew up in Winnipeg. She learned to play guitar as a teen and she began writing. She entered talent contests and worked as a waitress while singing on the side. In 1995, she got enough money together to record an EP and that got her a deal with MCA Records Canada. They re-released the EP and then she released the 1997 album Stuff produced by Dale Penner who had recently worked with Econoline Crush. The single Numb reached #9 on the Canadian charts. That was Holly's biggest hit. She won a Best New Artist Juno. She released the EP Live Stuff in 1999 but she wouldn't release new music again until the 2002 album Home Is Where My Feet Are. She worked with two veteran producers, Mark Howard and Warne Livesey. Beautiful Blue is probably the best known song from this album as it was used in the Global TV series Falcon Beach. This show aired on ABC Family in the US. But the album didn't sell and Universal dropped Holly. So what happened? In the late 90s, there were too many similar Canadian female singer songwriters and Holly just fell through the cracks. And she went five years between albums which is way too long. I'm not sure if Holly is still active. She released albums in 2007 and 2012. But she isn't touring and she last posted on Facebook and Twitter in 2015. She did work on a couple of Matthew Good's albums. But I don't know if she tours with him. At least Home Is Where My Feet Are is available as a budget CD. Here's the video for Beautiful Blue by Holly McNarland.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Barry Manilow

Artist:Barry Manilow
Song:Ready To Take A Chance Again
Album:Ultimate Manilow

Of course Barry Manilow was very popular in the 70s. He had several big hits. Ready To Take A Chance Again was an orphan because it didn't appear on one of his albums. It is from the 1978 film Foul Play. The film starred Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn and was directed by Colin Higgins. It's a comic homage to Alfred Hitchcock. The score was composed by Charles Fox who is probably best known for writing Killing Me Softly With his Song which was a huge hit for Roberta Flack. That song was an exception but Fox usually wrote songs for TV and film with partner Norman Gimbel. And that was true of Ready To Take A Chance Again. Manilow had just scored a big hit with Copacabana from his 1978 album Even Now. Paramount Pictures no longer owned a record company. So they licensed the Foul Play music to Arista. In return, Arista had Manilow record the movie theme. Manilow and his usual producer Ron Dante produced Ready To Take A Chance Again and it played over the opening credits of the film. It reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. But it did not appear on a Manilow album. The song appeared on the Foul Play soundtrack which mostly contains Fox's score and an abbreviated version of Copacabana. The soundtrack is available on CD. The one bonus track is the theme from the Foul Play TV series. Not all Manilow comps have this song but Ultimate Manilow does and it's available as a budget comp. This is the only time Manilow recorded a song for a film during his heyday. He recorded a couple of songs for films in the 90s but he wasn't as successful by then. Here's Ready To Take A Chance Again by Barry Manilow as it appeared over the opening credits of the 1978 film Foul Play.

Friday, March 16, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Scatman Crothers

Artist:Scatman Crothers w/Phil Harris, Thurl Ravenscroft, Robie Lester, Liz English
Song:Ev'rybody Wants To Be A Cat
Album:The Aristocats: The Legacy Collection

Benjamin "Scatman" Crothers had a long career in music before he got into acting. The 1970 Disney film The Aristocats established him and led to better known work in TV and films. He was born Jan. 23, 1910 in Terre Haute, IN. His work at a Dayton, OH radio station got him the Scatman nickname. In music, he is probably best known for his time in the 40s with Slim Gaillard. Crothers moved to Los Angeles in 1953 and had small roles in films until he appeared in The Aristocats. The original plan was for Louis Armstrong to voice Scat Cat. But he was forced to back out due to illness. Phil Harris recommended Crothers for the role. The score for The Aristocats was composed by Disney veteran George Bruns who went for more of a jazz vibe than we usually hear in Disney films. There were no hit singles from The Aristocats but Ev'rybody Wants To Be A Cat is probably the best known song from the film. The song was written by veteran songwriters Floyd Huddleston and Al Rinker. It's a group song with Crothers, Phil Harris, veteran voice artist Thurl Ravenscroft, Disney regular Robie Lester and Liz English. Recently Disney has released several soundtracks as The Legacy Collection. The Aristocats is 2CDs with bonus tracks and it's available at a budget price. Crothers' appearance led to his role on the TV series Chico and the Man. And later on the film The Shining which he got because he was pals with Jack Nicholson. Scatman Crothers was a heavy smoker and he died of lung cancer on Nov. 22, 1986 at age 76. Here's the video of Ev'rybody Wants To Be A Cat by Scatman Crothers with Phil Harris, Thurl Ravenscoft, Robie Lester and Liz English.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Frank Pozen's Big Bad podcast Mar. 15, 2018

Breaking news on the podcast today as the WWE has dropped The Fabulous Moolah from the women's battle royal at Wrestlemania. Also news about a new joshi puroresu company in Japan and Mackenzie Dern's next fight.

Mackenzie Dern vs Amanda Bobby Cooper added to May 12 UFC show

After she won her UFC debut, Strawweight prospect Mackenzie Dern asked to be on UFC 224 May 12 at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Yesterday MMA Brasil reported that she got her wish. She will face Amanda Bobby Cooper. Amanda confirmed the fight on her Instagram. Of course Mackenzie is a BJJ champ and she has spent a lot of time in Brazil. So this is like a home game for her. Mackenzie won her UFC debut over Ashley Yoder by split decision. First of all, it should have been a unanimous decision but there was plenty of terrible judging on that show. The main problem Mackenzie had with Ashley was she had never faced a southpaw before. Her coach John Crouch of MMA Lab in Phoenix said he kept yelling that she was circling in the wrong direction. But by the third round, Mackenzie figured things out and almost got a finish before time ran out. We could see a similar fight here. Ashley was on TUF 23 and she lost in the finals to Tatiana Suarez. She is 26 years old from Bath, MI. Her UFC record is 2-2 and both her wins were over fighters who were immediately released. She has a fan following because of her looks. But she's not a high level fighter. She has yet to beat anyone who is perceived as better than her. And I haven't seen anything from her that makes me think she can. The other big problem she has in this fight is the Brazilian fans will cheer for Mackenzie. Of course there could always be an upset. But I see nothing in Amanda's history that says that she can do that. Obviously Mackenzie will be favoured but that was true of her last fight. I just want to see progress from her.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Wreckx-N-Effect

Song:Rump Shaker
Album:Classic Hip Hop

Rump Shaker was a big hit back in 1992. It was the only big hit by Wreckx-N-Effect. Due to political correctness, I don't know if a record like this would be released today. Even back then there were protests about the video. Not surprisingly, the man behind Wreckx-N-Effect was New Jack Swing creator Teddy Riley. His brother Markell Riley was a member of Wreckx-N-Effect along with Aqil "A-Plus" Davidson, Keith "K.C." Harris and Brandon Mitchell. They released an EP on Atlantic in 1988 that went nowhere. Riley and partner Gene Griffin were unhappy with Atlantic's promotion so they moved the group to Motown. By the time the album Wrecks-N-Effect was released, Harris had left. They had modest success on the R&B charts. Then Mitchell was killed in a 1990 shooting incident. They changed the group name to Wreckx-N-Effect as a tribute to Mitchell. They moved to MCA Records for the 1992 album Hard Or Smooth. Rump Shaker reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The only thing that kept it from being #1 was the monster Whitney Houston hit I Will Always Love You. The raps are by Davidson and the Riley brothers. It samples plenty of songs but the big one is the sax riff from Darkest Light by the obscure 70s band Lafayette Afro Rock Band. They also sample the obscure 70s group Manzel, Magic Disco Machine, James Brown, The Emotions, MC Lyte and DeBarge. The video was criticized for exploiting women. But the song was a hit anyway. And the album was certified Platinum. You can get Rump Shaker on this Rhino 3CD various artists comp. By the time their 1996 album Raps New Generation was released, Davidson and the Rileys weren't getting along and MCA was sick of them. So that was the end of Wreckx-N-Effect. Here's the video for Rump Shaker by Wreckx-N-Effect.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Frank Pozen's Big Bad Podcast Mar. 14, 2018

Today I look at Asuka's appearance on Smackdown and an interview with Carmella that gives a clue at what will happen at Wrestlemania. I also discuss the Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal fallout and why the WWE may not have been aware of what the reaction would be. Don't forget my podcast is on Anchor, Google Play Music and Pocketcast. Please subscribe at your favourite service. And you can leave any questions or comments at Anchor and I will answer questions on air.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ashley MacIsaac

Artist:Ashley MacIsaac f/Mary Jane Lamond
Song:Sleepy Maggie
Album:Hi How Are You Today?

With his mix of traditional Cape Breton and contemporary music, fiddler Ashley MacIsaac had success in his native Canada in the 90s. Sleepy Maggie was his biggest hit in 1995. He's unknown outside Canada. He was born Feb. 24, 1975 in Creignish, NS. He grew up playing the traditional music of the Cape Breton region in Nova Scotia which is similar to Celtic music. His sister Lisa MacIsaac is also a fiddler who leads the band Madison Violet. And his cousins Alexis MacIsaac, Wendy MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster are all fiddlers. MacIsaac's 1992 album Close To The Floor was traditional Cape Breton music. But then he signed with A&M Records and with the 1995 album Hi How Are You Today?, it was decided that MacIsaac would fuse his usual music with contemporary music. This was led by producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda who had produced Barenaked Ladies and Spirit Of The West. Other key musicians included Big Sugar guitarist Gordie Johnson, drummer Graeme Kirkland, Ian Blurton of Cowboy Junkies, Chin Injeti of Bass Is Bass, Cape Breton native and session musician Gordie Sampson and Bourbon Tabernacle Choir keyboard player Chris Brown. So clearly A&M wasn't messing around. They thought MacIsaac could be a big star. The single Sleepy Maggie was very successful in Canada mostly in dance clubs. The album was certified 2XPlatinum in Canada. A&M released the album in the US but it was not successful. The singer Mary Jane Lamond sings traditional Cape Breton music. MacIsaac won a couple of Juno awards. He toured with The Chieftains. And he appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. MacIsaac's undoing was he butted heads with A&M over music direction and he left after two albums. Hi How Are You Today? is available as a budget CD. MacIsaac currently records for the Canadian label Linus Entertainment. His latest CD was released in 2016. And he still tours Canada. I guess MacIsaac's music is an acquired taste. But he was going places when creative differences got in the way. Here's the video for Sleepy Maggie by Ashley MacIsaac featuring Mary Jane Lamond.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Frank Pozen's Big Bad Podcast Mar. 13, 2018

On today's podcast, I talk about last night's Asuka vs Mickie James match, the Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax angle and my take on The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Asuka vs Mickie James

Here's the match video of Asuka vs Mickie James from last night's episode of RAW. This match was part of a larger angle to turn Nia Jax against Alexa Bliss. On yesterday's podcast, I talked about Asuka appearing on Sunday's Fastlane to challenge Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women's Championship at Wrestlemania. Of course Alexa Bliss came out on RAW and claimed that Asuka was smart to avoid her. I guess she forgot that Asuka already beat her once. She was going to bring Nia out. But when Nia didn't come out, Mickie James attacked Asuka. Then they went to commercial and the match was joined in progress. Mickie was in control for most of the match. And that's necessary for commentary to sell that The Streak is in jeopardy. I don't think anyone believes they will end The Streak. But that's the story the WWE wants to tell. The notable spots included Asuka missing a kick and hitting the ring post. Commentary really tried to sell that. And Mickie executed a sunset flip power bomb. But in the end, Asuka hooks the Asuka Lock and it's over. Alexa deserted Mickie after the match. Then she went to the dressing room to ask Nia where she was. Nia said she has a match and Kurt Angle wouldn't let her come out. That match was less than a minute long. Afterwards, They showed Alexa and Mickie waiting to be interviewed. Alexa talks about how she is using Nia. But she didn't know the mic and camera were live. BTW, these kind of segments aren't usually live. They are taped earlier in the day. Of course Nia sees this and goes nuts. This angle will continue when Asuka faces Alexa Bliss on next week's RAW. Meanwhile, Asuka will appear on tonight's episode of Smackdown. Enjoy the video but remember that it was part of a larger angle.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Floyd Cramer

Artist:Floyd Cramer
Song:Last Date
Album:20 Greatest Hits

Pianist Floyd Cramer was one of the most important figures in country music history. His playing style is synonymous with country music. He played on many sessions and he even scored a top five pop hit with Last Date in 1960. He was born Oct. 27, 1963 in Shreveport, LA and he grew up in Huttig, AR. Cramer taught himself to play piano and after graduating high school, he became the pianist on the Louisiana Hayride radio show. He even toured with Elvis Presley. The event that changed Cramer's life was when he met RCA Nashville head and guitar legend Chet Atkins. Atkins brought Cramer to Nashville. Cramer played on everything produced at RCA Nashville. He developed what became known as the "slip note" piano style. You can hear this on hundreds of hits including Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel. Occasionally Cramer recorded his own music. And one of those recordings Last Date reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. The only thing that kept Last Date from topping the charts was Elvis Presley's Are You Lonesome Tonight and Cramer played piano on that record. Lawrence Welk's cover of Last Date was also a hit. Skeeter Davis even wrote lyrics for Last Date and that was a hit too. And in 1972 Conway Twitty wrote his own lyrics to Last Date. Obviously Last Date was Cramer's signature song. But his real legacy was all the hits he played on. Cramer recorded and toured for many years until his death on Dec. 31, 1997 at age 64. This comp was sold on TV and it's a good intro to Cramer's music. Floyd Cramer was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2003. Cramer's grandson Jason Coleman also plays piano and he tours as a tribute to Cramer's legacy. Here's Floyd Cramer performing Last Date on The Johnny Cash Show 1971.