Tuesday, October 13, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mouth & MacNeal

Artist:Mouth & MacNeal
Song:How Do You Do?
Album:Absolutely The Best

How Do You Do? was a worldwide smash hit in 1972 and a top ten US hit for the Dutch duo Mouth & MacNeal. They had success in Europe and they split up in 1974. Mouth & MacNeal was put together by the production team of Hans van Hemert and Harry van Hoof. They were house producers at Philips Records in The Netherlands. van Hemert would find the talent and van Hoof wrote the arrangements. They produced several acts together. Wilhelmus "Big Mouth" Duyn was in several bands in the 60s. Singer Sjoukje van't Spijker was under contract to Philips and she had released one single. van Hemert thought they might make a good duo and he asked Duyn to come to the recording studio. They named van't Spijker Maggie MacNeal so the duo could be sold internationally and they used Duyn's nickname. Mouth & MacNeal was born. How Do You Do? was their second single. It was huge hit in Europe and Philips tried to promote it in the US. The song was discovered by Rhode Island radio personality Jim Connors who published a tip sheet for DJs called Think Sheet. He earned 13 gold records for breaking new artists, the most notable being Harry Chapin. Other DJs picked up on How Do You Do? and it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was their only North American hit but they continued to have success in Europe until the split up in 1974. This budget comp covers their entire run. Duyn formed Big Mouth & Little Eve with future wife Ingrid Kup. Later he recorded solo and also did voice acting. Duyn died in 2004. Maggie recorded solo for years and she was a frequent participant in the Eurovision Song Contest. Since 2000, she has been a member of Dutch Divas with TV host Marga Bult and they are popular locally. Here's Mouth & MacNeal performing How Do You Do? on German TV 1972.

Monday, October 12, 2015

AccuRadio Sing Of The Day-J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise

Artist:J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise f/Melissa Bethea
Song:You Are Worthy
Album:I See Victory

Youthful Praise has been one of the top contemporary gospel choirs for at least a decade. I've known about them for at least that long. I See Victory is their latest CD. Youthful Praise is from Bridgeport, CT led by James "J.J." Hairston. Their base is Turner's Faith Temple in Bridgeport and they were originally called Teens of TFT. The choir got the attention of James D. Robinson Jr., co-owner of the gospel music website GospelFlava.com and they started Evidence Gospel and Youthful Praise was their first signing. Evidence would merge with Light Records and in 2010 Light was sold to Entertainment One. Robinson still works with Youthful Praise and he has also produced Coko, Shirley Caesar and Jessica Reedy. Awesome God was Youthful Praise's debut CD in 2001 and it was nominated for two Stellar awards and a Soul Train award. Since then they have released new music every couple of years and appeared regularly on BET's Bobby Jones Gospel. Hairston writes all the songs and leads the choir. On their 2014 CD I See Victory, VeShawn Mitchell, Donnie McClurkin, Jason Nelson and Karen Clark-Sheard are among the guest vocalists. Choir member Melissa Bethea sings lead on You Are Worthy. I think they are a very energetic choir and if you're a gospel music fan, you should check them out. Their website is under construction meaning they probably have a new CD coming. Here's J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise featuring Melissa Bethea performing You Are Worthy.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jerry Orbach and Company

Artist:Jerry Orbach and Company
Song:Lullaby of Broadway
Album:The Only Broadway CD You'll Ever Need

Jerry Orbach is probably best known for his long run on the TV series Law and Order. But he had a long career on Broadway before that including his Tony nominated performance in the musical 42nd Street. He was born Oct. 20, 1935 in The Bronx, NY. His parents were both performers and the family moved around a lot. Orbach went to high school in Waukegan, IL and attended Northwestern University before moving back to New York City to study acting with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. After small roles in films and on Broadway, Orbach's first big role was as El Gallo in the 1960 cast of The Fantasticks. He was the first to perform Try To Remember. He was nominated for a Tony for his role as Sky Masterson in the 1965 musical Guys and Dolls. Then he won a Tony for Promises, Promises. Then in 1975 he was nominated for another Tony for Chicago. In the 80s, he started to appear in more films and TV. The Broadway revival of 42nd Street was Orbach's final appearance on Broadway. He was nominated for a Tony and the show ran for five years. Unfortunately the original cast album is not available on CD. But you can get Orbach's performance of Lullaby of Broadway on this various artists budget CD that is supposed to be an introduction to Broadway for beginners. In Hollywood, Orbach did mostly character and supporting roles in films and on TV. But his performance in the 1981 film Prince Of The City showed that he could handle larger roles. He finally got that signature role in the 1992 series Law and Order. He starred in the show for over a decade. Orbach was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1994. He continued on Law and Order while undergoing chemotherapy. Orbach left Law and Order in 2004 and he was supposed to continue on one of the spinoff shows with a lighter workload. But Orbach died on Dec. 28, 2004 at age 69. Jerry Orbach is in the American Theater Hall of Fame and a New York theater and street were named after him. Here's Jerry Orbach and company performing Lullaby of Broadway on the 1981 Tony Awards broadcast.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Murmaids

Artist:The Murmaids
Song:Popsicles and Icicles
Album:Romancing The '60s: This Magic Moment

The 1963 top five hit Popsicles and Icicles was the only chart single for the girl group The Murmaids. And then they all returned to school. The Murmaids were from Los Angeles. Sisters Carol and Terry Fischer grew up in show business. Their father Carl Fischer was Frankie Laine's musical director and mom sang with Stan Kenton. Grandma was in vaudeville. The third Murmaid was their neighbour Sally Gordon. These high school students recorded demos with future TV theme composer Mike Post. He was just beginning his career. Chattahoochie Records producer Kim Fowley liked the demos and he wanted the girls to record Popsicles and Icicles. Fowley had already worked on hits like Alley Oop and Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow and he's a legendary figure in the Los Angeles music scene. Popsicles and Icicles was written by David Gates who went on to fame as the leader of Bread. He wrote and produced all kinds of artists before Bread. The vocal arrangement was by Skip Battin of Skip and Flip and later on The Byrds. Popsicles and Icicles reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. And that was it. The Murmaids recorded enough songs for an album. But the album wasn't released and only surfaced recently when Collectables released a Murmaids CD. Part of the problem was the girls refused to quit school and tour. And I guess Fowley soured on them for that reason. And he even tried to continue the Murmaids with different girls. You can get Popsicles and Icicles on this 2CD Time Life various artists budget comp. There are also CDs covering David Gates' early career and Kim Fowley's career. In 1969, Terry Fischer was a member of The Carnival, a spinoff of Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66. Then in the 70s, she was a background singer for TV talk show bands and in Las Vegas. The Fischer sisters reunited The Murmaids in 1998 with a third singer and they released a CD in 2002. But The Murmaids will forever be remembered for the innocent sound of Popsicles and Icicles. Here's a video for Popsicles and Icicles by The Murmaids.

Friday, October 09, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension

Artist:John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension
Song:The Fine Line
Album:To The One

British guitarist John McLaughlin is best known as a Jazz Fusion pioneer first with Tony Williams and Miles Davis and then leading The Mahavishnu Orchestra. The 4th Dimension is McLaughlin's current and it should give fans fond memories of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. For most of the 90s, McLaughlin recorded for Verve Records. He left Verve after the 2006 album Industrial Zen. One of the musicians he recruited for that album was British keyboard player and drummer Gary Husband. Though Husband has recorded as a leader, he has been a sideman since the 80s with Alan Holdsworth, Level 42, Jack Bruce and Billy Cobham. He also records for the jazz label Abstract Logix and he suggested them to McLaughlin. So McLaughlin decided to form a new band with Husband called 4th Dimension. But first McLaughlin toured with Chick Corea and recorded an album as Five Peace Band. This was a one off project. When McLaughlin returned, he recorded the 2010 CD To The One. Husband plays keyboards and drums. On the video clip, he's playing drums. The other musicians are British drummer Mark Mondesir and bassist Etienne Mbappe. Mondesir is best known for his days with British sax player Courtney Pine. Mbappe is from Cameroon but he lives in France and does a lot of session work. For the 2012 CD Now Here This, Mondesir was replaced by Indian drummer Ranjit Barot, a long time associate of film composer A.R. Rahman. McLaughlin knew him from his Shakti revival. The band's new CD Black Light was released last month and they are touring Australia and Asia. So if you're a long time fan of McLaughlin, you may want to check out his new band 4th Dimension. Here's John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension performing The Fine Line live in the recording studio 2010.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Asuka debuts in NXT

Here's the match video of Asuka vs Dana Brooke from last night's NXT show that aired live on the WWE Network. This is for those of you who don't have the WWE Network which is worth getting mostly for NXT. Last night's main event of Bayley vs Sasha Banks was almost as good as their Brooklyn match. I hated the ending and I would have preferred a ten minute extension. But I want to talk about Kana who is called Asuka in NXT. There seemed to be a lot of hand wringing by fans about how the WWE would change Kana to fit into the WWE. Other than the name change, she's the same Kana we have come to know and love over the last few years. She was wearing slippers as opposed to wrestling barefoot but she has worn slippers before. I'm sure HHH had to work on her playing to the camera during her entrance. That's something she never had to do in Japan. But as HHH said on Tuesday, Kana has natural charisma that can't be taught. So her entrance was great and the crowd was hot for her. The idea behind this match is not only for Kana to look like a star but for her to make Dana Brooke look good. I think she accomplished that. Of course Kana is much quicker than Dana or any other WWE female wrestler. She did all her trademark moves including her Asuka lock cross face chicken wing. She also pulled off a flying armbar. I also liked her mocking Dana's shtick which I suspect she adlibbed. Dana got in a bit of offense with Emma's help. Guess who's in for the next beating. And Kana does this with a big smile on her face. Remember she will make more money over the next year in the WWE than she made in her whole career in Japan. No wonder she's happy. I can't ask for more. She was perfect. Then Dana attacks her after the match and Kana knocks her out with a spinning head kick. I am also posting a bonus video of Dana in the medical room and she can't remember the match. Then Kana comes in. Enjoy both videos.
Dana Brooke vs Asuka by MrCena456

Randa Markos vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz added to Dec. 19 UFC show

Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Randa Markos
It was announced on last night's episode of UFC Tonight that Randa Markos will face Karolina Kowalkiewicz on UFC on FOX 17 Dec. 19 at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL. I expect this fight to air on the prelims. Last year, Karolina won a split decision over MIZUKI in Invicta. At the time, I thought she won that fight because of MIZUKI's lack of aggression. It was a close fight so it didn't really sell me on Karolina. Most of her other fights have been for KSW in her native Poland. She's 7-0. Someone asked me about her a couple of months ago and I thought she would be a tough signing for the UFC because KSW does pay fighters well so they will stay and with the UFC's Reebok deal killing sponsorship, she would probably make more money in KSW. So the UFC probably had to pay Karolina a premium. So they are giving her a tough opponent for her debut to find out if she's any good. Randa is from Windsor, ON but she recently moved to Montreal to train at Tri Star. She won her last fight over Aisling Daly in April. Randa is an ace grappler so we may find out about Karolina's takedown defense. And that could be the key to this fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Donald O'Connor

Artist:Donald O'Connor
Song:Make 'Em Laugh
Album:Singin' In The Rain: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Donald O'Connor was a song and dance man best known for his performance in the 1952 musical Singin' In The Rain with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds and especially his showstopper Make 'Em Laugh. He grew up in show business. O'Connor was born Aug. 28, 1925 in Chicago. His parents were vaudeville performers who emigrated from Ireland. When his father died on stage from a heart attack, O'Connor and two of his brothers toured the vaudeville circuit with mom. Donald O'Connor was three years old. At age 13, O'Connor appeared in the 1937 film Sing You Sinners with Bing Crosby. Paramount used him in a few films but O'Connor returned to vaudeville. He returned to Hollywood and signed with Universal Pictures in 1941. They used him in B musicals but the 1943 film Mister Big was turned into an A movie. Then O'Connor was drafted into the US Army and served during World War II. Upon his return, O'Connor appeared in a few musicals before he made the 1950 film Francis with a talking mule voiced by Chill Wills. These comedies were very successful. There were six Francis The Talking Mule films. Then he was loaned out to MGM for Singin' In The Rain. His role was based on and originally offered to Oscar Levant. I don't think Levant could have performed Make 'Em Laugh like O'Connor. Of course the film is a classic and so is O'Connor's performance. Make 'Em Laugh was so physical that O'Connor had to rest in bed for three days to recover. And then the take got messed up and O'Connor had to do it again. Singin' In The Rain was one of the first soundtracks released in 1952 by MGM on a 10 inch LP. It's been released on CD several times. This version from Sony Classical has some bonus tracks. Beware of cheap European releases with inferior audio quality. O'Connor hosted NBC's Colgate Comedy Hour and then The Donald O'Connor Show in 1954. So he was more active on TV in the 60s and 70s than in films usually doing guest shots. He also had alcohol issues and would need heart bypass surgery in 1990. He continued to perform until his death on Sept. 27, 2003 at age 78. Here's Donald O'Connor performing Make 'Em Laugh in the 1952 film Singin' In The Rain.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Luther Vandross

Artist:Luther Vandross f/Mariah Carey
Song:Endless Love
Album:The Ultimate Luther Vandross

For all the songs that Luther Vandross wrote and arranged for himself and others, why would he need to record an album of covers? But in 1994 he did exactly that and his cover of Endless Love with Mariah Carey would turn out to be one of his biggest hits. The idea for Vandross to record an album of covers came from Sony Music president Tommy Mottola and at the time he was married to Mariah Carey. She was probably Sony's biggest star at the time and who better to get Vandross to the top of the charts. It was her idea to record Endless Love as a duet. Of course Endless Love was written by Lionel Richie for the 1981 film Endless Love and Richie's recording with Diana Ross topped the charts. Normally one would not want to cover a song that was that big a hit. The record was produced and arranged by Walter Afanasieff. Of course Vandross sings in an understated style and Mariah typically oversings like she always does. The strategy worked. Endless Love reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the biggest hit of Vandross' career. The album Songs reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 200 and it was certified 2XPlatinum. Vandross also covers another Richie song Hello and even The Impossible Dream. Songs is still available as a budget CD. But you can also get Endless Love on this budget comp. Here's the video for Endless Love by Luther Vandross featuring Mariah Carey.