Monday, July 27, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Adam Wade

Artist:Adam Wade
Song:The Writing On The Wall
Album:The Very Best Of Adam Wade: The Writing On The Wall

Adam Wade had brief success in the early 60s with a singing style that was frequently compared to Johnny Mathis. The Writing On The Wall was his biggest hit in 1961. Wade faded after switching to a larger label and he turned to acting. He was born Mar. 17, 1935 in Pittsburgh. Wade performed in local clubs while working on as a lab assistant on the polio research team of Dr. Jonas Salk. He signed with Coed Records in 1959. Coed was owned by former big band leader turned producer George Paxton. Among the acts on the label were The Crests, The Rivieras and The Duprees. Wade's top ten hits were Take Good Care Of Her, The Writing On The Wall and As If I Didn't Know. The Writing On The Wall reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was the biggest hit for the veteran songwriting team of Mark Barkan, Sandy Baron and George Eddy. Tommy Steele charted in England with his recording of the song. Epic Records noticed Wade. And when Johnny Mathis left Columbia for Mercury in 1963, Epic signed Wade to replace him. But he wasn't as successful there and by 1965, Wade was cut. Wade even re-recorded his Coed hits on Epic and those re-recordings are on this Collectables CD. The original Coed recordings aren't available though I am hopeful they will be released on CD as someone acquired the Coed catalog in 2010. Though Wade recorded an album in the 70s, he concentrated on acting. He is probably best known as the host of the 70s game show Musical Chairs. He was the first black game show host. Since then Wade has toured in musicals and he performs in clubs with his wife Jeree. Here's a video for The Writing On The Wall by Adam Wade. This is the original version.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Elizabeth Phillips vs Jessamyn Duke

Here's the video for Elizabeth Phillips vs Jessamyn Duke from last night's UFC show in Chicago. It aired on UFC Fight Pass so a lot of fans didn't see it. Elizabeth is a teammate of Juliana Pena at Sikjitsu in Tacoma. You can hear Juliana screaming through the entire fight. After Elizabeth lost her last fight by split decision to Milana Dudieva, she almost was fired for complaining about the judging and the UFC. Just for the record, that fight stunk the joint out. But she got a reprieve. Jessamyn looked terrible losing to Leslie Smith in her last fight. Going back to her Invicta days, I thought Jessamyn was overrated and she hasn't shown me anything to make me change that. She now trains with Josh Barnett which could help her eventually. This fight could be her last chance. Basically, Elizabeth won the first two rounds and almost finished the fight a couple of times with ground and pound. But she pooped out and Jessamyn roared back in round three after Barnett read her the riot act. She did well enough to probably save her job. But it wasn't a 10-8 round. I scored it 10-9 and I thought the judges would score it that way too. Despite Joe Rogan's usual misinterpreting the effectiveness of submissions, Jessamyn controlled the round but she was never close to a finish. She needs to do that in all three rounds. So Elizabeth Phillips wins by unanimous decision. Elizabeth even had a nip slip at the end of the fight. The fan reaction to nip slips cracks me up because it's happened before and it will happen again. Of course fans are blaming the new Reebok uniforms. But if you watch carefully, for some reason Elizabeth grabbed her own top and that's what dislodged it. And just for the record, the uniforms are blah and the terms of the Reebok deal will hurt the UFC when trying to sign fighters who can make more money elsewhere. I believe it will be changed eventually by necessity when a fighter the UFC wants won't sign because of the Reebok deal. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Miesha Tate vs Jessica Eye

Here's the fight video for Miesha Tate vs Jessica Eye from last night's UFC show in Chicago. The winner of this fight gets a title shot probably against Ronda Rousey. Though I know a lot of fans don't want to see Miesha vs Ronda 3, the bottom line is Miesha is the only one of these girls who has stepped up and shown that she wants a title shot. She's a big step up in competition for Jessica. Jessica is mainly a striker and as we saw in her loss to Alexis Davis, she has no ground game. Though she claimed improvement in that area, I usually don't believe fighters who say stuff like that. They have to show improvement in the cage. Jessica got the edge with quicker striking in round one. But all it took was one punch to put Jessica on her back. The fight is basically over at that point. Jessica couldn't get out from bottom position just like she couldn't escape Alexis. And when Jessica came out for round two, she lost her aggression and Miesha knocked her down again. The rest of the fight was Miesha trying to disguise her lay and pray routine with enough activity to not get stood up. She was just killing time in round three. Miesha got a takedown and tried to make it look like she was going for a choke when she was just holding Jessica's wrist. She also threw some ground kicks that Miesha obviously learned training with Megumi Fujii. Ref Yves Lavigne recognized that Miesha was stalling and stood them up. The outrage over this standup was hilarious. The only supposed expert who recognized it as stalling was Luke Thomas of SB Nation. And me of course. Goldberg and Rogan's boneheaded commentary didn't help. Of course Miesha won the fight by unanimous decision and now she gets another shot at Ronda. The problem she has is the strategy she's been using to win fights over the last couple of years doesn't work on Ronda. She's going to have to come up with something else. I don't see her doing that. As for Jessica Eye, maybe she needs to go to someone like Robert Drysdale in Las Vegas to get specialized ground training. Because what she's doing now won't elevate her to top contender status. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Neil Sedaka

Artist:Neil Sedaka
Song:Laughter In The Rain
Album:Laughter In The Rain: The Best Of Neil Sedaka 1974-1980

Neil Sedaka's first number one hit was Breaking Up Is Hard To Do in 1962. His second number one hit was Laughter In The Rain in 1975. He seemed to disappear for ten years. Like many early 60s pop singer, Sedaka's career was killed by The Beatles and The British Invasion. He continued to record for RCA but he wasn't successful. Other artists still recorded his songs. His biggest hit as a songwriter in the late 60s was Workin' On A Groovy Thing by The 5th Dimension in 1969. After his 1971 album Solitaire, Sedaka left RCA and moved to England and signed with Polydor Records. He had worked on Solitaire with guys who would become known as 10cc, Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley. Working with these guys gave Sedaka hope for the future. And the success of the album Tapestry by his old girlfriend Carole King made him think he could return to the charts. Sedaka recorded the 1973 album The Tra-La Days Are Over with 10cc. Love Will Keep Us Together, a big hit for The Captain and Tennille, was on this album. Sedaka also ended his long songwriting partnership with Howard Greenfield to work with Phil Cody. Sedaka felt Cody's lyrics were more contemporary. Cody hung around the Brill Building and was probably recommended by Don Kirshner. So they had known each other for a few years. In 1973, Elton John was starting his new record label Rocket Records. The two met at a party. When John discovered that Sedaka didn't have a US record deal, he signed him to Rocket. Sedaka was about to release a new album in England called Laughter In The Rain. This album was produced in Los Angeles by veteran recording engineer Robert Appere with studio musicians like Dean Parks and Danny Kortchmar on guitar, Leland Sklar on bass Russ Kunkel on drums. Jim Horn played the sax solo on Laughter In The Rain. Rocket decided to release a comp of Sedaka's three British albums as Sedaka's Back. It took several months but Laughter In The Rain topped the Billboard Hot 100 early in 1975. Then he scored another number one hit with Bad Blood, a duet with Elton John. And a top ten hit with a remake of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. The comeback was complete. Of course it didn't last and after three albums on Rocket, Sedaka moved to Elektra. He wasn't successful there. You can get all of Sedaka's 70s hits on this Varese comp. You gotta love Sedaka's mullet on the cover. Sedaka still tours and records occasionally. He has also turned up as a guest judge on American Idol. There's a campaign to get Sedaka into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I don't know why he isn't in already. Here's Neil Sedaka performing Laughter In The Rain on The Midnight Special 1975. You gotta love that red hat.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Quincy Jones

Artist:Quincy Jones f/Dune
Song:Ai No Corrida
Album:Ultimate Collection

Quincy Jones was already well known as a composer and producer when he moved from Mercury to A & M in 1970. He started out recording jazz for A & M and he was still composing film scores. But by the mid-70s he got more into working with R & B artists. This was no doubt influenced by his main artist discovery at that time The Brothers Johnson. The 1974 album Body Heat was very successful. The 1981 album The Dude was Jones' most successful album from this period. He was leaving A & M for Warner Bros and his own label QWest and Jones owed A & M one final album. He sure went out with a bang. On this album Jones used two singers, James Ingram and Patti Austin. The singles Just Once and One Hundred Ways were big hits and they made Ingram a star. But the other big hit single from The Dude was Ai No Corrida which was an R & B and dance hit. Ai No Corrida was written by former Ian Dury and the Blockheads keyboard player Chas Jankel and veteran songwriter Kenny Young. Jankel recorded it on his 1980 debut album for A & M. No doubt someone from the label brought it to Jones. He turned it into a dance jam. The singers on the record are credited as Dune and the lead singer is credited as Charles May. Dune is not a real group. My guess is that Patti Austin was supposed to sing lead and she convinced Jones the song would work better as a group vocal. She arranged the vocals. May was a local gospel guy in Los Angeles who sang backup vocals on several Jones albums. So Dune is likely Austin, May, veteran soul singer Jim Gilstrap and veteran LA session singer Tom Bahler. The record also features a sax solo by Ernie Watts. Other musicians on the record include Herbie Hancock, David "Hawk" Wolinski, Greg Phillinganes, Ian Underwood, Louis Johnson and Paulinho Da Costa. Jones and Jerry Hey of Seawind won a Grammy for the arrangement. You'll notice in the video clip that Austin and Ingram sing Ai No Corrida. This budget comp has all of Jones' hits. As I said, Jones left A & M for Warners and though he was very busy as a producer, he would not record under his own name until 1989. Here's Quincy Jones featuring James Ingram and Patti Austin on vocals and Louis Johnson on bass performing Ai No Corrida in Japan 1981. There is a video for Ai No Corrida but I like this live clip a lot better.

Friday, July 24, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Johnny "Guitar" Watson

Artist:Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Song:A Real Mother For Ya
Album:The Best Of The Funk Years

Johnny "Guitar" Watson started out as a blues guitarist in the 50s. But he reinvented himself in the 70s as a funkmaster complete with pimp clothes. A Real Mother For Ya was his biggest hit but his influence on hip hop is wide. He was born John Watson Jr. Feb. 3, 1935 in Houston. His father played piano and his grandfather was a preacher who played guitar. Watson's main influences were T-Bone Walker and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. His parents divorced in 1950 and Watson moved with his mother to Los Angeles. He recorded for Federal Records as Young John Watson and then got his nickname from the 1953 classic western Johnny Guitar. Though Watson's 50s recordings are outstanding, he couldn't seem to break through with a big hit. Watson also toured and recorded with his best friend Larry Williams (Bony Marony). Watson signed with Fantasy Records in 1973 and he reemerged as a funk gangster. After three albums for Fantasy, he moved to DJM Records owned by British music publisher Dick James and distributed by Buffalo record wholesaler Transcontinental. His first album for DJM Ain't That A Bitch sold a half a million copies and was certified Gold. Superman Lover was a top 20 R & B hit, Watson's biggest hit since the 50s. His next album A Real Mother For Ya was even bigger and the single A Real Mother For Ya reached #5 on the R & B Singles chart. This was Watson's biggest hit. He also claimed to invent rap with his 1980 single Telephone Bill. Watson said rapping was based on talking blues that he had done since he was a kid. In 1981, Watson moved to A & M Records and though he didn't record much after that, he continued to tour until he died of a heart attack while on stage in Yokohama, Japan on May 17, 1996 at age 61. This Shout! Factory budget comp covers Watson's DJM recordings. Watson played guitar on Dr. Dre's 1993 hit Let Me Ride. Those guys respected him for paving the way for them and their tribute is to sample Watson's music. Here's the video for A Real Mother For Ya by Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Les Paul

Artist:Les Paul
Song:Dark Eyes
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Les Paul

Les Paul was not only one of the all time guitar greats but he invented recording techniques that revolutionized the music business. Most fans should be familiar with Paul's 50s recordings with singer wife Mary Ford. But before that he recorded with a jazz trio in the 40s on Decca. Paul first performed with a trio in 1937 and they were regulars on Fred Waring's radio program. Of course Paul's main guitar influence was Django Reinhardt. Dark Eyes is a traditional Russian folk song that was first recorded by Reinhardt in 1940. Paul picked up on that and recorded the song several times in the 40s. After WWII, Paul became friends with Reinhardt and Paul partially paid for Reinhardt's funeral in 1953. Paul's big break came when he appeared on Bing Crosby's 1945 radio show and they recorded together several times including the #1 hit It's Been A Long Long Time. Paul also toured with The Andrews Sisters and they had a top 5 hit in 1946 with Rumors Are Flying. Also he met Colleen Summers in 1945 and they would marry in 1949 and she became Mary Ford. It was also around this time that he started messing around with multitracking in his home studio and moved from Decca to Capitol. Because his fame was as a duo with Mary Ford, his 40s recordings for Decca are easily forgotten. This budget CD is a good selection of those recordings. Paul recorded Dark Eyes several times for Decca so I'm not sure which recording is on this CD. But the musicians in the video clip appear to be Hal Dean on piano and Bob Meyer on bass. Paul shattered his arm in a 1948 car accident. When he returned, he signed with Capitol and recorded How High The Moon with Mary. But you don't want to forget his jazz recordings from the 40s. Here's Les Paul performing Dark Eyes in the 1947 film Sarge Goes To College. The comedian in the clip is Sammy Wolfe.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review of WWE Total Divas season 3 episode 4

This episode of WWE Total Divas concentrates mostly on The Bella Twins at Wrestlemania with a couple of minor detours. This show tries to present The Bella Twins as locker room leaders. But they don't put this in any kind of context and the twins have conveniently short memories. In last week's episode, Nikki Bella says she wants to talk to Eva Marie about her conflict with the other girls. The Bella Twins' issue with Eva is why should the WWE waste special training on a girl who doesn't want to be a wrestler. What the show doesn't tell you is The Bella Twins left the WWE for greener pastures in Hollywood and returned after two years of failure. When they returned, they took wrestling more seriously by necessity. Eva Marie is doing the same thing. She was hired from a Hollywood casting cattle call and forced onto the main roster with no training because she's on this show. Since her return from her health problems, the WWE explained to Eva what they planned for her. My only problem with her private training is the WWE should have recognized this would be a problem for the other girls and tell them why they decided to do this. At least she wouldn't have been blamed for it. We begin at lunch before a charity event and the girls are being nice to Eva because they are in public. So now Nikki wants to meet with her. Again The Bella Twins talk about staying in the WWE. Brie and husband Bryan Danielson will get the results of their fertility test later in the show. Danielson again jokes about The Bella Twins' stupidity. Nattie Neidhart meets with Debra Miceli AKA Madusa AKA Alundra Blayze who she is inducting into the WWE Hall Of Fame. So now Nikki and Eva talk. Eva thinks Nikki should have said something to diffuse the conflict because Nikki is supposed to be the leader. But she said nothing. The basis of the argument was Eva's Instagram post accusing the girls of being sheep. Eva got the impression that Nikki was the ringleader against her. I don't know where she got that from because that's not what she was told. Like I said before, if Mark Carrano got the girls together and explained their plans for Eva, there wouldn't have been a problem. We'll see how Eva does as a wrestler. She will be on tonight's episode of NXT. There's also The Bella Twins' condescending attitude that Eva isn't a wrestler so who cares about her. There was a time when The Bella Twins were viewed by the rest of the roster as strictly models who didn't want to be wrestlers. They've forgotten about that. Nikki asks her why she didn't train for two years. Remember it's the WWE's idea to make Eva Marie an ace and have her train in LA so she could be in demand for other things. And in case you didn't notice, Nikki parroted her sister's viewpoint. Maybe Eva is right and Nikki isn't a leader. The Bella Twins discuss this and as I've said before, they have a high opinion of their accomplishments in wrestling. They aren't as good as they think they are. So we go to the HOF ceremony and an anonymous WWE producer tells Nattie to edit her speech. This was clearly set up by the show producers to create drama. Otherwise this person wouldn't be anonymous with an altered voice. She didn't change her speech. It was fine. Next we have some scenes from the HOF including Paige wearing a black gown with Doc Martens. Ha ha. Next we have dueling autograph sessions with The Bella Twins and Eva Marie. They show some scenes from Wrestlemania. When it's over, Brie and Bryan get the results of their fertility test. The producers draw this out to a ridiculous degree. There were two commercial breaks. They both passed. On the way home, Brie decides to stay in the WWE. Somehow the show producers dragged this out for three episodes. At dinner with husband Jonathan, Eva Marie announces that she has signed with WME agent Brad Slater who also represents Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Ronda Rousey. This is a big deal though I suspect it goes over the heads of most viewers. So now we know what the WWE has planned for her. Obviously they want her to do more than WWE Films direct to video fodder. But what if she can't wrestle? Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Babe Ruth

Artist:Babe Ruth
Song:The Mexican
Album:Grand Slam: The Best Of Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth was a British progressive rock band who had modest success in the early 70s. They probably didn't stay together long enough to have any kind of legacy. They never had a hit single but the Mexican is frequently sampled by hip hop guys. Babe Ruth were from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England which was a fertile ground for music. The leader of Babe Ruth was guitarist Alan Shacklock who wrote and arranged all the songs. Shacklock grew up with Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and Jethro Tull bassist John Glascock. Their band The Gods recorded a couple of albums for Columbia. The Gods split into two bands and Shacklock formed Babe Ruth with lead singer Jenny Haan, bassist Dave Hewitt, pianist Dave Punshon and drummer Dick Powell. Babe Ruth signed with Harvest Records and their debut album First Base was released in 1971. The album did really well in Canada but also did OK in the US but not in England. There was no hit single though Wells Fargo did get some college radio airplay. The Mexican has turned out to be Babe Ruth's most enduring song. Shacklock says he wrote The Mexican as a response to the historical inaccuracies in the 1960 John Wayne film The Alamo. And it is based on Ennio Morricone's theme from the film For A Few Dollars More. In 1978, there was a disco version by Bombers. Then in 1984, legendary mixmaster John "Jellybean" Benitez recorded a dance remix of The Mexican featuring Jenny Haan. It topped the dance charts. Since then the song has been sampled frequently by hip hop guys, most recently by rapper Gza. But at the time, Babe Ruth wasn't all that successful. They recorded four albums and then Jenny left. They tried to replace her but it didn't work out and Babe Ruth disbanded. Shacklock went on to a successful production career. This comp is a good intro to their music. Babe Ruth reunited in 2006 and recorded an album in 2007. They have toured and they still play occasional shows. Here's Babe Ruth performing The Mexican 1974.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jane Morgan

Artist:Jane Morgan
Song:The Day The Rains Came
Album:Fascination: The Ultimate Collection

Jane Morgan was a very successful nightclub singer first in France and then in the US. After signing with Kapp Records in 1956, she had a few hits including The Day The Rains Came in 1959. She was born Florence Catherine Currier May 3, 1924 in Newton, MA and she grew up in Daytona Beach, FL. She performed as a child and studied at Juilliard School of Music in New York with plans to be an opera singer. She played local clubs to pay her tuition and then in 1944, Art Mooney hired her to sing in his orchestra and changed her name to Jane Morgan. In 1948, French bandleader Bernard Hilda brought Jane to Paris to sing in the nightclub Club des Champs-Elysees. At first she sang in English but then she picked up French and sang in both languages. That would come in handy later. It was an upscale club so Jane became very popular. She recorded a few singles and also appeared on TV. In 1952 Jane moved to Montreal and played the Ritz Hotel bilingually. Then she moved to host her own NBC radio show in New York and she also played in London's West End. But she couldn't get a record deal because labels thought she was just a nightclub singer. When Dave Kapp started Kapp Records, he signed Jane and paired her with pianist Roger Williams who just scored with his big hit Autumn Leaves. The two scored with the single Two Different Worlds. Then Jane performed Fascination in the 1957 film Love In The Afternoon. This reached #7 on the pop charts and it was her biggest US hit. The Day The Rains Came was released in 1958 and it reached #21 on the US pop charts. But it topped the British charts early in 1959. So both songs were big hits. The Day The Rains Came is the song La Jour ou la Pluie Viendra written by legendary French songwriter Gilbert Becaud. Veteran songwriter Carl Sigman was hired to write English lyrics. He also wrote the Tommy Edwards hit It's All In The Game. Jane sang the French version on the B side of the single. After this, Jane got more into performing in stage musicals and she still performed in nightclubs. Her agent died in 1959 and Jerry Weintraub became her new manager. They married in 1965 and were still married when Weintraub recently died. In the 60s, Jane recorded for Colpix, Epic, ABC and RCA without much success. She even tried to record country music in the early 70s. Jane retired from performing in 1973 and helped Weintraub with his various activities including hit films like Ocean's Eleven. This 2CD comp from Jasmine Records has all of Jane Morgan's hits. Here's Jane Morgan with Louis Armstrong and Les Brown and his Band of Renown performing The Day The Rains Came on The Timex All Star Jazz Show 1959.