Saturday, August 29, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Charlie Daniels Band

Artist:The Charlie Daniels Band
Song:The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Album:The Essential Charlie Daniels Band

The Devil Went Down To Georgia was the biggest hit and signature song for Charlie Daniels in 1979. Daniels started out as a session musician and became a solo artist in 1970. He was born Oct. 28, 1936 in Leland, NC. He learned to play the fiddle as a child and played in local bands as a teen. Then he had a an instrumental band called The Jaguars. They recorded a single in 1959 with producer Bob Johnson. A decade later when Johnson became a Columbia Records house producer working with Bob Dylan, Daniels was brought to Nashville to play on Dylan's album Nashville Skyline. He also toured with Leonard Cohen. Daniels first recorded solo in 1970 on Capitol. But then he formed The Charlie Daniels Band heavily influenced by the Southern Rock of The Allman Brothers Band but also heavily influenced by country and bluegrass. Other band members were Don Murray on guitar, Joe DiGregorio on keyboards, Charlie Hayward on bass and James Marshall on drums. They signed with Kama Sutra Records and scored a top ten pop hit with Uneasy Rider in 1973. The 1974 album Fire On The Mountain was certified Platinum. The band moved to Epic Records in 1975. And though they continued to have success as a touring draw and album act, they just couldn't seem to get that big hit single until The Devil Went Down To Georgia in 1979. The song topped the country music chart and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album Million Mile Reflections was certified 3XPlatinum. The lyrics are a morality play similar to The Devil and Daniel Webster. The melody is based on an old Vassar Clements song Lonesome Fiddle Blues. Legendary fiddler Clements was a big influence on Daniels. The song was featured in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy. Daniels said to choreographer Patsy Swayze "How fast can you dance it?" and her response was "How fast can you play it?". Though Daniels has never had another big hit, he continues to record and tour regularly. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. He is currently on tour and he released a Bob Dylan tribute CD last year. Here's The Charlie Daniels Band performing The Devil Went Down To Georgia on The Midnight Special 1979.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Kana signs with the WWE

So I was watching Saturday's NXT Takeover show on the WWE Network when suddenly my favourite joshi wrestler Kana was shown sitting in the audience with Ric Flair and Sgt. Slaughter. She was mentioned on air as KANNA with no other frame of reference. I don't know why she was brought in for that. But obviously she signed with the WWE or she wouldn't be there in the first place. Dave Meltzer confirmed her signing yesterday. If you're wondering how the WWE knew about Kana, assistant trainer Sara Amato and Kana go way back. They both lived in the A To Z dojo in 2003 where Kana first trained. Sara was there for three months as a guest gaijin. They also worked together in SHIMMER. Head trainer Matt Bloom lived in Japan for several years so I'm sure he knew about Kana too. If you're not familiar with Kana, there are plenty of her matches on Youtube. Unlike a lot of Japanese wrestlers, Kana doesn't do much high flying. She seemed to come into her own after working for the now defunct Battlearts wrestling company in 2009. Battlearts incorporated submission moves and ground wrestling into the usual pro wrestling repertoire. It was also in Battlearts that Kana started wrestling barefoot. After Battlearts closed in 2010, Kana probably had her best run in Tajiri's company Smash in 2011 as one of the top heels in the company. When Smash closed in 2012, Kana worked for Tajiri's new company WNC. But things didn't go well there and Kana left over money in late 2012. Since then, Kana has freelanced for REINA and JWP and she also revived her own part time promotion Kana Pro. Last month, Kana announced she was going on hiatus from joshi puroresu and she will make her final appearance on the Sept. 15 Kana Pro show at Korakuen Hall. Until then she is still freelancing for REINA and JWP. At the press conference, she wouldn't give a reason for the hiatus except that she is taking "the next step". Well, we now know what that next step is. She works very stiff, as Sara Amato knows all too well, so I expect she will have to tone down her style. And I don't know if the WWE will allow her to work barefoot. She owns two businesses in Tokyo. She has owned a graphic design business for the last decade. Kana is a major league video gamer and she has designed video games. Her look when she first started in pro wrestling was based on a character in the popular joshi puroresu video game Rumble Roses. She also owns a beauty salon. I doubt she will keep those. By the time she comes to the WWE, Kana will be 34 years old. Her birthday is Sept. 26. There is also talk that the WWE has signed Sarah Stock who announced she is leaving CMLL in Mexico after working there for ten years. Down there she was known as Dark Angel and she was also Sarita in TNA and she has worked for Stardom in Japan. Sarah is a Winnipeg native. She is 36 years old but you wouldn't know it by looking at her. She has won bodybuilding contests in Mexico. Obviously she is a lucha expert and she has been a guest trainer at the WWE Performance Center. There is also talk the WWE is bringing in SHIMMER veteran Athena (Adrienne Reese). She was trained by Booker T. Obviously if they are going to improve the women's division, they not only need girls who can work but can also carry greenhorns to good matches. All three of these women are capable of doing just about anything that can be done in a ring. And they look good doing it. I can't wait to see Kana on RAW every week.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dave "Baby" Cortez

Artist:Dave "Baby" Cortez
Song:The Happy Organ
Album:The Cruisin' Story 1959

Dave "Baby" Cortez topped the charts in 1959 with the instrumental classic The Happy Organ. A few of his other songs charted but this was his biggest hit. He was born David Cortez Clowney Aug. 13, 1938 in Detroit. His father played piano and he encouraged Cortez to play. In 1956 he released a single as David Clowney and he was also a member of The Pearls. Then he signed with Clock Records. The story goes that Cortez was supposed to record a vocal track but he lost his voice. So instead he played an organ riff clearly based on the song Shortnin' Bread. They came up with this in the studio and the title of the song came later. Cortez wrote The Happy Organ with James Kriegsmann who was famous for his photographs of black celebrities. But he also wrote a few songs. The guitar solo is by legendary session musician Wild Jimmy Spruill who also played on Wilbert Harrison's Kansas City. The Happy Organ topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. At the time, Cortez was touring with Little Anthony & The Imperials. Clock licensed The Happy Organ to RCA for national distribution. After a couple more singles and an album, Cortez left Clock for Chess and scored a top ten hit with Rinky Dink in 1962. The problem is you can't get both hits on the same CD because they are on different labels. So I suggest this 2CD various artists budget comp from the British label One Day Music. In the 60s, Cortez recorded for Roulette and in the 70s for The Isley Brothers' label T-Neck and All Platinum. In 2011, Cortez recorded his first album in years with veteran sax player Lonnie Youngblood. Here's a video for The Happy Organ by Dave "Baby" Cortez.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Fleetwood Mac

Artist:Fleetwood Mac
Song:Don't Stop

The Fleetwood Mac most music fans are familiar with is much different than the original blues rock band led by guitarist Peter Green that they probably should have changed the band name. But they didn't change the name and the 1977 album Rumours was one of the biggest selling albums in history. After Green left Fleetwood Mac in 1970, there was a five year period of aimlessness. In the early 70s, Bob Welch attempted to revive the band but was ultimately unsuccessful. The band's manager even made plans to tour a fake Fleetwood Mac in 1974 but he abandoned the plan after one show. Welch finally left Fleetwood Mac in 1975 to go solo. Mick Fleetwood started looking for a replacement. Recording engineer Keith Olsen played Fleetwood a song from the album Buckingham Nicks and then Fleetwood was introduced to Lindsey Buckingham. Buckingham agreed to join Fleetwood Mac on the condition that his musical partner and girlfriend Stevie Nicks comes with him. Fleetwood agreed to this. The 1975 album Fleetwood Mac was a huge success with hits like Rhiannon. The album was certified 5XPlatinum. While recording the 1977 album Rumours, John and Christine McVie were divorcing and Buckingham and Nicks were having problems too. Those problems fed the songs on Rumours. The album was certified 12XPlatinum. Dreams which was written and sung by Nicks was Fleetwood Mac's first number one pop hit. Don't Stop was written by Christine McVie about her divorce and sung by Christine and Buckingham. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Today the song is best known for it's use in Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. He was even able to get Fleetwood Mac to reform to perform Don't Stop live. The original album Rumours is available as a budget CD. But last year Warner Bros. released a 3CD enhanced version with all kinds of extras. Their success continued until Buckingham and Nicks left in 1987. In recent years they have reformed to tour. Buckingham says that after their current tour and a new album, they may disband for good. We'll see about that. Here's Fleetwood Mac performing Don't Stop 1977.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Aaron Diehl

Artist:Aaron Diehl
Song:Moonlight In Vermont
Album:The Bespoke Man's Narrative

Aaron Diehl is an outstanding young jazz pianist. The Bespoke Man's Narrative was his 2013 major label debut. He was born Sept. 22, 1985 in Columbus, OH. His grandfather was local jazz pianist Arthur Baskerville. Diehl began classical piano lessons at age seven. He attended the Interlochen Summer Camp where he met Russian jazz piano prodigy Eldar Djangirov who got Diehl to listen to Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum. As a teen, Diehl performed with the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra. He was a finalist in the 2002 Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington competition. Then he toured with Wynton Marsalis while studying at Juilliard with Kenny Barron and Eric Reed. After releasing a couple of CDs independently, he appeared on the 2013 debut CD by singer Cecile McLorin Salvant. Diehl signed with Mack Avenue Records and the Bespoke Man's Narrative was released in 2013. Musicians are Warren Wolf on vibes, David Wong on bass and Rodney Green on drums. Moonlight In Vermont is a jazz standard written by John Blackburn and Karl Suessdorf and popularized by Margaret Whiting in 1944. Diehl's new CD Space Time Continuum was released in June and features a guest appearance by sax legend Benny Golson. Diehl is currently on tour and he's worth checking out if he's coming your way. Here's Aaron Diehl performing Moonlight In Vermont at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in New York City 2011.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why the WWE Divas Revolution has fallen flat

Sasha Banks
It was about a month ago that Stephanie McMahon trumpeted the WWE Divas Revolution. Everything would change and fans will love it. Of course it hasn't really turned out that way. It's been booked very poorly and fans have turned on it. Can it be fixed? That's what I'm going to talk about. This all started a few months ago after a pointless 30 second Divas match on RAW. The hashtag Give Divas A Chance was born. But the WWE didn't do anything immediately. That was their first mistake as positive reaction to Give Divas A Chance would have in turn gotten a positive response from fans. Fans want to influence positive change. Instead they had Stephanie come out to take all the credit. Fans don't react well to having an angle rammed down their throats. Since then, the WWE Divas Revolution has been booked in the worst possible way and fans at TV tapings have turned on it. To be fair, HHH wants to make women wrestlers a bigger part of the show because of the positive results at NXT. But as we saw this weekend, the Divas in NXT got a much different reaction than the WWE Divas on SummerSlam and RAW. Of course the difference is Vince McMahon isn't in charge of NXT but is in charge of the main roster. He's never been a women's wrestling fan so he may not care if the Divas Revolution gets over. And right now it's booked to fail. The other big problem is The Bella Twins. I believe that until they leave the WWE for other activities, they will remain on top because they have a lot of power. There's a rumour out there that the original plan was to have Charlotte win the WWE Divas Championship from Nikki Bella on that first episode of RAW when Stephanie introduced the angle. Supposedly, Nikki asked her boyfriend John Cena to ask Vince not to do that. And they didn't. As we have seen on WWE Total Divas, The Bella Twins are very selfish even if it hurts the business. Nikki must think she's the Fabulous Moolah who held her title for 28 years. I don't know if I would have had Nikki drop the belt immediately but I certainly would have made it the focus of the angle. Instead they have been put into three factions in random tag team matches. They have been given more ring time but fans aren't reacting well. The first sign of a real problem was on a Smackdown tag team match that went to hell in a handbasket. It's gotten worse since then. On last week's RAW during Nikki vs Sasha Banks, fans started chanting for Brock Lesnar. Then they had Sasha win by a stupid distraction finish. Then after Sasha vs Bayley rocked Saturday's NXT show, the fans in the same building shit on the SummerSlam and RAW Divas matches. They were even chanting for Sasha last night so she should have been used. The question isn't can this be fixed but does the WWE want to fix it? The first thing they need to do is have the Bella Twins go full blown heel. They seem to be reluctant to do that. They are babyfaces when facing Sasha's team and heel when facing Paige's team. That won't work. Because Sasha is the most over of any of these girls, I'd have her join up with The Bella Twins and then turn on them later. She could "injure" Brie and then go after the title. She's a great heel and I think she could turn the fans around herself. The others could be part of the mix but the factions have to go because they aren't working. Of course the WWE would like Charlotte to be champ. But her lack of experience has been obvious during the last month. But Sasha can carry any of these girls to a good match. So can Becky but I think Sasha is more over right now. I would build the whole Divas division around Sasha Banks. She can make the others better. That's probably too radical for the WWE.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cyrille Aimee

Artist:Cyrille Aimee
Song:Nuit Blanche
Album:It's A Good Day

Cyrille Aimee is a French jazz singer who had success on the jazz charts with her Mack Avenue Records debut CD It's A Good Day. She was born 1984 in Fountainbleu, France. She got interested in jazz after attending a local Django Reinhardt festival. After graduating high school, she moved to New York City to study jazz composition at SUNY Purchase. She also got a weekly gig at a local club. After graduating in 2007, she won the International Vocal Competition at the 2007 Montreux Jazz Festival. She released her debut CD on her own label in 2009. She also recorded a couple of albums with guitarist Diego Figuereido and a 2010 live CD featuring trumpeter Roy Hargrove. She was also a finalist in the 2010 Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition and she won the 2012 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition. This led to a deal with Mack Avenue Records and her 2014 CD It's A Good Day. The album is mostly jazz standards though Cyrille wrote Nuit Blanche. Her band is led by guitarist and arranger Michael Valeanu along with her usual band of bassist Sam Anning and drummer Rajiv Jayaweera. Guests are guitarists Adrien Moignard and Guilherme Monteiro. The album did very well on the Jazz Album chart. Cyrille will be on tour with her band in September and then she is touring Europe. She also likes to experiment singing with a loop box to give her music a bigger sound. I could see her recording a full album using that technology. Jazz vocal fans should check out Cyrille Aimee. Here's Cyrille Aimee performing Nuit Blanche on the French TV network TV5's Les Talents Acoustic 2011.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Aisling Daly vs Ericka Almeida added to Oct. 24 UFC show

Aisling Daly
The UFC announced today that Aisling Daly vs Ericka Almeida has been added to UFC Fight Night 76 Oct. 24 in Dublin, Ireland. Aisling is Irish so I expected her to be on this show. She trains at the same team as current UFC It Boy Conor McGregor. I've watched her for several years and her main problem is she has no ground game. When she was on TUF 20, I thought she was overrated and somehow got ranked as the number six Strawweight. That's way too high for me. She was favoured going into her fight with Randa Markos in Montreal and Aisling had her moments especially in round two. But when Randa took her down, she could do nothing. Aisling needs to work on her grappling to improve but I don't see her doing that. Ericka is a former Jungle Fight champ from Brazil. She's an aggressive fighter who likes to finish. But that aggression got her into trouble in her UFC debut when Juliana Lima sat on her for three rounds. The ref was way too lenient with Juliana. And as Juliana was allowed to lay and pray, Ericka lost her aggression. We'll see if she does better in hostile territory. That crowd in Dublin will be very loud.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Valerie Letourneau vs Maryna Moroz

Here's the video for Valerie Letourneau vs Maryna Moroz from last night's UFC show in Saskatoon. Valerie is a veteran fighter from Montreal who has fought mostly at a heavier weight but is trying 115. She trains now at American Top Team in Florida. Maryna is from the Ukraine and trains with her boxer husband. In her UFC debut, she beat Joanne Calderwood with an armbar from bottom position. She has won several fights using this move. So what happens if she can't get an armbar from the bottom. Because you can be sure that Valerie's trainers at ATT scouted this. In round one, Maryna is quicker but Valerie is bigger. Both are landing punches and neither has KO power. Maryna kicks but she isn't very good at it. Valerie drops her with a punch and then jumps on her. Of course Valerie needs to be conservative because of Maryna's rep of hooking an armbar from bottom position. So for Valerie this becomes a lay and pray strategy and sometimes that can work if the ref is lenient which Yves Lavigne was in this fight. Maryna was still going after the arm. But at some point she needed to get out of there because she's losing the round. Then they get tangled up and neither could do anything. I don't know why Lavigne didn't stand them up then. Valerie wins round one 10-9. Round two is mostly even but Maryna hurts Valerie with a punch with about a minute left in the round. So what does Maryna do? She goes for a flying armbar. Are you kidding me? Of course when that failed it let Valerie off the hook. Maybe if Maryna followed up with more strikes, she could have finished. That's just terrible strategy. I gave Maryna round two 10-9. In round three, Valerie knocked her down and sat on her again. She was just stalling knowing if she held Maryna down, she gets the win. Again I don't know why Lavigne didn't stand them up. He never even warned Valerie. Maryna tries for a kimura and then a triangle choke but she's still losing because she's on the bottom. When she starts making progress with the triangle, Valerie gets out of there. I scored the fight 29-28 for Valerie. The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28, 30-27. Maryna needs to learn that when your usual strategy doesn't work, you need to adjust. She didn't do that. Valerie has trouble making 115. She missed weight on the first pass. A lot of fighters use IV fluids to rehydrate after a tough cut. As of Oct. 1, the UFC won't allow fighters to use IVs anymore. Valerie is one of several fighters who may be forced to move up in weight because of that. Enjoy the video!

AcuuRadio Song Of The Day-Bobby Brown

Artist:Bobby Brown
Song:On Our Own

Bobby Brown was probably the most successful R & B artist of the late 80s. On Our Own was one of his biggest hits in 1989. Today Brown is best known for his turbulent personal life. He was born Feb. 5, 1969 in Boston. He formed New Edition with Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell and Ralph Tresvant. They won a record contract with Maurice Starr in a 1982 talent contest. He had a distribution deal with MCA Records. Of course New Edition was very successful. But Brown didn't think he was getting enough money and that their management didn't care about them. As chronicled on VH1's Behind The Music, Brown was voted out of New Edition in 1986. So then he signed a solo deal with MCA. His 1986 debut CD King Of Stage didn't do well. And though the single Girlfriend topped the R & B chart, it didn't cross over to pop. His 1988 CD Don't Be Cruel was Brown's big breakthrough. The big difference was working with producers LA Reid and Babyface. His biggest hit from this album was My Prerogative which Brown wrote and produced with Teddy Riley associate Gene Griffin. It topped the Billboard Hot 100. Roni and Every Little Step were top five hits. Don't Be Cruel was certified 7XPlatinum. On Our Own was from the soundtrack of the 1989 film Ghostbusters II. it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written and produced by Reid and Babyface. Brown wouldn't record again until the 1992 CD Bobby. Humpin' Around was his final top five pop hit. He married Whitney Houston in 1992. Because Brown's music career faded in the mid-90s and his personal life has been so notorious, I think a lot of folks have forgotten how big he was. You can get all his hits on this budget comp. Brown reunited with New Edition in 1996 and his next solo CD was released in 1997. Of course with Brown's bad behaviour including jail time for a DUI and the death of wife Whitney Houston and then daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, it is unlikely that Brown will ever be able to revive his music career. He was a big star in the late 80s but think about how big he could have been. He has been touring with New Edition. Here's the video for On Our Own by Bobby Brown. See if you can spot all the guest cameos in the video.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Esquivel!

Song:Harlem Nocturne

Mexican composer and arranger Juan Garcia Esquivel recorded experimental instrumental music in the late 50s and early 60s. Not much notice was taken at the time but he underwent a revival in the 90s as the creator of Lounge Music called Space Age Pop. He is known as The King Of Space Age Pop. He was born Jan. 20, 1918 in Tampico, Mexico. His family moved to Mexico City in 1928. Esquivel was a self taught musician. He appeared on radio in the 30s and he formed his own band in 1940. He started recording in the early 50s and after releasing one of his Mexican albums in the US, RCA brought Esquivel to Los Angeles in 1958. Esquivel's music might seem at first to be similar to someone like Ray Conniff. But Esquivel liked to use odd instruments like the theremin, chinese bells and he also liked to experiment with mixing. Remember in those days, stereo was new and record companies frequently released albums to highlight the use of stereo. Harlem Nocturne is from the 1960 album Infinity In Sound Vol. 1. It was produced by veteran RCA house producer Neely Plumb. He was the father of Eve Plumb of The Brady Bunch. Harlem Nocturne is a jazz standard written by film and TV composer Earle Hagen as a tribute to Duke Ellington. Earl Bostic probably had the most success with that song. This comp is a good intro to Esquivel's music. Esquivel left RCA for Reprise in 1962. Frank Sinatra was a huge Esquivel fan and Esquivel opened for Sinatra in Las Vegas in 1964. By the late 60s, Esquivel moved back to Mexico to live in obscurity. But a 1995 interview led to a revival of his music. So he was a celebrity again as the inventor of Space Age Pop. I guess everything old is new again. Esquivel suffered a couple of strokes and he died on Jan. 3, 2002 at age 83. Here's a video for Harlem Nocturne by Esquivel!.