Friday, October 20, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Heath Brothers

Artist:The Heath Brothers
Song:Our Little Town
Album:A Jazz Christmas

Around this time of year, I always get asked about Christmas albums, especially jazz Christmas CDs. So here's a various artists CD that is available at a budget price. Most jazz fans should be familiar with The Heath Brothers. Bassist Percy Heath was a long time member of Modern Jazz Quartet. Sax player Jimmy Heath and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath were mainly sidemen who occasionally recorded as leaders. When the MJQ retired in 1973, The Heath Brothers decided to tour as a unit and they recorded four albums on Columbia. Our Little Town is a reworking of O Little Town Of Bethlehem. It wasn't on a Heath Brothers album. Columbia released the various artists jazz Christmas album God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen in 1981. Our Little Town was recorded by the band that recorded the 1980 album Expressions Of Life. Albert had left. He would return later. He was replaced by drummer Akira Tana who would later be a long time member of Art Farmer's band. Of course there was Percy and Jimmy Heath, the great Stanley Cowell on piano and guitarist Tony Purrone who I think still works with the Heaths. God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen is out of print. But you can get Our Little Town on this various artists budget CD originally licensed to Music Masters but now available from Sony. It's a mix of recordings from the 1963 album Jingle Bell Jazz and God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen including songs by Dexter Gordon and McCoy Tyner. Check it out if you are looking for a jazz Christmas album. Here's a video for Our Little Town by The Heath Brothers.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Marcie Blane

Artist:Marcie Blane
Song:Bobby's Girl
Album:Bobby's Girl: The Complete Seville Recordings

No, Bobby's Girl is not a lost Leslie Gore recording. Marcie Blane scored a top five hit in 1962 with Bobby's Girl. It turned out to be her only hit though a couple of other songs charted. You can get all her recordings on this budget comp. She was born Marcia Blank May 21, 1944 in Brooklyn, NY. Her father Ernest Blank was a pianist and music teacher. Marcie grew up on Long Island. She was in the high school band at Jamaica High. Bobby's Girl was written by Gary Klein and Hank Hoffman. Klein has had a long career in the music business. Hoffman asked Marcie to record some demos for him. Seville Records A&R man Marv Holtzman liked Marcie's voice and he signed her. Bobby's Girl was the first single and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was arranged and the orchestra was led by veteran session guitarist Billy Mure. So now she's a pop star. In England, Bobby's Girl was a hit for Susan Maughan. Klein and Hoffman wrote and produced similar songs for Marcie. But they were unable to score a second big hit. Marcie continued to record for a couple of years. She also studied music at Queens College. But she quit the music business after her contract ended in 1965. Marcie got married, had two kids and became a teacher. In a 1988 interview, Marcie said she loved music but she hated the music business. Now she appreciates her success but back then she was miserable. Here's a video for Bobby's Girl by Marcie Blane. Thanks to Spectropop for the Marcie Blane info.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ma$e

Artist:Ma$e f/Total
Song:What You Want
Album:Harlem World

Rapper Mason "Ma$e" Betha had success in the 90s mostly guesting on recordings produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs. After he had three top ten hits from his 1997 debut album Harlem World, he seemed to be conflicted about music. He keeps retiring and then he returns. He was born Aug. 27, 1975 in Jacksonville, FL but he grew up in Harlem in New York City. As a teen, he got into trouble. So his mom sent him back to Florida. Betha returned to New York at age 15 and that's when he got into rap. Mason attended SUNY in Westchester on a basketball scholarship. But he left after two semesters to pursue a music career. His big break came when his manager took him to a rap convention in Atlanta. Betha auditioned for Combs and signed with Bad Boy Entertainment. Before he recorded Harlem World, Betha appeared with The Notorious B.I.G. on the 112 single Only You. He also appeared on the Puff Daddy album No Way Out. Then he recorded Harlem World produced by Combs and members of his production team The Hitmen. After the death of The Notorious B.I.G, Combs had big plans for Betha. There were three top ten hits from Harlem World. What You Want was the second single. It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. It featured the popular girl group Total. There were so many guest singers on this album it made it look like Betha was the guest artist. What You Want was produced by Nashiem Myrick of The Hitmen. It samples the Curtis Mayfield song Right In For The Darkness. Harlem World was certified 4XPlatinum. After Betha's 1999 album Double Up didn't do nearly as well, he promptly retired from music with plans to become a minister. Of course he returned with the 2004 album Welcome Back. It did OK but I guess many fans had forgotten about him. Betha started hanging around with 50 Cent who wanted him to join his group G-Unit. But Combs wouldn't let Betha out of his Bad Boy contract. He retired again but he returned in 2009 as a guest rapper. He did that for a while and again tried to get out of his Bad Boy contract. When that didn't happen, Betha retired again in 2010. Of course he returned again and a new CD Now We Even will be released in December. This will get him out of his Bad Boy contract. I just find it hard to believe that after 20 years that music fans remember Ma$e. He was a big deal in 1997. Not anymore. Here's the video for What You Want by Ma$e featuring Total.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tecia Torres vs Michelle Waterson added to Dec. 2 UFC show

This afternoon the UFC announced that Tecia Torres vs Michelle Waterson has been added to UFC 218 Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. I expect this to air on the main card. These two were supposed to fight in 2015 but Michelle broke her hand. After Tecia won her latest fight, she asked for Michelle. Both fighters are ranked in the top ten but both have major flaws. I think they are probably overrated. They are good but not that good. Of course Michelle is famous as The Karate Hottie. I don't know of that's a blessing or a curse. It probably gets her more attention than she deserves. Michelle has decent skills. Her big problem is she's an Atomweight trying to be a Strawweight. And that was her big problem when she lost to Rose Namajunas in April. If she wins that fight, she gets a title shot. Tecia is a one dimensional kickboxer with no power. That makes her a points fighter. That being said, she won her last fight over Juliana Lima with a rear naked choke. Not only was that her first submission finish, it was her first finish of any kind. Can she do that against better competition? I think Michelle has a better chance for a finish. Though I don't think the winner gets a title shot, the winner will move closer and she might get the next number one contender's match. So it is an important fight. I just think both are overrated.

Ham Seo Hee vs Jinh Yu Frey to main event Dec. 23 Road FC show

This morning Road FC announced that Ham Seo Hee will defend her Road FC Atomweight Championship against Jinh Yu Frey Dec 23 Seoul, Korea. The arena has not been announced. The event is called Road FC 045 XX. The XX means that this will be an all women's MMA show. I heard about this last week but I was waiting for Road to set the date. Of course Ham fought in the UFC as a Strawweight. They wanted to sign her to a new contract. But she's a natural Atomweight and she's fighting at home making a lot more money. She won the title with a third round TKO of DEEP JEWELS fighter Mina Kurobe. The fight was not competitive. That fight was scheduled for three rounds. Championship fights should be five rounds. Ham is mainly a kickboxer. But she's a really good kickboxer who has adapted well to MMA. But she has no power. That last fight was her very first TKO win. Jinh Yu Frey is an Invicta veteran from Arlington, TX. Her record is 8-2. Jinh is also a striker but she doesn't have any power. So she wins most of her fights by decision. So this is likely to be a kickboxing match. But what kind of kickboxing match? An exciting slugging match would be great. But I think these two are too technical for that. So we could see anything including light sparring or endless clinching on the fence. That kind of fight would be very difficult to judge. And crazy judging happens a lot in Asia. So I'm expecting this fight to go to a decision. But I am hoping that one of them is aggressive enough to win with no controversy. I have my doubts.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Motley Crue

Artist:Motley Crue
Song:Without You
Album:Greate$t Hit$

Motley Crue was a band that didn't need hit singles. They were very popular in the 80s. But they had two top ten hits from their 1989 album Dr. Feelgood including the power ballad Without You. Motley Crue was formed in Los Angeles in 1981. Bassist Nikki Sixx had just left the band London and he was jamming with drummer Tommy Lee and guitarist and singer Greg Leon who Sixx worked with in another band. When Leon left, they brought in Mick Mars who had placed an ad in The Recycler as a loud rude guitarist looking for a band. Lee knew lead singer Vince Neil from high school. Mars saw him with his band Rock Candy. Neil was reluctant to leave at first. But when Rock Candy started falling apart, he jumped ship. Mars heard the expression "motley crew" about a band he was in. The stylized spelling was because they were drinking Lowenbrau beer at the time. They released a single and then signed with Elektra Records in 1982. They had already recorded an album which Elektra released. And the band toured Canada. They soon became famous for bad behavior. Sometimes these incidents were staged like a phony bomb threat that got them banned from Edmonton. What really got Motley Crue noticed was touring with Ozzy Osbourne in 1984. Their next few albums did very well. They had a 70s glam look and excessive behavior may have helped too. But Sixx almost died after a 1987 heroin overdose. And in 1988 the whole band went into drug rehab. Upon recovery, the 1989 album Dr. Feelgood became their most successful album. It was certified 6XPlatinum. Dr. Feelgood and Without You were both top ten pop hits. Without You reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is notable for Mars' steel guitar solo. Supposedly Without You is about Tommy Lee's relationship with actress Heather Locklear. Motley Crue faded after that mostly due to changing musical tastes. Grunge became very popular in the early 90s. Neil was replaced by John Corabi in 1992. But it didn't work out and Neil returned in 1997. They left Elektra to start their own label in 1998. Motley Crue continued until they retired in 2015. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Here's the video for Without You by Motley Crue.

Monday, October 16, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Phantogram

Song:Black Out Days

Phantogram is a duo who began to pick up steam when they signed with a major label in 2013. I doubt they will ever be mainstream but they have done well on tour. Phantogram is from the upstate New York town of Greenwich and they live in Saratoga Springs. Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel went to high school together. After briefly separating, they returned home and started working on songs together. Sarah sings and plays keyboards. Carter plays guitar, bass and drums in the studio. They hire musicians for touring. At first they performed in local clubs as Charlie Everywhere and that was changed to Phantogram in 2009. After releasing a couple of EPs, they signed with Barsuk Records for their debut album Eyelid Movies. The album was reviewed positively. They also wrote and produced a couple of songs for Big Boi from Outkast. It was enough to get them a deal with Universal's Republic label for the 2014 album Voices. The album and a couple of singles did well on alt rock charts. But they haven't crossed over to mainstream yet. To promote Phantogram, songs have been placed in TV shows. Black Out Days appeared on CSI: Las Vegas, Shameless and The Magicians. The theory is fans use that to find Phantogram on Spotify or iTunes. That strategy must be successful or labels wouldn't do it. For their 2016 album Three, Phantogram worked with producers Ricky Reed and former Semisonic leader Dan Wilson in an attempt for mainstream success. But Three didn't sell as well as Voices. Phantogram are on tour. My guess is they will record when the tour is over. Maybe Republic should leave them alone and let them make music minus outside producers. That seemed to work well for Voices. Here's the video for Black Out Days by Phantogram.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-RENA vs Andy Nguyen

Here's the match video of RENA vs Andy Nguyen from today's RIZIN show in Fukuoka. This was the main event of the show and part of the first round of the Atomweight tournament. So Andy missed weight yesterday. Remember Japan is not regulated. So it's up to RIZIN. I don't think they did anything. The match was live on Fuji TV. When that happens here a percentage of the purse goes to the opponent. I can assure you RENA was pissed off with Andy. RENA got off to a slow start and Andy took her down. Andy got RENA's back. But her big mistake was letting RENA get back up. Andy was still on her back trying for a standing rear naked choke which is a low percentage submission. And RENA's Shoot Boxing experience came in handy. Once she got out of it, RENA hammered Andy especially to the body. After one body shot took a lot of steam out of Andy, another one dropped her and it was over. As expected RENA goes on to the semi final. In other tournament bouts, Maria Oliveira bear Alyssa Garcia by unanimous decision, Kanna Asakura beat Sylwia Juskiewicz by unanimous decision and Irene Rivera beat Miyuu Yamamoto by armbar. and in a non tournament match, King REINA beat Crystal Stokes by unanimous decision. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Michelle Williams

Artist:Michelle Williams f/Beyonce and Kelly Rowland
Song:Say Yes
Album:Journey To Freedom

Michelle Williams is best known as a member of the second version of Destiny's Child. As a solo artist, she has recorded mostly gospel. An attempt to record secular music didn't work out. She's had success in the gospel market including this 2014 Destiny's Child reunion Say Yes. She was born July 23, 1980 in Rockford, IL. She grew up singing in church. Michelle studied criminal justice at Illinois State. But after two years, she decided to try singing as a career. After touring as a backup singer for Monica, she met Beyonce and Kelly Rowland in an Atlanta hotel lobby. And that led to Michelle joining Destiny's Child in 2001. While still a member of Destiny's Child, she released the 2002 album Heart To Yours. It was a gospel album. The single Heard A Word was written and produced by gospel music producers Buster & Shavoni. She also made her Broadway debut in the hit musical Aida. she released the 2004 CD Do You Know mostly produced by her brother Erron Williams. After Destiny's Child split up, Columbia convinced Michelle she should record secular music. But the 2008 album Unexpected didn't do well. And she left Columbia in 2010. For a while she concentrated on musical theater. And she also appeared on the British TV dance competition Strictly Come Dancing. Apparently she was recording a secular album in 2011 but it doesn't look like anything came of it. She decided to return to gospel and signed with Light Records. the 2014 album Journey to Freedom was produced by Brit Harmony Samuels. He's a protege of Rodney Jerkins and he has produced Fantasia among others. The single Say Yes was a Destiny's Child reunion. They appeared on her other albums. The song topped the gospel charts. The African groove is because Samuels is of Nigerian descent. Destiny's Child performed Say Yes on the 2015 Stellar Awards broadcast. Other guests on Journey To Freedom are Eric Dawkins, Lecrae, Tye Tribbett and Fantasia. Since then she has made some TV and stage appearances. And she has appeared at some events with a new boyfriend. But there is no word on new music. Maybe she is working on something and we don't know about it yet. She'll always be overshadowed by Beyonce. That's why gospel is a good market for her. Here's the video for Say Yes by Michelle Williams featuring Beyonce and Kelly Rowland.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sugarhill Gang

Artist:Sugarhill Gang
Song:Rapper's Delight

Rapper's Delight was the very first rap record to cross over to pop in 1979. It was actually the second rap record released. Like doo wop in the 40s, rap started in the streetcorners of Harlem in New York City. Sylvia Robinson was best known as one half of Mickey and Sylvia and for the hit single Pillow Talk. But with her husband Joe she also had success as owner of All Platinum Records, especially The Moments. Sylvia was aware of street rappers and she wanted to record them. So she started Sugar Hill Records with funding from Roulette Records owner Morris Levy. At first she had trouble finding rappers willing to record. Some rappers thought rap should only be live. Sylvia's son heard a rapper at a pizza place. He went there to find him. That was Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson. Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien worked in the pizza place. When he saw this, he auditioned too. And so did Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright. Sugarhill Gang was born. Rapper's Delight is based on Chic's Good Times. When Chic's Nile Rodgers found out, he sued Sugar Hill. Rodgers says he likes the record. He just wanted proper credit. The band on the record is Positive Force. Rapper's Delight reached #4 on the R&B Singles chart and it was also a hit in England. Then it crossed over to pop and it reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100. And the term "hip hop" came from Wonder Mike's rap at the start of the song. Sugarhill Gang recorded four albums and some of their singles were successful on the R&B and dance charts and in Europe. Of course rap became this big thing. Sylvia Robinson deserves most of the credit for having the vision to record rap in the first place. Rapper's Delight was so successful she was able to buy out Levy. Henry Jackson died in 2014. But Sugarhill Gang toured last year. You can get all their hits on this Rhino budget comp. Here's the video for Rapper's Delight by Sugarhill Gang.