Sunday, August 31, 2014
Here's the match video of Bethe Correia vs Shayna Baszler from last night's UFC show in Sacramento. This all started when Bethe beat Jessmayn Duke and disrespected the Four Horsewomen. So then Shayna wanted to fight her. As I suspected, the whole thing wasn't Bethe's idea. One of her coaches is a pro wrestling fan. It was a smart move because it got her attention that her performances in her first two UFC fights didn't merit. Shayna is a catch wrestler who has never had a strong striking game. Bethe is a striker who has no ground game. To win, Shayna needed to take Bethe down. And that's what she did in round one. But she was unable to hook a submission. I scored round one 10-9 for Shayna. If she continued to do this, she would win the fight. Between rounds, Bethe's corner told her to stay in the center of the cage and stay away from the clinch on the fence as that would lead to the inevitable takedown. In round two, when they clinch near the fence, Bethe lands a couple of elbows that rocks Shayna. The fight is over after that as Shayna stopped moving. Bethe doesn't punch that hard. But Shayna couldn't just stand there and absorb that kind of volume. Even when they separated, Shayna didn't move. It's like she forgot how to fight. That can happen when your brains get scrambled. It's a big win for Bethe Correia and she immediately asked for a title shot against Ronda Rousey. And Ronda texted UFC president Dana White and told him she wanted that fight. White told them both to take it easy. Ronda has other contenders on her plate. And he isn't convinced that Bethe Correia is a contender yet. I agree with him. I don't think this win makes up for the previous ineffective split decision wins. Who will be Bethe's next opponent? I don't know. It may be someone who has a fight coming up. She has to win over someone higher up on the food chain. After the fight, Bethe admitted her rep for not finishing fights. This win helped but I'm not sold on her yet. She is well trained. The Pitbull Brothers are smart guys. Enjoy the video!
Song:I Want A Hippoptamus For Christmas
Album:Dr. Demento Presents The Greatest Christmas Novelty CD Of All Time
Gayla Peevey was ten years old when she hit the pop charts with the novelty song I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas. Obviously I'm not crazy about child pop singers but I always find it interesting about how unlikely songs become hits. Gayla attempted to continue in music as a teen but was unsuccessful. She was born Mar. 8, 1943 in Oklahoma City. Her family moved to Ponca City when she was five. Gayla sang in church and in school and she appeared on an Oklahoma City TV station. Her family moved to Los Angeles in 1953. Gayla was a regular on the Hoagy Carmichael hosted TV show Saturday Night Review. This led to a contract with Columbia Records. I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas was Gayla's first single and became a big hit helped by Gayla's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The song was written and arranged by John Rox who also wrote the 1949 Buddy Clark hit It's A Big, Wide, Wonderful World. Rox also wrote songs for Pearl Bailey, Eartha Kitt, Perry Como and Dean Martin. Rox died in 1957. The orchestra was conducted by former Glenn Miller arranger Norman Leyden. I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas is a favourite of legendary DJ Barry Hansen AKA Dr. Demento. And you can get the song on one of his CDs. Gayla recorded several singles over the next few years. But none of them charted. So her parents removed her from the music business and the family moved to San Diego in 1957. She returned in 1959 as Jamie Horton and had a minor hit with Robot Man. Despite working with arrangers like H.B. Barnum, Mort Garson and Jack Nitzsche, she was unsuccessful and quit the music business for good in 1964. Gayla Peevey ran her own ad agency and has been involved in her church in Los Angeles for years. I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas got a big boost when Gretchen Wilson's cover hit the country chart in 2009. Here's Gayla Peevey performing I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas on The Ed Sullivan Show 1953.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Neal McCoy had two number one country music hits in the mid-90s including Wink. He also had a few top ten hits. He's still around but obviously not as popular today as he was in the 90s. He was born Hubert Neal McGaughey Jr. July 30, 1958 in Jacksonville, TX which is near Tyler in East Texas. He grew up singing in church before leading an R & B group and then performing country music in local clubs. McCoy's big break came when he won a 1981 talent contest hosted by country music star Janie Fricke. She got him a gig opening for Charley Pride. McCoy remained with Pride through the 80s. He released a couple of singles as Neal McGoy. When he signed with Atlantic Records in 1990, his name was changed to Neal McCoy. There were no hit singles from his first two albums. But things really picked up for McCoy when he hooked up with legendary Muscle Shoals session pianist and producer Barry Beckett. The 1994 album No Doubt About It was certified Platinum. No Doubt About It and Wink both topped the Country Singles chart. Wink was written by veteran Nashville songwriters Bob DiPiero and Tom Shapiro. Both guys have written many hit songs. The fiddle solo is by Canadian Donny Parenteau who was in McCoy's band. The guitar solo is by John Conlee guitarist Brent Rowan. Beckett produced a total of three albums for McCoy which spawned several top ten country hits. McCoy's final top ten hit for Atlantic was Shake in 1997. It was produced by Kyle Lehning and released on this Greatest Hits CD which is now available as a budget CD. Things started to go south for McCoy when Warner Music closed Atlantic's Nashville office in 2000. McCoy's next CD 24-7-365 was released on Giant Records. Then Giant was closed and McCoy was moved to Warner Bros. McCoy recorded the album The Luckiest Man In The World and the title song was released as a single. But the album release was cancelled and McCoy left Warners. McCoy started his own label and scored a top ten hit in 2005 with Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On. McCoy's latest CD Pride: A Tribute To Charley Pride was released in 2013 and includes guest appearances by Darius Rucker, Raul Malo, Trace Adkins and Pride himself. McCoy is currently touring with Blake Shelton. Here's the video for Wink by Neal McCoy. Unfortunately, this altered version of the video is the only copy that is online.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Song:All My Life
Album:All My Life: Their Greatest Hits
After success as one half of the R & B group Jodeci, K-Ci & JoJo split off to success in the late 90s. All My Life was their only number one pop hit in 1998. Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey and Joel "JoJo" Hailey grew up singing in church in Charlotte, NC. They also toured with their father's gospel group. They knew Donald & Dalvin DeGrate from church. The four formed Jodeci and were discovered by Heavy D and signed with Uptown Records. K-Ci & JoJo started recording as a duo while still members of Jodeci. After recording songs for the films Jason's Lyric and Bulletproof and an appearance on the 2Pac hit How Do U Want It, K-Ci & JoJo decided to record a full album. Love Always was released in 1997. All My Life topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998. Jodeci never had a number one pop hit. Love Always was certified 3XPlatinum. That was the end of Jodeci. JoJo wrote All My Life with producer Rory Bennett. Bennett is from Minneapolis and started out with the gospel group Sounds Of Blackness. He also co-wrote and produced Tell Me It's Real which was K-Ci & JoJo's other top five pop hit. You can get both hits on this budget comp. K-Ci & JoJo faded after the first two albums. They left Geffen in 2002. K-Ci got into trouble after he dropped his pants at a 2001 show in Los Angeles. He pled no contest to lewd conduct. As chronicled in the 2010 TV One series K-Ci & JoJo...Come Clean, the boys had serious drug problems. K-Ci released a 2006 solo album. They released the album My Brother's Keeper Sept. 2013 on Babyface's label Soda Pop Records with E1 distribution. It looks like they play occasional shows. Here's the video for All My Life by K-Ci & JoJo.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Song:Don't Call Me Lonesome
Album:Del Rio, TX 1959 & Labor Of Love
After the successful duo Foster & Lloyd split up, Radney Foster had brief solo success on the country charts in the early 90s. He faded by the late 90s. Foster is still touring. He was born July 20, 1959 in Del Rio, TX. His father was a lawyer who sang on the side. While attending University of the South in Sewanee, TN, veteran country music songwriter Randy Goodrum told Foster to move to Nashville. After completing his degree, Foster moved to Nashville in 1985 and took a songwriting job with MTM Publishing. That's where he met Bill Lloyd and the two wrote the top ten country hit Since I Found You for Sweethearts of the Rodeo. Then Foster & Lloyd signed with RCA Records. After three albums and four top ten hits, they split up and Foster signed with Arista Records. His debut album Del Rio, TX 1959 was released in 1992 and Foster produced it with pedal steel guitarist Steve Fishell. Just Call Me Lonesome was the first single and it reached #10 on the Country Singles chart. Foster wrote the song with George Ducas who recorded for Liberty Records in the mid-90s. Foster's second single Nobody wins reached #2 on the Country Singles chart. But when there were no hit singles from Foster's second album Labor Of Love, he moved back to Texas and left Arista. Foster's first two albums are available on this twofer. After two albums on Dualtone, Foster started his own label and his latest CD Everything I Should Have Said was released May 2014. The Foster song I'm In was a top five country hit for Keith Urban in 2009. Foster & Lloyd reunited and released a CD in 2011. And Foster hosts the CMT series Crossroads. Here's the video for Just Call Me Lonesome by Radney Foster.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Christian McBride is one of today's top jazz bassists. He can play in any style. The 2003 album Vertical Vision is a fusion album. And he also works frequently as a sideman playing all kinds of music. He was born May 31, 1972 in Philadelphia. His father Lee Smith was also a bassist. At 17 years of age, McBride played in Bobby Watson's band. While attending Juilliard, he was in bands led by veteran jazz musicians like Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Milt Jackson and J.J. Johnson. In the early 90s, he was in Joshua Redman's band. Then he signed with Verve Records in 1995. His 1995 debut as a leader Gettin' To It did very well and McBride has been a fixture on the jazz charts ever since. McBride left Verve for Warner Bros. for the 2003 CD Vertical Vision which is a fusion album. Musicians are Ron Blake on sax and flute, Geoffrey Keezer on piano, David Gilmore on guitar, Terreon Gully on drums and Danny Sadownick on percussion. Blake, Keezer and Gilmore have worked frequently with McBride. McBride was in Chick Corea's Five Peace Band and he was a producer on the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors Sonny Rollins broadcast. He currently records for Mack Avenue Records. His latest CD Out Here was released last year and McBride will be on tour with his trio this fall. His latest recordings as a sideman are on Angelique Kidjo's new CD Eve and veteran R & B singer Jeffrey Osborne's jazz CD A Time For Love. Here's Christian McBride performing Technicolor Nightmare at the 2008 Detroit Jazz Festival.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Song:Fire In The Kettle
Steve Spurgin has been a session musician and sideman since the 60s. He is primarily known for his work with legendary fiddle player Byron Berline in the 70s and 80s. In recent years Spurgin has concentrated more on songwriting and recording his own albums. Spurgin is from Dallas and he got into music listening to Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 60s and became a session drummer working with Freddy Fender and Mason Williams among others. But then he met former Flying Burrito Brothers fiddle player Byron Berline. Spurgin was in Berline's 70s band Sundance along with guitarist Dan Crary and banjo player John Hickman. Vince Gill played mandolin in Sundance for a while. When Sundance split up, Spurgin moved back to Dallas. Berline formed the band California in the early 90s with Spurgin, Crary, Hickman and John Moore on mandolin. California was IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year for three straight years. Berline disbanded California in 1995 and moved to Oklahoma. Spurgin moved to Nashville to concentrate on his songwriting. Probably his biggest hit as a songwriter is Carmen for Gene Watson in 1985. Spurgin also records occasionally. Past Perfect was released in 2011. Musicians include The Kruger Brothers, Jens (banjo) and Uwe (guitar), former Alison Krauss & Union Station mandolinist Adam Steffey, Rob Ickes of Blue Highway on dobro and Rusty Holloway of The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra on bass. Bluegrass fans will want to check out Past Perfect. Here's Steve Spurgin and Sawmill Road performing Fire In The Kettle at the 2008 IBMA World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Song:I've Got The Scars to Prove It
Album:Blood, Sweat & Steel
The Road Hammers have had some success on the country music charts in their native Canada. But they have been unable to break through in the US. Right now they don't have a US record deal. Singer songwriter Jason McCoy had success on the Canadian country music charts in the 90s. By 2004 his career had faded and he decided to start a new band as a tribute to truck driving songs of the 60s. So he formed The Road Hammers with singer songwriter Clayton Bellamy and bassist Chris Byrne. McCoy made a deal to do a reality show on CMT Canada and then he signed the band to the Maple Music owned country music label Open Road. Their 2005 debut CD The Road Hammers had covers like the Del Reeves classic Girl on the Billboard and Jerry Reed's East Bound and Down. But the band recorded originals as well. The album won the Juno for Country Music Recording of the Year. They signed up for a second season of the reality show and released a second CD The Road Hammers II. Meanwhile, The Road Hammers signed a US record deal with Montage Music Group. Blood, Sweat & Steel was a compilation of the first two albums. It did OK but McCoy decided to disband The Road Hammers in 2010. McCoy and Bellamy both released solo CDs and then decided to reform The Road Hammers. The CD Wheels was released June 2014. They will tour Canada this fall. It doesn't look like they have a US record deal. Here's the video for I've Got the Scars To Prove It by The Road Hammers.