Tuesday, July 22, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lipps Inc.

Artist:Lipps Inc.
Album:Funkyworld: The Best Of Lipps Inc.

So I'm sure you're familiar with Funkytown which topped the charts in 1980. And you probably think it's Euro Disco. But Lipps Inc. was important in establishing Minneapolis as a black music power led by Prince and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Lipps Inc. was not a real group. They were studio musicians led by producer Steven Greenberg and singer Cynthia Johnson. Greenberg had tried for several years to get a record deal and he finally got the attention of Casablanca Records with the disco song Rock It. Though the single was not a hit, Casablanca liked it enough to ask Greenberg for a full album. Casablanca was known for disco music in those days. So he gathered some of his studio musician buddies including guitarist David Rivkin who was a member of Prince's band. But the biggest thing was he hired singer Cynthia Johnson. Cynthia was the 1976 Miss Black Minnesota and she was lead singer of Flyte Tyme led by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. After Cynthia left, Flyte Tyme would become The Time and Jam and Lewis became world renowned producers. Cynthia was working as a secretary at the police department and she approached Greenberg and wanted to work with him. Lipps Inc. released the 1979 album Mouth To Mouth. Funkytown topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in 1980. It was a worldwide hit and a huge dance hit. Subsequent singles were not hits and today Lipps Inc. is perceived as a one hit wonder though several songs were dance hits. After three albums, Cynthia left Lipps Inc. and was replaced by background singer Melanie Rosales. After one more album, Greenberg disbanded Lipps Inc. in 1985. You can get all their hits on this comp. The Aussie group Pseudo Echo had a hit with their cover of Funkytown in 1987. Steven Greenberg owns a web design company. Cynthia Johnson has been a studio singer in the Minneapolis music scene for years. And she is a member of the popular gospel group The Sounds of Blackness. She still works a lot with Jam and Lewis and does a lot of jingles. Cynthia released her debut solo CD All That I Am in 2013 and is currently working on a new CD. Here's Cynthia Johnson performing Funkytown on the French TV show Les Annee Bonheur Jan. 11, 2014.

Monday, July 21, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Slim Gaillard

Artist:Slim Gaillard
Song:Poppity Pop
Album:Laughing In Rhythm

Bulee "Slim" Gaillard was a jazz eccentric similar but not as well known as Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan. Gaillard even created his own language called Vout. But there was real musical talent underneath the silliness or guys like Dizzy Gillespie wouldn't have played with him as he did on this 1945 recording of Boppity Bop. Gaillard was born Jan. 4, 1916 in Santa Clara, Cuba and he grew up in Detroit. His father worked on cruise ships and would take Gaillard on voyages. He once accidentally left him on the island of Crete. Gaillard was a boxer, a mortician and a rum runner. But then he got into vaudeville and formed Slim and Slam with bassist Slam Stewart in 1936. Their song Flat Foot Floogie was a big hit and was covered by Benny Goodman. This is Gaillard's signature song. Slim and Slam recorded similar records and appeared in the 1941 Olsen & Johnson film Hellzapoppin. After serving in the US Air Force during World War II, Gaillard moved to Los Angeles and scored another hit with Cement Mixer. His band at the time was Bam Brown on bass, Dodo Maramarosa on piano and Zutty Singleton on drums. In 1945, he recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Jack McVea for Savoy. Gillespie has a trumpet solo on Poppity Pop. So Gaillard may be eccentric but he was a good enough musician to hang with Gillespie. You can get Poppity Pop on this Proper Records 4CD box set. In the 50s, Gaillard recorded for Verve and toured with Jazz At The Philharmonic and was a member of Stan Kenton's band. He left the music business in the 60s. And then he moved to Los Angeles in the 70s and acted on several TV shows. Gillespie got him back into music in the 80s. Gaillard moved to London and toured the festival circuit until his death on Feb. 26, 1991 at age 75. Gaillard's daughter was once married to Marvin Gaye. So actress Nona Gaye is the daughter of Marvin Gaye and granddaughter of Slim Gaillard. Here's Slim Gaillard performing Cement Mixer, Poppity Pop and Flat Foot Floogie in The Flip Wilson Show 1969.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Thin Lizzy

Artist:Thin Lizzy
Song:The Boys Are Back In Town
Album:Dedication: The Very Best Of Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy was probably one of the most underrated bands of the 70s. Their biggest hit was The Boys Are Back In Town in 1976. They had other hits in England but that was their one big hit in the US. Thin Lizzy were from Dublin, Ireland. In 1969, former Them guitarist Eric Bell and organist Eric Wrixton were looking to form a new band. They saw the band Orphanage with singer Phil Lynott and drummer Brian Downey. Lynott agreed to form Thin Lizzy on the condition that he play bass and writes the songs. That turned out to be a very good decision because Lynott turned out to be a great songwriter. They released a single in 1970 and Wrixton left Thin Lizzy to return to Them. They didn't replace him at the time and Thin Lizzy signed with Decca Records in 1971. They moved from Dublin to London. Their first two albums didn't sell. Then they toured England with the popular band Slade and Suzi Quatro. At the same time, Decca released their recording of the Irish folk song Whiskey In The Jar. it was a top ten hit in England and Thin Lizzy appeared on the popular TV show Top Of The Pops. Subsequent singles didn't chart and Eric Bell left in 1973. After a couple of short term replacements, the band hired guitarists Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham through auditions. The twin guitars turned out to be Thin Lizzy's trademark. Then they signed a new record deal with Phonogram in England and Mercury in the US. They toured the US for the first time with Bob Seger and then toured Europe with Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Then Thin Lizzy finally broke through with the 1976 album Jailbreak. The Boys Are Back In Town reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is still very memorable today especially when it was used in the hit Disney film Toy Story. But then Lynott got sick with hepatitis and they were forced to cancel their tour. Then Brian Robertson got into a bar fight. Lynott was upset about this and eventually replaced him with Gary Moore. Though they continued to be a good live draw, Thin Lizzy's albums weren't selling well. Moore left in 1979. Lynott started working on solo projects and he left in 1981 and Thin Lizzy split up in 1985. You can get all their hits on this comp. Phil Lynott died in 1986 as a result of his heroin addiction. Brian Downey and Scott Gorham have led a touring band of Thin Lizzy. But they released a CD in 2013 as Black Star Riders. They didn't want to use the Thin Lizzy name out of respect to Lynott's memory. They still tour as Thin Lizzy. Here's Thin Lizzy performing The Boys Are Back In Town on Top Of The Pops 1976.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington

Artist:Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington
Song:In A Mellow Tone
Album:The Great Summit: The Master Takes

When Duke Ellington's career was revitalized in the late 50s, he decided to be more open to collaborating with other jazz legends including Count Basie, John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins. After all, he wasn't getting any younger. One would have thought that over the years Ellington must have recorded with Louis Armstrong. But Ellington never did that with anyone and he had never recorded with Armstrong. So it was a big deal when producer Bob Thiele got them to record together on Apr. 3, 1961 in New York City. This was for Roulette Records. The two days of recording sessions were released by Roulette on two LPs. Together For The First Time was released in 1961 and The Great Reunion was released in 1963. Fortunately you can get them all on one CD. The band on these recording was the current edition of Louis Armstrong and his All Stars. There was Barney Bigard on clarinet, Trummy Young on trombone, Mort Herbert on bass and Danny Barcelona on drums. All the songs are from Ellington's catalog. In A Mellow Tone aka In A Mellotone was first recorded by Ellington in 1939. Because Ellington was under contract to Columbia at the time, this led to Roulette allowing Count Basie to record with Ellington soon after. And Bob Thiele produced Ellington's albums with Coltrane and Hawkins at Impulse Records. So Thiele deserves a lot of credit for getting Ellington to record these important albums. The current version of The Great Summit available on CD as The Master Takes was released by Blue Note in 2001. In 1990, a Complete Sessions CD was released with a second CD of outtakes. But that version is out of print. This album is obviously a must for any jazz fan as it is the only time these legends recorded together. Here's a video of In A Mellow Tone by Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Io Shirai vs Meiko Satomura

This is the match video of Io Shirai defending her World Of STARDOM Championship against Meiko Satomura. This was the main event of the July 11 show at Korakuen Hall. Though STARDOM really tries to sell Meiko as a legit title challenger, she really isn't anymore. There was no way Meiko was going to win this match. But she can still go and she has great chemistry with Io. Io sells a knee injury during the match. She's not really injured. I like the 619 that Io does around the ring post. I don't think I have seen her do that before. Midway through the match, Io is in trouble. But Meiko wastes time and just stands there instead of going for the pin. Then she takes Io to the floor and gives her what John Cena calls an Attitude Adjustment. But Meiko doesn't bring her back into the ring for the pin. And then when Io is back in the ring, Meiko goes to a rear chinlock rest hold. Look, if STARDOM wants fans to think Meiko can win, they have to have her show some urgency. Of course the tide turns and Io uses some of her trademark moves like moonsaults and German suplexes to win and retain her title. Yoshiko won a four way contender's match earlier in the show. She will get the next title shot. Despite my nitpicking, I enjoyed the match and I think you will too.
World of Stardom Title Match by cmrankin

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kindred the Family Soul

Artist:Kindred The Family Soul
Song:Everybody's Hustling
Album:A Couple Friends

They may not be as well known as Neo Philly Soul acts like The Roots and Jill Scott. But if you're a fan of that kind of music, you're going to want to check out Kindred The Family Soul. Everybody's Hustling is from their brand new CD A Couple Friends. Kindred The Family Soul is the husband wife team of Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon. Both grew up in Philadelphia. Dantzler started out writing songs for Bell Biv Devoe. Aja was a backup singer. They met and married and Dantzler worked as an appliance salesman while the two worked local clubs. Jill Scott spotted them and took them to her label at the time Hidden Beach and they released their debut CD Surrender To Love in 2003. Kindred The Family Soul have had modest R & B chart success. They just haven't been able to break through to a larger audience. They recorded three albums for Hidden Beach. A Couple Friends is their second CD on Shanachie Records and it was released last month. They work with all the top producers in Philadelphia including Vidal Davis, Andre Harris and James Poyser. Kindred the Family Soul write all their own material. Everybody's Hustling was co-written and produced by Steve McKie who is the drummer for singer Vivian Green. Kindred The Family Soul are currently touring to promote their new CD. If you are a fan of Neo Philly Soul, they are a hidden gem worth checking out. Here's the video for Everybody's Hustling by Kindred The Family Soul.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Claudia Gadelha vs Tina Lahdemaki

Here's the match video of Claudia Gadelha vs Tina Lahdemaki from last night's UFC show in Atlantic City. The fight was on UFC Fight Pass so I assume a lot of fans didn't see it. I expected a mismatch as Claudia is a lot more experienced and is a BJJ champ. Both are undefeated but Tina hasn't faced the same level of competition. Most of Claudia's fights have been at 125lb. She cuts a lot of weight to get to 115. This was an issue when her last Invicta fight was canceled because she got sick after weigh ins. And then it was decided that she would skip TUF20 because it would be tough for her to make 115 three times in six weeks. That's why we got the first UFC Strawweight fight. Claudia seems to be much bigger than Tina. I understand she puts on about 20lbs after weigh ins. She uses this size advantage to dominate Tina in round one. But Tina shows good defense and Claudia is unable to finish her. Claudia won the other two rounds as well. I scored the fight 30-27 for Claudia. But like a lot of Brazilian fighters, she doesn't pace herself well and has endurance problems. She's going to have to work on that because there are elite fighters in the UFC Strawweight division who will be able to tire her out especially over five rounds. And as good as Claudia is, that is a major achilles heel. I expect Claudia to get a UFC Strawweight Championship shot against whoever wins TUF20. As for Tina, I don't think good defense is enough for her to hang in the UFC. Maybe she needs to move to the US to get a higher level of training. She needs to raise her game but I don't know if she can do that. In her next fight, I would like to see Claudia face stiffer competition. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Leslie Smith vs Jessamyn Duke

Here's the fight video of Leslie Smith vs Jessamyn Duke from last night's UFC show in Atlantic City. A few days ago, Jessamyn admitted that she wasn't aggressive enough in her loss to Bethe Correia. She said that would be fixed in this fight against Leslie Smith. It wasn't. She didn't look any different in this fight. And with something to prove to UFC brass, Leslie was going to finish or crash and burn trying. And Leslie proved once again that her record is misleading because she has improved tremendously over the last couple of years. And she likes to fight top fighters. Some people think Jessamyn is a top fighter but maybe she isn't. I think some like her story that she could have been a model and chose fighting instead. And some assume her height is an advantage. It would be an advantage if she knew how to use her height. And of course she is part of the Four Horsewomen and they are very popular. And I think we all remember her fight vs Raquel Pennington on TUF18. But the girl who fought Berthe Correia and Leslie Smith doesn't look like the same fighter. She is very tentative and she needs to get that aggression back or she won't be in the UFC very long. What's wrong with her? Usually when a fighter's problem seems puzzling, it's not a physical problem. To me, she looks like she is thinking too much about what she wants to do instead of just using her instincts. And a lot of fighters won't admit they aren't thinking straight. Jessamyn said she solved her problem. This fight proved otherwise. She needs to stop kidding herself and figure it out. She also broke her hand blocking one of Leslie's kicks so she will have plenty of time to think about things. The fight was almost over at that point so it meant nothing. One thing is for sure. It was a great win for Leslie Smith. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Louis Armstrong

Artist:Louis Armstrong
Song:A Kiss To Build A Dream On
Album:The Complete Collection

Though jazz trumpet legend Louis Armstrong always sang, by the 60s he was singing more than playing trumpet. A lot of this was because his recording of Hello, Dolly topped the charts in 1964. I think most folks will be familiar with Armstrong's recording of A Kiss To Build A Dream on from the 1993 film Sleepless In Seattle. Armstrong recorded A Kiss To Build A Dream On in 1951 and he had a top twenty hit with the song. A Kiss To Build A Dream On was originally titled Moonlight on the Meadow. Legendary songwriters Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar wrote it for the 1935 Marx Brothers film A Night at the Opera. But it wasn't used. It sat in the MGM vault until Oscar Hammerstein II wrote new lyrics for the melody and changed the title to A Kiss To Build A Dream On in 1949. The song was used in the 1951 film The Strip starring Mickey Rooney. Louis Armstrong and his All Stars appeared in The Strip. They recorded A Kiss To Build A Dream On but it wasn't used in the film and was not released by Decca. But then Armstrong recorded the song with Sy Oliver's orchestra and that version reached #16 on the pop charts in 1951. And that's the version you will get on this 2CD British comp. Armstrong also performed the song with Bing Crosby on the TV show The Chesterfield Hour. I wish there was a video clip of that. In 1952, A Kiss To Build A Dream On by Hugo Winterhalter and his Orchestra featuring vocals by Johnny Parker reached #10 on the pop charts. The song became a regular part of Armstrong's shows and it is on plenty of 60s live recordings. Of course you can always get the soundtrack for Sleepless In Seattle. I think that's where a lot have heard Armstrong's recording of the song. Here's Louis Armstrong performing A Kiss To Build A Dream On in Sweden 1962.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Patsy Gallant

Artist:Patsy Gallant
Song:From New York To L.A.
Album:Greatest Hits

Patsy Gallant had success mostly in her native Canada. But From New York To L.A. was a worldwide hit mostly in dance clubs. Patsy's music was never released in the US and that's why the song never charted there. She was born Aug. 15, 1948 in Campbellton, NB. As a child, she sang with her sisters as The Gallant Sisters. She moved to Montreal and in her early days, she mostly sang jingles. But she also starred in the Radio-Canada TV variety series Smash. This led to a record deal with Columbia Records Canada. She recorded the 1972 album Upon My Own with producer Yves Lapierre and musicians like Doug Riley and Steve Kennedy of Dr. Music. The single Get That Ball charted in Canada. She recorded a couple of French albums and then recorded the 1974 album Power in Nashville with producer Bob Gallo. Columbia dropped her and Patsy signed with the Canadian label Attic Records. The 1976 album Are You Ready For Love was distributed worldwide by EMI but the US branch chose not to release it. The album was produced by percussionist Ian Robertson and pianist Dwayne Ford, drummer Marty Simon and guitarist Robert Cohen played on the album. Patsy arranged the vocals. From New York To L.A. was a top ten hit in Canada, England, Ireland, South Africa, Norway and Australia. And it was a big dance hit. But there was also controversy. The song is based on the Quebec separatist anthem Mon Pays written and recorded in 1964 by Gilles Vigneault. The vapid English lyrics were credited to Gene Williams. When the record was released, folks in Quebec were outraged that someone would do this to an iconic song like Mon Pays. And Vigneault disowned it. Patsy writes a lot of her own songs. They had to know that this would be controversial in Quebec. So it wouldn't surprise me if Gene Williams is a phony name. Sugar Daddy was Patsy's other top ten hit in Canada. This comp from Unidisc has all her hits. Patsy married Dwayne Ford and the two produced more music. But disco was dead by the mid-80s and Patsy moved to Paris to appear in musical theater. She had a successful run in the 90s appearing in the Luc Plamondon show Starmania. She moved back to Canada in 2005 and it looks like she also has a residence in France. She has appeared as a mentor on the French TV talent contest show Star Academy. Here's the video for From New York To L.A. by Patsy Gallant.