Thursday, March 05, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kermit Ruffins

Artist:Kermit Ruffins
Song:Drop Me Off In New Orleans
Album:1533 St. Philip Street

Because he plays trumpet and sings and is from New Orleans, Kermit Ruffins is frequently compared to Louis Armstrong. Though he is influenced by Armstrong and also Louis Jordan, Ruffins own legacy is maintaining the traditions of New Orleans jazz and having a lot of fun doing it. He was born Dec. 19, 1964 in New Orleans. He started playing trumpet as a teen and after hearing Armstrong, he formed the Rebirth Brass Band in 1983. He left to start his own band The Barbecue Swingers in 1992 and he has been recording ever since. Though Ruffins frequently performs New Orleans standards, Drop Me Off In New Orleans is one of his own compositions from his 2001 CD 1533 St. Philip Street. Musicians are Dr. Michael White on clarinet, Eric Traub on sax, Corey Henry on trombone, David Torkanowsky on piano, Neal Caine on bass, Detroit Brooks on banjo and Arthur Latin II on drums. Ruffins had a recurring role in the HBO series Treme. His latest CD We Partyin' Traditional Style was released in 2013. The chances are good that if you go to New Orleans, Ruffins is playing in a club. During the summer, he tours the jazz festival circuit and he's worth checking out as you're sure to have a lot of fun. Kermit Ruffins' contemporary spin on traditional New Orleans jazz is worthy of your time. Here's Kermit Ruffins performing Drop Me Off In New Orleans at the 2013 Bonnaroo Jam In A Van.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Al Hibbler

Artist:Al Hibbler w/Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
Song:Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Album:Unchained Melody: The Definitive Singles Collection

Before singer Al Hibbler had solo success in the 50s, he was Duke Ellington's main singer for most of the 40s including this 1947 recording of Don't Get Around Much Anymore. Hibbler was born Aug. 16, 1915 in Tyro, MS. He was blind at birth. His family moved to Little Rock, AR where he went to the Arkansas School for the Blind. He sang in the choir and in local clubs. After a failed 1935 audition for Duke Ellington, Hibbler won a talent contest in Memphis and sang with local bandleader Dub Jenkins. Then he moved to Kansas City to join Jay McShann's band in 1942. And this led to Hibbler replacing Herb Jeffries in Ellington's band in 1943. He stayed with Ellington's band until 1951 and is considered to be Ellington's best vocalist. Probably Hibbler's biggest hit with Ellington was Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me in 1944. And he sang I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues and I'm Just A Lucky So And So. Don't Get Around Much Anymore was first recorded as the instrumental Lament No More in 1940. Bob Russell wrote lyrics for Ellington's melody and the song topped the charts in 1943 with Betty Roche on vocals. The version with Hibbler on vocals was recorded in 1947 with solos by Johnny Hodges, Ray Nance and Lawrence Brown. Hibbler left the Ellington band in 1951 when Duke wouldn't give him a raise. He had solo success with Unchained Melody in 1955. This 2CD comp from Jasmine Records has all of Hibbler's important recordings. He didn't record much after the 50s but he continued to perform and was heavily involved in the civil rights movement. Al Hibbler died on Apr. 24, 2001 at age 85. Here's a video of Don't Get Around Much Anymore by Al Hibbler with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Pointer Sisters

Artist:The Pointer Sisters

The Pointer Sisters were a quartet when they had success with 70s hits like Yes We Can Can. But they were reduced to a trio when Fire was their first top five hit in 1979. They became more mainstream. After The Pointer Sisters recorded four albums for Blue Thumb Records, Bonnie Pointer left to start a solo career at Motown. She had a big hit with Heaven Must Have Sent You in 1978. June Pointer wanted to take a break and Ruth Pointer was pregnant. After giving birth to her son, Ruth and Anita decided The Pointer Sisters should go in a more contemporary direction. No more thrift shop clothes. They signed with with producer Richard Perry's new label Planet Records and June returned so they are now a trio. The first album for Planet was Energy and Fire was the first single. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and launched The Pointer Sisters to a lot of success in the 80s. Bruce Springsteen wrote Fire at a time when he wasn't able to record because he was embroiled in a lawsuit with his manager. He says he wrote Fire for Elvis Presley but Presley died before Springsteen could send it to him. Springsteen gave Fire to rockabilly singer Robert Gordon who recorded it on his 1978 album Fresh Fish Special. That's where Perry heard it and he gave it to The Pointer Sisters. Though they never had a #1 hit, The Pointer Sisters' top five hits included He's So Shy, Slow Hand, Automatic and Jump. You can get all those hits on this budget comp. Universal owns the Blue Thumb recordings and Sony owns the Planet recordings so you can't get them on the same CD. Perry sold Planet to RCA in 1982 and The Pointer Sisters left RCA in 1985. They recorded for Motown and SBK and last recorded for a major label in 1993. Anita, Ruth and Ruth's granddaughter Sadako still tour as The Pointer Sisters. When Anita has had health issues, Ruth's daughter Issa fills in. Here's The Pointer Sisters performing Fire on The Midnight Special 1979.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Review of WWE Total Divas season 3 episode 18

The good news is that last night's episode of WWE Total Divas didn't feature another moronic Bella Twins dispute. Instead it featured this wretched and phony Nattie Neidhart marriage storyline. We begin at Casa Danielson in Phoenix where Bryan and Brie are barking like dogs into an alarm system. I guess the producers thought this pointless nonsense was cute. So as expected, Nattie Neidhart and husband TJ Wilson have reconciled and are out to dinner. They are having a nice conversation and TJ brings up that the cat got neutered. Oy! The reconciliation seems very awkward. Next we go to RAW in Indianapolis and Paige tells WWE talent relations stooge Mark Carrano she wants to get a tattoo of her mom on her arm. Any major change of appearance has to be WWE approved because of licensing deals they have with Mattel and others. Paige's position is it's her body and she can do what she wants. She is mistaken but this allows the producers to turn it into a storyline. Ariane Andrew asks the Bella Twins for advice. She wants her father to meat boyfriend Vinny's family but she thinks he may not be presentable. How superficial of her. Even with Nattie and TJ reconciling, you can see there is still tension. She knows that the "Nattie's husband" chants upset him and he blames her. She suggests he try out modelling as a second career. Huh? Well, we all know this won't end well. Ariane and Eva Marie are driving to the desert to see Ariane's dad. It appears her dad used to be a pimp and a drug addict. He is now reformed but she is ashamed of his past. She invites him to meet Vinny's family but he would like to get his teeth fixed. Ariane agrees to help him with that. She also wants to buy him a suit because he likes to wear pimp clothes. Nattie and TJ meet with a modelling agency. At first Nattie is gung ho about this. But you know her neuroses will creep in. Carrano tells Paige she can't get a tattoo and Paige is upset. She's considering getting it anyway but she's risking her job. Ariane tries to buy her dad a suit but he doesn't like it. He asks her if he embarrasses her. She lies and says no. At the photo shoot, Nattie has second thoughts when TJ poses with scantily clad women. But this was her idea. Ariane takes her dad to the dentist and his teeth can't be done before the dinner. So she has to take him as he is after all. Paige, Alicia and Rosa are discussing body hair when Paige's dad calls and tells her he doesn't want her to get a tattoo. Of course that makes her want to get one even more. When Nattie sees TJ modelling pics, she doesn't like them but she doesn't say that. Then they spend a lot of time on this dinner. Ariane's dad arrives wearing a pimp suit. He says he's a retired pimp. Vinny wants to talk to him privately to ask for his blessing. But he thinks they are engaged and he makes a big announcement about it. We cut to Nattie and TJ and she tells him the photo shoot made her uncomfortable. He didn't like it either and that's the end of that. At the dinner, Vinny's family arrives and things go well except his announcement puzzles Ariane because they aren't engaged yet. It was no big deal and afterwards, Ariane apologizes to her dad for being superficial. I doubt that she learned her lesson. So now we go to the tattoo parlor and Alicia and Rosa are trying to stop Paige from getting the tattoo. They called Nattie to talk to Paige. And it's funny how Nattie was so rational when she is usually the exact opposite in her marriage which is why that whole storyline is phony. After Nattie talks to her, they do a bit of a cliffhanger. Will Paige get a tattoo? Of course she doesn't. she wants to keep her job. Check out the episode video.
Total Divas 03/01/15 Season 3 Episode 18... by MrCena456

STARDOM suspends Yoshiko indefinitely

Here's the match video of Yoshiko vs Act Yasukawa from the Feb. 15 STARDOM show. This started as a World of STARDOM Championship match and as you probably already know, Yoshiko's actions turned it into a big scandal. The video includes the pre-match build and STARDOM's press conference the following Wednesday. I didn't see anything in the pre-match build to suggest that Yoshiko was going to do what she did in the match. The press conference scuffles and contract signing disputes are standard. But whispers behind the scenes indicate that Yoshiko may have been concerned about losing her spot as STARDOM's top heel to Yasukawa who is physically more attractive than Yoshiko. Yasukawa was out of action for part of 2014 due to thyroid problems. But she returned in the fall and she wrestled Yoshiko in September with no problems. Yoshiko won the World of STARDOM Championship in August. One would think that after five years in pro wrestling, Yoshiko would be more confident of her position than that. But STARDOM's big flaw is trying to build itself around green wrestlers sprinkled with a few veterans that hopefully will mentor these girls. Kyoko Kimura was mentoring Yasukawa. But after Natsuki*Taiyo retired last June, there was no one to mentor Yoshiko. Things go wrong at the start of the match when Yoshiko breaks Yasukawa's nose with real punches and then takes her down and continues to pound her. There's a lot of blood so I warn you don't watch it if you don't want to see that. This is obviously not in the script. It takes a while but the ref finally pulls Yoshiko off Yasukawa. He should have stopped the match right there because Yasukawa was badly hurt. But he didn't stop it until Kyoko Kimura threw in the towel. The ref didn't do his job. Yasukawa screamed at the top of her lungs while being dragged to the back. Meanwhile, Kimura entered the ring and went after Yoshiko. But she was restrained. Yasukawa has had surgery on her broken nose and will be out indefinitely. The Japanese media went crazy. This kind of thing is very unusual. STARDOM held a press conference the following Wednesday attended by STARDOM owner Hiroshi Ogawa, Yoshiko, storyline GM and ring announcer Fuuka, trainer Nanae Takahashi and Kyoko Kimura. I presume she represented Yasukawa. Yoshiko apologized and then Ogawa announced that she is stripped of the title and suspended indefinitely. I would have fired her because she can't be trusted now and I think it will be very difficult to rehabilitate her. Kimura said Yoshiko's problem is she doesn't know how to separate herself from her character. She hasn't been taught proper professional behaviour. That indicates promotional failure at the training level. So that's the story for now. I would not be surprised if Yoshiko quits the wrestling business and I will have that for you if that happens.
World of Stardom Championship: (Champion... by Mosquitopilate1

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Reeve Carney

Artist: Reeve Carney f/Bono and The Edge
Song:Rise Above 1
Album:Music From Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark

This CD of music from the ill fated Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark will be of interest to U2 fans because Bono and The Edge wrote the songs and appear on the CD. Reeve Carney starred in the show. There is no original cast CD. Interscope released this instead. Reeve Carney was born Apr. 18, 1983 in New York City. He moved to Los Angeles as a teen. He had his own band while touring with blues artist Jonny Lang and he has led his band Carney for several years. They opened for U2 and that's how Bono and The Edge got to know him. Of course the reason there was a Spider-Man musical is why not. I guess it's all about branding. Marvel first began development of the show in 2002. Bono and The Edge wanted to write the songs because it was different. They suggest director Julie Taymor. The problems with the show were cost overruns and problems with some of the stunts in the show. When it previewed, the reviews were so bad they rewrote the whole show and delayed the opening. It finally did premiere June 2011 but the show was already doomed. The show was never a hit. There's nothing wrong with Carney and he remained with the show until Sept. 2013. But the show was flawed and maybe it should have been cancelled. But I guess they had already spent too much money. Fortunately this CD is available for those who want it. Reeve Carney is currently starring in the Showtime series Penny Dreadful and his band Carney is still active. Here's the video for Rise Above 1 by Reeve Carney featuring Bono and The Edge.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington

Here's the match video of Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington from last night's UFC show in Los Angeles. Holly Holm is the former boxing champ trying to conquer MMA. Based on her undefeated record over tomato cans, she is thought to be the boxing kryptonite to Ronda Rousey's judo. Some people are so dopey. I thought Raquel would be a good gauge to see where Holm is in her MMA development. Based on this fight, I think Holly has potential but she also has work to do before she can contend for a title. She almost gave this fight away. Holly looked very nervous before the fight and I thought if Raquel came out aggressively, she might have something for Holly. But she didn't. Holly landed more punches in round one and she also stuffed several takedowns. Raquel needed to be busier and her coach Marc Fiore told her that between rounds. She finally got the message and won round three. Raquel could have won that fight. It's not like Holly ever hurt her. Holly just threw more punches in the first two rounds. So I scored the fight 29-28 for Holly. The judges gave her a split decision. That could be a good thing for Holly if it wakes her up and she realizes that it's not going to get easier as she goes up the ladder. To contend for a title, she needs to dominate and she didn't do that in this fight. I'm sure some were surprised by that. I was not surprised as she hadn't beaten anyone decent. I saw some things I liked and I saw things I didn't like. She's a long way from being Ronda Rousey kryptonite. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Ronda Rousey vs Cat Zingano

Here's the match video of Ronda Rousey vs Cat Zingano including the entrances and post match interviews from last night's UFC show in Los Angeles. After Ronda beat Alexis Davis in 16 seconds, I didn't think she could top that. That shows you what I know. I thought Ronda would win in round one but 14 seconds? Geez! The fight speaks for itself. Ronda showed tremendous athleticism and lessons learned from her mother when she was a child. Add to that her imagination and vision and there isn't anyone in MMA who can do what Ronda does. Her ability to improvise is unmatched and that's why it is difficult to prepare for her. She has tricks in her bag that she doesn't know she has and we won't see them until she does them. She told Joe Rogan she's never practiced that finish. It's pure instinct from years of judo. Who else does that? Ronda also told Rogan she expected Cat to come at her like that because of Cat's rep as a slow starter. There goes that surprise. Ronda said in the post fight press conference that she is making a movie. She couldn't talk about it as it hasn't been announced yet. When she returns, she's interested in fighting Bethe Correia to hand Bethe her first loss. Bethe was backstage and wanted to go to the cage and challenge Ronda post fight. Jessica Eye was also there and said "Over my dead body". I think we will see those two fight for a title shot. As for Cris Cyborg, the UFC insists that Ronda vs Cyborg will only happen at 135. So it's up to Cyborg to prove that she can fight at 135. In July, she will again fight for Invicta at 145. MMA Junkie reported that Zuffa signed Cyborg to a contract but will allow her to fight in Invicta until she drops to 135. That's exactly what they offered her two years ago and she turned it down. I have never seen a fighter unwittingly sabotage her own career like that. And the longer she waits, Ronda continues to improve and it's less likely that Cyborg can beat Ronda anyway. Anyway, enough of that. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Toys

Artist:The Toys
Song:A Lover's Concerto
Album:Hard To Find 45s on CD Vol. 5: Sixties Pop Classics

A Lover's Concerto was the only big hit for the girl group The Toys in 1965. A couple of their other songs charted so they are not technically a one hit wonder. At first they were called The Charlettes. Barbara Harris and Barbara Parritt went to high school together in New York City. They formed the group after meeting June Monteiro through June's sister. They started hanging around The Brill Building and sang backup vocals. Manager Vince Marc spotted them at a talent show and introduced them to the songwriting and production team of Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell and they signed them to legendary producer Bob Crewe's DynoVoice label. Linzer and Randell had previously worked with The Four Seasons. Marc thought The Charlettes was too doo wop so he changed the group name to The Toys. A Lover's Concerto reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. The song was based on Bach's Minuet in G Major and popularized by bandleader Freddie Martin in the 40s. Linzer and Randell wrote the lyrics and updated the arrangement. The Toys appeared on all kinds of TV shows and even in a couple of movies. But they were never able to score that second big hit. They came closest with Attack which reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. You can get A Lover's Concerto on this various artists CD from Eric Records. The Toys also recorded for Philips and Musicor and then they split up in 1968. Lead singer Barbara Harris has toured the oldies circuit as The Toys for years and she's on tour now. Here's The Toys performing A Lover's Concerto on Hullaballoo 1965.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Invicta FC11 damaged by too many late replacements

When the card for last night's Invicta show was announced last month, I thought it was a weak card. We knew that Cris Cyborg would wreck Charmaine Tweet in the main event so the rest of the card needed to have more competitive fights. I thought there were too many question marks on the show. But it got worse when four of the eight fights needed late replacements. Even if that was just bad luck, it hurt the show as none of those fights were competitive. In the main event, Cris Cyborg predictably won over Charmaine Tweet by first round TKO. After the show, Invicta announced that Cyborg will fight in July at 145lb. Lately there has been talk that the UFC wants to sign Cyborg. But last night Lorenzo Fertitta told Karyn Bryant they only want her to fight at 135. And they will want her to commit to multiple fights. They are not interested in Rousey vs Cyborg at 140lb catchweight because Cyborg needs them more than they need her. She has already wasted over two years on this and she will continue to waste her time. The ball is in her court. The real main event of this show had Alexa Grasso beat MIZUKI by unanimous decision. This was the fight of the night and I am posting the match video. In order to win this fight, MIZUKI needed to generate more offense. But just like in her last fight, she didn't so that. So by the time she started to control Alexa on the ground in round three, it was too late. She has already lost the first two rounds. I scored the fight 29-28 for Alexa and so did two of the judges. The third judge scored it 30-26. Huh? In this fight, we got to see more from Alexa and she did well. Don't be surprised if we see her on the upcoming UFC Mexico show. And I think they will sign MIZUKI too because they can use her on Japanese shows. In other matches, DeAnna Bennett dropped to 115 and beat Norma Center by unanimous decision. Norma was a late replacement. This was a terrible fight with way too much jockeying for position on the fence. This is the second straight fight where DeAnna won the fight but gave a terrible performance. In addition, Julie Kedzie refused to criticize the fight. Part of the problem was Mauro Ranallo wasn't available and they brought in Sherdog's TJ DiSantis. He wasn't able to control Julie's mannerisms the way Mauro can. She's not objective because she is the Invicta matchmaker so she shouldn't be a commentator. They have high hopes for DeAnna so Julie won't criticize her. And Julie used to train with Norma. They're buddies. Irene Aldana won over Colleen Schneider by rear naked choke. Colleen was a late replacement. Jamie Moyle put JJ Aldrich to sleep with a rear naked choke. Jamie looked good. Time to move her up the card. Amy Montenegro beat Brianna VanBuren by unanimous decision. This fight was at 115 and I think Brianna should drop to 105. Christine Stanley beat Laura Salazar by TKO. It might have been a quick stoppage. This fight was at 115 and Laura was a late replacement. I understand she normally fights at 105. And in the opener, 19 year old amateur phenom Aspen Ladd won by TKO over Ana Catolina Vidal. Ana was a late replacement. The stoppage was early. It was right at the end of the first round and most refs wouldn't have stopped it. And he stood them up before that unnecessarily. Invicta announced their next show will be Apr. 10 location TBA. They announced one match and as I normally do, I will analyze the entire card once it is announced. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bea Arthur

Artist:Bea Arthur
Song:The Man In The Moon
Album:Mame: Original Cast Recording

Though Bea Arthur is mainly known for the sitcoms Maude and The Golden Girls, she had a long career on Broadway before she turned to TV. she won a Tony Award for playing Vera Charles in the 1966 musical Mame. The Man In The Moon was her big number in the show. She was born Beatrice Frankel May 13, 1922 in New York City. Her family moved to Cambridge, MD in 1933 where her parents owned a clothing store. Bea performed while in school and she was in the United States Marine Corps during WWII. Afterwards, she studied acting in New York and appeared regularly on stage and also on live TV in the 50s. Her breakthrough role was as the yente in the 1964 musical Fiddler On The Roof and then she followed that with Mame in 1966. Mame was based on the very successful Broadway show and film Auntie Mame. Veteran songwriter Jerry Herman was hired to turn it into a musical. He also wrote Hello Dolly! and La Cage Aux Folles among other things. Herman wanted Judy Garland to play Mame and the producers tried to hire Mary Martin. But Angela Lansbury got the part and won a Tony. Bea was hired to play Vera. She was married to the show's director Gene Saks at the time. Bea also won a Tony. Angela and Bea perform their big number Bosom Buddies and Bea gets a solo turn with The Man In The Moon. Both songs are on this cast CD. Bea also played Vera in the 1974 film version of Mame starring Lucille Ball. Bea turned to TV when Norman Lear cast her as Edith Bunker's cousin Maude in the classic sitcom All In The Family and spun her off into the sitcom Maude. That show was very successful and made Bea a household name. Bea also became a regular on TV variety shows. She also starred in the 1983 sitcom Amanda's which was based on the British sitcom Fawlty Towers. It didn't last but then she starred in the very successful sitcom the Golden Girls from 1985-92. After that she did TV guest shots and toured with her own one woman show. Bea Arthur died on Apr. 25, 2009 at age 86. Here's Bea Arthur performing The Man In The Moon on the 1994 TV special Jerry Herman's Broadway at the Hollywood Bowl.

Friday, February 27, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Matt Monro

Artist:Matt Monro
Song:From Russia With Love
Album:The Very Best of Matt Monro

British pop singer Matt Monro was successful in the 60s. Though not his biggest hit, the theme from the James Bond film From Russia With Love is probably one of his most memorable recordings. He was known as The Man With The Golden Voice. He was born Terence Edward Parsons Dec. 1, 1930 in London, England. He got his first big break when he became a featured vocalist with the BBC Show Band in 1956. Pianist Winifred Atwell took him under her wing and named him Matt Monro. He recorded an album of standards for Decca in 1957. But it went nowhere and by 1959, Monro was singing jingles. His second big break came when producer George Martin asked Monro to record a song for the Peter Sellers album Songs For Swinging Sellers which was a spoof of crooners. This led to a contract with Parlophone and Martin produced all of Monro's 60s recordings. His biggest hit singles were Portrait Of My Love in 1960 and My Kind Of Girl in 1961. My Kind Of Girl was his biggest hit in the US too. But the theme for From Russia With Love is probably Monro's most memorable song because James Bond films have their own fanbase. The song was written by Oliver! composer Lionel Bart. The song played over the closing credits of the film. Monro recorded other songs for James Bond composer John Barry including Born Free in 1967. After living in California for a while, he moved back to England in 1970. Monro continued to record and tour but he wasn't as popular as he was in the 60s. This comp is a good intro to his music. Matt Monro died of cancer on Feb. 7, 1985 at age 54. Here's Matt Monro performing From Russia With Love on the BBC 1975. You gotta love the leisure suit.