Tuesday, January 16, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ray Peterson

Artist:Ray Peterson
Song:Tell Laura I Love Her
Album:The Wonder Of You: The Very Best Of Ray Peterson 1957-1962

Ray Peterson scored two top ten hits in 1960. Tell Laura I Love Her is the more memorable of the two because it's a death song. It still gets airplay on oldies radio. But I'm sure most younger fans know nothing about Peterson or the song. He was born Apr. 23, 1939 in Denton, TX. Peterson suffered from polio as a child. And while recovering in the hospital, he started performing for the other patients. Peterson has a four octave range. After recovering, Peterson moved to Los Angeles. His manager Stan Shulman got him a deal with RCA. When the single The Wonder Of You was a top 30 hit, RCA thought they might have something. So they brought in their top production team Hugo & Luigi to score Peterson a big hit. At the time, Mark Dinning's death song Teen Angel was a big hit. RCA wanted something similar. Veteran songwriter Jeff Barry wrote Tell Laura I Love Her about a rodeo. RCA asked him to rewrite the song to resemble Teen Angel. The record reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Mission accomplished. The problem was Peterson and Shulman left RCA to start their own label Dunes Records. They brought in Phil Spector to produce a cover of the traditional song Corinna, Corinna. That reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was Peterson's final big hit and Dunes closed in 1964. Peterson recorded an album for MGM in 1965. Then he moved to Nashville and tried to reinvent himself as a country artist. When that didn't work out, he became a baptist minister and he occasionally toured the oldies circuit. Peterson died on Jan. 25, 2005 at age 65. You can get his hits on this comp from Jasmine. Here's Ray Peterson performing Tell Laura I Love Her on Shindig! 1965.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-JJ Aldrich vs Danielle Taylor

Here's the match video of JJ Aldrich vs Danielle Taylor from last night's UFC show in St. Louis. This aired on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. Both fighters came to the UFC as late replacements. JJ Is an Invicta veteran. She trains with Rose Namajunas in Colorado. She's OK but nothing special. Danielle is a former King Of The Cage champ who supposedly has punching power. But she hasn't done that in the UFC. She has won a couple of fights with a keep away strategy. She does this because at five feet tall, she is always going to be at a height disadvantage. Fortunately, JJ was prepared for this and she basically outpunched Danielle for three rounds. By the third round, JJ was daring Danielle to engage with her. She wouldn't do it. She would not change her strategy even if it wasn't working. Of course JJ won by unanimous decision. And props to Rose, Trevor Wittman and the rest of her camp for having a plan to combat this keep away crap. I never thought it would work against a half decent fighter. So now Danielle has to figure out a new strategy. Some fans have suggested that maybe she should drop to Atomweight and fight for Invicta. But all of Danielle's fights have been at Strawweight. She's very muscular so I don't know if she could make Atomweight. Her strategy was doomed to fail because it's designed to win close decisions. Well, that cuts both ways. Check out the fight for yourself.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Jessica Eye vs Kalindra Faria

Here's the match video of Jessica Eye vs Kalindra Faria from last night's UFC show in St. Louis. This aired on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. The big thing here is that Jessica gets to fight at Flyweight which was her weight class before she came to the UFC. She was supposed to fight Paige VanZant a few months ago. But Paige got injured and then when the UFC tried to rebook the fight for this show, Paige refused to do it. So Jessica was pissed. Both fighters were on this show fighting other fighters. The good news for Jessica is that Kalindra may be the most inept fighter I have ever seen. She came to the UFC as a late replacement and lost. I had seen her before and she's terrible. But in the first round, she knocked Jessica loopy with a head kick. All she had to do was finish and I'd take all that ineptitude stuff back. But she couldn't finish and they engaged in a pointless leglock battle that allowed Jessica to recover. I scored round one 10-9 for Kalindra. But she already blew a win. Jessica controlled Kalindra on the ground in round two. This is something new for her. So she knows how to execute a takedown but she doesn't know what to do after the takedown. She ended up sitting on Kalindra for a while. I can't say why ref Dan Miragliotta didn't break it up. Oh, that's right. He is also inept. In the end, Jessica won by split decision. And then after the fight, she bragged about winning with empty takedowns. So we had two fighters, a ref and three judges who are all inept. What more can I say? Check out the fight for yourself.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Irene Aldana vs Talita Bernardo

Here's the match video of Irene Aldana vs Talita Bernardo from last night's UFC show in St. Louis. Irene is a Mexican who is in the UFC because her teammate Alexa Grasso is a highly touted prospect. These kind of package deals are more common than you think. Is Artem Lobov any good? No, he's Conor McGregor's buddy. This is the same thing. I didn't like her in Invicta either. She's a limited striker with no ground skills. She lost her first two UFC fights to fighters she could have beaten. So she needs a win. The good news is her opponent is worse than her. Talita is a Brazilian. She came to the UFC as a late replacement and lost to Marion Reneau. She looked terrible. She didn't look any better in this fight. All she did was make some think that Irene is a good fighter. I just don't think she can beat anyone good. Check the fight out for yourself.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Jessica-Rose Clark vs Paige VanZant

Here's the match video of Jessica-Rose "Jessy Jess" Clark vs Paige VanZant from last night's UFC show in St. Louis. There were four women's matches on last night's show. While that may seem like a good thing to the insufferable women's MMA fanboys, all four matches were terrible. They had in common varying degrees of ineptitude. Not one match was entertaining. The biggest problem is fighters brought in as late replacements don't belong in the UFC. So it's not really a women's MMA problem but a general problem with the UFC roster. I guess the UFC needs to spread these out better. Putting four poor women's fights on one show does no one any favors. This fight was on the main card. Paige is popular with casual fans but she's not a good fighter. She recently moved to Gracie Barra in Portland but based on this fight, it hasn't helped her. Jessy Jess is an Aussie who was in Invicta. She now trains at Syndicate in Las Vegas. She came to the UFC as a late replacement and won over Bec Rawlings. Also, her house was robbed after she left for St. Louis. And the scumbag killed her cat. That had to be on her mind. Considering that, she did OK. As for Paige, she still seems to be more interested in doing flashy switch kicks and spinning back fists. And then she broke her forearm on a spinning back fist. Then she does one of those stupid headlock takedowns and Jessy Jess got top position. She didn't do much with it and ref Mario Yamasaki let it go on. So that helped Jessy Jess a lot. With Paige's arm broken, the rest of the fight was a foregone conclusion. Jessy Jess won by unanimous decision. Paige still makes beginner mistakes that she shouldn't make anymore. We need to see improvement and we sure didn't see it last night. Check out the video for yourself.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brenda K. Starr

Artist:Brenda K. Starr
Song:I Still Believe
Album:Lowrider Oldies: Cruisin Chrome Series Vol. 8

Brenda K. Starr had her biggest success with the 1988 hit I Still Believe. She later had success in the Latin market. She was born Brenda Joy Kaplan Oct. 15, 1966 in New York City. Her father was Harvey Kaye of the 60s group Spiral Starecase and her mother was Puerto Rican. Harry Belafonte got her a role as a singer in the 1984 film Beat Street. That appearance got her a record deal with Atlantic's Mirage label and producer Arthur Baker (Afrika Bambaataa). The 1985 album I Want Your Love and the single Pickin' Up Pieces had success on the dance charts. But she moved to MCA for the 1987 album Brenda K. Starr and producer Eumir Deodato. He is a Brazilian musician who had success in the 70s with his disco version of Also Spach Zarathustra. By the 80s he was working more as a producer with acts like Kool & The Gang and One Way. He produced I Still Believe and it reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Rock Mafia's Antonina Armato when she was 16 years old. The sax solo is by Bob Malach of the Bob Mintzer Big Band. You may have heard Mariah Carey's cover of I Still Believe. She was a backup singer on the original. And Brenda got Mariah a record deal when she gave Mariah's demo to producer Tommy Mottola. Bet you didn't know that. Brenda recorded her 1990 album By Heart on Epic. Then she turned to the Latin market and she has had success there. The 1987 album Brenda K. Starr is out of print. The only Brenda K. Starr comp available is aimed at the Latin market. So I suggest this various artists comp from Thump Records which is part of their Lowrider Oldies series. Brenda has been a DJ at WNEW in New York. Her daughter Gianna Isabella appeared on the 2016 season of American Idol. Brenda still performs and releases occasional singles through her Facebook page. Here's the video for I Still Believe by Brenda K. Starr.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Not much sizzle on Invicta FC 27

Invicta had their latest show last night in Kansas City. Typically, the main card was weak. The big news coming out of this show wasn't even in the cage. They announced that UFC Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes will take a role in matchmaking and talent development. My initial reaction to this is it is window dressing designed to deflect criticism of Invicta's matchmaking. The main problem with Invicta's matchmaking is they can't seem to put together strong main cards. Overrating fighters and putting unproven fighters on the main card are the big problems. I don't know if Amanda can force Invicta to be honest with themselves. I suppose time will tell. Last night's show was an example of Invicta's drawbacks. All of their titles are currently vacant. But they couldn't put together a title match for last night's show. So instead the main event had former Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman vs former Cage Warriors champ Pannie Kianzad. Sarah is coming off a dreadful UFC stint. We hadn't seen Pannie for a while. She hasn't done well in Invicta. During fight week, Sarah said this was her first step to a UFC return. I don't see it. There was a time that Sarah was a dominant fighter who finished fights. She hasn't done that for a few years and she didn't do it last night. Oh, she won the fight. But it's not the kind of win she needs to get back to the UFC. Until she shows me otherwise, I don't believe she can be a dominant fighter anymore. The co-main was an example of Invicta's bad habit of booking predictable and needless mismatches in the main card. Veteran Flyweight Vanessa Porto won over Mariana Morais by first round rear naked choke. Mariana never should have been on the main card or in Invicta. It's flawed thinking. Mismatches don't do Vanessa any favors. And I should point out that every time Vanessa has got a title shot, she has come up short. So this mismatch was booked to pump up an overrated fighter. That is poor matchmaking. In a Strawweight bout, Sharon Jacobson won by unanimous decision over Ashley Nichols. It was an OK fight but it's a prelim fight. It didn't belong on the main card. In an Atomweight bout, Ashley Cummins won by unanimous decision over Stephanie Alba. This was on the main card because Ashley is from St. Louis. But Stephanie, who used to fight for Combate Americas, wasn't competitive. Did they book her just because she was on TV? So out of four main card matches, two were obvious and predictable mismatches. That's a problem. On the prelims, Brogan Sanchez beat Cheri Muraski by split decision. I thought Cheri won the fight but I wasn't impressed with either of them. In a Featherweight bout, Felicia Spencer beat Akeela Al-Hameed by unanimous decision. I like what I have seen from Felicia so far. It's time to move her up the card. Akeela was making her pro debut. She was outclassed. In a Strawweight bout, Mallory Martin beat Tiffany Masters by second round TKO. I don't like either fighter and I didn't see anything to change my tune. In an Atomweight bout, Thai kickboxing whiz Loma Lookboonmee won by unanimous decision over Melissa Wang. Loma was making her MMA debut and she's getting a lot of praise for her performance. Obviously her standup skills are great. But against a fighter like this, she needed to finish. And her inability to finish especially with a first round rear naked choke indicates that she needs work on the fine points of MMA. She also was docked a point for a knee to the head of a downed opponent. That lack of discipline could cause her problems with better fighters. So I like her but she's not a finished product. She's only 21 so there is plenty of time for development. It shows why many Thai fighters won't do MMA. The nuances of MMA can be difficult to learn and it may not be worth the effort. And in the opening Strawweight bout, Helen Peralta beat Jade Ripley by first round TKO. It's hard to tell if Helen is any good because Jade was terrible. She was bouncing around and constantly changing her stance. She didn't know what she was doing. What did they see in her? Here's hoping for better matchmaking next time.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Happenings

Artist:The Happenings
Song:I Got Rhythm
Album:The Happenings/Psycle

This cover of I Got Rhythm was one of two top five hits for The Happenings. They started out in 1961 in Paterson, NJ as The Four Grads. Bob Miranda was the lead singer. Other members were David Libert, Tom Giuilano and Ralph DeVito. They were a doo wop group but to be successful in the mid-60s they had to update their sound. So they went to The Tokens and signed with their BT Puppy label. The Happenings vocal sound was still doo wop. But the arrangements, the group's look and even the name The Happenings reflected current trends. The Happenings usually recorded covers of hit songs. Miranda says this was deliberate. They wanted to take proven hits and put their spin on them. This paid off in 1966 when See You In September reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was a hit for The Tempos in 1959. That was on their debut album The Happenings. Their cover of the Gershwin standard I Got Rhythm also reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. It was from the album Psycle. They also had top 20 hits with covers of Go Away Little Girl and My Mammy. This Collectables CD has both albums. Libert and DeVito left The Happenings in 1968. Libert has had a long career as a manager of George Clinton and others. The Happenings recorded the 1969 album Piece Of Mind for Jubilee Records. Strangely enough, most of the songs were written by Miranda and Libert and they produced the album. I don't know why they deviated from the covers formula. But the album was unsuccessful. And after a couple more singles, The Happenings disbanded in 1972. Miranda revived The Happenings in the 90s and they tour the nostalgia circuit today. Here's The Happenings performing I Got Rhythm on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 1967.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sarah Vaughan

Artist:Sarah Vaughan w/Dizzy Gillespie
Song:Lover Man
Album:Interlude 1944-1947

Here is a recording from the early days of bebop featuring two jazz legends before they became famous. Sarah Vaughan met Dizzy Gillespie when Billy Eckstine brought her into the Earl Hines band in 1943. Hines always claimed that he discovered Sarah. But it is believed that Eckstine heard her sing in a New York club. Eckstine left the Hines band and took Gillespie and Charlie Parker with him. The Eckstine band would turn out to be a bebop incubator and just about every musician who would become famous went through that band. Then Sarah joined the Eckstine band in 1944. Her first recordings were with Eckstine. Sarah left to go solo late in 1944. And then Gillespie left to go solo. All the musicians hung around The Braddock Grill next door to The Apollo. Gillespie had a recording session coming up for Guild Records. The band was Charlie Parker on alto sax, Al Haig on piano, Curly Russell on bass and Sid Catlett on drums. Sarah sang on Lover Man, a song written for Billie Holiday. Gillespie was so pleased with Sarah's performance he brought her back to record with a larger band. You can get all these recordings on this budget CD from Naxos Jazz Legends. It also has recordings Sarah made with other bands like John Kirby, Teddy Wilson and others. There is one recording on this CD with trumpeter George Treadwell and he became Sarah's manager. He got her a contract with Columbia in 1949 and from there Sarah became one of the biggest stars of the 50s. But it all started with this recording of Lover Man with Dizzy Gillespie. Here's Sarah Vaughan with Dizzy Gillespie performing Lover Man on Dizzy Gillespie's Bebop Reunion 1976.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Atomweight Championship match to main event Mar. 10 DEEP JEWELS show

Yesterday DEEP JEWELS added several matches to their Mar. 10 Shinjuku FACE show. The main event will have Mina Kurobe defending her DEEP JEWELS Atomweight championship against Sarami who earned the title shot last month. This match does nothing for me. It just shows how low the DEEP JEWELS talent level is. That's the only reason Kurobe is in a main event. Never mind that she has the belt. When she has fought someone decent like Ham Seo Hee last June, she has lost. And she is 40 years old. Sarami has been around for a few years and she's 27 years old with an 11-9 record. So she has had mixed results at best. She beat Tomo Maesawa, another mediocre fighter, to earn this title shot. Her big flaw is inconsistency. At one time they were high on her and then she lost a bunch of fights including one to Kurobe. So that's the problem. You have midcard talent in a main event championship fight. Blah! In a Flyweight bout, Kana Watanabe will face Yukari Nabe. Kana is 29 years old. She won her first two fights including a win over Shizuka Sugiyama on the recent RIZIN show. Her background is judo. She had some amateur success. She is also attractive which goes a long way in Japan. The problem with her is there isn't much competition for her in Japan. Most fighters these days are Atomweight. Yukari is 30 years old from Toyama. She made her DEEP JEWELS debut in 2016 after competing in amateur judo and Shooto. Her record is 3-2. My concern is Kana will stagnate fighting low level competition as it seems to have happened to King REINA. And REINA will be on this show too. In an Atomweight bout, Hikaru Aono will face Anna Kiriyama. These two were supposed to fight in December but Anna got injured. This will be Anna's pro debut. Her training is in karate. Hikaru's training is in wrestling which she did in college. She lost in December so her record is 0-1-1. In a Flyweight bout, Amiba will face Hikari. Amiba is 30 years old. She trains at AACC and her record is 8-5. The big thing is she normally fights at Strawweight. Hikari is from Niigata. Her background is judo. She won the 2017 All Japan Shooto Amateur Championships. But she lost her December pro debut to Kana Watanabe. So I guess they are looking for Amiba to win and then get fed to Kana. In an Atomweight bout, we have idol Nanaka Kawamura making her pro debut against Mizuki Furuse. Nanaka is 22 years old. She is from the idol group Masked Women. Unlike her December match, this match will be full MMA rules. DEEP JEWELS has big plans for Nanaka if she's good because she brings a fanbase with her. Mainstream stardom in Japan is a possibility. Mizuki is a 16 year old high school student. Her record is 1-3. Two of her losses were by TKO. Her amateur experience is junior high judo. I don't think she has enough experience to be a pro fighter. But they aren't looking for this fight to be competitive. I expect more fights to be announced for this show.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Salt-N-Pepa

Artist:Salt-N-Pepa f/En Vogue
Song:Whatta Man
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Salt-N-Pepa

Salt-N-Pepa were a female rap trio that came along at a time when there weren't many women rapping. So they were pioneers of hip hop and rap. Whatta Man was their biggest hit at the end of their run in 1993. Cheryl "Salt" James and Sandra "Pepa" Denton met while they were studying nursing at Queensborough Community College in Queens, NY. They also worked together at Sears. A co-worker Hurby "Luv Bug" Azor was studying record production and he asked them to record with him as a class project. Along with DJ LaToya Hanson, they called themselves Super Nature. The 1985 single The Showstoppa was a big enough hit that Next Plateau Records signed them to a record deal. By this time, Hanson left and was replaced by Deidra "Spinderella" Roper and the group name was changed to Salt-N-Pepa. Azor was their producer and manager. He was dating Cheryl at the time. Push It in 1987 and Let's Talk About Sex in 1991 were top 20 pop hits. So they were doing OK but for the 1993 album Very Necessary, They left Next Plateau for London Records. Shoop reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Whatta Man reached #3. Whatta Man is based on the 1968 Lynda Lyndell hit What A Man and it features En Vogue who were very popular at the time. It was first released on the 1993 En Vogue EP Runaway Love but it wasn't released as a single. The Salt-N-Pepa version was remixed by Azor to bring the rappers into the forefront. You can get all of Salt-N-Pepa's hits on this budget comp. By this time, Cheryl and Azor had split up and Salt-N-Pepa sued him for back royalties. As a result, they didn't release another album until 1997 on a new label. It did OK but not as well as previous albums. Salt-N-Pepa disbanded in 2002 when Cheryl quit the music business. Sandra was already acting in films and TV. They reformed for the 2007 vh1 reality show The Salt-N-Pepa show. They haven't recorded anything new but they still tour as part of the I Love The 90s concert series. Here's the video for Whatta Man by Salt-N-Pepa featuring En Vogue.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Melba Liston

Artist:Melba Liston w/The Quincy Jones Big Band
Song:My Reverie
Album:Lausanne 1960

Though trombonist Melba Liston rarely recorded as a leader, she was a major contributor to jazz as an arranger with among others Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones and Randy Weston. And as you will see in this video, she could play. She was born Jan. 13, 1926 in Kansas City, MO. Her mom bought her a trombone at age 7. Her family moved to Los Angeles and she was classmates with Dexter Gordon. She joined Gerald Wilson's big band in 1943 and got into bebop with Gordon and Gillespie. In the 50s, she came off the road and started teaching. She still played local clubs and sessions. My Reverie is based on the Claude Debussy classical piece Reverie. Larry Clinton added lyrics and scored a hit with it in 1938. Today it's a jazz standard. Melba wrote an arrangement of Reverie for the 1956 Dizzy Gillespie album World Statesman. A couple of years later while touring Europe with her own band, Quincy Jones hired her for his band. He was living in Europe at the time. But he was about to become an executive at Mercury Records. The video clip is from a 1960 concert in Lausanne, Switzerland. The concert is out of print on DVD but it is available on CD. Melba started arranging for Randy Weston and she worked for him for 40 years. She was largely responsible for his use of African rhythms. She also worked with Milt Jackson, Clark Terry, Johnny Griffin and Ray Charles. In 1973, Melba moved to Jamaica and opened a music school. She returned to the US in 1979. A 1985 stroke left Melba unable to play the trombone. But she continued to write arrangements until her death on Apr. 23, 1999 at 73. For more on Melba Liston, check out the documentary Girls In The Band which you can stream for free on Kanopy if you have a library card. I watched it a couple of weeks ago. Here's Melba Liston with The Quincy Jones Big Band performing My Reverie in Lausanne, Switzerland May 20, 1960.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Black Eyed Peas

Artist:The Black Eyed Peas
Song:I Gotta Feeling
Album:The E.N.D.

The Black Eyed Peas had one of the best runs in recent memory. I Gotta Feeling was a huge hit in 2009. Right now they are coming back from a long hiatus. We'll see if they can return successfully. William "will.i.am" Adams and Allan "apl.de.ap" Pineda were in eighth grade in a Los Angeles high school in 1988 when they started rapping with the breakdance group Tribal Nation. When that split up, they formed the trio Atban Klann with Dante Santiago. They recorded an album for Eazy-E's Ruthless Records. But Eazy-E died in 1995 and the album was never released. The group name was changed to The Black Eyed Peas. Santiago was replaced by Jaime "Taboo" Gomez and singer Kim Hill was brought in. They signed with Interscope and released the 1998 album Behind The Front. A second singer Sierra Swan was brought in. But both singers left in 2000. Kim signed a solo deal with Interscope. Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson joined for the 2003 album Elephunk. She was in the group Wild Orchid. She brought a mainstream pop sound to The Black Eyed Peas. Also, Justin Timberlake appeared on their first top ten hit Where Is The Love?. Elephunk was certified 2XPlatinum. The 2005 album Monkey Business was certified 3XPlatinum. Don't Phunk With My Heart and My Humps were top five hits. After touring, they took a break. In the meantime, Fergie released a successful solo album. The 2009 album The E.N.D. turned out to be their most successful album. Boom Boom Pow was their first number one hit and it was immediately followed by I Gotta Feeling. So The Black Eyed Peas topped the charts for the whole summer. They went on hiatus after the 2010 album The Beginning. Adams released a solo album in 2013. The Black Eyed Peas released a new single yesterday with a new album coming. The big thing is Fergie has just released a solo album. So she is not on the new Black Eyed Peas album. They have not had success without her. Also, no matter how big a group gets, music fans have very short memories. We'll see if The Black Eyed Peas can be successful again. I have my doubts. Here's the video for I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas.