Friday, August 31, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Don & Juan

Artist:Don & Juan

Song:What's Your Name

Album:The Doo Wop Box Vol. 2

What's Your Name was a top ten hit in 1962 and the only hit for the duo known as Don & Juan. It's a one hit wonder and the best way to get a song like this is on a comp like the 4CD box set The Doo Wop Box Vol. 2. Don & Juan were Claude Johnson and Roland Trone. Johnson got his start in a Long Island doo wop group called The Genies. The group had a minor hit in 1958 with Who's That Knocking written by Johnson. The Genies split up and Johnson & Trone continued to perform while working as painters in Long Island. They were discovered by agent Peter Paul and he got them a deal with Big Top Records. That company was owned by Johnny Bienstock. Other artists on the label included Del Shannon and Johnny & The Hurricanes. Johnson & Trone called themselves Don & Juan and the Johnson penned What's Your Name reached number 7 on the pop charts in 1962. It's may be one of the last doo wop songs. Don & Juan continued to record until 1967. Trone died in 1982 and Johnson reformed Don & Juan with former Genie Alexander Faison and they tour the oldies circuit. It's amazing what one hit song can achieve. The Rhino box set The Doo Wop Box Vol. 2 is recommended. There's no video footage of Don & Juan but here's a video of the song.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Maybe Pro Wrestling SUN should just have press conferences

Someone suggested to me recently that Pro Wrestling SUN should just have press conferences and forget about the shows. I notice that the press conferences get a lot of media coverage and their shows have been spotty so they don't get the same press. SUN had another one of their press conferences on Aug. 27 to promote the Aug. 28 Nagoya & Aug. 29 Shin-kiba 1st Ring shows. Why the day before? Because Amazing Kong was in town. It was the usual stuff.

Recently former A To Z wrestler Kana announced she was returning to the ring. She announced that her first match will be in SUN. I'm not sure if she's full time. We'll find out soon enough. REM's Amazing Kong & Toshie Uematsu intrude and do their usual shtick. It was all to set up the Aug. 29 main event tag match of Nanae Takahashi & Azumi Hyuga vs Amazing Kong & Toshie Uematsu. AK made a point of making fun of Takahashi's loss to Jamie Dee. She also said she is now NWA champ and too important for SUN. Then Yumiko Hotta came in and eventually set up a match on Aug. 29 with Saki Maemura. Well, at least Hotta's not on the main event.

The Aug. 28 show was at the Nagoya-shi Sports Center. First up was a mixed tag. Saki Maemura & El Braza defeated Toshie Uematsu & Takeshi Minnamino when Maemura rolled up Minnamino at 15:42. I dunno. Maemura wins more matches with men than women. Then Tie Chie from Hustle defeated Bullfight Sora with a leghold at 12:10. Tie Chie was in a SUN mixed match a few months ago. She was an amateur wrestler at Nagoya University so I think it's her home town. Then Kyoko Kimura defeated Shuu Shibutani with a choke bomb at 13:53. Kayoko Haruyama defeated Natsuki*Taiyo with a diving guillotine leg drop at 13:47. The main event was Aja Kong & Amazing Kong over Nanae Takahashi & Hikaru. Aja used a diving elbow drop on Hikaru at 22:23. The Kongs used to be tag team champs in GAEA.

The Aug. 29 show was at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. Natsuki*taiyo defeated Shuu Shibutani with the Taiyo Bomb at 13:24. Yumiko Hotta defeated Saki Marmura with the pyramid driver at 12:24. Kyoko Kimura & Aja Kong defeated Hikaru & Atsuko Emoto when Aja used the diving elbow drop on Emoto at 20:57. Emoto must have a split personality by now. The main event had SUN actually win over REM. Nanae Takahashi & Azumi Hyuga defeated Amazing Kong & Toshie Uematsu when Takahasi used the Nanarack on Uematsu at 17:22. Naigai Times reports that Kana got involved in this match and was busted open by Uematsu. Check out the accompanying pic. So maybe they have plans for her. I'll let you know when they have their next press conference.

Hyuga retains JWP Open Weight Title

JWP had their big Korakuen Hall show on Aug. 26. The main event had Azumi Hyuga defending her JWP Open Weight Title against Amazing Kong. And there was also the JWP vs Sendai Girls series. It started with a signing ceremony for the title match. Amazing Kong went nuts as usual. The opener was the first of three JWP vs Sendai matches. There were no surprises. Tojuki Leon defeated Yurie Kaneko with a backbreaker at 9:04. Then Commando Bolshoi & Kaori Yoneyama defeated Sachiko & Chisako Kanari at 13:22 when Yoneyama used a German suplex on Sachiko. BTW, it has been announced on the Sendai Girls site that as of Sept. 8 Sachiko's new name will be Sachiko Sendai. Huh? Next Toshie Uematsu, Manami Toyota & Hailey Hatred defeated Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Kei 'to'. Uematsu pinned Abe at 13;25.

Kayoko Haruyama defeated Ran YuYu at 17:53. The problem with the third JWP vs Sendai match is JWP already won the first two so I guess it was anti-climactic. Meiko Satomura, Akari Okuda & Ayane Mizumura defeated Tsubasa Kuragaki, Aya Yuki & Arisa Nakajima when Satomura used the death valley bomb on Nakajima at 19:48. So the whole thing was very predictable. Azumi Hyuga took quite a beating from Amazing Kong during their title match. She got busted open but Hyuga did retain her JWP Open Weight Title with the Destiny's Hammer (diving knee to back of the head) at 21:57. I expected that too but those two needed to conclude their feud.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Les Paul with Mary Ford

Artist:Les Paul with Mary Ford

Song:How High The Moon

Album:The Best Of The Capitol Masters:90th Birthday Edition

Most of today's guitarists acknowledge Les Paul as a major influence, not only for his guitar playing technique but for his recording technology innovations. He was a huge star in the 50s and the great thing is he's still playing great today. He was born Lester William Polfus June 9, 1915 in Waukesha, WI. He started out playing in radio bands in Chicago in 1934. He was known as the hillbilly character Rhubarb Red but he also played jazz as Les Paul. His style was heavily influenced by Django Reinhardt. He spent several years with Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians while experimenting on his own. He recorded with his own trio for Decca in 1945 and also played on Bing Crosby's radio show. It was at this point he started experimenting with multi track recording. After recovering from a serious car accident in 1948, Paul teamed up with his singer wife Colleen Summers and renamed her Mary Ford. His 1951 version of How High The Moon was his biggest hit. The song was originally a ballad in the musical Two For The Money. Paul reinvented the song as an energetic pop song. This comp is a single CD version of the 4CD Legend And The Legacy box set. Capitol issued a 90th Birthday Edition in 2005 with a couple of bonus tracks. Les Paul has continued to record and perform. In the 70s, he had some very successful recordings with Nashville guitar legend Chet Atkins. Mary Ford died in 1977 but I recently watched a PBS documentary about Les Paul and he still sounds great today. Les Paul's innovations have made him a living legend of modern music. Here's Les Paul with Mary Ford performing How High The Moon on Omnibus in 1953.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

Artist:John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

Song:My One And Only Love

Album:The House That Trane Built:The Impulse Records Story

Of course this is from the 4CD box set chronicling the history of Impulse Records. This 1963 recording was a comeback for jazz vocalist Johnny Hartman. He was born July 3, 1923 in Chicago. In his early days he was compared with Billy Eckstine. After performing in the Army, he studied music in college and was part of bands led by Earl Hines and then Dizzy Gillespie. He recorded a couple of albums in 1956 for Bethlehem Records with trumpeter Howard McGhee but then he disappeared for a few years. The speculation was that there was a backlash against black crooners like Hartman & Eckstine by white audiences. I don't know if that's true. In 1963, Hartman became the only vocalist to ever sing with the classic John Coltrane quartet of McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Elvin Jones on drums. It's a beautiful album but it's only 30 minutes long. Hartman continued to record for Impulse. He continued to tour and record occasionally and was nominated for a Grammy for his 1980 album Once In Every Life. Johnny Hartman died on Sept. 15, 1983 at age 60. Johnny Hartman has been overlooked over the years and this recording with Coltrane is worth getting. Here's Johnny Hartman performing on TV in the 70s.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jacques Villeneuve coming to NASCAR

I don't know if the NASCAR success of Juan Pablo Montoya is opening the floodgates for open wheel drivers but we are starting to see some interest in very unlikely guys. Since he left Formula 1, Jacques Villeneuve and his manager Craig Pollock have been trying to get into NASCAR. That appears to have come true. Today, Villeneuve was testing a Craftsman Truck at Chicago for Bill Davis Racing. He will debut at the Sept. 22 Las Vegas race and Davis intends to run him in some Nextel Cup races this season and put him in a full time ride in 2008. The other guys to look at are Sam Hornish Jr. & Dario Franchitti. Hornish and car owner Roger Penske both say it's a good possibility that Hornish will race in Nextel Cup full time in 2008. Hornish will run some races after the IRL season ends. Franchitti's contract with Andretti Green Racing is up at the end of the IRL season. The speculation is if he goes anywhere, it will be to the American Le Mans Series. Franchitti hasn't rulled out NASCAR. And Patrick Carpentier got a lot of attention with his second place finish at the Montreal Busch Series race so he's got a good shot at a full time ride for next year. Congratulaions to Jacques Villeneuve.

Bodog Fight taping results

Bodog Fight held tapings in Vancouver over the weekend. There were several womens matches on the shows and all wiil be on TV in the upcoming weeks. I understand that ION is dropping Bodog in the US. I'm sure someone will pick them up. In Canada, Bodog Fight is moving to Score as of next week. So here's the results.

The big news at these tapings is the Bodog debut of the incomparable Megumi Fujii. Fujii won over the highly touted Lisa Ward with an armbar at 4:50 of round one. I understand the ref stopped the match. Other matches had Rosi Sexton defeat Julia Berezikova with an armbar at 1:39 of round two, Julie Kedzie defeated Kelly Kobold by unanimous decision, Carina Damm defeated Jessica Aguilar by unanimous decision and Molly Helsel defeated Tama Chan with a triangle choke at 3:30 of round one.

Pro Wrestling WAVE debut

Pro Wrestling WAVE had their debut show on Aug. 26 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring with 425 fans in attendance. The main point of interest for this show and for this promotion in general is the return of former JD Star Athtress Yumi Ohka after almost two years off with a serious knee injury. She made her return on last month's JD Star finale but Ohka herself admitted that this would be a real test for her. Would her knees hold up?

Let's look at the results for the rest of the show first. The Opening Wave had GAMI over Kyoko Kimura in 14:58. Rookie Wave was a fifteen minute draw between the sisters Io & Bi and Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata. Comical Wave had GAMI & The Bolshoi Kid defeat Tanny Mouse & Yuki Miyazaki. It appears that GAMI won the match over Miyazaki at 14:28 by holding her down with an open umbrella. I thought it was bad luck to open an umbrella indoors. Challenge Wave had KAORU defeat Shuu Shibutani with a splash at 13:01.

The main event was called Resurrection Wave. It's Yumi Ohka & Michiko Ohmukai against the veteran team of Toshie Uematsu & Ran YuYu. Uematsu said before the match that she planned to turn Ohka's return match into a retirement match. Ohka said she wanted to show a different side of herself in this match. Ohmukai started the match but eventually Ohka tagged in. Uematsu & Ran attacked her knee as they should. Ohka came back with a high kick and an elbow smash but Ran pinned her at 20:48 with an elbow smash. Afterwards, Ohka was relieved and very happy with the match. She posted on her blog that she has pain in both knees and underwent treatment on Monday. She knows she has to be careful but tentativeness tends to cause injury. Pro Wrestling WAVE's next show is Sept. 3 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring and they will be in Osaka on Sept. 23.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Musiq Soulchild

Artist:Musiq Soulchild



Musiq Soulchild is a very popular Philly Neo Soul artist who seems to have been revitalized by an unusual label switch. He was born Taalib Johnson Sept. 16, 1977 in Philadelphia. He was the oldest of nine children. He dropped out of high school but started performing at open mic nights in Philly clubs. He got the attention of Jerome Hipps & Michael McArthur and they took him to Kevin Liles at Def Jam Records. His 2000 debut Aijuswanaseing was very successful and Musiq wrote and produced a lot of his own songs. Musiq dropped the name Soulchild because he didn't feel he had earned the name. His next two albums were also successful. He was then involved in a trade. Kevin Liles moved to Atlantic Records so a deal was made for rapper Fabolous to go to Def Jam in exchange for Musiq Soulchild. Musiq's first CD on Atlantic Luvanmusiq has been a smash hit. He continues to write a lot of his own songs with some of the same producers he's worked with in the past. Lullaby was produced with longtime collaborator Carvin "Ransom" Haggins. He also works with guys like Raphael Saadiq & Ne-Yo. I expect more of the same from him in the future. Here's the video for Teachme by Musiq Soulchild.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Paul Simon

Artist:Paul Simon

Song:Mother And Child Reunion

Album:The Essential Paul Simon

Paul Simon was already famous when Mother And Child Reunion was a hit in 1972. It marked the end of his partnership with Art Garfunkel and he also switched from Columbia to Warner Bros. It built him a good foundation for his future records such as Graceland. There are several Simon comps available including a 3CD box set. This 2CD Essential Paul Simon was released in June. It seems to cover only his solo recordings on Warner Bros. and includes material he has recorded since Graceland including his 2006 CD Surprise. It is also available with a bonus DVD with all the music videos from Graceland and performances from Saturday Night Live and The Dick Cavett Show. The main difference between this and the Paul Simon 1964-1993 box set is the box set has Simon & Garfunkel songs and this doesn't. I couldn't find a video of Paul Simon performing Mother And Child Reunion so here he is performing Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard on MTV Unplugged 1992.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Lee Morgan

Artist:Lee Morgan

Song:Just By Myself

Album:City Lights

Lee Morgan was yet another great musician who served his apprenticeship with Art Blakey while making his own great music. Unfortunately, he died tragically in the 70s. He was born July 10, 1938 in Philadelphia. He took up the trumpet at an early age and was performing professionally at age 15. When Clifford Brown died in 1956, the search was on for his successor. Morgan joined Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers and signed a solo contract with Blue Note in Nov. 1956. City Lights was released in 1957. It has a 19 year old Morgan jamming with veterans like Curtis Fuller on trombone, George Coleman on sax, Ray Bryant on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Art Taylor on drums. Benny Golson was the arranger and wrote most of the songs including Just By Myself. For years City Lights was only available in Japan but Blue Note released it on CD last year as part of the Rudy Van Gelder Remaster series. Lee Morgan continued to play with Art Blakey and became one of the top trumpeters of the 60s. On Feb. 19, 1972, Morgan was performing at the New York club Slugs when he was shot and killed by his common law wife Helen More. It was certainly a great loss for the jazz community. Here's Lee Morgan performing I Remember Clifford with Art Blakey in 1958.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fuuka's Smackgirl opponent named

Smackgirl has announced a couple more matches for their Sept. 6 Korakuen Hall show. Of course the main event will have Yuka Tsuji against Brazilian Anna Michele Tavares who is the only fighter to defeat Tsuji. There will also be the finals of the 2007 Next Cinderella tournaments and the final for the Killer Queen grappling tournament. There willalso be two title matches. Hitomi Akano will defend her Smackgirl Middlewight Title against Takayo Hashi and Yoko Takahashi will defend her Smackgirl Open Weight Title against HIROKO.

Smackgirl announced a while back that Fuuka will appear on this show. Of course pro wrestling fans are familiar with Fuuka from her days in the now defunct JD Star. She is currently launching her own wrestling promotion Fuukamats. Her MMA record is 0-1. Her opponent is Emi Fujino. Fujino is 5-0. Her last win was over Anna Saito at the May 27 K-Grace show. Also added to this show is Korean Seo Hui Han. She is the fighter that upset Hisae Watanabe in Feb. Her opponent is veteran fighter Masako Yoshida. Also, a couple of fans asked me if the fighter Emi Tomimatsu appearing in the final of the Lightweight Next Cinderella tournament is the former JD Star wrestler. Yes, it is her. She started with G-Shooto last Oct. and her MMA record is 2-2. Smackgirl also announced that they are taking applications for their annual grappling tournament. That will be on Sept. 24 at Kitazawa Town Hall. The accompanying pic of Fuuka is from an autograph session she did today.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Flamingos

Artist:The Flamingos

Song:I Only Have Eyes For You

Album:The Doo Wop Box

The Flamingos were one of the most popular groups of the 50s and were very influential on R & B music that followed. The group was formed in Chicago in 1950 by cousins Jake & Zeke Carey along with Paul Wilson, Johnny Carter and lead singer Earl Lewis. They were originally called The Swallows abut eventually settled on The Flamingos. Lewis was replaced by Sollie McElroy and The Flamingos had some success with the Carter song Golden Teardrops in 1953. By the mid 50s, they were probably the first group to have choreographed dance routines. They also signed with Checker in 1956 after recording for several smaller labels. By this time, Nate Nelson had replaced McElroy. The Zeke Carey & Carter were called up for military duty in 1956 and were replaced by Tommy Hunt & Terry Johnson. When Carter returned, he would join The Dells. The Flamingos signed with End Records and this 1959 version of the Warren/Dubin standard I Only Have Eyes For You was their biggest chart hit featuring a great lead vocal by Nate Nelson. This 4CD Doo Wop Box is essential for doo wop fans. They would continue to have success in the early 60s until of course the group eventually splintered. The Flamingos continued to exist in some form led by the Carey cousins and when Jake Carey died in 1996, his son JC Carey took over the group. The Flamingos were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2001. Here's what appears to be an early 70s version of The Flamingos performing I Only Have Eyes For You. They're obviously lip synching to the original.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Sounds Of Blackness

Artist:Sounds Of Blackness

Song:I Believe

Album:Africa To America:The Journey Of The Drum

Sounds Of Blackness is a gospel choir from St. Paul, MN that had mainstream crossover success in the early 90s. Like a lot of choirs, they started out as a community choir in the 70s led by musical director Gary Hines. For years they played gigs in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. In 1989, producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis brought Janet Jackson to one of their concerts. She was so enthusiastic that Jam & Lewis immediately signed them to their Perspective/A & M label. So SOB could keep their gospel sound and benefit from the support of a mainstream record label. Their 1991 debut The Evolution Of Gospel did very well on the R & B charts and three singles charted too. All featured the fabulous Ann Nesby on lead vocals. They continued to have success and this 1994 single I Believe did well on the R & B charts. Africa To America was SOB's final CD with Jam & Lewis and Ann Nesby left to go solo in 1996. They're still around but don't record for major labels anymore. They have a new CD out in a couple of weeks. Here's the video for I Believe by Sounds Of Blackness.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

JWP wrestlers on the Sendai war

I think you'll enjoy this video clip of JWP wrestlers talking about the war against Sendai Girls on the Aug. 26 Korakuen Hall show. I don't understand them either. It's just fun to watch. The clip is courtesy of Nikkan Sports.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-James Moody

Artist:James Moody

Song:That Old Black Magic

Album:Young At Heart

Versatile sax player James Moody has been around since the late 40s and he's still around today. He was born Mar. 26, 1925 in Savannah, GA and grew up in New Jersey. After serving in the Air Force, he joined Dizzy Gillespie's band in 1946 and has been associated with Gillespie for a good part of his career. Like Gillespie, he likes to sing and is best known for his reworking of I'm In The Mood For Love known as Moody's Mood For Love. It was a best seller for King Pleasure. Moody plays all different saxes and flute. He would occasionally lead his own band but always returned to Gillespie afterwards. He also worked in Las Vegas show bands in the 70s. The 1996 CD Young At Heart is a tribute to Frank Sinatra. That Old Black Magic is with a smaller band including Mulgrew Miller on piano, Todd Coolman on bass and Billy Drummond on drums but he also plays with an orchestra. Gil Goldstein is the producer/arranger. James Moody still tours today. His most recent CD is 2004's Homage on Savoy Jazz. Here's James Moody with guitarist Jack Petersen in 1989.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Steely Dan

Artist:Steely Dan

Song:Black Cow


The concept of Steely Dan was a rock group for jazz fans. That's because group leaders Walter Becker & Donald Fagen are jazz fans. They originally started Steely Dan with guitarist Denny Diaz as a regular touring rock group. They had a lot of success. But by the time Becker & Fagen were recording the 1977 album Aja, they weren't touring anymore and were using mostly studio musicians on recordings. It didn't seem to matter as Aja is a classic and Black Cow is one of their most memorable songs. Supposedly the song is about Thelonious Monk. I guess this Gold comp is OK for beginners but Universal has yet to release a decent single CD Steely Dan comp. Last year's Definitive Collection isn't much better than Gold. Becker & Fagen had some solo success after splitting up in the early 80s but they reformed Steely Dan and continue to tour and record today. Here's a clip of Walter Becker & Donald Fagen discussing the recording of Black Cow on the Classic Albums show.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

OZ Academy announces mixed tag team tournament

Here's something we haven't seen in the joshi business for a long time. OZ Academy announced in association with Osaka Pro a one day mixed tag team tournament Sept. 17 at Shinjuku FACE. I don't think there has been a tournament like this since the P-MIX tournament several years ago. There will be a total of eight teams. The preliminary rounds will be in the afternoon and the semi finals and finals will be in the evening. The usual OZ Academy crew will participate including Mayumi Ozaki, Aja Kong, Carlos Amano, Chikayo Nagashima, AKINO, Sonoko Kato, Dynamite Kansai with special guest The Bolshoi Kid. The Osaka Pro wrestlers will include Billy Ken Kid, Asian Cougar, Condor and other guys I'm not familiar with. The teams will be announced later. OZ has been using men on their shows regularly so I'm not particularly surprised.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Stevie Wonder

Artist:Stevie Wonder

Song:Sir Duke

Album:Songs In The Key Of Life

In retrospect, the 1976 album Songs In The Key Of Life anticipated Stevie Wonder's descent into self indulgence and mediocrity. When he turned 21, Stevie took control of his music. And his early 70s records were very successful. After 1974's Fullfillingness First Finale, he secluded himself in his studio and after several delays emerged with Songs In The Key Of Life. It was released as a 2LP set with a bonus single. There's some fabulous music on it including this tribute to the recently deceased Duke Ellington. Take special note of Nathan Watts' bassline on Sir Duke. Sir Duke went to the top of the R & B and pop charts in 1977. The album was a huge success. But the album was probably too long and when Stevie lost his groove in the 80s, it became clear that Songs In The Key Of Life was the beginning of his decline. It's still a great album. Stevie Wonder recorded sporadically in the 90s and his 2005 CD A Time To Love was his first recording in a decade. Here's Stevie Wonder performing Sir Duke. It's not vintage but still pretty good.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ohmuro wins at GCM Demolition show

Women MMA fighters made their very first appearance on a GCM Demolition show at the Aug. 19 Differ Ariake show. GCM closed their womens fed Cross Section last year. It was veteran fighter Naoko Ohmuro vs the undefeated Fukuko Hamada. The weight class was 46kg. The match was scheduled for two five minute rounds and it was regular MMA rules.

Fukuko Hamada leads with a kick but Naoko Ohmuro takes her down. After a break, Ohmuro lands a punch and then pounds Hamada on the ground. Ohmuro mounts her. Hamada tries to resist but Ohmuro is clearly in control when the first round ends. Ohmuro nails Hamada again at the start of round two. Hamada is swelling around the eyes and the doctor checks her out. They exchange blows at the restart but then Ohmuro takes Hamada down, mounts her and hooks an armbar to win the match at 2:18 of round two. It's Hamada's first loss she's 4-1. Ohmuro is now 8-5-1.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Miles Davis

Artist:Miles Davis

Song:Well You Needn't

Album: Miles Davis Vol. 1

This is a look at lesser known Miles Davis recordings from the early 50s that helped to shape what followed. Miles Davis first attracted attention with his 1949 Birth Of The Cool recordings for Capitol. He started recording for Prestige in the early 50s but he also recorded for Blue Note. These were barely released at the time but are now widely available on CD. Miles was addicted to heroin at the time and though he did kick the habit by the mid 50s, it did curtail his activities. Miles Davis Vol. 1 consists of two sessions from 1952 and 1954. Well You Needn't is from the 1954 session. Musicians are Horace Silver on piano, Percy Heath on bass and Art Blakey on drums. So yeah, it's kind of like a Jazz Messengers recording but with Miles on trumpet. The CD release includes three alternate takes from the 1952 session. Though these recordings are lesser known, jazz fans will enjoy them. Obviously there is no Miles Davis video footage from this period but I'm sure you'll enjoy this video of So What from 1959.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

OZ Academy's Plum Mariko Tribute show

It's been ten years since the in ring death of JWP wrestler Plum Mariko. Mayumi Ozaki worked at JWP and the Aug. 16 Korakuen Hall show was in tribute to Plum Mariko. Before the start of the show, there was a photo of Plum placed inside the ring surrounded by a wreath. Wrestlers and fans placed flowers in the ring in tribute. There was a ten count and also a 25 bell salute because Plum died at 25. On to the show with the return of Sugar Satoh and D-Fix.

The opener had JWP owner Commando Bolshoi against former JWP wrestler Carlos Amano. It was a two count fall match. Both wrestlers knew Plum well and did some of her moves. Amano won at 14:55. Next was an OZ Men's match with Daisuke Sekimoto over this new guy from Pancrase with a German suplex at 10:19. Next was a mixed match with AKINO & Suzuki over Dynamite Kansai & El Braza. AKINO over Kansai with a hurricanrana at 18:02.

Next was the reuniting of D-Fix. It was Mayumi Ozaki & KAORU vs Toshie Uematsu & Ran YuYu. Mika Nishio accompanied D-Fix and guess who else was there. It was the return of Police. I guess all is forgiven. They were fighting for something called the Red Rose Cup. Appropriately, Ran was busted open and was as red as the cup. The crowd went nuts for that heat magnet Police and Ozaki won over Ran at 21:17. Then the return of Sugar Satoh teaming with Chikayo Nagashima vs Meiko Satomura & Sonoko Kato. Apparently Satoh didn't do much in the match and Nagashima won over Kato with the STO at 16:28. I understand this may be a one shot for Satoh. We'll see.

The main event had Aja Kong defending the Wizard Of OZ Title against Sendai Girls trainee Akari Okuda. Okuda threw everything she had at Aja to no avail and Aja won easily. Appropriately, she used Plum Mariko's Stretch Plum finisher to make Okuda submit at 15:16. Afterwards, all the wrestlers came to the ring and it was announced that there will be a tournament to determine the next challenger for Aja's belt. That tournament will begin at the Oct. 8 Osaka show.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Mary Wells

Artist:Mary Wells

Song:When I'm Gone

Album:The Ultimate Collection

For a short period of time, Mary Wells was Motown's biggest star. But she left Motown in 1964 and was never able to recreate her success elsewhere. She was born May 13, 1943 in Detroit. The 17 year old Mary signed with Motown in 1961 while attempting to sell a song to Berry Gordy. She worked with all the producers at Motown but had her biggest success with Smokey Robinson. 1964's My Guy was her biggest hit. When I'm Gone wasn't as big but is still very memorable. This Ultimate Collection comp has everything you could want. Mary Wells left Motown in 1964 when 20th Century Fox gave her a big advance and the promise of movie roles. The movie roles never happened and she wasn't as successful without Robinson. Her attempted comebacks in the 70s with husband Cecil Womack were unsuccessful too. Mary Wells continued to tour the oldies circuit until her death from throat cancer on July 26, 1992 at age 49. Here's Mary Wells performing My Guy on Shindig in 1964.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Marvin Gaye

Artist:Marvin Gaye

Song:Can I Get A Witness

Album:The Very Best Of Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye idolized Sam Cooke so it's not surprising that a lot of his early music was very similar to Cooke. Can I Get A Witness is a 1963 hit that takes gospel influences and themes and turns them into a pop song. Gaye was still figuring out his musical style and this Holland/Dozier/Holland classic helped establish that. Can I Get A Witness was a top 30 pop hit. Gaye was still a little conflicted. He wanted to be an R & B crooner but was under pressure from Berry Gordy to produce chart hits. He would stumble a bit after this but by 1965 was producing fabulous songs and chart hits. This 2CD comp is actually pretty good for beginners. It covers some of his earliest hits and later songs like Sexual Healing. Motown has released plenty of Marvin Gaye comps so take your pick. Here's Marvin Gaye performing Can I Get A Witness & Hitchhike on Hullabaloo in 1963.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Lineup for Aug. 26 Pro Wrestling WAVE debut

Pro Wrestling WAVE held a press conference Friday to announce the full card for their Aug. 26 debut show at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. The already announced main event will be Yumi Ohka & Michiko Ohmukai vs Toshie Uematsu & Ran YuYu. As GAMI said at their initial press conference, the company plans to tell you what kind of match you will see in advance. So this match is titled Main Event-Resurrection WAVE. So the descriptions are basic. I guess they want fans to get used to it.

The opener is called Opening WAVE and will have Kyoko Kimura vs GAMI. A couple of days ago, the company announced on their website that KAORU will appear on the show. She will be in a match titled Challenge WAVE against Shuu Shibutani. I guess the young wrestler is challenging the veteran. Then it's rookie WAVE with the sisters Io & Bi vs Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata. And of course there has to be Comical WAVE with Tanny Mouse & Yuki Miyazaki (NEO Machine Gunz) vs GAMI & either Commando Bolshoi or the Bolshoi Kid. They haven't decided. Except for the opener and the main event, the match order will be decided on the day of the show. WAVE will announce the card for the Sept. 3 Osaka show next week. As I said previously, other than finding a new money mark, I don't see these shows as being much different from the shows GAMI produced as THE WOMAN. That's a problem.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Beach Boys

Artist:The Beach Boys

Song:God Only Knows

Album:Made In U.S.A.

By the time Pet Sounds was released in 1966, Brian Wilson had come off the road and was secluded in his home studio. Though God Only Knows wasn't a big hit at the time, it's turned out to be one of Brian's most enduring songs. Brian originally sang lead on the demo version. And that's the version you hear on this video clip. But Brian decided that brother Carl's falsetto was more suitable and Carl sang lead on the released version. You can get the demo version on the Pet Sounds box set. It's a good example of the kind of complicated vocal arrangements Brian Wilson was interested in at the time. This Made In U.S.A. comp was released by Capitol in 1986 to commemorate The Beach Boys 25th anniversary. It's just one of many Beach Boys comps that are available. Here's a video of The Beach Boys singing God Only Knows.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Full lineup for Aug. 26 JWP show

JWP has announced the full lineup for their Aug. 26 Korakuen Hall show. The already announced main event will have Azumi Hyuga defending her JWP Open Weight Title against Amazing Kong. The JWP vs Sendai girls battle appears to be a best of three matches. Round one will be Tojuki Leon vs Yurie Kaneko. Round two will be Commando Bolshoi & Kaori Yoneyama vs Sachiko & Chisako Kanari. This will be followed by a six girl tag match with Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Kei'to' vs Toshie Uematsu, Manami Toyota & Hailey Hatred. Then a singles match with Kyoko Haruyama vs Ran YuYu. Round three of the JWP vs Sendai Girls battle will have Tsubasa Kuragaki, Arisa Nakajima & ASKA Ohki vs Meiko Satomura, Akari Okuda & Ayane Mizumura. In related news, Livedoor Sports reports that on the Sept. 8 Zepp Sendai show, Sendai Girls will give new ring names to all five trainees. Huh?

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Charles Mingus

Artist:Charles Mingus

Song:GG Train

Album:Mingus Ah Um

Legendary bass player Charles Mingus was one of the most talented yet enigmatic figures in jazz history. On one hand, his music reflected his upbringing in the racial jungle in the Watts area of Los Angeles. On the other hand, his music also reflected a deep respect for the black church and his idol Duke Ellington. In the mid 50s, Mingus had formed his Jazz Workshop collective and signed a recording contract with Columbia. Mingus Ah Um was his Columbia debut in 1959. It's probably a good starting point for beginners as it's more accessible but still satisfying for jazz fans. Musicians are John Handy, Shafi Hadi & Booker Ervin on sax, Jimmy Knepper & Willie Dennis on trombone, Horace Parlan on piano and Dannie Richmond on drums. Columbia released a remastered version on CD in 1999 with three bonus tracks and four tracks issued in unedited form for the first time. Of course there's a lot more to Charles Mingus' music but this is a good place to start. Here's Charles Mingus performing I'll Remember April July 1960.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Allman Brothers Band

Artist:The Allman Brothers Band

Song:Whipping Post

Album:20th Century Masters:The Millenium Collection:The Best Of The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band had potential to be one of the greatest rock bands in history. Unfortunately the tragic death of lead guitarist Duane Allman and then bassist Berry Oakley changed the direction of the group. At their best, the Allman Bros. mixed southern rock with other musical elements that influenced other bands. The base of the group were guitarist Duane Allman and his pianist/singer brother Gregg Allman along with Dicky Betts on guitar, Berry Oakley on bass and Butch Trucks & Johnny Lee Johnson on drums. The Allman brothers are from Macon, GA. Duane was a session guitarist in Muscle Shoals and was starting to get a reputation for his musicianship. In 1969, Otis Redding's former manager Phil Walden convinced Duane to give up sessions and form his own band. Walden started Capricorn Records and signed them. Whipping Post is from their 1969 debut and quickly became one of their most popular songs. They usually performed an extended version of the song live and a 22 minute version of Whipping Post is on the essential Live At Fillmore East. This budget comp is pretty good for beginners. It has the group's biggest hits. Sadly Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in Oct. 1971 and Berry Oakley died soon after. The Allman Brothers Band continued to be popular but Duane's fire was sorely missed. Neither Gregg or Dicky Betts had that and the group became a more traditional country rock band. At their best, the Allman Brothers Band were a fantastic band. Here they are performing Whipping Post in 1970.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Temptations

Artist:The Temptations

Song:Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

Album:Motown Legends:Just My Imagination

Beauty Is only Skin Deep is just one of a long series of hits by the legendary Temptations. Motown producers Norman Whitfield & Eddie Holland had already written the smash Ain't To Proud To Beg so they came back with this song. Holland was a great singer in his own right. He sounded like Jackie Wilson. So he knew how to get the best out of even someone as temperamental as David Ruffin. Ruffin delivers a great lead vocal. Beauty Is Only Skin Deep topped the R & B charts for five weeks and reached #3 on the pop charts in August 1966. It originally appeared on the 1966 Greatest Hits Vol. 1 comp. There are obviously tons of Temptations comps available. This Motown Legends comp is part of a series but I think The Ultimate Collection gives a more complete picture. Check out The Temptaions performing Beauty Is only Skin Deep in 1966.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Jimi Hendrix

Artist:Jimi Hendrix


Album:Experience Hendrix:The Best Of Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was so good for the few years he was around that even a throwaway song like Fire still holds up well today. It's obviously not even the strongest song on the 1967 Are You Experienced album with Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. Hendrix has one of his great trademark solos here. This Experience Hendrix comp is probably the best one disc comp available and a good introduction to beginners. There's so much Hendrix on CD and a lot of it isn't compiled very well. It's difficult to know what to get. Start with this. Jimi Hendrix is the place to start if you want to learn about rock guitarists. Here's Jimi Hendrix performing Fire at Woodstock.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Ella Fitzgerald

Artist:Ella Fitzgerald


Album:First Lady Of Song

Because Ella Fitzgerald was so famous, people tend to forget that given the opportunity, she could jam with her voice better than most fellow musicians could jam with their instruments. And most guys knew that and that's why they loved working with her. This version of Perdido illustrates that. This 3CD box set First Lady Of Song covers Ella's recordings on Verve from 1949-66. Perdido is from one of Norman Granz' Jazz At The Philharmonic all star bands. This was recorded in Tokyo Nov. 1953. You can get these recordings on a 2CD set called J.A.T.P. In Tokyo. It really is an all star band. You have Ella Fitzgerald on vocals, Roy Eldridge & Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Bill Harris on trombone, Willie Smith & Benny Carter on alto sax, Ben Webster & Flip Phillips on tenor sax, Oscar Peterson on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and J.C. Heard on drums. Though Perdido is the first track on First Lady Of Song, it was actually the closing number in the J.A.T.P. concert. It doesn't get much better than this. Here's Ella Fitzgerald performing Angel Eyes in 1957.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Mandisa


Song:Only The World

Album:True Beauty

I'm sure it won't surprise most when I say I don't care for American Idol mainly because it's a popularity contest. Even the producers of the show get annoyed about that. But occasionally a decent singer emerges from the wreckage. Mandisa was on American Idol and has an opportunity to make inroads in the Christian market. She was born Mandisa Lynn Hundley Oct. 2, 1976 in Citrus Heights, CA. She earned a bachelor's degree in music at Fisk University in Tennessee and worked the Christian background vocal circuit in Nashville before Idol. There were two things that sealed her fate on Idol. She's heavy and she made anti-gay comments when she performed Mary Mary's Shackles on the show. A lot of Idol contestants sign with the production company's label but Mandisa has signed with EMI owned Sparrow Records. That's their Contemporary Christian label and they also have EMI Gospel. So it's pretty clear how the record company plans to sell her. Only The World was her first single and it did pretty well on the Billboard chart for a CCM song. The song was written & produced by Sam Mizell of the CCM group 33Miles. She also works a lot with veteran CCM producer Shaun Shankel. Her CD True Beauty was released on July 31. She has potential in the CCM & gospel market. This song sounds good but they may be trying too hard to turn her into a pop star. Here's Mandisa performing Only The World on Regis & Kelly.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Daryl Coley

Artist:Daryl Coley

Song:When Sunday Comes

Album:Compositions:A Decade Of Songs

Daryl Coley is a gospel singer and he had some success in the 90s. He was born in Berkeley, CA and grew up in Oakland. He grew up playing piano in church and naturally gravitated to the Hawkins family. He joined The Edwin Hawkins Singers as a keyboard player in 1977. Coley worked for James Cleveland as an arranger in 1983. He signed with Sparrow Records in 1990. He had some success in the gospel market until he went to Verity in 2000. His most recent CD is the live recording Praise & Worship in 2006. This comp was released by Sparrow after he left for Verity. When Sunday Comes is an excellent song that is actually from the CD Bible Stories by Donald Lawrence & The Tri City Singers. Coley gives a great performance. Daryl Coley is someone who probably needs to update his sound to get back on the gospel charts. But he might be happy with his fanbase and may not do that. Here's Daryl Coley with Donald Lawrence & The Tri City Singers performing When Sunday Comes in 1995.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Lineup for Aug. 28 & 29 SUN shows

Pro Wrestling SUN held a press conference Thursday to announce the lineups for the two shows at the end of August. I guess it would be more accurate to describe it as a post mortem. The four of them sat there and talked about getting clobbered on Sunday's show. Nanae Takahashi said she didn't see Jamie Dee coming but she's looking to the future, without the title of course. The others had similar remarks. SUN President Nakamura posted on the SUN blog that the girls had to travel from a Saturday Zero-One Max show in Tohoku and may not have been at their best. Uh huh.

There will be no Jamie Dee on either of these shows but Amazing Kong will be there. The first show is Aug. 28 at the Nakaku Sportscenter in Nagoya City. The main event will be Nanae Takahashi & Hikaru vs Aja Kong & Amazing Kong. Also announced was Shuu Shibutani vs Kyoko Kimura and Kayoko Haruyama vs Natsuki*Taiyo. The Aug. 29 show will be at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. The main event is a SUN vs REM tag match. REM will e represented by Toshie Uematsu & Amazing Kong. I assume Nanae Takahashi is one of the opponents but it appears Nakamura forgot to fill that in properly. It's not the first time. Other matches include Hikaru & Atsuko Emoto vs Aja Kong & Kyoko Kimura, Saki Maemura vs Azumi Hyuga and Yumiko Hotta vs Shuu Shibutani. I wonder if Hyuga will get involved in the main event. I'm sure all will be revealed at a future press conference.

Women to debut on Aug. 19 GCM show

We're seeing more of the men's MMA companies in Japan adding women to their shows. Obviously they can see that DEEP is getting great results with very entertaining fights. GCM Demolition will have a womens match for the very first time on their Aug. 19 Differ Ariake show. GCM used to have a womens promotion Cross Section but it closed a couple of years ago. It will be Naoko Ohmuro (pictured in pink) vs Fukuko Hamada. Both are Smackgirl veterans. Ohmuro's record is 7-5-1 and her last fight was a loss to Mai on the May 19 Smackgirl show. She has lost to Hisae Watanabe & Satoko Shinashi twice each. Hamada is 4-0 and her last win was over Akemi Morihara at the Apr. 28 Smackgirl show.

Smackgirl has added two Next Cinderella Tournament finals to their Sept. 6 Korakuen Hall show. Maho Muranami & Madoka Ebihara will fight in the finals of the Flyweight tournament and V1 & Emi Tomimatsu will fight in the Lightweight tournament. Of course the main event has Yuka Tsuji defending her Smackgirl Lightweight Championship against Michele Tavares.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs

Artist:Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs


Album:Dirty Dancing

In retrospect, the one thing the Dirty Dancing soundtrack was good for was resurrecting interest in long forgotten oldies. And this was one of the shortest chart hits ever. Maurice Williams was born Apr. 26, 1938 in Lancaster, SC. He grew up singing in church and formed the doo wop group The Royal Charms in 1953. His big break came in 1956 when Nashville DJ Ernie Young, also owner of Excello Records, liked Williams' song Little Darlin'. This song would eventually be a huge hit for The Diamonds though Williams originally recorded it as The Gladiolas. That made Williams a lot of money as Young didn't try to rip him off. Williams decided not to re-sign with Excello and eventually sent a demo of the song Stay to Al Silver of Herald Records. The song was recorded and was a #1 hit in 1960. Subsequently Williams never matched that success but Stay has been covered by many artists over the years and the 1987 Dirty Dancing soundtrack sold it to a new generation. Stay turns up on a lot of various artists comps. Maurice Williams continues to tour the oldies circuit today and here he is singing Stay on one of those PBS doo wop specials.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Arturo Sandoval

Artist:Arturo Sandoval


Album:I Remember Clifford

Cuban music has amassed a significant following in North America over the last decade. Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of Cuba's best jazz musicians. He was born Nov. 6, 1949 in Artemisa, Cuba. He took up classical trumpet at age 12. In the 70s he formed the legendary jazz group Irakere with Paquito D'Rivera & Chucho Valdes. Sandoval met Dizzy Gillespie in 1977. Gillespie became his mentor and took Sandoval on tour with the United Nations Orchestra. Sandoval left Irakere in 1981 and like D'Rivera & Valdes, defected to the US in 1990 and settled in Florida. He recorded several CDs on GRP Records including this 1992 tribute to Clifford Brown. Sandoval is best when he plays straight ahead jazz and that's what he does on this. Musicians are Kenny Kirkland on piano, Charnett Moffett on bass, Kenny Washington on drums and Ernie Watts on sax. Andy Garcia played Sandoval in the 2000 HBO biopic For Love Or Country and of course Sandoval scored the film. His most recent CD on Telarc Records titled Rumba Palace was released in May. Arturo Sandoval is an excellent trumpeter and he's worth checking out. Here's Arturo Sandoval performing Cherokee with Randy Brecker, Chuck Findlay, Byron Stripling and the GRP All Star Big Band in 1992.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Noriyo Tateno injured

LLPW announced today that veteran wrestler Noriyo Tateno has been hospitalized with abdominal bleeding and will not be on the Aug. 11 Shirakawa show. Tateno was taken to the hospital after her match on the July 29 Kobe University show. LLPW will have their 15th anniversary show on Aug. 31 at Korakuen Hall. It isn't known yet if Tateno will be back for that show. Of course long time fans know Tateno as one half of the legendary 80s tag team Jumping Bomb Angels. She has worked for LLPW since 1994. Matches scheduled for the Aug. 11 show are Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito vs Eiger & Sayuri Okino, Takako Inoue & Jaguar Yokota vs Yumiko Hotta & Arisa Nakajima, Obacchi Iizuka vs Kaori Yoneyama, Ayako Sato vs Tomoko Morii and Francoise vs Bolshoi Kid.

Kyle Busch to Joe Gibbs Racing

Nothing's been officially announced yet but Associated Press reported yesterday that Kyle Busch (pictured) will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Nothing can be kept secret anymore and this answers the major question of the NASCAR Silly Season. Kyle will drive the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota. Current driver JJ Yeley is reported to be going to Wood Brothers JTG Racing to drive the #21 Ford currently driven by Bill Elliott. It's well known that JGR isn't happy with Yeley. Toyota? That's the other rumour. Supposedly JGR will switch from Chevy to Toyota next season. Meanwhile Marty Gaunt has left as manager of Red Bull Racing and they may switch from Toyota to Chevy. I don't know when Kyle's move will be announced but it doesn't matter. We all know anyway.

The other big announcement yesterday is the partnership between Ray Evernham & George Gillett Jr. is now official. The company is now called Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Gillett owns the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL. The deal is very similar to the partnership formed earlier this year by Jack Roush & John Henry of the Boston Red Sox. There is speculation that Dodge is willing to give up the primary sponsorship of the #9 & #19 and Budweiser wants to sponsor Kasey Kahne. And Evernham announced today that Patrick Carpentier will replace Scott Riggs in the #10 at this Sunday's race at the Watkins Glen road course. So it appears that Carpentier's performance in the Montreal Busch Series race could get him significant NASCAR seat time.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Muddy Waters

Artist:Muddy Waters

Song:Mannish Boy

Album:The Chess Box

If you're going to talk about Chicago Blues, you're going to have to start with Muddy Waters. He was born McKinley Morganfield Apr. 4, 1915 in Rolling Fork, MS. He was discovered in 1941 on one of musicologist Alan Lomax's trips to the Misissippi Delta and moved to Chicago in 1943. With his band The Headhunters, he was probably the top blues artist in Chicago in the 50s. This 3CD Chess Box covers his recordings from 1947-72. 1955's Mannish Boy is one of Waters' best and was based on Willie Dixon's Hoochie Coochie Man. It was an answer to Bo Diddley's I'm A Man. Musicians are Little Walter on harmonica, Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Otis Spann on piano, Big Crawford on bass and Elgin Evans on drums. Waters plays slide guitar and growls out the vocals. Mannish Boy is a standard that has been covered by many rock acts. Like a lot of blues artists, Muddy Waters faded in the late 60s but returned stronger than ever in the late 70s until his death on Apr. 30, 1983 at age 68. Muddy Waters was one of the all time greats of modern music. Here's Muddy Waters performing Mannish Boy in Chicago in 1981.

Monday, August 06, 2007

MIKU wins DEEP Lightweight Title

DEEP's Aug. 4 Korakuen Hall show drew 1983 fans. Hisae Watanabe defended her DEEP Lightweight Title against MIKU in the semi main event. Watanabe's reputation over the last couple of years has been that she has tremendous striking power but vulnerable on the ground. The loss to the Korean in February damaged her reputation to the point that this match was a must win. She has to do more than look good. So that was the setup for this fight. And MIKU has a chance to make a name for herself.

The bout was scheduled for two five minute rounds. MIKU throws a straight right when the bell rings and then takes Watanabe down. Watanabe seems perplexed. MIKU hits a combination and takes Watanabe down again. She mounts Watanabe from the side but Watanabe avoids MIKU's sleeper attempt. MIKU ends the round with more strikes. Striking is supposed to be Watanabe's forte but she's getting beaten in her own game. This continues in round two. MIKU counters a Watanabe high kick with a straight right. She takes her down and mounts her again. Watanabe is unable to escape but MIKU can't finish her off either. MIKU wins the DEEP Lightweight Title by unanimous decision. She said afterwards her strategy was to be aggressive with a fighter known for her aggression. It worked. Will Watanabe get a rematch? I suspect she'll get one more chance.

Michiko Ohmukai announces retirement

The Ladies Ring Festival was Aug. 4 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring with 380 fans in attendance. This was to promote the publication of the joshi puroresu magazine Ladies Ring. The big news is that Michiko Ohmukai announced she will retire on Dec. 9. She will marry a musician named Mr. M the day before her retirement. She says he's the first man she's ever loved more than wrestling. Ohmukai had her 15th anniversary show last January. There were rumours of her retirement a couple of years ago. Ohmukai trained in LLPW but is probably best remembered for her days in ARSION. In recent years she almost seemed like she was sleepwalking through matches but she was a very good performer in her better days.

Another announcement was that retired A To Z wrestler Kana announced her return to joshi. She retired due to sickness in Mar. 2006. She has a real job as a graphic designer. She says she hopes to return in a couple of months. The show itself had an overabundance of silliness. Fuuka defeated Io & Bi in a sumo match in three seconds. Then they had some sort of death match between Kyoko Kimura & Bullfight Sora. It was played for laughs as the two had a milk drinking contest before the match. Kimura won the match.

There was a Battle Princess battle royal. Hanako Kobayashi won over Misaki Ohata with a Fisherman suplex at 13:43. Others in the match included. ASKA Ohki, Francoise, Aya Yuki, Nagisa Nozaki, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Ayako Sato, Makoto, Cherry, Io & Bi. Then there was a tag match determined by fan voting. Michiko Ohmukai & Yuu Yamagata defeated Sachie Abe & Toshie Uematsu when Ohmukai used a B3 Bomb on Abe. The main event was Azumi Hyuga, Fuuka & Arisa Nakajima over Yoshiko Tamura, Shuu Shibutani & Aoi Kizuki when Hyuga used the Michinoku Driver on Shibutani at 24:08.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Dion


Song:Runaround Sue

Album:Runaround Sue

By the time Runaround Sue came out in 1961, the teen idol look became important in selling music to kids. But Dion DiMucci came by his music honestly on streetcorners in the Bronx. He was born July 19, 1938 in New York City. Like a lot of doo wop groups, Dion & The Belmonts got their start singing on streetcorners. The group was signed by Laurie Records and Teenager In Love was a big hit in 1959. Dion went solo in 1960. This was fueled by the stardom of teen idols like the very untalented Fabian and Dion had the teen idol look. Runaround Sue was a number one pop hit in 1961. Dion wrote the song and it wasn't much different from any of his Belmonts songs. The album Runaround Sue has been released on CD by Collectibles. He had a couple more hits on Laurie and then moved to Columbia. He had a hit with Ruby Baby in 1964 but things went downhill from there. He got hooked on heroin. He kicked the habit and reinvented himself as an earnest singer songwriter with the hit Abraham, Martin & John in 1968. He signed with Warner Bros. in 1970 but that didn't go well. Then he went born again and recorded for the religious label Word. Dion continues to perform his old songs on the oldies tour and he does record occasionally, most recently the CD Bronx Blue in 2005. Dion's music from the doo wop era holds up a lot better than one might think. Here's Dion performing Runaround Sue in the 1961 film Twist Around The Clock.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Jamie Dee wins AWA title

Pro Wrestling SUN had a wild show on Aug. 5 at Shinjuku FACE. Adding Aja Kong to REM will no doubt pay off in the long term. She's simply one of the greatest heels in the history of the wrestling business and can add a lot to making the SUN good girls miserable. It also appears that Fuuka will be a regular on SUN shows. That doesn't really balance. Also, SUN president Nakamura still seems to subscribe to the theory that when it comes to gaijins, bigger is better. Jamie Dee was at a press conference on Friday. She's bigger than Nanae Takahashi so very intimidating. But she needs a lot of work in the ring and as the Afrika 55 experiment illustrated, that can sometimes backfire.

The show started with a mixed tag match, Toshie Uematsu & THE*ZEST vs Saki Maemura & El Braza. Maemura was also scheduled to team with Hikaru against Aja Kong & Kyoko Kimura later on. So REM had a plan and it worked perfectly. So while Maemura & El Braza won the match when El Braza used the Lightning Strike on THE*ZEST at 11:36, Uematsu clobbered Maemura with a chain. Maemura was injured badly enough that she probably shouldn't have tried to return later. Meanwhile, Fuuka got her revenge on Natsuki*Taiyo for the New Year's Eve loss. Natsuki hurt her arm outside the ring when slammed into a chair. Back in the ring Fuuka took advantage of that and applied a cross arm breaker. The ref stopped the match at 9:11. After the match, Uematsu comes out and extends an invitation to Fuuka to join REM. Of course Fuuka turned her down. You know what will happen next.

Next is Hikaru & Saki Maemura vs Aja Kong & Kyoko Kimura. Aja brings a barbed wire bat and Kimura brings a chain. They take advantage of Maemura's weakened state and demolish her with a chain lariat at 4:44. They continue to beat on Hikaru & Maemura. Hikaru demanded the match be restarted and she gets a new partner. Natsuki*Taiyo was injured in the last match. Who comes out? Fuuka of course. That must have had REM shaking in their boots. Not surprisingly, Aja & Kimura clobber both of them. Aja throws Fuuka out of the ring and nails her with a chair. In the ring, they stuff Hikaru in a bag and beat her with the barbed wire bat. When Hikaru emerges from the bag, her face is a crimson mask. They nail Fuuka with a DDT and then Kimura's soccer kick finishes Hikaru at 10:14. Afterwards, Hikaru apologizes to Fuuka and vows revenge on REM. It looks like Fuuka will be a regular part of this angle.

Now it's time for the main event. Nanae Takahashi starts out by saying that Jamie Dee is a man. Well, she is a big girl. They're selling her as Amazing Kong's assassin. The start of the match is supposed to demonstrate Jamie's strength. After an exchange of chops, Jamie power bombs Takahashi into the corner. Takahashi applies a headlock but Jamie throws her off. Then Takahashi can't lift her for a brainbuster. Meanwhile, Hikaru & Toshie Uematsu start fighting outside the ring. Takahashi gets distracted. While going up to the top rope for her Nanarack, Jamie grabs her arms and hits the Last Ride power bomb. Two choke slams and Jamie Dee is your new AWA World Womens Champion at 15:57. Aja Kong came out to raise Jamie's hand in victory and said she plans to reunite the Double Kongs at the Aug. 28 & 29 shows. Backstage, Nanae Takahashi put Jamie Dee over as more powerful than either Amazing Kong or Afrika 55. Uh huh. She's mystified by the day's events and her plans to wrestle Azumi Hyuga are off. The return of Amazing Kong should be very interesting because of course she wants the title. And there's no honour among heels. And what about Wesna?

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Benny Carter

Artist:Benny Carter

Song:June In January

Album:3, 4, 5:The Verve Small Group Sessions

Sax legend Benny Carter's career spanned seven decades. He was born Aug. 8, 1907 in New York City. He made his recording debut in 1927 and was part of Fletcher Henderson's orchestra in 1930-31. He had his own band in 1932 and then moved to Europe in 1935. He moved to Los Angeles in 1943 and was a regular on Norman Granz' Jazz At The Philharmonic series in the 50s. The mid 50s is the period this comp comes from. Carter made several LPs on Granz' Norgran label. Some of them were only released in Japan. That appears to be true for this version of June In January with Teddy Wilson on piano and Jo Jones on drums. So this comp is a pretty good document of Carter's recordings from the 50s. Benny Carter remained an active musician into the 90s and died on July 12, 2003 at age 95. Here's Benny Carter with Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson & Louis Bellson performing Blue Lue at one of the JATP concerts from the 60s.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Kevin Harvick wins Montreal Busch race

Today the NASCAR Busch Series made their debut at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. Like the race in Mexico, the fans were excited especially when home town hero Patrick Carpentier won the pole. A few Nextel Cup guys came up from Pocono and there were several road race ringers like Canadian Ron Fellows & Boris Said. As usual, a road course race comes down to pit strategy and that's what was happening here until a nutty ending turned things topsy turvy.

Patrick Carpentier led the first part of the race. Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton & David Reutimann arrived late from Pocono had had to start from the rear of the field. Edwards had trouble early because of a broken rear end bracket. Eventually, pit strategy would give the lead to Aussie Marcos Ambrose. Steve Wallace's blown engine brought out a caution on lap 37. After some pit stops, Ambrose was in the lead again.

But would he have enough fuel to get to the end of the race. A couple more cautions came out to assist his fuel mileage. Then Kevin Harvick spun out Scott Pruett & Ron Fellows on lap 72. Meanwhile Robby Gordon was trying to pass Ambrose for the lead and was spun out. But when did the caution come out? NASCAR told Gordon he had to go back to 13th place. Gordon thought he was in the lead when the caution came out. He refused to go back and they black flagged him. He spun Ambrose out at the start and Harvick took the lead past a sputtering Andy Pilgrim. Patrick Carpentier moved into second and Max Papis moved into third. Carpentier couldn't quite get to Harvick and Harvick won the race. Ron Fellows was fourth and Stephen Licht was fifth. Gordon was still squabbling with NASCAR afterwards. I don't know what they will do to him. It sucked that he cost Ambrose the race. But as you can see from this clip, Ambrose was still smiling.

D-FIX reunites

OZ Academy ran Shinjuku FACE on Aug. 2 to set up a couple more angles for the Aug. 16 Korakuen Hall show. We already have Sendai Girls rookie Akari Okuda challenging Aja Kong and matches featuring Meiko Satomura & Sugar Satoh. They're obvioualy trying to stack this show and that was the goal of the Aug. 2 show.

The opener was Sonoko Kato vs Carlos Amano. Lately they've has Kato win matches and she won here in 11:00. Next was Dynamite Kansai vs AKINO. Lately AKINO has been losing. Kansai won with a splash mountain and a boston crab at 16:28. Afterwards, Kansai told AKINO that she's been concentrating too much on Aja and she shouldn't forget about Kansai. AKINO said they should do a tag match on Aug. 16. OZ has been doing a lot of men's matches lately so AKINO told Kansai her partner would be a male wrestler named Suzuki. Kansai said she would partner up with OZ regular El Braza. They also announced that some guy who normally works for Pancrase would make his pro wrestling debut against Daisuke Sekimoto.

Next was Mayumi Ozaki & Chikayo Nagashima vs Aja Kong & Sonoko Kato. This is obviously supposed to set up Meiko Satomura & Sonoko Kato vs Chikayo Nagashima & Sugar Satoh and Kato probably doesn't feel she can trust Aja. After Aja beats up Nagashima for a while, she tags Kato in. Kato is doing OK but Aja gets distracted. Ozaki nails Kato with her chain and wins at 18:50. Ozaki laughs at Kato for trusting Aja. The main event was Mayumi Ozaki, Aja Kong & KAORU vs Dynamite Kansai, Carlos Amano & Chikayo Nagashima. There's a lot of tension between Ozaki & Aja. Aja nails Nagashima with the back fist. As she's about to cover her, Ozaki throws in the chain and distracts Aja. Ozaki hits a Shining Yakuza Kick for the win at 13:38. Aja had a puzzled look on her face. Afterwards, Ozaki told Aja that she doesn't want to team with her anymore and is going to revive D-Fix with Kaotu. They will face Toshie Uematsu & Ran YuYu on the Aug. 16 show.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Otis Redding

Artist:Otis Redding

Song:(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay

Album:Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding

The other night I watched the documentary Respect Yourself-The Stax Records Story on PBS and among other things it reminded me of the greatness of Otis Redding. His death in that plane crash at age 26 is one of the greatest tragedies in music history. (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay was his one pop hit and it was released after his death. The Monterey Pop Festival had launched Redding into the mainstream. So he decided to take a break. (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay was written during that break. When Otis returned to the studio, Booker T & The MGs guitarist Steve Cropper fleshed out the song and it was recorded. Cropper has said that was the standard way of working with Otis. He had the lyrics written in a notebook and Cropper would simply assist in the studio with turning his ideas into recordings. Otis Redding died almost 40 years ago and his music is still fresh today. This 4CD box set has everything. Of course Otis never performed Dock Of The Bay live but here he is performing I've Been Loving You at Monterey.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Yolanda Adams

Artist:Yolanda Adams

Song:In The Midst Of It All

Album:The Best Of Me

Gospel singer Yolanda Adams had a huge crossover breakthrough with her 1999 CD Mountain High...Valley Low. She appears poised to do that again with a new record company in 2008. She was born Aug. 27, 1961 in Houston. She did some modelling and was a teacher until her debut album in 1988. She had a following in the gospel market but was also criticized by the church for being too glamourous. The turning point for Yolanda was when Elektra Records president Sylvia Rhone signed her and told her just to make a gospel record and she would market it to the R & B audience. The 1999 CD Mountain High...Valley Low was very successful especially the monster hit Open My Heart. In The Midst Of It All is an excellent song written and produced by Kevin Bond. Yolanda did a live CD The Experience in 2000 and then follwed it in 2001 with I Believe. These weren't as successful. She also had a daughter Taylor. Things went sour when Sylvia Rhone left Elektra for Motown. Elektra was absorbed by Atlantic. So Yolanda didn't have anyone at the record company to champion her. Atlantic released the comp The Best Of Me in 2007. Yolanda Adams has signed with Columbia. She will have a Christmas CD out in October and her next studio CD is scheduled for Spring 2008. I expect Yolanda Adams to make a very strong return to music at that time. Here is Yolanda Adams performing In The Midst Of It All in 2003. Turn up the volume. It's a little low.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Three big matches announced for Aug. 26 JWP show

JWP owner Commando Bolshoi announced three big matches for their Aug. 26 Korakuen Hall show titled Pure Slam. One will be the return of the Junior All Star War tournament. The second will be a JWP vs Sendai Girls event. And the main event will have Azumi Hyuga (pictured) defending her JWP Open Weight Championship against Amazing Kong. This rivalry goes back to a confrontation the two had at the May 25 SUN show. Obviously AK has a big size advantage. But don't underestimate Hyuga. With her speed and agility, she is one of the best performers in Japan and always seems to deliver in big matches. She is a true main event performer so don't expect a squash. I'm looking forward to this.

Bolshoi announced a special JWP vs Sendai Girls event. It's going to be a team event of some sort but the details will be announced later. JWP will be represented by Tsubasa Kuragaki, Commando Bolshoi, Kaori Yoneyama, Tojuki Leon, Arisa Nakajima & ASKA Ohki. It's odd that she would put the rookie Ohki in this instead of Kayoko Haruyama. Sendai Girls will be represented by Meiko Satomura, Akari Okuda, Chisako Kanari, Sachiko Kanari, Ayane Mizumura & Yurie Kaneko. This could be interesting. I expect the Junior All Star War to be a tournament format. NEO, Ibuki, Ice Ribbon, Maheken and the Ito Gym will all participate. That should give you an idea of who might be in it. This tournament has been used in the past to debut rookies so that would not be surprising.