Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Toshie Uematsu goes green

You may recall that a few weeks ago that Aoi Kizuki and a couple of the other young wrestlers challenged veteran Toshie Uematsu to help them and even challenged her to wear her green bathing suit from her early GAEA days. In preparation for NEO's Nov. 4 Korakuen Hall show, NEO had a poll on their website asking fans if Uematsu should be the leader of these young wrestlers. The poll was overwhelmingly in favour and Uematsu will team with Nagisa Nozaki & Aoi Kizuki against Manami Toyota, Miki Ishii & Cherry. Uematsu has teased that she may actually wear the green bathing suit. I guess one of the problems is that it's difficult to book a freelancer like Uematsu in a consistent fashion. It's not like she can turn face everywhere.

The same poll decided that Haruka Matsuo defending the NEO Singles & NWA Pacific Titles against Sakura Emi is the main event over Kaoru Ito & Ayako Hamada defending the NEO Tag Tem Titles against Yoshiko Tamura & Misae Genki. The vote was very close. You can also expect that the NEO Machine Gunz (Tanny Mouse & Yuki Miyazaki) vs Chou-un Shiryu & Dick Togo match will end the appearance of "Chinese" wrestlers. NEO brought in wrestlers from "India" at last Sunday's dojo show. I don't know who they are as I haven't seen any pics but silliness is guaranteed. Sonoko Kato will make a rare NEO appearance vs Aya Yuki and Etsuko Mita & Makoto will team vs Michiko Ohmukai & Lingerie Muto.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-John Coltrane

Artist:John Coltrane

Song:One And Four (aka Mr. Day)

Album:Trane's Blues

Sax legend John Coltrane recorded a lot in a short period of time. It can be very daunting to try to figure out what CDs are worthwhile. Trane's Blues was released on Blue Note in 1999. 1957's Blue Train was the only album Coltrane recorded for Blue Note. Trane's Blues has a couple of songs from that album. It also has a few oddities. One And Four is notable because it was the first time Coltrane recorded with future collaborator McCoy Tyner. It's from a 1990 Roulette Records album called Like Sonny. It seems that Roulette took two unrelated sessions and put them on this album. One And Four was recorded in 1960 with McCoy Tyner on piano, Steve Davis on bass and Billy Higgins on drums. Capitol-EMI now owns the rights to Roulette Records and that's how it winds up on a Blue Note release. EMI repackaged Trane's Blues as Essential in 2003. If you have Blue Train already, it's probably not worthwhile to get Trane's Blues. And I doubt that Like Sonny is still available. But One And Four is a great song. Maybe Blue Note can figure out a better way to release it. Here's John Coltrane performing with Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers & Jimmy Cobb in 1960. It's actually the Miles Davis band without Miles.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Maemura stripped of title, Tracy Taylor new champ?

Once again Chick Fights SUN president Nakamura has used the guise of an AWA decision to advance some suspect booking. It's not the first time. Remember when Nanae Takahashi won the AWA World Womens Championship in Los Angeles and was stripped of the title the next day? At least it was only vacant. This time Saki Maemura has been stripped of the title and it may be awarded to Tracy Taylor. This goes back to Maemura's Oct. 13 Hawaii Championship Wrestling match against Taylor. Taylor won a "Loser Clean Toilets" match and of course there was a picture on the HCW website of Maemura cleaning toilets (pictured). The AWA has decided that the public posting of this picture is a big problem for the AWA and some on the AWA board of directors feel that the sight of the AWA champ cleaning toilets makes the AWA dirty. I dunno. That kind of logic seems very Japanese to me. And of course making this decision two weeks later is awfully silly. So the result of the AWA board of directors vote will be announced on Nov. 9. If the title is awarded to Tracy Taylor, she'll return to Japan in Dec. If the title is vacant, they can give it to the winner of the Chick Fight J tournament. Either way, outside the ring title changes devalue the belt and this silliness is a repeat offense. It makes Nakamura look ridiculous.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Bebe Winans

Artist:Bebe Winans

Song:Love & Freedom

Album:Love & Freedom

Gospel artist Benjamin "Bebe" Winans is seventh of the ten Winans siblings. He was born Sept. 17, 1962 in Detroit. Of course he's best known for singing as a duo with sister Cece. When they split up, Bebe released a 1997 CD on Atlantic. It did OK but then he moved to Motown for the 2000 CD Love & Freedom. He had a crossover hit Coming Back Home with R & B singers Brian McKnight & Joe. McKnight probably got him the record deal as he was also on Motown. It's a very strong R & B/gospel CD with Stevie Wonder & Stephanie Mills appearing as well. Like the rest of his family, Bebe writes & produces much of his own material. He was caught up in corporate record company politics and was dropped from Motown. He currently records for Steve McKeever's Hidden Beach Recordings and his latest CD is called Cherch. He is also planning a Bebe & Cece Winans reunion CD for 2008 and that will be on Cece's label. And he's a judge on BET's gospel version of American Idol called Sunday Best. Like his siblings, Bebe Winans is a very talented guy and I'm sure we'll hear plenty more from him in the future. Here's the video for Coming Back Home by Bebe Winans, Brian McKnight & Joe.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hikaru, Aja in special mixed tag match

First On Stage held a press conference on Sunday mainly to announce Shinjiro Otani's 15th anniversary show on Nov. 13 at Korakuen Hall. They also decided to involve Otani is some cross promotional booking with Chick Fights SUN. Of course most SUN fans know that Hikaru & Aja Kong have been feuding. But do ZERO-ONE MAX fans know that? Apparently Hikaru phoned Otani to ask him for help in this feud. When Aja heard about this, she faxed the FOS office and told them that Hikaru really doesn't want to do this because she'll just get beat up again. Otani tells Hikaru that he'll do the match if Matsuhiro Matsunaga is Aja Kong's partner. Apparently they have some unfinished business from a barbed wire match they did last year. Then Otani & Hikaru can both get revenge. So it's Shinjiro Otani & Hikaru vs Matsuhiro Matsunaga & Aja Kong at a First On Stage special show called Max-Holic on Nov. 10 at the Osaka Prefectural Gym. Past history says that FOS makes a big deal about this match at the press conference and the match itself turns out to be nothing special. The booking hasn't been effective in the past.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Earth, Wind & Fire

Artist:Earth, Wind & Fire

Song:That's The Way Of The World

Album:Greatest Hits

Earth, Wind & Fire's mix of R & B, funk & jazz and their crazy stage costumes made them one of the most popular groups of the 70s. Maurice White started out in Chicago as a session drummer for Chess Records. In 1967 he joined the Ramsey Lewis group. He started the group The Salty Peppers in 1969. They had some regional success but in 1970 White renamed the band Earth, Wind & Fire and moved to Los Angeles. They released a couple of albums on Warner Bros. Though critically acclaimed, the albums didn't sell. White dismantled the band only retaining his bassist brother Verdine White. Eventually the band came together with the addition of vocalist Philip Bailey & guitarist Al McKay. But the key addition was White's old buddy from Chess Records Charles Stepney. Stepney produced The Dells and he seemed to add a certain polish to the EW&F sound. The group did the music to the 1975 film That's The Way Of The World. The film tanked but the soundtrack put EW&F at the top of the charts with hits like Shining Star & That's The Way of The World. Just as EW&F was beginning to make their mark, Charles Stepney died of a heart attack on May 17, 1976 at age 43. EW&F continued to have success but there's no question that Stepney's death hurt their music as they started to go more towards disco. This comp has all their hits. White disbanded EW&F in 1983 and would reunite occasionally but the group has never been able to recreate their success of the 70s. But a lot of that music still holds up very well today. Here's Earth, Wind & Fire performing That's The Way Of The World in 1981.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Billy Preston

Artist:Billy Preston

Song:Will It Go Round In Circles

Album:Ultimate Collection

Billy Preston was a talented performer who became very popular through his association with The Beatles. He rode that to some big hits in the 70s. He was born Sept. 9, 1946 in Houston. By age ten he was playing piano for gospel legend Mahalia Jackson. Then he played the young W.C. Handy in the 1958 film St. Louis Blues. He toured with Little Richard & Ray Charles and played in the house band of the TV series Shindig and built a reputation as a session musician. He had met The Beatles in 1962 while touring with Little Richard. When George Harrison quit the 1969 Let It Be sessions, he returned on the condition that Preston play on the sessions. It made Preston The Fifth Beatle. He used this to start a solo career, first with Apple but then he moved to A & M and Will It Go Round In Circles was a number one hit in 1972. Preston was also known for his huge afro. The song came from Preston joking around with partner Bruce Fisher that he had "a song with no melody". This Ultimate Collection comp has all his hits. Preston had a lot of success in the 70s but had drug problems in the 80s. He pleaded no contest to cocaine & assault charges in 1991 and spent nine months in rehab. He toured in the 90s with Eric Clapton & Ringo Starr but Preston's recording success was well behind him. Billy Preston had a kidney transplant in 2002 and died of kidney failure on June 6, 2006 at age 59. Here's Billy Preston performing Will It Go Round In Circles on The Midnight Special in 1973. Dig the afro.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Is Jacques Villeneuve buying into Bill Davis Racing?

This year in NASCAR we've seen a lot of owners bringing in outside partners with very deep pockets. It started in February when Jack Roush sold majority ownership of Roush Racing to John Henry of the Boston Red Sox. Then Ray Evernham did the same with Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr. Then Hall Of Fame Racing sold out to the owners of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Michael Waltrip brought in New York businessman Rob Kaufman. Last week, Mike Mulhern of the Winston-Salem Journal reported on his video blog that Jacques Villeneuve and his manager Craig Pollock are planning to buy majority ownership of Bill Davis Racing. Of course Villeneuve is driving a Toyota for Davis in the 2008 Sprint Cup. Davis didn't deny it but he didn't confirm it either. Mulhern reports today that the deal is done and Villeneuve & Pollock are now majority owners of Bill Davis Racing. Villeneuve finished 14th in today's Craftsman Truck race in Atlanta. Here's Mike Mulhern's video blog from last Sunday when he first reported this.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Lionel Hampton

Artist:Lionel Hampton

Song:Flying Home

Album:Lionel Hampton And The Just Jazz All Stars

Lionel Hampton was the first jazz vibraphonist and had a long career because of his showmanship and ability to adapt to changing musical styles. He was born Apr. 20, 1909 in Louisville, KY. He started out as a drummer. He was at a 1930 Louis Armstrong recording session. The vibraphone was in the studio and Armstrong asked Hampton to try it. Hampton's big break came when Benny Goodman discovered him playing in a Los Angeles club in 1936. He joined Teddy Wilson & Buddy Rich in the Goodman quartet until 1940. He started his own big band and had a huge hit with Flying Home in 1942 featuring sax player Illinois Jacquet. This 1947 live recording has an excellent 11 minute extended jam of Flying Home with Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Corky Corcoran on tenor sax, Willie Smith on alto sax, Milt Buckner on piano, Slam Stewart on bass and Lee Young on drums. GNP-Crescendo released it on CD in 1993. Into the 50s and beyond, Hampton was usually a guest musician on all star sessions and was in demand until his death on Aug. 31, 2002 at age 93. Certainly Lionel Hampton was one of the pioneers of jazz. Here's Lionel Hampton performing Flying Home on the 1957 TV show The Big Record hosted by Patti Page.

Friday, October 26, 2007

OZ Academy continues #1 contender tournament

OZ Academy returned to Shinjuku FACE on Oct. 21 to continue the tournament to name the top contender for Aja Kong's OZ Academy Championship. OZ has been running a lot of shows in Osaka lately so it was a big deal for them to return to Tokyo. The booking of this tournament reflects the lack of focus in OZ this year. While they're running the tournament, they're building a feud between Aja Kong & Mayumi Ozaki. But Ozaki's not in the tournament. Intertwining angles like that doesn't usually work very well because the assumption is that OZ owner Ozaki will do something to make the tournament irrelevant. I think she knows better and won't do that but the booking is iffy anyway.

The opener was a tournament match between AKINO & Kyoko Kimura. All matches have a ten minute time limit. AKINO has been an OZ regular this year so it's not surprising that she won with the Tornado A in 6:52. Ozaki has been working a lot with Osaka Pro this year and she pit some of their guys in this tournament. But the match between El Blazer & Ryuma went to a ten minute draw and both are eliminated. So why were they in the tournament? In a tournament match, Yumiko Hotta defeated Hiroyo Muto with a cross arm breaker at 7:15.

Up next is a tag match with LLPW's Harley Saito teaming with Sonoko Kato against Dynamite Kansai & Chikayo Nagashima. Kansai & Nagashima singled out Kato and Nagashima pins Kato in 17:28. The final tournament match had Carlos Amano over Kaori Yoneyama with the Carlos Ghosn at 9:24. The main event had Mayumi Ozaki & Aja Kong vs Ran YuYu & Toshie Uematsu. The whole match had Ozaki & Aja as uneasy allies and then the end came when Aja accidently nailed Ozaki with a back fist and RAN pinned Ozaki at 15:53. The Tournament will continue on the Nov. 23 Shinjuku FACE show and OZ has cancelled this weekend's Niigata show.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Booker Ervin

Artist:Booker Ervin


Album:Tex Book Tenor

Booker Ervin is another great jazz musician forgotten mostly because he died prematurely. He was born Oct. 31, 1930 in Denison, TX. He is mostly known for his stint with Charles Mingus from 1956-1962 trading sax licks with Eric Dolphy. Like a lot of jazz musicians, he moved to Europe in 1964 and died of kidney disease on July 30, 1970 at age 39. He recorded for Prestige, Pacific Jazz & Blue Note after leaving the Mingus band. Tex Book Tenor was recorded for Blue Note in 1968 but they didn't release it. It was finally released on CD in 2005. It's great music with Woody Shaw on trumpet, Kenny Barron on piano, Jan Arnet on bass and Billy Higgins on drums. Ervin wrote 204. I can't imagine why it wasn't released at the time but it's definitely worth a listen. I originally posted a different song from this CD in May but I am reposting it because I have great newly discovered video footage of Booker Ervin performing with pianist Kenny Drew, trumpeter Ted Curson, drummer Edgar Bateman and some others. The footage is a much better showcase of Booker's talent.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

K-Grace matches in CAGE FORCE

You may recall that K-Grace held their debut show in May. They haven't announced a follow up but it was announced that two K-Grace matches have been added to the Nov. 11 CAGE FORCE show at Differ Ariake. The most interesting of these matches features rising MMA star Emi Fujino (pictured). Her record is 6-0 and her most recent win was over Yukiko Seki at the Sept. 6 Smackgirl show. She was also on the first K-Grace show. Her opponent is Yuko and she appears to be a newcomer. The match is at 53kg which is under Fujino's usual fighting weight but I think she'll be OK. The other match is between a couple of veterans with suspect records. Misaki Takimoto is 7-8-3 and she's on a three fight losing streak. Her opponent is Naoko Ohmuro. She is 8-5-1 and her most recent fight was a win over Fukuko Hamada on the Aug. 19 GCM show. The match is at 48kg and that is a very crowded weight class in Japan. These are not exactly the matches we want to see but there's a lot of politics in the Japanese Womens MMA scene right now.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

Artist:Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes f/Teddy Pendergrass

Song:Wake Up Everybody

Album:Super Hits

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes are probably best known for their 70s hits but they were around since the 50s. Melvin was born June 25, 1939 in Philadelphia. He originally formed the Blue Notes in 1954. They had some regional success but really hit it big when he hired Teddy Pendergrass as a drummer in 1969. Teddy was such a good singer that when lead singer John Atkins left in 1970, Melvin moved him up. Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff were just starting Philadelphia International records and they liked Pendergrass because he sounds a lot like Marvin Junior of The Dells. They signed Melvin and the group got the benefit of the production expertise of Gamble & Huff. If You Don't Me By Now became their only top 5 pop hit in 1973. They had several more hits including 1975's Wake Up Everybody. It was written by the veteran songwriting team of Gene McFadden & John Whitehead and it could just as easily have been a gospel song especially with Pendergrass's church trained voice. It's a great song. This Super Hits budget comp has all their hits. Pendergrass left the Blue Notes for a solo career in 1976. Sharon Paige & David Ebo replaced him and the Blue Notes moved to ABC Records. They had some success there but things died out and Melvin continued to tour until his death on Mar. 24, 1997 at age 57. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes still sound great today. Here's a video of Wake Up Everybody by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Takahashi training with parfaits?

This just goes to show what some joshi wrestlers will do to promote shows. Chick Fights SUN top chick Nanae Takahashi did an interview yesterday with Naigai Times to promote the upcoming final rounds of the Chick Fight J tournament on Nov. 15 & 16. The whole conversation was a continuation of the running gag about Takahashi's appetite. She has three points in the tournament and had a 30 minute draw with noki-A. She says she's been trying to lose weight recently so it would improve her strength and stamina. But the whole thing backfired and she thought she was running out of gas during her match with noki-A. So she is returning to her regular diet of ice cream parfaits so she can gain weight and increase her power. It was claimed that she ate five parfaits that day and when she ran out of ice cream, she started eying the one at the next table. She seems to be enjoying herself in the above pic. Supposedly her stomach is a bottomless pit. Takahashi said this new diet will help her destroy Natsuki*Taiyo on Nov. 15 and then she'll win the Chick Fight J tournament...unless she gets a tummy ache.

First On Stage announces series of shows with Hawaii Championship Wrestling

First on Stage is the parent company of ZERO-ONE MAX & Chick Fights SUN. We've seen them send SUN wrestlers over to Hawaii and now they have announced more involvement with Hawaii Championship Wrestling. Of course the reason for this is both companies are AWA members. A couple of days ago SUN announced that HCW will handle all foreign management of Hikaru. They're making it look like there are plans to book Hikaru more extensively in the US. With these guys, you never know if it's real or like that Abu Dhabi deal last year.

But the big announcement is that First On Stage has announced a series of shows that they are calling a cooperative commemorative series with HCW called WRESTLE ISLANDS. The shows will be from Dec. 11-15 in Japan & Hawaii and will feature talent from ZERO-ONE MAX, Chick Fights SUN & Hawaii Championship Wrestling. The Dec. 11 & 12 shows will be at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. The Dec. 13 show will be at the Aichi Sportscenter in Nagoya City. The Dec. 14 show will be at the Nagano Sports Park. Then they're all going to fly to Hawaii for a Dec. 15 show at the Family Cultural Center in Honolulu. Can you say jet lag? Tracy Taylor has already been announced to appear on these shows and SUN participation is to be announced. And there will be HCW & ZERO-ONE MAX wrestlers on all the shows too.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Derek & The Dominos

Artist:Derek & The Dominos

Song:Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?

Album:Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs

Derek & The Dominos was a shortlived supergroup put together by former Cream guitarist Eric Clapton in 1970. The Layla album is probably Clapton's greatest achievement. Clapton formed the group with former members of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. There was keyboardist vocalist Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle & drummer Jim Gordon. The group toured England first and then recorded Layla in the summer of 1970. Legendary guitarist Duane Allman joined the recording session. I'm not a big Clapton fan because though he has respect for great musicians, he sometimes has too much respect and doesn't take risks with his music. Allman was just the opposite and forces Clapton to heights that he would never reach again. Whitlock was also useful because he wrote & sang a lot of the songs with Clapton including Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad. Derek & The Dominos were supposed to record a follow up in May 1971 but Clapton was having drug problems and they split up. Of course Allman died in Oct. 1971. The Layla album has grown in stature over the years and is a must for anyone's CD collection. Here's Derek & The Dominos performing It's Too Late on the Johnny Cash Show with Cash & Carl Perkins. Keep in mind that Allman never toured with them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Nat King Cole Trio

Artist:Nat King Cole Trio

Song:My Mother Told Me


This 3CD box set will likely be a revelation for even devoted Nat King Cole fans. Of course Cole was a hugely popular pop singer in the 50s. But he had his own jazz trio for years. Many jazz fans abandoned Cole in the late 40s but the truth was that his style of jazz was dying anyway with the rise of bebop. Cole continued to record mostly with his trio and still wrote most of his own songs. This was all while Capitol Records had started promoting him as more of a pop singer. This box set consists of a series of transcriptions recorded from 1946-50. These were not released to the public. They were different more relaxed versions that were sent to radio stations. My Mother Told me was recorded in 1949 with Irving Ashby on guitar and Joe Comfort on bass. Blue Note released these versions for the first time in 2005. It's just the trio, no orchestra. Jazz fans are likely to enjoy Transcriptions. Cole broke up the trio in 1950 and his pop singing stardom continued. Here's Nat King Cole and his trio performing Route 66 in 1950.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Ty Causey

Artist:Ty Causey

Song:No Need To Rush


Ty Causey is an R & B singer who will likely appeal to an older audience and he's releasing his CDs independently so he has a tough road to hoe. Causey grew up singing in church in his native Indiana and toured for several years with James Cleveland & Shirley Caesar. He got his big break when he appeared on smooth jazz sax player Najee's 1998 CD Morning Tenderness. He toured with Najee and eventually Najee and his bass player Nelson Braxton hellped Causey go solo in 2004. Expressions is his latest CD. He's a very good singer and he writes & produces his own songs. I haven't heard his other CDs but I understand that producer Bert Caldwell has steered him in a more R & B direction. The big problem is he's self releasing his music and that's very difficult to do. I would recommend this to older listeners looking for smooth R & B. Here's the video for Falling For You by Ty Causey

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Marvin Winans

Artist:Marvin Winans

Song:Peace & Love

Album:Alone But Not Alone

Of course Marvin Winans is one of the Winans gospel music family from Detroit. This is his new CD. He was born Mar. 8, 1958 in Detroit. He is the fourth of the ten Winans siblings and twin brother to Carvin. Of course he was part of The Winans with brothers Ron, Mike & Carvin in the 80s & 90s. He was also married to Vickie Winans. By the time The Winans split up, Marvin had already founded the Perfecting Praise Church. And though he has recorded occasionally, he has spent most of his time as pastor of his church. Alone But Not Alone was released Sept. 27 on PureSprings Gospel, the label owned by sister Cece Winans. Marvin produced the CD with veteran songwriter producer Tommy Sims who has also worked with Cece. Marvin is a fabulous writer and this has a whole bunch of new songs. But Peace & Love is a song that appeared on the 2003 various artists comp Spirit Rising Vol. 2 and it's a great Tommy Sims song. So it's great to see Marvin Winans recording again. He sounds great and here's footage from the Marvin Winans CD release party in Atlanta with a performance at the end of the video courtesy of

Saturday, October 20, 2007

JWP trainee forced to retire

You may recall a couple of weeks ago that JWP introduced a couple of trainees. JWP owner Commando Bolshoi announced on her blog that the masked trainee YUKI has been forced to retire from joshi. It seems she collapsed last week during training and suffered a brain hemorrage. A blood vessel to her brain was bleeding. The doctor said she has a weak blood vessel in her brain and is unable to partake in contact sports. So YUKI has been forced to retire before her career even started. Of course it's very sad. YUKI was in hospital for a few days and was released yesterday. Bolshoi said she hopes to have YUKI work in the JWP front office.

Chick Fight J tournament results

Chick Fights SUN had the first two rounds of the Chick Fight J round robin tournament on Oct. 18 & 19 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. The thing to keep in mind is fans shouldn't read too much into the match results. These type of tournaments tend not to mean anything in storylines and SUN's booking is so random that a swerve is always possible anyway. So yes, there are a few upsets but they probably don't mean anything.

The tournament is divided up into the Cup Zone & Coin Zone. All matches are scheduled for 30 minute time limits. The winner gets two points. The loser gets zero points. And a draw gets one point each. The Oct. 18 show led off with noki-A over Natsuki*Taiyo with the noki-A backbreaker at 14:18 in the Cup Zone. Toshie Uematsu defeated KY Hotta with the Solarina 12:31 in the Coin Zone. A non tournament match had ZEST.CO over Kana with a moonsault press at 9:00. Nanae Takahashi defeated Kayoko Haruyama with a lariat at 20:10 in the Cup Zone. Saki Maemura defeated Hikaru with the Never Give Up in 6:17 in the Coin Zone.

Nanae Takahashi was scheduled to face noki-A on the Oct. 19 show. She joked that the only Nokia she knew about was the cell phone. She said she'll win with the Nanarack. The opener had Kayoko Haruyama over Natsuki*Taiyo with a guillotine leg drop at 12:44 in the Cup Zone. KY Hotta defeated Saki Maemura with the Pyramid driver at 12:54 in the Coin Zone. A non tournament match had Fuuka over ZEST.CO with a jujigitame at 7:14. Hikaru defeated Toshie Uematsu with the Lanakila-H at 2:10 in the Coin Zone. Huh? Hikaru said afterwards that she learned some new techniques in Hawaii and plans to use them in her must win match against Hotta on Nov. 15. Keep in mind that Hikaru's entire career has been a series of false pushes followed by humiliation. And Hotta has been part of that in the past. It looks like Takahashi should have taken noki-A more seriously as they went to a 30 minute draw in the Cup Zone. The next round on Nov. 15 should give a better idea of who might win this tournament.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Them



Album:Them Featuring Van Morrison

Them was a short lived mid-60s group that introduced the world to legendary singer songwriter Van Morrison. Gloria was their biggest hit. Though they were sold as a British Invasion band, Them was actually from Belfast, Northern Ireland. In April 1964, Van Morrison had left The Golden Eagles and needed a new band. He got together with a group called The Gamblers and a teenage piano player named Eric Wrixon. The group name was changed to Them in tribute to the 1954 horror movie. Eventually the group got the attention of Decca Records and signed with them. The frequent personnel changes and Decca's insistence on using session musicians irritated Morrison and he left in 1966 for a significant solo career. But not before he wrote and sang the garage band classic Gloria. Not only did Them have a hit with it but the Chicago garage band Shadows Of Knight had a hit with it too. Also, Jim Morrison of The Doors acknowledged Gloria as a major influence and even performed the song once with Van Morrison in San Francisco. Them continued for a few years but they weren't the same without Van Morrison. This 1987 comp is OK but Gloria is one of those songs you might want to get on Rhino's British Invasion series. Though Them may seem like a minor footnote of pop music today, they were influential to the burgeoning garage band movement of the 60s. Here's Them performing Mystic Eyes & Gloria in 1965.

Uploaded by asinette

Friday, October 19, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Hearts

Artist:The Hearts

Song:Lonely Nights

Album:The Doo Wop Box II

The Hearts were a very early girl group. Lonely Hearts was their one hit in 1955 but there's more history to the story than meets the eye. The group was put together in 1954 by Bronx native Zell Sanders. She was an aspiring songwriter and she recruited four high school girls to sing her songs. They were Louise Harris, Joyce West, Hazel Crutchfield & Forestine Barnes. With Sanders' neighbour Rex Garvin on piano and the Al Sears Orchestra, The Hearts song Lonely Nights was a top ten R & B hit in 1955 on Baton Records. The group disappeared but Sanders started her own label J & S Records and attempted to revive The Hearts with four different girls. That didn't work out but Sanders did write & produce the monster hit Sally Go Round The Roses by The Jaynettes in 1963. Rex Garvin resurfaced in the 60s with his group The Mighty Cravers. You can get Lonely Hearts and many other doo wop classics an the Rhino 4CD box set The Doo Wop Box II. There's no video footage of The Hearts but here's the song with a video of the label. You see a lot of these on Youtube with oldies.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Matsuo's first NEO title defense against Sakura Emi

NEO used the Oct. 14 Itabashi Green Hall show to set up the card for their Nov. 4 Korakuen Hall show. The main event has Haruka Matsuo's first defense of the NEO Singles & NWA Pacific Titles against Sakura Emi. What's interesting is how they decided to set this up. It appears that NEO is more interested in advancing the ongoing Yoshiko Tamura/Sakura Emi storyline than strengthening Matsuo title reign. On the Oct. 14 show, Tamura defeated Makoto at 8:34. Emi wasn't on the show but she was there. After the match, Tamura called Emi into the ring for a discussion. She suggested that Emi could get an easy win over Matsuo for the titles on Nov. 4. Emi's not so sure but goes along with Tamura anyway. And that's the way this whole thing has gone. Matsuo may be champ but Tamura is still top dog and is manipulating Emi at every turn. Check out this video of the confrontation. Matsuo was on the show and defeated Aoi Kizuki with a German suplex at 10:57.

Tamura is also invoved in the anxiety over outsiders Kaoru Ito & Ayako Hamada as NEO Tag Team Champions. She wants the belts back for NEO. Ito & Hamada defended the titles on the Oct. 14 show over Misae Genki & Aya Yuki when Hamada used the AP Cross on Genki at 24:29. Tamura has decided to team up with Genki and will challenge for the belts on Nov. 4. Of course what would a NEO show be without NEO Machine Gunz silliness. Tanny Mouse & Yuki Miyazaki defeated Tomoka Nakagawa & Lingerie Muto when Miyazaki used the Evil Principal's Clutch on Muto at 11:16. The Machine Gunz have had ongoing issues with this guy Chou-un Shiryu with the whole Chinese shtick. Tanny Mouse told him to go find a partner because they wanted one final match with him. Shiryu says he has a partner who is the best wrestler in China. It turns out to be Dick Togo. The Chinese part is iffy. The crowd liked it. The Machine Gunz accepted it and that's the match.

The other match on the Oct. 14 show had Etsuko Mita & Miki Ishii defeat Nagisa Nozaki & Cherry when Mita used the blazing chop on Nozaki at 10:49. On Nov. 4, Mita will team up with Makoto against opponents TBA. Expect something goofy. The other match follows up on the recent discussions between Aoi Kizuki & Toshie Uematsu. Those two will team up with Nagisa Nozaki vs Manami Toyota, Cherry & Miki Ishii. Kizuki said something about she & Nozaki wearing green bathing suits in tribute to Uematsu. I don't know if there will be any title changes because the main current storyline has nothing to do with the titles.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Isley Brothers

Artist:The Isley Brothers

Song:That Lady, Parts 1 & 2

Album:Super Hits

The Isley Brothers have been around since the 50s and have adjusted very well to changing musical styles over the years. This 1973 version of Who's That Lady is one of their biggest hits. They grew up in Cincinnati and started out as a gospel quartet. Vernon Isley died in 1955 and that left them as a trio of Ronald, Rudolph & O'Kelly Isley. Shout was probably their biggest early hit. In 1964, guitarist Jimi Hendrix made his first recordings with the Isleys. The Isleys struggled for a while until It's Your Thing topped the charts in 1969. At that time they also added Ernie Isley's guitar along with brother Marvin, brother-in-law Chris Jasper and family friend Everett Collins. Ernie's Hendrix influenced guitar brought them to a wider audience. 1973's That Lady was a reworking of the 60s song Who's That Lady featuring Ernie's guitar licks. It was a huge hit and a great song. This Super Hits budget comp is a pretty good introduction for beginners. The Isleys continued to have success in the 70s until Ernie, Marvin & Chris Jasper left to form Isley Jasper Isley. O'Kelly Isley died in 1986. But the Isley Brothers reformed in 1990 and continue to record & tour today. The Isley Brothers are one of the most influential groups in black music history. Here are The Isley Brothers performing That Lady on the Sinbad Summer Music Jam.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Satomura to be out for up to six months

Sendai Girls ace and chief trainer Meiko Satomura made her first public appearance on Oct. 16 since Azumi Hyuga's knee fractured her eye socket at the recent Sendai Girls show. She's walking around with a patch on her right eye. The operation was done with an endoscope. She told Nikkan Sports that she will be out for the rest of the year for sure and could be out as long as six months. I guess that depends on how the injury heals. Apparently the injury was pretty bad. Satomura was supposed to appear at the Sendai City mayor's Pink Ribbon Smile Walk for breast cancer on Oct. 13. She was unable to go but she did send the other girls. She did appear at an Oct. 16 meet & greet in Sendai Station for the Ministry Of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts & Telecommunications and did interviews with the various media outlets. She was apparently minister for the day. She says she has quite a bit of pain in her eye right now. Satomura says it looks like the youngsters will have to carry the company right now. I guess we'll see how that affects attendance as Satomura is obviously the main draw of Sendai Girls. Let's all wish Meiko Satomura a speedy recovery.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Madness


Song:Our House

Album:Total Madness:The Very Best Of Madness

Our House was probably the biggest hit from the British group Madness. They were part of the 80s ska revival. The group started in 1976 as The Invaders with Mike Barson, Chris Foreman & Lee Thompson. They added some members and changed the name of the group to Morris & The Minors. Then as a tribute to ska legend Prince Buster, they changed the group name to Madness. They signed with Stiff Records but in those days it typically it took some time to get released in North America. Geffen Records finally signed them and released the 1982 album The Rise And Fall. Our House was already a big hit in England and it did well here too. It was more mainstream than some of their earlier material. The decline of the group began when chief songwriter Mike Barson left the group in 1983. This comp doesn't cover most of their earlier material. I suggest The Ultimate Collection on Hip-O. Madness has reformed and released a new CD in 2005. Here's the video for Our House by Madness.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

JWP announces main event for Junior All Star War

JWP held a press conference on Monday to announce the main event for the Junior All Star War at Korakuen Hall on Dec. 31. They also promoted this weekend's Shinjuku FACE show with a couple of title matches. It's going to be called the BEST OF JUNIOR 6. The top juniors from six promotions will participate. There will be Arisa Nakajima from JWP, Hiroyo Matsumoto from Ibuki, Aya Yuki from NEO, T-Rex Okuda from Sendai Girls, Hanako Kobayashi from Ito Dojo and Aoi Kizuki from Ice Ribbon. JWP owner Commando Bolshoi hasn't revealed what the match format will be. Maybe she hasn't decided yet. Well, that's a good excuse for another press conference.

The main event of the Oct. 21 Shinjuku FACE show will have Tsubasa Kuragaki & Kayoko Haruyama defending the JWP Tag Team Titles against Etsuko Mita & Manami Toyota. There's a blast from the past. The other title match is a belt vs belt match. It will be JWP Junior Champ Arisa Nakajima vs POP Champ Misaki Ohata. WANTED vs Uematsu will also be featured with Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Carlos Amano vs Toshie Uematsu, Ran YuYu & Chikayo Nagashima. KAZUKI was wondering why Amano wasn't at the press conference. Uematsu said she called Amano last night and told her the press conference was cancelled. Uematsu kept wandering in and out untill she stayed long enough for pictures. Other matches are Commando Bolshoi & Michiko Ohmukai vs Azumi Hyuga & Kei'to, Ohmukai's final JWP appearance before retirement. Aska Ohki vs Aya Yuki and Kaori Yoneyama vs Tojuki Leon round out the card.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Kierra "Kiki" Sheard

Artist:Kierra "Kiki" Sheard

Song:You Don't Know

Album: I Owe You

At 20 years of age, gospel singer Kierra "Kiki" Sheard is already one of the premiere vocalists in the world and she's only going to get better. She was born June 20, 1987 in Detroit. Her mom is Karen Clark Sheard of The Clark Sisters and her grandma was gospel music legend Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. With that kind of pedigree, it's not surprising that she first appeared on one of her mom's records at age ten. After being courted by secular record companies, Kiki signed with EMI Gospel. 2004's I Owe You was her debut CD. All the top producers lined up to work with her including her cousin J. Moss. You Don't know was the first single and was written and produced for her by uber producer Rodney Jerkins. The song talks about how her mom almost died in 2001 and how the power of God saved her. It is a hot song. Kiki's 2006 follow up CD This Is Me is even better than her debut. Kiki is currently studying entertainment law at Wayne State University and is also in the studio recording her next CD. Kierra "Kiki" Sheard is just getting started and is destined to be one of the all time greats of black music. Here is Kierra "Kiki" Sheard performing You Don't Know on TBN.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Temptations

Artist:The Temptations

Song:Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)


One would have thought that David Ruffin's dismissal from The Temptations would have killed the group. But Dennis Edwards proved to be a great replacement for Ruffin and producer Norman Whitfield adjusted the sound of the group to reflect the times. They continued to have hits but started to have more problems. Paul Williams' health declined sharply and Richard Street started replacing him on tour in 1969. Preferring their earlier material, Eddie Kendricks had developed a serious attitude problem. 1971's Just My Imagination was the swan song for both. The song is a throwback to The Temptations 60s ballads with a great lead by Kendricks. Williams sings the bridge. The song was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in 1971. This 1995 reissue of Anthology is out of print so I recommend The Ultimate Collection. Eddie Kendricks soon left The Temptaions for a solo career and was replaced by Damon Harris. Kendricks had a very successful solo career. Paul Williams was permanently replaced by Richard Street due to ill health and comitted suicide on Aug. 17, 1973 at age 34. Here are The Temptations performing Just My Imagination on The Ed Sullivan Show 1971. It was the final time Kendricks & Williams would appear with the group.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ito Dojo 1st Anniversary show

The Kaoru Ito Professional Wrestling Classroom held their first anniversary show Oct. 13 at Shinjuku FACE. They did debut a new rookie and announced plans for their next show. The rookie is Chiaki Machida and she debuted in the opener. She actually came out on a unicycle. Her opponent was another rookie, Midori. Midori got her in a sleeper and a missile kick. But Machida came back and won with an AJW style hold down at 6:03. Kaoru Ito said Machida needs a lot of work. She's the ninth wrestler to debut for the Ito Dojo. They have a few more in training. Though Midori is a rookie, she's 33 years old. That says something about the state of today's business.

With the exception of the main event, the other matches had a mix of veterans and rookies. Michiko Ohmukai defeated Tomoko Morii with a forearm smash at 9:07. Takako Inoue & Aki Kambayashi defeated Aoi Kizuki & Hanako Kobayashi when Takako use a back blow on Kobayashi at 14:06. Mai Ichii tried to battle Yumiko Hotta but Hotta just swatted her away with a kick, the palm bottom and a pyramid driver for the win at 11:04. The same thing happened to Ayako Sato in her match against Kaoru Ito. Ito used a lariat, a Liger bomb and the diving footstamp for the win at 14:35.

The main event was Manami Toyota against Ayako Hamada. It was a tough match but Ayako won with the AP Cross at 18:36. Afterwards, they held a draw to determine the brackets for a one day tag team tournament that will be Dec. 13 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. It's Kaoru Ito & TBA vs Ayako Sato & Hanako Kobayashi, Takako Inoue & Mai Ichii vs Ayako Hamada & Aki Kambayashi and Yumiko Hotta & Tomoko Morii vs Manami Yotota & Midori. The winners of matches 1 & 2 will face each other and the winner of that will face the winner of match 3 in the final.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-T-Bone Walker

Artist:T-Bone Walker

Song:When The Sun Goes Down

Album:The Complete Imperial Recordings 1950-1954

T-Bone Walker was a major influence on anyone who has ever played blues on an electric guitar. And the 1950s was his prime. He was born Aaron Thibeaux Walker May 28, 1910 in Linden, TX. His stepfather Marco Washington played bass in the Dallas String Band so T-Bone learned about stringed instruments very early in life. He was mentored by the legendary Blind Lemon Jefferson and Walker made his recording debut in 1929. Another Walker influence was Charlie Christian who invented electric guitar. They jammed together in 1933. Walker move to Los Angeles in the mid 30s and continued to record. Of course his biggest hit was 1947's Stormy Monday Blues. He signed with Imperial Records in 1950 and this 2CD comp covers that period. There are plenty of classics on this including the Dave Bartholomew written and produced When The Sun Goes Down. Walker continued to do well in the 50s but his style of blues wasn't popular anymore in the 60s. He toured and occasionally recorded until his death on Mar. 16, 1975 at age 65. T-Bone Walker's 50s recordings are a must for blues fans. Here's T-Bone Walker performing Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong in Germany 1962.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Artist:Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Song:Nobody's Baby

Album:100 Days, 100 Nights

If you listen to the music of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, you might think it was some lost Stax soul from the 60s. But this is new music and the CD was released last week. But the influence is fairly obvious. Sharon Jones was born May 4, 1956 in Augusta, GA and moved to New York City at an early age. She grew up singing in church and she and her brothers would often imitate James Brown. After an unsuccessful attempt to break into the music business in the 70s, she went to work as a corrections officer at Sing Sing Prison. Sharon always sang part time. In 1996, she sang backup vocals on a session organized by the French label Pure Records. When label owners Philip Lehman & Gabriel Roth moved to New York, they started a record label for Sharon Jones. The music is being sold as retro funk soul but the songs are original. The Dap-Kings started as The Soul Providers in the mid 90s. When Roth split with Lehman, he started Daptone Records with sax player Neal Sugarman. Nobody's Baby is from their new CD 100 Days, 100 Nights. I don't know if Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings will ever have anything more than a cult following but fans of classic soul will enjoy their music. Here's Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings performing on the French Canal Plus TV network.

Friday, October 12, 2007

SUN announces schedule for Chick Fight J

Chick Fights SUN held a press conference Thursday to announce the schedule for the Chick Fight J tournament. This will be a round robin tournament and the finals will be on Nov. 18. All the shows are at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. The most notable thing about this is there will be no gaijins in this tournament. The press conference began with Saki Maemura talking about winning the AWA World Womens Championship. She just said she was very excited and it was unexpected. Maemura & Hikaru talked a bit about this weekend's trip to Hawaii.

There will be two Zones in the Chick Fight J tournament, the Cup Zone & the Coin Zone. The Cup Zone will have Natsuki* Taiyo, noki-A, Nanae Takahashi & Kayoko Haruyama. The Coin Zone will have KY Hotta, Toshie Uematsu, Saki Maemura & Hikaru. KY Hotta? Yeah, it's Yumiko Hotta but it seems she's saying that she's reborn with the spirit of All Japan Women. She wasn't there to explain it. She seems a little old to be reborn. And of course noki-A is AKINO's masked heel character. The winner of each match will get two points. The loser gets zero points and a draw is worth one point. Each match will have a 30 minute time limit.

The tournament will begin at the Oct. 18 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. The matches will be Natsuki*Taiyo vs noki-A, KY Hotta vs Toshie Uematsu, Nanae Takahashi vs Kayoko Haruyama & Saki Maemura vs Hikaru. On Oct. 19, it will be Hikaru vs Toshie Uematsu, Natsuki*Taiyo vs Kayoko Haruyama, Saki Maemura vs KY Hotta & Nanae Takahashi vs noki-A. On Nov. 15, it will be Hikaru vs KY Hotta, noki-A vs Kayoko Haruyama, Toshie Uematsu vs Saki Maemura & Nanae Takahashi vs Natsuki*Taiyo. The playoffs and final will be on Nov. 16.

Of course it wouldn't be a SUN press conference without some brawling. Takahashi talks a bit about Hotta's participation. Apparently she keeps changing her mind. One day she says yes and the next day she says no. All of the wrestlers are curious to see what Hotta is up to. All the wrestlers say they will win until Kayoko Haruyama says she will win the tournament for JWP. She starts arguing with Takahashi about Azumi Hyuga. The wrestlers are asked to pose for pictures. Haruyama refuses because she's not part of SUN. She starts jostling with Natsuki*Taiyo until they throw her out and then the pictures are taken.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Lloyd Price

Artist:Lloyd Price

Song:Stagger Lee

Album:Greatest Hits:The Original ABC-Paramount Recordings

Lloyd Price had some success in the 50s but he had even more success when he switched labels in the late 50s. He was born Mar. 9, 1933 in Kenner, LA. His mother ran a restaurant and he grew up listening to R & B on her jukebox. Lloyd formed a band as a teen and got the attention of legendary producer Dave Bartholomew and he got him a contract with Specialty Records. Price's 1952 version of Lawdy Miss Clawdy topped the R & B charts. He was drafted into the Army and after he came out of the service, he started his own record label. He got the attention of ABC-Paramount and they picked up distribution. Price's version of the folk song Stagger Lee topped the pop charts in 1958. The song is about a murderer so apparently Dick Clark insisted on a sanitized version for American Bandstand. Both versions are on this comp. Price had several more hits until he left Paramount to start his own label with partner Harold Logan. Price actually left the music business when Logan was murdered in 1969 and Price became known for hanging around boxing promoter Don King. He now works the oldies circuit. His music was fun back in the day. I was surprised there was no Lloyd Price video from the 50s but here he is performing Stagger Lee on a PBS special.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-James Brown

Artist:James Brown

Song:Papa's Got A Brand New Bag, Part. 1

Album:20 All Time Greatest Hits

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag was James Brown's first top ten pop hit in 1965. It signaled a complete change from more traditional R & B into what would eventually be called funk. It didn't have a name at the time. It came at the end of a long legal battle with King Records owner Syd Nathan. Of course most James Brown fans agree that the 1963 Live At The Apollo is one of his greatest recordings. But Nathan didn't want to release it. He didn't think it would sell. Brown went and recorded Out Of Sight for Smash Records in 1964. Nathan sued him and Brown wasn't able to release any vocal recordings for over a year. This resulted in a new contract with King that gave him a lot more artistic control. Papa's Got A Brand New Bag was the first single and Brown's breakthrough to a pop audience. There was no album. King took two versions of the song along with some previously released material and issued a makeshift LP. But you can get the song on plenty of comps including this one which is a perfect introduction to newcomers. Everybody needs some James Brown. Here's James Brown performing Papa's Got A brand New Bag on Shindig in 1965.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Patrick Carpentier comes to NASCAR

Gillett Evernham Motorsports announced today that former CHAMP car driver Patrick Carpentier will drive what is currently known as the #10 Valvoline Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2008. The number & sponsor are to be announced. Current driver Scott Riggs will move to Haas CNC Racing in 2008. It's been known for a while that GEM was interested in Carpentier. He was very impressive driving the #10 at the Watkins Glen Nextel Cup race in August. Of course Carpentier is from Montreal meaning the 2008 Sprint Cup will have two Canadian regulars for the first time ever. Jacques Villeneuve will drive for Bill Davis Racing. This also continues the influx of international drivers in NASCAR. Next year's Sprint Cup will also include Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti & Marcos Ambrose.

Maemura, Hikaru to Hawaii

Hikaru is once again going to Hawaii to work for Hawaii Championship Wrestling on their Oct. 13 show. This time she's taking the new AWA World Womens Champion Saki Maemura with her. I believe it's her first trip to Hawaii. Chick Fights SUN president Nakamura said they will both be in singles matches against unknown opponents. According to the HCW website, it's actually going to be a four way match and the loser will retire. The participants are Hikaru, Saki Maemura, Tracy Taylor and the fourth participant is...drum roll...Tsunami. No, not the Mexican Tsunami. I wish it was her. She's pretty good. Joshi fans will remember a 350lb. Hawaiian tub of lard named Tsunami who worked for JD Star for a couple of years. She left Japan when JD Star decided to emphasize the Athtresses in May 2003. I don't know if she is the worst wrestler I've ever seen but she's pretty bad. I thought she left the wrestling business but I don't follow HCW so she may have worked there before. I have a feeling she will officially retire this Friday. Her size and lack of mobility make her very difficult to work with.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Dizzy Gillespie

Artist:Dizzy Gillespie


Album:Verve Jazz Masters 10

This comp is from a series of Verve comps. It's a very good introduction to someone like Dizzy Gillespie. He recorded for Verve in the 50s and early 60s. Gillespie was a major innovator as a trumpeter and incorporating Cuban music into bebop. Manteca was a song he co-wrote with Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo. This version of the song is from Gillespie's second major big band. He had already had a successful big band in 1947 and the US State Dept. asked him to put together a tour. The band was so successful it stayed together for two years. This is from the 1957 album Dizzy Gillespie At Newport. It's fabulous music featuring arrangements by Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Tadd Dameron, Benny Golson & Ernie Wilkins. Golson and Billy Mitchell are the lead sax players. Other musicians include Lee Morgan on trumpet, Al Grey on trombone, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul West on bass and Charlie Persip on drums. So the great thing about a comp like this is once you hear this version of Manteca, you'll want the original album. And Verve has recently released a 50th Anniversary edition of Dizzy Gillespie At Newport. Here's Dizzy Gillespie's Big Band performing Things To Come in 1968.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Count Basie

Artist:Count Basie

Song:Segue In C (Alternate take)

Album:Basie At Birdland

Here's a recently rereleased Count Basie CD that might be overlooked because it's not from his prime. Of course Count Basie is one of the giants of big band music. Bebop had become popular in the 50s but Basie kept recording and he had his ups and downs. He had been recording for Roulette Records and made some of his best music for them in the late 50s. Basie At Birdland was recorded on June 27-28, 1961. Basie had lost a few key soloists and added new ones and it seemed to energize the band. Blue Note released this in August with alternate takes and bonus tracks. Segue In C was written by sax player Frank Wess. Frank Foster, Thad Jones & Budd Johnson are among the other musicians. Soon after this, Basie would sign with the Frank Sinatra owned Reprise Records to try and improve record sales but that wasn't one of his better periods. But Basie At Birdland does swing and it's worth a listen. Here's Count Basie performing Corner Pocket in 1962.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Saki Maemura wins the AWA World Womens Championship

Chick Fights SUN were involved in two shows this weekend. The Oct. 7 show at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium drew 1,500 fans. The Oct. 8 show was a combined ZERO-ONE MAX show at the Gifu Chamber Of Commerce drew 800 fans. There were a couple of title changes on the Osaka show. There was very little REM prescence on the show so we can expect some activity in that area in the next few weeks. The opener had Natsuki*Taiyo defeat Kana with the Iguchi bomb at 13:37. A men's match had Ikuto Hidaka & KAGETORA go to a 15 ninute draw against Minoru Fujita & El Blazer.

Next was Tracy Taylor coming over from Hawaii to defend the EWA Womens Championship against Fuuka. Tracy won this title recently in a three way match over Hikaru & Malia Hosaka. The end came when Tracy missed a kick. Fuuka hit her with the F-Crash and the Doll-F and finished her with a cross arm breaker at 8:43. I'm not particularly surprised that Fuuka won the belt. It gives her something to play with on her Fuuka Matsuri shows. So why did they put the belt on Tracy in the first place? That way Hikaru can lose the belt without losing to Fuuka. It's not like the belt has much meaning in SUN.

Next was a mixed match with Aja Kong, Kohei Sato & American Balloon over Hikaru, Masato Tanaka & Lingerie Muto when Tohei used a half crab on Hikaru at 20:26. Next was Jamie Dee defending the AWA World Womens Championship against Saki Maemura. Obviously no one expected Maemura to win because she's a jobber. So naturally Maemura won. So how did she win? They're calling the finisher "Never Give Up". Of course it's a rollup pin. She wrapped her leg around Jamie's arms and got the pin at 8:17. I guess SUN isn't planning on bringing Jamie back in the future. The problem with putting a title belt on Maemura is it takes more than that to elevate her. Winning with a rollup isn't a good sign.

The main event had Nanae Takahashi against Azumi Hyuga. This is the match that should be the showcase for an important title belt. But it's very typical of the kind of screwy booking Nakamura has been doing for the last year. You're going to let JWP have this as a title match and not do it yourself? That's crazy. It was reportedly a very good match. Takahashi hit a brain buster from the ring apron to the floor. Hyuga hit an avalanche style DDT. It went back and forth with a lot of big moves. The end came when Hyuga hit a knee from the top rope to the back of the head. When she went up to try it again, Takahashi intercepted her and won with the Chanaracka*100 at 27:43.

The Oct. 8 show was presented by the Shin'ya Hashimoto fan club. It was a combined ZERO-ONE-MAX/Sun show. First was a five minute exhibition between Osamu Namiguchi & Naomiki Ueda. Then Kana defeated Tracy Taylor with the Tracy Hunter at 11:01. Then Minotu Fujita & Futoshi Miwa defeated Shota Takanishi & American Baloon when Fujita use the Sasuke Segway on Takanishi at 12:22. Jamie Dee defeated Natsuki*Taiyo with an F5 at 4:12. Masato Tanaka & Ikuto Hidaka defeated Kohei Sato & Tatsuhito Takaiwa when Tanaka used the Sliding D on Takaiwa at 12:59. Nanae Takahashi & Saki Maemura defeated Fuuka & Hikaru. Maemura rolled Fuuka up after Takahashi nailed her with a lariat at 21:47. Considering Sun's booking, don't read too much into those results. Let's see what they do with the tournament next month.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Four Tops

Artist:The Four Tops

Song:Reach Out (I'll Be There)

Album:The Ultimate Collection

One of the things that separates The Four Tops from most groups is they never had any personnel changes or ego problems. Levi Stubbs, Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Renaldo "Obie" Benson & Lawrence Payton met at a friend's birthday party in 1953 and have been together ever since. Reach Out (I'll Be There) may be their greatest song. They started out as The Four Aims. They signed with Chess in 1956 and the group name was changed to The Four Tops to avoid confusion with the Ames Brothers. They flopped and flopped at three other labels until Berry Gordy signed them to Motown in 1963. Columbia had attempted to sell them as a jazz-like vocal group. Gordy was going to continue that but changed his mind and made them more R & B. He assigned the songwriting producing team of Holland/Dozier/Holland to The Four Tops and they had a string of top hits in the 60s. The 1966 smash Reach Out (I'll Be There) features a fabulous lead vocal by Levi Stubbs. Here's a guy with a wonderful church trained voice good enough for him to be a solo star. But he never left The Four Tops. That's loyalty. This comp The Ultimate Collection has all their hits. The Four Tops remained together until Lawrence Payton's death in 1997. They replaced him with Theo Peoples but that has been the only change. They're still touring and doing great. Here's The Four Tops performing Reach Out (I'll Be There) on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Byron Cage

Artist:Byron Cage

Song:Rain On Me

Album:Invitation To Worship

Byron Cage is a gospel artist known as the Prince Of Praise. He combines Praise & Worship with contemporary gospel elements and has become very popular in recent years. He was born Dec. 15, 1962 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was music director for the New Birth Cathedral in Atlanta for a decade. He first surfaced as a solo artist with his group Purpose on Atlanta International Records in 1994. He didn't do well and in 1998, Cage became minister of music at Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, MD. He still did occasional guest shots on records and one of those guest shots got the attention of GospoCentric Records owner Vicki Mack Latandaille. She had the idea of putting Cage together with Kurt Carr for a live CD. The 2003 CD Live At The New Birth Cathedral was a huge success. Rain On Me is from the 2005 follow up Invitation To Worship. Cage works with Paul "PDA" Allen & J. Moss of PAJAM. Cage always records live and the CD will not disappoint his fans. He again worked with PAJAM on his new CD The Proclamation (Live At The Apollo). This was released a couple of weeks ago and has guest appearances by Kelly Price, Kim Burrell & Dave Hollister. Byron Cage is a strong vocal arranger and has become one of the most popular gospel artists around. Here's the video for I Will Bless The Lord by Byron Cage.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Satomura suffers broken orbital bone

Sendai Girls had their latest Zepp Sendai show on Oct. 5 against JWP with 700 fans in attendance. There were a couple of events on this show; one planned, one not planned. And I guess the not planned could affect the planned depending on when they want to do it. I think it will be OK. The opener was Mizhaaya vs ASKA Ohki. Mizhaaya starts with a shoulder tackle. Ohki comes back with a neck throw and a sleeper. They exchange blows and Mizhaaya hits a shoulder breaker, a guillotine and a body ram. But a guillotine from the second rope misses. Ohki hits a missile dropkick but Mizahaaya wins with some sort of shoulder hold called a Fig Tree at 6:38.

Next is Hirenai (Yurie Kaneko) vs Commando Bolshoi. Bolshoi starts out with a chinlock. Hirenai tries to come back with matwork but she unable to control Bolshoi. The end comes when Bolshoi hits a German duplex, a back fist and a triangle choke for the win at 11:31. Next is Sachiko Sendai vs Kaori Yoneyama. Sachiko starts out with dropkicks, a camel clutch and flying tackles. Yoneyama comes back with a DDT, a suplex a swinging DDT and a missile dropkick. But then she misses a senton from the top rope. But Sachiko is unable to take advanrage and Yoneyama hits a German suplex and a diving senton for the win at 8:38. Sendai Girls announces their new trainee Harada will debut on Nov. 18.

Next was DASH Chisako vs Tsubasa Kuragaki. As you might expect, Kuragaki uses her size to wear down Chisako. But Kuragaki misses a top rope moonsault. Chisako hit two missile dropkicks but Kuragaki hits a lariat, a backdrop, a uraken and another lariat for the win at 11:01. The main event was Meiko Satomura & T-Rex Okuda vs Azumi Hyuga & Arisa Nakajima. The match was going along and Satomura & Hyuga were in the ring. Satomura hits a DDT, a German suplex and a Death Valley Driver on Hyuga. Nakajima intrudes and Satomura takes care of her with a Dragon Screw. But it distracts Satomura enough for Hyuga to hit aq German suplex and a missile dropkick. Hyuga hits Satomura with a running knee for the win at 17:57. But Satomura's not getting up. Apparently Hyuga knocked her out by accident and Satomura was taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, Bolshoi got together with Jinsei Shinzaki and announced that Hyuga will defend the JWP Open Weight Title against Satomura at a future date. So obviously there was supposed to be a confrontation between the two. Oh, well. Accidents happen. Satomura has a broken orbital bone. I think she'll return in time for the next Sendai Girls show on Nov. 18.

Pro Wrestling SUN changes name

Pro Wrestling SUN held a press conference Friday to announce an upcoming tournament. But they also announced that they're changing their name from Pro Wrestling SUN to Chick Fights SUN. The reason for the change given by Takahashi at the press conference is that Chick Fights is the worldwide generic name for women's professional wrestling. Really? Paging Chickfights owner Jason Deadrich. SUN president Nakamura isn't any more enlightening on the SUN blog. The likely real reason is simply to distinguish themselves from other wrestling promotions with a more distinctive name. Especially if they're going to have occasional matches abroad. That has to be it because they didn't change the logo.

SUN also announced plans for a tournament to be called Chick Fever J. This will be a round robin tournament The wrestlers will be divided into the Cup Zone and the Coin Zone. All matches will have a 30 minute time limit. There will be two points for a win, one point for a draw and zero points for a loss. The tournament matches will be on the Oct. 18, Oct. 19 & Nov. 15 Shin-kiba 1st Ring shows. The winners of the zones will face off in the final on the Nov. 16 Shin-kiba 1st Ring. Announced participants include Nanae Takahashi, Hikaru, Saki Maemura, Natsuki*Taiyo, Toshie Uematsu & Kayoko Haruyama. Yumiko Hotta has been contacted but hasn't confirmed. It doesn't say how many wrestlers will be in the tournament so I don't know if they will bring in any gaijins. But I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Marvin Gaye

Artist:Marvin Gaye

Song:What's Going On

Album:What's Going On

Marvin Gaye's What's Going On is one of the most significant albums in black music history. Gaye was already a significant star but Motown owner Berry Gordy wasn't interested in producing socially relevant music. The recent tragic death of Gaye's duet partner Tammi Terrell and the recent return of Marvin's brother Frankie from a three year tour in the Vietnam War convinced Marvin that he needed to speak out. In late 1970, Obie Benson of The Four Tops brought him a song he had written with producer Al Cleveland. Gaye went into the studio with The Funk Brothers and recorded What's Going On. Benson & Cleveland also wrote Save The Children & Wholly Holy. Berry Gordy refused to release What's Going On because he didn't think it would sell. Gaye went on strike and refused to record until Gordy released it. He finally did and What's Going On hit number two on the pop singles charts in 1971. The album is an all time classic and changed the face of black music. Motown has rereleased What's Going On on CD several times including a 2CD Deluxe Edition featuring a vintage live performance. It's a must for anyone's CD collection. Here's Marvin Gaye with The Funk Brothers performing What's Going On & What's Happening Brother from the 1973 film Save The Children.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Maybe Ohka isn't WAVE's ace anymore

Pro Wrestling WAVE had a bit better attendance for their Sept. 30 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. The announced attendance was 169. I wonder how many of those paid. Maybe they shouldn't run mid-week shows. It's still no great shakes but at least they broke a hundred. The opener was a mixed match with Kyoko Kimura & Manabu Hara vs GAMI & Daisuke Ikeda. Kimura won the match with a sleeper on GAMI at 14:53. Afterwards, GAMI demanded a singles match with Kimura as revenge. She wants Kimura to put up her afro. Kimura wants to know what GAMI is going to put up. GAMI says the natch will be called Afro Contra & Mortal Combat. she says if she loses, WAVE president Takashi will become a Buddhist monk. I think she was joking. It looks like a loser gets her head shaved match.

Next was Michiko Ohmukai vs Francoise in Diva WAVE. Ohmukai won in 7:00 when she it a Kakuto Drop and trampled Francoise. Apparently Francoise was terrible in the match. Next was Comical WAVE with Mariko Yoshida over Bullfight Sora with a schoolboy at 9:54. Yoshida is the wrong person to put in a comedy match because sheis unable to keep from laughing at Sora's goofy antics. There was also something about GAMI giving Sora a test to see if she is crosseyed.

Next was Shuu Shibutani & Misaki Ohata vs Cherry & Arisa Nakajima. This is Shibutani's final match before her trip to Mexico. They've been doing this angle where Shibutani is learning lucha moves from KAORU. The end comes when Cherry hits Shibutani with a knee to the back of the head followed by a nexk breaker drop from the second rope. But Shibutani reverses a pin with a small package for the win at 23:12. The main event had Yumi Ohka against Hiroyo Matsumoto. There's someone she can beat. It doesn't happem Matsumoto wins with a back elbow at 14:05. Ohka says she's taking this one day at a time and is improving every match. But she's not winning so it looks like GAMI is going to move her "ace" out of main events for a while.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Jill Scott

Artist:Jill Scott

Song:Hate On Me

Album:The Real Thing:Words & Sounds Vol. 3

Holy mackeral! This is the first single from Jill Scott's new CD. She kicks butt. Jill is one of my favourite artists. She was born Apr. 4, 1972 in Philadelphia. She started out reading her poetry in clubs and was spotted by Amir "?uestlove" Thompson of The Roots. He invited her to join them in the studio and the 1999 hit You Got Me was the result. Jill signed with Steve McKeever's Hidden Beach label and her 2000 debut CD Who Is Jill Scott? went double platinum and she was nominated for several Grammys. The Real Thing was released last week. Hate On Me is a rage song. I understand she went through a divorce recently. She co-wrote it with longtime collaborator Adam Blackstone. As usual, she also works with Andre Harris & Vidal Davis. Apparently she also wrote several bedroom songs with the son of 70s soul singer Leroy Hutson. Jill is also appearing in the new Tyler Perry film Why Did I Get Married? Jill Scott is one of the best singers working today. Here's the video for Hate On Me by Jill Scott.