Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Castaways

Artist:The Castaways
Song:Liar, Liar
Album:Nuggets From Nuggets: Choice Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era

Here is yet another one hit wonder garage band classic that owes its durability to the Nuggets garage band comps. The Castaways began in Minneapolis in 1962 as a frat party band by guitarist Roy Hensley, bassist Dick Roby and drummer Denny Craswell. They proved to be so popular that they stayed together and added lead guitarist Bob Folschow and keyboard player Jim Donna. Liar, Liar was released on the local Soma Records and reached #12 on the singles charts in 1965. Donna wrote the song. The song does have some interesting effects. Despite an appearance in the 1965 film It's A Bikini World, The Castaways couldn't follow up Liar, Liar and they never released another album. The Nuggets garage band comps have kept a lot of these songs alive and the song also appeared in the film Good Morning, Vietnam. Denny Craswell was also a member of the late 60s group Crow. They originally recorded the song Evil Woman which was successfully covered by Black Sabbath. Folschow and Craswell reformed The Castaways in the 80s and Jim Donna leads a version of the group today. Here are The Castaways performing Liar, Liar in the film It's A Bikini World.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

LaTasha Marzolla interview

Here's a video of Steve Cofield of Yahoo Sports interviewing aspiring MMA fighter LaTasha Marzolla and her trainer Shawn Tompkins. LaTasha will make her amateur MMA debut at tonight's Tuff 'N' Uff show in Las Vegas. Her name should ring a bell because LaTasha is a former Playboy Playmate and once was under a WWE developmental contract. But she has an extensive Muay Thai background and you can check out some of her fights by clicking on the thumbnails after the video plays. Don't let the Playboy stuff fool you. Tompkins trains LaTasha at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and of course she's very good friends with Gina Carano and like Gina, she was trained in Muay Thai by Master Toddy. She was on the Fight Girls TV show. LaTasha told Cofield that she's a mom now and has matured and probably wouldn't do Playboy now. But she did it for the money when she was younger and now she wants to prove herself as a fighter. Some fans may recall that she signed a WWE developmental contract in 2004 at a time when the WWE was trying to cultivate an ongoing relationship with Playboy. She trained to wrestle at Ohio Valley Wrestling but didn't last long. Reports at the time indicated that LaTasha suffered an ankle injury and those in charge of her training questioned her committment because of her reluctance to return to action when they thought she should. Translation: they thought she was dogging it but she probably wasn't. We'll see how she does tonight. Enjoy the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Edwin Hawkins Singers

Artist:The Edwin Hawkins Singers f/Dorothy Combs Morrison
Song:Oh Happy Day
Album:Oh Happy Day! The Best Of The Edwin Hawkins Singers

Occasionally gospel music has crossed over to the mainstream charts. But this 1969 top five hit was a huge surprise at the time and laid the foundation for the contemporary gospel that is popular today. And the Hawkins family are legends of gospel especially in their hometown of Oakland. Edwin Hawkins was born Aug. 18, 1943 in Oakland and at age seven he was already playing keyboards in the family choir. In 1967 he started the Northern California State Youth Choir with Betty Watson and they recorded an album in 1968. Oh Happy Day started getting airplay on San Francisco radio stations and it was picked up for national distribution by Buddah Records. It reached #4 on the pop singles chart in 1969. Hawkins wrote the song and arranged it with his brother Walter Hawkins. Dorothy Combs Morrison delivers a great lead vocal. She left the Hawkins singers in 1970 and continues to sing in Oakland churches today. Oh Happy Day got a big boost when it turned up in the film Sister Act. The song is now a standard. Edwin Hawkins still records and performs today frequently with his brother Walter Hawkins and sister Lynette Hawkins-Stephens. This Sony BMG budget comp has their Buddah recordings but you should look into some recent Hawkins family recordings too. Here's Edwin Hawkins & Lynette Hawkins-Stephens performing Oh Happy Day 1987.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Lesley Gore

Artist:Lesley Gore
Song:It's My Party
Album:Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows: The Best Of Lesley Gore

The 1963 #1 hit It's My Party was probably the biggest hit of the girl group era of the early 60s. It helped that Lesley Gore was 17. Teen girls could really identify with her. She was born Lesley Sue Goldstein May 2, 1946 in New York City and grew up in Tenafly, NJ. Her family changed their name to Gore soon after her birth. While still in high school, a couple of demos she recorded with her vocal coach got into the hands of Mercury Records A & R head Quincy Jones. The two selected It's My Party from over 200 songs and quickly recorded it when they learned that Phil Spector had planned to have The Crystals record it. Spector did have The Paris Sisters record the song later. The song hit number one in 1963. Jones and arranger Claus Ogerman were heavily influenced by Spector's Wall Of Sound and Lesley sounded like a kid. It's My Party was written by veteran songwriter producer Wally Gold along with John Gluck Jr. and Andrew Weiner. Gold wrote It's Now Or Never for Elvis Presley and at the time he produced Gene Pitney. He worked for music mogul Don Kirshner for many years and discovered the group Kansas in the early 70s. The sequel Judy's Turn To Cry also was a top ten hit. She never reached #1 again but Lesley had several hits in the mid-60s. This Rhino comp has them all. Lesley Gore attented Sarah Lawrence College instead of going into acting but by the late 60s, her singing career faded. Lesley Gore has continued to perform and released a new CD in 2005. Here's Lesley Gore performing It's My Party on Hollywood-A-Go-Go in 1965.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Free

Song:All Right Now
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection: The Best Of Free

Free came out of the British blues rock boom of the late 60s. All Right Now was their one big hit. Their albums didn't sell well and that resulted in friction within the band so they didn't last long. Free started when guitarist Paul Kossoff (born Sept. 14, 1950 in London) and drummer Simon Kirke (born Aug. 27, 1949 in London) were members of the blues rock group Black Cat Bones in 1968. They wanted to start their own group and spotted singer Paul Rodgers (born Dec. 17, 1949 in Middlesborough, England) singing with the group Brown Sugar. They brought in bassist Andy Fraser (born July 3, 1952 in West London) from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. British blues legend Alexis Korner helped put the band together and even named them Free. They signed with Island Records and though their 1968 debut album Tons Of Sobs was critically acclaimed, it didn't sell. They tried a more mainstream rock approach with the 1969 album Free but that didn't sell either. Finally Free had a hit with All Right Now from their 1970 album Fire And Water. It was a top five hit. But Rodgers and Fraser weren't getting along and Kossoff was a drug addict so they split up in 1971. Rodgers and Kirke started Bad Company and Fraser started Sharks with guitarist Chris Spedding. Kossoff formed Back Street Crawler. Free would reform briefly in 1975 but then Kossoff died on Mar. 19, 1976 at age 25 and that was the end. In recent years, Paul Rodgers has worked with members of Queen. So Free didn't live up to their potential but All Right Now is a memorable song. This budget comp is perfect for most music fans. Here's Free performing All Right Now on Top Of The Pops 1971.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Three Count trailer

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but a while back NEO got involved in the production of a new joshi puroresu film called Three Count. The film is produced by a company called Faith Entertainment. I don't think NEO invested money in the film but Kyoko Inoue, Yoshiko Tamura and Sakura Emi co-star in the film and trained the young girls who star in the film. Part of the deal is one of those girls has to actually wrestle for NEO as part the tie-in to promote the film. Three Count is to be released in Japan on June 22 and here's the trailer.

Jango Song Of The Day-Rufus Thomas

Artist:Rufus Thomas
Song:Walkin' The Dog
Album:The Best Of Rufus Thomas: Do The Funky Somethin'

Rufus Thomas was a legend of the Memphis music scene not only for his music but as a comedian and a DJ. Walkin' The Dog was his one top ten pop hit in 1963 but he had plenty of other animal related hits on Stax. He was born Mar. 27, 1917 in Cayce, MS and grew up in Memphis. He joined the Rabbit Foot Minstrels in 1936 and then worked a full time job at a textile plant. In his spare time, he started working as a DJ at Memphis radio station WDIA in 1951 and he even had a minor hit with the song Bear Cat in 1953. It was an answer to Big Mama Thornton's Hound Dog. Thomas is credited for discovering BB King. His music career began with Stax Records in 1963. Thomas had a song idea while sitting in church. He saw some cars in front of Stax and went to see if any musicians were there. He told Booker T. & The MGs guitarist Steve Cropper his idea and Walkin' The Dog was the result. Atlantic Records' Tom Dowd was in town and he insisted on releasing the song with their new deal with Stax. It was Thomas' only top ten hit but he had plenty of other R & B hits including Do The Funky Chicken. All those hits are on this Rhino comp. Of course his daughter Carla Thomas was one of Stax's biggest stars and his son Marvel Thomas was a Stax keyboard player. Rufus Thomas' recording career ended when Stax went bankrupt in 1975. He would record a couple more albums but he continued to perform until his death on Dec. 15, 2001 at age 84. Rufus Thomas was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame prior to his death and has a street named after him in Memphis. His music sure is a lot of fun. Here's Rufus Thomas performing Walkin' The Dog in England 1965.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Angelina Love retains TNA Knockouts Title

Here's the video of the TNA Knockouts Title match from Sunday's Sacrifice PPV. Angelina Love successfully defended her title over Awesome Kong with some obvious skullduggery. Fan reviews have been mostly negative. I thought the match was fine within the context of the angle but it probably belonged on an episode of Impact instead of the PPV. Both major wrestling companies tend to book run of the mill women's matches on PPV and this wasn't any different. Angelina Love has really stepped up to become a main event performer. Her promo on last week's Impact was hilarious and really did a great job of setting up this match. Obviously they should have given them more time on the PPV but they performed well within those limitations. Angelina running from Kong is part of the angle and it's acceptable heel behaviour. But fans don't like that on a PPV match. So I'm OK with the match but it should have been longer. Most fans probably know by now that TNA has signed Lisa Marie Varon and she will debut on this week's Impact. We all know how great she was as Victoria in the WWE and with Sarita (Sarah Stock) and Ayako Hamada coming to TNA soon, things are looking up in the Knockouts division. BTW, I didn't watch the Monster's Ball match between Daffney and Taylor Wilde. It doesn't interest me. But enjoy this match.

Jango Song Of The Day-Undisputed Truth

Artist:Undisputed Truth
Song:Smiling Faces Sometimes
Album:Smiling Faces: The Best Of Undisputed Truth

Though they had several R & B hits in the 70s, the 1971 top ten hit Smiling Faces Sometimes was the one big crossover hit by Undisputed Truth. Their stage appearance was also influential on Parliament. I guess the way to look at the group is they were sort of a test lab for production techniques that legendary Motown producer Norman Whitfield was using for The Temptations. The group started when Bobby Taylor brought Billie Rae Calvin and Brenda Joyce to Motown as part of the girl group The Delicates. They split up and the two girls were singing backup vocals at Motown when Whitfield decided to team them up with Joe Harris of The Preps. At the time, he was trying out more socially aware songs and psychedelic influenced sounds for The Temptations. Undisputed Truth was obviously going to suffer in comparison. For example, Papa Was A Rolling Stone was originally recorded by Undisputed Truth and of course was a huge hit for The Temptations. But Smiling Faces Sometimes was originally recorded unsuccessfully by The Temptations and Undisputed Truth had a surprise hit reaching #3 on the pop charts. They were also known for wearing huge white afros and face paint on stage. Undisputed Truth had some more hits on the R & B charts and went with Whitfield when he started his new label with Warner Bros. in 1975. Some personnel changes didn't help and they were done by 1977. This comp has all their Motown hits. A version of the group still performs today. Here's Undisputed Truth performing Smiling Faces Sometimes in 1971.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Jimmy Ruffin

Artist:Jimmy Ruffin
Song:What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection: The Best Of Jimmy Ruffin

A lot of music fans probably think this song was recorded by Temptations lead singer David Ruffin. But What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted was the biggest hit by his older brother Jimmy Ruffin. He was born May 7, 1939 in Collinsville, MS and grew up singing in church in Detroit. Ruffin signed with Motown in 1961 but was drafted into the US Army. After his discharge, he was offered a spot in The Temptations but recommended David instead. I guess the problem with Jimmy Ruffin's career at Motown is he didn't usually get to work with the top production teams like Holland-Dozier-Holland or Smokey Robinson. What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted was produced by secondary Motown producer Mickey Stevenson and written by the team of James Dean and William Weatherspoon along with arranger Paul Riser. Dean wrote the song for The Spinners but Ruffin talked him into letting him sing it. Ruffin delivers a great vocal and it reached #7 on the pop charts. He had some lesser hits including one with his brother David but he left Motown in the mid-70s and had a top ten hit in 1980 with the Robin Gibb produced Hold On To My Love. Jimmy Ruffin moved to England in the 80s. He's recorded occasionally and even had a talk show for a while. He continues to perform today. This budget comp has all his Motown hits. Here's Jimmy Ruffin performing What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted on Top Of The Pops 1975.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Jackie Wilson

Artist:Jackie Wilson
Song:Lonely Teardrops
Album:The Very Best Of Jackie Wilson

Along with Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson was one of the most important figures in the transition from R & B to soul. He was a fabulous singer and an energetic crowd pleasing performer. He was born June 9, 1934 in Detroit. He was on juvenile detention at age 15 when he took up boxing and won the Detroit Golden Gloves at age 16. He got married and became a father at age 17 and gave up boxing for music. He formed a group with his cousin Levi Stubbs (The Four Tops), was discovered by Johnny Otis and joined The Thrillers who would become The Royals. Wilson's big break came when he replaced Clyde McPhatter in Billy Ward & The Dominoes in 1953. As the group's popularity declined, Wilson signed with Brunswick Records in 1957. He formed a partnership with songwriter Berry Gordy Jr. and their first song together Reet Petite was an R & B hit. But Lonely Teardrops was Wilson's first really big hit in 1958. It was #1 on the R & B charts and reached #7 on the pop charts. Jackie Wilson was now a star. Wilson split with Gordy in a royalty dispute in 1958. Of course Gordy went on to found Motown Records. Wilson went on to have more hits in the early 60s. He was also shot by a girlfriend in 1961. He had a lull in the mid-60s but returned to the top ten with the 1966 hit Higher And Higher. Wilson continued his success though it became clear by the early 70s that Brunswick was having financial problems. This Rhino comp will satisfy most fans. Jackie Wilson suffered a massive heart attack while on stage in Cherry Hill, NJ on Sept. 29, 1975. A blow to the head when he fell left him comatose until his death on Jan. 21, 1984 at age 49. Here's Jackie Wilson performing Lonely Teardrops on The Ed Sullivan Show 1962.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jango Song of The Day-Unit 4+2

Artist:Unit 4+2
Song:Concrete And Clay
Album:The British Invasion: The History Of British Rock Vol. 6

The 1965 hit Concrete And Clay is probably one of those songs that most folks remember but have no idea who recorded it. That's because it was the only North American chart hit for the British Invasion group Unit 4+2. The group originated with guitarist Brian Parker in 1961 with an instrumental group called The Hunters. Parker joined Adam Faith's band for a while but then decided to start his own group. He recruited guitarists Tommy Moeller and David Meikle and singer Brian Moules. But Parker was ill so he replaced himself with Howard Lubin. Parker continued to write songs for the group. They called themselves Unit 4 and then Unit 4+2 when they added bassist Ron Garwood and drummer Hugh Halliday. They signed with British Decca in 1964 and had a couple of minor hits but hit #1 on the British charts with Concrete And Clay in 1965. Parker brought in Russ Ballard and Bob Henrit from Adam Faith's band to play on the song. Those two would go on to be members of Argent. Concrete And Clay only reached #28 on the US charts probably because of the success of Eddie Rambeau's cover version. Unit 4+2 continued to record but were never able to repeat the success of Concrete And Clay. This various artist artists comp is part of a series from Rhino. Here's Unit 4+2 performing Concrete And Clay on Shindig 1965.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Mungo Jerry

Artist:Mungo Jerry
Song:In The Summertime
Album:The British Are Coming

In The Summertime was the one really big hit for the British group Mungo Jerry. Their other music did OK in England but this one song has been played on radio during the summer constantly since 1970. The leader and primary songwriter of Mungo Jerry is Ray Dorset (born Mar. 21, 1946 in Ashford, Middlesex, England). Dorset and keyboard player Colin Earl had a band called The Good Earth. They released an album that went nowhere. They decided to form a band influenced by the blues of Alexis Korner but also by jug bands. They recruited Mike Cole on bass, Paul King on guitar and Joe Rush on washboard. The name Mungo Jerry came from a TS Eliot poem. The group signed with Pye Records in England and their debut album was released on Dawn Records. Inh The Summertime was the first single and was a surprise hit in the US at #3 on the charts. By the time an album was recorded and released, Mungo Jerry had already had members leave and new ones brought in. They continued to have some success in England but In The Summertime was their only big hit and you can get it and plenty of other British Invasion hits on this 4CD box set from Sanctuary. Ray Dorset has led a version of Mungo Jerry for years and also has recorded solo albums. They still perform today. Here's a video for In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Gina Carano interview

Gina Carano is doing some sort of promotion for Pontiac and the following video interview has been released to promote that. I think they're doing a contest too. The interview is in two parts. I think it emphasizes why some fans love Gina and why some hate her. The bottom line is she kicks ass in the cage and we hope she signs with Strikeforce very soon. Enjoy the video.

GAEA Girls screening at MOMA in New York

The Museum Of Modern Art in New York City is showing the BBC documentary GAEA Girls Fri. May 22 4PM. Here's the link. If you're a joshi fan and you have never seen GAEA Girls, you should check it out if you live in the area. And it is not available on DVD in North America. It appears the reason MOMA is screening it is co-director Kim Longinotto will be in attendance and they are screening some of her other films. Here is a review of GAEA Girls that I wrote several years ago. I have updated it.

GAEA Girls (2000)-Documentary

Starring Chigusa Nagayo, Meiko Satomura & Saika Takeuchi
Directed, produced & written by Kim Longinotto & Jano Williams

GAEA Girls is a BBC produced documentary that goes inside the joshi puroresu world at the GAEA Japan training camp. I first saw the filmat the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2000 and purchased a VHS copy on eBay several years ago. GAEA Girls focuses on the training progress of Saika Takeuchi and her primary trainer Meiko Satomura. It's the summer of 1999 and Saika Takeuchi has been training for a year at GAEA to be a wrestler. She seems to think that becoming a wrestler will give her self esteem. GAEA owner and joshi puroresu legend Chigusa Nagayo is at a point where she has to decide whether Takeuchi will have her debut match. Takeuchi has some physical ability and she works hard but she doesn't do well in sparring. This is very frustrating to her trainer Meiko Satomura. At 19 years old, Meiko is already a top star in GAEA and has her own company today. During a sparring session, Meiko is so upset with Takeuchi's lame drop kicks, she tells her "This is how you do it" and almost takes Takeuchi's head off and busts her open with a drop kick. Of course Meiko yells at her. They're hoping Takeuchi will get mad and fight back but all she does is cry. This is very annoying to Meiko. Takeuchi desperately wants to debut but she fails to understand that to be successful in the ring, you have to not only know the moves but you have to be mentally tough. The Japanese fans expect a high level of performance and crying isn't going to cut it.

Meanwhile, a couple of new girls join as trainees. Neither of them last very long. One girl is being given a second chance, but she can't even do calesthenics so she runs away that night. The second girl is brought to GAEA by her mother. She wants to be a wrestler after watching them on TV. She leaves after watching a sparring session scared the hell out of her. So now GAEA has to decide what to do with Takeuchi. Her final test is a gauntlet. She has to wrestle Toshie Uematsu, Sonoko Kato & Meiko Satomura and then Chigusa will decide. Things don't go well for Takeuchi. She gets hammered by all three and has her nose bloodied.
Afterwards, Chigusa tells Takeuchi that if she won't fight back she should go home. Takeuchi starts crying and begs for a second chance. This time she has to wrestle Meiko, Sonoko & Chigusa. Chigusa keeps
slapping her in the head and tells her to get mad and fight back. I guess she's trying to knock some sense into her. Takeuchi is still crying. Chigusa is still unhappy with her but decides to give her a chance and let her debut. Obviously this is against her better judgement but in recent years the joshi feds have had serious problems developing new talent. Surviving training is probably enough to allow Takeuchi to debut and they hope she'll improve and get some confidence. Debuts are a big deal in Japan. Takeuchi's family is there and she's interviewed too. The film ends with Meiko Satomura defeating Saika Takeuchi in her debut in October 1999.

Takeuchi quit GAEA in July 2001. GAEA closed in April 2005 and owner Chigusa Nagayo retired. She promotes the occasional show but mostly operates her retail businesses in Tokyo. After GAEA closed, Meiko Satomura started Sendai Girls with Michinoku Pro owner Jinsei Shinzaki. She is trying to create her own stars but has found it difficult to find young girls interested in joshi due to the industry's financial depression. Also, the company isn't in Tokyo and it can be difficult to get girls to move to Sendai. Meiko continues to put her trainees through the wringer. In October 2007, Meiko suffered a career threatening injury when an Azumi Hyuga knee basically broke her face. After several operations and a steel plate was placed in her face, Meiko returned to the ring in October 2008 and is still one of Japan's top stars.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Intruders

Artist:The Intruders
Song:Cowboys To Girls
Album:Cowboys To Girls: The Best Of The Intruders

Though The Intruders aren't as well known as other Philly Soul groups of the 60s-70s, the 1968 hit Cowboys To Girls was the first hit under the Gamble & Huff banner. The Intruders had been singing together in Philadelphia since 1960. They were Sam "Little Sonny" Brown, Eugene "Bird" Daughtry, Phil Terry and Robert "Big Sonny" Edwards. In 1965, producers Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff left Cameo-Parkway to start Gamble Records. The Intruders were the first act on the label. They had R & B hits with (We'll Be) United and Together. But Cowboys To Girls was their breakthrough and hit #1 on the R & B charts and #6 on the pop charts. Brown sang lead. The success of the song convinced Columbia Records to finance a Gamble-Huff label and Philadelphia International Records was born. Brown was replaced by Bobby Star in 1970. The Intruders continued to chart on the R & B charts but Cowboys To Girls was their only pop hit. Brown retutned in 1973 but The Intruders were finished in 1975. This comp covers their entire run with Gamble & Huff. Eugene Daughtry died in 1994 and Sam Brown died in 1995. Bobby Star continues to lead a version of The Intruders on the oldies cirucuit today. Here's The Intruders performing Cowboys To Girls in 1968.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Del Shannon

Artist:Del Shannon
Album:Greatest Hits

Del Shannon's Runaway was one of the biggest hits of the early 60s. Of course Shannon was classified as a teen idol but he was much more than that and continued to record into the 80s though his initial popularity was killed by the British Invasion. He was born Charles Westover Dec. 30, 1934 in Grand Rapids, MI. He grew up as a country music fan, learned to play guitar and started playing in bands when he was stationed in Germany while in the Army in 1954. After his discharge, he joined a band and soon became the lead singer. He renamed himself Charlie Johnson & The Little Big Band. In 1959 he added keyboard player Max Crook. Crook had invented an early version of synthesizer called the Musitron and started playing it on stage. He got Ann Arbor DJ Ollie McLaughlin to listen to the band and they signed with Big Top Records. Producer Harry Balk suggested Westover find a new name and they came up with Del Shannon. Shannon and Crook wrote Runaway and of course Shannon's vocals and the use of Crook's Musitron gave him a #1 hit in 1961. Hats Off To Larry was also a top ten hit. Shannon started his own label in 1963 but his career gradually waned and he was off the charts by 1966. He turned to production and had success producing Smith and Brian Hyland in the late 60s. This Rhino comp covers his 60s recordings. Shannon continued to record in the 70s & 80s with guys like Dave Edmunds and Tom Petty but alcohol problems got in the way. Del Shannon committed suicide with a .22 calibre rifle on Feb. 8, 1990 at age 55. Here's Del Shannon performing Runaway on Shindig.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Doris Troy

Artist:Doris Troy
Song:Just One Look
Album:Atlantic Soul Classics

Though the 1963 hit Just One Look was Doris Troy's only top ten hit, she had a long career in music not only as a performer but as a writer and backup singer. Mama Soul was born Jan. 6, 1937 in Bronx, NY. She grew up singing in her daddy's church and was discovered by James Brown while working as an usherette at the Apollo. She wrote Just One Look as Doris Payne and took her demo to Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records. He released the demo unchanged and it reached #10 on the pop singles chart. Doris continued to record but was never able to repeat that success. So she turned to studio work and sang backup on many things, most significantly Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. She also recorded for Apple Records. In the 80s, Doris wrote and starred in the musical Mama, I Want To Sing about her life. Doris played her own mom. The show had a long run in New York and London. It's been turned into a film starring R & B singer Ciara along with Ne-Yo, Patti Labelle & Hill Harper. 20th Century Fox will distribute it but a release date hasn't been announced. It's supposed to come out this year. There is a Doris Troy comp available on Ichiban but you might want to get Just One Look on this Atlantic various artists comp. Doris Troy died on Feb. 16, 2004 at age 67. Here's Doris Troy performing Just One Look in England.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-McFadden & Whitehead

Artist:McFadden & Whitehead
Song:Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now
Album:The Sound Of Philadelphia: Gamble & Huff's Greatest Hits

McFadden & Whitehead's 1979 smash it Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now seemed to come out of nowhere but Gene McFadden (born July 2, 1948 in Philadelphia) and John Whitehead (born July 10, 1949 in Philadelphia) had worked together for years and wrote hits for others before they finally had their one big hit. They met when they were teens and started The Epsilons and toured with Otis Redding until his death. Later they called themselves Talk Of The Town and started working with the legendary team of Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff. They wanted to record but Gamble & Huff liked their songs and McFadden & Whitehead wrote plenty of hits like Backstabbers for the O'Jays. Gamble & Huff finally agreed to let them record one song and McFadden, Whitehead and keyboard player Jerry Cohen came up with Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now. It reached #13 on the pop singles chart and went platinum. They continued to record but couldn't follow up the song and they went back to songwriting and producing. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now is still a very popular song at sporting events and I suggest you get it on this Gamble & Huff various artists comp. John Whitehead was murdered seemingly at random on May 11, 2004 at age 54. Gene McFadden died of lung cancer on Jan. 27, 2006 at age 57. Here's McFadden & Whitehead performing Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now on Soul Train 1979.

McFadden And Whitehead - Aint No Stoppin Us Now - McFadden And Whitehead

Sunday, May 17, 2009


JEWELS May 16 Shinjuku FACE show was a mixed bag at best but at least they set up a really good match for an upcoming show. The main event had HIROKO winning over Shannon Hooper by unanimous decision. HIROKO used her height to control the match with low kicks and punches. Shannon couldn't seem to break her defense. Afterwards, HIROKO expressed interest in fighting in the wire cage for VALKYRIE. JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki said that's OK with him but it doesn't change the problem of finding opponents for her. The semi-main was the Shoot Boxing match between Saori Ishioka & Kanako Oka. Ishioka won easily by unanimous decision. Afterwards, she challenged Megumi Fujii and that match will happen on a future JEWELS show. I don't anticipate an upset. The other Shoot Boxing match had Misato Tomita win over AZUMA by split decision. Misaki Takimoto got back on the winning track with a win over Yukiko Seki via armbar at 3:40 of round one. The undefeated Shizuka Sugiyama pounded the Norwegian Selena to a unanimous decision. Sugiyama took her down early and pounded her relentlessly. She even got a yellow card for a foul. It was not pretty. Shinzaki Ozawa changed her ring name to Misaki Fuka but it didn't help her against amateur grappling champ Mika Nagano. Nagano took her down and pounded her until the ref stopped the match at 2:09 of round one. Pro wrestler Chihiro Oikawa had no trouble beating the winless HARUMI with an armbar at 2:22 of round one. Amiba won her debut over pro wrestler Hanako Kobayashi by unanimous decision. Amiba stuck to her ground game and Kobayashi was penalized for grabbing the ropes trying to escape a takedown. And in the opener, veteran Miki Morifuji KOd Mayu in 16 seconds of round one. The next JEWELS show will be July 11 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. Saeki said they haven't decided yet but they are leaning towards doing Fujii vs Ishioka in September. Pro wrestler Fuuka and teen shoot boxer Lena and Fujii greeted the fans and JEWELS announced that both Fuuka and Lena will appear on the next JEWELS show. Fuuka has done MMA before but has done Shoot Boxing recently. So I wouldn't be surprised to see the two face each other.

Kerry Vera wins in Bellator

There was another women's fight on Friday night at the Bellator show in Chicago between Kerry Vera and Leslie Smith. Michael David Smith of AOL Fanhouse was at the show and raved about it. I wasn't sure if Bellator taped it. But they did and posted it on their Youtube channel meaning it was taped but not shown on TV. But the good news is that Bellator co-owner Bjorn Rebney told Smith that he plans more women's fights including a tournament in 2010. Bellator is currently broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Desportes but it is rumoured that they will start on ESPN2 this fall. The money behind Bellator is from a Hollywood film producer. I still think running weekly shows is a little ambitious but they're doing OK so far. Of course Kerry Vera is married to UFC fighter Brandon Vera but she has been fighting Muay Thai for a long time. That will be very clear when you watch the match as her strikes are very crisp and polished. Kerry performed very well. It's a good fight but not THAT good. I would have liked to have seen Smith challenge her on the ground. She kept taking shots so one would think that she would at least try to take Kerry down. But she didn't and Kerry won a unanimous decision. I didn't think it was close. It's a good win for Kerry Vera in her debut. I would like to see her against someone with a more polished and confident ground attack like maybe...Dr. Rosi Sexton. It's also good that the match was three five minute rounds. Take note, Coker.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Zombies

Artist:The Zombies
Song:Time Of The Season
Album:Absolutely The Best

The Zombies were one of the most memorable British bands of the 60s. Their sound was much different than the other British Invasion bands. Time Of The Season was their final hit in 1969. The group was formed in the London suburb of St.Albans by pianist Rod Argent (born June 14, 1945 in St. Albans), vocalist Colin Blunstone (born June 24, 1945 in Hatfield, England) and bassist Chris White (born Mar. 7, 1943 in Barnet, England) along with guitarist Paul Atkinson and drummer Hugh Grundy. A talent contest win got them a contract with Decca and the single She's Not There was a worldwide hit in 1965. Tell Her No was an even bigger hit in the US but subsequent singles failed and The Zombies had split up in 1968 after recording the Odessey and Oracle album. They had signed with Columbia in the US and Al Kooper remixed the album for the US release. Time Of The Season was a surprise hit and reached #3 on the US singles charts. The Zombies had already split up so Rod Argent started his very successful group Argent. Colin Blunstone went solo and had a lot of success in England. Chris White didn't actually join Argent but continued to write songs with Argent. He later discovered Dire Straits. This comp from Fuel 2000 is perfect. The Zombies reformed in recent years and continue to tour today. Here's the VH1 video for Time Of The Season by The Zombies.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sarah Kaufman wins in Strikeforce debut

So the original plan for last night's Strikeforce show was for Kim Couture to fight Miesha Tate. I was actually looking forward to seeing Meisha bend Mrs. Couture into a pretzel but it's wasn't going to be a good fight for women's MMA. So Kim backed out and undefeated Canadian Sarah Kaufman stepped in. Of course that made it a much tougher fight for Miesha but a better fight for fans. Sarah took the fight for the same reason Miesha took it. Sarah wants to be a star and the fight was on TV. She wants to make money. It ain't rocket science. On the surface, the fight was a classic wrestler vs striker battle. But Sarah's defense is what sets up her punching power. She's well trained in the basics. And that's how round one of the fight went. Sarah would thwart Miesha's takedown attempts and nail her with shots getting up. The only thing was that Miesha demonstrated durabilty that none of Sarah's other opponents has shown. I assume Miesha's nose was broken as she was bleeding all over the place. Miesha did get a takedown and kept Sarah down in round two and she won the round. But Sarah wasn't hurt and I have to assume the bloody nose affected Miesha's breathing. So it's all tied up and round three was similar to round one. Sarah landed bombs after Miesha's unsuccessful takedown attempts. Sarah Kaufman wins and her record is now 9-0. Her next fight is scheduled to be June 19 against Shayna Baszler. The bottom line is that both fighters were impressive and stole the show. They both deserve to be on TV again. And the main thing that came out of this fight is that three minute rounds aren't adequate and girls deserve five minute rounds just like the guys. Sarah Kaufman said it on national TV. So what's going on? Strikeforce owner Scott Coker claims that three minute rounds for women's fights are mandated by the California State Athletic Commission. But the CSAC says it's a promoter's decision. The whole thing is a laughable Abbott & Costello routine. So I urge Ariel Helwani and the other MMA reporters to please bug Coker about this issue so fighters like Sarah Kaufman can display their talents at the optimum level. Bothe fighters were still great even with three minute rounds so enjoy the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-Norman Greenbaum

Artist:Norman Greenbaum
Song:Spirit In The Sky
Album:Instant Party: 70s Rockadelic

Spirit In The Sky is another very memorable one hit wonder from 1970. Norman Greenbaum wrote and performed the song. He was born Nov. 20, 1942 In Malden, MA. He was leader of the jug band Dr. West's Medicine Show and Junk Band. They had a minor hit in 1966 with The Eggplant That Ate Chicago. After they split up, Greenbaum signed with Reprise Records and Lovin' Spoonful producer Erik Jacobsen. Greenbaum wrote Spirit In The Sky after watching Porter Wagoner sing a gospel song on TV. Though Greenbaum is Jewish, many folks interpret Spirit In The Sky as a Christian song. Considering his background in a goofy jug band, It's more likely that Greenbaum wrote it as a gag. The fuzz box guitar effects were created by session guitarist Russell DaShiell and gospel singers The Stovall Sisters were brought in to sing backup vocals. Reprise thought the song was weird and was reluctant to release it as a single. But they changed their minds after the first two singles failed. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold. Greenbaum's subsequent recordings went nowhere and he retired from music in 1973 to become a dairy farmer in Petaluma, CA. Spirit In The Sky is still a very popular song so it's not surprising that Greenbaum lives off the royalties. Varese Sarabande has released a Norman Greenbaum comp but you might want to get Spirit In The Sky on a various artists comp like this one from Rhino. It's also been in several films, most significantly Ron Howard's 1995 film Apollo 13. I recommend that soundtrack to fans of the film only because there's a lot of dialogue on the CD. Here's the video for Spirit In The Sky by Norman Greenbaum. Yes, there was a video.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Gerry & The Pacemakers

Artist:Gerry & The Pacemakers
Song:How Do You Do It

Gerry & The Pacemakers had a lot in common with The Beatles and had several hits at the start of the British Invasion. Like The Beatles, Gerry & The Pacemakers were from Liverpool. Gerry Marsden (born Sept. 24, 1942 in Liverpool) started the group in 1959 with his brother Fred, Les Chadwick and Arthur Mack. Mack was replaced by Les McGuire in 1961. They worked the same Liverpool/Hamburg circuit as The Beatles and Brian Epstein started managing them and signed them to EMI to work with producer George Martin. The Beatles were on Parlophone and Gerry & The Pacemakers were on Columbia. How Do You Do It was their first single in England and quickly shot to #1. If the song sounds like a Beatles reject, that's because it was. The song was turned down by Adam Faith. The Beatles recorded a demo of the song but chose not to release it. While the group continued to top the British charts, Laurie Records started to release their music in the US. How Do You Do It reached #9 on the US charts in 1964. They continued to have success in the US in 1965 but by 1966, they were passe. And that's the big difference between The Beatles and Gerry & The Pacemakers. The Beatles adjusted their sound and Gerry & The Pacemakers didn't. This EMI comp has all their hits. Gerry Marsden went on to be a TV actor in England. Here's Gerry & The Pacemakers performing How Do You Do It 1964.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Female fighting films previewing at May 16 JEWELS show

Here are trailers for a couple of female fighting films previewing at Saturday's JEWELS show. The First one is called High-Kick Girl which will open in Japan in June. The star is Rina Takeda and also features appearances by the returning MMA fighter Hisae Watanabe and Karate Idol Yuka Kobayashi. The second film is the Thai film Chocolate Fighter from the guy who made Ong Bak. Enjoy the trailers. I like High-Kick Girl a little better.

HIROKO sits on a guy

Here are a couple of videos featuring HIROKO to promote this Saturday's JEWELS show. In the first video, she demonstrates her previous profession of dominatrix by sitting on a guy. The second video is a straight promo to promote Saturday's show. Her opponent Shannon Hooper and Josh Barnett arrived in Tokyo today and there's a pic on the JEWELS blog.

Jango Song Of The Day-Mark Dinning

Artist:Mark Dinning
Song:Teen Angel
Album:American Graffiti: Original Soundtrack

Here's a very memorable one hit wonder from 1960. Teen Angel was even banned on some radio stations due to its gruesome subject matter. It was Mark Dinning's only hit. His background was in the country music business. He was born Max E. Dinning Aug. 17, 1933 in Drury, OK and grew up in Nashville. His sisters Lou, Ginger & Jean were very successful country music stars in the 40s as The Dinning Sisters. He took up guitar and got the attention of Wesley Rose of Nashville music publishing giant Acuff-Rose. This got him a contract with MGM. Teen Angel was written by Dinning's sister Jean and her husband Red Surrey. Of course the song was about a girl's death in a car accident and reached #1 on the pop singles chart despite being banned by many radio stations. I assume Dinning was given the name Mark because Max wasn't an appropriate name for a teen idol. Teen Angel is on the soundtrack of George Lucas 1972 film American Graffiti with plenty of other 50s hits. Mark Dinning tried to continue his career as a country artist in Nashville but he had alcohol abuse issues that made him unreliable. He died of a heart attack on Mar. 22, 1986 at age 52. Here's Mark Dinning performing Teen Angel on American Bandstand 1960.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

MIKU to defend DEEP Lightweight Title against Lisa Ward

DEEP held a press conference today to announce the card for DEEP Toyoma Impact June 28 at the Toyama Techno Hall. The big news is that the main event will have MIKU defending the DEEP Women's Lightweight Title against Lisa Ward. First, it's very unusual for a women's match to be a main event on one of these shows so that's a big deal. And it could be a great match. MIKU's record is 20-4 and her most recent win was over Nicdali Calanic on the Apr. 16 DEEP show. Lisa's record is 12-4 and her most recent win was over Patti Lee on the July 18 Brawl At The Beach in Jacksonville, NC. Lisa lives in Seatttle and has had difficulty finding opponents in her area. But she has been to Japan several times and always performs well in Japanese rings. In fact, Lisa won over MIKU on the Sept. 15, 2006 Smackgirl show by armbar at 3:04 of round one. Check out the video of this match at the bottom of this post. MIKU said that she's not looking for revenge but she believes that she is a much better fighter today. She also credits her participation in Shoot Boxing for improving her standup game. MIKU also said she is honoured to fight in the main event in a very big arena. Though she wasn't at the press conference, there was a 115lb gorilla in the room named Megumi Fujii. MIKU said if she wins she will face Fujii next. But she knows Lisa is very tough and isn't looking past her. Lisa Ward lost to Fujii on a Aug. 2007 Bodog show and would jump at the chance to face Fujii if she wins this match. This has match of the year potential as both are great fighters.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Exciters

Artist:The Exciters
Song:Tell Him
Album:Girl Group Greats

The 1962 hit Tell Him is one of my favourite one hit wonders and it was also the first song issued by Scopitone as a music video. The Exciters started out as a girl group in Queens, NY in 1961. Lead singer Brenda Reid, Carol Johnson, Lillian Walker and Sylvia Wilbur were known as The Masterettes, sisters group to the doo wop group The Masters. The connection got them a single called Follow The Leader. Wilbur was replaced by Penny Carter and The Masterettes auditioned for legendary producers Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller. They signed but Carter left and Herb Rooney of The Masters was brought in for the recording session. Lieber & Stoller renamed them The Exciters. Tell Him has a great lead vocal by Brenda Reid and it reached #4 on the pop singles chart. Their follow ups didn't do as well. The Exciters were the first to record Do Wah Diddy but it didn't click and Manfred Mann had a smash with the song. The Exciters continued to record for various labels in the 60s without much success. Brenda Reid and Herb Rooney married in 1967. This Rhino comp is a perfect intro to girl groups but next month Ace Records is releasing a comprehensive Exciters comp on their Kent label. Brenda Reid and her four children have toured as The Exciters and one of those children is Def Jam Records president LA Reid. Enjoy this video of Tell Him by The Exciters.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Leaves

Artist:The Leaves
Song:Hey Joe
Album:Nuggets From Nuggets: Choice Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era

Of course most fans indentify Hey Joe with legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix. But you probably don't know that the song was a top 40 hit for the Los Angeles garage band The Leaves in 1966. Though singer songwriter Tim Rose claimed that Hey Joe was a traditional folk song, it was actually written by an obscure folksinger named Billy Roberts and he performed it in Los Angeles coffee houses. Roberts gave the song to his buddy Dino Valenti who would go on to form Quicksilver Messenger Service. David Crosby of The Byrds also performed it. The Leaves were formed by bassist Jim Pons while he was attending Cal State Northridge in Los Angeles. Other members were vocalist John Beck, guitarist Bill Rinehart, guitarist Tom Ray and drummer Robert Lee Reiner. They played Los Angeles clubs and Pat Boone spotted them and got them a record deal with Mira Records. They recorded Hey Joe but didn't like it. Rinehart left and the new version with guitarist Bob Arlin was a lot better and it reached #33 on the singles charts in 1966. None of their subsequent singles went anywhere and they even released an album on Capitol in 1967 before splitting up. The Nuggets comps have given new life to a lot of forgotten psychedelic classics and this single CD is a great intro for beginners. Jim Pons went on to join The Turtles and also with Frank Zappa when Flo & Eddie were there. He retired from music in 1973 and was a video director for the New York Jets for many years. He currently works for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Here's The Leaves performing Hey Joe on Where The Action Is 1966.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Archie Bell & The Drells

Artist:Archie Bell & The Drells
Song:Tighten Up
Album:Tightening It Up: The Best Of Archie Bell & The Drells

Archie Bell & The Drells are best known for their 1967 #1 hit Tighten Up but they also had hits in the 70s with producers Gamble & Huff. This comp is probably the best way to get all their songs. Archie Bell was born Sept. 1, 1944 in Henderson, TX and grew up in Houston. His brothers included Dazz Band lead vocalist Jerry Bell and NFL running back Ricky Bell. Mom sang gospel and Archie grew up singing in church. He formed Archie Bell & The Drells as a teen and was discovered by DJ Lee Frazier and signed to his Ovid label. They started recording and Archie was drafted into the Army and went to Vietnam. While on leave, they recorded the Bell written Tighten Up. It became a big hit locally and was picked up for national distribution by Atlantic and was a #1 R & B and pop hit. Bell was stationed in Germany so he was replaced on tour though the Army relented and let him return occasionally. He was discharged April 1969. Bell got together with Philly Soul producers Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff and they had some dance hits on the TSOP label in the 70s. The group still performs but hasn't recorded for years. This Rhino comp covers all their recordings but you can also get Tighten Up on Atlantic various artists comps including the soundtrack for the 2007 film Talk To Me. Here's Archie Bell & The Drells performing Tighten Up in 1967.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mega Megu doesn't even break a sweat

So Megumi Fujii appeared on Shooto's 20th anniversary show at JCB Hall today. It's a big show so it's understandable that she would want to represent women's MMA. But why is she facing a Korean kickboxer named Chu Won Bun in her MMA debut? I don't know either. Short of Lisa Ward or Yuka Tsuji, most fighters facing Fujii are more sacrificial lamb than opponent. But I don't know why they needed to bring in a warm body from Korea. It went as expected. Chu is a southpaw and tries to establish her kicks. but Fujii takes her down with an ankle lock. Then with lightning speed, she switches to an V1 armlock and starts pounding her in the head as well. That's it. Chu taps out and Mega Megu wins in 52 seconds of round one. Thanks for coming out.

EDIT: The Shooto show was on Japanese TV last night so it didn't take very long for Megumi Fujii's match to turn up online. In fact, Megumi posted it on her MySpace. So enjoy the match such as it is. It just shows that no opponent can be tentative with her or Mega Megu will make her pay in short order. Her initial takedown is astonishing.
Megumi Fujii vs Choi Eon Bun

Shizuka Sugiyama kicks butt

To promote next week's JEWELS show, the lovely and very talented fighter Shizuka Sugiyama appeared on an internet TV show called Stickam TV. In the first video, she demonstrates her kicking skills. The second is a promo video. I figured you all want to look at her. Me too. Enjoy!

Jango Song Of The Day-Sir Mack Rice

Artist:Sir Mack Rice
Song:Mustang Sally
Album:Lost & Found: The Blue Rock Records Story

Most black music fans know that Sir Mack Rice wrote some of the greatest songs for Stax Records including Mustang Sally for Wilson Pickett. But you probably don't know that Rice had his only chart hit with his 1965 version of that song. So why isn't it on all those Stax Records comps? He didn't record it for Stax. He was born Bonnie Rice Nov. 10, 1933 in Clarksdale, MS and grew up in Detroit. He started out in 1956 with a group called The Five Scalders and then was a member of The Falcons from 1957-63. Who else was in The Falcons? Oh, that would be Wilson Pickett. Then he went solo but he was never successful as a solo artist. Mustang Sally reached #15 on the R & B charts in 1965. It was released on Blue Rock Records, a Chicago based R & B label owned by Mercury. This 2CD comp is one of the few places to get Rice's version of Mustang Sally and there are all kinds of other rarities for R & B fans. Of course Mustang Sally would be a big hit for Wilson Pickett in 1967. Rice also recorded for Stax but he's mostly known for his songs. He's still around and released his CD Get That Money in 2006. Here's Sir Mack Rice talking about Mustang Sally with guitarist Tommy Castro on the 2007 Rhythm & Blues Cruise.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Main Ingredient

Artist:The Main Ingredient
Song:Everybody Plays The Fool
Album:Spinning Around: The Singles 1967-1975

Of course most folks know about Oscar winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. But they may not know that Cuba Gooding Sr. was lead singer on Everybody Plays The Fool, the biggest hit by 70s soul group The Main Ingredient. The started out in 1964 as The Poets with lead singer Donald McPherson (born July 9, 1941 in Indianapolis), Luther Simmons Jr. (born Sept. 9, 1942 in New York City) and Tony Silvester (born Oct. 7, 1941 in Panama). They first recorded for Lieber & Stoller's Red Bird label and changed their name to The Insiders when they signed with RCA in 1966. Then they changed their name to The Main Ingredient. They didn't have much success until they got together with arranger producer Bert DeCoteaux and he added lush orchestral arrangements. The group started to have success on the R & B charts in 1970 when Donald McPherson died of leukemia on July 4, 1971 at age 29. After the shock wore off, Cuba Gooding (born Apr. 27, 1944 in New York City) was brought in to be the new lead singer. Everybody Plays The Fool was their first single and it reached #3 on the pop singles chart in 1972. They had another top ten hit in 1974 with Just Don't Want To Be Lonely. But Silvester and DeCoteaux left in 1975. Carl Tompkins replaced him but it didn't work and Gooding left to go solo in 1977. This comp from Kent Soul even includes recording as The Insiders so it's recommended. The Main Ingredient reformed occasionally especially when Aaron Neville had a hit with Everybody Plays The Fool in 1989. Cuba Gooding Sr. still performs and Tony Silvester died in 2006. Here's The Main Ingredient performing Everybody Plays The Fool on Soul Train 1972.

Friday, May 08, 2009

JEWELS fills out May 16 show

JEWELS announced some additions to their May 16 Shinjuku FACE show. For starters, they announced opponents for the Shoot Boxing matches. Saori Ishioka's (pictured) opponent for her Shoot Boxing match is named Kanako Oka. She's making her Shoot Boxing debut. The opponent for Shoot Boxing regular Misato Tomita is AZUMA. AZUMA usually works for the J-Girls kickboxing fed. Her MMA record is 0-1. She lost to WINDY Tomomi on the Apr. 26, 2008 Smackgirl show. A 60kg MMA match has been added with veteran Miki Morifuji facing Mayu. The JEWELS blog says she's making her debut but she actually lost her debut on the November Jewels show to Shiho. Morifuji is 6-5 and most recently lost to Kinuka Sasaki at the Aug. 6 Kingdom Of Grapple show.

Jango Song Of The Day-Ethel Waters

Artist:Ethel Waters
Song:Am I Blue
Album:An Introduction To Ethel Waters: Her Best Recordings 1921-1940

Ethel Waters was a pioneer of black music. Though she is categorized as a jazz singer, she was also very popular on stage and in films. She was born Oct. 31, 1896 in the Philadelphia suburb Chester, PA. Ethel was married at age 13 but left her abusive husband. She was working as a maid in a hotel when she was asked to perform at a party. She was so good that she was hired to perform on stage in Baltimore. She then toured the vaudeville circuit and even performed on the same bill as Bessie Smith in Atlanta. Ethel made her recording debut in 1921 but recorded for Black Swan and then for Columbia in 1925 usually working with bandleader Fletcher Henderson. She continued to work on stage too. When sound films began, the studios were looking for singers. And Ethel Waters was one of the first black performers to appear in film. Am I Blue was her signature song and she performed it in the 1929 film On With The Show. She continued to do all these different things and was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the 1949 film Pinky. This comp from the French label Best Of Jazz is a great intro to her music. Her career faded in the 50s and Ethel Waters died Sept. 1, 1977 at age 80. But Ethel Waters was a big influence in black music. Here's Ethel Waters performing Am I Blue in the 1929 film On With The Show.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Ivory Joe Hunter

Artist:Ivory Joe Hunter
Song:Since I Met You Baby
Album:Since I Met You Baby: The Best Of Ivory Joe Hunter

Of course Rock & Roll has always been a young man's game but Ivory Joe Hunter was already a Rhythm & Blues veteran when he had this 1956 smash hit. He was born Oct. 10, 1914 in Kirbyville, TX. Ivory Joe was a childhood nickname. His dad played guitar and Joe sang in church with his mom and Joe was an accomplished pianist by age 13. Alan Lomax recorded him in 1933. He had his own radio show in Beaumont, TX and moved to Los Angeles in 1942 and joined Johnny Moore's Three Blazers. He started his own label and had an R & B hit in 1945 with Blues At Sunrise. Hunter signed with MGM in 1950 and had another R & B hit with I Almost Lost My Mind. Hunter moved to Atlantic in 1954 and reached #1 on the R & B charts and #12 on the pop charts with Since I Met You Baby. His smooth voice and his appearance was much different than many of the popular artists of the time. Elvis Presley was a big fan and invited Hunter to hang out at Graceland in 1957. Hunter turned to country music in the late 50s and though he still continued to record and others continued to record his songs, Since I Met You Baby was his only crossover hit. This comp on Razor & Tie covers his music of the 50s. Ivory Joe Hunter died of lung cancer on Nov. 8, 1974 at age 60. Here's Ivory Joe Hunter performing Since I Met You Baby in 1956.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Tamura wins NEO titles

Here's some more video from Golden Week. Ibuki's May 4 show is designed to lead up to next month's fourth anniversary show at Korakuen Hall. It looks like it's going to be an Ibuki vs Sendai Girls show and that's what this was too. The clip is from main event between Ryo Mizunami & Sendai Sachiko vs Hiroyo Matsumoto & Esui. It's pretty much what you would expect as Matsumoto accidently nailed Esui and Mizunami used a diving guillotine leg drop for the win at 21:22. Mizunami cut a promo on Matsumoto afterwards which would lead me to think that she will get a shot at Matsumoto's JWP/POP Junior Titles next month. Still no Mariko Yoshida and there has been no indication of anything. You'd think she would be on next month's show but I dunno.

NEO ran a lot of shows this week but the main show we're all interested in is the May 5 Korakuen Hall show. I have two videos for that one. The first one begins with the High Speed Title match between Natsuki*Taiyo and Ray. The match doesn't look like anything special. Those two are spot monkeys so that's what you get. Natsuki wins with what she called a Taiyo-Chan Spanish Fly at 14:58. It's a Japanese arm drag superplex. Next we have Haruka Matsuo's retirement match. She teams with Aya Yuki vs Tanny Mouse & Yuki Miyazaki. Of course it's played for comedy. Tanny applies the Shame On You on Matsuo. Yuka Shiina briefly helps Matsuo but then all the other NEO wrestlers beat up on Matsuo until Miyazaki wins with a moonsault press at 14:29. This is followed by the retirement ceremony. Somehow I think NEO will miss Matsuo more than she'll miss them.

The second video begins with a brief look at a hardcore rules match with Kyoko Kimura, Atsuko Emoto & Tomoka Nakagawa vs Kyoko Inoue, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Etsuko Mita. This kind of match is a Revolution Amandora specialty so they win after they tie Matsumoto to the corner post and hang Mita with a chain for the win at 25:42. Afterwards, Kimura calls out Mima Shimoda. The main event has Sakura Emi defending the NEO Singles & NWA Pacific Titles against Yoshiko Tamura. Based on the clips, the match looks OK but nothing special. Emi was bleeding from the mouth after a Tamura spin kick. Tamura wins with a Mt. Cook at 14:29. That looks like a variation on the Michinoku Driver. So Emi only had the belts for two days. So what's Nanae Takahashi doing? Well, she can't be hurt that badly. She's been blogging. She apologized for cancelling appearances and mentioned the first anniversary of the formation of Passion Red. I don't believe she was injured. She just didn't want to job to Tamura and it makes Tamura's victory anti-climactic.

Finally we have footage from a Cherry produced show May 5 at Itabashi Green Hall. It's mostly silly comedy with DDT guys in drag featuring the DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship. It's a three way match with Kyoko Kimura, Bullfight Sora & Danshoku Dino with bananas pretending to be barbed wire. Dino wins the match and then the title. But after the show, Cherry hits him over the head and a doll pins him for the title. Cherry & Bullfight Sora fight over the doll until Aja Kong gets it, wins the title and then loses it back to the doll. It's pretty goofy stuff if you like that sort of thing.

Shayna Bazsler to face winner of Kaufman/Tate

Strikeforce announced today that Shayna Bazsler will face the winner of the Sarah Kaufman/Miesha Tate match on June 19 in Kent, WA. Strikeforce owner Scott Coker said that the original plan was for Shayna to fight Sarah on the show but when Sarah stepped up to take the May 15 match against Miesha, he decided to have Shayna fight the winner. Shayna's record is 9-5 and her most recent fight was a loss to Cristiane Cyborg on last July's EliteXC show. She's known as a grappling specialist. A lot of her wins have been via submission.

Jango Song Of The Day-Barbara Mason

Artist:Barbara Mason
Song:Yes, I'm Ready
Album:Rock & Roll: The First 50 Years: The Mid-60s

Barbara Mason has been around since the 60s. Yes, I'm Ready was her one top ten hit in 1965. She was born Aug. 9, 1947 in Philadelphia and was discovered as a teen by talent scout Weldon McDougal. He took her into the recording studio and she wrote and recorded Yes, I'm Ready for Arctic records, a small label owned by Philly DJ Jimmy Bishop. Barbara's inspiration for the song was Curtis Mayfield and Major Lance. The song reached #5 on the pop singles chart. Barbara had some other minor hits but being on a small label probably didn't help. In the early 70s, Barbara signed with Buddah Records and reivented herself as a soul singer similar to someone like Millie Jackson. She continued to write her own songs and also got to work with her idol Curtis Mayfield. Of course disco was king in the late 70s and Barbara Mason wasn't interested. She still has her own production company and released the CD Feeling Blue on her own label in 2007. Barbara Mason rerecorded Yes, I'm Ready in the 70s. This various artists comp has the original version along with plenty of other hits from that time period. It's on Varese Records. I guess Barbara Mason was Philly Soul before anyone knew what it was. Here's Barbara Mason performing I'm Ready on Shindig 1965.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Betty Wright

Artist:Betty Wright
Song:Clean Up Woman
Album:The Very Best Of Betty Wright

The 1972 hit Clean Up Woman was Betty Wright's only top ten pop hit. But she's been a big part of the Miami music scene for many years and continues to be an influence and mentor to young singers. She was born Dec. 21, 1953 in Miami and grew up singing in the family gospel group Echoes Of Joy. As a teen, she began a long association with Henry Stone's Alston label. Not only did she record her debut album at age 15 but she brought singers like George & Gwen McCrae to Alston. Betty had her first top 15 R & B hit in 1968 with Girls Can't Do What Guys Can Do but she cracked the top ten pop singles chart with Clean Up Woman. The song was written by veteran songwriter Clarence Reid and partner Willie Clarke and has a great guitar riff by Little Beaver Hale. Betty worked frequently with Reid. Alston had a distribution deal with Atlantic but when he learned that they were selling out to Warner Bros., Alston started TK Records and they were very successful in the 70s including several club hits for Betty Wright. When her recording career slowed down in the 80s, she started her own label and contributed background vocals to many artists. This Rhino comp covers her entire career. Betty Wright is still respected today. Sean Combs hired her to be vocal coach on the TV series Making The Band and she mentors young singers like Joss Stone. Here's Betty Wright performing Clean Up Woman on the Afterdark TV show.

Monday, May 04, 2009

S-Arena joshi video report for May 4

It's Golden Week in Japan so there are plenty of shows and plenty of videos. Let's start with the Sasori retirement show Apr. 29 at Shinjuku FACE. Of course Sasori is AJW wrestler Miyuki Fujii. She wasn't getting anywhere in her wrestling career so she shaved her head, tattooed a scorpion on her head and changed her name to Sasori. She spent the rest of her career caddying for legendary heel Dump Matsumoto mostly running interference because Dump can't move anymore. She's decided to pack it in. The show begins with retired GAEA wrestler Sakura Hirota dressed up as Sasori complete with bald wig. Sasori is dressed like Miyuki Fujii and Sakura outfits her with a blonde wig. Comedy ensues. Sasori & Dump team for the final time and beat up on Toshie Uematsu & Cherry and then Dump beats up Sasori until Toshie & Cherry help her out. Sasori's retirement match is against Nanae Takahashi and includes guest appearances by Momoe Nakanishi, Mika Nishio, Mika Wakizawa and more. Takahashi wins with the Nanaracka and Sasori's retirement is complete.

The latest Fuuka Matsuri show was Apr. 29 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. We get a brief look at the opening dance number. Fuuka told Sportsnavi that it wasn't very good. Remember the Caribbean heels from JD Star a couple of years ago? They decide to revive it for this show with Caribbean KIM & RUM mauling Hiroyo Matsumoto and especially Misaki Ohata. KIM wins with the Caribbean Impact on Ohata at 11:36. Fuuka faced Ayumi Kurihara in the main event. It looks like a pretty good match. Of course Fuuka wins with the F-Doll at 11:14. There was also singing but that's not shown in this clip.

The Revolution Amandora show was May 2 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. I guess it's OK if you like this kind of hardcore stuff. It's not to my taste. A clip is shown of Tomoka Nakagawa's match with this guy GOEMON. He wins with the pedigree at 13:13. Atsuko Emoto is next with a series of three matches. She wins over Ayumi Kurihara with a brainbuster at 7:30. Then she has a ten minute draw with AKINO. The bell rang as AKINO applied an armbar submission. But then Emoto gets a hardcore schooling from Aja Kong. There's all kinds of stuff going on here but Aja wins with a brainbuster on a table at 18:00. I guess we know who's really hardcore. The main event was finally announced a couple of days before the show. And as we all suspected, it involved Big Japan guys. Kyoko Kimura is going to be in some sort of special Big Japan tournament in July. So in this Light Tube Death match, she is teaming with Yuko Miyamoto vs Takashi Sasaki & Mashashi Takeda. Some of this is very hard to watch as Kimura is a mess by the time she gets pinned at 20:05.

Pro Wrestling WAVE had the final of the TLW Tag Team Titles on their Apr. 29 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. It was the Shirai Sisters against Moeka Haruhi & Tomoka Nakagawa. The sisters wisely concentrated on weak link Haruhi and and Mio's kick to the head got Io the pin at 18:10. I guess this is the first title for the Shirai Sisters. There's about 20 minutes of foolishness with the DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship but that's not on this video. Instead they show the main event of Nanae Takahashi teaming with Yumi Ohka against Azumi Hyuga and Hanako Kobayashi. As you would expect, Ohka gets the win over Kobayashi with the Tiger Suplex at 18:52.

The Yes We Can tournament was presented by Carlos Amano, Chikayo Nagashima & Sonoko Kato Apr. 30 at Korakuen Hall. The tournament is for wrestlers who started out in the mid-90s and is based on the old High Spurt touraments they used to have in GAEA. Except for the semi finals and final, all matches have 10 minute time limits and both wrestlers are eliminated by a draw. Meiko Satomura was brought in and they show a clip of her win over Sonoko Kato. Kayoko Haruyama and Yoshiko Tamura draw and both are eliminated. That gave Satomura a bye to the final. Chikayo Nagashima and Carlos Amano need extra time and Nagashima gets the win with a diving foot stamp at 2:05 of extra time. And Satomura wins over Nagashima to win the tournamrnt with a Death Valley Bomb at 12:06. And if you're wondering about Satomura wearing a sombrero, apparently the win gets her a match in AAA in Mexico...when the swine flu blows over.

JWP's May 3 Itabashi Green Hall show was programmed by Kaori Yoneyama & Tojuki Leon. So you have to wonder why Yoneyama would book herself to job to someone like Yuu Yamagata. That's not a knock on Yamagata but she's not a JWP wrestler. And it's not like it was a 20 minute match. Yamagata won with the shubain at 9:27. Tojuki Leon faced Kyoko Kimura and was doing great until Atsuko Emoto nailed her with a chair. The match was rulled a no contest when Kimura pulled Leon's mask off. Yoneyama attacked Kimura and it turned into a six girl match with Emoto clobbering Pinkie Mayuca with the Bay Crash at 11:42. Yoneyama attacked Kimura again until JWP Singles Champ Kayoko Haruyama intervened and stared Kimura down. We know where this is headed.

Something very strange happened at the May 3 Passion Red show at Itabashi Green Hall. You may recall a couple of weeks ago that S-Arena aired a video of Nanae Takahashi pestering NEO President Tetsuya Koda wanting to defend the NEO Singles & NWA Pacific Titles against Sakura Emi on the Passion Red show. Koda was against it because it might affect Takahashi's title match against Yoshiko Tamura on the May 5 Korakuen Hall NEO show. If you recall the video, he agreed to it but then announced last week that if Emi won the titles, she would defend them against Tamura. So first S-Arena shows a clip from, a very spirited 15 minute draw between Kana & Ayumi Kurihara. Then Meiko Satomura, DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko win over Natsuki*Taiyo, Kana & Chihiro Oikawa when Satomura used a Death Valley Bom on Kana at 20:45. Now it's time for the title match. Based on the footage, there doesn't seem to be anything unusual about the match until Emi & Takahashi go to the top turnbuckle. Emi does a sunset flip from there and Takahashi isn't moving. The ref stops the match and then Koda comes to the ring and proceeds to award the titles to Sakura Emi. Wait a minute. Shouldn't this be a no contest due to injury? There's something fishy going on. Takahashi is carried out on a stretcher and Koda posted on the NEO blog that she suffered a concussion and the May 5 title match will be between Sakura Emi & Yoshiko Tamura. Yes, accidents do happen but the events leading to this match seem too coincidental for this to be real. But they sure made it look convincing. My guess is Koda wanted to get those belts off Takahashi very badly but she refused to job to either Emi or Tamura and this is his solution. So yeah, I think it's an angle.