Friday, July 31, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Peter Sarstedt

Artist:Peter Sarstedt
Song:Where Do You Go To My Lovely
Album:The Best Of Peter Sarstedt: Where Do You Go To My Lovely

This is one of those songs that was never a big hit in North America but it was a hit in England and the lyrics of the song mystify people and as a result the song still has life. Peter Sarstedt still records today. He was born Dec. 12, 1942 in Delhi, India. His father was a British civil servant and then he ran a tea plantation near Darjeeling. The family moved back to England in 1954. Peter Sarsteadt followed his older brother Richard into music. Along with younger brother Clive, they formed a skiffle band called The Fabulous Five in 1957. Then Richard won a 1961 talent contest and changed his name to Eden Kane and the three went out on tour. Peter started writing his own material and in 1968 signed with United Artists in England. Where Do You Go To My Lovely topped the British charts and did well in other European countries. World Pacific released it in the US and it only reached #70 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song includes several contemporary references to France and folks try to read some meaning into that. But it seems that Sarstedt wrote the song for a girlfriend who died in a fire in 1966. The French references are a red herring. The musical style seems to have been influenced by the popularity in England of singers like Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Brel. Sarstedt had one more top ten hit in England and since then he has continued to tour and his latest CD was released last year. This EMI comp has his first two UA albums. Where Do You Go To My Lovely got a big boost when it turned up in Wes Anderson's 2007 film The Darjeeling Limited. Fans of the film should get the soundtrack but it has a lot of Indian film music on it so I wouldn't recommend it to most folks. Here's Peter Sarstedt performing Where Do You Go To My Lovely on Top Of The Pops 1969.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hashimoto resigns but MAKEHEN continues

MAKEHEN owner Tomo Hashimoto announced today that he is resigning as president of the company. The company lawyer proceeded to announce that MAKEHEN will continue under new ownership. Of course Hashimoto was arrested recently for extorting money from a restaurant owner in Tokyo. In his statement, he apologized for the arrest but also claimed that his accuser was supposed to be an investor in MAKEHEN. The first show for the new MAKEHEN will be Aug. 16 in Osaka. They didn't seem to indicate who the new ownership is but my guess is Hashimoto only resigned on paper and will still run the company. Of course he can't be seen so he won't be on any of the shows. I'm not sure what this means to the Shirai sisters or Basara. But the Shirais are very loyal to Hashimoto so I expect them to stay. And Basara is out with a concussion right now and she's cancelled all future appearances. Be sure to check my Twitter for updates.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Kingsmen

Artist:The Kingsmen
Song:Louie Louie
Album:The Very Best Of The Kingsmen: Louie Louie

The 1963 top five hit Louie Louie by The Kingsmen is viewed today as the prototypical garage band song of the 60s. It's also been covered and spoofed endlessly and the song was controversial at the time. And it also wasn't a one hit wonder as The Kingsmen had other chart hits. The group was from Portland, OR led by lead singer and guitarist Jack Ely. Other members were Lynn Easton on drums, Mike Mitchell on lead guitar, Bob Nordby on bass and Don Galucci on drums. Though Louie Louie will forever be identified with The Kingsmen, the song was actually written by R & B legend Richard Berry and he recorded it in 1957. He based the song on the rhythms of Cuban bandleader Rene Touzet who was a regular in Los Angeles clubs. Jack Ely had heard a cover of Louie Louie by Rockin' Robin And The Fabulous Wailers and taught the song to the band and they went into the studio with Portland DJ Ken Chase. Ely purposely slurred the words and some folks thought the song was obscene and it was investigated by the FBI. Louie Louie was #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks. And Richard Berry sold the rights to Louie Louie in 1959 so he never made a dime from it. He should have talked to Hank Ballard first. The Kingsmen ran into problems when Easton revealed that he owned the group name and declared himself lead singer. Ely and Nordby left and started their own version of The Kingsmen. Galucci left and started Don & The Goodtimes and went on to produce The Stooges. Ely was forced to stop using The Kingsmen name and Easton was forced to stop lip synching to Ely's vocals. But the Easton led Kingsmen charted in 1965 with Jolly Green Giant. What a mess! This comp on Varese has all their hits. Here's The Kingsmen performing Louie Louie on Shindig 1965.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Al Wilson

Artist:Al Wilson
Song:Show And Tell
Album:Show & Tell: The Best Of Al Wilson

The 1974 number one hit Show And Tell was the biggest hit for veteran soul singer Al Wilson but it wasn't his only hit. He was born June 19, 1939 in Meridian, MS and by age 12 was leading his own gospel group. His fanily moved to San Bernardino, CA and Wilson worked odd jobs while performing with Johnny Harris and then The Statesmen before a two year stint in the US Navy. After his discharge, he sang in Los Angeles clubs and was a member of The Jewels, The Rollers and The Souls. Wilson's big break came in 1966 when his new manager Marc Gordon got him an audition with Johnny Rivers and Rivers signed Wilson to his Soul City label. In 1968, he had an R & B hit with The Snake. But Rivers closed Soul City in 1970. Wilson resurfaced in 1973 with Playboy Records. Bet you didn't know that Playboy owned a record company. His 1973 album Weighing In went platinum and Show And Tell topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. Show And Tell was written by veteran Columbia records producer Jerry Fuller (Gary Puckett & The Union Gap). It was recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1973 but Columbia didn't like the recording and pulled it from release so Fuller took it to Wilson. Peabo Bryson also scored with the song in 1989. Wilson had a couple more hits but Playboy was gone by 1975 and Wilson was never able to revive his recording career. He continued to perform in clubs and did record in 2001. This comp from Fuel 2000 has his Playboy recordings. The Soul City recordings are available from Ace Records. Al Wilson died on Apr. 21, 2008 at age 68. Here's Al Wilson performing Show And Tell on a 2004 PBS special.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

MMA fighter Mika Nagano joins Ice Ribbon

You may recall a couple of weeks ago Sakura Emi's joshi puroresu company Ice Ribbon announced that MMA fighter Emi Fujino has joined the company. Ice Ribbon held another press conference today to announce that another MMA fighter is joining them. This time it's 25 year old grappling whiz Mika Nagano. Nagano's MMA record is 3-2 and her latest fight was a win over Rina Tomita on the July 11 JEWELS show. Her two losses were to Megumi Fujii and Saori Ishioka. She was an amateur grappling champ at Chukyo University and finished fourth in the 55kg division of the 2002 Japan Queen's Cup. She continues to compete in grappling tournaments while working for JEWELS. She gave a sparring demonstration at the press conference. Mika will debut with Ice Ribbon at their Aug. 23 Korakuen Hall show. She's been training in pro wrestling since May. Normally Ice Ribbon shows are on mats but the Korakuen Hall show will be in a ring. It shouldn't be much work to train her. She certainly knows the basics of wrestling.

Jango Song Of The Day-Luther Ingram

Artist:Luther Ingram
Song:(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right
Album:Greatest Hits

(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right was the biggest hit in the career of R & B singer Luther Ingram. It was also the only time his music got decent distribution. He also had success as a songwriter. He was born Nov. 30, 1944 in Jackson, TN and grew up in Alton, IL. He started out in the family gospel group The Midwest Crusaders but got into secular music when he met Ike Turner in St. Louis and opened for him. He moved to New York in the early 60s and recorded some unsuccessful singles for Decca Records producer Milt Gabler. In 1968, he signed with Johnny Baylor's KoKo Records and had enough success on the R & B charts that Stax signed a national distribution deal. This eventually led to (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Though Ingram was an accomplished songwriter best known for co-writing The Staples Singers hit Respect Yourself. I Don't Want To Be Right was written by Stax house songwriters Homer Banks, Raymond Jackson & Carl Hampton and was originally recorded by The Emotions. Ingram continued to have some success on the R & B charts until Stax went bankrupt in 1975. This comp from The Right Stuff has all his Stax hits. Ingram returned to the R & B charts in 1986 with Baby Don't Get Too Far on Profile Records and he also recorded for Ichiban in 1992. Luther Ingram died on Mar. 19, 2007 at age 62. Here's Luther Ingram performing (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right in the 1972 film Wattstax.

Monday, July 27, 2009

McCool retains, James wins WWE women's titles

On last night's WWE Night Of Champions PPV, the WWE did something they hadn't done before. They had two women's title matches on the show. Strangely enough they bookended the Orton/Cena/HHH three way match. And of course I have video of both matches. First up was Michelle McCool defending the WWE Women's Championship against Melina. I thought it was pretty good. Michelle has really improved since turning heel. It just seems to suit her better. And I think this may have been Melina's best match ever in the WWE. But she's been a bust as a babyface. I liked what Michelle did before the match and it's obvious she's been working hard on improving her ring skills. My main quibble with the match is both of them need to sell damage better especially if it's a big bump outside the ring. The ending indicates that the match had to end. It seemed rushed and they should have been given more time. And Michelle retained of course. It seems that Maryse's defense of the WWE Diva's Championship against Mickie James was given that time when it probably should have been shorter. Maryse may have the whole heel shtick down but it's pretty clear that she doesn't know how to wrestle yet. And you can see that Mickie was not happy with her during the match. The heel is supposed to be the aggressor so it's difficult for Mickie to hide Maryse's weaknesses. I like Mickie's energy so I was glad to see her win the title. Maryse really needs to work on her ring skills. Hope you enjoy the videos.

Jango Song Of The Day-Joe South

Artist:Joe South
Song:Games People Play
Album:Anthology: A Mirror Of His Mind-Hits and Highlights 1968-1975

Joe South had his biggest success as a recording artist with the 1969 hit Games People Play. But he has a lot of success as a songwriter and also played on plenty of sessions. He seems to prefer being behind the scenes as he could have been a much bigger star if he wanted. He was born Joe Souter Feb. 28, 1940 in Atlanta. He started out in Atlanta radio and recorded a novelty song in 1958 called The Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor. In the 60s, he moved to Nashville and settled into session work, most significantly on Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde but he also worked with Marty Robbins, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett among others. He began to have success with his songs, most notably the Billy Joe Royal hit Down In The Boondocks. He signed with Capitol as a recording artist and the country soul song Games People Play reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969 and won a Song Of The Year Grammy. His biggest hit as a songwriter was Lynn Anderson's number one smash Rose Garden. This comp from Raven Records is worth checking out. South moved to Maui after his brother's 1971 suicide and retired from recording in 1975. He surfaces occasionally but he has mostly lived off his songwriting royalties ever since. He seems very uncomfortable in the spotlight. He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall Of Fame in 2003. Here's Joe South performing Games People Play 1968.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Big Joe Williams

Artist:Big Joe Williams
Song:Baby Please Don't Go
Album:Complete Recorded Works In Chronolgical Order Vol. 1 (1935-1941)

No doubt you've heard Baby Please Don't Go by many rock bands. But you may not know that it's the signature song of legendary Mississippi bluesman Big Joe Williams. Fortunately Williams was around for the 60s folk revival so we get to see him in action. He was born Oct. 16, 1903 in Crawford, MS. He was a travelling busker at an early age and probably played his guitar just about everywhere in the south. He recorded with the Birmingham Jug Band in the early 30s. While in St. Louis in 1934, he met Bluebird Records producer Lester Melrose and signed a contract. He first recorded Baby Please Don't Go in 1935 and again in 1941. He recorded for Bluebird for ten years. This comp from the British label Document contains the 1935 version and is worth checking out. He continued to record in the 50s & 60s for labels like Delmark, Prestige & Vocalion. As you'll see in the video, he plays a nine string guitar that he modified himself. He was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 1992. Needless to say, Big Joe Williams is revered by guitarists and Baby Please Don't Go has been covered many times including by Them, AC/DC, Aerosmith and others. Big Joe Williams died Dec. 17, 1982 at age 79. Here's Big Joe Williams performing Baby Please Don't Go in 1963.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Nazz

Song:Open My Eyes

Nazz should have been much bigger in the late 60s but they were poorly marketed. Now they're a major cult band because group leader Todd Rundgren went on to be a legend of pop music. Nazz was started in 1967 by guitarist Todd Rundgren and bassist Carson Van Osten from their previous band Woody's Truck Stop. Nazz was from an obscure Yardbirds song. Rundgren wanted a band that sounded like his favourite British Invasion bands. Lead vocalist/keyboardist Robert "Stewkey" Antoni and drummer Thom Mooney joined. They started playing gigs in Oct. 1967 and were spotted by businessman John Kurland and partner Michael Friedman. They tried to promote Nazz as a teenybop band and refused to let them play smaller gigs to get exposure. They were depending on teen mags to promote Nazz. That turned out to be a major mistake as Nazz's music didn't fit the image. As a result, the single Hello It's Me and the B-side Open My Eyes barely made a dent in the charts. In fact, Hello It's Me would become a big hit for Rundgren as a solo artist later. Things fell apart from there. Van Osten left and went on to be an art director for Disney Comics. Rundgren left for a solo career and is now a legend of pop music. Stewkey tried to continue Nazz but failed and he joined Fuse with Cheap Trick's Rick Petersen. Nazz's debut album is now considered a lost classic of pop music and Castle Records released an expanded version in 2006. I wouldn't bother with their other two albums but Nazz is outstanding music. Here's the video for Open My Eyes by Nazz.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Danny & The Juniors

Artist:Danny & The Juniors
Song:At The Hop
Album:Golden Classics Edition

At The Hop was one of the biggest hits of 1958 and I guess today it's memorable as 50s revival group Sha Na Na's theme song. But Danny & The Juniors were a pretty good doo wop group and they were very fortunate. They were from Philadelphia. Danny Rapp was lead singer. Dave White was first tenor and songwriter. Frank Maffei was second tenor and Joe Terranova was bass. They began in 1955 as The Juvenairs. Rapp was lead singer and choreographer. White wrote the songs. While playing local gigs, businessman John Madara spotted them and contacted Singular Records owner Artie Singer. Singer liked one of White's songs called Do The Bop but changed the title. Singer took the song to Dick Clark and Danny & The Juniors wound up performing the song on American Bandstand. Singer couldn't keep up with the demand and leased it to ABC-Paramount. At The Hop was number one for seven weeks. The follow up Rock & Roll Is Here to Stay was a top 20 hit. They charted a couple more times and recorded until 1963. This Collectibles comp has all their hits. Dave White had success as a songwriter. He wrote You Don't Own Me for Lesley Gore and 1-2-3 for Len Barry. He had a group called The Spokesmen and recorded a solo album in 1971. Danny Rapp committed suicide in 1983. Frank Maffei continues to lead Danny & The Juniors today. Here's Danny & The Juniors performing At The Hop in the 1958 film Let's Rock.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Scott McKenzie

Artist:Scott McKenzie
Song:San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)
Album:Summer Of Love Vol. 1: Tune In

I guess if any song qualifies as a flower power anthem, it's this 1967 top five hit by Scott McKenzie. It's also a one hit wonder. He was born Philip Blondheim Jan. 10, 1939 in Jacksonville, FL. He started playing guitar as a teen and became friends with future Mamas & The Papas leader John Phillips. They formed a vocal group called The Abstracts in 1959 and as folk music became more popular in the 60s, they formed The Journeymen and recorded three albums for Capitol. Nobody could pronounce Blondheim so someone said Philip looked like a Scottie dog and that's how he became Scott McKenzie. When Phillips formed The Mamas & The Papas, McKenzie decided he wanted to be a solo artist instead. But he didn't have much success until he signed with Lou Adler's Ode Records and Phillips wrote and produced San Francisco. It reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967 and is still considered a flower power anthem today. You can get that and several other hits of the era on this Rhino various artists comp. San Francisco was featured in the 1994 film Forrest Gump. Scott McKenzie retired from music in the 70s but returned in 1986 as part of the Mamas & The Papas revival. He also co-wrote the Beach Boys hit Kokomo. He occasionally performs but is mostly retired. Here's Scott McKenzie performing San Francisco at Monterey Pop Aug. 16, 1967.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is Fuuka finally leaving joshi?

Over the last year or so, it has been rumoured that Fuuka will leave the joshi business and become a shoot boxer. She hasn't denied it and has said that she hasn't decided yet. My guess is she'll quit joshi after her next anniversary. You know, get the big payday and leave. Now we're seeing signs that there may be more to the story. It was recently reported that Fuuka is training with Dutch K-1 star Andy Souwers. Last week Souwers won the K-1 World Max Tournament for the third time. Naigai Times did an interview with Fuuka and Souwers yesterday and it looks like he's fallen for her. They asked Souwers if he knew Fuuka before he started training her and he saw her in Shoot Boxing and vaguely knew about her wrestling career. He thought she was very attractive. Fuuka wanted to train with Souwers because he's the best but now that she's gotten to kinow him, she's says he's quite a gentleman. She says she's learning a lot from him and now Souwers is talking about taking her home to The Netherlands to train. She hasn't said no. Could this be a match made in heaven? I dunno but one way or another I expect Fuuka to quit the joshi business in 2010.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Angels

Artist:The Angels
Song:My Boyfriend's Back
Album:Girl Group Greats

The 1963 number one smash My Boyfriend's Back typifies the girl group sound of the early 60s. It's sort of a one hit wonder. The Angels had some previous chart success with a different lead singer. They were from Orange, NJ and if the two backup singers look alike to you, that's because they are sisters Barbara & Phyllis Allbut. Linda Jansen was the original lead singer. In 1961, they had a top 20 hit with Till and then a top 40 hit with The Beatles song Cry Baby Cry. Jansen left in late 1962 and was replaced by Peggy Santiglia from The Delicates. Peggy would give them a much tougher sound. In 1963, they got together with the production team of Richard Gottehrer, Jerry Goldstein and Bob Feldman. The original plan was to do a demo of My Boyfriend's Back and pitch it to The Shirelles. But The Angels demo turned out so well that they were signed to Smash Records. My Boyfriend's Back topped the charts. It's still very memorable today and you can get it on this Rhino various artists comp. The Angels tried but never had another hit and actually recorded as The Halos in the mid-60s. They became session singers most notably on the 1966 Lou Christie hit Lightning Strikes. The Angels reformed in the 70s and have toured the oldies circuit for years. Here's The Angels performing My Boyfriend's Back on The Ed Sullivan Show 1963.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's in Gina's purse?

Pretty funny Gina Carano interview from ESPN The Magazine where they have her going through her purse. She seems very embarassed by all the business cards. They did another brief interview but it was nothing special.

Cristiane Cyborg interview

Here's Ariel Helwani's video interview with Cristiane Cyborg at last week's press conference in New York. There's nothing unusual about this. He does ask her about making weight but she's sticking to her story. I guess this gives her equal time.

Cris "Cyborg" Santos FanHouse Interview from Ariel Helwani on Vimeo.

Jango Song Of The Day-King Floyd

Artist:King Floyd
Song:Groove Me
Album:Choice Cuts

The 1970 hit Groove Me was the only top ten pop hit for New Orleans soul singer King Floyd. I'm sure a lot of fans confuse him with Eddie Floyd and figure he must have been on Stax but that's not the case. King Floyd was born Feb. 13, 1945 in New Orleans and befriended local musicians like Willie Tee and Earl King while street singing as a teen. New Orleans R & B legend Mr. Google Eyes hired Floyd to sing at the Sho-Bar in 1961. After two years in the military, Floyd moved to New York and then Los Angeles. Arranger Harold Battiste and DJ Buddy Killeen helped Floyd get an album on Mercury's Pulsar label in 1967. It went nowhere and Floyd moved back to New Orleans and started to work at the post office. Not long after, Floyd encountered Malaco Records producer Wardell Quezerque and he took him to Malaco's studio in Jackson, MS to record Floyd's song Groove Me. Jean Knight's Mr. Big Stuff was recorded during the same session. Malaco released Groove Me on the B-side of What Our Love Needs on Chimneyville. New Orleans DJ George Vinnett flipped the record and Groove Me was a big enough hit that Atlantic picked it up for national distribution. It topped the R & B charts and reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. Subsequent singles charted on the R & B charts but Floyd was conflicting with Quezerque. Malaco moved from Atlantic to TK in 1974 and Floyd left Malaco in 1975. By this time, disco was king and Floyd never tried to adjust his sound. He's soul all the way. This comp has all his Malaco hits. King Floyd recorded new music in 2000 on Malaco and Groove Me was in an episode of The Simpsons and was also in the film Austin Powers in Goldmember. King Floyd died on Mar. 6, 2006 at age 61. Check out this forgotten legend of soul as he performs Groove Me in 1970.

Monday, July 20, 2009

TNA pimps out Madison Rayne

Here's the video from last night's TNA Knockouts Championship match between Angelina Love and Tara on TNA Victory Road. I'm sure you already know that Angelina regained the title. So many fans are wondering why TNA would move the title back to Angelina so quickly and have suggested that the Impact ratings have gone down when Tara is on. Spare me. If only it was true. It's much stupider than that. The match itself was fine but the ending was ludicrous with ref Slick Johnson counting to three though Tara's foot was on the ropes. Later in the show, it is revealed that Johnson was paid off with...ahem...sexual favours by Madison Rayne. Oy! A rematch between Angelina and Tara has been ordered. What the hell are those morons at TNA smoking to do this kind of crap? And it's interesting to note that TNA recently fired ref Rudy Charles. Maybe he refused to do this angle. Oy again! I watched the Sharmell vs Jenna Morasca match but you don't want to see it. It was a train wreck. Sharmell was wearing an evening gown and wrestling boots. Jenna looked like a two dollar hooker and didn't know what the hell she was doing. The only good thing was when Awesome Kong splashed Jenna post match. And those same morons thought this should be on a PPV. Back to the drawing board, idiots! Enjoy the video.

Victory Road 2009 1/19 (HQ) - MyVideo

Victory Road 2009 2/19 (HQ) - MyVideo

Jango Song Of The Day-The Creation

Artist:The Creation
Song:Making Time
Album:Our Music Is Red - With Purple Flashes

The Creation could very well be the best British band of the 60s to not be successful. Today they have a devoted cult following but back then they did well only in Germany. The main guy behind The Creation was guitarist Eddie Phillips (born Aug. 15, 1942 in East London). He was the first guitarist to use a violin bow on the guitar, something Jimmy Page would do later. You'll see it in the video clip. The group started out in 1963 as The Blue Jacks with lead singer Kenny Pickett. When Phillips joined, the name was changed to Mark Four. They recorded a few unsuccessful singles for Mercury and Decca and Mark Four ended when two members quit. In 1966, Phillips and Pickett brought in drummer Jack Jones and ex-Merseybeats bassist Bob Garner and they got a new manager in Aussie Robert Stigwood. Making Time was the debut single for The Creation and it was produced by Shel Talmy. It didn't catch on. Painter Man did a little better in England but it was number one in Germany. Pickett tired of touring in Europe and was replaced by Kim Gardner. The short story is The Creation never had much success anywhere but Germany and the band was finished in 1968. Eddie Phillips joined P.P. Arnold's band and then became a bus driver. There were reports that he was asked to join The Who but Phillips says it didn't happen. Kenny Pickett died in 1996. The Creation got a boost when Making Time was used in the film Rushmore and this comp from Demon Records has all their recordings. Here's The Creation performing Making Time on the German TV show Beat, Beat, Beat 1966.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Hues Corporation

Artist:The Hues Corporation
Song:Rock The Boat
Album:The Very Best Of The Hues Corporation

Like a lot of black music of the 70s, the 1974 hit Rock The Boat got a lot of airplay in discos and then crossed into the pop charts. I would describe The Hues Corporation as pop soul; very bouncy and smooth. The group started out as backup singers in the Los Angeles area in 1969 and then opened for other acts. The leader was St. Clair Lee and the others were Flemming Williams and Ann Kelley. Their big break came when they were asked to appear in the 1972 film Blacula. They had three songs on the soundtrack and this led to a contract with RCA Records. They wanted to call themselves The Children Of Howard Hughes but RCA nixed that and they settled on The Hues Corporation. Rock The Boat was the second single and after becoming a hit in clubs, it crossed over to the pop charts and topped the Billboard Hot 100 and went gold. The song was written and produced by Waldo Holmes. The group met him while working on Blacula and he became their manager. Williams sang lead on Rock The Boat and then left after he wanted the group to be called Flemming Williams and the Hues Corporation. According to Lee, Williams was a drug addict and died in 1993. Tom Brown replaced him. The Hues Corporation had some other hits on the disco charts and you can get them on this comp. Lee says the group disageed with RCA on their direction and they disbanded in 1978. They have reunited occasionally including for a 2004 PBS special. Here's The Hues Corporation performing Rock The Boat 1974.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Fratellis

Artist:The Fratellis
Song:Whistle For The Choir
Album:Costello Music

The Scottish band The Fratellis are very popular at home but it doesn't look like their witty pop sound is likely to make waves in North America. Though they all have the last name Fratelli, they're not really brothers and it appears the Fratelli name may have come fron the 1985 film The Goonies though they claim that bassist Barry Wallace's original name was Fratelli. Lead vocalist and guitarist is John Lawler AKA Jon Fratelli. Bassist is Baz Fratelli AKA Barry Wallace. Drummer is Mince Fratelli AKA Gordon McRory. Pianist Will Foster of The Tears is currenty touring with them. The Fratellis started playing the Glasgow club scene in 2005 and quickly got the attention of record companies. They signed with the Island Records subsidiary Fallout Records and are on Interscope in the US. They went to Los Angeles to record their debut CD Costello Music with producer Tony Hoffer (Beck). It did very well in England but The Fratellis have failed to break through in the US. Their 2008 CD Here We Stand continued that. The Fratellis write all their own songs and their music is clearly in the Britpop tradition. So they're worth checking out if you enjoy that kind of music. They're currently working on a new CD. Here's the video for Whistle For The Choir by The Fratellis.
The Fratellis - Whistle For The Choir

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fuuka Matsuri & JWP visit Nikkan Sports

Nikkan Sports has posted two videos promoting a couple of this weekend's joshi shows. The first one has Fuuka & RICA promoring this Sunday's Fuuka Matsuri show. RICA is the artist who does the ring announcing and is in charge of the musical group. They mostly joke about Fuuka's lack of musical talent until former joshi wrestler Mai Ichii intrudes. Ichii has been very successful kickboxing for M-1 and of course she had that Shoot Boxing match with Fuuka last fall. Fuuka & RICA call her a troublemaker. I assume she's on the show but I don't know what she's doing. The other video has Kayoko Haruyama, Azumi Hyuga & Pinkie Mayuca promoting this Sunday's JWP show with Haruyama talking about her JWP Open Weight Championship defense against Kyoko Kimura and Mayuca talking about challenging for the JWP Junior/POP Titles against Misaki Ohata. Enjoy the videos!

Jango Son Of The Day-The Music Explosion

Artist:The Music Explosion
Song:Little Bit O' Soul
Album:Nuggets From Nuggets: Choice Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era

The 1967 hit Little Bit O' Soul is a great song from the one hit wonder The Music Explosion. They were part of the Kasenatz-Katz music factory that also included Ohio Express and 1910 Fruitgum Co. The big difference was that The Music Explosion were a real band but they were chewed up and spit out by Kasenatz-Katz and killed. The Music Explosion were from Mansfield, OH. and were led by lead singer Jamie Lyons. Other members were Donald Atkins and Richard Nesta on guitar, Burton Stahl on bass and Robert Avery on drums. They were discovered by Kasenatz-Katz and signed to Laurie Records. Little Bit O' Soul was their first single and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by British songwriters John Carter and Ken Lewis who had written several British Invasion hits. Lyons had also recorded as a solo artist for Laurie but it looks like that may have led to Kasenatz-Katz splitting with Laurie and moving to Buddah. Then Kasenatz-Katz got into the pattern of using studio musicians on Music Explosion records and that killed the band. Their other music sucks so be sure to get Little Bit O' Soul on this Nuggets comp. Jamie Lyons went on to record with the Capital City Rockets. He died in 2006. Bob Avery was in Crazy Elephant. Here's The Music Explosion performing Little Bit O' Soul 1967.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Scott Coker says there will be a 135lb women's tournament

For the last few months, many fans and MMA writers have demonstrated tunnel vision by insisting that Strikeforce 135lb women's MMA standout Sarah Kaufman should be a challenger for the 145lb title. Yours truly has said repeatedly that isn't going to happen and that Strikeforce has definite plans for a 135lb division. In this video interview with Ariel Helwani, Strikeforce owner Scott Coker confirms that there are plans for a 135lb women's tournament beginning later this year. So I don't want to see any more baloney about Sarah Kaufman moving up to 145. And remember who told you she wouldn't have to do that first. And though he couldn't remember her name, Coker also said that they are interested in Belgian fighter Candi Dandois as a contender for the 145lb title. She recently won over Marloes Coenen but some folks thought it was a fluke. I dunno. She had a good strategy in that fight. I'm not sure that would work with Gina Carano, Cristiane Cyborg or Erin Toughill. So check out the video. Enjoy!

Scott Coker FanHouse Interview from Ariel Helwani on Vimeo.

Shawn Tompkins responds to Kit Cope's blather

I'm sure you all heard about some ridiculous comments on a Las Vegas radio station by a steroid using fighter named Kit Cope. His fifteen minutes of fame is now based on being Gina Carano's ex-boyfriend. Normally I wouldn't waste my time on this but Ariel Helwani was in that radio station and then on Tuesday proceeded to ambush Gina with Cope's stupid comments about Xtreme Couture. To her credit, Gina didn't bite his head off. I know female fighters who would have. But you have to wonder why Helwani asked her that in the first place. He knows better that to accept Cope's comments at face value but chose not to question him further and it all turned into frat boy nonsense with Cope claiming to have a sex tape of Gina. He has admitted on his blog that the sex tape comment was a joke. But Xtreme Couture head trainer Shawn Tompkins was very upset by Cope's nonsense and asked Dave Farra of MMA Fix for an interview. So watch the interview and you can decide who you believe. Hat tip to Zach Arnold for the video clip.
Watch Shawn Tompkins Sounds Off On Kit Cope on

JEWELS fighters on Shoot Boxing show

Shoot Boxing announced today that they will have a tournament called Girls S-Cup 2009 Shinagawa Stella Ballroom on Aug. 23. But the big news is that several JEWELS fighters and one VALKYRIE fighter will be on this show. The tournament is for 52kg and will have a total of eight women. The headline fighter in this tournament is 18 year old shoot boxer Lena. She just won her latest match on Saturday's JEWELS show. Also in the tournament is Korean kickboxer actress Lim Su Jeong. You may recall that Lim defeated Lena on a K-1 show in Korea. So Lena is looking for revenge. Also named for the tournament is JEWELS fighter Saori Ishioka and VALKYRIE fighter V1. V1 has a VALKYRIE Featherweight Championship match in her future and Ishioka lost to Megumi Fujii on Saturday's JEWELS show. Speaking of Mega Megu, she will appear on this show in a non-tournament match and so will JEWELS fighters Shizuka Sugiyama and HIROKO. All fighters except Lim were at the press conference. Shoot Boxing sure is getting a lot of star power out of their relationship with JEWELS.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Knickerbockers

Artist:The Knickerbockers
Album:Nuggets From Nuggets: Choice Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era

The Knickerbockers' 1966 top 20 hit Lies is probably the best Beatles song not by The Beatles. It was their only chart hit. Though the group wrote their own songs, it appears that they liked to imitate popular groups of the mid-60s. The Knickerbockers were started in Bergenfield, NJ in 1962 by guitarist Beau Charles and his brother bassist John Charles. They struggled until they brought in sax player Buddy Randell formerly of The Royal Teens. They added drummer Jimmy Walker from The Castle Kings. They were spotted by producer Jerry Fuller and he signed them to Challenge Records. They started out imitating The Four Seasons and singing about Hot Rods. But they finally charted with Lies. The song was written by Beau Charles and Buddy Randell but it's clearly supposed to sound like The Beatles complete with John Lennon soundalike vocals. The Knickerbockers appeared in the 1966 film Out Of Sight. They probably should have been bigger but Challenge was too small to properly promote them. Then Jimmy Walker left in 1967 to replace Bill Medley in The Righteous Brothers. You can get Lies on this Nuggets comp. Beau & John Charles tried to keep the group together but couldn't. Beau Charles recorded as Columbus Jones in 1969 and then Beau & John recorded as Lodi on Mowest in 1971. Randell also recorded under several names and and then went into faith based music. He died in 1998. Walker retired from music in 1970. The Knickerbockers have reformed a couple of times and recorded for Sundazed Records in 2006. Here's The Knickerbockers performing Lies on Hollywood-A-Go-Go 1965.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ariel Helwani interviews Gina Carano

Here's a video interview with Gina Carano courtesy of Ariel Helwani of AOL Fanhouse. The only unusual thing about this interview is Ariel asks Gina about the comments by former boyfriend Kit Cope claiming that she isn't getting proper training at Xtreme Couture. Gina handled it very well. No, he didn't ask her about the ridiculous sex tape nonsense that Cope has been flapping his gums about. Other than that, it's a standard Gina interview. Enjoy!

Gina Carano FanHouse Interview from Ariel Helwani on Vimeo.

Jango Song Of The Day-Johnny Burnette

Artist:Johnny Burnette
Song:You're Sixteen
Album:Dreamin': The Very Best Of Johnny Burnette

Johnny Burnette was a rockabilly pioneer who lucked into teen idol stardom with the 1960 hit You're Sixteen. He died in 1964. He was born Mar. 25, 1934 in Memphis. It has been rumoured that he was a high school classmate of Elvis Presley. Not true. Johnny and his brother Dorsey were avid boxers and Golden Gloves champs. They met another boxer named Paul Burlison and in 1952 the three started a band called The Rhythm Rangers. After winning on the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour, they signed with Coral Records and were called Johnny Burnette & The Rock and Roll Trio. Despite recording some great rockabilly classics, the group never charted. The three moved to Los Angeles in 1957 and earned a contract with Imperial Records by camping out on Ricky Nelson's doorstep. But they weren't successful there either. Johnny Burnette signed as a solo artist with Freedom Records in 1958. When Liberty Records shut the label down, house producer Snuff Garrett started working with him. Burnette finally charted when Dreamin' reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. You're Sixteen did even better and reached #8 and earned Burnett a gold record. They sold Burnette as a teen idol though he really wasn't. But Burnette suffered a ruptured appendix and was unable to follow up You're Sixteen. He also recorded for Chancellor, Capitol and even his own label but could never repeat the success of You're Sixteen. This comp from Collectibles is the only single CD comp that includes You're Sixteen and Burnette's rockabilly recordings. Johnny Burnette died in a boating accident on Aug. 14, 1964 at age 30. Ringo Starr had a number one hit with You're Sixteen in 1974. His son Rocky Burnette was a successful musician in the 80s. Here's Johnny Burnette performing You're Sixteen 1960.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Carano/Cyborg press conference a yawnfest

So I watched the Strikeforce press conference for the Aug. 15 match between Gina Carano and Cristiane Cyborg broadcast live from the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden. It was streamed live at I did a live tweet on my Twitter. First, it was scheduled to begin at 2:30PM but started a half hour late and they knew there was an open workout for the press scheduled for 4PM. Boooooo! for starting late. And there were technical issues with the feed. The audio was jumpy and cutting out and the feed itself cut out several times until it gave out completely near the end. Ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. hosted the press conference. He said Strikeforce owner Scott Coker wasn't there. He was there but he wanted the attention to be on the fighters so he didn't come out until the end. There were no revelations from either Carano or Cyborg. As usual, the media questions were stupid. Can you believe that no one asked these two about making weight? Instead they ask if they train with men, a question Gina had already answered and the difference between men's and women's MMA. Huh? And the usual nonsense about Gina being "the face of women's MMA". Gina said she wants to see other weight classes for women in Strikeforce. That's an issue Coker needs to address. Check out the title belt in the pic. It looks like another great Reggie Parks belt. So that was the press conference and just to keep you going, here's Gina Carano on FOX News' MMA Fight Game with Mike Straka. Enjoy!

Emi Fujino to join joshi puroresu company Ice Ribbon

The Ice Ribbon joshi puroresu company announced today that MMA fighter Emi Fujino has begun training for her pro wrestling debut scheduled for August. That's her in white in the pic. Keep in mind that in Japan there is a frequent crossover between MMA and pro wrestling. Megumi Yabushita has done both for her entire career. Ice Ribbon is owned by joshi wrestler Sakura Emi and the interesting thing is most of their shows aren't in a ring but on mats. I don't know if this is a full time gig for Fujino but Ice Ribbon runs several small shows per week. I'm not a big fan of their use of preteen girls. Fujino's MMA record is 8-3 but she's lost her last three fights. And she had to be disappointed when she was finessed by V1 as part of the #1 contender tournament for Yuka Tsuji's VALKYRIE Featherweight Championship. And she had beaten V1 in 2007. You may also recall that Fujino was supposed to fight Fuuka on a Sept. 2007 Smackgirl show. And when Fuuka dropped out due to injury, Fujino cut a scathing promo on Fuuka in the ring. I think she'd still like to get her hands on Fuuka. There's no reason why she couldn't continue MMA. She's a very good fighter.

Jango Song Of The Day-Fontella Bass

Artist:Fontella Bass
Song:Rescue Me
Album:Rescued: The Best Of Fontella Bass

I bet you think that Rescue Me is one of Aretha Franklin's greatest hits. Except Aretha never recorded the song and it was actually a top five hit in 1965 by Fontella Bass. The confusion is understandable because they are very similar singers but Fontella has never got her due. She was born July 3, 1940 in St. Louis and is the daughter of Martha Bass of The Clara Ward Singers. So of course she grew up singing in church. By age 16 Fontella was house pianist at the St. Louis nightclub The Showbar. In 1961 she joined Little Milton's band and sang lead on his 1962 hit So Mean To Me. It was here that she met her husband trumpeter Lester Bowie of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago. When pianist Oliver Sain left Little Milton to start the Oliver Sain Soul Revue, Fontella was lead vocalist. She also recorded with Ike & Tina Turner. Sain took her to Chicago to record Don't Mess Up A Good Thing for The Chess records label Checker. It was a top ten R & B hit. Fontella left Sain and moved to Chicago to record Rescue Me in 1965. The song was credited to Chess session musicians Raynard Miner and Carl Smith though Fontella has maintained that she should have received a songwriting credit and has sued successfully for that credit. Rescue Me topped the R & B charts and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. So it predates Aretha Franklin's breakthrough by two years. Aretha did record a portion of Rescue Me for a 1993 American Express commercial but she never actually recorded the song for release. Fontella had some more R & B hits in the 60s but left Chess in 1969. This comp covers her Chess years. Fontella Bass has recorded over the years mostly with her husband's avant garde jazz band Art Ensemble Of Chicago. They moved back to St. Louis in 1971. She has also recorded with her gospel singer brother David Peaston. She suffered a stroke in 2005 and is now retired. Fontella Bass should have been a much bigger star. Here's Fontella Bass performing Rescue Me on Hollywood-A-Go-Go 1965.

Monday, July 13, 2009

V1 wins shot at Yuka Tsuji's title

The CAGE FORCE/VALKYRIE show was yesterday at Differ Ariake. There were three VALKYRIE matches on the show. The most important was the final of the #1 contender tournament for Yuka Tsuji's VALKYRIE Featherweight Championship between V1 and Kyoko Takabayashi scheduled for three three minute rounds. V1 begins by pushing Takabayashi into the wire mesh. Takabayashi takes her down but is kicked off. In round two, V1 hits a knee kick and Takabayashi counters with a takedown and some pounding. Takabayashi begins round three with takedown attempts but V1 defends well with strikes. She takes Takabayashi down and pounds her. V1 is given the win by split decision and she gets the title shot. Not that it matters. She can't beat Tsuji. In a Welterweight match, Super Benkei pounded Mizuho Sato relentlessly until winning by TKO at 2:48 of round three. In a Featherweight match, Madoka Ebihara and sakura engaged in a slugfest until Ebihara got sakura in an ankle lock and made her submit at 2:00 of round one. BTW, Ebihara has given herself a ring name made up of symbols. This is it: ♂ha@THE♀ I dunno what it means and I'm not going to call her that. I don't know yet when VALKYRIE is doing this title match.

Jango Song Of The Day-Ray, Goodman & Brown

Artist:Ray, Goodman & Brown
Song:Special Lady
Album:The Best Of Ray, Goodman & Brown

The 1979 hit Special Lady is still a bedroom classic today. It was the first single by Ray, Goodman & Brown. They were previously known as The Moments but had to change their name for legal reasons. The Moments began in the mid-60s and had a big hit in 1970 with Love On A Two Way Street on Joe & Sylvia Robinson's Stang label. Al Goodman (born Mar. 31, 1947 in Jackson, MS) and Billy Brown (born June 30, 1946 in Perth Amboy, NJ) joined The Moments in 1969 and Brown sang lead on Love On A Two Way Street. He had previously been with The Broadways and Goodman was working for Stang as a producer. They brought in Harry Ray (born Dec. 15, 1946 in Long Branch, NJ) from The Establishments. The Moments had 27 R & B chart hits through the 70s but they decided to sign with the much larger Polydor label in 1978. They couldn't use The Moments name so they called themselves Ray, Goodman & Brown. Special Lady topped the R & B charts and reached #5 on the pop charts. Their smooth R & B sound continued to have success on the R & B charts. Ray left for a solo career but returned when Ray, Goodman & Brown moved to EMI and had a top ten R & B hit with Take It To The Limit in 1986. This 1996 Polygram comp includes their Polydor and EMI recordings. Harry Ray died in 1992 but Ray, Goodman & Brown continue to tour today and record occasionally. They also sang backup vocals on the Alicia Keys hit You Don't Know My Name. Here is Ray, Goodman & Brown performing Special Lady 1980.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Willie Tee

Artist:Willie Tee
Song:Teasin' You
Album:Anthology 1962-2005

Willie Tee was a legend of New Orleans soul despite commercial success eluding him for most of his career. Teasin' You was his biggest hit in 1965 and it wasn't that big. He was born Wilson Turbinton Feb. 4, 1944 in New Orleans. His older brother Earl Turbinton played sax. They formed their first group The Seminoles in 1960 and Willie also joined the AFO Band led by his music teacher Harold Battiste. He also recorded for Battiste's AFO label as Willie Tee in 1962. He started The Souls and signed with cousin Ulis Gaines' label Nola. His 1965 single Teasin' You became a big enough hit that the Righteous Brothers performed it on Shindig and then Atlantic picked it up for national distribution. It reached #12 on the R & B charts. Tee never had a bigger hit so Atlantic dropped him and Nola closed. Tee started getting into production with Margie Joseph's 1969 classic One More Chance. His work with Earl got the attention of Cannonball Adderly and a short lived contract with Capitol. In 1973, Tee was approached about making an album of Native American Mardi Gras music. The result was the classic album The Wild Magnolias, a must for any black music fan. Tee released an album on United Artists in 1976 called Anticipation that went nowhere. He never again recorded for a major label but he continued to perform in New Orleans clubs and even went to England in the 90s. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in 2007. He also appeared in the 2005 film Ray. This comp from the Beach Music label Ripete has all of Tee's 60s music along with some recent recordings. Willie Tee died of colon cancer Sept. 11, 2007 at age 63. Here's Willie Tee performing Teasin' You, Walking Up A One Way Street & Thank You John at his 2007 Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mega Megu still undefeated

JEWELS had their show today at Shin-kiba 1st Ring in front of a capacity crowd. Of course the main event was the undefeated Megumi Fujii against the youngster Saori Ishioka. It appears that Ishioka did better than expected but the end result was never in doubt. Ishioka surprises Fujii with flying knee kicks. Fujii counters with a straight left. She pushes Ishioka into the ropes and goes for a takedown but Ishioka connects with a knee to the body. They exchange punches but Fujii rocks Ishioka with a right hook. Fujii finally gets Ishioka on the ground and pounds her. Fujii goes for an armbar but Ishioka stands up and reverses position and pounds Fujii. This excites the crowd. But Ishioka's advantage is temporary and Fujii is on top again by the end of round one. In round two, Ishioka wants to prevent Fujii from going to the ground. So she lands a couple of punches but Fujii responds and drops Ishioka with a front leg kick. Ishioka counters but Fujii gets a double leg takedown and eventually submits Ishioka with an armbar at 4:17 of round two. So a good showing by Ishioka means she has potential. DEEP Lightweight Champ MIKU appeared and said she wants to fight in JEWELS. Matchmaker Shigeru Saeki says Fuji/MIKU will happen early next year.

In other matches, Shoot Boxer Lena won over Tomoko SP by unanimous decision. Hitomi Akano had no problem with Miki Morifuji and won with an armbar at 4:17 of round two. Rina Tomita started out strong but Mika Nagano had her in big trouble by the end of round one. Nagano won with an armbar at 35 sec. of round two. Shizuka Sugiyama won what was mostly a slugfest over HARI by unanimous decision. HARI got in some shots but Sugiyama was too much for her. Asami Kodera made a successful return from hernia surgery with a win over Yukiko Seki with an armbar at 4:47 of round one. Matsumi Kasai won over Celina with an armlock at 3:06 of round one. And Hiroko Kitamura used her height advantage to batter the winless HARUMI before taking her down and winning with a triangle choke at 3:51 of round one. The next JEWELS show will be in September.

The Big Bad Blog on Twitter

I just wanted to let regular readers of the blog know that I am now on Twitter. Yeah, I know. It's the trendy thing to do but I'm getting over a hundred hits per day now and Twitter is a good way to continue to grow. So I've been looking to join Twitter for a while but I was concerned about having to do too much to post blog links on Twitter. Yesterday Appscout posted an article about RSS2Twitter. When you add your RSS feed to the site, it automatically adds the post to my Twitter complete with a shortened link to the post. And it's in real time. So when I publish this post, it will immediately post to Twitter. That's faster than any RSS reader I am aware of. So it's a great way to follow the blog. I will post some other updates that aren't worthy of a blog post. I have posted links to my Twitter and RSS2Twitter in the Links section. I recommend that site to any blogger. Please feel free to follow my Twitter and if I know you, I will follow you as well.

Jango Song Of The Day-Maceo Parker

Artist:Maceo Parker
Song:Pass The Peas
Album:Roots and Grooves

Of course sax player Maceo Parker is a legend for his days with James Brown, Funkadelic and many others. These days he's hanging around with Prince. His solo albums are worth checking out as well. He was born Feb. 14, 1943 in Kinston, NC. His brother Melvin plays drums. James Brown wrote in his autobiography that he wanted Melvin Parker for the band and agreed to hire Maceo as part of the deal. The rest is history. Parker was an integral part of Fred Wesley's horn section. He also toured with Wesley when Wesley toured as Fred Wesley & The JBs and he had his own group called Maceo & All The King's Men. Parker left Brown to join George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic crew and also worked with Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell. Parker can always be counted on for a killer sax solo. So Maceo Parker has been a big part of funk history. In recent years he's been touring with Prince. But he has also recorded solo albums over the years. Roots and Grooves was released in 2007 on the German Intuition label. The first CD is Parker's tribute to his music roots especially Ray Charles. The second CD is a live jam with the WDR Big Band in Germany. This version of Pass The Peas is a 17 minute long jam. Funk fans should check it out. Here's Maceo Parker performing Pass The Peas at the North Sea Jazz Festival 1995.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Hank Thompson

Artist:Hank Thompson
Song:The Wild Side Of Life
Album:Capitol Collectors Series

When folks think of the phrase "I didn't know God made Honky Tonk angels", Hank Thompson's 1952 hit The Wild Side Of Life is the song they are thinking of. Thompson was a country music star for decades. He was born Sept. 3, 1925 in Waco, TX. He grew up a big fan of Western Swing musicians like Bob Wills and Thompson's music fits into that mold. He had a local radio show as a teen and joined the Navy in 1943 as a radio technician. He formed his band The Brazos Valley Boys in 1946. He recorded a few singles and got the attention of Tex Ritter and Ritter helped Thompson get a contract with Capitol Records in 1947. Thompson had success but had his biggest success when he started working with producer Ken Nelson in 1951. The Wild Side Of Life topped the country music charts for three months in 1952 and it was Thompson's signature song. The Wild Side Of Life is based on the Carter Family song I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes with William Warren's lyrics obviously inspired by a failed relationship. Kittly Wells' answer song It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels was also a number one country hit. Thompson continued to have a lot of success and hosted the first TV variety show broadcast in colour. He also recorded the first live country music album in 1961. His recording career petered out in the 60s. He left Capitol in 1965 and though Thompson continued to record for Warner Bros. & Dot/MCA and was still a popular live act, he never reached the heights of the 50s. This comp covers his Capitol recordings. He was elected to the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1989. Hank Thompson died of lung cancer on Nov. 6, 2007 at age 82. Here's Hank Thompson performing The Wild Side Of Life on Hee Haw.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Azumi Hyuga announces retirement

Azumi Hyuga held a press conference to announce that she will retire on JWP's year end Korakuen Hall show on Dec. 27. Azumi has had several knee surgeries including one last year so I can only assume that her knees aren't getting any better. She's always performed at a high level and probably doesn't want to slip into mediocrity like other veterans who hung on too long. Of course it hurts JWP but after fifteen years, it's time to go while she can still walk. She was born Tomoko Kuzumi Jan. 5, 1975 in Matsudo City. She debuted on Dec. 4, 1994 and by the time she changed her name to Azumi Hyuga in 1999, she had already become one of the top wrestlers in Japan. Despite JWP's financial problems, she remained loyal to the company when she probably should have left to make more money. Back in 2003, she was the only reason to watch JWP. Azumi Hyuga is not only a tremendous technical wrestler capable of almost any move you can imagine, she is a main event performer who always rose to the occasion and delivered superior matches routinely. A great example of this is her Dec. 2006 60 minute draw against Yoshiko Tamura. Tamura is a notoriously inconsistent performer equally capable of delivering great performances and stinking out the joint. Hyuga's consistency was a big reason for that match being hailed as 2006 match of the year. She's a very dependable performer. Of course JWP and NEO botched following up on that match. Maybe we'll see a rematch now. So it's a sad day for joshi puroresu but I'm sure all fans wish Azumi Hyuga the best in whatever she does upon her retirement.

Tomomi vs Izumi on Aug. 9 SHOOTO show

SHOOTO announced on their blog today that they have added a women's match to their Aug. 9 at Fujimi Citizens Lyceum in Fujimi City. Both are experienced kickboxers so I don't expect this to go to the ground. The match is scheduled for two five minute rounds in the Flyweight division (probably 125lbs). It will be WINDY Tomomi (pictured) vs Jet Izumi. WINDY's MMA record is 12-10 and her last fight was a loss to Kyoko Takabayashi at the Apr. 25 VALKYRIE show. Izumi's MMA record is 5-5 but she has concentrated on kickboxing for the last several years. She's been very active in that area but her last MMA bout was a loss to Yumi Matsumoto on the Apr. 30, 2005 SMACKGIRL show. Certainly a KO finish is possible for this match.

Jango Song Of The Day-Ralph McTell

Artist:Ralph McTell
Song:Streets Of London
Album:The Best Of Ralph McTell: Streets Of London

Ralph McTell isn't well known in North America but in his native England he is a legend of folk music. Streets Of London is his best known song and has been recorded by hundreds of other artists. He was born Ralph May Dec. 3, 1944 in Fairborough, Kent, England. He started playing guitar as a teen. After watching Ramblin' Jack Elliott perform at a club in London, he immersed himself in the music of the legends of blues and eventually named himself after Blind Willie McTell. After a few years of busking through Europe, McTell signed with Transatlantic Records in 1967 and released his debut album in 1968. Streets of London was on his 1969 album Spiral Staircase. It was influenced by McTell's busking experiences but he thought it was too depressing to record. Producer Gus Dudgeon convinced him otherwise. It eventually charted in England in 1974 but Streets Of London is now a folk music standard. He has always been a very popular live act in England but a US record company has never promoted him properly. This comp on Castle is a good intro to his music. McTell started his own label in 1980 and continues to record  and tour today. He also wrote songs for the successful children's TV show Alphabet Zoo. You should check him out if you're into folk music. Here's Ralph McTell performing Streets Of London on the German TV show Disco 1975.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Gladys Knight & The Pips

Artist:Gladys Knight & The Pips
Song:Midnight Train To Georgia

Of course Gladys Knight is one of the all time great soul singers and the 1973 hit Midnight Train To Georgia is one of several Gladys Knight & The Pips hits. She was born May 28, 1944 in Atlanta and she won on Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour at age 7. She formed a group with her brother Merald, sister Brenda and cousins William and Elinor Guest called The Pips. They were named after another cousin James "Pip" Woods. Cousins Langston George and Edward Patten replaced Brenda and Elinor in 1959. The group had some success with VeeJay Records in the early 60s and after George left, Gladys quit to raise her children. She returned and Gladys Knight & The Pips signed with Motown in 1966. Their biggest hit at Motown was their 1967 version of Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through The Grapevine. They left Motown for Buddah Records after Neither One Of Us reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973. Gladys said they felt they were a second string act at Motown. Midnight Train To Georgia was their second single on Buddah and it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973. Neither One Of Us and Midnight Train To Georgia were both written by veteran Nashville songwriter Jim Weatherly. The original title was Midnight Plane To Houston and it was recorded by Cissy Houston in 1970. Weatherly was recording for Buddah at the time. Tony Camillo produced the song and played organ on the song along with sessionmen Bob Babbitt , Jeff Mironov and Mike & Randy Brecker. This 2CD comp on Hip-O is recommended because it covers the Motown and Buddah recordings. Gladys Knight & The Pips continue to perform today and they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1996. Here's Gladys Knight & The Pips performing Midnight Train To Georgia 1973.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Satoko Shinashi is a mommy!

DEEP announced today the DEEP Women's Flyweight Champ Satoko Shinashi gave birth on Sunday to a son weighing 2486 grams. Mother and child are doing great and Satoko is very excited. Mama Fighter will start working towards a return to fighting. DEEP matchmaker Shigeru Saeki said a few months ago that Satoko is aiming to return in December and that is still the schedule. I'm sure all women's MMA fans look forward to seeing Satoko Shinashi back in action. Congratulations!