Monday, August 31, 2009

Shimoda & Mita escape from the cage at Saturday's NEO show

This is the S-Arena video report of Saturday's main event of the Osaka NEO show. Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita escaped the cage to win over Kyoko Kimura & Atsuko Emoto. NEO added the escape clause so they could continue the feud. No one was pinned. Based on the video, it's pretty much what one would expect in this sort of match. The usual pattern is one of the babyfaces escapes the cage and leaves her partner inside to take a beating from the heels. Shimoda got out and Mita really gets hammered until Shimoda turns the tide with a fire extinguisher. It seems to me that Shimoda & Mita are a little old to be taking this kind of abuse in front of 500 fans. And with Mita retiring, one would think that Revolution Amandora has to go over anyway. NEO always seems to dick around on their big shows and they wind up being disappointing. Enjoy the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-Max Frost & The Troopers

Artist:Max Frost & The Troopers
Song:Shape Of Things To Come
Album:Nuggets From Nuggets: Choice Artyfacts from The First Psychedelic Era

When you listen to this classic piece of psychedelia on the Nuggets comp, you might think it's a pretty good song. Whatever happened to Max Frost & The Troopers? What garage did they start out in? The only problem is there was no band. It was created for the 1968 biker film Wild In The Streets. Christopher Jones played aspiring singer Max Frost and lipsyncs Shape Of Things To Come in the film. But the song was so popular that a Max Frost & The Troopers album was recorded afterwards. The guy behind all this was Davie Allan. He started out with a surf music band in his home town of Van Nuys, CA and signed with Mike Curb's new label Sidewalk Records in 1964 as a session musician. Curb signed a deal to provide music for American International Pictures. Roger Corman had heard Allan's music on a short film called Skaterdater. Allan's first film for Corman was the 1966 biker film The Wild Angels. He was credited as Davie Allan and The Arrows. Allan did the music for several of these films including Devil's Angels, Born Losers and others. Because Wild In The Streets had a band as a central part of the story, Curb & Allan decided to create Max Frost & The Troopers. But that is Allan and his band performing the song featuring lead singer Paul Wibier. And Shape Of Things To Come was written by the legendary songwriting team of Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil. When Shape Of Things To Come reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100, they decided to produce an album that didn't sell and two more songs turned up on the 1968 film The Glory Stompers. Sidewalk Records folded in 1968 but Curb took Allan to MGM with him and Allan recorded over there for a while. Davie Allan continues to perform today. I guess he's a cult figure in Los Angeles. Here's The Shape Of Things To Come as it appeared in the 1968 film Wild In The Streets.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hermie's Hot Seat featuring Sarita

The latest edition of TNA's interview series Hermie's Hot Seat has Hermie Sadler interviewing Sarita. The most important element of Sarita's career is she took a tremendous risk when she moved to Mexico several years ago. The interview doesn't give us any sense of how popular she really is down there. That's why part of her TNA deal has her continuing to work for CMLL. So enjoy the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-Ian Dury & The Blockheads

Artist:Ian Dury & The Blockheads
Song:Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
Album:Sex & Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll: The Best Of Ian Dury & The Blockheads

Though they were very popular in England, Ian Dury was more of a cult figure in North America. If you liked some of the New Wave music from  England in the late 70s, you'll want to add him to your listening list. Certainly Dury was a very unlikely pop star. He was born May 12, 1942 in Upminster, Essex, England. Dury contracted polio at age 7 and attended a school for the disabled. He studied at the Royal College Of Art and became an art teacher at Canterbury Art College in 1967. Dury formed the group Kilburn And The High Roads in 1970 and though they released a couple of albums, they split up in 1975. Dury and partner Chaz Jankel decided to start a new band in 1976 and brought sax player Davey Payne with them. Drummer Charley Charles, bassist Norman Watt-Roy, keyboard player Mick Gallagher and guitarist John Turnbull were all from a band called Loving Awareness. They recorded an album but record companies weren't biting. Dury's manager's office was next door to the new label Stiff Records. They signed Dury and Sex & Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll became a rock anthem. Like their other songs, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick was a number one hit in England but the group was never more than a cult item in the US. Maybe Dury's sense of humour doesn't translate well. But their music and Dury's stage presence is excellent and this Rhino comp has all their hits. Jankel moved to the US to persue a solo career in 1980 and then Dury ended The Blockheads in 1982 and signed a solo contract with Polydor. Neither of them were successful. They would reunite occasionally. Ian Dury was diagnosed with cancer March 1996 and reformed The Blockheads. He died Mar. 27, 2000 at age 57 and The Blockheads continue to tour as a tribute to him. A biopic called Sex & Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll starring Andy Serkis (Lord Of The Rings) as Ian Dury is scheduled for release in 2009. And an Ian Dury biography will be published next year. Here's Ian Dury & The Blockheads performing Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick on Top Of The Pops 1978.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Gary Wright

Artist:Gary Wright
Song:Dream Weaver
Album:Best Of Gary Wright: Dream Weaver

Dream Weaver was one of two top five hits for Gary Wright in 1976. The album was huge too. Wright is interesting because he's American but his route to stardom was through the British music business and a close friendship with George Harrison. He was born Apr. 26, 1943 in Creskill, NJ. as a child, he appeared in the Broadway production of Fanny. In 1967, his band The New York Times opened for Traffic and Island Records owner Chris Blackwell brought Wright to London to join Spooky Tooth. When Spooky Tooth split in 1970, Wright joined George Harrison's Wonderwheel and played keyboards on All Things Must Pass. The two became very close friends and even traveled to India together. After briefly returning to Spooky Tooth, Wright signed with Warner Bros. Dream Weaver was his first album for Warners. He had previously recorded for A & M. The singles Dream Weaver and Love Is Alive reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album Dream Weaver reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 200 in 1976. Wright claimed Dream Weaver was the first pop album created solely with synthesizers. He played all instruments except for Jim Keltner on drums. Wright credited George Harrison for inspiring his music and Dream Weaver in particular. It's that eastern mysticism thing. Wright's subsequent albums didn't catch on and Warners dropped him in 1981. This Rhino comp covers the Warners years. He hasn't recorded much since then though he rerecorded Dream Weaver for the 1992 film Wayne's World. Gary Wright currently tours with Ringo Starr & His All Star Band and Wright released an EP in Nov. 2008. Here's Gary Wright performing Dream Weaver on The Midnight Special 1976.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Ernie K-Doe

Artist:Ernie K-Doe
Album:A Real Mother-In Law For Ya: The Allen Toussaint Sessions 1959-63

Mother-In-Law topped the pop and R & B charts in 1961. It may be the biggest New Orleans R & B song ever and it was the only top 40 hit for Ernie K-Doe. He was born Ernie Kador Jr. Feb. 22, 1936 in New Orleans. He grew up singing in his daddy's church and sang in gospel groups as a teen. At age 17 he moved with his mother to Chicago and sang with The Flamingos and The Moonglows. He moved back to New Orleans in 1954 and recorded with The Blue Diamonds. He recorded a few singles as a solo artist but his big break came when he signed with Minit Records in 1959 and hooked up with legendary producer Allen Toussaint. K-Doe had a regional hit with Hello My Lover but then hit the jackpot with Mother-In-Law. It topped the pop singles and R & B singles charts in 1961. I'm sure most folks have heard the song but know nothing of K-Doe. The story goes that Toussaint wrote Mother-In-Law and threw it in the garbage. K-Doe begged him to record it and the rest is history. The good natured humour of the song fit right in with K-Doe's flambuoyant stage show. The bass singer on Mother-In-Law is Benny Spellman. This comp has all of the Minit recordings. K-Doe continued to record through the 60s but didn't have much success. After a bout with alcoholism, K-Doe became a radio show host in New Orleans in the 80s. Then he opened the Mother-In-Law Lounge in 1994 and continued to perform there until his death on July 5, 2001 at age 65. A couple of weeks ago, Ernie K-Doe was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame. The LMHOF have put together a video featuring Ernie K-Doe performing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in the 80s.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Next VALKYRIE show Oct. 24

I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that VALKYRIE announced that their next show will be Oct. 24 at Differ Ariake. Again they will piggyback on a CAGE FORCE show. The VALKYRIE show will be in the afternoon and the CAGE FORCE show will follow. The bad news is that Yuka Tsuji's scheduled defense of her VALKYRIE Featherweight Championship against V1 has been postponed due to an injury to Tsuji. There goes your main event. So they didn't announce any matches but the following fighters are scheduled to appear; Naoko Omuro, Emi Fujino, Maho Muranami, ♂ha@THE♀ (the fighter formerly known as Madoka Ebihara), SACHI, Masae Mori, Yuko Takagi (making her debut), Fukuo Hamada and Yukiko Seki. As soon as VALKYRIE announces the matches, I will let you know. The pic is Naoko Omuro vs SACHI from the Apr.. 25 VALKYRIE show.

Jango Song Of The Day-Ace

Song:How Long
Album:The Best Of Ace Featuring Paul Carrack

This very memorable song by the British group Ace was a top five hit in 1975. The group didn't last that long but lead singer Paul Carrack has gone on to a very successful career. Guitarist Alan "Bam" King started out in the 60s group The Action and then Mighty Baby. He got together with guitarist Phil Harris and they recruited singer songwriter keyboardist Paul Carrack and bassist Terry "Tex" Comer from the group Warm Dust. They went through several drummers but settled on Fran Byrne in 1974. The group signed with Anchor Records and their debut album Five-a-Side spawned How Long. The song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Carrack wrote and sang lead on most of the album. Though most think How Long is about a failed love affair, Carrack says he wrote the song after he discovered that Comer had secretly been playing with the band The Sutherland Brothers And Quiver. Their second album Time For Another didn't do anywhere near as well. Harris was replaced by John Woodhead and Ace moved to Los Angeles but they split up in 1977. King moved to New Zealand and Carrack, Comer & Byrne joined Frankie Miller's band. Carrack left to join Roxy Music in 1979 and in the 80s was lead singer for Squeeze and later Mike & The Mechanics. He has also had a lot of success as a solo artist. Ace was the first time most folks had heard him. This comp from Varese has their first album and a few other things. Here's Ace performing How Long 1975.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Megumi Yabushita added to Sept. 13 JEWELS show

JEWELS held a press conference today at the DEEP gym to announce several pro wrestlers being added to the Sept. 13 Shinjuku FACE show. They also announced the brackets for the 60kg ROUGH STONE tournament. The other tournament brackets haven't been announced yet. The big news is that women's MMA pioneer Megumi Yabushita will face pro wrestler Atsuko Emoto in an Open Weight match. Yabushita has done MMA and pro wrestling for her entire 12 year career. Her record is 17-15 and her most recent match was a win over Emi Fujino on the July 21, 2008 GCM Demolition show. She's still active in pro wrestling and currently holds the JWP Tag Team Titles with Commando Bolshoi. Emoto is a veteran pro wrestler with a 2-2 MMA record and her last fight was a loss to Gisele Marquez on the Apr. 25, 2008 SMACKGIRL show. She also works as a trainer at the DEEP gym. JEWELS also added two fighters to the 60kg ROUGH STONE tournament and the brackets. In the first match, undefeated Shizuka Sugiyama will face German fighter Alexandra Sanchez. Sugiyama is 5-0 and won over Hitomi Sakamoto on Sunday's Shoot Boxing show. Sanchez is a kickboxer who won in her MMA debut over Tanja Hoffman on the June 28 MMA Berlin show. Apparently she contacted JEWELS and offered to pay her own way to Japan. The other match will have BATTLARTS pro wrestler Chihiro Oikawa facing Ito Dojo pro wrestler Tomoko Morii. Oikawa is 1-1 and won over Harumi on the May 16 JEWELS show. Morii lost to Megumi Fujii in her pro MMA debut on the Nov. 16 JEWELS show. Mika Nagano was at the press conference and will be in the 54kg tournament. The brackets have yet to be announced. She made her pro wrestling debut on last Sunday's Ice Ribbon show. JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki announced that actress/pro wrestler Hikari Shida will participate in a grappling match against an opponent TBA. Shida starred in the joshi puroresu film Three Count and also wrestles for Ice Ribbon. left to right in the pic: Morii, Shida, Emoto, Nagano, Oikawa.

Jango Song Of The Day-Michael Martin Murphey

Artist:Michael Martin Murphey
Album:Ultimate Collection

The 1975 top five hit Wildfire was the biggest pop hit for Michael Martin Murphey. But Murphey has been a fixture of the Los Angeles country rock scene since the 60s and is currently keeping cowboy songs alive. He was born Mar. 14, 1945 in Dallas and grew up loving cowboy songs. He moved to Los Angeles to study at the University Of California and quickly became a fixture at folk clubs. In 1967, he formed The Lewis & Clark Expedition with Owen Castleman. They recorded one album for Colgems Records but Murphey's pal Michael Nesmith recorded one of his songs with The Monkees and this led to a songwriting contract with Columbia Pictures' publishing arm Screen Gems. Murphey moved out of Los Angeles in 1968 to the San Gabriel mountains and his songs started getting attention from other artists. He moved to Austin, TX in 1971 and signed with A & M Records after producer Bob Johnston spotted him performing in a club. Geronimo's Cadillac was his first album and was a modest hit as a single. Murphey moved to Epic Records in 1973. Wildfire was on his second album for Epic Blue Sky, Night Thunder in 1975. Wildfire reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band backed Murphey up on the album. Apparently Wildfire is about a horse Murphey saw in a dream. He continued to have some success on the pop charts but especially the country charts. He also did some acting and started calling himself Michael Martin Murphey to avoid confusion with actor Michael Murphy. Murphey moved to Liberty Records in 1982 and then Warner Bros in 1985. His career eventually faded in the 90s and he took to concentrating on writing cowboy songs. In 1997, his career got a boost when David Letterman became obsessed with Wildfire and invited Murphey to perform it on his show. Murphey currently records for Rural Rhythm Records and released Buckaroo Bluegrass in Feb. 2009. Because Murphey had success on several labels, putting together a comprehensive comp is a challenge. Universal gave it a shot on their Hip-O label with Ultimate Collection in 2001 and did a decent job. The emphasis is on the A & M albums but it also includes some Epic & Liberty recordings. Sony hasn't done a Murphey comp. Murphey is probably worthy of a box set. Here's Michael Martin Murphey performing Wildfire on The Midnight Special 1976.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-James & Bobby Purify

Artist:James & Bobby Purify
Song:I'm Your Puppet
Album:The Muscle Shoals Sound

The 1966 top ten hit I'm Your Puppet was the biggest hit for soul duo James & Bobby Purify. It was also a song that helped establish The Muscle Shoals Sound of Alabama. James & Bobby Purify are cousins from Pensacola, FL. James Purify was born May 12, 1944. Bobby Purify was born Robert Lee Dickey Sept. 2, 1939. Producer Papa Don Schroeder took them to Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals in 1966. Hall opened the studio as a home for musicians who wanted an alternative to working in Memphis. I'm Your Puppet was one of the earliest songs produced there. It was written by Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn and produced by Penn. The song reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though James & Bobby Purify were never able to duplicate the success of I'm Your Puppet, FAME Studios would soon become a major destination for soul hits including Percy Sledge's When A Man Loves A Woman. Oldham & Penn would work on several hits together, most notably The Box Tops' The Letter. The two continue to work together occasionally today. This Rhino various artists comp is an excellent intro to the Muscle Shoals Sound. Robert Lee Dickey left the duo in 1971 and was replaced by Ben Moore. James & Bobby Purify continued to tour and recorded for Casablanca Records in 1978. Ben Moore had success as a gospel artist in the 80s. But this 1966 classic still sounds pretty good. Here's James & Bobby Purify performing I'm Your Puppet 1966.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lisa Marie Varon ready to fight

Of course most fans are familiar with Lisa Marie Varon from her days as Victoria in the WWE and now as Tara in TNA. When she left the WWE, she announced that she might be interested in trying MMA. What some fans might not know is that Lisa was a competitive athlete long before she got into pro wrestling. She participated in fitness pageants and triathalons before becoming a pro wrestler. The TNA schedule allows her to try other things. Last week there was an article in the Dayton Daily News with someone saying he's her agent calling out Kim Couture. Lisa says on her MySpace that he's not her agent and she plans to represent herself. Lisa has owned her own businesses for years. It appears that the guy was floating a trial baloon to guage interest in her. She says a promoter offered her a fight with Kim Couture last month but lisa turned it down because "the numbers weren't right". Then in an interview at the Stikeforce show, Kim Couture said she didn't know who Lisa is and she looked big. Lisa says she walks around at about 150lb but would have no problem cutting to 135. I doubt she will do that as 145lb is a quicker way to Lisa's goal in MMA. There's less competition at 145. Lisa says she is training daily with veteran female boxer Terri Blair, Brazilian jiu jitsu coach Helio Soneca (I think that's him in the accompanying pic) and former Pride, UFC and WEC fighter Alex Steibling. Lisa says she's ready for a fight today. Those of us who have watched Lisa as a pro wrestler know that her work ethic and determination is what made her successful. That same work ethic could work in MMA too. I've seen her in TNA and she's in great shape. Lisa says she plans to attend next month's Strikeforce show in Oklahoma. Maybe she'll set up her debut at that time. I look forward to it.

Jango Song Of The Day-Bobby Bare

Artist:Bobby Bare
Song:Detroit City
Album:The Best Of Bobby Bare

Though Detroit City was not country music artist Bobby Bare's biggest pop hit, it's probably his most memorable song. He was born Apr. 7, 1935 in Ironton, OH. His mother died when he was five and Bare was working in a factory by age 15. He started playing in bands and then moved to Los Angeles in 1957. He wrote a song called The All American Boy as a demo for a singer named Bill Parsons. Fraternity Records bought the song, used the demo and mistakenly credited it to Parsons. It reached #3 in 1959. While Bare was in the armed forces, Fraternity hired another singer to play Bill Parsons. Upon his dischage, Bare attempted to become a pop singer. But he preferred country and Chet Atkins signed him to RCA Records in 1962. Bare had several songs cross over to the pop charts including Detroit City which reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by veteran Nashville songwriter Danny Dill and Mel Tillis. It was originally recorded by country singer Billy Grammer as I Wanna Go Home. Bare's version is more memorable. Bare's follow up single 500 Miles From Home did even better and reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though Bare would fade from the pop charts, he would remain a presence on the country charts through the 70s. This comp covers most of his career. Bare retired after recording with his 1998 group The Old Dogs featuring Jerry Reed, Mel Tillis and Waylon Jennings. But he returned in 2006 with a CD called The Moon Was Blue produced by his son Bobby Bare Jr. and he continues to tour today. Here's Bobby Bare performing Detroit City 1963.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hisae Watanabe returns at Shoot Boxing show

Shoot Boxing had their S-Girls Cup tournament today at the Shinagawa Stellar Ball in Tokyo. There were some MMA fighters on the show and there was one MMA fight. It also included the return of Hisae Watanabe. Most of the pre fight hype was about the 18 year old high school student shoot boxer Rena. Not surprisingly, she won the tournament with a win over VALKYRIE fighter V1. I don't know if she has plans to get into MMA. She says she's studying jiu jitsu but the interest in her shows that JEWELS would be wise to find themselves an attractive high school student to push. I agree that is a very cynical viewpoint but it would probably work. Megumi Fujii had an exhibition match against Hisae Watanabe. One round was MMA rules and the other round was Shoot Boxing rules. They were mostly sparring. Watanabe was very excited about returning and she said she's ready to fight anyone. How about Megumi Fujii for real? Maybe she's not ready for that. That's Watanabe and Fujii in the pic. The one MMA match had rising star Shizuka Sugiyama (4-0) vs Hitomi Sakamoto (0-2) in a 57kg match scheduled for two five minute rounds. Sugiyama counters Sakamoto's attempted kicks with punches and then a takedown. They get tangled up but Sugiyama takes control though Sakamoto is able to escape her submission attempts. Sugiyama get another takedown at the end of the round and is pounding Sakamoto when the bell rings. Sakamoto does a bit better in round two but Sugiyama again counters her kicks with body punches. She has Sakamoto in a guillotine choke when the match ends. Shizuka Sugiyama wins by unanimous decision and is still undefeated.

Jango Song Of The Day-Shanice

Song:I Love Your Smile
Album:Ultimate Collection

The 1991 top five hit I Love Your Smile was the biggest hit for R & B singer Shanice Wilson. I guess when you have your biggest hit at age 18, there's nowhere to go but down. But Shanice was a fixture on the R & B charts through the 90s and she's still around today. She was born May 14, 1973 in Pittsburgh. Her mom moved her to Los Angeles to get her into the entertainment business. At age 8, Shanice appeared in a KFC commercial with Ella Fitzgerald. Then she appeared on Kids Incorporated and Star Search and that led to a contract with A & M Records. Her 1987 debut album Discovery produced two top ten R & B hits. But she hit the jackpot with her 1991 follow up Inner Child. That album was on Motown after PolyGram had purchased A & M. I Love Your Smile topped the R & B charts and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song and the album was produced by Narada Michael Walden. Walden started out as a jazz drummer and he became a hot producer after his protege Stacy Lattislaw became popular. He also produced Aretha Franklin (that's him playing drums in the Freeway Of Love video), Whitney Houston and many others. Branford Marsalis plays the sax solo and in the video, you can hear Shanice say "Blow Branford Blow". Shanice continued to have success on the R & B charts but when PolyGram was sold to Universal in 1998, she moved to LaFace Records and the 1999 album Shanice was her final album on a major label. She also appeared in the Broadway musical Les Miserables in 1997. This comp has all her Motown hits. Shanice married actor Flex Alexander in 2000 and they have two children. She released the CD Every Woman Dreams on her own label in 2006 and it reached #30 on the R & B album chart. She is currently working on a new CD. Here's the video for I Love Your Smile by Shanice.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Gary U.S. Bonds

Artist:Gary U.S. Bonds
Song:This Little Girl
Album:Dedication/On The Line

Gary U.S. Bonds had a #1 hit in 1961 with Quarter To Three. Then he disappeared and returned in the 80s courtesy of Bruce Springsteen with the 1981 hit This Little Girl. Most singers don't get that kind of opportunity. He was born Gary Anderson June 6, 1939 in Jacksonville, FL and grew up in Norfolk, VA. He was in a group called The Turks when he was spotted by Legrand Records owner Frank Guida. Guida changed his name to Gary U.S. Bonds hoping that DJs would think his music was a public service announcement. His first single New Orleans reached #6 on the pop charts but his third single Quarter To Three reached number one. Bonds continued to record until 1962 and continued to tour afterwards. But he didn't get another opportunity to record until Bruce Springsteen got him a contract with EMI Records in 1981. Springsteen was a big fan of Quarter To Three and used to perform it before he was famous. So he decided to write and produce an album for Gary U.S. Bonds called Dedication. Steven Van Zandt and the E Street Band played on the album and Springsteen wrote This Little Girl. It reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it revived Bonds' career. This CD contains his two EMI albums. Gary U.S. Bonds continues to tour the oldies circuit today. He last recorded in 2004. Here's Gary U.S. Bonds performing This Little Girl.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Vapors

Artist:The Vapors
Song:Turning Japanese
Album:I Want My New Wave

Turning Japanese is one of the most memorable songs of the New Wave era of the early 80s. It was never a big chart hit in the US but the video was very popular during the early days of MTV. Unfortuately The Vapors didn't last long afterwards. The lead singer and songwriter of The Vapors was Dave Fenton. He first formed the group in 1978 but in 1979 he brought in lead guitarist Ed Bazalgette and drummer Howard Smith from The Ellery Bops. Bassist Steve Smith joined soon after. The group was spotted by The Jam bassist Bruce Foxton and he took them under his wing and The Vapors toured with The Jam. The Jam's lead singer Paul Weller's father John Weller became their manager. The Vapors signed with United Artists Records. Their 1980 debut album New Clear Days was produced by The Jam's producer Vic Coppersmith-Heaven. Turning Japanese was the second single. It reached #3 on the UK charts and #36 on the Billboard Hot 100. But the video went into regular rotation on MTV. One of the reasons the song became popular is a lot of kids thought it was about masturbation. At the time, Fenton was ambiguous about that. But in recent years he has admitted that it was about a failed relationship, apparently the subject of a lot of his songs. There are Vapors comps but this various artists comp from Razor & Tie is a good intro to New Wave. EMI bought United Artists in 1980 and the new management chose not to promote The Vapors and their second album Magnets tanked. The Vapors split up soon after. Dave Fenton is now an entertainment lawyer. Ed Bazalgette directs films for the BBC. Here's the video for Turning Japanese by The Vapors.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Video of Kyoko Kimura's Korakuen Hall leap

OK gang. This video consists of the last few minutes of the JWP Open Weight Championship match between Kayoko Haruyama and Kyoko Kimura. The video begins with Kimura leaping from the Korakuen Hall balcony onto Haruyama. I'm not crazy about the risk vs reward of a move like that in today's joshi business especially since Haruyama suffered a broken rib. But both women deserve a lot of respect for doing stuff like that for our entertainment. And Haruyama deserves a lot of credit for even continuing and doing some other goofy stuff until they decided to end the match. I'm sure she couldn't breathe. Enjoy the video!

Jango Song Of The Day-Robert Parker

Artist:Robert Parker
Album:The Wardell Quezerque Sessions

The 1966 top ten hit Barefootin' was New Orleans R & B singer Robert Parker's only chart hit. So thechnically he's a one hit wonder but he's been a fixture in the New Orleans music scene since the late 40s and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in 2007. He was born Oct. 14, 1930 in New Orleans. He started out as a sax player for Professor Longhair and played on his 1949 hit Mardi Gras In New Orleans. He played sessions in the 50s with Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, Ernie K-Doe, Irma Thomas and many others. He signed as a solo act with Ace Records in 1958. In 1959, he had some regional success with the instrumental All Night Long on Ron Records. But Parker's big break came when he signed with Wardell Quezerque's Nola label in 1965. Barefootin' was the first single and it reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. Parker recorded some more singles and an album but was unable to repeat the success of Barefootin'. All his recordings with Nola are on this comp. Parker was actually more popular in England and toured there in the late 60s. He recorded for Shelby Singleton's SSS International in 1969 but other than a rerecording of Barefootin' in 1984 for the Charly label, he hasn't recorded in years though he continues to perform regularly in New Orleans clubs. Robert Parker was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in 2007 and here's his performance of Barefootin' at his induction ceremony.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Brenton Wood

Artist:Brenton Wood
Song:The Oogum Boogum Song
Album:Brenton Wood's 18 Best

The 1967 song The Oogum Boogum Song was one of two big hits by R & B singer songwriter Brenton Wood. He was born Alfred Jesse Smith July 26, 1941 in Shreveport, LA and grew up in San Pedro, CA. He learned piano as a child and his group Little Freddie & The Rockets recorded a single in 1958. While attending Compton College, he named himself Brenton Wood after the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. He had a group called The Quotations. He went solo after graduation and signed with Double Shot Records. The Oogum Boogum Song was his first single and it reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100. The follow up Gimme Some Sign did even better and reached #9. Wood wrote both songs. He jokes a lot about what Oogum Boogum means because it's obviously a nonsense song. This comp has both of his hits. Wood never had much success after that. He's had some limited success on the R & B charts. Brenton Wood tours the oldies circuit today and records occasionally on his own label. Here's Brenton Wood performing The Oogum Boogum Song on the Los Angeles TV show Thee Mr. Duran Show.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Spaniels

Artist:The Spaniels
Song:Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight
Album:The Only Doo-Wop Collection You'll Ever Need

The Spaniels are one of the all time great doo wop groups. But they never got their due until George Lucas used Goodniight Sweetheart Goodnight in the film American Graffitti. The lead singer of The Spaniels was James "Pookie" Hudson. He was born June 11, 1934 in Des Moines, IA and grew up in Gary, IN. Other members were Ernest Warren, Billy Carey, Willis C. Jackson, bass singer Opal Courtney Jr. and Gerald Gregory. The Spaniels are notable for three reasons. They were the first significant doo wop group to come from the Midwest US. They were the first group to have the lead singer use a seperate microphone. And they were instrumental in establishing Vee Jay Records as a force in black music. They started out in 1952 as Pookie Hudson & The Hudsonaires. They decided to call themselves The Spaniels because a lot of other groups were named after birds. Gary record shop owners James and Vivian Bracken were starting their own label. They moved to Chicago and The Spaniels and Jimmy Reed were the first acts on the Vee Jay roster. The Spaniels did very well in the R & B market but broke nationally in 1954 with Hudson's Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight. But in those days a lot of black songs were covered by white artists and usually that version would be a bigger success. And that's what happened. The McGuire Sisters' version reached #7 on the pop charts. This continued to happen throughout the 50s and it resulted in several personnel changes. But The Spaniels remained with Vee Jay until the company went broke in 1966. Hudson reformed The Spaniels after George Lucas used Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight in the 1972 film American Graffitti and the group toured the oldies circuit for years. This comp from Shout! Factory is an excellent intro to doo wop. Pookie Hudson died on Jan. 16, 2007 at age 72. Here are The Spaniels performing Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight on the PBS special Doo Wop 50.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Bobby Hebb

Artist:Bobby Hebb
Album:Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues 1945-1970

Though Sunny was Bobby Hebb's only top ten pop hit in 1966, he has had a long and distinguished career as a performer and songwriter in Nashville. He was born Robert Von Hebb July 26, 1938 in Nashville. His parents were blind musicians and Hebb made his performing debut tap dancing on the Jerry Jackson Revue at age 3. Bobby and his older brother Hal performed with their parents in Nashville clubs in the 40s. Hal would go on to be a member of The Marigolds. When Hebb joined Roy Acuff's Smokey Mountain Boys in 1952, he became one of the first blacks to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. He moved to Chicago in 1954 and played on some blues sessions and then moved back to Nashville in 1958 after a stint in the Navy. His 1958 regional hit Night Train To Memphis led to a move to New York and he eventually replaced Mickey Baker in the duo Mickey & Sylvia. Hebb wrote Sunny after his brother Hal was killed in a knife fight in 1963. His manager had trouble selling the song but Hebb cut a demo with producer Jerry Ross and Philips Records released Sunny and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. Hebb also toured with The Beatles. Cher also had a hit with the song in 1966 and Boney M hit with a disco version in 2000. Hebb himself released a disco version in 1976. Hebb has had several hits as a songwriter, most significantly the Lou Rawls 1971 hit A Natural Man. This 2CD various artists comp was released in 2004 to coincide with a special exhibition at the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville. There are some very rare songs on it. Bobby Hebb has continued to perform and last recorded in 2005. Here's Bobby Hebb performing Sunny 1966.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cristiane Cyborg wins Strikeforce 145lb Women's Championship

Here's the video of last night's fight on the Strikeforce show. Cristiane Cyborg won by TKO at 4:59 of round one over Gina Carano to win the Strikeforce 145lb Women's Title. It went as expected. Cyborg's strategy is obvious and if Gina could have got through the last minute of the round, she might have been able to turn it around. But give Cyborg credit for sticking to her game plan and executing it. I've watched several of Gina's fights and the one thing I saw in this fight that I had never seen from her in the past was indeciseveness. She's usually very good at countering her opponent's strengths but she seemed very unsure of herself this time. Her biggest mistake was when she had Cyborg on the mat in a dominant position and got up. Frank Shamrock said something about it but there was never any follow up. A fighter must be able to adjust her game plan depending on the events of the fight but I guess Gina thought she could outpunch Cyborg. Big mistake. She should have kept pounding her. She was doing OK until Cyborg got her down with about a minute left. And it looks like that attempted V1 armbar submission took a lot out of her though Gina escaped. I see people complaining about the ref stoppage with one second left in the round but who knows if Gina could have come out for round two. Obviously it sets up a rematch. Afterwards, Randy Couture threw Gina under the bus and said she should train more consistently. Maybe you should have insisted on Gina doing a tuneup match...hmmm. So what's next for Cyborg? Marloes Coenen says she's next. But Strikeforce owner Scott Coker says that he is not only planning a 135lb title tournament bus also planning a 145lb number one contender tournament. At the same time? Yikes! It doesn't surprise me because Coker used to promote Las Vegas K-1 shows and they like to do tournaments. I think it's lazy matchmaking and also I don't think the 145lb talent pool is deep enough. I have no problem with a 135lb tournament. He could get talked out of doing a second tournament. So congratulations to Cristiane Cyborg for being the first Strikeforce Women's 145lb Champion. Enjoy the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-Lou Christie

Artist:Lou Christie
Song:I'm Gonna Make You Mine
Album:Enlightnin'ment: The Best Of Lou Christie

Lou Christie and his falsetto was one of the most popular singers of the 60s. I'm Gonna Make You Mine was his final top ten hit in 1969. He was born Lugee Sacco Feb. 19, 1943 in Glen Willard, PA. After graduating from high school, he moved to New York and started singing on sessions. He had some regional success in Pittsburgh as Lugee & The Lions but got the name Lou Christie when C & C Records released The Gypsy Cried in 1962 with that name without his permission. Christie has said he always hated the name and wanted to be called Lugee. Roulette Records picked up the song and it reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. Christie wrote this and a lot of his other songs with partner Twyla Herbert. After Two Faces Have I reached #6 in 1963, Christie signed with MGM Records after a stint in the military. Christie's first single was Lightnin' Strikes. MGM management hated it but music fans loved it and it was Christie's only number one hit. Christie had some more hits but faded in 1967 and MGM dropped him. He went to Columbia but then landed at Buddah Records with producer Tony Romeo. Romeo wrote I'm Gonna Make You Mine and it reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Christie moved to London and battled drug addiction. He would recover and started touring the oldies circuit in the 80s and he has recorded occasionally. This Rhino comp has all of his hits. Here's the video for I'm Gonna Make You Mine by Lou Christie.

Marloes Coenen says she's next

Here's a video interview with Marloes Coenen courtesy of Ariel Helwani of AOL Fanhouse. She says she's not under contract to Strikeforce yet but she says she has been promised the first shot at Cris Cyborg's 145lb Championship. Of course Erin Toughill said the same thing the other day. Marloes was scheduled to fight Cyborg in Montreal earlier this year but Cris pulled out. Marloes is from The Netherlands and is the most experienced of the fighters available and she was under contract to EliteXC last year. Marloes won the very first World Remix tournament in Tokyo in 2000 at age 19. She is a legend in Japan but has never fought in the US.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Big Bad Blog analysis of Gina Carano vs Cristiane Cyborg

Because tonight's Strikeforce 145lb Women's Championship fight between Gina Carano and Cristiane Cyborg Santos is the biggest fight in women's MMA history and the first women's fight to be a main event on a North American men's MMA show, I am offering loyal readers my fight analysis. Up to now, the media's Beauty vs Beast viewpoint of this fight has been way too simplistic for me and it's the main reason why Cyborg is favoured to win. The biggest factor in this fight is that it is scheduled for five five minute rounds. That is uncharted territory for both of these women. Who will be better prepared to go the distance? Cyborg's fighting style is very typical of the fighters trained at Chute Boxe in Brazil. Have you ever watched her husband fight? They fight the same style, full steam ahead with a lot of aggression. This style could easily result in an early knockout. I have doubts that her ground game is as good as others think and she has never fought anyone as big and powerful as Gina. Because of her looks, Gina has been underestimated before every one of her fights. That's precisely what is happening with this fight and I expect Gina to do what she has done before because she uses this underestimation to motivate herself. Also, Gina is a superior Muay Thai technician and a very shrewd tactician. And Randy Couture has been supervising her training. You can be sure that Xtreme Couture has Gina well prepared to go the distance. She looked in great shape at yesterday's weigh-in. If Gina can withstand Cyborg's initial onslaught, there's a very good chance that Gina can tire her out by the fourth round. If I was a betting man (and I'm not), I'd put my money on Gina. What happens afterwards depends on how the fight goes. If it goes to the later rounds, I expect a rematch regardless of who wins. I don't believe that this fight is the be all or end all of women's MMA anyway. And I bet Erin Toughill doesn't believe that either. I just hope it's a great fight and these girls tear town the house as expected. Fans in the US can watch the show on Showtime. In Canada, it's available on PPV. It's going to cost me a few bucks but I have to buy it. I expect to recap the show and post match video tomorrow evening.

Interview with Showtime's Ken Hershman

So I was only going to post this on my Twitter but Twitter is having service issues again. So here's Ariel Helwani's interview with Showtime's Ken Hershman covering tonight's fight and other topics. CBS is still in the picture but we don't know when.

Jango Song Of The Day-Edison Lighthouse

Artist:Edison Lighthouse
Song:Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)
Album:Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes): The Voice Of Tony Burrows

It would be very easy to dismiss Edison Lighthouse's 1970 top five hit Love Grows as just another one hit wonder. But lead singer Tony Burrows had several hits under several different group names. He was born Apr. 14, 1942 in Exeter, Devon, England. His first group in 1960 with future songwriter producer Roger Greenaway was called The Kestrels. After they split up, he recorded as Tony Bond as a goof on James Bond. He then joined the very successful group The Ivy League who eventually became The Flower Pot Men. He also reunited with Greenaway and sang lead on The Pipkins hit Gimme Dat Ding. And remember United We Stand by The Brotherhood Of Man. That was them too. Then he got together with songwriter producer Tony Macauley (The Foundations) and recorded Love Grows. Burrows intended to release it under his own name but somehow the group became Edison Lighthouse though Burrows did put together a touring band. In February 1970, Burrows appeared three times in an episode of Top Of The Pops as Edison Lighthouse, White Plains and The Brotherhood Of Man. Then he returned a few weeks later as The Pipkins. Love Grows was his biggest hit and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later on he was behind the 1974 hit Beach Baby by First Class. Varese Records has conveniently put all of Tony Burrows' hits on this comp. Burrows sang backup on early Elton John albums and continued to record under various names until he went into commercial production in the 90s. Here's Edison Lighthouse performing Love Grows (Where Rosemary Grows) on Top Of The Pops 1970.

Interview with Gina Carano's number one fan

Of course Gina Carano's number one fan is her dad, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Glenn Carano. Ariel Helwani of AOL Fanhouse posted a video interview with him. Glenn deserves a lot of props for supporting his daughter unconditionally. Enjoy the interview!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yahoo Sports interviews Gina Carano

Here is yet another Gina Carano interview courtesy of Larry Beil of Yahoo Sports and KGO-TV in San Francisco. Also wanted to mention that according to Maggie Hendricks of Yahoo Sports tweeted this afternoon that Gina Carano is the #1 search term on Yahoo. And more great news. They both made weight. No drama or towels at the weigh in. Enjoy the video!

Miesha Tate interview

Miesha Tate is in San Jose for the Strikeforce show and Ariel Helwani of AOL Fanhouse interviewed her. Miesha says her next fight is Oct. 3 for a small promotion in Tacoma, WA but she also says that her next St6rikeforce fight willbe in November. We know that Stikeforce has plans for a 135lb tournament so that may be when they are planning to start the tournament. Enjoy the video!

Jango Song Of The Day-Ritchie Valens

Artist:Ritchie Valens
Album:Rockin' All Night: The Best Of Ritchie Valens

Because Ritchie Valens died so young, it's impossible to tell if he would have had much longevity in the music business. But there's no question he was influential as the first Hispanic rock star. He was born Richard Valenzuela May 13, 1941 in the Los Angeles suburb of Pacoima, CA. By the time he was 16, he was lead singer of a group called The Silhouettes. In May 1958, Del-Fi Records owner Bob Keane was tipped off about him and went to see him perform in San Fernando. He signed Valenzuela and shortened his name to Ritchie Valens. Keane took him into the recording studio in July and after Valens first single Come On, Let's Go did well, they recorded Donna and La Bamba. Valens wrote Donna and I guess the reason the song was #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has had so much longevity is it's innocence. La Bamba was a traditional Mexican song. Keane sent Valens on tour and while part of The Winter Dance Party with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper, he died in that tragic plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959 in Clear Lake, IA at age 17. Of course Valens only recorded two albums of music so this comp covers his brief career. The 1987 film La Bamba gave Valens' story the Hollywood treatment. Valens wrote his own songs and played guitar so he may have had a future in music. But we'll never know. Here's a video for Donna by Ritchie Valens.

Loretta Hunt interviews Gina Carano

Loretta Hunt of Sherdog tweeted yesterday that she did a video interview with Gina Carano. So here it is with comments from Randy Couture and a couple of the other guys at Xtreme Coutture. Enjoy!

Ariel Helwani interviews Cris Cyborg

Here's a video interview with Cris Cyborg from Ariel Helwani of AOL Fanhouse. Not much to it. I expect a few more of these in the next couple of days.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Bobby Day

Artist:Bobby Day
Song:Rockin' Robin
Album:Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Vol. 1

Today Rockin' Robin is probably best known for Michael Jackson's 1972 smash hit version. But it was originally a top five hit in 1958 for Los Angeles doo wop veteran Bobby Day. It was his only top 40 hit. He was born Bobby Byrd July 1, 1928 in Fort Worth, TX and moved to Los Angeles as a teen. He was the lead singer of The Hollywood Flames, not to be confused with Bobby Byrd of James Brown's Famous Flames. So The Hollywood Flames kicked around for several years in the 50s until they signed with Leon Rene's Class label in 1957. Day left to found Bob & Earl with Earl Nelson but left and Bob & Earl would later hit gold with Harlem Shuffle without Day. They recorded for Class under various names and Day wrote Little Bitty Pretty One which would be a big hit for Thurston Harris. In 1958, Day would finally hit the jackpot when Rockin' Robin reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Leon Rene wrote the song under the name Jimmie Thomas. Rene also wrote When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano. Bobby Day continued to record but was unable to duplicate the success of Rockin' Robin though he wrote Over And Over which was a #1 hit for the Dave Clark Five in 1965. And of course Michael Jackson successfully covered Rockin' Robin in 1972. Ace Records has released a Bobby Day comp but his music is very repetitive so I recommend this excellent various artists comp also from Ace. Bobby Day died on July 15, 1990 at age 62. Here's Bobby Day performing Rockin' Robin on The Art Laboe Show in Los Angeles 1958.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Brooklyn Bridge

Artist:The Brooklyn Bridge
Song:Worst That Could Happen
Album:Tunesmith: The Songs Of Jimmy Webb

I've talked a bit about Johnny Maestro and his group Brooklyn Bridge. The 1969 hit Worst That Could Happen was their one top five hit. Of course Maestro was the lead singer of the doo wop group The Crests and sang lead on Sixteen Candles. Maestro continued to perform on his own until The Del-Satins were looking for a new lead singer in 1967. The members of that group were Fred and Tom Ferrara, Les Cauchi and Bobby Fiela. Maestro joined in 1968. They saw a horn band called The Rhythm Method and got together and renamed themselves Brooklyn Bridge. They signed with Buddah Records and were produced by Wes Farrell. If you see pics of the group, they updated their look. But their music was clearly based on their doo wop roots. Worst That Could Happen reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was a note for note copy of the 1967 version recorded by The Fifth Dimension. It was written by legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb who had plenty of success with songs like McArthur Park, Wichita Lineman and Up, Up & Away. You can find out more about Webb on this 2CD various artists comp from Raven Records. Brooklyn Bridge were never able to duplicate the success of Worst That Could Happen. So they downsized the band and Maestro, Fred Ferrara and Cauchi continue to tour and record occasionally today. Here's The Brooklyn Bridge performing Worst That Could Happen on Cousin Brucie's Rock 'N' Roll Party.

Loretta Hunt interviews Cristiane Cyborg

Here's a video interview with Cristiane Cyborg courtesy of Loretta Hunt of Sherdog. I'm trying not to play favourites but there hasn't been much on Cyborg. Showtime did a brief promo and the gym out in California did a video of her training but the music was crap so I'm not going to post it. Loretta does a good job with the interview which includes comments by her husband Evangelista Cyborg and strike trainer Sean McCully. They seem a little overconfident to me and may get a rude awakening on Saturday. Cris also complains about the Beauty vs Beast nonsense. So far the biggest problem with this fight has been the media asking the same stupid questions repeatedly. I don't blame either fighter for being annoyed. Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mika Nagano ready for her pro wrestling debut

Here are a couple of videos promoting Ice Ribbon's Aug. 23 Korakuen Hall show. I saw them on Nikkan Sports but someone saved me some time and already posted them on Youtube. The first one mostly shows Mika Nagano training with Fuuka in the ring. Nagano will team with Fuuka and Hikari Shida at Nagano's pro wrestling debut on Aug. 23. It made me laugh because with her grappling background, Nagano could probably teach Fuuka a thing or two. The second video has Ice Ribbon owner Sakura Emi talking about her main event match with Nanae Takahashi. It must get pretty hot in Korakuen Hall in August because Ice Ribbon is giving away fans. This is a big show for them. Enjoy the videos!

Jango Song Of The Day-Lalo Schifrin

Artist:Lalo Schifrin
Song:Theme From Enter The Dragon
Album:Superbad: The Very Best Of Blaxploitation 70s Movie Themes & Funk Soul Classics

Lalo Schifrin was a big part of changing the tone of film music in the 60s by adding jazz and funk elements that hadn't been used much until that time. He was born Boris Claudio Schifrin July 21, 1932 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I think Lalo is a childhood nickname. His father was a symphonic violinist and Schifrin began playing piano at age six. He enrolled at Paris Conservatoire in 1952 and got interested in the Paris jazz scene. Upon returning to Buenos Aires in 1956, Schifrin formed a 16-piece jazz orchestra. He met legendary jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, composed the suite Gillespiana and then moved to New York in 1960 to join Gillespie's band. Schifrin became Gillespie's musical director until he composed his first film score for the 1963 film Rhino and moved to Hollywood. His next score was for the 1965 film The Cincinatti Kid and Schifrin got tons of work after that. His best known composition is probably the theme for the TV show Mission Impossible. But he also wrote the theme for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Mannix and wrote scores for Cool Hand Luke, Bullitt and several Clint Eastwood films including Coogan's Bluff and Dirty Harry. And he occasionally recorded jazz albums. In the 70s he started adding funk elements including this theme for the 1973 film Enter The Dragon. Of course this was Bruce Lee's final film and was released after Lee's death. The soundtrack for Enter The Dragon is available but it's very short so I suggest this WEA International 3CD various artists comp that looks like a lot of fun. Lalo Schifrin continues to tour the world as a guest conductor and still writes the occasional film score, most recently the Rush Hour series. Here's the Theme From Enter The Dragon in the opening credits of the film.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gina Carano on MMA Fix

This is probably the best interview Gina Carano has done to date. It's with Dave Farra of MMA Fix. She actually comments on some of the dumb questions she gets asked about everything but fighting. And she also responds to Kit Cope's stupid sex tape comments. Enjoy!
Watch Gina Carano Is Ready For Cyborg And There Is No Sex Tape! on

Randy Couture on Gina Carano's training

Here's the latest video hyping this Saturday's Gina Carano vs Cristiane Cyborg fight in Strikeforce. It's Frank Shamrock, Randy Couture and Gina Carano discussing the fight. It's mostly Couture talking about her training and her game plan. He's been supervising Gina's training since he returned a few weeks ago from shooting the Sylvester Stallone film The Expendables in New Orleans. Enjoy!

Jango Song Of The Day-Linda Ronstadt & The Stone Poneys

Artist:Linda Ronstadt & The Stone Poneys
Song:Different Drum
Album:The Very Best Of Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt would become a huge star in the 70s but her first chart hit with The Stone Poneys showed that even in 1967 she had a keen eye for quality songs that has served her very well for her entire career. She was born July 15, 1946 in Tuscon, AZ. She was perfroming with brother Peter and sister Suzi as The Three Ronstadts when she met future Stone Poney Bob Kimmel in 1960. He liked her voice and after he moved to Los Angeles in 1961, he constantly tried to convince Linda to move there. Kimmel started writing songs with Kenny Edwards. Linda moved to Los Angeles in 1964 and the three decided to start a band. The original plan was to have five members with a female lead singer and include an autoharp. But Jefferson Airplane and Lovin' Spoonful beat them to both of those things and they decided to trim it down to a folk rock trio. The name The Stone Poneys came from Charley Patton's Stone Pony Blues. They started getting attention from record companies but they wanted to change them. Manager Herb Cohen told Kimmel he could get Linda a contract but not the whole band. Linda wouldn't do that and shortly Cohen introduced them to Capitol Records producer Nick Venet. Their debut album went nowhere and Venet decided to emphaszize Linda and Capitol started billing them as Linda Ronstadt & The Stone Poneys. Different Drum rose to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was written by Michael Nesmith before he joined The Monkees and was first recorded by The Greenbriar Boys in 1966. Kimmel & Edwards didn't play on the song. This was the beginning of the end for The Stone Poneys and Capitol started selling Linda as a solo act. Her post Stone Poneys albums with Capitol didn't sell all that well and Linda Ronstadt moved to Asylum and became a star there. This Rhino comp includes Different Drum but mostly covers the rest of her career. Here's Linda Ronstadt & The Stone Poneys performing Different Drum in 1967.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell

Artist:Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell
Song:Dueling Banjos
Album:Appalachian Stomp: Bluegrass Classics

No one was more surprised than Eric Weissberg when his version of Dueling Banjos became a top five pop hit in 1973. Apparently Weissberg was not aware that his version of the song was used in the hit film Deliverance. But it introduced bluegrass music to a lot of people and Weissberg went back to playing sessions. He was born Aug. 16, 1939 in Brooklyn, NY and attended the Julliard School Of Music. His first real group was The Tarriers who originally recorded The Banana Boat Song. Though he started out playing bass, he soon became known for playing numerous instruments. Weissberg toured with Judy Collins after The Tarriers split up in 1965 and started his long career as a session musician. He has played on numerous recordings and still does that today. So he was called to the set of the film Deliverance in Atlanta in 1972 and he brought Steve Mandell with him to coach the actors to play Dueling Banjos in the film. Much to his surprise, Warner Bros. issued Weissberg's version as a single and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Then they tacked it on to an old album that Weissberg had recorded in 1963 for Elektra. And Warners listed the songwriting credit as Traditional. But Dueling Banjos was originally called Feuding Banjos and was written by Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith and he recorded it with banjo player Don Reno in 1955. Smith successfully sued Warners for royalties. Weissberg formed Rural Free Delivery to attempt to capitalize but returned to sessions in the mid-70s. In the 90s, Weissberg toured with Art Garfunkel and in recent years he has toured with Tom Paxton and he still plays sessions. This Rhino various artists comp is a good intro to bluegrass for beginners. Here's the Dueling Banjos scene from Deliverence.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-George McCrae

Artist:George McCrae
Song:Rock Your Baby
Album:The Best Of George McCrae: Rock Your Baby

Rock Your Baby was a number one hit in 1974 for George McCrae. And though I don't think it's a disco song, it helped usher in the disco era and the prominence of TK Records in Florida. He was born Oct. 19, 1944 in West Palm Beach, FL. McCrae had his own group The Jivin' Jets before beginning a four year stint in the US Navy in 1963. After his discharge, he reformed the group with his wife Gwen McCrae and managed her when she got a contract with Alston Records. McCrae continued to sing in clubs and was about to return to school to study law enforcement when Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch of KC & The Sunshine Band asked him to sing some high parts on a song they were planning for Gwen. When she was late for the session, McCrae sang the lead and Casey & Finch liked it so much that they decided to realease Rock Your Baby as is. Gwen would have her own hit with Rockin' Chair in 1975. Rock Your Baby was a monster hit and was number one on the R & B and pop charts and helped launch Casey and TK Records into the bigtime. McCrae had some more lesser hits but was never able to duplicate the success of Rock Your Baby. He divorced Gwen in 1976. George McCrae still tours today and records occasionally but he describes himself as semi-retired on his website. This comp has the full six minute version of Rock Your Baby. A lot of various artists comps have the edited version. Beware! Here's George McCrae performing Rock Your Baby on Top Of The Pops 1974.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Major Lance

Artist:Major Lance
Song:The Monkey Time
Album:Curtis Mayfield's Chicago Soul

The 1963 top ten hit The Monkey Time was one of two big hits for Chicago soul singer Major Lance. The song was written and produced by Curtis Mayfield. Major Lance was born Apr. 4, 1939 in Winterville, MS and grew up in Chicago. He went to high school with Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler. Lance's dancing with his group The Floats landed him a gig on a local TV show hosted by DJ Jim Lounsbury. Lance released one failed single in 1959. Then Mayfield signed a production deal with Okeh Records in 1962. Most of the music on the label was written by Mayfield and produced by Okeh president Carl Davis. The Monkey Time was Lance's second single. Gene Chandler really wanted to record the song but Mayfield had promised it to Lance. The song reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963 and of course created a new dance. Lance also had a top ten hit with Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um in 1964. He continued to do well on the R & B charts until Davis left Okeh in 1967. This is an excellent various artists comp of Curtis Mayfield's music for Okeh. Lance was sent to Nashville to work with producer Billy Sherrill but his music wasn't as good. Lance left Okeh in 1968 and went to Mayfield's new label Curtom. He had some R & B hits but left Curtom in 1971. He moved to England for a couple of years. In 1978, Lance went to prison for four years for selling cocaine. Then a 1987 comeback was halted by a heart attack. Major Lance gave a final performance at the 1994 Chicago Blues Festival before he died on Sept. 3, 1994 at age 55. Here's Major Lance performing The Monkey Time on Shindig 1963.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Five things you didn't know about Gina Carano

Here's another video from Showtime hyping Gina Carano. I expect a few more of these in the next week. Gina talks to Frank Shamrock about insomnia, her fear of spiders and massages. Enjoy!

Jango Song Of The Day-Bobby Vee

Artist:Bobby Vee
Song:Take Good Care Of My Baby
Album:Legendary Masters

Bobby Vee was one of several singers who emerged after the death of Buddy Holly. Vee sounded enough like Holly to be successful and producer Snuff Garrett was smart enough to use Brill Building songs. Take Good Care Of My Baby was Vee's only number one hit. He was born Robert Thomas Velline Apr. 30, 1943 in Fargo, ND. He had a group called The Shadows that actually played that fateful gig in Fargo after Holly's plane went down in 1959. Snuff Garrett signed him to Soma Records and Vee's first single Suzie Baby did well enough for Liberty Records to pick up his contract for national distribution. Davil Or Angel was a top ten hit followed by Rubber Ball. But Take Good Care Of My Baby was his biggest hit and was number one for three weeks in 1961. The song was written by the legendary songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Vee started to fade after that and like a lot of early 60s stars his career was killed by the British Invasion. Vee continued to record for Liberty until 1969 and then attempted to reinvent himself in 1972 as a singer songwriter using his real name on United Artists. That didn't work and Vee has toured the oldies circuit ever since. This comp on Capitol has all his hits. Here's Bobby Vee performing Take Good Care Of My Baby 1989.