Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yasuko Mogi puts herself in Oct. 24 VALKYRIE main event

VALKYRIE matchmaker Yasuko Mogi's big problem is that due an injury to Yuka Tsuji, she really doesn't have a main event for the Oct. 24 Differ Ariake show. So they held a press conference today to announce that the main event of the show will be a Featherweight (52.2kg) match between Yasuko Mogi and Misaki Takimoto. Huh? Mogi's record is 4-4 and her last fight was a loss to Masako Yoshida on the May 24 Shooto show. Mogi said that she has wanted to fight in the cage for a while but not surprisingly she's very busy running VALKYRIE. Takimoto trains at Zendokai in Yokohama. Her record is 10-11-4 and she just lost on the main event of the Sept. 13 JEWELS show to Ham Seo Hee. So I guess Mogi thinks it's a big deal to get a fighter who just was on a main event of a JEWELS show to appear in VALKYRIE. Well, neither match is of main event quality. Someone should tell Mogi that a pat on the back is eighteen inches away from a kick in the pants. Of course I know an available fighter who is a main event fighter. But Roxanne Modafferi is on the outs with VALKYRIE management. They won't put her on the show. Yutaka Kubo of GCM was at the press conference and said they are trying to distinguish VALKYRIE from JEWELS by having the matches in a cage, allowing unlimited ground and pound etc. etc. But both companies should be concerned about putting on the best show possible and I don't think either of them are doing that right now. The one thing JEWELS has going for them is that their shows cost less to produce because of the ring. So they can run a smaller hall. VALKYRIE will always suffer financially by comparison.

Jango Song Of The Day-Gillian Welch & David Rawlings

Artist:Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
Song:I Want To Sing That Rock & Roll
Album:Down From The Mountain

Gillian Welch is one of today's top bluegrass artists and got a lot of attention with her work in the film O Brother Where Art Thou? David Rawlings is her long time partner. She was born Oct. 2, 1967 in New York City and grew up in Los Angeles. Her parents wrote for The Carol Burnett Show. She got her first guitar at age eight and was a huge bluegrass fan. She met Rawlings while she studied at the Berklee School Of Music in Boston and the two have been together ever since. Rawlings is from Smithfield, RI. They moved to Nashville in 1992 and got the attention of T-Bone Burnett and he signed them to Almo Records. That label was started by Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss after they sold A & M Records to PolyGram. Gillian's debut CD Revival was released in 1996 and got a Grammy nomination. They have recorded for their own Acony label ever since. I Want To Sing That Rock & Roll was on Gillian's 2001 CD Time (The Revelator) but this live version is from a special recording at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville that was an unofficial wrap party for the film O Brother Where Art Thou? It also includes performances by Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris and John Hartford. Gillian's most recent CD was Soul Journey in 2003 but she and Rawlings work together on other projects including albums by Ryan Adams. David Rawlings has a new CD A Friend Of A Friend coming out in November and Gillian appears on it. Roots music fans should check them out. Here's Gillian Welch & David Rawlings performing I Want To Sing That Rock & Roll on BBC Four Sessions Nov. 2007.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Yes


Yes has been one of the most durable bands from the British progressive rock movement of the early 70s. Fragile was their breakthrough album. I don't like their later music. Yes was formed in 1968 by vocalist Jon Anderson (born Oct. 25, 1944 in Accrington, England) and bassist Chris Squire (born Mar. 4, 1948 in London). Anderson had been in a group called The Warriors and recorded a couple of singles as Hans Christian. Squire was in a group called The Syn. They met in a club and started working together. Drummer Bill Bruford (born May 17, 1949 in Sevenoaks, England) had just joined Savoy Brown but left to join this new band. Guitarist Peter Banks (born Peter Brockbanks July 15, 1947 in North London) had been a member of The Syn. Keyboard player Tony Kaye (born Anthony Selvidge Jan. 11, 1946 in Leicester, England) joined and Banks came up with the name Yes just because he thought it would look good on posters. Yes started playing gigs and signed with Atlantic. They released their debut album in July 1969. As they released their second album Time And A Word, Banks was fired and replaced by Steve Howe (born Apr. 8, 1947 in North London). Then Kaye left to form Badger and was replaced by Rick Wakeman (born May 18, 1949 in London). Yes also started writing more of their own music and Howe and Wakeman seemed to have better chemistry and Wakeman was willing to experiment with electronic keyboards. Fragile was their breakthrough album and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 200. Roundabout reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Fragile is available on CD with bonus tracks. Yes continued to have a lot of success even after Bruford left to join King Crimson and was replaced by Alan White. In 1976, Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz. They continued to be successful in the 70s but petered out and split in 1981. Anderson reformed Yes in 1983 and returned them to success though I don't think the music was that good. They split up in 2004 but Squires and Howe lead a version of Yes today with Rick Wakeman's son Oliver on keyboards. Here's Yes performing Roundabout on Yessongs 1973.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cyborg vs Coenen on Nov. 7 Strikeforce show

So you probably already know that Strikeforce women's champ Cristiane Cyborg Santos will be on Strikeforce's Nov. 7 show from the Sears Center in Chicago on CBS. We're just waiting for her opponent to be announced. I can now report that Matloes Coenen (pictured) of The Netherlands is the opponent. She let the cat out of the bag in an interview with Middle Easy. Marloes trains at Golden Glory and is a very young ten year veteran of MMA. At 19 years of age, Marloes fought in the very first women's MMA show in Japan for LLPW on Nov. 22, 2000 with a win over Yuuki Kondo. She also won the very first World Remix Tournament on Dec. 5, 2000 with a win over Megumi Yabushita. So that makes Marloes a pioneer of women's MMA and a legend in Japan. In recent years, Marloes has had difficulty getting fights on a regular basis because kickboxing is far more popular than MMA in The Netherlands. Her record is 16-3 and her last fright was a loss to Cindy Dandois on the Jan. 24 Beast Of The East show in Zutphen, Holland. Having seen that fight on Youtube, I'll just say that Cindy employed a specific strategy that worked very well against Marloes. Check it out for yourself. I expect we may see Cindy fight in North America real soon. You may recall that Marloes was supposed to fight Cyborg last February in Montreal but it was cancelled when Cyborg signed with Strikeforce. So this fight should be very interesting.

Three matches added to Oct. 24 VALKYRIE show

VALKYRIE announced today three matches have been added to their Oct. 24 Differ Ariake show. A couple are debuting fighters and one is changing her name so a couple of the names could be iffy. The first fight is Bantamweight (48.5kg) between ♂ha@THE♀ (pictured) and Rock Cryptomeria (I think). ♂ha@THE♀ is the fighter formerly known as Madoka Ebihara. She trains at Paraestra. Her record is 4-2 and her last fight was a win over sakura at the July 12 CAGE FORCE show. Rock Cryptomeria is the ring name for a debuting fighter named Chokuho Sugiyama. She trains at VALKYRIE's home dojo WK and fought a couple of amateur bouts for Smackgirl a couple of years ago. BTW, cryptomeria is a type of Japanese cedar tree. The second fight is Flyweight (45.4kg) between Fukuko Fukuko and Yuko Takagi. Fukuko Fukuko is the new ring name for Fukuko Hamada. She trains at Cobra Kai and her record is 4-3. Her last fight was a loss to Yasuko Tamada at the July 27, 2008 DEEP show and she won the 2006 Next Cinderella Tournament in Smackgirl. Takagi trains at Dark and is making her pro debut. The third fight is Welterweight (56.7kg) between Masae Mori and Aya Miura. It looks like Mori is changing her ring name to Morimegu. She trains at Dark. Her record is 0-1 and she lost to Mizuho Sato on the Apr. 25 VALKYRIE show. Miura trains at WK and is making her pro debut.

Jango Song Of The Day-First Choice

Artist:First Choice
Song:Armed And Extremely Dangerous
Album:Greatest Hits

The 1973 hit Armed And Extremely Dangerous was the first big hit for the Philly Soul girl group First Choice and they would have a lot of success on the R & B and Disco charts through the 70s. They were produced by Baker-Harris-Young. The lead singer of First Choice was Rochelle Fleming (born Feb. 11, 1950 in Philadelphia). She first got together with Joyce Jones and Annette Guest as The Debonettes. DJ Georgie Woods introduced them to producer Norman Harris and eventually First Choice signed with Stan Watson's Philly Groove label distributed by Bell Records. Armed And Extremely Dangerous was their second single and it reached #11 on the R & B charts and #28 on the Billboard Hot 100. Fleming is a great singer and may be one of the most sampled vocalists by hip hop guys. Harris wrote the song and wrote the arrangement with Ron Baker & Earl Young. First Choice continued to have plenty of success on the R & B and Disco charts even after Harris took them to his new label Goldmind distributed by Salsoul. The group continued to do well but disco was fading and Salsoul closed. Legal wrangling forced Fleming to end First Choice. This Capitol comp has all their hits. Rochelle Fleming reformed First Choice in 1987 once she got the rights to the group name and she continues to lead them today. Obviously sampling and remixing have kept the group alive. Here's First Choice performing Armed And Extremely Dangerous on Soul Train 1974.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Link Wray & His Raymen

Artist:Link Wray & His Raymen
Song:Jack The Ripper
Album:Rumble! The Best Of Link Wray

Though Link Wray only had one top 20 pop hit in his career, his influence on rock guitar and recording techniques is much greater than any one song. He was born May 2, 1929 in Dunn, NC. He got interested in the guitar as a child. He served in the US Army during the Korean War and contracted tuberculosis. Doctors told him he shouldn't sing so Wray concentrated on his guitar. He was playing country music in 1956 and recorded for Starday Records. In 1958 Wray became the house band for the Washington, DC TV show Milt Grant's House Party. One day the crowd urged them to come up with an instrumental called Rumble. Though Cadence Records owner Archie Bleyer hated the song, his stepdaughter convinced him to release it and it became a top 20 pop hit. Jack The Ripper was on Swan Records in 1963 and like a lot of Wray's music, it was more influential than popular. Many guitarists including Pete Townsend, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and others have cited Wray as an influence. He would continue to record occasionally including a stint in the 70s with rockabilly artist Robert Gordon and eventually moved to Europe. This Rhino comp covers Wray's music on Cadence and Swan. Link Wray died on Nov. 5, 2005 at age 76. Here's Link Wray performing Jack The Ripper in Ames, IA.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

S-Arena video report for Silver Week

It looks like I have another guy posting S-Arena joshi reports. Hopefully he keeps it up. I have three videos from Silver Week. The first two videos are about the Passion Red vs JWP feud. The first video is from the Sept. 23 Passion Red show. Nanae Takahashi did this goofy and suspicious audition process resulting in Yumiko Hotta and Ray becoming members of Passion Red. They're calling Hotta Passion Hottei and it's obviously designed to resume the Hotta vs Commando Bolshoi feud despite Hotta's ban from JWP. And Ray looks like a damn Power Ranger. Clips are also shown from a mixed match featuting Natsuki*Taiyo and Sakura Emi, Takako Inoue beating Kana and the main event between Passion Red and JWP featuring Azumi Hyuga. The second video is a JWP press conference promoting the Oct. 4 Korakuen Hall show with the too little too late match between Yoshiko Tamura and Azumi Hyuga along with Kayoko Haruyama defending the JWP Open Weight Title against Kaori Yoneyama. Yoneyama looks pretty funny wearing four title belts. Of course it's overshadowed by the Hotta/Bolshoi stuff. The two aren't facing each other on the show. But something will happen between the two on the show.

The third video is from NEO's Sept. 23 Itabashi Green Hall show. This is mostly about the retirement of NEO ref Grace Asano. The main event of The NEO Machine Gunz & Etsuko Mita vs Kyoko Inoue, Toshie Uematsu & Sachie Abe is mostly comedy nonsense designed to have fun with Grace. She even hits a cross body off the top rope to the floor. They also show clips of a match between Yoshiko Tamura and rookie Tsukasa Fujimoto. This is my first look at Fujimoto. She seems a little skinny but she's attractive. One can never tell how a young girl like this is going to develop. She's obviously learned a few lucha moves as Tamura lets her have a little offense. Check out the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Flying Machine

Artist:The Flying Machine
Song:Smile A Little Smile For Me
Album:The British Invasion: History Of British Rock Vol. 9

There were two groups known as The Flying Machine in the late 60s. There was the US group led by singer songwriter James Taylor. This is a British group that had a top five pop hit with Smile A Little Smile For Me in 1970. The band was put together by producer Tony Macauley out of the remnants of a group called Pinkerton's Assorted Colours. Macauley had a lot of success most significantly with The Foundations. Guitarist Tony Newman and bassist Stuart Colman became studio musicians after Pinkerton split up. Macauley and partner Geoff Stephens brought in vocalist Sam Kempe, guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Wilkinson to form The Flying Machine. They signed with the Kapp Records label Congress Records and Smile A Little Smile For Me reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold a million copies in 1970. The song didn't chart in England. Follow up singles didn't catch on and the group split up after they tried to convince Macauley to let them be edgier. This Rhino various artists comp is part of a British Invasion box set. Macauley and Stephens went back to producing other groups. Stuart Colman started working as a presenter for the BBC in the mid-70s and also became a producer in the 80s beginning with rockabilly singer Shakin' Stevens. Here's the video for Smile A Little Smile For Me by The Flying Machine.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Jimmy Castor Bunch

Artist:The Jimmy Castor Bunch
Song: Troglodyte (Cave Man)
Album:The Everything Man: The Best Of The Jimmy Castor Bunch

Jimmy Castor's mix of humour and funk resulted in this 1974 top ten pop hit. He was also a fixture on the R & B charts in the 70s. He was born June 2, 1943 in New York City. Castor was mostly a sax player but he wrote I Promise To Remember for the doo wop group Wing With The Juniors and replaced Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers. He switched to sax in 1960 and played on a lot of sessions including the hit Rinky Dink by Dave "Baby" Cortez. He had a hit in 1966 with Hey Leroy, Your Mama's Callin' You in 1966 on Smash Records. Castor formed The Jimmy Castor Bunch in 1972 and signed with RCA Records. Other members were keyboardist/trumpeter Gerry Thomas, bassist Doug Gibson, guitarist Henry Jensen, conga player Lenny Fridle Jr., and drummer Bobby Manigault. They had several R & B hits including The Bertha Butt Boogie and King Kong but Troglodyte crosed over and reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Thomas left to join The Fatback Band and Castor moved to Atco. This Rhino comp covers his RCA and earlier recordings. He had a hit on his own Long Distance label in 1988 with Love Makes A Woman. Not surprisingly, Castor is constantly sampled by hip hop guys and there's a list on his website. Castor has been working on releasing some of his early recordings but he still performs in New York clubs. Here's The Jimmy Castor Bunch performing Troglodyte 1974.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Blue Magic

Artist:Blue Magic
Album:The Best Of Blue Magic: Soulful Spell

Though they had several R & B hits, the 1974 hit Sideshow was the only top ten pop hit for the smooth Philly Soul group Blue Magic. Though he wasn't actually a member of the group, Randy Cain of The Delfonics was responsible for putting the group together. He took singer songwriter Ted Mills to WMOT Productions to be a staff songwriter and write songs for The Delfonics. WMOT had auditioned a group called Shades Of Love. They were pals with Mills anyway and Mills became lead singer and the group was named Blue Magic. Other members were Keith Beaton, Richard Pratt and Vernon & Wendell Sawyer. Norman Harris produced the group. Harris was part of Baker/Harris/Young and produced all kinds of groups. WMOT signed a distribution deal with Atco. Sideshow was the secons single and topped the R & B charts and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was written by legendary Philly Soul guitarist Bobby Eli and his long time songwriting partner Gwen Woolfolk. She usually used the name Vinnie Barrett. Eli, Harris, Earl Young, Ron Baker and MFSB played on the song. Blue Magic continued to have success in the 70s on the R & B charts. This Rhino comp has all their hits. But they came to a halt when Ted Mills and Richard Pratt left in 1981. Rod Wayne was the new lead singer and Blue Magic had some R & B chart success in 1989. Blue Magic still tours today and Ted Mills does a lot of musical theatre. Here's Blue Magic performing Sideshow on Soul Train 1974.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Sheb Wooley

Artist:Sheb Wooley
Song:Purple People Eater
Album:Dr. Demento's 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records Of All Time

I'm sure most folks are familiar with this 1958 million selling novelty classic. But you're probably not aware that Shelby "Sheb" Wooley had a long career as a country music star and actor. This was his only big pop hit. He was born Apr. 10, 1921 in Erick, OK and worked the rodeo circuit as a teen. He moved to Fort Worth, TX in 1946 and had his own radio show but moved to Los Angeles in 1949. A publishing deal led to a record contract with MGM Records in 1950. He started acting usually in Westerns. You might have seen him as Ben Miller in the 1952 classic High Noon. But he's best known as a regular on the TV series Rawhide. Wooley didn't seem to have much success in music until Purple People Eater. The song was supposedly influenced by the 1958 film The Blob with sped up tape effects that were obviously influenced by David Seville's 1958 hit Witch Doctor. Purple People Eater topped the pop singles chart and sold three million copies. Apparently it was one of the biggest sellers in MGM history. Though Wooley never had another novelty hit, he continued to act and had a country music chart topper with the 1962 song That's My Dad. He also had some success in the late 60s with his drunken comedian character Ben Colder that appeared on the TV series Hee Haw. He also wrote the theme to the show. Bear Family has released several Sheb Wooley comps. But I suspect most folks are only interested in Purple People Eater and this 2CD comp of Dr. Demento selections is perfect. Sheb Wooley continued to perform and appear in films (he was in the 1986 film Hoosiers) until he was diagnosed with Leukemia in 1998 and died on Sept. 16, 2003 at age 82. Here's Sheb Wooley performing Purple People Eater 1958.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More matches from Sept. 20 NEO show

Here's the rest of the match videos from Sunday's NEO show. I'll just go over them briefly and you can enjoy them. First is Etsuko Mita vs Kayoko Haruyama. Of course Mita can't move and Haruyama has some difficulty adjusting to that. Just as they're picking up the pace, Mita hits her head on the arena floor on an attempted suicide dive and suffers a very bad cut over her right eye. The Match was stopped and declared a no contest. Mita was taken to the hospital. She'll return in a couple of days. The next match is Kyoko Inoue & Hiroyo Matsumoto vs Aya Yuki & Nagisa Nozaki. Nozaki is cute so I can see why NEO wants to keep her around. But her shoulder pops out early in the match and she's useless for the remainder of the match. You can also see how tiny she is compared to Matsumoto. They still want to avoid surgery so Nozaki has been ordered by the doctor to rest. Ayumi Kurihara vs Kana went to a ten minute draw. I'd give them more time and place them higher on the show. They're both fun to watch. Sakura Emi vs Toshie Uematsu is centered around Emi's comedy antics. She's pretty good at it so it's not bad for that sort of thing. Finally, Aoi Ishibashi makes her debut against Tanny Mouse. Tanny is less annoying than usual and Ishibashi is clearly very nervous. Enjoy the videos!

Iman Achhal vs Sumie Sakai for UWC Oct. 3

Here's a promo video courtesy of Ultimate Warrior Challenge promoting a womens's bout between Iman Achhal and Sumie Sakai Oct. 3 at the GMU Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. You may be familiar with Iman Achhal story of coming to the US as a Moroccan refugee. Her debut MMA match was last fall against veteran kickboxer Felice Herrig. You may have watched the fight on this blog. Iman was the underdog but she did great and won the match. The one thing they don't talk about in this video and on their website is Sumie Sakai's MMA record. The problem is that Sumie is really a pro wrestler who has dabbled unsuccessfully in MMA. Her record is 0-2 with one no contest. Like her best friend and long time tag team partner Megumi Yabushita, Sumie competed in judo competitions in Japan before Jaguar Yokota recruited and trained them for pro wrestling in 1997. While Megumi continued to compete in MMA in Japan, Sumie did not. She moved to the US in 2003 and actually decided to try MMA after watching Megumi get her arm broken by Laura D'Auguste in Atlantic City in 2006. So though Sumie's MMA qualifications are questionable at best, she knows how to put on a show. Check out the video.

Jango Song Of The Day-Judy Collins

Artist:Judy Collins
Song:Both Sides Now
Album:Introducing...Judy Collins

Though Judy Collins does write songs, she is primarily known as a song interpreter. Her 1968 version of Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now was her only top five pop hit. She was very big on the Adult Contemporary charts in the 70s. She was born May 1, 1939 in Seattle and was a classical piano child prodigy. As a teen, she got interested in traditional folk music and made her way to New York City and the developing Grenwich Village folk scene. She signed with Jac Holzman's Elektra label and her debut CD of traditional folk songs A Maid Of Constant Sorrow was released in 1961. As the 60s progressed, Judy got interested in contemporary songs and songs from musical theatre. Someone played Both Sides Now for Judy over the phone and she immediately decided to record it. She had worked with producer Mark Abramson and arranger Joshua Rifkin on her 1966 album In My Life and Rifkin wrote a great arrangement for the song. It was on her 1967 album Wildflowers and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also won a Grammy for Best Folk Recording. It would also help establish Joni Mitchell and of course Joni would become a bigger star than Judy. It was Judy's biggest pop hit but she would remain very popular on the Adult Contemporary charts with her 1973 composition Cook With Honey and the 1975 Stephen Sonheim Broadway tune Send In The Clowns. This 2006 Rhino comp is a perfect intro to her music. Judy remained on Elektra until 1984 and also recorded for Columbia & Geffen. Judy Collins still tours today and records on her own Wildflower label. Her latest CD Judy Collins Sings Lennon & McCartney was released in 2007. Here's Judy Collins performing Both Sides Now in 1987.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Taylor Wilde & Sarita are the TNA Knockouts Tag Team champs

Here's the match video from last night's TNA No Surrender PPV with Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne. So we all know the circumstances surrounding Angel Williams' departure from TNA. Some fans seem to think that The Beautiful People angle will be fine. But the bottom line is that at some point Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and now Lacey Von Erich have to produce in the ring and none of them are capable of that. When it was necessary to step up and have a quality match, Angel did that. Though this match isn't as bad as I had been told, it does illustrate the problem. It starts out OK but by the middle of the match, Velvet is clueless and Sarita is clearly getting annoyed with her. Mike Tenay points out that Taylor & Sarita are vastly more experienced than The Beautiful People. But Velvet is actually more experienced than Taylor & Sarita but nowhere near as skilled. I thought the finisher was pretty good and I'm not surprised that Sarita & Taylor are a great team with their lucha training. Of course Sarita trained in Mexico and still works for CMLL. But Taylor got her lucha training from Rob Fuego at the Squared Circle Training Centre in Toronto. I like their potential but I am concerned with some of the creative changes and the rumour that Dixie Carter only wants pretty women hired. I don't like the Lacey Von Erich signing. She can't replace Angel. Oh and ODB won the TNA Knockouts Title in that stupidity with Cody Deaner. Enjoy the video!

Jango Song Of The Day-Phoebe Snow

Artist:Phoebe Snow
Song:Poetry Man

The 1975 top five pop hit Poetry Man was the biggest hit for the excellent singer songwriter Phoebe Snow. After that, legal problems waylaid her career but she's doing very well in the jazz market. She was born Phoebe Laub July 17, 1952 in New York City and grew up in Teaneck, NJ. Her mom was a dance teacher and knew several folk singers. As a teen, she performed in Greenwich Village folk clubs. Shelter Records executive Denny Cordell saw Phoebe perform at the Bitter End in 1972 and signed her. Her debut album was released in 1975 and Poetry Man reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though Phoebe thought of herself as a folk singer, Cordell had different ideas and used several jazz musicians on the album including Zoot Sims, Teddy Wilson, Ron Carter, Steve Gadd with background vocals by The Persuasions. She was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy and it looked like Phoebe was on her way. But legal issues with Shelter sent her to Columbia Records. Her albums on Columbia didn't perform as well commercially and she moved to Mirage Records in 1981. During the 80s, Phoebe wound up doing a lot of jingles. She recorded an album foe Elektra in 1989 but hadn't recorded for several years until Verve released Live in 2008. It was recorded at the Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock, NY and reached #8 on the jazz chart. Maybe you should check it out. So I guess she's a jazz artist now. Phoebe's daughter Valerie was born in 1975 with severe brain injuries and Phoebe took care of her at home until her death in 2007. She's also good friends with Howard Stern and appeared on his show many times and sang at his wedding. Phoebe Snow still sounds great and check out her performance at the Songwriters Circle Of New York June 2009.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Three complete matches from Sept. 20 NEO show

NEO held their big Korakuen Hall show today and it was telecast live on Samurai TV and I have three complete matches for you. The main event had Yoshiko Tamura successfully defending the NEO Singles & NWA Pacifc Titles against Nanae Takahashi. After the nonsense between these two a few months ago, they had a pretty good match and surprisingly Takahashi did the job. At 27 minutes, the match was probably too long. But after a slow start, it did pick up the pace. The second match had Kaori Yoneyama winning the NEO High Speed Title from Natsuki*Taiyo. It's the kind of spotfest one would expect from these two little spot monkeys. It's funny that after jobbing for the last three years, Yoneyama has all these belts. Wasn't she carrying around five title belts a few years ago? The third match has Revolution Amandora vs Yuki Miyazaki, Fuuika & Makota. RA mostly concentrates on Makoto and after a false finish where Makoto thought she had won, they win easily. You'll notice that Haruka Matsuo worked on the broadcast. She ain't coming back. In her match against Kayoko Haruyama, Etsuko Mita suffered an accidental cut above her eye and lost so much blood, the match was stopped and she was taken to the hospital. Mita will be out for a few days. Haruyama wants to have another match with her. And 18 year old Nagisa Nozaki returned to the ring today and as I expected, her shoulder popped out again. If Nozaki wants to be a wrestler, she will have to have surgery and rehabilitate for at least six months. If she quits, she won't need surgery. And as long as NEO president Koda tries to get her to return without surgery, the shoulder will continue to pop out. KAZUKI & Tojuki Leon will fill in for Mita & Nozaki on this week's Silver Week shows. Enjoy the videos!

Jango Song Of The Day-The Swingin' Medallions

Artist:The Swingin' Medallions
Song:Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)
Album:Frat Rock!

This 1966 top 20 hit typifies what is known as Beach Music in the Carolinas. It was the only big hit for The Swingin' Medallions. The group was from Greenwood, SC led by keyboard player John McElrath. Other members were Jim Doares on guitar, Carrol Bledsoe & Charles Webber on trumpet, Brent Fortson & Steven Caldwell on sax, James Perkins on bass and Joe Morris on drums. They started out in the 50s as Pieces Of Eight then changed their name to The Medallions and became The Swingin' Medallions when they signed with Smash Records in 1965. Their first single I Wanna Be Your Guy failed but Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love) reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was originally recorded by a group called Dick Holler & The Holidays and is about having a few beers and having fun. The Swingin' Medallions had one more chart single and were finished by 1967. They continued to be popular in the south and John McElrath still leads a version of the group today. It turns out that Double Shot is a favourite of Bruce Springsteen. He's performed it over the years and The Swingin' Medallions even joined him on stage a few days ago in Greenville, SC. You can get Double Shot on Rhino's Nuggets garage band comp but Rhino's Frat Rock! CD is filled with great party music. Here's a video of Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love) by The Swingin' Medallions.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

MIKU vs WINDY Tomomi at Oct. 10 DEEP show

DEEP held a press conference today to announce that DEEP Women's Lightweight Champion MIKU will defend her title at DEEP 44 IMPACT Oct. 10 at Korakuen Hall against WINDY Tomomi. This will be the semi main event of the show. The fight is contracted for 51kg. MIKU normally fights at a lighter weight and WINDY normally fights a heavier weight. So they're splitting the difference. MIKU trains at Club Barbarian. Her record is 21-4 and her latest title defense was over Lisa Ward on the June 28 DEEP show. Tomomi trains at Pancraseism. Her record is 12-10-1 and her last fight was a draw against Jet Izumi on the Aug. 9 SHOOTO show. Like her longtime pal and training partner Hisae Watanabe, Tomomi  is a kickboxer with devastating punching power but she tends to get into trouble on the ground. MIKU is a grappler but she has worked a lot on her striking over the last year and has improved tremendously in that area. Tomomi called MIKU a "lovely junior". She was at MIKU's fight against Lisa Ward and she approached DEEP matchmaker Shigeru Saeki about challrnging MIKU for her title. She plans to send MIKU to the hospital. MIKU recalls seeing WINDY for the first time when she debuted in 2004 and thought she was scary at the time. She says she respects her but doesn't fear her and is ready to win. MIKU also said if she wins, she wants to face Megumi Fujii next. Don't let MIKU's looks fool you. She's tough.

Jango Song Of The Day-Bobby Freeman

Artist:Bobby Freeman
Song:Do You Wanna Dance
Album:Best Of Bobby Freeman

Though Do You Wanna Dance is probably better known for its various cover versions, Bobby Freeman had a top five pop hit with his original in 1958. He also wrote it so he's obviously still making money with it. He was born June 13, 1940 in San Francisco. He had groups like The Romancers and The West Coast Vocaleers. But at age 18 he wrote and recorded Do You Wanna Dance. It reached #2 on the R & B singles chart and #5 on the pop singles chart. Freeman continued to record with mixed success but he hit the jackpot again with C'mon and Swim in 1964 which also reached #5 on the pop charts. His energetic performing style has made him a popular live act in the Bay Area. But he hasn't recorded in years. But Do You Wanna Dance has been covered many times. The Beach Boys had a hit with it in 1965 and Bette Midler had a hit with it in 1973. Other artists to cover Do You Wanna Dance include Cliff Richard, Del Shannon, The Mamas & The Papas, John Lennon and The Ramones version was in the film Rock & Roll High School. It was also featured in the 1972 film American Graffitti. This comp has all of Freeman's recordings. I think most folks know the song but may not be familiar with the original version. Here's the DTV video for Do You Wanna Dance by Bobby Freeman.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jango Song of The Day-Freda Payne

Artist:Freda Payne
Song:Band Of Gold
Album:Band Of Gold: The Best Of Freda Payne

Freda Payne started out as a jazz singer but had her biggest hit with the 1970 top five smash Band Of Gold. She continued to have success on the R & B charts in the 70s and has also done some acting. She was born Sept. 19, 1945 in Detroit. She grew up admiring singers like Ella Fitzgerald and started out as a teen singing radio jingles. Berry Gordy tried to sign her to Motown and Duke Ellington offered her a job after featuring her on shows in Pittsburgh. Her mom turned them down. After touring with Quincy Jones and then Bill Cosby, She made her recording debut on Impulse Records in 1963. Freda recorded an album for MGM in 1966. But she had her biggest success with the legendary production team of Holland/Dozier/Holland. They left Motown and started Invictus Records in 1969. Band Of Gold reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. HDH was going through a lawsuit with Berry Gordy at the time so they used the pseudonym Edyth Wayne for songwriting credits. Ron Dunbar co-wrote the song and convinced Freda to sing it. He's been a long time associate of George Clinton. Band Of Gold has been covered by several singers. Country singer Charly McClain had a hit with it in 1983 and former American Idol contestant Kimberley Locke had a dance hit with it in 2007. Freda never matched that success on the pop charts but had a lot of success on the R & B charts on Dunhill & Capitol after she left Invictus in 1973. This Music Club comp has all her hits. She had her own talk show in the 80s and has acted on stage and screen including the 2000 film The Nutty Professor: The Klumps. She last recorded on her own label in 2007 and sang Band Of Gold on the 2009 season of American Idol. Here's Freda Payne performing Band Of Gold on Soul Train 1970.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How to get a free DVR from Rogers Cable

Rogers Cable is known to have the worst customer service that anyone will ever encounter. It's very difficult to get a straight answer from them and as I will illustrate, they will bribe you to go away. Recently Rogers did a channel realignment and they got rid of a lot of duplicate channels. They decided to eliminate three time shifting channels; Global Saint John, Global Winnipeg and NTV St. John's. I was using Global Saint John to watch ECW. It's on Global at Midnight Saturday morning and I was watching it on Global Saint John at 11PM. No reason was given in the letter. Of course Rogers has the right to do that but deleting time shifting channels isn't something they should be doing. So I called them to find out why they were doing that. After giving several excuses that didn't make sense and I didn't believe, Rogers offered me a free Personal Video Recorder for a year so I would go away. Of course I accepted it but I still wanted an answer to a reasonable question. The customer service department continued to make excuses and not answer the question because they haven't been given a reason. I told them that I thought it was a boneheaded arbitrary decision but I wanted to talk to someone who could confirm that. So I called the Office Of The President. The official reason for deleting three timeshifting channels is to make room for future expansion of the channel lineup. Of course that's a half answer because these days Rogers is adding mostly HD versions of existing channels. This is precisely why people hate Rogers Cable. They make a bad decision and refuse to admit it. But at least I got a free PVR out of it.

Jango Song Of The Day-John Barry

Artist:John Barry
Song:Midnight Cowboy
Album:The John Barry Collection

John Barry is one of the all time greats of film composition. He is probably best known for his eleven James Bond scores but he has composed music for many films since the 60s. He was born Jonathan Barry Prendergrast Nov. 3, 1933 in York, England. He was a fan of big bands and also credits Max Steiner's score for Treasure Of The Sierra Madre for his interest in film. He started his own band The John Barry Seven in 1957. They had some hits in England including a cover of Walk Don't Run. But usually they were used as a backup band on TV shows like The Six-Five Special. They signed with EMI's Parlophone label. Barry started writing arrangements for EMI artists but he worked very well with pop singer Adam Faith. The is led to Barry's first film score for the 1960 Adam Faith film Beat Girl. Barry was contacted by the producers of Dr. No. Monte Norman had written the theme for the James Bond film but the producers were unhappy with the score. The rest is history. Barry wrote the scores for 11 Bond films and had a hit single with Goldfinger in 1965. Of course he's worked on plenty of other films including his Grammy winning theme for the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. You can get that and several other themes on this Sony/Legacy comp. Barry last film was Enigma in 2001 but he did compose a musical called Brighton Rock in 2004. I would say he's semi-retired at this point. Here's the video for Midnight Cowboy by John Barry.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Can Gina Carano act?

Well, that's the million dollar question. I'm sure everyone knows by now that women's MMA superstar Gina Carano has signed to star in a major motion picture. Last week, I was busy with other stuff like the JEWELS show and I didn't see much point in trying to report this as breaking news because Variety was all over it. But a couple of people asked me if it's true and if I'm going to write about it. Who knew? So I'm going to recap the story and give it a little perspective. Gina Carano has signed to star in the film Knockout. The film will be directed by Steven Soderbergh who has a new film premiering called The Informant starring Matt Damon. Soderbergh will produce with Relativity Media owner Ryan Kavanagh and Lionsgate signed to distribute the film on Sunday. It is scheduled to begin shooting in February and could be in theaters by the end of 2010. Despite the title, Knockout is not an MMA film but is a spy thriller. The title seems to confuse some fans so I'd like to see them change it. The film was written by Lem Dobbs who also wrote the Soderbergh film The Limey starring Terence Stamp. If you haven't seen it, it's well worth your time.

So it's not exactly new for pro wrestlers and MMA fighters to try acting. But Gina is the star of this film and that makes a huge difference. That's a lot of pressure. If she was doing a B movie for some hack, that would be one thing. But Stephen Soderbergh got Julia Roberts an Oscar for Erin Brockovich. Not that I expect Gina to get an Oscar. But she's in good hands. He's an outstanding director. She has two fights at $125K per fight left on her Strikeforce contract so I expect her to return. Who knows? Maybe she won't like the film business. Strikeforce owner Scott Coker has said nothing which doesn't surprise me. He just went through the same thing with Cung Le and Coker doesn't seem like a screamer anyway. When Quentin "Rampage" Jackson recently signed to be in the A-Team film, UFC manager Dana White went nuts and isn't talking to Jackson. So there are always going to be those who think Gina Carano is abandoning MMA for greener pastures. So I'm going to say the same thing I said when Dwayne Johnson got into acting while he was still in the WWE. Gina Carano would have been a fool to turn down this opportunity. She should take advantage of it.

Jango Song Of The Day-Todd Rundgren

Artist:Todd Rundgren
Song:Hello It's Me

Hello It's Me is the biggest hit in the career of pop music icon Todd Rundgren. Rundgren has experimented with boundaries of pop throughout his career. He was born July 22, 1948 in Upper Darby, PA. He started out as a teen with his band Woody's Truck stop and then formed Nazz in 1967. Nazz was a failure mostly due to record company bungling. So when that ended, he formed Runt with bassist Tony Sales and his drummer brother Hunt Sales. They are the sons of comedian Soupy Sales. Rundgren signed with Albert Grossman's new label Bearsville with distribution from Ampex. We Gotta Get You A Woman was a top 20 hit in 1971. But the Sales brothers left and Ampex closed. So Grossman switched Bearsville's distribution to Warner Bros. and Rundgren released his first solo album Something/Anything? in 1972. The first single I Saw The Light reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 but Hello It's Me did even better and reached #5. Hello It's Me was an old song that was on the first Nazz album and it's almost like Rundgren added it on side four of Something/Anything? as filler. Rundgren had already been producing albums and doing his own engineering. So side four has studio musician while Rundgren played all the instruments on the rest of the album. Regardless, Something/Anything? is a pop music masterpiece and I recommend Rhino's 2CD reissue instead of a career retrospective. Rundgren could have been very successful as a pop singer but instead he has constantly experimented with different kinds of music, electronic equipment and he was an early adopter of computer technology. And he has had a lot of success producing other artists. So I will probably look at him again in the future. His latest CD Arena was released last year on HiFi Records. Here's Todd Rundgren performing Hello It's Me on The Midnight Special 1973.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Should Nagisa Nozaki be a wrestler?

18 year old Nagisa Nozaki is scheduled to return to the ring on NEO's Sept. 20 Korakuen Hall show. She's been out of action since June and NEO president Tetsuyo Koda described the situation on the NEO blog today. Of course it brings up the bigger issue of whether this particular teenager should be a wrestler in the first place and it also emphasizes how desperate joshi promoters can be. Nozaki made her debut three years ago at age 15. And her age is a major reason she would be a draw. There's a market in Japan for attractive teenage girls. I'm told she's a very nice girl and very enthusiastic. She'll do promotions and she tries hard despite her limitations. But when I first saw her, my first thought is she's way too tiny to be a wrestler. The big problem with Nozaki is she's had a steady stream of injuries. She had knee surgery last year and things haven't improved since her return. On the blog, Koda says that Nozaki suffered a separated shoulder and a fractured eye socket in June. They decided against shoulder surgery. She was supposed to return on the recent Osaka show but dislocated her shoulder again during practice. Obviously I'm not a doctor but my observation is that when a separated shoulder pops out repeatedly, surgery is inevitable. They're not going that route. Koda says they're going to tape her up and put her in a tag team match and she'll be OK. He also said that she would be out for a year if she had surgery. It seems she would need surgery only if she wanted to continue wrestling. The shoulder injury won't affect her daily life. She'd probably quit rather than have surgery. Who could blame her? Maybe NEO should be more concerned about the long term health of an 18 year old girl than selling a few tickets. I don't see anything good coming from Nagisa Nozaki's return.

Three matches announced for Oct. 24 VALKYRIE show

VALKYRIE announced today the first three matches for their Oct. 24 Differ Ariake show. As on their previous shows, this will piggyback on a CAGE FORCE show. The accompanying picture is the poster for the show. The proposed main event between Yuka Tsuji and V1 is postponed to due an injury to Tsuji so I'm not sure what the main event will be. All matches are scheduled for three three minute rounds. First is a 46kg match between Naoko Omuro and Yukiko Seki. Omuro trains at VALKYRIE's home dojo WK. Her record is 9-7-3 and her last fight was a win over SACHI at the Apr. 25 VALKYRIE show. Seki trains at Tomoegumi (Megumi Yabushita's dojo). Her record is 5-17 and her last fight was a loss to Asami Kodera on the July 11 JEWELS show. The second match is at 52.2kg between veteran kickboxer Jet Izumi and Emi Fujino. Izumi trains at M16. her MMA record is 5-5-1 and she just returned to MMA after four years in kickboxing. She drew with WINDY Tomomi at the Aug. 9 SHOOTO show. Fujino trains at WK. Her record is 8-3 and her last match was a loss to V1 at the Apr. 25 VALKYRIE show. She also made her pro wrestling debut on the Aug. 23 Ice Ribbon show. The third match is at 48.5kg between Maho Muranami and SACHI. Muranami trains at the Toikatsu branch of WK. Her record is 4-5-2 and her most recent match was a draw against Kayo Nagayasu at the Feb. 28 CAGE FORCE show. SACHI trains at Zendokai. Herrecord is 5-4-1 and her latest match was a loss to Naoko Omuro at the Apr. 25 VALKYRIE show. None of those matches seem like main event quality. We'll see what else they come up with.

Jango Song Of The Day-Millie Small

Artist:Millie Small
Song:My Boy Lollipop
Album:Island 40 Vol. 1: 1959-1964-Ska's The Limit

Millie Small's 1964 top five hit My Boy Lollipop was significant as the first Jamaican Ska song to chart in the US. It was also the first big hit for Island Records owner Chris Blackwell. Her birthdate is listed as Oct. 6, 1946 in Clarendon, Jamaica though there has been speculation that she was made younger so she could be sold as a teenager in 1964. She may have been born from 1942-48. She first recorded in 1962 with Roy Panton as Roy & Millie with the hit We'll Meet. She was discovered by Island Records owner Chris Blackwell and he brought her to England to record in 1963. At that time, Blackwell had already become a major player in Jamaican music and this various artists comp has Island's early recordings. My Boy Lollipop was written by Bobby Spencer of the doo wop group The Cadillacs and was recorded in 1956 by teenage singer Barbie Gaye. Blackwell hired legendary guitarist Ernest Ranglin to give My Boy Lollipop a ska arrangement. There was a rumour that Rod Stewart played the harmonica solo but it was actually by Jimmy Powell of the Rockin Berries. Blackwell licensed the song to Fontana Records and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Millie had one more top 40 hit with Sweet William. She soon moved to England and continued to record into the 70s. She has a significant fanbase in Europe. But My Boy Lollipop was the first ska song to chart in the US though I suspect most listeners didn't know what ska was at the time. Here's Millie Small performing My Boy Lollipop in 1964.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Dramatics

Artist:The Dramatics
Song:In The Rain
Album:Ultimate Collection

The 1972 top five hit In The Rain was the biggest hit for the smooth soul group The Dramatics. The group was from Detroit but they were on Stax, not Motown. There's a story behind that. They started out as The Dynamics in 1962 and signed with Wingate Records. The group leader from the beginning has been Ron Banks. Otherwise there have been a lot of personnel changes over the years. The Dramatics had a minor R & B hit with All Because Of You in 1967. But it wasn't enough and lead singer Larry Reed was replaced by William "Wee Gee" Howard and bass Rob Davis was replaced by Willie Ford of The Capitols. Meanwhile Stax president Al Bell wanted to bring a more uptown soul sound to Stax. So he hired former Wingate producer Don Davis and Davis had a lot of success with Johnnie Taylor. Davis already had The Dramatics under contract so he brought them to Stax. He also brought songwriter Tony Hester in. What Davis, Hester and The Dramatics had in common is they all hung around Motown with little success. The Dramatics first single on Volt was the Hester song Watcha See Is Watcha Get. It reached  #3 on the R & B chart and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. In The Rain did even better and topped the R & B chart and reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. But Howard left The Dramatics in 1973 and was replaced by L.J. Reynolds. Original member Elbert Wilkins left and started his own version of The Dramatics. The original group became Ron Banks & The Dramatics. Then Stax went out of business and The Dramatics moved to ABC Records. They continued to have success on the R & B charts in the 70s. Don Davis went to Columbia with Johnnie Taylor and produced the hit Disco Lady. Tony Hester had drug problems and died. This comp has their Stax and ABC hits. Beware of CDs that don't have the full five minute version of In The Rain. The Dramatics officially disbanded in 1983 but Ron Banks and L.J. Reynolds reformed the group and they still tour today. Here are The Dramatics performing In The Rain.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hermie's Hot Seat featuring Alissa Flash

Well, it says Alissa Flash but it's actually an interview with Melissa Anderson. She's not in character at all. This is because Hermie Sadler has known Melissa for several years and she worked for his wrestling company right after she returned from Japan. So she talks about growing up in the wrestling business going to shows with her dad and her uncle and getting her initial training with her uncle Billy. She talks about going to Japan to work for ARSION in 2001 and how the wrestling business is different there. She also talks about the longevity of the Cheerleader Melissa gimmick and that she didn't like the character at first. I'm surprised that TNA would allow her to talk about that character. So it's a great interview with a young veteran who has a clear vision of her place in the wrestling business. It's too bad that TNA keeps jobbing out Alissa Flash. I've always liked Melissa. She's an attractive girl but she isn't cute in the ring and she hits hard. A lot of women wrestlers don't even know how to throw a punch. So a hard hitting wrestler is valuable. I know exactly the high quality of work I'm going to see when Melissa Anderson steps into the squared circle. What more can you ask for? And this interview gives her more depth and makes her even better. Be sure to watch this video.

Gaijin fighters win on Sept. 13 JEWELS show

The main purpose of JEWELS' Sept. 13 Shinjuku FACE show was to launch their ROUGH STONE tournaments designed to find new talent. There was no Megumi Fujii or Saori Ishioka so the advertised main event was a little underwhelming. And there were a lot of pro wrestlers on the show. The main event had Korean fighter Ham Seo Hee against veteran Misaki Takimoto. The odd thing about Ham is she is a kickboxer at home and only does MMA in Japan. She's in trouble against anyone with a ground game. Fortunately for her, Takimoto is a karate girl and doesn't have a ground game. Ham was penalized points for weighing in 400g over. It didn't matter much. Ham is a southpaw and Takimoto didn't have an answer for her attack. Ham scored with straight lefts and front kicks and the fight remained standing in round one. This continued in round two as Takimoto's eye swelled up. Takimoto's attempted takedown was met with a knee to the body. This continued in round three and Ham won a unanimous decision. She said afterwards that she usually trains in Thailand a couple of months a year and has won three Muay Thai bouts this year. She says she's considering retirement. JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki said he may bring Ham back for a Shoot Boxing match against Saori Ishioka.

The semi-main had the return to MMA of women's MMA pioneer Megumi Yabushita against pro wrestler Atsuko Emoto. Emoto is known for her masked Bullfight Sora gimmick but she also works as a trainer at the DEEP dojo. Yabushita has been very active in pro wrestling lately. Of course Yabushita is a judo and submission expert. But her attempted judo throw puts Emoto on top. But Yabushita escapes and throws her again. This time she applies an armbar and Yabushita wins at 2:43 of round one. Saeki named Yabushita MVP of the show. Two undefeated fighters faced each other in one of the 60kg ROUGH STONE tournaments. It was Shizuka Sugiyama vs Alexandra Sanchez. Yesterday at the weigh-in, Sugiyama commented on Sanchez's height so I thought she might have trouble with her. And that's what happened. Sanchez was able to use her reach to keep Sugiyama away. She defended well against Sugiyama's attempted takedowns. Sanchez only knocked Sugiyama down once in the third round so she didn't hurt her. But Sugiyama was unable to mount any kind of offense. Alexandra Sanchez wins by unanimous decision.

The other 60kg ROUGH STONE tournament match was between pro wrestlers Tomoko Morii and Chihiro Oikawa. Oikawa's first two takedown attempts result in ref breaks. Then Morii's takedown reults in an armbar and Oikawa taps out at 4:13 of round one. So Oikawa tried to go for a quick submission and then got caught herself. The first 54kg ROUGH STONE tournament match was a rematch from the July show between Mika Nagano and Rina Tomita. Nagano may have a sexy photobook but she sure knows how to wrestle. Tomita comes out aggressively and rushes at Nagano. But Nagano remains calm and takes Tomita down and passes the half guard. She grabs Tomita's leg and pounds her with body shots. Tomita reverses and takes mount but Nagano grabs her leg and proceeds to submit her with an armbar at 2:25 of round one. The other 54kg tournament match was between Amoeba and the debuting Yoko Kagoshima. It appears that Kagoshima prefers standup but also has ground skills. She starts with punches. Amoeba attempts a takedown but they end up in the corner and the ref breaks it up. Amoeba attempts a neck throw but Kagoshima defends well and hits a knee kick. Finally Amoeba gets a takedown and goes after an armbar. But Kagoshima again defends well and they have to stand up. Kagoshima hammers Amoeba in round two. Amoeba's takedown attempts don't lead anywhere and Kagoshima even hooks a guillotine choke. Amoeba escapes but is unable to penetrate Kagoshima's defense. Kagoshima wins by unanimous decision.

The 48kg ROUGH STONE tournament was changed due to injury. The first match had Asami Kodera against Fuuka Misaki. The jiu jitsu specialist Kodera is the favourite. Misaki lands a couple of punches and a knee kick to the body. Kodera's attempted takedown hits the ropes and the ref breaks it. Kodera takes Misaki down. After a couple of reversals, Kodera gets side mount and an armbar when the round ends. Kodera scores with a right hook at the start of round two. Then she throws Misaki. Misaki reverses it but Kodera catches her in a triangle choke and locks it in for the win at 1:56 of round two. Kikuyo Ishikawa received a bye to the 48kg ROUGH STONE tournament final but they put her in a 52kg match against a kickboxer named ASAKO making her MMA debut. ASAKO attempts punches but Ishikawa jumps on her back and hooks a sleeper hold. It's over at 1:18 of round one. In a grappling match, Ayaka Hamasaki won over actress/pro wrestler Hikari Shida with an armlock at 38 sec. of round one. The ROUGH STONE tournament finals will be on the next JEWELS show Dec. 11 at Shinjuku FACE. It was also announced that Saori Ishioka will face Mari Kaneko. Kaneko is a women's MMA pioneer but her last match was in 2005.

Jango Song Of The Day-Jackie Ross

Artist:Jackie Ross
Song:Selfish One
Album:Chicago Radio Soul

When listening to this 1964 top 20 pop hit, you might think it was recorded by Mary Wells at Motown. But is was actually recorded for Chess by Jackie Ross. She was born Jan. 30, 1946 in St. Louis. Both her parents were preachers so of course she grew up singing in church and performing on her parents' radio show. When her father died in 1954, the family moved to Chicago and Jackie signed with family friend Sam Cooke's SAR label and released her debut single Hard Times in 1962. After a stint with Syl Johnson's band, Jackie signed with Chess in 1964 after a tip from Chicago DJ Doc Lee. Selfish One was her 1964 debut single and it reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the R & B singles charts. There's no question the song sounds a lot like a Motown song. Jackie's album on Chess Full Bloom had a lot of filler on it and in 1966, she left Chess over a royalty dispute. She recorded Take Me For A Little While for Blue Cat but Chess issued their own version by Evie Sands. Jackie recorded for Brunswick and other labels but she was never able to have much commercial success. But she did become a big favourite in England's Northern Soul scene. This various artists comp from the British Kent label has a few Jackie Ross songs along with other great songs. Here's Jackie Ross performing Selfish One as filmed by British music maven Ian Levine.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Kyoko Takabayashi wins in CAGE FORCE

The accompanying picture tells the whole story of Kyoko Takabayashi's win over Akiko Naito at today's CAGE FORCE show at Differ Ariake. This VALKYRIE match was added to the show at the last minute as filler. It opened the preliminary part of the show. Naito starts the match with jabs but Takabayashi is constantly moving and goes for the takedown and takes a side mount. She shifts to the mount position and after an armbar attempt, Takabayashi pounds Naito relentlessly until the ref stops the match at 2:25 of round one. It's over and Takabayashi's record is now 10-4.

Jango Song Of The Day-Iron Butterfly

Artist:Iron Butterfly
Album:In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida: Deluxe Edition

Today In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida probably seems a little silly and self indulgent. But in 1968, the song was a huge hit and was very influential in convincing radio stations and record companies to allow artists to record songs longer than three minutes. Lead singer and keyboard player Doug Ingle formed Iron Butterfly in 1966 in San Diego. A move to Los Angeles prompted personnel changes and by the time they recorded their 1967 debut album Heavy for Atco, Ingle and drummer Ron Bushy were the only group members remaining. Guitarist Danny Weis and bassist Jerry Penrod left to form Rhinoceros. Guitarist Erik Braunn and bassist Lee Dorman joined the group. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was their second album. The song was supposed to be called In The Garden Of Eden but Ingle was so stoned that he slurred his words. Supposedly the band's inebriated state was the reason the song was so long. Recording engineer Don Casale just let the tape run. Though not credited, the band says legendary producer George "Shadow" Morton produced the song. The song was released in its entirety. A three minute edit was released as a single and reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. But the album reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 200 and went four times platinum. It sent a message to record companies about the marketability of extended jams. You can get the complete version, a live version and the radio edit of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida on this Deluxe Edition from Rhino. Braunn left in 1970 and was replaced by Mike Pinera of Blues Image and Larry Reinhardt. Iron Butterfly split up in 1971 and Dorman and Reinhardt joined Captain Beyond. Doug Ingle left the music business and Erik Braunn died in 2003. But Lee Dorman continues to lead a version of Iron Butterfly today. Here's a 17 minute video of Iron Butterfly performing In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Kerry Vera signs with Strikeforce

Strikeforce announced today that 135lb fighter Kerry Vera has signed a four fight deal and could debut in November. Kerry is married to UFC light heavyweight Brandon Vera. She is a veteran kickboxer and made her MMA debut on the May 15 Bellator show with a win over Leslie Smith. She looked good in that fight. But Bellator has plans for a 125lb tournament so Strikeforce is probably a better fit for Kerry. She trains with her husband at Alliance in Chula Vista, CA. Strikeforce also announced that the planned 135lb and 145lb tournaments will likely begin in early 2010.

Changes announced for JEWELS' 48kg ROUGH STONE tournament

JEWELS has been forced to make some changes to the 48kg ROUGH STONE tournament that will begin on the Sept. 13 Shinjuku FACE show. The changes are because of an injury to the fighter MIYOKO. There will be three fighters in the tournament. Kikuyo Ishikawa will get a bye into the final but she will have a 52kg match against ASAKO. Ishikawa is freelance and won her debut over Sumie Yamada on the Nov. 16 JEWELS show. ASAKO trains at U-FILE and is making her MMA debut. The 48kg tournament match will have Asami Kodera against Fuuka Misaki. Kodera trains at Redips Purebred in Kawaguchi. Her record is 3-3 and her last fight was a win over Yukiko Seki on the July 12 JEWELS show. Fuuka Misaki is the fighter formerly known as Shinsaki Ozawa. She trains at Zendokai in Matsumoto. Her record is 0-3 and her last loss was to Mika Nagano on the May 16 JEWELS show. And the picture is German fighter Alexandra Sanchez upon her arrival in Japan. She's the sacrificial for Shizuka Sugiyama on Sunday's show.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Whispers

Artist:The Whispers
Song:And The Beat Goes On
Album:Greatest Hits

The Whispers are a very durable R & B group that had several R & B hits in the 80s. The 1980 hit And The Beat Goes On crossed over to the pop charts. They are led by lead singer Scotty Scott (born Wallace Scott Sept. 23, 1943 in Fort Worth, TX) and his twin brother Walter Scott. They started The Whispers in Los Angeles in 1964 along with Gordy Harmon, Marcus Hutson and Nicholas Caldwell. They did record in the 60s and had a top ten R & B hit in 1969 with The Time Has Come. Harmon was replaced by former Friends Of Distinction member Leaveil Degree in 1973. They had their biggest success with Dick Griffey's Solar label and producer Leon Sylvers III. You might be familiar with his family group The Sylvers. He produced all of Solar's acts and produced And The Beat Goes On. He co-wrote the song with William Shelby of Lakeside and Stephen Shockley of Shalamar. Both groups were also on Solar. The song topped the R & B charts and reached #19 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Whispers had another big hit with Rock Steady in 1985. The Whispers moved to Capitol in 1990 and had some success there. This comp has their Solar and Capitol hits. Terrible cover. And The Beat Goes On got a big boost when it was used in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and it was also the basis for Will Smith's 1998 hit Miami. Marcus Hutson died in 2000 but The Whispers still tour today and I understand they are planning to record a gospel CD. Here's The Whispers performing And The Beat Goes On 1980.