Monday, November 30, 2009

At least Hyuga didn't job this time

Here's the S-Arena video digest in two parts from yesterday's JWP show at the Move On arena in Osaka. The first video starts with a fairly standard tag match with Commando Bolshoi, Tsubasa Kuragaki & Sachie Abe vs Kayoko Haruyama, Tojuki Leon & KAZUKI. Kuragaki gets to show off her power in this match. Then we have Kaori Yoneyama & Sakura Emi defending the JWP/Daily Sports Tag Team Titles against Natsuki*Taiyo & Yumiko Hotta. Look at all them belts. You'll notice that Yoneyama's left knee is heavily wrapped. It's OK I guess. Sakura Emi can't seem to control her need to do comedy even when it's not called for. The whole thing with Hotta and the chops didn't work very well. The champs retain the titles. The second video has highlights from Azumi Hyuga vs Ran YuYu. Of course these two grew up together in JWP. They are both very strong performers. It went to a thirty minute draw. At least Hyuga didn't job for a change though Ran kicked out of all her finishers. Actually Hyuga did win over Sakura Emi in Ice Ribbon the other day. Enjoy the videos!

LaTasha Marzolla wins again

I don't normally write about amateur fighters but there is a lot of interest in LaTasha Marzolla because she has been in Playboy. She had her second amateur MMA bout on Friday's Tuf-N-Uff show in Las Vegas. Her oppenent is Kate McGray. LaTasha does have an extensive Muay Thai background. She was trained by Master Toddy and currently trains at Xtreme Couture in Vegas. Fortunately, the Tuf-N-Uff folks are really good about getting their matches online so here it is for your viewing pleasure. LaTasha won by unanimous decision. My assessment is she simply looked stronger than Kate and landed more shots in the first two rounds. Kate seemed to pick it up a bit in the third round but she needed to do more in the first two rounds. This fight was at 125lbs but I'm sure LaTasha could fight at 135lbs very easily. I expect her to turn pro in 2010. Enjoy the video!

Jango Song Of The Day-Nina Simone

Artist:Nina Simone
Song:Ain't Got No/I Got Life
Album:A Very Rare Evening

Though classified as a jazz singer, Nina Simone was a very versatile singer capable of many music styles. She was very popular in the 60s and faded mostly due to personal problems. She was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon Feb. 21, 1933 in Tryon, NC. She studied classical piano at Julliard and during the 50s played small clubs in Atlantic City. Her mother was a Methodist minister and Eunice didn't want her to know that she was playing "The Devil's Music", so she changed her name to Nina Simone after French actress Simone Signoret. In 1959, she signed with Bethlehem Records and then moved to Colpix and then Philips. But the prime of her career came when she signed with RCA Records in 1967. At that time she worked a lot with arranger Weldon Irvine and he had a lot to do with her success as a live act at that time. Of course this version of Ain't Got No/I Got Life from the Broadway musical Hair demonstrates her versatility. It's from the 1969 live Recording A Very Rare Evening featuring Weldon Irvine on organ, Al Schackman on guitar, Gene Perla on bass, Don Alias on drums and Emiden Rivera on percussion. This recording was out of print for years but is now available through Mambo Maniacs. Sony BMG has also released some Nina Simone comps. Problems with her husband and manager Andrew Stroud forced Nina Simone to move all over the world. She eventually moved to France in 1993 and was very ill with breast cancer until her death on Apr. 21, 2003 at age 70. Here's Nina Simone performing Ain't Got No/I Got Life in New York 1969.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Nice

Artist:The Nice
Song:Hang On To A Dream
Album:The Nice

Most music fans should be familiar with British progrssive rock keyboard player Keith Emerson from the popular group Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But you may not be aware that he led The Nice before that and set the stage for a lot of the progressive rock of the 70s. Emerson was born Nov. 2, 1944 in Todmorden, England. Bassist and lead vocalist Lee Jackson was born Jan. 8, 1943 in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. Drummer Brian Davison was born May 25, 1942 in Leicester, England. Guitarist Davy O'List was born Dec. 13, 1948 in Chiswick, England. Emerson had played organ in various bands around London. The Nice was put together by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham as a backup band for singer P.P. Arnold. But The Nice became popular enough on their own that Oldham let them record for his Immediate label. Their music was a combination of psychedlia and jazz riffs. Emerson was a big jazz buff. O'List left The Nice while they were recording their second album and they continued as a trio. The Nice was their third album and was their first album under a US contract with Columbia. It was released in the US as Everything As Nice As Mother Makes It. Castle has released The Nice on CD with bonus live tracks. Just as they were starting to build some momentum in the US, Immediate declared bankruptcy and closed. Of course Keith Emeson went on to a lot of success with Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Lee Jackson formed a band called Jackson Heights and then he and Brian Davison started Refugee with keyboard player Patrick Moraz. When that group split up when Moraz joined Yes, Jackson quit the music business and Davison became a music teacher. He died in 2008. Here's The Nice performing Hang On To A Dream 1969.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Zager & Evans

Artist:Zager & Evans
Song:In The Year 2525
Album:Top Hits of the 60s: Coolest Hits

Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time to have a hit record. And if you don't follow it up properly, you wind being a one hit wonder. That's the story of the 1969 number one smash In The Year 2525 by Zager & Evans. Denny Zager was born Feb. 18, 1943 in Wymore, NE. Rick Evans was born Jan. 20, 1943 in Lincoln, NE. They met while attending Nebraska Weslayan University and had a group called The Eccentrics. Evans wrote In The Year 2525 in 1964 and they recorded it for Truth Records in 1967. It went nowhere until a DJ in Odessa, TX started playing it around the time of the moon landing in 1969. RCA picked it up for national distribution and it topped the Billboard Hot 100. Zager & Evans recorded two albums for RCA but they flopped and In The Year 2525 was their only chart hit. They are a true one hit wonder and you can get the song on this various artists comp from Collectables. It says on Wikipedia that Rick Evans went on to a solo career but I see no evidence of that. Denny Zager became a music teacher and manufactures his own brand of custom guitars. Here's Zager & Evans performing In The Year 2525 on Music Scene 1969.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Women's MMA pioneer returning on Dec. 11 JEWELS show

JEWELS announced on their blog that they have added one more match to the Dec. 11 Shinjuku FACE show. In a 53.5kg match, Mari Kaneko (pictured) will return to MMA after a four year absence to face Rina Tomita. Kaneko's record is 8-8-1. She lost to Yoko Takahashi in her pro debut in Nov. 2000. She has a 1-1 record against Hisae Watanabe and has also lost to Yuka Tsuji and WINDY Tomomi. Her last fight was a loss to Satoko Shinashi on the July 8, 2005 DEEP show. That was a rematch after the two fought to a draw on the Feb. 12, 2005 DEEP show. Kaneko recently returned to training at the Anan branch of Zendokai. And after an appearance on Zendokai's recent grappling tournament, she has decided to return to the pro ranks. Tomita trains at AACC. Her record is 2-2 and both losses were to Mika Nagano, most recently at the Sept. 13 JEWELS show.

Jango Song Of The Day-Quicksilver Messenger Service

Artist:Quicksilver Messenger Service

Quicksilver Messenger Service was a big part of the Bay Area scene of the late 60s. They were a jam band very similar to The Grateful Dead. The leader of the band was Dino Valenti (born Chet Powers Jr. Oct. 7, 1937). He was a big part of the early 60s Green wich Village folk scene and he moved to Los Angeles in 1963. In 1964, he got together with guitarist John Cipollina (born John Holland Mallet III Aug. 24, 1943 in Berkeley, CA) along with bassist David Frieberg and drummer Greg Elmore & guitarist Gary Duncan from The Brogues. Apparently the group name was based on astrological signs. Just as the band was ready to start playing gigs, Valente was thrown in jail for drug offenses. So they brought in Jim Murray to play guitar and sing. QMS finally signed with Capitol after the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Murray left at that time. This cover of Bo Diddley's Mona was on their second album Happy Trails. Duncan left and was replaced by keyboard player Nicky Hopkins. By 1969, Valenti had a new group called The Outlaws that went nowhere so he returned to QMS. There were many personnel changes including Cipollina leaving to form Copperhead. But the band existed until 1972 and have reunited several times over the years. Anthology was originally released as a 2LP set in 1973 and was released on CD in 1996. Cipollina died in 1989. Valenti died in 1994. Frieberg was a member of Jefferson Starship. Their inconsistent history makes them lesser known than some of the other bands of the era but they are good. Here's Quicksilver Messenger Service performing Mona 1969.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Megumi Fujii, pro wrestler

Some MMA fans may not be aware that Megumi Fujii has done some pro wrestling in the past. I actually have this match on DVD but I came across it on Youtube and decided to post it. Nothing says blog hits like Mega Megu. It's Megumi Fujii vs Mariko Yoshida in ARSION May 24, 2003. Joshi puroresu fans know that Yoshida is one of the all time great wrestlers. But she has also trained a whole generation of young girls to wrestle. At the time, she was head trainer at ARSION. She is constantly looking for new training techniques. So one day she walked into AACC to talk to Megumi Fujii. Fujii was already famous in Japan as an amateur champ and was known as The Sambo Queen. The two quickly became friends and Yoshida asked Fujii if she wanted to try pro wrestling. And so she did. Based on this match, I'm sure we can all agree that Megumi is a very quick study. Of course Yoshida makes Fujii look like a veteran though Fujii had never done pro wrestling before. She even taught Fujii her own Spider Twist finisher. When Yoshida started her own Ibuki company in 2005, she would send girls to Fujii for specialized training. I know Fuuka trained extensively with her. Fujii worked a couple of times for Ibuki and I think she last did some pro wrestling a couple of years ago on one of those Lee Presents shows. Obviously she could do more if she wanted but it's just a diversion for her. Megumi Fujii turned pro in MMA in 2004. Enjoy the Match!

Jango Song Of The Day-The Three Degrees

Artist:The Three Degrees
Song:When Will I See You Again
Album:The Best Of The Three Degrees: When Will I See You Again

The Three Degrees were around for quite a while before they recorded the top five hit When Will I See You Again with Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff. The guy behind the group was producer Richard Barrett. He was a member of the doo wop group The Valentines and also discovered Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers and The Chantels when he worked for George Goldner. The Three Degrees were formed in Philadelphia in 1963. They had recorded some singles for Swan Records with no success. By the time they recorded a cover of The Chantels' Maybe in 1970 for Roulette Records, the group members were original member Fayette Pinkney along with Valerie Holiday and Sheila Ferguson. Maybe reached #4 on the R & B charts. When their Roulette contract ran out in 1973, they signed with the Gamble/Huff label Philadelphia International. Their big break came when they did the vocals on the #1 hit TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) by MFSB. This led to When Will I See You Again topping the R & B charts and reaching #4 on rhe Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. It was a Gamble/Huff song and Sheila Ferguson sang lead. Sheila says that when Gamble played the song for her on the piano, she didn't like it because she thought it was too simple. Sometimes simple is good. Fayette Pinkney was replaced by former group member Helen Scott in 1976 and The Three Degrees left for the European label Ariola in 1978. They continued to have success on the R & B charts and in England but never crossed over to the pop charts again. They even performed at Buckingham Palace at Prince Charles' 30th birthday. Supposedly they were his favourite group. Well, they have sex appeal. This Sony/Legacy comp covers their Philadelphia International recordings. Valerie Holiday continues to lead a version of The Three Degrees today. Fayette Pinkney died June 27, 2009 at age 61. Here's The Three Degrees performing When Will I See You Again on German TV 1974.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Megumi Fujii comments on Monday's fight

On the JEWELS blog, Megumi Fujii commented on her win over WINDY Tomomi on Monday's Shooto show. Apparently fans have been wondering why she was in Shooto instead of the Dec. 11 JEWELS show. Fujii said she had not planned to fight until 2010 but the offer to fight WINDY came up at the last minute. She says she has respected WINDY for many years and has wanted to fight her for a long time. She said she wasn't in top shape and had little time to prepare but took the fight anyway. And she was very happy to do so. Geez, what do you think she'd be like if she was in shape. As I have said before, I believe there is still tension between Fujii and JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki over some of the silly rules like the limited ground and pound. Taking a fight in Shooto that could have been in JEWELS sends a very clear message to Saeki. I will echo that message. Saeki, stop screwing around and standardize the rules. Thank you.

Jango Song Of The Day-Ricky Nelson

Artist:Ricky Nelson
Song:Believe What You Say
Album:Greatest Hits

Ricky Nelson was one of the biggest stars of the late 50s when he sang on his dad's sitcom. He was lumped in with the other teen idols but today his music holds up very well. So I think he's underrated. Believe What You Say was one of his early hits. He was born May 8, 1940 in Teaneck, NJ and of course his parents were bandleader Ozzie Nelson and his wife singer Harriet Hilliard. The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet was a very popular radio show and it became a TV show in 1952. Ricky and his brother David were regulars on the show. Ozzie Nelson used the show to promote Ricky's singing career starting in 1957 when Ricky performed Fats Domino's I'm Walkin'. Ozzie made sure Ricky sang great songs Believe What You Say was written by Johnny and Dorsey Burnette. And he also got great musicians to work with Ricky. That's guitarist James Burton in the video. Also, Ricky never appeared on American Bandstand or The Ed Sullivan Show. You had to watch The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet to see him. Believe What You Say reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. It wasn't his biggest hit. Poor Little Fool was his first #1 hit. He had thirty top 40 hits from 1957-62. By the mid-60s, he had changed his name to Rick Nelson and went towards the country music market. The teen idol thing dogged him for most of his career. There was certainly more to him than that. This comp has all his hits and a bonus DVD. Of course Rick Nelson made his big comeback in 1972 with Garden Party and as I'm sure most folks are aware, he died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1985 at age 45. Here's Ricky Nelson performing Believe What You Say 1959.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NEO has a BIG show in Nagoya

Here's the S-Arena video digest for Sunday's NEO show at the Chigusa Sports Centre in Nagoya. The first clip is from Yoshiko Tamura & Ayumi Kurihara vs Fuuka & Shuu Shibutani. Tamura & Kurihara have become a very good team. Fuuka is there to be...uh...Fuuka. Shibutani is there to do the job. You don't expecdt Fuuka to job, do you? Shibutani takes quite a pounding at the end before Tamura gets the win. Next is the big...and I do mean big...match on this show. It's Kyoko Inoue vs Dump Matsumoto. The match is what one would expect. It's not what I want to see. Of course Dump can't move so she needs help from one of her cronies and Revolution Amandora. It ends in a big shmozzle and Kyoko wins by a countout. Then she yells at Dump. So obviously they're going to do more of this feud. Ugh! The main event has Nanae Takahashi & Kana defend the NEO Tag Team Titles against Natsuki*Taiyo & Ray. It looks like decent action and I guess that's enough for some fans. But there's no suspense when all four wrestlers are buddies. It's not like anyone believes that Natsuki & Ray could win. At least Takahashi let Kana get the fall over Natsuki. So I'm not crazy about doing this match unless there's a real reason for animosity between the teams. And that's not happening while Takahashi has control over how she is booked. Enjoy the video!

Megumi Fujii kicks butt as usual

OK gang, here's the match video of Megumi Fujii vs WINDY Tomomi from yesterday's Shooto show at the JCB Hall courtesy of the fine folks at MMA Berlin. It was Shooto vs Pancrase. Tomomi trains at Pancrase. Several folks asked me if Tomomi could beat Fujii. Well, she has power so sure if she can hit her. But I didn't think Tomomi would be able to hit her. You can watch the match for yourself. I guess one could say that Tomomi didn't come out aggressively enough. I don't think it would have helped. Fujii is so quick. We all know that her strategy is to go for the takedown. But knowing that doesn't help because of her quickness. Once she gets Tomomi on the mat, the match is a foregone conclusion until Tomomi taps from the armbar. It could have been stopped earlier especially when Fujii was pounding her. She's simply relentless. Megumi Fujii is now 19-0. We're all hoping that DEEP Lightweight Champ MIKU is her next opponent. But I still believe that Fujii is squabbling with DEEP/JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki over some of the rules, especially the limited ground and pound. I don't know if it matters anymore. Megumi Fujii is a proven draw and all her fights are major events. Given the opportunity in Strikeforce, she would do the same thing here. That's how good she is.

Jango Song Of The Day-Holly Dunn

Artist:Holly Dunn
Song:Daddy's Hands
Album:Milestones: Greatest Hits

Holly Dunn was a very popular country artist in the late 80s. She has several hits on the country charts before her career faded in the 90s. Daddy's Hands wasn't her biggest hit but it's probably her most memorable song. She was born Aug. 22, 1957 in San Antonio, TX. Her dad was a minister and her brother is songwriter Chris Waters. As a teen, she toured the south with Freedom Folk. And while attending Abilene Christian University, she toured with the school choir called Hilltop Singers. Holly and her brother wrote a song called Out Of Sight, But Not Out Of Mind that was recorded by country singer Christy Lane. So they decided to move to Nashville and worked as staff songwriters for CBS. In 1984, Holly signed with MTM Records. MTM? Mary Tyler Moore? That's right. Of course MTM was mostly a TV production company but veteran music producer Tommy West started their record label in 1984 in Nashville. One of Holly's songs called I'm Not Through Loving You Yet was a top ten country hit for Louise Mandrell. So she got her own record deal and after a couple of singles, her debut album Holly Dunn was released in 1986. Daddy's Hands was the second single and it reached #7 on the country charts. She had several more hits including the #1 hits Are You Ever Gonna Love Me and You Really Had Me Going. MTM was sold to Warner Bros. in 1988. Holly continued to have success but when her 1992 album Getting It Dunn didn't chart, she left Warners. This comp has all her hits. Holly recorded a couple of albums for River North/A & M in the mid-90s. But she retired from music in 2003 and now concentrates on selling her artwork at an art gallery in Santa Fe, NM. Based on the number of folks who post covers of Daddy's Hands on Youtube, it's still a very popular song. But the actual video isn't on Youtube because of their idiotic dispute with Warners. But I found it elsewhere. Here's the video for Daddy's Hands by Holly Dunn.

Monday, November 23, 2009

WWE Divas booking is equally strange

Here is the video of last night's WWE Divas match from Survivor Series. It's in two parts. The match itself is par for the course with some odd booking at the end. But first, a lot of fans have asked me about the Piggy James segment from last week's Smackdown. I did see it while flipping back and forth with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. I guess a lot of you were offended by it. What else is new? I guess that means it was successful because it got a reaction. But I don't think it got the reaction the WWE was after. It's obvious they are desperate to get Michelle McCool over as a heel. And Michelle's performance has been good but the booking has been terrible with that idiotic injury angle. And they want to get Melina over too though she is terrible as a babyface. And that's why Mickie was moved to Smackdown. Fans are complaining about the whole body image thing and that Mickie crying was real. News flash! Mickie was acting. They ran through the segment earlier in the day. As for the body image thing, I seriously doubt the WWE put that much thought into it. But it was the usual ham handed crap. I think it will backfire on them and it won't stop Mickie from leaving for the country music business. OK back to this match. It was nothing special. And the booking at the end was odd. I don't see how that ending gets either Michelle or Melina over. I would have preferred Michelle going over at the end. It would have been more effective than the half assed nonsense that they decided to do. So check out the video. The match starts about nine minutes into the first video and continues on the second video. Enjoy!

Jango Song Of The Day-Carla Thomas

Artist:Carla Thomas
Song:Gee Whiz! (Look At His Eyes)
Album:Gee Whiz! The Best Of Carla Thomas

Just so you don't get confused, Irma Thomas is the Soul Queen of New Orleans and Carla Thomas is the Queen Of Memphis Soul. They're both great of course and Gee Whiz was Carla's only top ten pop hit and the song that launched The Stax Sound. She was born Dec. 21, 1942 in Memphis and is the daughter of the legendary Rufus Thomas. In 1960, they recorded the duet Cause I Love You for Satellite Records and it was a regional hit. Satellite signed a distribution deal with Atlantic and became Stax. Rufus tried to shop Gee Whiz to Vee-Jay. But when they turned it down, Atlantic released it and it reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Carla would continue to record through the 60s with a lot of success on the R & B charts especially her Duet with Otis Redding called Tramp. This Rhino comp has all her hits. She hasn't recorded much since 1971 though she did release Live In Memphis in 2002. She continues to perform today. Here's Carla Thomas performing Gee Whiz at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary 1988.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kaori Yoneyama not injured

Here's the S-Arena video digest for JWP's Nov. 20 Itabashi Green Hall show. I'll explain the header in a moment. This show is advancing future angles. The first clip has Commando Bolshoi, Ayako Sato & Tojuki Leon in a three way match for a shot at Kaori Yoneyama's High Speed Title on the Dec. 6 Shinjuku FACE show. The pinfall is a little confusing but Sato got the win and the title shot. Next is Kayoko Haruyama & Kei'to vs Sakura Emi & Humuko Hoshi. This is standard booking leading up to Haruyama defending the JWP Open Weight Championship against Emi on the Dec. 6 show. The JWP vs Passion Red feud continues with Natsuki*Taiyo & Yumiko Hotta vs Sachie Abe & Tsubasa Kuragaki for a shot at Kaori Yoneyama & Sakura Emi's JWP/Daily Sports Tag Team Titles at the Nov. 29 Osaka show. Passion Red gets the win. But you'll notice that the other Passion Red members stop her whenever Hotta pulls out a chair. You know where that's going to lead. The main event had Azumi Hyuga continuing her retirement road by losing to Kaori Yoneyama. Some fans are praising Hyuga for putting wrestlers over on the way out. I think she's doing too much jobbing and that has become predictable. Does she have to job to everyone? JWP has announced that in her retirement match Dec. 27 at Korakuen Hall, Hyuga will team with Commando Bolshoi vs Kayoko Haruyama & Kaori Yoneyama. I suppose it's anticilmactic but usually the retiree requests a specific match as a retirement match. I guess this is who she wants to work with. Afterwards, there were reports that Yoneyama suffered a head injury and she did cancel her appearance on Saturday's Ice Ribbon show. But I don't see any evidence of an injury in this video and she did appear on today's JWP Dojo show. So something else is going on and Yoneyama is not injured. Enjoy the video!

Jango Song Of The Day-Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Artist:Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Album The Very Best Of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

I guess the best way to describe Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons is The Last Doo Wop Group. They first broke in the early 60s and were one of the few groups to survive The British Invasion. The two main guys behind the group were lead singer Frankie Valli (born Francesco Castellucio May 3, 1934 in Newark, NJ) and keyboard player and songwriter Bob Gaudio (born Nov. 17, 1942 in Bronx, NY and grew up in Bergenfield, NJ). Valli had recorded as Frank Valley in 1953 and along with Four Seasons guitarist Tommy DeVito recorded as The Four Lovers. Meanwhile Gaudio was a member of The Royal Teens and co-wrote their big hit Short Shorts. They met when both were doing session work for producer Bob Crewe. Gaudio joined The Four Lovers in 1960 and the name was changed to The Four Seasons. The fourth member was Nick Massi. They signed with Vee-Jay Records in 1961. Sherry was their first chart hit and their first number one hit. Bob Gaudio wrote it as a tribute to Jackie Kennedy and the original title was Jackie Baby. The Four Seasons would have several more number one hits but Vee-Jay was in financial trouble and the group took legal action to switch to Philips Records in 1964. Their success continued until the late 60s when they moved to Motown's Mowest label. Valli has also had a significant solo career usually working with Gaudio. This Rhino comp has all their 60s hits. The Four Seasons were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1990 and of course the show Jersey Boys is about them. They've had a lot of longevity. Heres Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons performing a medley of hits 1967.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kerry Vera KOs Kim Couture

Here's the video from last night's match between Kerry Vera and Kim Couture at Strikeforce in Kansas City. It went as expected. Kerry won by TKO in round one. She's too good for Kim. Though new to MMA, Kerry is a very experienced Muay Thai fighter and having seen her before, she is a very accurate and controlled striker. Kim's only hope was to try to take Kerry down and she couldn't do that. She tagged Kerry a couple of times but Kerry said afterwards that those shots just woke her up. You can see the rest for yourself. I don't know if Kim will continue fighting. If so, she needs to fight away from TV so she can improve her skills accordingly. In pre-match interviews, Kim came across as flippant and overconfident and Kerry outclassed her easily. And Kerry was much more humble in her interviews. What's next for Kerry? She is under contract to Strikeforce so I would not be surprised to see her against a grappler like Meisha Tate next. And they may bring someone in who is not under contract to face her. But I would like to see Kerry's ground skills. We already know she can punch. She's not ready for Sarah Kaufman. Just wanted to mention that Blogger has added video uploading so I will no longer be using Youtube or anything else. They had eliminated video uploading when they upgraded the post editor last year. I'm happy that they've brought it back. I like the exclusivity of it. You have to come here to see this minus popup ads. Enjoy the video!

Jango Song Of The Day-Joe Tex

Artist:Joe Tex
Song:Show Me
Album:25 All Time Greatest Hits

Joe Tex was one of the top soul singers of the 60s. If it seemed like he was preaching from the soul pulpit, that comes from his church upbringing. He was born Joseph Arrington Jr. Aug. 8, 1933 in Rogers, TX. He started out singing in church and moved to New York in 1954 after winning a local talent contest. He recorded some singles for King Records in the 50s. But things didn't take off for Tex until he started working for Nashville song publisher and record producer Buddy Killen. In 1961, James Brown had a hit with the Tex song Baby You're Right. In 1965, Killen took Tex to Muscle Shoals and Hold What You've Got was his first big hit. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Killen released it on his Dial label distributed by Atlantic. Show Me was one of several lesser hits until Tex hit the top ten in 1967 with Skinny Legs And All followed by I Gotcha. All his Dial hits are on this Varese comp. In 1972, Joe Tex converted to Islam and changed his name to Joseph Hazziez. He returned to the top ten with the 1977 hit Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With that Big Fat Woman) and had retired to his farm in Texas until his death from a heart attack on Aug. 13, 1982 at age 49. If you're a soul fan. don't overlook Joe Tex. Here's Joe Tex performng Show Me in Stockholm, Sweden 1968.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Major Harris

Artist:Major Harris
Song:Love Won't Let Me Wait
Album:My Way

Love Won't Let Me Wait topped the R & B charts in 1975. I guess it's still a bedroom classic today and it was the only big hit for Major Harris III. He was born Feb. 9, 1947 in Richmond, VA and grew up in show business. His grandparents were in vaudeville. His dad was a guitarist and his mom directed the local church choir. His brother Joe Jefferson wrote several hits for The Spinners and his cousin was Philly Soul producer Norman Harris. He was in several vocal groups in the 60s and probably had his biggest success with The Jarmels and their hit A Little Bit Of Soap. His big break came in 1972 when he replaced Randy Cain in The Delfonics. He left to go solo in 1974 and signed with WMOT Records. They had a distribution deal with Atlantic. Love Won't Let Me Wait was the second single and topped the R & B charts in 1975. The song and the album My Way was produced by legendary Phiily Soul guitarist Bobby Eli. Eli also wrote the song with veteran songwriter Gwen Woolfolk under her pen name Vinnie Barrett. And of course MFSB played on the song. His other singles didn't do as well but My Way is a fine soul album and was recently released on CD for the first time by reissue label Friday Music. Harris left Atlantic for RCA after two albums and after his one album on RCA failed to sell, he returned to The Delfonics and has been touring with one of the two versions of the group ever since. Here's Major Harris performing Love Won't Let Me Wait on Soul Train 1975.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Loretta Hunt interviews Kerry Vera

I like to give equal time here at the ol' Big Bad Blog so here's a video interview with Kerry Vera courtesy of Loretta Hunt of Sherdog. Of course Kerry will face Kim Couture at tomorrow's Strikeforce show in Kansas City. Not much to the interview. I guess she likes doing her talking in the cage.

Jango Song Of The Day-Skip James

Artist:Skip James
Song:Devil Got My Woman
Album:Complete Recorded Works (1931)

Nehemiah "Skip" James was a legendary blues artist who recorded in the early 30s and disappeared until being rediscovered in the early 60s. He was born June 9, 1902 in Bentonia, MS. His father was a bootlegger and preacher. James started playing organ as a teen. He spent most of the 20s as a labourer working on road construction throughout Mississippi. James' big break came when he auditioned for record store owner and talent scout H.C. Speir. Speir got James a contract with Paramount Records and James went to Grafton, WI to record. Those are the recordings on this CD from Document Records. They didn't sell at the time but are considered very influential blues recordings similar to Robert Johnson's recordings. James quit performing to become choir director in his father's church. James lived in obscurity until he was found in a hospital in Tunica, MS in 1964. Along with Son House, his performance at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival launched the blues revival. James recorded a few albums and he made some money when Cream covered his song I'm So Glad. Skip James died on Oct. 3, 1969 at age 67 and his legend has grown significantly ever since. Here's Skip James performing Devil Got My Woman at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ariel Helwani interviews Kim Couture

Here's a video interview with Kim Couture courtesy of Ariel Helwani of Fanhouse. Of course Kim faces Kerry Vera on this Friday's Strikeforce show in Kansas City. The one notable thing about the interview is though he is reluctant to use the "g" word, he does call it a gimmick match designed to capitalize on last week's UFC show. He does ask her about the TNA nonsense which TNA thankfully decided not to do. But one correction is that that nonsense started when Kim insulted Lisa Varon and pro wrestling in general. One word of warning. This is a Bright Cove video instead of a Youtube video. It seem,s to take forever to load and it won't start playing until it finishes loading. Please be patient.

Jango Song Of The Day-The Housemartins

Artist:The Housemartins
Song:Happy Hour
Album:The Best Of The Housemartins

The 80s British group The Housemartins had become very popular in England and were all set to cross the pond when they split up in 1988 and became The Beautiful South. The Housemartins were formed in 1983 by singer Paul Heaton (born May 9, 1962 in Bromborough, England) and guitarist Stan Cullimore (born Apr. 6, 1962 in Cambridge, England). They recorded a demo that got them a contract with Andy MacDonald's Go! Discs label. The rest of the group went through some changes but the members that recorded were Norman Cook on bass and Dave Hemingway on drums. The Housemartins had a distinctly British sound. Happy Hour was their third single but their first hit on the British charts. It came with a music video that had claymation in it so that got them attention on MTV. Their debut album London 0 Hull 4 went top ten in England and their 1986 cover of Caravan Of Love was their only number one hit in England. So they released a second album and they seemed to be on their way to becoming one of England's most popular bands. And there were plans to launch in the US. But they split up in 1988. Heaton said at the time that they only planned to stay together for three years. But Heaton and Cook were butting heads over the musical direction of the group. Heaton and Hemingway went on to form the very successful group The Beautiful South. Cook went on to be known as Fatboy Slim. Cullimore writes children's books and TV shows. Mercury released this comp in 2004 with a bonus DVD. Here's the video for Happy Hour by The Housemartins.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TNA booking is simply baffling

I have for you video of the two Knockouts matches from Sunday's TNA PPV. The two matches have one thing in common, baffling TNA booking decisions. The matches are OK, not great. The first one has ODB, Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs Lacey Von Erich, Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne. The gimmick is that ODB's TNA Knockouts Title and Taylor & Sarita's TNA Knockouts Tag Team Titles can change hands. Obviously I hate that type of booking. But they didn't do anything with it anyway so that part was pointless. Instead TNA decided to book ODB as a monster by having her take care of The Beautiful People singlehandedly. I can understand why they would want to do that because ODB may have the title but the angle with Cody Deaner made her look very foolish. I guess they have to rehabilitate her AND TNA has signed her to a new contract. It's also very clear from this match that TNA has a big problem with Lacey Von Erich. They're doing whatever they can to avoid putting her in the ring. And the fans have caught on. They started chanting You Can't Wrestle the moment she entered the ring and someone in the front row had a sign reading Lacey Von Botch. TNA will have to do something about this because she's not getting the reaction that they want.
The second match has Awesome Kong vs Tara in a cage. The whole feud has been very odd because neither of them has the title. And I don't know why this was in a cage. Of course we don't know why TNA does a lot of things. And FYI, when Awesome Kong went to Japan in 2002, her very first match was in a cage. TNA probably thought the cage made it special. The match has gotten mostly negative reviews. I didn't think it was that bad but I thought the second half of the match was somewhat odd. In the first half, AK dominates and even busts out a missile dropkick. Tara turns the tide but her offense didn't look strong especially against someone who is supposed to be invincible. And I didn't think much of the ending. Has Tara ever come off the top of a cage before? I doubt it. It wasn't horrible but it was shaky. So now they're going to do a title program with ODB and Tara and they're both babyfaces. And I don't see how they can book AK as invincible after this. So colour me baffled by TNA's booking. Enjoy the videos!

Three matches added to Dec. 11 JEWELS show

JEWELS announced today on their blog that they have added three more matches to the Dec. 11 Shinjuku FACE show. Of course the main part of the show will be the ROUGH STONE tournaments and those bouts have already been announced. The big news is that for the first time JEWELS is bringing over a fighter from the US. And it's even better news that they're bringing over somebody good. In a 52.5kg match Sally Krumdiak (pictured) will face Saori Ishioka. Sally trains at Charlie's Combat Club in Seattle. Her record is 7-2 and she recently won the Freestyle Cage Fighting 125lb Women's Championship over Nicdali Calanic at the Oct. 24 FCF show in Shawnee, OK. Sally's backlground is kickboxing but she also has submission victories. Ishioka trains at Zendokai and her record is 7-4 and most recently lost to Megumi Fujii on the July 11 JEWELS show. But she gave Fujii a good fight and considering her age and experience level, Ishioka has a lot of potential. So this should be a very good fight. In a 60kg match, Shizuka Sugiyama will face Ko Ozeki. Sugiyama trains at Zendokai in Yokohama. Her record is 5-1 but her last fight was a very disappointing loss to Alexandra Sanchez on the Sept. 13 JEWELS show. Sugiyama showed a lack of maturity by psyching herself out. Ozeki is a shoot boxer making her MMA debut. In a 53kg match, Hiroko Kitamura will face Ayuka Hamazaki. Kitamura trains at Zendokai in Koganei. She won her debut over Harumi on the July 11 JEWELS show. Hamazaki trains at AACC and after winning the amateur Shooto All Japan Bantamweight Championship, She won her pro debut over Kinuka Sasaki on the Oct. 25 Shooto show in Nagoya. So it looks like some very good matches to fill out the card and I'm very happy to see JEWELS bring a good fighter from the US.

Jango Song Of The Day-Tony Joe White

Artist:Tony Joe White
Song:Polk Salad Annie
Album:The Best Of Tony Joe White

Polk Salad Annie was the only top ten pop hit for legendary singer songwriter Tony Joe White. His somewhat spotty career as a recording artist is balanced out by his success as a songwriter. He was born July 23, 1943 in Oak Grove, LA. He formed his own band as a teen and toured the south until signing with Monument Records in 1967. Polk Salad Annie was on his debut album Black & White. But Monument had given up on it until a Los Angeles DJ picked up on it and it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. The song is autobiographical. Meanwhile Elvis Presley recorded Polk Salad Annie and had a hit with it. Elvis would record several White songs. Dusty Sprigfield charted with Willie and Laura Mae Jones and Brook Benton charted with Rainy Night In Georgia. White moved to Warner Bros. in 1971 and has also recorded for 20th Century Fox, Casablanca and Columbia. You can get some of White's early recordings on this Warner Archive comp. He quit recording in the 80s and resurfaced playing and writing several songs on Tina Turner's 1989 album Foreign Affairs. He has also toured with Eric Clapton and Joe Cocker. Tony Joe White continues to record on his own Swamp label and performs occasionally. But as I said, he's made his living over the years as a songwiriter. Here's Tony Joe White and Johnny Cash performing Polk Salad Annie on The Johnny Cash Show April 1970.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fujii vs Tomomi at Nov. 23 Shooto show

Shooto held a press conference today to announce several matches for their Nov. 23 JCB Hall show. A women's match added to the show as a timefilling throwaway match will have Megumi Fujii (pictured) facing WINDY Tomomi. The match is scheduled for two five minute rounds. I didn't see a contracted weight. Tomomi is normally heavier than Fujii. but has come down to 115lb in the past. It doesn't matter to Fujii. Fujii's record is 18-0 and is considered one of the best fighters in the world today. Her latest win was over Saori Ishioka at the July 11 JEWELS show. Tomomi's record is 12-11-1 and her most recent fight was a loss to MIKU on the Oct. 10 DEEP show. I guess it could be said that she's going from the frying pan into the fire. Tomomi is known mostly for her punching power but is very vulnerable on the ground. If Fujii takes her down, this could be over very quickly. It's a big show in a big hall and Fujii doesn't have to deal with ridiculous ground and pound restrictions. So I understand why she wants to be on shows like this. It just seems like a waste for Mega Megu to be on any undercard.

Jango Song Of The Day-Carl Stalling

Artist:Carl Stalling
Song:Satan's Waitin'
Album:The Carl Stalling Project Vol. 2: More Music From Warner Bros. Cartoons 1929-1957

Most music fans won't be familiar with Carl Stalling but film fans and especially animation fans know that Stalling wrote and arranged the scores for all the Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies produced at Warner Bros. from 1935-57. So if you've seen a Bugs Bunny cartoon, you've heard his music. He was born Nov. 10, 1891 in Lexington, MO and got his start playing organ for silent films at the Isis Theatre in Kansas City. Guess who else lived in Kansas City? That's right, Walt Disney. Disney brought Stalling to Hollywood and Stalling created his "ticking" system that allowed orchestra members to keep in tempo by listening to the beat through headphones. Stalling left Disney after two year when animator Ub Iwerks started his own studio and then went with Iwerks to work for Warners producer Leon Schlesinger in 1935. Stalling remained at Warners until his retirement in 1957. So how did his music end up on CD? When Warners produced the Looney Tunes 50th anniversary TV special, they did a gag segment offering The Best Of Carl Stalling CD. Of course there was no such thing but they got so many requests, they decided to do it for real. They hired veteran record producer Hal Willner to put it together along with Warner staff animator Greg Ford and animation historian Will Friedwald. Willner had produced the 1988 CD Stay Awake comp of Disney cartoon songs. The first CD did so well that Vol. 2 was released in 1995. This clip is from the 1954 Tweety & Sylvester cartoon Satan's Waitin'. I guess it could have been subtitled Sylvester Goes To Hell. Carl Stalling retired in 1957 and was replaced by his long time assistant Milt Franklyn. Stalling died Nov. 29, 1972 at age 81. The version of Satan's Waitin' that you see on TV has the ending chopped. So here's the complete version of Satan's Waitin' directed by Friz Freleng with music by Carl Stalling. You can get that and many other great cartoons on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD box sets. I have all six volumes.

Tweety si Sylvester-Satans waitin
Vezi mai multe video din Animatie

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-The Cascades

Artist:The Cascades
Song:Rhythm Of The Rain
Album:Quadrophenia: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The 1963 top five hit Rhythm Of The Rain was the one big hit for the vocal group The Cascades. The group started as The Silver Strands in 1960. The were all in the US Navy stationed on the USS Ticonderoga based in San Diego. They recruited lead singer John Gummoe and became The Thundernotes. Other members were Eddie Snyder on guitar, David Szabo on keyborads, Dave Stevens on bass and Dave Wilson on drums. They recorded some demos which landed on the Warner Bros. subsidiary Valiant Records. The label was owned by veteran arranger Barry DeVorzon. The group signed and were renamed The Cascades after a box of detergent. Rhythm Of The Rain was their second single and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. Gummoe wrote the song. Perry Botkin wrote the arrangement and studio aces Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye and Glen Campbell played on the record. The Cascades follow up singles didn't catch on but they did very well in England and Australia. They continued recording until John Gummoe left to go solo in 1967. He had a band called Kentucky Express. It's still a very memorable song and it's on the soundtrack for the film Quadrophenia which is a great film anyway. You may recall a recent cover of Rhythm Of The Rain by Aussie actor/pop star Jason Donovan. A version of The Cascades has toured the oldies circuit for years and Gummoe leads a version of the group today. Here are The Cascades performing Rhythm Of The Rain.

The Cascades - Rhythm of the Rain - MyVideo

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Who's the worst booker? Vince Russo or GAMI

Here's the S-Arena video digest for Thursday's Pro Wrestling WAVE show. They're doing some sort of convoluted Captain's Fall tournament and this show had the first part of this nonsense. There's even a fifth team that hasn't been announced yet. Huh? The main thing you'll notice in this video is even the wrestlers don't know what the hell is going on. They all have puzzled looks on their faces. And if they can't figure it out, how the hell are fans supposed to make any sense out of it. Maybe GAMI is auditioning for a job working for TNA. She'd fit right in with this crap.

Jango Song Of The Day-Chad & Jeremy

Artist:Chad & Jeremy
Song:A Summer Song
Album:Very Best Of Chad & Jeremy

A Summer Song was the only top ten pop hit for British Invasion duo Chad & Jeremy in 1964. They are compared somewhat unfavourably to Peter & Gordon and I think that did hurt them in England at that time. They were bigger in the US. Chad Stuart was born Dec. 10, 1941 in Windermere, England. Jeremy Clyde was born Mar. 22, 1941 in Buckinghamshire, England. They met while attending the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and had a group called The Jerks. Clyde moved to Scotland to pursue acting. But the two reunited and started performing at the London coffeehouse Tina's in 1963. John Berry signed them to his Ember label with mixed results and he dropped them. But their US label World Artists was still interested in them and hired producer Shel Talmy (The Kinks) to work with them. They hit the US top 20 with Yesterday's Song and then reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 with A Summer Song. Stuart co-wrote both songs. They continued to do pretty well in the US and moved to Los Angeles after signing with manager Allen Klein. He got them a new contract with Columbia and several TV appearances. Things started to go south in 1965 when Stuart got sick with mononucleosis and Clyde went to London to appear in a stage show. They continued to record together until 1968. The folk style sound of A summer Song is how most will remember them and you can get all their hits on this Varese comp. Chad Stuart became musical director of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and was a staff producer at A & M Records. Jeremy Clyde has had a long acting career mostly on British TV. They reunited for a 2003 PBS special and are currently touring and recording. Here's Chad & Jeremy performing A Summer Song on the Chicago ABC station May 2009.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Homer & Jethro

Artist:Homer & Jethro
Song:The Battle Of Kookamonga
Album:America's Song Butchers: The Weird World Of Homer & Jethro

Homer & Jethro were a country music version of Spike Jones. They did song parodies but in the country music style. And like Jones, there was plenty of musical talent undeneath the silliness. The Battle Of Kookamonga was their biggest chart success. Homer was born Henry Haynes July 27, 1918 in Knoxville, TN and Jethro was born Kenneth Burns Mar. 10, 1923 in Knoxville, TN. The two met at a 1936 audition at Knoxville radio station WNOX. They heard a pop singer singing a song parody in a hillbilly voice and thought they could do it better. This landed them on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance show on Cincinnati radio station WLW. After they both served in WWII, they went back to WLW. And after releasing a few singles on King Records, They signed with RCA Records and RCA Nashville A & R head Steve Sholes suggested that they stick to parodies of popular songs. They even toured with Spike Jones for a while. Homer & Jethro's first big hit was Baby, It's Cold Outside featuring June Carter. This landed them on the National Barn Dance radio show and they were also regulars on the Chicago morning show Don McNeil's Breakfast Club. The Battle Of Kookamonga was a parody of the Johnny Horton hit The Battle Of New Orleans. In Homer & Jethro's version, Boy Scouts were chasing Girl Scouts. In 1959, it reached #14 on the pop singles chart and won them a Grammy. In the 60s, they appeared a lot on TV especially sitcoms like Green Acres. But these guys could play. Burns usually wrote the parodies and he was a tremendous mandolin player. You can hear that on the Nashville String Band albums Homer & Jethro recorded with Chet Atkins. This comp from Razor & Tie is definitive. Homer died of a heart attack on Aug. 7, 1971 at age 51. Burns tried to continue Homer & Jethro with Ken Eidson. But then he retired until folksinger Steve Goodman convinced him to go on the road with him. New Grass Revival mandolinist Sam Bush was also a big fan and arranged for Burns to record on Flying Fish Records in 1975. And he also appeared on Hee Haw with Chet Atkinhs and Johnny Gimble as Million Dollar Band. Jethro Burns died on Feb. 4, 1989 at age 68 and Homer & Jethro were inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2001. Here's Homer & Jethro performing The Battle Of Kookamonga on The Jimmy Dean Show 1963.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Strikeforce looking to save face by changing women's 135lb tournament

The original announcement a few months ago was that Strikeforce was planning a 135lb women's championship tournament. They secretly decided to run this tournament at Freestyle Cage Fighting in Tulsa for reasons that I have already written about. It's a bunch of baloney. Obviously they have figured that out themselves because they have now decided to run a different tournament. It will no longer be a championship tournament. Instead the winner of this tournament will earn a Strikeforce contract. So no contracted fighters like Sarah Kaufman and Meisha Tate will be in it. Obviously it's for less experienced fighters. Of course it's a bit of a sham because Strikeforce can still (and probably will) offer contracts to any fighter they choose making the tournament somewhat of a pointless timewaster. You know what it reminds me of. When the WWE was doing Tough Enough a few years ago, the winner was supposed to earn a job with the WWE. But several Tough Enough participants were routinely offered contracts. Same with the Diva Search. So it's still a lie but not the same lie. And it's still a broken promise. They should still be broadcast on Showtime under the Strikeforce banner. Farming out is farming out no matter how you slice it. And with this tournament scheduled to begin in January, when will they fess up?

Jango Song Of The Day-Joao Gilberto

Artist:Joao Gilberto f/Stan Getz & Antonio Carlos Jobim

Along with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto is one of the creators of Bossa Nova and a legend of Brazilian music. This 1963 album with Stan Getz is probably the best way to be introduced to Gilberto. He was born June 10, 1931 in Juaziero, Bahia, Brazil. He moved to Rio de Janiero in 1950 to be the lead singer of Garotos da Lua. He was soon fired for consistent tardiness. This lack of discipline would plague Gilberto throughout his career. Things weren't going very well when Luiz Telles of Quitandhina Serenaders rescued Gilberto and forced him to practice his guitar in seclusion. Gilberto surfaced in 1957 and more or less created the rhythms of Bossa Nova. He moved to the US in 1962 at a time when Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd had a hit with an instrumental version of Desafinado. Getz then asked Gilberto and Jobim to do an album and the result was Getz/Gilberto. Of course the biggest hit from this album was Astrud Gilberto singing Girl From Ipanema. But Gilberto's vocal on Desafinafo is one of his definitive performances. Verve released Getz/Gilberto on CD in 1997 with bonus tracks. There's also a Best Of Joao Gilberto but it's from Universal Japan so it's expensive. Gilberto recorded for many years on Warner Bros. so you can get some of his other recordings but Getz/Gilberto is a must. Gilberto moved back to Brazil in 1980 and in recent years he's become somewhat of a recluse. His most recent CD Joao Gilberto In Tokyo was released in 2004 on Verve. Here's Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobin performing Desafinado.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Neneh Cherry

Artist:Neneh Cherry
Song:Buffalo Stance
Album:Raw Like Sushi

Of course Buffalo Stance was huge in 1989. And the question I always get asked is what happened to Neneh Cherry. You're going to feel really old when I tell you that she's a grandma. She was born Neneh Karlsson Mar. 10, 1964 in Stockholm, Sweden. Her dad is West African percussionist Amadu Jah and her mom is artist Moki Cherry. When her mom married jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, the family moved to New York in the early 70s. Her brother Eagle-Eye Cherry and sister Titiyo Jah are also singers. Neneh moved to London in 1980 to sing with the punk group The Cherries. and then Rip Rug + Panic. After a brief first marriage produced her daughter Naima, Neneh met producer Cameron McVey in 1987. They married in 1990. McVey wrote and produced Buffalo Stance under the name Booga Bear. He had recorded it previously with Morgan-McVey in 1986 but rearranged it for Neneh. The song topped the R & B charts and reached #3 on th Billboard Hot 100. The single Kisses On The Wind also did well but the 1992 follow up album Homebrew didn't sell and she left Virgin Records. She recorded the album Man in 1996 but has mostly raised her family (she has three daughters) and worked a lot with McVey. The have released two CDs as CirKus and Neneh is currently working on a new solo CD. And she became a grandma when her daughter Naima had a son in 2004. So Neneh Cherry still lives in London and still makes music. But it's not mainstream music. Here's the video for Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ibuki on hiatus after Nov. 8 Korakuen Hall show

Here's the two part S-Arena video digest for the Nov. 8 Ibuki show at Korakuen Hall in front of 965 fans. As Mariko Yoshida announced, Ibuki will go on hiatus. There will be a show on Feb. 11 but things are uncertain after that. Yoshida addressed the crowd but said nothing. S-Ovation posted on their website that she's not retiring but has no schedule for her next match. I'm not buying it but they'll all have to come clean eventually. We get to see clips from all the matches on the show. The opener has Ryo Mizunami, Hiren & Yukari Ishino from Sendai Girls against Esui, Makoto & Kazumi Shimouna. The Mongolian Esui may be the one most adversely affected by Ibuki's possible closure. She's a big girl but very awkward. You can see she almost fell off the top turnbuckle. BTW, Esui sings. She just released a CD. Next is Nanae Takahashi vs Shuu Shibutani. Would you believe both of them are 30 years old? Takahashi is very generous and makes her look very good. Kyoko Kimura & Tomoka Nakagawa of Revolution Amandora return from Mexico to face Yoshiko Tamura & Ayumi Kurihara. Sakura Emi sucessfully defends her ICEx60 Title against Misaki Ohata. Ohata looks pretty good. But like Takahashi, Emi is very generous and I think it's a good idea to match Ohata up with her. Kaori Yoneyama & Tojuki Leon of JWP face Ray & Natsuki*Taiyo of Passion Red. You'll notice Natsuki is wearing new gear. Lots of high flying in this one. Looks like a lot of fun. The second video is devoted to the main event. It's a 2 of 3 falls match between Atsuko Emoto and Hiroyo Matsumoto. You'll notice that Emoto got a new *ahem* hairdo in Mexico. It's unfortunate that Ibuki isn't on TV and this match will likely be clipped on DVD because this match really delivers. Hiroyo just turned 25 on Friday and she's clearly the best young wrestler in joshi. And you'll notice her right ankle is heavily taped. She's already getting pushes in NEO and OZ so she's well on her way to being a big star in the joshi business. Based on the clips, I would love to see the entire match. So it looks like a pretty good show. It's just sad that Ibuki may end. Enjoy the videos!

Jango Song Of The Day-En Vogue

Artist:En Vogue
Song:Hold On
Album:The Very Best Of En Vogue

En Vogue were the most popular black female vocal group of the 90s. Hold On was their first big hit in 1990. The group was put together by the production team of Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy. They had some success as members of Club Nouveau. En Vogue was their tribute to the girl groups of the 60s with a contemporary twist. The members of En Vogue were former Miss Black California Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson and Terry Ellis. Originally they were supposed to be called For You and they were supposed to be a trio. But Foster & McElroy added Ellis after her audtion. All four are church trained singers and all sang lead. Born To Sing was their first album in 1990 and Hold On was the first single. The song is based on the 1960 Smokey Robinson classic Who's Lovin' You and samples James Brown's The Payback. Cindy Herron sings lead and Terry Ellis sings the intro. The song topped the R & B charts and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. En Vogue had a lot of success even after Dawn Robinson left in 1997. You can get all their hits on this comp. Dawn has probably had the most success outside En Vogue with Lucy Pearl and recording with her husband Dre Allen. Terry Ellis released a solo album in 1995. En Vogue continues to tour today though they haven't caught on with a major record label. Here's the video for Hold On by En Vogue.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Marty Balin

Artist:Marty Balin
Album:Balince: The Marty Balin Collection

Of course Jefferson Airplane was one of the best counterculture bands of the late 60s. So when the various members morphed into more mainstream pop like Jefferson Starship, it became obvious that Paul Kantner was behind the Jefferson Airplane and the others weren't all that into the counterculture. Marty Balin was no different with his 1981 hit Hearts. He was born Martyn Buchwald Jan. 30, 1943 in Cincinnati and grew up in San Francisco. He renamed himself Marty Balin and recorded some singles in 1962 and was also a member of the folk group The Town Criers. in 1965, he met Kantner at a club and they started Jefferson Airplane. Balin left in 1971 and after recording as Bodacious DF, he joined Jefferson Starship in 1975 and contributed to several of their hits. He left in 1978. After writing the rock opera Rock Justice, he signed with EMI America and released his solo debut Balin in 1981. Hearts was the first single and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Jesse Barish. He was a protege of Balin and had also written for Jefferson Starship. It's a good pop song but it's a little shocking for Airplane fans. Balin released one more album for EMI and then reunited with Paul Kantner and Jack Casady to form KBC Band in 1985. He continues to record occasionally and work Jefferson Airplane reunion tours. This 1990 Rhino comp covers Balin's career very well. Here's the video for Hearts by Marty Balin.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Frausto, Coenen win in Strikeforce

Because last night's match wasn't on TV, I'm going to cover both of the weekend Strikeforce shows in this post. Friday night, Strikeforce was in Fresno and there was a 135lb women's match between Zoila Frausto and Elisha Helpur. Zoila is from Fresno which explains why she was on the show. Her record was 3-0 but she's had problems making weight in the past but not on this occasion. She's a Muay Thai fighter and has very powerful kicks. Elisha lost her one pro match three years ago but she has some amateur wrestling experience. I dunno if I would have put her on a TV match. Obviously Zoila should win. She won by unanimous decision but wasn't impressive. The first round was the problem. She needed to come out more aggressively and she expressed disappointment with herself afterwards. Her big blow was a high kick in the second round that cut Elisha under her left eye. And it appears that Zoila broke her foot. If Zoila were to come out that tentatively against some of the other fighters in the 135lb devision, she wouldn't last very long. But check out the video for yourself.

Of course there was a women's match on the undercard of last night's Strikeforce show at the Sears Centre in Chicago. But it wasn't on TV. And they didn't even mention it because the Shields/Miller match went longer than expected and the show was long. The affiliates don't like it when their news is delayed. Buffalo's WIVB didn't even wait for the end credits before cutting to the news. After I watched Marloes Coenen's interview on Thursday, I expected her to win quickly. So she won over Roxanne Modafferi with an armbar in 63 seconds of round one. She got the redemption she wanted. It's unfortunate for Roxy because she would be very competitive in the 135lb division. I know Roxy is a fan favourite but it's just that Marloes is unknown in the US. Blog hits have gone through the roof the last couple of days mostly with Marloes Coenen Google searches. So now Marloes will challenge Cristiane Cyborg for the Strikeforce 145lb Women's Championship. Scott Coker wouldn't give a date but in this video interview with Ariel Helwani, she says the fight will be Jan. 30 in Miami. So can Marloes win? Sure. Marloes is a veteran and has been in big matches before. She's had trouble getting fights in Europe the last few years because a lot of European promoters prefer kickboxing to MMA. She seems really stoked for the opportunity she has been given. I just wish fans could have seen her fight last night because they don't know who she is and what she can do. njoy the videos.

Jango Song Of The Day-Flaming Ember

Artist:Flaming Ember
Song:Westbound #9
Album:The Best Of Flaming Ember

Westbound #9 was the biggest hit and probably the best song by Detroit blue eyed soul group Flaming Ember. Jackson, MS native Jerry Plunk was the lead singer and drummer. Joe Sladich played guitar. Bill Ellis played piano, sax and other instruments and Jim Bugnel played bass. They started out playing Detroit clubs as The Flaming Embers and recorded for Ed Wingate's Ric Tic label in 1968. When Motown bought Ric Tic, they did not pick up The Flaming Embers. They signed with Holland-Dozier-Holland's new label Invictus and were assigned to Hot Wax Records. They changed their name to Flaming Ember. Westbound #9 reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. Flaming Ember were accomplished musicians and wrote their own songs. But that's not how things worked at Invictus/Hot Wax. It was the Motown formula. Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote Westbound #9 with house producer Ron Dunbar. Tony Camillo brought The Funk Brothers in to play on the record. This eventually would lead to the downfall of Flaming Ember. They wanted to write and produce their own music and that wasn't going to happen at Hot Wax. This 1992 Fantasy comp has all their songs. Sladich was replaced by Mark McCoy in 1972. Hot Wax was closed in 1973 and Flaming Ember changed their name to Mind, Body and Soul and went back to playing the Detroit club scene. Bill Ellis went on to play sax for The SOS Band. Jerry Plunk and Jim Bugnel reformed Flaming Ember in 2000 and recorded a CD. They're a pretty good blue eyed soul group. I think you'll enjoy this video of Flaming Ember performing Westbound #9 1970.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Jango Song Of The Day-Johnny Bristol

Artist:Johnny Bristol
Song:Hang On In There Baby
Album:The MGM Collection

Johnny Bristol was a producer for Motown in the 60s but had a lot of success as a solo artist in the 70s. Hang On In There Baby was his only top ten pop hit. He was born Feb. 3, 1939 in Morganton, NC. At Motown, he was part of the family. He first recorded as a duo with Jackey Beavers called Johnny & Jackey in 1959 for Tri-Phi Records, a label owned by Berry Gordy Jr's sister Gwen Gordy and Harvey Fuqua of The Moonglows. Motown took over Tri-Phi in the early 60s and Bristol and Fuqua produced many Motown hits, most significantly Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Bristol also produced Someday We'll Be Together for Diana Ross & The Supremes, a song he originally recorded as part of Johnny & Jackey. Bristol left Motown when they moved to Los Angeles and after working for a short time as producer for Columbia, he signed with MGM Records as a solo artist. He had several R & B hits but Hang On In There Baby reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. This comp has his MGM hits. He moved to Atlantic in 1976 and also continued to produce artists like Boz Scaggs. Bristol continued to record in the 80s for European labels and produced others as well. He last recorded in 1993 and died on Mar. 21, 2004 at age 65. Here's Johnny Bristol performing Hang On In There Baby courtesy of British music maven Ian Levine.