Sunday, October 31, 2010
Zoila Frausto has the Bellator 115lb Championship handed to her on a silver platter by incompetent judges
So I finally got a chance to again watch the match between Zoila Frausto and Megumi Fujii. My first instinct after the fight on Thursday was that Megumi was robbed by horrible incompetent judging. After watching it again, I don't feel any different. I don't think Zoila did enough to win the fight. In fairness, I think it was a serious strategic error for Megumi to continue to trade blows with her. Jessica Aguilar made the same mistake and look what happened. For someone as accomplished as Megumi to play Zoila's game instead of playing her own game doesn't make sense. And Josh Barnett said she did not follow the game plan. So I don't know what got into her but it didn't work out. Even standing, Megumi controlled the cage and was a more accurate puncher. Zoila wasn't busy enough for me though the punches that did land were harder. Maybe that's what judges are looking for. One judge scored it 48-47 Zoila. The second judge scored it 48-47 Megumi. But judge Rich Green scored it 49-46 for Zoila. What the hell was he watching? Round one is a good example of the problem. Megumi controlled the cage and was more effective until Zoila's high kick scored with 15 seconds left in the round. I can only assume that Zoila was given the round based on that. The funny part is that Zoila throws those kicks all the time and they rarely connect. So it could be described as a lucky shot. You don't score rounds based on a lucky shot in the last 15 seconds and ignore the rest of the round. It's poor judging. I thought Zoila won round three and a couple others were very close. But Megumi won the fight. She just didn't get the call. Her mistake was letting it go the distance. She needed to do more of what she usually does. Zoila seemed to handle the weight cut a lot better on this occasion. She looked a lot better. But championship belt or not, I still think she's more lucky than good. She said before the fight that she wouldn't fight at 115 anymore. But she was waffling after the show. So I expect Jessica Aguilar to be first in line for a title shot. That decision was worse than this one. And I'm sure we'll see Megumi again as well. Enjoy the match video!
Song:I Can't Stand It
Album:The Best Of Sue Records
The Soul Sisters had their biggest success with the 1964 song I Can't Stand It. They are not to be confused with the Reggae girl group of the same name. From what I could tell, it looks like they recorded a few singles and that was about it. The Soul Sisters were Thresia Cleveland and Ann Gissendanner from New York City. They recorded for a small label called Sue Records. Sue Records was started in 1957 in New York by Henry "Juggy" Murray Jr. and Bobby Robinson. They started out recording doo wop groups like The Matadors and probably had their biggest success with Ike & Tina Turner. They also recorded jazz artists like Ray Bryant and Jimmy McGriff. Sue probably had their biggest hit with Charlie & Inez Foxx's Mockingbird in 1963. The Soul Sisters recorded in 1964. I Can't Stand It was their first single in Feb. 1964 and reached #8 on the R & B Singles chart and #46 on the Billboard Hot 100. Follow up singles didn't do as well and by the end of 1964, The Soul Sisters were no more. I Can't Stand It was written and produced by Sue Records house producer Smokey McAllister. One odd thing about the song is it has a trombone solo where you would normally hear a sax. Meanwhile in England, The Spencer Davis Group had their first hit single with a cover of I Can't Stand It. It doesn't look like the two women stayed in the music business. There is some confusion because of unrelated groups with the name The Soul Sisters. Collectables has released a CD of The Soul Sisters recordings. But it's a short CD and The Best Of Sue Records CD seems more interesting to me. Henry Murray sold Sue Records to United Artists in 1967 and continued to run the company until 1970. Thanks to David Edwards & Mike Callahan at BSN for the info about The Soul Sisters and Sue Records. Here's a video for I Can't Stand It by The Soul Sisters.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Album:Greatest Hits: Something To Be Proud Of
With their mix of country music and Southern rock, Montgomery Gentry has been one of the most consistent hitmakers of the 2000's. They have had several top five country hits and have even crossed over to pop. They are currently at a career crossroads and it should be interesting to see if they can continue producing hits. Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry are from Gerrard County, KY. Eddie is the younger brother of country music star John Michael Montgomery. The three had a band called Early Tymz. When John Michael left to go solo, the Eddie and Gentry continued to work together. In 1994, Gentry won a talent contest and attempted to launch a solo career. When he was unable to land a record deal, Montgomery Gentry reunited and they signed with Columbia Records after a 1999 showcase. Their debut CD Tattoos & Scars gave them their first top five country hit Lonely and Gone. The album went platinum and Montgomery Gentry won the CMA Awards Vocal Duo Of The Year in 2000. Their success has continued ever since. Speed is from their 2002 CD My Town and reached #5 on the Country Singles chart. Speed was co-written by singer songwriter Jeffrey Steele. Though he records his own music, Steele has had a lot of success as a songwriter and is best known as one of the judges on the TV talent show Nashville Star. Montgomery Gentry finally had their first #1 country hit with If You Ever Stop Loving Me followed by Something To Be Proud Of. This comp was released in 2005 and is available as a budget CD. Montgomery Gentry has continued to have great success. They released another comp in 2009 called Hits and More. An expanded edition was supposed to be released in 2010. But last month, Montgomery Gentry announced the cancellation of that release and also announced their departure from Columbia. They are working on a new CD but have not yet announced their new label. So I expect we will see new music on a new label in 2011. It should be interesting to see if Montgomery Gentry can continue their success. Here's the video for Speed by Montgomery Gentry.
Friday, October 29, 2010
The Undertones were one of the better bands of the late 70s punk/new wave era. They didn't catch on in North America but did well in England. Jimmy Jimmy was their first top 20 hit in 1979. Things went south in the early 80s when they changed record labels and musical direction. But their debut album is a must for punk fans. The Undertones formed in 1975 in Derry, Northern Ireland by brothers John and Damian O'Neill. They both played guitar and John wrote most of the group's songs. Their influences included The Beatles, The Small Faces and the underrated folk rock group Lindisfarne. The O'Neill brothers started playing local gigs and they met lead singer Feargal Sharkey at a scout hut. He was a scout leader. Drummer Billy Doherty got the name The Undertones out of a history book. After listening to other punk bands but especially The Ramones, The Undertones took on a harder edged sound. Bass player Michael Bradley joined. So they're playing gigs and sending out demos. And one of those demos got the attention ogf legendary BBC DJ John Peel. And he liked them enough to pay for a recording session in Belfast. The 1978 EP Teenage Kicks became a hit in England when Peel played it. Sire Records president Seymour Stein heard it when he was in England on business and The Undertones signed a contract. The Undertones debut album was released in 1979. Jimmy Jimmy reached #16 on the British singles chart. The album was released in the US and The Undertones opened for The Clash in the US. But it didn't sell. Follow up albums continued to do well in England but the group's dissatisfaction with Sire's efforts to market them in the US caused them to leave Sire for EMI in 1981. It didn't seem to help as they even tried to reflect soul influences and The Undertones split up in 1983. This 2CD edition of their debut album is a must for punk fans. Feargal Sharkey went on to a reasonably successful solo career and and is still in the management end of the music business today. He no longer performs. John and Damian O'Neill formed That Petrol Emotion and they had a good run until 1994. The Undertones were reformed with a new vocalist in 1999 and they last recorded in 2007. Here are The Undertones performing Jimm Jimmy on The Old Grey Whistle Test 1979.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Song:It Beats 4 U
My Morning Jacket is a popular alt rock band heavily influenced by Neil Young & Crazy Horse and other forms of roots music. Their albums have done well and I would say they have a very significant cult following. The lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter of My Morning Jacket is Jim James (born James Olliges Jr.). He is from Louisville, KY. He fronted a band called A Month Of Sundays. When they split up, he formed My Morning Jacket in 1998 with Tom "Two-Tone Tommy" Blankenship on bass, J. Glenn on drums and Johnny Quaid on guitar. They recorded their first two albums for the indie label Darla Records. Keyboard player Danny Cash joined during this period. They signed with Dave Matthews' ATO Records in 2002 with Sony distribution. Glenn left and was replaced by Patrick Hallahan. Their major label debut CD It Still Moves was released in 2003. Quaid and Cash left and were replaced by Carl Broemel and Bo Koster. It Beats 4 U is from their 2004 breakthrough CD Z. It reached #67 on the Billboard Hot 200. They followed this up with the 2007 live CD Okonokos. This was filmed at the Fillmore in San Francisco. They're an outstanding live act so I recommend the 2CD set and DVD which are available seperately. Their 2008 CD Evil Urges did even better and they also got a lot of attention for their four hour concert at Bonnaroo 2008. My Morning Jacket is currently recording a new album and continue to tour. Jim James and Carl Broemel have had success with side projects too. Here's My Morning Jacket performing It Beats 4 U from the Okonokos DVD.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Song:Add It Up
Album:Permanent Record: The Very Best Of The Violent Femmes
Though The Violent Femmes never had any traditional hit singles, their albums sold very well and they were one of the most durable and popular bands of the post punk era of the 80s. And the end of punk was how the band started in Milwaukee. Bassist Brian Ritchie and drummer Victor DeLorenzo started working together but didn't become a band until lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Gordon Gano joined. The name Violent Femmes is based on Milwaukee slang for wimps. They started out playing coffeehouses and busking on streetcorners. They were playing in front of the Oriental Theatre on Aug. 23, 1981 when they were spotted by The Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott. The Pretenders were performing at the Oriental. The Violent Femmes auditioned that night and this led to a contract with Slash Records with Warner Bros. distribution. Their 1982 debut album Violent Femmes was a mix of punk and Gano's deep affection for roots music. He says he wrote Add It Up while lying in bed frustrated about his sex life. The angst of songs like this gained Violent Femmes a significant cult following. The band's sound evolved to a more roots oriented sound. They split up in 1987 but reformed after Gano recorded a solo album. Slash had been sold to London Records so Violent Femmes signed with Reprise. DeLorenzo left in 1993 and was replaced by Guy Hoffman of The BoDeans. They left Warners in 1994 and recorded two albums for the Aussie label Beyond. They continued to record until they split up in 2005. This Rhino comp is a great intro to their music. Ritchie sued Gano over song rights after a Violent Femmes song was used in a Wendy's commercial. Gano now leads Gordon Gano & The Ryans and Ritchie has toured with a couple of bands. Here's the Violent Femmes performing Add It Up at the Lyceum in London Oct. 24, 1984.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Song:It Should Have Been Me
Album:Motown Chartbusters Vol. 10
It Should Have Been Me did very well on the dance and R & B charts and was also a big hit in England. But it's a great song and performance and should have been a much bigger hit. And Yvonne Fair only recorded the one album in 1974 so she deserved better too. She was born Flora Yvonne Coleman Oct. 21, 1942 in Richmond, VA. She started out a a member of a reformed version of the 50s girl group The Chantels and then worked for James Brown. Motown signed her in the early 70s after spotting her as a backup singer for Chuck Jackson. She worked with producer Norman Whitfield and her only album The Bitch Is Black was released in 1975. Three of her singles hit the R & B singles chart. But It Should Have Been Me caught on in clubs and reached #9 on the Dance Music chart. And it reached #5 on the UK singles chart in early 1976. It Should Have Been Me was written by Whitfield and Mickey Stevenson and was first recorded by Stevenson's wife Kim Weston and also recorded by Gladys Knight. Norman Whitfield left Motown soon after to start his own label at Warner Bros. and Yvonne Fair never recorded again. She died on Mar. 6, 1994 at age 51. The Bitch Is Black was released on CD last year. But I think most fans will only want It Should Have Been Me. And you can get it on this Motown comp with other 70s hits. It Should Have Been Me appeared in the film Bridget Jones Diary. And it appeared in a great scene in the BBC sitcom The Vicar Of Dibley in 2006. And here is the clip from The Vicar Of Dibley featuring Dawn French.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Here's a translated video interview courtesy of Matt Benyon. It was taped last month at AACC in Tokyo. Of course Megumi will fight Zoila Frausto this Thursday in the final of the Bellator 115lb tournament. Megumi has left Tokyo and should arrive in Hollywood, FL tomorrow. There's nothing really new in the video. It just reinforces how extraordinary she is. She talks about her fight strategy. Like all great fighters, she has tremendous imagination and is thinking three moves ahead of her opponent. And martial arts are in her blood. She learned judo at five years old. So I think you'll find this interesting. Enjoy the video!
Song:Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah!
Album:My Son, The Greatest: The Best Of Allan Sherman
I loved this song when I was a kid. And it was a huge hit in 1962 and Sherman's album topped the charts. Parody songs were once a big part of pop music and Sherman was one of the pioneers of the parody. He was born Allan Copelon Nov. 30, 1924 in Chicago and took his mother's surname because his father wasn't around. Sherman started out as a writer for Jackie Gleason and Joe E. Lewis. His first song parody was his 1951 duet with Sylvia Froos A Sachel and a Seck, obviously a parody of A Bushel and a Peck. When it didn't sell, he turned to TV as producer of the game show I've Got A Secret and then writer producer of The Steve Allen Show. But Sherman continued to perform song parodies at parties. His next door nrighbour Harpo Marx was a big fan. After performing Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! at one of these parties, George Burns phone an executive at Warner Bros. and Sherman was signed to a contract. The 1962 album My Son, The Folksinger topped the Billboard Hot 200 and Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Kids loved this song based on Ponichelli's Dance Of The Hours. Sherman recorded several albums in the mid-60s. He was so popular that Stanley Ralph Ross released an album of parodies of Allan Sherman songs. Sherman's recording career faded in 1966 so he got into other things and produced Bill Cosby's early albums. By the early 70s, he was having health problems and died Nov. 20, 1973 at age 48. This Rhino comp is a great intro to his music and you can get Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! on Dr. Demento comps. Unfortunately, there's no video of Allan Sherman performing Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah!. But I did find a commercial for a board game based on the song that I thought was interesting.
pub - Milton Bradley Camp Granada Game (w Allan Sherman)
Uploaded by popefucker. - Full seasons and entire episodes online.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Album:Listen, Listen: The Definitive Collection
For a short period of time in the mid-60s, The Merry-Go-Round were one of the most popular bands in Los Angeles. They were even on a major label. But they just never clicked in a big way. They only released one album and Live was their best known song. The lead singer and main songwriter was Emitt Rhodes. After his group The Palace Guard split up, he started rehearsing in his garage with his high school buddy guitarist Gary Kato. Rhodes brought in The Leaves bassist Bill Rinehart and drummer Joel Larson from The Grass Roots. They had been working with Gene Clark of The Byrds. The Merry-Go-Round sent out demos and signed with A & M Records. Live reached #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 but it was a big hit in Los Angeles. Follow up singles didn't do as well and then A & M put an album of singles and demos together thinking that the band's shelf life would be very short. The album did not do well. Rinehart left The Merry-Go-Round and was replaced by Rick Dey. The group ran out of gas and split up soon after. Emitt Rhodes went on to a brief solo career and left the music business in the early 70s. This comp from the British label Rev-Ola has The Merry-Go-Round album and Rhodes first solo album. You can also get Live on Rhino's Nuggets box set. Gary Kato was a member of the group Derek. They had a hit with Cinnamon. Joel Larson worked with Lee Michaels (Do You Know What I Mean). He rejoined The Grass Roots in 1971. He has continued to play sessions in Los Angeles while operating his own property management business. And he has also worked in films as a production coordinator. Recently Rhodes and Larson have been recording with former Counting Crows bassist Matt Malley but nothing has been released. Here's The Merry-Go-Round performing Live and Listen, Listen on The Hollywood Palace 1967.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
So the big problem with Strikeforce right now is they haven't done much lately to set up opponents for Strikeforce 145lb Champ Cris Cyborg. Her last opponent Jan Finney was discovered on Youtube. Marloes Coenen is now the 135lb Champ. Gina Carano is making movies. And Erin Toughill can't make weight. Strikeforce announced plans for a Cyborg title defense in January. Don't ask me who will challenge her. So last night's fight between Julia Budd and Shana Olsen was a belated attempt to find that challenger. Shana Olsen was scheduled to fight Erin Toughill in August but it was cancelled. She trains in Minnesota with legendary BJJ pioneer Sergio Cunha. Julia Budd is a Muay Thai veteran making her MMA debut. She is best known for handing Gina Carano her only Muay Thai loss. She trains with Lance Gibson in Port Moody, BC and has been training with Quentin "Rampage" Jackson's camp. The big difference in this fight was that Julia Budd is strong as an ox. Shana obviously didn't want to slug it out with her. But it became obvious that Shana couldn't handle her in the clinch either. Then she tried to trip Julia but wound up on the bottom. She was able to tie up Julia so she couldn't do much. Then the ref took a point from Julia for elbows to the head. She wasn't doing that. She was grinding her forearm into Shana's face. It seemed like a bad call. It didn't matter because the second round started out like round one. But this time when Julia got her down, she pounded away until the ref stopped the fight. I was very impressed with Julia's strength and I like her approach. She sized up Shana, knew she could overpower her and then went about her business in a very focused way. Very efficient. I like fighters who know what they want to do and don't waste time doing it. I hope Strikeforce doesn't feed Julia Budd to Cris Cyborg in January. But it wouldn't surprise me if they did and she said she would accept if it was offered. I don't know if there is anyone else. Maybe they'll find someone else on Youtube. Enjoy the video.
Song:Funky Nassau Part 1
Album:Simply The Best Platinum Soul
Funky Nassau was the only chart hit for Beginning Of The End in 1971. They were one of the very few groups from The Bahamas to have any success in the US. The group was three brothers. Raphael Munnings on vocals and keyboards, Leroy Munnings on lead guitar, Frank Munnings on drums and Fred Henfied on bass. The Munnings brothers grew up playing in their father's nightclub. So they came up with this Funky Nassau riff and pestered their uncle until he agreed to finance it. It became a hit in The Bahamas but a copy got into the hands of Miami DJ Fred Hanna. The song got the attention of Alston Records owner Henry Stone and he signed Beginning Of The End to a record deal. Atlantic distributed it nationally. It became a huge dance hit and reached #7 on the Black Singles chart and #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Beginning Of The End released an album but that and subsequent singles never went anywhere. And the Munnings brothers were more comfortable in the studio than touring. They're still musicians in The Bahamas. You can get Funky Nassau on the 2CD Atlantic soul comp. Funky Nassau got a boost when it was used in Blues Brothers 2000 and then the 2006 film Elizabethtown. Here's a video produced by the Munnings brothers for Funky Nassau Part 1 by Beginning Of The End.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Song:Shake A Tail Feather
Album:Land of 1000 Dances Vol. 2: 1956-1966
The Five Du-Tones had their only chart hit with Shake A Tail Feather in 1963. It should have been much bigger but unfortunately they were on a small label that never got national distribution. It was a hit in 1967 for James & Bobby Purify but this original version got new life when it appeared in the 1988 film Hairspray. The Five Du-Tones were formed in 1957 at Patrick Henry High School in St. Louis. Andrew Butler was lead singer. Other members were Willie Guest, Frank McCurrey, LeRoy Joyce and James West. From 1963-66, The Five Du-Tones recorded for the small Chicago label One-derful Records owned by George Leaner. They recorded a total of nine singles but Shake A Tail Feather was the only song to chart. It reached #28 on the R & B Singles chart and #51 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song would have done better if it had got national distribution. The Five Du-Tones disbanded and One-derful Records closed in 1967. James & Bobby Purify had a top 30 hit in 1967 and Shake A Tail Feather has been covered by many artist. But the original version got a big boost when it was used in the 1988 film Hairspray. Shout! Factory has released a Fie Du-Tones comp but I think most fans will only want Shake A Tail Feather. And the soundtrack CD for Hairspray is only a half hour long. So I suggest this various artists dance music comp from Ace Records that has 30 great songs. Andrew Butler later joined a version of The Rivingtons and it looks like he still tours the oldies circuit with vocal groups today. Here's a video of Shake A Tail Feather by The Five Du-Tones.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Album:Grave Dancer's Union
Runaway Train was the only top five hit for Soul Asylum in 1993. They were an overnight success after over a decade in the music business. I can't tell you how many times I have seen that in music. From Minneapolis, they started out in 1981 as Loud Fast Rules. By 1984 the band was lead singer, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist Dave Pirner, lead guitarist Dan Murphy, bassist Karl Mueller and drummer Grant Young. Pirner was the original drummer. They changed their name to Soul Asylum and signed with local record label Twin Tone Records with distribution from A & M Records. Their problem in the early days is they took a back seat to other Minneapolis bands like The Replacements and Husker Du and Soul Asylum was even dubbed The B-Team by The Replacements. But they toured constantly and gained a following on college campuses. But they were fading by the late 80s. Murphy and Pirner toured for a while as the folk duo Murphy & Pirfinkle and the some of the songs got them a deal at Columbia Records. Grave Dancer's Union was their first Columbia album in 1992. Runaway Train was the third single and reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video with images of missing children had a lot to do with the song's success. They also performed at President Bill Clinton's inauguration. Grant Young left in 1994 and was replaced by Sterling Campbell. Soul Asylum continued to release albums on Columbia until they were dropped in 2000. They never again reached the heights of Runaway Train. Grave Dancer's Union is available as a budget CD. Pirner & Murphy have had severtal side projects including ther group Golden Smog. When the others learned that Karl Mueller had cancer, they reunited for a tour anmd released an album of new music after Mueller's 2005 death. Soul Asylum is currently working on a new CD. Here's the video for Runaway Train by Soul Asylum.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
|Aja Kong, Meiko Satomura|
Song:South Of The South
Album:South Of The South
Singer songwriter David Dondero got a lot of attention in 2006 when NPR's All Songs Considered declared him as one of the best living songwriters alongside icons like Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney & Tom Waits. It's a big deal because NPR is one of the best music sites on the web. I follow them on Twitter @NPRMusic and discover new music regularly. It gave a boost to Dondero who isn't a mainstream performer. Fortunately, his record company owner is one of his biggest fans. He was born June 24, 1969 in Duluth, MN and learned to play the drums as a child. He started out in 1993 as lead singer of the punk group Sunbrain. When they split up in 1995, he became drummer for This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb. He left in 1998 to go solo and recorded his first two albums for Sunbrain's record label Ghostmeat Records. He switched to Furure Famer Records in 2002 and recorded two albums there. But he finally found a home when Conor Oberst of the group Bright Eyes started his own label Team Love in 2003. He wanted to discover new talent and it turns out that Oberst is a big David Dondero fan. South Of The South was Dondero's first release in 2005. The song South Of The South and the album is mostly about Dondero's experiences living in Florida. Dondero now lives in Austin, TX and records all his music there. He is currently touring to support his latest CD # Zero With A Bullet which was released in August. Here's the video for South Of The South by David Dondero.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
|Ayumi Kurihara, Ayako Hamada, AKINO|
Album:Legendary Big Bands Series
Sax player Charlie Barnet was a popular bandleader in the 40s. He retired by the end of the decade so he isn't as well known as others who remained active. One of the interesting things about Barnet is that unlike many jazz musicians, he was born to a very wealthy family. He was born Oct. 26, 1913 in New York City. His grandfather Charles Frederick Daly was vice president of the New York Central Railroad. His parents divorced when he was two years old and he was raised by his mom and grandparents. Though his family wanted him to be a lawyer, Barnet was a professional musician by age 16. His music was very commercial when he started leading bands in 1933. But by 1939 he went in a more jazz oriented direction and the his years recording for Bluebird from 1939-42 are considered his peak years. Count Basie was a major influence and helped Barnet with his music when a fire at the Palomar Hotel in Los Angeles destroyed Barnet's charts. Cherokee was probably his biggest hit but Pompton Turnpike and Redskin Rhumba were also very popular. Skyliner was a big hit later in the 40s when he recorded for Decca. Some of the musicians who worked for Barnet included lead trumpeter Bobby Burnet, guitarist Barney Kessell, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, pianist Dodo Marmarosa and singers Lena Horne, Kay Starr and Peggy Lee. Barnet was trying to adapt to bebop in the late 40s. But he went into semi-retirement in 1949 and worked sporadically until his death on Sept. 4, 1991 at age 77. This comp has his Bluebird recordings. There is a video of Barnet performing Pompton Turnpike. But as a classic animation fan, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to stop motion animation pioneer George Pal. So this is the 1946 George Pal Puppetoon Jasper In A Jam featuring Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra performing Pompton Turnpike and Redskin Rhumba and with Peggy Lee performing Old Man Mose.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Song:This Girl Is A Woman Now
This Girl Is A Woman Now was one of several top ten hits in the late 60s for Gary Puckett & The Union Gap. In the midst of psychedelia and shouts of revolution and protest, record companies attempted to package several bands that looked contemporary but had a sound that was a throwback to a more traditional pop sound. This was designed to appeal to kids and their parents. Gary Puckett & The Union Gap was typical of that kind of attempt and were very successful for a couple of years. Puckett was born Oct. 17, 1942 in Hibbing, MN and grew up in Yakima, WA. While attending college in San Diego, he got involved in the music scene and joined The Outcasts as lead singer. Other members were bassist Kerry Chater, keyboardist Gary Withem, sax player Dwight Bement and drummer Paul Wheatbread. In early 1967, their manager renmamed them Gary Puckett & The Union Gap and put them in Civil War outfits. Columbia Records producer Jerry Fuller saw them at a San Diego bowling alley and signed them to a contract. They had several top ten hits. Their biggest hit Young Girl reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. But the band wanted to produce their own music and objected to the heavy use of strings on their records. When they refused to record with Fuller, he was replaced by Dick Glasser and he produced This Girl Is A Woman Now. It reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would be the last top ten hit. Chater & Withem left the band in 1970. Puckett attempted to keep it going but went solo in 1971. You can get all their hits on this budget CD. Gary Puckett has been working the oldies circuit since 1981. Here's Gary Puckett performing This Girl Is A Woman Now 1969. This video is not on Youtube.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Song:Put The Clock Back On The Wall
Album:Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968
When you listen to Put The Clock Back On The Wall, you might think that it's some long lost British Invasion artifact. But The E-Types were actually from Salinas, CA and were very popular in that region. There are several reasons why they didn't break out to a national audience. And of course Put The Clock Back On The Wall has been kept alive by Rhino's 4CD Nuggets box set. I think that 1966 was a little late for a new band to record British Invasion style music with Psychedelia creeping in and becoming more popular. And they only recorded a few singles before splitting up in 1967. Lead singer and guitarist Bob Wence and his keyboard player brother Jody Wence started The E-Types along with Don Shepherd on lead guitar, Danny Monigold on bass and Reg Shaffer on drums. They got enough attention locally that producer Ed Cobb came calling. Cobb was a member of the 50s vocal group The Four Preps. As the group was winding down in the mid-60s, he started producing bands and is best known for writing and producing The Standells hit Dirty Water. So The E-Types recorded a few singles that went nowhere and then Don Shepherd contracted hepatitus and was replaced by Larry Hosford. They had other personnel issues that ultimately forced them to disband in 1967. The E-Types have reunited occasionally and are still very well remembered in Salinas. But they had potential to be much bigger. Here's the video for Put The Clock Back On The Wall by The E-Types.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Bikini model turned novice joshi wrestler Yuzu Aikawa and her mentor Fuuka visted Nikkan Sports yesterday to promote the upcoming Oct. 31 show that I guess is kind of a dry run for STARDOM. Aikawa will make her joshi debut against Nanae Takahashi in the main event. The show is like a Fuuka Matsuri show...but no Fuuka. There are a couple of matches, a couple of dance numbers. You know the drill. So they set up this video as an open workout. They had Aikawa do a couple of kicks with Fuuka. I'm not convinced especially when she landed on her butt while delivering a spin kick. They are also doing an exhibition match with Eri Susa & Yoko Bito, two of the STARDOM rookies. They did a brief video but Nikkan didn't post it on Youtube and it wasn't worth my time to download. But they did upload the Yuzu Aikawa video so here it is. I can't help but wonder how long Rossy Ogawa will wait until he gets Fuuka to return to wrestling.
Song:Don't Shed A Tear
Album:Twenty-One Good Reasons: The Paul Carrack Collection
You know the voice but do you know the name Paul Carrack. Carrack has had so many hits as lead singer of different bands that you may not know that Don't Shed A Tear was a top ten hit in 1987 for Carrack as a solo artist. Maybe you think it's a Mike & The Mechanics song. He was born Apr. 22, 1951 in Sheffield, England. He started out as the keyboard player in the band Warm Dust. They released four albums in the early 70s. When they split up in 1972, Carrack and Warm Dust bassist Tex Comer formed Ace and Carrack was lead singer and writer of the 1975 top five hit How Long?. After they split up in 1977, Carrack joined Frankie Miller's band and then joined Roxy Music. He played keyboards on the 1979 album Manifesto. Carrack started playing sessions and released his first solo album Nightbird in 1980. Then he replaced Jools Holland in Squeeze and sang lead on their 1981 hit Tempted. Then he worked with Nick Lowe and recorded a couple of duets with his wife Carlene Carter. Carrack released the 1982 solo album Suburban Voodoo and Lowe played bass. They named it Nick Lowe and his Cowboy Outfit. They recorded two albums with Lowe singing lead and also worked with John Hiatt. When that band split up in 1985, Genesis lead guitarist Mike Rutherford asked Carrack to join his side project Mike + The Mechanics and Carrack sang lead on their 1985 hit Silent Running. And he was a member of The Bleeding Heart Band led by Pink Floyd's Roger Waters. Then he signs a solo deal with Chrysalis Records and his 1987 album One Good Reason spawned Don't Shed A Tear which reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though Carrack does write, Don't Shed A Tear was written by Canadian songwriter Eddie Schwartz, best known for writing the Pat Benatar hit Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Then Carrack sang lead on the 1989 Mike + The Mechanics top five hit The Living Years. Carrack continued to work with Mike + The Mechanics and play sessions. He also returned to Squeeze and wouldn't record solo again until 1996. This comp is a good overview of his career. Paul Carrack continues to record and play on sessions and has also toured with Ringo Starr. His latest CD I Know That Name was released Oct. 2008 on Absolute Records. So you've heard his voice and now you know Paul Carrack's name. Here's the video for Don't Shed A Tear by Paul Carrack.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Album:Horse Of A Different Color: The Jules Shear Collection (1976-1989)
For a guy who has been around since the 70s with his various bands and writing songs for others, it's hard to believe that Jules Shear's only chart hit was Steady in 1985. He may be best known as the first host of the MTV series Unplugged. He was born Mar. 7, 1952 in Pittsburgh and started out in the glee club at the University Of Pittsburgh. He moved to Los Angeles in 1973 and formed The Funky Kings with Jack Tempchin. They recorded one critically acclaimed but unsuccessful album for Arista in 1976. They split up and Shear started Jules & The Polar Bears. They released two critically acclaimed but unsuccessful albums for Columbia. When a third album was rejected, Shear left Columbia and signed a solo contract with EMI America. Meanwhile, his songs were hits for others. All Through The Night was a top 5 hit for Cyndi Lauper in 1984 and The Bangles had a top 30 hit with If She Knew What She Wants in 1986. He released two albums on EMI and Steady reached #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985. Shear co-wrote Steady with Cyndi Lauper. But the albums didn't sell and EMI dropped him and Shear formed The Reckless Sleepers with Elliot Easton of The Cars. When their only album didn't sell, Shear released the acoustic album The Third Party in 1989. This led to his stint hosting the MTV series Unplugged. He left after 13 episodes. Jules Shear continues to record today. His latest CD More was released by Funzalo Records Sept. 2008. This comp from Razor & Tie is an excellent overview of his career. Here's the video for Steady by Jules Shear.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Remember when Jamie Keyes was the first one booted off of WWE NXT last week? In case you haven't heard, she has been released from her WWE developmental contract. So what was she doing on TV? So on this week's episode, the WWE is attempting to develop characters and there were a couple of matches. They started off with a Name That Tune of WWE wrestler themes. The purpose of this was to show that AJ Lee is a WWE geek. It's one thing to know the DX theme. But knowing Zach Ryder's theme takes WWE geekdom to a whole new level. It just makes AJ more annoying. Then they had Naomi wrestle Alicia Fox who is Maxine's pro. Why wasn't Maxine wrestling? You may recall that last week she got dropped on her head when Aksana botched a flying mare. Maxine suffered a stinger and was not cleared to wrestle. So Alicia filled in. Naomi is a dancer and has athletic ability. I would like to see her ditch the ballet shoes and wear real wrestling boots. Unfortunately, Alicia has no athletic ability. Her main talent is sashaying to the ring. Naomi tries hard and even does a Kana-like butt bump. And then Alicia botches her axe kick finisher and has to do it again to win the match. I've seen her botch that move enough that she should stop doing it. She's just a terrible wrestler. Check out the video below. The other match had AJ Lee vs Aksana. AJ won with the trademark WWE rollup pin. But the main point of the match was to have Goldust propose marriage to Aksana so she won't get deported. Great, we're going to have a wedding. And we all know what happens in weddings on WWE TV. That should be good for a laugh. Enjoy the video.
Song:Here Comes The Sun
Album:Resume: The Best Of Richie Havens
Folksinger Richie Havens is best remembered for opening Woodstock with his fiery performance of Freedom. This made him a star and he had his only hit single with this 1971 cover of George Harrison's Here Comes The Sun. And though he occasionally writes his own songs, he is primarily known for his interpretations of songs written by others. He was born Jan. 21, 1941 in Brooklyn, NY and grew up singing in doo wop groups and at age 16 was with the McCrea Gospel Singers. He moved to Greenwich Village in 1961 and became a big part of the burgeoning folk music scene. He signed with Verve Forecast in 1967 and released five albums. But he was primarily known for his live performances and that's what got him the slot at Woodstock. The only reason Havens led off Woodstock is it was just him and his guitar. They didn't have to set anything up. He also played the Isle Of Wight festivals. Havens started his own Stormy Forest label and his 1971 album Alarm Clock had his cover of the George Harrison song Here Comes The Sun. It reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was his only hit single. His albums have sold steadily over the years and he's also done work in movies and TV. This Rhino comp is a good intro to his music. Havens has come full circle. He's back onm Verve Forecast and his latest CD Nobody Left To Crown was released in 2008. Here's Richie Havens performing Here Comes The Sun on German TV 1971.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Song:I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)
Album:The Girls Got Soul
Of course The Ikettes were the female backup singers for Ike & Tina Turner. But occasionally Ike would record them. Of course he didn't pay them much so the lineup constantly changed. They had a few hits but I'm Blue was their only top 20 pop hit in 1962. And it features the original Ikettes lineup. Ike formed The Ikettes in 1960 with Dolores Johnson, Eloise Hester and Joshie Armstead. They backed up Tina Turner on her first single A Fool In Love and then she backed them up on I'm Blue. Ike licensed I'm Blue to Atco Records for national distribution and it reached #3 on the R & B singles chart and #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962. After a couple more unsuccessful singles, Ike moved them to his Teena label. They had some minor hits but nothing as big as I'm Blue. By 1964 all three girls left and were replaced by The Ikettes who recorded on Modern Records from 1964-66. Joshi Armstead attempted to launch a solo career but eventually formed a songwriting production team with Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson. Of course the mid-60s Ikettes also left and they were replaced by others. The Ikettes comps that are available contain the Modern recordings so I'm Blue isn't on them. You can only get I'm Blue on various artists comps like this one from the Kent label that features Atlantic Records female artists. I'm Blue was the basis for the Salt 'N Pepa hit Shoop and the song also appeared in the 1988 film Hairspray. Here's a video for I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song) by The Ikettes.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Song:Good Thing Going
Album:Nice It Up: The Best Of Sugar Minott
Lincoln Barrington "Sugar" Minott started out as a DJ and developed into one of the innovators of Dancehall Reggae and one of the most popular singers of the 80s, especially in England. He was born May 25, 1956 in Kingston, Jamaica. As a child, he started out as a DJ for the Sound Of Silence Keystone sound system and as a teen had his own Gathering Of Youth sound system. In 1969, he made the transition to singing with The African Brothers along with Tony Tuff and Derrick Howard. They were very successful through the mid-70s working with Studio One producer Coxsone Dodd. The African Brothers split up in 1975 but Minott continued to work with Dodd as a solo artist. Minott became known for writing new lyrics to existing songs which was usually done at live shows but not in the studio. This was a key development in the Dancehall style and it cemented Minott as an innovator. He recorded very successfully in Jamaica but when his 1980 album Roots Lovers shifted to lovers rock, he became even more popular in England. Good Thing Going was his biggest hit and reached #4 on the British Singles chart. The song is a reworking of a 1971 Michael Jackson song. Minott moved to England to take advantage of his success and also discovered and produced Musical Youth. He moved back to Jamaica and continued to record his own albums and produce other artists on his Black Roots label until his death on July 10, 2010 at age 54. He had cancelled some shows due to a heart condition. If you've never heard Sugar Minott, this comp is a perfect intro to his music. Here's Sugar Minott performing Good Thing Going on Top Of The Pops 1981.
Monday, October 11, 2010
|Mika Nagano a pic of Ham Seo Hee|
|Saori Ishioka knees Celine|
|MIZUKI submits Emi Murata|
Album:The Best Of Frank Stokes
Frank Stokes is considered by many experts as the father of the Memphis style of blues guitar. But he was probably more street busker than musician usually working with his partner Dan Sane. He made a few recordings in 1928-29 and then never recorded again until his 1955 death. He was born Jan. 1, 1888 in Whitehaven, TN near the Mississippi border. He met Dan Sane when he moved to Hernando, MS in 1895. By age 12, Stokes worked as a blacksmith and traveled to Memphis on weekends to perform with Sane. They performed on Beale Street for several years. Even then, Stokes was respected and influential to other musicians because of his playing style. In the 1910s, he toured the south with the Doc West Medicine Show and became friends with country music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers. In 1920, he went back to work as a blacksmith and started working with Sane again playing white country clubs and dances as part of Kack Kelly's Jug Busters. The two became known as The Beale Street Sheiks and recorded together in 1927 for Paramount Records. Stokes also recorded for Victor Records in 1928 and 1929. Downtown Blues was recorded in 1928 and is now consider a blues standard. This kind of music went out of fashion in the 1930s so Stokes never recorded again. but he and Sane continued to tour until Stokes died on Sept. 12, 1955 at age 67. Yazoo went to a lot of trouble to clean up the audio quality on this CD. Here's a video for Downtown Blues by Frank Stokes.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Here's the match video from the women's championship match between Sarah Kaufman and Marloes Coenen at last night's Strikeforce show in San Jose. There was a lot of talk about Marloes weight cut and her strength. But the determining factor in Marloes' win turned out to be her experience. Nothing can replace being in crazy Japanese tournaments where anything can happen. And remember Marloes won one of those tournaments ten years ago. The first two rounds of this match were a wash. Marloes had planned to use some Thai boxing but she admitted afterwards that she was surprised by Sarah's strength. So Sarah was able to keep Marloes in a clinch to minimize what Marloes was trying to do. But Sarah should have tried for more offense. The ref had to break them up four times. But at the end of the second round, Marloes took Sarah down but Sarah reversed it and started pounding. And Marloes attempted an armbar. Marloes went for a takedown in round three and Sarah again reversed it and started to pound Marloes. But I remember thinking to myself that Sarah needed to be very cautious in that position. This is where Marloes' experience won her the match. While she is blocking a lot of Sarah's punches, Sarah gets careless and Marloes gets the arm and it's all over. Marloes sucked her in. It was brilliant. We've seen this before with submission fighters. Many are very effective on their backs. The ref was a little late stopping the match and Sarah got upset. Marloes was not at fault. Congratulations to Marloes Coenen for winning the Strikeforce 135lb Women's Championship. Her next opponent will be Miesha Tate. That should be very interesting. Enjoy the video!
Song:You Must Be A Witch
Album:AKA The Lollipop Shoppe
This is yet another psychedelic classic that went nowhere when it was first released in 1968 but has taken on a life of its own over the years. It helps that group leader Fred Cole is still active today. You Must Be A Witch was released under the group name The Lollipop Shoppe but they preferred The Weeds. Fred Cole started out in 1964 as a member of the Las Vegas band The Lords. They played the TeenBeat Club in Paradise, NV and released one single. In 1966, he changed the name to The Weeds and they released It's Your Time on TeenBeat Club Records. The band had some management problems and were concerned about the military draft. So they hopped in a van and drove to Canada. Except they ran out of gas in Portland. So they settled there and started playing clubs and that's where Cole met his future wife Toddy and she joined the band. Their new manager LA DJ Lord Tim Hudson also managed The Seeds. And he got them a record deal with the MCA label UNI. But he insisted the group name be changed. Cole didn't want to do that but eventually went along with The Lollipop Shoppe which was chosen to reflect the trend of silly names for bubblegum groups. Their only album Just Colour didn't sell and The Lollipop Shoppe split up in 1969. Cole compiled this CD for the German label Music Maniacs and it's mostly The Lollipop Shoppe album with some bonus tracks including The Weeds single It's Your Time. Obviously Cole didn't think much of The Lollipop Shoppe name. Fred Cole has led several bands over the years. Dead Moon is probably the best known of these bands. They were formed in 1987 and split up in 2006. His current band is called Pierced Arrows. Here's a video of the psychedelic classic You Must Be A Witch by The Weeds AKA The Lollipop Shoppe.