Monday, January 31, 2011

Eve Torres is the new WWE Divas Champion

Here's the match video from the Divas match from last night's Royal Rumble. The announced match was WWE Divas Champion Natalya defending against Michelle McCool and Layla. Of course they've already done the Laycool as Divas champs gimmick. So they had the anonymous GM add Eve Torres to the match and turn it from a handicap match to a four way match. Apparently this was the plan all along because the four way match was on the Royal Rumble t-shirt. Normally we might complain about a bait and switch but nobody really cares. It was designed to get the anonymous GM over. I think the only thing worse than a three way match is a four way match. When was the last time you saw a good four way match? Never? The girls weren't the problem. Those kind of matches are crap by their nature. Of course they use the usual crutch of tossing wrestlers out of the ring to get them out of the way. They teased a Laycool split including a "malfunction at the junction" as Ed Whelan used to say. Natalya did that double sharpshooter spot which is pointless in a match like this. The double pin ending was lame and they had Eve do a moonsault to win the title so the WWE could say "Look, Eve did a moonsault". That's why Eve was in the match instead of Beth Phoenix. They do nothing with Eve for the last six months and suddenly she's a champ. Where the hell is Beth Phoenix. And don't forget a certain A. Kong is set to make her WWE debut possibly on tonight's RAW. Enjoy the video!

WWE Royal Rumble 01/30/11 Part 6/13 HD
Uploaded by Deaddiablo. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.

Marloes Coenen to defend Strikeforce 135lb title vs Miesha Tate Mar. 5

Miesha Tate
Though I've known about this for the last month, it can finally be confirmed that Marloes Coenen will defend her Strikeforce 135lb Title against Miesha Tate. Scott Coker told Josh Gross of ESPN about the match at a press conference last Wednesday. The match will be March 5 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH. If you watched Saturday's Strikeforce show, they didn't say anything about it. I know they're obsessed with the heavyweight tournament but this is for a title. Couldn't they show some respect for the fighters? Miesha was there. They could have done an interview with her. Boneheads! It should be an interesting match. Of course Marloes is a women's MMA pioneer and won the very first World Remix tournament in Japan in 2000. She won the belt in October when she dropped down to 135 and beat Sarah Kaufman. She's a very well rounded fighter. Miesha won the women's tournament in August to win the title shot. She is an accomplished wrestler but has needed work on her boxing skills. As we saw in her fight with Kaufman, Marloes has strong Muay Thai skills and may want to keep the fight standing at first. Miesha will want to take the fight to the mat but Marloes is dangerous even on her back. Marloes should be the favourite because of her experience but that's why they have the fights. Anything can happen. I expect Marloes to come out swinging.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Marc Cohn

Artist:Marc Cohn
Song:Walking In Memphis
Album:Marc Cohn

Here's a song that proves that fame is fleeting in the music business. Walking In Memphis was a top 20 hit in 1991. The album Marc Cohn was certified Platinum and Cohn won the 1992 Best New Artist Grammy. Then Cohn seemed to fall off the face of the earth. The reality is he's not a mainstream pop artist and Walking In Memphis was a fluke hit. No, Marc Cohn is not from Memphis. He was born July 5, 1959 in Cleveland and was a big Van Morrison fan as a child. As a teen, he played with a local cover band. He moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA and work the coffeehouse circuit. Then he moved to New York City to be with his fiancee and formed a cover band called Supreme Court. They played at Caroline Kennedy's wedding. But Cohn left to work on his songwriting. A demo got him a record deal at Atlantic Records. Walking In Memphis reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Cohn's 1991 debut album was certified Platinum. Cohn says the song is about spiritual awakening. I think folks liked the Memphis imagery in the video and the Elvis, Graceland and Al Green references in the song. Cher covered Walking In Memphis and charted in England and Lonestar's cover was a top ten country hit. Cohn also won the 1992 Best New Artist Grammy. Cohn recorded two more albums for Atlantic but nothing could repeat the success of Walking In Memphis. There is a Marc Cohn comp but I think most will only be interested in the original 1991 CD. He met ABC News journalist Elizabeth Vargas in 1999 and they're married with two kids. Cohn was shot in the head in a 2005 carjacking in Denver but fortunately was not seriously injured. Of course Cohn still tours and returned to recording in 2007 with Decca. His latest CD Listening Booth 1970 is a CD of covers of songs released in 1970. It's on the Time Life label Saguaro Road with Warner distribution. The album had a Barnes & Noble edition and reached #28 on the Billboard Hot 200. That's a pretty good comeback. Here's the video for Walking In Memphis by Marc Cohn.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Germaine De Randamie wins her Strikeforce debut but needs to work on her ground game

So here's the match video for Germaine De Randamie's Strikeforce debut against Stephanie Webber from last night's show in San Jose. Of course Germaine is the celebrated Dutch kickboxer attempting to transition to MMA. We've seen a lot of kickboxers and boxers attempt this transition with mixed results. Germaine won in the first round by KO with a knee. She's great on her feet you'll see that she's not very good on the ground yet. Fortunately, Stephanie didn't do anything with her when she took Germaine down. So Germaine was able to get the fight standing again and finished Stephanie soon after. The fight was contracted for 135lb. But I would not be surprised to see Germaine move up to 145lb down the road.  I expect her to stay at 135 for now as there are more fighters available at that weight. But she has the size to be at 145. She was much bigger and stronger than Stephanie. And Germaine admitted in an post-match interview with Ariel Helwani that she needs a lot of work on the ground. I don't know how long it will take for her to develop. Based on this performance, she's not close to being ready for someone as accomplished as Shayna Bazsler or Amanda Nunes. And she may have to fight outside Strikeforce to get the experience she needs. She needs more time but will she get it? Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bill Cosby

Artist:Bill Cosby
Song:Noah: Right
Album:The Best Of Bill Cosby

Most fans familiar with Bill Cosby's 80s sitcom and his other activities may not be aware of his importance to standup comedy in the early 60s. Though Richard Pryor was much edgier, because Cosby's comedy was clean, he paved the way for the mainstream acceptance of black comics including Pryor. This Noah routine was his breakthrough and led to several best selling albums. He was born July 12, 1937 in Philadelphia. His father was a sailor in the US Navy. Many of Cosby's 60s routines are about his class clown behaviour in school but he was also a pretty good athlete. He just wasn't a good student and after he failed tenth grade, he joined the US Navy for four years. But he got his GED and went to Temple University in 1961. He worked as a bartender and worked on his comedy routines. He left school to perform full time and signed with Warner Bros. Records. Warners already had successful comedy albums by Bob Newhart and Allan Sherman and Sherman brought Cosby to Warners and produced his 1963 debut album Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow...Right! It was recorded live at The Bitter End in New York City. He performed Noah: Right on TV and the album was a success. Cosby became a regular on the album charts and his 1967 album Revenge reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 200. Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow...Right! is available on CD but it's short. And The Best Of Bill Cosby is the only Warners comp available and it was released in 1969. It has the complete Noah routine but it's disappointing that Warners hasn't released a more comprehensive Cosby comp. He made a lot of money for them. Of course Cosby also starred in the TV show I Spy and continued to record comedy albums. He left Warners in 1969 to start his short lived Tetragrammaton label and then recorded for MCA in the 70s. The 60s was probably the sales peak for standup comedy albums. They didn't sell as well in the 70s and with the invention of home video in the 80s, standup comedy on audio became unnecessary. Bill Cosby still records occasionally but obviously he's done plenty of other things. But I think Noah was his ticket to all those other things. Here's Bill Cosby performing Noah: Right on The Jack Paar Show 1962.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Atlantic Starr

Artist:Atlantic Starr
Album:Ultimate Collection

Atlantic Starr was one of the most popular R & B groups of the 80s. They had some success as a funk band in the early 80s. But by the time Always became their only #1 hit in 1987, they had switched record companies and changed their musical focus to a smooth R & B sound. And they dropped most of the band and changed female lead singers. Atlantic Starr was from White Plains, NY led by brothers David Lewis (vocals and guitar), Wayne Lewis (vocals and keyboards) and Jonathan Lewis (percussion). They were called Newban at first and had a total of nine members including singer Sharon Bryant and flutist Joseph Phillips. They signed with A & M Records in 1978 and their first two albums were produced by veteran Philly Soul guitarist Bobby Eli. A & M obviously looked at them as very similar to L.T.D. who were also on A & M. Though Stand Up was a top 20 R & B hit in 1979, Eli was replaced by Commodores producer James Carmichael for the 1980 album Radiant. They had several R & B hits including the #2 hit Circles in 1982. So things were going well when Sharon Bryant left Atlantic Starr for a solo career in 1984. She had a top ten R & B hit with Foolish Heart in 1989. Barbara Weathers replaced her for the 1985 album As The Band Turns. The group had also contracted to the three Lewis brothers, Weathers and Phillips. Though the 1986 hit Secret Lovers reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was their biggest hit to date, Atlantic Starr moved to Warner Bros. for their 1987 album All In The Name Of Love. Always topped the pop and R & B charts would be their biggest hit to date. The lead vocals of David Lewis and Barbara Weathers are outstanding. Barbara Weathers left for a solo career and was replaced by Porscha Martin and then later replaced by Rachel Oliver. She was lead singer when Atlantic Starr reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993 with Masterpiece. They left Warners and recorded one unsuccessful album for Arista. This 2000 comp from Hip-O covers all their hits on all the different labels. David Lewis left Atlantic Starr to start his own ministry but Wayne and Jonathan Lewis still lead Atlantic Starr today. Here's the video for Always by Atlantic Starr. This video is not on Youtube.

atlantic starr always
Uploaded by skipper88. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Friday, January 28, 2011

World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana to debut Mar. 21

The WWWD roster
The worst kept secret in joshi puroresu was that Kyoko Inoue was going to start her own company after leaving NEO. A press conference was held today to announce the new company World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana will debut Mar. 21 at Differ Ariake. As expected, Kaoru Ito will be in charge of training. Of course these two grew up together in All Japan Women of the late 80s-early 90s. Inoue has had a dojo set up in the Kamazawa district in Tokyo since July. It's called the World Arena. The other veteran wrestler who is on the roster is 16 year veteran Keiko Aono who was Kei'to in JWP. Ayako Sato comes over from Ito Dojo and Aya Yuki and Nagisa Nozaki come over from NEO. I expect them to use outside wrestlers and freelancers as well. Aja Kong was at the press conference. They also have two trainees. One is 21 year old Ayumi Yamashiro and the other is14 year old Sari Fujimura. I'm not sure about her name. They both look small. They also have two trainees from Cambodia and are negotiating for two more from Mexico. Cambodia? Inoue and Ito did a show there a few months ago. They have scheduled six shows in the first two months. When STARDOM launched, I talked about their ambitious schedule of a show every other week. But they are running a small building Shin-kiba 1st Ring. What Diana is doing that is ambitious is running bigger halls like Differ Ariake and Kawasaki City Gym. I doubt they can fill any of those joints paid. There will be a lot of paper flying around. I'd prefer to see them fill smaller joints first but Kyoko is saying that she wants to return to the glory days of joshi puroresu. I don't see that happening.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sheila E.

Artist:Sheila E.
Song:The Glamorous Life
Album:The Glamorous Life

Most fans are probably aware that Prince produced this 1984 top ten hit. He had a thing for sexy girl groups. But the difference between Vanity, Appalonia and Sheila Escovedo is that though Sheila isn't much of a singer, she is a real musical talent behind a drum set. He knew her for several years before he signed her. She was already a veteran session musician. She was born Dec. 12, 1957 in Oakland, CA the daughter of percussionist Pete Escovedo. He had a group in the early 70s called Azteca. In fact, the whole Escovedo family are percussionists. As a teen, she played drums side by side with her dad in local clubs. The story goes that in 1975, jazz drummer Billy Cobham was in town and saw the father daughter duo perform. Cobham was fascinated by this 17 year old girl playing drums like a man. So he jammed with her and got Pete & Sheila Escovedo a contract with Fantasy Records. Cobham produced two albums and they are worth getting. Then she became an in demand session musician. Prince met her in 1978 and eventually she joined his group. He produced The Glamorous Life and the single reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Singing was never Sheila's main gig so Prince coached her through the vocals. She had one other top twenty hit with A Love Bizarre in 1985. But most fans will only want the one song and the original album is available on CD. For the rest of the 80s, Sheila was drummer and musical director for Prince. After leaving Prince in 1989, Sheila has recorded occasionally but has mainly toured with others and done guest shots. She led the band on Magic Johnson's talk show The Magic Show. She has also toured with Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band where she does a gag drum duet with Starr designed to showcase her talent. The gag is he can't keep up with her. He can't keep up with her anyway. She also won the CMT talent show Gone Country in 2009. The prize was  the single Glorious Train produced by John Rich. She has reunited with Prince occasionally too. So now you know there is more to Sheila Escovedo than one hit song. Here's the video for The Glamorous Life by Sheila E. I know it seems hard to believe but this video is not on Youtube.

Shelia E Glamorous Life
Uploaded by Celtiemama. - Watch more music videos, in HD!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Cowsills

Artist:The Cowsills
Song:The Rain, The Park and Other Things
Album:The Best of The Cowsills

Back in the 60s, The Cowsills were perceived cynically as manufactured bubblegum music and anti-psychedelia. But their music holds up pretty well and they were a real group. They played their own instruments and Bill Cowsill wrote a lot of the songs. And of course they were also the inspiration for the sitcom The Partridge Family. The Cowsills were from Newport, RI. Bill and Bob Cowsill started out covering Everly Brothers hits and then recruited Barry Cowsill to play bass and John Cowsill to play drums. So these teenage sibling are playing local gigs. An appearance on The Today Show earned them a contract with Mercury Records. Nothing came of it but Mercury producer Artie Kornfeld thought they had potential and convinced the boys' mother Barbara Cowsill to join the band. They recorded Rain, The Park and Other Things and The Cowsills signed with MGM Records. The song was released in the fall of 1967 and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Kornfeld and partner Steve Duboff. They wrote plenty of hits and Kornfeld is best known for promoting the Woodstock Music Festival. The Cowsills continued to chart and Hair reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. Columbia Pictures sent a couple of screenwriters to observe The Cowsills with plans to turn them into TV stars. That didn't happen but The Partridge Family was based on those observations. By the time the show debuted, The Cowsills were in decline and they split up in 1971. This budget comp from Collectables has all their hits. Attempts to reunite The Cowsills have been mostly unsuccessful though a version of the group with Bob, Paul and Susan Cowsill tours the oldies circuit today. Bill Cowsill moved to Canada and formed the Vancouver group Blue Shadows. He moved to Calgary and formed The Co-Dependents after recovering from drug addiction. He died in 2006. Susan Cowsill formed The Continental Drifters with husband Peter Holsapple. She released a solo CD in 2005. John Cowsill currently tours with The Beach Boys. Barry Cowsill lived in New Orleans and died in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Barbara Cowsill died in 1985. You might want to check out The Cowsills again. You might find that their music was better than you thought. Here's a video for The Rain, The Park and Other Things by The Cowsills. This video is not on Youtube.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Pizzarelli

Artist:John Pizzarelli
Song:I Got Rhythm
Album:Kisses In The Rain

I'm sure you've heard the saying "The apple doesn't fall from the tree". The outstanding singer and guitarist John Pizzarelli grew up in jazz and plays guitar like his dad. He was born Apr. 6, 1960 in Paterson, NJ the son of legendary jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. His brother Martin Pizzarelli plays bass. So obviously they grew up listening to jazz though John was interested in baseball as a child. He's a big Boston Red Sox fan. John started touring with his dad at age 20 and by 1983 released his solo debut. Obviously John's dad was a huge influence on his guitar playing but Les Paul and Django Reinhardt are influences as well. And his vocal style is clearly influenced by Nat King Cole and Chet Baker. John opened for Frank Sinatra on his 1993 tour including the Carnegie Hall birthday concert. He recorded for RCA and the RCA owned jazz label Novus early in his career but switched to Telarc when RCA closed Novus. I Got Rhythm is from his 2000 CD Kisses In The Rain and was his debut on Telarc. John's standard trio of brother Martin Pizzarelli on bass and Ray Kennedy on drums are great. John Pizzarelli is a staple on the jazz charts. His latest CD Rockin' In Rhythm: A Tribute To Duke Ellington was released Feb. 2010. BTW, his dad appeared on the album and so did his singer wife Jessica Molaskey and jazz singer Kurt Elling. Here's John Pizzarelli with Martin Pizzarelli on bass performing I Got Rhythm.

Saori Ishioka vs Ham Seo Hee announced for Feb. 25 DEEP show

Saori Ishioka
DEEP held a press conference today to announce the card for DEEP 52 IMPACT 10th Anniversary Feb. 25 at Korakuen Hall. Since MIKU retired March 2010, DEEP has had exactly zero women's matches. DEEP and JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki said at last month's JEWELS show that would change in 2011. They planned to have Saori Ishioka on the show in China but that was cancelled. They announced today that Ishioka will face Ham Seo Hee on the Feb. 25 show. Ishioka trains at Zendokai. Her record is 11-5 and her last fight was a win over Amiba on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. Ham trains at CMA Korea. Her record is 6-4 and her last fight was a loss to Ayaka Hamasaki on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. Ham won a unanimous decision over Ishioka on the Feb. 14, 2008 Smackgirl show. They were supposed to face each other last year but Ishioka was injured in training. So this is a match that Saeki has tried to put together for a while. Of course Ham is a kickboxer and Ishioka is a karate girl so I expect it to remain standing and go to a decision. Ishioka feels that 2010 was a bad year for her and she wants to redeem herself in 2011. She even considered retirement and has said on her blog that she wants to retire at age 25. That's in a couple of years. The one thing I am interested in is whether this leads to more consistent placing of women's matches on DEEP shows.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-TAJIRI vs Kana

It is time once again for Big Bad Blog Video Theater. Today I have the match video of TAJIRI vs Kana from the Dec. 24 SMASH show. The match is anticlimactic mainly because the pre-match stuff was so good. Kana behaved like the queen bitch and TAJIRI mostly makes fun of her. And that just makes her angrier. So he comes out wearing her glasses and continues to make fun of her during the match. So one would think that the match would have had a lot of heat and been more explosive. It just isn't intense enough. It was OK but a little disappointing. But I know a lot of fans want to see this. I'm surprised TAJIRI didn't go perv during the match. And afterwards Kana is still pissed off. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Greg Kihn Band

Artist:The Greg Kihn Band
Album:Kihnsolidation: The Best Of Greg Kihn

The 1983 top five hit Jeopardy was the biggest hit for The Greg Kihn Band. It still holds up well because Kihn was a pretty good pop songwriter. He was also the biggest seller on the legendary 70s label Beserkley though labelmate Jonathan Richman is more highly regarded. He was born July 10, 1949 in Baltimore. He started out as a singer songwriter but veered more toward 60s influenced rock when he moved to San Francisco in 1974. He signed with Beserkley in 1975 and released an album per year for the first few years. Other band members were Ronnie Dunbar on guitar, Steve Wright on bass and Larry Lynch on drums. Dunbar was replaced by Gary Phillips from the band Copperhead in 1981. Kihn and Wright wrote most of the songs. Kihn already had built a strong following through touring. But he finally hit the charts when The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em) broke the top twenty in 1981. Jeopardy reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983. The video was pretty funny when a wedding turns into a zombie movie. You may also recall that Weird Al Yankovic did a game show themed parody I Lost On Jeopardy. Kihn appeared in the video. Lucky hit the top 30 in 1985 and then Beserkley closed. Kihn was the only artist that was doing anything for them. Greg Kihn still records for small labels and tours. Steve Wright still tours with the band but can't play bass as he suffered a stroke in 2003. Kihn's son Ry Kihn plays lead guitar. Gary Phillips died in 2007. This Rhino comp is recommended to those who enjoy solid pop songs. Here's the video for Jeopardy by The Greg Kihn Band.

Greg Kihn Band - Jeopardy
Uploaded by jpdc11. - See the latest featured music videos.

Monday, January 24, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Quarterflash

Song:Harden My Heart
Album:Harden My Heart: The Best Of Quarterflash

Quarterflash had a brief run in the 80s and had their biggest hit with Harden My Heart in 1981. The group was from Portland, OR led by lead singer and sax player Rindy Ross and her guitarist husband Marv Ross. He also wrote all the songs including Harden My Heart. They had a very popular band in Portland called Seafood Mama. They merged with the group Pilot and brought in guitarist Jack Charles, keyboardist Rick DiGiallonardo, bassist Rich Gooch and drummer Brian David Willis. Seafood Mama released Harden My Heart as a single in 1980 and it was so popular on Portland radio it earned them a local TV special. Of course word got out and the band signed with Geffen Records in 1981. The name Quarterflash is some sort of Australian slang that they saw in a book when they were at producer John Boylan's house. Boylan was best known for producing the band Boston. They released their debut album Quarterflash in 1981. It sold a million copies and was certified gold and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 200. Harden My Heart reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. I'm not sure why Quarterflash was successful. Maybe people liked the sax. Their music hasn't aged very well. And that's probably why subsequent albums diminished in sales so that Geffen dropped them in 1985. If you're interested in Quarterflash, I recommend this budget comp as it includes the theme to the 1982 film Night Shift and a couple of other songs that appeared on film soundtracks. Marv & Rindy Ross formed a new version of Quarterflash and released an album on Epic in 1990. They also formed the Oregon Trail historical music group The Trail Band and they released a CD Goodbye Uncle Buzz in 2008. Here's the video for Harden My Heart by Quarterflash.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

STARDOM debuts to a full house

Nanae Takahashi slaps Yuzuki Aikawa
STARDOM held their debut show today in front of a full house of 446 fans at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. As has been mentioned previously, Nanae Takahashi and Natsuki*Taiyo are the only experienced pro wrestlers on the roster. Most of the rest were making their pro wrestling debuts on this show. And of course Takahashi is in charge of training them. Fuuka is general manager but I don't know what she does because former ARSION owner Hiroshi Ogawa is the boss. And he ran JD Star a few years ago. For this show, they brought in 20 year old Mexican wrestler Iris and she teamed with Nanae Takahashi against Natsuki*Taiyo and Yuzuki Aikawa. Aikawa is the busty bikini model being groomed to be the new Fuuka. This was only her second match. She's supposed to be the ace so they're putting her in the ring with experienced wrestlers and they're supposed to make her look as good as possible. So I'm told the match was pretty good. Takahashi won over Aikawa with a backdrop suplex at 21:31. As you can see by the pic, Aikawa got slapped pretty hard and her eye swelled up. She also said she was knocked dizzy. Apparently the other matches weren't that good. None of the newbees were working with experienced wrestlers so they won't be good. MMA fighter Nika Nagano beat Eri Susa with a cross arm breaker at 3:55. Arisa Hoshiki beat Mayu Iwatani at 7:04 and Yoko Bito beat World Tiger IV at 10:31. I know at least two girls dropped out during training but they still have this eight year old HARUKA on the roster. Though having an eight year old on the roster might have seemed like a cute idea six months ago, they don't have any opponents for her. They ended up having her do a three minute exhibition with Natsuki*Taiyo. What are they supposed to do with her? STARDOM is running every two weeks and Ogawa announced they will run Korakuen Hall on July 24. That is very ambitious. How long are fans going to put up with a sub-standard product before they stop coming? And how many of these girls will stay? Will STARDOM become a revolving door of new girls? And what if any of them get injured? There sure is a lot of pressure on Nanae Takahashi's shoulders to make these girls good very quickly.

A second joshi company called REINA debuted today. They are less ambitious and they remind me of the New AJW that ran shows in smaller towns the last few years. They are based in Chiba and will run monthly shows outside Tokyo. They are using freelancers like Yumiko Hotta and Manami Toyota and some JWP wrestlers including Kaori Yoneyama were on this show. They don't have any of their own wrestlers and I expect them to get whoever they can depending on the scheduling of all the other joshi feds. I doubt they have a TV or DVD deal. There is money to be made running shows in areas that most wrestling companies will not go to. If a town only gets a show or two a year, the town will fill the hall because they want a return visit. Of course it is offset by travel and talent costs. So I don't think REINA is an ambitious company and they will operate under the radar and I guess they'll make a few bucks. I don't see them as significant.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jimmy Soul

Artist:Jimmy Soul
Song:If You Wanna Be Happy
Album:The Golden Age Of American Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 9

The 1963 chart topper If You Wanna Be Happy was the only big hit for Jimmy Soul. One other song charted so it's not technically a one hit wonder. The song is a standard at weddings so I'm sure fans know the song but nothing about the singer. Jimmy Soul was a labelmate of Gary US Bonds under producer Frank Guida. He was born James McCleese Aug. 24, 1942 in Weldon, NC. He became a preacher at age 7 and sang gospel music as a a teen. He was known locally as The Wonder Boy. He was spotted by producer Frank Guida Jimmy Soul recorded on Guida's SPQR label. He had different labels with different distributors. Guida was born in Italy and grew up in New York City. While stationed in Trinidad in WWII, he became enamored with Calypso music. He opened a record store in Norfolk, VA in 1953 and then started his own record company. The calypso influence is obvious if you listen to something like Quarter To Three by Gary US Bonds. It seems that Bonds turned down If You Wanna Be Happy so Guida gave it to Soul. Guida wrote the song with partner Joseph Royster. But it's based on the song Ugly Woman by calypso pioneer Roaring Lion. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. As I said, If You Wanna Be Happy is a popular wedding song. And it even turned up in the 1997 film My Best Friend's Wedding. You also heard it in the final scene of the 1990 film Mermaids. Ace Records has released a lot of Frank Guida's recordings on CD. I recommend this various artists comp which has 30 songs. Jimmy Soul soon quit the music business and joined the US Army. He died June 25, 1988 at age 45. Frank Guida continued to release records into the 90s and died in 2007. Here's If You Wanna Be Happy by Jimmy Soul as it appeared in the 1990 film Mermaids.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Junior Delgado

Artist:Junior Delgado
Song:Sons Of Slaves
Album:Sons Of Slaves

Though he never had the fame or exposure of Bob Marley or Peter Tosh, Junior Delgado's music was as powerful as any 70s Roots Reggae artist. This comp covers his music of the 70s when he worked with Lee "Scratch" Perry. He was born Oscar Hibbert Aug. 25, 1958 in West Kingston, Jamaica. He began singing in his teens as Junior Hibbert with the vocal group Time Unlimited. The group recorded for legendary producer Lee "Scratch" Perry and had a hit with Reaction in 1973. But the group was not very successful and Hibbert left to go solo in 1975. He renamed himself Junior Delgado. Delgado was his long time nickname taken from the Spanish word for skinny. Delgado finally had some success when he recorded for Dennis Brown's DEB label. Delgado started his own label Incredible Jux in 1979 and became popular for his work with Augustus Pablo. He also became popular in England and started experimenting with Dancehall music. But he never deserted his Roots style or his social commentary. He reunited with Lee "Scratch" Perry for Sons Of Slaves and today it is considered his signature song. This comp is a good intro to his music. Delgado moved to London and wrote the 1985 song Broadwater Farm about poverty in North London. He continued to record with Pablo through the 80s but slowed down in the 90s. He mentored young artists and by the late 90s he started touring internationally. When Dennis Brown died, Delgado recorded a tribute album. Just as he was starting to gain some steam, Junior Delgado died on Apr. 11, 2005 at age 46. He was an overlooked master of Roots Reggae. Here's a video for Sons Of Slaves by Junior Delgado.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Megumi Fujii on 2010 injuries

Megumi Fujii
Megumi Fujii blogged today about her 2010 injuries and about how she almost quit in the spring. Thanks to @DanHerbertson for the link and he talked about it on Twitter. But not everyone is on Twitter. So this is for them.Megumi says it all started in March with a lower back hernia and a slipped disc. I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on TV. But I can't walk because of a spinal cord injury. So some of her subsequent issues are the result of not dealing with these initial spinal cord injuries. So if she hasn't already done it, I would urge Megumi to undergo an MRI to see what's going on in the ol' spinal column and undergo appropriate therapy. Spinal cord injuries don't improve with age. They get worse. I speak from experience. So the disc is pinching the nerve. And at first she has tingling and pain in her legs and then no feeling in her legs. She tries to rest it but it's not really helping. She did MIKU's retirement show in April and it made her think about retirement because of the pain. She lost her big toenail in May but it came back in November. In July during training (I think), she tore her left pectoral muscle. And during the match against Lisa Ward in September, she suffered a rib cartilage injury. Those kind of injuries are easily healed but the spinal cord stuff isn't that simple. She says she has changed her warmup routine. She's just doing it more slowly. And she hopes for no more injuries in 2011. I still think an MRI is in order. You can follow her on Twitter at @MegaMeguCat We all want to see pics of her cats on Twitter. The accompanying pic is from after her recent win over Emi Fujino courtessy of Gravity.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bert Jansch

Artist:Bert Jansch
Song:Running From Home
Album:Running From Home: An Introduction To Bert Jansch

Though most music fans may not be familiar with him, folk music fans should be familiar with legendary British folksinger Bert Jansch either from his solo albums or his work with the group Pentangle. After some health problems, Jansch was back on the road last year and I'm sure he'll record again. He was born Nov. 3, 1943 in Glasgow, Scotland and grew up in Edinburgh. He learned guitar as a teen and started playing local folk music clubs and shared a flat with Robin Williamson of The Incredible String Band. In 1960, he decided to become a full time musician. He busked all over Europe for a couple of years and moved to London in 1965. He signed with Transatlantic Records and Do You Hear Me Now from his debut was covered successfully by Donovan. His song Blackwaterside was turned into Black Mountain Side by Led Zeppelin. Then Jansch met John Renbourn. They recorded an album together and then formed Pentangle with Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox. Jansch continued to record solo albums while touring and recording with Pentangle. They were very successful internationally and I may look at them at another time. Running From Home was on Jansch's 1965 debut album and many artists especially Neil Young and Jimmy Page have acknowledged Jansch as a big influence. After Pentangle split in 1973, Jansch bought afarm and retired for a couple of years. He returned and has been working steadily ever since. Jansch's alcoholism almost killed him in 1987. But he recovered and quit drinking. In 2003, there was a 60th birthday concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Jansch was derailed by major heart surgery in 2005. But he recorded his latest CD The Black Swan in 2006 with guests like Beth Orton. Jansch has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards as a solo artist and as part of Pentangle. He was supposed to tour in 2009 but cancelled due to illness. But in 2010 he toured with Neil Young and then Eric Clapton. So Bert Jansch is still going strong today. This comp from Sanctuary is a great intro to his music. Here's Bert Jansch with Ralph McTell performing Running From Home BBC Four Sessions Oct. 24, 2003.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Poni-Tails

Artist:The Poni-Tails
Song:Born Too Late
Album:Teenage Heaven: The Fifties Girl Group Phenomenon

This song about unrequited teenage love was the only top ten hit for The Poni-Tails in 1958. The interesting thing about The Poni-Tails is they turned down a big record contract afterwards. Very unusual. Lead singer Toni Cistone, LaVerne Novak and Karen Topinka started singing together at Brush High School in the Cleveland suburb of Lyndhurst, OH. They were introduced to music publisher Tom Illius and he became their manager and got them a deal at the local label Point Records. Illius would later go on to be an agent at the William Morris Agency. The Poni-Tails released a song called Your Wild Heart but 15 year old singer Joy Layne had a top twenty hit with her cover of that song. They released another single and Karen Topinka's father convinced her to quit and she was replaced by Patti McCabe. Then Illius got The Poni-Tails a deal with ABC-Paramount. Their first single flopped and their second single Come On Joey, Dance With Me was also going nowhere. But Cleveland DJ Bill Randall started playing the flipside Born Too Late. It reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's one of those songs that is still played today because it brings back a time of innocence. Subsequent singles didn't do as well. But ABC-Paramount was satisfied with The Poni-Tails and offered them a five year contract. But the girls turned it down and went on to other things. It seems they didn't enjoy the music business. LaVerne Novak is a real estate agent. Toni Cistone worked at a high school. Patti McCabe died in 1989. You can get Born Too Late on this comp from El Records. Here's a video of Born Too Late by The Poni-Tails.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Carol Haney

Artist:Carol Haney, Kenneth LeRoy & Buzz Miller
Song:Steam Heat
Album:The Pajama Game: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The Pajama Game is an outstanding musical about the unlikely subject of union negotiations at a pajama factory. The show was written by Jerry Ross and Richard Adler who also wrote Damn Yankees. The show was a huge hit when it premiered on Broadway in 1954 and Warner Bros. turned it into a film in 1956. Usually when studios produced musicals, they would recast all the roles. Warners didn't really do that with The Pajama Game except for replacing Janis Paige with Doris Day mainly for the marquee. She was a big star at the time. And she was fine in the movie and it was very successful. But performers like John Raitt, Carol Haney and Eddie Foy Jr. were in the original cast. These are actors you wouldn't normally see in films. They also wisely hired Bob Fosse to choreograph the film as he had done on Broadway. And that's how Carol Haney got in the film. So why wasn't Carol Haney a big star? There are other reasons but it's mostly because she preferred choreography and suffered from stage fright. She was born Sept. 24, 1924 in New Bedford, MA and opened her own dance studio at age 15. She moved to Hollywood to form a dance team with Jack Cole and then Gene Kelly hired her as an assistant choreographer for his MGM films. She appeared in Kelly's film Invitation To The Dance. She moved to New York to work with Bob Fosse in the Broadway production of Kiss Me, Kate and then The Pajama Game. She won a Tony award but hurt her leg. So when Warners producer Hal Wallis saw The Pajama Game, Carol's understudy Shirley MacLaine got the film contract that should have gone to Carol. So The Pajama Game was Carol Haney's only major film role. She developed stage fright and though she appeared on TV a few times, she went back to doing choreography for shows like Flower Drum Song and Funny Girl. Carol Haney suffered from diabetes and alcoholism and died on May 10, 1964 at age 39. Sony owns the soundtrack to The Pajama Game but have never done anything with it and have farmed it out to Collectables. Here's Carol Haney with Kenneth LeRoy & Buzz Miller performing Steam Heat from the 1956 film The Pajama Game.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theatre-Misaki Takimoto vs Amy Davis

Today on Big Bad Blog Video Theatre I have Misaki Takimoto vs Amy Davis from the Sengoku Soul Of Fight show Dec. 30 at Differ Ariake. I guess a lot of fans assume that the Japanese fighters are better on the ground because of judo and jiu jitsu. But Misaki Takimoto is a karate instructor at Zendokai in Yokohama so she is weak on the ground. JEWELS fighters Saori Ishioka and Shizuka Sugiyama train with her. And Amy Davis has an extensive Muay Thai background. So I expected this to be more of a kickboxing match than an MMA match. And that's what it was. I think it was a very tough fight to score. I think Amy landed more shots but Takimoto got her share in too. The HDNet guys called it a robbery but I don't have a problem with the fight being called a draw. I think both of them could have done more so it was close enough that a draw is a reasonable decision. I do have a problem with Sengoku's must win crap. A draw is a draw and that's the way it should be. I scored it very narrowly for Amy but she's a friend of mine so I'm a little biased. It was very close. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Paul Revere & The Raiders

Artist:Paul Revere & The Raiders
Song:Good Thing
Album:The Legend Of Paul Revere

Though most music fans probably remember their goofy costumes and silly antics, Paul Revere & The Raiders made damn good pop music and had several top ten hits in the 60s including Good Thing. The leader of the group was organist Paul Revere Dick (born Jan. 7, 1938 in Harvard, NE). He lived in Boise, ID in the early 60s. He led an instrumental group and owned several restaurants. Mark Lindsay (born Mar. 9, 1942 in Eugene, OR) worked at a bakery where Revere bought hamburger buns. Their band was originally called The Downbeats and then Paul Revere & The Raiders. They had a regional hit in the Northwest US with Like, Long Hair in 1961. By this time they were living in Oregon. DJ Roger Hart became their manager and by 1965 he got them a contract with Columbia Records. Other members were drummer Mike Smith, guitarist Drake Levin and bassist Phil Volk. Their sound was very similar to other Northwest bands like The Kingsmen. The Raiders even recorded Louie Louie but The Kingsmen had the hit. Columbia moved the band to Los Angeles and put them together with producer Terry Melcher. Melcher is the son of Doris Day. But he had worked with Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys and produced The Ripchords hit Hey Little Cobra. Johnston joined The Beach Boys and Melcher became a staff producer at Columbia. Good Thing was one of several top ten hits and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. Like a lot of their songs, Good Thing was written by Lindsay & Melcher. This became a problem for Smith, Levin and Volk who wanted more creative input. They all left in 1967. They weren't as successful after that and were ready to split up when the Mark Lindsay solo session Indian Reservation turned into a #1 hit in 1970. The group faded and Lindsay went solo in 1976. He currently tours the oldies circuit. Paul Revere currently performs in Branson, MO. This 2CD comp is very reasonably priced. Here's Paul Revere & The Raiders performing Good Thing 1966.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kyra Gracie NOT turning pro in 2011

Kyra and Roger Gracie
You may recall that about year ago Kyra Gracie announced plans to become a pro MMA fighter in 2011. But it became clear as 2010 progressed that Kyra may have changed her mind. It didn't surprise me as she has waffled about turning pro for several years. I thought maybe by announcing it publicly, she may actually do it this time. The good news is I have Kyra Gracie's 2011 itinerary. The bad news is she's not turning pro. The first order of business is the European Jiu Jitsu Championships Jan. 27-30 in Lisbon, Portugal. This is the only title that Kyra has not won so she says she is training very hard as it is very important to her. Before that, she is in England to help her cousin Roger Gracie train for an upcoming tournament. In March, Kyra is competing in Costa Rica and then the Pan Americans in April. She will return to Brazil in May and compete in the Rio World Open in July. As usual, she is also booked for seminars and jiu jitsu camps worldwide. So her dance card is full. Obviously it would be great for women's MMA if Kyra Gracie turned pro. But she is already a celebrity and doesn't need to if she doesn't want to.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Muriel Smith

Artist:Muriel Smith
Song:Happy Talk
Album:South Pacific: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Most folks should be familiar with the 1958 film version for the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific. As I have said in the past, the dubbing of vocals in film musicals is very common. But it can still be a bone of contention for fans. And the controversy over the dubbing in South Pacific still rages today. South Pacific was a huge hit when it first arrived on Broadway in 1949 and there were other stage productions as well. So when the time came to produce the film, Richard Rodgers was in charge of the music. The film Starred Mitzi Gaynor, Rossano Brazzi, Ray Walston, John Kerr and Juanita Hall. Gaynor and Walston did their own singing. Brazzi was dubbed by Giorgio Tozzi and Kerr was dubbed by Bill Lee. What annoyed fans at the time and still annoys them today is that Juanita Hall's voice was dubbed by Muriel Smith. That's because Juanita won a Tony award for her performance in the original Broadway production. So why was her voice dubbed in the film? Muriel Smith played Bloody Mary in the London production and reportedly Richard Rodgers always preferred her vocals. When asked about this choice, director Joshua Logan said that Rodgers was the music expert and deferred to him. Fans are still upset about this. There's a video on Youtube that dubs Juanita's vocals into the film scene. The studios didn't think it was a big deal because they dubbed vocals all the time. Juanita Hall was mainly a choral singer in New York when she was asked to do South Pacific. She also appeared in The Flower Drum Song. Muriel Smith made her Broadway debut as Carmen Jones in 1943 and dubbed singing voices in Hollywood movies. That's her voice coming out of Zsa Zsa Gabor's mouth in the 1950 film Moulin Rouge. Of course the film South Pacific was a huge hit and you can get the soundtrack on CD. I'm just surprised the controversy still rages about dubbing singing voices in films. Here's Juanita Hall with the voice of Muriel Smith performing Happy Talk in the film South Pacific.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Walker Brothers

Artist:The Walker Brothers
Song:Make It Easy On Yourself
Album:My Ship Is Coming In: The Collection

Make It Easy On Yourself was one of two US top twenty hits for The Walker Brothers in 1965. But in England, their popularity rivaled The Beatles for a short time. Here they were perceived as a British Invasion group. But they weren't British, they weren't brothers and they didn't play their instruments on their records. The group formed in Los Angeles in 1964. Drummer Gary Leeds was a member of The Standells (Dirty Water). He had just returned from a tour of England with PJ Proby and thought his band with bassist Scott Engel and guitarist John Maus could go over well in England. They called themselves The Walker Brothers because they liked it. The Righteous Brothers weren't brothers either. They moved to England in 1965 and signed with Philips Records and producer Johnny Franz. He also produced Dusty Springfield. Their first single with Maus singing lead flopped. But their second single Love Her with Engel singing lead hit the top 20. Make It Easy On Yourself topped the British charts and reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Make It Easy On Yourself was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and was a top 20 hit for Jerry Butler in 1962. Their other big hit The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) also topped the British charts and reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was originally recorded by Frankie Valli. Though those were their only US hits, they continued to chart in England and got a lot of attention from screaming girls. The Walker Brothers orchestrated pop sound was not typical of bands at that time and by 1968 , their sound became dated and they split up. They also didn't play their instruments in the studio. Franz used studio musicians. Scott Walker went on to a significant solo career in England and continues to perform today. The Walker Brothers reunited in 1976 and had a UK top ten with No Regrets. Gary Walker is still an active musician in England and John Walker is a custom guitar builder in San Diego. This 2CD comp is very reasonably priced. You may have thought that The Walker Brothers were British. Now you now better. Here are The Walker Brothers performing Make It Easy On Yourself preceded by an interview with Gary Walker on the Simon Dee Show 1965.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Rev. Gary Davis

Artist:Rev. Gary Davis
Song:Candy Man
Album:Heroes Of The Blues: The Very Best Of Rev. Gary Davis

Rev. Gary Davis is an influential figure in blues guitar technique. He did record in the 30s but is primarily known for his recordings in the late 50s when he was rediscovered. He was born Apr. 30, 1896 in Laurens, SC. He was the only one of eight children to survive and he became blind as an infant. His father was killed when he was 10 and Davis was raised by his paternal grandmother. He taught himself to play guitar and by the mid-1920s he moved to Durham, NC to become a full time street musician. Durham was a major hub for blues musicians like Blind Boy Fuller. He recorded in 1935 for the American Recording Company and then was discarded like a lot of other blues legends. He became an ordained minister in 1937. He moved to New York City in the 40s and performed on Harlem steetcorners until he was rediscovered in 1957. That's when he recorded Candy Man for Folkways. His music never changed much except that when he became a minister, he performed a lot more spiritual songs. Young musicians were still fascinated by his guitar technique. Ry Cooder was among those who studied with Davis. With the folk boom of the 60s, Davis became even more popular and was a big draw on the festival circuit until his death on May 6, 1972 at age 76. Shout! Factory has released a series of mid-price blues CDs and this one is a good intro to Davis' music. Here's Rev. Gary Davis performing Candy Man mid-60s. Watch those hands.

Friday, January 14, 2011

STARDOM announces card for Jan. 23 debut

STARDOM held a press conference yesterday to announce the full card for their Jan. 23 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. Here's a video from Nikkan Sports that gives a timeline of their progress. It also shows some training footage. Remember they are all making their debuts. Most of them look like little kids to me. One of them is eight years old. BTW, they didn't announce an opponent for her. They are bringing over a wrestler named Iris from Mexico. She's 20 years old and has been a pro wrestler for a year. That's young for a luchadora. A lot of them are grizzled veterans. She was at the press conference and speaks briefly in the video. She is teaming with Nanae Takahashi against Natsuki*Taiyo and Yuzuki Aikawa. Of course they have to be very careful with the new Fuuka or the old Fuuka may have to come out of retirement. And what if Aikawa isn't a draw. Remember STARDOM is running every other week along with the Aikawa shows. It's ambitious when most of the wrestlers have no experience. I suspect they'll draw for a while and then fans will tire of it and it will taper off. Then what will they do? Enjoy the video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tommy Olivencia

Artist:Tommy Olivencia
Song:Fiesta de Besos
Album:Oro Salsero: 20 Exitos

Though I'm sure most North American music fans have never heard of him, Tommy Olivencia was a pioneer of Puerto Rican salsa. So many musicians came through his band that was known as the Tommy Olivencia School. He was born May 15, 1938 in Santruce, Puerto Rico. He spent his teen years in Arecibo. He learned to play trumpet and played in several bands. In 1960, he formed his first Orchestra Tommy Olivencia y La Primisima Orquestra de Puerto Rico. His band really hit its stride in the 70s and had several hits in Puerto Rico and had continued success through the 80s. Among those who went through his band were future stars like Frankie Ruiz, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Marvin Santiago. Others included Chamaco Ramirez, Hector Tricoche, Paquito Guzman and a who's who of salsa music. Most of his prime recordings 0f the 70s & 80s were on T.H. Rodven and are now owned by Universal. This 2CD comp is a good intro to his music. Fiesta de Besos was recorded in 1985 with lead singer Hector Tricoche but Frankie Ruiz sang lead after Tricoche left the band. In August 2000, Tommy Olivencia celebrated his 40th anniversary in the music business with a reunion show in San Juan. He died Sept. 22, 2006 at age 68. So if you're a salsa music fan, you want to check out Puerto Rican music pioneer Tommy Olivencia. Here's Tommy Olivencia featuring lead singer Frankie Ruiz performing Fiesta de Besos probably late 80s.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Dave Clark Five

Artist:The Dave Clark Five
Song:Glad All Over
Album:The Hits

For a short time, The Dave Clark Five were the number two British Invasion group behind The Beatles. In fact, Glad All Over knocked I Wanna Hold Your Hand off the top of the British charts in 1964. But other groups came along and were more popular than DC5. But their music still sounds good. Getting it on CD is another matter. DC5 was from Tottenham in North London. Group leader and drummer Dave Clark was born Dec. 15, 1942 in Tottenham. He first formed the band in 1958 with lead singer and keyboard player Mike Smith (born Dec. 6, 1943 in Edmonton, North London). He joined the band in 1960. They started out as The Dave Clark Quartet and by 1962 changed it to The Dave Clark Five. After several personnel changes, the band was Clark, Smith, Lenny Davidson on lead guitar, Rick Huxley on bass and Denny Payton on sax. Clark and Smith wrote a lot of the songs including Glad All Over. They signed with EMI's Columbia label in England and after Glad All Over reached #1, they signed with Epic Records in the US. Glad All Over reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. They had a few more hits including Bits and Pieces and Over and Over was their only US #1 hit in 1965. They even starred in a movie known as Having A Wild Weekend in North America. Like a lot of British Invasion bands, The Dave Clark Five faded when psychedelia creeped into the picture in 1967. They split up in 1970. Dave Clark and Mike Smith continued to record together as Clark & Smith and Smith would become a writer and producer of jingles. He returned to performing on the oldies circuit in 1999 until his death on Feb. 28, 2008 at age 64. Dave Clark not only produced the music but managed the band and has been very successful with his own company for many years. He owns the rights to the DC5 recordings and occasionally licenses them to a record company for release on CD. This CD from Universal UK was released in 2008 but appears to be out of print. There doesn't appear to be a DC5 CD in print right now. Come on, Dave. We love your music. Clark also owns the rights to the Ready Steady Go TV show. Here's The Dave Clark Five performing Glad All Over on Ready Steady Go.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

RENA beats the crap out of three comedians and gets mainstream attention

I mentioned on Twitter the other day that Tokyo Broadcasting System was doing a Female Athletes special that was shown yesterday in Japan. Featured on the show was Brazilian jiu jitsu specialist Kyra Gracie and Shoot Boxing 2010 Girls S-Cup champ RENA. Kyra was recently in Japan for several media appearances. But what got my attention a few days ago was the announcement that RENA would face three comedians in an exhibition match. So I have the video of that segment. I apologize for the video quality and the music as it looks like it was recorded from the TV via camcorder. Unfortunately, TBS doesn't usually post online video. The big deal about this is that it was on network TV in Japan. As a result, the show did gangbuster ratings and RENA's segment was the highest rated segment. And yesterday she was the top search on Yahoo Sports Japan. If this show is on Samurai TV it doesn't get that kind of attention. The decline of the Japanese fight business is directly related to the lack of interest from Japanese broadcast networks. That's what we were talking about when K-1 was having problems with TBS last month. To be successful in the Japanese fight business, the network exposure is necessary. I don't know if this appearance will help women's MMA. I doubt it because RENA isn't an MMA fighter. I suppose it could help Shoot Boxing get more exposure and JEWELS can piggyback on that. It's a little iffy. I remember in 2004 when TBS did the Golden Muscles tournament won by Hisae Watanabe and how that raised the profile of women's MMA in Japan. That's what is needed. It is funny to watch RENA beat these guys up. Enjoy!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tommy Tutone

Artist:Tommy Tutone
Album:Playlist: The Very Best 80s Radio Hits

The 1982 top five hit 867-5309/Jenny was the biggest hit for Tommy Tutone. One of their other songs charted so they are not technically a one hit wonder. But most fans will only remember this song. They only recorded three albums and then split up. Tommy Tutone was from Willits, CA in Mendocino County led by lead singer Tommy Heath and guitarist Jim Keller. They were originally called Tommy & the Tu-Tones and then shortened the name. They were the only two constant members and the revolving door of musicians in Tommy Tutone probably led to their demise. You need stability for longevity in the music business. Tommy Tutone signed with Columbia and their 1980 debut CD Tommy Tutone did OK. The single Angel Say No reached the top 40. But their second album Tommy Tutone 2 reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 200 mostly on the strength of 867-5309/Jenny which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Heath and Keller usually split the songwriting duties. Keller co-wrote the song with Alex Call of Clover, best known as the backup band on Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True. Heath claims the song was based on a real girl and he wrote her number on a motel wall. Call claims he made up the phone number. Of course with a real phone number comes crank calls and the ensuing lawsuits. Heath said it was the number of the daughter of Buffalo's chief of police. So there was controversy but music fans love the song. Tommy Tutone's third album National Emotion didn't sell and then they split up. Collectables has released the first two Tommy Tutone albums on one CD. But I think most fans will only want the one song and you can get it on this Sony various artists budget CD. Tommy Heath became a computer analyst though he has revived Tommy Tutone a couple of times. They have been touring and are supposedly working on a new CD. Jim Keller is director of Dunvegan Music Publishing in New York and still plays local gigs. That company is owned by Philip Glass. Here's the video for 867-5309/Jenny by Tommy Tutone.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Rascal Flatts

Artist:Rascal Flatts
Song:Prayin' For Daylight
Album:Greatest Hits Vol. 1

Rascal Flatts has been one of the most popular country groups over the last decade. Prayin' For Daylight was their breakthrough hit in 2000 and they have had continued success. They are known for their strong vocal harmonies. Rascal Flatts are from Columbus, OH. Lead singer Gary LeVox (born Gary Vernon Jr. July 10, 1970 in Columbus) and bassist/keyboardist Jay DeMarcus (born Stanley DeMarcus Jr. Apr. 26, 1971 in Columbus) are cousins. DeMarcus moved to Nashville in 1992 with a Contemporary Christian group called East To West. He convinced DeVox to move to Nashville in 1997 and they joined Chely Wright's band. That's where they met guitarist Joe Don Rooney (born Sept. 13, 1975 in Baxter Springs, KS). DeVox and DeMarcus were playing a club and their guitarist didn't show up. They asked Rooney to sit in and the audience reaction was so positive they decided to form a band. Apparently a fan suggested the name Rascal Flatts. They signed with Disney owned Lyric Street Records in 1999. Their debut CD Rascal Flatts was released in 2000. It reached #3 on the Country Album chart and #43 on the Billboard Hot 200. Prayin' For Daylight was the first single and reached #3 on the Country Singles chart and #38 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jay DeMarcus says Prayin' For Daylight was on the three song demo that earned them the contract with Lyric Street. It was the first song they recorded for their debut and it was chosen as the first single. Three other songs from their debut charted but their first #1 country hit was These Days in 2002. Rascal Flatts has been a constant presence at the top of the country music charts ever since. This Greatest Hits CD was first released with a bonus CD of Christmas songs and then re-released with a different bonus CD of live performances. It's also available in a single CD package. Lyric Street closed in 2010 and Rascal Flatts signed with Big Machine and the CD Nothing Like This was released in Nov. 2010. I expect Rascal Flatts will be popular for a long time. Here's the video for Prayin' For Daylight by Rascal Flatts.

Monday, January 10, 2011

TNA stupidly leaves the Knockouts Title on Madison Rayne

Here's the match video for Madison Rayne vs Mickie James for the TNA Knockouts Championship from last night's Genesis PPV. I'm very disappointed that they chose not to do a title change. The Madison Rayne character has run its course to the point that she's not getting heel heat anymore. She's getting X-Pac heat. The problem started when TNA had Tara hand the title over to Madison a while back. Fans hate that kind of angle. Since last night, I have seen a lot of complaints about Madison Rayne's poor wrestling performance in this match. Fans don't seem to understand that she is doing exactly what TNA is telling her to do. The character is supposed to be an entitled spoiled brat bitch who needs a loaded glove and outside interference to win a match. And she's supposed to think she's a better wrestler than she is. Her screaming is a little too much like Vickie Guerrero for me and it leads to accusations that TNA is WWE Lite. Madison is a decent but not great wrestler. If you want to blame someone, blame Vince Russo for telling her to do it. I don't like the character but I don't blame her. I hated the end of the match when Tara came down to the ring and Mickie immediately turned her attention to her and ignored Madison long enough for the glove to be loaded. No one with a brain would do that and Russo is a dope to think that fans will accept that kind of stupidity. I didn't think the match was very good but I don't think it was supposed to be good. TNA doesn't want wrestling ability to be the focus for Madison Rayne. They like the character though most fans don't. It's hard for fans to accept that. Enjoy the video!

TNA Genesis 2011 Part 3/14
Uploaded by dacharmingcharmen. - More professional, college and classic sports videos.

TNA Genesis 2011 Part 4/14
Uploaded by dacharmingcharmen. - Check out more sports and extreme sports videos.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Frank Sinatra

Artist:Frank Sinatra
Song:I've Got You Under My Skin
Album:Songs For Swingin' Lovers!

Of course Frank Sinatra is a legend of popular music with longevity unmatched by anyone. But in the early 50s, his career stalled and seemed to be over. But his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the 1953 film From Here To Eternity saved him from obscurity. And his albums on Capitol Records including Songs For Swingin' Lovers returned him to the top of the charts. And though I've Got You Under My Skin was never released as a single, it is considered one of Sinatra's signature songs. He was born Sept. 12, 1915 in Hoboken, NJ and of course he made his name in the 40s with The Dorsey Brothers, Harry James and then on his own. But by 1948, his singing career had slipped and he was having trouble with his vocal chords. Columbia Records and his agency MCA dropped him in 1952. His performance in From Here to Eternity led to a contract with Capitol Records. And his mid-50s albums are probably as good as anything he ever recorded in his career. They had a much jazzier feel than any of his 40s recordings or anything he did later. The 1956 album Songs For Swingin' Lovers was his fourth Capitol album. It was his third album with arranger Nelson Riddle. So they were on a roll and Songs For Swingin' Lovers continued that and reached #2 on the album charts. There were hit singles from the album but I've Got You Under My Skin was never released as a single. Yet it is considered today as one of Sinatra's signature songs. Of course the song was written by Cole Porter and was sung by Virginia Bruce in the 1936 film Born To Dance. Sinatra first sang it on his radio show in 1946 but this was the first time he had recorded it. Riddle based his arrangement on Ravel's Bolero. Of course Sinatra re-recorded the song several times including on his 1963 album Sinatra's Sinatra. And he even recorded a duet with Bono in 1993 for the Duets album along with a music video. The song was also a hit for The Four Seasons in 1966. Normally I suggest a comp CD but in this case I suggest the Songs For Swingin' Lovers album on CD is a must. Of course Frank Sinatra enjoyed continued success for decades until his death on May 14, 1998 at age 82. But there was a time when he looked like he was through. Songs For Swingin' Lovers was a big part of getting him back to the top. Here's Frank Sinatra performing I've Got You Under My Skin on The Frank Sinatra Show mid-50s.

I've Got You Under My Skin
Uploaded by artanis2. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Heather Headley & Damian Perkins

Artist:Heather Headley & Damian Perkins
Song:How I Know You
Album:Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida: Original Broadway Cast Recording

Aida was a very successful Broadway musical written by Elton John & Tim Rice and produced by Disney. As you probably know, it is based on Guiseppe Verdi's opera Aida and also on a children's storybook version written by opera singer Leontyne Price. Disney acquired the book looking to turn it into a movie. But they had great success with Elton John's musical version of The Lion King that they decided to see if he could do the same thing with Aida. It turned out great. The show premiered in Atlanta Sept. 16, 1998 and then moved to Chicago before opening on Broadway on Mar. 23, 2000 and it ran for over four years. Starring in the title role and winning a Tony award was Heather Headley. She had been with the show in Atlanta. This role made Heather a star and she went on to success as an R & B singer. She is currently recording as a gospel artist for EMI Gospel. Others in the cast included Adam Pascal and Sherie Rene Scott. Damian Perkins played Mereb, the slave who spreads the word about Aida. The duet How I Know You is early in the show. Perkins has done some TV and films but he's mainly a stage performer and director. For reasons unknown, Elton John released a concept version of Aida with guests like Sting and LeAnn Rimes in 1999. Then they came to their senses and released a traditional cast recording in 2000. That's the one you want to get. Before the stage musical was written, Disney had planned to produce Aida as an animated film. In recent years, there has been talk of producing Aida as a live action movie musical. Beyonce Knowles and Christina Aguilera have been rumoured as possible stars but there has been nothing about it for a couple of years. Maybe it will never happen. Here's Heather Headley and Damian Perkins performing How I Know You on The Today Show Aug. 19, 2000.