Monday, February 28, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Brothers Four

Artist:The Brothers Four
Album:Greatest Hits

The Brothers Four were one of several groups that had success in the early 60s as part of the folk music boom. They are forgotten today and frequently confused with the more successful Kingston Trio. But The Brothers Four had a top five hit with Greenfields in 1960. The Brothers Four all attended the University Of Washington and formed in 1956. Members were Bob Flick on bass, John Paine on guitar, Mike Kirkland on banjo and Dick Foley on guitar. Kirkland was a tenor and the other guys were baritones. They performed traditional folk music with intricate harmonies. The 1958 Kingston Trio hit Tom Dooley convinced them to move to San Francisco and pursue a recording contract. While performing at the San Francisco club The Hungry i, they met Dave Brubeck's manager Mort Lewis and he got them a contract with Columbia Records. Their first two singles flopped but then they hit the jackpot when Greenfields reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Terry Gilkyson, Richard Dehr and Frank Miller of the folk group The Easy Riders. Then their album hit the top 20. They also performed The Green Leaves Of Summer on the Oscar telecast when it appeared in the 1960 film The Alamo and was nominated for Best Song. They toured constantly and were huge in Japan. They held their own with similar groups. Of course the downfall of The Brothers Four and other groups was the growing political folk movement led by Bob Dylan. But they had some chart success until they left Columbia in 1969. A version of The Brothers Four continues to tour today. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. Here's The Brothers Four performing Greenfields on Sing Along With Mitch 1960.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Rosi Sexton vs Roxanne Modafferi

Today on Big Bad Blog Video Theater I have Rosi Sexton vs Roxanne Modafferi from yesterday's Cage Warriors show in England. It's always great to see a women's match in the main event and I know that both fighters are fan favourites. But I'm sorry to say that I didn't care for this match. There was very little offense in the match. I laughed when the announcers said "This is a very technical contest". I saw this clinching nonsense in Roxy's match with Sarah Kaufman. She didn't used to do that stuff. What's got into her? Don't fighters want to finish fights anymore? Because it was mostly a defensive battle, I would give Rosi a 30-29 edge just because she got enough takedowns to win. She couldn't get through Roxy's defense once she took her down and Roxy came close to getting submissions from her back. But close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades and you don't get points for defense. I think Roxy could have won if she had been more aggressive. With risk comes reward. I know they're good fighters and I wanted to like the fight. Sorry.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Shocking Blue

Artist:Shocking Blue
Album:Then: Totally Oldies 1

Shocking Blue was very popular in their home country The Netherlands. But here they are best known for the 1970 chart topper Venus. They're not really a one hit wonder though that's how they are perceived by most music fans. The group was led by guitarist and songwriter Robbie Van Leeuwen (born Oct. 29, 1944 in The Hague, Netherlands). He was a member of the 60s Nederbeat group The Motions. He left in 1966 and formed Shocking Blue with singer Fred de Wilde, bassist Klaasje van der Wal and drummer Cor van der Beek. They had a minor hit in 1968 with Lucy Brown Is Back In Town. When de Wilde left to join the Army, he was replaced by Mariska Veres (born Oct. 10, 1947 in The Hague, Netherlands). Mariska started out with The Mysteres in 1964 and was in several other groups. Obviously the change to a bombshell female lead singer caught the interest of their international distributor Polydor. They assigned veteran producer Jerry Ross to work with the band and Venus was the result. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970 and was a worldwide smash. Though some people assume the guitar riff is based on The Who's Pinball Wizard, van Leeuwen says the song was based on the 1963 song The Banjo Song by the folk group The Big Three. That song is actually based on Oh Susanna. Of course The Big Three later became The Mamas and The Papas. Though Venus was Shocking Blue's only US hit, they continued to have a lot of success in Europe, South America and Asia until Mariska left for a solo career in 1974 and Shocking Blue split up. She had success in Europe until her death on Dec. 2, 2006 at age 59. van Leeuwen led the group Galaxy-Lin and moved to Luxembourg. Shocking Blue reunited a couple of times. But after the British girl group Bananarama had a huge hit with a cover of Venus, van Leeuwen didn't wan't to perform Venus anymore. Apparently he thought they ruined it. It made him a lot of money so he shouldn't complain. You can get Venus on this budget various artists comp from Varese. Here's the video for Venus by Shocking Blue.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Matthew Sweet

Artist:Matthew Sweet
Song:Sick Of Myself
Album:Platinum & Gold Collection

After struggling in the 80s, singer songwriter Matthew Sweet emerged in the 90s as one of the leading lights of power pop. He had a lot of success in the college radio market. He was born Oct. 6, 1964 in Lincoln, NE and moved to Athens, GA in the early 80s. As you may know, Athens had a very strong music scene. In 1983, he worked with R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe as Community Trolls and then joined Lydia Stipe's band Oh-OK and also had a duo The Buzz Of Delight with Oh-OK drummer David Pierce. Sweet signed with Columbia Records in 1985 and released his debut album Inside in 1986. Though critically acclaimed, it didn't sell and Columbia dropped him. He signed with A & M Records and released Earth in 1989. It also didn't sell and A & M dropped him. But it was on this album that he started working with producer Fred Maher and veteran guitarists Richard Lloyd (Television) and Robert Quine (Lou Reed). While touring with Lloyd Cole, Sweet's demo got the attention of Zoo Entertainment owner Lou Maglia. He was former president of Island Records. Sweet's 1991 CD Girlfriend was not only critically acclaimed but a commercial success with mostly college radio play and MTV airplay. The single Girlfriend reached #4 on the Modern Rock Chart. Sick Of Myself is from Sweet's 1995 CD 100% Fun and reached #2 on the Modern Rock Chart. Sweet's songs coupled with veteran musicians like Lloyd and Quine was a solid combination. Unfortunately, Zoo was having financial problems. BMG took them over and sold them to Volcano Records owner Kevin Czinger in 1996. Zomba Records took them over in 1998. Sweet continued to record for Volcano until 1999 but they couldn't promote him. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. In 2002, Sweet formed The Thorns with Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge. He is currently with Shout! Factory and has a new CD scheduled for 2011 release. He has also recorded music for The Cartoon Network. He seems to like Scooby-Doo. Here's the video for Sick Of Myself by Matthew Sweet.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ham Seo Hee wins at DEEP 52

Ham Seo Hee pounds Saori Ishioka
Today's DEEP 52 show at Korakuen Hall had a women's match on the show with JEWELS poster girl Saori Ishioka seeking revenge on Korean kickboxer Ham Seo Hee. Ham beat her back in 2008. For someone who is not really an MMA fighter, Ham has done very well in Japan. She doesn't do MMA at home in Korea. The main reason for this is she is a great kickboxer. If she improved her ground game, she would be very hard to beat. She's also a southpaw. I don't think Ishioka is good enough on the ground to counter Ham's striking and I don't think her karate is much better. The fight was scheduled for two five minute rounds meaning a draw is possible unless one fighter dominates. And that's what happened. Ham came out and hammered Ishioka with punches and kicks and Ishioka didn't have an answer for it. Ishioka tried to take her down near the end of the first round but Ham stuffed it and continued to pound her. And when Ishioka took Ham down in round two, Ham got top position and pounded her. Ham continued to dominate and won by unanimous decision. So will Saori Ishioka retire? She certainly threatened to do exactly that after she lost in the JEWELS tournament last summer. And her teammate Shizuka Sugiyama is leaving MMA and moving to Australia. So I would not be surprised if Saori Ishioka quit MMA and move home to Yokohama.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Boyce & Hart

Artist:Boyce & Hart
Song:I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight
Album:The Songs Of Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart

The songwriting duo of Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart are best known for writing hits for The Monkees including Last Train To Clarksville. But they also had brief success as performers with the 1968 top ten hit I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight. Sidney Thomas Boyce was born Sept. 29, 1939 in Charlottesville, VA. Bobby Hart was born Robert Luke Harshman Feb. 18, 1939 in Phoenix. Boyce wrote the 1959 top ten hit Be My Guest for Fats Domino. He met Hart in 1959 and played guitar on his single Girl In The Window. Boyce charted with his 1962 single I'll Remember Carol and co-wrote the hit Pretty Little Angel Eyes with Curtis Lee. Hart wrote the song Dr. Heartache for Tommy Sands. After the duo recovered from a near fatal car accident, they moved to New York and decided to work together. Their breakthrough hit was the 1964 top five hit Come A Little Bit Closer for Jay & The Americans. After Hart co-wrote the 1965 Little Anthony & The Imperials hit Hurt So Bad, they signed as staff songwriters for Screen Gems Music, the publishing division of Columbia Pictures. They wrote songs for others including Paul Revere & The Raiders but then became involved in the TV series The Monkees. They wrote and produced all the songs in the first season of the show including the smash hit Last Train To Clarksville. Conflict with musical supervisor Don Kirshner force Boyce & Hart to leave The Monkees and they signed a recording deal with A & M Records. I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. They also appeared on Columbia TV shows like Bewitched and I Dream Of Jeannie and produced music for several Columbia films. Boyce & Hart split up in 1971. This Varese comp mostly features Boyce & Hart songs recorded by other but does include I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight. In the mid-70s, they formed Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart with Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones of The Monkees. Bobby Hart continues to work as a producer and songwriter and was nominated for an Oscar for the song Over You from the 1983 film Tender Mercies. Tommy Boyce moved to Nashville and struggled with depression and suffered a brain aneurysm. He committed suicide on Nov. 23, 1994 at age 55. Here's Boyce & Hart performing I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight on The Hollywood Palace 1968.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kyoko Inoue visits her home town

You may have heard recently that Women's Pro Wrestling Diane owner Kyoko Inoue visited an elementary school in her home town of Nan'yo. There's some footage of that visit on this video. It's a cool clip and the first video posted on the Diane Youtube channel.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mac Davis

Artist:Mac Davis
Song:Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me
Album:The Best Of Mac Davis

Mac Davis was a very successful country pop crossover artist in the 70s and also had a successful acting career. Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me was his biggest hit in 1972. But he had success as a songwriter first mainly because Elvis Presley liked his songs. He was born Scott Davis Jan. 21, 1942 in Lubbock, TX. His parents were divorced and Davis and his sister lived with their dad in Lubbock helping take care of his apartment building. After he finished high school, Davis moved to Atlanta to live with his mom. He started out as a regional manager for Vee Jay Records and played music and wrote songs on the side. In 1967, he went to work for Liberty Records and moved to Los Angeles to run their publishing division. Elvis Presley recorded the Davis song A Little Less Conversation and liked it so much he wanted more. When Sammy Davis Jr turned down In The Ghetto, Elvis recorded it and of course it was a smash hit. Some of his other songs were hits for others and Davis decided to become a performer and signed with Columbia Records in 1970. His first recordings did OK but he hit the jackpot with Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me in 1972. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts and was a top 30 country hit. Davis had a couple of other hits and a variety show. When his singing career faded, he moved to Casablanca Records and got into acting. He made his debut in the 1979 film North Dallas Forty. He has also performed on Broadway in The Will Rogers Follies. Mac Davis hasn't recorded much lately but still does acting and is very active as a voiceover artist. Of course his songs will always make him money. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2006. This comp from Razor & Tie covers his 70s recordings. Here's Mac Davis with Miss Piggy performing Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me on The Muppet Show 1980.

Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me - Mac Davis
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Liz Carmouche to replace injured Miesha Tate on Mar. 5 Strikeforce show

Liz Carmouch
Bad news, folks. Mauro Ranallo reported this afternoon that Miesha Tate suffered a knee injury in training and has been scratched from her Mar. 5 shot at Marloes Coenen's Strikeforce 135lb Championship. We don't yet know the extent of her injury or how long she will be out. Undefeated Liz Carmouche will step in to face Marloes. Liz is a former Marine and trains at Team Hurricane Awesome in San Diego. Her record is 5-0 and her last win was over Jan Finney on the Nov. 19 Strikeforce show in Jackson, MS. She was very impressive in that fight. But I don't think she has enough experience to handle someone with Marloes Coenen's skill and experience. And she's never gone five rounds. As we saw in her win over Sarah Kaufman, Marloes is very dangerous at all times even on her back. Liz would not have been my first choice as long as Shayna Baszler is under Strikeforce contract doing nothing. Shayna just has a lot more experience and would be a better opponent for Marloes. It seems Strikeforce didn't even offer the fight to Shayna. I guess she's not too thrilled about that. Neither am I. The change in this highly anticipated fight certainly takes a lot of air out of this show.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kay Starr

Artist:Kay Starr
Song:Wheel Of Fortune
Album:Capitol Collectors Series

Kay Starr started out as a jazz singer in the 40s and became a pop singer in the pre-Rock 'N' Roll era of the early 50s. Wheel Of Fortune was one of her two number one hits in 1952. Her career faded in the late 50s and she still performs today. She was born Katherine Laverne Starks July 21, 1922 in Dougherty, OK. Her father was a full blooded Iroquois. The family moved to Dallas when her father got a job installing sprinkler systems. They raised chickens on their farm. Her aunt heard 7 year old Kay serenading the chickens and took her to a local radio station. By age 10, she had her own show. When her dad changed jobs, the family moved to Memphis and Kay continued to sing on the radio. Her name was changed to Kay Starr because Starks was frequently misspelled in fan mail. Kay's big break came when jazz violin legend Joe Venuti needed a girl singer for a show in Memphis. She toured with Venuti until he disbanded the band in 1942. She also had brief runs with Bob Crosby and Glenn Miller. She moved to Los Angeles in 1943 and spent two years with Charlie Barnet's band. She took a break when she had problems with her voice. But she returned to Barnet in 1946 and signed with Capitol Records in 1947. Capitol had several female singers under contract at the time. So Kay was not getting the choice material. She had some success especially with some duets she recorded with Tennessee Ernie Ford. But she finally reached the top of the charts with Wheel Of Fortune in 1952. Wheel Of Fortune was written by Benny Benjamin and George David Weiss who had written several songs together. It was a top ten R & B hit for The Cardinals in 1951 and it appears that the producers of Kay Starr's version used that arrangement. That was done frequently in the 50s. Kay left Capitol for RCA in 1955 and had her second number one hit with Rock & Roll Waltz in 1955. Kay Starr's career had faded by the late 50s and her return to Capitol didn't help. Her two big hits are on this comp. She recorded occasionally but mostly played Vegas and toured. She still performs today. Like Rosemary Clooney, she became more of a jazz singer. Here's Kay Starr performing Wheel Of Fortune. I think this might be from a 50s NBC show called Oasis. This video is not on Youtube.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Primus

Song:Wynona's Big Brown Beaver
Album:They Can't All Be Zingers

Primus was a band that was very successful in the 90s despite not fitting the stereotypes of what a commercially successful band is supposed to be. Wynona's Big Brown Beaver was their biggest hit single in 1995. But the group's mix of jam band musicianship and Frank Zappa influenced humour had already earned them a strong following. Primus' leader was bassist Les Claypool (born Oct. 2, 1962 in Richmond, CA). He auditioned for Metallica in 1986 but they told him he was too good and should do his own thing. So he started Primate with guitarist Todd Huth and a drum machine. They went through a lot of drummers and settled on Jay Lane and later Tim Alexander. Huth left in 1989 and was replaced by Larry LaLonde. Primus released their first album Suck On This independently in 1989 and signed with Interscope Records in 1990. They released their major label debut Sailing The Seas Of Cheese in 1991. The marketing approach was to emphasize their musicianship and the humour of the songs. So though they didn't have a hit single, the video for Jerry Was A Race Car Driver went into heavy rotation on MTV and Primus toured and got a lot of attention for their live show. The album was certified Gold in 1993. They built enough momentum that their 1993 CD Pork Soda reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Gold. Wynona's Big Brown Beaver is from their 1995 CD Tales From The Punchbowl. The video had Primus dressed in plastic cowboy costumes and reached #12 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and the CD reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Gold. Alexander left in 1996  and was replaced by Bryan Mantia. By this time, Claypool released his first solo CD and has worked on many side projects. Primus split up in 2001 and have reformed several times. They are currently working on a new CD for a 2011 release. This comp is a good intro to their music. Primus shows that a band doesn't have to have radio play to be a success. There are alternative ways to do things. Here's the video for Wynona's Big Brown Beaver by Primus.

Monday, February 21, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dire Straits

Artist:Dire Straits
Song:Sultans Of Swing
Album:Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler

Though Dire Straits would go on to become one of the most popular bands of the 80s, The 1978 top five hit Sultans Of Swing was their breakthrough hit. Their musical style is probably closer to the pub rock of the 70s than the punk or new wave that was popular at the time. Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Mark Knopfler was born Aug. 12, 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland. His main influences were Hank Marvin, Chet Atkins and Scotty Moore. After working for a while as a reporter, he decided to become a musician and was in a band called Brewers Droop. In 1977, he formed Dire Straits with younger brother David Knopfler on rhythm guitar, John Illsley on bass and Pick Withers on drums. Their demo, which included Sultans Of Swing, got the attention of BBC DJ Charlie Gillett. He liked it so much that he played Sultans Of Swing on his show and that led to a contract with Phonogram. Their debut album Dire Straits was produced by Muff Winwood. It didn't do well at first. But it got the attention of Warner Bros. A & R rep Karin Berg. A US tour opening for Talking Heads led to a contract and the single re-release of Sultans Of Swing. It reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a worldwide smash hit. The rest is history. It just shows that it is very helpful to have someone at the record company believe in you or you may go nowhere. Pick Withers was replaced by Terry Williams in 1983. Of course Dire Straits biggest hit was the 1985 worldwide chart topper Money For Nothing. Knopfler was already doing outside projects so Dire Straits split up in 1988 and Knopfler would form The Notting Hillbillies. Dire Straits reformed in 1991 and split up for good in 1996. They reformed a couple more times but Knopfler and the others are concentrating on solo projects. This 2CD comp is perfect. There is a video for Sultans Of Swing but I prefer this performance of Sultans Of Swing on The Old Grey Whistle Test 1978.

Dire straits - sultans of swing (live very rare 1978)
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jay & The Americans

Artist:Jay & The Americans
Song:Cara Mia
Album:Come A Little Bit Closer: The Best Of Jay & The Americans

Jay & The Americans had a string of top ten hits despite seeming out of step with musical trends of the mid-60s. They sounded like a throwback to the 50s in the midst of the British Invasion. John Traynor was lead singer of The Mystics after their 1959 hit Hushabye. After leaving the group, he met Sandy Deane (Sandy Yaguda), Kenny Vance (Kenny Rosenberg) and Howie Kane (Howie Kerschenbaum) at New York University. A demo got the attention of legendary producers Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller and they got the group a contract with United Artists. The Americans released a cover of Tonight from West Side Story in 1961 with Traynor's soaring lead vocals. So Lieber & Stoller thought that the lead singer should be featured and Traynor's nickname was Jay. They were now Jay & The Americans. She Cried reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. Follow up singles didn't do well and the group was having trouble with Traynor. After an argument with Deane, Traynor left for a solo career that went nowhere. He was replaced by David Blatt who was renamed Jay Black and they also brought in his friend Marty Sanders (Marty Kupersmith). They returned to the top ten when Come A Little Bit Closer reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964. Then came Cara Mia which sounded more like Italian opera than pop music and it reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. You have Jewish guys singing like Italians. Cara Mia was a top five hit for British pop singer David Whitfield in 1954. It was written and arranged by Italian orchestra leader Mantovani and producer Bunny Lewis. Jay & The Americans returned to the charts a few more times in the 60s. They had a good run considering their music was passe back then. You can get all their hits on this comp. Jay Black was leading a version of Jay & The Americans but had to sell the name due to bankruptcy. Sandy Deane bought the name and he, Kane, Sanders and a new lead singer tour the oldies circuit as Jay & The Americans. Black also tours the oldies circuit. Kenny Vance has had his own band for years and Jay Traynor is a member of The Tokens. Here's Jay & The Americans performing Cara Mia on Shindig 1965.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jorge Ben

Artist:Jorge Ben
Song:Que Pena (Ela Ja Nao Gosta Mais de Nim)
Album:The Definitive Collection

Jorge Ben has been one of Brazil's top singer songwriters since the 60s. He became known here because Talking Heads leader David Byrne is a huge fan and released some of his music on his own label. He is also known as Jorge Benjor. He has been very successful as a songwriter. Que Pena was a big hit for Gal Costa. He was born Jorge Duilio Lima Menezes Mar. 22, 1942 in Rio de Janeiro. He took the name Jorge Ben from his mother's maiden name and in 1989 changed it to Jorge Benjor because his songwriting royalties were mistakenly being sent to George Benson. In 1963, he sang his song Mas Que Nada and signed with Philips Records. He has been with Philips/PolyGram/Universal his entire career. Mas Que Nada became his first hit in Brazil and the 1963 Tamba Trio cover became a hit here. And then Sergio Mendes had a big hit with it in 1966 and again in 2006 when Mendes recorded it with The Black Eyed Peas. Que Pena was on his 1969 album Jorge Ben and Gal Costa's cover was a big hit in Brazil. Ben's song Taj Mahal was the basis for the Rod Stewart hit Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?. But he wasn't given credit and sued successfully for royalties. As I said, David Byrne released Ben's music here and that's when I heard him. So I have been a Jorge Ben fan since the 70s. This comp from the British label Wrasse is a good intro to his music. Wrasse licenses the worldwide rights for all of Universal's World Music. So if you're a fan of Brazilian music, Jorge Ben is a must. Here's Jorge Ben performing Que Pena on MTV Acustico 2002.

Friday, February 18, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tony Bennett

Artist:Tony Bennett
Song:I Left My Heart In San Fancisco
Album:The Ultimate Tony Bennett

Though I Left My Heart In San Francisco is Tony Bennett's signature song, it was not his biggest chart hit. Bennett was very successful in the 50s and 60s and had a long dry period before his 90s rediscovery by MTV. He was born Anthony Benedetto Aug. 3, 1926 in Astoria, Queens, NY. He grew up in poverty as his father died when he was ten years old. By that time, Bennett was already performing. He had to drop out of school and was a singing waiter. After serving in the US Army during WWII, he took singing lessons and was spotted by Pearl Bailey in 1949. Bob Hope saw him open her show and took him on tour and changed his name to Tony Bennett. Bennett signed with Columbia Records in 1950. Bennett was a jazz fan and that's what he wanted to sing. But Frank Sinatra was leaving Columbia and Mitch Miller didn't want Bennett to sound like Sinatra. So Miller paired him with pop orchestra leader Percy Faith. Because Of You was his first number one hit in 1951 followed by Cold Cold Heart, Rags To Riches and Stranger In Paradise. But as Rock 'N' Roll became more popular, Bennett faded. British jazz pianist Ralph Sharon became his musical director in 1957 and he told Bennett that if he took a more jazz oriented approach, he would have a longer career. So Bennett became more of an album artist with albums like Bennett Sings, Basie Swings in 1958. A highly promoted 1962 Carnegie Hall concert led to I Left My Heart In San Francisco getting huge radio play. It only reached #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 but it remained on other charts for a year. The album was a top five hit. George Cory and Douglas Cross wrote the song several years earlier for opera singer Claramae Turner. She performed it but never recorded it. Sharon found the song and had Bennett sing it for the first time in San Francisco with the mayor in attendance. DJs picked up on the buzz and the rest is history. Bennett also had big hits with I Wanna Be Around and The Good Life. Sharon left Bennett in 1965 and Columbia head Clive Davis wanted Bennett to sing contemporary songs. That didn't turn out well for Bennett. He left Columbia in 1972 and briefly recorded for MGM and then started his own label Improv. He almost died from a cocaine overdose in 1979. His son Danny became his manager and helped turn things around. He signed with Columbia in 1986 and Sharon returned as musical director. But the biggest thing was Bennett's appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1994. This connected him with a younger audience and a new generation of musicians. And they all wanted to work with him. So Tony Bennett is still going strong singing just the way he sang in the 50s. The songs on this budget comp were selected by Bennett and emphasize his older material. Here's Tony Bennett with Judy Garland performing I Left My Heart In San Francisco on The Judy Garland Show 1962.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ayaka Hamasaki vs Lisa Ward confirmed as Mar. 11 JEWELS main event

A couple of days ago, I reported exclusively that Lisa Ward is set to face JEWELS Lightweight Champ Ayaka Hamasaki on the Mar. 11 Shinjuku FACE show. And I also reported that British fighter Danielle West will face the Mongolian Esui. JEWELS announced both matches and a couple more. They were just waiting for Bellator to approve Lisa and Bellator was doing their usual foot dragging. Ward vs Hamasaki is a non-title match and West vs Esui is contracted for 65kg. Both matches will be under JEWELS special rules meaning standard MMA rules including unlimited ground and pound. In a match contracted for 62kg and in her final match before leaving for Australia, Shizuka Sugiyama will face Super Benkei. Super Benkei trains at Gamurannac. Her record is 5-8 and her last fight was a loss to Iris on the Nov. 28 VALKYRIE show. And in a match contracted for 52kg, Rina Tomita will face Sadae Manhoef. Tomita trains at AACC. Her record is 3-5 and her last fight was a win over Jeannette Hinz at the Dec. 11 MMA Berlin show. Sadae Manhoef is the ringname for Sadae Suzumura. She trains at Cobra Kai. According to Sherdog, she fought KO Ozeki to a draw at the Oct. 18, 2009 DEEP show in Nagoya. I think it may have been an exhibition match. Frequently we don't get enough detail from Japanese websites and amateur or exhibition matches are mistaken for pro matches. The fact that it was a draw is a tipoff that it may have been an exhibition match. So this match is likely Sadae Manhoef's pro debut. And as you can see, the poster for the show is now out.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Don Rondo

Artist:Don Rondo
Song:White Silver Sands
Album:Jukebox Hits of 1957, Vol. 2

White Silver Sands was the only top ten hit for big voiced baritone Don Rondo in 1957. When his singing career faded in the 60s, he turned to broadcasting. He was born Jan. 5, 1930 in Ware, MA and grew up on his dad's dairy farm. After winning a talent contest at a local Lions Club, Rondo went to New York City to see all the stars of the day performing at the Paramount Theater. He auditioned for Jubilee Records. Jubilee owner Jerry Blaine was a former bandleader who bought Jubilee from Atlantic Records co-founder Herb Abramson in 1948. They released a lot of doo wop records in the 50s. Blaine told Rondo it would cost him $2000 to record. So Rondo borrowed the money from his brother-in-law. That song Two Different Worlds reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1956. After a second single flopped, White Silver Sands reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold a million copies. Supposedly it was Jubilee's biggest seller ever. Red Matthews is credited as writer of White Silver Sands but it appears that was an alias for Gladys Reinhart. I'm not sure but that's how it looks. White Silver Sands was also a top ten hit for Bill Black Combo in 1960 and a top five country hit for Sonny James in 1972. You can get Rondo's version on this various artists comp. Don Rondo recorded for Atlantic, Carlton, Decca and United Artists but was never able to repeat the success of White Silver Sands. He quit the music business in the mid-60s and sang jingles and eventually became a radio announcer and then a local TV personality in New Hampshire. Don Rondo died on Jan. 27, 2011 at age 71. Here's a video for White Silver Sands by Don Rondo.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Noel Paul Stookey

Artist:Noel Paul Stookey
Song:Wedding Song (There Is Love)
Album:The Very Best Of Peter, Paul and Mary

You might think that with all the success that Peter, Paul and Mary had in the 60s that they would have been a sure thing as solo artists. But it didn't really happen and they reunited in 1978. Noel Paul Stookey had the biggest chart success with Wedding Song (There Is Love) in 1971. And of course it's a wedding perennial today. He was born Nov. 30, 1937 in Baltimore. Though he was known as Paul in Peter, Paul and Mary, he was called Noel everywhere else. As a teen, he performed in rock bands and as a standup comic and moved to Greenwich Village in New York to become an entertainer. Of course his big break came when manager Albert Grossman and producer Milton Okun assembled Peter, Paul and Mary and they were a huge success in the 60s. Stookey became a born again Christian in 1968. When Peter, Paul and Mary split up in 1970, all three got solo contracts with Warner Bros. Stookey had the biggest hit when Wedding Song (There Is Love) reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. Stookey wrote the song as a wedding gift to Peter Yarrow and of course the song is still a wedding standard. You can get it on this Peter, Paul and Mary comp. You might think that Stookey is wealthy from song royalties but he donates them to charity. Stookey moved to Maine in 1973 and started his Christian multimedia company Neworld. He not only produces music but children's videos and other things. Here's Noel Paul Stookey performing Wedding Song (There Is Love) 1971.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nico

Song:I'm Not Sayin'
Album:The Classic Years

Nico was probably best known for her contribution to The Velvet Underground's 1967 debut album and her subsequent solo recordings which got her a cult following. This 1965 cover of Gordon Lightfoot's I'm Not Sayin' was an attempt by Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones to turn her into a folksinger. She was born Christa Paffgen Oct. 16, 1938 in Cologne, Germany. She became a top fashion model as a teen and was given the name Nico by a photographer. She made a brief appearance as herself in Federico Fellini's 1959 film La Dolce Vita and the moved to New York City to take acting classes from Lee Strasberg. She gave birth to her son Ari in 1962. Supposedly actor Alain Delon was the father but he always denied that. Nico starred in the 1963 film Strip-Tease which was written by Serge Gainsbourg and sang the theme song. In 1965 she met Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones. He wanted to record her and asked Andrew Loog Oldham to release I'm Not Sayin' on his Immediate label. Jimmy Page played guitar. They even produced a promotional film. But Nico got sidetracked and moved to New York to work with Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey and their experimental films. Warhol managed The Velvet Underground and insisted that Nico be part of the band. She appeared on their debut album The Velvet Underground with Nico. But Lou Reed didn't want her in the band and Nico left and recorded her debut album Chelsea Girl in 1967. And though Reed didn't like Nico, John Cale did and produced several of Nico's albums. She recorded for Island Records through the mid-70s but never broke through commercially though she always had a fanbase left over from her Velvet Underground days. She lived with French director Philippe Garrel and appeared and contributed songs to several of his films. She also became addicted to heroin but kicked the habit in the 80s. She was also deaf in one ear which didn't seem to affect her singing but couldn't hear what anyone was saying to her. On July 18, 1988, Nico was on holiday with her son in Ibiza, Spain. She suffered a heart attack while riding a bicycle and hit her head. She died later that day when she was mis-diagnosed at the hospital and died at age 49. This comp covers Nico's very interesting singing career. Though Nico was never a star, many female rockers look at her as a big influence. Here's the video for I'm Not Sayin' by Nico.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Madison Rayne retains the TNA Knockouts Title AGAIN

Here's the match video for the TNA Knockouts Championship match between Madison Rayne and Mickie James from last night's TNA PPV. The gimmick this time was a Last Woman Standing match. Ugh! The match itself was OK. Both girls took some very heavy bumps outside the ring. But the ending was horrible and really killed the match. Madison's error in going for a pin was inexcusable. She forgot what kind of match it was. I understand that fans are weary of Madison as champ. So why does TNA keep the belt on her? Well, they want to do Mickie vs Tara but Tara is still recovering from her elbow injury and still can't do much in the ring. I think they need to do something different because this angle is officially ridiculous. TNA does this stuff all the time and then they wonder why fans get pissed with them. Meanwhile, Tara and Mickie did an angle on Twitter where Tara dognapped Mickie's dog Elvis. Ugh!

TNA: Against All Odds 2011 - 13/2/11 Part 6 (HQ)
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TNA: Against All Odds 2011 - 13/2/11 Part 7 (HQ)
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Lisa Ward to face Ayaka Hamasaki at Mar. 11 JEWELS

Lisa Ward
Last week JEWELS announced some matches for their Mar. 11 Shinjuku FACE show. They announced that JEWELS Lightweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki will face a gaijin to be announced. I can report that veteran fighter Lisa Ward is that gaijin. This was revealed inadvertently by AACC clothing sponsor Inspirit on their website. Of course Lisa has been to Japan several times. She trains at the United Training Center in Olympia, WA that she owns with husband Eddie Ellis. Her record is 14-6 and her last fight was a submission loss to Megumi Fujii on the Sept. 30 Bellator show in Lake Charles, LA. The undefeated Ayaka Hamasaki is a very interesting opponent for Lisa because Ayaka seems to be a carbon copy of her trainer Megumi Fujii. In a recent interview, Ayaka said she fights southpaw but doesn't know why. That's easy. Megumi fights southpaw so that's what she taught to Ayaka. Of course Ayaka trains at AACC. Her record is 4-0 and her last win was over Ham Seo Hee on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. This should be good. Though it hasn't been announced yet, I can report that British fighter Danielle West will make her first trip to Japan to face the Mongolian fighter Esui. Danielle announced this on her Facebook. Danielle trains at Fuzion MMA in London. Her record is 3-1 and her last fight was a win over Maria Hougaard Nielsen on the Oct. 2 Fighter Gala show in Helsinger, Denmark. Esui is a pro wrestler turned MMA fighter. She trains at Smash Alley. Her record is 1-1 and her last fight was a win over Shizuka Sugiyama on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. That fight was at 59kg but Danielle's fighting weight is heavier and Esui should fight at a heavier weight anyway. I will have more details as they are made available.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gogi Grant

Artist:Gogi Grant
Song:The Wayward Wind
Album:Her Very Best

Gogi Grant had her biggest success with the 1956 chart topper The Wayward Wind. You probably think it was in a western movie but it wasn't. Gogi's success was short lived because her kind of music became dated very quickly in a Rock 'N' Roll world. She was born Myrtle Arinsberg Sept. 20, 1924 in Philadelphia. She moved with her family to Los Angeles at age 12 and won several talent contests. She recorded in 1952 as Audrey Brown and Audrey Grant and then was named Gogi by a record executive after his favourite restaurant. She signed with Herb Newman's Era Records in 1955 and scored a top ten hit with Suddenly There's A Valley. She did even better with The Wayward Wind which stayed at #1 for eight weeks in 1956. The Wayward Wind was written by Stanley Lebowsky. He was a Broadway musical director and won a Tony for Irma La Douce in 1961. The country music version of The Wayward Wind by Tex Ritter was a top 30 pop hit. Gogi's records were arranged by Buddy Bregman. He was best known for his work with Ella Fitzgerald. Gogi Grant dubbed Ann Blyth's vocals in the 1957 film The Helen Morgan Story and the album reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 200. She also appeared with Howard Keel and Anne Jeffreys on stereo LP recordings of the musicals Show Boat and Kiss Me Kate. She continued to record for RCA and Liberty but her singing career was over by the early 60s. She retired in 1967. You can get her Era recordings on this Varese comp. After performing The Wayward Wind on the 2004 PBS special Magic Moments, Gogi Grant came out of retirement and still performs today. Here's Gogi Grant performing The Wayward Wind on the 2004 PBS special Magic Moments.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Yves Montand

Artist:Yves Montand
Song:Luna Park
Album:Les Plus Grandes Chansons

In North America, Yves Montand was best known as an actor. But he was a very popular singer in his adopted country of France back in the 40s before he got into films. Luna Park is one of his earliest recordings. I'm sure many don't even know that he was Italian. He was born Ivo Livi Oct. 13, 1921 Monsummano Alto, Italy which is near Florence. His father was involved in the Communist Party so the family was forced to moved to Marseilles, France in 1924. As a teen, he worked as a barber in his sister's hair salon. But he started singing and winning talent contest and named himself Yves Montand as it sounded like his mother calling him to dinner. WWII interrupted his singing career. But by 1944, he moved to Paris and started performing with Edith Piaf. He started appearing in films and recorded for Odeon Records. Luna Park was a song that he performed in clubs and then he got to sing it in his 1945 film debut Silence...Antenne. Montand became more active in films in the 50s. His breakthrough role was in Henri-Georges Cluzot's 1953 classic The Wages Of Fear. He also married French film star Simone Signoret. He finally broke through in the US in 1959 when Norman Granz had him tour and he continued to appear in films. He remained a very popular singer in France but never attained the same fame as a singer in the US. He continued to star in films and do concert tours in France until his death on Nov. 9, 1991 at age 70. This budget CD is from the Franch classical label Coppelia and contains Montand's music of the 40s. Here's Yves Montand performing Luna Park at the Olympia in Paris 1981.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ben Folds Five

Artist:Ben Folds Five
Album:Whatever and Ever Amen

Ben Folds has had a lot of success recently as a solo artist. But he had his first taste of success when the Ben Folds Five hit the top twenty with Brick in 1997. BTW, there were only three members. He was born Sept. 12, 1966 in Winston-Salem, NC. After playing piano in several local bands, he formed the group Majosha in 1988 with guitarist Millard Powers. Powers is probably better known as a Grammy nominated recording engineer. Majosha recorded an EP but split up in 1990. Folds then signed a publishing deal with RPM Music Group in Nashville. He eventually wound up back in North Carolina and formed Ben Folds Five with bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee. They got a record deal with Columbia through Folds friendship with Jeff Buckley. Brick is from the 1997 CD Whatever and Ever Amen and it reached #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 but the CD reached #42 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Platinum. According to Folds, Brick is about his own experience as a teen when his girlfriend was pregnant and had to get an abortion. The song seems a little whiny but Folds said he just wanted to tell the story. He credits Jessee for writing the chorus and providing the hook that made it a hit. Whatever and Ever Amen is available as a budget CD. The Ben Folds Five recorded one more CD and then split up in 2000. Folds has had a very successful solo career since 2001. He's bigger as a solo artist then when he had the band. Jessee has the successful band Hotel Lights. Sledge had a band called International Orange but currently plays local gigs in North Carolina as the Bob Sledge Band. The Ben Folds Five reunited once in 2008. Here's the video for Brick by the Ben Folds Five.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Womens Pro Wrestling DIANE unveils 14 year old rookie Sari Fujimura

Sari Fujimura
You may recall that when Kyoko Inoue's new joshi company Women's Pro Wrestling DIANE held their opening press conference a few weeks ago, two trainees were in attendance. So they had a media event at the World Arena yesterday to celebrate the graduation of one of those two trainees. Her name is Sari Fujimura. She was born Mar. 31, 1996 in Itabashi prefecture in Tokyo. So by the time she debuts she will be 15 years old. Her height is 5'1" and she weighs about 105lb. She's a little small to be a pro wrestler. As we have seen with Nagisa Nozaki, being too easy to toss around can be a problem. So I hope they get her to pump some iron and put on twenty pounds. It's a problem already because she suffered a lower back injury a couple of days ago but agreed to go through the test anyway. Yikes! As I'm sure a lot of fans are aware, several joshi wrestlers have been trained by retired New Japan wrestler Animal Hamaguchi. But I think Sari is the first wrestler to be trained by Kyoko Hamaguchi. Kyoko is the daughter of Animal Hamaguchi and she is an award winning amateur wrestler and won a Bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics. Sari has been training since July. Sari also trained extensively with Kaoru Ito protege Ayako Sato. Sari did 1000 squats to pass the test and then Kyoko Inoue announced that Sari will have her lower back examined at the hospital. They think she has a broken traverse process bone. So hopefully it's not serious and Sari will debut in April.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Rita Coolidge

Artist:Rita Coolidge
Song:(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher
Album:The Collection

This 1977 cover of the Jackie Wilson classic Higher and Higher was the biggest hit for Rita Coolidge. It took a while for her to break through commercially but her smooth vocal style made her a favourite on the Adult Contemporary charts through the mid-80s. She was born May 1, 1945 in Lafayette, TN near Nashville. She earned a BA at Florida State University and wanted to give music a shot before settling into teaching. So she moved to Memphis with her sister Priscilla Coolidge and they became backup vocalists with Delaney & Bonnie. They moved to Los Angeles and sang on sessions with Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell and toured with Joe Cocker. After finishing Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour, Rita signed with A & M Records in 1971. Though her debut album Rita Coolidge was critically acclaimed, it didn't sell. And that was true of her first few albums. They were all produced by A & M house producer David Anderle along with the legendary Booker T. Jones of Booker T. & The MG's who was married to Priscilla at the time. Rita married Kris Kristofferson in 1973 and recorded albums with him as well. They did well on the country charts but she had trouble breaking through as a solo artist. The 1977 album Anytime...Anywhere finally established Rita as a star. Higher and Higher reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Platinum. The follow up single We're All Alone reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though Rita Coolidge never reached the pop top ten again, she did very well on the Adult Contemporary charts until she left A & M in 1984. There are a few Rita Coolidge comps available. This Australian one has 20 songs and is good value. Rita divorced Kris Kristofferson in 1980. They have one daughter. In 1997, she formed a group called Walela with Priscilla and Priscilla's daughter Laura Satterfield and have released several CDs. Rita attempted to reinvent herself as a jazz singer with the 2005 CD And So Is Love on Concord. We're seeing a lot of 70s pop singers try that. Here's the video for Higher and Higher by Rita Coolidge.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Rupert Holmes

Artist:Rupert Holmes
Song:Escape (The Pina Colada Song)
Album:Greatest Hits

Rupert Holmes has said that Escape (The Pina Colada Song) was the success that ruined his career. He's joking of course but most folks only know him for that song when he was a successful songwriter and producer before that hit and since then he's a Tony winning playwright. He was born David Goldstein Feb. 24, 1947 in Northwich, Cheshire, England. His father was in the US Army and his mother is British and the family moved to the New York City suburb of Nanuet when he was age 6. Holmes' brother Richard Goldstein is an opera singer with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. Holmes attended the Manhattan School Of Music and then started working as a session musician with producer Ron Dante in 1970. Dante was the man behind The Archies but at the time he was working on one of his other studio groups The Cuff Links. Like The Archies, Dante sang the lead vocals for The Cuff Links. They had a hit with Tracy in 1969. Archies producer Don Kirshner put an end to The Cuff Links when he found out about it. The Holmes produced song Jenniffer Tompkins was released as The Street People instead of The Cuff Links. Holmes then wrote and produced the 1971 top 40 hit Timothy for The Buoys. Holmes also produced music for Gene Pitney, Dolly Parton and The Partridge Family. He recorded his solo debut Widescreen in 1974. Barbra Streisand like it so much, she had him produce songs for the film A Star Is Born and five of her albums. He also produced Lynsey De Paul and Sparks. Holmes recorded three albums for Epic and one for Private Stock. He signed with MCA's Infinity label for the 1979 album Partners In Crime and Escape (The Pina Colada Song) topped the Billboard Hot 100 in late Dec. 1979 and Jan. 1980. The song is seen today as kitschy and I guess it made pina coladas famous. Holmes has admitted that it was a throwaway song that was written while it was being recorded. The words "pina colada" wasn't in the original lyric. He came up with it at the last minute. The song made him an instant star and he had a top ten hit with the song Him. This comp has both hits on it. As his recording career faded, Rupert Holmes became a playwright and won a Tony for his 1985 musical The Mystery Of Edwin Drood. He has written several musicals and also created the AMC TV series Remember WENN. And he's writing a novel. So there's obviously more to Rupert Holmes than pina colada. Here's Rupert Holmes performing Escape (The Pina Colada Song) on The Midnight Special 1979.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Hitomi Akano added to Mar. 13 PANCRASE show

Hitomi Akano, Chisa Yonezawa
A few days ago, PANCRASE announced a women's match for their Mar. 13 show at Taisho Azeria show in Osaka. Today they announced a second women's match being billed as JEWELS vs VALKYRIE. They are calling it Bantamweight (probably 135lb) scheduled for two five minute rounds. It will be Hitomi Akano facing Chisa Yonezawa. Akano has a huge experience advantage. She trains at AACC. Her record is 16-8 and She lost to Miesha Tate at that Strikeforce tournament in August. 13 of her wins have been by submission and she is known for pulling those submissions out of thin air. Yonezawa trains at Cobra Kai. Her record is 1-3 and her last fight was a win over HARI on the Nov. 28 VALKYRIE show. Her losses were to Mizuho Sato, Takayo Hashi and Roxanne Modafferi. Obviously Yonezawa is overmatched and one would expect Akano to finish her quickly. In their press release, PANCRASE is selling this match as JEWELS vs VALKYRIE. But the real reason this match has been booked is Hitomi Akano is from Osaka and has never fought in her home town. Most women's MMA matches are in Tokyo so this is obviously a rare opportunity for Hitomi to fight in front of family and friends. So I will forgive the mismatch on this occasion..

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Waite

Artist:John Waite
Song:Missing You
Album:Falling Backwards: The Complete John Waite, Vol. 1

As lead singer of The Babys and Bad English and as a solo artist, John Waite seemed to have a knack for hit power ballads. Missing You was his biggest hit as a solo artist in 1984. He was born July 4, 1955 in Lancashire, England. He formed The Babys in 1976 and they had top 20 hits with Isn't It Time and Everytime I Think Of You. The Babys split up when keyboard player Jonathan Cain left to join Journey in 1981. Waite signed a solo contract with Chrysalis Records. His 1982 debut album Ignition didn't do well. So he switched to EMI for his 1984 album No Brakes and Missing You topped the Billboard Hot 100. No Brakes reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Gold. Tina Turner and Brooks & Dunn charted with covers and Waite even re-recorded Missing You with Alison Krauss in 2007 and had a top 40 country hit. John Waite recorded two more solo albums without much success. So he formed Bad English with former Babys Jonathan Cain and Ricky Phillips and Neil Schon of Journey and they topped the charts in 1989 with When I See You Smile. Bad English recorded two albums and split up because Waite didn't like the arena rock sound and Schon thought Waite's songs were too soft pop. Waite has recorded as a solo artist ever since and has a new CD Rough & Tumble scheduled for release in 2011 by the Italian label Frontiers Records. He also toured with Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band. This comp covers Waite's solo hits and hits with The Babys and Bad English. Here's the video for Missing You by John Waite.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Shizuka Sugiyama moving to Australia

Shizuka Sugiyama, Mika Nagano, Ayaka Hamasaki, Emi Murata
JEWELS held a press conference today to announce a couple of matches for their Mar. 11 Shinjuku FACE show. But the big news is that Shizuka Suigiyama announced that after her appearance on this show, she is moving to Australia. So is she staying in MMA? They say that she is. I'm not so sure. Her last loss on the Dec. JEWELS show to Esui was really bad and there comes a point where a fighter is more suspect than prospect. That's where Sugiyama is right now. Her main purpose for moving to Australia is to study languages for a year which she has planned since high school. You may not know that Shizuka was born in New York City and currently teaches in Yokohama. She speaks perfect English. JEWELS is claiming that she will fight in Australia but Shizuka acknowledged that fighting will be a hobby and will take a back seat to her studies. She isn't saying she is through fighting but I wouldn't be surprised if she decides not to return. JEWELS announced that the main event will have JEWELS Lightweight Champ Ayaka Hamasaki facing a gaijin TBA. Hamasaki trains at AACC. She is 4-0 and she won the belt with a win over Ham Seo Hee on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. In a match contracted for 54kg, Mika Nagano will face Emi Murata. Nagano trains at CORE. Her record is 7-4 and her last fight was a loss to Ham Seo Hee at the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. Murata trains at AACC. Her record is 2-1 and her last fight was a win over Anna at the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. There's a little confusion because Mika Nagano is facing Rina Tomita in a grappling exhibition on the Feb. 27 DEEP show at Shinjuku FACE. And she is also working for the STARDOM joshi puroresu company. Mika admitted to Ringstars her schedule is very challenging right now. STARDOM runs every other Sunday so her dance card is full. In a match contracted for 50kg, MIYOKO will face Yuka Okumura. MIYOKO trains at Grabaka. Her record is 2-2 and her last fight was a win over Asami Higa on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. Okumura is making a return to MMA after a 3 1/2 year absense. She is freelance and her record is 1-6. Her last fight was a loss to Yasuko Tamada on the Sept. 9, 2007 ZST show. Stay tuned as more matches are announced for this show.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dionne Warwick

Artist:Dionne Warwick
Song:Anyone Who Had A Heart
Album:The Dionne Warwick Collection: Her All-Time Greatest Hits

Though Anyone Who Had A Heart was not Dionne Warwick's biggest hit, it was her first top ten pop hit in 1963 and established  her long partnership with the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Dionne was in the right place at the right time and now she's approaching her 50th year in music. She was born Marie Dionne Warrick Dec. 12, 1940 in East Orange, NJ. Her father was a gospel music promoter for Chess Records and her mom managed the family gospel group The Drinkard Sisters. As a teen, she formed The Gospelaires with sister Dee Dee Warwick. Doris Troy, Judy Clay and Dionne's cousin Cissy Houston were among those who went through the group. Then she started doing background vocals at New York recording sessions and she met Brill Building songwriter Burt Bacharach while working on a Drifters session. He asked her if she would record some demos and Scepter Records owner Florence Greenberg liked the demos so much she signed Dionne to a contract. She wanted one of her demos Make It Easy On Yourself to be her first single. But Jerry Butler had already recorded it so Don't Make Me Over was released and reached #5 on the R & B Singles chart and #21 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her name was misspelled Warwick on the label so Dionne changed her name. Anyone Who Had A Heart was her next single and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. And though Walk On By was an even bigger hit, there's not much question that Anyone Who Had A Heart was Dionne Warwick's breakthrough hit. She continued to have a lot of success with Bacharach and David but never had a #1 hit in the 60s. Her two #1 hits were her duet with The Spinners Then Came You in 1974 and That's What Friends Are For in 1985. You can get all her 60s hits on this Rhino comp and the Arista comp Ultimate Collection covers a wider range of her career. Dionne Warwick recorded for Warner Bros. in the 70s and Arista in the 80s. She recorded a gospel CD a couple of years ago. She attempted to reunite with Bacharach and David in the 70s but their failed musical adaptation of Lost Horizon split them up in 1973. But those three sure made a lot of magic in the 60s. Here's Dionne Warwick performing Anyone Who Had A Heart in the 70s.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Rin Nakai vs HARI

Here's the match video for Rin Nakai vs HARI from Sengoku Soul Of Fight at Differ Ariake Dec. 30. There's nothing special about the fight as HARI is not much of a fighter and Rin wastes no time in finishing her. But for the first time we get to see Rin's post match gymnastics or as one of my Japanese friends calls it "air dancing". That's why Rin is called The Beautiful Backflip Woman. As a child, she was a competitive gymnast and a competitive judoka. And now she is undefeated and has become one of Japan's top fighters. She's something to watch. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Association

Artist:The Association
Song:Never My Love
Album:Greatest Hits!

Despite the fact that their sound was closer to The Lettermen than The Jefferson Airplane, The Association were very successful for a couple of years in the mid-60s. They had several top ten hits including Never My Love. Jules Alexander was stationed in Hawaii in the US Navy when he met traveling salesman Terry Kirkman in 1962. They jammed together and promised to get together when Alexander was discharged. They moved to Los Angeles and formed The Inner Tubes with Doug Dillard. This led to the 13 piece folk rock band The Men in 1965. When they split up, The Association was started with Alexander on vocals and lead guitar, Kirkman on vocals, percussion and wind instruments, Brian Cole on vocals and bass, Russ Giguere on vocals and percussion, Ted Bluechel Jr on drums and Jim Yester on keyboards. So they played gigs in Los Angeles and eventually signed with Barry DeVorzon's Valiant label with Warner Bros. distribution. They had their first top ten hit in 1966 with Along Comes Mary and then they had their first #1 hit with Cherish. Their second album Renaissance didn't do as well. They brought in Jim Yester's brother Jerry Yester to produce and it produced no hits. Then Warners bought Valiant and they hired veteran producer Bones Howe to produce The Association. Jules Alexander left and was replaced by Larry Ramos formerly of The New Christy Minstrels. Ramos and Giguere would become the main lead vocalists but the harmonies were the main selling point of the group. The vocal arranger was Clark Burroughs of the vocal group The Hi-Los. Windy topped the charts in July 1967 and then Never My Love reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in Oct. 1967. The song was written by Don and Dick Addrisi who went on to some success in the 70s as The Addrisi Brothers. It was also successfully covered by The Fifth Dimension in 1971 and Blue Swede in 1974. In 1999, BMI recognized Never My Love as the second most played song in history. Jules Alexander returned in 1969 but by this time The Association was in decline. Their music on the soundtrack of the film Goodbye, Columbus did not go well. Warners dropped them in 1972 and you can get all their Warners hits on this comp. The Association continued to record in the 70s without any success and today Russ Giguere and Larry Ramos lead a version of the group on the oldies circuit. Here's The Association performing Never My Love on The Ed Sullivan Show 1967.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Women's match added to March 13 PANCRASE show

Happy Fukuko, Mamiko Mizoguchi
PANCRASE announced today that they have added a women's match to the Mar. 13 show at Taisho Azeria in Osaka. The good news is that WINDY Tomomi isn't one of the fighters. PANCRASE has made noise about possibly reviving the Athena title for female fighters.And WINDY was supposed to be on the Feb. 6 show but was scratched. I do expect PANCRASE to run some sort of women's tournament later this year. They like to do tournaments and are doing a Bantamweight tournament on the Mar. 13 show. In a match contracted for 48kg and scheduled for two five minute rounds, Happy Fukuko will face Mamiko Mizoguchi. Both are VALKYRIE veterans. Happy Fukuko is the ringname for Fukuko Hamada. Happy is her nickname. She trains at Cobra Kai. Her record is 5-6 and her last fight was a majority decision loss to Kayo Nagayasu on the Apr. 11 VALKYRIE show. Mamiko Mizoguchi trains at Alliance. Her record is 2-4 and her last fight was a TKO loss to Megumi Morioka at the Feb. 11, 2010 VALKYRIE show. Mizoguchi used to fight at 52kg but was overmatched so she dropped down to 48kg for her last couple of fights. Hopefully this is the first of several women's matches to appear on PANCRASE shows this year.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Natalie Cole

Artist:Natalie Cole
Song:This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)
Album:Greatest Hits, Volume 1

Of course we all know that Natalie Cole is the daughter of the legendary Nat King Cole. She has had her own successful career since This Will Be hit the charts in 1975. She has changed her musical style significantly over the years. I prefer her early R & B material to the type of easy listening sound she has today. She was born Feb. 6, 1950 in Los Angeles. We all know about her dad but her mom Maria Cole sang with Duke Ellington and her uncle Freddie Cole is a jazz piano legend. When her dad died in 1965, she was away at a boarding school in Massachusetts. She started singing in clubs in the early 70s And that's where she met producers Marvin Yancy and Chuck Jackson. Of course Jackson had several hits of his own in the 60s including Any Day Now. Yancy was a pianist who usually backed up touring gospel acts when they came to Chicago. The two started working together and their group The Independents topped the R & B charts with Leaving Me in 1973. When that group split up, they met Natalie after talking to her manager and the three started working together. Natalie signed with Capitol and This Will Be topped the R & B Singles chart and reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975. She had several other hits and the album Inseparable went Gold. If you think This Will Be sounds like Aretha Franklin, that's not a coincidence because Yancy and Jackson offered the song to Aretha before they met Natalie and she turned it down. Natalie married Yancy in 1976 and she continued to have success through the late 70s. They have a son Robbie Yancy who now tours with his mom. They divorced in 1980 and Marvin Yancy died of a heart attack in 1985 at age 34. Meanwhile Natalie's career had faded and she was addicted to drugs. Her 1987 career rebirth and recovery came after she married record producer Andre Fischer and he got her a contract with Elektra. And of course she had her biggest hit with the duet with Nat King Cole Unforgettable in 1991. This comp was released in tandem with a TV biopic in 2000 and is a good intro to her music. Natalie Cole was diagnosed with hepatitis in 2008 and after a liver transplant, she has returned to touring mostly as a nostalgia act. As I said, I don't like her recent music but I do like her early R & B stuff. Here's Natalie Cole performing This Will Be on The Midnight Special 1975. This video is not on Youtube.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Garbage

Song:Stupid Girl
Album:Absolute Garbage

Garbage was one of the surprise success stories of the 90s. Stupid Girl was their biggest hit. The group started out as three veteran musicians messing around in the studio and became a band when they hired singer Shirley Manson. Garbage is from Madison, WI. In 1993, drummer Butch Vig was already known as a producer for bands like Nirvana. But he had owned his own recording studio in Madison since 1984 with guitarist Steve Marker and he had been in the bands Spooner and Firetown with bassist Duke Erikson. So they formed a new band initially with Vig singing. Someone said the music sounded "like garbage" hence the band name. For commercial reasons, the guys thought hiring a female lead singer was a good idea. Shirley Manson is from Edinburgh, Scotland and was lead singer of Angelfish. Marker saw their video and when Angelfish split up, she joined Garbage. They sent out demos and when Vow got radio play, that earned them a contract with Almo Sounds. This label was started by A & M Records owners Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss after A & M was sold to Polygram. Their 1995 debut CD Garbage reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 200 and went 2X Platinum. Stupid Girl reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been their biggest single to date. Stupid Girl is based on a drum sample from The Clash classic Train In Vain. Garbage has continued to have success and have a new CD scheduled for release in 2011. This comp is a good intro to their music. Butch Vig has returned to producing other bands and is currently working on a new Foo Fighters CD. Shirley Manson was supposed to release a solo CD but it was shelved and won't be released. Here's the video for Stupid Girl by Garbage.

Friday, February 04, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Men At Work

Artist:Men At Work
Song:Down Under
Album:Contraband: The Best Of Men At Work

For a very brief time, the Aussie band Men At Work were the hottest band in pop music in the 80s. They had two number one hit and are the only Aussie band to have a number one single and album at the same time. But they faded as quickly as they rose and by the mid-80s they had faded. Maybe their music wasn't that good in the first place. Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Colin Hay was born June 19, 1953 in Kilwinning, Scotland and moved to Australia with his family at age 14. In 1978 he formed a duo with guitarist Ron Strykert. They expanded the group with drummer Jerry Speiser and keyboard player Greg Sneddon. After working in the studio, Sneddon left and was replaced by sax player Greg Ham. Bassist John Rees joined and they were named Men At Work. After touring Australia, they signed with Columbia in 1981. Their 1982 debut album Business As Usual and the debut single Who Can It Be Now? topped the Aussie charts. But Columbia in the US rejected the album twice before the band's management convinced them to release it. Who Could It Be Now and Down Under both topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Business As Usual topped the Billboard Hot 200 and went 6X Platinum. Men At Work also won the 1983 Best New Artist Grammy. Their 1983 album Cargo also topped the charts and went 3X Platinum. But their 1985 album Two Hearts only went Gold. Men At Work was having problems during recording. Speiser and Rees had already been fired and then Strykert left and Hay brought in session musicians to finish the album. Then Ham left during the subsequent tour. It was over for Men At Work in 1986. This budget comp has all their hits. Colin Hay signed as a solo artist with MCA but he was never successful as a solo artist. In recent days, he has toured with Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band and he has also reunited with Ham for a couple of Men At Work tours. Strykert released a solo album in 2009. They also lost a lawsuit regarding the use of the traditional Aussie song Kookaburra in Down Under. But for a short time, Men At Work were hot stuff. Here's the video for Down Under by Men At Work.