Sunday, July 31, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Thrater-Miesha Tate vs Marloes Coenen

Here's the match video from Miesha Tate vs Marloes Coenen from last night's Strikeforce show in Chicago. Unless you've been living under a rock, you already know that Miesha won the 135lb title. So I'm going to concentrate on analyzing the fight. The only thing that surprised me about the fight was that Marloes didn't try to keep it standing. But I guess Marloes is so comfortable on her back that I guess she didn't think Miesha's takedowns were a big deal. In the first round, Marloes got Miesha in a guillotine choke when Miesha took her down. I didn't think she was going to get a submission from that. Maybe she should have transitioned to something else. Miesha got on top but didn't do much. Was it lay and pray? Knowing Marloes' rep, I think Miesha was just being cautious. Ref Big John McCarthy warned Miesha twice but didn't stand them up. So Marloes wasn't in any danger but the position looks bad so Miesha won the round 10-9. One of the judges scored round one 10-9 Marloes. So he obviously penalized Miesha for failing to advance her position. When Miesha took Marloes down in round two, Marloes did a great transition to take her back. Marloes had Miesha in a body scissors but was unable to get a rear naked choke though she did pound her for most of the round. I know judges don't like to do this but I scored it 10-8 Marloes. For the most part, round three was a repeat of round one except McCarthy did stand them up at one point. Miesha won the round 10-9. I thought Marloes should have tried to keep that round on the feet. The second round should have made Miesha ripe for the picking. Marloes did not take advantage of that. So Marloes is losing on the scorecards. Round four can't be like round three. But Miesha stuck to her game plan and took her down. The key point in the fight was when Marloes was unable to use her feet to launch herself from the cage for a reversal. And then for the first time in the match, Miesha tried to advance her position by switching to the other side and apply an arm triangle choke. She used her knee on Marloes' body to stretch her out for the tap. It was a very slick move but obviously it surprised Marloes as Miesha hadn't tried anything previously. Congratulatons to Miesha for winning the title. She did great. But the champ always has a target on her back. But considering that Miesha's next opponent is Sarah Kaufman, that target will be Miesha's nose. It should be pretty good. According to some in the media, this fight was supposed to determine if Zuffa would keep women fighters long term. I don't buy that and I don't think a decision will be made until next year. As I have said all along, if Zuffa gets rid of women's MMA, someone else will use it to become competition for them. Keeping them is good business. The crowd reaction after Miesha won was great and women fighters have always done good ratings. I'm also seeing this stuff about Miesha as the new face of women's MMA. She knows how to market herself and like it or not, sex appeal is always going to be a part of this business. I'm not interested in those labels. So if you haven't seen it or you want to watch it again, enjoy the fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bobby Rush

Artist:Bobby Rush
Song:Chicken Heads
Album:Get Your Lie Straight: A Galaxy Of Funky Soul

Bluesman Bobby Rush had his biggest commercial success with this 1971 R & B hit Chicken Heads. He called his music Folk-Funk. In recent years he's had a lot of success recording on his own label and touring the blues circuit. He was born Emmitt Ellis Jr. Nov. 10, 1935 in Homer, LA. His dad was a preacher who played guitar and harmonica. When the family moved to Pine Bluff, AR in 1946, Rush became friends with Elmore James and wore a fake mustache to fool club owners into letting the teenaged Rush perform. He became part of the Chicago blues scene when his family moved there in 1953. He worked with Luther Allison and Freddie King among others in the 60s. In the late 60s, Rush shifted to the Chitlin Circuit in the south and he wound up recording Chicken Heads for a small label. It was picked up for national distribution by the Fantasy Records owned Galaxy label and reached #34 on the R & B Singles chart in 1971. Galaxy had been a jazz label in the 50s. But it was revived in the early 70s by veteran A & R man Ray Shanklin and he liked offbeat R & B and blues. This various artists comp from Ace Records is a good sampling of their music. Concord owns the Galaxy recordings but hasn't released any of them to date. Bobby Rush recorded for all kinds of labels including Philadelphia International in 1979. He moved to Jackson, MS in 1982 and recorded for LaJam Records and then Malaco's Wardoxy label. Since 2003, he has recorded for his own Deep Rush label. His latest CD Show You A Good Time was released in April. Rush also got a boost when Chicken Heads was on the soundtrack for the film Black Snake Moan. He seems to be making a good living on the blues circuit. Here's Bobby Rush performing Chicken Heads on his 2003 DVD Live At Ground Zero.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Sara McMann vs Tonya Evinger

Today on Big Bad Blog Video Theater I have Sara McMann vs Tonya Evinger from last night's Titan FC show in Kansas City. Of course Sara McMann is the former Olympic medalist in wrestling attempting to transition to MMA. She was set to sign a Strikeforce contract and for reasons that either make no sense or are baloney, she chose not to sign. But she should have signed because of the competition level. When athletic commissions approve fights, they look at MMA experience. They don't really look at amateur experience. But they should because fighters like Sara McMann, Sheila Bird or Ronda Rousey should not be fighting anyone with no amateur experience. They're just too advanced for inexperienced fighters. So Tonya Evinger had a fight scheduled with an opponent who dropped out and Sara stepped in. The problem was Sara refused to drop to 135lb and Tonya had to put on weight to reach the catchweight of 140lb. She actually weighed in at 137. But I think the fight is a very good indication of where Sara is with her MMA game right now. She needs work. The two know each other from amateur wrestling so Sara thought she needed to be cautious. But her size advantage should have given her more confidence to try things. In round one, Sara took Tonya down twice but chose not to do anything. It's the old lay and pray. I don't know why the ref didn't stand them up but I am told the reffing was bad for the whole show. Sara did more of the same in round two. In round three, Tonya got Sara in a triangle choke and Sara admitted afterwards that she was lucky to get out of it because if she had been caught with it in round one, she would have had to tap out. Tonya also broke her nose. So you gotta give Tonya credit. She never gave up and almost pulled out a win but the size difference was too much and Sara won by unanimous decision. Maybe she learned that she needs to fight girls of Tonya's caliber. I'm not sure her handlers understand that. Enjoy the video!

RENA isn't retiring...for now

So you may recall that SHOOT BOXING held a press conference recently to announce that RENA will be part of the 2011 S-Girls Cup tournament at SHIBUYA-AX on Aug. 19. Despite this, rumours had surfaced that RENA planed to retire. Yesterday SHOOT BOXING owner Takeshi Caesar held a press conference to announce that RENA is not retiring. Obviously that is unusual. But they didn't deny the rumour. In fact, RENA admitted that after losing the SB belt to Ai Takahashi, she considered retirement. Caesar convinced her to change her mind. One of the problems Caesar has with RENA is she doesn't train at the SHOOT BOXING HQ in Tokyo. She lives in Osaka and trains at the Oikawa Gym. Maybe he needs to keep a better eye on her. I'm not surprised by her retirement talk. Some people can't handle adversity. But now she says that after winning the 2009 and 2010 S-Girls Cup, she wants to threepeat. That will be a tall order with 18 year old kickboxing champ Erika Kamimura in the tournament. Despite her youth, Erika doesn't have that RENA babe factor. And she doesn't work for SHOOT BOXING. They haven't announced RENA's first round opponent yet. But I wonder what she'll do if she loses in the first round. That's why I say she isn't retiring...for now.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Corrs

Artist:The Corrs
Album:Dreams: The Ultimate Corrs Collection

The Corrs are a family group combining their Irish roots with contemporary pop music. They had their biggest success in the US with the with the 2000 top 40 hit Breathless which was their most pop oriented song. They remained very popular in Ireland and Europe until they went on hiatus in 2006. The Corrs are lead singer Andrea Corr, violinist Sharon Corr, drummer Caroline Corr and guitarist Jim Corr. They hired additional musicians for tours. They grew up in Dundalk, Ireland and their parents were amateur musicians. The four first performed as a quartet in 1991 and Irish musician John Hughes became their manager when they auditioned and received bit parts in the film The Commitments. In 1994, American ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith invited them to perform at the FIFA World Cup in Boston. An appearance at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta led to an opening slot on a Celine Dion tour. Then they signed with Atlantic Records and David Foster produced their debut CD Forgiven, Not Forgotten. It did well at home but not so well in the US. Glen Ballard produced their second CD Talk On Corners with similar results. So Atlantic knows The Corrs are talented and the sisters are easy on the eyes. But their music isn't catching on. So Atlantic hired Robert John "Mutt" Lange to produce In Blue. We all know what he did for his then wife Shania Twain. The idea was to make a more pop oriented record. It worked. Breathless reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and In Blue reached #21 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Platinum. The video for Breathless went into heavy rotation on MTV and VH1.Subsequent albums did very well in Europe but not in the US. And The Corrs have been on hiatus since 2006. Jim and Caroline are raising families and are not active at this time. Caroline is good enough to be a session drummer. She is outstanding. After taking a break to have two children, Sharon Corr released her solo debut CD Dream Of You Sept. 2010. It was released only in Europe. Andrea Corr has released two solo CDs in England only and has done some acting mostly on stage in Ireland. This comp is a good intro to their music. Here's the video for Breathless by The Corrs. From what I can tell, this video is not on Youtube.

The Corrs - Breathless(Clip) by guenael76

Friday, July 29, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Nanae Takahashi vs Mercedes Martinez

Today I have a double shot for you on Big Bad Blog Video Theater. I have the match video for Nanae Takahashi vs Mercedes Martinez from last week's STARDOM show along with Takahashi's 15th anniversary ceremony. The match is pretty good. It is slightly edited. My only beef is Samurai TV cut Mercedes' ring entrance. I also think the ending was rushed. Mercedes got in more offense than it appeared in last week's pics. It backs up my view that this match should have been the final and given more time. Let's forget about female wrestlers. These are two of the best wrestlers in the world today. Both are very entertaining top quality performers. They would have no problem going a half hour or even an hour and it would be a match of the year candidate. I enjoyed the match for what it was but didn't like the booking. I wanted more. And that brings me to Nanae Takahashi's 15th anniversary ceremony. I have watched Nanae for her entire career and I have never seen her in the kind of physical condition she is in today. I think she has dropped about 20 pounds. The weight never seemed to affect her performance. She has always been solid. Props to her. She looks fabulous. The video begins with STARDOM's opening dance number featuring Fuuka. I could live without that. Then a brief montage of Nanae's career followed by the ceremony. Momoe Nakanishi, Miho Wakizawa and Kayo Noumi enter the ring for a brief reunion of the Kiss No Sekai singing group. Momoe presents one of her costumes to Nanae's sidekick Natsuki*Taiyo who as a wrestler is kind of a carbon copy of Momoe. Then Kumiko Maekawa and Yumiko Hotta enter the ring. The laughing is because Kumiko and Nanae are supposed to hate each other. And that's about it. Enjoy the videos!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Face To Face

Artist:Face To Face
Album:Another Lost Decade: The '80s Hard To Find Hits

Here's a one hit wonder from the height of the New Wave era of the early 80s. 10-9-8 was a top 40 hit for Face To Face in 1984. The are not to be confused with the 90s punk band from California also called Face To Face. This Face To Face was formed in New Hampshire with lead singer Laurie Sargent, guitarist Stu Kimball, keyboard player and songwriter Angelo Petraglia, bassist John Ryder and drummer Billy Beard. They moved to Boston in 1980 and signed with Epic Records in 1982 and their debut CD Face To Face was released in 1984. The album didn't do all that well but the single 10-9-8 reached #38 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 on the dance chart. 10-9-8 was written by Petraglia and produced by Boston DJ turned producer Arthur Baker. He would later become a house producer for Tommy Boy Records. Their 1985 CD Confrontation didn't sell and Epic dropped them. Face To Face recorded a third CD for PolyGram in 1988 and then split up. You can get 10-9-8 on this Time Life various artists budget CD. Face To Face also appeared as The Attackers in the film Streets Of Fire. And though Laurie Sargent did not appear in the film, her vocals were used in the film. Laurie Sargent recorded a couple of solo albums and is currently lead singer of Twinemen which includes members of the defunct band Morphine. Stu Kimball also works with that band and has toured with Bob Dylan. Billy Beard books a club in Boston and plays in a band on the side. Angelo Petraglia won a 2010 Record Of The Year Grammy for producing Kings Of Leon. Here's the video for 10-9-8 by Face To Face.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kana yells at Syuri at SMASH press conference

So SMASH is doing the semi finals of their Diva Tournament Apr. 11 Korakuen Hall show. And one of the matches will have Kana vs Syuri. So they had a press conference today with them. Now I know some fans really like Syuri. I'm not crazy about her. She wrestles like a dancer which is what she was before she got into wrestling. She's been around long enough that she needs to pick up her game. And I find her babyface character very whiny and annoying. She comes across very weak. And that's what this press conference is about. Syuri gives this whole story about how her mom is Filipino and she had a tough childhood. It's not unusual for mixed race children in Japan to be teased unmercifully. She became a dancer to make a lot of money and make her mother proud. And winning the SMASH Diva belt will make her famous and give back to her mother. Kana's response was sort of like "Tough shit, bitch. Quit your whining". She basically yelled at her for five minutes and she should stop being so damn pathetic. So of course Syuri starts crying. And I guess Kana told her to knock it off. And you can see what Syuri did after Kana left the room. If this results in Syuri's improvement as a wrestler, I'm all for that. I am doubtful that she has it in her. She needs to be more wrestler and less dancer.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Deep Purple

Artist:Deep Purple
Song:Smoke On The Water
Album:Machine Head: 25th Anniversary 2CD Edition

Though Deep Purple are categorized as a heavy metal band and were once listed by the Guinnss Book Of World Records as the world's loudest pop band, they started out as a progressive rock group and their sound changed due to personnel changes. Smoke On The Water is their biggest hit and best known song. Deep Purple began in 1967 as an attempt by Searchers drummer Chris Curtis to start the new band Roundabout. He hired organist Jon Lord of The Artwoods and then guitarist Ritchie Blackmore who had been playing sessions in Germany. Curtis left but Lord and Blackmore continued. They hired bassist Nick Simper, singer Rod Evans and drummer Ian Paice and Deep Purple was born. They signed with Polydor in England and Tetragrammaton in the US. Believe it or not, Tetragrammaton was owned by Bill Cosby. Though the group had some success, the financial state of the label soon became a problem and Warner Bros. bought Deep Purple's contract when Tetragrammaton closed in 1970. Meanwhile, Evans and Simper were fired and replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover of Episode Six. Though the album Concerto For Group and Orchestra was critically acclaimed, Blackmore and Gillan wanted to go in a hard rock direction. The plan in Dec. 1971 was to record Machine Head in at a casino in Montreux using the Rolling Stones mobile studio. But the night before they were to begin recording, the casino burned down during a Frank Zappa concert. Deep Purple went to another hotel to record Machine Head and Smoke On The Water is about that fire. Smoke On The Water reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Machine Head reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 2XPlatinum. This 2CD edition was remastered by Roger Glover. Of course Smoke On The Water has one of the most popular guitar riffs in history. Soon after, Gillan and Glover left and were replaced by Glenn Hughes and new lead singer David Coverdale. They continued to tour and record but Blackmore left in 1975 to form Rainbow and Tommy Bolin was hired to replace him. That ultimately did not work out and Deep Purple split up in Mar. 1976. Of course David Coverdale had success with Whitesnake. Deep Purple reformed with the original lineup in 1984 and stuck with it until Blackmore left again in 1994. He was replaced by Steve Morse and Deep Purple still tours tday and Paice, Glover and Gillan are still in the band. Here's Deep Purple performing Smoke On The Water in New York 1973.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some idol girls think they want to be pro wrestlers

Pro Wrestling WAVE announced today that idol singing group AeLL (pronounced Yale) will appear on the Aug. 17 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. The plan is they will sing three songs and all will make their pro wrestling debuts. This video documents their first training session led by Toshie Uematsu. Take note of the looks on their faces when they are watching the wrestlers practice in the ring. Did they think they were coming to a picnic? Pro wrestling ain't easy. I'm sure this will be quite the train wreck.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Eagle-Eye Cherry

Artist:Eagle-Eye Cherry
Song:Save Tonight

Eagle-Eye Cherry burst upon the music scene with the 1998 top five hit Save Tonight. Unfortunately, the delayed release of his second CD caused him to lose momentum and today he is considered a one hit wonder. He was born May 7, 1971 in Stockholm, Sweden the son of jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and half brother to hip hop legend Neneh Cherry and pop singer Titiyo. His dad named him Eagle-Eye because when he was born, Eagle-Eye looked at his dad with one eye open. He and Neneh went on the road with dad when they were kids. As a teen, Cherry attended the New York School of Performing Arts and took up acting. He did guest shots on TV shows including The Cosby Show and starred in the short lived NBC action series South Beach in 1993. He got back into music and when his dad died, he moved back to Stockholm and quit acting. He wrote and produced Desireless with Swedish guitarist Klas Ahland of Teddybears. When the album did well in Europe, Tommy Mottola's Sony distributed Work Group label picked it up for distribution in the US. Save Tonight reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album was certified Platinum. The album is worth getting. Cherry also appeared on Carlos Santana's monster CD Supernatural in 1999. Cherry moved to MCA for his second CD Living In The Present Future. It was released in Europe in 2000 and did OK. But it appears that executive producer Rick Rubin was not happy with it. He reworked it and added three tracks. By the time it was released in the US as Present/Future in late 2001, it was too long between releases and Cherry lost any momentum that he had. His 2003 CD Sub Rosa was released in Europe only. According to his website, Eagle-Eye Cherry is still working on music. But it's likely that he will forever be a one hit wonder. Fortunately, it's a great song. Here's the video for Save Tonight by Eagle-Eye Cherry.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ella Mae Morse

Artist:Ella Mae Morse
Song:Cow Cow Boogie
Album:The Very Best Of Ella Mae Morse

Though forgotten today, teen jazz singer Ella Mae Morse took the music world by storm with her 1942 debut single Cow Cow Boogie. Not only did it top the charts but it was Capitol Records' very first Gold record. Ella Mae had a strong career through the 50s. She was born Sept. 12, 1924 in Mansfield, TX. She auditioned and was hired by Jimmy Dorsey at age 14. The problem was he thought she was 19 and fired her when he found out her real age. In 1942 she joined pianist Freddie Slack's band. He had worked with Dorsey in the 30s and played the piano solo on the 1939 Will Bradley hit Beat Me Daddy, Eight To The Bar. Slack was a legit boogie woogie guy. T-Bone Walker was in his band. Slack recorded Cow Cow Boogie with Ella Mae on vocals in 1942. It topped the hit parade and went Gold. Apparently it was the second record released by Johnny Mercer's newly established Capitol Records. Cow Cow Boogie was written by veteran songwriters Don Raye and Gene DePaul for the 1942 Abbott & Costello film Ride 'Em Cowboy. Cow Cow Boogie was also a hit for The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald in 1944. Dorothy Dandridge performed it in a Soundie. Ella Mae Morse performed it in the 1943 film Reveille With Beverly. Ella Mae went solo in 1943 and had several hits. Because of her versatility, she probably wasn't as big a star as she could have been. She could sing jazz, R & B or pop and many of her songs were R & B hits. Ella Mae Morse continued to record for Capitol until her 1957 retirement. You can get all of her Capitol hits on this comp. She continued to perform occasionally and did so regularly at Disneyland until her death on Oct. 16, 1999 at age 75. Here's Ella Mae Morse with Freddie Slack performing Cow Cow Boogie in the 1943 film Reveille With Beverly.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh no! Another new joshi company!

As bad as the pro wrestling business is in Japan and as bad as the joshi business has been over the last decade, There seem to be more companies popping up this year than ever. We don't need more companies. We need fewer companies. But this one is owned by a familiar name and appears to be an offshoot of Kyoko Inoue's new company Woman Pro Wrestling Diana. It appears that Diana is having financial problems. Last week they announced they are moving from World Arena to a different location in September. Before that, they announced a Sept. 4 show at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. That date will be the debut of Happy Hour!! The company will be owned by retired AJW and Pro Wrestling SUN wrestler Hikaru. You may recall that Hikaru retired in Apr. 2009 and married Koji Kanemoto of New Japan. She says in the press release that she has no plans to come out of retirement but she wants to give back to the joshi business. Maybe she's bored. She has sponsorship from AIB Bank and it appears that ZERO-1 parent company First On Stage is assisting her as well. The wrestlers on the debut will be from Diana's roster. Also appearing is Aja Kong, Andrea Mother who is the wrestler who was Rosie Lottalove in TNA. She has been working for Diana lately. Also appearing is Canadian wrestler Jamie D. Jamie worked for Pro Wrestling SUN a few years ago and knows Hikaru from those days. It does not say how frequently Happy Hour!! will run shows. Hopefully they will take over some of Diana's dates like they are doing here. That should give Diana some financial relief. Maybe they'll merge. That would be good.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gretchen Wilson

Artist:Gretchen Wilson
Song:Redneck Woman
Album:Here For The Party

When Gretchen Wilson burst on to the country music scene in 2004, she caused a commotion with Redneck Woman, an anthemic song celebrating Gretchen's own working class roots. It was a monster hit. But she butted heads with Columbia Records and now records on her own label. She was born June 26, 1973 in Pocahontas, IL which is near St. Louis. Her dad left early on and she was raised by her mom in trailer parks. Gretchen dropped out of school at age 15 and started working in St. Louis clubs as a cook and sang on the side. Springfield, MO bar manager Susie Osburn went to St. Louis looking for a new house band. When she heard Gretchen sing, she signed them and Gretchen and her band remained there for two years. She moved to Nashville in 1996 and tended bar while she became a part of the songwriter's collective Musik Mafia led by John Rich of Big & Rich. She signed with Epic in 2003 and released Here For The Party in 2004. The album topped the Country Album charts and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 200. It was certified 5XPlatinum. Redneck Woman topped the Country Singles chart. She was the first female country artist to top the chart in two years. And this was at a time when country was headed in a pop direction and she went in the opposite direction. Gretchen wrote the song with John Rich and he produced it. Rich is known for helping new talent. Redneck Woman struck a chord with folks. The CD is available as a budget release. Gretchen's subsequent CDs did well but of course not as well as Here For The Party. When she butted heads with Columbia over her 2009 CD I Got Your Country Right Here, Gretchen left and released the CD on her own Redneck label. Apparently she wanted to do some country rock and Columbia didn't like it. It's done OK so the big question is will she continue with her own label or sign with a major. Here's the video for Redneck Woman by Gretchen Wilson with cameos by Tanya Tucker, Kid Rock and Hank Williams Jr.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nanae Takahashi wins STARDOM World Championship

Nanae Takahashi dives onto Mercedes Martinez
STARDOM packed Korakuen Hall today and crowned Nanae Takahashi as their first world champion. It also doubled as Takahashi's 15th anniversary show. Of course Takahashi's old pal and long time tag team partner Momoe Nakanishi appeared and took part in the Kiss No Sakai reunion with Takahashi, Miho Wakizawa and Kayo Noumi. They sang a little song. Yumiko Hotta and Kumiko Maekawa also appeared. Takahashi and Maekawa joked about hating each other. My big problem with STARDOM is I do not like the concept of building a promotion on the backs of raw rookies likely to stink up the joint on a regular basis. Of course it's also predictable. Anyone who tried to say that anyone but Takahashi would win that title should stop smoking that stuff. The secondary belt title match was between former bikini model and The Next Fuuka Yuzuki Aikawa and Yoshiko. They're trying to sell Yoshiko as a major heel but I think she needs to be less miserable. Aikawa is the chosen one so obviously she won the belt. In the red belt tournament Yoko Bito beat Mika Nagano in one semi final. Then Nanae Takahashi beat Mercedes Martinez in the other semi final. Mercedes is a great wrestler and I don't understand why STARDOM owner Rossy Ogawa would bring her over for one 12 minute match when an epic final would have made a lot more sense. Because Bito is a greenhorn, that makes Takahashi's win in the final very anticlimactic. Takahashi would have won anyway. But Mercedes in the final would have been much better. I will say this. Takahashi wore an all new outfit that is completely different from what she has worn for her entire career. She looks to be in the best shape of her career. No more jokes about her eating habits.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Billy Ocean

Artist:Billy Ocean
Song:Caribbean Queen
Album:Greatest Hits

Caribbean Queen was the breakthrough hit for Trinidadian singer songwriter Billy Ocean in 1984. He had three number one hits. He was born Leslie Charles Jan. 21, 1950 in Fyzabad, Trinidad and moved to London, England with his family at age 8. Influenced by his musician father, he sang in London clubs while working during the day. He released his first single in 1972 as Les Charles. The name Billy Ocean came from where he was living at the time. He signed with GTO Records and released his debut album Billy Ocean in 1976. Love Really Hurts Without You reached #2 on the British charts and #22 on the Billboard Hot 100. Follow up albums didn't do as well and Ocean didn't do any better when he signed with Epic in 1981. The turning point for Ocean came when he signed with Jive Records in 1984. At the time Jive was a new label and they would become much bigger in the 90s. They paired Ocean with producer Keith Diamond and most of Ocean's hits were co-written with Diamond. Caribbean Queen topped the Billboard Hot 100 and the album Suddenly reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 2XPlatuinum. The sax solo in Caribbean Queen is by Jeff Smith. Diamond went on to a significant production career until his 1997 death. So Caribbean Queen was not only a breakthrough for Billy Ocean but also for Keith Diamond and Jive Records. Ocean also had number one hits with There'll Be Sad Songs in 1986 and Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car in 1988. Ocean faded in the late 80s and left Jive in 1993. You can get all his hits on this 1989 budget comp. Billy Ocean recorded a CD in 2009 and still tours Europe occasionally. He was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by The MOBO Awards in 2010. Here's the video for Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean. Surprisingly, this video is not on Youtube.

Billy Ocean - Caribbean Queen by erwan951

Saturday, July 23, 2011

WINDY Tomomi wins in PANCRASE

WINDY Tomomi pounds away
PANCRASE had two women's matches matches on today's Shinjuku FACE show. As one might expect, the semi-main event featured PANCRASE's WINDY Tomomi against Sadae Manhoef. Of course WINDY has a huge experience edge. She's been around for years and this was Manhoef's third fight. The thing about WINDY is if she hits her opponent, she can knock her out. She hammered Manhoef pretty badly but couldn't finish her. Manhoef got nowhere when WINDY stuffed a couple of takedowns. So two rounds of pounding and WINDY Tomomi wins a unanimous decision. In the other match, Yukiko Seki won a lopsided unanimous decision over sakura.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Sarah Kaufman vs Liz Carmouche

Today on Big Bad Blog Video Theater I have the match video from last night's Strikeforce show in Las Vegas with Sarah Kaufman facing Liz Carmouche. When I first saw Sarah a few years ago, her fight style was characterized by precision striking and superior takedown defense. But she went away from that in recent fights. She seemed to lose her aggressiveness. I did not like what I was seeing from Sarah. I will never understand why fighters feel the need to go away from their strengths. It's like she forgot what made her a champ. So the result of this fight would depend on which Sarah Kaufman shows up, the old Sarah or the new not improved one. Of course a lot of folks were impressed with Liz's performance against Marloes Coenen. I thought she did OK. But she beat herself with her inexperience and I thought the old Sarah would give her trouble. Round one was very close but I thought Liz used her strength effectively to neutralize Sarah's striking. But round two was a different story and Sarah started doing the things that won fights for her in the past. Maybe trainer Adam Zugec told her to snap out of it. But Liz didn't have an answer for Sarah's strikes. And she couldn't take Sarah down. Once Sarah got her rhythm, Liz couldn't do anything with her. Sarah Kaufman wins by unanimous decision. She could be the next opponent for next week's title fight between Marloes Coenen and Miesha Tate.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Love Unlimited Orchestra

Artist:Love Unlimited Orchestra
Song:Love's Theme
Album:The Best Of Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra

There was a time in the mid-70s when everything soul maestro Barry White touched turned to gold. He had several big hits as a singer but his biggest hit was the instrumental Love's Theme by Love Unlimited Orchestra. That they recorded at all was a complete fluke so any success was gravy. In 1974 White left UNI Records for 20th Century Records. White had the girl group Love Unlimited featuring his wife Glodean James. They had a top 20 pop hit in 1972 with Walkin' In The Rain With The One I Love. The idea was to form an orchestra to back them up. Love's Theme was on the 1973 Love Unlimited album Under the Influence of...Love Unlimited. DJs started playing the instrumental and it got so big that White decided to record the Love Unlimited Orchestra album Rhapsody In White. Love's Theme topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974 and the album reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Gold. Of course White wrote the song and arranged it with his usual partner Gene Page. The wah wah guitar that everyone always talks about was by Emmitt North Jr. The Love Unlimited Orchestra had some other chart hits but nothing as big as Love's Theme. They continued to record until 1983. You can get all their hits on this comp. Here's Barry White conducting the Love Unlimited Orchestra on The Midnight Special 1974.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Amanda Lucas Vs Hikaru Shinohara set for Aug. 26 DEEP show

Hikaru Shinohara
Today DEEP held a press conference to announce the opponent for Amanda Lucas who of course is George Lucas' daughter. That opponent is veteran Jill of all trades Hikaru Shinohara. I didn't know that she was still in the fight business. Her normal fighting weight is 60kg so I don't know what DEEP will do about the size difference. The bottom line is Shinohara isn't a credible fighter anymore and she was never that good when she was more active. First, Hikaru Shinohara's claim to infamy is she is the daughter of the man who stabbed Japanese wrestling pioneer Rikidozan. That's a hell of a thing to have to carry around for your whole life. Her MMA record is 6-7 and her last fight was a loss to MIKU on the Dec. 22, 2008 DEEP show. Hikaru has also done pro wrestling and other stuff. I also know she has worked a lot for T-1 GP. That's a pro wrestling company owned by T-1 ticket agency owner Futami. No one good will work for him because he's a lunatic. But Hikaru has never been a full time fighter. She does a lot of modelling and works frequently as a ring girl. She's someone who has been on the fringe of the Japanese fight business for a decade. Because of her looks, she doesn't have to depend on the fight business to make a living. DEEP is trying to sell that she has an experience edge over Amanda Lucas. It just confirms what we already knew. DEEP is doing this match as a publicity gimmick in the hope that George Lucas will show up. Ugh!

Haywire trailer premieres at Comic-Con

Haywire director Steven Soderbergh and star Gina Carano appeared at Comic-Con today and brought the first full length trailer. So here it is. It should remind you of a Bourne film. I think some of the scenes are too dark. But it does emphasize that Gina can kick ass. But we knew that already. I still don't know if she can act. Check it out for yourself.

Will Kyra Gracie finally turn pro?

Kyra Gracie with stike trainer Claudinho Coelho
The last couple of days there have been reports that Brazilian jiu jitsu legend Kyra Gracie is in talks to make her pro MMA debut with Strikeforce. After some digging, I have learned that Kyra told Graciemag International that she is in talks with One FC in Singapore. Kyra will be part of the ADCC tournament in September so if she were to make her MMA debut, it would likely happen in November. So is Kyra talking to Strikeforce? Of course she is. She's talked to them before. Kyra has announced plans to turn pro several times and has always changed her mind. So until she is in a cage facing an opponent, excuse my skepticism. So what's the deal with One FC? You may recall they tried to sign Cris Cyborg. Obviously Zuffa learned that they were talking with Kyra. And of course Zuffa can throw enough money at Kyra to crush One FC. A couple of Gracies have already signed with One FC but none of them are Kyra. My experience with promotions based in places like Singapore, China and Korea is even if they have money, they can't get top fighters. The promotion owners tend to be flaky money marks. When the promotion isn't as successful as hoped, the owner pulls out and it's over. I don't know if that will happen with One FC but that's the pattern I am familiar with. There's no question that Kyra Gracie would be a considerable credit to women's MMA regardless of where she fights. She has that Gracie pedigree and proven jiu jitsu skills. She was actually training her cousin Strikeforce fighter Roger Gracie a few months ago. She is also very well spoken and speaks perfect English. And she looks great in a bikini. If Kyra Gracie turns pro, I expect it to be with Strikeforce. But I am not convinced that she will turn pro.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Karen Elson

Artist:Karen Elson
Song:The Ghost Who Walks
Album:The Ghost Who Walks

I'm sure that cynicism is the usual reaction when most folks discover that British singer songwriter Karen Elson was a top fashion model as a teen or that she is married to White Stripes frontman Jack White. You don't want to buy into that. Karen's 2010 debut CD The Ghost Who Walks is outstanding. She was born Jan. 14, 1979 in Oldham, Manchester, England. Her twin sister Kate Elson has been a model and is currently a filmmaker. Karen was discovered at age 16 and got her big break when Steven Meisel put her on the cover of Vogue for her 18th birthday. She became one of the world's top fashion models and in 1998 was named Top Model at the VH1 Fashion Awards. She is currently the face of St. John and YSL Opium perfume amd she is launching her own line of bags and shoes this fall with Nine West. She started dabbling in music in 2003 with the New York performance group The Citizens Band. She also sang backup vocals on Robert Plant's 2003 CD Dreamland and sang a duet with Cat Power on a 2006 Serge Gainsbourg tribute album. She met Jack White on the set of the 2005 music video Blue Orchid. They were married June 1, 2005 and settled in Nashville. They have two children. White was aware of Karen's musical ambitions and kept bugging her to record. Her debut CD The Ghost Who Walks was released May 2010 on White's Third Man label. Karen says The Ghost Who Walks was a nickname she had as a child because of her pale skin. The album did very well in the Indie music market. Get past the fashion model stuff and I think you'll enjoy Karen's music. Jack White and Karen Elson announced plans to divorce last month. Her CD was distributed by XL Recordings, the folks behind Adele. I think she'll be OK. Here's the video for The Ghost Who Walks by Karen Elson.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mercedes Martinez attacks Nanae Takahashi at STARDOM press conference

Mercedes Martinez attacks Nanae Takahashi
STARDOM held a press conference this morning at the Ceasar Gym to officially announce the matchups for the STARDOM World Championship tournament. Of course we already know what the matches will be. But Mercedes Martinez arrived in Tokyo last night and I think it was a very good idea to use her considerable talent to try and fill Korakuen Hall on Sunday. Mercedes will face Nanae Takahashi in one semi final and Mika Nagano will face Yoko Bito in the other semi final. Those two were brought out first. Obviously both are inexperienced and really didn't have much to say. I've seen Mika do interviews in JEWELS. She doesn't seem capable of anger. But we did get some fireworks when Takahashi and Martinez sat at the table separated by STARDOM owner Rossy Ogawa. Takahashi started flapping her gums about how winning this belt will be the crowning glory in her fifteen year wrestling career. She says she expects to face Nagano in the final. So she's looking past Mercedes Martinez. Mercedes says "Hey, I came all the way from America to talk and you're number one? I'm number one and you're number two or three or lower. You may have your way with these young girls but you won't have it so easy with me. I'll show you who is number one." And Mercedes proceeds to elbow smash Takahashi and then put her in a Cobra Clutch. After they were separated, Takahashi protested that she didn't do anything to deserve the attack. Well actually, she was bragging so she was asking for it. Logically, Takahashi should win the belt. But Mercedes is a fantastic wrestler and I expect a very good match from these two.

First poster for Gina Carano film Haywire

As you may have already heard, Steven Soderbergh's film Haywire starring Gina Carano will be released on Jan. 20, 2012. The film has been finished for a while. The reason for the delay is Relativity Media's original deal was for the film to be distributed by Lionsgate. Last year, Relativity announced plans to distribute their own films and Haywire was the first film under that plan. Apparently Lionsgate didn't want to give up Haywire so it took time to negotiate a deal with them to give the film back to Relativity. Today Soderbergh and Gina Carano appeared at Comic-Con in San Diego. They brought some pics but they also brought the first official poster. And here it is courtesy of The Playlist.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Starbuck

Song:Moonlight Feels Right
Album:Then:Totally Oldies 1

The 1976 top five hit Moonlight Feels Right was the only significant hit for Starbuck. A couple of their other songs charted so they are not technically a one hit wonder. But it's the only song most will remember. Their biggest problem was being on a poorly managed record label that had hits but went broke anyway. Lead singer, keyboard player and main songwriter for Starbuck was Bruce Blackman. His group The Phantoms were formed at Delta College in Cleveland, MS in 1965. They moved to Biloxi and changed the group name to Eternity's Children. They recorded for A & M and Capitol's Tower label without much success. Blackman left Eternity's Children when the band butted heads with their management and record label. He moved to Atlanta and in 1974, he formed Starbuck with former Eternity's Children percussionist Bo Wagner. Wagner already had a band called Extravaganza but changed the name when Blackman joined. Starbuck signed with Private Stock Records and Moonlight Feels Right was released in 1975. It was not a hit at first but gained steam when DJ Mike St. John of WERC in Birmingham, AL got behind it and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. The song's use of synthesizers was interesting at the time. And it's probably the only hit song to have a marimba solo courtesy of Bo Wagner. You can get Moonlight Feels Right on this various artists budget comp from Varese. Starbuck had some personnel changes. They recorded a second album for Private Stock but the label went broke in 1978 despite having some big hits. Starbuck recorded a third album for United Artists. They split up in 1980. Since then, Bruce Blackman has owned his own music publishing company. Here's Starbuck performing Moonlight Feels Right on The Midnight Special 1976. The video player is a little strange. It looks like it's loading the video but you have to hit the Play button to get it to work properly. It plays fine after that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Roger Whittaker

Artist:Roger Whittaker
Song:The Last Farewell
Album:New World In The Morning: The Encore Collection

The smooth baritone of Roger Whittaker has been very popular everywhere but North America. The Last Farewell is his only top twenty US hit. His musical approach is a cross between traditional British folk music and easy listening mostly because of his voice. He was born Mar. 22, 1936 in Nairobi, Kenya. His British father moved the family to Kenya for the climate. Whittaker moved to England in 1959 and planned a career in medicine. But he started singing and singed with Fontana in 1962. He switched to EMI in 1966 and started having chart success in England. When he had his first top 20 with Durham Town in 1969, RCA signed him to a US contract. Whittaker became popular in the Adult Contemporary market. But The Last Farewell crossed over and reached #19 on the Billboard Hot 100. A silversmith named Ron Webster sent Whittaker a poem and Whittaker put it to music. The popularity of the song led to a bigger profile for Whittaker in Europe and Asia. And he rode that wave for the rest of his career. It turned out to be a fluke hit in the US and Whittaker has never had chart success otherwise. Elvis Presley covered The Last Farewell in 1976. You can get the original version of The Last Farewell on this budget comp. Beware of rerecorded versions. Roger Whittaker continued to tour and record in Europe, especially in Germany. He recorded a lot of albums phoenetically in German. He retired in 2008 and currently lives in Ireland. Here's Roger Whittaker with Chet Atkins performing The Last Farewell on the TBS show Nashville Live 1982.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Erika Kamimura vs Ai Takahashi set for SHOOT BOXING 2011 S-Girls Cup

Erika Kamimura, Takeshi Caesar, Ai Takahashi
Normally the press conferences for Japanese companies are in the morning. But on this occasion, SHOOT BOXING owner Takeshi Caesar had his press conference Tuesday evening to announce the first match for the 2011 S-Girls Cup Aug. 19 at SHIBUYA-AX. It will be current SHOOT BOXING Flyweight Champion Ai Takahashi facing WPMF & WMC Flyweight Kickboxing Champion. Erika Kamimura. 18 year old Kamimura has become quite the sensation in Japan. And Takahashi has proven to be a very tough fighter. She recently won that belt from RENA. The contracted weight will be 50.5kg and is scheduled for three three minute rounds with possible overtime. Because Takahashi is tall, Caesar had to work out a compromise for the weight. The match will be the standard SHOOT BOXING rules. Kamimura has never done SHOOT BOXING before and Takahashi hopes to exploit that. But Kamimura has been practicing throws and she says she's a quick learner. This could be very interesting.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Billy Squier

Artist:Billy Squier
Song:The Stroke
Album:Absolute Hits

The Stroke was the biggest hit and most memorable song by singer guitarist Billy Squier. He was already well established as a live act when The Stroke hit the top twenty in 1981. Squier bounced around several bands in the 70s before he hit it big as a solo artist. He was born May 12, 1950 in Wellesley, MA. He learned piano as a child but didn't get serious about music until he saw Cream in concert in 1968. Squier is a huge Eric Clapton fan. Squier attended Berklee School Of Music while going to New York to find fame and fortune with a band. His first band was Magic Terry & The Universe and then Kicks. Then he joined Andy Paley's group Sidewinders. They had released an album on MCA and were poised to be a big deal but fizzled. Squier joined Piper who recorded two albums for A & M. They were managed by the same company that managed KISS. Squier got valuable experience when Piper toured with KISS. But the albums didn't sell and Piper split up. But Squier showed enough potential to get a record deal with Capitol. His 1980 debut album Tale Of The Tape did OK but the 1981 album Don't Say No struck gold. Squier asked Brian May of Queen to produce the album. He couldn't due to scheduling conflicts but recommended Reinhold Mack who had produced albums for Queen and Electric Light Orchestra. The album reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 200 and The Stroke reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Squier's success continued until he started fading in the late 80s. He left Capitol in 1993. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. Billy Squier hasn't recorded since 1998. But he continues to perform. In recent years he has toured with Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band. Here's the video for The Stroke by Billy Squier.

Monday, July 18, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sade

Song:Smooth Operator
Album:The Best Of Sade

Smooth Operator was the breakthrough hit for Sade (pronounced Shar-day) in 1985. It was a little confusing because the band was called Sade though lead singer Helen Adu adopted it as her stage name. She hasn't recorded much over the years but still has a strong following today. I'm not a big fan. I like my singers with a little more church in them. Helen Adu was born Jan. 16, 1959 in Ibadan, Nigeria and moved to London, England with her mom when her parents split up. While in college, she was part of the soul band Pride. Helen signed a solo contract with Epic in 1983 though she insisted the band be part of the deal. They were Stuart Mathewman on guitar and sax, Paul Spencer Denman on bass and Andrew Hale on keyboards. Their debut album Diamond Life produced by Robin Millar was released in England July 1984 and became a big hit there before the US release in Dec. The album didn't take off immediately but Smooth Operator became a hit when it was released as a single in July 1985. It was the third single. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and propelled Diamond Life to 4XPlatinum sales and #5 on the Billboard Hot 200. Sade Adu wrote the song with Ray St. John of Pride. It was not a new song. It had been around for a while. It used samples from the Brook Benton & Dinah Washington classic You've Got What It Takes. I noticed that Clyde Otis and Murray Stein got songwriting credits. Sade's success continued through the late 80s and continues today though she has only released six CDs. She is on tour right now supporting her 2010 CD Soldier Of Love. Her sound hasn't changed much. It's more smooth jazz than R & B. This budget comp is a good sampling of Sade's music. The other members of Sade have had success as Sweetback. Here's the video for Smooth Operator by Sade.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Foreigner

Song:I Want To Know What Love Is
Album:The Very Best...And Beyond

I Want To Know What Love Is was the only number one hit for Foreigner in 1984. They started out as what was called Arena Rock and had softened their sound for the 1984 album Agent Provocateur. The leader of Foreigner was British guitarist Mick Jones. For the most part, he was a session musician. But he got a taste of being in a band when he briefly formed Wonderwheel with Gary Wright and then as guitarist for the Leslie West Band. So in 1976, he started a band with King Crimson founding member Ian McDonald. Jones was in Rochester, NY with the reformed Spooky Tooth when Black Sheep lead singer Lou Gramm (then known as Lou Grammatico) gave him a Black Sheep album. Gramm was looking for a new gig anyway and he was hired. Other members were Al Greenwood on keyboards, Ed Gagliardi on bass and Dennis Elliott on drums. Jones named the band Foreigner because of the mix of British and American members. The key to their success was the chemistry between Jones and Gramm as they wrote most of the songs together. Foreigner had immediate success when their 1977 debut album Foreigner sold four million copies and Feels Like The First Time and Cold As Ice were top ten singles. The success continued with their next couple of albums. In 1979, Gagliardi was replaced by Roxy Music's Rick Wills. And Greenwood and McDonald were replaced by session musicians. With the 1981 album 4, keyboard player Bob Mayo and sax player Mark Rivera were permanent members. Foreigner took a break and returned with the 1984 album Agent Provocateur. The album didn't sell as well as previous albums. But I Want To Know What Love Is became Foreigner's only number one hit. The song featured Donnie Harper's New Jersey Mass Choir and Jennifer Holliday fresh off her Tony win for Dreamgirls. The choir even recorded their own version of the song. But then Foreigner faded until Gramm left to go solo in 1990. Mick Jones still leads a version of Foreigner today. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Lou Gramm had some health problems a few years ago but he has recovered and has his own band. Here's the video for I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jean Wells

Artist:Jean Wells
Song:Have A Little Mercy
Album:Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures: Taken From The Vaults Vol. 1

Have A Little Mercy was the biggest chart success for obscure soul singer Jean Wells in 1968. Unfortunately, Jean only recorded one album and then quit the music business. Too bad. It's a great song. She was born Aug. 1, 1942 in West Palm Beach, FL and grew up singing in church. She moved to Philadelphia and recorded a few singles. She wasn't getting anywhere until she was discovered by songwriter and producer Clyde Otis. Otis is best known for his days as an A & R executive at Mercury Records. He worked a lot with Brook Benton and wrote and produced Benton's duets with Dinah Washington. By the mid-60s, Otis was an independent producer. He got Jean a record contract with Calla Records. Calla was owned by Nate McCalla. He was a former bodyguard for Roulette Records owner Morris Levy, a notorious crook with mob connections. He needed a bodyguard. Among those who recorded for Calla were Jerry Williams AKA Swamp Dogg, The Emotions, Lonnie Youngblood and The Persuaders. McCalla closed Calla in 1977 and was murdered in 1980. Jean Wells recorded one album for Calla called Soul On Soul and Have A Little Mercy reached #25 on the R & B Singles chart. Clyde Otis wrote Have A Little Mercy with frequent songwriting partner Dorian Burton and Paul Kelly. Kelly had a significant singing career in the 70s. I can only assume that Jean Wells left the music business afterwards. The British label Kent Records released Soul On Soul on CD. But it seems to be unavailable. So you can get Have A Little Mercy on this various artists CD compiled by British music historian Dave Godin. Here's a video for Have A Little Mercy by Jean Wells.

Friday, July 15, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cameo

Song:Word Up!
Album:The Best Of Cameo

Cameo was one of the top funk groups of the 80s. Word Up! was their biggest hit in 1986 but they were a staple on the R & B and dance charts for several years. Larry Blackmon was the lead singer and main songwriter. He was the drummer for Black Ivory. His band East Coast released an album in 1973. While hanging around the mid-70s New York City club scene, he formed the New York City Players with Tomi Jenkins and Nathan Leftenant. The band had 13 members and Cameo's lineup changed a lot over the years. But those three guys were the nucleus of the band. They signed with Casablanca Records in 1977 but Blackmon changed the group name to Cameo to avoid confusion with the Ohio Players. They had a lot of success on the R & B charts immediately. In 1982, The group moved to Atlanta and started their own label Atlanta Artists. By this time, Cameo had been scaled back to a quartet with the three original guys and Charlie Singleton. They added musicians for tours. They started using a lot of synthesizers and took on a harder edge. The result was that Word Up! reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986. It turned out to be their biggest mainstream hit. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. Cameo faded by the late 80s and by 1991, Larry Blackmon went to work as an A & R rep for Warner Bros. Cameo last recorded in 2000 but they still perform occasionally. Here's the video for Word Up! by Cameo. LaVar Burton plays the police detective.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Air Supply

Artist:Air Supply
Song:All Out Of Love
Album:Ultimate Air Supply

You might be hard pressed to find someone to admit to liking Air Supply. But the fact is they had a total of eight top five hits between 1980-83. So somebody bought their music. They faded of course after that. In the music business, you have to change things up to remain fresh and they didn't do that. Lead singer Russell Hitchcock and guitarist and main songwriter Graham Russell met in 1975 while performing in the Melbourne production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Hitchcock is an Aussie but Russell is British. They formed Air Supply and would be the mainstays of the group. The rest of the band was a revolving door with the exception of keyboard player and arranger Frank Elser-Smith. He wrote the orchestral arrangements. So they had limited success recording in Australia. The story goes that Arista Records boss Clive Davis signed Air Supply after he heard Lost In Love. He brought them to the US and personally supervised the recording. Lost In Love reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and All Out Of Love reached #2. Then he sent them out on tour with Rod Stewart. Davis even co-wrote All Out Of Love with Graham Russell. The 1981 David Foster produced The One That You Love was their only number one hit and they had a total of eight top five hits. But the sappiness of Air Supply's music became a running joke and not changing their approach led to their rapid decline. You can get all their hits on this comp. A 1987 break led to a Hitchcock solo album. Air Supply returned on Giant Records in 1991. And though they have never reached the heights of the early 80s, Air Supply continues to tour and record today. Here's the video for All Out Of Love by Air Supply.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The O'Kaysions

Artist:The O'Kaysions
Song:Girl Watcher
Album:Oldies But Goodies Vol. 8

I'm sure you all remember this 1968 top five blue eyed soul classic. Oh, you thought The O'Kaysions were black. Don't let that bother you. Lots of folks think they were black. The O'Kaysions started out as the teen rock group The Kays in Kenly, NC in 1959 featuring lead singer Donnie Weaver, guitarist Wayne Pittman and bassist Jimmy Hinnant. Pittman wrote Girl Watchers and the group recorded it in Feb. 1968. Pittman also changed the name of the group to The O'Kaysions. It was released on a small label and was such a big hit in the Carolinas, ABC Records signed The O'Kaysions. Girl Watcher reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The O'Kaysions added three new members, Ron Turner on trumpet, Jimmy Spidel on sax and Bruce Joyner on drums. And veteran soul singer and producer Johnny Pate produced the Girl Watcher album. The O'Kaysions split up in 1970 and only recorded one album. The song is still a big favourite on the Beach Music circuit in the Carolinas. You can get Girl Watcher on this various artists comp. Girl Watcher got a big boost and a lot of royalties when it was used to promote Wheel Of Fortune in 1987. The title was changed to I'm A Wheel Watcher. Donnie Weaver was a member of Chuck Leavell's group Sea Level and is still active in music today. Wayne Pittman still leads a version of The O'Kaysions on the Beach Music and oldies circuit. Here are The O'Kaysions performing Girl Watcher 1968.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Timex Social Club

Artist:Timex Social Club
Album:Old School Volume 7

Here is a very fondly remembered hit from the early days of hip hop. Rumors was the only chart hit for Timex Social Club and they only recorded one album. They didn't last because Timex Watches threatened to sue. The group was led by lead singer Michael Marshall and Marcus Thompson. At first they were called The Timex Crew and other members were Greg Thomas, Craig Samuel and Darrien Cleage. All were students at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, CA. By 1985, Thomas, Samuel and Cleage were replaced by Alex Hill and Kevin Moore and the name was changed to Timex Social Club. The group got the attention of producer Jay King and he got them a record deal with Danya Records and distribution by Fantasy. Rumors reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986 and topped the black music charts. And follow up singles did well on the black music charts too. They also released the album Vicious Rumors. Rumors has been frequently sampled by hip hop guys and you can get it on this various artists comp. The end for Timex Social Club came when Timex Watches threatened to sue. Jay King started the much more successful group Club Nouveau but Marshall didn't go with him. Marshall is still around. He sang lead on the 1995 Luniz hit I Got 5 On It and he still records today. Marcus Thompson's book How Do Rumors Get Started: The True Story of Timex Social Club was published in April. I think you'll find the song holds up very well. Here's the video for Rumors by Timex Social Club.

Monday, July 11, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-DeBarge

Song:Rhythm Of The Night
Album:The Definitive Collection

DeBarge was a reasonably successful attempt by Motown to recreate the magic of The Jackson 5 in the 80s. Rhythm Of The Night was their biggest chart hit. Personnel changes shortly afterwards led to their decline. Like the Jacksons, DeBarge was a family group. The DeBarge family are from Grand Rapids, MI. There were a lot of kids around that house. Brothers Marty DeBarge, Randy DeBarge, El DeBarge, James DeBarge and sister Bunny DeBarge were the members of DeBarge. Younger siblings Chico, Darell and Peaches are singers but were not in the group. Older brothers Bobby DeBarge and Tommy DeBarge were part of the group Switch. They were discovered by Jermaine Jackson and signed with Motown. The band's management knew about the other DeBarge siblings and arranged an audition with Jackson. They signed with Motown in 1979. They were originally a quartet called The DeBarges. James joined after the 1981 debut album The DeBarges didn't sell. The second album All This Love concentrated more on the vocal talents of El DeBarge. The album did very well on the R & B charts and so did several singles. All This Love topped the R & B Singles chart. DeBarge had become known mostly for R & B ballads. This all changed when the uptempo song Rhythm Of The Night crossed over to the pop charts in a big way. It topped the R & B Singles chart and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rhythm Of The Night was recorded for the 1985 Motown produced chopsocky movie The Last Dragon and was on the soundtrack. The song was written by Diane Warren early in her songwriting career and Richard Perry was brought in to produce. So now DeBarge were big stars. But as he did in the 60s, Motown owner Berry Gordy couldn't leave well enough alone and started billing the group as DeBarge featuring El DeBarge. According to Etterlene "Mama" DeBarge, this led to El believing he was bigger than the group. He left for a solo career and so did Bunny. She recorded one album and quit the music business. El had a big hit with the single Who's Johnny. He left Motown in 1989 and his solo career has been marred by substance abuse and other personal problems. The rest of the group struggled after El's departure. They left Motown in 1987 and signed with Warner Bros. in 1992. Bobby joined and led DeBarge in those days. Several of the group members seemed to have drug abuse problems. This comp is a good intro to DeBarge's music. Did Berry Gordy kill the Golden Goose? As Mama DeBarge said "Berry Gordy thought he was dividing a music group but he was really dividing a family". That says it all. Here's the video for Rhythm Of The Night by DeBarge.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Yuka Tsuji returns triumphantly on July 9 JEWELS show

Yuka Tsuji pounds Saori Ishioka
Yesterday JEWELS had a pretty good show in front of a sold out Shinjuku FACE. The show was pretty stacked but I continue to see fan complaints on Twitter. The complaints are too many pointless filler kickboxing matches, matches should be three rounds instead of two rounds and knock it off with limited ground and pound. There may have been some progress. But it's obviously not enough as a couple of matches were tainted by these issues. The main event featured the triumphant return of Yuka Tsuji winning over Saori Ishioka by unanimous decision. Tsuji admitted afterwards that she's a little stale and needs some more matches. Ishioka did OK but didn't do enough and Tsuji won easily. Korean kickboxer Ham Seo Hee won over VV Mei by unanimous decision. Mei tried to take Ham to the ground but wasn't all that successful and Ham got her rhythm and won fairly easily. I don't think it's an upset because Mei has admitted poor performances against Kyoko Takabayashi and WINDY Tomomi. Maybe she's getting into a rut. So if JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki has such a hard on for Mika Nagano, why would he have her face Megumi Fujii? Fujii beat Nagano in 2007. So they tried to sell that Nagano wanted revenge and she's angry and blah blah blah. I've seen her in interviews. She doesn't seem like the kind of person who gets angry. Saeki made the match limited GNP mainly to stick it to Fujii. It didn't matter. Fujii just adjusted her strategy accordingly and pounded out a dominant unanimous decision. Maybe she doesn't respect Nagano as a fighter or maybe she was pretending to punch Saeki. She hammered Nagano mercilessly. Roxanne Modafferi was supposed to fight Hitomi Akano a few months ago but got sick. Their match on this show emphasizes the problem with two rounds instead of three. Roxanne seemed to win round one with pounding on the ground and Akano came back in the second round with submission attempts and judo throws. So it could have been scored a draw. But Japanese judges are known to give higher scores for judo and submission attempts. So they gave the win to Akano. Seems a little bogus. HIROKO beat Esui with an armbar at 1:20 of round two. HIROKO can have problems if she is overconfident and has a bad attitude. But she dominated Esui and finished her. Other matches were Kyoko Takabayashi over Celine Haga by unanimous decision, Kikuyo Ishikawa over SACHI by unanimous decision and Miyoko over Yuka Okumura by unanimous decision. JEWELS announced a 48kg tournament will begin on Sept. 10 and will conclude in Dec. Fighters will include the return of Yuka Tsuji teammate Ayumi "Edge" Saito who last fought in 2008, VALKYRIE Flyweight Champ Yasuko Tamada, 2010 ROUGH STONE Champ Kikuyo Ishikawa, SACHI, Sugi Rock who beat Tamada in a non title match in Nov., Yukiko Seki, Misaki Takimoto and Miyoko. My favourite to win is Sugi Rock. She's a very slick fighter.

Kaori Yoneyama announces retirement

After today's JWP Kinema Klub show, Kaori Yoneyama announced she plans to retire in December. Yoneyama has been a wrestler for over a decade but it was only in the last year that she finally became JWP Open Weight Champion. She recently returned from an injury so I can only assume her retirement is related to that. As small as Yoneyama is, she can only take a pounding for so long that she needs to get out while she can still walk. She was loyal to JWP despite owner Commando Bolshoi's reluctance to give her a title run until recently. Here's a video of her announcement.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Left Banke

Artist:The Left Banke
Song:Walk Away Renee
Album:Hard To Find 45's on CD Vol. 6: More Sixties Classics

Here's a 60s classic that everyone knows. But you probably don't know anything about The Left Banke. Walk Away Renee was the highlight of their brief and tumultuous history. The leader of The Left Banke was keyboard player and songwriter Michael Brown (born Michael Lookofsky Apr. 25, 1949 in New York City). The lead singer was Steve Martin (born Carmelo Esteban Martin Caro Oct. 12, 1948 in Spain). Both grew up in the music business. Brown's father was veteran session violinist Harry Lookofsky. Martin is the son of Flamenco guitaist Sarita Heredia. Other members were guitarist Jeff Winfield, bassist Tom Finn and drummer George Cameron. The Left Banke's biggest problem was Harry Lookofsky was the group's manager, producer and publisher. He sold Walk Away Renee to Mercury's Smash label and it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. The second single Pretty Ballerina reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Then they recorded the rest of the album. The album didn't do that well. So is there a real Renee? Remember Michael Brown was 16 at the time. So Walk Away Renee, Pretty Ballerina and several other songs were about Tom Finn's girlfriend Renee Fladen. She was even at the Walk Away Renee recording session. So he was quite infatuated with her. She disappeared for decades and was found a few years ago teaching music on the West Coast. Lots of groups have covered Walk Away Renee but The Four Tops version is as good as the original. You can get The Left Banke's recording of Walk Away Renee on this Eric Records various artists comp. Problems in The Left Banke began when Lookofsky started using session musicians instead of the band. They sued and ultimately Michael Brown left. The rest of the band recorded a second album that didn't sell. There have been reunions over the years and Finn and Cameron still lead a version of The Left Banke today. Michael Brown was a member of Ian Lloyd's Stories and they had a #1 hit with Brother Louie in 1973. Here's The Left Banke performing Walk Away Renee 1966.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Orleans

Song:Dance With Me
Album:Dance With Me: The Best Of Orleans

Dance With Me was the first of two top ten hits for 70s group Orleans. These days group leader John Hall is better known for his political career. In the late 60s, he was just another aspiring songwriter living in New York trying to make a living in the music business. In 1972, he formed Orleans with guitarist Larry Hoppen and percussionist Wells Kelly. Hoppen's brother Lance Hoppen played bass and drummer Jerry Marotta completed the group. They signed with ABC Records and their 1973 debut album Orleans was produced in Muscle Shoals by Barry Beckett & Roger Hawkins. Hall produced their 1974 album Let There Be Music himself. ABC rejected it and dropped Orleans. They were signed to Asylum Records by recording engineer and producer Chuck Plotkin. He reworked the album and it was released in 1975. Dance With Me reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Like a lot of Orleans songs, Hall wrote Dance With Me. Still The One was their other top ten hit in 1976 and is the better known song because ABC and other TV networks used it in promotional campaigns. Hey, royalties are royalties. Soon after, Hall left Orleans to go solo. The band continued without him and had a top 20 hit with Love Takes Time. They split up after MCA Records closed the Infinity label in 1980. You can get all of Orleans' hits on this budget comp. Orleans reformed after Wells Kelly died from a 1984 drug overdose. Lance Hoppen still leads them today. John Hall was part of some of those reunions. But he got into political activism as one of the organizers of the No Nukes concert. His involvement in opposing a nuclear plant in the Mid-Hudson area of New York led to his election to the US House Of Representatives in 2006. He was defeated in 2010. Here's Orleans performing Dance With Me on The Midnight Special 1975.