Wednesday, August 31, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Herman's Hermits

Artist:Herman's Hermits
Song:I'm Into Something Good
Album:Their Greatest Hits

Though I'm Into Something Good wasn't their biggest hit, it was Herman's Hermits' first hit in 1964. They went on to have a total of 11 top ten hits and two number one hits. For a couple of years they were one of the most popular British Invasion groups. The group was from Manchester, England and were originally called The Heartbeats in 1963 with bassist Karl Green, guitarist Derek Leckenby and drummer Barry Whitwam. The lead singer didn't show up one night and 16 year old Peter Noone filled in and was made the new lead singer. He was a child actor on British TV. Green thought Noone looked like Sherman of the Mr. Peabody cartoons so Noone was first called Sherman and eventually they became Herman's Hermits. Their big break came when Animals producer Mickie Most was invited to see them. He liked their clean cut image and Noone's voice. He signed them to EMI Columbia in England and MGM Records in the US. I'm Into Something Good was their first single. It topped the British charts and reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. When you consider the domination of the British Invasion at the time, it's ironic that I'm Into Something Good was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and was a top 40 hit for Earl-Jean McCrae of The Cookies in 1964. The Brill Building sound lives. Herman's Hermits became much bigger in the US than in England. Their two number one hits Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter and I'm Henry VII, I Am were not released as singles in England and both are throwbacks to 50s British music halls. It earned the group criticism for not being rock musicians. The other thing Herman's Hermits is criticized for is not playing on their own records. Peter Noone and Mickie Most have both said this. I should point out that Most used studio musicians with all his groups, not just Herman's Hermits. And Barry Whitwam refutes this. He says they played on most of the records and sang on all of them. It's probably a little overblown. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. Herman's Hermits faded by 1967 and Noone left to go solo. He's still around but has never had the same success as a solo artist. He's also done a lot of acting. Barry Whitwam leads a version of Herman's Hermits today. Hopwood and Leckenby were partners in a music production company until Leckenby's 1994 death. Hopwood continues to compose music for TV. Karl Green is a sound engineer. Here's Herman's Hermits performing I'm Into Something Good on Shindig 1965.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Anne Murray

Artist:Anne Murray
Album:The Best...So Far

Anne Murray was a big influence in the Canadian music industry. She was the first Canadian to break through in the US in a significant way. Snowbird was her first hit in 1970. I always thought it was interesting that Capitol Records in the US tried to sell her as a country artist. She's more of a pop singer than a country singer. She was born June 20, 1945 in Springhill, NS. Anne earned a degree in physical education at the University Of New Brunswick and planned to become a phys ed teacher. But she always wanted to be a singer. She took voice and piano lessons as a child. So she auditioned for the CBC variety show Singalong Jubilee. She was not hired at the time and was teaching phys ed at a high school in Summerhill, PEI. In 1968, she was hired for Singalong Jubilee by show producer and future husband Bill Langstroth. Eventually the show's musical director Brian Ahern suggested to Anne that she move to Toronto and get a record deal. Anne recorded her debut album What About Me for the small Arc label with Ahern producing. The album did well enough that she signed with Capitol Records and This Way Is My Way was released in Oct. 1969. Snowbird topped the Canadian charts and then reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. She was the first Canadian artist to earn a Gold record in the US. She moved to Los Angeles and became a regular on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour TV variety show. But Anne didn't like living in Los Angeles and moved back to Toronto. Snowbird was written by Canadian songwriter Gene McLellan. It's his best known song. Though Anne continued to have success in Canada, for a few years it looked like Snowbird would be her only US hit. She broke into the US top ten again with Danny's Song in 1972 and You Won't See Me in 1974. But she finally got her first number one pop single in the US with You Needed Me in 1978. By this time she was working with Nashville producer Jim Ed Norman and she would be a staple on the country charts for several years. You Needed Me was her only number one pop hit. She continued to remain very popular in Canada and is considered a living legend of Canadian music. This budget comp is a good intro to her music. Anne Murray still records but has retired from touring. Her daughter Dawn Langstroth is also a singer. Here's Anne Murray performing Snowbird on Singalong Jubilee 1970.

Monday, August 29, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Kings

Artist:The Kings
Song:This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide
Album:The Kings Are Here And More

The two sided single This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide was the one significant hit for the Canadian band The Kings in 1980. As one hit wonders go it's a pretty good slice of New Wave. The Kings were formed in Oakville, ON which is between Toronto and Hamilton. David Diamond was lead singer and bassist, Mister Zero played guitar, Sonny Keyes played keyboards and Max Styles played drums. Diamond and Zero wrote all the songs. At first they were called WhistleKing and it was shortened to The Kings. In 1980 they went into Toronto's Nimbus 9 studio to record and legendary producer Bob Ezrin heard them and decided to work with them. He also got them a record deal with Elektra Records. The Kings Are Here was the album and This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide reached #43 on the Billboard Hot 100. They also toured internationally opening for Bob Seger, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Unfortunately their second album Amazon Beach flopped and Elektra soon dropped them. Max Styles left in 1982. This edition of The Kings Are Here comes with bonus tracks. Though The Kings have not been part of the mainstream music scene since their one big hit, the group continues to tour and occasionally record. They even released a documentary of their history on DVD. Diamond and Zero still lead the band. Here's the video for This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide by The Kings.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Sara McMann vs Raquel Pa'aluhi

This match is from last night's Pro Elite show in Hawaii. It's Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann vs Raquel Pa'aluhi. Raquel tries really hard but she is way overmatched. First, it's interesting that Sara was willing to drop to 135 for this match though she refused to do that for Tonya Evinger. But Raquel looks like she might be more comfortable at 125. The size difference is obvious. Of course the funniest thing about this fight is Jamie Varner's cheerleading commentary that tries to make it look like Raquel is competitive when she obviously is not. She doesn't have the size to handle Sara. I scored round one 10-8 for Sara. She dominated with several takedowns but and some ground and pound. I think she could have done more once she took Raquel down. Maybe go for a finish a lot sooner. It almost looked like she was toying with her. Raquel got a choke attempt near the end of round two so I scored it 10-9 for Sara. Sara finally put Raquel away in round three with an Americana armlock. The one thing Raquel showed is she can take a whupping and she won't quit. I wonder if Sara is disappointed that it lasted until round three. I understand the rest of the show sucked so supposedly this was match of the night. It was OK I guess but nothing special. Enjoy the video!

Why the Marloes Coenen signing could backfire on Blackeye Promotions

So former Strikeforce champ Marloes Coenen announced on Friday that she signed a three fight contract with Blackeye Promotions. Blackeye is a fledgling promotion in North Carolina. They have done one show and have another coming up on Oct. 1. They tend to have more women's matches on their shows but they have men on them too. Apparently Marloes will make an appearance on the Oct. 1 show and then fight for them in Feb. 2012. This is actually Blackeye's first major contract signing. But is it a real contract? A contract was signed but it's not an exclusive contract. So let's look at a plausible scenario that could affect a non-exclusive contract. You probably know by now that Zuffa is in talks with Golden Glory to sign former Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem. Knowing how Golden Glory operates, they will no doubt attempt to tie in the Overeem negotiations with the re-hiring of Marloes along with Jon Olav Einemo. It's certainly a possibility that Zuffa could go along with that to speed up negotiations because they would like to have Overeem in a UFC cage before the end of the year. So what happens to Blackeye's non-exclusive contract if Marloes returns to Strikeforce? Obviously Zuffa would insist that she not fulfill the contract because Zuffa's contracts are exclusive. I don't know if that will happen but if it does, Marloes won't fight for Blackeye despite Friday's announcement. Maybe they should have waited until the Golden Glory negotiations concluded. Because right now the announcement seems more like a publicity stunt than something that will happen. Without exclusivity, the contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Horace Andy

Artist:Horace Andy

Skylarking was Horace Andy's breakthrough hit in Jamaica in 1972. He has been mostly unknown outside Jamaica until recently when the British group Massive Attack sampled his music and then had him record with them. That exposed him to a new generation. He was born Horace Hinds Feb. 19, 1951 and is cousin of Justin Hinds of Justin Hinds & The Dominoes. So when Justin had success in the 60s, Horace wanted to follow in his footsteps. At first he recorded with producer Phil Pratt. But that was not successful. In 1970, he auditioned as a duo with Frank Melody for Studio One owner Coxsone Dodd. Dodd didn't like the duo but he liked Hinds. He signed him and had him change his name so he wouldn't be compared to his cousin. It's a tribute to reggae star Bob Andy. After a few singles, Skylarking became Horace Andy's first big hit in 1972. It also established Andy as a songwriter. He soon left Studio One and worked with different producers. A 1977 rerecording of Skylarking produced by Bunny Lee was also a hit. Andy moved to Connecticut in 1977 and continued to have hits in Jamaica. He got together with the group Massive Attack in 1993 and has worked frequently with them. They also released this comp on their own label. So today Horace Andy is busier than ever touring and it doesn't look like this Jamaican music legend plans to slow down anytime soon. Here's Horace Andy performing Skylarking in Sydney, Australia 2008.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chantal Kreviazuk

Artist:Chantal Kreviazuk
Song:Before You
Album:Since We Met: The Best Of 1996-2006

Singer songwriter pianist Chantal Kreviazuk had a lot of success in her native Canada but could never seem to break through to the US. Sony tried. They placed her music in films and TV but it just didn't happen. Before You was her biggest hit in Canada in 1999. She has also had success writing for others. She was born May 18, 1973 in Winnipeg and was a classical piano prodigy as a child. She began writing songs as a teen. She really got into it while recovering from a 1994 motorcycle accident and signed with Sony Canada in 1995. Her debut CD Under These Rocks And Stones was released in 1997 produced by Peter Asher and Matt Wallace. She had two top ten singles in Canada and the CD went 2XPlatinum. But she didn't get the same results in the US. Meanwhile she met Our Lady Peace lead singer Raine Maida in 1996. They married in 1999 and have three sons. They have also worked together on music. So Sony thought that having Chantal cover Leaving On A Jet Plane on the Armageddon soundtrack was a sure thing. It wasn't. She recorded her second CD Colour Moving And Still with veteran roots producer Jay Joyce. It again did very well in Canada. Before You reached #2 on the Canadian singles chart. She also won two Juno awards. But again it didn't sell in the US. Sony continued to try and place Chantal in films and TV shows but nothing ever came of it. She recorded two more albums for Sony produced by husband Raine Maida and then left. You can get her recordings on this budget comp. Chantal currently records for MapleMusic and her latest CD Plain Jane was released Oct. 2009. She has also become an in demand songwriter after writing several songs with Avril Lavigne on her 2004 CD Under My Skin. Chantal and her family live in Los Angeles. Here's the video for Before You by Chantal Kreviazuk.
Chantal Kreviazuk - Before You found on YouClubVideo

Friday, August 26, 2011

Amanda Lucas gets easy win on DEEP show

Amanda Lucas finishes Hikaru Shinohara
As expected Amanda Lucas got an easy win over Hikaru Shinohara at today's DEEP show. Did you expect anything else? The fight was contracted for 71kg. Problem number one was Amanda missed weight and had to drop three pounds. To be fair, Amanda normally fights at a heavier weight and had never had to drop to 155 before. That's because Shinohara is undersized and couldn't even get up to 71kg. I think she weighed in at 67kg. So Amanda was asked to drop to a lower weight than usual as a compromise. And as I said before, Shinohara isn't that active anymore and isn't a credible opponent for anyone. She would have been credible a few years ago at a lighter weight. DEEP matchmaker Shigeru Saeki obviously couldn't find anyone good which is not surprising. He was mainly interested in teasing about George Lucas. The fight went as expected. Amanda had no trouble with her smaller opponent and after pounding her for a while, she switched to an armbar and it was over at 4:37 of round one. Shinohara protested because she said she didn't tap out. It turns out her corner threw in the towel. So she started beating him up. A perfect end to a sordid little sideshow. I haven't seen any interviews with Saeki yet so I don't know about this championship belt he promised if Amanda won. If there were more heavier fighters in women's MMA, I could see a future in MMA for Amanda Lucas. But there aren't. And if she can't make 155, she won't make 145 either. I guess she's stuck.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gwen McCrae

Artist:Gwen McCrae
Song:Rockin' Chair
Album:The Best Of Gwen McCrae

Rockin' Chair was the only top ten pop hit for soul singer Gwen McCrae in 1975. She had several other R & B and dance hits and was part of the TK Records sound in Miami. She was married to singer George McCrae (Rock Your Baby). She was born Gwen Mosely Dec. 21, 1943 in Pensacola, FL and grew up singing in church. Gwen was a huge Sam Cooke fan. She sang in local clubs as a teen and then married George McCrae in 1963. The performed in Florida clubs as George & Gwen. They were discovered in 1967 by legendary soul singer Betty Wright and she got them a deal with Henry Stone's Alston label which would later become TK Records. At first they recorded as a duo. But when Gwen's 1970 single Lead Me On was picked up by Columbia and hit the top 40, George retired from singing to become her manager. She returned to TK in 1973 and had her biggest success with the 1975 single Rockin' Chair. It topped the R & B Singles chart and reached #9 on the billboard Hot 100. Rockin' Chair was written by Willie Clarke and Clarence Reid who wrote many TK songs including Betty Wright's Clean Up Woman. Clarke was leader of TK's house band and they recorded as Miami. Reid started out as a soul singer but became famous as the raunchy rapper Blowfly. Gwen had a few more dance hits. In the late 70s, TK had money problems and the McCraes had marriage problems. They split up and Gwen moved to New Jersey and signed with Atlantic. She had a dance hit in 1981 with Funky Sensation. TK was out of business by then. You can get all her TK hits on this comp. Gwen McCrae recorded for Ichiban Records in the 80s and continues to tour and record occasionally. She's a big favourite on the British Northern Soul scene. Here's Gwen McCrae performing Rockin' Chair 2008.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-George Jones

Artist:George Jones
Song:He Stopped Loving Her Today
Album:Anniversary: Ten Years Of Hits

George Jones is one of the all time greats of country music. He started out in the 50s as a honky tonk singer in the tradition of Hank Williams and later had a lot of success as a singer of teary love songs. He Stopped Loving Her Today was one of his 14 number one country hits in 1980. He was born Sept. 12, 1931 in Saratoga, TX which is near Beaumont. He busked on the streets of Beaumont as a teen, got married at age 19. But the marriage only lasted a year and Jones served in The Marines during the Korean War. He never went overseas. He was stationed in California and sang in bars. Upon his 1953 discharge, he was discovered by Starday Records owner Pappy Daily. His biggest hits in those days was White Lightning and Tender Years in 1959. Both were number one country hits. Starday had a distribution deal with Mercury. When Daily left to become a staff producer at United Artists in 1962, Jones went with him. He had a few hit duets with Melba Montgomery and also scored with the 1963 novelty song The Race Is On. In 1965, Daily moved again, this time to Musicor and Jones went with him. He recorded a lot at Musicor and though he continued to be a presence on the country charts, a lot of his records weren't that good. Meanwhile, Jones' second wife filed for divorce. He moved to Nashville and married country music superstar Tammy Wynette in 1969. He wanted to record with her but she was on Epic Records and Daily wouldn't allow it. He left in 1971 after recording enough material so Musicor would continue to release Jones albums for years. He signed with Epic and worked with legendary producer Billy Sherrill who also produced Wynette's records. Once Jones got used to Sherrill's production style, it was a very productive relationship. Jones had several hits including several duets with Wynette. She left him in 1975 but they continued to record together. His drinking got out of control and he was addicted to cocaine. He missed a lot of shows but went into rehab in 1979. He Stopped Loving Her Today was his comeback and it topped the country charts in 1980. Of course a lot of folks thought the song was about his marriage. The song was written by veteran songwriters Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman who had written other songs for Jones. Braddock started out in 1965 as Marty Robbins' pianist and has written hundreds of hits. Putman's biggest hit was the hit Green Green Grass Of Home. Jones continued to have hits in the 80s but hadn't kicked his demons. He was arrested for DUI in 1983. He married Nancy Sepulveda in 1983 and she straightened him out. Jones started to fade and left Epic for MCA in 1987. He didn't have the same success there. You can get all his Epic hits on this budget comp. George Jones still tours and records and his influence on today's country artists is immeasurable. Here's George Jones performing He Stopped Loving Her Today on The Ronnie Prophet Show July 1980.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NEWS FLASH! George Lucas NOT in Japan for Amanda Lucas fight

Amanda Lucas
Well, I guess it would be a news flash if he did show up. Amanda Lucas arrived in Japan and DEEP held a press conference to promote her match against Hikaru Shinohara on Friday's Korakuen Hall show. Most regular readers will know that gimmicky bullshit drives me nuts. And no one does more gimmicky bullshit than DEEP and JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki. And he's really outdone himself with this fight. Ask yourself this question. Would Saeki be interested in Amanda if she was anyone but George Lucas' daughter? Of course not. After saying when the match was announced that he might show up, he finally admitted today that he won't be there because Amanda insisted that he admit it. He also attempted to sell Shinohara as a credible fighter. She hasn't fought in several years and was never that good anyway. She's mostly models. Today he tried to tell Amanda that if she wins the fight, he will create a DEEP championship belt in her weight class. Why would he say that? Oh, that's right. He's full of crap. This is the kind of baloney that turns women's MMA into a sideshow.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Paul McCartney

Artist:Paul McCartney
Song:Another Day
Album:All The Best

Of course everyone knows who Paul McCartney is. What you may not know is that Another Day was his very first solo hit in 1971. It is frequently credited to Wings because it was on reissues of the album Ram. But Wings was formed after Another Day was released. He was born June 18, 1942 in Liverpool, England and of course McCartney and John Lennon shared credit for most of The Beatles songs. Of course you could tell who actually wrote by who sang lead on the song. When The Beatles split was imminent while Let It Be was being recorded, McCartney and wife Linda recorded his first solo album McCartney at home. The album was released two weeks before the release of Let It Be in Apr. 1970. McCartney also announced that The Beatles had split up though the others were against it. So he got blamed for the split though it has become apparent that they hadn't been getting along for a long time. The album did very well and McCartney released Another Day in Feb. 1971 and it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Wings drummer Denny Seiwell described the song as Eleanor Rigby in New York. The song is upbeat but is about the drudgery of daily life. It was released as a single only and then added to the 1993 reissue of Ram. It's also on comps like All The Best. Much of his back catalog seems to be out of print right now. After Ram was released, McCartney formed Wings with Linda, guitarist Denny Laine and drummer Denny Seiwell. Though subsequent albums were successful commercially, they were critically panned. McCartney got back on the rails with the 1973 album Band On The Run. It didn't seem to matter much if critics liked his music. He had a long string of hits in the 70s and McCartney's success continues to this day. But it all started with Another Day. Here's Paul McCartney performing Another Day in Charlotte, NC 1993.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Beth Carvalho

Artist:Beth Carvalho
Song:Vou Festejar

Along with Clara Nunes and Alcione, Beth Carvalho was one of Brazil's most popular sambistas of the 70s and 80s. She's still performing today but mostly as a nostalgia act. A lot of folks tell me they like Brazilian music but they don't know the artists. Beth was born May 5, 1946 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and grew up in a middle class family in Rio's South Zone. Her father was a lawyer. She learned to play guitar as a teen and became involved with the 60s bossa nova movement. She performed with Tiberio Gaspar, Conjunto 3-D and Eduardo Conte. She got more into samba and won a TV song contest at age 19 that led to a contract with RCA Records. For the most part, Beth has recorded with RCA her entire career. By the 70s, she had hits with songs like So Quero Ver, Amor, Amor and Saco de Fejiao that became samba standards. Beth liked to support young songwriters. The 1978 hit Vou Festejar is a good example of that. That is an early song written by Jorge Aragao. She recorded several of his songs and he became a recording star in the 80s and into the 90s. She did the same for several songwriters. Beth Carvalho's popularity sagged a bit in the 90s. But she still performs and records and is considered a legend of Brazilian music, especially samba. This 2005 Sony comp is a good intro to her music. Here's Beth Carvalho performing Vou Festejar 1978.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ayaka Hamasaki added to Sept. 11 JEWELS show

JEWELS announced today three more matches for the Sept. 11 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show headlined by the start of the JEWELS Featherweight Championship tournament. They have also released the poster which you can see to the left. In a match contracted for 54kg, JEWELS Lightweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki will face 2010 Rough Stone Tournament Champion MIZUKI in a non-title match. Hamasaki trains at AACC and is Megumi Fujii's top trainee. Her record is 4-0 and her last win was the tournament final win over Ham Seo Hee on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. She was supposed to face Jessica Aguilar on the canceled March show but then she suffered a knee injury in training and is just returning from that. Maybe she crashed her motorcycle. Just kidding. MIZUKI is the 17 year old karate phenom from Nagoya. She trains at White Heart Karate Association. Her MMA record is 2-0 and her last win was in the Rough Stone tournament final over ASAKO on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. But she is also a regular for the J-Girls kickboxing company. And she also goes to high school. Common sense says she doesn't have the time to do both MMA and kickboxing. This match could make that decision for her. In a Lightweight match, Amiba will face Betiko. Amiba trains at DEEP. Her record is 5-2 and her last fight was a loss to Saori Ishioka at the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. Betiko is the fighter/model formerly known as Akiko Naito. She's been around for a long time but for years fighting took a back seat to modelling. She changed her ring name last year to reflect a renewed commitment to fighting. She trains at the RJW branch of WK. Her record is 6-11 and her last fight was a loss to VV Mei on the May 3 PANCRASE show. In another Lightweight match, Celine will face Emi Tomimatsu. Celine is from Norway and trains at Team Hellboy Hansen. Her record is 1-8 and her last fight was a loss to Kyoko Takabayashi on the July 9 JEWELS show. Tomimatsu started out ten years ago as a pro wrestler for the now defunct JD Star at a time when they were pushing idol wrestlers called Athtresses. Emi's a nice looking girl but she didn't like the Athtress thing. So she quit pro wrestling and turned to grappling. She trains at Paraestra Matsudo. Her record is 2-4. Her last match was a loss to WINDY Tomomi on the Jan. 30, 2008 PANCRASE show. Emi was seriously injured by body blows and was rushed to hospital immediately. She has been competing in grappling and jiu jitsu tournaments for the last couple of years and also works behind the scenes at JEWELS. This is her return to MMA and we'll see how she does. You almost have to treat her like a brand new fighter and forget about her record. I'm sure there will be more matches announced shortly.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lionel Richie

Artist:Lionel Richie
Album:The Definitive Collection

Lionel Richie wrote and sang all of the ballads when he was a member of The Commodores. So when he left, it wasn't surprising that he continued in that vein and became one of the best selling recording artists of the 80s. Hello was the fourth of his five number one hits in 1984. He was born June 20, 1949 in Tuskeegee, AL and lived with his grandparents across the street from Tuskeegee Institute. His family moved to Joliet, IL and he was a good enough tennis player to get an athletic scholarship at Tuskeegee Institute. The Commodores were formed there. By the late 70s, Richie had started writing for outside artists. His song Lady was a number one hit for Kenny Rogers in 1980 and he produced Rogers' album Share Your Love. Then he wrote and sang with Diana Ross the theme for the film Endless Love and that was Richie's first number one hit in 1981. So he left The Commodores to go solo in 1982. His first single from his 1982 debut album Lionel Richie was Truly and it also reached number one. And the album sold four million copies. His second album Can't Slow Down did even better and the single All Night Long was his third chart topper. Hello was also from that album and may be his most popular song. The ridiculously sappy video with Richie as a professor (!) smitten with a blind student probably had a lot to do with it. His final number one hit Say You, Say Me was the first single from the 1985 album Dancing On The Ceiling. With one exception, all of these songs were ballads. So that's what Richie is known for. You can get all his hits on this budget comp. Other than a 1987 recording with the country group Alabama, Richie took a break until 1996. His father died in 1990 so no doubt that became his priority. He hasn't had the same success since then though his 2006 CD Coming Home was certified Gold and reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 200. His latest CD Just Go was released in 2009 and he announced plans for a Commodores reunion. So Lionel Richie may never return to the heights of the 80s but he's still doing pretty good. Here's the video for Hello by Lionel Richie.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Erika Kamimura vs Ham Seo Hee

Today's feature on Big Bad Blog Video Theater is Friday's SHOOT BOXING S-Girls Cup tournament final with Erika Kamimura vs Ham Seo Hee. I'm not a big fan of SHOOT BOXING because I don't like some of their goofy rules and I think the judging is suspect. But I figured these two would have a good match and they did. When you're watching this, you may wonder why the ref breaks it up when a fighter is thrown to the ground. That's the rules. You can attempt standing submissions. For example, Erika applies a standing choke in round one. But there's no ground work. The fighter gets a point for the takedown and they're stood up. Erika breezed through the first two rounds and she admitted afterwards to Wrestle Kingdom that may have hurt her in the final. Ham had a much tougher time especially in the first round against Emi Fujino. You can see her left eye is swollen. But Ham is a great kickboxer and she brought it. Erika also told Wrestle Kingdom she's not crazy about some of the SHOOT BOXING rules. Here's an 18 year old kid who is a pinpoint puncher and she already a WPMF champ. She won the first round with that punching and a standing choke attempt. Ham had three takedowns in round two so she won that round. But a knockdown for a standing eight count tipped the scales in Erika's favour and she won by unanimous decision. I would like to see these two in a straight kickboxing match. That would be a war. Of course SHOOT BOXING glamour girl RENA enters the ring afterwards and it is announced that Erika Kamimura vs RENA will happen at the Nov. 23 RISE show which I think is supposed to be an outdoor show at Tokyo City Hall. All the matches from this show are on Youtube. RENA was very impressive in her match. But she doesn't have Erika's skills. And the match with RENA's sister MIO vs Yoko Yamada was weird. I don't know why Yamada behaved the way she did. The DQ was deserved. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Toto Bona Lokua

Artist:Toto Bona Lokua
Album:Toto Bona Lokua

 African jazz bassist Richard Bona is probably the best known of the three musicians on this 2004 CD of African jazz. Lokua Kanza is from the Congo and Gerald Toto is French. Bona was born Oct. 28, 1967 in Minta, Cameroon. He moved to France and made his name in French jazz clubs. He moved to New York in 1995 and still lives there. He worked with various jazz artists and was Harry Belafonte's musical director on a 1998 tour. Bona recorded three CDs for Columbia from 1999-2001. He also toured with Pat Matheny. The other two guys aren't as well known. Lokua Kanza was born 1958 in the Congo and has recorded CDs for Universal Europe. I think he lives in France. Gerald Toto was born in 1967 n Saint Cloud, France and is unknown outside France. The three recorded this CD in 2004 for the small French label No Format! and it was picked up in the US by the jazz label Sunny Side. It appears Kanza wrote Lisanga and all three guys sing lead. Lisanga got some buzz when it turned up on a Putumayo comp. But the CD is available and is worth checking out especially if you like African jazz. Richard Bona currently records for Universal Jazz France. So does Lokua Kanza. Gerald Toto has a new CD coming out this year. It wouldn't surprise me if they recorded together in the future. Here's Toto Bona Lokua performing Lisanga 2008.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Johnny Mathis

Artist:Johnny Mathis
Song:Chances Are
Album:The Very Best Of Johnny Mathis

Whether you like him or not, Johnny Mathis deserves to be acknowledged as one of the most enduring artists in pop music history. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, he has sold 350 million records worldwide. And he's done most of that in the Easy Listening market. Chances Are was his 1957 breakthrough hit and one of only two number one hits he has had in his career. He was born Sept. 30, 1935 in Gilmer, TX and grew up in San Francisco. His father was in vaudeville so he encouraged Mathis to perform. As a teen, he took vocal lessons including opera. And he was a big jazz fan and a huge Nat King Cole fan. He was also a great athlete in high school and his high jumping earned him a scholarship at San Francisco State. He planned to become a phys ed teacher. He was also singing in clubs. Columbia Records jazz producer George Avakian signed him in 1956 and wanted him to come to New York to record. But Mathis could have gone to the 1956 Olympics in Australia. He chose a recording career. His first album was jazz oriented and didn't do well. But Columbia head Mitch Miller took over and turned Mathis into a crooner with Ray Coniff's orchestra. Wonderful! Wonderful! was his first chart hit in 1956. But Mathis topped the charts with Chances Are in 1957. Chances Are was written by the team of Robert Allen and Al Stillman. Allen was a pianist for Perry Como and they wrote several hits for Como and others. Mathis' only other number one hit was his 1978 duet with Deniece Williams Too Much! Too Little! Too Late!. But his albums have been consistent catalog staples for Columbia. He still records for Columbia and released the country CD Let It Be Me: Mathis In Nashville last year. You can get all his hits on this comp from Sony Australia. I'm not a big Johnny Mathis fan but he knows his market. Here's Johnny Mathis performing Chances Are in the 80s I think.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Erika Kamimura is the 2011 S-Girls Cup Champion

Erika Kamimura, RENA
So SHOOT BOXING had the S-Girls Cup show today at SHIBUYA-AX. To the surprise of no one, teen kickboxing champ Erika Kamimura won the tournament. SHOOT BOXING definitely favours kickboxers over MMA fighters it's basically kickboxing with throws. A lot of female MMA fighters have used SHOOT BOXING to improve their striking but there's no ground work allowed. So I expected Erika and Ham Seo Hee to make the final as they are the two best kickboxers in the tournament. In the first round, Kamimura won over Kanako Oka by TKO at 31 seconds of round two. She hammered her with punches and the ref stopped it. A bit of an upset as Miyo Yoshida won over WINDY Tomomi by majority decision. Then another upset as J-Girls kickboxer MINA won over VV Mei by majority decision. It looks like Mei won round one and Mina came back in the other two rounds. And then Ham Seo Hee won over Emi Fujino also by majority decision. So that means a judge scored all three fights as 30-30 draws. Huh? So they have this stupid rule in SHOOT BOXING that the fight is stopped after two knockdowns in a round. So in her semi final, Erika Kamimura beat Miyo Yoshida at 1:50 of round one after two knockdowns. That girl doesn't need that kind of help. Then Ham Seo Hee won over MINA by majority decision in a very close match. That's right. One of the judges scored it a draw. In the final, Ham Seo Hee gave Kamimura a run for her money. But in the end, Kamimura won by unanimous decision. I would like to see these two in a kickboxing match. After threatening to retire a couple of months ago, RENA returned triumphantly with a win over Thai kickboxer Zaza Sor Aree by TKO at 2:09 of round two. RENA dominated her. So why wasn't RENA in the tournament? SHOOT BOXING owner Takeshi Caesar used the old pro wrestling trick of keeping rivals away from each other and save the match for a big payday. That will happen at the Nov. 23 RISE show at Tokyo City Hall when RENA faces Erika Kamimura. That's a money match. In other matches, HIROKO dominated Megumi Yabushita. The match was stopped after two rounds when Yabushita blew out her knee. And what about RENA's sister MIO? Yoko Yamada was disqualified at 52 seconds of round one. She threw MIO to the mat and refused to break. There's no ground work in SHOOT BOXING and Yoko wouldn't stop pounding her on the ground. It almost seems like RENA was playing a gag on her sister. Well, that's SHOOT BOXING for you.

It's official! Rin Nakai vs Danielle West set for Sept. 4 PANCRASE show

Rin Nakai, Danielle West
As I reported exclusively yesterday, Rin Nakai is returning to the cage on the Sept. 4 PANCRASE show at Differ Ariake. Unlike most Japanese MMA fights, this will be in a cage. Today PANCRASE announced that her opponent will be British fighter Danielle West. The fight is contracted for Open Weight with an upper limit of 70kg and it's scheduled for three five minute rounds. I don't see the weight as a big issue for Rin. She usually fights at 135 but because the VALKYRIE tournament was Open Weight, she put on weight to fight Super Benkei who normally fights at 145. Then she took the weight off to fight Mizuho Sato in the tournament final who normally fights at 135. It didn't seem to matter. Danielle normally fights at 145. At 5'6", she has a big height advantage. Rin is 5'1" but Super Benkei is a lot taller than her too. She doesn't seem to care about any of that. Danielle trains at PANCRASE London. Her record is 3-2 and her last fight was a TKO loss to Elina Nilsson on the May 7 Zone FC show in Gothenberg, Sweden. Danielle was supposed to fight Esui on the Mar. 11 JEWELS show. But as we all know, that show was cancelled by the earthquake. Despite her youth, Rin has a big experience advantage over Danielle and probably a power edge too. Plus Rin was a amateur judo champ as a teen. I predict that Rin will do backflips after the match.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Butterflys

Artist:The Butterflys
Song:Good Night Baby
Album:Do-Wah-Diddy: Words and Music by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry

As a songwriter and producer, Ellie Greenwich is one of the all time greats of pop music. Along with her husband Jeff Barry, she wrote literally thousands of songs. And many of them were number one hits. But Ellie started out as a singer and she always wanted to have her own recording career. The Butterflys appears to be one of those attempts. Good Night Baby was their only chart hit in 1964. So Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller started Red Bird Records in 1963. The label became a playpen for Brill Building songwriters like Ellie and Jeff to do their own thing. One of the groups on Red Bird was The Jelly Beans. They had a top ten hit in 1964 with I Wanna Love Him So Bad. There were four girls and a guy in that group. And of course the duo are producing plenty of other hits. So I guess while working in the studio, Ellie again got the itch to record herself. So though The Butterflys were strictly a studio group, it appears that Ellie Greenwich was the lead singer of Good Night Baby. It appears that Mary Thomas of The Crystals may have been involved in The Butterflys along with a couple of The Jelly Beans. They only released a handful of songs and Good Night Baby was the only song that charted. Ellie Greenwich went back to writing and producing. She would record as a solo artist later on in her career. This comp from Ace Records is a good overview of the careers of Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry. Here's a video for Good Night Baby by The Butterflys.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

JEWELS Featherweight tournament starts on Sept. 11

Sugi Rock
As much as I dislike SHOOT BOXING, at least they know how to hype a show. Today JEWELS announced the first round of their Featherweight tournament that will begin on the Sept. 11 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show and conclude on the Dec. 17 Shinjuku FACE show. For some reason, they chose to issue a press release instead of holding a press conference. You have to get these girls in front of the public if you want fans to care about them. This tournament should be a big deal but they're not treating it that way. The favourite for this tournament should be Naho "Sugi Rock" Sugiyama. If you haven't seen her, check her out on Youtube. She's very slick on the ground. Her opponent is the veteran Ayumi "Edge" Saito. Sugi Rock trains at the A3 branch of WK. Her record is 4-0 and her last win was over Misaki Takimoto on the May 14 JEWELS show. She also has a non-title win over former VALKYRIE champ Yasuko Tamada. Edge trains with Yuka Tsuji at Angura. Her record is 8-5 and her last fight was a loss to Lisa Ward on the Feb. 14, 2008 Smackgirl show. Obviously ring rust could be an issue. She's not as good as Sugi Rock anyway. In the second match, Misaki Takimoto will face MIYOKO. Takimoto is a trainer at Zendokai Yokohama. Her record is 13-12-4 and her last fight was a loss to Sugi Rock on the May 14 JEWELS show. She is a karate expert but is vulnerable on the ground. MIYOKO trains at Grabaka. Her record is 3-3 and her last fight was a win over Yuka Okumura on the July 9 JEWELS show. In the third match, Yasuko Tamada will face Kikuyo Ishikawa. Tamada trains at AACC. She is the former VALKYRIE champ. Her record is 12-5-3 and her last fight was a non-title loss to Sugi Rock on the Nov. 28 VALKYRIE show. Ishikawa trains at the Champion Reversal Gym in Yokohama. She was last year's 48kg Rough Stone Champ. Her record is 5-2 and her last fight was a win over SACHI on the July 9 JEWELS show. The fourth match is Yukiko Seki vs SACHI. Seki trains at FIGHT CHIX. Her record is 9-20 and her last fight was a win over sakura on the July 23 PANCRASE show. She has won four of her last five fights. But if you look at her opposition, she didn't beat anyone who is very good. And that loss was to Ishikawa. SACHI trains at Zendokai in Toyohashi. Her record is 8-5-1 and her last fight was a loss to Ishikawa on the July 9 JEWELS show. She also lost to Seki in 2007. The bottom line is Sugi Rock should be the favourite. In a 54kg match Rina Tomita will face anna. Tomita trains at AACC and is coming back from health problems. Her record is 3-5 and her last fight was a win over Jeannette Hinz on the Dec. 11 MMA Berlin show. anna trains at FIGHT CHIX. Her record is 1-7 and her last fight was a loss to Sadae Manhoef on the May 14 JEWELS show. They also added a kickboxing match but no main event yet.

SHOOT BOXING public weigh ins

SHOOT BOXING held public weigh ins today for tomorrow's show at SHIBUYA-AX. Everyone made weight except RENA's sister. I'll get to her in a minute. Teen kickboxing champ Erika Kamimura said that even though she is the smallest girl in this tournament, she will still win. We shall see. Also, SHOOT BOXING finally announced that Megumi Yabushita will officially replace Dahlia Albarrs as HIROKO's opponent. I assume there were visa issues. I don't know why this wasn't announced yesterday. Yabushita's partner in crime Yoko Takahashi was Tweeting about this a couple of days ago. Meanwhlie, RENA was very excited about her sister MIO's pro debut. I don't know how she will do. Yoko Yamada is not a pushover. You'll notice MIO wore the damn sailor suit and even has the same hairstyle as her sister. It looks better on RENA.

Rin Nakai on Sept. 4 PANCRASE show

Rin Nakai announced on her blog that she will appear on the Sept. 4 PANCRASE show at Differ Ariake. PANCRASE confirmed this on Twitter. Her opponent is to be announced. Of course Rin is the VALKYRIE Open Weight Champion. She trains at Shooto Shikoku. Her record is 10-0 and she is considered one of the top fighters in Japan. She is very quick on the ground and also has punching power. When she won the VALKYRIE belt over Mizuho Sato, the fight was stopped when she broke Sato's orbital socket. She is also known for her post match backflips. Rin was a competitive gymnast as a child. I think Rin chose to be on this show because she prefers to fight in a cage and most other shows are in a ring. I expect PANCRASE to hold a press conference to announce her opponent. I hope it's somebody decent. Rin lives in the remote island of Shikoku and sometimes it can be hard to bring her to Tokyo. In another women's match announced for this show, Naoko Omuro will face Kayo Nagayasu in a match contracted for 45.4kg. Omuro trains at WK. Her record is 11-8-3 and her last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Yasuko Tamada on the June 19, 2010 VALKYRIE show. She won over Nagayasu on a Nov. 2003 Smackgirl show. Nagayasu trains at Paraestra Hiroshima. Her record is 7-6-2 and her last fight was a win over Happy Fukuko on the Apr. 4, 2010 VALKYRIE show. It will be great to see Rin Nakai back in the cage.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Smash Mouth

Artist:Smash Mouth
Song:All Star
Album:All Star Smash Hits

Back in 1999, you couldn't escape this song. It was everywhere. All Star was one of two top five hits for the group Smash Mouth but I think All Star is their most memorable song. I guess it's a sports anthem now. The group was formed in San Jose, CA in 1994. Lead singer Steve Harwell had been in a rap group called F.O.S. with drummer Kevin Coleman. Coleman knew guitarist Greg Camp and bassist Paul DeLisle from the Southern California ska punk scene. They harassed Camp until he agreed to work with him. He was Smash Mouth's main songwriter. So they started to get a lot of local buzz and signed with Interscope Records. Their 1997 debut CD Fush Yu Mang reached #19 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 2XPlatinum. The single Walkin' on the Sun reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Smash Mouth second CD Astro Lounge went in a more mainstream pop direction. That turned out to be a smart move as it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 3XPlatinum. All Star reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also appeared in the film Mystery Men and then in the hit film Shrek along with Smash Mouth's cover of The Monkees I'm A Believer. That was on their 2001 CD Smash Mouth but it probably did more for the Shrek soundtrack. Kevin Coleman left Smash Mouth due to back problems and was replaced by Michael Urbano. Smash Mouth started to fade after 2001. You can get all their hits on this comp. Steve Harwell appeared on the MTV show The Surreal Life. Smash Mouth recorded the CD Old Habits which they claimed would return to their ska roots. But it appears that Interscope didn't like it and shelved it. They left Interscope and released the album as Summer Girl on their own label in 2006. Greg Camp left Smash Mouth in 2008 and recorded a solo CD and is in The Maids Of Honor. Mike Krompass was already touring with Smash Mouth so he replaced Camp. Urbano left and was replaced by Randy Cooke. Smash Mouth still tours and are supposed to be working on a new CD. Here's the video for All Star by Smash Mouth featuring the cast of the film Mystery Men.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

RENA's sister to debut on Aug. 19 SHOOT BOXING show

SHOOT BOXING announced today that RENA's 16 year old sister MIO will make her SHOOT BOXING debut on the Aug. 19 S-Girls Cup show at SHIBUYA-AX. The match is contracted for 48kg and her opponent is the veteran Yoko Yamada. MIO trains with her sister at the Oikawa Gym in Osaka. SHOOT BOXING claims that MIO has held several amateur titles. She says it is her dream to follow in her sister's footsteps. You gotta love the sailor suit in the pic. Yoko Yamada has been around the Japanese combat sports business for a decade doing all kinds of things. She started out wanting to be a pro wrestler but all the joshi companies told her at the time that she was way too tiny. She made her MMA debut in 2003 and compiled a 6-1 record. But she hasn't fought since a win over MIYOKO on the Dec. 2009 JEWELS show. Several years ago she won the WAF World Arm Wrestling Championship and proceeded to publish a sexy photobook afterwards. She returned to pro wrestling a few years ago with Ibuki but quit after a few months. She also does modelling and ring girl work. I don't know if she has ever done SHOOT BOXING. This is the first time Yoko's name has come up in a couple of years so I don't know what she has been doing. She still trains at PUREBRED. There is also a rumour that HIROKO's Dutch opponent is being replaced by Megumi Yabushita. SHOOT BOXING hasn't announced this. It's possible they are having visa problems with the Dutch girl and Yabushita is standing by if the problem can't be solved in the next couple of days.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Buena Vista Social Club

Artist:Buena Vista Social Club
Song:Chan Chan
Album:Buena Vista Social Club

The unlikely events that led to the discovery of Cuban music is one of the greatest success stories in the history of the music business. Remember the music of the Buena Vista Social Club is not mainstream music but the album has sold five million copies. So there really was a Buena Vista Social Club in Havana. Musicians would hang out there and jam in the 40s. Of course in 1996 when the time came to locate it, no one knew where it was. Many of the musicians who played in Cuban dance bands of the 40s became unemployed in 1959 with the revolution. They played on weekends but all had day jobs. So Ry Cooder heard about these forgotten musicians and was invited by World Circuit Records owner Nick Gold to go to Havana and record an album with these musicians. The musical director was Afro Cuban All Stars leader Juan de Marcos Gonzalez. He brought in bassist Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, guitarist Eliades Ochoa, Pianist Ruben Gonzalez, and singers Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Potruondo. Ry Cooder's son Joachim played drums. Chan Chan is considered the signature song from the album and was written by 89 year old Compay Segundo. The album was recorded in six days and subsequently Cooder brought Wim Wenders down to Cuba to shoot a documentary. Then the group went on tour. The album sold five million copies and won a Grammy. Several of the musicians recorded solo albums and the film was also a big hit. Cuban music became a cottage industry for World Circuit. Though Ruben Gonzalez, Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo and Orlando Lopez have all died, Buena Vista Social Club continues to tour today. Here's a video for Chan Chan by Buena Vista Social Club used to promote the recent release of a Carnegie Hall concert CD.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mel Carter

Artist:Mel Carter
Song:Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
Album:The Ultimate Rock & Roll Collection: The 60s

Mel Carter started out in gospel and R & B but had his biggest success in 1965 with the top ten pop hit Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me. When music dried up, Carter turned to acting. He was born Apr. 22, 1943 in Cincinnati and grew up singing in church. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 50s and appeared in several TV shows including several episodes of the hit show The Rifleman. Carter was discovered by Quincy Jones and though he recorded for Mercury, it doesn't look like the songs were ever released. So Sam Cooke signed him to his Derby label and When A Boy Falls In Love was a minor hit in 1962. Carter signed with Imperial Records and Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It topped the Adult Contemporary chart. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me was first recorded by pop singer Karen Chandler in 1952 and reached #7 on the singles chart. Gloria Estefan had a hit in England with her 1994 cover. But most folks will remember Carter's version and you can get it on this Collectables various artists comp. Of course the problem was Carter became known as a pop singer so when he wanted to record soul, it wasn't accepted. He had a couple more minor hits and recorded four albums for Imperial. But he was dropped in 1969 and turned to acting mostly on TV doing guest shots on shows like Quincy M.E. and Magnum P.I. He got a Grammy nomination for a 1985 gospel album and he still performs today. Here's Mel Carter performing Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me on Shindig 1965.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kelly Kelly retains WWE Divas Championship at SummerSlam

So here's the match video of Kelly Kelly successfully defending her WWE Divas Championship over Beth Phoenixon last night's SummerSlam. That alone has many fans up in arms. How could Kelly Kelly possibly beat Beth Phoenix? Is wrestling real? Obviously Beth has better wrestling skills than Kelly and could mop the floor with her. Did you know that since Melina was fired that Kelly has the longest tenure of any of the Divas? So obviously the office likes her. She's a nice girl and she gets a great pop when she comes to the ring. They don't care if the crowd is silent during the match. It's enough that she's a generic hot girl and her wrestling is secondary. I thought she looked thinner than usual. Maybe it was the outfit. The match was OK. Beth is a great wrestler and can carry anyone. They gave Kelly more offense than I expected early in the match. But Beth took over with her power and was about to finish Kelly with the Glam Slam when Kelly turned it into a Victory Roll for the win. So fans are upset about that. Not me. It extends the feud and sets up Kelly for a major beating on tonight's episode of RAW. I look forward to that. Enjoy the video!

HIROKO added to Aug. 19 SHOOT BOXING show

SHOOT BOXING announced today they have added a match to their Aug. 19 SHIBYA-AX show. It is contracted for Open Weight with JEWELS MMA fighter HIROKO facing Dutch boxer Dahlia Albarrs. I'm not sure about the spelling. Apparently she's a boxer from The Netherlands. Of course HIROKO's MMA record is 12-1 and she fights in the 145lb weight class. It can be tough to find opponents for her in Japan. She's expressed interest in coming to the US but she just came back from a facial injury she suffered in training at the end of last year. HIROKO was on last year's S-Girls Cup show. But they couldn't find an opponent and she wound up beating Aussie kickboxer Sandy Fumer in an MMA match. So at least she gets to try SHOOT BOXING this year.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Police

Artist:The Police
Song:Message In A Bottle
Album:Every Breath You Take: The Classics

The Police were one of the biggest groups of the New Wave era in the early 80s. The 1979 single Message In A Bottle was their first number one hit in England and set the stage for their success in the early 80s. I think it was their breakthrough hit. The group began with drummer Stewart Copeland. As the son of a CIA officer, he lived all over the world but grew up mostly in Egypt and Lebanon. He went to college in England and the US and moved back to England in 1974 and joined the progressive rock group Curved Air. He decided to form a band in 1977 with Gordon "Sting" Sumner and guitarist Henry Padovani. Sumner got the Sting nickname when he showed up to a gig wearing a sweater that made him look like a bee. The Police released the single Fall Out in 1977 and went out on tour as a support act. Meanwhile, Mike Howlett of Gong formed a band with Sting and former Eric Burdon and The Animals guitarist Andy Summers. When the drummer Howlett wanted was unavailable, Sting brought in Copeland. The group was called Strontium 90. They recorded some demos and played one show in France. But the group split with Howlett and The Police started working as a quartet in London. Padovani left and the trio we all know was born. Copeland's older brother Miles Copeland III heard the song Roxanne, became their manager and got them a record deal with A & M Records in 1978. Of course he would go on to form IRS Records. Their debut album Outlandos d'Amour did well but their second album Regatta de Blanc did even better. And when it became a big success, it boosted sales of the first album. Message In A Bottle was their first #1 hit in England and it did well everywhere else too. Of course The Police would soon become much bigger including their only US number one hit Every Breath You Take in 1983. But Message In A Bottle laid the foundation for that success and you can get all their hits on this comp. The Police took a hiatus in 1984 and then split up for good in 1986. Sting was already having solo success and he was bickering with Copeland anyway. The Police did a reunion tour in 2007. Here's the video for Message In A Bottle by The Police.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ray uses the Sky Twister Press in Aug. 14 REINA show

Ray hits the Sky Twister Press
At today's REINA show at Friends Hall, There were a couple of matches in the CMLL-REINA International Junior Championship tournament featuring a couple of visiting American wrestlers. Of course REINA is also using Mexican wrestlers from CMLL and a couple of what I would call luchadoras in training, younger wrestlers who don't work for CMLL. The big news in this show is that masked wrestler Ray pulled out, of all things, the Sky Twister Press in her tournament win over US wrestler Luscious Latasha. Of course most joshi fans recall that Chapparita ASARI frequently used the Sky Twister Press in the 90s. Of course she always missed it. ASARI was known as a crash and burn jobber. Ray is a spot monkey and is the only joshi wrestler to ever use the Shooting Star Press. And as you can see by the pics, the Sky Twister is even more complicated and difficult to control than the Shooting Star. She's good at that stuff. In the other tournament match US wrestler Mia Yim won over Saya (formerly Senri Kuroki) with several kicks ending with a running kick. In the main event, top CMLL heel La Comandante teamed with Mima Shimoda to win over Kyoko Kimura and Aki Kambayashi. They destroyed Kambayashi and La Comandante finished her with a diving body press. Afterwards, REINA boss Yumiko Hotta announced she is returning from knee surgery on the next show. She greeted her old pal Shimoda and then La Comandante got involved and all hell broke loose. I guess you can tell where this is going.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The New Colony Six

Artist:The New Colony Six
Song:Things I'd Like To Say
Album:Dick Bartley Presents Classic Oldies 1965-1969

The New Colony Six started out in the mid-60s as a British Invasion influenced garage band. Personnel changes and a major label deal led to a softening of their sound and the 1969 top twenty hit Things I'd Like To Say. They were from Chicago. The original members were Ray Graffia on vocals, Chick James on drums, Pat McBride on harmonica, Craig Kemp on organ, Wally Kemp on bass and Gerry Van Kollenburg on guitar. They recorded two albums on the small Sentar label and had success locally in Chicago. Like Paul Revere & The Raiders, they wore Colonial costumes on stage. They started out as a fairly standard garage band. Craig Kemp was replaced by Ronnie Rice and Wally Kemp was replaced by Les Kummel. There were other changes but those two guys took over the songwriting and went towards a more mainstream pop sound. They got a record deal with Mercury and Things I'd Like To Say reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Fans of the original band were not pleased with this version of The New Colony Six. It's like there were two different bands. The New Colony Six recorded two albums for Mercury and then faded and split up in 1974. You can get Things I'd Like To Say on this various artists comp from DJ Dick Bartley on Eric Records. Original singer Ray Graffia leads a version of The New Colony Six today concentrating mostly on their earlier songs. Ronnie Rice was the lead singer on Things I'd Like To Say and no doubt performs it in his shows. Here's The New Colony Six performing Things I'd Like To Say on The Mike Douglas Show 1969.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ronda Rousey wastes no time in her Strikeforce debut

Here's the match video for Ronda Rousey vs Sarah D'Alelio from last night's Strikeforce show n Las Vegas. As I expected, Ronda wasted no time hooking the armbar for the win in 25 seconds. Unfortunately, referee Steve Mazzagatti had a brain fart and screwed up the finish. The fighters were told before the fight that any scream during a submission would be interpreted as as a verbal tap and the match would be stopped. The reason for that is some fighters won't tap until the arm breaks. We don't want any broken arms. Safety first, please. Ronda's transition into the armbar was one of the slickest moves I've seen this side of Megumi Fujii. When she applied the armbar, Sarah screamed. It was audible in the arena and Sarah said afterwards that she did scream. And remember she doesn't have to say "tap". She just has to scream in pain. Mazzagatti should have stopped the match right there. Ronda told him Sarah screamed and his reaction was "Oh geez, I forgot" and then he stopped the match. It's not the first time he has looked like an idiot. And you can tell by his body language afterwards that he knew he messed up. Unfortunately, it takes away from Ronda's accomplishment. And the bottom line is that Sarah wasn't getting out of that armbar so it would have been over a few seconds later anyway. Ronda said afterwards that her next fight will be in November. The fight will be at 145lbs. Ronda says she will not drop to 135. She doesn't think she can cut to 135 safely. And she's ripped already. The problem Strikeforce has is 145 has a small pool of fighters. And I haven't seen anyone other than Cris Cyborg who might be able to handle Ronda's quickness. Strikeforce has Julia Budd and Germaine de Randamie under contract. And of course there's Gina Carano but remember Scott Coker said he plans to have Gina drop to 135. Amanda Nunes has a 135lb fight against Alexis Davis on Sept. 10. Others in the 145lb weight class include Shana Olsen, Yoko Takahashi, Romy Ruyssen and HIROKO. And don't forget Olympic alumni Sara McMann and Randi Miller. But the fighter that I like is Cris Cyborg's Chute Boxe teammate Jennifer Maia. Jennifer started out with a 3-0 record as a boxer and then switched to MMA and has a 4-0-1 record. In Brazil she is called the new Cris Cyborg. She could be a very interesting test for Ronda. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Anna Nalick

Artist:Anna Nalick
Song:Breathe (2AM)
Album:Wreck Of The Day: Expanded Edition

Singer songwriter Anna Nalick was a college student who came out of nowhere to score a Gold record in 2005 with Wreck Of The Day and a hit single with Breathe. Then she seemed to fall off the face of the earth. She is currently on the comeback trail. She was born Mar. 30, 1984 in Glendora, CA. Her grandparents were Broadway performers so she was exposed to all kinds of music. But she has acknowledged Tori Amos as a major influence. She was attending college in 2004 and gave a demo to one of her professors. It landed in the hands of former Blind Melon members Christopher Thorn and Brad Smith who were just starting a production company. Anna was a big Blind Melon fan. They brought in producer Eric Rosse. He is best known for producing Tori Amos and seems to specialize in producing female singer songwriters. Anna signed with Columbia Records and her debut CD Wreck Of The Day was released in 2005. The album reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Gold. The single Breathe only reached #45 on the Billboard Hot 100. But the video was in heavy rotation on Vh1 and the song appeared in an episode of the TV series Gray's Anatomy and the 2006 film A Lot Like Love starring Ashton Kutcher. I'm sure Gray's Anatomy drove a lot of album sales. The expanded edition of Wreck Of The Day is available as a budget CD. So she's on her way to a long career, right? Wrong. Anna was recording her second album to be called Broken Doll. The single Shine was released in 2008. But then Columbia shelved the album and dropped her. Obviously she butted heads with label management. Apparently Anna was able to get the masters back from Columbia and has released the CD Broken Doll & Odds and Ends last week on her own label. She is working on a new CD wth Taylor Swift's producer Nathan Chapman and plans to release it later this year. So at least Anna Nalick is out there again. I think it's doubtful that she can return to the heights of Wreck Of The Day. But I also think she is a talent worth checking out. Here's the video for Breathe (2AM) by Anna Nalick. This video doesn't seem to be on Youtube.

Anna Nalick - Breathe (2 AM) by ddi94

Friday, August 12, 2011

Serena Deeb vs Kana set for SMASH Divas Championship tournament final

Kana wins over Syuri
Yesterday SMASH had the Divas Championship semi finals on their Korakuen Hall show. A couple of other news items were announced during the show. First, it was announced that Makoto will officially leave Ice Ribbon and join SMASH full time. Ice Ribbon owner Sakura Emi was there just so fans know that she approved of the move. TAJIRI has been pushing her to allow this. It's just another sign that Ice Ribbon is more training ground than a legit joshi fed. Emi seems satisfied with that. Also, Ayumi Kurihara announced that she will make her SMASH debut on the Sept. 10 show alongside the tournament final. An opponent is TBA but I would expect her to challenge the winner of the tournament final. She also declared herself the number one idol wrestler, a title she was given by a couple of men's magazines. Of course she was booed by Syuri fans so maybe Syuri will be her opponent. Some of her dopey fans got annoyed with me when I said she is more dancer than wrestler. God forbid I should criticize anyone for anything. She's been around the business long enough that she needs to improve and she hasn't. And her character is pathetic. The bottom line is she had the opportunity to be the ace of SMASH and that won't happen now or probably ever unless she improves her ring work. Too many of her moves are dance moves, not wrestling moves. So she had her semi final match against Kana. Kana has tormented her lately about her lack of improvement and her whining and crying. The match went as expected and Kana won with her chicken wing sleeper that she has been using. Earlier, Serena won over Makoto with the spear. So after her win, Kana confronted Serena. It should be a pretty good match. Kana hasn't had much luck in her matches against Serena which indicates that she will probably win this belt. Here's hoping she wins with a very evil finish that turns her into a major league heel. And then she brings the belt to SHIMMER in October and maybe a title defense. How would you like that?

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chalk Circle

Artist:Chalk Circle
Song:April Fool
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Chalk Circle

Not to be confused with the early 80s punk band from Washington, DC also called Chalk Circle, this Chalk Circle had some success in their native Canada in the late 80s. April Fool was their biggest hit in 1987. But their music was never released outside Canada. This is more common than you might think because Canadian radio stations are regulated to play 30% Canadian content. Sometimes music is played that they normally wouldn't play. When you listen to Chalk Circle, you might think they're British. The influence is obvious. But they are actually from Newcastle, ON which is east of Toronto. Lead singer and guitarist Chris Tait and bassist Brad Hopkins had a band called The Casualties in 1982. After 1984 personnel changes, they were called The Reactors and then New Edition. Obviously they couldn't use that name so they got Chalk Circle from the Bertolt Brecht play The Caucasian Chalk Circle. The other band members were Ted Winklarz on keyboards and Derrick Murphy on drums. They started playing in Toronto, recorded a demo and won the 1985 CASBY for Most Promising Non Recorded Group. The CASBYs were awards presented by local alternative music radio station CFNY. They signed with Duke Street Records in 1986. This was a small label and they only released Canadian music in Canada. Bands had to sign their own deals elsewhere. Duke Street closed in 1994. April Fool was from Chalk Circle's 1986 EP The Great Lake produced by former Blue Peter leader Chris Wardman. The song reached #21 on the Canadian Singles chart. Chalk Circle recorded two more albums and were reasonably successful in Canada. But it wasn't enough and Chris Tait left and they split up in 1990. You can get all their hits on this Universal Canada comp. Tait formed the short lived group Big Faith and currently writes jingles. Though Chalk Circle was only known in Canada, I think 80s Brit-pop fans might enjoy their music. Here's the video for April Fool by Chalk Circle.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gene

Song:Sleeps Well Tonight
Album:As Good As It Gets: The Best Of Gene

Despite constant comparisons to The Smiths, Gene had some success mostly in England. They never had a top ten single but the 1995 album Olympian was a top ten album in England. Fans of Brit-pop should check them out. Bassist John Mason and drummer Matt James were members of the group Spin. They released a couple of singles in 1990. A 1991 car accident left Mason in a coma for 11 days and the group's lead singer quit the band. After briefly quitting music to become a writer, Mason and James started working together again and recruited Kevin Miles to play bass. Mason moved to guitar. So now they need a singer. Mason met Welshman Martin Rossiter in a club and invited him to try out. They were going to use the name Spin but decided to change it to Gene. They released a 1994 single on a label owned by a couple of New Musical Express writers. The resulting press and positive response to live shows got them a contract with Polydor Records. Sleep Well Tonight was the first single from their 1995 debut CD Olympian. It reached #36 on the British Singles chart but the album reached #8 on the British Album chart. Gene toured the US and Olympian wasd released on A & M Records but they didn't make any impact. They went back to England and added keyboard player Julian Wilson. Their next couple of albums did well. But then they took a break in 1998. When they returned, the 1999 album Revelations was not received well and resulted in Polydor dropping Gene. They continued to tour and released the 2001 album Libertine on their own Sub Rosa label. They were doing OK but the group felt they were in a rut and split up in 2004. You can get all their hits on this comp. Martin Rossiter is a member of Call Me Jolene. Gene is worth checking out. Here's the video for Sleep Well Tonight by Gene. This video is not on Youtube.

Gene - Sleep Well Tonight

Jorge | Myspace Video

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

RENA's opponent named for Aug. 19 SHOOT BOXING show

RENA, Zaza Sor Aree
Today SHOOT BOXING announced RENA's opponent for the Aug. 19 show at SHIBUYA-AX. So why didn't they announce this at Monday's press conference? Obviously they wanted to concentrate on the tournament. And RENA wasn't at the press conference. She lives in Osaka. There is still no explanation why she isn't in the tournament. Her opponent is 16 year old WPMF Women's Flyweight Champ Zaza Sor Aree. SHOOT BOXING fans should be familiar with Zaza as she was in the 2010 S-Girls Cup tournament and lost her first round match to Kate Martinez. She also lost to Ai Takahashi on the Feb. 19, 2011 SHOOT BOXING show. Her father was also a fighter and she trains at his gym in Bangkok. Her ring name is based on his ring name. Her Muay Thai record is 33-5 and apparently she sings too. So she's young and cute and maybe she can fight a little bit. What more do you want? Never mind.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Buggles

Song:Video Killed The Radio Star
Album:Pure 80's

Video Killed The Radio Star was the first video played when MTV started in 1981. It's a very appropriate choice because the song is about the death of radio in England. The song became the first hit spawned by MTV though it only reached #40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The guys behind the song were British studio musicians. Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes met when they were part of the touring band for British pop singer Tina Charles in 1977. Horn met Bruce Woolley when he was house bassist at the Hammersmith Odeon. Horn wanted to be a record producer but he was having problems finding decent songs and bands. So the three formed Buggles. The original name of the group was The Bugs and they changed it to Buggles as a goof on The Beatles. Though Video Killed The Radio Star is credited to all three, Horn says he wrote the words and Woolley wrote the music. Buggles signed with Island Records. But Woolley left and recorded Video Killed The Radio Star with his new group Camera Club. It was unsuccessful and that group was short lived. The Buggles version of Video Killed The Radio Star was released in England in 1979 and topped the British charts. You can get the song on this Universal various artists comp. Then they had to record an album. The Age Of Plastic was released in 1980. By the time MTV played Video Killed The Radio Star in 1981, all three guys went on to other things. Horn and Downes replaced Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman in Yes and Woolley tried to keep Camera Club together. Horn and Downes reunited to record a second Buggles album. When Yes didn't work out, Downes founded Asia with John Wetton and still leads them today. Horn and Woolley have both had long careers as producers. Horn's first hit album was The Lexicon Of Love by ABC in 1982 and he has had plenty of other hits. Woolley first had success producing Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Grace Jones. They are still producers today. Here's the video for Video Killed The Radio Star by Buggles.