Friday, September 30, 2011

Denise Mellor on her match against Erika Kamimura

Dynamite Denise Mellor
British kickboxer Dynamite Denise Mellor arrived in Japan yesterday and gave an interview about her WBC Muay Thai International Flyweight Championship defense against "Earth's Strongest High School Student" Erika Kamimura this Sunday at Korakuen Hall. Denise says Erika is a rapidly growing fighter with several KOs. She knows Erika is a very aggressive fighter and a hard puncher. But Denise says she is also aggressive and a hard puncher. So she expects a very exciting fight. Denise says she is prepared to go five rounds but doubts it will go the distance. For Denise, the main goal is to show great Muay Thai technique to Japanese fans and retain her title. But she knows it won't be easy.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sue Foley

Artist:Sue Foley
Song:Queen Bee
Album:Queen Bee: The Antones Collection

Canadian blues guitarist Sue Foley became a big deal when she moved to Austin in the 90s and recorded for the record label owned by famed club owner Clifford Antone. This cover of Slim Harpo's King Bee is one of her best known songs. She just calls it Queen Bee. She was born Mar. 29, 1968 in Ottawa. She got interested in the blues when she went to a James Cotton concert at age 15. She took up the guitar and played in various bands and moved to Vancouver in the mid-80s. In 1990, she sent a demo to Antone's Records. Clifford Antone owned the famed Austin blues club Antone's for many years and started a record label in 1987. He was a big part of the development of the blues scene in Austin. So he signed Sue Foley and her 1992 debut CD Young Girl Blues did very well. Queen Bee is on that CD. The appeal of Sue Foley is she's this cute girl who one would expect would sing pop songs. Instead she swings her axe like an old pro. And she's a worldwide draw on the blues circuit. Sue recorded three CDs for Antone Records and this comp is a good intro to her music. She got pregnant in 1997 and moved back to Ottawa. She recorded three CDs for Shanachie and now records for the German label Ruf Records owned by Luther Allison's manager Thomas Ruf. She last recorded solo in 2006. But last year she recorded an CD of duets with New Jersey bluesman Peter Karp called He Said She Said on Blind Pig Records. She first met Karp at the 2006 Ottawa Blues Festival. Sue has also written a book profiling female blues artists called Guitar Woman. So if you're a blues fan, you want to check out Sue Foley. Here is Sue Foley performing Queen Bee at The Underground in Koln, Germany from her 2005 DVD Live In Europe.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gino Vannelli

Artist:Gino Vannelli
Song:I Just Wanna Stop
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Gino Vannelli

I Just Wanna Stop was the only top ten hit for Canadian singer songwriter Gino Vannelli in 1978. He had several chart hits in the 70s and 80s. He was born June 16, 1952 in Montreal the son of big band musician Russ Vannelli. Gino has worked with his brothers Joe and Ross for his whole career. Vannelli recorded for RCA in 1970 under the name Vann Elli. He studied music at McGill University in Montreal. So the three Vannelli brothers went to Los Angeles in search of a record deal and camped out in front of A & M Records in a last ditch effort before returning home. A & M owner Herb Alpert gave them an audition and signed them up. Gino was the singer so the albums were released under his name. But Joe usually co-wrote all the songs and wrote the arrangements and was using synthesizers before it was popular to do so. And Ross played bass. People Gotta Move reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975. Also, Vannelli was only the second caucasian to appear on Soul Train. Guitarist Dennis Coffey was the first. Vannelli toured with Stevie Wonder. I Just Wanna Stop reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978 and Brother To Brother went Platinum. The song topped the Canadian charts and Vannelli won several Juno awards. He was always a bigger star in Canada than in the US. Vannelli left A & M for Arista in 1981 and seemed to fade until Black Cars became a big dance hit in 1985. It was also a top five hit in Canada. You can get his A & M recordings on this budget comp. Gino Vannelli lives in The Netherlands. He continues to perform and record occasionally. But his days in mainstream music are well past him. I think a lot of fans remember Gino's hair from the 70s. You get to see that in this video of I Just Wanna Stop by Gino Vannelli.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Human League

Artist:The Human League
Album:The Very Best of the Human League

The Human League started out in 1977 as one of the early adopters of synth pop. But the band became a more traditional pop group when Martyn Ware left in 1980 and lead singer Philip Oakey became the focus of the group. Human was one of their two number one hits. They started out in Sheffield, England in 1977 as The Dead Daughters and then The Future. Martyn Ware and Ian Craig were computer operators with an interest in electronic music. They hired lead singer Philip Oakey more for his look than his voice. They thought he looked like a pop star though he had no experience. He had been working in a hospital. In 1978 the group name was changed to The Human League. The group eventually singed with Virgin Records but didn't seem to have much success. Conflict between Oakey and Ware forced Ware to leave. He wanted to remain an experimental electronic music group and Oakey wanted to front a pop group. Ware went on to form Heaven 17. So now Oakey had to hire new musicians and go on tour. Philip Adrian Wright remained to take charge of the music though he wasn't a musician. He was their lighting man. Then Oakey hired two teenage girls that he saw on a dance floor to sing with him. They were Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall. They had no singing experience. He also hired session keyboard player Ian Burden to play on their record though he was never a member of the group. Veteran producer Martin Rushent took charge and hired keyboard player Jo Callis as a permanent member of the band. The 1981 album Dare topped the British charts and the single Don't You Want Me was a worldwide smash hit. Their next album Hysteria was not successful. Meanwhile Oakey had some success with music he had recorded with Georgio Moroder for the 1984 film Electric Dreams. Virgin sent The Human League to Minneapolis to work with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who had a lot of success with Janet Jackson among others. They wrote Human and it topped the Billboard Hot 100. This comp is a good intro to their music. After this, The Human League faded though they continue to record and perform today. The group is Oakey and the two girls and he hires session musicians for recordings and tours. They released a new CD Credo in March. Here's the video for Human by The Human League.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

FLASH one day joshi puroresu team tournament announced

A press conference was held today to announce a very unique one day joshi puroresu tournament October 27 at Korakuen Hall. It will be called FLASH and it appears that Meiko Satomura of Sendai Girls is behind this. It's a team competition between the various joshi companies. They made a point of mentioning that over 40 wrestlers will participate in this. I guess quantity equals quality. The teams are Pro Wrestling WAVE, JWP, Sendai Girls, Ice Ribbon, REINA, Stardom, Diana and a freelance team. The tournament format is very convoluted. Round one will be five vs five. Round two will be three vs three. And the final will be two singles matches and a traditional two vs two tag team match. I guess it's different but that doesn't mean it will draw. When GAMI started crowing that it could draw 2000 fans, someone should have told her to put a sock in it. They drew lots to determine the first round. The matches will be JWP vs WAVE, Sendai Girls vs Ice Ribbon, Stardom vs REINA and Diana vs Freelance. The promotion leader chooses the wrestlers for each match. For example, WAVE is only bringing five wrestlers while Ice Ribbon will bring 15. Both REINA and Diana plan to bring in gaijin wrestlers to be named later. The freelance team is Sakura Hirota, Jaguar Yokota, Manami Toyota, Mio Shirai and Nancy Mari. They suggested that more freelancers could be added. Not participating in this are OZ Academy, LLPW and SMASH. And it also looks like S-Ovation wrestlers Hiroyo Matsumoto, Misaki Ohata and Tomoka Nakagawa won't be involved. And there's no sign of Ayumi Kurihara, Kana or Io Shirai. But they are freelance and I suppose they could be added later. That's a lot of star power that won't be on this show. Could this be good? I guess but considering the convoluted format, a train wreck is more likely.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Adele

Song:Rolling In The Deep

At a time when it seems like every singer needs a gimmick to sell records, it is refreshing that British singer songwriter Adele Atkins' gimmick is a great voice. But she is fortunate that her record company and her producers encourage her to be herself. She was born May 5, 1988 in London, England to a single teenage mom. Adele says The Spice Girls got her interested in music as a child and as a teen, she got into R & B. After graduating from The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in 2006, she was more interested in producing than performing. One of her demos was posted on MySpace. This led to a call from Nick Huggett of XL Recordings who wanted to sign her to a contract. She signed after he got her a manager. XL started as a dance music offshoot of Beggars Banquet and Adele has turned out to be an unexpected windfall for them. After her debut single Hometown Glory charted, she recorded the 2008 CD 19 mostly with producer Jim Abbiss. She had a lot of chart success and received several awards. It was at this point that Columbia picked up Adele for US distribution. Rolling In The Deep was the first single from her second CD 21 and it was a number one hit worldwide. Rick Rubin supervised the album but Rolling In The Deep was produced by Paul Epworth and he co-wrote the song with Adele. Epworth started out as lead singer and guitarist for the band Lomax. After recording one album in 2003, the band split up and he turned to production and has worked with Florence & The Machine and Cee-Lo Green. According to Adele, the song started out with a gospel and blues vibe. But after an argument with Epworth, he convinced her to give it a harder edge. Basically it blew up and set all kinds of sales records. And it's all based on Adele's vocal ability. I think she's a new age Dusty Springfield. And unlike some of today's current crop of singers, she's not playing on sex appeal or being outrageous. That's why I think she will have a long career. Adele says she has written several songs for her next CD. Let's see what she comes up with. Here's the video for Rolling In The Deep by Adele.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Kana vs Ayumi Kurihara

Today's edition of Big Bad Blog Video Theater is Kana vs Ayumi Kurihara from the Aug. 28 Pro Wrestling WAVE show at Korakuen Hall. I'm not a fan of WAVE because they feature way too much weak idol wrestling, way too much comedy and way too much of that decrepit old hag GAMI. She seems to be aware of the promotion's shortcomings as this match was labeled as Premium WAVE meaning it's supposed to be better than their usual crap. And if you like hard hitting wrestling with no foolishness, you will enjoy this match. Kana works her usual stiff style and Ayumi responds accordingly. It's one of the better joshi matches I have seen lately so enjoy!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pixies

Song:Here Comes Your Man
Album:Wave Of Mutilation: Best Of Pixies

The Pixies were a popular alternative rock band in the late 80s-early 90s. They were popular on the college circuit and were much bigger in England than in the US. Today they are respected as influential on much of the alternative rock that followed. They split up before they could take advantage of that. The leader of Pixies was Black Francis (born Charles Thompson IV Apr. 6, 1965 in Boston). He was lead singer and main songwriter. He met lead guitarist Joey Santiago while attending the University Of Massachusetts Amherst in 1984. They decided to form a band in 1986. They recruited bassist and singer Kim Deal. They taught her to play bass. They tried to get Kim's sister Kelley to play drums. But Kim's husband suggested David Lovering who they met at their wedding reception. Santiago got the name Pixies from the dictionary at random. They were playing a gig in support of Throwing Muses and that group's producer Gary Smith liked Pixies and produced a demo at his studio. They signed with the British label 4AD and the demo was released as an EP. After their debut album Suirfer Rosa, Pixies signed a US recording deal with Elektra. Their second album Doolittle was was produced by Gil Norton who had worked with Throwing Muses. Here Comes Your Man is probably the group's most commercial single. It did very well on Modern Rock radio in the US and also in England. Pixies took a hiatus at this point. Kim Deal wanted to contribute her own songs and Black Francis wasn't interested. They stopped talking to each other. The band moved to Los Angeles and recorded two more albums. But the tension with Deal forced Francis to announce the split in 1993. This comp is a good intro to their music. Black Francis renamed himself Frank Black and has had a lot of success with Frank Black & The Catholics. Santiago is part of that group and also led The Martinis. Kim Deal joined The Breeders and had success with them. Lovering became a magician and also played drums for Cracker. Pixies reformed in 2004 and have played occasional gigs including a 2009 tour. It doesn't look they will record a new CD due to Kim Deal's reluctance to do so. One notable musician who acknowledged the influence of Pixies was Kurt Cobain. He said in interviews he tried to rip off their style. Here's the video for Here Comes Your Man by Pixies.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Colbie Caillat

Artist:Colbie Caillat
Album:Coco: Deluxe Edition

Remember MySpace? Well, Colbie Caillat used MySpace to get a record contract and become a star. Bubbly was her breakthrough hit. She was born May 28, 1985 in Newbury Park, CA the daughter of Fleetwood Mac producer and audio engineer Ken Caillat. So obviously she grew up in the recording studio. She met British DJ Mikal Blue and he helped her record her first song. She was rejected twice at American Idol auditions. You might say now how could they turn her down. But Colbie has admitted her auditions were terrible. In fact, she sang Bubbly at the second audition. So she, Blue and songwriting partner Jason Reeves recorded Bubbly and posted it on MySpace. She was MySpace's number one unsigned artist for four months and Bubbly generated 14 million plays. Obviously she didn't remain unsigned for long. She released her 2007 debut CD Coco on Universal Republic. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 200 and went 2XPlatinum. Bubbly reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Colbie wrote the song with Reeves and her dad produced along with Blue. The song is very appealing and it doesn't hurt that Colbie is awfully cute. Coco is available in a Deluxe Edition with a bonus disc of songs. For her second CD Breakthrough, Colbie was having trouble writing. So Reeves brought in Kara DioGuardi to help and she co-wrote several songs on the album. Kara got Reeves his Warner Bros. record deal. That album topped the Billboard Hot 200 and her latest CD All Of You also made the top ten. So that just shows the kind of power MySpace used to have. Here's the video for Bubbly by Colbie Caillat.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

HIROKO set up as sacrificial lamb for Cris Cyborg

Last night Strikeforce announced that Cris Cyborg will defend her 145lb Championship against Japanese fighter HIROKO Dec. 17 in San Diego. It just shows what I already knew. There are no qualified opponents for Cris other than Ronda Rousey. And Ronda won't fight her for a while. And anyone who tries to tell you there are nine qualified fighters for Cris is blowing smoke up your ass. The only reason Zuffa signed Cris is she had another offer on the table. Sean Shelby can attest to how tough it is to find anyone to fight her. The most interesting thing about HIROKO is that she is a former dominatrix who got into MMA by accident. She is 5'11" which is very tall for a female. And in Japan, most of the female fighters are much smaller. Her record is 12-1 but her record is severely padded mainly because there aren't a lot of fighters in her weight class. In her early career in SMACKGIRL, she usually fought at Open Weight which means she fought at 170. So I'm sure she outweighed her opponents by a significant amount. JEWELS doesn't have an Open Weight division so she has been fighting at 145 for the last few years. The best fighter that HIROKO has fought is Hitomi Akano. And when she lost to Hitomi in 2008, it was Open Weight so I'm sure she outweighed Hitomi by 20 pounds. She beat Hitomi by split decision on a Mar. 2010 JEWELS show. That's a size mismatch but Hitomi is crazy and a great fighter. Others she has fought include Mongolian former pro wrestler Esui (inexperienced), Molly Helsel (size mismatch), Sandy Furner (Aussie kickboxer, no MMA experience), Atsuko Emoto (now retired pro wrestler), Yuiga (overweight pro wrestler) and midcard fighters like Yoko Takahashi and Super Benkei. Not great competition. And most of her fights have been by decision so she's not much of a finisher. Also, HIROKO has never fought in a cage, she has never fought under full MMA rules and she has never fought five rounds. In fact, she has never fought three rounds. Standard JEWELS matches have limited ground and pound and are usually set for two five minute rounds. So HIROKO would seem ill prepared for a match against Cris Cyborg. What she should have done a couple of years ago was move to the US and get training and experience that she doesn't have and won't get in Japan, especially in JEWELS. She won't be the first Japanese fighter to find that out the hard way. Maybe HIROKO should bring her whip from her dominatrix days.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Vogues

Artist:The Vogues
Song:Five O'Clock World
Album:Greatest Hits

The vocal group The Vogues had a pretty good run in the 60s. Their earlier songs like Five O'Clock World are better but the group was hampered by being on a small label and also did well when they moved to a major label. They are from the Pittsburgh suburb of Turtle Creek, PA. and were known as The Val-Airs in high school. The members are Bill Burkette, Don Miller, Hugh Geyer and Chuck Blasko. They recorded one single as The Val-Airs which their manager sold to Coral Records. They changed their name to The Vogues after a local club. The Val-Airs name was a little dated. Then they signed with a local label Co & Ce Records owned by Herb Cohen and Nick Cenci. Cenci produced The Vogues recordings. Their first single was a cover of Petula Clark's You're The One and it reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Five O'Clock World was the second single and it also reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Five O'Clock World was written by veteran Nashville producer Allen Reynolds. He is best known for producing Garth Brooks. He produced the backing track for Five O'Clock World in Nashville and the vocals were recorded in Pittsburgh. Reynolds also produced Hal Ketchum's cover of Five O'Clock World which was a top 20 country music hit in 1991. The Vogues started fading because they were on a small label. They signed with Reprise Records in 1968 and had top ten hits with Turn Around, Look At Me and My Special Angel. I don't think their Reprise recordings hold up as well as their early recordings. You can get all their hits from both labels on this Rhino budget comp. The Vogues faded and left Reprise in 1970. They also recorded for Bell and 20th Century. There are two versions of The Vogues touring the oldies circuit. Lead singer Bill Burkette and Hugh Geyer lead The Vogues and Chuck Blasko leads Chuck Blasko & The Vogues. I understand the first group owns the group name. Here are The Vogues performing Five O'Clock World on Shindig 1965.

Friday, September 23, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Lemon Pipers

Artist:The Lemon Pipers
Song:Green Tambourine
Album:The Real '60s

Back in the 60s, Buddah Records was known as the home of bubblegum music by nonexistent bands produced by Kasenetz-Katz. Groups like 1910 Fruitgum Co. were all created in the recording studio. The Lemon Pipers were a real band. But when their own songs didn't sell, Buddah owner Neil Bogart forced them to use an outside producer and the result was the number one hit Green Tambourine. Because they were on Buddah, I think fans assume The Lemon Pipers were not a band. They were all students at University Of Miami in Oxford, OH. They were lead singer Ivan Browne, guitarist Bill Bartlett, keyboard player Reg Nave, drummer Bill Albaugh and bassist Steve Walmsley. They got together in 1966 after playing in various bands. They wanted to be like The Byrds. After they reached the finals of a 1967 Battle Of The Bands in Cleveland, local music impresario Mark Barger took them to Buddah. The band wanted to write and record their own music. But when their first single written by Bartlett flopped, Bogart put them together with songwriter producer Paul Leka. He is best known as the man behind Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye by Steam. The band objected but Bogart threatened to fire them if they didn't comply. They reluctantly recorded Green Tambourine and it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. This conflict continued until The Lemon Pipers left Buddah in 1969 and then split up. Three singles charted but I think most folks will only want Green Tambourine and the BMG 3CD comp is really cheap. Bartlett, Walmsley and Nave formed the short lived group Starstruck which eventually turned into the group Ram Jam and they had a hit with a cover of Leadbelly's Black Betty in 1977. Browne moved to California and Nave became a jazz DJ. Bill Albaugh died in 1999. Here's The Lemon Pipers performing Green Tambourine and Rice Is Nice on The Mike Douglas Show 1968 with an Ann Miller cameo at the end.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Night Ranger

Artist:Night Ranger
Song:Sister Christian
Album:Greatest Hits

I guess Night Ranger is one of the bands that typifies 80s hard rock. They had a very good run and Sister Christian was their biggest hit in 1984. Night Ranger is from San Francisco and was formed after the demise of Rubicon. Rubicon was led by Sly & The Family Stone sax player Jerry Martini. After modest success, they split up in 1979. Rubicon bassist Jack Blades, drummer Kelly Keagy and guitarist Brad Gillis formed a new group Stereo. After adding former Montrose keyboard player Alan Fitzgerald and guitarist Jeff Watson, the group name was changed to Ranger. They signed with Boardwalk Records and released the 1982 album Dawn Patrol. When they were sued by the country band The Rangers, they became Night Ranger. Meanwhile, Gillis filled in as guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne when Randy Rhoads died. When Boardwalk closed, they signed with MCA's Camel label. Their 1983 album Midnight Madness went 2XPlatinum and Sister Christian reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Keagy wrote Sister Christian and sang lead. He wrote it for his sister Christy and she was so upset she considered changing her name. Gillis said they recorded Sister Christian in 1982 but the band thought it was too sappy to go on Dawn Patrol. They thought it would hurt their rep as hard rockers. It turned out to be Night Ranger's biggest hit and most memorable song. They had another top ten hit with the similar power ballad Sentimental Street in 1985. Night Ranger faded in the late 80s. Fitzgerald left in 1988 and they split up in 1989. Jack Blades went on to form Damn Yankees with Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw. Night Ranger reformed in 1991 and the band still tours and records today. Blades returned in 1996 and Keagy and Gillis are still part of Night Ranger. You can get all their hits on this comp. Here's the video for Sister Christian by Night Ranger. I'm sure it will bring back memories of big hair of the 80s.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Kana vs Serena

OK joshi fans. Here's the match video you've been waiting for. It's Kana vs Serena for the SMASH Diva Championship on the Sept. 8 Korakuen Hall show. The thing I have noticed about SMASH is sometimes the angles are better than the matches. I wasn't as crazy about Kana and the sword as some of the other angles she has done. But she certainly delivered in the match. Remember Kana was almost blackballed by the joshi business a year and a half ago after her dispute with Nanae Takahashi. By winning this title, now she's at the top of the mountain. And she's headed for the US in a couple of weeks to work for SHIMMER. Her ringwork has improved tremendously over the last couple of years. I think a light bulb went on in her head when she worked the BATTLARTS shoot wrestling style. Before that, she was nothing special. She has sex appeal and she's willing to be a heel. That's a big deal. A lot of these idol wrestlers don't want to be heels as they think it will affect their merch sales. Kana proves that this is nonsense. A distinctive character will increase in popularity even as a heel. She approached this match with the appropriate intensity. Full disclosure. I'm not as big a fan of Serena Deeb as others. And in SMASH, they tried to portray her as arrogant with a constant smirk on her face. You even saw it here when she was introduced. That's TAJIRI's fault. He told her to do that. It makes her look like she's not taking Kana seriously though the truth is she respects Kana a lot. And as we saw in this match, the spear can be countered. That was the turning point in the match. I'm not a fan of her using the spear as a finisher. I would have liked to see her use something else. I think both wrestlers had great facial expressions throughout the match. The end comes when Kana kicks Serena into oblivion and applies her chicken wing sleeper. But it looks like Serena messed up the finish and Kana just pinned her. Congratulations to Kana for being the first SMASH Divas Champion. Afterwards, Syuri, Ray, Makoto and Tomoka Nakagawa enter the ring to issue challenges. It's interesting that Ayumi Kurihara wasn't there. And that brings me to today's bonus match. It's Ayumi Kurihara & Ray vs Syuri & Makoto from the same show. SMASH is going to have Syuri feud with Ayumi. When it was announced that Ayumi was coming to SMASH, she declared herself as the number one idol wrestler which was bestowed upon her by the Japanese media. The SMASH fans booed this in loyalty to Syuri. So of course TAJIRI is going to run with that. So in this match, Syuri goes into fighter mode and delivers stiffness to Ayumi. No, Syuri never fought MMA. She did one Shoot Boxing match against a soon to retire Fuuka last year. Shoot Boxing is not MMA. But like a lot of dancers, she has trained in martial arts to help her with flexibility. As far as I know, Ayumi has no martial arts training. So her response to this attack is WTF. What's she upset about? Later on as Ayumi and Ray are putting the finishing touches on Makoto, Syuri goes nuts and attacks Ayumi and then attacks the ref when he tries to break it up. Ayumi & Ray win by DQ. Ayumi doesn't respond to all this but the fans chant Syuri's name. So will Ayumi turn heel? That would be interesting as I don't think she has ever been a heel. And what would it take for the Syuri loyalists to turn on her? We may find out. Enjoy the videos!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Honeydrippers

Artist:The Honeydrippers
Song:Sea Of Love
Album:Only Rock 'N' Roll: 1985-1989

Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant started The Honeydrippers in 1981 as a diversion to allow him to indulge in his love for classic R & B. The band had session musicians like guitarists Robbie Blunt and Andy Sylvester, sax player Keith Evans, harmonica player Ricky Cool, bassist Jim Hickman and drummer Kevin O'Neil. The Honeydrippers were supposed to be a cover band just for fun. But when Plant started writing original songs with Blunt, he put The Honeydrippers on the back burner and recorded the solo albums Pictures At Eleven and The Principle Of Moments. After those albums, Plant decided to revive The Honeydrippers as an all star band with Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Nile Rodgers, Paul Shaffer along with bassist Wayne Pedziwiatr and drummer Dave Weckl. They didn't even record a full album. It was a five song EP of R & B classic covers. The cover of Phil Phillips' 1959 classic Sea Of Love reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Roy Brown cover Rockin' At Midnight reached the top 30. The Honeydrippers also appeared on Saturday Night Live with guest Brian Setzer. So it was pretty successful. But Plant resumed his solo career and has never revived The Honeydrippers. He continues to be successful today. The Honeydrippers CD is available but it's less than 20 minutes. So I recommend this various artists comp on WEA's Essex budget label. Here's the video for Sea Of Love by The Honeydrippers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kelly Kelly still WWE Divas Champion

Remember last week I was talking about TNA's booking cluelessness. We're talking about a company with the slogan Wrestling Matters but they start each episode of Impact with a half hour of yakking. The problem with the WWE is just the opposite. Sometimes they're too self aware for their own good. They have a bad habit of going against conventional booking logic for no reason. So from Sunday's Night Of Champions PPV, here's Kelly Kelly defending her WWE Divas Championship against Beth Phoenix to illustrate this. So they've been building this Divas Of Doom angle. Last month I had no problem with Kelly retaining the title on a fluke rollup pin. But they had an opportunity to do the title change on Sunday and give Beth the opportunity to become a star. In addition, the show was in Beth's hometown of Buffalo. So why didn't they pull the trigger on it? I had read reports of WWE Creative indecision about this match probably up until the match itself. They kept changing their minds. This is always a bad sign in the WWE as they inevitably do the wrong thing. The result is that Kelly Kelly retained the WWE Divas Championship with yet another fluke rollup pin. And she didn't even do it right. Kelly botched it. Her legs aren't covering Beth's arms. Look, the superplex should have killed Kelly. And then Beth goes for a powerbomb instead of her Glam Slam finisher. Ugh! Beth's hometown fans were stunned. It was stupid. The angle now is that Kelly has Beth's number and Beth can't beat her. We've seen that angle before. And I would be OK with it if Kelly was a halfway decent wrestler. But she's not and she's been around the WWE long enough that it's obvious that she never will be a good wrestler. Sometimes even pro wrestling angles need to make sense. This one fails that test. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Polly Brown

Artist:Polly Brown
Song:Up In A Puff Of Smoke
Album:Super Hits Of The '70s: Have A Nice Day Vol. 14

Though she had some success in England as lead singer of Pikkettywitch, Polly Brown's only US success was with this 1975 top twenty hit Up In A Puff Of Smoke. I guess it's perceived as a disco song though I don't think it is a disco song. She was born Polly Browne Apr. 18, 1947 in Birmingham, England. Pikkettywitch were on Pye Records and were produced by Tony Macaulay who was the guy behind hits like Build Me Up, Buttercup by The Foundations. Their big hit That Same Old Feeling reached #5 on the British Singles Chart. The song charted in the US but wasn't a hit. Polly recorded a solo album while with Pikketywitch in 1972. Ron Roker arranged it and he really liked Polly's voice. He convinced her to leave Pikketywitch and start a group with him. Roker started out writing children's music for TV and also produced the British pop singer Lynsey De Paul. The two formed the group Sweet Dreams and had a hit in 1974 with the Abba song Honey Honey. When Sweet Dreams soon stalled, Roker decided to use some of the songs recorded at the Sweet Dreams sessions and turn them into a Polly Brown solo album. Up In A Puff Of Smoke was the first single and it was released on GTO Records. It became a hit in clubs and reached #3 on the dance music chart and then it crossed over to the pop charts and reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975. Strangely enough, the song didn't chart in England. Because the song did well on the dance chart, it's perceived as a disco song. But I don't think it's disco at all. The song is certainly Motown influenced and it has a great hook. It's only labeled as disco because the dance floor made it a hit. I'm sure Roker was surprised. You can get Up In A Puff Of Smoke on this Rhino various artists comp. Polly's album Special Delivery didn't sell. Polly Brown participated in the 1976 A Song For Europe contest and recorded some singles with no success. She still performs in England today but hasn't recorded in years. Here's a video for Up In A Puff Of Smoke by Polly Brown.

Monday, September 19, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The 5th Dimension

Artist:The 5th Dimension
Song:Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In
Album:The Ultimate 5th Dimension

With their mix of soul, pop and flower power, The 5th Dimension were one of the most popular groups of the late 60s. Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In was one of their two number one hits. One of the reasons their music holds up well today is they recorded great songs especially by legendary songwriters Jimmy Webb and Laura Nyro. Of the 21 songs on this CD, nine were were written by one of those two. It's hard to mess up when the songs are that good. The three male members of The 5th Dimension were all from St. Louis. Lamonte McLemore moved to Los Angeles first and formed The Hi-Fis in 1963 with beauty pageant winner Marilyn McCoo. She was born in New Jersey and grew up in Los Angeles. Other members were Harry Elston and Floyd Butler. The group toured with Ray Charles and after one single, they split up. Elston and Butler would go on to form Friends Of Distinction. McLemore looked to form a new group. He met Florence LaRue who like McCoo was a beauty pageant winner originally from New Jersey. Then he looked up an old pal from St. Louis. Ron Townson was an opera singer mentored by Dorothy Dandridge. He also toured with Nat King Cole. Then he brought in his cousin Billy Davis Jr. They called themselves The Versatiles. They auditioned for Motown's LA office head Marc Gordon. He liked them but Motown rejected them. Gordon agreed to manage them and took them to Johnny Rivers who was starting Soul City Records. He signed them but wanted a name change and an updated image. He assigned them to producer Bones Howe who had success with The Association. Their first top ten hit in 1967 was Jimmy Webb's Up, Up and Away which won five Grammys. And they also had top five hits with Laura Nyro's Stoned Soul Picnic and the Ashford & Simpson song California Soul. The group went to see the Broadway show Hair and decided to record a song from the show. Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In was their first number one hit in 1969. It was perfect. The 5th Dimension's other number one hit was Laura Nyro's Wedding Bell Blues. Johnny Rivers sold Soul City to Bell Records in 1970. And though The 5th Dimension continued to have some success, they faded especially after they split with Bones Howe in 1973. McCoo and Davis were already married and left in 1976 and had success. The 5th Dimension continued mostly as a nostalgia act. Ron Townson died in 2001 but Florence LaRue leads them today. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Here's the 5th Dimension performing Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In on The Ed Sullivan Show 1969.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Catherine Howe

Artist:Catherine Howe
Song:What A Beautiful Place
Album:What A Beautiful Place

With her 1971 debut album What A Beautiful Place, singer songwriter actor Catherine Howe showed the potential to be a star in England and maybe the US. But by the 80s she became so frustrated with the music business, she quit to raise her family. This made her a cult figure in England and her albums were sought after prizes in the collectors market. She has returned and recorded a CD last year. She was born May 17, 1950 in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. As a teen, she moved to London to train at the Corona Drama School. She began acting on British TV shows in the late 60s including Doctor Who in 1967. She was spotted by Reflections Records exec Andrew Cameron Miller and he signed her. Reflections was a subsidiary of CBS Records. Her 1971 debut album What A Beautiful Place was produced by US jazz musician and producer Bobby Scott. And that's the reason Catherine's music sounds different from folksingers like Sandy Denny. The album was critically acclaimed but Miller left CBS to found Revival Records and CBS closed Reflections. The master tapes were lost and for years the album fetched thousands of dollars on the collectors market until the reissue label The Numero Group was able to create a digital master and released What A Beautiful Place on CD in 2007. In 1975, Catherine won the Ivor Novello Award for her song Harry. But RCA Records fumbled the ball and her albums didn't sell despite critical acclaim. After her 1979 album Dragonfly Days on Ariola didn't sell, Catherine threw in the towel and quit the music business. There were suggestions that she should record country music or change her look. She didn't like any of those suggestions. She just wanted to be herself. She returned to music in 2002 and continues to perform in England and record occasionally. Obviously Catherine Howe had the talent to be more than a cult figure but it wouldn't be the first time the music business fumbled the ball. Here's Catherine Howe with Vo Fletcher on violin and Ric Sanders on guitar at Bloxfest 2010.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Erika Kamimura looking for more gold

Erika Kamimura
18 year old kickboxing champ Erika Kamimura held an open workout today to promote her upcoming title match on the Oct. 2 WBC Muay Thai show at Korakuen Hall which is actually being promoted by the New Japan Kickboxing Federation. She will challenge British kickboxer Denise Mellor for her WBC Muay Thai Mini Flyweight Championship. The match was first rumoured a couple of months ago. This will be Erika's first attempt to secure an international title. Erika says she watched video of Denise and the main thing she is working on is her Muay Thai clinches. She thinks her boxing and kicks are pretty good already. She has confidence in her ability but knows Denise is a good fighter and isn't taking her for granted. Erika says she plans to knock Denise out. The show has a Japan vs The World theme and Erika wants to make her Japanese teammates proud. She's very excited about the international status of the WBC Muay Thai title and feels a win will move her up in the world rankings. She also believes it will open up opportunities overseas. When asked about her Nov. 23 SHOOT BOXING match vs RENA, she says she'll knock her out too.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brewer & Shipley

Artist:Brewer & Shipley
Song:One Toke Over The Line
Album:One Toke Over The Line: The Best Of Brewer & Shipley

Here's a song that was a top ten hit in 1971 despite the fact that many radio stations banned it because of course the song is about smoking weed. Brewer & Shipley were even named as subversives by the US VP Spiro Agnew and placed on President Richard Nixon's enemies list. All this over a song that was written as a joke. Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley were midwest guys hanging around the Los Angeles mid 60s folk scene. Brewer was from Oklahoma City and Shipley was from the Youngstown, OH suburb of Meridian Ridge. In 1966, Brewer had a duo with Tom Mastin called Brewer & Mastin. They released one single on Columbia. When that wasn't working out, that's when Brewer met Shipley. They had met a couple of years earlier in Ohio. When the A & R guy who signed Brewer to Columbia left for A & M Records, he took Brewer with him and signed Brewer & Shipley to a songwriting contract. After writing several songs for others, A & M suggested they record an album. Down In L.A. was released in 1968. They were doing OK but they didn't like LA and moved to Kansas City. A & M thought they quit the business. But they signed with Buddah's Kama Sutra label. They recorded a total of four albums for Kama Sutra. One Toke Over The Line is from the second album Tarkio. The album was recorded in San Francisco and was produced by Nick Gravenites who was lead singer of Big Brother & The Holding Company at the time. Jerry Garcia and Paul Butterfield made guest appearances on the album. The song reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 despite being banned by radio stations. The funniest thing is that Lawrence Welk had his orchestra perform the song on TV as a gospel song because the word Jesus is in it. The guys wrote it in ten minutes backstage at a show. That the song became a hit was a huge surprise to them. After Kama Sutra, they moved to Capitol. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. Brewer & Shipley split up in 1980. Brewer recorded a solo album in 1983 for Dan Fogelberg's Full Moon label. Shipley owns an audio visual production company. They reunited in 1987 and still tour folk festivals and record occasionally. So obviously One Toke Over The Line is a marijuana reform anthem. Here's Brewer & Shipley performing One Toke Over The Line at a 1998 NORML party in Washington, DC.

Friday, September 16, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Electric Flag

Artist:The Electric Flag
Song:Killing Floor
Album:A Long Time Comin'

When guitarist Mike Bloomfield left the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1967, he wanted to form a band that combined blues, soul, rock and even have a horn section. This turned into the inconsistent and short lived supergroup The Electric Flag. This kind of jazz rock fusion would go mainstream with Blood, Sweat & Tears and other bands. Their debut album A Long Time Comin' was their most popular album and this cover of Howlin' Wolf's Killing Floor was probably their best known song. The Electric Flag should have been much bigger but remember Bloomfield was a heroin addict. When Bloomfield left the Butterfield band, he moved from Chicago to San Francisco and keyboard player Barry Goldberg and bassist Harvey Brooks came with him. They had played together on the Bob Dylan album Highway 61 Revisited. Brooks recommended 19 year old hot shot drummer Buddy Miles. He was playing with Wilson Pickett at the time. Then they tried to get Mitch Ryder to be the lead singer. He turned them down and they chose Nick Gravenites who they knew from the Chicago blues scene. So their first project was the music for Roger Corman's film The Trip. Star Peter Fonda approached Bloomfield after Corman rejected Gram Parsons' original score. Once they finished that, they made their live debut at Monterey Pop. They're not in the movie but they are in the DVD extras. A Long Time Comin' was released in 1968 and reached #31 on the Billboard Hot 200. Bloomfield and Goldberg wrote most of the songs and Miles added a lot to the whole fusion concept. Sony released A Long Time Comin' with bonus tracks in 2004 and it's available as a budget CD. The album was highly praised and sold well. So The Electric Flag was on their way to a long and successful run, right? Nope. Bloomfield left in June 1968 claiming exhaustion. But it appears the band may have fired him as his heroin addiction made him increasingly unreliable. Bloomfield never licked the addiction and he died in 1981. The Electric Flag attempted to continue with Miles leading them through their second album. But the band was through by the time it came out. Miles went on to his own Buddy Miles Express and then worked with Jimi Hendrix. Barry Goldberg and Harvey Brooks went on to session work and record production. Nick Gravenites replaced Janis Joplin in Big Brother & The Holding Company and has also done a lot of producing. A 1974 attempt to revive The Electric Flag flopped but a 2007 one time reunion at Monterey led by Gravenites and Goldberg was well received. As I said, The Electric Flag were influential but could have been much bigger. Here's a video for Killing Floor by The Electric Flag.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Fleetwood Mac

Artist:Fleetwood Mac
Song:Oh Well
Album:The Best Of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac

Most music fans should be familiar with the 70s version of Fleetwood Mac. They are one of the best selling bands of all time. But the original version of Fleetwood Mac was a blues rock band. Oh Well was their biggest hit. The band went through a lot of changes when guitarist Peter Green left in 1970 due to health problems. Mick Fleetwood is the only original member remaining in Fleetwood Mac. Guitarist Peter Green first met drummer Mick Fleetwood as members of Peter Bardens' group Peter B's Looners. Then Green replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. When Aynsley Dunbar left, Green brought Fleetwood in and then bassist John McVie. The trio would sometimes play without Mayall and Green wanted to start a new band and name it Fleetwood Mac after the rhythm section. But McVie chose to stay with Mayall and Bob Brunning was hired to play bass with the understanding that if McVie wanted to join, Brunning would leave. That happened soon after the band started playing live gigs. The other member was slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer. Fleetwood Mac signed with Blue Horizon and their debut album Fleetwood Mac did very well in England though there were no hit singles. At this point, Fleetwood Mac was a blues group. Green didn't think Spencer was creative enough and Danny Kirwan was brought in. In 1969, they went to Chicago to record at Chess Studios. The band felt that Blue Horizon was too limited so they shopped around to record labels. George Harrison wanted them on Apple Records but they signed with Warner Bros.' Reprise label. Then Play On was their first album on Reprise in 1969 and Oh Well reached #2 on the British singles chart and charted in the US. There are two parts to the song. The first part is a standard blues jam but turns into an extended instrumental jam. You can get the full version on this budget comp from Sony Europe. Peter Green was forced to leave Fleetwood Mac in 1970 due to schizophrenia caused by a bad LSD trip. The band should have split up at that point. But Kirwan kept the band together even after Spencer left to join a cult. John McVie's wife Christine McVie was hired to play keyboards and sing. And they also brought in US musician Bob Welch. Fleetwood Mac was still around but they weren't a blues band anymore. Kirwan developed a drinking problem and was fired for smashing his guitar on stage. They brought in two guys that didn't work out and there was even a fake Fleetwood Mac touring for a while. And it was at that point they moved to Los Angeles and got involved with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks who had recorded an album together. Welch left to go solo. The new Fleetwood Mac was born and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac was forgotten. Here's Fleetwood Mac performing Oh Well BBC 1969.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dennis Edwards

Artist:Dennis Edwards f/Siedah Garrett
Song:Don't Look Any Further
Album:Body + Soul: Platinum

Dennis Edwards is best known for replacing David Ruffin in The Temptations. But he had solo success with the 1984 bedroom classic Don't Look Any Further. Then he returned to The Temptations. He was born Feb. 3, 1943 in Birmingham, AL. His daddy was a preacher so not surprisingly, Edwards grew up singing in church. His family moved to Detroit when he was 7 years old. As a teen, he sang with The Mighty Clouds Of Joy and then he had his own group Dennis Edwards and the Fireballs. He recorded one single. In 1967, Edwards was hired to replace Joe Stubbs as lead singer of The Contours. Not long after, David Ruffin was fired by The Temptations for drug abuse and Edwards replaced him. Edwards sang lead on Cloud Nine and other Temptations classics. He left The Temptations in 1977 when they left Motown for Atlantic. And then he returned when they returned to Motown in 1980. But he left again and scored with the 1984 top five R & B hit Don't Look Any Further. The song was written by veteran producer Dennis Lambert along with songwriters Duane Hutchings and Franne Golde. All have had success writing for others. Of course Siedah Garrett is one of the most underrated singers around. She is primarily known as a backup singer and is also an accomplished songwriter. She replaced N'Dea Davenport in The Brand New Heavies. She's worked with everyone but most music fans don't know about her. Edwards recorded two solo albums and returned to The Temptations again in 1987. He left again in 1989. Why did he go back and forth so much? It was a personality conflict with Otis Williams. Williams would get mad and fire him. You can get Don't Look Any Further on this Time Life various artists budget comp. Edwards toured and recorded with David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks but the that ended with the deaths of both guys. He tours today as The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards. Here's the video for Don't Look Any Further by Dennis Edwards featuring Siedah Garrett.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's deja vu all over again as Winter wins TNA Knockouts championship

Remember last month's TNA PPV when Winter won the TNA Knockouts Championship from Mickie James by spraying liquid (they're portraying it as blood but of course it isn't) in Mickie James eyes. Then Mickie won the title back on an episode of Impact. So why would they do the same ending on this month's PPV? And they did the same ending in two other matches on the show. Is TNA that clueless? It certainly seems so. The match itself was OK until the ridiculous overbooked ending. Mickie wore a Wonder Woman themed outfit. Winter got most of her offense in the first half of the match. At the end, Earl Hebner once again looks like a moron and sees nothing. And they also tease a Winter/Angelina Love split which will continue on this week's Impact. They like to endlessly tease stuff like that for months and then not do it. Look, Winter is a good wrestler from when I saw her a few years ago. But this character is wretched. You can see during this match she has some decent moves. But this overdramatic staring into space crap is ludicrous. And you can tell that Tazz doesn't like it either as he doesn't know what to say about Winter. But TNA typically doesn't seem to know when a character or angle isn't working and they won't ditch it. Even outrageous wrestling characters are better when they make sense. The Winter character is nonsense. The latest nonsense has Karen Jarrett managing the Knockouts division. I guess they just want to give her something to do. Nothing good can come of it. Enjoy the match video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dick Van Dyke

Artist:Dick Van Dyke
Song:Step In Time
Album:Mary Poppins: 2 Disc Special Edition Soundtrack

Dick Van Dyke has been a star of stage, screen and especially TV for over 60 years. He's probably best loved for his early 60s sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show. Step In Time is his big number from the very popular 1964 movie musical Mary Poppins. He was born Dec. 13, 1935 in West Plains, MO and grew up in Danville, IL. He became a radio announcer when he was in the US Army Air Corps during WWII. After the war, he moved back to Danville to be a radio announcer. He formed a comedy duo with Phil Erickson called Eric & Van-The Merry Mutes. It was a mime act. They toured the west coast. Van Dyke did all kinds of TV in the 50s and signed a seven year contract with CBS in 1957. He hosted the CBS Morning News with Walter Cronkite. His big break came when he auditioned for the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie in 1959. When he got the lead role, he told director and legendary dancer and choreographer Gower Champion that he couldn't dance. Champion said he would teach him to dance. The end result was a Best Actor Tony for Van Dyke. Meanwhile Carl Reiner created and starred in the sitcom Head Of The Family based on his experiences writing for the TV series Your Show Of Shows. CBS and producer Sheldon Leonard liked the show but didn't like Reiner in the show. So they hired Van Dyke to replace him. The show was a hit for six seasons and made Van Dyke a star. Van Dyke made his film debut in the 1963 film version of Bye Bye Birdie. Then Disney was casting Mary Poppins. They hired Julie Andrews after Jack Warner stupidly rejected her for My Fair Lady. They cast Van Dyke in the roles of Bert and Mr. Dawes after seeing him on TV. Despite his terrible Cockney accent, Van Dyke did a great job and the film was hugely successful. It won several Oscars for the music by Richard and Robert Sherman. Step In Time was Van Dyke's big number at the end of the film. This 2CD edition has a lot of interviews and outtakes. With the exception of the 1967 musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Van Dyke's attempt at a film career wasn't successful. He returned to TV in the 70s with a sitcom and variety show. He finally had success with the 90s detective show Diagnosis Murder with his son Barry Van Dyke. He still turns up occasionally on TV and spends a lot of time creating computer animation. He created the special effects for Diagnosis Murder. He recorded briefly in the 60s for Jamie Records but for the most part, Dick Van Dyke's versatility has earned him status as a TV icon. Here's Dick Van Dyke performing Step In Time in the 1964 film Mary Poppins.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ayaka Hamasaki wins in lackluster JEWELS show

Ayaka Hamasaki handles MIZUKI
So when I looked at the card for yesterday's JEWELS show, it seemed to me that it lacked star power. JEWELS Lightweight Champ Ayaka Hamasaki was in the main event. But the focus was on the start of the Featherweight tournament and it's not exactly a talent filled division. There was no Mika Nagano, Saori Ishioka, HIROKO, Yuka Tsuji or Megumi Fujii. The last two were there cornering fighters. In a post show interview with Wrestle Kingdom, JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki admitted that several fans gave him an earful for the lack of star power on the show. There are also the standard complaints about too much kickboxing on an MMA show. Saeki promised the December show will be better. It had better be if he wants to fill Korakuen Hall. The non title main event had JEWELS Lightweight Champ Ayaka Hamasaki win by unanimous decision over 17 year old J-Girls kickboxer MIZUKI. Hamasaki won the first round with takedowns and submission attempts. MIZUKI scored with strikes in round two but it wasn't enough to get the win. Hamasaki said MIZUKI is very strong. Fans have asked me about MIZUKI's future in MMA. I don't know if she has one. I understand she prefers kickboxing and I know J-Girls can keep her busy. She might be better off focusing on one thing. After the show, Saeki said that in December Hamasaki will defend her title against either Ham Seo Hee or Yuka Tsuji. I guess Tsuji can have it if she wants it. In the first match of the Featherweight tournament, undefeated Sugi Rock won by unanimous decision over Ayumi "Edge" Saito. Edge scored with strikes but Sugi Rock countered with takedowns and submission attempts and got the win. Edge did well for being away for three years. She is a teammate and a long time pal of Yuka Tsuji. Kikuyo Ishikawa won by unanimous decision over former VALKYRIE champ Yasuko Tamada. I guess that's an upset. Ishikawa beat up Tamada with strikes and bloodied her nose with a high kick. Karate expert Misaki Takimoto won over MIYOKO by unanimous decision. Takimoto stuffed MIYOKO's takedown attempts and won with superior strikes. And in the fourth match, Yukiko Seki won over SACHI by unanimous decision to avenge a 2007 loss. In other matches, former pro wrestler Emi Tomimatsu returned from a long layoff to beat Celine by unanimous decision. Amiba won over Betiko by split decision. Rina Tomita returned from cancer surgery to win over anna with a cross arm breaker at 4:24 of round one. One of several amateur matches featured Smackgirl favourite Nanachanchin. And as usual she lost. Bring on the year end Korakuen Hall show.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Electric Light Orchestra

Artist:Electric Light Orchestra
Song:Evil Woman
Album:All Over The World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra

The Electric Light Orchestra was one of the most successful bands of the 70s. Evil Woman was one of several top ten hits. They never had a number one hit but Evil Woman was one of their earlier hits so it helped them reach a larger audience. The beginning of ELO came with the end of The Move. Jeff Lynne left The Idle Race for The Move in 1970. Roy Wood wanted to start a new band that combined rock with classical music elements including a complete string section. The Move's drummer Bev Bevan was also to be a part of the new band. So they recorded two The Move albums to finance this new group. The debut album No Answer was released in 1972 by United Artists. Lynne and Wood split the songwriting duties. They played live with a string section. Not surprisingly, Lynne and Wood butted heads over control of the band and Wood left to form Wizzard. Bevan remained on drums and they added Richard Tandy on keyboards Mike de Albuquerque on bass and the strings. The main improvement in the band was Lynne amplified the strings better so they wouldn't get drowned out. They had a hit in England with their cover of Chuck Berry's Roll Over Beethoven. In 1974, ELO had their first US top ten hit with I Can't Get It Out Of My Head from the album El Dorado, A Symphony. It reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was their first Gold album. de Albuquerque was replaced by Kelly Groucutt. ELO's 1975 album Face The Music also went Gold and Evil Woman reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The success continued through the 70s. They had a total of seven top ten hits. Their most successful album was 1979's Discovery though fans didn't like the disco influences. Lynne wrote the music for the film Xanadu and then got rid of the strings in 1981. This started a decline and Lynne disbanded ELO in 1986 and that's when he got more into producing and formed The Traveling Wilburys. This budget comp is a good intro to ELO's music. Bev Bevan started ELO Part II in 1989 and toured under that name until he sold the name to Lynne in 1999. Lynne released Zoom as an ELO CD in 2001. But it was just him with guest musicians. Lynne hasn't recorded any ELO albums since then but he is supposed to be working on a solo album with Joe Walsh. He's still a sought after producer. Here's the video for Evil Woman by Electric Light Orchestra.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Alexis Davis vs Amanda Nunes

Here's the fight video from last night's Strikeforce show with Alexis Davis vs Amanda Nunes. Amanda came in as a bit of a favourite but Alexis is more experienced. Amanda is a typical Brazilian fighter, full speed ahead. But sometimes a fighter has to pace herself to get through three rounds. So she came out swinging and Alexis tried to neutralize that with clinches and try and slow her down. She did that to an extent but I still think Amanda won the first round. This continued in the second round. I thought Alexis was a little more successful and it looked like she was ready to go the distance. The turning point came when Amanda threw Alexis to the mat and Alexis rolled through it and got top position. I guess the big question is was that lucky or good? Her position could be perceived as fortunate and some ground and pound ended the fight near the end of the second round. There's nothing wrong with taking advantage of good luck. Congratulations to my fellow Canadian Alexis Davis on her win. When I saw some of her fights a few years ago, she seemed to lack consistency. She'd dominate one round and then get whupped in the next round. I saw better pace from her in this fight though I think it was close until the end. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Maxine Nightingale

Artist:Maxine Nightingale
Song:Right Back Where We Started From
Album:Disco Fever: Get Up and Boogie

The 1976 song Right Back Where We Started From was one of two top ten hits for British singer Maxine Nightingale. It frequently gets lumped in with the disco of that era though I think the song is obviously influenced by Motown. Maxine's background was jazz and musical theater. She was a very reluctant pop singer and returned to her roots in the early 80s. She was born Nov. 2, 1952 in London, England the daughter of comedian Benny Nightingale. She sang in clubs as a teen and at age 17 joined the London production of Hair. She also recorded a couple of singles for Pye Records as Nighttime Flyer. It didn't go well and she returned to Hair. She moved to Germany in the early 70s and in 1973 she married the director of the German production of Hair and gave birth to their daughter. She appeared in the German productions of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. In 1975, she returned to London for the production of the play Savages. She also recorded backup vocals for Fool by US actor Al Matthews. Producer Pierre Tubbs liked Maxine and wanted to record her. Tubbs is best known for co-writing the JJ Jackson hit But It's Alright. He hired J. Vincent Edwards to write a song for her. He knew Maxine from Hair. Edwards was a big Holland-Dozier-Holland fan. Maxine recorded a demo and agreed to release a record as long as it was released under a pseudonym. Tubbs worked for United Artists Records and got them to release it under her real name. UA also released it in the US and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. Maxine recorded two more albums for UA. But the US label turned down the third album and it was picked up by John Denver's Windsong label with RCA distribution. Lead Me On reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979. After getting a top 20 R & B hit in 1982 with a duet with Jimmy Ruffin called Turn To Me, she quit recording and has performed in jazz clubs for many years. Normally I would recommend a comp that has both of Maxine's hits. But the songs are owned by different companies so they're not available together. So this budget 2CD comp from Time Life will have to do. Here's Maxine Nightingale performing Right Back Where We Started From on TF1 in France May 1976. This video is not on Youtube. And unlike the clip I saw on Youtube, Maxine is using backing tracks but singing live.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jessica Penne wins over RENA in SHOOT BOXING

RENA, Jessica Penne
Welcome again to the Twilight Zone of the fight business known as SHOOT BOXING. This is the place where no one including refs and officials can figure out the rules. At today's show at Korakuen Hall, SHOOT BOXING sex object RENA prepared for her upcoming showdown with teen kickboxing champ Erika Kamimura with a match against US MMA fighter Jessica Penne. So the match was very close and at the end of three rounds, it was ruled a majority draw. When that happens in SHOOT BOXING, they go to extra rounds and each round is scored individually. There are a couple of other Japanese companies who do this overtime stuff, most notably Sengoku. I don't like it especially with hybrid crap like SHOOT BOXING which seems a little fishy anyway. A draw is a draw. I don't need overtime from shady promoters. RENA seemed to win the fourth round as Jessica gassed. But it was scored a split draw. Then in the fifth round, Jessica got a crucial point for a takedown and got the win. The fan reaction was RENA got robbed...and it certainly looks like she was robbed by incompetent judges. The first thing she did was go over to talk to SHOOT BOXING owner Takeshi Caesar. I wonder what she said to him. She was not happy. So people tell me this is an upset and a big win for Jessica. Well, it's not an MMA fight so it doesn't go on her record. And when a fighter wins because of questionable judging, it is frequently not perceived as a win. Look, Jessica got a free trip to Japan. I hope she has fun but SHOOT BOXING is meaningless hybrid crap. And I don't think it's an upset. RENA is top dog at SHOOT BOXING because she's hot. But she's at best mediocre in the ring. She has even missed weight occasionally. And when she lost her SHOOT BOXING title to Ai Takahashi in May, she seriously considered retirement and Caesar talked her out of it. I don't think she's that good. So now she will face teen kickboxing phenom Erika Kamimura on the Nov. 23 RISE show which I think is an outdoor show at Tokyo City Hall. ERIKA just won the S-Girls Cup 2011 and she has a 22-1 kickboxing record. She's a cute girl but she's not getting by on her looks. This girl has serious kickboxing skills. RENA and Erika faced each other last spring in an exhibition match. It was not a real match but Erika knocked RENA down and fans have been drooling for a real showdown. So how is Erika preparing for this? She will challenge British kickboxer Denise Mellor for her WBC Muay Thai Light Flyweight Kickboxing Championship Oct. 2 at Korakuen Hall. That seems like a big match to me. Hasn't she got a bunch of belts already? Obviously RENA vs Erika is money but I don't see Erika having any problems with RENA. Almost forgot to mention that RENA's 16 year old sister MIO had her second match today and won by UD over Mariko Myochi.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-We Five

Artist:We Five
Song:You Were On My Mind
Album:AM Gold: 1965

Here's a big hit that gives a good idea of where the folk movement was headed by 1965. Obviously it was becoming pop music. You Were On My Mind was the only big hit for We Five. It's a very memorable song and holds up well. But We Five only had one other chart hit and faded away by 1967. The group was from San Francisco led by guitarist Mike Stewart. He was the brother of John Stewart of The Kingston Trio. He formed The Ridgerunners while attending the University of San Francisco with guitarists Jerry Burgan and Bob Jones. Singer Beverly Bivens was introduced to Stewart by Terry Kirkman who went on to form The Association. With the addition of bassist Pete Fullerton, the group name was changed to We Five. They were managed and produced by Kingston Trio manager Frank Werber. The story goes that Herb Alpert saw them at the Hungry i in Los Angeles and signed them to A & M Records. You Were On My Mind was We Five's first single and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. As you probably know, the song was written by Canadian folk legend Sylvia Tyson and was recorded by Ian & Sylvia in 1964. No doubt Stewart heard that version and wrote a very uptempo arrangement. Sylvia said she was unaware of this cover version until she heard it on her car radio. It made her a lot of money. It was nominated for a Grammy. Of course it's always hard to follow up a big hit. We Five had a top forty hit with Let's Get Together which in 1969 was a hit for The Youngbloods. And after that they recorded a second album and stalled. The demise of We Five was when Beverly Bivens married jazz musician Fred Marshall. He wanted her to leave the group but he wanted to produce her records. A & M didn't like that idea. Beverly says she only intended to leave the music business for a couple of years and it turned out to be four decades. She has been working with her sax player son Joshi Marshall. You can get You Were On My Mind on this Time Life various artists comp. Burgan, Jones and Fullerton tried to keep We Five together. Burgan's wife Debbie became the new lead singer. They recorded a third album but it tanked. Fullerton left music to become a minister in 1970. A version of We Five still tours today. Mike Stewart became a record producer and produced Billy Joel's Piano Man. He died in 2002. Here's We Five performing You Were On My Mind on The Hollywood Palace 1965.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Kyra Gracie Uncovered

Here's a very cool documentary about the one and only Kyra Gracie. That's right. She the only female Gracie to compete and she's a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu whiz. It's a very nice interview talking about how she got into BJJ and some training footage too. Of course there was talk a couple of months ago about Kyra possibly turning to pro MMA. I haven't heard anything about that lately and as I said at the time, though I would love to see Kyra in MMA because I think she'll do great and she's already a celebrity to martial artists, I have doubts she will be offered enough money to turn pro. I haven't seen anything to erase my doubt about Kyra. So it wouldn't surprise me if she did not turn pro. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tommy Roe

Artist:Tommy Roe
Album:Greatest Hits

Sheila was one of Tommy Roe's two number one hits in 1962. The other was Dizzy in 1969. Though Roe is perceived as bubblegum music, I'm sure most fans are not aware that he wrote and produced most of his own music. He was born May 9, 1942 in Atlanta. He worked as a solderer at the General Electric plant and had a band called The Satins on the side. He recorded Sheila for the small Judd label in 1960. It was at this time that he met producer Felton Jarvis who would go on to produce many Elvis Presley albums. And he also met legendary music publisher Bill Lowery. Lowery got him a record deal with ABC Paramount. The first single was Save Your Kisses in 1962. For the B-side, they decided to record a new version of Sheila. DJs liked Sheila and it topped the Billboard Hot 100. Roe wrote it and it is an obvious tribute to the late Buddy Holly and is especially reminiscent of Peggy Sue. He was still working at GE so ABC Paramount gave him $5,000 so he could quit his job and go on tour. Roe had another top ten hit with Everybody in 1963. Then he was in The Army for three years. When he returned in 1966, he had top ten hits with Sweet Pea and Hazel. And then he had his other number one hit with Dizzy in 1969. Roe wrote every one of those songs. So he may have been perceived as bubblegum but he was a good craftsman of pop music. Most of those songs hold up well today. This MCA budget comp has all the original ABC Paramount recordings. Tommy Roe last charted in 1971 and turned to the country music market. He still tours the oldies circuit today. Here's Tommy Roe performing Sheila on The Midnight Special.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Billy Joel

Artist:Billy Joel
Song:Just The Way You Are
Album:The Essential Billy Joel

Of course most music fans should be familiar with singer songwriter Billy Joel. After all, he is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. But what you may not know is that Just The Way You Are was his first top ten hit in 1977 and that and the album The Stranger was his commercial breakthrough. He was around for over a decade before that happened. I'm going to concentrate on how her got to that point. He was born May 9, 1949 in The Bronx, NY and grew up in Hicksville, Long Island. He took piano lessons as a child but took up boxing when he was teased. He was on the Golden Gloves circuit for a while but quit when his nose was broken. He joined the British Invasion cover band The Echoes. They recorded in 1966 with producer Shadow Morton on Kama Sutra Records. They changed their name to The Emeralds and then The Lost Souls. He joined The Hassles who released two albums on United Artists. Joel wrote most of the songs but they didn't sell and split up in 1969. Joel formed the duo Attila with Hassles drummer Jon Small. Their 1970 album on Epic Records really tanked and then the group ended when Joel ran off with Small's wife and later married her. If you're wondering about the group name, I guess you haven't seen the album cover with the duo dressed up as barbarians. Joel released his first solo album Cold Spring Harbor in 1971 on Family Productions. But they screwed up the mastering and Joel's voice sounded much higher that it is. And his contract gave them indefinite rights to his music. He moved to Los Angeles in 1972 and performed at a piano bar as Bill Martin. A Philadelphia radio station played a tape of Joel's song Captain Jack and that got him a deal with Columbia Records. Columbia bought out his contract with Family. but the Family logo was on Joel's first ten albums and they got a cut of record sales. Though Piano Man is Joel's signature song, it wasn't a big hit single because it was too long. He referenced that on The Entertainer. His next couple of albums did OK and Joel moved back to New York in 1976. He finally had his commercial breakthrough with the 1977 album The Stranger produced by Phil Ramone. Ramone was a veteran recording engineer turned producer. The album reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Platinum. Just The Way You Are reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 . Three other songs from the album charted. Apparently Joel didn't like Just The Way You Are and wasn't going to put it on the album. Phoebe Snow sang backup vocals on the song and convinced him otherwise. Jazz legend Phil Woods played sax and other musicians on the song include Hiram Bullock and Hugh McCracken on guitars and Ralph McDonald on percussion. Billy Joel continued to have a lot of success through the 80s. He had a total of 13 top ten hits with three reaching number one. Sony released a single CD budget comp last year called Hits. Unfortunately, Just The Way You Are isn't on it. So I recommend this 2001 2CD comp Essential instead. It's not perfect but it will have to do. Billy Joel doesn't write songs anymore but he still tours. He's experimented with classical music and musicals but I like his early music best. Here's Billy Joel performing Just The Way You Are 1977.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-James


The British group James has been around since the 80s. They've done well in England but had their biggest success in the US with the 1993 single Laid and the album also called Laid. James is from Manchester, England and was formed in 1982 by guitarist Paul Gilbertson and his childhood pal bassist Jim Glennie. They added drummer Gavan Whelan and settled on the name Model Team. They tried several singers but Tim Booth brought the spark they needed. They renamed themselves James and signed with Factory Records. They released a couple of EPs. Gilbertson was replaced by Larry Gott because of Gilbertson's drug problems. James signed with Sire Records and released their first full length CD in 1986. But they still struggled. Whelan was fired after a fight with Booth and was replaced by David Baynton-Power. They added guitarist violinist Saul Davies, keyboard player Mark Hunter and trumpeter Andy Diagram. Their label Rough Trade thought James was limited. So they bought out their contract and signed with Fontana. James finally had some success with the 1990 album Gold Mother and their 1992 album Seven reached #2 on the British charts. They toured the US with Neil Young and got Brian Eno to produce the 1993 album Laid. It broke them in the US when the video was played on MTV. They had success on the college market mostly because the song is about sex. The controversy prevented Laid from being a bigger success and even forced Mercury to change the lyrics of the song to get airplay. There are also three versions of the video. Unfortuately at this point James fell apart. Gott left to spend more time with his family and Booth subsequently put the band on hiatus. Gott leaving was a big deal as he was the musical leader of James. The band continued to record without Booth. But they brought him in to record the vocals. Booth also released a 1997 solo CD. James recorded three more albums with mixed success and they split up in 2001. James reformed in 2007 and continue to record and tour today. I think it's doubtful that James will ever reach the heights of Laid and I recommend that CD. Here's the video for Laid by James. Don't they look cute in drag?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Rin Nakai vs Danielle West

OK here it is folks. It is Rin Nakai vs Danielle West from Sunday's PANCRASE show at Differ Ariake. The show was broadcast on Samurai TV Sunday night and I knew it would take a couple of days for it to show up. As you probably already know, the match was ruled a split draw. The match was contracted for 70kg and Rin said on Friday that she would be giving up 7kg. Her flight was canceled so she didn't make Saturday's weigh in. They did that Sunday morning. Danielle was at 69kg and Rin was at 63kg. I think that was a big mistake. Of course I don't think she should be fighting at the heavier weight anyway. 135 is a better weight for her. It was a very close fight. Danielle knocked Rin down early in the first round. This is the first time Rin has ever been knocked down. It didn't hurt her. If you watch the angle of the punch, she obviously didn't see it coming. So she freaked out for a moment and then got back to business. Rin got the takedown and controlled Danielle for the rest of the round. She tried several armbars but was never able to get it hooked properly. So I gave Rin round one 10-9 because of the ground control. I don't think the knockdown punch was significant. In round two, Danielle again could not stop Rin from taking her down and for most of the round, Rin had ground control. So round two is again 10-9 Rin. In round three, Danielle was finally able to stuff a couple of takedowns and she also landed some good combinations and some significant ground and pound. I scored the round 10-9 for Danielle. I don't think she did enough to get a 10-8. So I scored the fight 29-28 for Rin Nakai. But I could see how it could be called a draw. So one judge scored it a draw. The second judge scored it 29-28 for Rin and the third judge scored it 29-28 for Danielle. So the result was a split draw. It was close mostly because of the third round. You can judge for yourself. Afterwards, Rin did a cosplay autograph session. She dressed up as a nurse. Apparently there was a long lineup to see her. There are some who object to her doing that stuff and the sexy photos she puts on her blog. I'm used to it because of the long history of joshi puroresu girls doing sexy photobooks. And some of those girls have done nudity. So if Rin enjoys doing them, I don't mind looking at them. She's still a hell of a fighter. Some girls would have folded like a cheap suitcase after being dropped early in the fight. She didn't do that and I think she won the fight. But I would prefer to see her fight at 135. On the first video, go to the 43 minute mark for the start of the match. The third round is at the start of the second video. Enjoy!
1 by Zee2TehPee
2 by Zee2TehPee

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Steve Winwood

Artist:Steve Winwood f/Chaka Khan
Song:Higher Love
Album:Revolutions: The Very Best Of Steve Winwood

As a solo artist, Steve Winwood had his biggest success with the 1986 number one hit Higher Love. But most music fans know that he had been around since the 60s with groups like Spencer Davis Group and Traffic. He was born May 12, 1948 in Birmingham, England. He was in a jazz band with his older brother Muff. By 1963, the two decided to become full time musicians and Winwood was lead singer for Spencer Davis Group and had hits like Gimme Some Lovin' But by 1967, Winwood got tired of the pop single format of the group. He left and formed Traffic with Dave Mason, Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi. Their psychedelic jazz sound was very successful. Of course there were personality conflicts and they split up in 1969. Winwood started jamming with Eric Clapton after Cream split up and this led to the formation of the short lived group Blind Faith. When they split up, Winwood briefly joined Ginger Baker's Air Force and then planned to record his first solo album in 1970. Instead he reformed Traffic for John Barleycorn Must Die and they had a lot of success until their 1974 split. Winwood finally recorded his first solo album Steve Winwood in 1977. But it didn't do well in the midst of the punk movement. So he disappeared for a couple of years and returned with the 1980 album Arc Of A Diver. The album went Platinum based on the top ten hit When You See A Chance. When his 1982 album Talking Back to the Night didn't do as well, Winwood considered retirement to become a producer. He wasn't happy with the album either. He returned with the 1986 album Back In The High Life and Higher Love was his first number one hit. Winwood wrote Higher Love and most of the other songs on the album with veteran songwriter Will Jennings. Martin Gore of Depeche Mode got credit as well. Then he left Island Records for Virgin and had another number one hit with Roll With It in 1988. But his 1990 album Refugees of the Heart did not do well. Winwood and Capaldi reunited Traffic for a 1994 tour. This single CD comp is a great introduction to Winwood's music as it covers his whole career. Winwood's latest CD Nine Lives was released by Columbia in 2008. It did pretty well especially the single Dirty Water with Eric Clapton. I'm sure we'll see new music from him in the near future. Steve Winwood has spanned generations with his music. Here's the video for Higher Love by Steve Winwood featuring Chaka Khan.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Jessica Penne vs RENA set for Sept. 10 SHOOT BOXING show

RENA, Jessica Penne
SHOOT BOXING announced today that RENA's opponent for the Sept. 10 Korakuen Hall show is US MMA fighter Jessica Penne. Jessica's MMA record is 8-1. She trains at REIGN MMA in Santa Monica, CA. Fans may recall seeing her lose to Zoila Gurgel in the first round of last year's Bellator 115lb tournament. The problem was Jessica normally fights at 105lb and of course Zoila came down from 125. It was a terrible fight. It was like three rounds of dancing. Jessica bounced back and won over Amy Davis on the Nov. 19 The Cage Inc. show in Hankinson, SD. RENA normally fights at 52kg so I think Jessica may be at a bit of size disadvantage. Not to mention that she's not familiar with the SHOOT BOXING rules. She admitted that in the press release but she also said she is interested in next year's S-Girls Cup. And I wonder if she knows that she's being used as RENA's tuneup for her Nov. 23 match with Teen kickboxing champ Erika Kamimura. JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki might want to check Jessica out for a future appearance in JEWELS. Jessica's unfamiliarity with the SHOOT BOXING rules could be her downfall in this match.