Monday, October 31, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robbie Fulks

Artist:Robbie Fulks f/Kelly Willis
Song:Parallel Bars
Album:The Very Best Of Robbie Fulks

Robbie Fulks is one of the leading lights of the Alt Country movement known for his sense of humour. Parallel Bars is a pretty funny song about relationships and The Very Best Of Robbie Fulks is not really a comp. He was born Mar. 25, 1963 in York, PA and went to Columbia University. Fulks moved to Chicago in 1983 and became the lead singer and guitarist for the bluegrass group Special Consensus. He was on their 1989 Grammy nominated album A Hole In My Heart. He was also in the musical revue Woody Guthrie American Song and led the rock band The Trailer Trash Revue. He recorded for Bloodshot Records and this led to a shot with Geffen Records. His 1998 debut album Let's Kill Saturday Night was killed by the Universal/PolyGram merger. He was dropped in the aftermath. He started his own label Boondoggle Records with distribution from Bloodshot. The Very Best Of Robbie Fulks was his first CD on his own label in 1999. It was a collection of odds and ends highlighted by Parallel Bars, a duet with Kelly Willis. Fulks signed with Yep Roc in 2005 and his 2010 CD Happy is a tribute to Michael Jackson. And he continues to tour folk festivals. If you're a fan of Alt Country, you should check out Robbie Fulks. Here's Robbie Fulks with Nora O'Connor performing Parallel Bars Madison, WI 2009.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dale & Grace

Artist:Dale & Grace
Song:I'm Leaving It Up To You
Album:The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Vol. 5

I'm Leaving It Up To You was a number one hit for the Louisiana duo of Dale & Grace in 1963. They had one other big hit and then split up in 1965. Dale Houston was born Apr. 23, 1940 in Seminary, MS and grew up in the nearby town of Collins. He learned to play piano as a child. He moved to Baton Rouge, LA at age 18 and released the single Lonely Man. Montel Records owner Sam Montalbano signed Houston to a contract. His singles were unsuccessful. In 1963, Houston was working in a bar in Ferriday. LA when Montalbano approached him about teaming up with local singer Grace Broussard. She had recorded with her brother. So they went to Montalbano's home to work together when Houston started playing I'm Leaving It Up To You on the piano. Montalbano came in from the next room and declared the song a hit. Though Houston was a songwriter, I'm Leaving It Up To You was written and recorded by Don "Sugarcane" Harris and Dewey Terry in 1957. They recorded as Don & Dewey on Specialty Records. Harris went on to play violin on Frank Zappa's classic album Hot Rats. The song was released and became a regional hit at Houston radio station KNUZ. Then Jamie Records picked it up for national distribution and it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963 the week that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. In fact, Dale & Grace were in Dallas on the Dick Clark Caravan Of Stars and were waving at Kennedy when he was killed. Dale & Grace had a second top ten hit with Stop and Think It Over in 1964. Then Beatlemania took over and Dale & Grace split up in 1965 because Grace didn't like touring. She went back to singing with her brother. You can get I'm Leaving It Up To You on this Ace Records various artists comp. Donny & Marie Osmond had a hit with I'm Leaving It Up To You in 1974. Dale & Grace reunited occasionally until Dale Houston died on Sept. 27, 2007 at age 67. They were inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in 2007. Here's Dale & Grace performing I'm Leaving It Up To You 1997.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Amanda Lucas wins easily on Oct. 29 DEEP show

To the surprise of no one, Amanda Lucas dominated HARI and submitted her in the first round at today's DEEP show. At least Amanda made weight this time. There were two problems with this fight. HARI is a terrible fighter and she was undersized at 70.3kg. There wasn't much to the fight. Amanda took HARI down, pounded her and finished her with a rear naked choke at 4:43 of round one. Why even bother? A mismatch like this is a waste of time. It does nothing for Amanda as a fighter. Until she fights some decent competition, she will never shed the celebrity fawning of the Japanese media. She says she wants to go down to 145. Whether she can make that weight remains to be seen.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Head East

Artist:Head East
Song:Never Been Any Reason
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Head East

Head East was a rock band that reached a level of success mostly through live shows. Though their albums did chart, they were never able to get that big hit single to launch them to a higher level. But they do have a loyal fanbase especially in the midwest US. Never Been Any Reason was the song that got them a record contract. The members of Head East were all students at the University Of Illinois in Champaign, IL. They were lead singer John Schlitt, guitarist Mike Somerville, keyboardist Roger Boyd, bassist Dan Birney and drummer Steve Huston. They started out in 1968 as The TimeAtions and soon changed it to Head East. They released their debut album Flat As A Pancake on their own label in 1974. Never Been Any Reason got enough radio play to get them a record deal with A & M Records. The 1975 re-release of Flat As A Pancake eventually went Gold and Never Been A Reason reached #68 on the Billboard Hot 100. Never Been Any Reason got a big boost when it appeared in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused. This pattern continued on Head East's next few albums. They sold moderately well but never went to a higher level. They probably needed a power ballad to do that but that never materialized. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. After six albums, Head East had problems due to Schlitt's cocaine addiction. In 1980, they fired him and Birney and Somerville left. Schlitt recovered from his addiction and became a born again Christian. In 1985, he re-emerged as the lead singer of the Christian rock band Petra and was very successful until his 2005 retirement. Roger Boyd and Steve Huston still lead Head East today. Here's a video for Never Been Any Reason by Head East.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ayaka Hamasaki to defend JEWELS Lightweight Championship vs Ham Seo Hee on Dec. 17

Ham Seo Hee, Ayaka Hamasaki
JEWELS held a press conference today to announce the main event of the Dec. 17 Shinjuku FACE show along with two other matches. Ayaka Hamasaki will defend her JEWELS Lightweight Championship against veteran Korean kickboxer Ham Seo Hee. Hamasaki beat Ham in last year's tournament final. Hamasaki trains at AACC and is Megumi Fujii's prize student. Her record is 5-0 and her last win was over MIZUKI on the Sept. 11 JEWELS show. Ham trains at CMA Korea. Her MMA record is 9-4 but she's probably one of the best female kickboxers in the world. Her last MMA win was over VV Mei at the July 9 JEWELS show and she also reached the final of SHOOT Boxing's S-Girls Cup in August. Are you a little underwhelmed by that match? You may recall that JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki planned to offer Yuka Tsuji a title shot. Unfortunately, Tsuji had minor surgery three weeks ago. She is expected to return early 2012. This title match is scheduled for three five minute rounds. In another Lightweight match, former VALKYRIE champ VV Mei will face Mika Nagano. VV Mei is freelance. Her record is 8-3 and her last fight was a loss to Ham Seo Hee at the July 9 JEWELS show. Nagano trains at Core. Her record is 8-5 and her last fight was a loss to Megumi Fujii on the July 9 JEWELS show. She also works as a pro wrestler for STARDOM. I think it's fair to say that both fighters really need a win. Neither has performed well in recent fights. VV Mei joked about Nagano's sex appeal and claimed that she bought Mika's DVD. In a Featherweight match, former VALKYRIE champ Yasuko Tamada will Face SACHI. Both lost in the first round of the Featherweight tournament. Tamada trains at AACC. Her record is 8-3-1 and her last fight was a loss to Kikuyo Ishikawa on the Sept. 11 JEWELS show. SACHI now trains with Yuka Tsuji at Angura. Her record is 8-6-1 and her last fight was a loss to Yukiko Seki on the Sept. 11 JEWELS show. Both fighters are veterans so it's somewhat surprising that they have never faced each other. Both fights are scheduled for two five minute rounds. Expect more matches to be announced in the coming weeks.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Three Dog Night

Artist:Three Dog Night
Song:Joy To The Wotld
Album:The Complete Hit Singles

Three Dog Night was one of the most popular groups of the early 70s. They had a total of eleven top ten hits and three number one hits including Joy To The World. That was probably their biggest hit. In 1966, Danny Hutton was hired as house producer for Hanna-Barbera Records. The famed animation studio was in the record business for a couple of years in the 60s. Cory Wells had moved to Los Angeles from Buffalo with his band The Enemys. Hutton produced a couple of the band's singles on MGM. When the group split up, Wells moved to Arizona to form The Cory Wells Blues Band. Hutton convinced Wells to return to Los Angeles to help him with a new band with three lead vocalists. Hutton met Chuck Negron at a party. Wells had a contract with Dunhill Records. Hutton had become friends with Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson. The original plan was for Wilson to produce the new band to be called Deadwood. When that didn't work out, the band name was changed to Three Dog Night. Apparently it's an Aussie term for using dogs as blankets on a cold night. Most of the rest of the band including guitarist Michael Allsup, bassist Joe Schermie and drummer Floyd Sneed were all from The Cory Wells Blues Band. Keyboard player Jimmy Greenspoon was from The New Dimensions. Neither Hutton, Wells or Negron were songwriters. So song selection was key to the success of Three Dog Night. And producer Richard Podolor was a big part of that as well. He was the guitarist for drummer Sandy Nelson. Three Dog Night's first top ten hit was the Harry Nilsson song One in 1969. This was followed by the Laura Nyro song Eli's Coming which also reached the top ten. They had their first number one hit with Randy Newman's Mama Told Me Not To Come. And this was topped by Joy To The World which was number one for six weeks in 1971. It seems that Hutton and Wells didn't like the song when songwriter Hoyt Axton pitched it to them. They thought it was a kid's song. But Negron thought the group needed a silly song for the album Naturally and he sings the lead vocal. Apparently the group was surprised by the song's success. Hoyt Axton had a long career as a singer, songwriter and actor and his mom wrote Heartbreak Hotel for Elvis Presley. Three Dog Night's other number one hit was Black and White in 1972 which was first recorded by Sammy Davis Jr. in 1957. Three Dog Night went through personnel changes with some of the backing musicians. But the end of the band came due to Chuck Negron's heroin addiction. And he was arrested for cocaine possession in 1975. This would be a long running problem for Negron until he got clean in 1991. Three Dog Night split up in 1976. You can get all their hits on this comp. Cory Wells recorded a solo album in 1978 and Danny Hutton became a manager and occasional musician. Three Dog Night reformed in 1981. Negron was fired in 1985 but Wells and Hutton continue to lead the band today. Three Dog Night were criticized in the 70s for being too commercial. But the music holds up well so maybe they were better than was thought at the time. Here's Three Dog Night performing Joy To The World. This video is not on Youtube and there was no description. But my guess is this performance is from the 1971 Grammy Awards broadcast.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Marianna Kheyfets vs Molly Helsel

Today's Big Bad Blog Video Theater is Marianna Kheyfets vs Molly Helsel from last Friday's XFC show in Florida. I decided to post this match because I have seen a couple of people portray Marianna's victory as an upset. It wasn't an upset Marianna was supposed to win. After all she's undefeated. What some won't acknowledge is that sometimes fighters are brought in to lose. And though Molly has a lot of experience, she hasn't had a lot of success. She was a good test for Marianna and exposed a couple of weaknesses in her game. But calling Marianna's win an upset is a little too charitable for my liking. Marianna has two major weaknesses. One, as noted by HDNet's Tony Schiavello, is when she delivers a kick, she lowers her hands and leaves herself open. That's a common weakness in a lot of fighters that can be improved in training. She also has a habit of overcommitting when she punches or kicks. I don't understand why she feels she needs to land that big punch. She usually misses and she doesn't have that kind of power anyway. And it got her into trouble in round one when Molly caught one of her kicks and took her down. Molly won the first round but she could have done more with her advantage and eventually the ref stood them up. Marianna got her rhythm in round two and was a lot more effective with precise punching. She bloodied Molly's nose and of course it affected her breathing. That took a lot out of her. Marianna sealed the win in round three with a couple of takedowns. Marianna won by unanimous decision. I scored it in her favour 29-28. Marianna has potential but she needs to stop trying for that big KO. That's a mental flaw. Her trainer should remind her to not do that and probably did do that after round one. It's not necessary. She can win with other tools. Leaving her hands down when she kicks is all timing and coordination and some fighters never master that. But it can be done. Enjoy the video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gary's Gang

Artist:Gary's Gang
Song:Keep On Dancin'
Album:Yowsah Yowsah Yowsah: 70's New York Disco

Keep On Dancin' was a number one dance hit at the height of the disco era in 1978. It also crossed over to the pop charts. Gary's Gang wasn't a group at first. Joseph Tucci and Gary Turnier wrote and recorded Keep On Dancin' in Tucci's garage in Queen's, NY. Turnier played drums but Tucci played all the other instruments and sang all the vocals. When the song got some attention in New York clubs, SAM Records A & R man Daniel Glass was a DJ himself and he took the song to label owner Sam Weiss. SAM was distributed by Columbia. Weiss had been around since the 50s and his son owns Nervous Records. Glass went on to Chrysalis Records in the 80s and then worked at EMI and Universal. So when Keep On Dancin' broke at a national level, Tucci formed a group so he could go out and make appearances to promote the record. It topped the Dance Music chart and reached #41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Tucci called himself Eric Mathew. Gary's Gang released an album and then Tucci left SAM and started his own label Radar Records, not to be confused with the British label also called Radar Records. Tucci recorded as Gary's Gang and then Status IV and also produced Toney Lee and Sharon Redd. He sold Radar to the Montreal based disco label Unidisc and they have have released the Gary's Gang recordings on a 2CD comp. But I think most folks will only want Keep On Dancin' and you can get it on this various artist comp from the Dutch label Back Beats. Keep On Dancin' got a big boost when it was used on the soundtrack of the 1998 film 54. Joseph Tucci is still part of the New York dance music scene and occasionally releases mix tapes. Here's Gary's Gang performing Keep On Dancin' on American Bandstand 1979.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ronda Rousey kicks ass on Japanese TV show

So we all know that Strikeforce fighter Ronda Rousey is a 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist in judo and a legit badass. Last month she Tweeted that she was going to Japan to appear on a TV show. She was there when there was a mini-monsoon going on. So here's the clip from the show called Ho-no-no Tai-Ku-Kai. They do these kind of shows in Japan all the time. Basically, Ronda is tossing around three comedians. It's similar to what we saw SHOOT BOXING's RENA do earlier this year. There are a couple of notable things about this clip. The best thing about it is that Ronda never cracks a smile through the whole thing. That alone makes this a comedy classic. When the interviewer asks her a question, she looks at him like "Don't ask any more stupid questions". And she seems to get legit pissed with the third guy who wears himself out trying to avoid the inevitable takedown. The other thing you'll notice is that former Strikeforce champ and women's MMA pioneer Marloes Coenen is watching the show. Marloes was in Japan for the recent DREAM show. It looks like the Youtube clip was shot at the TBS studio office in Tokyo. These kind of shows are popular in Japan because of the parochial Japanese attitude towards women. At the start of the show, they're supposed to look at Ronda like she's only a girl and she's taking on three guys. The odds are against her. But as we all know, Ronda Rousey is not just a girl and her seriousness through the whole clip was perfect. And the incredulous looks on the faces of the three guys makes it even funnier. Remember when she was laughing while she threw Aaron Tru around a couple of months ago? That wouldn't have worked on this TV show. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ethel Merman

Artist:Ethel Merman
Song:Everything's Coming Up Roses
Album:Gypsy: Original Broadway Cast: 50th Anniversary Edition

Ethel Merman was the First Lady of musical theater. She was known for her big voice. And though in her later years she became a bit of a parody of herself, there's no question that she needed that big voice in the early days of Broadway. Everything's Coming Up Roses is one of several signature songs from a show written for her. She was born Ethel Zimmerman Jan. 16, 1908 in Astoria, Queen's, NY. She always claimed she was born in 1912. Her parents took her to vaudeville shows and later on Ethel sang in nightclubs while working as a secretary during the day. She changed her name to Merman because she thought Zimmerman was too long for a marquee. She went to Hollywood in 1930 and worked for Warner Bros. But she didn't like sitting around waiting to be cast. So when the opportunity came to star in the new Gershwin musical Girl Crazy, she jumped at it and it made her a star. Ethel would appear occasionally in films. But for the most part she starred in Broadway musicals like Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun and many others. Gypsy was actually her final original show in 1959. Of course it's based on the life of burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee and the music by Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne was tailored for Ethel Merman. Everything's Coming Up Roses was her big song in the show. Unfortunately, she did not star in the film version. She got squeezed out by Rosalind Russell's husband. The Original Broadway Cast of Gypsy is now available on CD with bonus tracks. In her later years, Ethel Merman became a regular on TV talk and variety shows and occasionally appeared in films and on stage. I'm not sure folks in that era knew how important she was in the development of musical theater. Ethel Merman died on Feb. 15, 1984 at age 76. Here's Ethel Merman performing Everything's Coming Up Roses on an early 80s Tony Awards show.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beth Phoenix successfully defends the WWE Divas Championship at Vengeance

Here's the match video from Beth Phoenix's successful WWE Divas Championship defense over Eve Torres. You'll notice the commentary is in French which is a big improvement over Michael Cole's blather. The match is above average and at least was given more time than the usual Divas match. The WWE is trying to sell Eve as a wrestler. She tries very hard but she messes up a lot. And it's easy to tell when her lack of experience is showing. Sometimes she doesn't know what to do and she just stands there with a goofy look on her face. That happened in this match when she ties Beth to the ropes with a wristband and then doesn't follow it up. I don't know why they had her do that if she wasn't going to do anything with it. But she does OK and they almost had Eve win the match with a sunset flip reversal of the Glam Slam. Yes, you do have to suspend a little disbelief to accept that Beth would let up on that move enough to allow her to attempt that. I guess they're just trying to show that she could win. But unlike Kelly Kelly, they didn't have her win the title. Beth is the ring general and her job is to make both of them look good. So it was OK. Check it out for yourself.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Terry Stafford

Artist:Terry Stafford
Album:Oldies But Goodies Vol. 11

Raise your hand if you think that Terry Stafford's 1964 top five hit Suspicion sounds a lot like Elvis Presley. Guys like Ral Donner have built singing careers around sounding like Elvis. But not only does Stafford sound like Elvis but Elvis originally recorded Suspicion in 1962. Terry Stafford was born Nov. 22, 1941 in Hollis, OK and grew up in Amarillo, TX. After graduating from high school in 1960, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a singing career. He got together with Bob Summers at Crusader Records and recorded Suspicion. Summers produced the record and played all the instruments and he even recorded his own version of Suspicion in the 70s. Suspicion was written by the legendary team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. They wrote many songs for Elvis and others. It appeared on the 1962 album Pot Luck With Elvis but it was never released as a single until after Stafford's version reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964. The other five songs at the top of the charts at the time were all by The Beatles. So Terry Stafford held his own against Beatlemania. Stafford's only other top 30 hit I'll Touch A Star preceded Suspicion but he didn't chart afterwards. You can get Suspicion on this various artists comp. Terry Stafford released singles for A & M, Mercury and Warner Bros. with no success. He even tried acting and appeared in the 1969 biker film Wild Wheels with Casey Kasem. In the 70s, Stafford signed with Atlantic Records and tried to reinvent himself in the country music market. He charted with songs like Amarillo By Morning but was ultimately unsuccessful. Stafford's song Big In Dallas was reworked by Buck Owens as the top five country hit Big In Vegas in 1969. And George Strait had a top five country hit with Amarillo By Morning in 1982. Terry Stafford continued to tour as a nostalgia act until his death from liver failure on Mar. 17, 1996 at age 54. Here's Terry Stafford performing Suspicion in Arizona 1986.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Veteran joshi wrestler Kyoko Kimura to make MMA debut on Nov. 12 PANCRASE show

Megumi Yabushita, Kyoko Kimura
PANCRASE announced today they have added a women's match to their Nov. 12 Shinjuku FACE show. It will be veteran joshi wrestler Kyoko Kimura making her MMA debut vs Megumi Yabushita. The fight will be Bantamweight and is scheduled for two five minute rounds. Kyoko Kimura is 34 years old and is from Yokohama. I guess it was around 2005 it looked like she wasn't going to cut it as a wrestler. She was living in Los Angeles in 2000 and was trained to wrestle by FMW legend Hayabusa. He was living in Mexico at the time. But pregnancy derailed Kyoko's career plans. After her daughter's birth, Kyoko moved back to Japan to work for JWP. But she seemed to forget everything she learned. It got so bad that JWP owner Commando Bolshoi was going to fire her. But instead she sent her to legendary wrestler and trainer Mariko Yoshida. Yoshida was just starting Ibuki at the time. Basically, Yoshida saved Kyoko's career. Her wrestling style is brawling so she has become a very good heel. She's a big reggae fan so her outfit is usually Jamaican influenced. She did quite a few hardcore matches in Big Japan in the mid-00's with light tubes and stuff like that. Plenty of chains and other weapons. She held the NEO Tag Team Titles with Amazing Kong in 2007. Some fans may recall a match Kyoko had where she leaped from the Korakuen Hall balcony and broke Kayoko Haruyama's ribs with a double foot stomp. Kyoko had a good run with the Revolution Amandora heel group. It disbanded when Atsuko Emoto retired last year and Kyoko took some time off. She still wrestles but has been training at the Sakaguchi Family Dojo preparing for her MMA debut. Debuting in MMA at 34 is not ideal. Of course Megumi Yabushita is a women's MMA pioneer who is simply not as good as she used to be. Her record is 19-18 and she lost to Sara Kaufman in April. I watched that fight. It was just sad to see Megumi perform that poorly. She still wrestles mostly for JWP. She's always done both MMA and pro wrestling. Obviously Kyoko Kimura is an unknown as a fighter. We'll see how she does.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Huey "Piano" Smith & His Clowns

Artist:Huey "Piano" Smith & His Clowns f/Bobby Marchan
Song:Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu Part 1
Album:The Best Of Huey "Piano" Smith & His Clowns

Huey "Piano" Smith is a forgotten legend of New Orleans R & B. Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu was one of his two big late 50s hits. He was also the victim of racism in the radio industry as stations didn't want to play black artists. He was born Jan. 26, 1934 in New Orleans and Smith's piano style was heavily influenced by the legendary Roy "Professor Longhair" Byrd. He backed up Earl King and Guitar Slim in the early 50s and became a popular session pianist. Smith played piano on the Smiley Lewis classic I Hear You Knockin' and plenty of other hits. Smith formed The Clowns in the mid-50s and signed with Johnny Vincent's Ace Records. Vincent was a producer at Specialty Records and knew Smith from his work with Little Richard. The lead singer of The Clowns was the very flamboyant Bobby Marchan. He was known in New Orleans as a female impersonator and I'm sure he reminded Smith and Vincent of Little Richard. Other members were Lee Allen and Red Tyler on sax and Charles Williams on drums. Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu was originally recorded as an instrumental. But Vincent added words and the instrumental version was Part 2 on the flip side. It reached #4 on the R & B Singles chart and hit the pop charts as well in 1958. It should have been a bigger hit but many radio stations wouldn't play black artists. Johnny Rivers would have a hit with his cover of Rockin' Pneumonia in 1972. Don't You Just Know It did even better and was a top ten pop hit. Smith wrote and recorded Sea Cruise in 1959. When radio stations refused to play it, Vincent brought in white singer Frankie Ford to dub vocals on Smith's backing track and the song was a big hit. Bobby Marchan left The Clowns in 1960 and was replaced by Gerry Hall and Curley Moore. Marchan had a solo hit in 1960 with There Is Something On Your Mind. Smith left Ace for Imperial but didn't have the same success. You can get all his Ace hits on this comp. Huey "Piano" Smith continued to perform and record into the 70s. He left the music business and became a Jehovah's Witness. He was honoured with a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 2000. Here's a video of Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu by Huey "Piano" Smith & His Clowns.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Alan Parsons Project

Artist:The Alan Parsons Project f/Lenny Zakatek
Song:Games People Play
Album:Eye In The Sky: The Encore Collection

Alan Parsons was already a famed recording engineer and producer when he decided to record under his own name. The Alan Parsons Project had quite a bit of success including the 1980 top twenty hit Games People Play. He was born Dec. 20, 1948 in London. In 1967, he worked as an assistant recording engineer at Abbey Road Studios and got his first album credit on the Beatles' Abbey Road. He worked with Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd and The Hollies and started producing in the mid-70s. He had his biggest success with the Al Stewart album Year Of The Cat in 1976. He formed The Alan Parsons Project in 1976 with Eric Woolfson. Woolfson was a songwriter and producer who had recently had success with the 1974 Carl Douglas hit Kung Fu Fighting. The idea was to use studio musicians and release the music under one name. Parsons produced bands like Pilot and Ambrosia so they were on the records. In fact, Pilot guitarist Ian Bairnson is on all The Alan Parsons Project albums. They were successful as an album band but they had a couple of hit singles including Games People Play which reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980. The lead singer on Games People Play was Lenny Zakatek. He was lead singer of the 70s group Gonzalez but by this time had turned to studio work. Parsons produced his 1979 solo album. The Alan Parsons Project continued to have success until Parsons and Woolfson split up in 1990 while working on album which Woolfson released under his own name. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. Eric Woolfson died in 2009 but Alan Parsons continues to work on various projects and has occasionally revived The Alan Parsons Project for tours. Here's a video for Games People Play by The Alan Parsons Project featuring Lenny Zakatek. It appears this may have been intended as a music video at the time but it was lost for many years and discovered a couple of months ago. It's pretty good.

Games People Play : The Alan Parsons Project from Paul TV on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ian Thomas

Artist:Ian Thomas
Song:Painted Ladies
Album:Made In Canada Vol. 2 1969-74: Into the 70's

Canadian singer songwriter Ian Thomas has been around a long time and done a lot of different things. But he is probably best known for the 1974 hit single Painted Ladies. It was his only hit in the US. He was born July 23, 1950 in Hamilton, ON and I'm sure most folks know he is the younger brother of SCTV comic Dave Thomas. He started out in 1970 with the group Tranquility Base and they had a top 30 hit in Canada with If You're Lookin'. Thomas went to work as a producer for the CBC. But he got the music bug and signed with GRT Records in Canada. Painted Ladies was his first single and it reached #4 on the RPM 100 in Canada. Chrysalis Records picked it up for US distribution and it reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was his only hit in the US though he did have some chart success in Canada. You can get Painted Ladies on this various artists comp of Canadian hits from RCA Records. Thomas continued to record solo but he has done all kinds of other things. He has composed music for several Canadian TV movies. He was also a regular as Dougie Franklin on the popular 90s TV series The Red Green Show. And he has occasionally appeared with his brother on SCTV. In the 90s he had chart success in Canada with The Boomers. And currently he performs with Lunch At Allen's with Murray McLachlan, Marc Jordan and Cindy Church. They released a new album last year. That's a lot of stuff for a one hit wonder. Here's Ian Thomas performing Painted Ladies at the Mountainview Music Fest Carstairs, AB 2009.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Will Bellator do a 125lb women's tournament?

Yesterday it was reported that Zoila Gurgel blew out her knee in training and is having surgery for a torn ACL. She was preparing for a Nov. 23 match against Carina Damm. That match has now been cancelled. Usual recovery time for that kind of surgery is six months to a year. Karma is a bitch, ain't it? But it brings up the larger picture of Bellator's supposed plans for a 125lb women's tournament. Keep in mind that there have been exactly zero women's matches on their main TV show this year. They have one women's match scheduled between Jessica Aguilar and Lisa Ward-Ellis and the only reason for that match is to burn off their contracts. Bellator president Bjorn Rebney has been blabbing that he wants to do a 125lb tournament. But first he complained that he couldn't find enough fighters for a tournament. There are enough fighters but some of them may not work cheap enough for his liking. I don't think he wants to pay Tara LaRosa's price. He's gone so far to suggest that some of the 115lb fighters could be in the 125lb tournament. How is that for desperation? Jessica Aguilar has already told him that she won't fight at 125. I don't know about others. It doesn't seem likely. And with Zoila injured, it would seem less likely that Rebney would want to to a tournament. Talk is cheap. It just seems like Rebney is giving lip service to placate women's MMA fans. I don't buy his baloney. So what about that title belt that Zoila was given last year? I doubt it will ever be defended. Why? There's nothing wrong with the tournament format if done properly. When you have a tournament, the winner of the tournament defends the title. Bellator doesn't do that. Instead they have a new tournament in the same weight class and the previous tournament winner has non title "superfights". The championship is never defended. That is a fundamental flaw in Bellator's format. He might as well make the title belts out of paper or plastic because they become meaningless after the tournament. It makes absolutely no sense to do that. And today Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith told Mauro Ranallo of The MMA Show that the non title matches devalue the titles. No kidding. This is the wrong way to do things. They need to stop it. Their TV situation is also an problem. It's now unlikely that they will go to Spike TV until 2013. I find their situation is very similar to TNA after WWE left Spike. TNA is cheaper than WWE just like Bellator is cheaper than UFC. Spike isn't looking for comparable ratings. They want more control over the product. And as they have shown with TNA, they are willing to contribute financially to the product. They have paid for some TNA wrestler contracts. It gives Bellator some security but I don't know how Spike feels about the tournament format. They may not like it. Time will tell.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kenny Loggins

Artist:Kenny Loggins
Album:Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: The Greatest Hits Of Kenny Loggins

In the 80s, Kenny Loggins had so many hits from films, he became known as King Of The Soundtracks. Footloose was his only number one hit in 1984. In fact, all but one of his top ten hits are from films. He was born Jan. 7, 1948 in Everett, WA. His dad was a salesman so the family moved to Detroit, Seattle and then Alhambra, CA. Loggins' band Second Helping recorded three singles for Viva Records in the late 60s. He was also part of The New Electric Prunes and Gator Creek who recorded for Mercury. But his big break came when The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded four of his songs including House On Pooh Corner. Loggins signed with ABC-Dunhill but when he started working with former Buffalo Springfield member and Columbia house producer Jim Messina, a deal was worked out and Loggins went to Columbia. The original plan was for Messina to only produce Loggins but they decided to form Loggins & Messina and were very successful. When they split up in 1976, Loggins went solo and had success with the top 20 hit This Is It in 1979. But Loggins really came into his own writing and recording songs for films. His first hit was I'm Alright from the 1980 film Caddyshack which reached #7. This was followed by Footloose which topped the charts in 1984. Loggins wrote it with film composer Dean Pilchford. Of course the film was a big hit too. He also had top ten hits with Danger Zone from the 1986 film Top Gun and Nobody's Fool from the 1988 film Caddyshack II. Loggins continued to record in the 90s but didn't have the same success. You can get all his hits on this budget comp. Kenny Loggins left Columbia in 2000 and hasn't recorded much in recent years. He is currently recording with the country group Blue Sky Riders with no release date set as yet. Here's the video for Footloose by Kenny Loggins. You'll notice he doesn't appear in the video.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Erika Kamimura vs RENA is now official

RENA, Erika Kamimura
Today Shooto, RISE and SHOOT BOXING held a press conference to announce a joint charity show for Nov. 11. But RISE took the opportunity to have the contract signing ceremony for Erika Kamimura vs RENA for the RISE Queen Championship Nov. 23 at Tokyo Dome City Hall. They also unveiled the championship belt so you get to see that too. It looks pretty sweet. They announced the match a couple of weeks ago but Japanese companies like to do public contract signing ceremonies. The match is contracted for 48kg and scheduled for five three minute rounds with unlimited extension rounds if there is a draw. Their usual format is three two minute rounds. RENA normally fights at 52kg so hopefully making weight isn't an issue for her. RENA says she likes three minute rounds. She says she plans to make the most of this opportunity and grab the championship. RENA normally does SHOOT BOXING so she was asked about not doing the standing holds. She says she has come to Tokyo to train at the Caesar Gym to prepare for this match and they're working on that and other things. The Caesar Gym is the home of SHOOT BOXING owned by Takeshi Caesar. RENA normally trains at the Oikawa Gym in Osaka. RENA acknowledged that Erika has a lot of momentum but she plans to stop her. When asked about the length of the rounds, Erika said she doesn't care because she will knock RENA out anyway. When asked if she has seen RENA's most recent loss to Jessica Penne, Erika says she hasn't seen it but she knows what RENA can do. Erika can't wait for Nov. 23 to show she is the best.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robin Lamont

Artist:Robin Lamont
Song:Day By Day
Album:Godspell: 40th Anniversary Celebration

This 1972 top twenty hit was from Stephen Schwartz' Off Broadway musical Godspell which was then turned into a film. The single was credited as Godspell because Bell Records wanted fans to know that it was from a show. But it was performed on stage and in the film by Robin Lamont. Godspell started in 1970 as John-Michael Tebelak's thesis project at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. After one performance, everyone moved to New York and Carnegie alumnus Charles Haid planned to produce the show on Broadway. Of course Haid went on to acting and directing on TV, most notably Hill Street Blues. Producer Edgar Lansbury hired Stephen Schwartz to write the songs. Godspell was his first show. Godspell is more or less based on the Gospel Of Matthew but it's a very loose interpretation. The show came along at a time when Jesus Christ Superstar was also popular. Critics of both shows take things too literally. Godspell opened on Broadway May 17, 1971 and closed in 1976. That's an excellent run. There were also shows in London and Toronto. Bell Records released the Original Cast album and then Columbia Pictures decided to turn it into a film in 1973. The cast and the music was for the most part faithful to the original Broadway production. Of course there were differences including Victor Garber starring as Jesus Christ. He starred in the Toronto production. But most of the rest of the cast was with the show from the start. They decided to set the film in present day New York City. The version of Day By Day that reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 was from the original cast album. Robin Lamont was part of the show when it was at Carnegie Mellon. Because Bell released the single as Godspell instead of Robin Lamont, a lot of fans may not know who sings it. She was in the film too. Robin also appeared in the 1978 Broadway musical Working and was a regular on the daytime soap Ryan's Hope for two years. She retired from acting and is currently district attorney for Westchester County in White Plains, NY. For many years, the film soundtrack for Godspell was unavailable. But last month, Sony released this 2CD 40th Anniversary edition that contains the Original Off Broadway Cast and the film soundtrack. That should satisfy everyone. Here's Robin Lamont performing Day By Day in the 1973 film Godspell.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Roger & The Gypsies

Artist:Roger & The Gypsies
Song:Pass The Hatchet
Album:The Intro Collection: New Orleans

Here's a little slice of New Orleans funk that was not a hit when it was released in 1969 but has been retrospectively hailed as big influence on 70s soul. The song got a big boost when Robert Rodriguez put it on the soundtrack of his 1995 film Desperado. There was no group Roger & The Gypsies and Pass The Hatchet was the only song released under that name. The man behind it and the vocalist on the song was veteran producer Eddie Bo. He was born Edwin Bocage Sept. 20, 1930 in New Orleans. He started out in the early 50s playing piano behind many New Orleans artists. He recorded under his own name starting in 1955 but was usually on small labels and so none of his records were more than regional hits. For example his 1961 song Check Mr. Popeye was covered by Chubby Checker before Bo could get national distribution. His biggest hit Hook & Sling reached the R & B top 40 in 1969. Pass The Hatchet was released on Seven-B and suffered a similar fate to most of his other songs. But it's a great mostly instrumental groove with killer guitar by Earl Stanley. Bo started his own label and also owned a renovation business. He continued to be active in music though I think it's fair to say that he never got his due though a lot of musicians knew about him. Willy DeVille had Bo appear on his records. Pass The Hatchet got a big boost when it appeared on the soundtrack of Robert Rodriguez' 1995 film Desperado. Fans heard the song there and want to know how to get it. The Desperado soundtrack has been discontinued but you can get Pass The Hatchet on this 3CD budget various artists comp which is a good intro to New Orleans R & B. Eddie Bo died on Mar. 18, 2009 at age 78. Here's a video for Pass The Hatchet by Roger & The Gypsies.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kashif

Artist:Kashif f/Meli'sa Morgan
Song:Love Changes
Album:The Definitive Collection

Kashif was one of the top R & B producers of the 80s and also had a significant recording career mostly on the R & B charts. Love Changes was his biggest hit in 1988. He was also a pioneer in the use of electronic keyboards in R & B. He was born Michael Jones in 1959 in Brooklyn, NY. Apparently he never knew his parents and bounced around foster homes as a child. By age 15, he was the keyboard player for B.T. Express and they had hits like Do It Til You're Satisfied. After leaving the group, he signed with Arista Records as a producer and recording artist. He renamed himself Kashif which means creator. Kashif's expertise with electronic keyboards got him hired to produce the 1983 Evelyn King hit Love Come Down. This led to other production work including Whitney Houston's debut single You Give Good Love. He also had success on the R & B charts as a solo artist including the 1983 hit I Just Gotta Have You and the 1986 duet with Melba Moore Love The One I'm With. Love Changes reached #2 on the R & B Singles chart in 1987 and was Kashif's biggest hit. Meli'sa Morgan had already established herself with the 1985 R & B chart topper Do Me Baby. Though Kashif usually wrote his own songs, Love Changes is a cover. It was written by Skip Scarborough who is best known for co-writing the 1988 Anita Baker hit Giving You The Best That I Got. It was originally recorded by the funk rock group Mother's Finest and was an R & B hit in 1979. You can get all of Kashif's hits on this budget comp. Of course black music changed in the late 80s with the rise of New Jack Swing and Kashif hasn't done much in recent years. He last recorded in 2004 and wrote a music industry how to book in 1996. Here's the video for Love Changes by Kashif featuring Meli'sa Morgan.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Velvet Sky is the new TNA Knockouts Champion

You may recall that when TNA put Karen Jarrett in charge of the Knockouts, I said that nothing good can come of it. Why? Because she won't put over the wrestlers. She will only put herself over. And we've seen her do that already on Impact. Last night's four way Knockouts Championship match was the end result of involving Karen unnecessarily. It may have been the worst Knockouts match ever on a TNA PPV with the usual overbooked ending. TNA made a big mistake when they made Karen ref for this match. It's not that she's a heel ref. There's nothing wrong with a heel ref. That can be handled. The problem is she has no experience or training as a ref. And especially in a four way match, it's very important for the ref to direct traffic so the match has some flow. TNA tried to simplify the match by having two wrestlers in the ring at a time. Then why have a four way in the first place? Idiots! I guess the wrestlers were not prepared for this change and none of them were very good in this match. Meanwhile TNA has Tazz make excuses for Karen being a terrible ref. And of course the match ending has the usual overbooked nonsense with Winter mistakenly spraying Karen with the fake blood. Then Traci Brooks comes out and counts three in favour of Velvet Sky after Velvet gives Madison a Pedigree. Call it a reward for Velvet as she has been with TNA a long time and this is her first time holding the strap. TNA doesn't care. They are interested in the feud between Karen and Traci. That's what they want to get over, not the wrestlers. Check out the video!
TNA Bound For Glory - 16/10/11 Part 5 (HQ) by 4-Tellytv

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Troggs

Artist:The Troggs
Song:Wild Thing
Album:Hit Single Anthology

The British Invasion band The Troggs will forever be identified with the 1966 chart topper Wild Thing. They had other hits and were actually a pretty good band. The Troggs were from the British seaside resort town of Andover. The lead singer and main songwriter was Reg Ball who named himself Reg Presley. Other members were Dave Wright on rhythm guitar, Chris Britton on lead guitar, Pete Staples on bass and Ronnie Bond on drums. They were discovered by former Kinks manager Larry Page. In England they were on Fontana Records and in the US they were on Atco Records. Wild Thing was their second single and it quickly became a garage rock standard. Even a dispute between the two record companies over distribution didn't prevent Wild Thing from topping the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. It was a huge worldwide hit. Though Reg Presley wrote most of The Troggs songs, Wild Thing was written by US songwriter Chip Taylor. He is the older brother of actor Jon Voight and Taylor also wrote Angel In The Morning. Wild Thing was first recorded by The Wild Ones in 1965 and I assume Page heard that version and had The Troggs record it. Of course Jimi Hendrix performed Wild Thing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and proceeded to wreck his guitar. The Troggs other hits including With A Girl Like You and their 1968 US top ten hit Love Is All Around were more standard Britpop. They were a good band but somewhat underrated because of the huge success of Wild Thing. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. The Troggs split up in 1969 and after the various members attempted solo projects, they reformed in 1974 and Reg Presley and Chris Britton still lead The Troggs today. Ronnie Bond died in 1992 and Dave Wright died in 2008. Here's the video for Wild Thing by The Troggs.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Berlin

Song:Take My Breath Away
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Berlin

Because most folks are mainly familiar with this monster hit from the 1986 hit film Top Gun, the synth pop group Berlin are perceived as a one hit wonder. It didn't help that they split up soon afterwards. But some of their other songs charted especially on the dance charts. Group leader, primary songwriter and bassist John Crawford started The Toys in 1977 while still in high school in Los Angeles. He was influenced by punk rock but mainly by synthesizer dominated groups like Kraftwerk and Ultravox. He changed the name to Berlin in 1980 and signed with I.R.S. Records. Crawford was having trouble finding a lead vocalist. Meanwhile, Terri Nunn couldn't decide if she wanted to be singer or an actor. She pursued acting after working with Crawford in 1978 and returned in 1981. Other members were Ric Olsen on guitar, David Diamond on synthesizer and guitar, Matt Reid on synthesizer and Rob Brill on drums. Berlin released their 1982 EP Pleasure Victim on Enigma Records and charted with Sex (I'm A...). It did very well on the dance charts. They signed with Geffen Records and their 1984 album Love Life did very well and they had a top 30 hit with the single No More Words. Take My Breath Away was on Berlin's 1986 CD Count Three And Pray. But it wasn't really part of the album. It was written by Georgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock for the 1986 film Top Gun. Of course Moroder composed a lot of soundtracks of that era. Whitlock was Moroder's car mechanic before he started writing songs with him. The song topped the charts worldwide. Crawford wrote most of Berlin's songs so that had to bother him. Not to mention that only Terri was in the Take My Breath Away video. It was almost as if the song was recorded to launch Terri as a solo artist. She had already recorded the song Dancing In Isolation for the 1985 film Better Off Dead as a solo artist. Maybe Crawford objected to that. The result was the Top Gun soundtrack was a huge seller and Count Three And Pray didn't sell. That led to Terri leaving to go solo and Berlin splitting up in 1987. You get all Berlin's hits on this budget comp. Terri Nunn's solo career wasn't very successful. So when she acquired the rights to the name Berlin in 1996, she created a new group with that name and still tours today. Crawford formed The Big F with Brill in 1988. They were not successful and disbanded in 1993. Crawford has become a born again Christian and has recorded Contemporary Christian Music in recent years. Here's the video for Take My Breath Away by Berlin.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Four Freshmen

Artist:The Four Freshmen
Song:Graduation Day
Album:Capitol Collectors Series

The Four Freshmen was one of the most popular vocal groups of the 50s. Graduation Day was their biggest hit single. But they are an early example of a group that sold a lot of LPs and didn't need a hit single. Remember there were no LPs until the mid-50s. The Four Freshmen started in the late-40s at Butler University in Indianapolis as the Barbershop quartet Hal's Harmonizers. The group was started by brothers Ross and Don Barbour, their cousin Bob Flanigan and Hal Kratzsch. All four sang and played various instruments. As they played gigs, they strayed towards jazz harmonies and decided to change the group name to The Four Freshmen. Jazz musicians started noticing them and legendary bandleader Stan Kenton got them a record deal at Capitol Records. The group worked with arranger Pete Rugolo and and an appearance on The Steve Allen Show generated record sales. Kratzsch left in 1953 and was replaced by Ken Errair and he was replaced by Ken Albers in 1956. The Four Freshmen's first hit single was It's A Blue World in 1952 followed by Mood Indigo in 1954. They started releasing LPs in 1955 and they usually reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 200. For example, the 1956 LP Four Freshmen and Five Trombones reached #6. Graduation Day was a little more contemporary than some of their other songs. The Rover Boys had a top 20 hit with it and then The Four Freshmen version reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1956. Graduation Day was written by the veteran songwriting team of Joe & Noel Sherman. Joe Sherman went on to be Paul Anka's musical director and co-wrote Lonely Boy among others. The Four Freshmen faded in the late 50s and members started to leave. They recorded for Capitol until 1965. You can get all their hits on this comp. The Beach Boys in particular have acknowledged The Four Freshmen as a major influence. Bob Flanigan led The Four Freshmen until his 1992 retirement. He died in Aug. 2011. A version of The Four Freshmen still tours today. Here's The Four Freshmen performing Graduation Day and It's A Blue World Anaheim, CA Jan. 1987.

Friday, October 14, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Indigo Girls

Artist:Indigo Girls
Song:Closer To Fine

Indigo Girls rode the neo folk movement of the 90s to have a long run of best selling CDs. Closer To Fine was their highest charting single in 1989 but they were more of an album group and they didn't need a hit single to sell CDs. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers grew in the suburbs of Atlanta. They knew each other in elementary school but started performing together in high school first as The B-Band and then Saliers and Ray. After both attempted to attend college away from home separately, they both landed at Emory University in Atlanta. In 1985, they started performing as Indigo Girls. The name came from a dictionary search. They released an album independently in 1987 and this resulted in a deal with Epic Records. Indigo Girls was their debut CD in 1989. Boosted by a guest appearance by R.E.M. leader Michael Stipe, the CD reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 200. Closer To Fine reached #52 on the Billboard Hot 100. Saliers wrote the song and the 60s influence that has always been part of the Indigo Girls music is obvious in this song. They won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. They were also nominated for Best New Artist but lost to...ahem...Milli Vanilli. Indigo Girls' success continued through the 90s. They started to decline around 2000 and that's when Epic released this budget comp. They left Epic for Hollywood Records in 2004 but they only recorded one CD for Hollywood and they now have their own label distributed by Vanguard Records. That label is a better fit for them. Their latest CD Beauty Queen Sister was released Oct. 4, 2011. Here's the video for Closer To Fine by Indigo Girls.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

JEWELS officially announces Featherweight tournament matches

Sugi Rock, Kikuyo Ishikawa, Yukiko Seki, Misaki Takimoto
Though the matches were already known, JEWELS issued a press release today to officially announce the matches. The show will be Dec. 17 at Shinjuku FACE and tickets will be on sale Saturday. I suspect they would have liked to announce something else but it's not ready. I'll get to that in a minute. Match number one will have Misaki Takimoto vs Yukiko Seki. Match number two will have Kikuyo Ishikawa vs Sugi Rock. The winners will face each other in the final. The likely favourite is the undefeated Sugi Rock who has some very slick moves on the ground. Both Takimoto and Seki fall under the category of journeywomen. Takimoto is capable of winning but is vulnerable on the ground. Her specialty is karate. Seki has been on a bit of a winning streak lately but I don't believe she has fought top level competition. And Sugi Rock is a top level fighter. JEWELS also announced that JEWELS Lightweight Champ Ayaka Hamasaki and Mika Nagano will be on the show. It is expected that Hamasaki will defend her title against Yuka Tsuji but I guess they're not ready to announce that and they had to announce the on sale date anyway. They need something because the Featherweight tournament alone is not a draw.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nellie Lutcher

Artist:Nellie Lutcher
Song:Fine Brown Frame
Album:Hurry On Down

Nellie Lutcher is a long forgotten R & B singer and pianist who had success on Capitol Records in the late 40s. She had three top five R & B hits including Fine Brown Frame. She was born Oct. 15, 1912 in Lake Charles, LA the oldest of 15 children. Her dad played bass and her mom was church organist. So I'm sure it won't surprise anyone that Nellie took piano lessons as a child. Ma Rainey was touring and her pianist fell ill and she needed a replacement for the Lake Charles show. Someone suggested this little girl who played in church. So at 12 years old, Nellie Lutcher played piano in Ma Rainey's band. Her dad played bass at that gig. So at age 14, she joined her father in Clarence Hart's Imperial Jazz Band. Then in 1933, she joined the Southern Rhythm Boys and wrote all their arrangements. Nellie moved to Los Angeles in 1935. She got married and had a son and played clubs in Los Angeles. She was very good friends with Nat King Cole and would record duets with him later. Nellie performed on a 1947 March Of Dimes talent show radio broadcast. Capitol Records talent scout Dave Dexter heard the broadcast and signed her to a record deal. Hurry On Down, He's A Real Gone Guy and Fine Brown Frame all reached #2 on the R & B chart. Nellie wrote the first two songs but Fine Brown Frame was originally recorded by bandleader Buddy Johnson and likely was sung by his sister Ella Johnson. It wasn't a hit for them. Veteran producer Mayo Williams is credited with writing Fine Brown Frame. But I doubt he actually wrote it. Nellie continued to have success including recording a couple of duets with Nat King Cole in 1950. But she started fading. Capitol had her record with an orchestra for the first time in 1951. They didn't like the results and she was dropped. She continued to record for Decca, Okeh and Liberty but nothing worked and she stopped recording in 1957. Capitol used to have a comp of Nellie's 40s recordings. But they deleted it and have licensed her recordings to outside labels including this CD from the Demon Records label Memoir. Nellie Lutcher continued to perform into the 90s but mostly she was a long time employee of the Los Angeles Musicians Union. She died on June 8, 2007 at age 94. So if you're a fan of 40s R & B, you want to check out Nellie Lutcher. Here's a video for Fine Brown Frame by Nellie Lutcher.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chic

Song:Freak Out
Album:The Very Best Of Chic

Le Freak was one of the biggest hits of the disco era in 1978. But there's much more to Chic than mere disco as their influence on hip hop has been profound. Guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards met in 1970. Both were New York City session musicians. They toured with the R & B group New York City when they had the hit single I'm Doing Fine Now in 1973. After New York City split up, Rodgers and Edwards started their own band first called The Boys and then The Big Apple Band. They toured the east coast but were unable to get a record contract. In 1977, they brought in drummer Tony Thompson from LaBelle and he was also in the short lived group Ecstasy, Passion & Pain. Thompson recommended the keyboard player from that band Raymond Jones. Then they brought in singer Norma Jean Wright. They had to change the band name because of the hit single Fifth Of Beethoven by Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band. They were now called Chic. Singer Alfa Anderson was also brought in. Chic's debut single Dance, Dance, Dance led to a contract with Atlantic Records. Meanwhile, Rodgers & Edwards produced an album for Norma Jean Wright. Her contract forced her to leave Chic and she was replaced by Luci Martin. Le Freak is from their second album C'Est Chic. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 and the album was certified Platinum. Le Freak was a big "F*** You" aimed at the famed New York City club Studio 54 for not admitting Rodgers & Edwards when they were invited to go by Grace Jones. Chic had another number one hit with Good Times in 1979 and they also wrote and produced the 1979 smash We Are Family for Sister Sledge. You can get all Chic's hits on this budget comp. With the 80s disco backlash, Rodgers & Edwards turned to producing and were very successful with acts like Diana Ross, David Bowie, Duran Duran and many others. This continued into the 90s though they would reform Chic occasionally. It was during a 1996 tour of Japan that Bernard Edwards died of pneumonia on Apr. 19, 1996 at age 43. Tony Thompson died of cancer on Nov. 12, 2003 at age 48. Nile Rodgers still produces other artists. He is writing his autobiography and was diagnosed with cancer last year and is currently recovering from surgery. There's more to Chic than just disco. They were a big influence on a lot of artists. Here's the video for Le Freak by Chic. This video is not on Youtube.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-R.B. Greaves

Artist:R.B. Greaves
Song:Take A Letter, Maria
Album:Hard To Find 45's On CD Vol. 5: Sixties Pop Classics

Here's a song that was a top five hit in 1969 and then singer songwriter R.B. Greaves disappeared into obscurity and was never heard from again. He was born Robert Bertram Aloysius Greaves III Nov. 28, 1944 in Georgetown, Guyana. His father was stationed there in the US Air Force. Greaves is a nephew of Sam Cooke. He grew up on a Seminole reservation in Florida and moved to England in 1963. He had a group called The TNTs and he performed as Sonny Childe. He moved back to the US and his song Take A Letter, Maria was recorded by Tom Jones and Stevie Wonder. Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun convinced Greaves to record it himself on the condition that Ertegun produce it himself. So he took Greaves to Muscle Shoals, AL and Barry Beckett and the Muscle Shoals studio musicians played on the record. Take A Letter, Maria reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. I guess along with Tammy Wynette's D-I-V-O-R-C-E it's one of the great divorce songs of all time. Greaves had one more top 40 hit with his cover of Always Something There To Remind Me. He only recorded one album for Atlantic/Atco. Greaves attempted to record country music for various labels but nothing much came of it. Anthony Armstrong Jones had a top ten country hit with his cover of Take A Letter, Maria in 1970 and Doug Stone charted with his 1999 country cover. Take A Letter, Maria got a boost when it appeared in the 1994 film The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert. It's also on the soundtrack CD but that CD is too disco for me. So I recommend this various artists CD from the always reliable Eric Records. You can also get the original R.B. Greaves album on Collectables. Maybe R.B. Greaves only had one hit. But the song still gets airplay so I'm sure he has made a good living from royalties. Here's R.B. Greaves performing Take A Letter, Maria on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 1969. Nice little Mission Impossible gag at the end.

Monday, October 10, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Primitives

Artist:The Primitives
Album:Dumb and Dumber:Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The Primitives had the potential to be much more successful than they were. Crash was their only big hit in England and they never broke through in the US. And that is what led up to the group split. This remix of their big hit Crash got some attention when it appeared in the 1995 film Dumb and Dumber. The Primitives were formed in Coventry, England in 1995 by guitarist PJ Court, bassist Steve Dullaghan and drummer Pete Tweedie. They had female lead singer Kieron McDermott but she was soon replaced by blonde bombshell Tracy Tracy (real name-Tracy Cattell) and Tweedie was replaced by Tig Williams. After releasing a couple of singles themselves, The Primitives signed with RCA Records. Because of Tracy's looks, comparisons to Blondie dogged The Primitives. I'm sure that annoyed them. Crash reached #5 on the UK Singles Chart in 1988. The song got some airplay in the US but it wasn't enough for them to chart. The Primitives faded and split up in 1991 after two more albums. But then a remix of Crash appeared in the very popular 1995 film Dumb and Dumber. And I guess some fans discovered the song at that time. The soundtrack for Dumb and Dumber is available as a budget CD. Steve Dullaghan died in 2009. But the rest of The Primitives reformed in 2009 and toured England in 2010. They are supposed to be recording but I don't think anything has been released. Here's the video for Crash by The Primitives.
The Primitives - Crash - by stephlaffont

Sunday, October 09, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-? & The Mysterians

Artist:? & The Mysterians
Song:96 Tears
Album:Cameo Parkway: The Greatest Hits

This garage band classic topped the charts in 1966 and is one of the all time great fluke hits. ? & The Mysterians had one other chart hit and no one remembers it. And it's not like 96 Tears was a new song. It was first performed in 1964. The group were Texans of Mexican descent who grew up in Bay City, MI. The lead singer only identified himself as ? and legally changed his name to Question Mark later. His real name is Rudy Martinez. In 1962, bassist Larry Borjas, his cousin guitarist Bobby Balderrama and drummer Robert Martinez formed a band. They added Robert's brother Rudy Martinez and organist Frank Rodriguez. Borjas and Robert Martinez were drafted into the military and were replaced by Frank Lugo and Eddie Serrato. They named themselves after a Japanese science fiction movie. ? wrote a poem called Too Many Teardrops and showed it to the band. The title was changed to 69 Tears and then the less suggestive 96 Tears. The song became a hit locally in Michigan at their live shows. And then their manager released it on her own small label. It became a big enough hit that several record companies came calling. They signed with Cameo-Parkway. Once 96 Tears had national distribution, it went crazy and topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. The song is considered as one of the all time great garage band songs. They released an album and the second single charted but their second album flopped. Also, Cameo-Parkway was having financial problems and would soon close. ? & The Mysterians recorded a few more singles that went nowhere. The band continues to perform today with mostly original members. Allen Klein's ABKCO owns the Cameo-Parkway recordings and refused to license 96 Tears for various artists comps. That's why it isn't on Nuggets. But ABKCO has released the Cameo-Parkway catalog on CD in recent years and you can get the original recording of 96 tears on this comp. Beware of rerecorded versions. Here's ? & The Mysterians performing 96 Tears on Where The Action Is 1966.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Judy Garland

Artist:Judy Garland
Song:Come Rain Or Come Shine
Album:Judy At Carnegie Hall: Fortieth Anniversary Edition

Most folks should be familiar with Judy Garland's film career as a teen. What's unusual about her is she maintained an active recording career at the same time. By the late 50s, she suffered from a serious bout of hepatitis. And by this time, most folks knew she had serious drug and alcohol abuse issues. But then she stormed back with this 1961 Carnegie Hall that was a huge seller and arguably the highlight of her recording career. Though the 1954 film A Star Is Born is considered a classic, it didn't do well financially. So Judy and her manager and husband Sid Luft turned to TV and signed a three year contract to do a series of live shows for CBS. Judy only did a 1956 episode of General Electric Theater and then the deal broke down over a dispute about the format of the shows. After a successful run at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, Judy contracted hepatitis. When she was released from hospital in Jan. 1960, she was told she had five years to live and she would never sing again. But she returned to the stage in Aug. 1960 at the London Palladium and got such a great reception, she decided to do a similar concert at Carnegie Hall. That concert was on Apr. 23, 1961 and was recorded for release by Capitol Records. The concept of the concert was "Just Judy" with no frills other than Mort Lindsey's orchestra. He was Judy's long time musical director and later was Barbra Streisand's musical director. The album Judy At Carnegie Hall charted for 73 weeks and topped the Billboard Hot 200 for 13 weeks. That's pretty amazing for music that was not modern rock. It also won four Grammys including Album Of The Year. Though Come Rain Or Come Shine is considered a standard, it was never a chart hit. Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer wrote it for the 1946 all black musical St. Louis Woman starring The Nicholas Brothers. Harold Nicholas and Ruby Hill sang the song in the show. At the time it was recorded by Dinah Shore and Margaret Whiting among others but was not a hit. The Fortieth Anniversary Edition of Judy At Carnegie Hall has been remastered and is available on 2CDs. Judy Garland signed a new deal with CBS and after three special, The Judy Garland Show ran for one season in 1964. Judy attempted some other things that didn't work out and she died of an accidental drug overdose on June 22, 1969 at age 47. Here's Judy Garland performing Come Rain Or Come Shine on GE Theater 1956.

Friday, October 07, 2011

New Haywire trailer with Gina kicking ass

OK folks. Here's a brand new trailer for Haywire starring Gina Carano and directed by Steven Soderburgh. It's for the UK market. There are several snippets of ass kicking including a cross arm breaker. So I think you'll enjoy this one.

Rin Nakai files harassment complaint with police

Rin Nakai posted on her blog today that she went to the police station to file a harassment complaint. She said something about slander and lies over the internet. Obviously she can't go into details. She says she will pull back from the public eye while this is under police investigation. I assume they already have a suspect. She says she will continue to train and plans to return to MMA. She says she's not quitting. Rin is thinking about leaving Japan and training overseas but she says she will need sponsorship to do that. I'd like to see her come to the US. This kind of thing is not unheard of for female athletes in Japan. Some fans can get really weird. Remember a few months ago a man was arrested for threatening Pro Wrestling WAVE's Moeka Haruhi. He had been stalking her for a couple of years and was arrested when he turned up at a WAVE show in Tokyo. He threatened to kill her. So obviously it is very disturbing and hopefully the police conclude their investigation soon and arrest the suspect.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brick

Album:Best Of Brick

Because they came from a jazz background, Brick liked to call their music "Dazz" or "Disco Jazz". The song Dazz was their biggest hit in 1976. Brick was from Atlanta and formed in 1972. Jimmy Brown played sax and flute, Regi Hargis played guitar, Eddie Irons played drums, Donald Nevins played keyboards and Ray Ransom played bass. They all sang. They recorded a single independently and this earned them a contract with Bang Records. Fans may recall Bang for Van Morrison and Neil Diamond records in the 60s. After Bang owner Bert Berns died in 1967, his wife Ilene Berns moved to Atlanta and continued the label with distribution from Epic Records. She sold Bang to Epic in 1978. Dazz was Brick's first single on Bang and it topped the R & B Singles chart and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. There's not much to the song except the funky beat. And Jimmy Brown pulls off some good sax runs. They had another top 20 hit with Dusic in 1977 and had some other R & B hits until Epic closed Bang in 1982. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Brick continued to record and perform into the 90s but it doesn't look like they're around today. Funk fans should enjoy Brick's music. Here's Brick performing Dazz on The Midnight Special 1976.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-America

Song:Sister Golden Hair
Album:The Complete Greatest Hits

The folk rock group America had a very strong run in the 70s. Sister Golden Hair was one of two number one hits. The group was US Air Force brats living in England. Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek met in high school. After Peek returned from the US from an aborted attempt to attend college, they had a quartet called Daze which became a trio called America. They played clubs in London and one of the club owners Jeff Dexter became their manager. He brought in Ian Samwell to produce. He started out as Cliff Richard's guitarist. America signed with Warner Bros. and recorded their debut album in London. Their big break came when radio stations started playing Horse With No Name and listeners thought it was Neil Young. Dewey Bunnell acknowledged Young's influence. There was a backlash but the song did top the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. America fired Dexter and Samwell and moved to Los Angeles and produced their second album Homecoming themselves. The single Ventura Highway reached the top ten. Their third album Hat Trick didn't do that well. So they hired legendary Beatles producer George Martin and recorded the next few albums with him. Sister Golden Hair is from the 1975 album Hearts and was their second number one hit. America started to fade when Dan Peek left in 1977. He recorded for years as a Contemporary Christian artist until his death in July 2011. Beckley and Bunnell continued and left Warners for Capitol in 1979. They switched producers to Russ Ballard of Argent and he produced their final top ten hit You Can Do Magic in 1982. You can get all their hits on this Rhino comp. There were attempts to reform the original group but it never happened. Bunnell and Beckley continue to tour as America today. Here's America performing Sister Golden Hair on The Midnight Special 1975.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-LeAnn Rimes

Artist:LeAnn Rimes
Song:How Do I Live
Album:Greatest Hits

LeAnn Rimes burst upon the country music scene in 1997 as a 13 year old second coming of Patsy Cline. But she soon crossed over to the pop charts and somewhat alienated the country music fanbase. How Do I Live is her biggest hit to date. She was born Aug. 28, 1982 in Jackson, MS and grew up in Garland, TX. She started singing at a very early age and at age 8 was a one week champion of Star Search. Her father Wilbur Rimes managed her and she recorded three albums independently from 1992-96. Dallas country music DJ Bill Mack discovered her and wanted her to record a song he wrote called Blue which he claimed to had written for Patsy Cline but she died before she could record it. So the story was he had it all these years and it had never been recorded. It wasn't true but it's a good story. The end result is LeAnn signed with Curb Records. Blue reached #10 on the Country Singles chart and the CD Blue reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 6XPlatinum. She was the youngest country artist to chart since Tanya Tucker in the 70s. Veteran songwriter Diane Warren wrote How Do I Live for LeAnn to sing on the soundtrack of the 1997 film Conair. The producers of the film did not like her version and asked her to redo it. They thought she sounded too young. When LeAnn and her dad and producer refused, the producers of Conair had Trisha Yearwood record the song and used it in the film. Both versions charted but LeAnn's version crossed over and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's her biggest hit to date. She continued to have success mostly as a pop singer until she sued her dad and then Curb Records in 2000. She settled with her dad and signed a new contract with Curb in 2001. You can get all her hits on this comp. LeAnn still records for Curb but she hasn't been as successful as she was in the 90s. She just released a new CD Lady and Gentleman Sept. 27, 2011. LeAnn Rimes is married to actor Eddie Cibrian. Here's the video for How Do I Live by LeAnn Rimes. The audio on the Youtube version is out of sync.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Amanda Lucas in another DEEP mismatch

Amanda Lucas, HARI
So did you watch that Amanda Lucas vs Hikaru Shinohara match from the August DEEP show? Did you enjoy it? I didn't think so. It was a predictably bad match. The funniest thing was when Hikaru smacked her corner man after he threw in the towel. That was her only offensive move. But I'm not very surprised that DEEP matchmaker and notorious snake in the grass Shigeru Saeki is bringing Amanda back for the Oct. 29 Differ Ariake show. Her opponent will be the veteran punching bag HARI. In their press release, DEEP talks about her experience. And she's been around a long time. She started out as a pro wrestler in 1998 and lost to Marloes Coenen on the 2000 World Remix tournament. But her record is 6-24-1 and she hasn't won since 2007. And who did she beat? She beat the overstuffed fringe pro wrestler Yuiga. HARI is a terrible fighter. It's also a size mismatch. DEEP didn't announce a contracted weight. But Amanda missed weight for the Shinohara fight which was at 155lb. It was the first time she ever tried to make that weight. HARI normally fights anywhere from 135 to 145. Does it matter? Look, we all know that Saeki is using Amanda because she is the daughter of George Lucas. The media interest in her is based solely on that. They wouldn't care if she was someone else's daughter. She's a celebrity fueled gimmick. I understand that fighters want to fight. But sometimes a fighter needs to take responsibility for the opponents she agrees to fight especially when the fight is an obvious mismatch. I'll give her a pass for the first fight but not for this one. Anyone who believes that Amanda Lucas is being used by Saeki as anything other than a celebrity driven sideshow is dreaming in technicolor. And that includes Amanda Lucas herself.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Johnny Kemp

Artist:Johnny Kemp
Song:Just Got Paid
Album:Soul Hits of the 80's

Johnny Kemp had brief success with the 1988 top ten hit Just Got Paid. He had a second chart hit so he isn't quite a one hit wonder. But I think most fans will only remember Just Got Paid. Kemp was part of the New Jack Swing movement of the late 80s. He was born 1959 in Nassau, Bahamas and performed in clubs there until he moved to New York City in 1979 with the band Kinky Fox. Kemp signed with Columbia Records in 1986 and had a minor R & B hit with Just Another Lover. But he really hit the jackpot with the 1988 hit Just Got Paid from the album Secrets Of Flying. Just Got Paid topped the R & B chart and reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Kemp wrote the song with arranger Gene Griffin and it was one of the first big hits produced by Teddy Riley. So the song was a very early New Jack Swing hit. You can get Just Got Paid on this Sony 3CD various artists budget comp. Kemp's other hit Birthday Suit reached #39 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989. It was on the soundtrack of the film Sing. That's the last time Johnny Kemp recorded. He went back to studio work as a background vocalist and he still does that today. Kemp appeared on Keith Sweat's 2007 DVD Sweat Hotel Live which was a reunion of sorts of New Jack Swing artists of the 80s. So I guess Johnny Kemp is now a nostalgia act. Here's the video for Just Got Paid by Johnny Kemp.