Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is Miesha Tate ducking Ronda Rousey?

I'm sure you have all heard about this big debate between Ronda Rousey and Strikeforce 135lb Champion Miesha Tate. Ronda said a couple of weeks ago that she planned to drop to 135 and she wants a title shot. When I told her that Sarah Kaufman was promised the next title shot, Ronda offered to fight Sarah for the title shot. She thinks a fight against Miesha is more marketable because of Miesha's sex appeal. Ronda says "everyone wants to watch two hot chicks fight each other". First of all, I think Sarah should get the promised title shot. But other than that, the whole reaction to this has been laughable. I like Sarah Kaufman. I interviewed her two years ago before anyone knew who she was. But there's no way of getting around that Miesha Tate has sex appeal that Sarah doesn't have. Ronda isn't talking about fighting ability. She's talking about sizzle. Like it or not, sex appeal has always been a part of women's MMA and it will always be a part of women's MMA. And then Miesha accuses Ronda of using her sex appeal to get what she wants. Ronda says "So what". At least Ronda hasn't posed in Maxim yet. Of course Miesha is hypocritical because as you can see by the above pic that appeared in the June 2009 issue of Fight Magazine, she uses sex appeal when it suits her. Of course the other argument is that Ronda has only won four fights and has never fought at 135 before. Those folks have forgotten that Marloes Coenen was given a 135lb title shot despite the fact that she never fought before at 135. So there is a precedent. Last Saturday, Miesha said on Twitter that Ronda should have to beat two 135lb fighters before getting a title shot. Psst, Miesha. Just between you and me, that's called ducking. It's just a dumb thing for her to say. Ronda hasn't just won all her fights, she smoked her opponents in less than a minute. I was also asked if she could make 135. Ronda demonstrated her discipline by competing in judo tournaments as a teen and winning a Bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics. Nothing in MMA will be harder than that. I don't know if there are any fighters who can handle Ronda's quickness. She has the quickness and the imagination of Megumi Fujii but weighs 30 pounds heavier. Think about that. That's hard to defend. Just because you know what Ronda will do doesn't mean she can be stopped. So I don't know what Strikeforce will do. They may think this fight will be good for business. Or they may keep their promise to Sarah Kaufman. The only thing I do know is that Ronda Rousey has got people talking about women's MMA. That's a good thing. The complaints about Ronda's etiquette are ludicrous.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Neil Sedaka

Artist:Neil Sedaka
Song:Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Neil Sedaka started out as a Brill Building songwriter writing songs for others usually with his partner Howard Greenfield. In the early 60s, he rode the teen idol wave to the top of the charts. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do was his only number one hit. After fading with the onslaught of Beatlemania, Sedaka returned in the 70s and had renewed success including a new version of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. He was born Mar. 13, 1939 in Brooklyn, NY. He took piano lessons as a child. His mom wanted him to be a classical pianist like Van Cliburn. But Sedaka liked pop music and at age 13 he was introduced to 16 year old neighbour Howard Greenfield and eventually they worked as songwriters at the famed Brill Building in New York. Sedaka was a one time member of The Tokens. But he left before they had the 1961 smash hit The Lion Sleeps Tonight. He recorded a couple of singles and then signed with RCA Records. His first single The Diary reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. His next few singles weren't hits but he finally reached the top ten with Oh Carol in 1959, a song dedicated to fellow Brill Building songwriter Carole King. Sedaka had several top ten hits including Calendar Girl and Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen. But in 1962, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do became his only number one hit. Meanwhile Sedaka and Greenfield wrote hits for other artists like Connie Francis and Jimmy Clanton. Sedaka faded in the mid-60s mostly because of The Beatles. RCA dropped him in 1966. This budget comp is a good intro to Sedaka's RCA years. Sedaka continued to write hits for others. But his own singing career was in the dumps until he moved to England in the early 70s. He signed with Elton John's Rocket label and a successful return to the charts with Laughter In The Rain in 1975. He also hit with a slow version of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. Of course he faded again by the late 70s. But Neil Sedaka continues to perform today. And there's not much question that he is one of the greatest songwriters in pop music history. Here's Neil Sedaka performing Breaking Up Is Hard To Do on the Miami TV show Rick Shaw's Saturday Hop 1966.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-King Harvest

Artist:King Harvest
Song:Dancing In The Moonlight
Album:Hard To Find 45s on CD Vol. 12: 60s & 70s Pop Classics

The 1973 top 20 hit Dancing In The Moonlight was the only big hit for King Harvest. They had one other song chart and they only recorded two albums. They were plagued by a constantly changing lineup. It's hard to build consistency when guys are coming and going all the time. King Harvest was formed in 1970 by former Cornell University students living in Paris. Lead singer and keyboard player Dave "Doc" Robinson and keyboard player Sherman Kelly had recorded as Boffalongo in 1969. They started King Harvest with keyboard player Ron Altbach, guitarist Ed Tuleja, sax player Rod Novak and Kelly's brother Wells Kelly on drums. You'll notice there were three keyboard players in the band. Obviously that's too many and Sherman Kelly left before King Harvest recorded. But he wrote Dancing In The Moonlight and first recorded it on the Boffalongo album. Wells Kelly suggested the song but then he left and was a founding member of Orleans. Steve Cutler replaced him. King Harvest signed with Perception Records and Dancing In The Moonlight reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973. They actually recorded it in 1972 and then split up. When it became a hit, King Harvest got back together to tour. They had a new drummer and some other guys. I don't know what happened to Perception Records. It looks like they went out of business. So King Harvest was looking for a contract and befriended Mike Love and Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys. King Harvest released one album on A & M in 1976 that went nowhere and then the four core members of King Harvest became part of The Beach Boys touring band. You can get Dancing In The Moonlight on this various artists comp from Eric Records. The band Toploader hit the UK top ten with a cover of Dancing In The Moonlight in 2000. I'm sure many fans don't know it was a cover. Here's a video for Dancing In The Moonlight by King Harvest.

Monday, November 28, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Spandau Ballet

Artist:Spandau Ballet
Album:Gold: The Best Of Spandau Ballet

True was the only top five US hit for Spandau Ballet in 1983. It has proven to be one of the more durable songs of the era. The group was a much bigger deal in their native England. They are viewed as an obvious Roxy Music knockoff. They started out in London in 1976 as The Cut led by guitarist Gary Kemp and guitarist and sax player Steve Norman. They were joined by drummer John Keeble and lead singer Tony Hadley. They went through a couple of bassists before Kemp's twin brother Martin Kemp joined. They worked gigs as The Makers and then changed it to Spandau Ballet after a German prison. The group generated a lot of buzz in London and signed with Chrysalis Records. Spandau Ballet's 1980 debut album To Cut a Long Story Short did very well and the single was a top five in England. The group was perceived as part of the New Romantic movement started by Roxy Music. Their second album did well too. The idea with the third album True was to aim it towards the international market and produce a much slicker sound. It worked because True reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a smash hit worldwide. Gary Kemp wrote the song as a tribute to Marvin Gaye. True has been regularly sampled by hip hop guys most significantly by PM Dawn's 1991 number one hit Set Adrift on Memory Bliss. And it has also been used in several hit films. They had a couple more minor hits but they were much bigger in England than they ever were in the US. You can get all their hits on this comp. Spandau Ballet split up after the Kemp twins starred in the film The Krays. They released an album in 1989 and then Gary Kemp left to try more acting. Martin Kemp was in the BBC series East Enders. Tony Hadley attempted a solo career. There were legal issues about the group name and Gary Kemp's songwriting royalties. These were resolved and Spandau Ballet reunited for a British tour and a new CD in 2009. I expect them to continue performing in England. Here's the video for True by Spandau Ballet.
Spandau Ballet - True by trashfan

Sunday, November 27, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cheap Trick

Artist:Cheap Trick
Song:Dream Police
Album:Authorized Greatest Hits

For years it looked like guitarist Rick Nielsen would never make it in the music business and that includes the early days of Cheap Trick. But aggressive touring paid off and by the late 70s they finally had chart success. Dream Police was one of their early hits. Nielsen bounced around several bands in his hometown of Rockford, IL in the 60s. In 1967, he formed Fuse with future Cheap Trick member Tom Petterson. They released one album for Epic in 1970 that went nowhere. They moved to Philadelphia in 1971 and called themselves Sick Man Of Europe. After striking out, they returned to Rockford. They brought in drummer Bun E. Carlos who they had worked with before. Then they settled on lead singer Robin Zander after trying someone else. Veteran producer Jack Douglas saw Cheap Trick perform in Wisconsin and he got them a record deal with Epic. Cheap Trick's 1977 debut album was critically acclaimed but it didn't sell. And their next two albums didn't sell either. But they did well in Japan. So Epic decided to record them at Budokan Hall in Tokyo and the resulting album was released only in Japan. But demand for import copies became so great, Epic released Cheap Trick At Budokan in the US in 1979. The album reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 3XPlatinum. Hit singles like I Want You To Want Me came out of the success of the live album as it had been released before. The success also postponed the release of the 1979 album Dream Police. And when it was released, it was a big success and the single reached the top 30. So Cheap Trick was able to maintain the momentum of the Budokan album and this fed their success through the 80s. This comp is a good intro to their music. Tom Pettersen left in 1981 and was eventually replaced by Jon Brant. They had legal issues with Epic but continued to record with great success. Pettersen returned in 1987. By the early 90s, Cheap Trick faded and left Epic for Warner Bros. in 1994. That went badly and since then Cheap Trick has continued to tour and occasionally record. Obviously they are considered a nostalgia act today. Here's the video for Dream Police by Cheap Trick.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chris Young

Artist:Chris Young
Album:The Man I Want To Be

Chris Young was the winner of the 2006 edition of the TV talent show Nashville Star. This earned him a contract with RCA Records and he has had four number one country music hits including Voices. He was born June 12, 1985 in Murfreesboro, TN. His grandfather Richard Yates was a performer on the Louisiana Hayride radio show. He started performing in Nashville clubs while in high school and toured while attending college at Belmont University and then Middle Tennessee State. While fronting the house band at Cowboy's in Arlington, TX, it was suggested that Young should audition for the Nashville Star TV talent show. He won the contest and a contract with RCA Records. His 2006 debut CD Chris Young did OK but it did not produce a hit single. Voices was released as a single in May 2008. It reached #37 on the Country Music Singles chart. When his 2009 CD The Man I Want To Be was released in Sept. 2009, Gettin' You Home became his first number one hit. The CD was certified Gold. Voices reached number one on the Country Music Singles chart when it was re-released in June 2010. Young co-wrote Voices with Nashville songwriters Chris Tompkins and Craig Wiseman. Wiseman has been around since the late 80s and has written hits for Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw among others. Tompkins won a Grammy for the Carrie Underwood hit Before He Cheats. The Man I Want To Be was produced by James Stroud. He started out as a session drummer and has been a producer and record executive since the 80s most significantly with Giant Records in the 90s. The Man I Want To Be is available as a budget CD. Chris Young's latest CD Neon was released July 2011 and Tomorrow gave him his fourth number one country hit. I expect we will hear more from Chris Young for many years. Here's the video for Voices by Chris Young.

Friday, November 25, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lucinda Williams

Artist:Lucinda Williams
Song:Sweet Side
Album:Live @ The Fillmore

Lucinda Williams was first noticed for her songwriting and has since become one of the most popular performers in today's folk music scene. Sweet Side was first on her 2003 CD World Without Tears but the 2005 2CD set Live @ The Fillmore is an excellent intro to her music. She was born Jan. 26, 1953 in Lake Charles, LA. Her father is literature professor Miller Williams and the family moved around as he changed teaching jobs. So they lived all over the southern US and even Mexico and Chile. Her parents were folk music fans and listening to Joan Baez and Bob Dylan influenced Lucinda to start writing songs. In the 70s, she moved to New Orleans and then Austin and then moved to New York. She signed with Folkways and recorded her debut album Ramblin' in 1979. In 1984, Lucinda moved to Los Angeles and signed a deal with CBS that ultimately didn't pan out. So she signed with the British punk music label Rough Trade and released Lucinda Williams in 1988. Though the album didn't reach the mainstream because it was on a small label, it was critically acclaimed and got the attention of the music industry. Others started recording her songs like Patty Loveless with the top 20 country hit The Night's Too Long. Lucinda signed with RCA but again it didn't pan out and she signed with the small label Chameleon. Her 1992 album Sweet Old World again got her critical acclaim. While on tour in Australia with Rosanne Cash and Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mary decided to record Lucinda's song Passionate Kisses. The song was a top 5 country hit and won Lucinda a Song Of The Year Grammy. When Chameleon closed, Lucinda signed with Rick Rubin's American Recordings. After several false starts and a delayed release because Rubin was trying to sell the company, Mercury released Car Wheels on a Gravel Road in 1998. This album finally gave Lucinda the commercial success she needed and a Best Contemporary Folk Album Grammy. When Universal bought PolyGram, Lucinda was moved to Lost Highway Records and she still records there. Sweet Side is from her 2003 CD World Without Tears which sold very well. But you can also get it on the 2005 2CD set Live @ The Fillmore. On her most recent CD Blessed, Lucinda worked with Elvis Costello. Any roots music fan needs to check out Lucinda Williams. Here's Lucinda Williams with Doug Pettibone on guitar performing Sweet Side on Sessions @ AOL April 22, 2003.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tomoka Nakagawa wins the SMASH Divas Championship

Tomoka Nakagawa pins Kana
A funny thing happened at today's SMASH show at Korakuen Hall. Tomoka Nakagawa won the SMASH Divas Championship from Kana. Nakagawa earned the title shot in a recent four way match. So how did that happen? Well, Kana seemed to have things under control. She kicked Nakagawa in the head and then cranked on her arm first with a cross arm breaker and then an armbar. Nakagawa wriggled out of it into a flash schoolboy pin and it was all over in 8:53. Tomoka Nakagawa is your new SMASH Divas Champion. Kana's facial expressions afterwards were priceless. So if the purpose of this is to have Kana go on a rampage and torture all the SMASH Divas, I'm all for it. Lin "The Bitch" Bairon returned to SMASH and challenged Syuri to a hardcore match. Lin beat up Syuri with various weapons in the first part of the match. But Syuri turned the tide when Lin missed a moonsault off a ladder. Syuri won with a German suplex at 10:49.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ben Allison & Medicine Wheel

Artist:Ben Allison & Medicine Wheel
Song:Green Al

Bassist Ben Allison is the founder and executive director of the Jazz Composers Collective. The idea is to encourage musicians to take creative risks. Allison is also one of the busiest musicians in the current New York jazz scene. He was born Nov. 17, 1966 in New Haven, CT. He studied music as a child and in 1989, he graduated from New York University with a BA in jazz performance. He founded the Jazz Composers Collective in 1992 and from there launched the Herbie Nichols Project with pianist Frank Kimbrough in 1994. He also recorded with Lee Konitz, Ted Nash and Eddie Gale and performed live with Gary Bartz, Dave Leibman and Clifford Jordan. Allison signed with Palmetto Records in 1996 and continues to record for them today. Green Al is from the 2004 CD Buzz with Allison leading his trio Medicine Wheel with Frank Kimbrough on piano and Michael Sarin on drums. Guest musicians include Michael Blake on sax and Ted Nash on flute. The CD is available as a budget CD. Sarin is also a member of Allison's latest band Man Size Life. Ben Allison's latest CD Action-Refraction was released in Apr. 2011. Ben Allison's music is recommended to progressive jazz fans. Here's Ben Allison performing Green Al with Jenny Scheinman on violin, Shane Endsley on trumpet, Steve Cardenas on guitar and Rudy Royston on drums at Jazz Standard in New York City Oct. 17, 2009.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

RENA is the RISE QUEEN Champion

Erika Kamimura and RENA exchange punches
At today's RISE show at Tokyo Dome City Hall (formerly JCB Hall), RENA and Erika Kamimura faced each other for the RISE QUEEN Championship, the first women's title in the RISE kickboxing company. Erika has been on a roll lately. But there was a sign of trouble yesterday when she missed weight. She made weight on the second pass but whenever a fighter misses weight, I always have a nagging feeling that it's a sign of bigger problems. The problem with RENA is she is wildly inconsistent. You don't know which RENA will show up. Will it be the RENA that won the 2009 & 2010 SHOOT BOXING S-Girls Cup. Or will it be the RENA who lost to Ai Takahashi in May and contemplated retirement. Or even worse the RENA that gave a wretched performance against Jessica Penne in Sept. RENA normally trains at the Oikawa Gym in Osaka. But for this fight, she moved to Tokyo and trained with SHOOT BOXING owner Takeshi Caesar. In order to neutralize Erika, she needed to use kicks and jabs to keep Erika off her. She was successful enough that Erika wasn't able to tee off on her like she has to others lately. It was a close match but it appears that over aggressive reffing may have been the determining factor in the match. Obviously I'll wait until the match video turns up so I can evaluate it. But in kickboxing, you need to know the difference between clinching and holding. In round two, Erika was given a yellow card for holding. And in round three, both fighters were given yellow cards for holding. So if Erika gets one more yellow card, she is disqualified. You can't tell me that doesn't affect a fighter. So were the yellow cards legit or was the ref treating clinching as holding? The scoring was 46-45, 47-46 and 48-46 in RENA's favour. So if the penalties were unwarranted, then the match was either a majority draw or possibly a split decision either way. It is never a good thing when point deductions determine a fight. I've seen it in Japan before and bad reffing is the usual culprit. Afterwards, RENA said this was a great result to a bad year. She said beating Erika was more important to her than winning the belt. But I think we can expect a rematch in the near future.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stanley Turrentine

Artist:Stanley Turrentine
Album:Sugar: 40th Anniversary Edition

Tenor sax player Stanley Turrentine was one of the most versatile jazz musicians. He was equally comfortable playing bop or R & B. The 1970 album Sugar was his first album on CTI Records after recording for Blue Note for most of the 60s. He was born Apr. 5, 1934 in Pittsburgh in a family of musicians. His father Thomas Turrentine Sr. played sax for Al Cooper's Savoy Sultans. His mother played stride piano. And his brother Tommy Turrentine played trumpet. Like a lot of sax players of the era, he was influenced by Illinois Jacquet's honking sax. So in the 50s, he played R & B with Ray Charles and Lowell Fulson. And in 1953 he replaced John Coltrane in Earl Bostic's band. After a mid-50s stint in the military, Turrentine played with legendary drummer Max Roach. It was there that he met organist Shirley Scott and they married in 1960. They moved to Philadelphia and a couple of appearances on Jimmy Smith albums earned Turrentine a contract with Blue Note. His debut album Look Out! was released in 1960. By the late 60s, Turrentine and Scott divorced and Turrentine left Blue Note for producer Creed Taylor's new label CTI. Sugar was his 1970 CTI debut and is probably one of Turrentine's best albums. And the song Sugar is one of his best known compositions. Musicians on the album include Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, George Benson on guitar, Ron Carter on bass and Billy Kaye on drums. Lonnie Liston Smith plays electric piano only on the track Sugar. The 40th anniversary edition of Sugar adds a live recording of Sugar recorded at The Hollywood Bowl in 1971 featuring Hubert Laws, Hank Crawford, Johnny "Hammond" Smith, Billy Cobham and Airto Moreira at a CTI All Stars show. Turrentine left CTI for Fantasy in 1974. His Fantasy recordings weren't as good as his CTI recordings. Stanley Turrentine moved to Maryland in the 90s and continued to tour and occasionally record until his death from a stroke on Sept. 12, 2000 at age 66. Here's Stanley Turrentine performing Sugar on the TV show Night Moves 1989.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two matches added to Dec. 17 JEWELS show

JEWELS have added two matches to their Dec. 17 Shinjuku FACE show. They have also released the poster which you can see to the left. Of course the main event will have Ayaka Hamasaki defending her JEWELS Lightweight Championship against Ham Seo Hee along with the conclusion of the JEWELS Featherweight Championship tournament. Both of the added matches will be Lightweight. The first will have Emi Fujino vs Celine. Fujino trains at the GODS branch of WK. Her record is 9-5 and her last match was a loss to Megumi Fujii at Dec. 30 Sengoku show. She has been active for J-Girls kickboxing and was also part of the SHOOT BOXING S-Girls Cup 2011. She started her MMA career with eight straight wins but has lost five of her last six matches. She is a decent fighter but is missing the ability to finish that could take her to a higher level. Celine Haga trains at Team Hellboy Hansen in Norway and trains at AACC when she is in Japan. Her record is 1-9 and her last fight was a loss to Emi Tomimatsu on the Sept. 11 JEWELS show. The second fight will have Rina Tomita vs Emi Tomimatsu. Tomita trains at AACC. Her record is 4-5 and her last fight was a win over anna at the Sept. 11 JEWELS show. This was her first fight since undergoing surgery for cervical cancer in March. Rina may be the most popular girl in the JEWELS locker room. Tomimatsu is also on the comeback trail. She trains at Paraestra Matsudo. Her record is 3-4 and her last fight was a win over anna on the Sept. 11 JEWELS show. Tomimatsu started out as a pro wrestler for JD Star but turned to MMA in 2006. Injuries suffered in a 2008 match against WINDY Tomomi put her on the shelf for a long time. She returned to amateur grappling last year and made her return to pro MMA in September. Both matches look to be very interesting.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Georgie Fame

Artist:Georgie Fame
Song:Yeh Yeh
Album:20 Beat Classics

British jazz musician Georgie Fame rode the mid-60s British Invasion with a couple of pop hits including Yeh Yeh in 1965. He's a much bigger deal in England than he ever was in the US. He's still active today. He was born Clive Powell June 26, 1943 in Leigh, Lancashire, England. He took piano lessons as a child and as a teen played clubs while working a day job. At age 16, he moved to London and on the recommendation of songwriter Lionel Bart (he wrote the musical Oliver!), he joined the stable of manager Larry Parnes along with Marty Wilde and Billy Fury. Parnes immediately changed Powell's name to Georgie Fame. Fame and his band The Blue Flames were hired to back up Billy Fury but they were replaced for being too jazzy. Fame took over the vocals and they signed with EMI in 1963. Fame floundered until he appeared on the British TV show Ready Steady Go and this led to Yeh Yeh topping the British Singles chart and then it crossed the pond and reached #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. Yeh Yeh was written by jazz musicians Rodgers Grant and Pat Patrick when Grant was working for legendary percussionist Mongo Santamaria. Santamaria recorded it as an instrumental in 1963. Jazz vocal legend Jon Hendricks added the lyrics and it was recorded by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. Fame had a couple more hits and then went solo and signed with Columbia Records. In 1967, he had an even bigger hit when The Ballad Of Bonnie and Clyde reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Fame wrote it after watching the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. You can get Yeh Yeh on this Universal Europe comp. The Ballad Of Bonnie and Clyde is on a different label. Georgie Fame records occasionally but is mainly known as a session musician. He toured and recorded with Van Morrison for several years. Here's Georgie Fame performing Yeh Yeh on Ready Steady Go 1964.
Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames - Yeh Yeh by moriganne

Monday, November 21, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-People!

Song:I Love You
Album:Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970

This classic piece of psychedelia was a top twenty hit in 1968. The most interesting thing about People! is that lead singer Larry Norman went on to be one of the architects of Christian Rock. People! was formed in San Jose, CA in 1965. Guitarist Geoff Levin was a student at San Jose State and had been a member of bluegrass bands The Pine Valley Boys and The Black Mountain Boys which included Jerry Garcia, his younger brother bassist Robb Levin and keyboard player Al Ribisi. Ribisi was also a member of surf music band The Aardvarks along with drummer John Riolo and guitarist Dave Anderson. Local DJ Mike Hunter AKA Captain Mikey became their manager. Anderson came up with the name People! and even designed a logo. But then Hunter kicked him out of the band and he was replaced by Larry Norman after Geoff Levin saw him perform. Norman brought his buddy Gene Mason with him. They thought they were The Righteous Brothers or something. Norman became the main songwriter and he and Mason shared lead vocals. People! went on tour and started getting a following. Norman wrote a song called The Epic which he claims influenced Pete Townsend to write the rock opera Tommy. People! did tour with The Who and Townsend has acknowledged some influence. People! signed with Capitol Records and their first three singles went nowhere. While they were recording their debut album, their fan club president suggested they record The Zombies song I Love You. It was written by Zombies bassist Chris White. I Love You reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and did even better internationally. Since Norman usually wrote all the songs, it appears he may have been annoyed by the success of I Love You and that his own songs were not hits. He left People! in 1968 and went on to be a pioneer of Christian Rock in the 70s. It also appears that some members of People! were Scientologists and that was an obvious conflict for Norman. People! replaced Norman and attempted to continue but they went nowhere and split up in 1971. You can get I Love You on this 4CD Nuggets comp. People! reunited a couple of times. As I said, Larry Norman had a very successful Christian Rock career until his 2008 death. Geoff Levin is the leader of the Children's Music group Celestial Navigations. Al Ribisi owns a publishing company and is the father of actor Giovanni Ribisi. Here's the video for I Love You by People!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Church

Artist:The Church
Song:Under The Milky Way
Album:Under The Milky Way: The Best Of The Church

The Australian group The Church had their only US top forty hit with Under The Milky Way in 1988. They are from Sydney, Australia. Lead singer, bassist and main songwriter Steve Kilbey played in The Tactics and Baby Grand. While in the mid-70s band Precious Little, he met guitarist Peter Koppes and by 1980, they decided to form a band with drummer Nick Ward. Guitarist Marty Willson-Piper joined and they were called The Church. A demo got the attention of producer Chris Gilbey and he got them a deal with EMI Australia. Their debut album Of Skins and heart was released in 1981. Ward was replaced by Richard Ploog. Gilbey produced the album with renowned recording engineer Bob Clearmountain. They had some success in Australia. The Church released three more albums and signed a US deal with Warner Bros. But they seemed to stall in 1984 and went on hiatus until the 1986 album Heyday. The album was critically acclaimed but was a commercial disappointment. They left Warners for Arista and in Austraila they left EMI for Festival. So with a fresh start, The Church recorded the 1988 album Starfish in Los Angeles with producer Waddy Wachtel. The album was their most successful to date and Under The Milky Way reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, subsequent albums did not turn out well and the band started having personnel problems. Koppes left in 1992 and that led to The Church being dropped by Arista and splitting up in 1996. But they were so happy with a 1997 farewell concert, they decided to reform and continue today. This budget comp is a good intro to The Church's music. Under The Milky Way got a boost when it was used in the 2001 film Donnie Darko. Here's the video for Under The Milky Way by The Church.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ronda Rousey breaks Julia Budd's arm

So in her last Strikeforce match, Ronda Rousey attempted to avoid breaking Sarah D'Allelio's arm by informing the ref that Sarah tapped. Ronda thought she was doing Sarah a favour. So after the tempest in a teapot controversy, Ronda vowed she would never be nice again. If she breaks her opponent's arm, so be it. And I think it was important that Ronda show that she is willing to break an opponent's arm. She has to have that killer instinct. So that's what happened at last night's Strikeforce show. As a kickboxer, Julia Budd's strategy was to use her striking to keep Ronda away. She said something in her interviews about defending an armbar. I'm not sure what that meant but I didn't think it would work. Ronda is way too quick. I don't know what kind of defense there is against that kind of quickness. Julia threw a couple of punches. Ronda ate them but it didn't stop her from rushing Julia into the fence and then tripping her. She got the arm and by the time Julia tapped, her arm was broken. it was over in 39 seconds. There's no method no Ronda's strategy. It's pure quickness followed by imagination. Afterwards, it was cool to see the legendary Judo Gene LaBell in the cage brandishing a stopwatch. That was funny. LaBell is one of Ronda's mentors and got the OK from Roddy Piper to let Ronda use the "Rowdy" nickname. So earlier this week, Ronda said she wants to drop to 135lb and fight Miesha Tate for that title and then have a title vs title match against Cris Cyborg. I reminded Ronda that Sarah Kaufman is already set for the next title shot. So last night she said she wanted to fight Sarah first for a title shot against Miesha. I can assure you that Sarah won't give up the title shot. Ronda could face the winner of that match. Ronda seems to want to fight Miesha for some reason. I don't know who else Strikeforce can find that might be able to push Ronda. The one fighter that I think might be interesting is submission specialist Hitomi Akano. She is trained by Megumi Fujii and has been Megumi's best friend for 20 years. Other than that, I dunno. Is there anyone who can take Ronda Rousey beyond the first minute of round one? Enjoy the match video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kim Wilde

Artist:Kim Wilde
Song:You Keep Me Hangin' On
Album:The Singles Collection 1981-1993

British pop singer Kim Wilde had her only US top ten hit with this 1986 chart topping cover of The Supremes classic You Keep Me Hangin' On. She's a bigger deal in Europe especially Germany. Kim grew up in the music business. She was born Kim Smith Nov. 18, 1960 in London the daughter of pop singer Marty Wilde (real name: Reginald Smith). In 1980, she signed with veteran producer Mickie Most's RAK Records. Her 1981 debut single Kids In America reached #2 on the British Singles chart. It didn't do as well in the US as it reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. But it is considered to be Kim's signature song. She wrote and produced it with her brother Ricky Wilde. Ricky became a producer after Jonathan King's early 70s attempt to turn him into a teen pop star fell flat. Kim continued to have moderate success in Europe. But when her 1983 album Catch As Catch Can flopped, she left RAK for MCA Records. You Keep Me Hangin' On is from her 1986 album Another Step. It topped the Billboard Hot 100. Of course the song was a hit in 1966 for The Supremes and was also a hit for Vanilla Fudge in 1967. Reba McEntire had a country music hit with it in 1995. It was written by Holland-Dozier-Holland. That was the end of Kim Wilde's success in the US. But she continued to chart in England until she left MCA in 1995. You can get all her hits on this budget comp. She continued to perform on stage but returned to recording in 2003 with the duet with German pop star Nena called Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime. It was such a big hit in Germany that Kim signed with EMI Germany in 2005 and currently records for Sony Germany. Her latest CD Snapshots was released Aug. 2011. Kim also launched a career as a gardener and hosted the BBC series Garden Invaders and has written two books. Kim and husband Hal Fowler have two children. Here's the video for You Keep Me Hangin' On by Kim Wilde.

Friday, November 18, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robert Charlebois

Artist:Robert Charlebois
Album:Tout Ecartille

Though mostly unknown in English speaking countries, Robert Charlebois is a pioneer of Quebec rock music. He has been at the forefront of the Quebec music scene since the 60s and has been very durable as he reinvents himself occasional. He has also done acting and owned a brewery in the 90s. He was born June 25, 1944 in Montreal. He took piano lessons as a teen and taught himself guitar. He started out in Montreal folk music clubs in the early 60s. His 1965 debut album was compared favourably to French music legends Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens. In 1968 he went to California and experienced flower power and psychedelia first hand. When he returned home, he wasn't a folk singer anymore. His 1968 album Charlebois reflected that. His music experiments went a little overboard but by the early 70s, he toned it down a bit and his music had elements of rock and folk. Conception is from his 1972 album Robert Charlebois (aka Fu Man Chu) and was a hit in Quebec and France. It is considered one of the cornerstone albums of Quebec music. Charlebois faded in the late 70s and turned to acting in films and on the stage. But he reinvented himself in the 80s as a pop crooner and continues to record occasionally today. He also owned the microbrewery Unibroue which he sold to Sleeman in 2004. I have wanted to feature Charlebois before but his music can be difficult to find as the rights are split up at several record companies. Unidisc was able to put this 4CD comp together and it's reasonably priced. Robert Charlebois was named to the Order Of Canada in 1999 and was honoured with a postage stamp in 2009. Here's Robert Charlebois performing Conception on the French TV show Discorama 1972. This video is not on Youtube.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bonnie Tyler

Artist:Bonnie Tyler
Song:Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Album:The Very Best Of Bonnie Tyler

Bonnie Tyler's music in the early 80s is probably some of the most bombastic and melodramatic in pop music history. The man behind it all was producer songwriter Jim Steinman who also produced Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell. Total Eclipse Of The Heart was Bonnie Tyler's only number one hit. She was born Gaynor Hopkins June 8, 1951 in Skewen, Wales. After placing well in a 1970 local talent contest, she joined Bobby Wayne & The Dixies and then started her own group Imagination. She took the stage name Sherene Davies. When she signed with RCA Records in 1975, they wanted a new stage name and she chose Bonnie Tyler. She was spotted by the production team of Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe and they produced he first British top ten hit Lost In France in 1976. Scott had worked with British pop singer Marty Wilde in the 60s. But in 1977, Bonnie needed surgery to remove nodules from her vocal chords. She was ordered not to speak for six weeks but accidentally screamed one day and thought her voice was ruined. But instead she had her first US top five hit with It's A Heartache in 1977. The joke at the time was that she sounded like Rod Stewart. She recorded four albums for RCA with Scott & Wolfe attempting to produce her music for the country music market. It wasn't very successful and Bonnie didn't like it anyway. So when her contract ran out, she went looking for songwriter producer Jim Steinman who had a lot of success with Meatloaf. She signed with Columbia Records. Total Eclipse Of The Heart was the first single and it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in 1983. Steinman wrote the song for Meatloaf but it was rejected as too expensive by his record company. The male vocalist at the start of the song was Eric Troyer. He is a session keyboard player who was a member of ELO Part II in the late 80s. Bonnie Tyler had a couple more hits including Holding Out For A Hero but then faded. She continues to have some chart success in Europe. Two things you have to look for in a Bonnie Tyler comp. You want it to have Total Eclipse Of The Heart and It's A Heartache and you want it to have the full seven minute version of Total Eclipse Of The Heart. A lot of CDs have the four minute radio edit. This Sony Europe 1993 comp qualifies on both counts. Here's the video for Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Art Neville

Artist:Art Neville
Song:Cha Dooky-Doo
Album:Creole Kings of New Orleans

Art Neville is best known as the oldest of New Orleans music legends The Neville Brothers and the leader of The Meters. But some fans may not know that he attempted a solo career in the 50s and Cha Dooky-Doo was his biggest hit from that era. He was born Dec. 17, 1937 in New Orleans. In high school he formed The Hawketts and they had a regional hit with Mardi Gras Mambo in 1954. The Hawketts split up in 1955. Most of the members went on to college. But Neville continued his music career mostly as a session keyboard player. He was touring with Larry Williams and that led to a contract with Williams' label Specialty Records in 1957. He released a few singles including Cha Dooky-Doo in 1958 but none were more than regional hits and then Neville was drafted into the Navy Reserve and served for two years. You can get Cha Dooky-Doo on this various artists comp from Specialty. When Neville returned, he recorded for Instant Records. When brother Aaron Neville struck gold with the 1966 hit Tell It Like It Is, Art went on tour with him. Then he formed The Meters with Leo Nocentelli, George Porter Jr. and Joseph Modeliste. Art Neville's legacy was established by The Meters and he went on to even bigger things in the 80s with The Neville Brothers. So you may not know Art Neville's name but you should know his music. Here's a video for Cha Dooky-Doo by Art Neville.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Erika Kamimura interview

So with her big fight coming up on Nov. 23 against RENA, Sportsnavi sat down with 18 year old kickboxing phenom Erika Kamimura for an in depth interview. Erika's kickboxing record is 23-1 with 14 KOs. She's a very tiny girl with a lot of power. She started out studying karate as a child and participated in several tournaments. Then she got into kickboxing. She debuted as a semi-pro at age 14 and then turned pro at age 15. Erika says she took off a year of school to train and then went back to school after she became more accomplished. She says she wanted to concentrate on getting really good. She is asked if she trains with men or women. Not surprisingly like a lot of female fighters, she trains with men. Erika says she trains in the morning and then goes for a run after lunch. After a nap, she trains in the afternoon with her Thai boxing coach. She's asked about her left hook as she finishes a lot of fights with it. She says she doesn't work on that more than anything else. Erika says she can KO with her right too. She says her goal is to be the best kickboxer in the world and she feels her confidence is building. She was asked who she studies. She says she likes Buakao. She watches him a lot on Youtube and she also likes 2007 K-1 World Max champ Masato. When asked about her upcoming match against RENA, Erika says she has been very happy with the media coverage. She knows it's her biggest match to date. She is not taking RENA lightly but Erika knows she will win. Erika says her goal is to win this belt and then keep on fighting. Bring 'em on!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Chiffons

Artist:The Chiffons
Song:He's So Fine
Album:One Fine Day

The Chiffons had their biggest hit with the 1963 chart topper He's So Fine and they had a couple of other hits. The group was formed in 1960 at James Monroe High School in The Bronx, NY. They were lead singer Judy Craig, Patricia Bennett and Barbara Lee. Aspiring songwriter Ronald Mack heard them sing in the halls of the school and became their manager. He added Sylvia Peterson of Little Jimmy & The Tops in 1962. They were originally called The Four Pennies and then changed to The Chiffons in early 1963. Mack took The Chiffons to The Tokens who of course had a big hit with The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Mack wrote three songs including He's So Fine. The Tokens produced He's So Fine and shopped it to record companies with no success until Laurie Records bought it. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in 1963. And as many folks know, George Harrison's 1970 hit My Sweet Lord was so similar to He's So Fine that the publishing company sued him successfully. Ronald Mack died soon after the recording session and Carole King took over and wrote their other top ten hits One Fine Day and Sweet Talkin' Guy. One Fine Day was intended for Little Eva. You can get all The Chiffons hits on this comp. Judy Craig left The Chiffons in 1970 and they continued as a trio until Barbara Lee died in 1992. Judy returned and leads a version of The Chiffons on the oldies circuit today. Here's a video for He's So Fine by The Chiffons.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gail Kim is the new TNA Knockouts Champion

So here's the match video from last night's TNA PPV with Gail Kim winning the TNA Knockouts Championship from Velvet Sky. I'm sure the result won't surprise anyone. You can see in this match that Velvet is not a good wrestler. They had to get the belt off her before she stunk out the joint. I don't understand why TNA thought Gail needed help to win. So it's an OK match until the end and this week's Impact will have a gauntlet match to determine the number one contender. Enjoy the video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Breathe

Song:How Can I Fall
Album:Best Of Breathe

In the wake of the success of British Blue Eyed Soul bands like Spandau Ballet, Breathe had three top ten hits in the late 80s and then fell off the face of the earth. They were bigger in the US than in England. The group were all schoolmates at the Yately School in Hampshire. They were lead singer David Glasper, guitarist Marcus Lillington, bassist Mick Delahunty and drummer Ian "Spike" Spice. They recorded demos that led to a record deal with Siren Records and this led to a US record deal with A & M Records. Breathe released their debut CD All That Jazz in 1987. It reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Gold. Don't Tell Me Lies reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987. Hands To Heaven reached #2 and How Can I Fall reached #3. So Breathe is on their way to a long career, right? Nah. Delahunty left Breathe in 1988 and their second CD Peace Of Mind just didn't repeat the success of the first CD. It bombed. Breathe split up in 1991. All That Jazz is out of print but you can get all of Breathe's hits on this EMI Europe comp. David Glasper attempted to return to music in 2000 with little success. Marcus Lillington is a web designer and plays in the band Stroke The Toad. Ian Spice died in 2000. Here's the video for How Can I Fall by Breathe.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-October Country

Artist:October Country
Song:My Girlfriend Is A Witch
Album:Where The Action Is!: Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968

October Country was a very obscure 60s psychedelic band who only released one album and disappeared. That album was out of print for decades but in recent years has been released on CD and gotten a bit of a following. My Girlfriend Is A Witch is probably their best known song. The man behind October Country was boy wonder record producer Michael Lloyd. He was born Nov. 3, 1948 in New York City. At age 13, he met Mike Curb and later on Lloyd went to be vice president of A & R at MGM Records when Curb was president. In the mid-60s, Curb was producing music for teen exploitation films on Tower Records. Lloyd led a group called The Laughing Wind and released a single produced by Kim Fowley. He soon came across a folk rock group led by Caryle De Franca and her brother Joe. The original idea was to do something similar to We Five who had a hit at the time with You Were On My Mind. Lloyd signed them to Epic Records and recorded the single October Country. But Lloyd didn't like the group's performance and re-recorded it himself. The group eventually released three singles and an album that went nowhere. But Mike Curb saw enough to hire Lloyd and they worked together for years. My Girlfriend Is A Witch resurfaced in 1969 in the cartoon TV show Cattanooga Cats supposedly with Rupert Holmes singing lead. You can get My Girlfriend Is A Witch on this 4CD Nuggets comp from Rhino or the October Country album is available on CD from Rev-Ola. Michael Lloyd is best known as the musical supervisor and producer of the soundtrack for the 1987 film Dirty Dancing and he is also the creator of the PBS series Kidsongs. Here's a video for My Girlfriend Is A Witch by October Country.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kyoko Kimura wins her PANCASE MMA debut

Veteran pro wrestler Kyoko Kimura made a successful MMA debut at today's PANCRASE show at Shijuku FACE over women's MMA pioneer Megumi Yabushita. When I Tweeted the result this morning, some expressed surprise. But I was not surprised. Yes, Megumi is a pioneer but it is now 2011 and she can't fight anymore. She needs to quit but probably won't. Stick to pro wrestling. It was embarrassing to watch her poor performance against Sarah Kaufman a few months ago. Kyoko outclassed her in this fight. After landing punches, Kyoko tossed her to the mat. And by the end of the round, Kyoko took her back and was going for a rear naked coke. When the bell rang, Megumi couldn't get up. The ringside doctor examined her foot and Megumi was taken to the hospital with a suspected broken foot. Kyoko Kimura wins by TKO. She seemed surprised by the finish. Now she wants to do it again to prove it wasn't a fluke.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Harry Manx

Artist:Harry Manx
Song:Death Have Mercy
Album:Wise and Otherwise

Canadian slide guitarist Harry Manx is known for bringing world music elements to roots music especially in his use of the Indian instrument the mohan veena which looks like a guitar but doesn't sound like a guitar. Manx was born in the Isle Of Man but grew up hanging around clubs in Toronto. As a teen, he left home and busked all over the world and worked as a sideman at folk festivals. He plays the slide guitar in his lap but also plays banjo and harmonica. While living in Japan in the late 80s, he discovered the music of Indian legend Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. He created the 20 string mohan veena. Manx moved to India and studied with Bhatt for five years and mastered the mohan veena. George Harrison is the only other western musician to play the mohan veena. Bhatt has become better known in roots music because guys like Ry Cooder, Jerry Douglas and Taj Mahal have recorded with him. In 2000, Manx moved to Saltspring Island, BC and after releasing a CD independently, he signed with Northern Music for his 2002 CD Wise and Otherwise. He won Blues Album Of The Year at the Canadian Independent Music Awards. Death Have Mercy is a traditional song and Rev. Gary Davis recorded the best known version. In recent years, Manx has worked with Canadian guitarist Kevin Breit. They record for Stony Plain Records and their latest CD Strictly Whatever was released May 2011. Here's Harry Manx with guitar legend David Lindley performing Death Have Mercy at the Vogue Theater in Vancouver for CBC Radio 2 June 2011.

Friday, November 11, 2011

SMASH joshi wrestler Syuri to try kickboxing with Krush

A press conference was held today at the SMASH office to announce that SMASH joshi wrestler Syuri will make her kickboxing debut in 2012 for Krush. Syuri was in attendance along with SMASH president TAJIRI and Krush president Mitsuru Miyata. Syuri made her pro wrestling debut in 2008 as Karate Girl in HUSTLE. And she came to SMASH when HUSTLE closed and TAJIRI started SMASH in Dec. 2009. Though Syuri did train in karate as a child, she was a dancer before she became a pro wrestler. She doesn't have an extensive martial arts background though sometimes angles have tried to portray otherwise. She won both her matches in Shoot Boxing but that's a hybrid of kickboxing with judo throws and standing submissions. It was announced that Syuri will make her kickboxing debut on Krush's Jan. 9 Korakuen Hall show. Krush has been around for three years. Miyata said they have had women's matches on shows every few months. But with the upcoming match between Erika Kamimura and RENA generating a lot of buzz, he decided to get more into women's kickboxing. And obviously Syuri is thought to be very marketable because of her looks. There's no shortage of women's kickboxing in Japan. J-Girls seems to run a tournament every other month. And considering that Syuri has no experience, Krush is taking a shot in the dark hoping she'll be decent. Miyata said if this works out, he will consider a women's division with a championship. Syuri says she is training three to four hours daily to prepare for her kickboxing debut. And she will continue in SMASH as a pro wrestler. It's one thing to be a pro wrestler trying to look like a kickboxer. Actually being a kickboxer is a completely different thing. Her opponent will be announced at a later date.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Andy Kim

Artist:Andy Kim
Song:Rock Me Gently
Album:Baby, I Love You: Greatest Hits

Rock Me Gently was the only number one hit for Canadian singer songwriter Andy Kim in in 1974. It came at a time when he had a few hits but seemed to be fading. He has also had a lot of success as a songwriter. He was born Andrew Joachim Dec. 5, 1952 in Montreal. Some sources indicate that he may have been born in 1946. His Lebanese immigrant father owned a grocery store. He moved to New York at age 16 to make it in the music business. His big break came when legendary songwriter Jeff Barry signed Joachim to his Steed label. He changed his name to Andy Kim and How'd We Ever Get This Way was a top 20 hit in 1968. Meanwhile, Barry was working on producing music for The Archies, a studio group based on comic book characters. Andy Kim co-wrote The Archies biggest hit Sugar, Sugar and sang on some of the recordings though Ron Dante was the main lead singer. Kim got his first top ten hit in 1969 when his cover of the Ronettes classic Baby, I Love You reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. But then Kim's career stalled and by 1973, he was without a record label. He started his own label Ice Records and financed the recording of Rock Me Gently. He could only afford to release a single. But Capitol Records liked it and signed Kim and Rock Me Gently topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. That was Kim's final chart hit and he disappeared soon after. You can get all his hits on this EMI Europe budget comp. Kim resurfaced in 1980 as Baron Longfellow and had moderate success in Canada. He retired in 1991. In 1995, Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies convinced Kim to return and and Robertson produced an EP for Kim in 2004. Andy Kim still tours mostly in Canada and released the CD Happen Again last year. Here's Andy Kim performing Rock Me Gently on Top Of The Pops 1974.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tony Orlando & Dawn

Artist:Tony Orlando & Dawn
Song:Knock Three Times
Album:The Definitive Collection

Tony Orlando & Dawn was one of the most successful groups of the early 70s. Knock Three Times was one of their early hits. That's pretty good for a group that started out as a studio concoction. Tony Orlando was born Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis Apr. 3, 1944 in New York City. By 1969, he had been around the music business for a while without much success. He had a couple of minor hits with his group Wind. So he quit singing and took a job with CBS Records publishing arm April-Blackwood Music. He was asked by producer Hank Medress to record a demo for Candida with Sharon Greane, Linda November, Jay Siegel and Toni Wine. Toni co-wrote the song. Bell Records wanted to release the record but Orlando didn't want his name on it because he thought it might affect his job. So the group was called Dawn and Candida reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. So now Orlando wants to record another song while the iron is hot. And Knock Three Times topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. The problem was Bell wanted Dawn to tour and the singers on the record had no intention of touring. So Orlando got Motown backup singers Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent to join and they became Tony Orlando & Dawn. The group went on to have several hits including the 1973 number one hit Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree. Knock Three Times was written by Russell Brown & Irwin Levine and they wrote several other Dawn hits. And Billy "Crash" Craddock had a top five country music hit with the song in 1971. Tony Orlando & Dawn went on to a lot of success including their own variety show. They split up in 1977. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Tony Orlando had his own theater in Branson, MO for a while but it closed and he still tours. Joyce Vincent went back to session singing. Telma Hopkins turned to acting and has starred in several sitcoms. Here's the video for Knock Three Times by Tony Orlando & Dawn.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Kyoko Kimura wants you to forget about all those deathmatches

Kyoko Kimura
On this Saturday's PANCRASE show, veteran pro wrestler Kyoko Kimura will make her MMA debut against women's MMA pioneer Megumi Yabushita who is also a pro wrestler. As has been noted, Kyoko is known mainly for doing crazy death matches with light tubes, chains and other crazy weapons. This goes back a few years in Big Japan Pro Wrestling. I don't think she does them anymore. So today PANCRASE held an open workout and interview with Kyoko and her coach and Sakaguchi Family Dojo president Yukio Sakaguchi. Apparently Kyoko is his first female trainee. Kyoko says she has been a pro wrestler for eight years and has done thousands of matches all over Japan. She used to work 300 matches a year. I don't think she's that busy today. She thinks it's funny that she is primarily known for the BJW death matches considering all her other work. Last year she decided to try MMA and started training. Of course she knows that Yabushita is much more experienced in martial arts. She says she may have wrestled Yabushita a couple of times but she's not sure. I don't think they have worked for the same company very often. So she sparred with Sakaguchi. He says he trained her the same as a male fighter. He says he knew about her death matches so he knew she was tough. But she has shown a lot of courage in training and he's very proud of her. Kyoko said that she knows it doesn't make sense that she can beat the vastly more experienced Yabushita in her debut. But that's what she intends to do. She says her ultimate goal is to fight Rin Nakai. This Saturday's PANCRASE show is at Shunjuku FACE.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Phil Collins

Artist:Phil Collins
Song:In The Air Tonight

Not only did Phil Collins lead Genesis to great success after Peter Gabriel left but he launched his own solo career simultaneously. In The Air Tonight was his breakthrough hit in 1981 and is considered to be his signature song. He was born Jan. 30, 1951 in London, England. He acted as a child most significantly as The Artful Dodger in the London production of Oliver!. He joined Genesis in 1970 after answering an ad in Melody Maker. When Gabriel left in 1975, the band auditioned many singers but ultimately settled on Collins as lead singer. He still played drums in the studio but Chester Thompson was brought in to play drums for tours. Collins also played in the jazz rock group Brand X. Collins was going through a divorce in 1980 and wrote some songs that he preferred recording as a solo act. I assume this was because they were more personal than the usual Genesis songs. Atlantic Records offered him a solo contract. Face Value was released in 1981 and reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 200. In The Air Tonight was the debut single and it reached #19 on the Billboard Hot 100. He went on to bigger hits but the song established Collins as a star and he just built on that through the 80s. There is an urban myth that In The Air Tonight is about a drowning that Collins witnessed. But Collins has debunked that. The song is about his divorce. Phil Collins went on to have a total of seven number one hits. The first of these was the theme to the 1984 film Against All Odds. Collins continued to record as a solo act and with Genesis but both faded by the early 90s and Collins left Genesis in 1996. He retired in Mar. 2011 due to back problems. Here's the video for In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Golden Earring

Artist:Golden Earring
Song:Radar Love
Album:The Continuing Story of Radar Love

In North America, Golden Earring is known for their 1974 hit Radar Love and the 1982 hit Twilight Zone. Though Twilight Zone reached a higher chart position, Radar Love is the more memorable song. The group is a bigger deal in Europe. Golden Earring started out in 1961 in The Hague, Netherlands. Teens George Kooymans and his neighbour Rinus Gerritsen called themselves The Tornados. But there was already a group called The Tornados so it was changed to The Golden Earrings and then Golden Earring. They were named after a song by the British group The Hunters. They added lead singer Frans Krassenburg and charted in The Netherlands with their 1965 debut single Please Go. At this point Golden Earring was a standard pop group. Barry Hay replaced Krassenburg in 1967 and took Golden Earring in a more psychedelic direction. They became known for an 18 minute version of The Byrds hit Eight Miles High. But they were on a terrible record company in the US. So in 1970 Golden Earring returned home to regroup and added drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk. He became known for leaping over his drum kit and the end of every show. You'll see him do that in the video. They broke through in the US when Radar Love reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album Moontan was certified Gold in 1973. Golden Earring became a very popular live act but were unable to sustain chart success in the US. Twilight Zone reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982 but by the late 80s, Golden Earring stopped touring in the US and focused on touring Europe. They still do that today. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. Radar Love got a big boost when the metal band White Lion charted with their cover in 1989. It encouraged fans to check out the original. Radar Love also appeared in the 1993 film Wayne's World 2. They're still a big deal at home. Golden Earring is celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2011 a postage stamp is being issued in their honour. Here's Golden Earring performing Radar Love on The Midnight Special 1974.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Erika Kamimura vs Denise Mellor

On Nov. 23, there's a big title match on the RISE show with Erika Kamimura vs RENA. So since we got a chance to see RENA in action yesterday, today Big Bad Blog Video Theater presents Erika Kamimura vs Denise Mellor from the Oct. 2 WBC Muay Thai show at Korakuen Hall for the WBC Muay Thai International Super Flyweight Championship. Unfortunately, the video is not professionally shot. It was shot from the Korakuen Hall balcony by someone who I assume was a friend of Denise Mellor. After the fight, this moron concentrated on Denise instead of the winner. Some people are stupid. But you get to see the fight and it's a stark contrast to RENA's performance in the match I posted last night. It becomes obvious from the start of the match that Denise can't handle Erika's strength and power. Anyone trying to fight Erika is going to try to avoid Erika's punching power. She is probably the most powerful puncher I have seen in Japan since Hisae Watanabe. Denise is unable to avoid that power and a combination has Denise sinking to the mat in the corner. After a standing eight count, Erika pounces and lands two powerful left hooks and the fight is over. So another big win for 18 year old Erika Kaminura, Earth's Strongest High School Student. If she fights like this against RENA, I don't see how RENA can handle Erika. RENA is taller than Erika. Who isn't? But RENA doesn't have knockout power. She will have to depend on jabs and front kicks to keep Erika at bay. I don't see that working against someone as aggressive as Erika. It's a big fight. It should be fun. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

Artist:Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
Song:Cornbread, Peas & Black Molasses
Album:California Blues

Though they did perform individually, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee are primarily known as a blues duo especially in the late 50s and into the folk music boom of the 60s. Cornbread, Peas & Black Molasses was recorded in 1958. As some folks may be aware, Terry was blind and McGhee suffered from polio as child that left him disabled. They first met in 1939 when McGhee was working with blues pioneer Blind Boy Fuller. Terry had already recorded and appeared at the 1938 Carnegie Hall concert From Spiritual To Swing. When Fuller died, they formed a duo and worked the folk music circuit. McGhee also recorded as Blind Boy Fuller II and Terry appeared in the Broadway production of Finian's Rainbow. But it was in the late 50s that they started working more consistently as a duo. California Blues is a comp of two albums they recorded for Folkways in 1958. Fantasy Records first released it as a 2LP set in the 70s and you can get it now as a budget CD. Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee were very popular in the 60s and continued to perform as a duo until 1980 despite the fact that they hated each other. They also appeared together in the 1979 film The Jerk. Sonny Terry died on Mar. 11, 1986 at age 74 and Brownie McGhee died on Feb. 16, 1996 at age 80. I think you'll find their chemistry is magical. They may not have liked each other but they sure knew how to make music together. Here's Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee performing Cornbread, Peas & Black Molasses on Blues Masters 1966.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Jessica Penne vs RENA

Today on Big Bad Blog Video Theater is SHOOT BOXING poster girl RENA vs US MMA fighter Jessica Penne from the Sept. 10 SHOOT BOXING show. This match was scheduled for three three minute rounds and if it's tied, it goes to two minute extra rounds until there is a winner. I can see why this was called a draw after three rounds. I don't think that RENA was busy enough to win this match in three rounds. She seems very concerned about tying up with Jessica and tries to stick to kickboxing. But Jessica does get credit for a few takedowns. She doesn't get credit for falling on RENA which she also does several times. Either way, there is no ground work in SHOOT BOXING. So each time they go down, the ref has to stand them up. Jessica seems to run out of gas in the third round and I think RENA did enough to earn the draw. So now they go to the first extra round. So the controversy was that some observers thought that RENA won the round and got robbed. I think a draw in that round was fair. Jessica got credit for a takedown early in the round. Then she kneed RENA low but I don't think Jessica was penalized. RENA then got credit for a takedown. Jessica's other takedown attempts were not successful. And I don't think RENA landed enough punches to get the win. So they go to another extra round. And I think it could have been called a draw too. Jessica seemed to get frustrated with the ref. He didn't seem to give her credit for what she thought were legit takedowns. Jessica finally got the win. The match was very close. Check it out for yourself.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Debbie Reynolds

Artist:Debbie Reynolds
Album:Best Of Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds was one of the biggest film musical stars of the 50s. Recording was a sidebar for her but Tammy was a number one hit in 1957. It's from the film Tammy and the Bachelor. She was born Mary Frances Reynolds Apr. 1, 1932 in El Paso, TX. Her family moved to Burbank, CA in 1939. After winning the Miss Burbank beauty contest at age 16, she signed with Warner Bros. But they didn't seem to know what to do with her. After two years of mostly sitting around, she went to MGM. A small role in the 1950 film Three Little Words led to her breakthrough in the 1950 film Two Weeks With Love featuring her hit duet with Carleton Carpenter Aba Daba Honeymoon. And of course Singin' In The Rain made her a huge star. Until Debbie signed with Dot Records in 1957, all of Debbie's recordings were from films. Of course so was Tammy. It was from the 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor. It was written by the legendary songwriting team of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans who wrote hundreds of songs for films. Tammy topped the charts. The Ames Brothers' recording of Tammy also charted. She had two other top forty hits. But for the most part she went back to films and did a whole series of Tammy films. And that was the extent of her recording career. You can get her hits on this Curb Records comp. Beware of European CDs with inferior audio quality. Here's Debbie Reynolds performing Tammy in the 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kitty Kallen

Artist:Kitty Kallen
Song:Little Things Mean A Lot
Album:Little Things Mean A Lot

Kitty Kallen was a very popular big band singer in the 40s. She went solo in the 50s and had a number one hit with Little Things Mean A Lot in 1954. She was born May 25, 1922 in Philadelphia She won talent contests as a child. She had a talent for mimicking popular singers of the day. As a teen, she had her own radio show in Philadelphia and sang with Jan Savitt and Artie Shaw. Her first full time job was in Jack Teagarden's band in 1940. She married clarinetist Clint Garvin and after Teagarden fired him, she left the band. That marriage was annulled. Kitty's big break was replacing Helen O'Connell in Jimmy Dorsey's band in 1943. She sang a duet with Bob Eberly on Dorsey's 1944 number one hit Besame Mucho. When Eberly went into the service, she joined Harry James' band. She sang on two number one hits for the James band, I'm Beginning To See The Light and It's Been A Long, Long Time. As the big bands faded in the late 40s, Kitty recorded solo without much success until she signed with Decca Records in 1953. Little Things Mean A Lot topped the pop charts in 1954 and was voted the most popular song of the year. Kitty also won polls in Billboard and Variety. Little Things Mean A Lot was written by Edith Lindeman and Carl Stutz. Stutz was a DJ in Richmond, VA. Joni James' cover reached the top 40 in 1960 and Margo Smith had a top five country music hit with the song in 1978. Kitty's 1954 follow up single Chapel In The Moonlight reached #4. You can get all her hits on this 2CD comp from Jasmine Records. Then Kitty Kallen lost her voice. She developed a lung problem due to an erroneous prescription. She attempted to return with Columbia and RCA but poor health forced her into retirement in 1963. Her 1963 album My Coloring Book actually did well. For years Kitty was married to publicist Budd Granoff. And despite reports of her death (it was the death of an imposter), Kitty Kallen is still alive and kicking at age 89. Here's a video for Little Things Mean A Lot by Kitty Kallen.

Friday, November 04, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Cookies

Artist:The Cookies
Song:Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)
Album:Chains: The Dimension Links 1962-1964

The Cookies had a long history as backup singers in the 50s and early 60s. But occasionally they recorded singles and had their biggest hit with the top ten hit Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby) in 1963. The Cookies started out singing on Brooklyn streetcorners in 1954 led by Ethel "Darlene" McCrae along with cousins Dorothy Jones and Beulah Robertson. Beulah was replaced by Margie Hendrix in 1956. They first recorded for Aladdin Records in 1954 but were signed to Atlantic Records by producer Jesse Stone in 1955. The Cookies had a top ten R & B hit with In Paradise in 1956. But mostly they sang backup vocals for Joe Turner, Chuck Willis and Ray Charles. Charles liked them so much that he hired them as The Raelettes. Pat Lyles replaced Dorothy Jones and the trio toured as The Raelettes until 1961. Then The Cookies re-emerged with Earl-Jean McCrae (Darlene's younger sister), Dorothy Jones and Margaret Ross usually working as backup singers with the team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin. They sang on Neil Sedaka's Breaking Up Is Hard To Do and Little Eva's Locomotion. But occasionally King and Goffin had The Cookies record for Don Kirshner's Dimension label. Don't Say Nothin' Bad was their biggest hit and it reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. They also recorded Chains which was a hit for The Beatles. Earl-Jean McCrae left The Cookies and had a top 40 hit with I'm Into Something Good which was covered by Herman's Hermits. Darlene McCrae returned and The Cookies returned to studio work. You can get all their Dimension hits on this comp. The group recorded under various names and Margaret Ross leads a version of The Cookies on the oldies circuit today. Here's a video for Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby) by The Cookies.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chicago

Song:Saturday In The Park
Album:The Best Of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition

Chicago is a good example of what happens in the music business when art and commerce collide. They started out in the late 60s as a jazz rock band but due to internal and external pressure, they became a standard pop group. They sure sold a lot of records. Saturday In The Park was one of their biggest early hits. The group started out in 1967 at DePaul University in Chicago. Sax player Walter Parazaider, trumpeter Lee Loughnane and trombonist James Pankow were all music students. While playing in clubs, they met guitarist Terry Kath and drummer Danny Seraphine. The idea was to be like The Beatles but with horns. They met producer James William Guercio through the Chicago band The Buckinghams. They added keyboard player Robert Lamm and started playing gigs as The Big Thing. They started as a cover band but Guercio told them to start writing their own songs. The group added bassist Peter Cetera. Cetera, Kath and Lamm all sang lead. By this time, Guercio was a staff producer at Columbia Records. He signed them and moved them to Los Angeles and named them Chicago Transit Authority. Their 1969 debut album went Platinum without a hit single. The group was forced to change their name to Chicago for legal reasons. The group's albums continued to sell very well but Columbia was nagging them to have a hit single. Make Me Smile was their first top ten hit in 1970 and this was followed by 25 or 6 to 4 and Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?. Saturday In The Park is from Chicago V and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. At that time, it was their biggest hit. Lamm wrote it after visiting Central Park in New York City. He sings lead along with Cetera. Chicago continued their success but by 1975, there was conflict wthin the band over Cetera's pop ballads becoming more prominent. And Guercio had worn out his welcome and they didn't want to work with him anymore. Then a devastating blow when Terry Kath accidentally shot himself and died on Jan. 23, 1978. Chicago continued but struggled until they left Columbia for Warner Bros. and met producer David Foster in 1982. He revived them as more of a standard pop group until Cetera left in 1985. You can get all of Chicago's hits on this 2CD comp. Cetera was replaced by Jason Scheff. They had a few more hits in the late 80s but have faded since then. Scheff, Lamm, Loughnane and Parazider still lead Chicago and they are one of the best selling groups of all time. Obviously they're more of a nostalgia act today. Here's Chicago performing Saturday In The Park at the Caribou Ranch in Colorado 1973.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Claire Lynch

Artist:Claire Lynch

Bluegrass artist Claire Lynch isn't as well known as Alison Krauss or Rhonda Vincent because she tires of the grind of constant touring. But she is a great talent. She was born Feb. 20, 1954 in Kingston, NY and moved with her family to Hazel Green, AL at age 12. She met her future husband Larry Lynch in high school. Larry was attending the University Of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and formed the band Hickory Wind in 1973. Claire joined and they became house band at a club in Birmingham. The name changed to Front Porch String Band. They released a few albums in the late 70s but when Claire became pregnant in 1982, they disbanded. Larry went back to school and Claire took a day job but they started performing in clubs again. They were spotted by former Seldom Scene singer John Starling and he helped Claire with her songwriting. This led to a staff songwriting job with PolyGram. Claire's songs were recorded by Kathy Mattea and Patty Loveless. The Front Porch String Band was reformed in 1990 and Claire signed a solo record deal with Rounder Records. Along with Claire and Larry, the other members were Missy Raines on bass and Jim Hurst on guitar. Lovelight was released in 2000 and then Claire took a break in 2001. She continued to work as a backup singer and songwriter. She returned in 2006 with the CD New Day and her latest CD Watcha Gonna Do was released in 2009. She currently tours as The Claire Lynch Band and you check her out if you get the chance. Claire Lynch is an outstanding singer. Here Claire Lynch and Front Porch String Band performing Lovelight in Japan Oct. 2000.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Johnny Tillotson

Artist:Johnny Tillotson
Song:Poetry In Motion
Album:Golden Classics

Johnny Tillotson was one of several early 60s singers who could best be described as teen idols appearing in 16 Magazine and appealing to teenage girls. Tillotson had four top ten hits with Poetry In Motion the most successful in 1961. He was born Apr. 20, 1938 in Jacksonville, FL. His father owned a gas station and was a country music DJ. As a teen, he had his own local TV show. While he was attending the University Of Florida in 1957, a local DJ sent a tape of his singing to a Pet Milk sponsored talent contest. He made the finals and performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He didn't win but he got a record contract with Cadence Records owner Archie Bleyer. He was having a lot of success at the time with The Everly Brothers. Tillotson released some singles which didn't catch on and he went back to college and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Communications. Then he moved to New York City. By 1960, The Everly Brothers left Cadence for Warner Bros. and Bleyer was hoping Tillotson would replace them. After several singles, they finally got a hit when Poetry In Motion reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961. The song was written by Nashville songwriters Mike Anthony and Paul Kaufman after watching high school girls go by their office window. It was also recorded in Nashville featuring sax legend Boots Randolph and pianist Floyd Cramer. Tillotson's other top ten hits were Without You and It Keeps On A-Hurting. He wrote the latter song and it has become a country music standard. Tillotson appeared in teen magazines and also did films. Things came to an abrupt halt when Bleyer closed Cadence in 1964 and sold all the recordings to Andy Williams. You can get Tillotson's Cadence hits on this Collectables comp. Tillotson signed with MGM Records and Talk Back Trembling Lips was his final top ten hit in 1964. No doubt Beatlemania affected Tillotson's singing career adversely. He continued to record and act without much success. He recorded for Amos, Buddah and United Artists in the 70s. Johnny Tillotson continues to tour the oldies circuit today. Here's Johnny Tillotson performing Poetry In Motion in the 80s.