Monday, December 31, 2012

Big Bad Blog Video Theatre-Marloes Coenen vs Fiona Muxlow

Here's the match video for Marloes Coenen vs Fiona Muxlow from today's DREAM show at Saitama Super Arena. Those dopes at DREAM scheduled this fight for two rounds and all the other matches were three rounds. That's very disrespectful to women's MMA especially a decorated veteran like Marloes. She was only on the show because of her ties to GLORY. Not that I expected it to go the distance. Aussie Fiona Muxlow has never faced anyone as accomplished as Marloes. Marloes has way too many tricks up her sleeve. After Marloes battered Fiona with knees in the Muay Thai clinch, it went to the ground. As Fiona found out, Marloes is very dangerous on the bottom and is willing to eat a few punches to get that armbar. And that's how it ended. So an easy win for Marloes. If Dana White is looking for a credible challenger for Ronda Rousey, He doesn't have to look any farther than Marloes Coenen. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dave Matthews Band

Artist:Dave Matthews Band
Song:The Space Between
Album:The Best Of What's Around Vol. 1

The Dave Matthews Band is a jam band in the tradition of The Grateful Dead. Matthews has built their success on constant touring and strong musicianship especially in concert. The Space Between is one of their more significant radio hits. Matthews was born Jan. 9, 1967 in Johannesburg, South Africa and he moved to New York with his family where his father was a physicist for IBM. When his father died in 1977, Matthews moved back to South Africa with his mom. In 1986, he moved to the US to avoid military service and settled in Charlottesburg, WV. It was here that he got interested in music and Dave Matthews Band was formed in 1990. Founding members were Dave Matthews on lead vocals and guitar, Stefan Lessard on bass, Carter Beauford on drums and LeRoi Moore on sax. Violinist Boyd Tinsley joined soon after the formation of the band. After they released an album independently, they signed with RCA in 1994. And they've been very successful ever since. All their studio albums since 1998 have topped the Billboard Hot 200 and have been certified Gold or Platinum. The Space Between is from the 2001 album Everyday and it reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100. Matthews wrote it with songwriter Glen Ballard who also produced the album. This 2CD comp has 1 CD of hits and a second CD of live performances. The band went on hiatus in 2003 and Matthews did a solo tour. But they reformed and they are still very successful. LeRoi Moore died in 2008 and was replaced by Jeff Coffin. The Dave Matthews Band's latest CD Away From The World was released Sept. 2012 and they are currently on tour. Matthews also owns ATO Records and Films. Here's the video for The Space Between by Dave Matthews Band.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dana White offers nutritional help to Cris Cyborg

So when UFC president Dana White is in one of those post show media scrums, one never knows what subjects will be discussed. With a UFC women's division starting with Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche being established on Feb. 23, it's inevitable that he will get asked about future opponents for the champ. Cris Cyborg is just coming off of her one year suspension for using the anabolic steroid stanazolol. Last month, Cris and manager Tito Ortiz claimed that a doctor would not allow her to drop to 135lb for medical reasons. At the UFC show in Montreal, White said he didn't think Cris wanted to fight Ronda. And he said that she will only get that fight if she agrees to drop to 135. Recently, Cris told the Brazilian magazine TATAME that she has agreed to drop to 135. But Ortiz continues to claim that dropping to 135 is not safe and he wants the fight at a catchweight of 140. TATAME reports that at last night's media scrum, White repeated that Ronda vs Cyborg will only happen at 135 and that Ortiz needs to get with the program or the opportunity will simply disappear. He said that sometimes an historic fight only comes along once in a lifetime. And if Ortiz doesn't smarten up, this fight could never happen like Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao. What if Cyborg fights in Invicta and loses? He says this because of course Pacquiao was knocked out recently and the Mayweather fight may not be valuable anymore. Strike while the iron is hot or you lose. White says Cris has to prove herself to get this fight. And he has offered the services of nutritionist Mike Dolce at no cost to Cris. The UFC will pay for his services. Dolce is the man behind The Dolce Diet that is used by several UFC fighters. White says that Dolce is ready and willing to work with Cris. He repeated that women in the UFC is an experiment and it could last a year or last forever. He doesn't know. So he says Cris Cyborg needs to be ready to fight on the UFC's terms. And that means the fight will happen at 135lb or it won't happen at all.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kurt Rosenwinkel

Artist:Kurt Rosenwinkel
Song:Use Of Light
Album:Deep Song

Jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel started out as a sideman in the early 90s and first recorded as a leader in 1996. He had a good run on Verve but he no longer records for them. He was born Oct. 28, 1970 in Philadelphia. He studied at Berklee School of Music in Boston for two years before he left to tour with Gary Burton. Rosenwinkel moved to New York. He was a member of the jazz band Human Feel and recorded three albums with them in the 90s. He appeared on albums by Mark Turner and Larry Goldings and was a member of Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band. After releasing two CDs as a leader independently, Rosenwinkel signed with Verve Records in 2000. Use Of Light first appeared on his 2001 CD The Next Step. But he also recorded it on his 2005 CD Deep Song. Musicians are Joshua Redman on tenor sax, Brad Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass and Ali Jackson on drums. He also toured with this band. The CD did well on the jazz chart. But Rosenwinkel now lives in Berlin, Germany and wanted to have his management closer to home. So he left Verve and signed with Word Of Mouth Music. They are a Danish booking agency but they got into the record business as Wommusic in 2006. Rosenwinkel was their first artist. He has recorded four albums for Wommusic and his latest CD Star Of Jupiter was released last month. He also continues to appear as a sideman most recently on Donald Fagen's latest CD Sunken Condos. Never heard of him? Here's your chance to check him out. Here's Kurt Rosenwinkel with Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Larry Grenadier and Ali Jackson performing Use Of Light at Vienne, France July 9, 2004.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Former WWE developmental wrestler Ivelisse Velez to make MMA debut

Ivelisse Velez
Fight Card entertainment has announced that former WWE developmental wrestler Ivelisse Velez will make her MMA debut in March. What is interesting is she was training in MMA a couple of years ago when the WWE came calling. So now she is returning to MMA. She was born Sept. 21, 1988. Her parents are Puerto Rican and she grew up in Puerto Rico and Chicago. She made her pro wrestling debut at age 15 in the World Wrestling Council and then the IWA in Puerto Rico. She also wrestled in the Chicago area. In 2010, Ivelisse started training for MMA with the intent of becoming a pro fighter. But the WWE invited her to FCW in Tampa, FL for a tryout. She appeared on the 2011 season of WWE Tough Enough but a leg injury forced her to drop out of the show. She signed a WWE developmental contract in Nov. 2011 and appeared as Sofia Cortez for FCW and then NXT in 2012. But she was suddenly released in Aug. 2012. No reason was given but the rumour is WWE management thought she was a pretty good wrestler but lacked personality. She is certainly a lot more experienced than the average WWE Diva. But the WWE can be very weird about what they are looking for in Divas. In Oct., she had a tryout with TNA. And she worked for the SHIMMER spin off SHINE in Nov. Meanwhile, Ivelisse returned to MMA training with Team 110 in Chicago and a press release says that she will make her MMA debut for Fight Card Entertainment on Mar. 2, 2013 at Cicero Stadium in the Chicago suburb of Cicero, IL. The opponent is to be announced and the press release doesn't say anything about weight class. I would guess 125 or 135. Keep in mind that TNA has expressed interest in Ivelisse and they are also looking for wrestlers who could crossover to Bellator MMA. And Bellator plans to run a 125lb women's tournament in 2013. Ivelisse Velez could be just what both companies are looking for.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Michael Franti & Spearhead

Artist:Michael Franti & Spearhead
Song:The Sound Of Sunshine
Album:The Sound Of Sunshine

At the start of his career, Michael Franti looked like he was going to be the new Gil Scott-Heron. He combined contemporary hip hop with political and social commentary. He softened his approach on his latest CD The Sound Of Sunshine and it's his most successful CD to date. He was born Apr. 21, 1966 in Oakland, CA. His mother was white and his father was black. His mother thought her family wouldn't accept him so she put him up for adoption. His adopted father was a professor at UC Davis. Franti started writing songs as a teen. And while attending the University of San Francisco in 1986, he started The Beatnigs with percussionist Rono Tse. This punk band recorded an album and then split up in 1990. Then the duo formed The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy with jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter. They recorded an album for Island Records and toured with U2 among others. The album got positive reviews and they were compared to Gil Scott-Heron because of Franti's politically charged lyrics. But it didn't sell and they split up in 1994. Franti formed Spearhead and recorded two albums for Capitol Records. They wanted him to be more mainstream so Franti left Capitol and recorded on his own label and then Anti Records. After the success of his 2008 CD All Rebel Rockers, Franti returned to Capitol for his 2010 CD The Sound Of Sunshine. So if you watch the video for The Sound Of Sunshine, it seems like a Jack Johnson song instead of Gil Scott-Heron. Franti says his recovery from a 2009 ruptured appendix influenced a more positive outlook and The Sound Of Sunshine reflects that. The album reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 200. An Italian version of The Sound Of Sunshine featuring Italian star Jovanotti reached #3 on the Italian charts. Franti is still politically active. But with his "sunny" CD being his most successful, I wonder if he will return to his Gil Scott-Heron influenced roots. There's no question he's a talented guy. But a more mainstream sound could backfire on him in the long run. Here's the video for The Sound Of Sunshine by Michael Franti & Spearhead.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Claudia Gadelha pulls out of Invicta main event due to injury

Bec Hyatt
The Brazilian magazine Tatame reported this morning that Claudia Gadelha suffered a broken nose in training and has dropped out of her match with Carla Esparza on next Saturday's Invicta show. It was supposed to be for the Invicta 115lb championship. She underwent reconstructive surgery today so it reminds me of when Japanese female wrestler Meiko Satomura broke her face a few years ago and she was out for a year. So when your main event falls apart a week before the show, what should the promoter do? The chances that Invicta could find a main event worthy opponent at short notice is very slim. So the smart move and probably the best move for match quality is to cancel the match and schedule Carla Esparza vs Ayaka Hamasaki for the April show and make Shayna Baszler vs Alexis Davis the main event. Instead Invicta decided to try and find someone to accept the fight. Look, you're always going to find a fighter to accept something like this even if it's a bad idea. That's why cancelling the match is a better move though I understand that's not the popular thing to do. So Aussie fighter Bec Hyatt has accepted this match though she clearly doesn't belong in any kind of main event. She was supposed to fight undefeated Scottish fighter Joanne Calderwood on the undercard of the show. I wonder if the match was offered to Joanne. I bet it was. Sometimes knowing when not to do something is more important than knowing when to do something. Bec Hyatt may know how to get publicity for herself. She has done a lot of interviews lately. But she's unproven as a fighter. All four of her wins have been over winless fighters in Australia. So Joanne was already a big leap in competition level for her. Carla Esparza is an even bigger jump. Newcomer Livia Von Plettenber will face Joanne. I give Bec a lot of credit for accepting a match that seems above her head. But a big fat raspberry to Invicta management for not biting the bullet and cancelling the main event. I guess it's hard to do the right thing.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sybil

Song:Don't Make Me Over
Album:Greatest Hits

R & B singer Sybil Lynch had most of her success on British dance floors in the 90s. This cover of the 1962 Dionne Warwick hit Don't Make Me Over crossed over to pop and was her biggest hit in 1989. She was born June 2, 1965 in Paterson, NJ. She started out in the mid-80s as a backup singer for R & B singer CeCe Rogers. Then she signed with Next Plateau Records which was also home for the very successful female rap group Salt-N-Pepa. Next Plateau owner Eddie O'Laughlin is currently a consultant on The Voice. Most of Sybil's success was on the dance chart. But her cover of the Burt Bacharach & Hal David classic Don't Make Me Over reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989. Dionne Warwick had a hit with the song in 1962. Sybil also charted with her cover of Walk On By. In 1990, she signed with the British production team of Stock Aitken Waterman. Of course they are best known for the Rick Astley hit Never Gonna Give You Up. So they were hot at the time. She had success mostly on the British dance scene but even that success faded by the mid-90s. Sybil turned to touring the jazz festival circuit with guys like Tom Browne and Lenny White. And she has acted on the British stage. Sybil has recorded occasionally and her last album was released in 2009. This comp is a good intro to her Next Plateau recordings. Here's the video for Don't Make Me Over by Sybil.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Harvey Danger

Artist:Harvey Danger
Song:Flagpole Sitta
Album:Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?

Harvey Danger emerged from the Seattle alternative music scene of the 90s and had a top 40 hit with Flagpole Sitta in 1997. But their success was cut short by corporate restructuring in their record company and they never recovered from that. So I guess they are a one hit wonder. Harvey Danger was formed in 1992 by University of Washington classmates Jeff Lin (guitar) and Aaron Huffman (bass). They got the name Harvey Danger from some graffiti on the wall. Drummer Evan Sult joined the band in 1993 and brought his friend lead singer Sean Nelson. By 1995, Harvey Danger was generating buzz in Seattle and they produced a demo tape that they sold at shows. Recording engineer and producer John Goodmanson helped them with their next demo. It got the attention of Arena Rock Recording owner Greg Glover and he financed an album. Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone? was released in July 1997. Flagpole Sitta was released as a single. It started getting national radio play. So when Glover was hired by Slash/London Records, he brought Harvey Danger with him. Flagpole Sitta appeared in the hit film American Pie though it wasn't on the soundtrack CD. It also appeared in the film Disturbing Behavior and the song was on the soundtrack CDs of Dickie Roberts Child Star and Scooby Doo 2. It was also the theme for the British sitcom Peep Show. Harvey Danger recorded their second CD King James Version at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, NY. But there were problems at Warner Music. Slash was closed and Glover left. Warners sat on the CD until they could straighten things out. The band wanted to release it on Nelson's label Barsuk but Warners wouldn't do it. King James Version was released Sept. 2000 on Sire Records with no promotion and it died. Harvey Danger went on hiatus Apr. 2001. They reformed in 2004 minus Sult. They released one more CD in 2006 and split up for good in 2009. Sean Nelson still co-owns Barsuk and has been a sideman for several bands including Death Cab for Cutie and The Decemberists. Here's the video for Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sutton Foster

Artist:Sutton Foster
Song:Anything Goes
Album:Anything Goes: Original New Broadway Cast Recording

Sutton Foster is an actress best known for her work in Broadway musicals. She won one of her two Tony Awards for the 2011 revival of the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes. She currently stars in the ABC Family TV series Bunheads. She was born Mar. 18, 1975 in Statesboro, GA and at age 15 appeared on the TV talent show Star Search. Her brother is Broadway actor Hunter Foster. Sutton left high school to appear in the national touring company of The Will Rogers Follies. By the mid-90s, she moved to New York and was an understudy in several shows. And that's how she got her big break. During the San Diego pre-Broadway run for the 2002 revival of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Sutton replaced star Erin Dilly. Not only were the reviews of Sutton positive, she won her first Tony Award. she has also starred in the musicals Little Women, The Drowsy Chaperone, Young Frankenstein and Shrek The Musical. Anything Goes was first staged in 1934 but underwent a major rewrite when the show was revived in 1987. The 2011 show is a revival of the 1987 version. It debuted on Broadway Mar. 11, 2011 and was a big success. And of course Sutton won a Tony. She left the show in Nov. to shoot the pilot for Bunheads and then left permanently when ABC Family picked it up as a series in Mar. 2012. Anything Goes closed July 2012. The new season of Bunheads will premiere Jan. 2013. She has also recorded a couple of CDs and did a concert tour this year. My guess is we'll see her return to Broadway before long. Here's Sutton Foster performing Anything Goes on the 2011 Tony Awards broadcast.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Django Unchained review

As a big Quentin Tarantino fan, I couldn't wait to see his new film Django Unchained. What else is there to do on Christmas Day? The film is somewhat similar to Inglourious Basterds in the sense that it is a Spaghetti Western take on a specific subject, in this case slavery. Some people seem offended that Tarantino would take on slavery. Tarantino bought the rights to the 1966 film Django just so he could use the title. His script is not based on that film though he does use the Django theme sung by Rocky Roberts as the theme for Django Unchained. Dr. King Schultz (Christophe Waltz) is a bounty hunter masquerading as a dentist. He discovers a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) and takes him on as his partner. He does this because of his distaste for slavery. Django was separated from his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) when both were sold and the end goal is to go to Mississippi and reunite them. Most of the first half of the film shows the reaction to a black man who is not a slave. They find Broomhilda as a slave of Calvin Candie (Leonardo Dicaprio). The plan is for the two to feign interest in buying a slave for a lot of money and turn him into a fighter and get Broomhilda out of there. But the suspicion of Candie's number one slave Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) results in a lot of blood and gore. The violence in these scenes is so cartoonish that I don't understand how anyone could be offended by it. I guess no one has ever seen Sam Peckinpah's 1969 western The Wild Bunch. The violence was clearly a tribute to Peckinpah. I guess some of the people who don't like the film expected a serious film about slavery. But it's not a serious film. It's a satire clearly designed to upset the easily offended. So I thought the film was hilarious. Foxx plays Django fairly straight because if he tries to ham it up too much, it won't work. Waltz is excellent just as he was in Inglourious Basterds. Dicaprio and Jackson's characters are played more broadly and Jackson's character is supposed to be a clear portrait of what is known as an Uncle Tom. It was also great to see Walton Goggins of the TV series Justified in a supporting role. There are also several cool cameos including Tarantino himself, Franco Nero who starred in the original Django, Don Johnson, Tom Wopat of Dukes Of Hazzard, Don Stroud, Russ Tamblyn and his daughter Amber Tamblyn, Bruce Dern, Jonah Hill, Michael Parks and blood and gore guru Tom Savini who dies in his own fake blood. I have been asked about the music in the film as some have complained Tatantino uses contemporary music in a period film. Again people need to lighten up. For one thing, Tarantino rarely uses original music in his films. In this film, he uses a lot of Ennio Morricone snippets from Two Mules For Sister Sara and a Jerry Goldsmith piece from the 80s film Under Fire. He also uses vintage pop by Jim Croce and Richie Havens and songs written for the film by Anthony Hamilton, Rick Ross and John Legend. I guess the rap songs are disconcerting to some people. I enjoyed Django Unchained as the comic fantasy that I think it is intended to be. But I wouldn't recommend it to uptight people. Check out the trailer.

Marloes Coenen added to NYE DREAM/GLORY show

GLORY announced today that women's MMA pioneer Marloes Coenen has been added to the Dec. 31 DREAM/GLORY show at Saitama Super Arena. GLORY acquired the DREAM name so they could sell this as a nostalgia show in Japan. The show really has nothing to do with DREAM, PRIDE or anything like that. GLORY is planning to run kickboxing shows in Japan anyway. Marloes will take on Fiona Maxlow. Fiona is from Queensland, Australia and trains at Cale Crosby MMA. Her record is 6-1 but like a lot of Aussie fighters, she hasn't fought anyone notable. The women's MMA scene in Australia is in a very early stage of development and most fight records should be taken with a grain of salt. Her last fight was a win over Leanne Reid on the Oct. 27 Brace Girls all women's MMA show. Her only loss was to Cindy Hales in 2008 and I think most of us recall Cindy from one of the FFF shows in Los Angeles in 2007. Fiona is likely in over her head against someone as experienced as Marloes. The last time Marloes fought in Japan was when she was runner up to Roxanne Modafferi on the May 2007 K-Grace tournament. But as long time fans know, a 19 year old Marloes won the World Remix tournament in Tokyo in 2000. So she has a long history fighting in Japan. Her last fight was a win over Romy Ruyssen on the first Invicta show. Marloes broke her hand during that match and that's why you haven't seen her lately. She has trained at Golden Glory in Amsterdam for years so she is closely tied to the GLORY promotion. I would have liked to see them make a bigger deal about Marloes' appearance on the show. Now it seems like an afterthought.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Mighty Lemon Drops

Artist:The Mighty Lemon Drops
Song:My Biggest Thrill
Album:Happy Head/Out Of Hand

The British group The Mighty Lemon Drops had modest success in the 80s but never really broke through to commercial success. The band they were frequently compared to was Echo & The Bunnymen. The Mighty Lemon Drops were from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. In 1982, lead singer and rhythm guitarist Paul Marsh, lead guitarist David Newton and bassist Tony Linehan had the band Active Restraint. Newton left to found The Wild Flowers. But he left after The Wild Flowers 1984 debut album The Joy Of It All and reunited with Marsh and Linehan. At first the band was called Sherbet Monsters and then The Mighty Lemon Drops. Drummer Keith Rowley joined in 1985. Newton and Linehan wrote all the songs. The music was heavily influenced by 60s psychedelic music and dominated by Newton's jangly guitar. A 1985 independent single got them a British record deal with the Chrysalis Records label Blue Guitar. and in the US they signed with Sire Records with Warner Bros. distribution. Their 1986 debut album Happy Head charted in England and so did the three singles from the album including My Biggest Thrill. But they never entered the higher end of the charts and were dropped by Chrysalis after three albums. Sire released Happy Head and the EP Out Of Hand as a twofer and that is available on CD from the reissue label Wounded Bird. Linehan left in 1990 and was replaced by Marcus Williams. After two more albums, The Mighty Lemon Drops split up in 1992. David Newton moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and formed Revolux with former The The guitarist Keith Joyner. His current band is David Newton and Thee Mighty Angels. He also produces other artists at his recording studio in Burbank and has composed music for TV. Paul Marsh is a recording engineer and the other two guys left the music business. The Mighty Lemon Drops were overlooked in the 80s and are worth checking out. Here's the video for My Biggest Thrill by The Mighty Lemon Drops.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Big Bad Blog Video Theatre-Megumi Fujii vs VV Mei

Here is the fight video of Megumi Fujii vs VV Mei from today's Vale Tudo Japan show at Yoyogi National Gymnasium. VTJ was a 90s promotion revived for one night only by Shooto. The big but not surprising news was that before the match, Megumi announced that this would be her last match. She has been considering retirement for a couple of years. The main reason for retirement is her knees are shot. Her plan was to retire even if this fight hadn't come up. I don't think she would have taken the fight if they had offered a lesser opponent. Unfortunately, instead of making this fight a co-main event and schedule it for three rounds, the idiot promoters buried it on the undercard and scheduled it for two rounds. Ugh! It didn't matter. It was fight of the night anyway. In the first round, when Mei started getting the best of strike exchanges, Megumi went for the takedown and for the most part controlled the rest of the round with ground and pound and some submission attempts. Round one is 10-9 Megumi. this continued in round two. But halfway through the round, Mei turns it around and starts pounding. Megumi tries to go for submissions from the bottom. But while doing this, she was eating a lot of shots. Look, I understand she has confidence in her submissions. But she should have tried to get out from under. It looks bad to the judges. Mei was well aware of Megumi's submissions and defended very well while continuing to pound. The judges gave Megumi the unanimous decision but it should have been called a draw. A third round would have been helpful but the promoter is an idiot. So that's it. Megumi Fujii is retired. She said in a recent interview that the only fight that would interest her is a rematch with Jessica Aguilar. I hope there is a lavish retirement ceremony on the next JEWELS show. I have always said that I would like to see Megumi and Hitomi Akano should retire together. They have been joined at the hip for over twenty years. is Megumi Fujii an MMA Hall of Famer. No, she is a martial arts HOFer. what she has done for martial arts in Japan especially for women and kids transcends the sport. And she was a decorated amateur competitor long before she turned pro. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Petula Clark

Artist:Petula Clark
Song:Don't Sleep In The Subway
Album:Ultimate Petula Clark

Petula Clark is the most commercially successful female singer in British chart history. But she also had a good run in North America during the British Invasion of the mid-60s. Don't Sleep In The Subway was her final top five hit in 1967. She was born Nov. 15, 1932 in Epsom, Surrey, England. Her mother taught her to sing. As a child, Petula appeared on radio, in films and on TV. She first recorded in the late 40s and had success in England in the 50s. For most of her career, her British label was Pye Records. In 1958, she signed to record in French with Vogue Records. She had some success but by 1963, her career was fading. Tony Hatch worked with Petula on some of these recordings and knew she needed a hit. He wrote and produced Downtown and her other hits. When the song started to catch on, Warner Bros. signed Petula to a US contract. Downtown was a worldwide chart topper in 1964. Her other number one hit was My Love in 1965. Other top five hits were I Know A Place, This Is My Song and her final top five hit Don't Sleep In The Subway reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. Though Petula Clark faded in North America in the late 60s, she has continued to be very popular in England. She still records and tours and also appears on TV. This comp covers her 60s recordings. she currently lives in Switzerland with husband Claude Wolff. here's Petula Clark performing Don't Sleep In The Subway on The Hollywood Palace 1967.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Austin Roberts

Artist:Austin Roberts
Album:Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day Vol. 15

Rocky was the only top ten hit for Austin Roberts in 1975. He is not to be confused with the jazz musician Austin Roberts who played with Oscar Peterson. Roberts has had a long songwriting career in Nashville. He was born George Austin Robertson Jr. Sept. 19, 1945 in Newport News, VA. He had some success in the early 70s as lead singer of Arkade. He recorded for Philips, ABC-Dunhill and Chelsea. But he had his biggest hit Rocky when he signed with Private Stock Records in 1975. Private Stock was owned by former Bell Records exec Larry Uttal. Rocky had already been a hit on the country charts. The song was written by Jay Stevens AKA Nashville DJ Woody P. Snow. Veteran country music singer Dickey Lee had his only number one country hit with Rocky in 1973. It's a sad song about a guy who loses his wife. And sometimes sad songs are hits. Roberts' recording of Rocky was produced by veteran session musician and former Buddy Holly band member Bob Montgomery. It reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Roberts had a couple of other chart hits like Something's Wrong With Me in 1972 and Keep On Singing in 1973. But Rocky was his most memorable song. He only recorded one album for Private Stock and they closed in 1978. You can get Rocky on this Rhino various artists comp. Roberts recorded as a Christian artist for Newpax and MCA-Songbird. He co-wrote Over You for the 1983 film Tender Mercies which was nominated for an Oscar. He has written songs for film and TV and wrote When You Put Your Heart In it which was the theme for the 1988 US Olympic Gymnastics team. The TV production of his musical Rachinoff won a Cable ACE Award. And he has won two songwriting Grammys for IOU recorded by Lee Greenwood and Chance of a Lifetime recorded by Take 6. Roberts continues to live in Nashville and write songs. Here's a video for Rocky by Austin Roberts.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of the Day-Jerry Butler

Artist:Jerry Butler
Song:O Holy Night
Album:A Soulful Oldies Christmas

This time of year I always am asked about Christmas music. There's so much of it out there people don't know what to buy. And I never know when a Christmas song will play. But I did want to recommend an R&B or jazz Christmas album before Christmas if possible. Jerry Butler is one of the all time great soul singers. He recorded O Holy Night in 1961 on Vee-Jay Records. O Holy Night is a French Christmas carol first recorded by opera singer Enrico Caruso in 1916. Butler's recording is available on several various artists CDs. This CD is from the oldies label Collectables. Sometimes they release radio station branded CDs. A Soulful Oldies Christmas is branded by Los Angeles radio station K-Earth. There is also a CD branded by Philadelphia radio station WDAS that has different songs on it. So you need to be careful. Of course Butler's recording of O Holy Night is great. Other highlights include This Christmas written and sung by Donny Hathaway, the Gamble & Huff song Christmas Ain't Christmas (Without The One You Love) by The O'Jays. White Christmas by The Drifters and What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? by the legendary doo wop group The Orioles. Others on this CD include Otis Redding, Luther Vandross, The Emotions, Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, Baby Washington, Patti Labelle & The Bluebelles, The Manhattans, Isaac Hayes, The Temprees and The Staple Singers. So if you want a soulful Christmas, A Soulful Oldies Christmas could be just the ticket. Here's a video of O Holy Night by Jerry Butler.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Invicta FC lying to themselves by running iPPV

A couple of days ago, Invicta FC announced that their Jan. 4 show will be on iPPV for $7.98. Right off the top, I'll state that I'm not buying it. And I think that will be true of most folks. There are several reasons for this but a lot of folks still won't buy anything over the internet. They don't trust it. When Invicta first started, I predicted they would not survive without a TV deal. This particular move seems very desperate and shows that the end may be near. The biggest problem is that iPPV is not and should not be a primary revenue generator. The only other revenue that Invicta gets is from the live gate and maybe some small sponsorships. Clearly it's not enough. It's well known they operate on a shoestring budget. There are other issues of course. The one company that has any kind of iPPV track record is Ring Of Honor pro wrestling. They've been doing them over the last year. They have had serious technical issues that have improved recently and they just signed with a new provider. But a recent iPPV only drew 1,500 buys. ROH has a significant rabid fanbase built up over ten years and they can't draw decent iPPV numbers. Fortunately, ROH doesn't depend on iPPV. They are owned by Sinclair Broadcasting and have weekly TV. And they have sold DVDs since 2002. Invicta doesn't have anything near that track record. Considering the stream problems they had with the first three shows, what happens if they have stream problems again and they have to issue refunds like ROH did in the spring. So why are they doing this? After the first show, they announced an online viewership figure of 230K. That figure was unfiltered. How many of those 230K got kicked off the stream several times? I was kicked off three times. How many of those 230K stayed for minutes as opposed to hours? And don't forget cable companies change user IP addresses routinely. So no one really knows what the filtered figure is. This is what they're hanging their hat on. It's a house of cards. The other thing is if Invicta has been offered TV as they claim, it makes no financial sense to do an iPPV instead. It doesn't add up. Even live streaming guru Brian Makas doesn't like it. He believes Invicta doesn't have the infrastructure to do iPPV. They don't even have a mailing list to remind fans to tune in. He says they need to have TV first. That's what I have said since they started. There are other things. Nobody with sense announces an iPPV less than three weeks before the show. And they are trying to do this over Christmas. It's also very difficult to get people to pay for something after it's been offered for free. They're trying to get that genie back in the bottle. This is likely to be a major train wreck. And if it doesn't put Invicta out of business, maybe it will smarten them up. The whole thing seems very desperate.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robert Palmer

Artist:Robert Palmer
Song:Addicted To Love
Album:The Very Best of the Island Years

British blue eyed soul singer Robert Palmer had his only number one hit with Addicted To Love in 1985. The song's success owes a lot to the silly music video with models pretending to be musicians. The video was very controversial at the time. He was born Jan. 19, 1949 in Batley, West Yorkshire, England. His father was a naval intelligence officer stationed in Malta so he spent his early years there. His family moved back to Yorkshire in 1959. Palmer was a member of The Mandrakes as a teen. But he got his big break in 1969 when he replaced lead singer Jess Roden in The Alan Bown Set. In 1970 he joined the jazz rock group Dada and shared lead vocals with Elkie Brooks. Dada recorded one album and split up. Palmer and Brooks formed Vinegar Joe in 1971. They recorded three highly acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful albums for Island Records and split up in 1974. Palmer signed with Island and released the highly acclaimed albums Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley and Pressure Drop. But Palmer was looking for commercial success and formed The Power Station with Andy Taylor and John Taylor while Duran Duran were on hiatus in 1984. They recorded one album and were supposed to tour. But Palmer left and went back to his solo career. He recorded Riptide with Andy Taylor and Tony Thompson of The Power Station and it was produced by Bernard Edwards of Chic who also produced The Power Station. The album was Palmer's commercial breakthrough and was certified 2XPlatinum. Addicted To Love topped the Billboard Hot 100. The music video was directed by fashion photographer Terence Donovan. He based the look of the models on the paintings of Patrick Nagel. The video has been parodied a lot and Palmer even did it himself in videos for I Didn't Mean To Turn You On and Simply Irresistible. Those were his other top five hits. You can get all his hits on this budget comp. Palmer left Island for EMI in 1988 and wasn't as successful in the 90s. He was living in Paris when he died of a heart attack on Sept. 26, 2003 at age 54. Here's the video for Addicted To Love by Robert Palmer.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Buddy Rich Big Band

Artist:Buddy Rich Big Band f/Kenny Aronoff
Song:Straight No Chaser
Album:Burning With Buddy: A Tribute To The Music Of Buddy Rich

After the 1987 death of legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich, his band has continued to tour as the Buddy Rich Big Band. This is not as unusual as you might think. For years after his death, the Duke Ellington band was led by his son Mercer Ellington. And there have also been tribute bands for Count Basie and Charles Mingus. The idea to record this 1994 Buddy Rich tribute CD came when Rich's daughter Cathy Rich invited Rush drummer Neil Peart to play at the 1992 Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concert in New York City. A lot of other drummers were there and Peart got the idea to record a Buddy Rich tribute CD featuring a different drummer on each song. This cover of the Thelonious Monk standard Straight No Chaser features session drummer and longtime John Mellencamp band member Kenny Aronson. Other drummers appearing include British session drummer Simon Phillips, jazzman Dave Weckl, legendary sessionman Steve Gadd, Matt Sorum of Guns N' Roses, Steve Smith of Journey, Neil Peart, French drummers Manu Katche and Mino Cinelu, jazz legends Billy Cobham and Max Roach, Rod Morganstein of Winger and The Dixie Dregs, session drummer Omar Hakim, Ed Shaughnessy of the Johnny Carson Tonight Show band, Joe Morello of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Bill Bruford of King Crimson, Marvin "Smitty" Smith of The Jay Leno Show band and Steve Ferrone of Average White Band. This CD was also released on home video. The CD reached #6 on the Jazz Album chart. it did so well that Cathy Rich agreed to record a second tribute CD in 1997 featuring many of the same drummers. Tribute albums don't always turn out as well as this one. It's available as a budget CD so Buddy Rich fans in particular should check it out. Here's the Buddy Rich Big Band featuring Kenny Aronson performing Straight No Chaser from the Burning With Buddy DVD.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jan Clayton & John Raitt

Artist:Jan Clayton & John Raitt
Song:If I Loved You
Album:Carousel: Original Broadway Cast Album

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the musical Carousel after the success of Oklahoma. so they knew comparisons would be made. But the 1945 Broadway production was a success. This clip is from a 1954 live TV tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein. Jan Clayton and John Raitt were part of the original cast. John Raitt is famous as one of the all time greats of musical theatre. And he is also the father of blues guitarist Bonnie Raitt. But I'm sure most folks don't know much about Jan Clayton. Her performance as Julie Jordan in Carousel is probably her biggest success. She was born Aug. 26, 1917 in Tularosa, NM. She moved to Hollywood and appeared in several MGM films. But she got her big break when she went to New York to audition for Carousel. She left Carousel in 1946 to appear in Show Boat. This clip is from the 1954 TV show The General Foods 25th Anniversary Show. it was a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein. Carousel was not turned into a film until 1956 so I think many viewers had not seen anything from the show. And unlike John Raitt, Clayton was never a star. Other than this clip, her best known role was as the mother in the TV show Lassie when it was first produced in 1954. She left and June Lockhart replaced her in 1957. She did TV guest shots for the remainder of her career and died of cancer on Aug. 28, 1983 at age 66. The 1945 original cast recording of Carousel is available as a budget CD. Here's Jan Clayton and John Raitt performing "The Bench Scene" from Carousel which includes If I Loved You on The General Foods 25th Anniversary Show 1954.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yuzuki Aikawa announces retirement

Yuzuki Aikawa, Rossy Ogawa
STARDOM held a press conference today to make an announcement that I am sure STARDOM owner Rossy Ogawa has been dreading for a while. Look at his expression in the picture. Yuzuki Aikawa announced that she will retire from joshi puroresu on the big STARDOM show on Apr. 29. There go Rossy's plans to make her STARDOM's ace. The main reason she is retiring is she simply can't take the physical pounding that comes with pro wrestling. Apparently her modelling agency Platinum Productions has wanted her to quit wrestling for the last year and they finally convinced Rossy to let her go. I think a major factor was the hip injury that kept her out of a couple of shows earlier this year. That had to scare Platinum. Remember she just won the Grand Prix Women's Pro Wrestling Wrestler of the Year for the second year straight. And she's quitting anyway. It's just like Fuuka. Aikawa liked the attention but didn't really like pro wrestling very much. You have to love the business to take the pain that comes with it. Remember this was not a deal with a bikini model who really really wanted to be a pro wrestler. This was a business deal with a modelling agency. Platinum didn't like what they saw and they wanted her to quit and end the relationship. Was Aikawa a good wrestler? I thought her development had stalled over the last year. It's hard to take a non-athlete and turn her into an athlete. Even after two years, high kicks was all she could do. She was slow and had trouble keeping any kind of pace in a match. Her opponents would have to make major adjustments to make her look decent. And a lot of the STARDOM girls are also very green and don't have the ability to make anyone look good. Aikawa was also good at posing with title belts. Aikawa said Miho Wakizawa tried to convince her to stay. And I have to wonder how many of the STARDOM greenhorns will quit after this. It's not encouraging when your "ace" retires. What now for STARDOM? I dunno. It has been proven time and again that hiring models and actresses to be pro wrestlers doesn't work. But Rossy is awfully stubborn.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Miranda Lambert

Artist:Miranda Lambert
Song:Heart Like Mine

Miranda Lambert emerged from the talent contest TV show Nashville Star to become one of today's top country music stars. Heart Like Mine is one of her three number one country hits. She is married to country music star Blake Shelton so I guess they are a Nashville power couple. She was born Nov. 10, 1983 in Longview, TX and grew up in Lindale, TX. Her parents are private investigators but her dad performed on the side and he entered Miranda in talent contests. She performed in local clubs and released a CD independently in 2001. Miranda's big break came when she auditioned for the USA Network talent contest TV show Nashville Star in 2003. She finished third and signed with Epic Records. her debut CD Kerosene was released in 2005. It topped the Country Album chart and was certified Platinum. Kerosene the single reached #15 on the Country Singles chart. Her 2007 CD Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was also certified Platinum. With her third CD Revolution, Miranda finally broke through on the Country Singles chart. The House That Built Me and Heart Like Mine were her first two number one country singles. Miranda co-wrote Heart Like Mine with Travis Howard and Ashley Monroe. Howard was also a contestant on the 2003 season of Nashville Star and has written several songs with Miranda. Monroe currently records for Warner Bros. and is a member of Miranda's group Pistol Annies. Miranda's success continued with her 2011 CD Four The Record and the Pistol Annies CD. All this and she married Blake Shelton May 14, 2011. I guess the only thing that might slow her down is pregnancy. Miranda Lambert is a big star already and is getting bigger. Here's the video for Heart Like Mine by Miranda Lambert.

Monday, December 17, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of the Day-The Quintet

Artist:The Quintet
Song:Wee (Allen's Alley)
Album:Jazz At Massey Hall

This particular concert is considered by many jazz experts to be the greatest live jazz recording in history. It happened at Massey Hall in Toronto on May 15,1953. The lineup was Charlie Parker on alto sax, Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Bud Powell on piano, Charles Mingus on bass and Max Roach on drums. All five are jazz legends. Mingus was a late replacement for Oscar Pettiford who broke his arm playing baseball. It was also the final time Parker and Gillespie played together. Of course everyone knows Parker was a heroin addict. His behaviour was getting worse and Gillespie couldn't stand it anymore. For all his onstage clowning, Gillespie was serious about the music. And he hated drugs. So this was a last hurrah for those two. And needless to say, the music is fantastic. The album was originally released on Mingus' label Debut Records. The concert has been released in various forms over the years. But when Fantasy released it as part of their Original Jazz Classics series, they stuck to the original release and that's available on CD. On the original album, Parker was credited as Charlie Chan because he was under contract to Verve at the time. The concert was promoted by the Toronto New Jazz Society. But the concert was the same night as a Rocky Marciano vs Jersey Joe Walcott boxing match at Maple Leaf Gardens. So the attendance at Massey Hall was so low that Parker was the only musician who got paid. Thankfully we do have this music. Jazz At Massey Hall was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1995. And here in Toronto, the 50th anniversary of the concert was celebrated as Jazz At Massey Hall Day in 2003. Here's a video for Wee (Allen's Alley) by The Quintet at Massey Hall in Toronto May 15, 1953.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ayaka Hamasaki successfully defends JEWELS Lightweight Championship

JEWELS held their year end show yesterday in the cage at Differ Ariake. The main event had Ayaka Hamasaki defending her JEWELS Lightweight Championship against Emi Fujino. The only way Fujino was going to win this fight was to win decisively. I didn't see that happening and it didn't. She is a good enough fighter to lose a competitive unanimous decision. She scored with punches and got a guillotine choke on Hamasaki. Hamasaki said the guillotine was not applied properly but she knew it looked bad to the judges. So from that point, she took control and retained her title by unanimous decision. In the semi, MIZUKI beat Korean Song Kyung Ho with an armbar at 2:14 of round two. Song caught MIZUKI off guard with aggressive strikes. But MIZUKI kept her cool and took control. This girl is very talented. Mika Nagano beat Rina Tomita with an armbar at 2:12 of round one. It was Tomita's retirement match. As you may know, she had cancer a couple of years ago. The retirement ceremony included Megumi Fujii and Tomita's parents. Former California high school wrestling champ Jade Marie Anderson won her MMA debut over women's MMA pioneer Megumi Yabushita by unanimous decision. Jade lives in Korea and is a teammate of Ham Seo Hee. Yabushita can't fight anymore and should quit. Yasuko Tamada won over Satomi Takano by unanimous decision. Kikuyo Ishikawa won over Tomo Maesawa by unanimous decision. Keiko Tomita beat JEWELS matchmaker Yasuko Mogi by TKO at 20 sec of round two. Mogi missed weight and was penalized with a red card. It didn't matter. She has always been a terrible fighter and should stop fighting. Stick to matchmaking. Celine Haga won over Miyoko by unanimous decision. Mina Kurobe beat Naomi Taniyama by rear naked choke at 1:55 of round two. Yurika Tanaka won over Rei Fukui by arm triangle choke at 1:22 of round two. And Naoko Omuro had her exhibition match with Hisae Watanabe and retired. Roxanne Modafferi vs Shizuka Sugiyama was cancelled when Roxanne injured her neck. It turns out she has a hernia. That ain't good.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Boston

Song:Don't Look Back
Album;Greatest Hits

Boston had the potential to be one of the most popular bands of all time. They had two best selling albums in the late 70s and Don't Look Back was one of their two top five hits. But they just didn't record enough music and that even became an issue with their record company. Boston leader Tom Scholz was from Toledo, OH. While attending MIT in Boston, he joined the band Freehold in 1970 where he met guitarist Barry Goudreau and drummer Jim Masdea. Brad Delp was added as lead singer. While working for Polaroid, Scholz financed demos and formed the band Mother's Milk with the other three guys. After the demos were rejected, Scholz recorded new demos virtually alone. Masdea played drums. They got a deal with Epic Records but Masdea left the band and was replaced by Sib Hashian. Bassist Fran Sheehan was also added. Because Scholz played all the instruments on the demo, the band had to audition live for Epic execs to get the deal. Producer John Boylan named them Boston. Their 1976 debut album Boston sold 17M copies and is still the best selling debut album in history. More Than A Feeling reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. They also won a Best New Artist Grammy. Epic tried to de-emphasize Scholz as the mastermind of Boston. but the truth was Scholz recorded the 1978 album Don't Look Back single handedly. And Epic was bugging him for it. Though the album was successful and the single Don't Look Back reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, Scholz felt Epic rushed him and he wasn't satisfied with the end product. He wanted to take his time on the next album so he told the other members to work on other projects. While Delp recorded with Scholz, Epic released a Barry Goudreau solo album and attempted to sell it as Boston. Scholz objected and Goudreau left Boston in 1981 to form Orion The Hunter. Then Epic launched a $60M lawsuit against Scholz for not delivering a Boston album in a timely manner. Scholz continued to record and added guitarist Gary Pihl. The end result of the lawsuit was Scholz got out of his contract with Epic and signed with MCA. Third Stage was released in 1986 and Amanda was Boston's only number one hit. You can get all of Boston's hits on this budget comp. Brad Delp left Boston in 1990 and Scholz had trouble replacing him. He didn't release another album until 1994. And by that time, Delp returned. Another Boston album was released in 2002. Brad Delp committed suicide in 2007. Tom Scholz and Gary Pihl still lead Boston and they toured this year. But there's no question Boston could have been much bigger than they were. Here's the video for Don't Look Back by Boston.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Big Bad Blog Video Theatre-Felice Herrig vs Patricia Vidonic

Here's the match video of Felice Herrig vs Patricia Vidonic from last night's Bellator show. This fight was geo blocked and fans outside North America couldn't watch it live. Felice's original opponent was supposed to be Michele Gutierrez. Apparently they have some sort of personal beef. I dunno. MMA is tough enough without making it personal. A couple of weeks ago, Michele announced that she would have to back out because of a hand injury. but some subterfuge revealed that the real reason for pulling out was she was not going to be able to make 115lb. Not surprised because Michele normally fights at 125. So Patricia stepped in. Felice beat her a few months ago. Patricia missed weight so the fight was at a 118lb catchweight. Before the fight, they both talked about finishing the fight. I figured it would go to a decision. Neither fighter is much of a finisher. Somebody asked me about that last night. My criteria is at least 3/4 of a fighter's wins have to have to finish early to be considered a good finisher. With these two, the majority of their fights have gone the distance. All fighters talk about finishing but a lot can't do it. Patricia tried to be aggressive at the start of the fight. But Felice exhibited excellent defense and then took Patricia down for some ground and pound. That was this fight in a nutshell. Even when Patricia got on top in round three, she was ineffective. Felice won by unanimous decision. I scored it 30-27 for Felice. Felice has improved a lot since joining Jeff Curran's camp a couple of years ago. To become a more complete fighter, I think she needs to work on her grappling. Maybe with improved grappling, she can get a finish. She certainly knows how to promote herself and she will always be in demand because of that ability. I'm not sure what Bellator has planned for her as their next women's tournament will be at 125lb probably in the fall of 2013. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Noah Preminger

Artist:Noah Preminger
Album:Before The Rain

Noah Preminger is a young sax player making his mark in the jazz world. He has recorded two CDs and is getting ready to record his next album. He was born June 2,1986 in Brooklyn, NY and studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. When he moved back to New York, he was a sideman for veteran musicians like pianist Frank Kimbrough and guitarist Ben Monder. Both guys played on Preminger's 2008 debut CD Dry Bridge Road. Preminger signed with the jazz label Palmetto Records. Abreaction is from his 2011 CD Before The Rain. Kimbrough returns for this recording along with bassist John Hebert (was also on the first CD) and drummer Matt Wilson who leads his own band Arts & Crafts. Preminger says on his website that he is going into the studio to record his next CD. I am always asked about the state of jazz because some think jazz is dead or dying. But as long as young musicians like Noah Preminger are emerging, jazz will always live. When I'm doing song of the day, the big problem is finding decent video clips and bios of young jazz musicians. A lot of them need to learn to market themselves. But if you're a jazz fan, you should support guys like Noah Preminger. Here's Noah Preminger with guitarist Ben Monder and his trio performing Abreaction at the Beehive in Boston July 2011. It looks pretty good for a video shot with a Flip camcorder.

Friday, December 14, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-George Harrison

Artist:George Harrison
Song:My Sweet Lord
Album:Let It Roll

Of course George Harrison was known as The Quiet Beatle. But he had a significant solo career after The Beatles. My Sweet Lord was his first number one hit in 1970. He was born Feb. 25, 1943 in Liverpool, England. He went to the same school as John Lennon but was several years younger. He joined The Quarrymen in 1958, Lennon thought he was too young but liked his guitar playing. Of course the Quarrymen became The Beatles. Because Lennon & McCartney wrote and sang most of The Beatles songs, Harrison didn't get many opportunities to shine. But when he did on songs like Here Comes the Sun and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, it was great. Harrison recorded two solo albums, Wonderwall Music and Electronic Sounds, while The Beatles were still together. But both albums were experimental and not intended as commercial music. All Things Must Pass was his first real solo album in 1970. The most unusual thing about the album is it was a 3LP set. That was unheard of in those days. But his first two singles, My Sweet Lord and Isn't It A Pity, topped the Billboard Hot 100. And All Things Must Pass topped the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 6XPlatinum. As you probably know, Harrison was sued for plagiarism because My Sweet Lord resembled The Chiffons hit He's So Fine. Harrison lost as the court ruled "unconscious plagiarism". Though he didn't do it intentionally, the general feeling is he should have known how similar My Sweet Lord was to He's So Fine. Harrison's only other number one hit was Give Me Love from the 1973 album Living In The Material World. Harrison started his own label Dark Horse in 1976 and continued to record. This comp covers his whole career. He was also a member of the 80s supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. And he was a co-owner of HandMade Films. George Harrison was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1997 and despite aggressive treatment, he died Nov. 29, 2001 at age 58. For more about George Harrison, check out Martin Scorsese's documentary Living In The Material World. Here's George Harrison performing My Sweet Lord at the Concert For Bangla Desh at Madison Square Garden in New York Aug. 1, 1971.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I have a new PC and I love it

If you were wondering about today's song of the day, things will be back to normal tomorrow. I got a new PC yesterday and I wasn't online until this afternoon. My old PC just didn't cut it anymore. It was way too slow and I was running out of hard drive space. So I went to Ebay and last Friday I won an auction for an HP All In One desktop computer. I decided that now that I have a tablet, I don't need a laptop. It is refurbished but it's like a brand new computer. And it's very compact. There's no tower. And it comes with Windows 7 pre-installed. I got it from a Mississauga company called Surplus By Design. It was supposed to be delivered on Tuesday but the UPS driver went to the wrong building so I got it on Wednesday. And even with my physical limitations, I hooked it up myself. The only problem was the modem would not connect with the PC. I called Rogers and I thought the modem needed to be replaced. But when the Rogers service guy came today, it just needed a new ethernet cable. So I was back online this afternoon. Just tweaking a few settings and I have to download a couple more apps. But there is plenty of time for that. As some of you may know, I collect desktop wallpapers, usually music related. I use Dropbox to share them with my phone and tablet. And the advantage of using Dropbox is you don't have to back up shared files to a disc. You just sign into Dropbox on the new device and it automatically loads the files. What a great product. Check it out.

Megumi Fujji vs VV Mei added to Dec. 24 Vale Tudo Japan show

VV Mei, Megumi Fujii
A press conference was held today to announce that Megumi Fujii vs VV Mei has been added to the Dec. 24 Vale Tudo Japan show at Yoyogi National Stadium. The fight is contracted for 115lb and scheduled for two five minute rounds. And it's in a cage. So who is Vale Tudo Japan? They are an offshoot of Shooto and this is the first show under the name Vale Tudo Japan. I really wish Japanese promoters would knock off the two round matches. They should be three rounds. The most interesting thing about this match is that it isn't on this Saturday's JEWELS show. It's been known for a while that Megumi does not like JEWELS owner Yuichi Ozono's insistance on having limited MMA rules. A lot of us don't like it either. And I don't think Mei likes it either. There has been talk recently that Megumi might retire. There was even a rumour that she would retire on the New Year's Eve Glory show. Her knees are really bad. I don't know how many fights she has left. But as I have said many times, I would like to see Megumi and her best friend Hitomi Akano retire together. The announcement of a match of this magnitude really overshadows this Saturday's JEWELS show especially since Roxanne Modafferi has been forced to drop out of her match against Shizuka Sugiyama due to a neck injury. The match has been cancelled. One would think that when a match with two of the top stars of women's MMA doesn't appear in JEWELS, it might give owner Yuichi Ozono pause for thought. Forget it. He's a moron.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Libby York

Artist:Libby York
Song:I Love Being Here With You
Album:Here With You

Libby York is a contemporary jazz singer in the tradition of classic jazz singers of the 50s like Peggy Lee and June Christy. I think she will appeal to fans of that kind of sound. She was born in Chicago in 1953. She always sang but didn't record until the 90s. She majored in political science at American University in Washington, DC. Then she moved to Delaware and owned a restaurant in the 70s. She moved to New York in 1981 and studied with jazz legend Abbey Lincoln. She sang in clubs at night and worked day jobs including as a production assistant on Saturday Night Live. It was here that she met the wonderful pianist Renee Rosnes and the two have worked together ever since. Libby moved back to Chicago in 1994 and has recorded three CDs including Here With You on her own label in 2008. She has a great band with Renee Rosnes on piano. Guitarist Howard Alden wrote the arrangements but most of the guitar solos are by Russell Malone. There is also veteran trumpeter Warren Vache and drummer Vanderlei Pereira. I Love Being Here With You was written by Peggy Lee and she first recorded it in the 50s. Many singers have covered it. I gather that Libby York still plays clubs in Chicago and New York and she's worth checking out. Here's Libby York with Renee Rosnes on piano, Varren Vache on trumpet, Howard Alden on guitar, Todd Coleman on bass and Tom Melito on drums performing I Love Being Here With You at the Metropolitan Room in New York City May 29, 2009.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Molly Hatchet

Artist:Molly Hatchet
Song:Dreams I'll Never See
Album:Greatest Hits

Southern rock band Molly Hatchet had a brief run of success in the late 70s. They never had a hit single but they did score three Platinum albums. The band's decline was a result of the departure of lead singer Danny Joe Brown in 1980. They never recovered from that. Molly Hatchet was from Jacksonville, FL founded by guitarists Dave Hlubek and Steve Holland. Supposedly Molly Hatchet was a prostitute who decapitated her clients. Hlubek was lead singer at first but Danny Joe Brown became lead singer when he joined them in 1974. Other members were Duane Roland on guitar, Banner Thomas on bass and Bruce Crump on drums. Molly Hatchet's friendship with Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special is what got them a record deal with Epic Records. Lynyrd Skynyrd lead singer Ronnie Van Zant planned to produce Molly Hatchet's debut album. But of course he died in that tragic 1977 plane crash. Dreams I'll Never See is from their 1978 debut album Molly Hatchet. Unlike other Southern rock bands, Molly Hatchet was more of a hard rock band who happened to be from the south. The album went Platinum and their second album Flirtin' With Disaster went 3XPlatinum. Though the band wrote most of their own songs, Dreams I'll Never See was written by Gregg Allman and recorded by The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Danny Joe Brown left in 1980 to go solo and was replaced by Jimmy Farrar. Though the 1980 album Beatin' The Odds went Platinum, the band declined after that. Brown's solo album was unsuccessful and he returned to Molly Hatchet in 1982. But by then it was too late and after other personnel changes, Hlubek left in 1986. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. Molly Hatchet retired in 1990. Brown attempted to reform Molly Hatchet but he got sick and died in 2005. The band still was around in name only. The trademark was owned by 80s member Bobby Ingram. The band still tours and Hlubek rejoined in 2005. Old rock bands never die. They just keep touring. Here's Molly Hatchet performing Dreams I'll Never See 1979.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tara successfully defends TNA Knockouts Championship over Mickie James

Here's the match video from last night's TNA PPV with Tara vs Mickie James for the TNA Knockouts Championship. Obviously the match is much better than the matches with Brooke Adams because Mickie James has a decade of experience. It was great to see her back after her surgery. You may have heard that she thought she broke a rib. But when she went to her doctor, it turned out she had a mass of some sort. It needed to be removed and fortunately it turned out to be benign. And though I would have liked to see Mickie win the belt as a triumphant return, I'm not surprised that TNA is more interested in getting Jessie Godderz over at the expense of Tara and Mickie James. They deserve to get over, not him. For the most part, the match was what I would expect from these two. They both know what they are doing. But I thought the ending was rushed. I did not think that Mickie was in a weakened enough condition for the Widow's Peak. TNA would suggest that the distraction of Jessie was enough. I don't agree. The ending was too abrupt. Enjoy the video!
TNA Final Resolution 2012 Tara W Jesse Vs... by mrlog45

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Mahavishnu Orchestra

Artist:The Mahavishnu Orchestra
Song:The Noonward Race
Album:The Inner Mounting Flame

Like Weather Report, The Mahavishnu Orchestra was a spinoff group from the Miles Davis landmark jazz fusion album Bitches Brew. They were led by legendary guitarist John McLaughlin. The Inner Mounting Flame was a very successful album. But the band dissolved and McLaughlin formed a new Mahavishnu Orchestra for the second album Birds Of Fire. McLaughlin played on Bitches Brew and the idea for The Mahavishnu Orchestra came when he met drummer Billy Cobham at the recording sessions for Davis' score for the film Jack Johnson. Cobham was a member of the jazz rock group Dreams led by Randy and Michael Brecker. Cobham was gaining a reputation for his power. McLaughlin wanted a violin in the band. His first choice was Frenchman Jean-Luc Ponty who had played with Frank Zappa. But immigration concerns forced McLaughlin to find someone else and he hired Jerry Goodman of the jazz rock group The Flock. Keyboard player Jan Hammer played with drummer Elvin Jones and was an early user of the Mini Moog Synthesizer. Irish bassist Rick Laird played with Brian Auger in England and had recently moved to the US. The band was really powerful. The Inner Mounting Flame is available as a budget CD. But there were problems. McLaughlin got credit for all the songs on The Inner Mounting Flame and the guys thought they deserved more credit for the songs. Also, Goodman and Laird did not get along and a brawl broke out in the studio during the recording of The Noonward Race. They recorded a second album at Trident Studios in London but it was never finished and sat in the Columbia Records vault until it was released on CD in 1999. After the band split, McLaughlin formed a new Mahavishnu Orchestra with Jean-Luc Ponty, Gayle Moran, Ralphe Armstrong and Narada Michael Walden. That band recorded Birds Of Fire and then Ponty left over songwriting credit. Billy Cobham left The Mahavishnu Orchestra for a very successful solo career. He was part of the 1984 revival of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. He is one of the all time great jazz drummers. Jan Hammer worked with Jeff Beck on Wired and is best known for composing the music for the 80s TV show Miami Vice. Jerry Goodman recorded solo and with Hammer. In the 90s, he was a member of The Dixie Dregs and he currently works with keyboard player Gary Husband. Rick Laird played with Stan Getz and Chick Corea. He retired from music in 1982 and teaches bass and is a renowned photographer. Here's The Mahavishnu Orchestra performing The Noonward Race on the BBC 1972.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Hisae Watanabe set for Naoko Omuro retirement match on Dec. 15 JEWELS show

Naoko Omuro, Yasuko Mogi, Hisae Watanabe
JEWELS announced today that retired fighter Hisae Watanabe will be the opponent for Naoko Omuro's retirement match on the Dec. 15 Differ Ariake. This will be an exhibition match. It is not a real fight. Hisae started out as a kickboxer training at Pancrase with her longtime training partner WINDY Tomomi. Hisae transitioned to MMA and won the 2004 Golden Muscles tournament that aired on Tokyo Broadcasting System. To date, this is the only Women's MMA event to air on one of the major broadcast networks in Japan. Hisae became a star and had a pretty good run at Smackgirl. She is one of the few female fighters who had real knockout punching power. She faced Omuro twice and won both fights. Hisae got married and retired in 2008. After having a baby, she returned to kickboxing and started a feud with SHOOT BOXING poster girl RENA. They were supposed to fight in Apr. 2010 but a broken hand forced RENA to bow out. But they did fight at the 2010 Girls S-Cup and RENA won by TKO. We haven't seen Hisae since then. She never did return to MMA though that was the plan. She never officially retired but unless this taste lights a fire under her, Hisae Watanabe isn't expected to return to fighting. JEWELS also announced a grappling match with BJJ champ Utako Yuasa facing Amiba.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Richard Harris

Artist:Richard Harris
Song:MacArthur Park
Album:MacArthur Park

In the 60s, Richard Harris was an actor who was compared frequently to Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole. Like his buddies, Harris couldn't really sing. But he tried anyway and MacArthur Park was a top five hit in 1968. It was very unusual. He was born Oct. 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland. After a promising rugby career was cut short by tuberculosis, Harris moved to London to study acting. He made his stage debut in 1956 and his film debut in 1958. But his big break came when he starred in the 1963 film This Sporting Life and was nominated for an Oscar. His other big role was as King Arthur in the 1967 film musical Camelot. Jimmy Webb was a successful songwriter with hits like Up, Up and Away for The Fifth Dimension and By The Time I Get To Phoenix for Glen Campbell. At the time, he was starting a new production company. Harris and Webb met at a party in Los Angeles and Harris told Webb he wanted to record. At first, Webb didn't take him seriously. But then Webb went to London and Harris chose MacArthur Park as his recording debut. This was a song that was rejected by many artists including The Association. The record was seven minutes long at a time when most hit records were less than three minutes. It also had an orchestral break in the middle. Many record companies turned it down until Lou Adler released it on Dunhill Records. The song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a Grammy for the arrangement. The record was so melodramatic and the lyrics so obtuse that speculation was the song was about drugs. Webb says the song is about his breakup with Susan Ronstadt (Linda's cousin). He says they used to hang out at MacArthur Park. The song has been parodied many times, most notably by Dave Thomas at SCTV. And Donna Summer topped the charts with her 1978 disco version of MacArthur Park. Harris recorded two albums with Webb and you can get them on this Universal UK CD. Harris went back to acting. He was very busy in the 70s but health problems due to alcoholism forced him to cut back in the 80s. He returned in the 1990 film The Field and was rewarded with a Best Actor Oscar nomination. He also played Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. His granddaughter told him if he didn't do the Harry Potter films she would never speak to him again. Richard Harris was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease Aug. 2002 and died Oct. 25, 2002 at age 72. Here's a video from a British TV show The 50 Best One Hit Wonders where MacArthur Park is discussed and clips are shown of Richard Harris performing the song.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Big Bad Blog Video TheatreJessica Eye vs Zoila Gurgel

Here is the fight video of Jessica Eye vs Zoila Gurgel from last night's Bellator show. As you know, the show was geo blocked and fans outside North America can't watch it live. I told Jessica yesterday that she needed to finish Zoila as Zoila has been extraordinarily lucky when the fight goes to the judges. Judges seem to be blinded by her flashy style though she doesn't do much. I told someone else that Zoila is the worst fighter with the best record. She was very unimpressive in her recent fight against Casey Noland. That fight should have been a lot easier for her. What Jessica needed to do was be aggressive and stay aggressive. If she is tentative with Zoila, that plays into Zoila's hands and the end result is an undeserved split decision win for Zoila. When a fighter is told "Don't leave it to the judges", it should be illustrated with a picture of Zoila Gurgel. So that's what Jessica did. She knocked Zoila down with a shot between the eyes and then connected two more times while Zoila was down. Jessica needed to stay on her. And though Zoila did get up, Jessica applied a standing choke that was worthy of Sgt. Slaughter's Cobra Clutch. I thought I was watching Shoot Boxing for a minute. When was the last time you saw one of those? Jessica took Zoila to the fence and started rubbing her face in the fence, something she said she wanted to do before the fight. Zoila is trying to defend but as you can see, her face was turning purple so she didn't have much time. The fight was stopped at 58 seconds of the first round. It's scored as a technical submission because the ref called the match because Zoila was out cold. This is Jessica's biggest win to date. She was more aggressive than I had seen her in the past. She needs to keep it up. And maybe Zoila Gurgel's luck has finally run out. Check out the video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra

Artist:Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra f/Jack Leonard
Album:The Best Of Tommy Dorsey

Tommy Dorsey was one of the most successful Big Band leaders of the 30s and 40s especially when Frank Sinatra was in his 40s band. But Dorsey was successful before that. Marie was a number one hit in 1937. I'm going to look at his early years and may look at the Sinatra years some other time. He was born Nov. 19, 1905 in Shenandoah, PA. Tommy played trombone and older brother Jimmy played sax. They worked together in the 20s for Jean Goldkette and The California Ramblers. In 1927 they joined Paul Whiteman's band and in 1929 they had their first hit single Coquette. The Dorsey Brothers signed with Decca in 1934 and had some success with songs like I Believe In Miracles. But they didn't get along and Tommy Dorsey left to form his own band in 1935. He basically took over the Joe Haymes orchestra. Dorsey became known for raiding bands when he saw a musician he liked. Dorsey signed with RCA Records and was successful immediately. But his manager suggested that Dorsey be less of a jazz band and more of a pop vocal band. So Dorsey had the talent to be a jazz musician. He just chose not to be one. Marie was one of his many number one hits in 1937. The song was written by Irving Berlin. The singer is Jack Leonard, not to be confused with comedian Jack E. Leonard. In 1935, Dorsey hired Leonard, arranger Axel Stordahl and trumpeter Joe Bauer from Bert Block's orchestra and they were in the Dorsey band as the vocal group The Three Esquires. Leonard was a handsome guy and was a good singer. But he left the Dorsey band in 1939 and was soon replaced by Frank Sinatra. The rest is history. Leonard wasn't very successful on his own. This RCA budget comp is a good intro to Dorsey's music and features Leonard, Sinatra and Jo Stafford. By the late-40s, big band music was dying and after Dorsey appeared in the 1947 film The Fabulous Dorseys, he retired. Tommy Dorsey returned in the 50s but he wasn't as successful. He died on Nov. 26, 1956 at age 51. Here's Tommy Dorsey with Stuart Foster performing Marie from the 1947 film The Fabulous Dorseys.

Friday, December 07, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Cult

Artist:The Cult
Song:She Sells Sanctuary
Album:Pure Cult: The Singles 1984-1995

I would describe The Cult as having a very similar sound to U2. The big difference was that The Cult's personnel was not as stable as U2 and a band needs that stability for long term success. But The Cult's mid-80s albums did very well despite never having a big hit single. She Sells Sanctuary is their signature song. Lead singer Ian Astbury is from Bradford, Yorkshire, England. He started Southern Death Cult with members of the punk band Violation in 1981. They released a single and toured England. But Astbury disbanded them in Feb. 1983. It's not clear why he did this. But in Apr. 1983, he started a new band Death Cult when he met guitarist Billy Duffy. Duffy had played with Morrissey in the pre-Smiths band The Nosebleeds. These were the two main members of The Cult. The rest of the band was a revolving door. They went through a lot of musicians. They signed with Beggars Banquet Records and released their debut album Dreamtime in 1984. The album did well enough in England to get them a US deal with Sire Records. She Sells Sanctuary is from their 1985 album Love. It was never a hit single but the video went into regular rotation on MTV. The album sold 2 1/2 million copies worldwide. The Cult's success continued for a few years but they faded in the early 90s. And Astbury and Duffy weren't getting along. They split up in 1995. You can get all their singles on this budget comp. Astbury's attempt to record solo didn't work out and The Cult reformed in 1999. They have split up and reformed a couple of times, most recently in 2011. If Astbury and Duffy want to work together, they hire musicians to back them up. The Cult released a new CD Weapon Of Choice Oct. 2012. Here's the video for She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche set for UFC 157 Feb. 23 in Anaheim

When I wrote about this earlier, I didn't know it would be announced today. At today's press conference in Seattle, UFC President Dana White gave Ronda Rousey her UFC Women's Championship belt and then announced that Ronda will defend the belt against Liz Carmouche on UFC 157 Feb. 23 in Anaheim. It will be the main event. So I'm already seeing a lot of "Why is Ronda Rousey headlining a PPV?" whining. I'll put it to you this way. I'm a NASCAR fan and I see the same whining about Danica Patrick. And whether you like Danica or not, she transcends auto racing and attracts eyeballs that would normally not be interested in NASCAR. It's the same thing with Ronda. She attracts fans who wouldn't normally watch MMA partially because of her looks and charisma. Of course the big difference is Ronda is already a champ and a major league badass. Liz Carmouche is a decent fighter. Her story as a former marine and and the first openly gay female fighter is interesting to some...but not me. I'm only interested in her cage performance and her two wins in Invicta did not convince me that she is a main event fighter. She has punching power but in her two Strikeforce losses, her lack of cage awareness really hurt her. It cost her a win over Marloes Coenen. She got hoodwinked. Ronda has way too many little tricks at her disposal and I don't expect Liz to last any longer than Ronda's other opponents. Ronda is relentless. You saw what Ronda did to Sarah Kaufman and Sarah beat Liz. In this video from the press conference, Ronda talks about other potential opponents who were offered this fight. One correction. Miesha Tate was not offered this fight. When asked by UFC if she would be ready to return in February, she said no. So they just dropped it and offered it to Sara McMann instead. And Sara did turn it down. And White blamed Tito Ortiz for advising Cris Cyborg to turn down the fight. He still wants her to accept it at 145. Even Cris knows that ship has sailed. As the Ronda Rousey train rolls on, it remains to be seen if any of that stuff matters. Here's the video from today's press conference.