Wednesday, February 29, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Soul II Soul

Artist:Soul II Soul f/Caron Wheeler
Song:Back To Life
Album:Vol. IV: The Classic Singles 1988-1993

Back To Life was the biggest hit for the British soul group Soul II Soul in 1989. One of the problems with Soul II Soul was they weren't a group in the traditional sense which I think hurt them commercially. They came out of the London house music scene led by DJ Jazzie B (Beresford Romeo) along with DJ Nellee Hooper, keyboard player Simon Law and guitarist Philip "Daddae" Harvey. Buzz about Soul II Soul in the London club scene led to a contract with Virgin Records. Their first two singles didn't catch on. But then the third single Keep On Movin' reached #5 on the British Singles chart in 1989. The song featured lead singer Caron Wheeler who before Soul II Soul was mainly a backup singer. Virgin told Jazzie B they wanted another single featuring Caron. The problem was she wasn't a regular member of Soul II Soul and had only recorded one other song. Back To Life was to be on the Soul II Soul album Club Classics Vol. 1 in an a capella version. Jazzie B remixed the song and that's the version that was released as a single. It isn't on the album but you can get it on this comp. The song topped the British Singles chart and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Keep On Movin' was released in the US afterwards and reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Caron Wheeler went on to a brief solo career and never recorded with Soul II Soul again though she did tour with them in 2009. They continued to have some success in England but faded and disbanded in 1997. Jazzie B and Nellee Hooper have both gone on to significant record producing careers. Jazzie B owns a clothing company and hosts a weekly radio show on BBC. It almost seems like music fans wanted to hear Caron Wheeler and Soul II Soul together because separately neither was very successful. Here's the video for Back To Life by Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Aussie fighter Alex Chambers to Japan for Mar. 3 JEWELS show

Alex Chambers
Yesterday JEWELS announced a new fight for the Mar. 3 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. In a match contracted for 53.5kg, teen fighter MIZUKI will face Aussie Alex Chambers. The 17 year old MIZUKI trains at White Heart Karate. Her MMA record is 2-1 and her last fight was a loss to Ayaka Hamasaki on the Sept. 11 JEWELS show. For the most part, she's a kickboxer for J-Girls and I think that's where her future lies. But she also beat Ai Takahashi in SHOOT BOXING on Feb. 5. She certainly keeps busy. Alex Chambers is 30 years old and trains at the VT-1 Gym in Chatsworth, New South Wales, Australia. She has also trained with Megumi Fujii at AACC. Her basic training is karate but she also has a BJJ purple belt. Her record is 2-0 and her last fight was a TKO win over Claire Fryer on the July 31, 2010 RIZE 6 show in Chandler, Queensland, Australia. I understand this was the first ever female fight held in a cage in Australia. JEWELS also added a kickboxing match and I expect a couple more matches to be added.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Climax

Song:Precious and Few
Album:Oldies But Goodies Vol. 15

The 1972 top five hit Precious and Few was the only hit for Climax. The funny part is it sat unreleased in the record company vault for two years. It was a fluke that it was even released. Sonny Geraci was the lead singer of The Outsiders who had a top five hit with Time Won't Let Me in 1966. They were from Cleveland and were an early example of Blue Eyed Soul. When they split up in 1968, Geraci moved to Los Angeles and formed a new version of The Outsiders. But guitarist Tom King successfully sued Geraci for the use of The Outsiders name. So Geraci called the new band Climax. Other members were guitarist Walter Nims, keyboard player John Stevenson and bassist Larry Cox. They didn't have a regular drummer. They used studio musicians. Marc Gordon was the manager of The Fifth Dimension and husband of Florence LaRue. He started Rocky Road Records with distribution by The Fifth Dimension's label Bell Records. He signed Climax and Precious and Few was recorded in 1970. The song was written by Walter Mims. It appears that Gordon was not happy with the recording and told Cox to re-record the song emphasizing Geraci's vocals. But the song wasn't released until a Bell Records executive heard it on a radio station in 1972 and decided to release it. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was their only chart hit. According to Geraci, The Fifth Dimension were unhappy with Gordon starting a new record company. So Gordon had to put out that fire and then Climax got lost in the shuffle when Clive Davis bought Bell and changed the name to Arista. Climax only released one album and the second album was never released. Geraci resurfaced in 1983 with The Peter Emmett Project on MCA Records. When that bombed, He moved back to Cleveland and worked for the family renovation business. Today he tours the oldies circuit as Sonny Geraci and the Outsiders. You can get Precious and Few on this various artists comp that is part of a long running series. It has original artists doing original versions. Here's Climax performing Precious and Few 1972.

Monday, February 27, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Hot Hot Heat

Artist:Hot Hot Heat
Song:Talk To Me, Dance With Me
Album:Make Up The Breakdown

The Canadian band Hot Hot Heat started out in 1999 as a synthesizer influenced noise punk band. They toned it down after some personnel changes and are now heavily influenced by 70s punk. The 2002 CD is probably their most successful recording to date. Hot Hot Heat are from Shawinigan Lake, BC. Lead singer and keyboard player Steve Bays and bassist Dustin Hawthorne had played together in several bands. They met drummer Paul Hawley in 1998 and he brought a keyboard with him to see if Bays could play it. Matthew Marnik was the original lead singer. The group released an EP in 1999 that could best be described as Synthpunk. Marnik left and Bays took over the vocals and guitarist Dante DeCaro was added. So they became a more 70s punk influenced band. After some touring and a few singles, they signed with Seattle based indie label Sub Pop. Make Up The Breakdown was their full length debut CD produced by veteran Sub Pop producer Jack Endino. The album got a lot of critical acclaim but Hot Hot Heat were never going to be a big chart success. Their niche was dance punk. Make Up The Breakdown is considered their best record to date. DeCaro left to join Wolf Parade in 2005 and was replaced by Luke Paquin. They also signed with Warner Bros. for their 2005 CD Elevator. They got lost in the shuffle there and that would not have happened at Sub Pop. After a two year hiatus, Hot Hot Heat signed with Toronto based indie label Dine Alone Records and their latest CD Future Breeds was released in June 2010. The group is still touring and I expect new music is on the way in the near future. Hot Hot Heat will appeal to punk music fans. Here's the video for Talk To Me, Dance With Me by Hot Hot Heat.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tevin Campbell

Artist:Tevin Campbell
Song:I'm Ready
Album:I'm Ready

As a teenager in the 90s, Tevin Campbell had a string of R & B hits and also crossed over to pop. He worked with some of the top producers in the music industry. By 1999, he was already in decline when an arrest for lewd behaviour killed his career. He is now on the comeback trail. He was born Nov. 12, 1976 in Waxahachie, TX and he grew up singing in church. Though uber-producer Quincy Jones is frequently credited with discovering Campbell, he was actually discovered in 1988 when he auditioned over the phone for flute player Bobbi Humphrey. She took his demo to Warner Bros. exec Benny Medina and he introduced Campbell to Jones. Campbell debuted on the Jones album Back On The Block singing the number one R & B hit Tomorrow in 1990. Then Campbell appeared in the Prince film Graffiti Bridge and the single Round and Round reached #3 on the R & B Singles chart and #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. His debut album T.E.V.I.N. was certified Platinum and Tell Me What You Want Me To Do was his first number one R & B hit. His 1993 album I'm Ready did even better and was certified 2XPlatinum. Can We Talk topped the R & B Singles chart and I'm Ready reached #2. Both songs reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. I'm Ready was written and produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and on that album he also worked with Prince and Narada Michael Walden. His 1996 album Back To The World did not do as well and the decline continued with his 1999 album Tevin Campbell. The thing I noticed about those two albums is Campbell had more input into the songwriting and production. I guess some singers should stick to singing. Then in Sept. 1999, Campbell was arrested in Van Nuys, CA for soliciting a lewd act from an undercover police officer. It was part of a sting operation. He was also in possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was fined when he pled no contest and attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Of course Warners dropped him. They released a Tevin Campbell comp in 2001 that is out of print. But I'm Ready is still available on CD. Campbell appeared in the 2005 Broadway revival of Hairspray and also appeared in the 2010 Australian production of the show. On a 2010 episode of The Mo'Nique Show, he said he was planning a comeback and this will be updated on an upcoming episode of the TV One reality show Life After. I'm sure he sounds much different from his chart topping days. Here's the video for I'm Ready by Tevin Campbell. This video is not on Youtube.
Tevin Campbell - I'm ready by welcomeback

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Could Nanae Takahashi be the next opponent for Amanda Lucas

Nanae Takahashi
STARDOM owner Rossy Ogawa posted on his blog that DEEP matchmaker Shigeru Saeki wants either Nanae Takahashi or Yuzuki Aikawa to face Amanda Lucas on an future DEEP show. Ogawa not only said he would not allow either of them to do MMA but he said that Saeki has been bugging him about Takahashi for a long time. It appears that Saeki booked Yumiko Hotta for the fight after Ogawa said no to booking Takahashi. So the question is would either of them want to do MMA. Because Ogawa can say he won't allow it but if they want to do MMA, he can't stop them. I think it's very doubtful that Aikawa would be interested. She's a bikini model turned pro wrestler and she's still very inexperienced at pro wrestling. The only thing I wonder about is all these girls at STARDOM idolize Fuuka and she did MMA and SHOOT BOXING. So any of them might want to emulate her. Also, Aikawa is too small for Lucas. Takahashi is a different story. She is a 16 year veteran pro wrestler currently working for STARDOM as a wrestler and trainer. She is 33 years old. Back in 2010, she was supposed to make her SHOOT BOXING debut on the S-Girls Cup show in August. But they couldn't find an opponent for her so she did an exhibition match with Fuuka. I wrote about this at this link. So Takahashi has shown interest in legit fighting. The other thing is she is very good friends with Yumiko Hotta and attended the DEEP show to support her. Who knows how that might have affected her thinking? Takahashi is a good size matchup for Lucas. She is 5'9" and has lost about 20lbs and weighs 140. She looks to be in better shape than I have ever seen her and I have covered her whole career. But does she want to put in the time training for MMA? And I would like to see her do at least one match before she faces Amanda Lucas. So if Takahashi wants to do MMA, I could certainly see her as a potential opponent for Amanda Lucas. Tip of the hat to Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion for the item on Ogawa's blog.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Vern Gosdin

Artist:Vern Gosdin
Song:Set 'Em Up Joe
Album:Super Hits

Vern Gosdin was at the forefront of country music's return to traditionalism in the 80s. Set 'Em Up Joe was one of his three number one country hits in 1988. He was known in Nashville as The Voice. He was born Aug. 5, 1934 in Woodland, AL and grew up singing in church where his mom played piano. He was a big fan of The Louvin Brothers. After singing in the family gospel group as a teen, Gosdin and his brother Rex moved to Los Angeles in 1961. They were involved in the fledgling country rock movement with The Golden State Boys and then The Hillmen featuring Chris Hillman of The Byrds. Vern and Rex had a top 40 hit as The Gosdin Brothers with Hangin' On in 1967. In 1972, Gosdin quit the music business and opened a glass shop in Atlanta. Emmylou Harris convinced Gosdin that country music was returning to its roots and he should move to Nashville. He knew Emmylou in Los Angeles. A demo earned Gosdin a contract with Elektra Records and he had a few country music hits. But Elektra closed their country division in 1980. He recorded for Ovation Records but they closed. Then he had a few hits with Compleat Records including his first number one country hit I Can Tell By The Way You Dance but they also closed. The success of singers like Randy Travis convinced Columbia Records to sign Gosdin in 1987. Set 'Em Up Joe topped the country music singles chart in 1988. Gosdin wrote the song as a tribute to Ernest Tubb along with Dean Dillon, Hank Cochran and Buddy Cannon. He had his final number one hit in 1989 with I'm Still Crazy. Gosdin left Columbia in 1993. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. Gosdin got the rights to all his songs and released the box set 40 Years Of The Voice in on his own label in 2008. He died as the result of a stroke on Apr. 28, 2009 at age 74. Here's Vern Gosdin performing Set 'Em Up Joe at The Grand Ole Opry 1991.

Friday, February 24, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lobo

Song:I'd Love You To Want Me
Album:The Best Of Lobo

I'd Love You To Want Me was the biggest hit for singer songwriter Lobo in 1972. He had three top ten hits in the early 70s and when his career faded, he remained popular in Asia. He was born Roland Kent LaVoie July 31, 1943 in Tallahassee, FL. In 1961, his first band The Rumors included Gram Parsons and Jim Stafford. While attending the University Of South Florida in 1964, he joined The Sugar Beats and they had a regional hit with a cover of the Johnny Rivers song What Am I Doing Here?. It was here that LaVoie met Phil Gernhard who would produce his 70s hits. Gernhard had a long career in music with a knack for producing novelty songs like Jim Stafford's Spiders and Snakes and Snoopy vs The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsmen. He also produced Dion Dimucci's 1968 monster hit Abraham, Martin & John. LaVoie bounced around several bands and Gernhard produced his 1969 single Happy Days In New York City for Laurie Records. Then Gernhard took a staff producer job for the new label Big Tree Records. Big Tree was founded by current Sony Music chairman Doug Morris in 1970. Morris sold the label to Atlantic Records in 1974 and became co-chairman of Atlantic. LaVoie signed with Big Tree and Gernhard produced his single Me and You and a Dog Named Boo. Supposedly, LaVoie was concerned about being labeled as a novelty act and took the stage name Lobo. I guess he thought if the song was a failure, he could still record under his own name. But Me and You and a Dog Named Boo reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. That was from his debut album Introducing Lobo. His second album was never released but his third album Of A Simple Man did much better. I'd Love You To Want Me reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972 and Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend reached #8 in 1973. He had a few more chart hits and you can get them all on this Rhino comp. Lobo and Gernhart left Big Tree in 1976 and recorded an album in Europe. Then Gernhart took a job with Curb Records and took Lobo with him. Lobo recorded one single and then signed with MCA in 1979. He was so unhappy with the resulting album that he asked for his release. He moved to Nashville and started his own label. At this point, Lobo was through in the US but he was still a big deal in Asia and has recorded for labels in Taiwan and Singapore. Lobo continues to tour Asia on a regular basis. Here's Lobo performing I'd Love You To Want Me on the German TV show Melody 1972.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Darcy James Argue's Secret Society

Artist:Darcy James Argue's Secret Society
Album:Infernal Machines

Composer and bandleader Darcy James Argue made a big splash with this 2009 big band CD. It generated a lot of buzz with jazz critics and was nominated for a Grammy. The music is described as Steampunk Jazz. I'm not sure what that is because the term Steampunk is a literary term. But I guess it's supposed to label Argue's music as experimental. There are obvious influences. Argue was born May 23, 1975 in Vancouver, BC. He moved to the US in 2000 to study at the New England Conservatory Of Music to study composition with legendary jazz trombonist Bob Brookmeyer. He moved to Brooklyn, NY in 2005 and formed the big band Secret Society. The 2009 CD Infernal Machines is his only CD to date. Argue has acknowledged the influence of Maria Schneider's big band but that influence is obvious even if he didn't acknowledge her success. The trumpet solo on Transit is by fellow Canadian Ingrid Jensen who has played with plenty of bands including Maria Schneider's band. As the Wall Street Journal said about Argue's music, this ain't your Grandpa's big band music. Argue has yet to record a second CD but the band still performs mostly in the New York area but they also tour. And he premiered the multimedia production Brooklyn Babylon at the 2011 BAM Next Wave Festival. So he's keeping busy. Here's David James Argue's Secret Society performing Transit on Philadelphia PBS station WHYY's On Canvas Jan. 2010.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-David Frizzell & Shelly West

Artist:David Frizzell & ShellyWest
Song:You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma
Album:The Very Best Of David Frizzell & Shelly West

Though David Frizzell & Shelly West both had success as solo artists, their main success was as a duo. Both struggled as solo artists before You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma was a number one country hit in 1981. Until then they lived in the shadow of legendary relatives. David Frizzell was born Sept. 26, 1941 in El Dorado, AR and is the younger brother of country music legend Lefty Frizzell. He toured with his brother in the 60s and attempted to establish himself as a solo artist starting in 1970. He was a regular on Buck Owens' All American TV Show. Shelly West was born May 23, 1958 in Cleveland the daughter of country music star Dottie West. She started out touring with her mom and moved to California in 1977. She married her mom's guitarist Allen Frizzell who of course is David Frizzell's brother. Shelly and David started singing together and got the attention of veteran producer Snuff Garrett. He signed them to Casablanca West, an offshoot of Casablanca Records. But the label closed. So Garrett took You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma to Clint Eastwood. Eastwood was starting his new Viva label with Warner Bros. distribution and he was looking for songs for the 1981 film Any Which Way You Can. Eastwood signed them and put the song in the film. You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma topped the country music charts and Frizzell & West won ACM Duo Of The Year twice. You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma was written by the legendary songwriting team of Felice and Bordleaux Bryant along with Larry Collins and Sandy Pinkard. The Bryants have written many songs including Bye Bye Love for The Everly Brothers. Larry Collins was a teen guitar whiz in the 50s as a member of The Collins Kids. Sandy Pinkard is one half of the comedy duo Pinkard & Bowden. David Frizzell had a number one solo country hit with I'm Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home in 1982. Shelly West had a number one solo country hit with Jose Cuervo in 1983. But they are mainly known as a duo and you can get all their hits on this comp from Varese Fontana. Beware of re-recorded versions. These are the original recordings. David Frizzell still tours and is producing a TV tribute to his brother Lefty. Shelly West retired from music after her mom died. She has been on several episodes of RFD-TV's Country Family Reunion. The two have reunited occasionally and are planning a show in Branson this fall. Here's David Frizzell & Shelly West performing You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma on Austin City Limits early 80s.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Will Invicta FC survive their first show?

So it's no secret that Invicta Fighting Championships announced their debut show Apr. 28 in Kansas City headlined by Marloes Coenen vs Romy Ruyssen. It looks like their are some pretty good matches on the show. So of course you're getting a lot of the usual feel good BS from the usual suspects. But the whole show comes across as a company blowing their wad on the debut show in the hopes that their uphill battle to survive will succeed. Look, MMA is a tough business anyway and women's MMA has not proven that it has enough of a fanbase in the US to support an all women's show. And even if there was a positive track record, I'm sure we all know about MMA companies that put on one show and disappeared from the face of the earth. And I'm not impressed with Janet Martin's track record at Black Eye Promotions. Her show in October did so poorly that she left the promotion. I heard she got pushed out. Does it matter? Supposedly they told her she couldn't do any more shows with primarily women's matches. I guess she likes hitting her head against the wall. The biggest problem for this show is it will not be on TV. My understanding is they will probably do an internet PPV. That's fine but iPPV's have yet to prove to be a reliable revenue generator. Also it means that Invicta has to pay for the production of the show. And what sometimes happens is companies will cheap out on the production crew and the show is so poorly produced that it's unwatchable. That doesn't always happen but it happens enough. A poor production will kill the audience. So that means that Invicta is depending mostly on the live gate for revenue. And that's even if they have some sponsors. That's why they need a TV deal. It takes a lot of pressure off of the gate. I don't see how a main event with two European fighters will attract local fans to this show. So having a lot of fans in attendance disguised as empty seats should be a concern. I don't know what it would take to draw US fans to an all women's MMA show because no one has ever done it. And I don't see it happening with this show either. How much money can Invicta afford to lose?

Beth Phoenix retains WWE DIVAS Championship over Tamina Snuka

Here's the match video from Beth Phoenix vs Tamina Snuka from Sunday's WWE PPV. The match begins five minutes into the video but I do recommend you watch the clip featuring John Cena and some FCW guys at Cena's gym. Obviously the WWE is trying to push Tamina based on her being Jimmy Snuka's daughter. I don't really have a problem with that. But Tamina is very green and I think the gimmick is one dimensional. She has potential but it's a little early for her to be champ especially over a ten year pro wrestling veteran like Beth Phoenix. The match itself is OK. It's nothing special. The big moment was when Beth kicked out of Tamina's Superfly Splash finisher and Beth finished her soon after. Back to the drawing board for Tamina Snuka. Over the weekend, Beth did an interview with Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald. It's a good interview so be sure to check it out. One thing that caught my attention is when Beth said that it's not how much TV time she gets, it's what she does with what she gets. Though I agree with her to a point, I still believe that the WWE is not using her properly. Beth has the looks, the ring skills and the verbal skills to be one of the biggest stars on the WWE roster. But she needs to be on TV every single week and she is not. It is well known that the WWE really likes the pop that Kelly Kelly gets when she comes to the ring. Beth doesn't get that same pop. And I also think the WWE dropped the ball on the beating up models storyline. A lot more could have been done with it. So now they are back to Natalya jobbing to those models along with the ridiculous farting. Ugh! One would think that Kharma would be the next opponent for Beth Phoenix. But in a recent interview, Trish Stratus expressed interest in facing Beth at Wrestlemania. And the most interesting thing about that is that Beth and Trish were both trained by Ron Hutchison at Sully's Gym in Toronto and actually trained together when Trish was recovering from a back injury in 2001. So there's your angle for that match. Enjoy the video!
WWE Elimination Chamber 2012 HDTVrip PART 4/10... by wwedailymotion

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-White Plains

Artist:White Plains
Song:My Baby Loves Lovin'
Album:25 All-Time Greatest Bubblegum Hits: The Ultimate Collection

White Plains is another bubblegum group from the fertile mind of British singer songwriter and producer Tony Burrows. He's also the man behind Edison Lighthouse among others. My Baby Loves Lovin' was a top 20 hit in 1970. Burrows left and the group wasn't very successful. White Plains came out of the late 60s band The Flower Pot Men. They had a hit in England with Let's Go To San Francisco in 1967. Like a lot of Burrows' groups, they were a studio band and weren't supposed to tour. Burrows brought in the songwriting and producing team of Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway to work on The Flower Pot Men. He knew them from his old group The Kestrels. They decided to change the band name to White Plains though they used the same musicians. My Baby Loves Lovin' was a top ten hit in England and reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. Burrows sang lead on the song just as he had with Edison Lighthouse. In fact, Burrows appeared three times on a 1970 episode of Top Of The Pops with White Plains, Edison Lighthouse and The Pipkins. Burrows left White Plains soon after. Cook and Greenaway continued to produce White Plains with little success and the group ended in 1973. And a lot of White Plains resurfaced with the 1974 First Class hit Beach Baby. You can get My Baby Loves Lovin' on this various artists comp from Varese. My Baby Loves Lovin' got a big boost when it was on the soundtrack of the 1993 film Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert. So the song is still memorable today. Here's the video for My Baby Loves Lovin' by White Plains.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Puroresu fed five announces debut

Yu Nishino, YUI, Shiho Tsubaki, Haruka Nasagawa
The pro wrestling business in Japan is so bad that I don't understand why any sane person would want to get into the business. But we seem to have potential zombie feds sprouting up every week. There must be a lot of money marks in Japan. I'm writing about this company because there are joshi wrestlers involved. The company is called five which stands for Fighting Irregular Versus Entertainment. The company will have both male and female wrestlers all with less than three years experience. Does that remind you of anything? Well, that was TAKA Michinoku's original concept for K-DOJO. That's not a coincidence as joshi wrestler and company manager Shiho Tsubaki used to work for K-DOJO. They will debut on Mar. 11 at Kinema Klub in Tokyo and they also have shows scheduled in May and July. I think they have to run more frequently to build any kind of fanbase. They also have a mystery man GM called Mr. K. And it appears the money mark is a university professor. Tsubaki says she likes the three year limit because she wants to build for the future. STARDOM is already doing something similar with joshi except they have a couple of experienced pros to pick up the slack for the greenhorns. And they're running shows more frequently. five's roster will have four guys and five girls. Of course Tsubaki will be one of the five girls. Yui Ichikawa or as she will be called, YUI, is 26 years old and according to her blog, she's an actress. Two of them are teenagers. Haruka Nasagawa just turned sixteen last month and Yu Nishino turned sixteen in November. Erica Komiyama was not at the press conference. How long will five last? I guess it depends on how deep the money mark's pockets are.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brooks & Dunn

Artist:Brooks & Dunn
Song:Boot Scootin' Boogie
Album:Playlist: The Very Best Of Brooks & Dunn

Not only are Brooks & Dunn the best selling country music duo of all time but they are the best selling duo of all time. That's right. They're bigger than Simon & Garfunkel. They had a total of 20 number one country hits including Boot Scootin' Boogie in 1992. The most interesting thing about Brooks & Dunn is they didn't even know each other before they were paired by Arista Records exec Tim Dubois. Leon Eric "Kix" Brooks III is from Shreveport, LA. He moved to Nashville in 1979 and had some success as a songwriter. He released a solo album on Capitol Records in 1989. Ronnie Dunn is from Texas. He won a Nashville recording session in a Marlboro sponsored talent contest in 1989. The producer of that recording session, Scott Hendricks, recommended Dunn to Dubois and he thought they would do well as a duo. The rest is history. Their 1991 debut album Brand New Man zoomed to the top of the Country Album chart. And the first three singles all reached number one on the Country Singles chart. Though Brooks & Dunn didn't cross over to pop radio, the albums sold very well to the mainstream audience. Boot Scootin' Boogie was the third single from Brand New Man. Dunn wrote it as a tribute to the honky tonks in Texas. The surprising thing is the song revived the line dance craze of the early 80s. Brooks & Dunn had tremendous success through the 90s and into the new millennium. When their 2007 album Cowboy Town didn't do as well as previous albums, they decided to split up and they did so officially on Aug. 10, 2009 and did a farewell tour in 2010. You can get a lot of their hits on this budget CD. Ronnie Dunn has already had solo success with his 2011 CD Ronnie Dunn and the single Bleed Red. Kix Brooks is the host of the radio show American Country Countdown and his first solo single New To This Town will be released on Mar. 19. Both are still with Arista. Here's the video for Boot Scootin' Boogie by Brooks & Dunn.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Amanda Lucas vs Yumiko Hotta

Today on Big Bad Blog Video Theater I have Amanda Lucas vs Yumiko Hotta from yesterday's DEEP show at TDC Hall. This was for a worthless DEEP Open Weight Championship. Of course the problem is that Hotta is a broken down has been pro wrestler who hadn't fought MMA in over a decade. The result was that none of the Japanese media took the fight seriously. Their questions for Lucas the other day at her open workout were about Star Wars, not the fight. As for Hotta, even her fellow pro wrestler and best friend for 25 years Mima Shimoda laughed at her. And she admitted at her open workout that she was talked into taking the match against her better judgement. As expected, Lucas dominated the fight. Some reports have said that Hotta was surprisingly tough. I don't know what people are watching. In round one, Hotta exhibited good ground defense by pulling Lucas into guard. But she exhibited no offense and a Lucas armlock attempt was saved by the bell. I thought Lucas should have pounded her more. And I guess her corner told her that too because she did exactly that in round two. And I think the fight should have been stopped. I've seen a lot of fights stopped for less. Hotta was just squirming around. She wasn't responding. Not surprisingly, Lucas was getting arm weary. So at the start of round three, Hotta landed a couple of punches. When Lucas took her down, she fluked into a guillotine choke. But Lucas escaped easily and then ended it with a V1 armbar. It was about what I expected. I'd like to see Amanda Lucas fight someone halfway decent instead of tomato cans set up for celebrity fawning. Until then, I can't tell you if she's good or not. Supposedly she wants to drop to 145 but she's never done that. If you recall, she missed weight for her fight against Hikaru Shinohara. Why do you think this was Open Weight?

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mountain

Song:Mississippi Queen
Album:On Top

The 1970 hard rock classic Mississippi Queen was the biggest hit for Mountain. They likely would have had more success if they had remained together longer. Mountain was formed in the wake of the split of Cream. Lead singer and guitarist Leslie West led a band in New Jersey called The Vagrants. Cream producer Felix Pappalardi had produced some of the band's music. When The Vagrants split up, West started the new band Leslie West Mountain. This was a reference to West's physical bulk. Pappalardi expressed an interest in Mountain and joined the band playing bass. The drummer was ND Smart of The Remains. The band recorded an album and played Woodstock. That performance was not filmed. Soon after, Smart was replaced by Canadian Corky Laing. Pappalardi knew him from his band Energy. Mountain signed with Windfall Records with distribution by Bell Records. Climbing! was their debut album and it reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 200. Mississippi Queen reached #21 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also got a big boost when it was used in the 1971 film Vanishing Point. Laing had written the song before he joined Mountain and pulled the lyrics out of his pocket when West was looking for new songs during the Climbing! sessions. Today the song is considered a southern rock classic though Mountain isn't from the south. They recorded a couple more albums that didn't sell as well and a combination of West's drug abuse and Pappalardi's dislike of touring split Mountain up in 1972. This budget CD is a good intro to their music. West and Laing formed West, Bruce & Laing with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce. They recorded a 1973 album and Bruce left. In 1974, West and Pappalardi reformed Mountain with session musicians Alan Schwartzberg (drums) and Bob Mann (keyboards) and recorded a live album. Felix Pappalardi was murdered by his wife in 1983. She was convicted of criminally negligent homicide. West and Laing reformed Mountain in the 80s and the band still tours today. Here's Mountain performing Mississippi Queen on Randall's Island from the 1970 film The Day The Music Died.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lee Ann Womack

Artist:Lee Ann Womack
Song:I Hope You Dance
Album:Greatest Hits

I Hope You Dance is the signature song and only number one country music hit for Lee Ann Womack. It also crossed over to pop. Her career seems to have stalled. She hasn't released an album since 2008. She was born Aug. 19, 1966 in Jacksonville, TX. Her father was a DJ. Her original plan was to get into the business end of country music. While attending Belmont University in Nashville, she was an A & R intern at MCA Records. She got married. She had a daughter in 1991. The marriage broke up. Lee Ann signed a publishing deal in 1995. And after a couple of her songs were recorded by others, she auditioned for MCA Records and signed a record deal. She released her debut CD in 1997 and The Fool was a top five country hit. There was some concern that folks would confuse her with LeAnn Rimes but it wasn't a problem. Her 1998 CD Some Things I Know had two top five hits. But then she hit it big with her 2000 CD I Hope You Dance. Not only did it top the country chart but it reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. She had also married producer Frank Liddell and had her second daughter. Of course country music purists criticized the song for being too pop. I Hope You Dance was written by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers. Sanders is a veteran Nashville songwriter. This is his biggest hit and he also won a Best Song Grammy. Tia Sillers usually performs with her blues musician husband Mark Selby. The vocal group Sons Of The Desert perform the harmony vocals. Lee Ann Womack's subsequent albums haven't done as well. You can get all her hits on this budget comp. Her most recent CD Call Me Crazy was released in 2008. Apparently there were plans for new music in 2010 but nothing has been released. Her song Liars Lie appeared in the 2010 film Country Strong. This indicates that she may be having record company issues but there is no news to report. I think she's a very good singer but she's 45 now. Time's a-wastin'. Here's the video for I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack. And her daughters appear in the video.

Friday, February 17, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jack DeJohnette

Artist:Jack DeJohnette
Song:One For Eric
Album:Special Edirion

Drummer Jack DeJohnette is one of the all time jazz greats. He is best known for his albums on the German label ECM including this 1979 CD Special Edition. He was born Aug. 9, 1942 in Chicago. He took piano lessons as a child and got interested in jazz as a teen. Ahmad Jamal was a big influence. He switched to drums in his late teens and backed up John Coltrane when he came to Chicago. He moved to New York in 1966 and got his big break as a member of Charles Lloyd's band. Keith Jarrett was also in that band. DeJohnnette appeared on a Bill Evans live recording in 1968. He recorded his first solo album The DeJohnette Complex on Milestone Records in 1969. But at the same time, he replaced Tony Williams in the Miles Davis band and played on the groundbreaking recording Bitches Brew. When he left Davis in 1972, DeJohnette took a detour into jazz rock territory with Compost along with Bob Moses and Harold Vick. They recorded two unsuccessful albums for Columbia. I saw Compost at the Colonial Tavern in Toronto. They were a good band but weren't commercial enough. Then DeJohnette formed Directions with guitarist John Abercrombie. Those two guys have recorded together a lot. Abercrombie was already on ECM Records. So naturally DeJohnette joined the label too. One For Eric is from the 1979 album Special Edition with David Murray on tenor sax, Arthur Blythe on alto sax and Peter Warren on bass. It's a classic jazz album and was released on CD in 2008 as part of the ECM Touchstone series. Since the 80s, DeJohnette has been a member of Keith Jarrett's Standards with bassist Gary Peacock. Since 2003, he has been part of Trio Beyond with John Scofield and Larry Goldings. He has also toured with Bruce Hornsby and his current band The Jack DeJohnette Group includes Rudresh Maranthappa on sax, David Fiuczynski on guitar, George Colligan on keyboards and Jerome Harris on bass. So Jack DeJohnette is turning 70 this year but doesn't appear to be slowing down. Here's Jack DeJohnette with Howard Johnson on tuba and baritone sax, David Murray on tenor sax, John Purcell on alto sax and Rufus Reid on bass performing One For Eric Warsaw, Poland 1983.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Emmylou Harris

Artist:Emmylou Harris
Song:Two More Bottles Of Wine
Album:The Very Best Of Emmylou Harris: Heartcahes & Highways

Emmylou Harris has one of the alltime great voices of country music. She has had five number one country hit plus two as part of a duo or group. Two More Bottles Of Wine was her second number one hit in 1978. Emmylou took a very unconventional route to stardom. She was born Apr. 2, 1947 in Birmingham, AL and grew up in North Carolina and Woodbridge, VA. Her father was in the Marine Corps. While attending the University Of North Carolina at Greensboro on a drama scholarship, she decided to become a folksinger and moved to New York City. But by the late 60s, folk music wasn't popular anymore. She recorded an album in 1969 that went nowhere. She married songwriter Tom Slocum and split up after having a daughter. So she moved in with her parents in Maryland. Her big break came one night in 1971. She was performing with her trio and Chris Hillman of The Flying Burrito Brothers was in the audience. He introduced Emmylou to Gram Parsons who had just left the Burrito Brothers and was recording his solo album GP. She joined his band and made her name performing vocal harmonies with Parsons. After Parsons' 1973 death, Emmylou started her own band. She signed with Warner Bros.' Reprise label and she was introduced to Canadian producer Brian Ahern. He was best known for producing Anne Murray. Her 1975 debut album Pieces In The Sky did very well and had two top ten singles. It wasn't a typical Nashville country album. She then formed The Hot Band with guitar legend James Burton, pianist Glen Hardin, pedal steel guitarist Hank DeVito, bassist Emory Gordy Jr. and singer songwriter Rodney Crowell. Unlike other country artists, Emmylou's music was marketed to the album market though she did have some big country hits. Burton and Crowell left and were replaced by Albert Lee and Ricky Skaggs. Two More Bottles Of Wine is from the 1978 album Quarter Moon In A Ten Cent Town. It was Emmylou's second number one country music hit. The song was written by Delbert McClinton, best known for his hit single Giving It Up For Your Love. Emmylou Harris and Brian Ahern were married in 1977. In the 80s, Emmylou's music went in a traditional bluegrass direction. Her biggest success was the 1987 album she recorded with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. Their cover of Phil Spector's To Know Him Is To Love Him topped the country charts. Since then, Emmylou Harris has continued to be one of the most respected performers in roots music. She still records for Warners' Nonesuch. And she's a grandma. This comp is a good intro to her music. Here's Emmylou Harris performing Two More Bottles Of Wine on Austin City Limits early 80s.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pink Floyd

Artist:Pink Floyd
Album:The Dark Side Of The Moon

Pink Floyd started out as a standard psychedelic band and in the 70s became the most popular progressive rock band ever. Money was their first US hit single and helped them reach a much larger audience. Roger Waters and Nick Mason met in 1963 while studying architecture at Regent Street Polytechnic in London. They formed the band Sigma 6 with Richard Wright and others. Then they met Syd Barrett. He came up with the name Pink Floyd from blues singers Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. They played gigs in London and eventually attracted record companies. They signed with EMI in 1966. For the first couple of years, Barrett was Pink Floyd's main songwriter. The problem was his LSD usage caused increasingly erratic behaviour and he was fired in early 1968. David Gilmour had already joined Pink Floyd. The band's music took a more progressive turn at that point. Pink Floyd was doing well but needed a breakthrough especially in the US. Albums like Atom Heart Mother and Meddle didn't do that. They decided to record a concept album based on things that make people mad. Waters wrote most of the lyrics. The Dark Side Of The Moon was well received but Capitol Records went the extra mile in the US and got Money significant radio play. It reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. That propelled the album to a much bigger audience and it is one of the best selling albums of all time. It remained on the Billboard Hot 200 for 741 weeks. It set up Pink Floyd for long term success especially since The Dark Side Of The Moon was their last album for Capitol. They moved to Columbia for the 1975 album Wish You Were Here. The band's success continued with that album and the 1979 album The Wall. Normally I would recommend a comp but The Dark Side Of The Moon was a concept album and the songs should be heard as a unit. Syd Barrett died in 2006 and Richard Wright died in 2008. But Gilmour, Waters and Mason are still around and perform as Pink Floyd when they aren't busy with other projects. Here's the video for Money by Pink Floyd.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gail Kim retains TNA Knockouts Championship

Here's the match video of Gail Kim vs Tara from Sunday's TNA PPV. My main complaint about the match is it's way too short. TNA gave the girls six minutes and the Garrett Bischoff nonsense got 12 minutes. It just shows that no matter what the TNA Knockouts do to improve the product, they will still be low in the pecking order. You'll notice they are doing an injury angle with Tara. I wonder if this will lead to retirement. There's no question she has lost a step and her moves aren't as crisp as they once were. And of course as we first saw at Impact a couple of weeks ago, they are splitting Gail Kim and Madison Rayne up which will lead to a title match on the next PPV. And they are still the tag team champs. I'm not surprised they are splitting up but I think it's too soon for that. I expect Madison to get booed because she is more cowardly than Gail. It should be clear by now that TNA really really likes Madison because she does whatever she is asked to do including dumbing down her mat skills. But like Velvet Sky, I don't believe Madison has the ring skills to deliver a good match on a PPV. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that Vince Russo left TNA today. Two years too late, I guess. Bruce Prichard has been head of creative for a while. I wonder if Dave Lagana will be brought in as he has been working on the Indian show. BTW, other than the Mickie vs Melissa match, I hate that show. None of the Indian guys can wrestle and the matches are terrible. And for all the supposed crowd enthusiasm, they're still adding a lot of crowd noise in post production.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Martha and the Muffins

Artist:Martha and the Muffins
Song:Echo Beach
Album:Then Again: A Retrospective

This New Wave classic by the Canadian band Martha and the Muffins was not only a big hit in Canada but in England. They had additional success in the 80s when they changed their name to M + M. The band was formed in Toronto in 1977 by Ontario College of Art students David Millar and Mark Gane. Millar recruited Martha Johnson to play keyboards and she brought her friend Carl Finkle to play bass. Gane's brother Tim Gane played drums. Martha was lead singer when they played their first shows at the OCA. The name Martha and the Muffins was supposed to be a counterpoint to some of the aggressive names used by other punk bands. They added sax player Andy Haas and Millar left to be the band's audio engineer. Martha Ladly replaced him. She knew the Ganes in high school. They released a single independently and then signed with Virgin's Dindisc label. They recorded their debut album Metro Music in England with producer Mike Howlett formerly of the group Gong. Echo Beach reached #5 on the Canadian Singles chart and #10 on the British Singles chart. Today it's considered a New Wave classic. There is no Echo Beach in Toronto. The song is about Gane daydreaming about going to Toronto's Sunnyside Beach while working a very boring job. The word Sunnyside wouldn't have worked in the song. Their next two albums didn't do as well and members were leaving anyway so Virgin dropped them. So at this point the band was Mark Gane, Martha Johnson, Jocelyne Lanois and Nick Kent. Jocelyne is the sister of producer Daniel Lanois and he produced the third album. They signed with RCA's Current label and Gane changed the group name to M + M. After the 1983 album Danseparc, M + M became the duo of Gane and Johnson. They used session musicians on the 1984 album Mystery Walk and had success with the single Black Stations/White Stations especially on the dance chart. They recorded one more album and moved to England in 1987. You can get all of their hits on this EMI Canada comp. The group has reunited occasionally and released new albums in 1992 and 2008. Martha Johnson recorded an album of children's music and the duo have worked on film music. Here's the video for Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins.

Monday, February 13, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Michael Montgomery

Artist:John Michael Montgomery
Song:The Little Girl
Album:The Very Best Of John Michael Montgomery

John Michael Montgomery had a total of seven number one country music hits mostly in the 90s. The somewhat controversial The Little Girl was the last of those number one hits in 2000 though it did cross over to the pop charts. He built his career on songs that were more romantic than this. He was born Jan. 20, 1965 in Danville, KY. His father led the family country music band and his brother Eddie Montgomery is half of Montgomery Gentry. He was discovered playing a club in Lexington and signed with Atlantic Records in 1991. Life's A Dance was his 1992 debut CD and I Love The Way You Love Me was his first number one country hit. His second CD Kickin' It Up had three number one hits including I Swear which was a pop hit for the boy band All-4-One. Montgomery continued this success until he started to fade with the 1996 CD What I Do The Best. The decline continued until he topped the country charts with the 2000 song The Little Girl. It also was a top forty pop hit. The song features Allison Krauss on harmony vocals. The song is about a girl who witnesses the murder and suicide of her alcoholic parents. She was adopted and then finds her faith. The song is not based on fact. Songwriter Harley Allen based the song on an urban legend that was given to him and wrote it in 15 minutes. Allen is the son of bluegrass musician Red Allen. He has recorded solo albums but most of his success has been writing songs for others. This was Montgomery's final number one hit. Atlantic's Nashville office was closed and Montgomery was moved to Warner Bros. He recorded two underperforming albums there and left Warners in 2004. You can get all his hits on this CD. Montgomery had some health problems and prescription drug problems. He was in rehab in 2008. He recorded a CD on his own label in 2008 and still tours today. There is a music video for The Little Girl but like a lot of Warner Music videos, it's nowhere to be found. I wish Warners would join Vevo. But here is John Michael Montgomery performing The Little Girl on TNN 2000.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Whitesnake

Song:Here I Go Again
Album:The Definitive Collection

Here I Go Again was the only number one hit for the British hard rock group Whitesnake. Whether one likes this kind of music or not, you can't deny that the song has a great hook. Many fans were already familiar with lead singer David Coverdale when he replaced Ian Gillan in Deep Purple. He joined the band in 1973. When he left Deep Purple in 1976, he recorded two solo albums which turned into the band Whitesnake in 1978. His first solo album was called White Snake. He was already working with former Juicy Lucy guitarist Micky Moody and then added guitarist Bernie Marsden from Babe Ruth. Whitesnake recorded four albums from 1978-81. They did OK in England but couldn't break through in the US market. Coverdale put the band on hiatus to take care of his sick daughter. When he reformed Whitesnake, it was mostly with all new members including drummer Cozy Powell. Here I Go Again was originally recorded for the 1982 album Saints and Sinners. Whitesnake signed a US record deal with Geffen Records in 1984. David Geffen and his A & R guy John Kalodner insisted that some songs should be remixed. So for the 1987 album Whitesnake, they re-recorded Here I Go Again. Other than emphasizing the chorus, they didn't change the song much. New guitarist Adrian Vandenburg played the guitar solo. Here I Go Again topped the Billboard Hot 100. Another single Is This Love reached #2 and the album went 8XPlatinum. So it was a huge hit for them. I'm sure many fans remember the video featuring actress Tawny Kitaen who would later marry Coverdale. Whitesnake continued to have success and Coverdale leads them today. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. The problem is the band has gone through so many personnel changes that their music is inconsistent. They split up in 1994 and reunited for the 1997 album Restless Heart. Then they split up again and reformed in 2002. In recent years, David Coverdale had trouble with his voice in 2009. But he recovered and Whitesnake released a CD last year. And they continue to tour. Other than Coverdale, none of the original Whitesnake members are involved. Here's the video for Here I Go Again by Whitesnake.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

SMASH to close Mar. 14

TAJIRI, Masakazu Sakai
Yesterday TAJIRI and partner Masakazu Sakai held a press conference to announce that SMASH will close on Mar. 14. SMASH was formed almost two years ago out of the ashes of HUSTLE. Sakai was president of HUSTLE. There was also supposed to be an MMA company but nothing came of it. There is a dojo but I assume that will close too. And they had an amateur MMA partnership with DEEP. So why is SMASH closing? In a statement posted on the SMASH website, Sakai said that after last year's earthquake, he had a change of heart and decided that owning a wrestling company was meaningless. He says he has been thinking about closing SMASH for a few months and made his decision recently. Of course no one believes this reason. Sakai insists there is no financial problems. One plausible reason that has surfaced is the two disagreed about the creative direction of SMASH. TAJIRI wanted to bring in fewer gaijin wrestlers and train and develop young talent. Sakai liked the gaijin and the WWE style storylines that came with them. Regardless, the decision seems to have surprised TAJIRI and one would think he is very annoyed with Sakai. Kana certainly took advantage of the opportunity to shine in the SMASH joshi division. But she freelances already and will continue to do that. Wrestler under contract to SMASH will be free agents. Don't know what Syuri will do as she worked for HUSTLE before SMASH. But I expect Makoto to return to Ice Ribbon. I'm sure you will all miss the SMASH press conferences.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Wayne Cilento

Artist:Wayne Cilento
Song:I Can Do That
Album:A Chorus Line: Original Broadway Cast

A Chorus Line is one of the longest running shows on Broadway and continues to be revived on a regular basis. I Can Do That kicked off the show and Wayne Cilento was in the original 1975 cast. He has gone on to a significant choreography career. The idea for A Chorus Line came from choreographer and director Michael Bennett. He had choreographed several shows including Company and Follies. A Chorus Line was developed from a series of workshops that included most of the 1975 cast including Wayne Cilento. He was born Aug. 28, 1949 in New York City. He took dance classes as a teen. Cilento met Bennett when Cilento appeared in the chorus of the flop musical Seesaw. Bennett was the choreographer. He invited Cilento to the workshops. The book for A Chorus Line was written by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante and the songs were written by Edward Kleban and Marvin Hamlisch. A Chorus Line opened on Broadway Apr. 15, 1975 and it ran for five years. It won nine Tony Awards. I Can Do That was Cilento's big number. He left A Chorus Line for the 1977 show The Act starring Liza Minnelli. That flopped but Cilento got a Tony nomination for his role in the Bob Fosse show Dancin'. He appeared in a few more shows but in the 80s he turned to choreography full time. He won a Tony in 1993 for his choreography for The Who's Tommy. He has worked on other shows and also as a choreographer for concert acts, TV shows and music videos. You can get the 1975 cast album of A Chorus Line as a budget CD. The show was turned into a film and has been revived on Broadway many times. It's a very durable show. Here is Wayne Cilento performing I Can Do That on the 1981 PBS TV show American Dance Machine Presents a Celebration of Broadway Dance. It doesn't appear to be available on DVD.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Three matches added to Mar. 3 JEWELS show

Roxanne Modafferi, Takayo Hashi
JEWELS announced on their blog today three matches have been added to the Mar. 3 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. At the end of last year, JEWELS announced that former VALKYRIE matchmaker Yasuko Mogi would be a more active participant in JEWELS matchmaking. Her style is much more straightforward than JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki and I'm sure there are fighters who don't like or trust Saeki but do trust Mogi. So we're starting to see fighters coming to JEWELS who are very loyal to Mogi. Last week they announced Mika Nagano vs Emi Fujino. Fujino worked at VALKYRIE until it closed. I would say that two of the three matches announced today are the work of Mogi. All matches are scheduled for two five minute rounds. In a match contracted for 58kg, Roxanne Modafferi will face Takayo Hashi. The most interesting thing about this match is that these two used to train together at WK. And of course Mogi trains at WK too. The other thing they have in common is they are both on losing skids. Roxanne is now freelance. Her record is 15-9 but she is on a four fight losing streak. Her last fight was a submission loss to Barb Honchak at the Oct. 1 Black Eye show in North Carolina. She seems to have lost something but I don't think she knows what that is yet. Hashi trains at WK. Her record is 13-4. Once upon a time she was the Smackgirl Middleweight Champion and has wins over Hitomi Akano and Amanda Buckner. She had an aggressive grappling style. But she has completely changed her fighting style to a defensive style that will never win her a fight. It's designed to lose a unanimous decision. And in her last fight against Cat Zingano, she didn't even get to the finish as Cat KOd her. She has to go back to her old style or she will lose. In a Lightweight match. Emi Tomimatsu will face Amiba. Emi trains at Paraestra. Her record is 4-4. She started out as a pro wrestler for JD Star and switched to MMA in 2006. She was seriously injured in a 2008 match against WINDY Tomomi. And after some grappling tournaments, she returned to pro MMA last year and won both her fights. Her last fight was a split decision win over Rina Tomita at the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. So you should look past her record. Amiba trains at DEEP. Her record is 6-2 and her last fight was a win over Betiko on the Sept. 11 JEWELS show. In another Lightweight match, Iris will face Celine. Iris is a former VALKYRIE fighter. She used to train at WK and is now freelance. Her record is 4-0 and her last win was over Super Benkei on the Nov. 28, 2010 VALKYRIE show. In the past, Iris has fought at 59kg. This will be her first fight at 52kg. And that explains why she took time off. We'll see how she does at the lighter weight. Celine trains at Team Hellboy Hansen in Norway and at AACC when she is in Japan. Her record is 1-10 and her last loss was to Emi Fujino on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. Iris should be favoured but the change to a lighter weight class could be an issue. More matches will be announced as we don't have a main event yet.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The JaneDear Girls

Artist:The JaneDear Girls
Album:The JaneDear Girls

The sassy duo The JaneDear Girls made a big splash with their debut single Wildflower which propelled their debut CD to the country music top ten. And neither of the girls is named Jane. Lead singer Susie Brown may look like Bettie Page but she was a fiddle prodigy growing up in Utah. She also plays mandolin, bass, guitar and accordion. Danielle Leverett was an athlete growing up in Amarillo, TX. But injuries forced her to turn to music. She plays guitar, banjo and harmonica. Both girls write songs. Both moved to Nashville to pursue solo careers. They met at a songwriters concert in Nashville and songwriter Kris Bergsnes suggested the two form a group. They caught the ear of John Rich of Big & Rich and he got them a record deal with Warner Bros.' Reprise label. Rich also produced the debut CD. Wildflower was the first single and it reached #15 on the Country Singles chart. I suspect the video got a lot of airplay on CMT. Other than the duo's sassiness, the other thing I noticed was the big rock drum beat. I guess they want to cross these girls over to pop. The album reached #10 on the Country Album chart. Though Danielle co-wrote a majority of the songs on the album, Susie Brown co-wrote Wildflower with Nashville songwriters Vicky McGehee and Jeremy Stover. They also got a couple of Academy Of Country Music award nominations. I presume The JaneDear Girls will release a new CD this year as the new song Good Girls Gone Bad turned up in the new ABC TV series GCB. Here's the video for Wildflower by The JaneDear Girls.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Artist:Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Song:Dancing In The Dark
Album:Greatest Hits

It took a few years and an almost career killing lawsuit for Bruce Springsteen to turn critical acclaim into commercial success. But once he did, he became the biggest rock star in the world with the 1984 album Born In The USA his biggest success. It might surprise fans to know that Springsteen has never had a number one single. Dancing In The Dark reached #2. He was born Sept. 23, 1949 in Long Branch, NJ. In the mid-60s he was lead singer of The Castiles and then the power trio Earth. Then he was in Steel Mill with future E Street Band members Steve Van Zandt and Danny Federici. He got some positive reviews and for a couple of years in the early 70s, he led several versions of what eventually would be The E Street Band. His manager Mike Appel got him an audition with legendary Columbia Records talent scout John Hammond and Springsteen was signed. His first couple of albums were critically acclaimed but didn't sell. The turning point for Springsteen came when music critic Jon Landau approached him about becoming his manager and producer. The result was his 1975 breakthrough album Born To Run. Though it didn't have any hit singles, the album became a fixture on classic rock radio. Born To Run reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 200. Unfortunately Springsteen was unable to follow this up immediately as a lawsuit by former manager Appel kept him out of the recording studio. His 1978 album Darkness At The Edge Of Town, his 1980 album The River and 1982 album Nebraska weren't as commercial as Born To Run so he lost some momentum. Nebraska was a glorified demo tape. So Landau decided that the 1984 album Born In The USA would be more commercial. The album sold 15 million copies and is one of the best selling albums of all time. It had seven top ten singles. Dancing In The Dark was the biggest hit and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the last song recorded for the album. Landau wanted a sure fire hit single. Of course the video featured a pre fame Courtney Cox coming on stage to dance with Springsteen. It probably helped her career more than Springsteen's. Of course like any other recording artist who has been around for a long time, Springsteen has had his ups and downs. The bottom line is he is still touring and his new CD Wrecking Ball will be released next month. This budget CD is a good intro to his music. Here's the video for Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Keith Urban

Artist:Keith Urban
Song:You'll Think Of Me
Album:Greatest Hits: 19 Kids

Aussie Keith Urban is one of today's most successful country music artists. He has had a total of 13 number one country hits including You'll Think Of Me in 2004.And of course he's married to movie star Nicole Kidman. The only black clouds have been recurring throat problems and his cocaine addiction. But there is hope that a recent operation has solved the throat problem. He was born Oct. 26, 1967 in Whangarei, New Zealand and moved with his parents to Caboolture, Queensland, Australia. Urban won talent contests as a child and then made inroads on the Australian country music scene. He signed with EMI Australia in 1990 and after a successful album, he moved to Nashville in1992. He toured with Brooks & Dunn and was a session musician. In 1997 he formed The Ranch with bassist Jerry Flowers and drummer Peter Clarke. They recorded one album for Capitol Records and then Urban left to go solo. He remained under contract to Capitol. Before Urban recorded his solo debut, he successfully kicked a cocaine addiction. His 1999 Capitol debut Keith Urban spawned four hit singles including his first number one country hit But For The Grace Of God. His second album Golden Road did even better with three number one hits including You'll Think Of Me. Though Urban writes a lot of his own songs, You'll Think Of Me was written by veteran songwriter and producer Darrell Brown along with Ty Lacy and Dennis Matkosky. Brown works a lot with LeAnn Rimes. A lot of folks talk a lot about the rock flavour of Urban's music. A lot of that is because of producer Dann Huff. Huff started out as guitarist for the CCM group White Heart and has become one of Nashville's top session guitarists and producers. Urban's success has continued and his latest CD was released Mar. 2009. This comp was released in 2008. Urban married actress Nicole Kidman in 2006. They have two daughters. But he also relapsed into cocaine addiction and went into rehab in Oct. 2006. Urban wanted to record in 2010 but the Nashville flood ruined his guitars. And he recently had another operation on his throat. If his recovery goes as planned, we should see new music from Keith Urban in 2013. Here's the video for You'll Think Of Me by Keith Urban.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Yumiko Hotta says she has a secret plan for Amanda Lucas

On Feb. 18 at TDC Hall, Amanda Lucas will face veteran pro wrestler Yumiko Hotta for the first DEEP Women's Open Weight Championship. The problem is it has been so long since Hotta fought MMA, she can't be taken seriously. So to try and convince the media that Hotta as fighter isn't a joke, an open workout was held at the DEEP dojo today. It's doubtful that anyone was convinced that Hotta could win the match. She went through a few moves with her trainer. He is veteran fighter Hidetaka Monma. Monma has been around since 2001 and has probably worked for every MMA company in Japan. His record is 17-10-4. And he owns a dojo. So they did some sparring and groundwork. Apparently, Hotta is not training full time. She continues to work a full schedule for her joshi puroresu company REINA and she's managing that business too. She says she tries to train with Monma two or three times a week. She admitted she is way behind in technique. What do you expect? She hasn't fought MMA since 2000. Hotta isn't an idiot. Well, she is about some things. But she knows that she's behind the eight ball. Everyone thinks she's too old. She claims age is not important. She also had knee surgery last summer and she admitted she doesn't know if her knee will hold up. Monma says Hotta is a quick learner but she has a lot of bad habits she needs to break. The way she was talking it was like she was talked into doing this fight against her better judgement. Hotta said making weight shouldn't be a problem. And she thinks Monma is hot. Then she says she didn't want to show all her tricks at the workout because she has a secret plan to win the fight. Maybe she'll bring her infamous chain. Every underdog Japanese fighter has a secret plan that usually doesn't work out. I think Hotta was joking. Meanwhile on the DEEP blog, DEEP matchmaker Shigeru Saeki teased that George Lucas might show up to the show. Oy! This has real train wreck potential.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bright Eyes

Artist:Bright Eyes
Song:Lover I Don't Have To Love
Album:Lifted or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground

Though he has several bands, Bright Eyes is probably the best known musical outlet of singer songwriter Conor Oberst. He has several other bands. Bright Eyes started as a solo project after his band Commander Venus split up in 1995. Eventually he brought in guitarist Mike Mogis and trumpeter Nate Walcott as permanent members and he hires other musicians for tours. He records on his brother's label Saddle Creek. Oberst was working on a bunch of songs while playing in other bands. A lot of the music was experimenting with drum machines and other electronic instruments along with Oberst's vocals. As a singer, he will likely remind you of Robert Smith of The Cure. I think Oberst has toned down the angst in recent years. The first couple of Bright Eyes albums gor mixed reviews so Oberst formed another band called Desaparecidos. They recorded one album that was straightforward punk and then split up. He turned his attention to Bright Eyes and the CD Lifted was released in 2002. It was hailed as one of the best Indie albums of the year and they toured to support it. Oberst has continued to record and tour with Bright Eyes while also recording and touring with his Mystic Valley Band and Monsters Of Folk. Lifted is available as a budget CD. After Oberst released the CD The People's Key last year, he said he planned to retire the Bright Eyes name and move on to other things. We'll see if he actually does that. Here's Bright Eyes performing Lover I Don't Have To Love 2006.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Shino VanHoose added to Mar. 11 PANCRASE show

Shino VanHoose
PANCRASE announced today via Twitter and then on their website that they have added a women's match to their Mar. 11 Differ Ariake show. Of course this show will feature WINDY Tomomi vs Saori Ishioka follwed by WINDY's retirement. In a Strawweight match scheduled for two five minute rounds, Shino VanHoose will face sakura. Shino is 16 years old and trains at Paraestra. Her pro record is 1-0 with a unanimous decision win over Asami Higa on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. She has also competed extensively in grappling tournaments. She did appear on an October PANCRASE show in a PANCRASE Gate match which is not a pro fight. On their website, PANCRASE stated today that this fight will be Shino's pro debut with PANCRASE. She's a young girl with promise. And she could grow into a heavier weight class. sakura is freelance. Her record is 0-5-1 and her last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Yukiko Seki on the July 23 PANCRASE show. Shino is definitely the favourite in this match.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ronny & The Daytonas

Artist:Ronny & The Daytonas
Album:Hot Rod: Rev It Up

This 1964 top five hit was part of the California based surf rock and related hot rod music scene led by The Beach Boys. But Ronny & The Daytonas were from Nashville and weren't even a band until after G.T.O. was a hit. Nashville native John "Bucky" Wilkin was the leader of the group. His mom Marijohn Wilkin wrote songs like Waterloo for Stonewall Jackson, The Long Black Veil for Lefty Frizzell and Christy Lane's 1980 monster hit One Day At A Time. So the story goes that John Wilkin wrote G.T.O. while attending physics class in high school. Mom used her connections to get him a publishing deal and then a recording session with veteran Sun Records producer and session musician Bill Justis. Wilkin sang G.T.O. backed up by Nashville session men. Justis told him to come up with a name for the group. Wilkin called himself Ronny Dayton and called his imaginary band The Daytonas. G.T.O. reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964 and then an album was recorded. Then Wilkin formed a band for a USO tour. It got more serious when Buzz Cason joined the band and wrote songs with Wilkin. Cason went on to be a major producer and songwriter and is best known for co-writing Everlasting Love with Mac Gayden. Ronny & The Daytonas recorded a second album and reached the top 30 with the song Sandy. They recorded a third album that went nowhere and then split up. It doesn't seem like Wilkin liked touring. He was still a teenager at the time. You can get G.T.O. on this various artists budget comp released by Capitol in partnership with Hot Rod Magazine. John Wilkin recorded a couple of solo albums and continues to lead a version of Ronny & The Daytonas on the oldies circuit today. Here's a video of G.T.O. by Ronny & The Daytonas.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

MIZUKI wins squeaker over Ai Takahashi at SHOOT BOXING

MIZUKI punches Ai Takahashi
Despite its seeming popularity, I hate two things about the SHOOT BOXING product. One is that no one, including those who like the product, understands the rules. The second is meddling refs who won't let the fighters fight and judges who seem incapable of making a clear decision. If the fight is a draw, it goes extra rounds until there is a clear decision. I don't like the extra rounds. It leaves things open to corruption and Sometimes the fights seem fixed. This happens way too much. At today's Korakuen Hall SHOOT BOXING show, that kind of scenario was presented to fans again. SHOOT BOXING Flyweight Champ Ai Takahashi returned from injury to face teen kickboxer MIZUKI. One would think Takahashi would take advantage of her height and reach edge. But MIZUKI landed some good body shots. The fight was very close and one judge scored it 30-29 for MIZUKI and the other two scored it 30-30 and 29-29. A majority draw goes an extra round. Fortunately, MIZUKI won the extra round by unanimous decision so she didn't get screwed out of a win. It puts her in the SHOOT BOXING mix and Takahashi is still in that mix too. MIZUKI should have got the win anyway. In another women's match, RENA's sister MIO won over J-Girls kickboxer Tsubaki Oshima by majority decision. One judge scored it 29-29 and the other two scored it 30-29 for MIO. The bottom line is that indecisive judging makes it look like the fights are fixed. Maybe the judges don't know the rules either.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Luke Bryan

Artist:Luke Bryan
Song:Rain Is A Good Thing:
Album:Doin' My Thing

Rain Is A Good Thing was the first number one country music hit for singer songwriter Luke Bryan. It's from his second album Doin' My Thing and he continues to have success with his latest CD Tailgates & Tanlines. He was born Thomas Luther Bryan June 17, 1976 in Leesburg, GA and grew up on his dad's peanut farm near the Alabama border. He became a big country music fan as a child. At age 14, his parents bought him a guitar and he started writing songs and sitting in with local country bands. His plan was to move to Nashville after graduating high school. But his brother died in a car accident and he opted to stay home and attend Georgia Southern University. So he continued to work on the farm and play local clubs. His dad "fired" him from the farm and told him to go to Nashville in 2001. He quickly got a songwriting deal and some of his songs were recorded by others. Capitol Records signed him to a recording deal after spotting him performing in a local club. His 2007 CD I'll Stay Me did well and All My Friends Say reached #5 on the Country Singles chart. Bryan also co-wrote Billy Currington's number one country hit Good Directions. His second CD Doin' My Thing was released Mar. 2009 and was certified Gold. Rain Is A Good Thing was his first number one country hit. Bryan wrote Rain Is A Good Thing with Dallas Davidson. Davidson has had success as a songwriter and released his own CD in 2010. Since Bryan grew up on a farm, he can certainly identify with the song. Bryan's second number one single was Someone Else Is Calling You Baby. This continued with his latest CD Tailgates & Tanlines and his third number one hit I Don't Want This Night To End. That one crossed over to the pop top 30. Luke Bryan is married and has two sons. He writes most of his own songs so he has a good shot at a long career. Here's the video for Rain Is A Good Thing by Luke Bryan.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Mika Nagano vs Emi Fujino set for Mar. 3 JEWELS show

Mika Nagano
For the last couple of weeks, several fans have asked me when JEWELS will announce some matches for the Mar. 3 show at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. I guess Yuka Tsuji is holding things up. But time's a-wasting so they announced the first match today on the JEWELS blog. In a Light Welterweight match scheduled for two five minute rounds, Mika Nagano will face Emi Fujino. Nagano trains at Core. Her record is 8-6 and her last fight was a split decision loss to VV Mei on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. Some fans in attendance thought Mika was robbed by an incompetent judge. She also continues to work for the pro wrestling company STARDOM. Fujino trains at WK. Her record is 10-5 and her last fight was a unanimous decision win over Celine on the Dec. 17 JEWELS show. She has also worked for the J-Girls kickboxing company and SHOOT BOXING. She also tried pro wrestling with Ice Ribbon in 2009. Fujino is a decent fighter who lacks a finish. Her fights usually go to the judges. But she is also hard to finish and has never lost by submission or KO. And I expect this fight to go the distance. I think Nagano would like to finish Fujino but I don't see her doing that. So now that JEWELS has finally announced a match, they can start selling tickets.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Della Reese

Artist:Della Reese
Song:Don't You Know
Album:Voice of an Angel

Most fans should be familiar with Della Reese from the 90s TV series Touched By An Angel. But I bet a lot of fans aren't aware that her whole career was set up by her 1959 top five hit Don't You Know or that she started out as a jazz singer. She was born Delloreese Patricia Early July 6, 1931 in Detroit and grew up singing in church. As a teen, she was discovered by gospel legend Mahalia Jackson who told her to graduate from high school. She toured with Mahalia during summer break. While attending Wayne State University, Della formed the gospel group The Meditation Singers. But then she started singing in clubs and changed her name to Della Reese so it would fit on a marquee. Her big break came in 1953 when she joined The Erskine Hawkins Orchestra and signed with Jubilee Records. Her biggest hit for Jubilee was And That Reminds Me which reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1957. She moved to RCA Records in 1959 and was assigned to the production team of Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, known as Hugo & Luigi. They worked with several RCA acts including Elvis Presley, Perry Como and Sam Cooke. Don't You Know was adapted from the Musetta's Waltz aria from Puccini's opera La Boheme. The lyrics were written by Bobby Worth who had written songs for 40s films and for bandleader Freddie Martin. Don't You Know reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was first released only as a single but later was added to the 1962 album The Classic Della. All the songs on the album were adapted from classical works. This budget CD covers her RCA years. Della continued to record in the 60s and became more of a jazz singer when she moved to Paramount Records in 1965. She had a TV variety show in 1969. Della was a regular on the sitcom Chico and The Man. This was followed by many film and TV roles. Her most significant role was the 90s TV series Touched By An Angel. That led her back to church and in 2010 she became an ordained minister at the Better Living Church in Inglewood, CA. She still occasionally records and appears on TV. Here's a video for Don't You Know by Della Reese.

Friday, February 03, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brown's Ferry Four

Artist:Brown's Ferry Four
Song:Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Album:Brown's Ferry Four

Today the term Supergroup is thrown around very casually. So when I call Brown's Ferry Four a Supergroup, that's not to be taken casually. These were four of the biggest stars in 1940s country music who got together and recorded country gospel tunes mainly for fun. They didn't tour. They performed on the radio and recorded for King Records. Brown's Ferry Four was formed at Cincinnati radio station WLW in 1943. Alton and Rabon Delmore, known as The Delmore Brothers, were big country music stars in the 30s known for their harmonies. By 1943, they had faded a bit. When The Drifting Pioneers left WLW, the station manager needed a replacement and he approached Alton Delmore. Alton brought in his brother Rabon along with banjo whiz Grandpa Jones and guitar virtuoso Merle Travis. Those two guys were stars but not necessarily known for singing. Of course most folks will know Jones from his days on the popular TV show Hee Haw. The name of the group is from an old Delmore Brothers song. So they had this weekly half hour radio show and they decided to perform strictly gospel songs. The unique thing was they took "Negro spirituals" and adapted them to their style. No one was doing this at the time. And the harmonies are tremendous. King Records owner Syd Nathan heard them and signed them up. The group split up because Alton Delmore, Jones and Travis all served in the military during WWII. But WLW owned the group name so they kept it going with other musicians. In 1946, the original group reunited by accident at a recording session in California. Jones and The Delmore Brothers were recording for King and Travis was playing on the sessions. He had moved to California. They recorded Will The Circle Be Unbroken with Alton singing lead. The song was a big hit. The group continued to record for King with Red Foley replacing Travis. Travis was under contract to Capitol. They continued to appear on WLW. Red Turner and then Clyde Moody replaced Foley in 1951. The end for Brown's Ferry Four cane when Rabon Delmore died in 1952. This CD from Gusto Records has all their hits. Attempts to revive the group were unsuccessful though Grandpa Jones recorded tributes over the years. Brown's Ferry Four were pioneers of gospel bluegrass and will appeal to fans of classic country harmonies. Here's a video for Will The Circle Be Unbroken by Brown's Ferry Four.