Thursday, May 31, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-B.J. Thomas

Artist:B.J. Thomas
Song:Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head
Album:Greatest Hits

Billy Joe "B.J." Thomas had his biggest success with the 1969 smash hit Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head from the hit film Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. Thomas had another number one hit and a total of five top ten hits in the 60s and 70s. He was born Aug. 7, 1942 in Hugo, OK and grew up singing in church in the Houston suburb of Rosenberg, TX. As lead singer of The Triumphs, Thomas toured Texas with Roy Head. In 1966, The Triumphs released a cover of Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry on Pacemaker Records. When the song started getting radio airplay, the small label sold Thomas' contract to the much larger Scepter Records. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Then Thomas reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968 with Hooked On A Feeling. Burt Bacharach composed the score for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid and he wrote Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head with longtime partner Hal David. First they offered it to Ray Stevens. He turned it down but I guess he recommended Thomas. The film grossed over $100M and was the biggest film of the year. Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head topped the Billboard Hot 100 and even won a Best Original Song Oscar. Of course it didn't last for Thomas and he left Scepter for Paramount in 1972. When Paramount was absorbed by ABC in 1975, Thomas remained and had his other number one hit with (Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song in 1975. When MCA bought ABC, he continued to record there and also recorded Christian music for Word's Myrrh label. In the 80s, Thomas had success on the Country charts recording for Columbia. Since then, he has recorded occasionally and has his own theater in Branson. I recommend this 1990 Rhino comp because it's the only one that has all of Thomas' hits. The others have the Scepter hits but not his hit on ABC. Normally I would post a B.J. Thomas performance clip. But the one from The Ed Sullivan Show is really cheesy. And I think most fans first heard Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head in the film Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. So here's the bicycle scene from that film featuring Paul Newman and Katharine Ross and Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head by B.J. Thomas.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sam Moore

Artist:Sam Moore f/Bekka Bramlett
Song:Don't Play That Song (You Lied)
Album:Overnight Sensational

Sam Moore is a member of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of the legendary soul duo Sam & Dave. But he has performed solo for years. He finally made his solo debut with this 2006 CD Overnight Sensational. He was born Samuel David Hicks Oct. 12, 1935 in Miami. He grew up singing in church and sang gospel professionally before Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler paired him with Dave Prater. Though Sam & Dave made great music together, they didn't get along and split up in 1970. Moore was recording an album produced by King Curtis. But when Curtis was murdered in Aug. 1971, the album was shelved. Those recordings have been released on CD. Sam & Dave reunited and toured for the next decade. Moore met his wife Joyce while on tour in Europe with Wilson Pickett in 1982. She helped him kick a drug addiction and became his manager. When Prater put Sam & Dave together with someone else, it limited Moore's opportunities for solo work. Moore successfully got an injunction preventing Prater from using the Sam & Dave name without Moore. Moore continued to tour through the 90s and made occasional guest shots on albums by Don Henley and Bruce Springsteen. The 2006 CD Overnight Sensational was initiated by Joyce Moore. American Idol judge Randy Jackson took control and got Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey and Sting among others to do guest shots. Probably too many. Don't Play That Song (You Lied) features Bekka Bramlett. She is the daughter of Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett and was a member of Fleetwood Mac in the 90s. She does a lot of sessions. The song was written by Atlantic Records owner Ahmet Ertegun and Betty Nelson and was recorded in the 60s by Otis Redding & Aretha Franklin. Moore is still a great singer and soul fans should check out this CD. Sam Moore still tours. Here's Sam Moore with 15 year old Callaway Cosper performing Don't Play That Song (You Lied) on The Today Show 2006. Callaway was singing backup for Moore at the time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Invicta FC announces full card for July 28 show

Invicta FC announced the full card for their July 28 show in Kansas City. I think the announcement is early and I fully expect at least three of these matches to change. Someone suggested to me they did that to boost ticket sales. What ticket sales? They didn't even announce paid attendance or live gate for the first show. So it must have been worse than expected. Instead they announced a ridiculous unfiltered live stream figure that generated zero revenue so I don't care about it anyway. The bottom line is that without a TV deal, Invicta is on borrowed time. So I guess they're gonna spend money like drunken sailors and go out in a blaze of glory. The numbers don't add up if their only revenue is from the live gate. Didn't anyone learn anything from Bellator? They started out with a terrible TV deal. But it attracted a big sponsor (Ford) and then VIACOM bought them. The visibility is important to attract potential sponsors and a free stream or iPPV does not provide the visibility of a TV deal. The main event of the show has Shayna Bazsler vs Sara McMann. Shayna's record is 14-6 but she's been having trouble finding fights recently. her last fight was a win over Elaina Maxwell on the Nov. 19, 2010 show at Hankinson, SD. At one point, she won a Strikeforce contract but it never materialized. Sara is the 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist in Wrestling. Her MMA record is 5-0 and her last win was over Hitomi Akano on the Jan. 21 Pro Elite show in Honolulu.Apparently she has a fight coming up vs Anita Rodriguez on June 16. I've watched some of Sara's fights and I don't think she has been dominant enough. And some of her fights have been size mismatches. There's no question Shayna will be her toughest competition to date and the winner should be in line for a shot at Ronda Rousey's Strikeforce title. Alexis Davis will face Hitomi Akano. Alexis' record is 11-5 and her last fight was a loss to Sarah Kaufman on the Mar. 3 Strikeforce show in Columbus, OH. My observation about Alexis is she tends to lose because of strategy errors and that's what happened in her last fight. She got behind and then couldn't finish. This could cost her with submission specialist Hitomi Akano. Her record is 18-9 and her last fight was a loss to Sara McMann on the Jan. 21 Pro Elite show in Honolulu. I wonder if she'll retire if she loses. Liz Carmouche will face Kaitlin Young. Liz' record is 6-2 and her last fight was a win over the overmatched boxer Ashleigh Curry on the first Invicta show. Kaitlyn is 6-5 and her last fight was a draw vs Leslie Smith on the first Invicta show. By her own admission, Kaitlyn is a kickboxer. I expect Liz to use her power to take her down and pound her. Not sure how Kaitlyn will prevent that. Brazilian fighter Amanda Nunes will face Russian Milana Dudieva. Amanda's record is 6-2 and her last fight was a loss to Alexis Davis on the Sept. 10 Strikeforce show in Cincinnati. Milana is 8-1 but you never know with Russian fighters. They get heavily protected over there. Her last fight was a win over Danielle West on the Apr. 1 Pro FC show in Volgograd, Russia. All reports indicate that fight was stopped prematurely by the ref. Who knows what she'll be like without a Russian ref to protect her? Kelly Kobold will face Brazilian Vanessa Porto. Kelly's record is 18-3-1 and her last fight was a win over Pipi Taylor on the Apr. 15, 2011 Brutal Fight Night show in Owatonna, MN. That was Kelly's first fight since 2008 so rust could be a factor. It got so bad she played Lingerie Football for a while. Vanessa is 14-4 and her last fight was a win over Luana Teixeira on the Mar. 10 Pink Fight show in Goytacazes, Brazil. Right now I don't think the level of competition is that high in Brazil. Barb Honchak will face Bethany Marshall. Barb is 5-1 and her last fight was a win over Roxanne Modafferi on the Oct. 1 Blackeye show in Fletcher, NC. Bethany is 4-0 and her last win was over Stacy Grant on the Mar. 25, 2011 M-1 Global show in Norfolk, VA. This looks like a big step up in competition for her. Julia Budd will face Swede Elina Nilsson. Julia's MMA record is 2-2 but she has a lengthy kickboxing resume. Her last fight was a loss to Ronda Rousey on the Nov. 18 Strikeforce show. Elina is 2-2 and her last fight was a win over Danielle West on the May 7, 2011 The Zone FC show in Gothenburg, Sweden. Again, one never knows what these little known European fighters will be like. Carla Esparza will face Sarah Schneider. Carla is an All American wrestler. Her record is 6-2 and her last fight was a win over Felice Herrig on the Dec. 2 XFC show in Tampa. Carla should be fine if she sticks to wrestling and doesn't try to be a kickboxer. Sarah is 6-5 and her last fight was a win over Sally Krumdiak on the first Invicta show. Her record is deceiving because she likes to fight top competition. Angelica Chavez will face Kikuyo Ishikawa. Angelica's record is 4-1 and her last fight was a loss to Diana Rael on the Aug. 13 MMA Fight Pit show in Albuquerque. Her dad is her trainer and has been known to pull her from fights for no reason. New Mexico needs more regulation anyway. Kikuyo is 7-3 and her last fight was a win over Shino VanHoose on the May 20 PANCRASE show in her home town of Okinawa. I'm sure that was a big deal for her. This will be her first fight outside Japan and her first in a cage. Jessamyn Duke will face Suzie Monteiro. This will be Jessamyn's pro debut but she has a 5-2 amateur record. Suzie is 1-0. She beat Kim Couture on the Oct. 15 W-1 show in Coral Gables, FL. So this might as well be her pro debut. Jocelyn Lyberger will face Cheryl Chan. Both are making pro debuts. Jocelyn's amateur record is 4-2. Cheryl's amateur record is 6-3. Also making pro debuts will be Jessica Philippus vs Liz McCarthy. Jessica's amateur record is 7-1. Liz' amateur record is 6-0. Stay tuned to Twitter as I'm sure there will be changes to the show as it gets closer.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Elton John & Kiki Dee

Artist:Elton John & Kiki Dee
Song:Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Album:The Best Of Kiki Dee

The idea behind the 1976 chart topper Don't Go Breaking My Heart was that Kiki Dee was recording for Elton John's label Rocket Records and they thought if she recorded a duet with the boss, it would launch her to stardom. The song did great but Kiki Dee was never a star. She was born Pauline Matthews Mar. 6, 1947 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England. In the 60s, she was a session singer backing up Dusty Springfield among others. Veteran songwriter Mitch Murray named her Kiki Dee. In 1968, her album Kiki Dee was released by Fontana and didn't sell. Then she signed with Motown and her 1970 album Great Expectations went nowhere. She returned to sessions until she signed with Rocket Records in 1973. Her English version of the Veronique Sanson classic Amoureuse was her first chart single in England. Then I've Got The Music In Me reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. Her album was produced by Elton John's producer Gus Dudgeon. The album charted in England but not in the US. It was decided that a duet with the boss might be just the thing to make Kiki a star. Elton John & Bernie Taupin wrote Don't Go Breaking My Heart under the pseudonyms Ann Orson & Carte Blanche. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 and was a worldwide hit. It was not released on an Elton John album so you had to buy Kiki's album to get the song. It didn't help her. Subsequent singles and albums did not do well and Kiki was never a star. She recorded for Ariola and EMI Columbia in the 80s and performed Don't Go Breaking My Heart with Elton John on Live Aid in 1985. But I think it's safe to say that Kiki Dee's career did not live up to expectations. You can get Don't Go Breaking My Heart on several Elton John comps. But EMI in England has released a Kiki Dee comp that also contains I've Got The Music In Me. Kiki Dee still performs in England today but she should have been a much bigger star. Here's the video for Don't Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John & Kiki Dee.

Monday, May 28, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Collective Soul

Artist:Collective Soul
Album:7even Year Itch: Greatest Hits 1994-2001

Collective Soul had their breakthrough hit and biggest mainstream hit with Shine in 1994. They had a pretty good run in the mid-90s as an album band and then faded. Collective Soul are from Stockbridge, GA. Lead singer and main songwriter Ed Roland studied music composition at Berklee in Boston. In the 80s, he worked as a recording engineer at Reel 2 Reel Studios in Stockbridge. He also led the bands Ed-E and Marching Two Step. After rejection from several record companies, Roland disbanded Marching Two Step. While recording demos intended to get Roland a publishing deal, an Atlanta radio station played Shine and it soon became their most requested song. Roland then formed Collective Soul with his brother Dean Roland on rhythm guitar, Ross Childress on lead guitar, Will Turpin on bass and Shane Evans on drums. They released their debut album Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid independently and then signed with Atlantic Records. Shine was already charting nationally. Roland wanted to re-record the album but Atlantic didn't want to wait and re-released the original album with no changes. The album was certified 2XPlatinum and Shine reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video was in heavy rotation on MTV. It's still their biggest success to date. Shine was interpreted as a Christian song so it did well in the CCM market. But Roland denied that Collective Soul was a Christian band. They recorded five albums for Atlantic. The 1995 CD Collective Soul was certified 3XPlatinum but subsequent album sales declined and by 2000, Collective Soul faded and left Atlantic after the 2000 CD Blender. You can get all their Atlantic hits on this budget comp. Childress left in 2001 and was replaced by Joel Kosche. Evans left in 2003 and was replaced by Ryan Hoyle. After two albums on their own label, Collective Soul signed with Roadrunner Records and released Rabbit in 2009. They are currently touring but no news yet on any new music. I think they have to find a new drummer. Here's the video for Shine by Collective Soul.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen

Artist:Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
Song:Hot Rod Lincoln
Album:Too Much Fun: The Best Of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen

This 1972 cover of the obscure 50s classic Hot Rod Lincoln was the only top ten hit for Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen. The band was a mix of rock and old school country. They started out as a 60s frat band in Ann Arbor, MI led by keyboard player George Frayne. He took the name Commander Cody from the 50s Republic serial Commando Cody. Frayne moved to San Francisco and brought lead guitarist John Tichy with him and added lead singer Billy C. Farlow, sax player Andy Stein, guitarist Billy Kirchen, bassist Buffalo Bruce Barlow and drummer Lance Dickerson. They signed with Paramount Records and released their debut album Lost In The Ozone in 1971. Hot Rod Lincoln reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. According to Frayne, the band performed the song in Michigan and it was added to the album as an afterthought. Hot Rod Lincoln was written and originally recorded by Charlie Ryan in 1955. It was an answer song to Arkie Shibley's 1951 hit Hot Rod Race. It was a hit in 1960 by Johnny Bond and Frayne's version was likely based on that recording. The success of the song caused problems in the band as Frayne wasn't supposed to be the lead singer. They continued to record but couldn't seem to find another hit single. And then Paramount closed. Frayne split up the band in 1976. This budget comp is a good sampling of their Paramount recordings. Frayne signed with Warner Bros. and they wanted him to be like The Eagles. Obviously that didn't work out. Frayne continues to perform as Commander Cody. They have always been known as a strong live act. Frayne trained as an artist and sells his paintings on his website. Billy Kirchen has had a significant career as a blues guitarist. Here's Commander Cody & His Lost planet Airmen performing Hot Rod Lincoln 1974.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ayaka Hamasaki successfully defends the JEWELS Lightweight Championship

Ayaka Hamasaki finishes Yuka Tsuji
JEWELS held their first show in Osaka today in front of a capacity crowd of 525 at Taisho Azeria. The main event had Ayaka Hamasaki defending her JEWELS Lightweight Championship against legendary Vale Tudo Queen Yuka Tsuji on the comeback trail after a lengthy injury layoff. Hamasaki wasted no time and knocked Tsuji down with a right hook. After landing another right hook, Hamasaki took her down and went for a submission. After passing guard, she went for the arm. Tsuji's attempts to resist were futile and it was over at 3:41 of round one. Tsuji didn't tap. The ref stopped the match. Regardless, a very convincing performance for Hamasaki. JEWELS will begin a 52kg tournament in July and the winner will challenge Hamasaki for the belt in December. More about that show in a minute. Well, they have to find a challenger somewhere but I'm not sure any of the usual fighters can do anything with Hamasaki. She has learned her lessons well from Megumi Fujii. In the semi main, JEWELS Featherweight Champion Sugi Rock won over Yasuko Tamada in a non title match. Sugi Rock missed weight and was penalized with a yellow card. Three yellow cards is a DQ. The match was very even. Tamada did better in the first round and Sugi Rock did better in the second round. You risk having more draws when you do two rounds instead of three. The ref called the match a draw but the other two judges scored it in Sugi Rock's favour. Mika Nagano won over anna with a cross arm breaker at 1:50 of round one. anna could be the worst fighter in Japan. Sadae Manhoef won by unanimous decision over SACHI. Ultra Benkei won over Keiko Tomita by armlock at 2:06 of round one. The kickboxing tournament was won by Momoka. JEWELS owner Yuichi Ozono and matchmaker Yasuko Mogi announced that the December JEWELS show will be the first ever to be held in a cage at Differ Ariake. I understand that many fans will think this is a wonderful idea. But most Japanese companies simply don't have the money to use a cage. So it's a huge risk. And Mogi has been there before. VALKYRIE shows were in a cage. But at the end of 2010, parent company GCM couldn't even pay the storage fees for the cage and closed. Depending on the seating, Differ Ariake holds 1200. And GCM's problem was even with a full house, they couldn't justify the expense of using the cage. So I'm not crazy about it because Differ Ariake doesn't generate enough revenue. I think it would serve them better financially to run Korakuen Hall because it has a larger capacity. But a cage doesn't fit there. And a ring is cheaper. It just works better financially.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds

Artist:Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
Song:Fallin' In Love
Album:Billboard Top Hits: 1975

Fallin' In Love topped the charts in 1975 for Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds. They had another top five hit a few years earlier. You will find their history is a little convoluted. Lead singer and guitarist Dan Hamilton and his brother Judd Hamilton led The T-Bones who struck gold with the 1966 hit No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In). They formed a touring band and bassist Joe Frank Carollo and keyboard player Tommy Reynolds replaced two of the original members. The T-Bones were a one hit wonder and split up in 1967 after three albums. But Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds stayed together and signed with Dunhill Records in 1970. Don't Pull Your Love Out reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. Subsequent singles didn't do well and Dunhill dropped the group after two albums. Also, Reynolds left to form the group Shango. Hamilton and Carollo continued to perform locally in Los Angeles and eventually settled on Alan Dennison as Reynolds' replacement. They signed with Playboy Records on the condition they continue to use the name Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds though Reynolds left the group. Fallin' In Love topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975 and it was the only #1 hit for Playboy. For their second Playboy album, they changed the group name to Hamilton, Joe Frank & Dennison. The album didn't sell and the group split up. There is a Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds comp on Collectables but Fallin' In Love isn't on it. Playboy still owns the song but they haven't licensed it to various artists comps very much. Most of the CDs I saw on labels like K-Tel have a re-recorded version of the song. Beware! I know this Billboard comp from Rhino has the original version. Come on, Universal. License Fallin' In Love from Playboy and release a decent Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds comp. Dan Hamilton continued to write songs until his death on Dec. 23, 1994 at age 48. Here's a video for Fallin' In Love by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The smallest thing can puncture a tire

So this afternoon I took the bus to do my groceries at the Loblaws at East Mall & Burnhamthorpe. I normally shop on Saturday but with this weekend's racing schedule, I decided to do it today. I have been to this store before but I hadn't been there for a long time. It's farther then the supermarkets I normally shop at. So I get off the bus at Burnhamthorpe and felt there was something wrong with the chair while I was going through the parking lot. I looked at my left tire and saw that it was going flat. So I went into the store and called H.M.E. and then the ODSP to get the repair going. I was trying to figure out what I could have done to cause a flat tire. One of the problems I had with my previous vendor was they don't seem to have the personnel to handle emergency repairs. Service is the main reason I switched to H.M.E. So I got a call from my favourite service guy Eugene just after 2PM and he told me he would come to my location at 4PM. Remember I wasn't at home. I gave him the address. He said he would call when he got close. Meanwhile, I asked the store manager for a chair so I could transfer while Eugene fixed the tire. So you might ask was I concerned about getting stranded if Eugene didn't show up. Nope, not with Eugene. You can put anything he promises in the bank. And he even came fifteen minutes early. He had some trouble removing the wheel due to salt buildup from the winter. But he did that and found that the inner tube was punctured. He found a staple (pictured above) in the tire but he said the tire was fine and he replaced the inner tube. After some discussion, he thought the staple had been embedded in the tire for several months and just punctured the inner tube now. He said that kind of delayed reaction is not unusual. You see how small the staple is. It's not like anyone can see it in the street and go around it. So after the chair was fixed, I still did my groceries and came home. It was an excellent service call and Eugene did a great job as usual. When I go to the People in Motion show next week, I'l be sure to mention this to the guys at the H.M.E. booth.

Io Shirai and NOSAWA claim the grass was hidden in a fan gift

So you may have already heard that STARDOM's Io Shirai and her wrestler boyfriend NOSAWA were arrested at Narita Airport for possession of marijuana. The two were returning from Mexico. The contraband was hidden in a picture frame holding a portrait of NOSAWA. NOSAWA has told Sportsnavi and Nikkan Sports that the portrait was a gift from a fan and he didn't know there was anything in it. Meanwhile, he was pulled from this Sunday's New Japan show. STARDOM owner Rossy Ogawa announced that Io is off this Sunday's Sapporo show. It remains to be seen how long she will remain on the sidelines. It's too bad because Io was doing really well there. Though here in North America, we don't take possession of marijuana too seriously, it's still a big deal in Japan and wrestlers have been blackballed in the past for smoking weed. I will be watching this story closely so stay tuned for further developments.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Matchbox 20

Artist:Matchbox 20
Song: 3AM
Album:Yourself or Someone Like You

Matchbox 20 had a very  successful run in the late 90s. Their 1996 debut CD Yourself or Someone Like You is their best selling CD to date. When subsequent CDs didn't sell as well, the group went on hiatus and they have reunited and will release a new CD this year. Matchbox 20 is from Orlando, FL. Lead singer and main songwriter Rob Thomas, rhythm guitarist Paul Doucette and bassist Brian Yale were members of the early 90s band Tabitha's Secret. When two other members left the band, they were replaced by lead guitarist Kyle Cook and drummer Adam Gaynor and changed their name to Matchbox 20. After recording some demos with Collective Soul producer Matt Serletic, they signed with Atlantic Records. Their debut CD Yourself or Someone Like You sold slowly but eventually was certified Diamond. 3AM was the second single and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart. While recording their second album, lead singer Rob Thomas scored as a guest vocalist on the 1998 Carlos Santana smash hit Smooth. And I think he was not well known at the time and a lot of fans bought Yourself or Someone Like You after Smooth was a hit. So the CD had a second life. It's available as a budget CD. They recorded two more albums that didn't sell as well and the band went on hiatus in 2002 so Rob Thomas could launch a solo career. They reformed for a tour in 2007 and then went on hiatus again so Thomas could go on a solo tour. They have since reunited again and will release a new CD North in Sept. 2012. I think it will do OK but it is unlikely to reach the heights of Yourself or Someone Like You. Here's the video for 3AM by Matchbox 20.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

REINA X WORLD to launch June 9

A press conference was held today to announce that REINA will relaunch as REINA X WORLD with a tag team tournament on June 9 at Shinjuku FACE. The partnership with CMLL will continue. The two big questions are who will be on the REINA X WORLD roster and who will company owner Victor Kinyonesu hire to run the company. He has hired a couple of wrestlers from K-Dojo to run the company. I think one guy is called Haji and the other is called Hiro. I'm not familiar with them. I don't follow K-Dojo. Both guys said it has been a dream to be a booker. I guess they are wrestling on the shows too but I'm not sure about that. Aki Kanbayashi and Aoi Ishibashi remain from the previous roster and Hikaru Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto have been brought in from Ice Ribbon. Based on Fujimoto's comments at the press conference, they have left Ice Ribbon. The matches for the REINA Tag Team Championship tournament were announced. The winner of the tournament goes to Mexico to defend the belts. Match number one will have Princess Blanca & Princess Sugey vs Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hikaru Shida. The other match will have La Komandante & the masked wrestler Seishu vs Aki Kanbayashi & Aoi Ishibashi. Then they will have the final. Based on the poster, it appears they are also bringing in a couple of wrestlers from the US including Mia Yim. There was a lot of talk from Kambayashi and Ishibashi about turning over a new leaf. Obviously the girls on the REINA roster were clearly split about the management style of Yumiko Hotta. But I see a lack of experience on this roster. I think they do need a female leader and none of these girls have that kind of experience. And the Mexicans aren't there to be leaders. So there are still a lot of questions to be answered and we may find out how deep Kinyonesu's pockets really are. Check out the poster for the show.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Routers

Artist:The Routers
Song:Let's Go (Pony)
Album:Rock Instrumental Classics Vol. 2: The Sixties

The instrumental Let's Go (Pony) was the only hit for The Routers. With it's hand claps and spoken chant, the song has been a favourite of cheerleaders for years. The Routers weren't really a group but a loose collective of Los Angeles studio musicians who played on all kinds of records. The man behind The Routers was Michael Z. Gordon. He was born Apr. 4, 1941 in Minneapolis and grew up in Rapid City, SD. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1957. Gordon had two bands in the early 60s. The first group was The Marketts and they had a big hit with Out Of Limits in 1963. The idea to form a second band was instigated by producer Joe Saraceno. He had a production deal with Warner Bros. Gordon played guitar on Let's Go. Other musicians were Tommy Tedesco on guitar, Plas Johnson on sax and his brother Ray Johnson on bass and Earl Palmer on drums. These guys were veteran studio musicians. Other musicians like Leon Russell and Hal Blaine played on other Routers songs. Let's Go reached #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962. The song was written by Lanny Duncan and his brother Robert Duncan. They recorded a demo as The Starlighters in 1961 and were also part of the collective I was talking about. When The Routers toured, Gordon hired musicians for the tour including Scott Engel later of The Walker Brothers. You can get Let's Go on this Rhino various artists CD of instrumental classics. Michael Z. Gordon has had a long career as a music coordinator for film and TV. He worked on Pulp Fiction among other things. He has also written songs and screenplays. But he got his start with Let's Go (Pony) by The Routers and here's a video for that song.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yumiko Hotta invades DIANA

Yumiko Hotta attacks
So once Yumiko Hotta announced the dissolution of REINA, rumours started flying about the real story. At first it was thought to be a split between REINA and CMLL. A couple of days later Hotta said on her blog that the split was between her and the owner of REINA. She took the REINA roster with her. I think she realized there was confusion and she wanted to clarify the story. Supposedly REINA will continue but no announcement has been made. But I also knew that Hotta doesn't have the money to start her own company. So what would she do? A couple of days ago it was leaked that she would appear on today's DIANA show at Kitazawa Town Hall. They only had 45 fans there so that didn't help attendance. The main event was an eight woman battle royal. Before it could finish, Hotta entered the ring with Saya and Okuda and attacked Kaoru Ito and Sareee. So obviously she is doing an invasion angle. Ito and Kyoko Inoue act shocked and demand to know what Hotta is doing in DIANA. Hotta says she's a free agent and can do anything she wants. Inoue said afterwards she was shocked to see Hotta but Ito wants to fight Hotta. When asked if she was joining DIANA, Hotta said she's not joining anything. She's coming to DIANA to run roughshod over everyone. She also said Saya and Okuda are going to help her. She didn't bring them to be luggage. She brought them to kick ass. What can I say? If you've seen one invasion angle, you've seen them all. It's not like Hotta is a draw anymore and can help DIANA at the gate. 45 fans is pathetic.

JEWELS adds filler to May 26 Osaka show

As expected, JEWELS added some filler to this Saturday's show at Taisho Azeria in Osaka. Unfortunately, most of this filler is a kickboxing tournament presented in association with DEEP-KICK. Supposedly kickboxing is very popular in the Kansai region so it is being called the Kansai Women's Kickboxing Tournament. The biggest complaint I see about JEWELS from Japanese fans is there are enough female kickboxing companies in Japan already and they don't want to see kickboxing on JEWELS shows. They should concentrate on MMA. JEWELS owner Yuichi Ozono has acknowledged the complaints but chooses to ignore them because he wants to present all kinds of fighting. Uh huh. Of course kickboxers work cheaper than MMA fighters too. I expect the complaints to continue. It's a one day tournaments at 47kg. Kaoru Chatani, Akari Nakamura, Megumi and Momoko are the four kickboxers. JEWELS will do a draw for the brackets on Friday. They have also added three amateur kickboxing matches to the show. So if fans don't want to see kickboxing, they won't be very happy. One pro MMA match has been added. In a match contracted for 59kg, Ultra Benkei will face Keiko Tomita. Ultra Benkei was formerly known as Super Benkei and before that Benkei. Her real name is Mayumi Aoki. She trains at Gamurannac. Her record is 5-8 and her last fight was a loss to Iris on the Nov. 28, 2010 VALKYRIE show. Ultra Benkei has been active for the J-Girls kickboxing company and it was announced today that she is scheduled for a title match on July 8. She seems to be doing well there. This will be Keiko Tomita's MMA debut. She is from Fukuyama City in Hiroshima and trains at Burst MMA in Hiroshima. A veteran like Ultra Benkei is a good test for a new fighter. She's not a great fighter but she's not a doormat either. JEWELS has had difficulty developing fighters in the heavier weight classes. That's the complete show and if you haven't seen it, here's the poster.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mat Kearney

Artist:Mat Kearney
Song:Closer To Love
Album:Playlist: The Very Best Of Mat Kearney

Though he doesn't do it on this song, Mat Kearney mixes rap with folk and rock. He's done very well on the Adult Contemporary chart but hasn't crossed over to pop yet. He may never do that and he probably doesn't need to. He was born Dec. 1, 1978 in Eugene, OR. He didn't get into music until he was attending California State University, Chico majoring in literature. The turning point for Kearney was when he gave up hard partying and found God. Then he met Robert Marvin. The two moved to Nashville to get into the music business. Marvin has gone on to produce Contemporary Christian acts like TobyMac. He still works with Kearney. In 2005, Kearney released his debut CD Bullet on the Contemporary Christian label InPop. It got the attention of Aware Records owner Gregg Letterman and Kearney singed up. Aware was distributed by Columbia. Kearney re-recorded several of the songs from Bullet for his 2006 major label debut CD Nothing Left To Lose. The first single Nothing Left To Lose reached #41 on the Billboard Hot 100. All I Need was used in the TV series Grey's Anatomy and fueled album sales after Sony probably thought the album died. Closer To Love is from Kearney's 2009 album City of Black and White. It got radio airplay mostly on Adult Contemporary radio but Kearney hasn't been able to cross over to pop. The album did OK but not as well as the first one. With his latest CD Young Love, Aware switched distribution to Universal. Kearney's single Hey Mama did well on the Adult Contemporary. market. He still has the CCM market in his back pocket so I wouldn't be surprised to see him record a Christian CD. Sony released a budget comp when Kearney left for Universal. It's a good intro to his music. His songs turn up on a lot of TV shows so I'm sure we'll hear more from Kearney. That's how record companies sell music these days. Here's the video for Closer To love by Mat Kearney.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lulu

Song:To Sir With Love
Album:The Classic Sixties Collection: 1967

Teen singer Lulu was already a star in England when she topped the charts with the theme of the 1967 hit film To Sir With Love. She also appeared in the film. Attempts to follow this hit didn't work but Lulu has had a long career in England. She was born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie Nov. 3, 1948 in Glasgow, Scotland. She signed with Decca in 1964 and her cover of The Isley Brothers classic Shout was a top ten hit in England. She left Decca for EMI Columbia in 1967 and signed with Epic in the US. She worked with The Animals producer Mickie Most. Then she signed to appear in the film To Sir With Love starring Sidney Poitier. The idea was to have her sing the theme song. Lyricist Don Black was hired to write the song. He specialized in movie themes like Thunderball and Born Free. He was having trouble writing the song so it was suggested that he work with Mark London. He was Lulu's manager's husband and had produced her first album. To Sir With Love topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. Strangely, Columbia released To Sir With Love in England as a B side so it was not a hit there. The film To Sir With Love cost $600K to produce and grossed $42M so it was a big success. So I think the song rode on the film's success. Lulu had a couple more minor hits in the US but Epic were unable to establish her as a star. She continued to do well in England and is active today. There are some Lulu comps available. But I think most fans in North America will only want To Sir With Love. So this Rhino various artists budget comp has 15 big hits from 1967 and will be perfect for most fans. Lulu's most recent CD was released in 2005. But she appears frequently on TV most recently in the BBC dance contest TV series Strictly Come Dancing. She also sells a line of cosmetics on QVC England. Here's Lulu performing To Sir With Love 1967.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Layla retains WWE Divas Championship

Here's the match video from last night's WWE PPV with Layla defending the WWE Divas Championship against Beth Phoenix. The match starts about seven minutes into the video. Last month the WWE brought Layla in as a surprise opponent for Nikki Bella when Beth had to drop out due to a storyline ankle injury. I criticized the WWE for not bringing in Kharma to destroy the Bellas who were on their way out anyway. This match will not change that criticism. Fans want Kharma. They're not into Layla. So why didn't they bring Kharma back? Maybe it was too obvious for them. It was the usual jittery WWE indecision and the stubborn desire to swerve fans that they probably should have resisted. The match itself is OK but nothing special. Beth went after Layla's knee which I expect everyone will do. Layla had one nice move where she turned a gorilla press into a DDT. I thought the ending was rushed. It looked like they wanted it to look like a lucky move so a clean finish doesn't hurt Beth too much. Of course it's too late. They already messed up the angle last month. Most interesting were the "We want Kharma" chants during the match. The WWE can still fix this but fans are not interested in Layla. They don't care about her. One reason they might want to push Layla is it was reported today that she is up for the Maxim 100. They might try to get her on the cover of the magazine. The other thing is that Beth Phoenix, who is normally very active on Twitter, has been silent for the last week. Maybe she is legit pissed that a major program has been taken from her by a phony injury. She has every right to be pissed by this terrible booking. Enjoy the video!
OTL_clip2 by kotturocking

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Spanky & Our Gang

Artist:Spanky & Our Gang
Song:Like To Get To Know You
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Spanky & Our Gang

Like To Get To Know You was one of three top twenty hits for the late 60s vocal group Spanky & Our Gang. Unfortunately, they disbanded after the tragic death of lead guitarist Malcolm Hale and are somewhat forgotten today. I think the group thought that they were too similar to The Mamas & The Papas and they wanted to sound more sophisticated. Spanky & Our Gang were from Chicago. Lead singer Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane started out as a jazz singer with The Jamie Lyn Trio and then she was a member of the folk group The New Wine Singers. It was here that she met Malcolm Hale and it was also here that she got the nickname Spanky because someone thought she looked like Spanky of the Our Gang comedies. When that group split up, Elaine spent the winter of 1965 in Florida. She met Oz Bach and Nigel Pickering at a party and suggested they come to Chicago to jam. They did exactly that a few months later. Elaine was working as a singing waitress and the club owner asked her to form a group to perform at the club. So she formed a jug band with Bach on bass and Pickering on guitar. Elaine played washboard and as a joke they called themselves Spanky & Our Gang. Malcolm Hale joined and the group started playing local Chicago clubs. Mercury Records signed them and assigned them to producer Jerry Ross. Ross gave them a polished sound very similar to The Mamas & The Papas. Their first single Sunday Will Never Be The Same was turned down by The Mamas & The Papas. Spanky & Our Gang recorded it and it reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1967. And I'm sure a lot of fans thought they were listening to The Mamas & The Papas. The single Lazy Day reached #14 in late 1967. But Elaine was unhappy with the pop sound of the group and wanted to be more adventurous. Oz Bach left and was replaced by Kenny Hodges and his friend Lefty Baker. For their second album, they worked with jazz singer and producer Bob Dorough and his partner Stuart Scharf. Scharf wrote Like To Get To Know You and it reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. The second album was more satisfying for the group. And they were even more sophisticated on their third album. But it didn't sell. And then Malcolm Hale died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty heating system in his house in Oct. 1968. This was a big blow as he wrote a lot of the arrangements. Elaine decided to disband Spanky & Our Gang in 1969. She attempted to revive them as a country group in 1975. This led to Elaine McFarlane touring the nostalgia circuit and she was even part of the 80s revival of The Mamas & The Papas. She still performs occasionally today. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Here's Spanky & Our Gang performing Like To Get To Know You on The Ed Sullivan Show 1968. This video is not on Youtube.
Like to Get to Know You by dcck105

Sunday, May 20, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Shins

Artist:The Shins
Song:Simple Song
Album:Port Of Morrow

After recording for almost two decades, The Shins are having commercial success with their 2012 major label debut Port Of Morrow. The lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of The Shins is James Mercer. He was born Dec. 26, 1970 in Honolulu and moved around a lot as his dad was in the Air Force. While living in New Mexico, Mercer started Flake Music in 1992 and they toured and recorded for a few years. He started The Shins as a side project in 1996 but then merged the two bands as Flake Music was going nowhere. The Shins signed with Sub Pop Records in 2001 and moved to Portland. They recorded three albums for Sub Pop but probably had their biggest success with the 2006 single Phantom Limb. Though The Shins do tour as a band, in the studio they're a one man show. Mercer does everything and then forms the band for live shows. In 2008, Mercer started his own label Aural Apothecary with Columbia distribution. After working on an album for his other group Broken Bells and acting in the 2010 film Some Days Are Better Than Others, he recorded Port Of Morrow with producer Greg Kursten. Kursten has won awards for his work with Lily Allen and and has worked with many others. Simple Song was released Feb. 2012 and Port Of Morrow was released in March. It has been The Shins most successful CD to date. I'm sure Mercer is just getting started and we will hear a lot more from him in the future. Here's the video for Simple Song by The Shins.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jessica Aguilar squeaks out win over Megumi Fujii

Here's the match video for Jessica Aguilar vs Megumi Fujii from last night's Bellator show. Jessica was awarded a unanimous decision by the judges. I don't think she won the fight but I do think Megumi lost the fight. I didn't think either of them performed very well. The key to this fight was round one. I always thought that fighters should be rewarded for aggression. But it seems that a lot of judges prefer light sparring and reward that instead. And that was Jessica's main strategy for this fight. When fighters are not engaging very well, that's tough for judges to score. And many judges won't won't give a round a tie score even if it is a tie and that will tilt the fight in the wrong direction. In the first round, I thought Megumi was generally more aggressive and she scored a takedown and submission attempt near the end of the round. So I scored it 10-9 for Megumi. Jessica may have landed a few punches but I don't think she was active enough. The second round was light sparring bullshit that irritates the hell out of me. Jessica landed a couple of punches near the end of the round and I guess that was enough for her to win 10-9 though it could have been scored a tie because not much happened. And round two is where Megumi lost the fight. If she had continued her aggression of round one, I'm sure she could have won the round. Because in round three, she did that and won the round easily. Based on the ten point scoring system, I scored it 29-28 for Megumi because I thought she won round one. But the judges scored round one in Jessica's favour so she won 29-28. I split the first two rounds and Megumi clearly won round three. And if I score round two a draw, that makes it 29-27. You're asking the judges for a clear decision when sometimes it's not that clear and they think they have to pick a winner. Of course that's not true. There can be tie rounds and draws. So that kind of thinking by the judges may have resulted in the wrong decision. And I don't think either fighter did enough to win so maybe it should have been a draw. Will Megumi Fujii retire? We'll see. Next week, her student Ayaka Hamasaki defends the JEWELS Lightweight Championship against Yuka Tsuji. If Tsuji wins, maybe we will finally see the long awaited Fujii vs Tsuji showdown at the year end JEWELS show. If Ayaka wins, maybe she will pack it in and let Ayaka carry the AACC flag. Enjoy the video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Sunshine Boys

Artist:The Sunshine Boys
Song:What's The Matter With Deep Elem?
Album:Western Swing: The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection

Here's a little slice of late 30s Western Swing that seems obscure compared to some of the stars of the era. But The Sunshine Boys have a long history first in Western Swing and then in Gospel. They were formed in 1938 by John "Tennessee" Smith and his brother A.L. "Smitty" Smith, known as The Smith Brothers along with Milton "Ace" Richman and Pat Patterson. They met in Columbus, OH and performed on radio stations in Atlanta and Macon. What's The Matter With Deep Elem? was recorded around this time and was written by session musicians Slim Harbart and Moon Mullican. Pat Patterson left The Sunshine Boys when he was drafted in 1942 and was replaced by Eddie Wallace who had a gospel background. They continued to perform on the radio as The Sunshine Boys and The Light Crust Dough Boys. And they even went to Hollywood and appeared in some B westerns. By the late 40s, The Smith Brothers wanted to perform country music as opposed to gospel. So they left and had a long career as a duo. Richman and Wallace brought in JD Sumner and Fred Daniel and The Sunshine Boys became a gospel group. In the 50s, they recorded for Decca and even had their own TV show and were the first gospel group to play Las Vegas. Apparently they are still around and Eddie Wallace still leads The Sunshine Boys. But they started out in Western Swing and you can get What's The Matter With Deep Elem? on this 3CD various artists comp. Thanks to Grand Ole Gospel Reunion for the info about The Sunshine Boys. Here's a video for What's The Matter With Deep Elem? by The Sunshine Boys.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ai Takahashi's opponent named for June 3 SHOOT BOXING show

Ai Takahashi, Rio Kamikaze
Today SHOOT BOXING announced that Rio Kamikaze will face Ai Takahashi on the June 3 SHOOT BOXING show at Korakuen Hall. Of course Takahashi is a veteran Shoot Boxer and current champ. This is not a title match. This is part of the Girls S-Cup 53.5kg tournament that will continue in August. J-Girls teen kickboxer MIZUKI won her match and will face the winner of this match. Takahashi lost to MIZUKI in February. I expect Takahashi to win this match easily to set up a big rematch with MIZUKI. Rio Kamikaze is a kickboxer who started while in high school but is now a college student. She last fought and lost to Miku Hayashi on last May's JEWELS show. So it appears that she is concentrating on school and has taken a step back from kickboxing. As you can see, she is a pretty girl and has been modeling in the Kyushu region where she lives. She has appeared in magazines and on TV. So because of her age, she could be compared to MIZUKI but she isn't as good as MIZUKI. There hasn't been any news about any matches for the teen tournament for this show and SB owner Takeshi Caesar wasn't sure if he would be able to get two more girls for that tournament. So they might just do the semi finals and final in August.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ral Donner

Artist:Ral Donner
Song:You Don't Know What You've Got (Until You Lose It)
Album:You Don't Know What You've Got

Like Terry Stafford, Ral Donner sounded so much like Elvis Presley that many people thought he was Elvis. You Don't Know What You've Got was his biggest hit in 1961. His success was otherwise limited and his claim to fame became a millstone around his neck later in his career. He was born Feb. 10, 1943 in Chicago and grew up singing in church. As a teen, he led The Rockin' Five and then The Gents. His big break was appearing on Alan Freed's Big Beat show at the Apollo in New York in 1959. Donner recorded a demo of The Girl Of My Best Friend which Presley recorded on Elvis Is Back. It got the attention of veteran record promoter George Goldner and he signed Donner to Gone Records, one of his several labels. Goldner had Donner re-record the song and it was a top 20 hit. Donner started getting a lot of press wondering if he was Elvis. You Don't Know What You've Got was the next single and it reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by George Burton and Paul Hampton. Burton was likely an alias for Goldner to earn royalties he didn't deserve. Hampton is a songwriter and actor best known for co-writing Sea Of Heartbreak for country music legend Don Gibson. Donner had a couple more chart hits and then faded. You can get them on this comp CD from Collectables. Donner recorded for Reprise and Red Bird with little success. He floundered until Presley's 1977 death. He recorded a couple of Elvis tribute albums and then was hired to narrate the 1981 documentary This Is Elvis doing a vocal impersonation of Elvis. Ral Donner died of cancer on Apr. 6, 1984 at age 41 and he will always remain in the shadow of Elvis. Here's a video for You Don't Know What You've Got by Ral Donner.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Winston & George

Artist:Winston & George
Song:Denham Town
Album:Trojan Reggae Duets Box Set

In the 60s, Jamaican record producers seemed to put together duets at random. Most of them were short lived but occasionally a song would be a hit and sometimes lead to bigger things. The 1967 song Denham Town was a hit in Jamaica and England and today is considered an essential to Rude Boy culture and ska. It helps that Denham Town is one of the roughest areas in Kingston and the song is a warning to Rudies to behave themselves. I'm sure most fans are familiar with the legendary reggae group The Pioneers. They were formed in 1962 by Sydney Crooks, his brother Derrick and Winston Hewitt. In 1965, they were recording for producer Leslie Kong. When Hewitt and Derrick Crooks left The Pioneers, Crooks recruited welder Jackie Robinson and they recorded the 1967 hit Gimme Some Loving. But he was looking for a third singer to round out the group. George Agard was a tailor who wanted to get into the music business. Apparently he's the half brother of Jamaican music legend Desmond Dekker. He also recorded as Johnny Melody. Leslie Kong suggested to Agard that he might do better as a member of a group so he introduced him to Crooks. Agard and Crooks wrote Denham Town and the song was produced by Kong. The song was a hit and I guess it was sort of an audition as Agard soon joined The Pioneers and the rest is Jamaican music history as The Pioneers is one of the most successful groups to ever come from Jamaica. You can get Denham Town on this various artists box set that collects all the random duets in one place. Here's a video for Denham Town by Winston & George.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Fourplay

Artist:Fourplay f/El DeBarge
Song:After The Dance
Album:The Best Of Fourplay

I'm sure El DeBarge fans are looking for his cover of the Marvin Gaye classic After The Dance and can't seem to find it on one of his CDs. That's because he didn't record it as part of DeBarge or as a solo artist. He recorded it as a guest vocalist on the 1991 debut album by the all star jazz group Fourplay. It was tacked on to one of his CDs later but it's out of print. The leader of Fourplay is jazz pianist Bob James. James is best known for composing the theme for the TV series Taxi. But he's been around since the early 70s and is considered to be one of the architects of Smooth Jazz. And his music is frequently sampled by hip hop guys. The formation of Fourplay came out of the sessions for James' 1990 album Grand Piano Canyon. Guitarist Lee Ritenour, bassist Nathan East and drummer Harvey Mason Sr. all played on that album. Ritenour has been a best selling jazz artist since the mid-70s but he also plays a lot of sessions. East and Mason are session musicians who have played with a who's who of the music business. Mason recorded one album as a leader in 1975 and East has never recorded as a leader. So these guys already knew each other very well. James approached his record company Warner Bros. about recording Fourplay. The 1991 debut album topped the jazz album chart. After The Dance was released as a single and reached #2 on the R & B Singles chart. It helped that El DeBarge was still a big star at the time. Marvin Gaye and Leon Ware wrote After The Dance and Gaye recorded it on the 1976 album I Want You. DeBarge has said he always wanted to cover a Marvin Gaye song. After The Dance was added to the 1992 El DeBarge CD In The Storm. It is out of print but you can get After The Storm on this Fourplay comp which is available as a budget CD. It is also on the El DeBarge Ultimate Collection CD but the Fourplay CD is cheaper. Ritenour left Fourplay in 1997 and was replaced by Larry Carlton. Carlton was replaced by Chuck Loeb in 2010. Fourplay recorded six albums for Warner Bros. and have also recorded for Bluebird and Heads Up. It looks like they have signed with Concord and should have a new CD out this year. So if you were looking for this lost El DeBarge song, here is the video for After The Dance by Fourplay featuring El DeBarge.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Usher

Song:Nice & Slow
Album:My Way

Usher Raymond IV was discovered as a teen and became the biggest crossover R & B stars of the 90s. Nice & Slow was his first number one pop hit in 1997. He has also tried acting but hasn't been as successful in that area. He was born Oct. 14, 1978 in Dallas and moved with his mom to Chattanooga when she remarried. He sang in church and when his family decided he could be a professional singer, they moved to Atlanta as they thought there were better opportunities there. At age 11, Usher joined NuBeginnings and recorded an album with them. His mom pulled him out of the group because, according to her, it was a "bad experience". Then he appeared on Star Search and an A & R rep from LaFace Records arranged an audition with LaFace co-owner Antonio "LA" Reid. Usher signed and his first song was Call Me A Mack from the 1993 film Poetic Justice. His 1994 debut CD Usher was mostly produced by Sean "P Diddy" Combs. It did OK but he hadn't crossed over to pop yet. After Usher graduated from high school, he became friends with producer Jermaine Dupri. Dupri produced most of the songs on the 1997 CD My Way. You Make Me Wanna was the first single and it topped the R & B charts and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Nice & Slow did even better. It topped the Billboard hot 100 in Jan. 1998 and was certified Platinum. Nice & Slow was written by Brian and Brandon Casey of the R & B group Jagged Edge. They also sang backup vocals. Usher, Dupri and Dupri's house songwriter Manuel Seal Jr. also got songwriting credits. So now Usher is a big heartthrob. He released a live album in 1999 and got into acting on the TV series Moesha and the film The Faculty. His next CD 8701 was released in 2001. He's still doing very well as his latest CD Raymond v Raymond did very well and I expect his new CD Looking 4 Myself to continue his success. That is out next month. He seems to have put acting on the back burner. Sony hasn't released an Usher comp yet but My Way is available as a budget CD. Usher is still young and he will be a star for a long time. Here's the video for Nice & Slow by Usher. The girl in the video is model Kimora Lee Simmons. This video is not on Youtube.
Usher - Nice & Slow by hushhush112

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gail Kim cheats to retain TNA Knockouts Championship

Here's the match video of Gail Kim defending her TNA Knockouts Championship against Brooke Tessmacher from last night's TNA PPV. This match is TNA lunkheaded booking at its worst. The whole gimmick is trying to sell Brooke as an athlete when we all know she isn't. There are some fans who have a double standard when it comes to women in pro wrestling. So it's OK for a model like Brooke to show some improvement even if she's still really green and looks shaky most of the time. So you've got the champ Gail Kim who has been a wrestler for ten years and for most of her career she has been booked as a second banana to models except when she worked with Awesome Kong in TNA a few years ago. It's very weak booking. And of course the silliest thing is they want Brooke to use Gail's finisher. A champion should never be booked like this especially against a greenhorn. And the ending of this match was ludicrous. They had Gail fall out of the ring after Brooke gave her the Eat Defeat. And then Gail won with her feet on the ropes. Ugh! Look, I know what TNA is trying to do with Brooke. It will fail because she still needs to be carried by a veteran. She has already been exposed but she will be exposed further. Enjoy the video!

Women's Pro Wrestling REINA expected to rebrand as RAINA

Women's Pro Wrestling REINA held their first anniversary show at Korakuen Hall. At the end of the show, REINA manager Yumiko Hotta announced that REINA was dissolving. So you might ask if they are closing. The answer is no. When REINA started last year, it was a partnership with Mexico's CMLL. The idea was to have an exchange of talent. It was supposed to be the CMLL wrestlers coming to Japan to work for REINA and REINA wrestlers going to Mexico to work for CMLL. The problem was it was a one way street. Plenty of luchadoras came to Japan but none of the REINA roster went in the other direction. So it appears that CMLL was not satisfied with the results of their agreement with REINA. Today REINA announced that their tag team champions have been stripped of the titles and there will be a tournament. The champs were Mima Shimoda and one of the Mexicans. Shimoda lives in Mexico and works for CMLL. The company will continue. I have heard that RAINA will be the new name. Expect an announcement this week. I also understand that four new trainees are coming to REINA. Currently, the roster has four wrestlers including Hotta and they have used freelancers. They need to shore up the roster. The former Basara has been working there as a freelancer but is not part of the roster yet. The main event of yesterday's show was Yumiko Hotta vs CMLL's La Komandante in a no holds barred street fight with the loser getting her head shaved. Of course Hotta won, shaved La Komandante's head and then made her big announcement. The pics indicate a wild match. Also Lady Apache won the CMLL Women's Championship from Princesa Blanca. There were other luchadoras on the show. They brought in Mia Yim and Kimber Lee from the US along with Kyoko Inoue and Sarrree from Diana. And a couple of Ice Ribbon wrestlers including Hikaru Shida. So I guess this show can be described as one big blow off and we will see what REINA becomes shortly.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Oliver

Album:Good Morning Starshine: The best Of Oliver

William Oliver Swofford AKA Oliver had brief success with the 1969 top five hits Good Morning Starshine and Jean. The music was produced by legendary hitmaker Bob Crewe. Oliver's singing career ended when he expressed interest in being a folksinger and Crewe wasn't interested. He was born Feb. 22, 1945 in North Wilkesboro, NC. He began singing while attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a member of The Virginians and The Good Earth as Bill Swofford. Bob Crewe was best known as producer of The Four Seasons, Mitch Ryder and he even had hits with his own group The Bob Crewe Generation. So he spotted Swofford and renamed him Oliver. Oliver hit it big first time out with his cover of Good Morning Starshine from the Broadway musical Hair. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. The next single Jean did even better and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jean was written by hippie poet Rod McKuen and McKuen recorded it for the 1968 film The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie. A lot of McKuen's songs were covered by pop singers in the 60s. That was the end of Oliver's success. Tarragon Records released an Oliver comp in 2005 but it is now out of print. Swofford did write songs and he wanted to be a singer songwriter. Crewe wasn't interested and they parted ways in 1971. Swofford recorded an album for United Artists in 1971 and toured through the 70s as Bill Swofford. Obviously he was a very good singer but didn't seem to click without the Bob Crewe touch. He quit the music business and went into real estate and later was an exec for a pharmaceutical company. Bill Swofford died of cancer on Feb. 12, 2000 at age 54. Here's Oliver performing Jean in 1969.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sonny Criss

Artist:Sonny Criss
Song:Black Coffee
Album:This Is Criss!

It's easy to overlook tenor sax player William "Sonny" Criss but his 60s recordings on Prestige Records are well worth checking out especially the 1966 album This Is Criss!. He was born Oct. 23, 1927 in Memphis and moved to Los Angeles at age 15. By age 19, he was playing in Howard McGhee's band with Charlie Parker. Parker was a major influence on Criss' playing style. He played as a sideman for Johnny Otis, Billy Eckstine and Stan Kenton. After joining the Buddy Rich band in 1956, he signed with Imperial Records. They didn't seem to know what to do with Criss and his albums didn't sell. He signed with Prestige Records in 1965 and had his best run there. The 1966 album This Is Criss! is considered his best album by jazz experts and a Rudy Van Gelder remastered version is available on CD. Musicians are pianist Walter Davis, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Alan Dawson. Black Coffee was written by big band arranger Sonny Burke and veteran lyricist Francis Webster and was first recorded and charted by Sarah Vaughan in 1948. This album is worth checking out. Criss won a 1968 Downbeat Magazine award as Talent Deserving Wider Recognition. There was talk about promoting him better but it didn't happen. Criss left Prestige in 1969 and recorded for Muse and Impulse in the 70s. He moved to Paris was still actively performing in the mid-70s when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. When he couldn't stand the pain anymore, he shot himself and died on Nov. 19, 1977 at age 50. Muse had just signed him to a new contract. A very tragic end for a very talented and underrated musician. Here's a video for Black Coffee by Sonny Criss.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jan & Dean

Artist:Jan & Dean
Song:Little Old Lady From Pasadena
Album:All The Hits: From Surf City To Drag City

The duo of Jan Berry and Dean Torrence are frequently viewed as Beach Boys knockoffs. But in fact they wrote a lot of their own songs including this 1964 top five hit Little Old Lady From Pasadena. Their success ended when Berry was in a near fatal car crash in 1966. William Jan Berry (born Apr. 3, 1941 in Los Angeles) and Dean Ormsby Torrence (born Mar. 10, 1940 in Los Angeles) met in high school and formed the doo wop group The Barons to enter a 1958 talent contest. The group rehearsed in Berry's home with drummer Sandy Nelson and future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. The Barons split up when the talent contest ended but Berry, Torrance and Arnie Ginsburg continued to work together. Ginsburg wrote the song Jennie Lee as a tribute to a local stripper. They were going to record as a trio but Torrance was drafted into the Army Reserve. So Jan & Arnie recorded Jennie Lee and signed with Doris Day's label Arwin. It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. Jan & Arnie recorded three singles and Ginsburg left the music business. Torrance returned and Jan & Dean had a top ten hit with Baby Talk in 1959. By 1963, Jan & Dean left Arwin for Liberty Records. Berry had been writing songs for others and both guys wee attending college. Jan & Dean's breakthrough came when they met Brian Wilson. Wilson wrote Surf City for The Beach Boys but was having trouble with it and agreed to give it to Jan & Dean if Berry helped him with the song. Surf City topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. Little Old Lady From Pasadena reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964. Berry wrote the song with studio musician Don Altfeld and Los Angeles DJ Roger "Hot Dog Rog" Christian. The three worked together frequently. The song is based on a joke. Supposedly, Los Angeles car salesmen told prospective used car buyers that a car was only driven to church on Sunday by a little old lady from Pasadena. The song popularized the joke and Johnny Carson used as joke fodder for years. Jan & Dean also had top ten hits with Drag City and Dead Man's Curve. They began to fade but on Apr. 12, 1966, Berry was in a near fatal car accident and it took him years to recover. Torrance attempted to continue but also started his own graphic arts business. He's been very successful and even won a Grammy for one of his album covers. You can get all of Jan & Dean's hits on this 1996 2CD comp first released in England and then picked up in the US by Capitol. Jan & Dean continued to perform on the nostalgia circuit for many years until Jan Berry died on Mar. 26, 2004 at age 62. Torrance still performs occasionally. Along with The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean were a big part of the Southern California surf and hot rod culture of the mid-60s. Here's Jan & Dean performing Little Old Lady From Pasadena in the 1964 film The TAMI Show.

Friday, May 11, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robert Morse

Artist:Robert Morse
Song:I Believe In You
Album:How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying: Original Broadway Cast Recording

Fans familiar with the current Broadway revival of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying may want to check out the original 1961 version which made Robert Morse a star. He also starred in the 1967 film version. You may recognize Morse from his role in the AMC series Mad Men. But he is primarily known for Broadway musicals. He was born May 18, 1931 in Newton, MA. After serving in the US Navy during the Korean war, Morse moved to New York and starred in the 1955 Broadway production of The Matchmaker and the 1958 film. After starring in Say, Darling and Take Me Along, Morse won a Tony for his performance in the 1961 Broadway musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. The play was based on Shepherd Mead's 1952 bestselling book. Willie Gilbert and Jack Weinstock turned it into a play. But producer Cy Feuer thought it could be turned into a musical and brought in Guys and Dolls composers Abe Burrows and Frank Loesser. Loesser didn't want to do it but Burrows talked him into it. Burrows also directed. Stars included Robert Morse, Charles Nelson Reilly and Rudy Vallee. Though uncredited, Bob Fosse did the choreography. The show was a big success and ran for several years. It won seven Tonys including one for Morse. Morse and Vallee also starred in the 1967 film version. Though the soundtrack is available on CD, it's too expensive and the Broadway cast recording is available from Sony Masterworks as a budget CD. Robert Morse has had a long career in film and TV. But he has been most successful on stage in the 1972 play Sugar and as Truman Capote in the 1989 play Tru for which he won another Tony. He currently plays Bertram Cooper on the AMC TV series Mad Men. How To Succeed In Business has been revived on Broadway several times. Matthew Broderick won a Tony for his performance in the 1995 show. The most recent revival first starred Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame and currently stars pop singer Nick Jonas. John Larroquette won a Tony for his supporting role. That production closes next week. Here's Robert Morse performing I Believe In You from the 1967 film How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Montell Jordan

Artist:Montell Jordan
Song:This Is How We Do It
Album:This Is How We Do It

This Is How We Do It was one of the biggest hits of 1995. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks and also topped the R & B Singles chart. It was Montell Jordan's biggest hit though he had other hits and wrote hits for others. He left secular music in 2008 and is a worship leader at a ministry in Atlanta. He was born Montell Du'Sean Barnett Dec. 3, 1968 in Los Angeles. He grew up singing in church and sang in clubs while earning a communications degree at Pepperdine University. He got the record deal he was looking for when he met PMP Records president Paul Stewart. Stewart took Jordan to New York to sing for Def Jam Records president Russell Simmons and signed a contract. This Is How We Do It was his 1995 debut album. It reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Platinum. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks and became a huge party anthem. The song is based on the 1989 hit Children's Story by rapper Slick Rick which is in turn based on jazz pianist Bob James' 1974 song Nautilus, a song frequently sampled by hip hop guys. Jordan wrote and produced This Is How We Do It with sax player Oji Pierce who worked with other Def Jam artists at the time. The song was also Def Jam's first number one pop hit. Jordan had top five hits with Let's Ride in 1998 and Get It On Tonite in 1999. And he wrote the hits Nobody's Supposed To Be Here for Deborah Cox and Incomplete for Sisqo. So he had a good run. Unfortunately, Universal has not released a Montell Jordan comp but the original album is still available and you can get it on plenty of various artists CDs. Jordan left Def Jam in 2002 and after recording for Koch and Fontana, he quit secular music and went to work as a worship leader for Victory World Church in Norcross, GA. He still performs there and released a song on iTunes last year. You may recall hearing This Is How We Do It as the theme for the Howie Mandel hidden camera show Howie Do It. So this song has made Montell Jordan a lot of money. He has been married since 1994 and his wife is expecting their fourth child this month. Here's the video for This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jennifer Lara

Artist:Jennifer Lara
Song:I Am In Love
Album:Studio One Women

Though there have been some successful female singers in the Jamaican music scene, for the most part they are used as backup singers. Jennifer Lara did exactly that for her entire career. But when an occasional single like this 1981 classic I Am In Love was released, one had to wonder why more wasn't done with her. I will tell you my theory in a moment. Jennifer Lara was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1953. She was the cousin of Derrick Lara of The Tamlins. Studio One keyboard player Richard Ace brought her to Studio One owner Coxsone Dodd in 1969 and she never left. She sang backup vocals for stars like Delroy Wilson, Freddie McGregor, Dennis Brown and Sugar Minott. Dodd released a few Jennifer Lara singles in the 80s including I Am In Love. You can get it on this Studio One Women various artists CD from the British label Soul Jazz. It's a great song. So why was she not better known? Maybe she didn't want that. She was a mom and raised two kids. Maybe she was happy making a living as a studio singer. She was at Studio One for 35 years so obviously Dodd and the other musicians liked her work. Sadly, Jennifer Lara died of a stroke in June 2005 at age 52. Here's a video for I Am In Love by Jennifer Lara.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stephan Crump with Rosetta Trio

Artist:Stephan Crump with Rosetta Trio
Song:The Leaves, The Rain

Bassist Stephan Crump is best known as long time bassist for pianist Vijay Iyer. He also works as a sideman and composes music for film and TV. In recent years he has recorded as a leader and the Rosetta Trio seems to be a more concerted effort to establish himself as a leader. Crump is from Memphis. Both parents were amateur musicians. His dad was an architect and played drums on the side and his mom played piano. Crump studied piano and played alto sax before settling on bass and playing in bands as a teen. After earning a Bachelor of Music degree at Amherst College in 1994, he moved to New York and toured with The Tommy Dorsey Band before joining the band of veteran trumpeter Marvin Stamm. His work with Vijay Iyer and other bands has labeled him as a versatile sideman who can play anything. He has toured with all kinds of acts including legendary bluesman Johnny Copeland. He also composes music for films. He recorded his first CD as a leader in 1997. Crump formed The Rosetta Trio and with British born acoustic guitarist Liberty Ellman and electric guitarist Jamie Fox and Reclamation was released on Sunny Side Records in 2010. So you'll notice there is no drummer but I don't think you'll care. Crump has played on Ellman's recordings so they know what they're doing. While leading this band, Crump continues to be an in demand and reliable sideman. He's very busy. Here's Stephan Crump with Rosetta Trio performing The Leaves, The Rain at The Jazz Gallery in New York City Sept. 2009.

Monday, May 07, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Thelonious Dub

Artist:Thelonious Dub
Song:The Admiration Of Fools
Album:Master Plan B

Thelonious Dub is a group from Los Angeles that claims to mix the jazz of Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis with reggae influences. But when I listen to them, I think they are in the tradition of Jazz Fusion. I don't hear the reggae influence. They have recently changed their name and added a vocalist possibly to show more of the reggae influence. The leader of Thelonious Dub is guitarist Joe Bartone. He was born Dec. 20, 1965 in Boston and has played in the Sun Ra Tribute Arkestra and The Extropians. As a guitarist, he is similar to guys like Bill Frisell and John Scofield. He formed Thelonious Dub in 2007 with bassist John Van Seggern and drummer Sean Rainey. Van Seggern is a noted remix producer so he uses a lot of effects. But he had left and by the time they recorded the 2009 CD Master Plan B, Brandon Schmidt was on bass and sax player Kyle O'Donnell was added to the band. So that's the band you see on this video. Their CDs are self released and they seem to do well on the Los Angeles club circuit. Bartone is a smart guy and he's been around. A lot of bands like this don't do enough to get exposure. They don't put music on Youtube so fans can experience it. If Bartone didn't do that, I would never feature Thelonious Dub as Song Of The Day. I'm not interested in shaky fan shot videos. And I do preview videos to be sure they are professionally produced. So this gives fans, especially fusion fans, to check out a band that I think they will enjoy. Bartone has changed the group name to Dub Thief and added singer Lindsay Hough. On their website, they have emphasized the influence of British ska groups like The Specials and The English Beat and de-emphasized the jazz influence. It doesn't appear that Dub Thief has released a CD yet but Joe Bartone is a jazz musician and I doubt he will be able to hide the jazz influence. I guess he just wants to be versatile so he gets a lot of gigs. But I think fusion fans will enjoy Thelonious Dub. Here's Thelonious Dub performing The Admiration Of Fools at their 2009 CD release party.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Richard Burton

Artist:Richard Burton
Album:Camelot: Original Broadway Cast

When Richard Burton was cast as King Arthur in the 1960 Broadway musical Camelot, no one knew if he could sing. But I guess he figured if Rex Harrison could sing, so could he. And Camelot was written by My Fair Lady composers Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Leowe. Burton was born Richard Jenkins Nov. 10, 1925 in Pontrhydyfen, Wales to a drunken coal miner. His mom died when he was very young and he was raised by her sister and her husband. Burton was a good rugby player as a teen. But he also performed in school productions and after serving in the RAF during WWII, he moved to London to begin his acting career. Of course he became very successful in films in the 50s. But he continued to perform on the stage. He first appeared on Broadway in Time Remembered in 1958 and was nominated for a Tony. Lerner and Leowe had a big success with My Fair Lady and Lerner wanted to write a musical based on TH White's book The Once and Future King. Leowe wasn't crazy about the idea but agreed to write the music. Moss Hart was hired to direct. The biggest asset Camelot had was the cast of Burton, Julie Andrews, Roddy McDowall and Robert Goulet. The show itself was a little shaky at first. First Lerner had personal problems. Then when the show previewed in Toronto in 1960, Hart suffered a heart attack and Lerner was forced to direct. The show was way too long at five hours. It had been cut considerably by the time it played Boston. Bur they were still having problems because Hart was not there. Lerner has credited Burton with keeping the cast calm and assisting with cuts. Then when Hart returned, there was more editing. When the show premiered on Broadway in Dec. 1960, reviews were mixed but a Burton and Andrews performance on The Ed Sullivan Show made the show a hit. It ran for over two years and won four Tonys including one for Burton. There was a London production and also a US touring production. The Original Broadway Cast recording is available as a budget CD. By the time Warner Bros. produced the 1967 film version of Camelot, Burton and Andrews were too expensive and the film starred Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave. Burton also appeared in a 1980 revival of Camelot at Lincoln Center in New York. Of course we all know about Richard Burton's tumultuous personal life including his long running relationship with Elizabeth Taylor. After Camelot, Burton concentrated mostly on film but occasionally appeared on stage proving that he never lost that love of live performing. Richard Burton was a heavy smoker and had an alcohol problem. His health declined and he died on Aug. 5, 1984 at age 58. Here's Richard Burton performing Camelot on the 1978 TV special The People's Command Performance.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Mountain Goats

Artist:The Mountain Goats
Song:Estate Sale Sign
Album:All Eternals Deck

For years John Darnielle released solo CDs under The Mountain Goats name. In recent years, they have become more of a band for touring. Darnielle has a loyal fanbase for his enigmatic songs. He was born Mar. 16, 1967 in Bloomington, IN and grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA. After high school, he lived and worked at the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, CA and practiced music in his spare time. While earning a degree in English at Pitzer College, he started recording his music on cassette using a boombox and started using The Mountain Goats name in 1991. The group name is a reference to the Screamin' Jay Hawkins song Yellow Coat. Through the 90s, Darnielle released a lot of music. He occasionally brought in musicians when her wanted to perform live. But the recordings were solo. He's not the only solo artist who hides behind a group name. He has also released recordings under other names like The Extra Glenns. He has never released a recording as John Darnielle. He worked with Franklin Bruno in The Extra Glenns and Bruno started collaborating with Darnielle on Mountain Goats recordings in 2002. Bassist Peter Hughes joined and that was the studio band. He adds musicians for live shows. Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster joined The Mountain Goats in 2007. For The Mountain Goats latest CD All Eternals Deck, Darnielle signed with Merge Records. He had recorded for 4AD for several years. The album title and concept is based on fictional tarot cards. Darnielle's music is pretty good but I think his fans really enjoy trying to figure out his deliberately enigmatic lyrics. So if that's something you like to do, you might enjoy The Mountain Goats. A new CD Transcendental Youth is scheduled for a 2012 release. Here's the video for Estate Sale Sign by The Mountain Goats.