Thursday, January 31, 2013
With all this interest in the women's 115lb division, the question I always ask is why hasn't anyone called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu whiz Ana Michele Tavares? It also gives me the opportunity to announce that DEEP has started a Youtube channel at DEEP2001TV. The match they have posted is Ana Michele Tavares winning over Yuka Tsuji with a triangle armbar on July 13, 2003. This was Ana Michele's debut match and a big upset. Tsuji would get her revenge with a win on the Sept. 6, 2007 SMACKGIRL show. Ana Michele's only other loss was to Megumi Fujii. Her record is 7-2. Ana Michele had beaten Kyoko Takabayashi and Lisa Ellis on her way to the final of SMACKGIRL's 2008 World Remix Tournament when SMACKGIRL lost a major sponsor and were forced to suspend operations. Yuichi Ozono bought the company and renamed it JEWELS. The tournament never finished. We haven't seen Ana Michele Tavares since then. She hasn't retired. She still trains at Nova Uniao in Brazil and said in an interview a couple of years ago that she's still in fighting shape and was waiting for someone to call her. She hasn't fought in Brazil and to get a call, I think she should be active. But it might be worth a phone call to see if she still wants to fight. She was a quality fighter and given an opportunity, she could still be good.
Here is a video profile of 13 year old Ice Ribbon wrestler Kurumi. Long time readers of this blog will be aware that I don't care for Ice Ribbon or their practice of training preteen girls to be professional wrestlers. This video shows some of Ice Ribbon's problems and problems with the joshi business in general. When Sakura Emi started Ice Ribbon, she wanted it to be like an after school activity for preteen schoolgirls. She was always uncomfortable with the company's growth. But once it became a full blown pro wrestling company, she couldn't go back to what it was. She wanted to return to Ice Ribbon's roots but she knew she couldn't. And that conflict is Ice Ribbon's major flaw and is the reason the company's growth has stalled. Kurumi seems normal except she is a big Nanae Takahashi fan. And it is revealed that her mother tried out to be a wrestler and failed. So her mother supports her foray into pro wrestling. But when I watch her in the ring, she clearly doesn't know what she's doing. When she was executing her finisher, she lost her balance and almost fell off the turnbuckle twice. But that's what you get with Ice Ribbon. They don't have the time to train them for any length of time so most of them debut long before they are ready. The truth is a lot of the preteen girls leave after a short period of time. They either get hurt or lose interest. I don't know if that will happen with Kurumi. She's a fan so she could be more likely to tough it out. She talks about the audience being mostly old men. Well, that's another reason that Ice Ribbon encourages preteens and idols, the dirty old man factor. And that's the audience joshi puroresu has appealed to for years. Because they aren't on network TV in Japan, there is no way for the joshi business to attract young fans. The fanbase is stagnant and has been stagnant for years. The dirty old men are not a profitable audience. But that is their audience. It's an interesting video and be sure to activate the English captions at the bottom of the player.
Album:Ferry Maat's Soulshow Vol. 2
Today Jonathan Butler's music is best described as Smooth Gospel Jazz. He has a significant fanbase in the Smooth Jazz and Gospel markets. But back in the 80s, he made his only appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 with Lies. Some may not even realize it's the same guy. Butler was born Oct. 10, 1961 in Athlone, Cape Town, South Africa. In the 70s he became a teen idol in South Africa which was unusual for a black artist. Then he signed with Jive Records and moved to England in the 80s. His early albums were instrumental jazz. He worked with Sonny Rollins' long time bassist Bob Cranshaw. Then in 1987, Jive owner Clive Calder put him together with producer Barry Eastmond. Eastmond had success with Melba Moore and Freddie Jackson. Lies reached #5 on the R & B Singles chart and reached #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. Some of his other songs were R & B hits but most folks will only remember Lies. You can get it on this 5CD various artists comp from legendary Dutch DJ Ferry Maat. In the late 90s, Butler reinvented himself with some jazz CDs on N-Coded and more recently he had a big gospel hit with Falling In Love With Jesus. His latest CD Grace and Mercy topped the Jazz Album chart and was top ten in Gospel. So he's still successful but in a different market. Here's the video for Lies by Jonathan Butler.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Song:Some Skunk Funk
Album:Sneakin' Up Behind You: The Very Best Of The Brecker Brothers
Randy Brecker and his brother Michael were at the forefront of the jazz rock fusion movement of the late 60s. In the 70s, they had a lot of success as The Brecker Brothers. Some Skunk Funk is one of their signature songs. Trumpeter Randy Brecker was born Nov. 27, 1945 in the Philadelphia suburb of Cheltenham, PA. Sax player Michael Brecker was born Mar. 29, 1949. Randy was in Horace Silver's band in the mid-60s and then was an original member of Blood, Sweat & Tears. He left when Al Kooper was fired and recorded the album Score for Solid State Records in 1969. That album was Michael's first appearance on record. They formed the jazz rock group dreams with drummer Billy Cobham, Jeff Kent and Doug Lubahn. Dreams recorded two albums but constant personnel changes and especially Cobham's departure for The Mahavishnu Orchestra killed the band. The Brecker Brothers became hot session musicians and they toured with Cobham. Randy formed The Eleventh House with guitarist Larry Coryell in 1973. When former Columbia Records head Clive Davis started Arista Records in 1975, he signed The Brecker Brothers to a contract. Their debut album was very successful. Sneakin' Up Behind you was even a hit single. Among the band members were David Sanborn, Don Grolnick, Will Lee and Sammy Figeroa. Some Skunk Funk is one of their most popular songs. They toured and recorded. But all the members were studio musicians and would come and go depending on availability. This comp is a good intro to the Arista years. Randy and Michael have both had successful solo careers but over the years they would reunite The Brecker Brothers until Michael's 2007 death. They are recommended to jazz rock fusion fans. Here are The Brecker Brothers performing Some Skunk Funk at the 1980 North Sea Jazz Festival.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Song:Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus
This song was notorious in the late 60s. It was a number one hit in England despite being banned from BBC Radio. So it's not surprising it was written and produced by French bad boy Serge Gainsbourg. He was always doing this kind of thing. Jane Birkin was born Dec. 14, 1946 in Marlyebone, London, England. Her mother was stage actress and Noel Coward inspiration Judy Campbell. Jane appeared in film composer John Barry's play Passion Flower Hotel on the London stage in 1964 and then they married. Her nude scene in the 1966 film Blow Up got her some attention. In 1968, she went to France to star in the film Slogan. This is where she met Gainsbourg. The two recorded the film's theme song. Of course they had a long romance but they never married. Gainsbourg wrote Je T'Aime for Brigitte Bardot. She recorded it in 1967 but the record was not released. Bardot's husband hated it. Gainsbourg played it for Jane and she wanted to record it. She admits she got carried away with the heavy breathing. There was even speculation the two recorded it while having sex. All this propelled the song to the top of the British charts in 1969 despite being banned by the BBC and then it was withdrawn by Fontana Records. It topped the charts in other European countries. It would have been banned in the US so forget that. When you listen to the song today, you might wonder what the fuss was about. It was a big deal in 1969. Jane Birkin has had a long career in music and in films. This comp is a good intro to her music. Her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg is an excellent singer. Here's the video for Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus by Jane Birkin with Serge Gainsbourg.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Song:Alone Again (Naturally)
Album:The Very Best Of Gilbert O'Sullivan: A Singer and his Songs
Gilbert O'Sullivan had his only number one hit with Alone Again (Naturally) in 1972. He was a much bigger deal in England. And though he hasn't had a hit in years, he's still around. He was born Raymond Edward O'Sullivan Dec. 1, 1946 in Waterford, Ireland. His father died when O'Sullivan was 11 and he moved with his mom to Swindon, England. He was in the band Rick's Blues led by Supertramp founder Rick Davies. Davies taught O'Sullivan to play piano and drums. O'Sullivan was in a couple of other bands while attending the Swindon College of Art. In 1967, O'Sullivan signed a publishing deal with CBS Records owned April Music. He recorded a couple of singles on CBS that went nowhere. O'Sullivan's big break was when he sent a demo to Gordon Mills. Mills was manager of Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck and was starting a new label MAM Records. He signed O'Sullivan and named him Gilbert O'Sullivan as a pun on the team of Gilbert & Sullivan. It was O'Sullivan's idea to dress like a schoolboy. Mills didn't like it and that was soon abandoned. After a couple of hits in England, Alone Again (Naturally) topped charts worldwide and sold a million copies. Though some believe the song is autobiographical, O'Sullivan says it isn't. The guitar solo was played by session musician Big Jim Sullivan. O'Sullivan's next single Clair reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. His other top ten hit was Get Down in 1973. He continued to have success in England but he last charted in 1980. O'Sullivan sued MAM over royalties and won in 1982. in 1991, he sued Warner Bros. over the use of Alone Again (Naturally) on a rap song by Biz Markie. He won that suit too. Gilbert O'Sullivan continues to tour. He is very popular in Japan. His latest CD Gilbertville was released Jan. 2011. Union Square Music has been releasing O'Sullivan's catalog on CD on their Salvo label. This comp was released last year and is a good intro to his music. Here's Gilbert O'Sullivan performing Alone Again (Naturally) 1972.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Song:Be Our Guest
Album:Disney's Beauty and the Beast: Original Broadway Cast Recording
Gary Beach is a Broadway performer best known for winning a Tony for his performance in The Producers. He also originated the role of Lumiere in the 1994 production of Beauty and the Beast and was nominated for a Tony. Though it seems routine now, Beauty and the Beast was the first Disney animated film to be turned into a musical. Beach was born Oct. 10, 1947 in Alexandria, VA and moved to New York after graduating from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Beach has appeared in 1776, Annie, Doonesbury: A Musical Comedy and toured with Legends starring Carol Channing and Mary Martin. The idea to turn the 1991 film Beauty and the Beast into a musical was suggested by New York Times theater critic Frank Rich. Disney heads Michael Eisner and Jeffery Katzenberg decided to look into it and contacted Theater Under the Stars executive director Frank Young. The show premiered on Broadway Apr. 18, 1994 and ran for over five years. So it was a huge success and Disney has turned several of their animated films into musicals. Gary Beach was nominated for a Tony. His next big role was as Roger De Bris in The Producers. He won a Tony for that and played the role in the film. Beach has appeared in Broadway revivals of Les Miserables and La Cage Aux Folles and the national touring company of Spamalot. But his role in Beauty and the Beast was certainly significant. here's Gary Beach performing Be Our Guest in the 1995 Los Angeles production of Beauty and the Beast.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Song:Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
Album:The Very Best of Starship: We Built This City
As many fans are probably aware, Starship was a spinoff of Jefferson Starship which was a spinoff of Jefferson Airplane. Starship had three number one hits including Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now in 1987. Jefferson Starship was very successful in the 70s. But by 1984, group leader Paul Kantner was unhappy with the band's direction and wanted out. Grace Slick wanted to continue Jefferson Starship but Kantner owned the name and didn't want it used. He sued and the result was that Slick and the band could continue as Starship. The members were Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas on vocals, Craig Chaquico on guitar, David Freiberg on keyboards, Pete Sears on bass and Donny Baldwin on drums. Freiberg soon left and was replaced by Austrian keyboard player Peter Wolf, not to be confused with J. Geils lead singer Peter Wolf. Wolf also took over as producer. Former Player keyboard player Gabriel Katona joined as Wolf didn't want to tour. Starship struck gold when their first single We Built This City topped the Billboard Hot 100. And so did the second single Sara. Jefferson Starship never had a number one hit. The album Knee Deep In The Hoopla reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Platinum. Then Pete Sears left to join Hot Tuna. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now was in the 1987 hit film Mannequin and it topped the charts as well. It was written by Diane Warren and Albert Hammond. Hammond said he wrote the lyrics after he divorced his wife and got a new girlfriend. Grace Slick left in 1988 and the rest of the band recorded the 1989 album Love Among The Cannibals. While on tour, Baldwin and Thomas got into a bar fight. Thomas was beaten so badly he needed reconstructive facial surgery. Baldwin was fired. After his recovery, Thomas continued and still tours as Mickey Thomas' Starship. You can get all of Starship's hits on this budget comp. Here's the video for Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Song:There Will Never Be Another You
Album:Carnegie Hall Concert
Most jazz fans should be familiar with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker. Both were legends in their own right. But they were also very successful as a team in the early 50s. This 1974 CD is a reunion concert. Mulligan met Baker in 1952 while he was working for Stan Kenton. Mulligan performed on Monday nights at The Haig on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles and Baker started sitting in on the jam sessions. They formed a quartet with Bob Whitlock on bass and Chico Hamilton on drums. The most notable thing about this band is there was no piano. They recorded a few albums for Pacific Jazz. Mulligan and Baker had tremendous chemistry so the band was very successful. But it came to an end when Mulligan was arrested for drug possession and tossed in jail in 1953. Both guys were heroin addicts. Baker became more of a solo act especially as a singer. Though they reunited occasionally, producer Creed Taylor decided an official reunion at Carnegie Hall in New York would make for a great album. By 1974, Mulligan had kicked his drug habit but Baker had not. So there was some tension between them. The band is a contemporary band with John Scofield on guitar, Dave Samuels on vibes, Bob James on keyboards, Ron Carter on bass and Harvey Mason on drums. Mulligan and Baker do perform together on some songs. But Mulligan doesn't appear on There Will Never Be Another You. Baker doesn't appear on other songs. CTI Records issued two albums. Vol. 1 is available as a budget CD. It's worth checking out. Mulligan and Baker never recorded together after that. Baker never kicked his drug habit and died in 1988. Mulligan died in 1996. Here's a video of Chet Baker performing There Will Never Be Another You from the Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker Carnegie Hall concert 1974.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Album:The Best Of Bobby Goldsboro: Honey
Singer songwriter Bobby Goldsboro had a good run in the 60s. Honey was his biggest hit. It topped the pop and country charts in 1968. He was born Jan. 18, 1941 in Marianna, FL and grew up in Dothan, AL. He moved to Nashville after his second year of college and was a member of Roy Orbison's backing band The Candymen from 1962 to 1964. Goldsboro released a few unsuccessful singles while still in Orbison's band. But then he had a top ten hit in 1964 with See The Funny Little Clown. He left Orbison's band and signed with United Artists Records. That was his biggest hit until Honey in 1968. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks and also topped the Country Singles chart. It was Goldsboro's first country hit. Honey was written by veteran songwriter Bobby Russell who also wrote Little Green Apples for O.C. Smith. Goldsboro lived across the street from Russell's office at Acuff Rose Music in Nashville. The Newbeats lead singer Larry Henley told Goldsboro about Honey and he went to Russell's office to hear it. He didn't like it at first but when he returned with producer Bob Montgomery, he changed his mind. Russell told them that Bob Shane of The Kingston Trio had already recorded Honey but Goldsboro could have it if Shane's recording wasn't a hit. The rest is history. Goldsboro continued to chart but his only other really big hit was Watching Scotty Grow in 1971. Goldsboro hosted his own TV variety show from 1973 to 1975. He left United Artists in 1977 and recorded for Epic and Curb without much success. Goldsboro retired from performing in the 80s. You can get all his hits on this comp. Bobby Goldsboro also had success as a songwriter. With Pen in Hand was a top five country hit for Johnny Darrell in 1969. He worked on the music for the CBS sitcom Evening Shade and created the children's TV series The Swamp Critters of Lost Lagoon. He has taken up painting and sells his art on his website. Here's Bobby Goldsboro performing Honey probably in the late 60s.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Song:If I Die Young
Album:The Band Perry
The Band Perry burst upon the music scene in 2010 and If I Die Young zoomed to the top of the country charts and crossed over to pop. Their second CD will be released in April. They are a family group from Ridgeland, MS which is a suburb of Jackson. Lead singer Kimberly Perry was born July 12, 1983. Bassist Reid Perry was born Nov. 12, 1988. Mandolin player Neil Perry was born July 23, 1990. Kimberly led her own band as a teen and the boys were roadies. But eventually they became the band and the family moved to Nashville to get them into the music business. In 2005 they went on a New Faces of Country tour. They were discovered in 2008 by Garth Brooks' manager Bob Doyle and he got them a record deal with Republic Nashville. If I Die Young was the second single and it topped the Country Singles chart and reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Kimberly Perry wrote the song. They all write. The 2010 CD The Band Perry topped the Country Album chart and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 200. It was certified Platinum. The album was produced by Nathan Chapman, best known for producing Taylor Swift, and Paul Worley who discovered Dixie Chicks. They won the Best New Artist Grammy and If I Die Young was the CMA Song of the Year. Kimberly is a great singer so you might think the record company would want to spin her off as a solo artists. But she is already the star of the group and her brothers don't seem to have much personality. I see them staying together because they are family. The Band Perry will have a new CD coming in April produced by Rick Rubin. The single Better Dig Two was released Oct. 2012. I expect the album to be a huge hit. Here's the video for If I Die Young by The Band Perry.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Song:Why Am I Treated So Bad?
Album:Peace To The Neighborhood/Father Father
Most music fans should be familiar with Roebuck "Pops" Staples as the leader and patriarch of The Staples Singers. But you don't want to miss out on the two solo albums he recorded in the 90s. Fortunately they are available on CD as a twofer. He was born Dec. 28, 1914 in Winona, MS. As a teen he played with blues legends like Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson and Son House. Staples moved to Chicago in 1935. He started The Staples Singers in 1948 with his wife and children mostly to play at local churches. Staples always worked a day job. The act didn't become popular until the rise of the civil rights movement in the 60s. The group frequently appeared with Dr. Martin Luther King and Staples gave a lot of credit to King for helping them. Supposedly Why Am I Treated So Bad? was King's favourite song. Mavis Staples said this when I saw her in concert a couple of years ago. The Staples Singers first recorded the song on the 1965 album Freedom Highway on Epic Records. It charted when it was released as a single in 1967. Of course The Staples Singers had a lot of success in the 70s on Stax with songs like Respect Yourself. Then Mavis had success as a solo artist. But the group continued to perform together. Pops Staples never recorded solo until the 90s. He signed with Virgin Records and the 1992 CD There Goes The Neighborhood was hailed as one of the best albums of the year. Why Am I Treated So Bad? is from the 1994 album Father Father. The British label Arcadia released both albums as a twofer. They are a must for any blues fan. The Staples Singers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999. Pops Staples suffered a concussion when he fell in his home and he died on Dec. 19, 2000 at age 85. He was one of the all time greats of black music. Here's Pops Staples with The Staples Singers performing Why Am I Treated So Bad? at the 1981 Montreux Jazz Festival.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Song:I Think About You
Album:16 Biggest Hits
Though Collin Raye never achieved the fame of Garth Brooks, he had a strong run in the 90s with a total of 18 top five country hits including I Think About You which reached #3 in 1995. He was born Floyd Elliott Wray Aug. 22, 1960 in De Queen, AR. His mom Lois Wray performed locally and opened for big name singers when they came to town. In the 80s, Floyd and his brother Scott formed the Wray Brothers Band. Floyd called himself Bubba Wray. They recorded a few singles for Mercury but nothing came of it and they split up. Floyd was going to quit the music business. But he decided to give it one last shot. He changed his name to Collin Raye and signed with Epic Records in 1990. His second single Love, Me was his first number one country hit in 1992. His first single from his second album In This Life also topped the charts and the album went Platinum. He also performed In This Life on the syndicated TV drama Street Justice. This show starred Carl Weathers and was filmed in Vancouver. Raye became known for his love songs and he crossed over to Adult Contemporary. I Think About You is the title song from his 1995 album. The single reached #3 on the Country Singles chart and the album was his fourth consecutive Platinum album. The music video won Video of the Year at the ACM Awards. I Think About You was written by veteran Nashville songwriters Don Schlitz and Steve Seskin. Both are award winning songwriters. Raye's final number one country hit was I Can Still Feel You in 1998. Then he started to fade and he left Epic in 2001. You can get all his hits on this budget CD. Since then he has recorded for small labels like Aspiron and Sagauro Road but not with the same success. His most recent CD was released in 2009. Collin Raye's days at the top of the country charts are likely over. But he had a good run in the 90s and he's still around. Here's the video for I Think About You by Collin Raye.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Album:West Side Story: Original Broadway Cast
Of course most folks are familiar with the 1961 film of the musical West Side Story. But you may not be familiar with the original Broadway production in 1957. A lot of the actors who appeared on Broadway did not appear in the film. For example, Larry Kert played Tony on Broadway but Richard Beymer played Tony in the film. Unfortunately, West Side Story was probably the highlight of Kert's career. He was born Dec. 5, 1930 in Los Angeles and moved to New York after graduating from high school. While appearing in the chorus in the 1956 show Mr. Wonderful starring Sammy Davis Jr., Chita Rivera told Kert to audition for a show called Gateway. That was the original title of West Side Story. Kert was cut but then Stephen Sondheim saw him in another show and arranged another audition. This time Kert got the role and West Side Story was a huge hit on Broadway. The original cast album is available as a budget CD. There were a couple of reasons why Kert wasn't in the film of West Side Story. He didn't get along with director Jerome Robbins and at age 30 he was thought to be too old to play a teenager. Larry Kert appeared in several shows after that but was never able to have the success he had with West Side Story. He did get positive reviews when he replaced Dean Jones in the 1970 show Company. But a lot of the other shows he appeared in were flops. He was forced to quit a touring company of La Cage Aux Folles due to illness and died of AIDS on June 5, 1991 at age 60. Here's Larry Kert performing Maria and then Tonight with Carol Lawrence from West Side Story 1957.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Album:Bobby Valentin Presenta Al Cano Estremera
Cano Estremera is a salsa singer from Puerto Rico who stands out in the crowd because he is albino. He started out in the 70s as lead singer in Bobby Valentin's orchestra and has been a successful solo artist since the mid-80s. He was born Carlos Enrique Estremera Colon Sept. 2, 1958 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Cano is a nickname that refers to his pale complexion. Bobby Valentin was arranger for the Fania All Stars. He left in 1975 and started his own label Bronco Records and started his own band. Estremera replaced original singer Marvin Santiago in 1978. He became very popular. Did his albino appearance have something to do with that? Sure but Estremera is a great singer. After recording four albums as lead singer of Valentin's band, Valentin decided to produce a solo album for Estremera in 1982 titled Bobby Valentin Presenta Al Cano Estremera. After a 1984 solo album, Estremera left Valentin to go solo. Estremera was very successful in Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries in the 80s and 90s. He won the Paoli award for Salsa Singer of the Year in 1986. He last recorded in 1999 but I'm sure he still tours. Salsa music fans should check him out. Here's Cano Estremera with Bobby Valentin's orchestra performing Awilda 1982.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Song:Sweet Georgia Brown
Album:The Concord Jazz Heritage Series
Guitarist Herb Ellis made his name as a member of Oscar Peterson's band in the 50s. He faded in the 60s but then recorded some great albums for Concord Jazz in the 70s. He was also a very popular session musician in Los Angeles. He was born Aug. 4, 1921 in Farmersville, TX and grew up in Dallas. He majored in music at North Texas State University but was forced to leave due to lack of funds. He joined Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra and then toured with Jimmy Dorsey. Along with pianist Lou Carter and bassist John Frigo, Ellis left the Dorsey band to form Soft Winds which was patterned after The Nat Cole Trio. In 1953, Ellis replaced Barney Kessell in The Oscar Peterson Trio and they remained together until 1958. Ray Brown was on bass. He was also part of the Verve Records house band and played on a lot of records. And he toured with Ella Fitzgerald. He recorded a few solo albums in the late 50s. He left Verve in 1962 and for the rest of the 60s concentrated on session work in Los Angeles. Ellis returned to recording when Concord Jazz was founded in 1972. He recorded with Joe Pass, Barney Kessell and plenty of other guys. He recorded for Concord through the early 80s. This comp covers those years. Sweet Georgia Brown is from the 1981 album Trio with Monty Alexander on piano and Ray Brown on bass. Herb Ellis continued to record and tour in the 80s and 90s. He died on on Mar. 28, 2010 at age 88. I would recommend Herb Ellis to jazz guitar fans. Here's Herb Ellis with bassist Dave Maslow performing Sweet Georgia Brown at the Triangle Bar in Minneapolis Feb. 1986. This is from the DVD Herb Ellis Live.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Song:1, 2, 3 Red Light
Album:The Best of the 1910 Fruitgum Company: Simon Says
The 1910 Fruitgum Company were part of the Kasenetz-Katz late 60s bubblegum music factory along with acts like Music Explosion and Ohio Express. They had three top five hits including 1, 2, 3 Red Light in 1968. Though Kasenetz-Katz frequently used studio musicians on their recordings, 1910 Fruitgum Company was a real band. They were from Linden, NJ which is a suburb of New York City. They were first known as Jeckyll and the Hydes led by guitarist Frank Jeckyll along with singer and keyboard player Mark Gutkowski, drummer Floyd Marcus, Pat Karwan and Steve Mortkowitz. The name change came when Jeckyll found a gum wrapper in his attic. So they met Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz at a diner and invited them to a gig. The band wanted to be a hard rock band like Vanilla Fudge. But Kasenetz-Katz had already had success with Music Explosion and Ohio Express. So the band knew what they were getting into. Apparently Kasenetz-Katz really liked Gutkowski's voice. Simon Says was the first 1910 Fruitgum Company single and it reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. 1, 2, 3 Red Light reached #5. And then in 1969, Indian Giver reached #5. Despite rumours that session singer Joey Levine sang lead as he did for Ohio Express, Mark Gutkowski sang all the lead vocals for 1910 Fruitgum Company. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. The end for 1910 Fruitgum Company came in 1969. The band never liked being labeled as bubblegum music and wanted to be a more serious hard rock band. Kasenetz-Katz dropped them and they split up. Frank Jeckyll reformed 1910 Fruitgum Company in recent years and they tour the nostalgia circuit. Here's 1910 Fruitgum Company performing 1, 2, 3 Red Light 1968.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Song:I've Found Someone Of My Own
Album:Hard To Find 45s On CD Vol. 12: 60s & 70s Pop Classics
I would guess that when music fans listen to the 1971 top five hit I've Found Someone Of My Own, they think it's by The Fifth Dimension or The Friends Of Distinction. But it's actually by the very similar but short lived vocal group The Free Movement. They had one other song chart and only recorded one album. The Free Movement came out of the Chicago gospel scene. Godoy Colbert was in The Pilgrim Travelers, the Pharoahs and then moved to Los Angeles to join the mid-60s group The Exits. Josephine Brown was a member of The Five Bells of Joy. The other members were Cheryl Conley, Jennifer Gates and Claude and Adrian Jefferson. Obviously The Fifth Dimension were very popular at the time. The Free Movement recorded I've Found Someone Of My Own as a demo and Decca Records released it as a single. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. But then they signed with Columbia Records and released an album. They charted in 1972 with The Harder I Try in 1972 and never charted after that. The Free Movement split up after recording one album. You can get I've Found Someone Of My Own on this various artists comp from Eric Records. The record was produced by Joe Porter who went on to work for Motown after they moved to Los Angeles in 1972. The record was arranged by Jimmie Haskell and Michael Omartian. I've Found Someone Of My Own was also a top five country hit for Cal Smith in 1973. So now you know why this song isn't on a Fifth Dimension CD. Here's a video for I've found Someone Of My Own by The Free Movement.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The continuing epidemic of WWE Divas leaving the company reared its ugly head last night when Eve Torres lost the WWE Divas Championship to Kaitlyn and then announced her departure from the company. The angle had Eve getting counted out deliberately so she wouldn't lose the belt. The stupid part of the angle had Eve supposedly being afraid of Kaitlyn. Why would anyone be afraid of Kaitlyn? That's why the angle didn't work. I have no problem with Eve's chicken heel behaviour though she can't act or wrestle like a heel. For last night's match, a stipulation was added that if Eve was counted out or disqualified, she would lose the title. Apparently Eve told the WWE last month she wanted to leave. The original plan was to have her lose the belt at the Royal Rumble. But they moved it up to last night's Raw because the show was in Kaitlyn's home town of Houston. WWE brass likes Kaitlyn for some reason. I do not. The match is above average for a Raw Divas match. They get more than two minutes for a change. I laughed when Kaitlyn kicked out of Eve's finisher. Then Eve rolled out of the ring after Kaitlyn's finisher which is a terrible finisher. A little misdirection and Kaitlyn finished with a spear which looked like crap. I suspect a feud with Tamina Snuka is in Kaitlyn's future. So why is Eve Torres leaving the WWE? Like a lot of these girls who were not wrestlers before they were in the WWE, she doesn't want to be a wrestler. She lives in Los Angeles already. She used to be a Clippers dancer. So let her find out if auditions are harder then wrestling. And she is engaged to Gracie Academy co-owner Rener Gracie. Eve is the face of Gracie's self defense DVD series Women Empowered. She has a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She could be a pro fighter but she hasn't expressed interest in fighting in the past. I wonder what Rener would say if she wanted to do that. Recently Eve worked through an elbow injury and that had to get her thinking that if she has other opportunities in the entertainment industry and she is engaged to a successful business owner, why should she be on the road risking her health as a pro wrestler. Not all wrestlers are in love with the wrestling business. Trying to keep these girls continues to be a problem for the WWE. And they don't seem to have a solution. Here's the match video of Eve Torres vs Kaitlyn from last night's Raw.
Oumou Sangare is a huge star in her native Mali. She is known as the Songbird of Wassoulou. Her music is a mix of traditional Malian sounds and contemporary rhythms. And she has a Grammy. She was born Feb. 25, 1968 in Bamako, Mali. Her mother is singer Animata Diakite. Her father abandoned the family so she sang at a very early age. At age 16 Oumou toured with the group Djoliba. She recorded her first album Moussoulou in 1990. It sold well and got the attention of Mali music legend Ali Farka Toure. He contacted Nick Gold and Oumou signed with his World Circuit label with distribution from Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Sounsoumba is from her 2009 CD Seya which as I said is a mix of Mali music and contemporary funk. Hell, Fred Wesley is on this album. Oumou won a Grammy for her guest vocal on Herbie Hancock's 2010 CD The Imagine Project. And Seya was nominated for a Grammy. If she sang in English, she would be a huge worldwide star. At home, she marketed a car manufactured in China and she owns a hotel. She is also a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Her cousin is actor Omar Sangare. Here's Oumou Sangare performing Sounsoumba on Later with Jools Holland 2009.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Here is the main event from JWP's annual Christmas show at Korakuen Hall. It's Sakura Emi defending the JWP Open Weight Championship against Arisa Nakajima. A few years ago Nakajima looked like she would be a big star in JWP. She's attractive and has charisma. And she has wrestling talent. But her head wasn't in the game. She quit in 2009 and reports indicate that she was suffering from depression. But she returned in mid-2012 and was immediately put in a main event position. From what I have seen from her since her return, she's still pretty good in the ring. And she's only 22. So now she gets to challenge Sakura Emi for the JWP Open Weight Championship on JWP's biggest show of the year. Emi is working heel and beats Nakajima up for most of the match. She avoids the comedy style we have seen from her in recent years. It looks like a head butt broke Nakajima's nose so they decided to rush the finish and Arisa Nakajima is the new JWP Open Weight Champion. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of the TNA Knockouts gauntlet match from last night's Genesis PPV. The match starts at around 24 minutes of the video clip. Before I talk about the match, last week TNA announced that in 2013 they are cutting back to four live PPVs. the plan is to tape special shows and charge $15. This is clearly an admission that TNA is getting killed by low PPV buy rates. Dixie Carter claims that the PPV landscape is changing and they are changing with it. If that was true, the WWE would do the same thing and they are not. This is clearly a cost cutting measure. It has been rumoured for a while that TNA is having financial problems. I don't see how a drastic move like this can be interpreted any other way. And only TNA loyalists will buy the taped PPVs. What will they do if the buy rates for the taped shows are disappointing? When I heard that TNA planned a gauntlet match to determine the number one contender for the TNA Knockouts Championship, I laughed. How many times have they done this kind of thing with the Knockouts? Can't they think of anything else? There was some confusion because TNA didn't bother to clarify that there would be four different matches. So the main thing I got from this match was they plan to convert Taryn Terrell from ref to wrestler. She clearly missed Gail Kim pulling the tights on two pinfalls. Then she caught Gail holding the rope on a pinfall and missed her foot under the ropes when Velvet Sky won the final pinfall. Taryn has been training at OVW. I would expect Gail to start a feud with Taryn. Gail gave a good performance and was robbed in the end. With no monthly PPV to lead to, it should be interesting to see what TNA does differently. I think they are treading water and I don't think the changes will help much. Enjoy the video!
TNA Genesis (2013) - Part 2 by nishatian1
TNA Genesis (2013) - Part 2 by nishatian1
Song:Rank Stranger To Me
Album:Hot Rize/Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers In Concert
Hot Rize was an excellent traditional bluegrass group that started in the 70s and had a following in the 80s. They are actually two bands in one as Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers is a parody band that usually open for Hot Rize. It's a fun band with the same guys. Hot Rize was formed in 1978 and is named after the leavening agent in Martha White flour. They frequently play the theme song for the Martha White radio show. Group members were Tim O'Brien on mandolin and fiddle, Pete Wernick on banjo, Charles Sawtelle on guitar and Nick Forster on bass. They all sing and Forster is the emcee. He introduces all the songs. They recorded six albums for Flying Fish Records including a live album in 1984. They also recorded as Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers. This CD is a mix of the two bands. Rank Strangers To Me is a cover of a Stanley Brothers classic. Hot Rize split up in 1990 and would reunite several times a year through the 90s. After Charles Sawtelle died in 1999, Bryan Sutton joined Hot Rize when they would reunite occasionally. Tim O'Brien and Pete Wernick have very successful solo careers. Nick Forster lives in Colorado and produces the syndicated radio show eTown. So Hot Rize is unlikely to reform again. They are certainly recommended to bluegrass fans. Here's Hot Rize performing Rank Strangers To Me 1984.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Song:Ai, Ai, Ai, Ai, Ai
Though I'm sure the average listener has never heard of him, Ivan Lins has been a highly respected singer and songwriter since the 70s. He is the only Brazilian artist to win a Latin Grammy for Album of the Year. He was born June 16, 1945 in Rio de Janeiro. He spent part of his childhood in Boston while his father, a naval engineer, studied at MIT. Lins considered a career in volleyball before turning to music. Lins writes most of his songs with Vitor Martins. His first big hit as a songwriter was in 1970 when Elis Regina had a hit with Magdalena. He first recorded for EMI Brazil in 1979. In the 80s he recorded with guys like Dave Grusin for Verve and then he recorded for Reprise Records with producer Stewart Levine. Ai, Ai, Ai, Ai, Ai first appeared on the 1990 Reprise album Awa Yio. More recently, he has recorded in Cuba with Chucho Valdes and Irakere. Telarc Records produced an Ivan Lins tribute concert at Carnegie Hall that was released on CD. Cantando Historias was released in 2005 and won a Latin Grammy for Album of the Year. This CD is a good intro to his music. Though Lins is primarily renowned as a songwriter, he's a very good performer. He last recorded in 2009. Brazilian music fans should check him out. Here's Ivan Lins performing Ai, Ai, Ai, Ai, Ai from the Cantando Historias DVD.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Song:Love Me Down
Freddie Jackson was one of the top R & B crooners of the 80s. The 1990 hit Love Me Down was one of his ten number one R & B hits. He did cross over to pop earlier in his career. He was born Oct. 2, 1956 in Harlem, NY and grew up singing in church. It was there that he met long time songwriting and producing partner Paul Laurance. Jackson worked the New York club circuit with Laurence's group Laurence-Jones Ensemble. Then in the early 80s he moved to Los Angeles to sing with the group Mystic Merlin. He sang lead on their 1982 hit Full Moon. Jackson moved back to New York and sang backup for Melba Moore. She got him a deal with Capitol Records in 1985. His first two singles Rock Me Tonight and You Are My Lady topped the R & B charts and crossed over to the top twenty of the Billboard Hot 100. Jackson continued to have success on the R & B charts. Love Me Down was the ninth of his ten number one R & B hits in 1990. Jackson faded and left Capitol for RCA in 1993. You can get all his Capitol hits on this budget CD. He has recorded for his own Orpheus Music label for years. His latest CD For You was released in 2010. So Freddie Jackson is still around but he's not the star that he was in the 80s. I'm sure his music brings back memories for R & B fans. Here's the video for Love Me Down by Freddie Jackson. This video is not on Youtube.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Song:The Catnip Rag
Album:The Boys 'N' The Barrels
If you`re a bluegrass fan, you will want to check out The Boys 'N' The Barrels. They have released two albums. This one seems to be available on mp3 only. They are from Minneapolis led by Travis Palmer on vocals, banjo and harmonica. Other members are Nick Rodriguez on guitar, Chris Forsberg on fiddle, Josh Johnson on bass, Mike Wavinak on washboard and percussion and Chris Peters on mandolin. These guys have known each other for years and formed The Boys 'N' The Barrels in 2009. They have recorded two albums and will release a third one in April. Both albums are self released and these days it's much more economical to release independently on mp3 only. That way you can buy this album for less than ten bucks. The indie distributor CD Baby handles them and plenty of indie bands. With the use of the mandolin, the first influence I heard was David Grisman. I think bluegrass fans would enjoy The Boys 'N' The Barrels. The band has played mostly in the midwest. They do a lot of folk festivals. I'm not sure if they are looking to expand their reach with the third album. Bluegrass is not mainstream music but The Boys 'N' The Barrels are good and fans will find them. Here are The Boys 'N' The Barrels performing The Catnip Rag in the recording studio.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Song:My Coloring Book
Album:Teen Time: The Young Years of Rock 'N' Roll Vol. 1: Love Me Forever
My Coloring Book was a top twenty hit for Sandy Stewart in 1962. Her version beat out Barbra Streisand on the charts. it was Sandy's only hit. Today she is best known as the mother of jazz pianist Bill Charlap. She is not to be confused with the 80s singer Sandy Stewart who recorded with Stevie Nicks. She was born Sandra Galitz July 10, 1937 in Philadelphia. She appeared on local TV at age 14 and lied about her age to become the Gretz Beer Golden Girl. Then she sang jazz on NBC Radio with legendary pianist Dick Hyman. Then she moved to New York and replaced Edie Adams on The Ernie Kovacs Show in 1954. Sandy appeared frequently on TV variety shows in the 50s and appeared in the 1959 film Go, Johnny, Go!. My Coloring Book was released in 1962 on Colpix Records which was owned by Columbia Pictures. The song was written for Barbra Streisand by the legendary songwriting team of Fred Ebb and John Kander. It was her second single but it did not chart. The Sandy Stewart version was produced and arranged by Don Costa and was a top twenty hit. It was her only hit and she only recorded one album for Colpix. You can get My Coloring Book on this various artists comp from the oldies label Eric Records. Sandy Stewart retired to raise her family. She was married to songwriter Moose Charlap. He wrote the 1954 musical Peter Pan. He died in 1974. Their son is world renowned jazz pianist Bill Charlap. In recent years, Sandy Stewart returned to music and recorded the 2005 CD Love Is Here To Stay with her son on Blue Note Records. Here's a video for My Coloring Book by Sandy Stewart.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Song:Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings
Father John Misty may seem like a new group but it's actually a new pseudonym for singer songwriter Josh Tillman. Tillman has been recording since 2004 and was also a member of the very popular group Fleet Foxes. Father John Misty reflects a change of direction. He was born May 3, 1981 in Baltimore and grew up in a Christian household. He was interested in being a pastor before he got into music as a teen. Tillman moved to Seattle and worked in a bakery while he worked on his music. Singer songwriter Damien Jurado heard one of his demos and took Tillman on tour. They toured with Richard Buckner. Tillman recorded a couple of CDs that he would sell at shows. Then he recorded as J. Tillman for Fargo Recordings and Yer Bird. At the time he was compared favourably to Nick Drake. in 2008, he became drummer for Fleet Foxes and was on their best selling CD Helplessness Blues. He continued to release solo CDs. Tillman left Fleet Foxes Jan. 2012. He says his contribution to the group was minimal. He just learned the drum parts. He has returned with the new name Father John Misty and the CD Fear Fun was released May 2012. The name change was because as J. Tillman he was perceived as a obscure but respected songwriter like Nick Drake, Townes Van Zandt or Gram Parsons. He admired those guys as a teen. So Tillman changed his name as a fresh start so he could be perceived differently. He signed with the excellent indie label Sub Pop. The name Father John Misty is meaningless. He says he needed a new name to confuse people. I don't think it will make any difference. Those who liked him before will still like him. Tillman is currently on tour and he is playing Toronto next week. Here's the video for Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings by Father John Misty. The girl in the video is Aubrey Plaza of the TV series Parks and Recreation.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
When Invicta first announced that their Jan. 4 show would be an iPPV, I immediately predicted that it would be a fiasco because none of the companies who provide this service can't handle any kind of volume. And when Invicta chose to use UStream, that confirmed that there would be problems. For one thing, you don't choose a company that only accepts payment by credit card. And then when many who prepaid couldn't get in to UStream to see the show, the fiasco began. I understand Invicta couldn't get any kind of reasonable customer service to fix the problem. So the paywall was lifted. But I was one of many people who never could get anywhere at UStream. And I'm sure I wasn't the only one who threw in the towel. I just finished watching most of the show now. The video I am posting cuts off with a minute left in the main event. The CEO of UStream said yesterday that 3,000 was the highest number of paid viewers they have ever had for an event. That is not a high number and only proves that none of the companies who provide iPPVs can handle any volume. That Ring Of Honor has gone through four iPPV providers within the last year speaks volumes. All Invicta had to do is five minutes of research to learn that no iPPV provider has the proper infrastructure to handle any more than 1,000. And there is no guarantee that UStream can handle it in the future. Anyone can see that iPPV is too risky...except Invicta management. That's on them, not UStream. Trying to paint a pretty picture now makes them look foolish. There was nothing pretty about Saturday night's fiasco. I thought the show itself was a mixed bag. There were too many mismatches that went the distance and that made the show way too long. The main event with Carla Esparza winning over Bec Hyatt for the Invicta 115lb Championship was a mismatch. Look, I understand that some really really like Bec and give her a lot of credit for hanging in there. But she lost for one reason. She has no takedown defense. The problem was Carla gassed after two rounds and was content to take Bec down and keep her there. She didn't even try to finish her. So obviously Carla needs to work on her endurance because her next fight will be scheduled for five rounds too. Alexis Davis beat Shayna Baszler by rear naked choke at 58 sec. of round three. Alexis has looked good lately and I think her heel hook at the end of round one really hurt Shayna. Leslie Smith beat Raquel Pennington by unanimous decision. Raquel seemed to win round one and I don't know what happened to her after that. Sarah D'Alelio beat Amamda Nunes by unanimous decision. Sarah's takedowns were effective because Amanda had no answer and then worried too much about them. It doesn't seem she was well prepared for that strategy. It was a good win for Sarah but it was a boring match. Ediane Gomes beat HIROKO by unanimous decision. HIROKO was terrible in the first two rounds but she did better in round three. Too little, too late. HIROKO suffered a broken orbital bone and may require surgery. Joanne Calderwood hit Livia von Plettenberg with everything but the kitchen sink but was unable to finish her. I would like to see Joanne add takedowns and ground and pound to her arsenal. That might have got her a finish. Cassie Rodish beat Stephanie Frausto by TKO at 1:04 of round three. Tamikka Brents beat Amanda Bell by unanimous decision. Neither of those fights were on the video of the prelims posted on the Invicta site. Jodie Esquibel beat Liz McCarthy by split decision. I scored it 29-28 for Liz but it was close. The judge who scored it 30-27 for Jodie needs to find a new line of work. Rose Namajunas beat Emily Kagan by rear naked choke at 3:44 of round three. Rose's boyfriend is UFC fighter Pat Barry. He was pretty funny. I'd like to see Rose against a better opponent. Tecia Torres beat Paige VanZant by unanimous decision. An easy win for Tecia but she never came close to a finish. Paige needs to pump some iron. Tecia was too strong for her. Veronica Rothenhausler beat Katalina Malungahu by KO at 1:12 of round one. This was a bad stoppage. if you watch the video, ref Rob Hinds doesn't even look at Katalina before stopping the fight. And Laura Marcusse-Sanko beat Cassie Robb by rear naked choke at 1:07 of round two. Invicta announced that their next show will be in April and will feature two title fights. It will be Barb Honchak vs Vanessa Porto for the 125lb title and Jessica Penne will defend her 105lb title. Sarah Kaufman is also scheduled to appear on this show. I have a feeling that Invicta may be more determined to get a TV deal. Because iPPV is not the answer. Enjoy the video.
Video streaming by Ustream
Video streaming by Ustream
Song:Who's Sorry Now?
Album:Daddy of Western Swing
Bob Wills is the first name that should come up when discussing the mix of country music and jazz known as Western Swing. But Milton Brown was right beside Wills when Western Swing was created. Brown is forgotten because he died as the result of a 1936 car accident. His Musical Brownies were gaining momentum when he died. He was born Sept. 7, 1903 in Stephenville, TX and went to high school in Fort Worth. Brown lost his job as a cigar salesman when The Great Depression hit in 1929. He met Bob Wills at a 1930 Wills Fiddle Band show in Fort Worth and joined them on stage. Wills liked Brown's voice and asked Brown and his guitarist brother Derwood Brown to join. They were known as the Aladdin Laddies on radio station WBAP. Then in 1931 they were hired to be The Light Crust Doughboys by the Light Crust Flour Company. Brown left The Light Crust Doughboys in 1932 after a money dispute with band manager and radio show host W. Lee O'Daniel. Brown formed the Musical Brownies shortly after. Members were Derwood Brown on guitar, Wanna Coffman on bass, Ocie Stockard on banjo, Fred "Papa" Calhoun on piano and Cecil Brower on fiddle. They recorded for Bluebird Records in 1934. Then a key addition to the band was pedal steel guitar pioneer Bob Dunn. The band recorded for Decca Records in 1935 and 1936. By the second batch of recordings, Cliff Bruner replaced Brower. Brown sings lead on all the songs including this 1936 recording of Who's Sorry Now? Though the best known version of this song was by Connie Francis in 1958, it was first recorded by jazz band Billy Banks and his Rhythmakers in 1932. The song was written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby and Ted Snyder. In April 1936, Brown fell asleep at the wheel and was in a horrific car crash. Brown may have suffered from narcolepsy. He survived the crash but a punctured lung resulted in pneumonia and he died on Apr. 18, 1936 at age 32. Derwood Brown unsuccessfully attempted to keep the band going. Fortunately you can get all of Milton Brown's Decca recordings on this 4CD box set from the British label Proper. It's a must for Western Swing fans not familiar with this forgotten music pioneer. Here's a video for Who's Sorry Now? by Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies.
Monday, January 07, 2013
Song:You Can't Put Your Arms Round A Memory
Album:Born Too Loose: The Best Of Johnny Thunders
Johnny Thunders was a punk music pioneer as a member of the New York Dolls. He could have been very successful as a solo artist and he was respected in the music community. But his heroin addiction got the best of him and he died prematurely. He was born John Anthony Genzale Jr. July 15, 1952 in Queens, NY. He called himself Johnny Volume when he formed his first band Johnny and the Jaywalkers in 1967. Hanging around New York clubs led to the formation of the New York Dolls with Arthur Kane, David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain and Billy Murcia. Genzale named himself after the DC Comics character Johnny Thunders. The Dolls only recorded two albums. But they were still very influential. Thunders left in 1975 to form The Heartbreakers with former Television bassist Richard Hell. But they didn't get along and Hell left to form The Voidoids. The Heartbreakers recorded one album in England. But there were problems with it including poor mastering and they split up. While in London, Thunders recorded the 1978 solo album So Alone which featured You Can't Put Your Arms Round A Memory. The band on the album included bassist Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols. Guests included Chrissie Hynde and Steve Marriott. The album was very well received. Thunders and his wife moved to Detroit in 1979. Attempts to record and form bands through the 80s didn't amount to much. This 2CD comp from the British label Jungle is a good overview of his career. His health deteriorated as his heroin addiction got worse and he died in New Orleans Apr. 23, 1991 at age 38. It was ruled an accidental drug overdose but his friends believe he was murdered. It's a sad end to what seems like wasted potential. Here's Johnny Thunders performing You Can't Put Your Arms Round A Memory on a European TV show 1978. This video is not on Youtube.
Johnny Thunders: You Can't Put Your Arms Around... by mrjyn
Sunday, January 06, 2013
Though Let It Be was the final Beatles release, it was actually recorded before Abbey Road. Anyone who has seen the film Let It Be knows the recording of the album was not a pleasant experience. So producer George Martin was surprised when Paul McCartney approached him about recording again. He told Martin he wanted to record "like they used to" meaning when Brian Epstein was alive and they were getting along. The guys knew Abbey Road would likely be their final album. While they were recording Abbey Road, they were still trying to figure out what to do with what would become Let It Be. Most of Abbey Road was recorded July 1969 and John Lennon released his first solo album before Abbey Road was released. And he was touring with the Plastic Ono Band. Come Together was released as a double sided single Oct. 1969. The George Harrison song Something was the A side. Come Together was the B side. Apparently it was the only Harrison song to ever be released as a Beatles A side. Something reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Come Together topped the chart. Lennon wrote Come Together for Timothy Leary's campaign for Governor of California which ended when Leary was thrown in jail for possession of weed. The song is nonsense lyrics with a great hook. Apparently Lennon did all the vocals and the piano solo though McCartney wrote the piano solo. The tension between the two was obvious and McCartney was unhappy. He still claims he played the piano solo, not Lennon. Abbey Road is a must for anyone's CD collection. Lennon was sued by veteran music publisher Morris Levy for stealing a line from Come Together from the Chuck Berry song You Can't Catch That. Lennon promised to record three Levy owned songs on his 1975 album Rock 'N' Roll. Here's the video for Come Together by The Beatles.
Saturday, January 05, 2013
Song:I Like It, I Love It
Tim McGraw established himself in the 90s and then inherited the mantle of number one country music artist when Garth Brooks quit the music business in 2001. I Like It, I Love It is one of McGraw's early hits. He was born May 1, 1967 in Delhi, LA and grew up in the Monroe suburb of Start, LA. As most folks are aware, he is the son of former Philadelphia Philles relief pitcher Tug McGraw. His mom was a waitress McGraw met when he was pitching in the minor leagues in Jacksonville, FL. Tim thought his stepfather Horace Smith was his father. He didn't know about his real father until he was a teen. They did become close. While attending the University of Louisiana on a baseball scholarship, Tim McGraw learned to play guitar and started playing gigs. He moved to Jacksonville in 1987 and then moved to Nashville in 1989 to get into the music business. In 1990, he cut a demo and sent it to his real father Tug McGraw. Dad convinced Curb records execs to listen to it and they signed him. McGraw's 1992 debut CD didn't do much. But he got some attention in 1994 when Indian Outlaw crossed over to pop. But some country stations refused to play the song as it was thought to be patronizing to Native Americans. He finally had his first number one country hit with Don't Take The Girl. I Like It, I Love It was the first single from the 1995 CD All I Want. It topped the country chart and certainly helped establish McGraw as a star. The song was written by Jeb Stuart Anderson, Steve Dukes and Mark Hall. Anderson and Dukes also wrote Better Than The Beatles for Joe Diffie. McGraw's success has continued. He has had 23 number one country hits. Of course he married Faith Hill in 1996. They met on tour. His biggest hit to date is his 1997 duet with Faith Hill It's Your Love. You can get his 90s hits on this budget CD. His success continues today despite a breach of contract lawsuit with Curb. He was allowed to record for another label and his first CD for Big Machine Two Lanes Of Freedom will be released Feb. 5, 2013. McGraw has also done some acting. He starred in the 2006 film Flicka, the 2009 film The Blind Side and the 2010 film Country Strong. So McGraw is a big star and unlike Garth Brooks, he's not retiring. Here's the video for I Like It, I Love It by Tim McGraw.
Friday, January 04, 2013
Song:The End Of The World
Album:The End Of The World: Country Hits 1958-1972
Skeeter Davis was a very successful country music singer in the 60s. But The End Of The World crossed over to the pop charts and was a top five hit in 1963. She was born Mary Frances Penick Dec. 30, 1931 in Dry Ridge, KY which is in the northern part of Kentucky. Skeeter is a childhood nickname. She met Betty Jack Davis in high school and they became The Davis Sisters. They signed with RCA Records in 1953 and had a number one country hit with I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know. But an Aug. 1, 1953 car accident killed Betty Jack Davis and seriously injured Skeeter. Skeeter attempted to continue The Davis Sisters with Betty's older sister Georgia. But they were unsuccessful and split up in 1956. Skeeter planned to get married and quit the music business. But she got back into it and signed with RCA in 1958. She had several top ten country hits. But Skeeter crossed over to pop in a big way when The End Of The World reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. Chet Atkins produced the record featuring Floyd Cramer on piano. The song was written by Sylvia Dee and Arthur Kent. Sylvia also co-wrote the 1951 Nat King Cole hit Too Young. Skeeter's other top ten pop hit was I Can't Stay Mad At You in 1963. She continued to have success on the country charts in the 60s and left RCA when she faded in the early 70s. This comp from the British label T-Bird Americana is a good intro to her music. T-Bird Americana is the country division of the reissue label Cherry Red Records. Skeeter Davis continued to tour and published her autobiography in 1993. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and died on Sept. 19, 2004 at age 72. Here's Skeeter Davis performing The End Of The World on The Bobby Lord Show Aug. 2, 1965.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Song:Billy, Don't Be A Hero
Album:70s Music Explosion: Escape
Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods topped the charts in 1974 with Billy, Don't Be A Hero. A couple of other songs charted but most fans will only remember the one song. The Heywoods were from Cincinnati and first formed in 1965. Bo Donaldson's mom Bea Donaldson was somewhat of a stage mother and she thought her piano playing son should be a big star. The band went through a lot of personnel because mom would drive them crazy. They recorded a couple of singles and Bea got them booked on the 1968 Dick Clark Caravan of Stars. In 1970, The Heywoods recorded a single for the Gene Autry owned label Republic. It went nowhere but it got The Heywoods a shot opening at The Osmonds Cincinnati show. This led to further bookings and then the single Special Someone for Family Productions. You may recall this was the label that held Billy Joel hostage when he wanted to leave for Columbia Records. The single did well enough that it got the attention of ABC Records house producer Steve Barri. Billy, Don't Be A Hero was their second single and it topped the charts in 1974. The song was written by veteran British songwriters Mitch Murray and Peter Callender. They have written a lot of hits together. Billy, Don't Be A Hero was a number one hit in England for Paper Lace. But The Heywoods had already released their cover before Paper Lace could release their original version in the US. Paper Lace would go on to have a big hit with The Night Chicago Died. You can get Billy, Don't Be A Hero on this Time Life 2CD various artists comp that is part of a larger 9CD box set. Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods left ABC for Capitol in 1976. But they never had another hit. Donaldson still leads a version of the band on the nostalgia circuit. Here's Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods performing Billy, Don't Be A Hero on Dinah! 1974. Thanks to Buckeye Beat for The Heywoods history.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Song:Home To Mendocino
Album:Box Of Photographs
Johnny Rodgers is best known for his work in the New York theatre scene. But he has also recorded a few CDs that will remind listeners of 70s singer songwriters. He was born June 5, 1974 in Miami. His grandmother taught him to play piano and then he learned to dance in school. After graduating from Western Michigan University, he met Liza Minnelli at a 2002 Christmas party. He went on tour with her as her pianist and musical director. He was also featured in the Broadway show Liza's at The Palace...! in 2009 and aired on PBS. Rodgers has also appeared with Michael Feinstein, Randy Brecker and Tom Harrell. He formed the band that recorded this CD in 2003 and Box Of Photographs was released on the Broadway performer label PS Classics in 2005. Musicians are Joe Ravo on guitar, Brian Glassman on bass and Danny Mallon on drums. Rodgers says the idea for Back To Mendocino came to him in the shower when he saw that his body wash was made there. He thought it would be a good subject for an idyllic song about returning home. Rodgers has recorded three CDs with this band and producer Richard Barone and has acknowledged Billy Joel as his main influence. He has appeared on some other CDs as a guest artist. He was the musical director for the 2010 for the off-Broadway production Motherhood: The musical. He is currently working on a musical stage show about Liberace. Here's Johnny Rodgers performing Home to Mendocino.
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Here's the match video from yesterday's Cage Warriors show in Dublin, Ireland with local favourite Aisling Daly facing Finnish fighter Katja Kankaanpaa. Katja is undefeated at 6-0-1 and this was her first fight outside Finland. And she's fighting in her opponent's home territory. And most folks watching don't know who she is. And they all know Aisling so they're rooting for her. But readers of this blog should already be familiar with Katja. She has wins over Karla Benitez and VV Mei. And I posted both match videos. Her last fight was a draw against British fighter Simona Soukoupova. I thought Katja won that fight but it was close. The big question was how she would react to that adversity and also the experience of fighting in a foreign land. Katja is a grappler and has good Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills. Aisling is a striker who historically hasn't been effective on the ground. So I thought if Katja took the match to the ground, she would have a very good chance of winning. Aisling came out aggressively but Katja showed a lot of poise by defending well and landing some of her own strikes. Then Katja took Aisling down and controlled her for the rest of the round with ground and pound and some submission attempts. Katja showed a very high level of grappling ability. She is very well coached. Katja wins round one 10-9. She did pretty much the same thing in round two. So Aisling needed a finish in round three. She did a little better in round three but I think that was because Katja was playing it safe. Two of the judges gave Katja round three. It hardly matters. Katja Kankaanpaa won by unanimous decision. Some thought it was an upset. Because I had seen Katja before and knew what her skills are, I don't think it's an upset. She may be the best female fighter to emerge from Europe in recent years. She's been tested by quality competition and has done very well. In the past, Katja has fought at 115lb. But this fight was at a catchweight of 120lb. Katja is someone Bellator should consider for their upcoming 125lb tournament. I think she would be a very good opponent for either Jessica Eye or Michelle Ould. I guess you are all going to have to learn to spell Katja Kankaanpaa. Enjoy the video.
Album:Ultra Chicks Vol. 6
Here's a very obscure slice of late 60s Ye Ye music that is interesting because Julie D comes from a very famous family. You can't even get Aiko Aiko on CD because Ultra Chicks Vol. 6 was only released as a bootleg CD. Julie Dassin was born in New York City in 1944. She is the youngest child of film director Jules Dassin and her brother Joe Dassin was a big singing star in France in the 70s. Jules Dassin is best known for directing the 1948 film The Naked City and at the time was hailed as one of the leading lights of post war film. Unfortunately he was blacklisted for supposed Communist ties and his film career never recovered. By the late 60s, Julie wanted to be a singer and she recorded a couple of songs including this French version of the New Orleans standard Aiko Aiko. Ultra Chicks is a legit CD series focusing on the Ye Ye singers of the 60s. Earlier volumes are available but it appears that Vol. 6 was compiled but never released. It is only available as a bootleg. So it's unlikely that you will find it. Julie never became a star but her older brother Joe Dassin was very popular on the French pop music charts in the 70s. It appears Julie toured with him. And their other sister Richelle was involved too. Sadly Joe Dassin died of a heart attack on Aug. 20, 1980 at age 42. Julie Dassin recorded an album for RCA France in 1980 but nothing came of it and I see no evidence of anything since then. Julie and Richelle wrote most of the songs on that album. But at least we have this video of Aiko Aiko by Julie D. I wish it was in sync.