Sunday, June 30, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-New York Art Quartet

Artist:New York Art Quartet
Album:New York Art Quartet

The New York Art Quartet was a short lived but successful example of the golden age of free jazz. They only recorded a couple of albums in the 60s and then they went on to other things. This 1964 album was remastered and reissued with bonus tracks in 2008 and the band has reunited in recent years. The band was led by Danish sax player John Tchicai and trombonist Roswell Rudd. Tchicai moved from Copenhagen to New York City in 1963 and joined the New York Contemporary Five led by sax player Archie Shepp and former Ornette Coleman trumpeter Don Cherry. Rudd had recorded with Shepp and pianist Cecil Taylor. After the New York Contemporary Five disbanded, Tchicai and Rudd formed the New York Art Quartet with drummer Milford Graves from Paul Bley's band. Bassist Lewis Worrell went on to work with Albert Ayler. The 1964 album New York Art Quartet was released by the jazz label ESP-Disk. This was a small but very important label in the free jazz movement. This album was released on CD in 2008. It's available as a budget CD. The recordings were remastered and poet Amiri Baraka aka LeRoi Jones participates in a couple of new bonus tracks. This album is a must for free jazz fans. Then they recorded the 1965 album Mohawk. In 1966, Rudd joined Archie Shepp's band and Tchicai moved back to Denmark. The New York Art Quartet reunited for a 35th Anniversary CD in 2000 and then the 2010 CD Old Stuff. Tchicai and Rudd have kept busy with other projects and both are educators. Here's a video of Black Dada Nihilismus featuring poet Amiri Baraka and then Sweet by the New York Art Quartet.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jelly Roll Morton

Artist:Jelly Roll Morton
Song:Black Bottom Stomp

Jelly Roll Morton was a jazz pioneer as a writer, arranger and bandleader. His 1926 recording Black Bottom Stomp is an important recording in jazz history. The only problem with Morton is he went a little overboard with self promotion claiming he invented jazz and similar nonsense. It made him look foolish and it wasn't necessary. His music was enough. He was born Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe Oct. 20, 1890 In New Orleans. Some other dates have been thrown around but this date is on his baptismal certificate. When his parents separated, his mother married a man named Mouton which was anglicized to Morton. As a teen, he played piano in a brothel and gave himself the nickname Jelly Roll. Of course that is a slang term for genatalia. When his grandmother found out he was playing jazz in a brothel, she threw him out of the house. Morton toured minstrel shows in 1904 and composed songs like Jelly Roll Blues and King Porter Stomp during this time. While touring vaudeville with his girlfriend Rosa Brown, Morton settled in Chicago. Then he moved to Vancouver for a few years. He moved back to Chicago in 1923. In those days, many folks had player pianos that used piano rolls. So Morton's first recordings were on piano rolls. In 1926, he signed with RCA Victor and Black Bottom Stomp was first recorded at that time. Black Bottom Stomp was a rearranged version of a song called Queen Of Spades. Musicians on the recording were Omer Simeon on clarinet, George Mitchell on trumpet, Kid Ory on trombone, Johnny St. Cyr on banjo, John Lindsay on bass and Andrew Hilaire on drums. Ory went on to a significant career as a bandleader. St. Cyr and Hilaire both worked with Louis Armstrong. Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers were a very successful touring act. The 1926 recordings are the cream of Morton's recordings. You can get them on this Bluebird budget comp along with some of his later recordings just to put things into context. Morton got married and moved to New York in 1928. His New York recordings weren't as successful and RCA dropped him in 1931. Morton was known to be very arrogant and a lot of musicians wouldn't work with him. Things got so bad he even toured with a burlesque show. Black Bottom Stomp was a big band hit but Morton didn't copyright it so no royalties for him. He moved to Washington in 1935 to manage a bar. While there, he was interviewed by folklorist Alan Lomax. Morton claimed he invented jazz but he lied about his age so he could claim that. His claims are refuted by jazz historians. Morton was stabbed in 1938. Though he recorded in 1939, his health gradually declined until his death on July 10, 1941 at age 50. Despite some of his silly claims, Morton's music was very influential especially on stride piano and blues. He is in The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and the Broadway musical Jelly's Last Jam is based on his life. Here's a video for Black Bottom Blues by Jelly Roll Morton.

Friday, June 28, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Frederick

Artist:Frederick f/Janice Dowlen
Song:Gentle (Calling My Name)
Album:WDAS 105.3FM: Classic Soul Hits Vol. 10

Here's a classic 80s slow jam that I am sure many have heard but they don't know who does it. That's because Gentle was the only chart hit for Frederick in 1985. Supposedly this was the most popular R & B record to be recorded in Cleveland until The Dazz Band and Gerald Levert came along. Remember The O'Jays were from Cleveland but they didn't record in Cleveland. Frederick Davis was born Apr. 7, 1957 in Cleveland. He led a band when he was in high school. It split up when Davis joined the US Navy. It seems he was a good boxer. Davis competed in the 1975 Golden Gloves tournament in Cleveland and trained with the Navy Boxing Team. But he returned to music after his discharge and was looking for a break. He was introduced to Time Traxx Productions owner Le Ray Ruffin. When Cleveland DJ Jeffery Charles played Davis' demo of Gentle on his WZAK For Lovers Only radio show, the phone lines went crazy. Ruffin signed Davis and got distribution from the small Akron based label Heat Records. Gentle reached #40 on the Billboard Hot 100. It should have been much bigger. The female singer Janice Dowlen who appears on the record was under contract to Heat. Frederick was under contract to Time Traxx. While the two record company owners were bickering, Heat couldn't keep up with the demand and should have farmed the record out to a national distributor. There was demand for the record but stores couldn't get it. Then when Frederick went on tour, Heat owner James McCants wouldn't allow Janice to tour with him. The whole thing was bungled. Frederick recorded an album but left Time Traxx and started his own label. Janice Dowlen died in 1991 but Frederick still performs and worked at Veterans Hospital in Cleveland for many years. You can get Gentle on this Collectables various artists comp. here's a video for Gentle (Calling My Name) by Frederick featuring Janice Dowlen.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Larry Verne

Artist:Larry Verne
Song:Mr. Custer
Album:The Golden Age of American Rock 'N' Roll: Special Novelty Edition

This goofy novelty song was a number one hit in 1960. Larry Verne had one other chart song and quit the music business. He worked as a construction coordinator in the film industry for many years. He was born Larry Vern Erickson Feb. 8, 1936 in Minneapolis. So everyone knows about General Custer and the massacre at Little Big Horn. This silly song has one of Custer's soldiers begging not to go. The song was written by Al DeLory, Fred Darian and Joe Van Winkle. They had a songwriting and production company in Los Angeles called Jatco Productions. DeLory went on to produce most of Glen Campbell's albums and was part of the Los Angeles studio musician group The Wrecking Crew. Larry Verne worked in a photography studio in the same building. They spoke to Verne and thought he would be perfect to record Mr. Custer. They sold the recording to Era Records. Mr. Custer topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. The record sold over a million copies. The follow up single Mr. Livingston charted but was not a big hit. Novelty singers rarely have long careers. According to his son, Larry Verne was offered a contract to be a serious singer by Decca Records but Verne had a seven year contract with Era and they wouldn't let him out of his contract. You can get Mr. Custer on this various artists comp from Ace Records. Verne always said that he hated Mr. Custer but loved the residual checks. He quit the music business and became a contractor. For many years he was a construction coordinator in the film industry. Among his credits are the 1982 TV series Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, the 1988 film Rambo III and the 1989 film Tango & Cash. He retired in the early 90s and lives in Los Angeles. Here's Larry Verne performing Mr. Custer 1960. Thanks to Joe Troiano for the Larry Verne bio.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

RENA vs Lorena Klijn NOT Part of Girls S-Cup

RENA, Lorena Klijn
As expected, SHOOT BOXING made a couple of announcements today about this year's Girls S-Cup tournament on Aug. 3 at Yamano Hall in Yoyogi. The big news is that the RENA vs Lorena Klijn match that was announced on Sunday will not be part of the Girls S-Cup tournament. It looks like it will be the main event of the show. SB is billing it as a special attraction. It remains to be seen if this can be turned into a real feud. It's a one way feud right now. At the pre-match press conference for the April SB show, Lorena screamed at RENA but RENA didn't respond. Now she will have to respond to help SB owner Takeshi Caesar sell the match. RENA has been bitchy in the past so she should have no problem responding. Right now this example of "Monster Heel" booking 101 seems contrived. The big question is with her hand injury, will RENA be ready for Aug. 3? Stay tuned. SHOOT BOXING also announced the first three participants in this year's Girls S-Cup 53.5kg. This likely means that like last year there will be a 53.5kg and a 48kg Girls S-Cup along with the JKS48 tournament designed to get MIO over. The 53.5kg tournament will have eight participants. You may recall that last year's 53.5kg tournament had four fighters and was won by MIZUKI. The first three participants in this year's 53.5kg tournament are Ai Takahashi, Ryo Kamikaze and Miyo Yoshida. No surprises here. Takahashi is a SHOOT BOXING regular and she trains at the Caesar Gym, the home of SHOOT BOXING. Kamikaze is a student and model who Caesar likes because of her looks. She's a mediocre kickboxer and I don't think she has ever won in SHOOT BOXING. Yoshida is an MMA fighter but she hasn't fought in MMA since 2010. She lost to Lorena Klijn in April but did well enough to get a spot in the Girls S-Cup. I expect some foreigners among the five fighters to be added to this tournament. There was no announcement about a 48kg tournament. If they do that weight class, it will probably have four fighters. I'm just guessing. Maybe there will only be one weight class.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Edwin Astley and his Orchestra

Artist:Edwin Astley and his Orchestra
Song:Secret Agent Man
Album:The Saint/Secret Agent: Original Music From The TV Series

Most folks should be familiar with the Johnny Rivers hit Secret Agent Man. The series was originally called Danger Man with music composed by Edwin Astley. He wrote music for several other British TV shows and recorded his own version of Secret Agent Man. I don't know who the singer is. Astley  was born Apr. 12, 1922 in Warrington, Cheshire, England. His daughter Karen Astley married Pete Townshend of The Who. Astley started out in the 50s as an arranger for the popular British bandleader Geraldo and performed with his own band The Ted Astley Orchestra in the north of England. He started working for Lord Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment in the late 50s. His first TV theme was for The Adventures Of Robin Hood. Astley's two best known shows are The Saint and Danger Man. Danger Man starred Patrick McGoohan. CBS first broadcast the show in 1961 but brought it back in 1965 as Secret Agent. Astley's original theme for Danger Man was called High Wire and it is on this CD. But when CBS retitled the show Secret Agent they hired the team of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri to write a new theme song. They hired Johnny Rivers to sing it and that recording reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Astley released his own recording of Secret Agent Man and it was released in 1966 on LP. I couldn't find out who sings this. You can get it on this Collectables CD that has music from Secret Agent and The Saint. Astley went on to compose the music for the 1969 BBC documentary series Civilisation. Astley retired in the 70s and died on May 19, 1998 at age 76. Jools Holland was a big Edwin Astley fan and produced the TV special Astley's Way in 2001. Here's a video for Secret Agent Man by Edwin Astley and his Orchestra.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-George Strait

Artist:George Strait
Song:Give It All We Got Tonight
Album:Love Is Everything

Of course George Strait has been one of the most popular and durable country music artists since the 80s. He has had numerous number one country music hits. And he has also had success in films. I have written about Strait before and Love Is Everything is his new CD. Is it his last CD? The talk in Nashville has always been that Strait planned to retire on his 60th birthday. He turned 60 in 2012. His 2011 CD Here For A Good Time did well. It topped the Billboard Country Album chart. But none of the three singles from the album topped the charts. Strait announced in Sept. 2012 that he would go on a retirement tour. It's called The Cowboy Rides Away tour. He will do 20 concerts this year and then 20 more concerts next year. He says he's not touring after that. It doesn't mean he is retiring from recording. Love Is Everything is Strait's new CD. It was released last month. Give It All We Got Tonight was the first single from the CD released Oct. 2012. Universal launched a 60 for 60 campaign to make this his 60th number one country hit while Strait was still 60 years old. They cheated a little bit. It only reached #7 on the Billboard Country Singles chart but topped the Clear Channel owned Mediabase chart last month. That's what happens when a single is released months in advance of the album release. There is a 60 Number One Hits comp scheduled for release but it hasn't come out yet. They didn't even do a video for this song. The song was written by veteran producer Mark Bright (Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood), Tim James and Phil O'Donnell. The album was produced by veteran producer Tony Brown. Here is George Strait performing Give It All We Got Tonight on the 2013 ACM Awards broadcast. I think he looks a little tired in this video. Time will tell if George Strait retires but I don't think this is his final CD.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lorena Klijn win sets up SHOOT BOXING showdown with RENA

At yesterday's SHOOT BOXING show at Korakuen Hall, Dutch kickboxer Lorena Klijn avenged last year's loss with a win over VV Mei by unanimous decision. After the match, it was announced that Lorena will face RENA in the first round of August's Girls S-Cup tournament. Of course with SHOOT BOXING, there is always shady stuff going on so SB owner Takeshi Caesar gets what he wants. Keep in mind that Lorena Klijn trains at Team Souwer and Andy Souwer won the main event on this show. He has plenty of stroke. So in the match, Lorena scored a point in round one with a suplex and the match was fairly even other than that. All three judges scored the match 28-27 for Lorena. Lorena hurt her foot during round two. The ringside doctor let her continue. After that, Lorena played defense and used her height to prevent VV Mei from scoring any points. After the match, Caesar brought RENA into the ring to announce that RENA vs Lorena Klijn will happen in the first round of August's Girls S-Cup tournament. The reason Caesar is doing it this way is there is no guarantee the two will face each other later in the tournament. He did the same thing in the 2010 Girls S-Cup when he had RENA vs Hisae Watanabe in the first round. They were feuding and he wanted to be sure they faced each other. But there are injury problems. RENA has a hand injury and is questionable for August though she says she will participate. And did Lorena Klijn break her foot? If so, will Souwer let her compete? One thing is for sure. The SHOOT BOXING press conferences featuring these two will be epic. Caesar will be very happy. In related news, RENA's trainer Hiroshi Oikawa announced he will retire at the end of this year. This opens the door for RENA to move permanently from Osaka to Tokyo and train at the Caesar Gym, the home of SHOOT BOXING. In another women's match on this show, Ai Takahashi beat Korean kickboxer Yuri Kim with a standing front choke at 2:12 of round one. They also did a couple of JKS48 tournament matches which I don't care about as the whole tournament is a waste of time. Stay tuned as I expect the Girls S-Cup tournament lineup to be announced either this week or next week.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Steve Carlisle

Artist:Steve Carlisle
Song:WKRP In Cincinnati
Album:Tube Tunes Vol. 3: The '80s

WKRP In Cincinnati is one of those sitcoms that keeps on giving. I never get tired of watching it. And a lot of fans loved the opening theme song. There was a full version of the song released in 1982. Unfortunately it was not a big hit and the album has never been released on CD. But you can get it on this Rhino TV theme comp. Steve Carlisle was the singer. He was from Atlanta and was a one time member of the one hit wonder group Starbuck (Moonlight Feels Right). After they split up, he became a studio singer doing jingles and backup vocals. WKRP In Cincinnati was created by former Bob Newhart Show writer and producer Hugh Wilson. Wilson wrote the opening theme lyrics and the music was written by Tom Wells. There was a rumour that Richard Sanders, who played Les Nessman in WKRP, sang the theme on the show. Wilson says on the WKRP DVD commentary that is not true. I can only assume that Wells knew Carlisle from his studio work. WKRP was around for four seasons and I'm sure fans wanted to buy a record of the theme. Carlisle recorded the album Steve Carlisle Sings WKRP In Cincinnati for MCA Records in 1982. The album was produced by Buckner & Garcia (Pacman Fever) who were veterans of the Atlanta studio scene. The single WKRP in Cincinnati reached #65 on the Billboard Hot 100. But it wasn't a big hit and neither was the album. It has never been released on CD but at least you can get it on this comp with a lot of other TV themes. And the full version of WKRP In Cincinnati is on this CD. Carlisle never recorded another album. It looks like he quit the music business and moved to Australia to become a minister. Here's a video for WKRP In Cincinnati by Steve Carlisle.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rosanne Cash concert review and video

Last night I went to the Luminato Festival to see Rosanne Cash. Of course most folks know that she is the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash. I have been a Rosanne Cash fan since I heard her sing on French composer Michel Berger's 1980 album Dreams In Stone. And the concert was free. Again there was the threat of rain but it never did. I live in Etobicoke in west Toronto and on my way home I noticed that it did rain there. It just didn't rain downtown. So I think we got lucky. The opening act for this concert was Canadian singer songwriter Kevin Breit. He played solo but he isn't a folksinger. Breit is from the Sudbury area in Northern Ontario. He led the jazz trio The Sisters Euclid for several years. In recent days he has worked with eclectic singer songwriter Harry Manx. Their 2011 CD Strictly Whatever was released in 2011 on Stony Plain. Breit has also played a lot of sessions with Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson and most recently Hugh Laurie. I can see why he is in demand as he is a very good guitarist. I liked him but I wouldn't mind seeing him as part of a larger band sometime. Rosanne Cash's band is led by her husband John Levanthal. Levanthal has a couple of Grammys on his mantel for producing and writing the 1997 Shawn Colvin hit Sunny Come Home. Since they were married in 1995, Levanthal has done other things but the two write together and he produces her CDs. Rosanne actually has a different band when Levanthal isn't on tour with her. That's why I asked her on Twitter if he was coming. He's a killer guitarist. The other guitarist was Kevin Barry. He started out in the 80s playing with blues guys like Mighty Sam McClain. Today he plays a lot of sessions. He also plays steel guitar. Jon Cowherd was on keyboards. He is a member of the jazz group The Brian Blade Fellowship but he has also toured with Rosanne for several years. Bassist Zev Katz has played with Rosanne since the 80s. And drummer Dan Rieser is a member of Marcy Playground and the Norah Jones led Willie Nelson tribute band The Little Willies. They played a mix of songs, even oldies like Seven Year Ache. And they played a couple of songs from Rosanne's upcoming CD to be released in Jan. 2014. But they played quite a few songs from her latest CD The List. When Rosanne was a teen, her dad was upset that she was listening to crappy music. So he made a list of a hundred songs that she should listen to and gave it to her. Rosanne and producer Levanthal turned it into The List. They performed the Hank Snow song I'm Movin' On, the Bob Dylan song Girl From The North Country and special guest Rufus Wainwright was brought out to sing the Merle Haggard song Silver Wings. Though the concert was over an hour and a half long, it seemed a lot shorter. That's a good thing. So I enjoyed it. And the concert was live streamed on Youtube so you can enjoy it too right here on the blog. The concert starts at about the ten minute mark of the video. Enjoy!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Catherine Zeta-Jones

Artist:Catherine Zeta-Jones
Song:Overture/All That Jazz
Album:Chicago: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture

Catherine Zeta-Jones is best known as a film actress. But she started out performing in musicals on stage in England. And she claims she always wanted to be a singer. So it's not all that surprising that she won an Oscar for her performance in the film musical Chicago. She was born Sept. 25, 1969 in Swansea, Wales. She acted professionally on stage as a teen. Her first starring role in London was in the musical 42nd Street in 1987. After a few more plays, she made her film debut in the 1990 French film Les 1001 Nuits. Then she starred in the British TV series The Darling Buds Of May. Catherine attempted to launch a recording career and appeared on the 1992 album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of Spartacus. Her 1994 duet with David Essex True Love Ways charted in England. But she went back to acting in films and TV. Catherine's big break came when Steven Speilberg saw her in the 1996 CBS mini-series Titanic and cast her as the female lead in the 1998 film The Mark Of Zorro. That made her a movie star. And then her performance as Velma Kelly in the 2002 film musical Chicago won her critical acclaim and a Best Actress Oscar. Chicago was a musical that was first performed on Broadway in 1975. Attempts to turn it into a film were unsuccessful until Miramax got it done. It was very successful. Catherine continues to act in films but I think it's fair to say that she hasn't been as successful since Chicago. She is in the upcoming film RED2. She made her Broadway debut starring in the 2009 revival of A Little Night Music and she won a Tony. Catherine is married to Michael Douglas and they have two children. With her acting career stalling, maybe it's time for Catherine to record an album. Here's Catherine Zeta-Jones performing All That Jazz from the 2002 film Chicago.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Megumi Fujii announces retirement

Megumi Fujii announces her retirement
Japanese martial arts pioneer and women's MMA legend Megumi Fujii announced her long awaited retirement plans at today's VTJ show at TDC Hall. Megumi was doing commentary on the broadcast. She will retire on the Oct. 5 VTJ show at Ota Gymnasium in Tokyo. She also announced her retirement in Fight & Life magazine which was released today. As is tradition in Japan, there will be a retirement match followed by a ceremony. The match is likely to be an exhibition match. I hope she will convince her best friend of over twenty years Hitomi Akano to do the exhibition match and then they retire together. Supposedly Hitomi doesn't want a retirement ceremony. But Megumi can talk her into it as she has talked Hitomi into doing many things over the years. Hitomi deserves to be honoured by the scared tradition of a retirement ceremony. Because if she doesn't agree to it, she will regret it later. She should talk to legendary pro wrestler Bull Nakano who chose not to have a retirement ceremony when she quit AJW in 1998. Bull did regret it and had a retirement ceremony in 2011. I'm not going to get into Megumi's accomplishments because we all know what they are. Obviously she should be in the MMA Hall Of Fame. But she should also be in the Martial Arts Hall Of Fame for her accomplishments as an amateur long before she turned pro and for what she has done for martial arts in Japan especially for women and children. I have been asked if I think this retirement is final. There are rare exceptions but the retirement process in Japan is taken very seriously. When a fighter or pro wrestler retires, that's it. They don't come back. And I know Megumi is familiar with the retirement tradition in Japan. That's why she took so long to decide. We don't have that tradition here. Terry Funk seems to retire every five minutes. I prefer the Japanese way. Retirement should be serious and final. And I know a lot of fans are sad that Megumi is retiring. But she's 39 years old. Her knees are bad. It's time to go. She has nothing to prove. She will continue to train champs like Ayaka Hamasaki and train the next generation at her AACC kids program. She knows the sport so she will be a great broadcaster. And I expect her to do more officiating at amateur tournaments which is something she has done in the past. And she will play with her cats. Megumi Fujii will continue to be the best representative for women's MMA that we have ever had. And since she will be at the upcoming Invicta show, they need to commemorate her retirement at that show. It's the right thing to do.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Granville Williams Orchestra

Artist:The Granville Williams Orchestra
Song:The Third Man Theme
Album:Monkey Ska

This is a ska version of one of the most popular movie themes in history. I don't have much info about Granville Williams except that he led this band that played Jamaican clubs and they were used occasionally to back up Jamaican artists of the mid-60s. Chances are pretty good that ska fans have heard this recording of the theme from the 1949 film The Third Man and don't know who recorded it. The theme as performed on the zither by Anton Karas was probably more popular than the film though the film is really good. Guy Lombardo had a hit single with The Third Man Theme in 1950 using a guitar to play the melody. And it has been recorded by many artists over the years. The original by Karas could have been a bigger hit but in the late 40s instrumental film music was something new to record companies and they hadn't figured out how to sell it. That's why Decca Records had Lombardo record the song. Jamaican artists have always recorded ska or reggae covers of popular songs. From what I could tell, Granville Williams led this orchestra in the early 60s. He worked for a while with legendary singer Dobby Dobson and backed up singles recorded by Lascelles Perkins, The Silvertones and Derrick Harriott. In 1967, Williams started his own label G.W.O. Records and recorded the album Hi-Life. It was all instrumental. Hi-Life was released as a single and Williams also recorded covers of Hang On Sloopy and You've Lost That Loving Feeling. It's the only album he ever recorded. But the Christmas song Santa Claus Is Skaing To Town and The Third Man Theme were released as singles. You can get The Third Man Theme on this Trojan budget comp. Williams also recorded an album with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. It looks like Williams may have moved to Canada in the 70s as he is credited with producing the 1978 Audley Williams album Hedonism for the Canadian label Generation Records. I'm not sure about any of that. But I am sure that this ska cover of The Third Man Theme is pretty cool. Here's a video for The Third Man Theme by The Granville Williams Orchestra.

Friday, June 21, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Clint Black

Artist:Clint Black
Song:A Better Man
Album:Ultimate Clint Black

Neo traditionalist Clint Black was one of the most popular country artists of the 90s. He had a total of 13 number one country music hits. A Better Man was not only his 1989 debut single but it was his first number one hit. So Black was a big success right from the start. He was born Feb. 4, 1962 in Long Branch, NJ but he grew up in the Houston suburb of Katy, TX. He got into music as a teen and played in a band with his brothers. He moved to Nashville in the early 80s and worked day jobs while performing in clubs at night. He was heavily influenced by George Strait. in 1987, Black met guitarist Hayden Nicholas and they started writing together and recording demos in Nicholas' home studio. One of those demos got into the hands of ZZ Top manager Bill Ham. He became Black's manager and before long, Black signed with RCA Records. His 1989 debut CD Killin' Time was produced by James Stroud and Mark Wright. Wright worked in RCA's A & R department at the time. Black and Nicholas wrote most of the songs on the album including A Better Man. It was the first debut single by a male artist in 14 years to top the Country Singles chart. The album was certified Platinum. At the time, there was a changing of the guard in country music with young "hat acts" like Black, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Mark Chesnutt becoming very popular. So I think Black's success was part of a larger trend. He came along at the right time. While having this success, Black married Knots Landing actress Lisa Hartman in 1991. In 1992, Black sued Ham after Lisa's mother told him Ham was getting heavy royalties for Black's songs. They settled the lawsuit that summer. Black appeared in the 1994 film Maverick and has occasionally done TV. But for the most part in the 90s, he concentrated on his music. As Black's career was declining in the late 90s, he decided to take a break. The Blacks had a daughter in 2001 and Black left RCA. You can get all his RCA hits on this budget comp. Black started his own label Equity Music Group. He last recorded in 2008. He was a mentor on the 2003 season of the CMT talent show Nashville Star. And he has appeared on Celebrity Apprentice and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. And he has appeared in the direct to video films Flicka 2 and Flicka 3. He is currently recording a new CD and will tour this summer. Here's the video for A Better Man by Clint Black.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sammy Davis Jr.

Artist:Sammy Davis Jr.
Song:What Kind Of Fool Am I?
Album:The Definitive Collection

Sammy Davis Jr. was known as "The World's Greatest Living Entertainer" and one of the most versatile performers in history. Though it wasn't his biggest chart hit, the 1962 top 20 hit What Kind Of Fool Am I? is probably his signature song. And of course Davis is known as part of The Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. He was born Dec. 8, 1925 in Harlem, NY and as a child he performed with his father in a group led by Will Mastin. He first met Frank Sinatra when Mastin opened for Tommy Dorsey in Detroit in 1941. After serving in the US Army in WWII, Davis returned to the Mastin group and they became headliners in the early 50s. Davis broke out as a solo act and signed with Decca Records in 1954. After losing his eye in an auto accident, Davis had some hit singles. His biggest hit at the time was Something's Gotta Give in 1955. He also made his Broadway debut in the 1955 show Mr. Wonderful. He also got a lot of praise for his performance in the 1958 film Porgy and Bess. Then he became a member of The Rat Pack and regularly performed with Sinatra and Martin at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. He signed with Sinatra's new record label Reprise Records. There was controversy with Davis' conversion to Judaism and his marriage to the very blonde Swedish actress May Britt. It didn't hurt him. He reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962 with What Kind Of Fool Am I? The song was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the show Stop The World-I Want To Get Off. Davis won the 1962 Song Of The Year Grammy. Though Davis continued to have success in other areas, his recording career had stalled by the late 60s though he had a top 20 hit in 1969 with I've Gotta Be Me. He even signed with Motown in 1970 thinking they could make him "hip" again. Davis signed with MGM Records and got his only number one hit in 1972 with The Candy Man from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. That was his last big hit and you can get all of them on this Hip-O budget comp. Though Davis continued to perform in films, TV and on stage, he last recorded in 1976. A lifelong smoker, Sammy Davis Jr. died of throat cancer on May 16, 1990 at age 64. Here's Sammy Davis Jr. performing What Kind Of Fool Am I? on The Andy Williams Show 1962.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New products at People In Motion 2013

After attending this year's People In Motion show, I looked at a couple of products that were pitched to me as new products. In both cases, I decided not to write about either of them. One was a product line that seemed more appropriate for seniors as opposed to the disabled. And the other is an institutional product not designed for the individual end user. These guys are at People In Motion when they would be better off at a property management convention. But I do have two products that are distributed and manufactured by the same company. The distributor is Independent Solutions in Niagara Falls, ON. The first product is called Power Buddy. Like a lot of you, I have a smartphone. And the biggest complaint about smartphones is they don't hold a charge. I have an Android phone. And in the early days of smartphones, there were portable chargers only for the iPhone and Blackberry. Power Buddy is a portable charger that uses the power from your powerchair or scooter to charge your smartphone or any other electronic device. You might be concerned about the drain on your chair. But according to the manufacturer, it might draw 5% from the chair. You just plug the Power Buddy into the socket underneath the joystick and you can charge on the go. Independent Solutions was charging $100 for the Power Buddy but it should be available from your dealer. I would be interested in this product except I already have a portable charger called Powerocks MagicStick that I use to charge my phone when I am in the subway. It works for all phones. I paid $30 for it at Mountain Equipment Co-op. But I am sure there are plenty of disabled smartphone users who need to check out the Power Buddy. The other product is actually two variations on the same theme. One is called the JoyBar and the other is called the ReJoy. I don't have this problem but there are some folks who are unable to use the standard joystick mounted on the arm of most powerchairs. Some lack the dexterity to move the arm to the side far enough to use the side control. The ReJoy mounts to the center of the front of your seat so you can use the joystick without having to reach to the side. The JoyBar is a similar product but it has the same controls that you would find on a scooter. Those kind of controls would normally not be practical for a powerchair. Both products come with a holder that mounts on the side of the chair so you can remove either control when transferring. Both products need to be installed by professionals. So if the product is of interest, contact your dealer. The Power Buddy, the ReJoy and JoyBar are manufactured by Active Controls in New Jersey and distributed in Canada by Independent Solutions. You can contact them toll free at 1-866-373-1988 or visit their website at Independent Solutions also distributes drink holders and similar products manufactured by SnapIt! in Texas and Active Controls has some other products that I would like to see picked up for distribution. That's all from this year's People In Motion show. See you next year.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Crescendos

Artist:The Crescendos
Song:Oh, Julie
Album:The Golden Age of American Rock 'n' Roll Vol. 2: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963

The doo wop group The Crescendos hit the top five in 1958 with Oh, Julie. They never charted again and split up in 1959 after recording only ten singles. The man behind The Crescendos was Nashville DJ and TV show host Noel Ball. He discovered The Crescendos and wrote Oh, Julie. Ball hosted TV shows like Sock Hop and Saturday Showcase on Nashville TV station WSIX. The Crescendos were students at Cumberland High School in Nashville. At first they were called The Spades and then wisely changed it to The Crescendos. The lead singer was George Lanius along with Kenneth Brigham, Jimmy Hall, Tommy Fortner and later George's brother Jimmy Lanius. Ball saw them perform on the annual high school talent show. He took them to Globe Recording Studio in Nashville and recorded Oh, Julie. The girl singer in the background was 16 year old Janice Green who happened to be auditioning for Globe owner Jim Maxwell at the time. She didn't know the group. Hall sold Oh, Julie to Nashboro Records and they released it on the Nasco label. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. You can get it on this Ace records various artists comp. The Crescendos were on a tour called The Biggest Show Of Stars. But subsequent singles did not catch on. Jimmy Hall had already left by the time The Crescendos split up in 1959. Janice Green went on to be a backup singer for producer Bob Crewe. Here's a video for Oh, Julie by The Crescendos. Thanks to Way Back Attack for the Crescendos bio.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

AJ Lee is the new WWE Divas Champion

Here's the match video of AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn from Sunday's WWE PPV. I really liked how AJ set up the angle for this match though it was predictable how Kaitlyn's secret admirer would end. The bottom line is the WWE gave this match a lot more time than they normally give to Divas matches on PPVs. If they want fans to care about these girls, these matches have to be made to seem important. The match itself was a mixed bag partially because Kaitlyn is very green. She's still a bodybuilder trying to be a wrestler and she hasn't figured out how to use her strength yet. AJ is a trained wrestler but she's so small and frail looking it's hard to believe that she could generate any offense on a much larger opponent. I'd like to see her put on ten pounds of muscle so she doesn't look so frail. I liked Kaitlyn throwing AJ into the Spanish announce table and I also liked AJ's dropkick from the apron. A lot of the rest of the match was OK but nothing special. In the end, AJ outsmarted Kaitlyn into delaying going for the pin after her spear finisher. That was just her being stupid and AJ won with her Black Widow finisher. That hold was Antonio Inoki's finisher in the 70s. I don't think it's an effective finisher today because as we saw earlier in the match, it's not difficult to get out of. It's obvious the WWE plans to continue this feud. I guess we will see Kaitlyn cry a lot. Enjoy the video!
AJ Lee Vs Kaitlyn (Payback 2013) by chriswormley

Carolina Chocolate Drops concert review and video

Last night I went to a free concert at the Luminato Festival featuring the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the David Peacaut Square behind Roy Thompson Hall at King & Simcoe in downtown Toronto. I didn't realize it until I got there but I was at a 2011 Toronto Jazz Festival concert at this location. The setup is a little different for this as the concert was outdoors and there was rain in the forecast. Fortunately, it didn't rain. Luminato is running free concerts all week and this was one of the two I wanted to see. The opening act was blues artist Corey Harris. Harris is very similar to other contemporary blues artists like Keb Mo but Harris is distinguished by a heavy Jamaican influence. He has recorded for Alligator, Rounder, Telarc and his latest CD Fulton Blues is on his own label. I'm not crazy about his voice but he has a decent band and I liked Harris when he played steel guitar. There were technical issues when the bass player's amp failed and it had to be replaced. Harris was OK but I didn't come to see him. I first heard of the Carolina Chocolate Drops two years ago. The best way to describe them is they are a modern reproduction of an old time string band. Of course most folks have never heard an old time string band so they don't know what I am talking about. It doesn't matter because the group is so entertaining that you won't care what type of music they are doing. CCD have been recording since 2006 and their latest CD Leaving Eden is on the Warner label Nonesuch. They are from Durham, NC led by Dom Flemons and Rhiannon Giddens. Flemons plays guitar and banjo and other instruments along with singing and goofy dancing. Giddens plays violin and other instruments including kazoo and she sings and dances as well. Guitarist Hubby Jenkins joined CCD when original member Justin Robinson left in 2011. Cellist Layla McCalla has joined them for this tour. I don't think she is a full time member. The band has toured with extra musicians in the past. What I like about Carolina Chocolate Drops is they are performing very old music going back to minstrel show music of the 1850s but they are approaching it like the music has never been performed before. That's why their sound is fresh. And Flemons in particular tries to give a sense of the way old time string bands performed. It reminds me of how the cowboy music tribute band Riders In The Sky tried to recreate that music. Anyone could perform those songs but CCD is successfully recreating the feel and authenticity of the old time string band. The funniest thing was when they performed the 2001 Blu Cantrell hip hop hit Hit 'Em Up Style in CCD's old time string band style. Jerry Lawson of the a capella group The Persuasions used to say that any song can be done a capella. I guess any song can be done in old time string band style too. From the moment I learned that Carolina Chocolate Drops was coming to Luminato, I couldn't wait to see them. Most folks at the concert had probably never heard of them. I don't think anyone was disappointed. And the great thing is the concert was streamed on Youtube and you can watch it right here on the blog. Be sure to check it out.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brian Stokes Mitchell

Artist:Brian Stokes Mitchell
Song:The Impossible Dream
Album:Man Of La Mancha: The New Broadway Cast Recording

Brian Stokes Mitchell was a TV actor in the 80s who turned to Broadway musicals in the 90s. He has been nominated for four Tony awards including a nomination for playing Don Quixote in the 2002 revival of Man Of La Mancha. He won a Tony in 1999 for Kiss Me, Kate. He was born Oct. 31, 1957 in Seattle. His father was an engineer for the US Navy so the family moved a lot. Mitchell performed in musicals while attending high school in San Diego. He moved to Los Angeles in the 70s and got his first big break in the 1979 mini-series Roots: The Next Generation. Then he played Dr. Justin "Jackpot" Jackson on the TV series Trapper John M.D. from 1979-86. He also had a recurring role on the sitcom the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Mitchell also does a lot of voiceovers for animated cartoons. That's a very lucrative business. He first appeared on Broadway in the 1988 show Mail. His first Tony nomination was for the 1998 musical Ragtime. Then he won a Tony for the 1999 revival of Kiss Me, Kate and he was nominated for the 2001 show King Hedley II and then Man Of La Mancha in 2002. The musical Man Of La Mancha was based on the 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote. The music was written by Mitch Leigh and the musical was first performed on Broadway in 1965 starring Richard Kiley. It was turned into a film starring Peter O'Toole in 1972. Mitchell starred in the 2002 revival with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Ernie Sabella. The show ran for about a year so it was successful. The original cast recording is available as a budget CD. The Impossible Dream is the best known song from the show but it was never a hit single. Jim Nabors sang it on the Gomer Pyle sitcom in the 60s. Man Of La Mancha was Mitchell's last long run on Broadway though he has appeared in some short runs. He has recorded two CDs. His latest CD Simply Broadway was released on his own label Oct. 2012. And he played one of Rachel's dads on the TV series Glee. This year he has been doing concerts to promote his CD. Here's Brian Stokes Mitchell with Mary Elizabeth Matstantonio performing The Impossible Dream on the 2003 Tony Awards broadcast.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kikuyo Ishikawa added to July 28 PANCRASE show

Kikuyo Ishikawa
PANCRASE has added a women's match to their July 28 Differ Ariake show. In a match contracted for 48kg, Kikuyo Ishikawa will face Amber Brown. Ishikawa has fought for PANCRASE before in her home town of Okinawa. She trains at Reversal Ground Slam in Yokohama. Her record is 9-3 and her last fight was a win over MIYOKO on the Apr. 21 PANCRASE show in Okinawa. Her biggest win was over former VALKYRIE champ Yasuko Tamada on the Sept. 11, 2011 JEWELS show. Brown trains at FIT NHB in Albuquerque, NM. Her record is 2-1. She lost to Emi Fujino on the May 19 PANCRASE show. But that fight was at 52kg and Amber normally fights at 48kg so they thought they would give her another shot at her proper weight. Ishikawa has a big edge in experience so she should be the favourite in this match. We have seen PANCRASE run women's matches other than Rin Nakai occasionally. But it's been too scattered to conclude that they have any kind of commitment to anything other than Rin Nakai.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Doctor & The Medics

Artist:Doctor & The Medics
Song:Spirit In The Sky
Album:Party Time Vol. 2: The Ultimate Party Album

Doctor & The Medics had a number one hit in England in 1986 with their cover of the Norman Greenbaum psychedelic classic Spirit In The Sky. The record charted in the US but was not a big hit and the band's goofy look didn't catch on. The band was formed in London by DJ Clive Jackson in 1981 with guitarist Steve McGuire, bassist Richard Searle and drummer Steve Ritchie along with female backup singers and dancers known as The Anadin Brothers. Later it was changed to two girls but they kept the name. Doctor & The Medics released one single in 1982 and then signed with I.R.S. Records in 1985. After a couple of EPs, they recorded the 1986 album Laughing At The Pieces with producer Craig Leon. Their cover of the 1968 Norman Greenbaum classic Spirit In The Sky topped the British singles chart and reached #69 on the Billboard Hot 100. You can get the song on this various artists budget comp from SPG/Capitol. They don't mess with the song but the costumes and their look is a little odd. Apparently this is how they appeared on stage. Subsequent singles including a cover of Abba's Waterloo featuring Roy Wood didn't catch on. I guess looking weird for no reason doesn't lead to longevity in the music business. Doctor & The Medics recorded two albums for I.R.S. but recorded on their own label in the 90s. After appearing on the retro TV variety series Baby One More Time in 2002, Jackson formed a new version of Doctor & The Medics and they tour England today. Here's the video for Spirit In The Sky by Doctor & The Medics.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Alexis Davis vs Rosi Sexton

Here's the match video of Alexis Davis vs Rosi Sexton from last night's UFC PPV in Winnipeg. Alexis was the favourite in this match mostly because of her size advantage and a black belt in jiu jitsu. But Rosi has never lost by submission her ground game is really good. The other thing is that Alexis is mistake prone and those mistakes have cost her fights in the past. And that's what happens in the first round of this fight. It's fairly even until Alexis takes Rosi down but winds up on the bottom. Alexis attempts a triangle leg choke but never applies it properly. She needs to get her leg crossed with her shin. The problem is she uses a lot of energy to apply a hold that was going nowhere. And she left Rosi's arm free. So not only did Alexis eat leather but her gas tank was empty from the triangle attempt. Rosi won the first round. Round two is fairly even until Alexis gets top position and starts pounding Rosi. The problem is that Alexis is not a great puncher. It's something she needs to improve. Also she was pooped from round one. There was also less than a minute left in the round. If this had been earlier in the round, the fight would have been stopped. But remember this call is at the ref's discretion. And despite warning Rosi three times, Herb Dean chose not to stop the fight. Alexis said afterwards that she was OK with the fight not being stopped. She may change her tune after she watches the fight. There was no response after three warnings. It's a no win situation for Dean. It's a debatable call either way. The third round was fairly even but Alexis got the edge in the second half of the round. She won by unanimous decision. I scored it 29-28 for Alexis. One of the judges scored the second round 10-8 for Alexis. All it took was one big mistake and it almost cost Alexis the fight. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Best Coast

Artist:Best Coast
Album:Crazy For You

The 60s influenced duo Best Coast had some success with their 2010 debut CD Crazy For You. They released a CD last year and they are currently on tour. Bethany Cosentino grew up in Los Angeles and did some acting as a child. She started writing songs as a teen and generated record company interest through her MySpace page. But they wanted to turn her into a pop princess and she didn't want to do that. She went to school in New York for a while and moved back to Los Angeles in 2009. Then she got together with Robb Bruno to record demos. The rumour was he was once her babysitter. That was a joke. She had seen him in bands and they met through a mutual friend. They signed with indie label Mexican Summer and released Crazy For You in 2010. They hired Ali Koehler of Vivian Girls to play drums. Bethany has said that Best Coast is heavily influenced by 60s California pop music especially The Beach Boys and producers like Jack Nitzsche. But Bethany doesn't believe her voice has that happy pop sound. So their music is a little off kilter and should appeal to fans looking for something a little different. Their latest CD The Only Place was released last year. The duo said that they wanted to make a more professional recording and they hired veteran producer Jon Brion. Koehler has left Best Coast and session drummers have been hired for tours. Best Coast is currently touring opening for Green Day. Here's the video for Boyfriend by Best Coast.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kelli Scarr

Artist:Kelli Scarr
Song:Salt To The Sea

Singer songwriter Kelli Scarr is best known for touring with Moby in 2009. She has also recorded solo and has an Emmy nomination. Vocally she reminds me of Portishead lead singer Beth Gibbons. Kelli was born in Monterrey, CA and went to high school in Folsom after her parents divorced. After graduating high school, she moved to Boston to study at the Berklee School of Music. In 1998, Boston University students David Moltz (guitar), Khodayar Akhavi (bass) and Daniel Mintzer (drums) were forming a band and placed an ad for a lead singer in local papers. Kelli Scarr responded to that ad. The band was called Moonraker and were heavily influenced by Portishead. They had some success in local Boston clubs and moved to Brooklyn in 2002. They were unable to secure a major label contract and split up in 2004. Kelli wrote the score for the 2008 HBO documentary In A Dream and was nominated for an Emmy. In 2009 she met Moby and sang on his album Wait For Me. She also toured with him. And she has also recorded with j.viewz. In 2010, Kelli signed with the indie label Silence Breaks and Piece was released Aug. 2010. The CD is very cheap and is worth checking out. Kelli continues to record solo and recently released the EP Dangling Teeth to iTunes. She is also working local clubs in Brooklyn as lead singer of the country music cover band North Of Amarillo. Here's Kelli Scarr performing salt To The Sea on Sleepover Shows.

Friday, June 14, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The B-52s

Artist:The B-52s
Song:Love Shack
Album:Time Capsule: Songs For A Future Generation

The B-52s were one of the first groups to emerge from Athens, GA which would become a music hotbed. They had some success at first because their music seemed to be more fun than the typical New Wave music of the time. And they also had a kitschy look. Love Shack was their biggest hit in 1989. The B-52s got together by accident when they jammed together in an Athens club in 1976. The members were Fred Schneider on vocals, Kate Pierson on organ and vocals, Cindy Wilson on vocals, her older brother Ricky Wilson on guitar and Keith Strickland on drums. They wanted to have fun so they decided to have a unique thrift store look and the girls wore beehive hairdos and that's where the name B-52s comes from. Their first single Rock Lobster was released on DB Records in 1978. It generated enough buzz to get them a record deal with Warner Bros. in the US and Island Records in the UK. Though they didn't have a hit single at the time, the first three B-52's albums sold very well and were certified Gold. After the 1983 album Whammy!, the B-52s took a break and returned with the 1985 album Bouncing off the Satellites. During the recording, Ricky Wilson became ill and died of AIDS on Oct. 12, 1985 at age 32. He kept his illness a secret from the band. They considered disbanding but Strickland had already switched to guitar and the band had been using drum machines. The B-52s returned to the studio in 1988. Strickland had written a lot of music and the girls and Schneider wrote the lyrics. The 1989 album Cosmic Thing was a success. Love Shack reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Supposedly the song is based on a real cabin where Kate Pierson lived in the 70s. The song cemented the B-52s rep as a party band. They continued to record but weren't as successful in the 90s. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Keith Strickland quit touring with the B-52s last year but The B-52s will tour this summer with The Go-Gos. Their most recent CD was released in 2008. Here's the video for Love Shack by The B-52s.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Ayumi Kurihara vs Mayumi Ozaki street fight

I am asked all the time by fans who fondly remember FMW hardcore joshi matches from the 90s who don't really follow joshi puroresu if those kind of matches are still done in Japan. For the most part, the answer is no. A few years back, Kyoko Kimura got a rep for doing hardcore matches. She doesn't do them anymore. Yumiko Hotta does them once in a blue moon. The only wrestler who does hardcore street fights regularly is OZ Academy owner Mayumi Ozaki. This match is from the Apr. 24 Korakuen Hall OZ Academy show. The set up is that Ayumi Kurihara is tired of getting the crap beat out of her by Ozaki and The Ozaki Army. So she challenges Ozaki to a street fight. With Ayumi retiring in August, I guess this was a match on her bucket list. Of course there are the usual weapons like chairs, chains and barbed wire boards. Ozaki even has an umbrella. And there is also The Ozaki Army of Police, Mika Nishio, Yumi Ohka and Mio Shirai. Kurihara brings her own army of Manami Toyota, AKINO, Dynamite Kansai and Sonoko Kato. Typically, Kurihara gets clobbered and bleeds. I thought Ozaki would take Kurihara to the Korakuen Hall balcony but she actually takes her downstairs into a hallway. Kurihara gets her revenge but the attraction of this match is watching someone like Kurihara who doesn't usually do these kind of matches. Ozaki usually wins these matches. There's another match video on Daily Motion of Ozaki initiating Ice Ribbon actress turned wrestler Hikaru Shida into her hardcore world that is typical. In this one, Ozaki gets the upper hand when she spits Kurihara's face with red mist a la The Great Muta. But then Police hits Ozaki by mistake and Kurihara spits blue mist in Ozaki's face. I thought that was a nice touch. And then Kurihara wins. As tends to happen when a Police mistake costs Ozaki a match, they show her beating him up backstage. I'm not a big hardcore match fan. But I don't mind it once in a while and this one is very entertaining. Enjoy the video!
04. Ayumi Kurihara vs Mayumi Ozaki - (OZ 04/24/13) by SenorLARIATO

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Junior

Song:Mama Used To Say
Album:The Best Of Junior

The classic R & B hit Mama Used To Say led to an 80s revival of British soul. It was also the biggest hit for singer songwriter Norman "Junior' Giscombe. He was born June 6, 1957 in London, England. He was inspired by the Philly Soul of Thom Bell to become a musician. In 1980 he was a backup singer for the British soul group Linx. That group's biggest hit was Intuition in 1981. Linx keyboard player Bob Carter liked Junior and they started writing together. An independent release of the single Hot Up & Heated led to a contract with PolyGram's Phonogram label in England and Mercury in the US. Mama Used To Say was Junior's first single in 1982 and it reached #2 on the R & B Singles chart and #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. Today it is considered a soul classic and Mama Used To Say was recently covered by Beverley Knight on her 2011 tribute CD Soul UK. It also led to the success of British soul artists like Billy Ocean and Sade. Junior had some other hits like Too Late and his 1987 duet with Kim Wilde Another Step (Closer To You). You can get all his hits on this comp. Junior records occasionally. In 1999, he re-recorded all his hits for K-Tel. But he is mostly behind the scenes writing songs for others. He is also a DJ for internet radio station Solar Radio. His CD Prisoner Of Hope was released on his own label Nov. 2011. Here's the video for Mama Used To Say by Junior.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Injury and comedy of errors kills Invicta Lightweight Championship fight

Invicta got very bad news last week when they learned that Carla Esparza suffered a knee injury and was forced to drop out of her Lightweight Championship match against JEWELS Lightweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki. Injuries happen all the time but the way this was handled afterwards shows cluelessness on several levels. For one thing, I have said for the last year that Invicta announces the complete cards way too far in advance. It results in too many changes that usually weaken the card. It's OK to announce the main matches early but the prelims don't need to be announced until later. It would give them flexibility in case something happens to one of the main matches. The number one person to blame for this particular problem is Carla Esparza because she admitted that she injured her knee several weeks ago and chose to work through the injury and ignore it. That's just not the smart thing to do. As it turns out, she won't need surgery but she has to drop out of this match. Invicta decided to plug Claudia Gadelha in to face Ayaka but it's not for a title. Claudia was supposed to face Joanne Calderwood. I guess they forgot to tell Claudia not to say anything because she spilled the beans on Twitter. The problem with that is Ayaka hadn't accepted the match yet. So they were forced to announce the change before it was official. I don't blame Ayaka for balking. If a fighter gets a title shot and then it's taken away for any reason, the promotion should be prepared to fork over some cash to sweeten the pot. Think about it. Ayaka's match is now a waste of time and she should be pissed off. When is Deep Jewels going to let her come over again? And because Invicta stupidly announces the entire card way in advance, everyone knows that Joanne Calderwood needs a new opponent. It's unnecessary negative attention that could be avoided. Apparently Invicta had trouble finding an opponent for Joanne. Supposedly they asked Bellator for Felice Herrig and not surprisingly, Bellator said no. Of course fans blame Bellator but Invicta should have never asked them. They should know better. There's no upside for Bellator to allow Felice to fight in Invicta. So finally yesterday Invicta announced that Sarah Schneider will face Joanne Calderwood. She's a local fighter from Missouri and this has happened with her before. Back in 2010, Megumi Fujii was supposed to face Angela Magana on a June Bellator show. When Angela dropped out, Bellator couldn't find anyone until Sarah signed on. I guess that shows toughness or foolishness. It depends on your point of view. Maybe that's why Sarah's record is 6-6.

Patty Griffin concert review

Last night I saw Patty Griffin at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. I had never been there before. Back in the 70s, it was called The Roxy and was known for midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But it has been refurbished and it seems like a good alternative to Massey Hall, especially since Massey Hall will be refurbished soon. And they made room for my powerchair. The opening act was singer songwriter Max Gomez. He recently released his debut CD Rule The World on New West Records which is also Patty's label. Gomez is 23 years old from Taos, NM. He was OK. It's a tough slot for him. No one is there to see him and he is limited to 45 minutes. I could see him asking someone offstage how much time he has left. He likes to talk between songs. But if he talks too much he runs out of time. So he had to stop talking. I think I would like him a lot better in an intimate club setting where he can be more relaxed and he doesn't have to worry about time. But this gets him exposure to a larger audience that already likes similar music. It's economical but not the best way to showcase Gomez. Patty Griffin grew up in Maine and her new CD American Kid is a tribute to her father and her first CD of original songs in several years. Her dad is on the CD cover. Though Patty is a very powerful singer, she has had a lot of success as a songwriter. The Dixie Chicks in particular like her songs. This tour is to promote the new CD. Her band are veteran musicians. David Pulkingham is the long time guitarist for Tex-Mex rocker Alejandro Escovedo. Bassist Craig Ross produced Patty's new CD and has worked with her for several years. He worked with Lenny Kravitz in the 90s. Pianist John Deaderick has also worked with Patty for several years and with plenty of others. Believe it or not, all three guys take turns playing drums. The best thing about Patty Griffin is she expresses real emotion in her voice and her music is not overproduced. These days that's very refreshing and so I enjoyed the show a lot.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Social Distortion

Artist:Social Distortion
Song:Story Of My Life
Album:Greatest Hits

Social Distortion started out as a late 70s punk band. But they are probably best remembered for early 90s recordings like Story Of My Life, Ball and Chain and their cover of Johnny Cash's Ring Of Fire. The band is from Fullerton, CA in Orange County. Lead singer and main songwriter Mike Ness formed Social Distortion in 1978 with bassist Dennis Danell who he knew in high school. The band had a revolving door of members over the next couple of years. Bassist John Maurer and drummer Christopher Reece both joined in 1984 and that was Social Distortion's lineup for the next ten years. The band's progress was delayed by Mike Ness's heroin addiction. In the mid-80s he spent time in rehab and jail. Ness successfully kicked his heroin addiction in 1985 and was in the band Easter for two years. Social Distortion reformed in 1988 and their album Prison Bound earned them a contract with Epic Records. Their major label debut Social Distortion was released in 1990 and was produced by recording engineer turned producer Dave Jerden. With college radio hits like Story Of My Life, Ball and Chain and Ring Of Fire, Social Distortion broke through to a larger audience. Their music now was a mix of punk and country known as Cowpunk. Their 1992 CD Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell also did well. Christopher Reece left in 1994 and they had some difficulty replacing him and eventually settled on former Danzig drummer Chuck Biscuits. After the release of their 1996 CD White Light, White Heat, White Trash, Social Distortion left Epic and released a live CD in 1997. This comp is a good intro to their music. Mike Ness recorded two solo CDs. Dennis Danell died of a brain aneurysm on Feb. 29, 2000 at age 38. Ness continues to lead Social Distortion today. Their latest CD was released in 2011 and they are currently working on a new CD. Here's the video for Story Of My life by Social Distortion.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Original Carter Family

Artist:The Original Carter Family
Song:Worried Man Blues
Album:Can The Circle Be Unbroken

Today when most fans think of The Carter Family, they think of June Carter Cash who married Johnny Cash and sang with her sisters. But The Original Carter Family as they are billed on this CD were pioneers of bluegrass and country music and wrote many country music standards like Worried Man Blues. The leader of this group was Alvin Pleasant Delaney Carter, known as A.P. or Doc. He was born Dec. 15, 1891 in Maces Springs, VA. He married Sara Dougherty in 1915. They formed The Carter Family with sister in law Maybelle Carter and first recorded for RCA Victor in 1927. Along with Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family were the first successful country music stars. They were touring nationally until the 1929 stock market crash. They still recorded during The Great Depression of the 30s but were financially unable to tour. And A.P. and Sara were having marriage problems and they divorced in 1939. But the group continued. Worried Man Blues is one of many country music standards written by A.P. Carter and this Sony budget CD consists of recordings they did for Okeh Records in 1935. By 1939 The Carter Family had their own radio show in Texas and several Carter children joined the group but they weren't on The Carter Family recordings. In 1943, Sara Carter retired and moved to California with her new husband and A.P. Carter moved back to Virginia and owned a general store. Maybelle Carter formed a new group with daughters Helen, June and Anita and that's the Carter Family group a lot of fans are familiar with. They were usually billed as Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. A.P. and Sara reformed The Carter Family in 1952 with their children but it wasn't successful and they disbanded in 1956. A.P. Carter died on Nov. 7, 1960 at age 68 and The Carter Family was inducted into The Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1970. John Carter Cash currently leads Carter Family III. So The Carter Family legacy continues. Here's a video of Worried Man Blues by The Original Carter Family.

Monday, June 10, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Down To The Bone

Artist:Down To The Bone
Song:Staten Island Groove
Album:The Best Of Down To The Bone

There is a long history of British R & B and funk from bands like The Brand New Heavies. Down To The Bone is in this tradition. But they are odd because Down To The Bone founder, leader and composer Stuart Wade doesn't play in the band. Wade is a DJ and he doesn't play any instruments. And the way he writes songs is he hums a melody and the musicians execute it. He started Down To The Bone in 1996 and when Staten Island Groove became a hit, he decided to record the 1997 album From Manhattan To Staten. The album reached #2 on the Jazz Album chart. Since then Wade has recorded as Down To The Bone for Atlantic, Verve, Narada and his latest CD The Main Ingredients is on Trippin 'n Rhythm. This comp from Narada is a good intro to their music. Several jazz funk legends like Reuben Wilson, Jeremy Steig, Brian Auger and Roy Ayers have appeared on Down To The Bone CDs along with singers Flora Purim, N'Dambi and Hil St. Soul. Wade hires different musicians to play in Down To The Bone for North America and England. That's very unusual but I guess one should remember that Wade doesn't play in the band. Funk fans will enjoy them regardless. Here's Down To The Bone performing Staten Island Groove in Chicago 2010.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Roseanna Vitro

Artist:Roseanna Vitro
Song:If I Didn't Have You
Album:The Music Of Randy Newman

Jazz singer Roseanna Vitro emerged from the Houston jazz scene of the 70s and has done well recording as a solo artist since the 80s. If I Didn't Have You is from her latest CD The Music of Randy Newman, her tribute to one of the all time great songwriters. She was born Feb. 28, 1951 in Hot Springs, AR. Her father owned a local nightclub so Roseanna was interested in music at an early age. She moved to Houston in the 70s and sang frequently with tenor sax great Arnett Cobb. She also sang with visiting jazz musicians like Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Tommy Flanagan. Roseanna moved to New York in 1978 and toured with Lionel Hampton. She also worked frequently with Kenny Werner. She first recorded as a solo artist for a couple of small labels in 1985. Her 1993 CD Softly on Concord was her major label debut. She usually records with a small band. On that CD, the band was led by pianist Fred Hersch. Since then Roseanna has recorded for Telarc, Challenge and Half Note. The Music Of Randy Newman is her first CD on Motema Music and was released in 2011. The band is led by former Sonny Rollins pianist Mark Soskin with violinist Sara Caswell, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner. If I Didn't Have You is from the 2001 film Monsters Inc. and won Newman his first Best Original Song Oscar. This CD was nominated for a Best Vocal Album Grammy and Newman praised it as well. So Randy Newman fans should check it out. Rosanna Vitro is currently on the faculty of New Jersey City University. She is currently working on her next CD which will be a tribute to big band leader Clare Fischer. Here's Roseanna Vitro performing If I Didn't Have You with Mark Soskin, Sara Caswell, Dean Johnson and Tim Horner at Dizzy's Coca Cola at Lincoln Center in New York City June 13, 2011.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Glenn Miller

Artist:Glenn Miller
Song:In The Mood
Album:Greatest Hits

Glenn Miller was one of the most popular artists of the Big Band Era of the early 40s and In The Mood was his signature song. After Miller went missing in action in 1944, he became even more popular after his death. He was born Mar. 1, 1904 in Clarinda, IA and grew up in North Platte, NE. He was interested in music at an early age and played trombone in local bands as a teen. By 1926, Miller moved to Los Angeles and played in bands led by Ben Pollock and Victor Young. Young's band got him into the Los Angeles studio scene and for the next few years, Miller was a session musician playing with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Joe Venuti. He was an arranger and composer with The Dorsey Brothers in the mid-30s and then he worked for Ray Noble. This led to Miller forming his own band in 1937. He wasn't successful at first but his hiring of Wilbur Schwartz to play lead clarinet gave Miller a distinctive sound that led to a 1938 contract with RCA's Bluebird label. Miller's first really big hit was Tuxedo Junction which topped the charts for eight weeks in 1939. In The Mood topped the charts for 13 weeks. In The Mood was based on the 1930 Wingy Manone song Tar Paper Stomp. But he never copyrighted the song. Sax player Joe Garland wrote In The Mood and it was recorded by Edgar Hayes in 1938. After Artie Shaw turned down the song, Garland sold it to Miller and Miller arranged it with his pianist John Chalmers McGregor and Eddie Durham. Miller's other really big hit was Chatanoooga Choo Choo. During this time, Miller had a regular radio show on CBS. And he appeared in the 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade and the 1942 film Orchestra Wives. At the height of his fame in 1942, Miller became a Captain in the Army Air Force so he could lead the Army Air Force Band. He was praised for his patriotism. On Dec. 15, 1944, Miller was flying to Paris to perform for soldiers when the plane went down over the English Channel. Nothing was ever found and Miller was dead at age 40. For several years, Tex Benecke led the Glenn Miller band. This budget comp is a good intro to Miller's music. The film The Glenn Miller Story starring James Stewart was released in 1953. Like Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller started as a jazz musician but realized that most people didn't want to listen to real jazz. And understanding that is what made Miller a success though jazz purists don't think much of him. There have always been mixed feelings about Miller. Here's Glenn Miller performing In The Mood in the 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade. The film's stars Sonia Henie and John Payne appear in the clip.

Friday, June 07, 2013

VV Mei vs Lorena Klijn set for June 23 SHOOT BOXING show

VV Mei, Lorena Klijn
I've known about this for a few weeks but SHOOT BOXING announced today that MMA fighter and former VALKYRIE champ VV Mei will face Dutch kickboxer Lorena Klijn on the June 23 Korakuen Hall show. I expect the complete lineup for August's Girls S-Cup tournament to be announced after this show. This is a rematch from last year's Girls S-Cup. Lorena beat Erika Kamimura in the first round. But VV Mei tossed Lorena around like a sack of potatoes to win the next round. SHOOT BOXING owner Takeshi Caesar is trying to sell Lorena as a gold old fashioned monster gaijin heel to threaten his poster girl RENA. RENA and Lorena both appeared on the Apr. 20 show. And at the press conference before the show, Lorena screamed at RENA. RENA did not respond. For this monster heel strategy to be effective, Lorena needed to win convincingly over Miyo Yoshida on the Apr. 20 show. It didn't happen. Lorena had trouble with Miyo and won a majority decision. One of the judges scored it a draw. I'm sure Lorena is having trouble with the nuances of SHOOT BOXING but she trains with Andy Souwer who is an experienced shoot boxer. She must be better prepared or she will lose to VV Mei and Caesar's plan will go up in smoke. Mei said she saw Lorena's recent match and says she looks the same as she did when they fought last year. Of course Lorena just wants to avenge the loss. She says she will beat up RENA regardless. This is why gaijin kickboxers don't do well at Shoot Boxing. They don't learn the non-kickboxing elements because they don't think they need to. It gives a big edge to Shoot Boxing regulars like RENA and accomplished MMA fighters like VV Mei. There will also be two matches for the teen Girls S-Cup on this show but those matches haven't been announced yet.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton

Artist:Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton
Album:Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center

Guys as legendary as Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton can play with anyone they want and do anything they want. So it's not that surprising that they would decide to play together. Marsalis' duet album with Willie Nelson was very successful and Clapton's album with B.B. King was a big seller. Clapton had been working a lot with his old buddy Steve Winwood and he recorded an album with J.J. Cale in 2006. Marsalis recorded an album with Willie Nelson in 2008. For his 2010 CD Clapton, he recorded a lot of old songs in a traditional jazz style with members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Wynton Marsalis played trumpet on How Deep Is The Ocean. From there, Marsalis got the idea to do a series of concerts with Clapton at Lincoln Center in New York City. The concept was for Clapton to select the songs and Marsalis would arrange them in a 20s jazz style based on King Oliver. For the most part, Clapton chose songs from the 20s with the exception of Layla. Clapton said he thought of Layla but thought it would be presumptuous to suggest it. So bassist Carlos Henriquez suggested it. Other musicians include Chris Crenshaw on trombone, Victor Goines on clarinet, Ali Jackson Jr. on drums, Dan Nimmer on piano, Marcus Printup on trumpet, Chris Stainton on keyboards and Don Vappie on banjo. And Taj Mahal appears on the final two songs. The CD was released on Clapton's label Warner Bros. and there is also a live DVD. It's certainly interesting to hear Layla performed in this style. And Clapton is very deferential to the jazz musicians. I guess he doesn't feel he deserves to be in the same room with great jazz musicians. But he does deserve to be there. Here's Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton performing Layla from the DVD recorded at Lincoln Center.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66

Artist:Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
Song:The Look Of Love

Sergio Mendes was the biggest selling Brazilian recording artist of the late 60s. The Look Of Love was his biggest hit after he performed it on the 1968 Academy Awards broadcast. He also made a major comeback in the 80s. He was born Feb. 11, 1941 in Niteroi, Brazil and studied classical music as a child. He got into Bossa Nova as a teen and started hanging around Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto. He also met visiting jazz musicians like Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1961 he formed his own group Sexteto Bossa Rio and recorded for Philips Records. A 1962 appearance at Birdland in New York led to Mendes recording with Cannonball Adderley and a contract with Capitol Records. Mendes moved to the US in 1964. His early recordings went nowhere. Mendes signed with A & M Records in 1966 and formed Brasil '66. The original lineup was Lani Hall and Bibi Vogel on vocals, Bob Matthews on bass, Jose Soares on percussion, Joao Palma on drums and John Pisano on guitar. After their cover of the Jorge Ben song Mas Que Nada charted in 1966, Janis Hansen replaced Bibi Vogel for the 1968 album Look Around. She sings lead on The Look Of Love. The Look Of Love was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and sung by Dusty Springfield in the 1967 film Casino Royale. After Mendes performed The Look Of Love on the 1968 Academy Awards broadcast, his version reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Janis Hansen had already left Brasil '66 to form the similar group The Carnival with Jose Soares. They split up after one album and Janis sang on Ford Commercials. Mendes' next single was a cover of The Beatles' The Fool On the Hill and it reached #6. This budget comp covers his 60s recordings. Mendes went into a decline in the 70s after Lani Hall left to marry Herb Alpert in 1974. Mendes moved to Bell Records. They became Arista in 1975. Mendes also recorded for Elektra. In 1983, he returned to A & M and had a top five hit with Never Gonna Let You Go with vocals by Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller. He also reunited with Lani Hall for the theme of the 1983 film Never Say Never Again. Mendes currently records for Concord Records. His most recent CD was released in 2010. Sergio Mendes still tours and deserves some credit for popularizing Brazilian music in the 60s. Here's Sergio Mendes performing The Look Of Love in 1988.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Sara McMann vs Sarah Kaufman set for Aug. 28 UFC show

Sara McMann, Sarah Kaufman
It was announced on last night's episode of UFC Tonight that Sara McMann vs Sarah Kaufman has been added to the Aug. 28 UFC show at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. Of course we all know that Sara McMann won a silver medal in wrestling at the 2004 Olympics and her MMA record is 6-0. Based on this, some supposed experts thought she was the perfect choice as TUF coach and a title shot. WRONG! It makes me wonder if any of these supposed experts have watched Sara fight. I guess none of them wanted Miesha Tate to get that slot. My assessment of Sara McMann is she isn't aggressive enough for me. Even in her win over Sheila Gaff, Sara got the advantage because of Sheila's terrible strategy. Sheila was too aggressive and it cost her. I don't think Sara is ready for a title shot. She may come closer to that if she gets a convincing win over Sarah Kaufman. Sarah is at her best when she is aggressive. She can be a punching machine. But she has been inconsistent. She was injured for a while after she lost to Ronda Rousey last year. She returned on April's Invicta show and really needed a decisive win over Leslie Smith. She didn't get it. Sarah won by split decision and fans booed the decision so a lot didn't agree with it. This concerns me because Sarah's career has been cyclic. At times she has been dominant and won convincingly. And sometimes she wins unimpressively and it seems to affect her future fights. She gets in a funk and the Leslie Smith fight showed me that she is still in a funk obviously caused by the loss to Ronda Rousey. Sarah has said that she tries to forget about that fight. My experience is fighters learn more from losses than from wins. And she should want to know why she was so poorly prepared for Ronda's attack. It would help her prepare for future fights. Sarah Kaufman obviously has the physical ability. But sometimes the mental part of the fight game is underrated and the mental part is what concerns me about Sarah. If the Rock Em Sock Em Robot Sarah Kaufman that we all know and love shows up on Aug. 28, she should win. But if the other Sarah Kaufman shows up, that could be a problem for her. The fight should be interesting.