Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WWE Total Divas review

So I was debating whether I should review this new reality show WWE Total Divas that premiered on E! last Sunday. Since the episode is online, fans who couldn't watch it can watch it on the blog. I actually PVRd it and watched it on Monday. I prefer Ray Donovan if it's OK with you. Like a lot of reality shows, Total Divas is heavily scripted. By no means is this a documentary. The show is supposed to open the door to the lives of WWE Divas. One of the big problems with this show is most of the main characters are not likable. The Bella Twins are heels on TV right now but that doesn't mean they have to behave like heels on this show. One of the reasons these two have a lot of stroke right now is Brie is dating Daniel Bryan and Nikki is dating John Cena. So that gives the WWE and E! an excuse to have those guys on the show. And to hear The Bella Twins talk like they are seasoned veterans is funny because neither of them can wrestle. But as we all know, the WWE doesn't want women athletes. They want models. The opening episode is the week leading up to Wrestlemania. You have the Bella Twins, The Funkadactyls and Nattie Neidhart. Keep in mind the Funkadactyls use their real names on the show. The first bit of drama is that Nattie is told that she will not appear on Wrestlemania. So you might think that Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon or HHH would tell her this. Nope. This news is given to her by WWE Vice President of Talent Relations Jane Geddes. Who? She is a former pro golfer who was an exec for the LPGA before the WWE hired her in 2011. It just shows how corporate and impersonal the WWE is especially to someone who grew up in the wrestling business like Nattie. But Nattie is a good soldier and she is asked to chaperone two models named JoJo Offerman and Eva Marie who were picked from a casting call. Keep in mind that Nattie will be asked to train these girls. Eva Marie is of Mexican descent and resembles The Bella Twins. So Geddes asked her to dye her hair blonde. But she changes her mind and dyes it red instead. Geddes is OK with it but she is annoyed that Eva Marie didn't do what she was told. She warned her about that. The Bella Twins and The Funkadactyls have a match on Wrestlemania. While practicing, Brodus Clay yells at Ariane and her boyfriend threatens to beat him up. They calm him down and the girls bicker about it. It makes them look a little silly. Then the mixed match the girls are supposed to be in on Wrestlemania was cut due to time constraints. Of course they are upset. If you like this kind of thing on other scripted reality shows, you should like this. And if you are wondering why Nattie is on this show, an episode later in the season will cover her wedding to long time boyfriend TJ Wilson. I'm not crazy about the show. But I will watch it because it will tie in to angles on RAW including this ridiculous ugly duckling angle they are doing with Nattie and The Bella Twins. Ugh! Check out the video for yourself.
WWE - Total Divas - Season 01 - Episode 01 by wwetotaldivas

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Standells

Artist:The Standells
Song:Dirty Water
Album:Toga Rock

Dirty Water was the biggest hit for the Los Angeles garage band The Standells in 1966. Today they are called the Godfathers Of Punk Rock. The Standells were formed in 1962 by lead singer and keyboard player Larry Tamblyn. He is the brother of actor Russ Tamblyn and had recorded a few singles in the late 50s. Other members were Jody Rich on bass, Tony Valentino on guitar and Benny King on drums. The name The Standells comes from Tamblyn standing around booking offices waiting for work. Rich and King soon left and were replaced by bassist Gary Lane and drummer Gary Leeds. After releasing a single, The Standells signed with Liberty Records in 1964. Leeds left and would go on to be Gary Walker of The Walker Brothers. He was replaced by former Mouseketeer Dick Dodd who was also a member of The Bel-Airs. They released an album on Liberty and even appeared on The Munsters. They also appeared on The Bing Crosby Show and Ben Casey. This got them a deal with the Capitol label Tower Records. Tower released soundtracks for several youth oriented films. The Standells appeared in Get Yourself A College Girl and Riot On Sunset Strip. But they still needed that hit single. They got that teaming up with former Four Preps member Ed Cobb. He wrote and produced Dirty Water and it reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. Dirty Water is the victory song of the Boston Red Sox. Cobb wrote it after visiting Boston. Some of their other songs charted but Dirty Water was their only big hit. You can get it on this various artists budget comp from DCC Compact Classics. The cover and title are terrible but the music is good. After some personnel changes, The Standells split up in 1968. They are considered to be a big influence on 70s punk music. And that encouraged Tamblyn to reform The Standells in the 80s. They have reformed occasionally over the years and a new Standells CD Bump will be released Aug. 2013. Here's a video for Dirty Water by The Standells from 1966.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mindy McCready

Artist:Mindy McCready
Song:Guys Do It All The Time
Album:Playlist: The Very Best Of Mindy McCready

Tabloid headlines and death from suicide are the first things that come up when one thinks of country music singer Mindy McCready. But she had a number one country hit in 1996 with Guys Do It All The Time and looked to have a bright future. Bad relationships led her to drug abuse and then suicide. She was born Nov. 30, 1975 in Fort Myers, FL and grew up singing in church. At age 18, her mom agreed to let her move to Nashville to become a singer. If she didn't get a record contract in a year, Mindy would move back to Florida and go to college. One of her demos got the attention of producer David Malloy and he signed Mindy to BNA/RCA Records. Malloy's father Jim Malloy was a world renowned recording engineer. David Malloy established himself as a producer in the 70s working with Eddie Rabbit. Mindy's debut CD Ten Thousand Angels was released in 1996 and sold over two million copies. Ten Thousand Angels was the first single and reached #6 on the Country Singles chart. Her second single Guys Do It All The Time topped the Country Singles chart. The song was written by veteran songwriter Kim Tribble who has worked a lot with singer David Lee Murphy. It was co-written by Bobby Whiteside. Mindy's other top ten country hit was A Girl's Gotta Do (What A Girl's Gotta Do) in 1997. Her subsequent BNA albums didn't perform as well and she left for Capitol in 2002. You can get all her BNA hits on this Sony budget comp. Mindy's personal life became a story in 2005 when boyfriend Billy McKnight was arrested for attempting to murder her. Then she attempted suicide. The two got back together and Mindy got pregnant. She attempted suicide again. She was convicted of using a fake prescription to obtain oxycontin and was also arrested for DUI but was not guilty. She gave birth to her son in 2006. There were other suicide attempts and she was arrested for parole violations and assaulting her mother. And of course there was also her affair with baseball player Roger Clemens. Mindy recorded an album in 2009. She was living with record producer David Wilson and they had a son in 2012. After Wilson committed suicide on Jan. 13, 2013, Mindy shot herself and killed their dog on Feb. 17, 2013. The children are in foster care. Mindy McCready was dead at age 37. A sad end to a troubled life. It's too bad because she had talent. Here's the video for Guys Do It All The Time by Mindy McCready.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Amber Brown wins at July 28 PANCRASE show

Amber Brown made her return to Japan on yesterday's PANCRASE show at Differ Ariake. She won by submission over Kikuyo Ishikawa. A couple of months ago, Amber replaced her teammate Monica Lovato and lost to Emi Fujino. But Amber was not fighting in her usual weight class and PANCRASE liked her enough to give her a match at a lighter weight class. The fight was very competitive for the first two rounds. Amber scored with knees in the clinch and Kikuyo landed some strikes. The judges scored the round for Kikuyo. Amber nailed Kikuyo with strikes and Kikuyo got a takedown and an armbar attempt. The judges scored round two for Kikuyo. But in the third round, Kikuyo got a takedown but then Amber secured an armbar from guard and the fight was over at 3:27 of round three. So a big win for Amber Brown as Kikuyo Ishikawa got a little careless.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Biffy Clyro

Artist:Biffy Clyro
Song:Black Chandelier

The Scottish band Biffy Clyro have had a lot of success in England. But with their latest CD Opposites and the single Black Chandelier, they are starting to make progress in the US. Biffy Clyro are from Kilmarnock, Scotland and were formed in 1995 as Skrewfish. Lead singer and guitarist Simon Neil was 15 years old at the time and formed the band with twin brothers Ben Johnston (drums) and James Johnston (bass). They moved to Glasgow in 1997 and played gigs while attending college. They choose to not reveal the meaning of the name Biffy Clyro but it may be the name of a soccer player. But they also make up origins just to confuse people. The band released a couple of singles independently and signed with Beggars Banquet in 2000. They released three CDs on Beggars Banquet and Neil also released a 2005 CD as Marmaduke Duke. They signed with the Warner Bros. label 14th Floor in 2006. They are on Roadrunner Records in the US. They recorded the 2006 album Puzzle in Vancouver with Canadian producer Garth Richardson and they have worked with him ever since. Richardson is the son of legendary Guess Who producer Jack Richardson. The single Saturday Superhouse was their biggest hit in England to date. The success continued with the 2009 CD Only Revolutions. It was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and reached #3 on the British Album chart. Black Chandelier was the first single from their latest CD Opposites. Opposites was their first number one CD in England and Black Chandelier even got some radio play in the US. So Biffy Clyro is making progress. They are currently on tour in Europe. Check them out if you aren't familiar with them. Here's the video for Black Chandelier by Biffy Clyro.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-UFC Double Feature

There were two women's matches on last night's UFC show. Of course the Big Bad Blog has got both fight videos covered along with my analysis. On the main show, Liz Carmouche beat Jessica Andrade by a second round TKO. I thought the first round was close but I gave it to Liz 10-9. She had two takedowns but I thought Jessica's takedown was really good and I thought she should have done more with the guillotine choke. Jessica has gotten submissions with the guillotine. Unfortunately, Jessica walked right into a takedown at the start of round two and she just couldn't get out from under. She blocked a lot of the punches and that's why it took so long for the fight to be stopped. Liz says she wants another title shot. I don't see that but maybe she could face Cat Zingano when Cat returns. The other fight was on the prelims. It was Julie Kedzie vs Germaine De Randamie. I think I described this as a Strikeforce contract burn match. I don't think either fighter is a contender. When someone asked me about this fight, I thought it would be a split decision. Of course Julie was the fan favourite. But I thought Germaine would be a problem for her. She isn't going to beat Germaine at kickboxing. So Julie needed to take her down. She did in round two but Julie didn't advance her position. She needed to do more. Julie took her down again at the end of round three but Germaine landed punches from the bottom. Germaine won the standup exchanges so I scored it 29-28 for Germaine. One judge scored it 29-28 for Germaine. The second judge scored it 29-28 for Julie. And the third judge scored it 30-27 for Germaine. There was a lot of fan howling about the 30-27. I thought the 29-28 for Julie was worse. The problem is some judges will minimize the takedowns if the fighter is ineffective. You have to give some credit to Germaine for defending. That explains the 30-27. On the other hand, some judges value top position even if the fighter on the bottom is more effective. That's how a judge scores it 29-28 for Julie. Both are wrong but not giving credit to effectiveness from the bottom is worse. That's my take. Enjoy the fights.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sherie Rene Scott

Artist:Sherie Rene Scott
Song:Get Happy
Album:Everyday Rapture

Sherie Rene Scott is a veteran Broadway performer who has had success for several years. Unlike other similar performers, she doesn't seem interested in TV or movies. So in 2009, she wrote Everyday Rapture based on her own life. It did very well in a limited run and Sherie owns her own record label and released a cast album. She was born Feb. 8, 1967 in Kentucky and grew up in Topeka, KS. At age 18 she moved to New York. She was an understudy in productions of Grease and Rent. Her first big role was as Amneris in the 2000 production of Aida. That show ran until 2004. She was also in the very successful productions of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Little Mermaid. When The Little Mermaid ended, Sherie decided to write a show based on her own life with Dick Scanlan who wrote the 2002 show Thoroughly Modern Millie. Everyday Rapture is mostly about Sherie growing up in a Mennonite household. Another odd thing about the show is there are no original songs. Get Happy is the song made famous by Judy Garland. Sherie is a big Judy Garland fan. Those are called Jukebox shows. It's a one woman show with one segment featuring Eamon Foley. Lindsay Mendez and Betsy Wolfe are the backup singers. The show only ran for six weeks in 2009 but it was successful. It was only supposed to be a limited run. It was nominated for several awards but didn't win any. With her husband, Sherie owns her own label Sh-K-Boom with Ghostlight Records distribution. So you can get a cast album for Everyday Rapture on CD. Sherie Rene Scott appeared in the 2010 musical adaptation of Women On The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. She has written a new show Piece of Meat and has been testing it in limited engagements. Here's Sherie Rene Scott performing Get Happy from Everyday Rapture.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-James P. Johnson

Artist:James P. Johnson
Song:Carolina Shout
Album:Runnin' Wild (1921-1926)

James P. Johnson was a very influential pianist known for adapting ragtime into what we would soon know as jazz. The recordings on this Rykodisc budget CD are piano rolls from the early 20s. Johnson didn't record a lot of these songs live until much later. He was born Feb. 1, 1894 in New Brunswick, NJ. His family moved to New York City when he was a teen. Johnson was a big fan of legendary ragtime composer Scott Joplin and Johnson based his stride style on that. By 1913 he was playing clubs in New York and by 1917 he was recording piano rolls for player pianos. What was a piano roll? It was a piece of paper that attached to the cylinder inside the piano and it played the song and moved the piano keys. Some piano rolls are valuable historically and are available on CD. Carolina Shout is a 1922 piano roll. Like I said, he didn't record a lot of these songs live until the 40s. Johnson was an influence on guys like Duke Ellington. But his number one student was Fats Waller. Johnson also accompanied legendary singers Ethel Waters and Bessie Smith. Carolina Shout is one of his best known songs along with The Charleston. Johnson was very successful in the 20s. In the 30s, Johnson concentrated on longer orchestral works. He could do this because he made a good living from songwriting royalties. Johnson recorded for Columbia in the late 30s. Producer John Hammond was concerned that Johnson was forgotten and wanted him to record again. Johnson suffered a stroke in 1940 but recovered enough that he could play. He recorded for several labels in the 40s. He suffered another stroke in 1951. James P. Johnson was forced to retire and died on Nov. 17, 1955 at age 61. His influence is still felt today. Here's a video for the piano roll of Carolina Shout by James P. Johnson.

Friday, July 26, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bebo Valdes

Artist:Bebo Valdes
Song:La Comparasa
Album:Bebo Rides Again

Most Cuban jazz fans probably know Dionisio "Bebo" Valdes as the father of legendary jazz pianist Jesus "Chucho" Valdes. But Bebo Valdes was a bandleader in Cuba in the 50s and then left Cuba and lived in Sweden for many years. The 1994 CD Bebo Rides Again was his return to recording after many years. He was born Oct. 9, 1918 in Quivican, Cuba. He started out as a pianist in Havana nightclubs in the 40s. In the 50s, he led one of the house bands at the Tropicana in Havana and was the arranger for singer Rita Montaner. He also backed up Nat King Cole when Cole recorded in Spanish. Like a lot of Cubans, Valdes left during the 1960 revolution and settled in Stockholm, Sweden. He lived there in obscurity for many years until sax player Paquito D'Rivera produced the 1994 CD Bebo Rides Again. When Fernando Trueba was producing the 2000 documentary Calle 54, he decided to reunite Bebo and Chucho Valdes in one of the film segments. After that, Valdes recorded several albums and won a few Grammys including 2010 Best Latin Jazz Album for Bebo y Chucho Valdes: Junto para Siempre. Valdes had five children including Chucho with his first wife. When he moved to Sweden, he married his second wife Rose in 1963 and their marriage lasted until Rose died in 2012. Bebo Valdes suffered from Alzheimer's and died on Mar. 22, 2013 at age 94. It was great that this Cuban music pioneer got a career revival in the 90s. Here's Bebo Valdes and Chucho Valdes performing La Comparasa in the 2000 film Calle 54.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ronda Rousey to make film debut in The Expendables 3

This story broke on Tuesday while I was watching Casting By at the Bloor Cinema. A couple of folks asked me what I thought about it and it took me a couple of days to get to it. Sylvester Stallone announced on Twitter that UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey will make her film debut in The Expendables 3. Already some fans are wringing their hands and saying that this is Gina Carano all over again. I doubt that because Gina was the star of Haywire and was in every scene. In The Expendables 3, Ronda is a small part of a large cast. I would be surprised if she was in the film for more than ten minutes. I think it's a good way for her to get her feet wet in the film business. When Ronda signed with William Morris Endeavor early this year, it was inevitable they would cast her in a movie. At the time it was rumoured that she was offered a role in The Hunger Games sequel. Was that true? It's possible. Maybe they couldn't work out the schedule. A few months ago, Stallone said that he planned to cast some young actors to conflict with the veteran stars of The Expendables 3. One young actor who has been hired for this subplot is Kellan Lutz from the Twilight series. A lot of the cast from the previous films are returning. And the big addition for The Expendables 3 is Mel Gibson is playing the villain. The film will begin shooting next month in Bulgaria. But it looks like the subplot that Ronda will be in is set to be shot in Los Angeles in August. She will shoot her scenes for a couple of weeks and be done in time to start her training camp for her fight in December. UFC President Dana White told Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer that he approved of Ronda's participation in the film. He says it won't interfere with her training schedule. Of course this could lead to other film offers. It's the agent's job to figure out the logistics so everyone is happy. You just should remember that The Expendables 3 is a big film with a big cast and Ronda Rousey is a small part of that. She had better demonstrate an armbar in the film.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bruno Mars

Artist:Bruno Mars
Song:Just The Way You Are
Album:Doo-Wops & Hooligans

R & B singer songwriter Bruno Mars was an overnight sensation when his 2010 debut single Just The Way You Are topped the charts. He is currently one of the most popular recording artists in the world. Of course he seemed like an overnight sensation but he had already had success as a songwriter and producer. Nothing is ever that simple. He was born Peter Gene Hernandez Oct. 8, 1985 in Honolulu. His parents are performers and his uncle is an Elvis impersonator. His dad nicknamed him Bruno because he thought Mars looked like legendary pro wrestler Bruno Sammartino. As a child, Mars performed with his family and became known as Little Elvis because of his Elvis impersonation. After graduating high school in 2003, Mars moved to Los Angeles to get into the music business. He took the name Bruno Mars because girls used to say he was out of this world. Well, that's what he says. Mars signed with Motown in 2004 but they dropped him within a year. Nothing came of it except Mars met Philip Lawrence and the two have worked together as The Smeezingtons ever since. They have written and produced songs for Adam Levine, Brandy, Sean Kingston and the Flo Rida hit Right Round. Mars signed with Atlantic Records in 2009 and was the featured vocalist on songs by B.o.B. and Travie McCoy. Just The Way You Are was the first single from his 2010 debut CD Doo-Wops & Hooligans. The song topped the charts worldwide. There's your overnight sensation. Mars says the song was heavily influenced by classic love songs like Billy Preston's You Are So Beautiful. The song was written and produced by The Smeezingtons along with Cassius D. Kalb (Khalil Walton) and Needlz (Khari Cain). Cain toured with Mars for a while. Mars also had a number one hit with Grenade and Doo-Wops & Hooligans was certified 2XPlatinum. Mars' second CD Unorthodox Jukebox has also done well and Locked Out Of Heaven and When I Was Your Man both topped the Billboard Hot 100. He has won a bunch of awards including a Best Male Vocal Performance Grammy for Just The Way You Are. Mars started a world tour in June that will run until March 2014. I expect he will record new music at that time. We can all look forward to that. Here's the video for Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pointless filler added to Aug. 31 DEEP JEWELS show

Mika Nagano, Betiko
Anyone who thought that things would change when Shigeru Saeki took over JEWELS and changed the name to DEEP JEWELS will be very disappointed by the additions to the Aug. 31 Shinjuku FACE show. It's the same old same old. I guess the one bit of news is that veteran fighter Akiko Naito who used the ringname Betiko announced she will retire from MMA and face Mika Nagano in her retirement match. Betiko has been around since 2003 but her 6-12 record speaks for itself. And she hasn't fought in almost two years. And she was on a three fight losing streak. Two of her wins were over DEEP JEWELS matchmaker Yasuko Mogi and another was over pro wrestler Ayako Sato. That shows how terrible Mogi is. I suppose longevity earns Betiko a retirement ceremony. But with a record like that one would think she would just want to walk away quietly. Old school promoters like Saeki believe that any retirement ceremony attracts fans. He probably talked her into doing it. Of course Saeki's real goal is to get Nagano a cheap win. They also announced that Emi Fujino's opponent is Korean kickboxer Song Kyung Hyo who has an 0-2 MMA record. That's just a waste of Fujino's talent. Remember this is the kind of match that MIZUKI complained about. The other MMA match announced has Sachiko Fujimori vs Sumire Takahashi. Both are debuting and ground and pound is not allowed in this fight. Also, MIZUKI will face teen amateur grappler Utaka Yuaso in a grappling match. That might be interesting. And they added a couple of kickboxing matches and many fans believe that DEEP JEWELS should be MMA only. Some rebirth, huh. It looks like the same old crap to me.

Casting By review

When I went last week to see Twenty Feet From Stardom, the trailer for the documentary Casting By was shown. Tom Donohue's film first screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and has played other film festivals. The Hot Docs series at the Bloor Cinema shows documentaries year round and I went to see it last night. Casting By will be of interest to film buffs. It talks about how casting agencies became a viable business in the early 50s. The film focuses on casting pioneers Marion Dougherty in New York and Lynn Stalmaster in Los Angeles. In the 30s and 40s, most actors were under contract to one of the studios. Each studio had a list of contracted actors and casting was very arbitrary. If Jack Warner was angry at an actor, he cast him in a bad movie. If the actor refused to do the film, he went on suspension. He doesn't get paid on suspension. Things changed in the early 50s when live TV started. The Hollywood studios didn't produce TV until later and most live TV was produced in New York as one would produce live theater. Aspiring actress Marion Dougherty saw a need to cast actors for live TV. And there were plenty of aspiring actors in New York acting schools. So she started casting for Kraft Television Theater and later for the TV shows The Naked City and Route 66. One of her first major discoveries was James Dean. He appeared on live TV including Kraft Television Theater before becoming a Hollywood star. Marion discovered several actors and this led to her getting work in films. Similarly, Lynn Stalmaster started casting Los Angeles produced TV shows like Gunsmoke and Have Gun, Will Travel until director Robert Wise hired him to cast the film of the Broadway musical West Side Story. United Artists was the first studio to use casting agents. Most of the other studios were slow to catch on. Marion opened her own office in New York and trained others. They started getting more credit for their work. Marion cast Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. She was hired to cast Midnight Cowboy and advocated for Jon Voight despite opposition by director John Schlesinger and producer Jerome Hellman. Midnight Cowboy won the 1969 Best Film Oscar and the casting was a big part of that success. So why isn't there an Oscar for casting? Representing the Directors Guild of America, president Taylor Hackford says casting agents just make suggestions. Directors make the final decision. Many of the other interviewees including many directors don't agree with that view. Woody Allen is so shy and hates the casting process so much, he lets casting agent Juliet Taylor handle everything for all his films. She knows what he wants and he trusts her unconditionally. Of course each director is different. Marion Dougherty moved to Los Angeles in the 70s and was a VP of Casting for Paramount and Warner Bros. When Time Inc. bought Warners in 1990, she was put out to pasture. They hired her replacement without telling her. A campaign to get Marion a lifetime achievement Oscar was opposed by the DGA and rebuffed. Marion Dougherty died in 2011. Casting By is a very interesting documentary that will interest film fans. Check it out if it comes to your city. Here is the trailer for Casting By.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mike + The Mechanics

Artist:Mike + The Mechanics
Song:Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)

Mike + The Mechanics was a side project for Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford that turned out to be surprisingly successful. They had three top ten hits in the 80s including the 1989 number one hit The Living Years. Silent Running was their first top ten hit in 1985. Rutherford recorded a couple of solo albums in the early 80s. But he preferred being part of a group and decided to form a band. He brought in songwriter B.A. Robertson and producer Christopher Neil and the plan was to use studio musicians similar to Steely Dan. But Rutherford was so happy with the 1985 debut album Mike + The Mechanics, he turned them into a real band. Robertson and Neil were not part of the band. They continued to write with Rutherford. There were two singers. Paul Carrack was lead singer of Ace and had a successful solo career. The other singer was Paul Young. There are two singers named Paul Young in England. This is the lesser known of the two. He was a member of Sad Cafe. Keyboard player Adrian Lee toured with Cliff Richard in the 70s and drummer Peter Van Hooke toured with Van Morrison. Silent Running was the first single and it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rutherford and Robertson wrote the song and it appeared in the 1986 film Choke Canyon starring Stephen Collins. Choke Canyon was the US title. It was called On Dangerous Ground in the rest of the world. The song was a lot more successful than the movie. All I Need Is A Miracle was also a top ten hit. And in 1989 The Living Years became their only number one hit. You can get all the band's hits on this budget comp. Rutherford recorded with Mike + The Mechanics when Genesis was on hiatus. So there was an album in 1991 and another in 1995. Lee, Van Hooke and Neil all left at that point. Rutherford recorded an album in 1999. Then Paul Young died. After a 2004 album, Rutherford disbanded Mike + The Mechanics. But he formed a new version of the band in 2010 featuring British R & B singer Andrew Roachford and Canadian singer Tim Howar. Christopher Neil returned to write and produce. The Road was released in 2011 and Mike + The Mechanics are currently on tour in England. Here's the video for Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) by Mike + The Mechanics.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cage Warriors makes major commitment to women's MMA

The British company Cage Warriors announced yesterday that they have signed 18 female fighters in four weight classes. This represents a major upgrade to their previous women's MMA efforts. In the past, they were really only committed to Rosi Sexton. But now that Rosi is in the UFC she has given back to British MMA by recruiting these fighters. All credit to Rosi for getting them to do it and all credit to Cage Warriors owner Graham Boylan for allowing it. Cage Warriors are the largest MMA company in Europe and their shows are streamed online by MMA Junkie for free. They present MMA without gimmicks. With the UFC adding women's MMA, it presents a new opportunity to develop fighters that will eventually sign with the UFC. "See tomorrow's stars today". It's also a good development for European MMA as some countries lag behind in developing new fighters. Lack of competition is part of the problem. But there is also parochialism as some women's fights in Europe are scheduled for two five minute rounds instead of three five minute rounds. And some use a ring instead of a cage. Cage Warriors is a much larger and more unforgiving platform. Cage Warriors is going to try to launch multiple weight classes. I think that might be a little ambitious. How long is that going to take? They have signed eight Bantamweights, four Flyweights, three Strawweights and three Atomweights. How many women's fights will be on each show. And Cage Warriors runs shows in Middle East countries like Jordan and I don't think women will be allowed to fight on those shows. Most of the signed fighters are inexperienced and I haven't heard of most of them. The most experienced is Karla Benitez from Spain. She is a kickboxer who has trouble on the ground. Some are younger. Some are older. We'll see how things shake out. I am told they are planning to add more fighters in the near future. Ideally, I would like to see Cage Warriors develop European fighters only. That's their bread and butter.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tennis

Album:Cape Dory

Cape Dory was the 2011 breakthrough CD for the husband wife duo Tennis. The kind of music they make is sometimes described as Twee Pop. I see them doing well on tour but not a big commercial success. Lead singer Alaina Moore and guitarist Patrick Riley met while studying philosophy in college in Denver. They bought a sailboat and spent seven months sailing along the Eastern Seaboard. When they returned to Denver, they started making music. The name Tennis is an inside joke regarding Riley playing on the college tennis team. After releasing a couple of independent singles, Tennis signed with Fat Possum Records. Cape Dory was released Jan. 2011. Though the CD is less than a half hour long, it was critically acclaimed. Spinner named it one of the best albums of 2011. Tennis added drummer James Barone for tours. Their second CD Young & Old was released Feb. 2012 and was produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys. Your opinion of the band will depend on your opinion of Alaina Moore's singing voice. It's not for everyone but I think she has potential. The music is obviously influenced by 60s pop and they have released a cover of The Zombies' Tell Her No as a digital download. My only beef is they need to record longer CDs. Here's Tennis performing Marathon on eTown Radio in Elizabethtown, KY.

Monday, July 22, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Adrian Gurvitz

Artist:Adrian Gurvitz
Album:Top Of The Pops: One Hit Wonders

In his long music career, British singer songwriter guitarist Adrian Gurvitz has written plenty of hits for others. But his only hit as a solo artist was Classic in 1982. And that was a hit mainly in England and Europe. He was born June 26, 1949 in Stoke Newington, North London, England. His father was tour manager for Cliff Richard & The Shadows. As a teen, Gurvitz toured with Crispian St. Peters among others usually with his brother Paul Gurvitz on bass. In 1967, his band Rupert's People had a hit in Australia with Reflection Of Charlie Brown. Then he formed The Gun with Paul and Race With the Devil was a top ten hit in England in 1968. Black Oak Arkansas had a hit with a cover of Race With The Devil. The Gun split up after two albums and Gurvitz toured with legendary drummer Buddy Miles for a while. He was going to record a solo album but instead reformed The Gun as Three Man Army and then later The Baker Gurvitz Army with legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker. That only lasted two albums and Gurvitz joined a new band led by Moody Blues drummer Graham Edge. He went solo in 1979. The 1982 single Classic was his only hit from his three solo albums. It reached #8 on the British Singles chart. That is his brother Paul singing with him in the video. You can get Classic on this 3CD Top Of The Pops box set. Since then Gurvitz has written many songs for others including the British #1 hit This Time We'll Get It Right by The England World Cup Squad. He moved to the US and has written hits for Eddie Money, Kenny G, Steve Perry and others. In 2002, Gurvitz formed the girl group No Secrets for his daughter Carly Lewis. This got him a house producer job with Disney and he produced three Disneymania CDs. Recently Gurvitz has produced CDs for female pop singers Pixie Lott and Emii and he is currently producing the debut CD for Audra Day. And he has been working with Ziggy Marley. It's ironic that a guy near retirement age is producing music aimed at teenage girls. Here's the video for Classic by Adrian Gurvitz.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tryo

Song:Desole Pour Heir Soir
Album:Grain De Sable

Tryo's energetic reggae and ska influenced sound and politically charged lyrics have made them very popular in their native France. They have had success in other French speaking countries but are unknown elsewhere. Emmanuel "Manu" Eveno and Cyril "Guizmo" Celestin had played together in various bands and formed Tryo with Christophe "Mali" Petit in 1995. Daniel "Danielito" Bravo joined in 1996. So yeah, they are called Tryo but they have four members. They released their 1998 debut CD Mamagubida independently. There was enough interest that they signed with Sony France. Since then they have released six CDs including the 2003 CD Grain de Sable. Desole Pour Heir Soir is one of their most popular songs. Their latest CD Ladilafe was released in 2012 and Tryo is currently touring to support it. DJ Catman was added on this CD and he is on tour with them. Mali released a solo CD in 2006 and Guizmo has recorded with a couple of outside bands. But Tryo continues to be very successful in France and they are worth checking out. Here's the video for Desole Pour Heir Soir by Tryo.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Oliver Cheatham

Artist:Oliver Cheatham
Song:Get Down Saturday Night
Album:Get Down Saturday Night

For a song that was a top 40 dance and R & B hit in 1983, Get Down Saturday Night has been very durable especially in England. It's been sampled to death by hip hop guys and appeared in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Oliver Cheatham was born in Detroit 1948 and grew up singing in church. His mom sang gospel. He was in groups like The Young Sirs, Mad Dog and the Pups and Gaslight. While leading his own band Oliver, he signed as a solo artist with MCA Records. He recorded with One Way and he wrote Get Down Saturday Night with One Way keyboard player Kevin McCord. It reached #37 on the Billboard R & B Singles chart. It also did well in England and Cheatham has had other hits in England like SOS and Celebrate Our Love. Cheatham moved to Surrey, England. He recorded a couple of songs with Inner City lead singer Jocelyn Brown which is why she is on the cover of this CD from the British label Hallmark. Get Down Saturday Night is on a lot of various artists box sets. The song got a big boost when it was used in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. And Cheatham sang lead on the British number one hit Make Luv by Room 5. Italian DJ Junior Jack based it on Get Down Saturday Night and asked Cheatham to sing on the record. So for a guy who only had one minor dance hit, Oliver Cheatham has sure had a durable career. That's because he's a pretty good singer. Here's Oliver Cheatham performing Get Down Saturday Night in the 80s. Unfortunately the video cuts off halfway through the performance.

Friday, July 19, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Randy Rogers Band

Artist:Randy Rogers Band
Song:Kiss Me In The Dark
Album:Just A Matter Of Time

Just A Matter Of Time was the 2006 major label debut CD for Texas based country group Randy Rogers Band. Kiss Me In The Dark was the first single from that CD. Their albums have done well and they are a very successful touring band. Lead singer Randy Rogers grew up in the Fort Worth suburb of Cleburne, TX. His great grandmother taught him to play piano at age six. He started writing songs at age 11. After some time in a backup band, he formed Randy Rogers Band while studying public relations at Southwest Texas State in San Marcos, TX. Other members are Geoffrey Hill on guitar, Jon Richardson on bass, Brady Black on fiddle and Les Lawless on drums. They recorded two CDs on small labels that did well enough regionally in Texas that they signed with Mercury Nashville and producer Radney Foster. Foster is best known as one half of the 80s duo Foster & Lloyd. When they split up in 1990, Foster recorded solo and later on got into production. Lately he has concentrated on his own performing career and reunited with Bill Lloyd in 2011. Just A Matter Of Time was Rogers' major label debut in 2006. Kiss Me In The Dark was the first single. Foster wrote it with George Ducas. Ducas recorded two albums in the 90s and has had success as a songwriter for others. Though they haven't had any big hit singles, Randy Rogers Band has become one of the top touring attractions in the US. They were moved to MCA Nashville in 2010 and their latest CD Trouble was released Apr. 2013. They are currently on tour. Their music is a mix of country and rock though I would say they are more country than rock. Here's the video for Kiss Me In The Dark by Randy Rogers Band.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Doug Stone

Artist:Doug Stone
Song:A Jukebox With A Country Song
Album:Super Hits

Country singer Doug Stone had four number one country hits in the early 90s including A Jukebox With A Country Song. Health problems and a near fatal plane crash have slowed him down but he still performs today. He was born Douglas Jackson Brooks June 19, 1956 in Marietta, GA. His mom was a country singer and taught him guitar and put him on stage at an early age. After his parents divorce, he lived with his dad and continued to perform while the two operated a garage. He was spotted by producer Doug Johnson who got him a deal with Columbia/Epic. Johnson went on to be A & R director at Columbia Nashville. Brooks changed his name to Doug Stone so he wouldn't get confused with Garth Brooks. His 1990 debut CD Doug Stone spawned five top ten country hits and was certified Platinum. In A Different Light was his first number one hit. His 1991 CD I Thought It Was You also went Platinum and A Jukebox With A Country Song was his second number one hit. His other number one hits were Too Busy Being In Love in 1992 and Why Didn't I Think Of That in 1993. You can get all of his hits on this budget comp. In June 1994, Stone was having breathing problems. He had a lump removed from his nose that fortunately was not cancerous. He immediately quit smoking. Then he suffered a stroke. He continued to record and even did some acting. He left Columbia for Atlantic and recorded an album for them in 1999. He also survived a plane crash at O'Hare Airport in Chicago. And then another plane crash in 2000 in Tennessee. Stone has recorded for smaller labels and he was jailed in 2005 for contempt relating to alimony and child support. He last recorded in 2007 but he still tours. Stone was already in his 30s when he became popular so his time was limited. Here's the video for A Jukebox With A Country Song by Doug Stone.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of the Day-The Time

Artist:The Time
Song:Jerk Out
Album:More Of Club Mix's Biggest Jams

Most fans should be familiar with The Time from their appearance in the Prince film Purple Rain. Prince assembled the band and bickering with him is what split them up. Then they reformed and the 1990 hit Jerk Out was their biggest hit. Prince's contract with Warner Bros. allowed him to recruit and record artists. The Time were known as Flyte Time with Jellybean Johnson on drums, Jimmy Jam and Monte Moir on keyboards and Terry Lewis on bass. Prince hired Jesse Johnson, Morris Day and Jerome Benton to front the band. Day was the main lead singer. Prince wanted Alexander O'Neal but he wanted too much money. The albums The Time recorded for Prince's label Paisley Park were Day and Prince. The band didn't play on them. They had some success with songs like The Bird and Jungle Love and they toured with Prince and appeared in Purple Rain. But in 1985, Day got into an argument with prince and The Time split up. Day and Jesse Johnson went solo. Benton and Jellybean Johnson formed The Family. And Lewis and Jam became one of the hottest production teams in the music business. The Time reunited for the 1990 film Graffiti Bridge. Apparently Warner Bros. insisted the original band reunite intact or they couldn't record. The 1990 album was called Pandemonium. Jerk Out reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was The Time's biggest hit. It wasn't even a new recording. Prince recorded it in 1981 for the album What Time Is It? but didn't release it. And he reworked Jerk Out for the group Mazarati in 1985 but he left it off the album. Pandemonium is not available on CD but you can get Jerk Out on this budget various artists CD from K-Tel. The Time has reunited several times and changed their name to The Original 7ven when they released a new CD in 2011. Prince owns the name The Time and they couldn't use it. Here's the video for Jerk Out by The Time. This video is not on Youtube.
Morris Day & The Time - Jerk Out by docfromcpt

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It is time for Invicta to upgrade their announce team

As I said the other day, now that Invicta is on PPV, they need to change their approach to draw in casual fans. The faithful won't pay the bills. So I made a few suggestions. But I wanted to save this suggestion for its own column. I think they need to make some changes in their announce team. Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer criticized the current Invicta announce team for not mentioning on air when the crowd is booing and why they are booing. It must be mentioned because casual fans watching on PPV won't know why fans in the arena are booing. I don't know if this is something the announcers are doing on their own or if they are being directed by Invicta management to not acknowledge that kind of thing. Either way, it needs to stop. I'm talking to fans on Twitter about poor judges decisions and that's not even mentioned on air. So the current broadcast team is Mauro Ranallo, UFC fighter Julie Kedzie and Bellator fighter King Mo Lawal. First, I don't like three person broadcast teams because it turns into a traffic jam. But I think Mauro does a good job of directing traffic. And I know he loves the sport and always works hard. My problem is with the other two. First, I don't believe that an active female fighter should be a commentator for a female MMA promotion. And Julie Kedzie comes with a built in conflict of interest because she is Greg Jackson's assistant at Jackson's MMA. So she can't comment on any fight that includes a Jackson fighter. I'm sure some fans will be upset with me for suggesting that Invicta should replace Julie. I'm sure she's a very nice person. I don't care. The conflict of interest makes her presence on the broadcast inappropriate. And you can be sure that if Invicta signed a deal with a network tomorrow, she would be gone anyway because all these networks are public companies and the conflict of interest would not be acceptable. So when Julie is unable to comment on a fight because of conflict of interest, that puts a lot of pressure on King Mo. And though he has improved, he's just not very good. He mumbles too much. I don't know what made Invicta think he could be a broadcaster. And like I said before, objectivity during the broadcast seems to be a problem. So I would replace them with someone who has a more critical eye. And it would only be one person. The first person I would suggest is UFC legend Pat Miletich. Pat has worked with Mauro in the past and they have great chemistry and he knows his stuff. And he will criticize when it's appropriate. I don't know if he is available. So my other suggestion is Jordan Breen of Sherdog. Jordan has broadcast in the past and he is as knowledgeable about women's MMA as anyone I know. And he will criticize when it's appropriate. The time has come for Invicta to become a more professional organization and that includes changing their announce team.

Twenty Feet From Stardom review

Last night I went to the Bloor Cinema in downtown Toronto to see the documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom. Like the documentaries Standing In The Shadow Of Motown and Muscle Shoals, Twenty Feet From Stardom looks at unsung heroes of popular music, in this case backup singers. There are a couple of men but mostly we are talking about women. I can assure you that you have heard all these singers. You just don't know it. The film also talks about why none of these singers have been solo stars though it's very clear they all have the talent. And the film looks at one young backup singer who has the same issues as the pioneer backup singers. Darlene Love was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2011. Most fans have heard her voice on the 1962 classic He's A Rebel. But her name wasn't on the record. Legendary record producer and notorious nut case Phil Spector was going to have The Crystals record the song. But they were on tour and he had Darlene and her group The Blossoms record it so he could release it before someone else could release it. But he didn't give Darlene credit. He did this repeatedly to Darlene and that's why most folks don't know her name. Merry Clayton was a former member of Ray Charles' backup group The Raelettes. She became one of the top backup singers of the 60s. That is Merry on The Rolling Stones classic Gimme Shelter. Producer Lou Adler's attempts to turn Merry into a solo star fell flat. Adler still doesn't know what happened. But the suspicion is radio stations thought she was too similar to Aretha Franklin and one Aretha was enough for them. Lisa Fischer started out as a backup singer for Luther Vandross who started out as a backup singer himself. Lisa had a number one R & B hit and won a Grammy for the 1991 hit How Can I Ease The Pain. Lisa says in the film that it took too long to record a second album and the record company lost interest in her. Her friends say that Lisa didn't really want stardom and prefers being a backup singer. Judith Hill sang with Michael Jackson before his death. She was also on The Voice. Like her predecessors, she obviously has talent. But the music business doesn't seem to know what to do with her either. She has yet to release an album. I guess some things never change. Other singers featured in Twenty Feet From Stardom include Tata Vega, Gloria Jones, Claudia Lennear, Lynn Mabry and The Waters. And it also has interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Sting, Stevie Wonder and others expressing admiration for these singers. According to vocal contractor Bill Maxwell, auto tune has almost made backup singers obsolete. So not only is Twenty Feet From Stardom an excellent look at these unsung heroes. But the art of backup singing may be dying. Check out the trailer for Twenty Feet From Stardom.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash

Artist:Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash
Song:Girl From The North Country
DVD:The Johnny Cash TV Show

When Bob Dylan was recording Nashville Skyline, Johnny Cash dropped in and recorded a bunch of songs with him. Girl From The North Country was the only recording used on the album. The two also performed it on the debut episode of Cash's variety show. That's very unique. Dylan did not appear on variety shows. Dylan wrote Girl From The North Country in 1963 and it first appeared on his second album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Dylan wrote the song after visiting England in 1962 and spending some time with folksinger Martin Carthy. Dylan says he learned a lot from Carthy and Girl From The North Country is based on the traditional folk song Scarborough Fair. So it's a bit of a tribute to British folk songs. In Feb. 1969, Dylan went to Nashville to record Nashville Skyline as a tribute to country music. The musicians on the album were all Nashville session musicians. Johnny Cash was recording in the studio next door and the two decided to record together. They recorded about a dozen songs together but Girl From The North Country was the only recording that turned up on Nashville Skyline. They mostly recorded covers of songs from the 50s but none of them were ever released. They have turned up on bootleg LPs and CDs. Apparently most of the recordings were not considered usable. I guess it was a lackluster session. At the time, recording with Dylan was a big deal for Cash as he was just starting his new variety show. Sony has released a 2DVD collection of performance clips from The Johnny Cash Show. If you are looking for a budget CD, I recommend the Johnny Cash CD The Greatest Duets.  Dylan's album Nashville Skyline is available but The Girl From The North Country doesn't turn up on Dylan comps. So obviously the recording was a much bigger deal for Cash. He also performed a duet of Girl From The North Country on his variety show with Joni Mitchell. Cash's daughter Rosanne Cash recorded it on her latest CD The List and she performed it when I went to see her last month. The recording is an interesting curiosity. Here's Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash performing Girl From The North Country on The Johnny Cash Show 1969. The Youtube version is out of sync.

Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash - Girl From The North Country from brilliant orks on Vimeo.

Monday, July 15, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Camera Obscura

Artist:Camera Obscura
Song:Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken
Album:Let's Get Out Of This Country

Camera Obscura is an excellent indie band from Scotland. They have had modest chart success in England. They are led by the very talented lead singer and songwriter Tracyanne Campbell. She formed Camera Obscura in 1996 with guitarist David Skirving, bassist Gavin Dunbar and percussionist John Henderson. They released a couple of singles in 1998. Then Skirving was replaced by Kenny McKeeve and they added keyboardist Lindsay Boyd and drummer Lee Thompson. They signed with the Spanish label Elefant and released the CD Biggest Bluest Hi Fi in 2001. Camera Obscura got a big break when legendary DJ John Peel liked them and supported them. That created interest in England and they got a US record deal with Merge Records. Boyd was replaced by Carey Lander. Camera Obscura toured internationally after their 2003 CD Underachievers Please Try Harder was released. Henderson left after the tour and John Peel died in 2004. Peel's death was a big blow as he was a big deal in England. Camera Obscura released Let's Get Out Of This Country in 2005. Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken was the first single. It's an answer to the 80s Lloyd Cole & The Commotions song Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken. The song played over the opening credits of the 2007 film P.S. I Love You starring Hilary Swank. Camera Obscura switched to 4AD Records for the 2009 CD My Maudlin Career and they released the CD Desire Lines last month. If you're not familiar with them, here's your chance to check them out. Here's the video for Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken by Camera Obscura.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Invicta FC pretty good but company still needs work

Last night's Invicta show from Kansas City was on PPV in most of North America but foreign viewers still had to watch it on the dreaded UStream. So I watched it on cable. It doesn't mean they can forego a TV deal because it's hard to make money on PPV alone. I believe a TV deal is questionable at this point. So Invicta has to try and sell their PPVs to casual fans. The faithful don't generate enough revenue. The way the UFC does this is to air prelims on free TV. Invicta aired last night's prelims free on UStream. Unfortunately they had problems with the prelims and only aired two matches and had an hour of dead time to fill. When the UFC airs prelims, they treat it like a different show. They air a PPV quality match as the prelim main event. Invicta could have done that but they moved Tecia Torres vs Rose Namajunas from the prelims to the main show. When they started having prelim problems, they should have moved that match back to the prelims. If a casual fan is on the fence about buying the PPV, an hour of dead time isn't going to convince them to buy it. Torres vs Namajunas was main event quality and would have generated buys. They can't miss opportunities like that. I also think the main show is too long for the casual fan. Making the show shorter would give Invicta time to run video bios to make the casual fan more familiar with the fighters. If they tried to do that now, the show would run until 3AM. Sometimes less is more. I've noticed on past Invicta shows that the Missouri judges seem to muff close matches. It was a bigger problem on this show. There were at least three matches that made me wonder what the judges were watching. The main event between Cris Cyborg and Marloes Coenen had no such problem. I guess Marloes thought she could wear Cyborg out and beat her in the later rounds. It didn't work. Cyborg seemed aware of this strategy and was more patient than I have seen her in the past. And her takedown defense is outstanding. Cyborg won by fourth round TKO and is the new Invicta Featherweight Champion. There is already talk that Ediane Gomes will challenge her next. Good luck with that. Claudia Gadelha won by third round TKO over Ayaka Hamasaki and gets a shot at Carla Esparza's Strawweight Championship. Ayaka was a little unlucky but Claudia was clearly stronger. Remember she has fought most of her career at 125. Lauren Taylor won over Sarah D'Alelio by unanimous decision. I scored it 29-28 for Sarah. So I thought the judges blew that one. Leslie Smith won over Jennifer Maia by unanimous decision and gets a shot at Barb Honchak's Flyweight Championship. I scored it 29-28 for Leslie. Former Atomweight Champion Jessica Penne won over Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc by first round rear naked choke. That's what I expected. Joanne Calderwood won by unanimous decision over Norma Rueda Center. I scored it 29-28 for Joanne. I've said this before but I would like to see Joanne add some takedowns and ground and pound to her formidable kickboxing. Norma showed that good defense can stifle Joanne a bit. MIZUKI won over Bec Hyatt by unanimous decision. I scored it 29-28 for MIZUKI. Most fans knew nothing about MIZUKI but she is a very mature 18 year old fighter. She seemed to run out of gas in round three so I think she needs to work on her endurance. They don't usually fight three five minute rounds in Japan. Miriam Nakamoto won over Duda Yankovich by first round TKO. No surprise there. Tecia Torres won over Rose Namajunas by unanimous decision. This was the best match on the show. I scored it a draw and a split decision either way would have been OK. But for one of those judges to score it 30-27 for Tecia is just incompetent. There is no excuse for that. Both girls are very exciting fighters and I expect a lot from them in the future. The problems with the prelims started when Charmaine Tweet couldn't get a visa and dropped out of her match with Ediane Gomes. Charmaine lives in Canada and committed to the match two weeks ago not knowing if she could get a visa. Naughty, naughty. They brought in Tamikka Brents to fight Gomes but Brents suffered a knee injury while warming up and the match was cancelled. Then Veronica Rothenhausler passed out and her match with Mollie Estes was cancelled. Then Livia von Plettenberg weighed in at 113 for her 105lb match with Cassie Robb. Von Plettenberg normally fights at 115 and I don't think she can make 105. So that's on Invicta. They brought in perennial last minute replacement Kathina Catron to fight at a catchweight of 123lb. Katrina won by unanimous decision in a dull match. Emily Kagan won by split decision over Ashley Cummins. I scored it 29-28 for Ashley. Two judges scored it 30-27 for Emily. A lot of fans thought they messed that one up. Invicta should run their next show in October on PPV.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Eliades Ochoa y Cuarteto Patria

Artist:Eliades Ochoa y Cuarteto Patria
Song:Teje Que Teje
Album:Sublime Illusion

Singer and guitarist Eliades Ochoa was one of several Cuban musicians who were unknown outside Cuba until Ry Cooder and Wim Wenders produced the 1997 documentary The Buena Vista Social Club. It's been great for Ochoa who now has a global fanbase for his brand of Son. What is Son? It is a Cuban mix of Spanish guitar and African rhythms. Ochoa was born June 22, 1946 in Songo La Maya, Cuba. Cuarteto Patria has been around since 1939 led by Pancho Cobas. Their music was the music of the Cuban countryside known as Trova. Ochoa agreed to join Cuarteto Patria in 1978 on the condition that the band would play Son which is his specialty. Eventually Ochoa took over the group and added family members like Humberto Ochoa on guitar and Elgis Ochoa on maracas. Other members are William Calderon on bass and Roberto Torres on bongos. They usually bring in special guests for their albums. This 1999 CD Sublime Illusion was recorded in the wake of The Buena Vista Social Club. Special guests include Ry Cooder on guitar, his son Joachim Cooder on drums, renowned blues musician Charlie Musselwhite and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. Cuban music fans should check it out. Ochoa has also been a member of The Afro Cuban All Stars. And more recently he has been a part of Afrocubism. This features Ochoa and Cuarteto Patria along with African musicians like Toumani Diabate. That CD was released in 2010. Ochoa continues to record solo too. Here's Eliades Ochoa y Cuarteto Patria performing Teje Que Teje.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Marketts

Artist:The Marketts
Song:Out Of Limits
Album:Rock Instrumental Classics Volume 2: The Sixties

Despite two lawsuits, the instrumental classic Out Of Limits was a top five hit in 1964. The man behind The Marketts was Michael Z. Gordon. He had success with the 1962 top 20 hit Let's Go (Pony) by The Routers. At first The Marketts were called The Mar-Kets and were led by Joe Saraceno who had worked with The Ventures. They released the album Surfer's Stomp on Liberty Records in 1962. One of the most popular TV shows at that time was the science fiction show The Outer Limits. While on tour with The Routers, Gordon wrote a surf rock mix of the themes from The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. He talked to Saraceno about recording it and The Marketts signed with Warner Bros. as The Routers were also on Warners. The band were studio musicians. Outer Limits was released but the producers of the TV show objected so the title was changed to Out Of Limits. Then Rod Serling sued for unauthorized use of the theme from The Twilight Zone. Once all that was sorted out, Out Of Limits reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964. Like a lot of surf rock classics, Out Of Limits appeared in the 1994 film Pulp Piction. You can get it on this Rhino various artists comp. When Gordon got busy with other things, Saraceno continued to record as The Marketts. They had a top 20 hit in 1966 with a recording of Neal Hefti's theme from the Batman TV show. Saraceno also produced the hit No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In) by The T-Bones. He specialized in instrumentals. Here's a video for Out Of Limits by The Marketts.

Friday, July 12, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bill Anderson

Artist:Bill Anderson f/Mary Lou Turner
Album:The Definitive Collection

Bill Anderson has had a total of seven number one country hits. Sometimes was the last of those number one hits in 1976. He is also a long time TV host at the Grand Ole Opry. Because of his singing style and use of spoken word segments in his music, he is known as Whispering Bill. He was born Nov. 1, 1937 in Columbia, SC but he grew up in the Atlanta area. Anderson studied journalism at the University of Georgia. He wanted to be a sportswriter. He also dabbled in songwriting. When one of his songs City Lights topped the country charts for Ray Price in 1958, Anderson moved to Nashville and signed with Decca Records. His first number one country hit was Mama Sang A Song in 1962. The 1963 hit Still not only topped the country chart but it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is his signature song. At the same time, Anderson had a lot of success writing songs for others. His song Once A Day was a number one country hit for Connie Smith in 1964. One of Anderson's number one hits was a duet with Jan Howard called For Loving You in 1967. He last recorded with Jan in 1971. In 1976 he found a new duet partner in Mary Lou Turner and Sometimes was Anderson's final number one country hit. Turner didn't have much of a career. She recorded a few singles and her only album was a duet album with Anderson. You can get all of Anderson's hits on this comp. By 1982, Anderson stopped recording and became a TV host. He co-hosted the ABC game show The Better Sex with Sarah Purcell and hosted the TNN country music trivia game show Fandango. He also hosted the Grand Ole Opry interview show Opry Backstage. Anderson's songs continue to be recorded by guys like Mark Willis, Steve Warriner, Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney. George Strait won the 2006 ACM Song Of The Year for the Anderson song Give It Away. Anderson was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2001. Bill Anderson still records occasionally. He currently hosts the Sirius XM interview show Bill Anderson Visits With The Legends and hosts the RFD-TV series Country's Family Reunion. Here's Bill Anderson with Mary Lou Turner performing Sometimes on Pop Goes The Country 1976.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Eve 6

Artist:Eve 6
Song:Here's To The Night

Eve 6 had success with their first two CDs and the hit singles Inside Out in 1998 and Here's To The Night in 2001. But by 2004, their record company dropped them and the band split up. They have since reformed and are back to recording and touring. Eve 6 is from the Los Angeles suburb of La Crescenta, CA. Lead singer and bassist Max Collins, guitarist Jon Siebels and drummer Nick Meyers went to high school together and formed a band in 1995. At first they were called Yakoo and then Eleventeen. RCA Records spotted them at a local club and signed them. They recorded an EP that was never released and then replaced Meyers with Tony Fagenson. Fagenson is the son of producer Don Was. He came up with the name Eve 6 which is an X Files reference. They released their debut CD Eve 6 in 1998. The single Inside Out topped the Modern Rock chart and reached #28 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified Platinum. Horrorscope was released in 2000. Here's To The Night reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was very popular at proms and high school graduation ceremonies. So the band was doing well. But their 2003 CD It's All In Your Head did not sell as well as the first two CDs and RCA dropped them in 2004. Then Eve 6 split up. Sony has not released an Eve 6 comp but Horrorscope is available as a budget CD. Siebels joined the band Monsters Are Waiting. Collins and Fagenson continued to work together as The Sugi Tap. They decided to revive Eve 6 in 2007 with guitarist Matt Blair. Siebels replaced Blair in 2010. Eve 6 signed with Fearless Records and released the CD Speak In Code in 2012. They are currently touring. They should do OK but I don't see them being as successful as they were 15 years ago. Here's the video for Here's To The Night by Eve 6.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Frank Ocean

Artist:Frank Ocean
Song:Thinkin' 'Bout You
Album:Channel ORANGE

The success of Frank Ocean is not only a testament to his talent but also triumph over adversity especially his conflict with his record company. Ocean was already a successful songwriter and producer and could have stayed behind the scenes. But he wanted to be a star. He was born Christopher Breaux Oct. 28, 1987 in Long Beach, CA and he grew up in New Orleans. The name Frank Ocean is a tribute to the film Ocean's Eleven. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home recording studio, Ocean moved to Los Angeles and became a member of Odd Future. Producer Christopher "Tricky" Stewart convinced Ocean that he could be a singer and got him a deal with Island Def Jam. Stewart is the man behind Rhianna's Umbrella and is currently president of A & R at Epic Records. At first Ocean butted heads with Island Def Jam. But his highly acclaimed 2010 mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra won them over. So he started working on Channel ORANGE. Thinkin' 'Bout You was the first single. It reached #7 on the R & B Singles chart and #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. There is a video for the song but it's not very good. So I don't think that helped. Though Ocean wrote and produced most of Channel ORANGE with his long time pal James "Malay" Ho, he wrote and produced Thinkin' 'Bout You with Shea Taylor who has worked a lot with Ne-Yo. Ocean wrote Thinkin' 'Bout You for R & B singer Bridget Kelly. After Ocean released his own recording, Kelly changed the title of her recording to Thinking About Forever. She says the only thing that bothers her is when folks think her recording is a cover. Ocean has gotten a lot of publicity about his sexual orientation though it has nothing to do with his music. Ocean won a Best Contemporary Urban Album Grammy for Channel ORANGE. He recorded new music earlier this year and a new CD could be out by Christmas. Ocean is currently on tour in Europe. Here's Frank Ocean performing Thinkin' 'Bout You on Saturday Night Live.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

DEEP JEWELS announces five fights for Aug. 31 show

Masako Yoshida, Emi Fujino, Yasuko Mogi, Mika Nagano, Megumi Sugimoto
DEEP JEWELS held a press conference today to announce five matches for the Aug. 31 show at Shinjuku FACE. They have been trying to promote DEEP JEWELS is a rebirth but DEEP has always owned JEWELS and though DEEP matchmaker Shigeru Saeki allowed JEWELS co-owner Yuichi Ozono to run the company into the ground, it was always possible that Saeki would take control. Ozono still works there but he's just an employee now. And Yasuko Mogi is still booking matches. But they did make one long overdue change that should probably be credited to Mogi. For years going back to Smackgirl, ground and pound has always been limited in JEWELS. Saeki's reluctance to remove this rule has always been perplexing. His defense of not making that change made him look like a patronizing old fart. Since Mogi came to JEWELS, she has wanted to remove this rule and she finally convinced Saeki to do that. Elbows to the head on the ground won't be allowed but this is a step in the right direction. DEEP JEWELS announced five matches for this show but I don't think the main event has been announced. Mika Nagano was at the press conference and she said she wants a rematch with VV Mei. You may recall that Mei beat Mika on the Dec. 2011 JEWELS show by split decision. The problem was that was the show where one judge mucked up the whole show with several poor scorecards. A lot of fans thought Mika won that fight. Emi Fujino was also at the press conference but they didn't announce her match either. They did announce a Featherweight Championship challenger match. The winner of Celine vs Sadae Manhoef gets a shot at Ham Seo Hee's title. Celine trains at Team Hellboy Hansen in Norway. Her record is 5-11 but she has had success since dropping to 48kg. Her last fight was a win over Masako Yoshida on the June 22 One FC show in Korea. Manhoef trains at Cobra Kai in Osaka. Her record is 4-1-1 and her last fight was a win over Shino VanHoose on the Nov. 22 PANCRASE show. In other fights, former VALKYRIE champ Yasuko Tamada will face Yukiko Seki. Tamada trains at AACC. Her record is 14-8 and her last fight was a win over Satomi Takano on the Dec. 15 JEWELS show. Seki trains at Fight Chix. Her record is 11-22 and her last fight was a loss to Satomi Takano at the July 21, 2012 JEWELS show. Amiba will face Yasuko Mogi. Amiba trains at Impact. Her record is 5-3 and her last fight was a loss to Emi Tomimatsu on the Mar. 12, 2012 JEWELS show. Mogi trains at Reversal Shinjuku. Her record is 3-8 and she hasn't won a fight since 2008. That speaks for itself. Satomi Takano will face Masako Yoshida. Takano trains at Club Barbarian. Her record is 2-1 and her last fight was a loss to Yasuko Tamada on the Dec. 15 JEWELS show. Yoshida trains at Fight Chix. her record is 16-18-5 and her last fight was a loss to Celine at the June 22 One FC show. This was her first fight in three years. BTW, it is well known that Yoshida cares more about her hair, makeup and fashionable ring attire than her fighting. And Takumi Umehara will face Megumi Sugimoto. Umehara trains at Zendokai. Her record is 1-1 and her last fight was a loss to Mika Nagano on the May 25 JEWELS show. Sugimoto will be making her MMA debut. She trains at AACC and has a collegiate wrestling background. Megumi Fujii trains her so she could be good. That's it for now. Hopefully there will be no crappy ammy kickboxing on this show.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Scofield

Artist:John Scofield f/Jon Cleary
Song:That's Enough
Album:Piety Street

Most jazz fans are familiar with John Scofield as the master of jazz fusion guitar. He's been around since the late 70s and is still a best selling jazz artist. With the 2009 CD Piety Street, he took a left turn to traditional New Orleans music. And he hired some of the best musicians in New Orleans. The big name here is legendary bassist George Porter Jr. from The Meters. He also has his own band The Runnin' Pardners and has played on many recordings as a sideman and session musician. The lead singer and pianist on this CD is Jon Cleary. Cleary lives in New Orleans but he's actually British. He was Bonnie Raitt's pianist for many years and leads his own band The Absolute Monster Gentlemen. Drummer Ricky Fataar is also a member of Bonnie Raitt's band. He is probably best known as drummer for The Beach Boys in the early 70s and then he was a member of the Beatles spoof band The Rutles. Fataar was born in South Africa. That was the touring band. Singer John Boutte is on three tracks and Harry Connick Jr. drummer Shannon Powell is on a few tracks. Rather than ask these guys to play fusion, Scofield adapts to the New Orleans style. And the songs are mostly gospel standards. That's Enough was written by gospel legend Dorothy Love Coates. So if you are looking for the usual John Scofield fusion music, this might not be for you. But I think you will like it anyway. Here's John Scofield featuring Jon Cleary performing That's Enough in Tokyo Sept. 5, 2009.

Monday, July 08, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Mowgli's

Artist:The Mowgli's
Song:San Francisco
Album:Waiting For The Dawn

Here's a band that has been getting a lot of buzz recently mostly because of this very catchy song San Francisco. I was looking to do them as song of the day a few weeks ago but Waiting For The Dawn hadn't been released yet. Of course The Mowgli's are named after the character in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. A friend of the band had a pet wolf named Mowgli. The Mowgli's are from the San Fernando Valley in the Los Angeles area. They already were playing together as part of a music collective but decided to turn it into a band in 2009. Guitarist Michael Vincze, guitarist Colin Dieden and keyboard player Dave Applebaum were long time friends and other members are Katie Earl on vocals, Josh Hogan on guitar, Matthew Di Panni on bass, Andy Warren on drums and Spencer Trent on percussion. The music is clearly 60s influenced folk rock. They released the CD Sound The Drum independently last year. This got them a contract with Island Def Jam. San Francisco was released on an EP and it's gotten a lot of airplay on alternative and college radio. The Mowgli's have also appeared on Conan O'Brien. I heard San Francisco a few weeks ago and I wanted to feature it but the new CD hadn't been released. But Waiting For the Dawn was released on June 19. Those who are fans of 60s influenced bands like Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros should check out The Mowgli's. They seem to have a bright future if they stay together. Here's the video for San Francisco by The Mowgli's.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stanley Holloway

Artist:Stanley Holloway w/Bob Chisholm and Alan Dudley
Song:With A Little Bit Of Luck
Album:My Fair Lady: Original London Cast

Stanley Holloway is probably best known for his performance as Eliza Doolittle's father Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady. But unlike Rex Harrison, Holloway had a long career in musical theater and could really sing. He was born Oct. 1, 1890 in London, England. As a teen he performed part time as Master Stanley Holloway: The Wonderful Boy Soprano while working at a local fish market. After two years as a soldier in the London Rifle Brigade, he began his stage career in 1910. Famed comedian Leslie Henson was his mentor and helped Holloway in his career. He enlisted in the service in WWI. After the war, Holloway started to establish himself on the London stage. He also made his film debut in 1921. The show The Co-Optimists got him an appearance on BBC Radio and he also recorded songs from the show. In the late 20s, he created the character Sam Small and started performing monologues on stage and on the radio. It was these monologues that made him a star in England. He even made films as Sam Small. He was too old for active service in WWII so he made propaganda films instead. By the late 40s he appeared in films like Brief Encounter and was a regular in Ealing Studios comedies like The Lavender Hill Mob. He continued to perform on the stage. A US tour as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream got the attention of My Fair Lady composer Alan Jay Lerner and that got him the role of Alfred Doolittle in the 1956 Broadway show. Holloway also played the role in the London stage production and the 1964 film. I recommend the London cast album because it is available at a budget price. After My Fair Lady, Holloway could do whatever he wanted. He was nominated for a Tony and an Oscar. He appeared on The Dean Martin Show three times and The Red Skelton Show twice. And he appeared in the 1965 film In Harm's Way with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas. Holloway continued to perform on stage most notably in the Shaw Festival in Canada. His final performance was on a 1989 Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium. Stanley Holloway died on Jan. 30, 1982 at age 91. Here's Stanley Holloway performing With A Little Bit Of Luck in the 1964 film My Fair Lady.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stanley Jordan

Artist:Stanley Jordan
Song:Flying Home
Album:The Best Of Stanley Jordan

Guitarist Stanley Jordan had a lot of success in the 80s. He was the first act signed to Blue Note Records when legendary record executive Bruce Lundvall took over the label in 1984 and Jordan was a jazz chart topper for a few years. He was born July 31, 1959 in Chicago. He studied piano as a child and played guitar in bands as a teen. He earned a BA in music at Princeton in 1981 and studied composition with the great Milton Babbit. After releasing an album independently in 1982, Jordan signed with Blue Note in 1985. Jordan brought new technique to the guitar called The Touch Technique or two handed tapping. He taps the fret so it vibrates enough to make a sound. This technique gave Jordan a different sound and it made him a best selling jazz artist. His 1988 album Flying Home was mostly a solo album with bass and drums and the use of drum machines. This comp is a good intro to his music. Though Jordan hasn't had the same chart success in recent years, he still tours the jazz festival circuit and currently records for Mack Avenue Records. His latest CD Friends was released in 2011. Most jazz fans should be aware of Jordan though he may not be jazz enough for some fans. Here's Stanley Jordan performing Flying Home at the Blue Note in New York City.

Friday, July 05, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Peaches & Herb

Artist:Peaches & Herb
Song:Shake Your Groove Thing
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Peaches & Herb

The R & B duo Peaches & Herb had some success in the 60s. Herb Fame quit the music business but returned in the 70s and had success with songs like Shake Your Groove Thing and Reunited. He brought a new Peaches with him. Fame was born Herbert Feemster Oct. 1, 1942 in Washington, DC and he grew up singing in church. He worked at a local record store. Feemster met producer Van McCoy in 1965 and Mccoy signed him to the Columbia label Date Records. A girl group called The Sweet Things were also on Date. They were led by Francine "Peaches" Hurd Barker. McCoy put them together as Peaches & Herb. They had a top ten hit with Close Your Eyes in 1967. So they were doing okay but Francine tired of touring and quit. Attempts to replace her didn't work out and Herb quit the music business in 1970 to work for the Washington Police Department. In 1976, Herb returned to the music business and asked McCoy to find a new Peaches. That was Linda Greene. The new Peaches & Herb recorded one album for MCA Records in 1976. It was unsuccessful so they moved to Polydor and worked with producer Freddie Perren. Herb and Perren were old pals. Perren produced The Jackson 5, Tavares and The Sylvers. He wrote and produced Shake Your Groove Thing and it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977. It was a big song in dance clubs. The ballad Reunited was even bigger and was the only #1 pop hit for Peaches & Herb. You can get all their Polydor hits on this budget comp. This Peaches & Herb recorded seven albums and retired in 1983. Herb Feemster worked for the US Marshals Service. Linda Greene recorded a couple of gospel albums and then retired. They had to sue Freddie Perren for residuals. Feemster still leads a version of Peaches & Herb today. He recorded a CD in 2009 with the latest Peaches Merixtell Negre and they tour. Here are Peaches & Herb performing Shake Your Groove Thing on Soul Train 1977.