Saturday, November 30, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn

Artist:Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn
Song:Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man
Album:The Definitive Collection

Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn are country music legends and were very successful solo artists. But in 1971 they were paired up as a duo and has a strong run in the 70s with five number one country music hits including Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man in 1973. In 1970, Twitty had just had his biggest hit with Hello Darlin'. And Loretta topped the country charts with Coal Miner's Daughter in 1970. Decca Records house producer Owen Bradley produced both of them so he decided to pair them up. When their first single After The Fire Is Gone topped the Country Singles chart and won a Grammy, they decided to continue recording together. They also continued to record solo. Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man is the title of their third album and it was also the first single from the album. It topped the Country Singles chart in 1973. It's probably their most memorable song. The song was written by Jim Owen and Becki Bluefield. Owen has produced several Hank Williams tribute shows on radio, TV and film and also plays him on stage at his theater in Branson, MO. Other number one hits for this duo were Lead Me On, As Soon As I Hang Up The Phone and Feelins. From 1971 to 1981, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn recorded nine albums together. They are probably the most successful country music duet in history and you can get all their hits on this comp. They won several awards. They stopped recording together when Twitty left MCA for Elektra and then Warner Bros. in 1982. He returned to MCA in 1987 and the two recorded a final album together in 1988. Here's Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn performing Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man 1973.

Friday, November 29, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Coko

Album:Hot Coko

R & B and gospel singer Cheryl "Coko" Gamble is best known as a member of the successful 90s girl group SWV. She went solo after they split up and had some success with the 1999 single Sunshine. When R & B didn't work out for her, she turned to gospel and was very successful in that market. She has reunited with SWV and they released a CD last year. Cheryl was born June 13, 1970 in South Bronx, NY. She grew up singing in church and was in Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Tabernacle Choir. She formed SWV in 1991 with friends Tamara "Taj" Johnson and Leanne "Lelee" Lyons. SWV recorded four albums between 1992 and 1997 and had several hits including the 1993 number one hit Weak. Coko left SWV in 1998. She says she wasn't getting along with the other two girls. She also had solo success with the theme from the film Men In Black. She signed with RCA and released the CD Hot Coko in 1999. Sunshine reached #19 on the R & B Singles chart. Several songs on the album including Sunshine were produced by hotshot producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins. Coko wrote Sunshine with Jerkins and his frequent collaborator LaShawn Daniels. Coko wrote the song for her son. Hot Coko did OK but while Coko was recording her next CD Music Doll, RCA closed their black music division, shelved the album and dropped Coko. Hot Coko is available as a budget CD. Then she got more into gospel. She married Israel and New Breed drummer Mike "Big Mike" Clemmons and they have a child together. After singing on albums by Brent Jones & TP Mobb and Youthful Praise, Coko signed with the gospel label Light Records and has released three gospel CDs. The most recent was in 2009. SWV first reunited in 2005 and didn't record at first. But they released the CD I Missed Us Apr. 2012. It did well and SWV is currently working on a reality show to air on We TV in 2014. Here's the video for Sunshine by Coko.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's official. Julianna Pena is a moron...but could be a good fighter

Immediately after last night's episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18, finalists Julianna Pena and Jessica Rakoczy appeared on Fox Sports Live on Fox Sports 1. Many fans outside the US don't get Fox Sports 1 and wouldn't get to see this interview. I had heard about it this morning and got the video so you all can watch it. If you've been watching TUF 18, you'll know that Julianna has pulled off a couple of major upsets. But she also comes off a little crazy and she admitted a in one episode that she doesn't understand why everyone in the house is annoyed with her. As viewers, we know why they are annoyed with her so why doesn't she know? After this interview, you'll know that the reason she doesn't know is she's a moron. Look, I have no problem with fighters talking smack if the fighter is good at it. Chael Sonnen is a great smack talker and so is Ronda Rousey. And Ronda doesn't always talk smack. She only does that with opponents she really hates. She didn't talk smack about Sarah Kaufman or Liz Carmouche. But for Julianna to talk smack just to do it makes her look foolish. First she says that Ronda is a spoiled rich brat. So Julianna, where's your Olympic medal? That's just an ignorant thing to say. Then she says that she wasn't the most annoying person in the house. She claims that Shayna Bazsler and Anthony Gutierrez were the most annoying. But what made Julianna look even worse was Jessica Rakozcy's reaction was typically Canadian. She laughed and said nothing. Of course she could have torn a strip off Julianna. But this was more effective anyway. I don't think Jessica would say anything bad about anyone. It's not her style. We'll see what happens on Saturday. I like Julianna because she fights with urgency. She showed a lot of fear before her TUF fights. Dana White said she wanted to go home before the Shayna Bazsler fight. But fear can be a great motivator. I think it's doubtful Julianna understands that because she hasn't shown insight about anything else. That fear could make her a star. Enjoy the video!

Review of The Ultimate Fighter 18 episode 13

This is the final episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18. The finals will be this Saturday at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The men's final is Chris Holdsworth of Team Tate vs Davey Grant of Team Rousey. Holdsworth should be the favourite. Jessica Rakozcy of Team Rousey will face Raquel Pennington of Team Tate to decide who will face Julianna Pena in the final. Both fighters have nagging injuries. Jessica is still having shoulder problems. Raquel seems to hurt her forearm while training with Louis Fisette. Raquel believes that because Jessica is a pro boxer, she plans to take Jessica down and beat her that way. Jessica plans to keep it standing. Raquel is larger than Jessica and probably stronger. But she admits after the fight that she psyched herself out and didn't do anything that she said she would do. The first round is close but it's a bad sign when Raquel doesn't attempt a takedown until the end of the round. In round two, Jessica executes her game plan to outpunch Raquel. And Raquel is ineffective for the final two rounds. So Jessica Rakozcy will face Julianna Pena in this Saturday's TUF. I'll have more on these two in a separate post coming immediately after I finish this one. There will be two other women's fights on the show. Jessamyn Duke will face Peggy Morgan and Raquel Pennington will face Roxanne Modafferi. Shayna Bazsler and Sarah Moras are out with injuries. Enjoy the video!
E10c74EW44MVRZ7UK1rL by spudgland

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Neville Grant

Artist:Neville Grant
Song:Sick and Tired
Album:The Big Beat: The Dave Bartholomew Songbook

Neville Grant was a Jamaican session drummer who recorded a few singles in the 70s. The best known of these singles was his 1973 cover of the 1958 Fats Domino classic Sick and Tired. In the 70s, Grant worked with legendary producer Lee "Scratch" Perry and later on he worked with Junior Delgado, Dennis Brown and Joe Gibbs. He also worked a lot with keyboard player Ansel Collins. Grant recorded the single Black Man's Time in 1972. This was on Lee "Scratch" Perry's Upsetter label. Perry liked it so he had Grant record a cover of the Mac Davis hit Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me and then Sick and Tired. Sick and Tired was written by Fats Domino, Chris Kenner and Dave Bartholomew and Domino recorded it in 1958. After that Grant went back to working as a session drummer for all kinds of artists including Jimmy Cliff, Dennis Brown, Junior Delgado and he worked for producer Joe Gibbs for many years. Sick and Tired is obscure but it has turned up on a few various artists comps including this Dave Bartholomew comp from Ace Records. Grant may seem out of place with some of the 50s artists like Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly but it's an interesting CD. Here's a video for Sick and Tired by Neville Grant.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Bobbettes

Artist:The Bobbettes
Song:Mr. Lee
Album:Atlantic R&B 1957-1960 Vol. 4

The 1957 top ten hit Mr. Lee is one of the all time classics of doo wop. The Bobbettes had some other chart hits but nothing to match Mr. Lee. A version of the group still tours the oldies circuit. The Bobbettes were Jannie Pought, Emma Pought, Reather Dixon, Laura Webb and Helen Gathers. They sang together in the glee club at PS 109 in the Spanish Harlem section of New York City. They met record producer James Dailey and he became their manager. They performed at amateur night at the Apollo Theater and that got them a record deal with Atlantic Records. In Mr. Lee, the singer has a crush on her teacher. The girls actually hated this teacher and the song was intended to be a put down. But Atlantic had them change the song. Mr. Lee topped the R & B Singles chart for four weeks and it reached #6 on the Billboard pop singles chart in 1957. Follow up singles didn't chart and the Bobbettes left Atlantic for Triple X in 1960. They charted with I Shot Mr. Lee in 1960. You can get Mr. Lee on this Atlantic various artists budget CD. The Bobbettes continued to record without much success in the 60s. Helen Gathers left in 1962. Jannie Pought was murdered in 1980. Laura Webb died in 2001. Emma Pought and Reather Dixon continue to lead The Bobbettes on the oldies circuit. Here's a video for Mr. Lee by The Bobbettes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review of WWE Total Divas episode 11

On this week's episode of WWE Total Divas, we get an overload of stupidity about the romantic adventures of these women. After last week's cliffhanger of John Cena presenting girlfriend Nikki Bella with a co-habitation agreement, she's not happy about it and moves to a hotel to figure out if she wants to sign it. She claims she doesn't know why Cena wants her to sign this agreement. This is hard to believe because most WWE fans know that Cena went through a bad divorce and it isn't surprising that a multi-millionaire would want to protect himself from financial ruin in any relationship. So shouldn't Nikki know that? This stupidity is hard to fathom. Her sister Brie is equally stupid so she's no help. But mom explains it all to Nikki when they talk on the phone. Of course she is still upset about it. You may recall that Ariane of The Funkadactyls was having abdominal pains and there might be something wrong with her. Apparently she is experiencing pain during sex with her boyfriend Vincent. She thinks his...ahem...member is too big. She tells Trinity and Trinity agrees with viewers that this is too much information. So Ariane goes to a gynecologist and there's nothing wrong with her. Then Ariane and Vincent go to a sex therapist. Not surprisingly, the sex therapist suggests that Ariane is uptight about sex and recommends vibrators and other sex toys. I think Ariane is uptight about a lot of things. Vincent thinks buying sex toys will solve the problem. That's doubtful but at least these two comedians are still together. Oh, you mean this isn't supposed to be funny? Coulda fooled me. Diva in training Eva Marie makes the mistake of training with Nattie Neidhart's husband TJ Wilson. I understand she wants to learn wrestling moves but she would be better off training with anyone but TJ because Nattie is very insecure and not surprisingly goes bonkers. One good thing in this segment is an appearance by former WCW wrestler Norman Smiley who is a WWE trainer. So Nattie tries to make TJ jealous by training with Fandango and then she yells at Eva Marie. Nattie makes up with TJ and realizes her overreaction. This seems to be a regular habit for her. I'm not really buying this storyline. With Bryan Danielson's increased schedule due to John Cena's injury, Brie Bella complains about not spending enough time with him. He tells her that it comes with the territory and even Nikki tells Brie she is too needy. One would think Brie would have some insight into the time commitments for a big WWE star like Daniel Bryan. She doesn't. More stupidity. Finally Nikki has dinner with Cena to discuss the co-habitation agreement. Cena admits he should have given it to her before she moved in. If he had done that, we wouldn't have had all this drama on the show. Oh, wait. He explains that he needs to protect himself as he supports his family in Boston. Nikki seems to accept that explanation. They don't show her signing the document but I assume she did. Unless this whole thing was made up for the show. I could say that about this whole episode. Check out the video for yourself.
WWE - Total Divas - Season 01 - Episode 11 by wwetotaldivas

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Reginald Milton & The Soul Jets

Artist:Reginald Milton & The Soul Jets
Song:Clap Your Hands
Album:Funk Spectrum

Here's an oddity that years after it was recorded generated some interest in the funk community and was released on CD by the well known DJ Shadow. Reginald Milton recorded two singles in the 70s. He was 13 years old when he recorded Clap Your Hands. Milton is from San Antonio, TX. He met Houston based producer Jay Fletcher and he brought Milton into the recording studio. Fletcher now lives in Germany. Milton wrote Clap Your Hands and released it on his own label. He gained some fans locally in Texas but in the end nothing came of it. I don't know what happened to Milton but I guess he didn't remain in the music business. Clap Your Hands became a cult item in the 90s. The single became a collectors item for funk fans. The only person who seemed to have a copy of the single was Josh "DJ Shadow" Davis. Like a lot of DJs and remix masters, Davis started out as a record collector. Record collectors can be very obsessive. I speak from experience. He noticed some interest in funk rarities like Clap Your Hands and began the Funk Spectrum series of CDs in 1999 so that fans could own these rarities. He compiled the CD with another DJ Keb Darge. Davis has released several Funk Spectrum CDs and this one is available as a budget CD. Those interested in that sort of thing will want to check it out. Here's a video for Clap Your Hands by Reginald Milton & The Soul Jets.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Io Shirai vs Nanae Takahashi

Here's the match video of Io Shirai defending her World Of Stardom Championship against Nanae Takahashi on the Nov. 4 STARDOM show at Korakuen Hall. Apparently this was STARDOM's 100th show. Takahashi won the title shot by winning the 5 Star GP. Takahashi is a veteran wrestler and is part of STARDOM management. So she could pull rank if she wanted and get the title back that she previously held. And she might have done that if Shirai wasn't cutting it as champ. But Shirai is a great champ and Takahashi is not selfish. Two years ago I wouldn't have thought that Shirai could hang with Takahashi and deliver a great match. But she's improved so much she can have a great match with anyone. The only problem with this match is they are both babyfaces so there is no real conflict. It's a great match. Both are very athletic and the match is very quickly paced for the entire 30 minutes. Shirai does a moonsault from the balcony and plenty of other high flying moves. And Takahashi uses her size advantage and power to knock Shirai down to size. Shirai wins the match at 29:59 of the 30 minute time limit. Unfortunately, she messed up the finish. She set up Takahashi too far away from the corner and she didn't properly execute her diving moonsault footstomp finisher properly twice. But time was running out and they wanted a finish. Io Shirai is still the World of Stardom Champion. Her next challenger is JWP Open Weight Champion Arisa Nakajima who came to the ring after the match. That should be good. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dumas


Singer songwriter Steve Dumas is popular in his native Quebec but is virtually unknown elsewhere. Linoleum is from his 2003 CD Les Cours Des Jours which is his most popular CD to date. He was born July 4, 1979 in Victoriaville, QC. He won the 1999 Festival de la Chanson de Granby and this led to Dumas working with producer Carl Bastien. Bastien was a pianist for Jean Leloup. And though he has released a couple of CDs of his own music, he has concentrated on producing artists like Dumas and the popular singer Daniel Belanger. Dumas signed with Tacca Musique in 2001. Linoleum is from his 2003 CD Les Cours Des Jours and it got him fans in Quebec. Marie-Annick Lepine of Les Cowboys Fringants appeared on the album and Dumas toured France with them in 2005. Dumas and Bastien wrote the music for the 2004 film Les Aiments. They won a Jutra award and a Felix award for the music from the film. A Jutra is an award for films in Quebec and the Felix is an award for music in Quebec. For the 2008 CD Nord, Dumas split with Bastien and also moved to Les Cowboys Fringants label La Tribu. After his 2009 CD Traces, he disappeared for a couple of years until he released the CD L'heure et L'endroit in 2011. This comp CD is a good intro to his music and it comes with a bonus DVD. It remains to be seen if Dumas can regain his fanbase in Quebec but he is currently on tour. Here's the video for Linoleum by Dumas.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kellie Pickler

Artist:Kellie Pickler
Song:I Wonder
Album:Small Town Girl

Country singer Kellie Pickler is best known for finishing sixth on season five of American Idol and later she won season 16 of Dancing With The Stars. She has had modest success in her recording career but she wasn't successful enough to stay with a major label. Her 2006 debut CD Small Town Girl is her biggest seller to date. She was born June 28, 1986 in Albemarle, NC which is near Charlotte. She was raised by her grandparents as her mom left the family and disappeared and her dad has served a couple of prison stretches. She was a cheerleader and beauty queen in high school and competed in the 2004 Miss North Carolina beauty pageant. She auditioned for American Idol in Greensboro, NC and finished sixth in the 2006 season. AI judge Simon Cowell said he preferred Kellie to the previous season's winner Carrie Underwood. The big difference between the two is Carrie was a seasoned performer before AI and Kellie had never performed in front of an audience before AI. This was the year Taylor Hicks won and his career went nowhere and he's singing on cruise ships. The producers liked Kellie enough to sign her to their label 19 Recordings and she recorded her debut CD while on the 2006 American Idols Live tour. Small Town Girl was produced by Sony Nashville exec Scott Chancey and released Oct. 2006. it was certified Gold and is Kellie's best selling CD to date. I Wonder was her second single and it reached #14 on the Country Singles chart. Kellie wrote I Wonder about her relationship with her mom with Chris Lindsey, his wife Aimee Mayo and Karyn Rochelle. Kellie has written several songs with this group. Kellie toured with Brad Paisley. Her 2008 CD Kellie Pickler sold half of what her first CD sold. The single Best Days Of Your Life reached #9 on the Country Singles chart but that was probably because Kellie wrote it with Taylor Swift and Taylor appeared on the record. Kellie's 2011 CD 100 Proof sold less than previous CDs. Her Sony contract was over and they chose not to renew it. She signed with the small label Black River Entertainment and her new CD The Woman I Am was released Nov. 11, 2013. Along with partner Derek Hough, Kellie was winner of season 16 of Dancing With The Stars May 2013. She is married to songwriter Kyle Jacobs and they write songs together. It remains to be seen how she will do on a small label but the pressure to sell CDs isn't as great. I've always said that American Idol is a double edged sword. It has created stars but some singers aren't meant to be stars and sometimes the show creates a false impression of stardom. That seems to be what happened to Kellie Pickler. But the show's effect is enough to allow her to record and tour. Here's the video for I Wonder by Kellie Pickler.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wayne Shorter Quartet concert review

Last night I went to Massey Hall in downtown Toronto to see sax player Wayne Shorter on his 80th birthday tour. Shorter is best known for his days with Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Weather Report and many solo recordings. He recorded for Blue Note in the 60s and his new CD Without A Net marks his return to Blue Note after over 40 years recording elsewhere. And the great thing is I was almost as excited about the opening act as I was about seeing Shorter. The opening act had the nondescript name ACS. But there was nothing nondescript about their music. ACS is the all female trio of Geri Allen on piano, Terri Lyne Carrington on drums and Esperanza Spalding on bass. I am always asked about women in jazz. I guess there are folks who believe only men can play jazz and women should only sing. I don't care much about gender. I only care if women can play. And this trio can sure as hell play. Mostly they played Wayne Shorter songs as a tribute to out headliner. Of course Esperanza is more famous than the other two. But fame hasn't made her lazy. She attacks that big ol' bass as ferociously as anyone in jazz. They played for an hour and I could have listened for another hour. These girls are badass. The audience sang Happy Birthday to Wayne Shorter when he came out. He is touring with his regular band since 2000. They are Danilo Perez on piano, John Pattitucci on bass and Brian Blade on drums. All of these guys are top notch musicians and their familiarity with Shorter seems to help him a lot. They mostly played songs from Shorter's catalog. Shorter seemed to have trouble with his tenor sax. He switched to alto sax and things seemed to go a lot smoother after that. So they got off to a slow start but finished very strongly. They played for ninety minutes but it didn't seem that long. That's always a good sign. The show was as good as I expected and I was glad I got to see Wayne Shorter on his 80th birthday tour.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Honey Cone

Artist:Honey Cone
Song:Want Ads
Album:Scorching Soul Trio

The girl group Honey Cone topped the charts in 1971 with Want Ads. They had some other hits but I think that's the one most folks will remember. Honey Cone was led by Edna Wright. Edna is from Los Angeles and is the younger sister of the legendary 60s singer Darlene Love and was a member of The Blossoms. She formed Honey Cone in 1969 with Carolyn Willis and Shellie Clark. Edna knew Carolyn from the Los Angeles studio scene and Shellie was once an Ikette. Honey Cone got the attention of the legendary Motown songwriting production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. They had just left Motown and were starting their own label. Honey Cone was the first artist signed to Hot Wax Records. Their first couple of singles did not catch on but Want Ads topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. The song was written by Chairmen of the Board lead singer General Johnson, producer Greg Perry and recording engineer Barney Perkins. Perkins suggested writing a song about want ads. Perry thought it was a good idea and brought Johnson in. The two wrote the 100 Proof Aged In Soul hit Somebody's Been Sleeping (In My Bed). Want Ads was recorded by Scherrie Payne and the Glass House who had a hit with Crumbs Off The Table. Scherrie is the younger sister of Freda Payne and she was lead singer of The Supremes in the mid-70s. Scherrie didn't like her recording of Want Ads and neither did Perry. Scherrie suggested trying it with Edna Wright and that was the answer. The song was a big hit. Edna's lead vocal is outstanding. Ullanda McCullough recorded a disco version in 1979. And Mary Mary sampled Want Ads in their 2005 hit Heaven and Edna appears in the video lip scyning her own vocal. Honey Cone had other hits including Stick-Up and One Monkey Don't Stop No Show. You can get them all on this budget comp from the British label Demon Records. Honey Cone split up in 1973. Edna Wright recorded a solo album in 1976 and continues to lead a version of Honey Cone today touring the nostalgia circuit. Here's Honey Cone performing Want Ads on Soul Train 1971.

Friday, November 22, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Natalie Cressman & Secret Garden

Artist:Natalie Cressman & Secret Garden

22 year old Natalie Cressman may look like a fashion model. But she actually plays trombone and sings and writes her own songs. Her debut CD Unfolding is mostly jazz. But with her latest CD Turn The Sea, she is becoming a singer songwriter. Natalie is from San Francisco. Her father Jeff Cressman is best known as trombone player on the Santana CD Supernatural. He is also a recording engineer and he owns his own studio. Her mom Sandy Cressman sings in the Brazilian style. Natalie studied dance as a child. But she also played trombone. And by the time she was in junior high, she concentrated on music. As a teen she played with her mom's band, Pete Escovedo and Jai Uttal. But her big break came when sax player Peter Apfelbaum invited her to play with his band the New York Hieroglyphics at the 2008 Monterey Jazz Festival. Her dad recorded with Apfelbaum so he's a family friend. She went on to play with Carlos Santana, Joe Lovano, Sheila E. and Miguel Zenon. After graduating high school, she moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music on a scholarship. When ex-Phish leader Trey Anastasio was putting together a touring band in 2010, he asked Jeff Cressman to play trombone. Jeff was unavailable but he recommended Natalie and she has toured and recorded with him ever since. Anastasio really likes her and along with Apfelbaum have encouraged her to record her own music. Unfolding was her debut CD. It's mostly instrumental and Apfelbaum guests on one song. The rest of the band is Ivan Rosenberg on trumpet, Chad Lefkowitz-Brown on sax, Pascal Le Beouf on keyboards, Ruben Samama on bass and Jake Goldbas on drums. Natalie wrote most of the songs including Skylight. Her new CD Turn The Sea is less jazz and more singer songwriter. Natalie self releases her music through CD Baby. It remains to be seen if she can get a big record deal and become famous. But even if she doesn't, Natalie Cressman will have a long career as a session musician. Here's Natalie Cressman performing Skylight with the San Francisco School of the Arts Jazz Band in 2009.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review of the Ultimate Fighter 18 episode 12

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Cody Bollinger missed weight and Anthony Gutierrez got a bye into the semi finals? Well. it was deja vu all over again on this week's episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18. Gutierrez was supposed to fight Davey Grant for a spot in the finals. But Gutierrez missed weight and got kicked off the show. The talk has been he eats a lot of junk food but was very confident he could make weight anyway. Ronda Rousey was concerned and talked to him. But when he woke up the day of the fight heavier than when he went to sleep, he was in big trouble. Ronda tried to help him but he couldn't do it and he gave up. To prove that weight cutting is mind over matter, Ronda cut to 135lb overnight when she didn't need to. It wasn't mentioned on the show but Shayna Bazsler and Jessamyn Duke confirmed that Ronda actually cut to 135. Ronda blamed herself for Gutierrez missing weight but Dana White told her not to do that. He told her that Gutierrez and Bollinger were both mentally weak and don't belong in the UFC. So Grant will face Chris Holdsworth in the TUF finale. They also did a coach's challenge where Ronda won over Miesha Tate in rock climbing. This was shown early in the episode but was actually filmed after Gutierrez was sent home. So once again creative editing is in play. Next week Team Rousey's Jessica Rakoczy will face Team Tate's Raquel Pennington for a spot in the final. Remember Jessica has a bad shoulder. Enjoy the video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lena Horne

Artist:Lena Horne
Song:Love Me Or Leave Me
Album:Love Songs

Lena Horne should have been a big movie star in the 40s. But due to racism and a jittery MGM Pictures, she never really got her due until the 80s. Her signature song was Stormy Weather from the 1943 film which I featured a few years ago. But a lot of fans may not know that she had a top 20 pop hit with this 1955 recording of Love Me Or Leave Me. It looks like it was her only hit single from that era. Lena should have been a movie star when she was at MGM in the 40s. But other than Cabin In The Sky and the 20th Century Fox film Stormy Weather, I think most fans would be hard pressed to know what films she appeared in. MGM was concerned that audiences would not accept a black movie star. And then Lena didn't help herself by marrying MGM musical director Lennie Hayton in 1947. They kept the marriage a secret for two years because they knew mixed marriages weren't acceptable at the time. The last straw was when Lena wanted to play Julie in MGM's 1951 film musical Show Boat. But the film industry production code didn't allow interracial relationships and MGM cast Ava Gardner who couldn't sing. And then MGM asked Ava to study Lena's singing to prepare for the role. Lena left MGM and decided to concentrate on her nightclub show. Hayton was her musical director. She performed live all over the world at places like the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Lena signed with RCA Records in 1952. They released a 10"LP in 1952 and then released Love Me Or Leave Me as a single in 1955. It reached #19 on the Billboard Disk Jockey chart. Love Me Or Leave Me was written by Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson for the 1928 show Whoopee! and it became Ruth Etting's signature song. Doris Day played Etting in the 1955 biopic Love Me Or Leave Me and the film was a big hit. Sammy Davis Jr. and Lena Horne both charted with recordings of Love Me Or Leave Me. It helped Lena become a best selling recording artist at RCA. Love Me Or Leave Me was never released on an album but you can get it on this budget comp. She appeared on stage and on TV regularly for many years. And she finally got her due when she won Grammys for the cast recording of her 1981 one woman show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. She recorded for Blue Note in the 90s. Lena Horne died on May 9, 2010 at age 92. Here's Lena Horne performing Love Me Or Leave Me and The Eagle and Me 1965.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mario

Song:Let Me Love You
Album:Turning Point

R & B singer Mario Dewar Barrett was 18 years old when he scored his only number one hit to date Let Me Love You in 2004. He has a new CD coming out and it remains to be seen if he can return to the top of the charts. He was born Aug. 27, 1986 in Baltimore. His mom was a drug addict so he was raised by his grandmother. Mario produced a documentary about his relationship with his mom called I Won't Love You To Death. MTV aired it in 2007. He learned to play the piano and started singing at an early age. He was discovered at age 11 by manager Troy Patterson and this led to a contract with Clive Davis' J Records at age 14. He made his recording debut on the soundtrack to Dr. Doolittle 2 and released his debut CD Mario in 2002. Just A Friend was his first top five hit and Mario was certified Gold. Because of his age, he became a big draw in the teen market. Mario's 2004 CD Turning Point was an even bigger success because Let Me Love You topped the Billboard Hot 100. Let Me Love You was produced by Scott Storch and Storch wrote it with Ne-Yo. Storch was a hot producer at the time but his cocaine addiction destroyed his career a few years later. Turning Point was certified Platinum and was a worldwide hit. The remix of Let Me Love You features rappers Jadakiss and T.I. Both versions are on Turning Point which is available as a budget CD. Since then Mario released Go in 2008 and D.N.A. in 2009. He's had mixed success and seems to struggle with the perception that he is a teen artist. With each album, he seems to declare that he's going for a more mature sound. Mario is now on RCA after J Records, Jive and Arista were folded into the parent label. Mario recorded an album in 2010 but scrapped it. He released the single Somebody Else featuring Nicki Minaj in May 2013 and the CD Evolve keeps getting pushed back. It still hasn't been released. It just seems that Mario and RCA are a little nervous about this CD. Mario has done some acting. You probably saw him in the 2006 film Step Up. He seems to be concentrating on his music right now. Sometimes you can be forgotten when you haven't released a CD for four years. We'll see how he does. Here's the video for Let Me Love You by Mario.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Angela Clemmons

Artist:Angela Clemmons
Song:Give Me Just A Little More Time
Album:Disco Dance

Angela Clemmons had a top five dance hit with her 1982 cover of the Chairmen of the Board classic Give Me Just A Little More Time. Unfortunately, personal problems delayed recording a second album. And by the time she released it in 1987, she had lost all momentum and faded into obscurity. Angela has been a professional backup singer for years. Angela is from Norwalk, CT and she grew up singing in church. She was discovered by veteran producer Paul Leka and he got her a record deal with Columbia's Portrait label. Among other things, Leka wrote and produced Green Tambourine by The Lemon Pipers and Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye by Steam. He owned a recording studio in Bridgeport, CT and that's where Angela Clemmons recorded her album. Give Me Just A Little More Time was her second single and it reached #5 on the dance charts. I guess today it's considered a disco classic. Unfortunately, Angela's mom died in 1985 and she also got married and changed management. So by the time she released her 1987 album This Is Love, she was forgotten and it didn't sell. Both albums have been released on CD by the British disco music reissue label Funky Town Grooves. But you can get Give Me Just A Little More Time on this 3CD Sony various artists budget comp. Angela has been a backup singer since the 80s. She has recorded with Cyndi Lauper and Celine Dion among others. She is also a real estate agent and she sings mostly in church these days. Here's a video for Give Me Just A Little More Time by Angela Clemmons.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Review of WWE Total Divas episode 10

On this week's edition of WWE Total Divas, we get a major cliffhanger. We also get one of those contrived storylines that I would like the producers of the show and the WWE to stop doing. The episode begins with The Bella Twins preparing to go to Vancouver to guest star on the USA Network show Psych. WWE wrestlers have appeared on USA shows in the past as cross promotion. Nikki says she will go to Florida to witness boyfriend John Cena's tricep surgery but she will make it to the shoot. Remember a while back there was a phony storyline that had Diva in training Eva Marie trying out to be Fandango's dance partner though she couldn't dance? They do this again by having Eva Marie do ring announcing though she is clearly unqualified to do it. This girl is blindly ambitious and willing to do anything to be on TV. Corporate stooge Mark suggests this out of the blue and it becomes obvious that Eva Marie won't remember anyone's name. They know this and allow her to introduce a match on Superstars only because of Total Divas. And she's too stupid to admit that she can't do it. Of course she forgets Jinder Mahal's name. Then when she apologizes to him afterwards, she calls him Ginger. They think it's good TV but it's too phony for me. Eva Marie is dumb enough to get into trouble on her own. They don't need to come up with this junk. In a minor story, Trinity bugs her fiancee Jon Fatu about his big toe. She thinks it's infected but like a lot of guys, he won't go to the doctor. She drags him to the doctor for treatment. Meh. So Nikki Bella moves into boyfriend John Cena's house which includes a box of vibrators. Really? Vibrators? Then she accompanies Cena to the hospital for his surgery. BTW, the surgeon is world famous orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. The surgery is a success and they go home. Nikki dresses up in a sexy nurse costume. But then Cena springs a bombshell on her. After she has moved all her stuff across the country, he wants Nikki to sign a co-habitation contract. She already knew there would be no marriage. The cliffhanger is will she sign it? We'll find out next week. Enjoy the video of this week's episode of WWE Total Divas.
WWE - Total Divas - Season 01 - Episode 10 by wwetotaldivas

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Levon Helm

Artist:Levon Helm
Song:Stuff You Gotta Watch
Album:Electric Dirt

Levon Helm was best known as the drummer for The Band. But he had a long solo career and was an actor too. He won a Grammy for the 2009 CD Electric Dirt. He was born Mark Lavon Helm May 26, 1940 in Elaine, AR. As a child, he was a fan of bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe and blues artist Sonny Boy Williamson II. He learned to play the drums and played in Ronnie Hawkins' band. When Hawkins moved to Toronto in 1959, Helm came with him. And this is where he met the rest of the guys who would become The Band. He was renamed Levon because it was easier to pronounce. Of course Helm became famous with The Band. When they split up in 1975, he recorded three solo albums that were highly acclaimed but didn't sell. So when The Band reformed in the 80s, Helm was there. He also toured with Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band in 1989 and usually sang The Weight, Helm's best known vocal with The Band. Helm first recorded the Muddy Waters song Stuff You Gotta Watch on the 1993 CD Jericho by The Band. So that was one of the songs he sang when they toured. In 1998, Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer and lost his voice. He continued to play drums but he got his voice back in 2004. In 2007, he recorded the CD Dirt Farmer, his first solo recording since 1982. Stuff You Gotta Watch is from the 2009 CD Electric Dirt. He won a Grammy for Best Americana Album. Helm also acted in several films. His best known role was as Loretta Lynn's father in the 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter. Helm continued to tour and released a live CD in 2011. But his cancer returned and he died on Apr. 19, 2012 at age 71. Here's Levon Helm with The Band performing Stuff You Gotta Watch in Helsinki, Finland 1996.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tracy Lawrence

Artist:Tracy Lawrence
Song:Time Marches On
Album:The Very Best Of Tracy Lawrence

Country singer Tracy Lawrence has had a total of nine number one country music hits mostly in the 90s. Time Marches On topped the charts for three weeks in 1996 so it's probably his biggest hit. His days as a country music star are probably over but he currently records on his own label. He was born Jan. 27, 1968 in Atlanta, TX and grew up in Foreman , AR. He showed an interest in music at an early age. While attending Southern Arkansas University in 1990, he decided to move to Nashville. While working day jobs, Lawrence performed in Nashville clubs at night and signed with Atlantic Records in 1991. His producer was Giant Records president James Stroud. Before Lawrence's 1991 debut CD Sticks and Stones was released, he was shot four times during an armed robbery in his girlfriend's hotel room. After his recovery, the CD was released and the first single Sticks and Stones was his first country music hit. Then he had five number one hits from his 1993 album Alibis. Time Marches On was the second single from the 1996 CD Time Marches On. By this time, Lawrence was producing with long time partner Flip Anderson and Brooks & Dunn producer Don Cook. Time Marches On topped the Country Singles chart for three weeks and the album was certified Platinum. The song was written by Country Music Hall of Fame member Bobby Braddock. He started out in the 60s as Marty Robbins' pianist and he wrote the George Jones hit He Stopped Loving Her Today. More recently, Braddock has produced Blake Shelton. Lawrence continued to chart through the 90s but he was starting to fade. When Atlantic Nashville was closed in 2000, Lawrence was moved to Warner Bros. He left for DreamWorks in for the 2004 album Strong and then he recorded one album for Mercury. Lawrence started his own label Rocky Comfort Records in 2006. He topped the country charts in 2007 with Find Out Who Your Friends Are. His latest CD Headlights, Taillights and Radios was released in Aug. 2013. You can get all of his 90s hits on this Rhino comp. Here's the video for Time Marches On by Tracy Lawrence. This video is not on Youtube.
Tracy Lawrence.Time Marches on. by guysou

Saturday, November 16, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Otha Turner

Artist:Otha Turner
Song:My Babe
Album:Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: Feel Like Going Home

When most folks think of Mississippi blues, they think of slide guitar. Otha Turner was a blues pioneer of a different sort. He played the fife and was part of the Mississippi fife and drum band tradition. He was never a full time musician and didn't record until the 90s. So fame came late in life for Otha Turner. He was born June 2, 1907 in Madison County, MS. He learned to play the fife by using rivercanes. Turner made his living as a farmer. But he also led the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band. This was an informal group that mostly played parties. They never toured or recorded. They did appear on a 1982 episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. They finally recorded a couple of CDs in the late 90s. One of them included this cover of Little Walter's My Babe. That CD is out of print. But you can get My Babe on this various artists CD released with the Martin Scorsese produced 2003 PBS series The Blues. Scorsese also used Turner's music in the film Gangs Of New York. So he's a big fan. Turner was supposed to appear on the 2003 CD From Mississippi To Mali by blues artist Corey Harris. But he died on Feb. 26, 2003 at age 95 a week before he was supposed to record. Fortunately, Turner's legacy continues. His granddaughter Sharde Thomas played fife on that recording. And then she led the funeral procession. She was 13 years old. Here's Otha Turner performing My Babe in Memphis. That is Luther Dickinson of The North Mississippi All Stars on guitar and he posted this video on Youtube.

Friday, November 15, 2013

How about a Japan vs The World The Ultimate Fighter with 115lb female fighters?

This has been rumoured for several months but today UFC president Dana White announced on a Fox Sports radio show the the UFC plans to start a 115lb women's division. White says they are doing this a lot sooner than expected but the ratings for episodes of The Ultimate Fighter 18 have been significantly higher when women are fighting. I don't know when they are planning to sign fighters and book matches. And of course I don't know who they will sign. But you can be sure that several fighters currently fighting for Invicta are UFC bound. Their contracts aren't exclusive anyway. But Invicta has always said they would never prevent any fighter from going to the UFC. But it's clear the UFC plans a season of The Ultimate Fighter featuring 115lb female fighters. And there had better not be any guys on that season. I think they should do a Japan vs The World TUF. Japan is a market the UFC is trying to crack and filming a season there would certainly interest Japanese fans and advertisers. They could hold auditions in Vegas like they always do for the world team and of course Ronda Rousey would be the coach. Ronda has said she won't do TUF again. This could change her mind. The only person who should coach the Japanese team is Megumi Fujii. Fans have already asked me if Megumi will come out of retirement to come to the UFC. That would be OK with me but I don't believe she will. Usually when Japanese fighters and pro wrestlers retire, they stay retired. There are exceptions but very few. Retirement is a serious thing in the Japanese fight business. They film the Brazilian TUF in Brazil so they could film this in Japan. I think it would be a great season featuring two of the most knowledgeable martial artists in the world as coaches. Fighters can learn a lot from both of them. So make it happen, UFC. Team Fujii coached by women's martial arts pioneer Megumi Fujii vs Team Rousey coached by the current champ Ronda Rousey.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ty Herndon

Artist:Ty Herndon
Song:A Man Holdin' On (To A Woman Letting Go)
Album:This Is Ty Herndon: Greatest Hits

Country singer Ty Herndon had success in the late 90s with a total of seven top ten country music hit singles. He's still around but he now records for his own label. Boyd Tyrone Herndon was born May 2, 1962 in Meridian, MS and he grew up in Butler, AL. He grew up singing in church and played piano in local clubs as a teen. After graduating high school, he moved to Nashville. After no success in getting a record deal for ten years, Herndon moved to Texas. He was named 1993 Texas Entertainer of the Year and signed with Epic Records shortly afterwards. Epic Nashville A & R director Doug Johnson was his producer. Herndon's 1995 debut single What Mattered Most topped the Country Singles chart. The CD What Mattered Most was certified Gold and so was his second CD Living in a Moment. The single Living in a Moment also topped the charts in 1996. A Man Holdin' On (To A Women Letting Go) was the first single from Herndon's 1998 CD Big Hopes. It reached #5 on the Country Singles chart. The song was written by veteran Nashville songwriter Gene Dobbins along with John Ramey and Bobby Taylor. Dobbins has been around since the 70s and has written hits for Billy Walker, C.W. McCall and George Jones. Herndon's next single It Must Be Love was his final number one country hit. His 1999 CD Steam wasn't as successful as previous CDs. Then his career went in the tank. Herndon got divorced, declared bankruptcy, gained 75 pounds and was mugged in Los Angeles. And he was sued by a former manager. Herndon recorded an album in 2002. But after the first single stiffed, Epic shelved it, released this greatest hits comp and dropped Herndon. He went to rehab for substance abuse and then resurfaced in the Christian music market in 2010. Ty Herndon still tours and he released a new CD last month which he financed through Kickstarter. But I don't think we will see him at the top of the country charts again. Here's the video for A Man Holdin' On (To A Woman Letting Go) by Ty Herndon.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review of The Ultimate Fighter 18 episode 11

As I said last week, I had heard about the favouritism accusations against Team Tate before the series started airing. With Team Tate teammates Julianna Pena and Sarah Moras facing each other, it was going to come to a head. The reason for the favouritism is that Miesha Tate and Bryan Caraway have known Chris Holdsworth and Julianna Pena for a few years. Sarah Moras was upset because Miesha and Bryan were spending too much training time with Julianna. And even Caraway admits that Julianna is crazy and needy. Miesha thought that by removing herself from training either of them, that would solve the problem. But it didn't really help. And the other problem was that Julianna was already ostracized in the house and this just made it worse. It was shown that Julianna is a very annoying person but she has no insight about why she is annoying. She thinks everyone is jealous of her. I guess she is a very shallow person. Then in an effort to make her feel better, Miesha lies and tells Julianna that she was favoured because she works harder than the others. No one believes that. Sarah beat Julianna last year and she makes the same mistake that Shayna Bazsler made and underestimates Juilanna. She may be crazy and self doubting but she can fight. In round one, Julianna gets top position but doesn't do much with it. She does better in round two and after some pounding, Julianna wins with a guillotine choke. I thought she did great. But I wonder how much babysitting she will need when she's in the UFC. Someone needs to smarten her up. Next week, Chris Holdsworth of Team Tate will face Anthony Gutierrez of Team Rousey. Until then, enjoy the video of this week's episode.

AccuRadio Song Of the Day-Sugarland

Song:Coming Home
Album:Gold and Green

Around this time of year I am always asked about Christmas music. What Christmas CDs are worth buying. I prefer to feature Christmas oldies but it depends on what AccuRadio plays and if there is a decent video clip. Most Christmas CDs that are released to today's market seem like record company cash cows. This is especially true of country music because avid fans will buy everything by a favourite artist. This 2009 CD by the popular group Sugarland is like that but some of the original songs like Coming Home are worthwhile. And it is a budget CD. Sugarland is lead singer Jennifer Nettles and guitarist and songwriter Kristian Bush. By 2009, they had become one of the hottest groups in country music with number one singles like All I Want To Do, Already Gone and It Happens. Sugarland was planning a new CD for 2010. But Mercury Nashville wanted to release something in 2009. The live CD/DVD Live on The Inside was released in August 2009 and did very well. They suggested to Sugarland and producer Byron Gallimore that maybe they could do a Christmas CD. Gold and Green was released in Oct. 2009 and it reached #3 on the Country Albums chart. So it did well but the album was criticized as inconsistent. The reason for that is the CD was not all new recordings. Five holiday standards including Winter Wonderland and Holly Jolly Christmas were first released as bonus tracks on the Wal-Mart only special edition of the 2006 CD Enjoy The Ride. Sugarland recorded five new songs for Gold and Green and they sound pretty good. I don't think Coming Home is a Christmas song but it has a gospel feel that Jennifer liked. But it's only available on this CD which is available as a budget release. If you're a devoted Sugarland fan, you might want the CD anyway. I think there's too much filler for anyone else. Sugarland has been on hiatus for the last year. Jennifer had a baby last year and will release a solo CD in January. Bush recently released a single to iTunes. They have said nothing about Sugarland's future but that may depend on how Jennifer's CD does. Here's Sugarland performing Coming Home on the 2009 Grammy Award nomination broadcast.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bethe Correia set to face Julie Kedzie on Dec. 6 UFC show

Bethe Correia
The UFC announced today that undefeated Brazilian Bethe Correia will face Julie Kedzie on the Dec. 6 UFC show in Brisbane, Australia. When Aleksandra Albu dropped out of this fight, my Japanese sources indicated that the UFC was interested in getting Rin Nakai for this fight. I didn't think there was enough time to make a deal with PANCRASE. So instead they have gone another route. Bethe is 30 years old. She trains at Pitbull Brothers which is owned by the Friere brothers who fight for Bellator. And her nickname is Pitbull. Her record is 6-0 and this will be her first fight outside Brazil. I watched one of her fights. Unfortunately the video has no audio so I won't post it. She is a striker but five of her six fights have gone to a decision so she doesn't have knockout power. Bethe made her debut in May 2012 and has fought three times this year. Her most recent win was by unanimous decision over Erica Paes on the June 29 Jungle Fight show. If Erica's name rings a bell, that's because she beat Cris Cyborg in 2005. Erica was inactive until this year and has gone 1-1. She was supposed to fight Holly Holm but dropped out due to injury. I haven't seen enough of Bethe to know if she is a good fighter. But she has never fought outside Brazil or faced anyone as good as Julie Kedzie. They are both strikers so I expect it to be a kickboxing match. If Bethe is the better striker, she could win. And the UFC jitters could be a factor. Bethe is unknown but we'll find out soon if she's good.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gnarls Barkley

Artist:Gnarls Barkley
Album:St. Elsewhere

These days CeeLo Green is a big star as a solo artist. But he first had success with the duo Gnarls Barkley formed with DJ Danger Mouse. Crazy was a huge hit in 2006. Green is from Atlanta. His real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway. He was a member of Goodie Mob. They recorded three Gold albums in the late 90s. Green left Goodie Mob to go solo in 1999. He sang the duet Do You Like The Way with Lauryn Hill on Santana's CD Supernatural. Green recorded two albums for Arista Records but was dropped in 2004 due to poor sales. Meanwhile, Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) had just had a lot of success with the 2004 CD The Grey Album. The two first met in 1998 and Green appeared on Danger Mouse's 2003 CD Ghetto Pop Life. They decided to record an album together. The name Gnarls Barkley is a parody of NBA legend Charles Barkley. The CD St. Elsewhere was released in 2006. Crazy was the first single. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. And the album was certified Platinum. The idea for the song was they were talking about how an artist isn't taken seriously unless he's insane. The song is heavily influenced by music from spaghetti westerns. It's based on the song Last Man Standing by Gian Piero and Gianfranco Reverberi from the 1968 film Viva! Django. That kind of music is a frequent source for Danger Mouse. They also won a couple of Grammys including Best Alternative Music Album for St. Elsewhere. Danger Mouse said the whole point of Gnarls Barkley was to showcase Green's talent and make him a star. They released a second CD The Odd Couple in 2008. Since then Green has become a big solo star especially with the 2010 smash hit F*** You. Green said in 2011 that there are plans for a third Gnarls Barkley album. But these guys are so busy on other projects, one has to wonder if they will ever get around to it. Here's the video for Crazy by Gnarls Barkley.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

AccuRadio Song of The Day-Roy Hargrove Big Band

Artist:Roy Hargrove Big Band f/Roberta Gambarini
Song:Everytime We Say Goodbye

In 2009, trumpeter Roy Hargrove decided to defy common sense and record a big band album and take it on the road. I saw this band a few years ago and I think the CD is better than the live band. So why did Hargrove start a big band? He likes to try different things. He had been very successful as a leader and his soul group RH Factor was very successful. The album is mostly instrumental but Italian singer Roberta Gambarini is featured on two songs including the Cole Porter standard Everytime We Say Goodbye. Guitarist Saul Rubin wrote the arrangement. Other musicians include Jason Marshall, Keith Loftis and Norbert Stachel on sax, Ambrose Akinmusire, Darren Barrett and Greg Gisbert on trumpet, Saunders Sermons, Vincent Chandler and Max Siegel on trombone, Gerald Clayton on piano, Danton Boller on bass, Montez Coleman on drums and Roland Guerrero on percussion. Roberta Gambarini is from Turin, Italy. She performed on radio and TV in Italy and moved to the US in 1998. Roberta has recorded a few solo CDs. But she does a lot of these kind of guest appearances. She toured with the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band and worked a lot with the late pianist Hank Jones. He latest CD was released only in Japan. Though Roy Hargrove still tours and has been a sideman on other artist's recordings, Emergence is his most recent CD. Here's the Roy Hargrove Big Band featuring Roberta Gambarini performing Everytime We Say Goodbye 2009.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review of WWE Total Divas episode nine

We are back with video of the latest episode of WWE Total Divas. The show returned to E! last night after a two month break. The focus in this episode is SummerSlam. Diva in training Eva Marie is becoming a real pain in the ass to The Bella Twins. With Nikki Bella still out with an ankle injury, she even has the audacity to ask Brie Bella what she will do if Nikki can't return. She wants to be Brie's new tag team partner. And she's flaunting her new Maxim spread. The story on Eva Marie is the office likes her because she's hot. But everyone else hates her because she is disrespectful and takes shortcuts. Though it's ironic to hear The Bella Twins claiming to be pro wrestling veterans unhappy with this upstart. It wasn't that long ago they were doing the same thing that Eva Marie is doing. Meanwhile, Ariane of The Funkadactyls gives a demonstration of road rage and berates her boyfriend in public. After a chat with her mom, she promises to behave better but probably won't. Trinity of The Funkadactyls has a match with Nattie Neidhart on Superstars and does that butt bump and Nattie pees herself. Nattie is embarrassed by this and yells at Trinity for not having control of her body. Nattie goes a little overboard with her anxiety about the accident. She does get over it. This particular storyline seemed phony to me. The big deal in this episode is The Bella Twins' boyfriends are facing each other in the SummerSlam main event. The other thing is that Nikki's boyfriend John Cena has a torn tricep but is working through it until after SummerSlam. The twins are sitting backstage watching the match with their mom. Nikki's reaction when Cena loses is pretty funny. He finally tells her he needs surgery. When the WWE announced Cena's surgery, they exaggerated the severity and said he would be out at least six months. They knew Cena would return in two months but they wanted to sell his toughness. It will be interesting to see if Nikki can keep that story straight. So far she has. But I'll be interested to see if that continues on Total Divas. Even if Nikki messes up, creative editing should save her. She has also returned to the ring from her injury. But I don't know if that will be part of this show. There will be plenty of drama and you will be able to watch each episode right here on my blog. Enjoy!
Total Divas Season 1 Episode 9 Summer Slam by Leo_Phillipmaney

Jessica Aguilar in the WSOF a dead end street

The World Series of Fighting announced this morning they have signed top ranked 115lb female fighter Jessica Aguilar and she will debut in January. That would be great if the WSOF was getting serious about women's MMA and were starting a full 115lb division. But they aren't doing that. WSOF executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz said they are not establishing women's divisions but would put on occasional "intriguing fights". Does that remind you of anything? It should remind Jessica after she sat around for a year waiting for a fight while under Bellator contract. It's not that potential opponents wouldn't fight Jessica. They didn't think Bellator was committed to promoting women's MMA and there was no reason for them to fight there. Bellator proved that correct when they dropped women's MMA a few months ago. This is exactly the same problem. The UFC has made that commitment to a 135lb weight division. Unless the WSOF makes that same commitment to a women's MMA weight division, it's a dead end street for any female fighter. There's no structure leading to a title. Occasional intriguing fights doesn't cut it. Why any female fighter would sign with WSOF instead of Invicta or the XFC knowing that WSOF has no plans to formally support structured women's MMA divisions while Invicta and the XFC both have that structure in place is a real head scratcher. Maybe WSOF is paying her more than Invicta. Though that makes sense, there's more to the MMA business than money.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Three Days Grace

Artist:Three Days Grace
Song:Never Too Late

The Canadian band Three Days Grace had their biggest hit with Never Too Late in 2006. They have had some success in the US but are bigger in Canada. Three Days Grace are from Norwood, ON which is near Peterborough. They were called Groundswell when they first formed in 1992. Groundswell released one album and then two guys left and the remaining three guys moved to Toronto and renamed themselves Three Days Grace. The members are lead singer Adam Gontier, bassist Brad Walst and drummer Neil Sanderson. They got together with producer Gavin Brown who has worked with several Canadian bands including Billy Talent. He put a demo together and Three Days Grace signed with Jive Records. Their 2003 debut CD Three Days Grace did very well. The single I Hate Everything About You got a lot of airplay. The CD was certified Platinum in the US and Canada. Guitarist Barry Stock joined Three Days Grace in 2003. It was around this time that Adam Gontier became addicted to OxyContin. After the band finished touring, Gontier checked into the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He wrote a lot of songs while in rehab. So the 2006 CD One-X has a lot of songs about the pain of addiction including Never Too Late. The song reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is their biggest hit to date. The CD did very well and it's available as a budget CD. It was certified Platinum and Three Days Grace was named Billboard's 2007 number one rock artist of the year. The band has faded a bit since then. Their latest CD Transit Of Venus was released Oct. 2012. Adam Gontier left Three Days Grace January 2013 and has plans to record a solo CD. He was replaced by Brad Walst's brother Matt Walst of My Darkest Days. Though he has been touring with them, he is not a permanent replacement. Three Days Grace has been recording new music and a CD should be released early 2014. Here's the video for Never Too Late by Three Days Grace. The girl in the video is played by Matreya Fedor. She stars in the YTV sitcom Mr. Young. The woman is played by Adam Gontier's wife Naomi Brewer.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Adalberto Alvarez y su Son

Artist:Adalberto Alvarez y su Son
Song:A Bailar el Toca Toca
Album:Grandes Exitos

Adalberto Alvarez was one of Cuba's top bandleaders in the 80s. He's still around and is still popular in Cuba but the 80s was his prime. He's unknown outside Cuba but fans of Cuban music will enjoy him. he was born Nov. 22, 1948 in Havana and grew up in Camaguey. His father Enrique Fortunato was a bandleader and Alvarez started out in his band in the late 50s. In the early 60s, he studied to be a pilot at the Civil Aeronautics Institute of Technology. But by the mid-60s he returned to music as a member of Combo Caribe en Camaguey. Then he studied at The National Art School. Alvarez joined the band Rumbavana in 1972 and first was noticed as a composer and arranger. Then in 1978 he formed his first band as a leader Son 14. Son is Alvarez's style of music. It's heavily influenced by 50s Cuban dance bands like Beny More. When he switched record labels in 1984, he changed the band name to Adalberto Alvarez y su Son. This was his most popular period and this CD has music from the 80s including A Bailar el Toca Toca. Fans of Cuban music should check it out. With the changes in Cuban music since the 90s, Alvarez is not as popular as he used to be in Cuba. But he still records and tours regularly. Here's Adalberto Alvarez y su Son performing A Bailar el Toca Toca in the 80s.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lazy Lester

Artist:Lazy Lester
Song:Sugar Coated Love
Album:I'm A lover Not A Fighter

After not making much money in the 50s, bluesman Lazy Lester quit the music business in the 70s. He returned in the 80s and continues to record and tour today. Sugar Coated Love has been covered by many blues artists. He was born Leslie Johnson June 20, 1933 in Torras, LA. When Buddy Guy left for Chicago in 1957, Lester replaced him in his band. He became friends with Lightnin' Slim and Slim Harpo and he became a regular at their record label Excello Records. They took him to the recording studio and producer Jay Miller liked Lester enough to record him. Miller named him Lazy Lester because of Johnson's laid back personality. He recorded a few singles like Sugar Coated Love and I'm A Lover Not A Fighter but none of them caught on. Lester wrote these songs but Miller took credit and Lester never made any money from the songs. He continued to record for Excello in the 60s and played harmonica on many sessions, especially for Slim Harpo. By the late 60s, Lester quit the music business and moved to Pontiac, MI and lived with Slim Harpo's sister. He worked in a factory and spent most of his spare time fishing. Lester returned in the late 80s and has recorded for several labels including Alligator and Telarc. His latest CD You Better Listen was released in 2011. He is playing a show in England next week. Sugar Coated Love has been covered by many blues artists, most notably Lou Ann Barton. You can get it and Lester's other Excello recordings on this Ace records comp. Here is Lazy Lester performing Sugar Coated Love at Antone's Records in Austin, TX 2011.

Friday, November 08, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Les Cowboys Fringants

Artist:Les Cowboys Fringants
Song:L'Hiver Approche
Album:Au Grand Theatre De Quebec

Les Cowboys Fringants are very popular in Quebec and to a lesser extant in France and other French speaking countries. They are unknown elsewhere which is not unusual for Quebecois musicians. Their music is an eclectic mix of folk and rock. And the social commentary in their songs relates very well to young people. Les Cowboys Fringants are from the Montreal suburb of Repentigny, PQ. Lead singer Karl Tremblay and guitarist J.F. Pauze met in 1994 while playing for the Repentigny Jets Junior B hockey team. Tremblay knew Pauze played guitar and he suggested they form a band. Pauze met classically trained violinist Marie-Annick Lepine while the two were working the same summer job in 1995. They did well in a local songwriting contest and decided to get serious about starting a band. They added bassist Jerome Dupras and drummer Dominique "Domlebo" Lebeau and started playing clubs around Montreal. They started to gain a significant fanbase in Quebec and then in France with the 2000 CD Hotel Capri. L'Hiver Approche is from the 2002 CD Break Syndical. Like a lot of the group's songs, it was written by Pauze and Lepine. The song is about how cold it gets in winter in Quebec and even complains about Christmas commercialism. This 2007 2CD live set is available as a budget release. Lebeau left in 2007 and was replaced by Simon Landry. And they added lead guitarist Nic Cartwright. Marie-Annick Lepine recorded a solo CD in 2007 and could probably have a successful solo career. But she remains with Les Cowboys Fringants. They last recorded in 2011 but toured France this past summer. Here's Les Cowboys Fringants performing L'Hiver Approch on Musique Plus 2005. This video is not on Youtube.
Les Cowboys Fringants-L'Hiver Approche by Pzychofreak

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Review of The Ultimate Fighter 18 episode 10

The semi finals have begun with episode 10 of The Ultimate Fighter 18. The match on this episode is Chris Holdsworth of Team Tate vs Michael Wooten of Team Rousey. One thing that surfaces in this episode is Team Tate favouring Holdsworth and Julianna Pena over the other members of the team. I actually heard about this before the series started airing. And I expect it to come to a head next week when Julianna faces Sarah Moras. Julianna doesn't seem to have much insight about why everyone is annoyed with her. We'll see more of that next week. After an extended commercial for UFC sponsor Harley-Davidson, Nate Diaz arrives to be guest trainer for Team Rousey. I expected Holdsworth to win this fight. Wooten is a good kickboxer. But Holdsworth is more accomplished and I didn't think Wooten would have an answer for his ground game. And that's how it went. Holdsworth wins and moves on to the final. As I said, Julianna Pena will face Sarah Moras and this will result in Team Tate problems. Check out the video.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Nunes vs De Randamie, Davis vs Carmouche

The UFC had two women's matches on last night's Fight For The Troops show in Kentucky. Amanda Nunes vs Germaine De Randamie was on the prelims and Alexis Davis vs Liz Carmouche was on the main card. Germaine is a kickboxing legend but she has no ground game. Her last opponent Julie Kedzie doesn't have a ground game either and Germaine is better on her feet and that's why she won. Amanda is a brown belt in jiu jitsu and I thought she would win the fight if she took Germaine down. And that's what happened. It took a while but Amanda succeeded in taking Germaine down. At first the fence was in the way. But Amanda adjusted her position and started pounding away. At first Germaine was blocking the punches with her arms. But Amanda started landing more frequently and Herb Dean stopped the fight with about a minute left in round one. The stoppage was a little early. But Germaine would not have lasted the round. She wasn't getting out of this. And Dean warned her. I think he would have had to stop it anyway. In the other match, Alexis Davis beat Liz Carmouche by unanimous decision. Of course the fight was a big deal for Liz because she is a former Marine. Liz simply did not perform well in this fight. She didn't have the aggression I have seen from her in the past. Alexis was very effective with leg kicks and that may have taken some starch out of Liz. Nothing much happened in the first round. It was almost a tie but Alexis landed some shots at the end of the round. 10-9 Alexis. In round two, an overhand right cut Alexis over her left eye. She was bleeding profusely. But Liz did not take advantage of that and Alexis was more effective and round two and round three. Liz needed to do more. She just didn't do it. Check out the fight videos for yourself.
Nunes by nataldy
CarmoucheA by nataldy
CarmoucheB by nataldy
CarmoucheC by nataldy

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bruce Hornsby

Artist:Bruce Hornsby
Song:The Way It Is
Album:Greatest Radio Hits

The 1986 chart topper The Way It Is was the very first single for Bruce Hornsby & The Range. He also won the Best New Artist Grammy. But he has never repeated that commercial success so I think it's fair to say that it was a fluke. I don't think Hornsby ever expected a hit like that so I'm sure he doesn't care. In recent years he has toured with his band The Noisemakers and solo. Hornsby was born Nov. 23, 1954 in Williansburg, VA. His father was a part time musician and so are his two brothers. He studied music at the University of Richmond, Berklee and the University of Miami. While in school, he played in his brother's cover band Bobby Hi-Test and the Octane Kids. After his 1977 graduation from Miami, Hornsby moved back to Williamsburg and played clubs. In 1980, he moved to Los Angeles with his brother and songwriting partner John Hornsby. They had a publishing deal with 20th Century Fox. Hornsby also played sessions and toured in Sheena Easton's band. Hornsby moved back to Williamsburg and formed Bruce Hornsby & The Range with David Mansfield and George Marinelli on guitar, former Ambrosia member Joe Puerta on bass and John Molo on drums. They signed with RCA Records and the first single The Way It Is topped the charts in 1986. The song is liberal political commentary but it seems mild especially compared to real protest singers of the 60s like Phil Ochs. His next single Mandolin Rain hit the top five. Hornsby and his brother John wrote most of the band's songs. And they won the 1987 Best New Artist Grammy. I was never a big Hornsby fan. He's a good musician and his music is competent. But it's also kind of blah. Peter Harris replaced Mansfield for the 1988 album Scenes From The Southside. It didn't do as well as the first album. So Bruce Hornsby & The Range only recorded one more album in 1990. And by that time, Hornsby had joined The Grateful Dead and started writing for other artists and playing sessions. This budget comp covers his early recordings. Hornsby first recorded solo in 1993. He started adding jazz elements to his music. He formed The Noisemakers in 2000 and they have recorded four CDs. In 2007, he recorded with bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs and they toured together. They recently recorded a live CD and have been touring together. And Hornsby is doing solo piano concerts. He is performing solo at Koerner Hall in Toronto next week. I think Bruce Hornsby is a lot happier playing jazz and bluegrass than trying to have another radio hit. Here's the video for The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby & The Range.