Friday, January 31, 2014

Jessamyn Duke vs Bethe Correia set for UFC 172 in Baltimore

Jessamyn Duke
Last night Combate in Brazil reported that TUF 18 alum Jessamyn Duke will face Brazilian fighter Bethe Correia at UFC 172 Apr. 26 in Baltimore. Bethe is 7-0 and she trains at Team Pitbull in Brazil owned by the Friere brothers who both fight for Bellator. She won a split decision over Julie Kedzie in December in her UFC debut. She didn't impress me. She needs to be more aggressive and win more decisively. She seems to prefer striking but doesn't have knockout power. Jessamyn is also a striker. Her record is 3-0-1NC and she beat Peggy Morgan in her UFC debut at the TUF finale in November. But I think her close fight vs Raquel Pennington during TUF got everyone's attention despite the loss. I like Jessamyn but like a lot of strikers, I would like to see a more diverse attack. Since TUF, Jessamyn has moved to Los Angeles to train with Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler. She could learn a lot from both fighters as neither specializes in striking. But we may not find out anything new as I expect this fight to remain standing. Jessamyn may want to take advantage of her height advantage to keep Bethe at a distance. I expect this fight to go the distance but Jessamyn tends to be more active and should be favoured.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Artist:The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Song:Jesus Is A Dying Bedmaker
Album:Peyton On Patton

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band is an acoustic blues tribute band. They mostly perform songs from the 20s. This 2011 CD is a tribute to blues pioneer Charley Patton. The leader of the group is Josh Peyton. He was born Apr. 12, 1981 in Eagletown, IN. As a teen, he formed Drive Thru with younger brother Jayme Peyton and played local clubs. Eventually he got into the blues. He was forced to give up music for a while due to pain in his left hand. But surgery corrected that and while recovering, he met his future wife Breezy and she introduced him to Delta blues. She plays washboard in the band. The third member of the band is drummer Ben Russell. Constant touring led to a contract with indie label Side One Dummy. Though Peyton writes songs, the 2011 CD Peyton on Patton is a tribute to legendary blues pioneer Charley Patton. It's also mostly a solo album. The only problem with the CD is it's only a half hour long. Their latest CD Between The Ditches was released Aug. 2012. If you're a fan of acoustic blues, The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band is worth your time. They are certainly not for everyone. They are currently on tour so check them out if they come to your town. Here's The Reverend Peyton performing Jesus Is A Dying Bedmaker.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Julianna Pena replaced by Raquel Pennington at UFC 171

Raquel Pennington
Last night the UFC announced that Julianna Pena suffered a serious knee injury and will be replaced by Raquel Pennington vs Jessica Andrade at UFC 17 Mar. 15 in Dallas. Today it has become apparent that this injury was the result of an assault. At first it was thought that Julianna was overtraining and her coach was guilty of not pacing her properly. This is a common problem in MMA. But UFC president Dana White said at today's UFC 169 media scrum in New York Julianna was assaulted by a male fighter who was also training at the gym. It seems she wore her The Ultimate Fighter shirt and he started berating her. Then he jumped on her back. and that's when she blew out her knee and her hamstring. Who knows if she will ever return from that? White thinks she'll be out for two years. Female fighters train with guys all the time. I don't recall anything like this ever happening. If true, this guy should be charged with assault and she should sue him and the gym. That kind of behaviour is ridiculous. EDIT: fighter Sam Sicilia has confirmed the coach's version of the story. Either way, it's the coach's responsibility to keep her healthy so it's his fault. Raquel Pennington beat Roxanne Modafferi on the TUF finale. I've seen some of her other fights and I think she's inconsistent. I think Jessica will be a good test for her as Jessica is very aggressive and likes to finish. This fight will be on the prelims.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Richard Marx

Artist:Richard Marx
Song:Hold On To The Nights
Album:Greatest Hits

Richard Marx started out as a background singer and songwriter and then had three number one hits in the late 80s. Hold On To The Nights was his first number one hit. He still records and is still an in demand songwriter. He was born Sept. 16, 1963 in Chicago. His father was jazz pianist and jingle writer Dick Marx. Marx started out singing his dad's jingles. Marx was still in high school when a demo landed in the hands of Lionel Richie. Richie invited him out to Los Angeles and after graduating high school, Marx went there. Richie was recording his debut solo album and was having trouble with background vocals. Marx made a suggestion that worked and that's how he got started in the music business. He was singing background vocals on a 1984 Kenny Rogers album when he heard Rogers say he needed a new song. Marx brought him Crazy and the song was a number one country hit. Then Marx started working with producer David Foster. Meanwhile. Marx was trying to get a record deal and signed with Capitol Records in 1987. His first single from his 1987 album Richard Marx was Don't Mean Nothing and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Hold On To The Nights was his first number one hit in 1988. His 1989 album Repeat Offender did even better and was certified 3XPlatinum. The singles Satisfied and Right Here Waiting both topped the charts. Right Here Waiting was a big hit internationally so it was his biggest hit. Marx was the first solo artist to reach the top five with his first seven singles. Of course it was all downhill from there. When Marx's 1991 album Rush Street wasn't as successful, he moved with actress wife Cynthia Rhodes (Dirty Dancing) and their kids to Chicago. Subsequent albums didn't sell and he left Capitol in 1997. You can get all his hits on this budget comp. Though Marx still records, he is better known in today's music industry as a songwriter. He has a songwriting credit on the new Jennifer Nettles album. Marx has announced plans for a new CD in 2014. Here's the video for Hold On To The Nights by Richard Marx.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Vanessa Williams

Artist:Vanessa Williams
Song:Save The Best For Last
Album:Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years

For someone who started out in a Miss America scandal, Vanessa Williams has had a long career as a singer and actress. Save The Best For Last was her only number one hit in 1992. Some critics including myself would have liked her music more if she was a little more funky. But she's more musical theater than R & B anyway. She was born Mar. 18, 1963 in Millwood, NY which is a New York City suburb. Her parents were both music teachers and her brother Chris Williams is an actor. While studying musical theater arts at Syracuse University, she entered the 1983 Miss America pageant. She was the first black to win Miss America but was forced to give up the crown when nude photos were published in Penthouse. Vanessa appeared on TV and in films but in 1988 she signed with Mercury Records. She had success on the R & B charts and Dreamin' was her first top ten pop hit. Vanessa's second album The Comfort Zone did even better. Save The Best For Last was the biggest hit from the album and is to date her only number one pop hit. The song was written by the veteran team of Phil Galdston, Wendy Waldman and Jon Lind. They have written several songs together but this was their biggest hit. Apparently a lot of other singers turned it down. Keith Thomas was the producer. He works with a lot of gospel and R & B artists. The album was certified 3XPlatinum. Vanessa had a few more hits like Love Is with Brian McKnight and Colors of The Wind from the film Pocahontas. But she faded by the late 90s and left Mercury in 1997. She appeared in Kiss Of the Spider Woman on Broadway in 1994. She was in the 1997 film Soul Food. She's done a lot of TV including regular roles on Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives. You can get all her Mercury hits on this comp. She hasn't recorded much lately. She last recorded for Concord in 2009. She is frequently confused with actress Vanessa A. Williams. She was on the TV show Soul Food. Vanessa is registered with SAG as Vanessa L. Williams. She seems to be doing a lot of made for Lifetime movies. Here's the video for Save The Best For Last by Vanessa Williams.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Buckinghams

Artist:The Buckinghams
Song:Kind Of A Drag
Album:Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (A Collection)

Kind Of A Drag was a number one hit for The Buckinghams in 1967. At that time they were the number two band in the US after The Monkees. Despite the British Invasion name, The Buckinghams were from Chicago. They started out in 1965 as The Pulsations. Members were singer Dennis Tufano, guitarist Carl Giammarese, keyboardist Dennis Miccolis, bassist Nick Fortune and drummer John Poulos. A battle of the bands win got them a TV show on WGN in Chicago. The producers of the show suggested a name change to reflect the British Invasion and The Buckinghams were born. They signed with a local label USA Records with national distribution from Chess Records. Kind Of A Drag was the first single and it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. The song was written by local songwriter Jim Holvay of The Mob. He wrote several songs for The Buckinghams. The band changed management to James William Guercio and he got them a deal with Columbia Records. Guercio is best known as producer of Chicago and he added horns to The Buckinghams. And though they had success with top ten hits like Don't You Care and Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, there was conflict with Guercio. They wanted more creative input and he had the last word. They split with Guercio and their 1968 album in One Ear and Gone Tomorrow was produced by Jim Wisner. But the album was unsuccessful and after personnel changes and continued attempts to record, The Buckinghams split up in 1970. This budget CD has all their hits. Tufano and Giammarese recorded three albums as a duo for Ode Records. Poulos became their manager. He died in 1980. After the duo split, Tufano moved to Los Angeles and Giammarese wrote jingles. Giammarese reformed The Buckinghams in 1980 and continues to lead them today. Here are The Buckinghams performing Kind Of A Drag 1967.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Natsuki*Taiyo to retire on June 1

Natsuki*Taiyo announces her retirement plans
At yesterday's STARDOM show, Io Shirai successfully defended her World Of STARDOM Championship against High Speed champion Natsuki*Taiyo. After the match, Natsuki announced she will retire from pro wrestling on June 1. Her reason is actually very similar to Mika Nagano's reason for her retirement from MMA. Natsuki will be 30 years old in May. She has been a pro wrestler for ten years. It's time to go. She says that when she first started in pro wrestling, she was 20 and her plan was to stay for five years. But when that time came, she did not feel she had accomplished enough and decided to stay for five more years. Now she feels the time is right to retire. And though her announcement may have been a surprise to the crowd in attendance, I'm sure Natsuki's best friend Nanae Takahashi was well aware of her plans and it was discussed with STARDOM owner Rossy Ogawa too. He said she has been talking retirement for the last year. Natsuki*Taiyo's real name is Natsuki Mizushima. She was born May 7, 1984 in Kawasaki. She was trained by veteran pro wrestler and trainer Animal Hamaguchi in 2003. The funny thing is she actually fought in MMA before she debuted as a wrestler. Fans forget that All Japan Women had MMA on their shows. Natsuki lost to Hari by first round KO on Dec. 19, 2003. She made her pro wrestling debut in Jan. 2004. But AJW was having financial problems and of course they closed Apr. 2005. Natsuki left AJW in 2004 and in 2005, she resurfaced as Natsuki*Head in Sakura Emi's promotion Gatokunyan. This was before Ice Ribbon. Like the masked wrestler Ray, Natsuki became quite the spot monkey at that promotion. She was already friends with Nanae Takahashi from her AJW days. And after Takahashi recovered from 2005 knee surgery, she made a deal with Zero-1 to start Pro Wrestling Sun and brought Natsuki with her. she changed her name to Natsuki*Taiyo. And since then, those two have been joined at the hip. Wherever Takahashi has gone, Natsuki followed. And that includes when STARDOM was formed in 2011. Though she has held a few belts, the primary belt she has held is the High Speed Championship. She was the first champ when NEO started it in 2009. She has held that title since STARDOM bought it from NEO in 2011. I think Ogawa should retire that title with Natsuki*Taiyo. But I know how reluctant promotions are to retire titles. Natsuki's appearance and wrestling style is very similar to retired wrestler Momoe Nakanishi. But she doesn't have Momoe's talent or charisma. It's tough to live in Momoe's shadow when Nanae Takahashi is the best friend of both of them. I suppose Natsuki could have enhanced her career on her own. But I guess the friendship was more important then advancing her career. I'm sure STARDOM will miss her.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pam Tillis

Artist:Pam Tillis
Song:Maybe It Was Memphis
Album:RCA Country Legends

Pam Tillis is probably best known as the daughter of country music legend Mel Tillis. But she had success as a recording artist in the 90s with songs like Maybe It Was Memphis. She was born July 24, 1957 in Plant City, FL and grew up in Nashville. She sang as a child. She was injured in a car accident at age 16 and required facial reconstruction surgery. She had two groups while in college but dropped out of school in 1976 to work at her father's publishing company. One of Pam's songs The Other Side Of the Morning was a hit for Barbara Fairchild. She moved briefly to Los Angeles and returned to Nashville in 1979. Pam signed with Warner Bros. in 1981 and they just couldn't seem to sell her. She released several singles but only one album in 1983, Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey. She left Warners and signed with Arista in 1989. Her 1991 Arista debut album Put Yourself in My Place was certified Gold. And it had three top ten hits including Maybe It Was Memphis which reached #3 on the country singles chart. Pam had recorded the song at Warners but it was never released. The song was written by Michael Anderson who recorded for A&M in the 80s and then turned to Contemporary Christian Music. The song got a big boost when Lauren Alaina performed it on the 2011 season of American Idol and then Danielle Bradbery performed it on the 2013 season of The Voice. Pam Tillis had several top ten country hits. But her only number one hit was Mi Vida Loca in 1994. Not the Ricky Martin hit. Pam wrote the song. You can get all her hits on this comp. Pam's singing career faded in the late 90s and she got into acting and appeared on some TV dramas. She moved to Epic in 2002 and now records on her own label. She released a CD with Lorrie Morgan last year. Pam Tillis is currently on tour. Here's the video for Maybe It Was Memphis by Pam Tillis.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Big bad Blog Video Theater-Io Shirai vs Arisa Nakajima

Here is the match video of the main event from STARDOM's Dec. 29 Korakuen Hall show. It was World of STARDOM Champion Io Shirai vs JWP Open Weight Champion Arisa Nakajima. Though the match is very good, I have a couple of big problems with it. Though I understand why STARDOM owner Rossy Ogawa would have this match on his year end show, title vs title matches in joshi are pointless because neither title will change hands. Fans aren't stupid. They know that politics won't allow a title change. So I'm sure you won't be surprised that this match was a thirty minute draw. Some might argue that it's a dream match between two young champions. A promoter might have been able to get away with that in the 90s but not today. Ogawa knows that fans are cynical but he does nothing to change that. The other problem was that both of these girls are babyfaces and there was no real rivalry to this match other than the double championship angle. Since that is flawed, Ogawa needed to figure out another angle. That's when politics gets in the way. JWP owner Commando Bolshoi won't let Arisa turn heel. She does try to be heelish during the match but she isn't very good at it. Would the previous JWP Open Weight Champion Kana have been a better opponent? Well, she knows how to be a heel. But she's freelance and there would be concern that she might go into business for herself. So with all those politics aside, the match is very good. I think Io is a better wrestler than Arisa right now. But they both get in their trademark spots and I think most fans will enjoy it. There were plenty of near falls at the end. But the end result was a foregone conclusion and that's hurts the match for me. Enjoy the video!
World of Stardom Title vs. JWP Openweight Title by cmrankin

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Reba McEntire

Artist:Reba McEntire
Song:Little Rock
Album:Reba's #1's

Reba McEntire has had a long career in country music and was very successful in the 80s & 90s. She has been particularly successful at aiming songs at women. The 1986 number one country hit Little Rock was one of those songs. She has also had a successful acting career especially on TV. She was born Mar. 28, 1955 in Kiowa, OK. Her father was a champion steer roper and her mother was an aspiring singer who became a teacher. Reba, brother Pake and sister Susie performed locally as The Singing McEntires. Pake McEntire recorded for RCA in the 80s. Susie Luchsinger is a Contemporary Christian singer. Reba planned to follow her mother into teaching. But country artist Red Steagall heard her sing the national anthem at the National Rodeo in Oklahoma City and got her a deal with Mercury Records in 1975. Reba recorded six albums for Mercury. And though she scored number one country hits in 1982 with Can't Even Get The Blues and You're The First Time I've Thought About Leaving, she thought her albums were more pop than country and left for MCA Records in 1984. She was having the same issues at MCA when she complained to MCA Nashville president Jimmy Bowen. He told her to find some songs and he would produce. She was a lot happier with the albums My Kind Of Country and Have I Got A Deal For You. She took a different approach with the 1986 album Whoever's in New England. She recorded songs that were aimed specifically at women. It was her first Platinum album and Whoever's in New England and Little Rock were both number one country hits. The song is about a woman unhappy in a loveless marriage. It was written by Nashville DJ Gerry House and the team of Bob DiPiero and Pat McManus who also wrote The Oak Ridge Boys hit American Made. This kind of song is what made Reba's career. You can get all her hits on this 2CD comp. Reba continued to have a lot of success in the 90s and also had success in acting especially in the sitcom Reba. She moved from MCA to Valory in 2008. Her last CD was released in 2010. Her latest sitcom Malibu Country was cancelled after one season. Here's Reba McEntire performing Little Rock on Austin City Limits 1986.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Duke Ellington and John Coltrane

Artist:Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
Song:In A Sentimental Mood
Album:Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins and John Coltrane

Most jazz fans familiar with the long career of Duke Ellington know that things were not going well in the 50s. A lot of his long time band members left and bebop had taken over jazz. He didn't even have a record contract in the mid-50s. But that all changed with his appearance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival. A lot of his musicians returned and the 1956 album Ellington At Newport was a huge seller. It was his first album of a new deal with Columbia Records. There was a TV special. Ellington worked on films like Anatomy of a Murder. But also Ellington also seemed to be more open to working with other jazz stars. In 1961, he recorded with Louis Armstrong and then Count Basie. In 1962, he recorded three albums like this in a timeframe of a month. First he recorded with another jazz legend, sax player Coleman Hawkins, in August. Then in September he recorded Money Jungle with Charles Mingus and Max Roach and followed that a week later recording with John Coltrane. All three albums are classics and a must for any jazz fan. But the album with Coltrane is probably the best known of the three. Ellington first recorded In A Sentimental Mood in 1935. But the recording with Coltrane is probably the best known version of the song. The musicians on the song are Ellington's bassist Aaron Bell and Coltrane's drummer Elvin Jones. But Coltrane's bassist Jimmy Garrison and Ellington's drummer Sam Woodyard also appear on the album. Coltrane doesn't try to impose his contemporary style and chooses to follow Ellington's lead. Both the Coltrane and Hawkins albums were released on Impulse Records and both albums are less than 40 minutes. So Verve released them as a twofer on one CD in 2011. Ellington and Coltrane never toured together and they only recorded together once. That's why it's a must for any jazz fan. Here's a video for In A Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane.

Friday, January 24, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Roberto Fonseca

Artist:Roberto Fonseca
Song:7 Rayos

Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca toured for several years with Buena Vista Social Club. He is just now emerging as a leader with his 2012 CD Yo. It was nominated for a Grammy. Fonseca's music is a mix of jazz, Cuban and African music. African musicians frequently tour with him. He was born Mar. 29, 1975 in Havana, Cuba. His father was a drummer and his mother Mercedes Cortes Alfaro is a singer who has appeared on his albums. His older half brothers are drummer Emilio Valdes and pianist Jesus "Chuchito" Valdes Jr. Fonseca started out on drums but switched to piano at age 8. He played local clubs as a teen. Fonseca has a master's degree in composition from Instituto Superior de Arte. He first recorded in 1999 with the group Temperamento led by sax player Javier Zalba. After recording a couple of solo albums, he toured for several years with Buena Vista Social Club. He appeared on albums by Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, Ibrahim Ferrer, Manuel Guajiro Mirabel and Omara Portuondo. Fonseca signed with Enja Records. His 2007 CD Zamazu was highly acclaimed and a song was used in the Will Smith film Hancock. Fonseca recorded three albums for Enja and then switched to Concord for the 2012 CD Yo. This CD was his first appearance on the jazz charts and he's up for a Best Latin Jazz Album Grammy. Guest musicians include Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara and Mailian percussionist Baba Sissoko who appears on 7 Rayos. Roberto Fonseca is just getting started. Keep an eye on him in the future. Here's Roberto Fonseca with Baba Sissoko performing 7 Rayos at Duc des Lombards in Paris April 2012.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

AccuRadio Song of The Day-Friend & Lover

Artist:Friend & Lover
Song:Reach Out Of The Darkness
Album:Flower Power: The Music of the Love Generation

Reach Out Of The Darkness was a top ten hit in 1968. It was the only big hit for Friend & Lover. They had one other chart single so it is technically not a one hit wonder. I guess the song typifies The Summer Of Love. Friend & Lover was the husband and wife duo of Jim and Cathy Post. Jim Post is a veteran folksinger from Houston. His folk group The Rum Runners were on tour and he met dancer Cathy Conn at a show in Alberta. They got married and moved to Chicago. Post wrote all the songs for Friend & Lover. The single If Tomorrow released by ABC-Paramount went nowhere. But MGM Records head Jerry Schoenbaum liked the demo for Reach Out Of The Darkness and signed Friend & Lover to Verve Forecast Records. The record was produced in Nashville by Joe South and veteran music publisher Bill Lowery. Ray Stevens wrote the arrangement and played piano. It reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. You can get it on this 3CD Time Life various artists box set. Post says he wrote the song after attending a love in in New York City. It became a flower power anthem. Friend & Lover recorded one album for Verve Forecast that didn't sell. Columbia offered them a deal but MGM wouldn't let them out of their contract. The Posts divorced. Cathy lives in New Mexico. Jim Post is still around. He recorded for Fantasy Records in the 70s and Flying Fish in the 80s. He lives in Chicago and still performs and records on his own label, most recently in 2009. Here's a video for Reach Out Of The Darkness by Friend & Lover.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle

Artist:Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle
Song:You and I
Album:Number One Hits

Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle were both successful late 70s country artists who crossed over to pop. The 1982 duet You & I wasn't the biggest hit for either of them but it was a number one country hit and a top ten pop hit. And of course it's a very popular wedding song. The song appeared on Rabbitt's 1982 album Radio Romance. He was born Nov. 27, 1941 in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in East Orange, NJ. His father was a part time fiddle and accordion player. Rabbitt learned to play guitar and was a big country music fan. He recorded a couple of singles and then moved to Nashville in 1968. He was hired as a staff songwriter by Hill & Range. He got his first big break when Elvis Presley recorded his song Kentucky Rain in 1969. Then Ronnie Milsap topped the country charts with his song Pure Love in 1974. This led to a record deal with Elektra Records. His first number one country hit was Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind). But then he crossed over to pop in a big way with the theme for the 1978 Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way But Loose. And this led to more crossover hits like Suspicions in 1979 and a 1980 NBC TV special. But Rabbitt's biggest hit and his signature song was I Love A Rainy Night in 1980. But then Rabbitt moved to Liberty Records. He had two number one country hits from his 1981 album Step By Step. You & I is from Rabbitt's second Liberty album Radio Romance. It topped the country charts and reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982. The song was used in the daytime soap All my Children and it's a big wedding song. It was written by Frank J. Myers for his wife. He is one half of the duo Baker & Myers and they wrote the John Michael Montgomery hit I Swear. Rabbitt moved to RCA Records in 1985. And though he scored with his duet with Juice Newton Born To Each Other, Rabbitt faded by the end of the 80s. He moved to Capitol in 1990 and scored his final number one hit on Second Thought. This Rhino comp covers all of his hits. Rabbitt recorded one album for Intersound in 1997. But then he was diagnosed with cancer and died on May 7, 1998 at age 56. Here's Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle performing You and I on Nashville Now 1982. There are two clips of them performing this song on Youtube and Rabbitt messed up in both of them. In this clip, he sings out of key. In the other clip, he sings the wrong verse. I guess he didn't sing the song frequently.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Gene Harris Quartet

Artist:The Gene Harris Quartet
Song:Lady Be Good
Album:It's The Real Soul

Pianist Gene Harris is probably best known as leader of the popular jazz trio The Three Sounds. After the group ended in 1970, Harris retired. But legendary bassist Ray Brown convinced him to return and Harris toured with Brown in the 80s and recorded and toured until his 2000 death. Harris was born Sept. 1, 1933 in Benton Harbor, MI. After playing in an Army band, Harris formed The Three Sounds with Andrew Simpkins on bass and Bill Dowdy on drums. They recorded for Blue Note and Verve until disbanding in 1970. Harris recorded solo for Blue Note in the 70s. He moved to Boise, ID in 1977 and retired from music. It didn't last long. Ray Brown got Harris to return and they toured together through the 80s. A version of the Gershwin standard Lady Be Good is on the 1987 album The Red Hot Ray Brown Trio featuring Harris but that CD is out of print. Harris recorded for Concord for most of the rest of his career. Lady Be Good is from the 1995 CD It's The Real Soul recorded live at the Manchester Guild in Pittsburgh. Musicians are Ron Eschete on guitar, Luther Hughes on bass and Paul Humphrey on drums. This was Harris touring band at the time. Sax player Frank Wess appears on four songs. Gene Harris was awaiting a kidney transplant when he died on Jan. 16, 2000 at age 66. Here's Gene Harris with Ray Brown and drummer Jeff Hamilton performing Lady Be Good in France 1992.

Monday, January 20, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cheo Feliciano

Artist:Cheo Feliciano
Album:Selecciones Fania

Cheo Feliciano is an outstanding salsa singer best known for his days with The Fania All Stars in the 70s. Anacaona is probably his signature song. He was born Jose Luis Feliciano Vega July 3, 1935 in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Cheo is a childhood nickname that stuck with him. It was a good thing later as he didn't want to be confused with the more famous Jose Feliciano. He was singing in groups as a child and attended the Free School of Music in Ponce where he studied to be a percussionist. In 1952, Feliciano moved with his family to Spanish Harlem in New York City. He played percussion with Ciro Rimac, Tito Rodriguez, Luis Cruz and Kako y su Trabuco. In 1955, he auditioned for Joe Cuba as a singer. He became very popular in that band. Feliciano left the Cuba band for Eddie Palmieri in 1967. But he was addicted to heroin. He went into rehab in Puerto Rico. Feliciano credits his best friend songwriter Tite Curet Alonso for helping him kick heroin. Alonso wrote a lot of songs for Feliciano including Anacaona. Feliciano is currently the anti-drug spokesman for The Government of Puerto Rico. When Feliciano returned to music in 1972, he signed with Fania Records and recorded his debut solo album Cheo. Anacaona is on that album and it has been one of his most popular songs. Feliciano was a regular with the Fania All Stars. This comp is a good intro to Feliciano's Fania recordings. Feliciano started his own record company in 1982 and he signed with RMM Records in 1990. His latest CD Eba Say Aja is a duet album with Ruben Blades and it was released May 2012. Here's Cheo Feliciano with the Fania All Stars performing Anacaona in the 1971 film Our Latin Thing. The piano solo is by Larry Harlow and the trombone solo is by Barry Rogers.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jessica Aguilar wins bogus WSOF title mismatch

Here's the fight video from last night's WSOF show of Jessica Aguilar vs Alida Gray. As expected, it was a ridiculous mismatch. Someone said that Jessica couldn't win this fight no matter what the result. if Alida gave a good performance or even wins, Jessica loses. But even a win for Jessica isn't a real win because it was criticized as a mismatch. Too many apologists and ranking compilers only look at the win loss figures. And that's why I don't bother with rankings because fight context is important. And this fight was extra pointless because there was no reason for it to be a title match. That could be done later when Jessica faces Emi Fujino. And the funniest thing was that Alida Gray was ranked 10th because of this fight. Huh? That's what rankings are good for, pimping undeserving fighters getting bogus title shots. And you can see in the fight video that Alida is in way over her head. After Jessica's takedown, Alida isn't able to establish her guard. Jessica gets side control and then crosses over to finish with a triangle side choke. Look, I have no problem with WSOF introducing Jessica in a mismatch. But it shouldn't have been for a title. And it also doesn't change that Jessica signing with the WSOF is a huge mistake especially with the UFC starting a 115lb division soon after she signed. Shouldn't she have known about that months before it was announced like a lot of us did? I guess she doesn't know the right people. She's now on the outside looking in. Her big problem is justifying that. And she tried to do that in an interview with Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. She still thinks that even after a UFC champ is crowned, she should be ranked number one. But she should lose that ranking because the level of competition in the UFC is higher. She knows that. And though I don't expect her to admit that signing with WSOF was a mistake, she knows that too. Purgatory is not a fun place to be. Of course there is the suspicion that WSOF is simply a UFC placeholder and Jessica will migrate to the UFC by the end of the year. With Anthony Johnson's WSOF contract ending, we may see a test of that theory very soon. Enjoy the video! Oh and the commentary is in Spanish.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Claudine Clark

Artist:Claudine Clark
Song:Party Lights
Album:WCBS-FM101: Jukebox Giants Vol. 1

The 1962 top five hit Party Lights was the only chart hit for Claudine Clark. So it is a true one hit wonder. The interesting thing about Claudine is she wrote her own songs which was unusual at that time. She was born Apr. 26, 1941 in Macon, GA and grew up in Philadelphia. She earned a degree in music at Coombs College. Her first single Teenage Blues was released in 1958 on Herald Records. She was backed up by The Spinners. Then she recorded The Get Set Song in 1960 as Claudine Clark and the Get Setters on Alma Records. Then she moved to New York and signed with Bob Marcucci's Chancellor Records. Marcucci was the man behind teen idols Frankie Avalon and Fabian. Claudine's first single Disappointed did not catch on. But DJs liked the B-side Party Lights. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962. The song is about a teenage girl sent to her room while a party is going on in the house. Claudine wrote Party Lights and all her songs. Other singles like Walkin' Through A Cemetary stiffed and so did her album. By 1963, Claudine wanted out of her contract at Chancellor. And they were having financial problems and would soon go out of business. So Claudine recorded the 1963 single First Time For Tears as Joy Dawn for Swan Records. Then she recorded for Jamie Records. Ace Records has released a comprehensive Claudine Clark comp. But I think most fans will only be interested in Party Lights and you can get it on this Collectables various artists budget comp. In 1974, Claudine recorded the single Gimme A Break as Sherrie Pye. Then she went into the ministry at Bethany Missionary Baptist Church in Philadelphia. She recorded gospel as Claudine Clark Hicks & The Soul City Amen Corner in 1985. My guess is Claudine is now retired. Her son Bruce Clark is a minister in New Jersey and has recorded a solo piano CD. Here's a video for Party Lights by Claudine Clark.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pride Tiger

Artist:Pride Tiger
Song:The White Witch Woman Blues
Album:The Lucky Ones

With their 70s throwback hard rock sound, the Canadian band Pride Tiger showed some potential with the 2007 CD The Lucky Ones. They were compared favourably to Thin Lizzy. But they only recorded one album and split up. Pride Tiger were from Vancouver. Lead singer and drummer Matt Wood, guitarist Sunny Dhak and guitarist Bob Froese were all members of the popular heavy metal band 3 Inches of Blood. Bassist Mike Payette was in the thrash metal band S.T.R.E.E.T.S. Before that all four were in Goatsblood. They formed Pride Tiger in 2005. As I said, they have a 70s blues based hard rock sound. With all the metal bands out there that sound alike, that's pretty good counter programming. Comparisons to Thin Lizzy didn't hurt them. a 2006 EP got Pride Tiger a record deal with EMI Canada. The 2007 CD The Lucky Ones got positive attention in Canada and was nominated for Juno awards. The White Witch Woman Blues got radio airplay across Canada. But Mike Payette left Pride Tiger in 2008 and they split up in 2009. Payette told The Georgia Straight the split was amicable due to musical differences. My guess is a couple of the guys wanted a more heavy metal sound and then after Payette left, they decided not to continue at all. It's too bad. They had potential. The Lucky Ones is available as a budget CD. I'm not sure what the others are doing but Matt Wood joined the heavy metal band Bison B.C. in 2011. Here's the video for The White Witch Woman Blues by Pride Tiger.

Friday, January 17, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jill Haworth

Artist:Jill Haworth
Album:Greatest Hits: Broadway

When most folks think of the role of Sally Bowles in the musical Cabaret, they think of Liza Minnelli in the 1972 film. But Sally Bowles was played in the 1966 Broadway show by British actress Jill Haworth. Unfortunately, Jill was never a star though she appeared on TV a lot in the 70s. She was born Aug. 15, 1945 in Hove, Sussex, England. Her mother was a ballet dancer and usually traveled with Jill. Jill took ballet lessons and studied at the Corona Stage School. Her big break came when legendary producer director Otto Preminger saw a picture of her in a Corona promotional brochure. He was looking for a girl to play the romantic lead opposite Sal Mineo in the 1960 film Exodus. Jill was 15 years old when she auditioned for that role. He signed her to a contract and she also appeared in the 1963 film The Cardinal and the 1965 film In Harm's Way. The problem was Preminger wouldn't let Jill appear in anyone else's films. He turned down Lolita. Jill did appear in TV shows like Twelve O'Clock High and Rawhide. After her contract with Preminger ended, Jill was filming the 1966 film It! when she met legendary Broadway director Hal Prince. He was working on Cabaret with John Kander and Fred Ebb. He asked Jill if she could sing. She said "louder than Merman". Jill played Sally Bowles from 1966-68. She was criticized for her singing but Prince pointed out that Sally Bowles was not supposed to be a professional singer. She left when Cabaret moved to London. You can get Jill's performance of Cabaret on this Sony Classical various artists budget CD. The original cast is also available on CD. One would think that a big role like that would lead to stardom. It didn't happen. Jill Haworth did a lot of TV guest shots in the 70s and appeared in a few low budget films. She retired in the 80s and died on Jan. 3, 2011 at age 65. Her final film appearance was in the 2001 film Mergers & Acquisitions. Here's Jill Haworth performing Cabaret on the 1968 Tony Awards broadcast.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lonestar

Album:From There To Here: Greatest Hits

Amazed was the biggest hit for the country group Lonestar in 1999. Not only did it top the country chart but it crossed over to pop and topped the Billboard Hot 100. They were called Texassee when first formed in 1992 because all the members were Texas natives living in Nashville. They met at the Opryland USA theme park. Richie McDonald was lead singer and rhythm guitarist, John Rich was bassist and lead singer, Michael Britt was lead guitarist, Randy "Keech" Rainwater played drums and Dean Sams played keyboards. Britt and Rainwater were in the group Canyon who had a top 40 country hit with Hot Nights in 1989. The band name was changed to Lonestar and they signed with BNA Records in 1995. Their first single Tequila Talkin' was a top ten country hit. The next single No News was their first number one country hit. With their second album Crazy Nights, Rich seemed to take control of Lonestar's lead vocals and McDonald was pushed to the background. Lonestar fired Rich in 1998 and he went on to the successful duo Big & Rich. McDonald took over as lead singer on the 1999 album Lonely Grill. They also brought in session guitarist and Contemporary Christian musician Dann Huff to produce. The single Amazed topped the Country Singles chart and the Billboard Hot 100, the first song to do that since Islands In The Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in 1983. The song was written by the husband wife team of Chris Lindsey and Aimee Mayo along with Marv Green. So now Lonestar is more of a pop group. They continued to have success and have had nine number one country hits. You can get them all on this budget CD. Lonestar started to fade and BNA dropped them after the 2007 CD Mountains sold poorly. Then Richie McDonald left to go solo. He was replaced by Cody Collins of the group McAlyster. They released a 2008 album with Collins. Then he left and McDonald returned. Lonestar's latest CD Life As We Know It was released June 2013. They are currently touring. I don't see Lonestar returning to the top of the country charts again. But I'm sure they are still a good concert draw. Here's the video for Amazed by Lonestar.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Van McCoy

Artist:Van McCoy
Song:The Hustle
Album:Pure Disco 2

Van McCoy was already a successful writer, producer and arranger when he topped the charts with The Hustle in 1975. Today it's one of the most loved or hated songs of the disco era. There were other instrumentals with a beat that were hits at the time. And of course the song created a dance craze. Van McCoy was born Jan. 6, 1940 in Washington, DC. He grew up singing and playing piano in church. He formed the doo wop group The Starlighters with his brother Norman McCoy Jr. They released a few singles but split up after graduating from high school. After studying psychology at Howard University for two years, McCoy moved to Philadelphia to start his own record company. His 1959 single Hey Mr. DJ got him a staff writer job at Scepter Records. He also owned labels like Vando, Share and Maxx. McCoy's big break was working for legendary producers Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller which resulted in a songwriting and production deal at Columbia Records. He recorded a solo album in 1966. McCoy's biggest hit at the time was the Barbara Lewis hit Baby, I'm Yours. He also produced several hits for The Stylistics with partner Charles Kipps. McCoy released an album in 1972 and toured with his orchestra The Soul City Symphony and the female backup group Faith, Hope and Charity. In 1975, McCoy signed with Avco Records which was recently purchased by the production team of Hugo & Luigi. His 1975 album Disco Baby went nowhere at first. But the third single The Hustle blew up and was a worldwide chart topper. I think the song is similar to the kind of music Barry White was recording at the time. Maybe folks thought White recorded The Hustle. McCoy and Kipps were at a New York club watching patrons dance The Hustle. He decided to record a song about it. Philip Bodner played the piccolo and other musicians who played on the record were bassist Gordon Edwards, drummer Steve Gadd, keyboardist Richard Tee and guitarists Eric Gale and John Tropea. Though some of McCoy's other recordings were minor hits, most will only remember The Hustle and you can get it on this Universal various artists CD. McCoy went on to produce David Ruffin, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Melba Moore and Faith, Hope and Charity. Sadly, Van McCoy died of a heart attack on July 6, 1979 at age 39. Here's the video for The Hustle by Van McCoy.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Miesha Tate vs Liz Carmouche set for Apr. 19 UFC show in Orlando

Miesha Tate, Liz Carmouche
Last night, Roger Simmons of The Orlando Sentinel reported that the UFC will return to Florida after a long hiatus with UFC on Fox 11 at The Amway Center in Orlando on April 19. The UFC quickly confirmed the show. One of the matches announced for the show will be former UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship contenders Miesha Tate vs Liz Carmouche. This should be the first ever women's match on the main card of a Fox show. Both Miesha and Liz have lost title shots and both have a long road back to that stature. Normally, one would think that they would be used as gatekeepers for UFC newcomers. But matching them against each other indicates a must win situation with the loser possibly subject to a UFC release. Ah, if only it was that simple. Both Miesha and Liz have marketing value beyond a win loss record. After Miesha lost to Cat Zingano, she got an undeserved title shot and TUF coaching slot when Cat got injured. Though I'm sure Miesha believes that taking Ronda Rousey past the first round is a victory of sorts, she still got whooped. That small victory stuff is such a load of crap. What Miesha really needs is an emphatic convincing win. It's been a long time since she has had one of those. But because of her sex appeal and popularity, I don't see the UFC releasing Miesha even if she does lose. Obviously at some point she has to win. I don't think she is at that point yet. Liz is a tough opponent but I don't believe she would have gotten a title shot if certain other fighters were interested. After beating Jessica Andrade in July (Miesha was the original opponent but was replaced when she was named TUF coach), Liz talked about getting another title shot. But Liz did not look good losing to Alexis Davis in November and her stock has decreased. So this fight could be a must win for Liz too. But as the first openly gay UFC fighter with a significant fanbase through that, she also has value beyond a win loss record. So though I don't expect either fighter to be released after a loss, I don't think a win makes either of them closer to another title shot.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lauryn Hill

Artist:Lauryn Hill
Song:Doo Wop (That Thing)
Album:The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill

Back in 1998 when she was riding high with the number one hit Doo Wop, Lauryn Hill was everyone's pick to be the next big music star. But she needed to produce new music and more CDs and she chose not to do that. Believe it or not, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is her only full length studio album. She records but chooses not to release much of it. She was born May 26, 1975 in East Orange, NJ. While still in high school, she joined The Fugees with Pras Michel and Wyclef Jean. She also got into acting. She was a regular on the daytime soap As The World Turns and she appeared in the 1993 film Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit. The Fugees released two albums after signing with Columbia Records in 1993. The 1996 album The Score was very successful. But they split in 1997. Jean blamed the split on his tumultuous romantic relationship with Hill. This was complicated when she met and began a relationship with Bob Marley's son Rohan Marley. They have six kids together. She recorded The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill in Jamaica. The album was a huge success and Doo Wop topped the charts. Lauryn wrote all the songs on the album. So obviously she's a huge talent. But she was sued by musicians who played on the album claiming they were not properly credited for their work. The lawsuit was settled out of court for a reported $5M. But it also appears the lawsuit soured Lauryn Hill on the music business and she went into seclusion. She taped an MTV Unplugged special in 2001 that was released on CD but it was criticized as hard to listen to. The Fugees reunited in 2004 and toured in 2005. But a planned album never happened. Both Michel and Jean blamed Hill's diva behaviour. Lauryn Hill continues to tour. Occasionally there are reports she is recording new music. But except for the occasional single, nothing is ever released. Marley says she has recorded plenty of music. So maybe she is afraid of criticism if the music isn't up to perceived standards. In 2013, Lauryn Hill spent three months in prison for tax evasion. And she is beginning a new tour this month. Will she ever release another album? That's the big question. Here's the video for Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill.

Monday, January 13, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tom Harrell

Artist:Tom Harrell
Album:The Time Of The Sun

Trumpeter Tom Harrell started out as a sideman in the 70s and 80s with guys like Horace Silver, Lee Konitz and Phil Woods. He started recording as a leader in the 90s and has recorded and toured with the band on the 2011 CD The Time Of The Sun for the last ten years. He was born June 16, 1946 in Urbana, IL and he grew up in San Francisco. He started playing trumpet at age eight and played local gigs as a teen. Harrell graduated from Stamford University in 1969 with a music composition degree and joined Stan Kenton's band. In the 70s, he played with Woody Herman, Pete and Coke Escovedo's band Azteca, he recorded and toured with Horace Silver from 1973-77 and then with Lee Konitz from 1979-81. He was also in big bands led by George Russell and Mel Lewis. From 1983-89, Harrell recorded and toured with legendary sax player Phil Woods. Harrell also worked with Vince Guaraldi on the music for the Peanuts TV specials. And he has recorded with Bill Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Ronnie Cuber, Joe Lovano, Art Farmer, Jane Monheit and many others. While still in the Woods band, Harrell started recording as a leader for labels like Steeplechase, Contemporary and Chesky. Then he signed with RCA Records in 1996 and recorded several acclaimed albums. He has recorded for HighNote since 2007 and has had the same band for all his recordings including the 2011 CD The Time Of The Sun. Musicians are Wayne Escoffery on tenor sax, Danny Grissett on piano, Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Jonathan Blake on drums. Highly recommended to jazz fans. Harrell has also worked on the classical group Tom Harrell Chamber Ensemble. His latest CD Colors of A Dream was released Oct. 2013 and features Escoffery and Okegwo along with Esperanza Spalding on bass and vocal and Jaleel Shaw on alto sax. Here's Tom Harrell with Wayne Escoffery, Danny Grissett, Ugonna Okegwo and Jonathan Blake performing Otra at the 2011 Junas Jazz Festival in France.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Roy Buchanan

Artist:Roy Buchanan
Song:Sweet Dreams
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Roy Buchanan

Guitarist Roy Buchanan had the talent to be a star but not the desire. He just wanted to play guitar. His Polydor albums of the early 70s were successful because of word of mouth. Sweet Dreams was the opening track on Buchanan's 1972 debut album. Later attempts to have him sing and commercialize him were unsatisfying. And he died a tragic and needless death in 1988. He was born Sept. 23, 1939 in Ozark, AR and moved with his family to Pixley, CA near Bakersfield. His father was a sharecropper. Buchanan got into music listening to gospel at revival meetings. And he listened to R & B on the radio. He started playing steel guitar as a child and switched to guitar as a teen. He moved to Los Angeles to work for Johnny Otis at age 15. After recording with Dale Hawkins in 1958, Buchanan moved to Toronto to work for Dale's cousin Ronnie Hawkins. He also taught guitar to Robbie Robertson. Buchanan moved back to the US and played sessions in the 60s and even trained as a hairdresser. He settled in Washington, DC and played local gigs with the Danny Denver Band. By the late 60s, musicians like John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Merle Haggard took notice of Buchanan. He supposedly turned down an offer to join The Rolling Stones. This led to the 1971 PBS documentary Introducing Roy Buchanan and a contract with Polydor Records. Buchanan's version of the Don Gibson classic Sweet Dreams was the opening track on his 1972 debut album. Buchanan recorded five albums for Polydor and a sampling of them is on this budget comp. He moved to Atlantic Records in 1976. His albums sold well but Atlantic tried to commercialize Buchanan by having him sing and play with bigger bands. Buchanan quit the music business in 1981 until he could do things his way. He signed with Alligator Records in 1985 and recorded three albums. On Aug. 14, 1988, Buchanan was arrested for intoxication after a domestic dispute in Fairfax County, VA. He spent the night in jail and was found hanging with his shirt around his neck the next morning. The death was ruled a suicide. Roy Buchanan was dead at age 48. Several guitarist have acknowledged Buchanan's influence. Jeff Beck was probably his biggest fan. Roy Buchanan is probably forgotten today. Blues fans should check him out. Here's Roy Buchanan performing Sweet Dreams on Austin City Limits 1976.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Babybird

Song:You're Gorgeous
Album:Best Of Babybird

Babybird started out as a front for British singer songwriter Stephen Jones. But by the time You're Gorgeous was a top five hit in England in 1996, Jones turned Babybird into a real band. Attempts to sell Babybird in North America were unsuccessful. Jones was born Sept. 16, 1962 in Telford, Shropshire, England. He started out writing songs in the late 80s for the experimental theater group Dogs In Honey while attending Nottingham Trent University. He started recording his songs at home. After record companies rejected his demos, Chrysalis Music offered him a publishing deal. Jones released a few EPs as Babybird and then compiled them into the full length CD I Was Born A Man. This got him a record deal with Chrysalis' Echo label. And then Jones turned Babybird into a real band with Huw Chadbourn on keyboards, Robert Gregory on drums, John Pedder on bass and Luke Scott on guitar. The 1996 CD Ugly Beautiful was the first CD and You're Gorgeous was the second single. It reached #3 on the British singles chart. It turned out to be Babybird's biggest hit. The singles Candy Girl, Cornershop and Bad Old Man charted and you can get them all on this comp. Babybird was reduced to a trio for the 2000 CD Bugged. Except for performing the theme for the Gordon Ramsey cooking show The F-Word, Babybird was going nowhere. Echo dropped them and the band split up. After releasing a couple of solo CDs and composing the score for the 2004 film Blessed, Jones reformed Babybird in 2005. They released three albums and toured. Johnny Depp even appeared on one of the albums and directed one of their videos. But they were going nowhere so Jones recently announced the end of Babybird. He currently records mostly instrumental music as Black Reindeer. It looks like he wants to score films. I think You're Gorgeous is catchy enough that if it had been properly promoted in North America, it could have been a hit. Here's the video for You're Gorgeous by Babybird.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Saori Ishioka to return for Mika Nagano retirement match

Mika Nagano, Saori Ishioka
DEEP JEWELS announced yesterday that Saori Ishioka will return to MMA to face Mika Nagano in her retirement match on the Feb. 16 Shinjuku FACE show. This will be an exhibition match. It's not a real match. Ishioka is returning to DEEP JEWELS after getting married in July 2012 and then having a child. DEEP JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki tried to set up Ishioka for stardom when JEWELS first started in 2008. She's young, attractive, the dirty old men like her. But her record is 12-7 and she has never beaten a top tier fighter. Ishioka is a teammate of Shizuka Sugiyama at Zendokai and both train with veteran Misaki Takimoto. All three fighters are primarily karate girls and none of them are strong on the ground. Ishioka's last fight was a win over WINDY Tomomi on Mar. 11, 2012 PANCRASE show. That was WINDY's retirement match. Before that she lost to Yuka Tsuji and Ham Seo Hee. After her 2010 loss to Sakura Nomura, Ishioka considered retirement but did return. I'm sure she will have her first real match on the next DEEP JEWELS show. We'll see how she adapts to some of the rule changes. She can be a DEEP JEWELS Lightweight Championship contender if she puts a few wins together.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King

Artist:Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King
Song:She's Too Busy
Album:My Heart's In Texas

Blues guitarist Smokin' Joe Kubek started out as a sideman in the 70s. He met singer and guitarist Bnois King in the 80s and they have toured together for the last twenty years. The live CD My Heart's In Texas was released in 2006. Kubek was born Nov. 30, 1956 in Grove City, PA and grew up in Dallas. He started out in the 70s with blues legend Freddie King. Kubek went solo in the 80s and then met Bnois King. King was born Jan. 21, 1943 in Delhi, LA. He learned to play guitar as a child and wanted to play jazz. He moved to Texas in the 70s. King met Kubek in the early 80s but they didn't start working together until 1988. They found that King is a really good singer and gets a good response from the audience. So he does most of the singing. They signed with Bullseye Blues and their debut CD Steppin' Out Texas Style was released in 1991. They released eight CDs for Bullseye but Bullseye went out of business and Kubek moved to Blind Pig in 2003. She's Too Busy is from the 2006 live CD My Heart's In Texas. It is also available on DVD. After two albums for Blind Pig, they recorded two albums for Alligator. They now record for Delta Groove Productions. Their latest CD Road Dog's Life was released Sept. 2013. Kubek & King are a lot of fun to listen to and blues fans should check them out. Here's Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King with John Morris on bass and Adrian Marchine on drums performing She's Too Busy at J&J Blues Bar in Fort Worth, TX 2005. This is from the My Heart's In Texas DVD.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Total

Artist:Total f/Missy Elliott & Timbaland
Song:What About Us?
Album:Soul Food: Soundtrack

The R & B girl group Total had some success in the late 90s with songs like What About Us from the soundtrack of the popular film Soul Food. They split up in 2000 but have recently reunited with plans to record and tour. Total are from Plainfield, NJ with Kima Raynor, Keisha Spivey and Pamela Long. After appearing on a couple of songs by rapper Notorious B.I.G., Total signed with Sean Combs Bad Boy label distributed by Arista. There first single Can't You See? featured Notorious B.I.G. and was on the soundtrack of the 1995 film New Jersey Drive. It reached #13 on the Billboard hot 100 and #2 on the R & B Singles chart. Their debut CD Total was released in 2006. It was certified Platinum but none of their singles were top ten hits. Kissin' You reached #12. What About Us? was one of four chart singles from the 1997 film Soul Food. The top ten hit A Song For Mama by Boyz II Men was the biggest of those hits. What About Us? reached #16. The song was written and produced by Missy Elliott and Tim "Timbaland" Mosely. Both appear on the record but Timbaland's rap is not in the video. There is also a remix of What About Us? featuring rapper Black Rob on the 2008 CD Kima, Keisha & Pam. The Soul Food soundtrack is available as a budget CD. Total's only top ten hit was Trippin' in 1998. They only recorded two albums and split up in 2000. But they have reunited. Total announced in November they are recording new music and will appear on a R & B Superstar Valentines Day show in Wembley Arena in London. Keisha Spivey married actor Omar Epps in 2006 and they have two children. Pamela Long married J. Long of Pretty Ricky Sept. 2013 and she released a single produced by him. Kima Raynor recorded with her rapper sister Vita. They weren't around that long so it remains to be seen if fans will remember Total. Here's the video for What About Us by Total featuring Missy Elliott and Timbaland.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-SWV

Song:I'm So Into You
Album:It's About Time

Sisters With Voices (SWV) was one of several R & B girl groups to have success in the early 90s. Most of SWV's success was with their 1992 debut CD It's About Time. I'm So Into You was their breakthrough hit. They split up in 1998 but have reunited and now have a reality show. Cheryl "Coko" Gamble, Tamara "Taj" Johnson and Leanne "Lelee" Lyons all grew up singing in church in Brooklyn and went to high school together. They sent out a demo and got a contract with RCA Records. It's About Time was their 1992 debut CD. The first single Right Here was a top 20 R & B hit. I'm So Into You was the second single and it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. I'm So Into You and several songs on the album were written and produced by Brian Alexander Morgan. He worked with SWV on most of their 90s run and also produced Coko when she went solo. The next single Weak was SWV's only number one hit. It's About Time was certified 3XPlatinum. It's available as a budget CD. SWV recorded three more albums including a Christmas album. They weren't as successful and they split up in 1998. Coko wanted to go solo and had success with the 1999 album Hot Coko. She has also recorded gospel albums. Tamara went into modeling and then married NFL star running back Eddie George. She was also a contestant on Survivor: Tocantins. SWV announced they were reuniting in 2005 but it didn't happen. Then they toured briefly in 2007. Tamara was on the TV One reality series I Married A Baller. SWV finally reunited and released the CD I Missed Us Apr. 2012 on eOne. And now an SWV reality show is set to debut on We TV early 2014. No doubt it will focus on the continuing tension between these three women. Here's the video for I'm So Into You by SWV.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Julianna Pena vs Jessica Andrade added to UFC 171 in Dallas

Julianna Pena, Jessica Andrade
Marc Raimondi of Fox Sports reported last night that the UFC has added TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena will face Brazilian Jessica Andrade at UFC 171 Mar. 15 in Dallas. Of course most fans became familiar with Julianna on TUF 18. I first heard of her when she was supposed to fight Kerry Vera in Strikeforce a few years ago. Kerry blew out her knee so that fight was cancelled. Julianna is from Washington state and is very good friends with Miesha Tate. I like her because she fights with urgency and likes to finish. The only problem is she is a bit of a nut. Even Miesha's boyfriend Bryan Caraway admitted that. I believe Julianna has potential if she can control her emotions in the cage. Fear is a great motivator in MMA. But sometimes self doubt can creep in and cause problems. Jessica Andrade should be a good test for Julianna without The Ultimate Fighter baggage. I saw Jessica win a fight last year in Russia. That fight got her the UFC contract. In her July debut against Liz Carmouche, Jessica seemed to forget the aggression that got her to the UFC and Liz won in round two. She did a lot better in an October dominant unanimous decision over Rosi Sexton. I saw some things that she did in Russia. So maybe she was suffering from the UFC jitters in the first fight. I expect a good scrap and I don't expect it to go the distance as both fighters are aggressive finishers.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Edith Adams and Julie Andrews

Artist:Edith Adams and Julie Andrews
Song:Impossible/It's Possible
Album:Cinderella: Original TV Cast

Though she won Tony and Emmy awards, Edie Adams was an underrated performer. She was known for her sex appeal and her marriage to legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs. But she was very versatile as you can see from her performance as The Fairy Godmother in the 1957 TV production of the musical Cinderella. And it's not a typo. She was billed as Edith Adams. She was born Edith Enke Apr. 16, 1927 in Kingston, PA. Her family moved to the New York area and she went to high school in Tenafly, NJ. She has a vocal degree from Juilliard and graduated from the Columbia School of Drama. Edie started appearing on TV in 1950 and an appearance on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts got her an audition for a new show starring comedian Ernie Kovacs. Though she lacked experience, Edie was hired anyway and the two were married September 12, 1954. Meanwhile, Edie started appearing on Broadway. She won a Theater World award for the 1953 show Wonderful Town and a Tony award for playing Daisy Mae in the 1956 show Lil Abner. Cinderella was the only musical written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein for TV. It was broadcast on CBS Mar. 31, 1957. It was designed as a star vehicle for Julie Andrews who had just made a big splash on Broadway in My Fair Lady. Maybe that's why Edie was billed as Edith Adams. Impossible/It's Possible is Edie's big number. The show is available on CD. Edie recorded for MGM and appeared in films like The Apartment in 1960. Of course everything changed when Kovacs died in a car accident on Jan. 13, 1962. Edie continued to appear on TV and films. She was probably best known for her series of Muriel Cigar commercials in the 60s. She also started her own cosmetic and hair salon companies and became a millionaire. Edie married trumpeter Pete Candoli in 1972 and frequently toured with him. And she archived the work of Ernie Kovacs. Edie Adams died on Oct. 15, 2008 at age 81. Here's Edith Adams and Julie Andrews performing Impossible/It's Possible on the 1957 broadcast of Cinderella.

Monday, January 06, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jane Child

Artist:Jane Child
Song:Don't Wanna Fall In Love
Album:Top Hits of the 90s: Absolute Hits

I'm sure most folks remember this song because it was a big hit in 1990. But what you probably remember most is Jane Child's goofy haircut and nose ring in the video. But Jane wrote and produced that song so she has talent. Of course her record company didn't care about her talent and the gimmickry is why she didn't last. She was born Feb. 15, 1967 in Toronto. Her father was famed classical violinist Ricky Hyslop. So Jane was a classically trained musician. And her parents wouldn't let her listen to pop music. But she listened to a Buffalo R & B radio station and dropped out of the Royal Conservatory of Music at age 15 to join a rock band. Eventually Jane landed in Los Angeles and a 1988 demo sparked a record company bidding war. She signed with Warner Bros. because they let her produce and write her own music. Don't Wanna Fall In Love reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990. And I think most fans will recall her look in the video. Jane not only wrote the song but she played all the instruments except guitar. The song firmly established Jane Child as a dance pop star. But she went in a more rock direction with her second album Here Not There. It wasn't successful and she was butting heads with Warners over musical direction. She was dropped after two albums. You can get Don't Wanna Fall In Love on this Collectables various artists CD. Jane Child released the CD Surge on her own label in 2002. She is married to musician Cat Gray who is musical director for Wayne Brady. It doesn't look like she is an active musician anymore. I'm sure she made a lot of money from that one hit. Here's the video for Don't Wanna Fall In Love by Jane Child.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Raitt

Artist:John Raitt
Album:The Best of John Raitt

Contemporary music fans probably know that John Raitt was the father of guitarist Bonnie Raitt. But you may not know that he was a legend of the Broadway stage. Soliloquy is from his breakthrough performance in the 1945 show Carousel. He was born Jan. 28, 1917 in Santa Ana, CA. He started performing while in high school in Fullerton. After graduating, he joined the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera and then signed with MGM. He appeared in small roles in a few films. But when Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein were casting for Carousel, producer Lawrence Langner heard about Raitt and went to see him in Los Angeles. They were actually looking for a new Curly for Oklahoma. But they cast Raitt as Billy Bigelow in Carousel and also found co-star Jan Clayton. Of course Carousel was a big hit and Raitt became a star. He had a great voice and a great presence. But is he a tenor or a baritone? Who cares? Raitt appeared in many other Broadway shows. But his other really big hit was The Pajama Game. He also appeared in the 1957 film of The Pajama Game with Doris Day. That was Raitt's only major film appearance. He appeared on TV a lot usually guesting on variety shows. He starred with Mary Martin in the 1957 TV production of Annie Get Your Gun. This CD is a good intro to Raitt's music. Of course his daughter Bonnie Raitt is more famous than dad but she enjoyed performing with him. John Raitt is in the Theater Hall Of Fame and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. He continued to perform until his death on Feb. 20, 2005 at age 88. Here's John Raitt performing Soliloquy on The General Foods 25th Anniversary Show: A Salute To Rodgers and Hammerstein Mar. 28, 1954.