Monday, March 31, 2014

Review of WWE Total Divas season 2 episode 3

This week's episode is part two of what shall be known as The Bus Trip From Hell. Last week, Brie Bella talked fiancee Bryan Danielson into trying out a tour bus. This mistake was compounded by inviting the entire cast of WWE Total Divas to go with them. Danielson admitted in an interview a few days ago that he only got the bus for the show. I assume the producers paid for it. Eva Marie and Summer Rae left the bus to travel together. And the show begins with them recapping their reasons for leaving. So Brie admits that getting the bus wasn't such a good idea. And it was certainly a bad idea to invite everyone to go with them. It was noisy so Danielson couldn't get any sleep. Then Brie catches Trinity and fiancee Jon Fatu Jr. doing the nasty on the bus. That's it. Danielson declares that the bus experiment is over. Not surprising. Most of the rest of this episode concentrates on new Total Divas cast member Summer Rae. She is Fandango's dance partner and also wrestles. As with Eva Marie, she is a bit of an outcast because she is new to the WWE roster and lacks experience. So you might ask what about Trinity? She was a dancer before the WWE. Her fiancee grew up in the wrestling business so that gets her points. The girls believe Summer Rae is overly flirtatious with the boys and a phony. To illustrate this, Danielson is telling Brie and Nikki about a curious conversation he had with Summer Rae. They show the conversation and Danielson has a very puzzled look on his face. A pissed off Brie tells Summer Rae to stop flirting with her fiancee. So this puts the other girls on notice that Summer is doing this and pretending to not know what the problem is. She's done this flirting already with Nattie Neidhart's husband TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd). Plus Nattie's insecurities lead her to dislike any new blonde who could take her spot. So Nattie discusses Summer Rae with Fandango to piss Summer off. And Summer goes to Nattie's house to confront her. Nattie accuses Summer of being a glorified stripper. That was way out of bounds. Though I agree that Summer emphasizes her sex appeal because of the character she is playing, I have seen worse in the WWE. I don't even think Summer is that attractive. Summer slaps Nattie and Nattie tells Summer if she ever comes to her house again, she will call the police. And she could have charged Summer with assault. Is Summer Rae behaving properly? She probably needs to watch herself better. She's new to the wrestling business but she's been in locker rooms before. And she's not a kid. She's 30 years old. As a newbie, she wants attention but I don't think flirting with the boys is what she should be doing. This storyline will continue when WWE Total Divas returns in two weeks. It will be pre-empted for Wrestlemania. Enjoy the video!
Total Divas S02E03 - Part 1/3 (720p HD) by WrestlingVidsUploaderHQv3
Total Divas S02E03 - Part 2/3 (720p HD) by WrestlingVidsUploaderHQv3
Total Divas S02E03 - Part 3/3 (720p HD) by WrestlingVidsUploaderHQv3

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Beth Leavel

Artist:Beth Leavel
Song:As We Stumble Along
Album:The Drowsy Chaperone: Original Broadway Cast Recording

Beth Leavel is a Broadway performer who won a Tony award for her performance in the 2006 musical The Drowsy Chaperone. As We Stumble Along is her big number in the show. She was born Nov. 1, 1955 in Raleigh, NC. She earned a graduate theater degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1980. In the 90s, she appeared on Broadway in shows like Crazy for You, Show Boat and The Civil Wars. But her big break came when she starred as Beatrice Stockwell in the 2006 show The Drowsy Chaperone and won a Tony award. The Drowsy Chaperone is a show within a show musical created by Toronto based actor and director Don McKellar. He thought it would be fun to write a spoof of old musicals. McKellar wrote the book with partner Bob Martin and the songs were written by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. The show had several runs in Toronto before it opened on Broadway in 2006. It ran for a year and a half and won several Tony awards. Beth Leavel has since appeared in musicals like Young Frankenstein and Mamma Mia. She also had a long run in Elf The Musical and she was nominated for a Tony for starring as Florence Greenberg in the musical Baby, It's You. She is currently headlining her own show at the New York club 54 Below. Here's Beth Leavel performing As We Stumble Along on the 2007 Tony Awards broadcast. This video includes her acceptance speech.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Gina Iniong vs VV Mei

Here's the fight video of Japanese veteran VV Mei vs Gina Iniong on yesterday's PXC show in the Philippines. A couple of fans asked me to analyze this fight as most believe Mei got jobbed. Though I agree with that, it didn't surprise me. Look, she's going to the Philippines and fighting the home town favourite. Unless Mei wins decisively or finishes, she was brought there to lose. Japanese promoters bring foreigners in to lose all the time. And that's why I don't like the idea of her going to places like that. It's too risky. With her experience, Mei should have won easily. But she didn't. And we all know what happens when a fight is too close. Maybe officials were concerned that if the home town fighter loses a close decision, the fans riot. And I think Gina deserves some credit for showing toughness especially when Mei had her in that round one armbar. I didn't think Mei had it applied properly anyway. There were several times when Gina was in trouble and could have folded like a cheap suitcase. But she came back and did enough to keep it close. And I was not surprised that she won. It was a home town decision. I don't agree with it but it does happen. And the way to avoid it is don't fight there. My advice to VV Mei is make peace with Shigeru Saeki and sign with DEEP JEWELS. Fighting in places like Guam or the Philippines won't help her and now that she has lost both fights, she is really behind the eight ball. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Eileen Rodgers & Kenneth Mars

Artist:Eileen Rodgers & Kenneth Mars
Song:Let's Misbehave
Album:Anything Goes: Original Broadway Cast

Eileen Rodgers started out as a band singer but she is mostly known for her appearances in Broadway musicals like the 1962 production of Anything Goes. She retired in the mid-60s to start a family. She was born July 10, 1930 in Pittsburgh. She was a singer for The Charlie Spivak Orchestra in the late 40s and recorded a couple of albums for Columbia Records in the 50s. She had a top twenty hit with Miracle Of Love in 1956. She made her Broadway debut in the 1959 hit show Fiorella! which was about former New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia. Eileen got some attention belting out the song Gentleman Jimmy. She also appeared in the 1960 musical Tenderloin. Anything Goes was written by Cole Porter and was first staged on Broadway in 1934. When the musical was a hit film in 1956 starring Bing Crosby, it was thought the time was ripe to revive it on Broadway. Among those appearing with Eileen Rodgers were Hal Linden, Mickey Deems and Kenneth Mars. Mars appears on Let's Misbehave. He was a character actor best known for his appearances in several Mel Brooks films. He only appeared in two musicals. The show was a big hit and the original cast album is available as a budget CD. The musical Anything Goes has been revived many times over the years. Eileen Rodgers also appeared in the 1965 notorious flop musical Kelly which closed after one performance. After co-hosting a 1966 Chevy 50th Anniversary TV special with Art Carney, Eileen Rodgers got married and started a family. She never performed again and died on July 13, 2003 at age 73. Here's a video for Let's Misbehave by Eileen Rodgers & Kenneth Mars.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Jorina Baars vs Cris Cyborg

Here is the fight video from last night's Lion Fight show in Las Vegas with undefeated Dutch kickboxer Jorina Baars facing Brazilian MMA fighter Cris Cyborg. I think it proves that if Cyborg fights a highly skilled Muay Thai fighter under Muay Thai rules, she can't do what she does in MMA. She tried to do that swarming Chute Boxe stuff but it wasn't effective. Jorina remained calm and stuck to her game plan. I thought the fight was closer than the scores as I think Jorina ran out of gas in the final two rounds. But the ref was incompetent. How many knockdowns did he miss? So I was asked if Cyborg's loss means anything. I dunno. Maybe it means she should stick to MMA. It doesn't change the questions about her. Can she make 135lb and what kind of fighter will she be at that weight? Maybe she won't be as effective. I don't know. The other thing I noticed was some were impressed with Jorina and want to see her try MMA. I have news for you. She has a 1-3 MMA record. Her problem is similar to countrywoman Germaine De Randamie. Jorina is a dominant kickboxer but that doesn't necessarily translate to MMA. And Muay Thai is king in the Netherlands. And if she wanted to concentrate on MMA, she would have to move to the US as Germaine did. Maybe she doesn't want to move. It's just that the MMA training is at a higher level in the US. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gunther Schuller

Artist:Gunther Schuller
Song:Variants on a Theme of Thelonious Monk
Album:The Golden Striker/Jazz Abstractions

Though the 1960 album Jazz Abstractions is frequently credited to Modern Jazz Quartet pianist John Lewis and is listed in his discography, he doesn't actually appear on the album. It is written and conducted by third stream jazz pioneer Gunther Schuller. For those who like that kind of jazz, this album is a must. He was born Nov. 22, 1925 in New York City. His father was a violinist in the New York Philharmonic. By the time he was a teen, Schuller was an accomplished french horn player and in the 40s he played with the American Ballet Theater and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Then he moved back to New York to play with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the 50s. Meanwhile, Schuller got interested in jazz when he played french horn on some of the sessions for Miles Davis' landmark album Birth of the Cool. He played jazz on the side. In 1955, he formed the Modern Jazz Society with Modern Jazz Quartet pianist John Lewis. They wanted to combine jazz and classical techniques which Schuller called "third stream". By 1959, Schuller quit playing and became a composer and conductor. Lewis recorded for Atlantic Records as part of MJQ. But he also recorded solo albums. And in the case of Jazz Abstractions, his name appeared on the cover but he didn't actually appear on the record. Schuller wrote and conducted the record. Jim Hall wrote one song and played guitar. Other musicians appearing included Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy on sax, George Duvivier and Scott LaFaro on bass and Bill Evans on piano. So it's worth checking out for fans of those musicians. Jazz Abstractions is only available on this Collectables twofer CD paired with the 1960 John Lewis album The Golden Striker. Schuller was president of the New England Conservatory in the 60s and 70s. He recorded occasionally and is probably best known for his 70s recordings of ragtime composer Scott Joplin. He won a Grammy for his 1974 album Joplin: The Red Back Book. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for the 1994 composition of Reminiscences and Reflections and he has won other awards. He is currently the artistic director for the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, WA. Here's a video for Variations on a Theme of Thelonious Monk by Gunther Schuller.

Friday, March 28, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nino Tempo & April Stevens

Artist:Nino Tempo & April Stevens
Song:Deep Purple
Album:Hey Baby! The Nino Tempo & April Stevens Anthology

Though the brother sister duo of Nino Tempo & April Stevens are known for the 1963 number one hit Deep Purple, both have had long careers in the entertainment industry. Antonio and Carol LoTiempo are from Niagara falls, NY but they grew up in Los Angeles. Tempo learned to play the sax as a child and he appeared on TV with Benny Goodman. Then he played Goodman in the 1953 film The Glenn Miller Story. Then he became a session musician. April Stevens recorded for RCA Records in the early 50s and had a 1951 top ten hit with I'm In Love Again. Both recorded solo in the late 50s with little success. Tempo became a member of the legendary Los Angeles studio musician group The Wrecking Crew. During a Bobby Darin recording session, Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun suggested Tempo record as a duo with April. After the first couple of singles stiffed, Tempo suggested the chestnut Deep Purple. Ertegun hated the record but it was released and topped the charts in 1963 much to Ertegun's surprise. He tried to bury it on a B-side. Apparently Tempo thought it would be a hit. The record won a Grammy for Best Rock & Roll Record. April says her speaking the lyrics on the record was because Tempo forgot the words and she was helping him. Deep Purple was written by Pete DeRose and Mitchell Parrish and was first a hit by Larry Clinton and his Orchestra in 1938. It was also a hit for Artie Shaw featuring Helen Forrest. Tempo & Stevens had a top 20 hit with Whispering in 1964. But they were never able to repeat the success of Deep Purple. This Ace Records comp covers their whole career. Tempo & Stevens also recorded for White Whale and A & M. Tempo went back to session work and charted with Sister James in 1973 as Nino Tempo & 5th Ave. Sax. April Stevens released a few unsuccessful singles and the two continue to perform together today. Here's Nino Tempo & April Stevens performing Deep Purple in the 1963 Dick Clark produced TV special Celebrity Party.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chris Potter

Artist:Chris Potter
Song:The Wheel

Chris Potter is one of today's top sax players as a leader and a sideman. This band Underground was formed as a touring band and they recorded three albums together starting with the 2006 CD Underground. Potter has been a regular member of bassist Dave Holland's band for years and also worked a lot with the late drummer Paul Motian. Potter was born Jan. 1, 1971 in Chicago and he grew up in Columbia, SC. He played piano as a child but was inspired by the great Paul Desmond to take up the alto sax. He played local gigs as a teen and then moved to New York to attend the Manhattan School of Music. Potter joined trumpeter Red Rodney's band and remained with him until Rodney's 1994 death. He first recorded as a leader in 1992 and then signed with Concord for the 1993 album Concentric Circles. He recorded with drummer Paul Motian and toured with Steely Dan and the Mingus Big Band. He first recorded with bassist Dave Holland in 1997 and joined his band shortly after. He still tours with Holland as I saw him at the 2009 Toronto Jazz Festival. Potter has also toured with trumpeter Dave Douglas and guitarist Jim Hall. He switched to Verve for the 2001 album Gratitude and then switched to Sunnyside Records for the 2006 CD Underground. This band included Wayne Krantz on guitar, Craig Taborn on keyboards and Nate Smith on drums. This band recorded three CDs together. Adam Rogers replaced Krantz for the 2007 CD Follow The Red Line. Chris Potter currently records for ECM Records. His latest CD The Sirens was released Jan. 2012. He is currently on tour with bassist Ben Williams. Here is Chris Potter with Adam Rogers, Craig Taborn and Nate Smith performing The Wheel at Jazz Open Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany July 2009.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Middleweight Championship match to main event May 18 DEEP JEWELS show

Takayo Hashi, Shizuka Sugiyama
DEEP JEWELS held a press conference today to announce that the next DEEP JEWELS show will be May 18 at Shinjuku FACE. The main event will be for the DEEP JEWELS Middleweight Championship between Shizuka Sugiyama and Takayo Hashi. Neither fighter has distinguished herself recently. Because she's pretty, Sugiyama is a favourite of the DEEP JEWELS core audience of dirty old men. But she has been one big question mark since returning from Australia in 2012. Though she beat Mizuho Sato easily on the Feb. 16 DEEP JEWELS show, Sugiyama fought Korean kickboxer Kim Ji-Yeon to a draw on the Nov. 24 DEEP show. I just finished watching that fight. Sugiyama started out OK but ran out of gas. The fight was only two rounds. Sugiyama would have lost if it had gone three. Hashi had the same problem when she fought the same Korean kickboxer Kim Ji-Yeon to a draw on the Mar. 9 Road FC show in Korea. I just watched that fight too. Hashi is a good fighter when she sticks to judo and jiu jitsu. But she isn't much of a striker and that can get her into trouble. Hashi was cut over her right eye early in the first round and she was lucky to get a draw. Hashi is returning from 2013 knee surgery so I wonder if she is coming back too soon. Maybe Kim Ji-Yeon should be fighting for this title. The other big news is that Saori Ishioka is returning after a two year break to start a family. She is dropping to 48kg to face SARAMI. Ishioka was a decent fighter before but one never knows what she will be like after a long break. SARAMI trains at Club Barbarian and has a 3-3 record. She hasn't beat anyone notable yet so I expect Ishioka to be favoured. Two other fights were announced. 0-5 Yuko Kawabata will return from a two year break to face 0-2 Naomi Taniyama. And 0-1 Shiori Hori will face the debuting Maya Dobashi. I will have more details as the rest of the card is announced.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Archies

Artist:The Archies
Song:Sugar, Sugar
Album:Sugar, Sugar

Sugar, Sugar topped the charts in 1969. People even scoffed at the song back then because it was in a Saturday morning cartoon and The Archies weren't a real band. But the truth is phony bands were common in those days. All Kasenetz-Katz produced were phony groups. In this case the man behind The Archies was Don Kirshner who was also behind The Monkees. CBS hired Filmation to produce an cartoon series based on the very popular Archie Comics. Filmation produced the 1966 Superman cartoon series. CBS wanted to emulate the success of The Monkees and wanted the Archie gang to have a band. So who better to produce The Archies than Don Kirshner. He hired veteran songwriter and producer Jeff Barry to produce the records. They needed a song for each episode so they had to produce a lot of music. Kirshner wanted session singer Kenny Karen to sing lead. But Barry chose Kirshner staff songwriter Ron Dante. He was lead singer of Leader of the Laundromat by The Detergents. Barry also hired female singer Toni Wine and Canadian Andy Kim. Barry, his wife Ellie Greenwich and Kasenetz-Katz lead singer Joey Levine contributed backup vocals. Musicians included guitarist Hugh McCracken, bassist Chuck Rainey and pianist Ron Frangipane. These guys are all pros. Though the TV show was an immediate hit, the first Archies album didn't do well. The single Bang-Shang-A-Lang only reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100. So when Kirshner played Sugar, Sugar for radio execs, he wouldn't tell them who recorded it because he thought they would prejudge it. Kirshner was right. They loved the song and Sugar, Sugar topped the charts. The song was written by Barry and Kim. Jingle Jangle was the other top ten hit for The Archies. There were a few more albums but Sugar, Sugar was the high point. You can get all The Archies singles on this CD from the British label Repertoire. Of course Andy Kim went on to a successful solo career. Ron Dante was lead singer on The Cuff Links hit Tracy. After an attempted solo career, he had his biggest success producing Barry Manilow in the 70s and he produced the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin'. Here's the video for Sugar, Sugar by The Archies. There is also a clip of Ron Dante performing Sugar, Sugar but he's lip syncing. That cracked me up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Io Shirai vs Cheerleader Melissa

On today's edition of Big Bad Blog Video Theater, I have Io Shirai defending her World of STARDOM Championship against SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa. This was the main event of the Mar. 16 Korakuen Hall show. Only the STARDOM belt was on the line. I did not expect it to change hands as Melissa only appeared on this show. Of course she has been in Japan before especially back in 2001 when she trained at ARSION for several months. I have one complaint about the video. I will never understand why Samurai TV shows the wrestler entrances and then clips the match. I know they have to fit it into a timeslot. We don't need to see the entrances. Show the whole match. I think the match is excellent considering they had never worked together before. I don't think Melissa had even met Io before this match. It just shows how versatile Melissa is. And she is a lot bigger than Io. She probably outweighs Io by 20 pounds and is much taller. That takes a lot of adjustment especially when the two have never worked together before. The match went very smoothly as I would expect from two of the best female wrestlers in the business. The one noticeable problem was when Io almost crashed and burned doing her moonsault to the floor. The other wrestlers are supposed to position Melissa so she catches Io and someone forgot to do that. Melissa got in some of her trademark spots including the curbstomp. Instead of using her diving footstomp moonsault finisher, Io used a facebuster instead. I think they may have been running short of time. I think most fans will enjoy this match. Afterwards, Io accepted Alpha Female's challenge for the title. Of course Io beat Alpha Female to win the title last year. I think Alpha Female could win this time because she is under contract to STARDOM until the fall so they can give her a good run before Nanae Takahashi get her revenge on Alpha Female. Io and Alpha Female had a great match last year so I expect the same this year. Enjoy the video!
World of Stardom Title Match by cmrankin

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Charles Earland

Artist:Charles Earland
Song:More Today Than Yesterday
Album:Black Talk!

Organist Charles Earland started out in the 60s apprenticing under the legendary Jimmy McGriff. He started recording as a leader in 1969 on Prestige Records. Though he had some success in the mid-70s as a disco artist, I think most jazz fans will be interested in his Prestige recordings. Earland's mix of jazz and soul earned him the nickname The Mighty Burner. He was born May 24, 1941 in Philadelphia. His dad played alto sax and as a teen, he played in a band with Pat Martino on guitar, Lew Tabackin on tenor sax and Frankie Avalon on trumpet. After attending Temple University, Earland toured as a sax player for Jimmy McGriff. He learned to play the Hammond B-3 organ during intermissions. So he switched to the organ and recorded an album with Martino and drummer Bobby Durham. He joined Lou Donaldson's band until he signed as a solo artist with Prestige Records. Black Talk! was Earland's Prestige debut in 1969. I'm sure it will remind jazz fans of more famous organists like Jimmy McGriff and Jimmy Smith and Earland doesn't do anything new. But Black Talk! is available as a budget CD and is worth a listen. Along with this cover of the Spiral Starecase hit More Today Than Yesterday, Earland also covers Aquarius from Hair. Musicians are Virgil Jones on trumpet, Houston Person on tenor sax, Melvin Sparks on guitar, Idris Muhammad on drums and Buddy Caldwell on congas. Earland left Prestige in 1975 to record disco for Mercury. He had some chart success especially in England with songs like Let The Music Play in 1978. He also recorded jazz for Muse Records. Earland also recorded for Columbia, Milestone and High Note. Earland quit music when his wife Sheryl died in 1985. But he returned in the 90s until he died of heart failure on Dec. 11, 1999 at age 58. Here's a video for More Today Than Yesterday by Charles Earland.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review of WWE Total Divas season 2 episode 2

So if you watch reality shows, you will know that frequently situations are contrived to create drama. But sometimes these situations are based in reality. On this episode of WWE Total Divas, the major storylines have been contrived to make most of these girls look like idiots. Last week's cliffhanger had John Cena arriving to meet Nikki Bella in San Diego. He successfully reconciles with her despite not committing to marriage or children. He dangled the "We'll discuss it later" carrot and like a stupid donkey, Nikki bit on the carrot. With her sister's wedding coming up, this problem won't go away. She was hoping he would propose marriage. Well, DUH! Later on when a superkick from Tamina Snuka knocks out one of her teeth, she avoids Cena for the rest of the episode because she thinks she's ugly. Huh? I actually believe this story because we know how stupid Nikki is. Cena doesn't know why she is avoiding him. But he catches up to her and laughs when he finds out. I guess he thought it was cute. We are shown that Cena travels in this badass tour bus. Cena is on the road so much that the bus is more comfortable than a plane. It's really decked out. This gives Brie Bella the idea that her fiancee Bryan Danielson is on the road so much, maybe he should get a bus. Bryan isn't crazy about the idea but he will try one out. I'm surprised he agreed to it except the show producers needed a phony storyline for the show. So Brie invites the entire cast of WWE Total Divas on this bus trip to Portland. That's a recipe for disaster. Lately, Eva Marie and Ariane have been traveling together as both are WWE locker room outcasts because they aren't wrestlers. As we saw last season, Eva Marie has this nasty habit of trying to trumpet her own accomplishments at the expense of her friends. JoJo didn't like it last season and Ariane doesn't like it either. JoJo just stopped living with her. But Ariane tries to get back at Eva Marie by showing racy pics of Eva Marie that are very old. She shows them to the entire locker room. But she didn't show them to her tag team partner Trinity because she knows Trinity would have put a stop to it. Meanwhile Nattie Neidhart has a big problem with newcomer Summer Rae based on Nattie's insecurities. But Summer has shown that she won't take any crap from Nattie. This feud is supposed to last the whole season. So when Eva Marie finds out about the pictures, she confronts Ariane and leaves the bus for a hotel. Summer Rae goes with her. It looks like they will travel together. They may be a good match as they are the same age. Maybe Summer can cure Eva of this habit she has of pissing off her friends. Trinity reminds Ariane of her mug shots when she was stopped for a DUI a couple of years ago. How would she like it if those pics were shown at work? So Ariane apologizes to Eva Marie but the apology was not accepted. I was not surprised by that. As I said, this entire episode emphasized stupidity and Ariane is really stupid. Enjoy the video!
Total Divas S02E02 "The Braniel Bus" by aliciafoxy9333

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Perry Como

Artist:Perry Como
Song:Catch A Falling Star
Album:The Very Best Of Perry Como

Perry Como was one of the biggest stars of the 50s mostly through his long running TV variety show. His easygoing style suited TV very well. Catch A Falling Star was one of his biggest hits in 1958 and his final number one hit during Como's prime in the 50s. He was born May 18, 1912 in Canonsburg, PA the seventh of thirteen children of Italian immigrants. His father sang so he made sure all the kids took music lessons. As a teen, Como played the trombone and organ and was set on a career as a barber. He would sing in the barber shop and many customers thought he should try a career as a singer. Eventually he went on the road with Freddy Carlone and then Ted Weems. It was with Weems that Como developed his Bing Crosby influenced singing style. He recorded with Weems and also appeared on the NBC radio show Beat The Band. Como got tired of touring and left the Weems band in 1943. He was ready to return to the barber shop when he was offered a CBS radio show and an RCA recording contract. He and his family would live in New York City but he wouldn't have to travel. He also signed a film contract at 20th Century Fox. Along with Crosby and Frank Sinatra, Como was one of the most popular crooners of the 40s. But what really made Como a star was TV. He first started hosting TV shows in 1948 and he signed with CBS to host The Perry Como Chesterfield Show in 1950. Chesterfield Cigarettes was a longtime Como sponsor. The show was a huge success and Como had some hit singles with novelty songs like Hot Diggity. He hated those songs. In 1955 he moved to NBC to host The Perry Como Show. The show was very successful and Como continued to record hit singles. Catch A Falling Star was his final number one hit in 1958. It was the very first hit written by the veteran songwriting team of Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss. Though Como's recording career faded, he continued to host TV shows in the 60s. After a fall from a stage in 1971, Como slowed down considerably. But he remained with RCA Records for over 50 years and continued to perform until his death on May 12, 2001 at age 88. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. Here's Perry Como performing Magic Moments and Catch A Falling Star on the BBC.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Amanda Nunes vs Alexis Dufresne added to Apr. 19 UFC show

Amanda Nunes
Guillherme Cruz of MMA Fighting reported last night that Brazilian Amanda Nunes vs UFC newcomer Alexis Dufresne has been added to UFC on FOX 11 Apr. 19 at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL. Miesha Tate vs Liz Carmouche will be on the main card. This fight will be on the prelims. Amanda Nunes has won her first two UFC fights including her last one by TKO over Germaine de Randamie on Nov. 6. Her record is now 9-3 with eight of those wins by TKO or KO. So she has power and she has that swarming style that we see from Brazilian fighters sometimes. She trains at MMA Masters in Miami, FL. Alexis Dufresne trains at America's Top Team in Temecula, CA. She has won some BJJ and grappling tournaments. Her record is 5-0 but this will be her first fight against a fighter with a winning record. Her last fight was a quick win over Kim Couture on a Feb. 28 show in Mexico City. Apparently the fight was supposed to be at a catchweight of 150lb but Alexis never weighed in and weighed 170lb. So says Kim Couture. She would have lost anyway but it's the only Alexis Dufresne fight on video. I watched it. I can't tell from that fight if Alexis is a good fighter. Nobody knows and anyone who says he does is full of crap. Amanda is more experienced against a higher level of competition and she got wins over Vanessa Porto and Ediane Gomes in Brazil before she fought for Strikeforce. Does Alexis Dufresne remind you of anyone? I think the UFC intended this fight as Holly Holm's UFC debut. UFC president Dana White met with Holly's manager Lenny Fresquez last week. As I have said before, Fresquez wants way too much money for Holly so I was not surprised she didn't sign. His demands are absurd. Think about it. He wants six figures and this is where she would have been placed on the show. Hopefully this sends a message to Fresquez that he is being ridiculous. When I look at a fighter, I look at the context of a record. What is the level of competition of that record? Holly Holm and Alexis Dufresne don't pass that test. They are unproven against real competition.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Fahey

Artist:John Fahey
Song:Sunflower River Blues
Album:The Best Of John Fahey 1959-1977

Though the average music fan shouldn't be familiar with John Fahey, most guitarists are well aware of this acoustic guitar innovator. He was influential and also a major league eccentric who recorded on his own label until he sold it in the late 70s. Health problems slowed him down in the 80s. But he had a career renaissance in the 90s until his 2001 death. He was born Feb. 28, 1939 in Washington, DC and grew up in Takoma Park, MD. He got interested in country and bluegrass music and bought his first guitar from the Sears Roebuck catalog in 1952. Then he got into acoustic blues and he developed his playing style listening to old blues records. Fahey first recorded in 1959 as Blind Joe Death. He pressed a hundred copies of the record. The idea was to make people think the record was by an old blues guitarist. He moved to California to study philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. But then he tracked down blues legend Bukka White in Mississippi and recorded him. He released the recordings on his own label Takoma and then decided to record himself. His partner and manager was ED Denson who he knew from the Maryland folk scene. The 1963 album was called Death Chants, Breakdowns & Military Waltzes and Sunflower River Blues was the first track. The odd thing was Fahey re-recorded the album in 1967. Both versions were released on one CD in 1999. While Fahey recorded in the 60s, he started to expand Takoma by signing other acoustic guitarists. The big name in this story is Leo Kottke and this eventually led to Fahey selling Takoma to Chrysalis Records in 1979. Kottke recorded for Chrysalis. Chrysalis sold Takoma to Fantasy in 1995. Fahey started to have health problems in the 80s and was living in poverty when he was rediscovered in the 90s. Rhino released a 2CD John Fahey comp that is no longer in print. This comp was first released in the 70s and then released on CD in 1992 with bonus tracks. When his father died in 1995, Fahey used his inheritance to start a new label and he started touring again. After a coronary bypass operation, John Fahey died on Feb. 22, 2001 at age 61. He had a big influence on acoustic guitar techniques. Here's John Fahey performing Sunflower River Blues 1997.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Shenandoah

Song:The Church on Cumberland Road
Album:15 Favorites

The Church on Cumberland Road was the first of five number one country music hits for Shenandoah in 1989. They were an uneasy mix of country, pop and bluegrass. Legal problems killed them in the mid-90s but a version of the band is still around. They formed in 1985 at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. Bassist Ralph Ezell, pianist Stan Thorn, guitarist Jim Seales and drummer Mike McGuire were session musicians and they decided to form a band with singer Marty Rayborn. He started out singing in his dad's bluegrass band when he was a child. They asked FAME Studios owner Rick Hall and songwriter producer Robert Byrne for help and Byrne produced a demo that got them a deal with Columbia Records. They wanted to call themselves The MGM Band but couldn't for legal reasons. Columbia suggested Shenandoah. She Doesn't Cry Anymore was their first top ten hit from their 1987 debut album Shenandoah. The album was produced by Byrne and Hall. But Shenandoah really took off with their 1989 CD The Road Not Taken. The Church on Cumberland Road was the second single from the album and their first number one country hit. Sunday in the South and Two Dozen Roses were also number one country hits from that album. The Church on Cumberland Road was written by veteran songwriters Bob DiPiero, John Scott Sherrill and Dennis Robbins of the short lived country group Billy Hill. Shenandoah's 1990 album Extra Mile did just as well. Next To You, Next To Me was a number one country hit. Shenandoah won the 1991 Academy of Country Music Vocal Group of the Year award. But then Shenandoah was sued several times over the band name. They asked Columbia to help them with settlement costs. They refused and Shenandoah declared bankruptcy and Columbia dropped them. They signed with RCA and had their final number one country hit with If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too). Then they moved to Capitol's Liberty label for the 1994 album Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart. They were still successful but not as successful as when they were on Columbia. You can get all their hits on this Capitol budget comp. Marty Raybon recorded a gospel CD for Sparrow Records in 1995. Ezell and Thorn left Shenandoah in 1995 with Rocky Thacker joining as the new bassist. Capitol talked Shenandoah into re-recording some of their old singles for the 1996 CD Now and Then. That's always a bad idea. Then Raybon left Shenandoah and formed The Raybon Brothers with his brother Tim. They recorded one album for MCA and since then, Raybon has recorded gospel. Shenandoah split up and then reformed in 2000 with a new lead singer. Ralph Ezell rejoined but he died in 2007. McGuire and Seales still lead Shenandoah today. They last recorded in 2006. Here's the video for The Church on Cumberland Road by Shenandoah.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Is Nova Uniao trying to get Claudia Gadelha out of TUF20?

Someone mentioned this to me last night and it reminded me to look into something I saw on my Twitter feed yesterday. Marcelo Barone of the Brazilian MMA publication TATAME reported yesterday that Nova Uniao is trying to negotiate to get Claudia Gadelha out of The Ultimate Fighter 20 and into a direct deal with the UFC. Claudia has said on Twitter that she has no knowledge of this but that doesn't mean that Nova Uniao isn't trying to do it. There will be 16 Strawweight fighters on TUF20. There are 11 fighters under UFC contract and five additional fighters will be cast after Apr. 28 tryouts. The winner of TUF20 will be the inaugural UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. So if a title is up for grabs, why would Claudia try to get out of TUF? Actually, I don't think she would. But I wouldn't put it past Nova Uniao to try to get her out of it. I have covered Claudia's entire career and there were always accusations in Brazil that Nova Uniao was protecting her and cherry picking opponents. They might think that TUF is too much of a crapshoot and if Claudia loses, she goes to the back of the line. Their argument might be that Claudia was the number one contender in Invicta and should retain that status regardless. But TUF precludes that. I doubt their argument would work on UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby. But what about Claudia's English? Her English is fine and she has already appeared in the 2013 reality show Fight Xchange which aired in Canada on SuperChannel. I don't know if it aired elsewhere. If Invicta Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza has to go through TUF20, Claudia has to do it too. Of course Nova Uniao might have been complaining that Carla was paid more than the other fighters. So I don't see this going anywhere.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Hank Williams Jr

Artist:Hank Williams Jr.
Song:All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)
Album:The Bocephus Box

It's one thing to be a second generation musician. But it's another thing to be the son of a legend like Hank Williams. Hank Williams Jr. struggled with this at first but in the 80s, he established his own musical personality with hits like All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down). He was born May 26, 1949 in Shreveport, LA. His dad nicknamed him Bocephus after Grand Ole Opry Comedian Rod Brasfield's ventriloquist dummy. After his dad died in 1953, his mom raised him and Williams began performing at an early age. He made his recording debut in 1964 and also provided his dad's singing voice in the 1964 Hank Williams biopic Your Cheatin' Heart. Williams recorded for MGM Records in the 60s and his mom groomed him to be an impersonation of his dad. Williams wasn't that successful until he started hanging around with Southern country rock musicians like Charlie Daniels, Waylon Jennings and Toy Caldwell of The Marshall Tucker Band. This was after Williams was almost killed in a 1975 mountain climbing accident. So when Mike Curb left as president of MGM Records and started Curb Records, he took Williams with him. Williams only had two number one country hits in the 60s and 70s. But this new outlaw image that Jennings helped give him started to pay off in 1981 with the number one hits Texas Women and Dixie On My Mind. All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down) was the first single from the 1981 album The Pressure Is On. As with his recent albums, it was produced by Jimmy Bowen. All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down) topped the country singles chart and the album was certified Platinum. The song namechecked pals like Jennings and Johnny Cash and really established Williams. Of course most folks are familiar with the song All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight as the theme for Monday Night Football. But he probably never writes that song without the first song being a hit. It established him musically and as a personality different from his dad. Williams success continued in the 80s. And you can get all his hits on this 3CD box set. But he faded in the 90s and was probably best known for Monday Night Football. That came to an end in 2011 when he made stupid comments on Fox News Channel comparing Barack Obama to Hitler and ESPN fired him. Well, there goes that cash cow. He released a new CD in 2012 and is currently on tour. His son Hank Williams III is also a singer. Here's Hank Williams Jr. performing All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down) 1981.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ham Seo Hee vs Shino VanHoose set for Apr. 6 Road FC show in Korea

Road FC announced that a women's match will be semi-main event on their Apr. 6 show at the Grand Hilton Convention Center in Seoul, Korea. It will be DEEP JEWELS Featherweight Champion ham Seo Hee vs teenager Shino VanHoose. Believe it or not, this will be Ham's MMA debut on her home turf in Korea. She has only been a kickboxer in Korea. And to be fair, she doesn't view herself as an MMA fighter. Her MMA record is 12-5 but if you look at her record, she has never beaten anyone better than her. I guess she wasn't supposed to beat Hisae Watanabe in her 2007 debut. But she did or she would have never fought MMA again. Most of her fights have been at 52kg. But last year she dropped to 48kg and won the DEEP JEWELS Featherweight Championship with a win over Sugi Rock. She beat Sadae Manhoef on the Nov. 4 DEEP JEWELS show. Her record is a little padded by a couple of joke fights for the CMA Korea co-owned Gladiator like her win last year over Sendai Girls pro wrestler Ryo Mizunami. I think she is more kickboxer than MMA fighter. but she's a really good kickboxer. A couple of years ago, Shino VanHoose was an American living in Japan who was thought to have some potential as a 15 year old. She won her first couple of fights. But then she lost to Kikuyo Ishikawa on a PANCRASE show in Ishikawa's home town of Okinawa in May 2012. Then she lost by submission to Sadae Manhoef on a Nov. 2012 PANCRASE show. So maybe she's not as good as some in Japan thought. So now Shino has moved to Las Vegas and I would think her goal is to get on Invicta's roster. She hasn't fought since Nov. 2012 so Ham is a tough opponent for her to try to impress other promoters. Maybe she's a little rusty. Of course the most interesting thing about this is it is not on a DEEP JEWELS show. They can't afford to have one of their champs missing in action.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Restless Heart

Artist:Restless Heart
Song:The Bluest Eyes in Texas
Album:Playlist: The Very Best of Restless Heart

Restless Heart had six consecutive number one country music hits in the 80s including The Bluest Eyes In Texas in 1988. I would describe their music as soft country rock. They are frequently compared to Eagles but I think they are closer to Air Supply. They split up in the 90s and reformed in 2002 and are still active today. The man behind Restless Heart was accountant turned songwriter Tim DuBois. He formed a band to record demos of his songs. They were lead singer Verlon Thompson, guitarist Greg Jennings, keyboard player Dave Innis, bassist Paul Gregg and drummer John Dittrich. He got them a deal with RCA Records and the band didn't even have a name. Thompson was soon replaced by Larry Stewart who went to school with Innis at Belmont University. They released their debut album Restless Heart in 1985. I Want Everyone To Cry was their first top ten country hit. They struck gold with the 1986 album Wheels and That Rock Won't Roll was the first of six consecutive number one country hits including the top 40 pop hit I'll Still Be Loving You. The Bluest Eyes in Texas was the fifth of those six number one hits. It was from the 1988 album Big Dreams in a Small Town. DuBois wrote the song with Dave Robbins and Van Stephenson who would go on to success as members of BlackHawk. They wrote several songs for Restless Heart. Stephenson said the song is about his high school girlfriend. Restless Heart continued to have success in the early 90s. Larry Stewart left in 1991 to go solo. He had a top five country hit with Alright Already. They didn't replace Stewart and Dittrich, Gregg and Innis alternated as lead singers on the 1992 CD Big Iron Horses. Then Innis left in 1993 and Restless Heart split up after the 1994 CD Matters of the Heart. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Dittrich formed the short lived group The Buffalo Club and Jennings joined Vince Gill's band. Restless Heart reformed in 2002 and they recorded an album in 2004. They released a Christmas CD last fall and are currently on tour. Here's the video for The Bluest Eyes in Texas by Restless Heart.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dave Brubeck and Louis Armstrong

Artist:Dave Brubeck and Louis Armstrong
Song:Summer Song
Album:The Real Ambassadors

When Dave Brubeck became popular in 1959, he could have dumbed down his music and be a pop music star. But instead he put together this very ambitious project The Real Ambassadors in 1961. It was the only time he recorded with Louis Armstrong and Summer Song was one of the highlights of the show. Brubeck and Armstrong did a lot of tours for the US State Department. So Brubeck and his wife Iola got together with Armstrong and his band to produce The Real Ambassadors. The band was a mix of Brubeck's usual band of bassist Gene Wright and drummer Joe Morello but not Paul Desmond and Armstrong's band including Trummy Young. Also appearing were Lambert, Hendricks & Ross who were very hot at the time and legendary jazz singer Carmen McRae. It's supposed to be a concept album about Armstrong and his band touring for the US State Department. Summer Song was first recorded as an instrumental on Brubeck's 1957 album Jazz Impressions of the USA. Iola Brubeck wrote the lyrics as she did for the whole show. Armstrong's singing of Summer Song was one of the highlights of the show. The album was recorded in the fall of 1961 and released in 1962. When the album was released on CD in 1994, Armstrong's name was bigger and above Brubeck's name on the cover. The only time The Real Ambassadors was performed live was at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival. There were TV cameras there but it wasn't filmed. It seems he didn't have the $750 needed to pay the camera crew. Brubeck always regretted that error. The show was never performed again as Lambert, Hendricks & Ross soon split up. And I don't think Brubeck and Armstrong ever recorded together again. Attempts to revive The Real Ambassadors on Broadway have been unsuccessful. The Real Ambassadors is an interesting slice of jazz history and worth checking out. Here's a video of Summer Song by Dave Brubeck and Louis Armstrong.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Joe Locke

Artist:Joe Locke
Song:Available In Blue
Album:Force of Four

Along with Stefon Harris, Joe Locke is one of today's top jazz vibraphonists. There aren't that many vibraphonists out there so Locke has been getting plenty of work as a sideman since the 80s and he has been recording as a leader since the 90s. Available In Blue is from his 2008 CD Force Of Four. He was born Mar. 18, 1959 in Palo Alto, CA and grew up in Rochester, NY. His father was a music teacher. Locke started playing the vibraphone as a teen and he studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. He moved to New York City in 1981 and his big break came when he joined Eddie Henderson's band in the late 80s. Henderson recorded for the Danish jazz label Steeplechase and Locke first recorded as a leader for that label in 1991. He also recorded for Milestone in the 90s and was a sideman for Kenny Barron and others. He was also a member of the Mingus Big Band and he met a lot of guys there he would work with later. He started recording with Sirocco Music in 2000 and worked a lot with former Mingus Big Band pianist Geoff Keezer. They recorded as Storytelling and Storms/Nocturnes. Available In Blue is from Locke's 2009 CD Force of Four on Origin Records. Musicians are Robert Xavier Rodriguez on piano, Ricardo Rodriguez on bass and drummer Jonathan Blake from the Mingus Big Band. Sax player Wayne Escoffery and trumpeter Thomas Marriott make guest appearances. Locke is currently signed to Motema Music and his latest CD Lay Down My Heart: Blues and Ballads was released May 2013. Jazz fans should check out Joe Locke. He just returned from a European tour and it looks like he has a live recording scheduled for April. And he does a lot of music seminars and teaching. Here's Joe Locke with Robert Xavier Rodriguez, Ricardo Rodriguez and Jonathan Blake performing Available In Blue at JazzBaltica in Germany July 2009.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Review of WWE Total Divas Season 2 Episode 1

We are back with a new season of WWE Total Divas. As with the first season, I will review each episode with my usual critical eye attempting to determine fact from fiction. And of course I will post each episode video. I'm glad the show is back as it was very popular on the blog last year. The big news is that teen singer/model JoJo has been replaced by Summer Rae. JoJo was way too young and green to be on WWE TV especially since she can't wrestle. They couldn't figure out what to do with her. The WWE sent her to Tampa to train full time. Who knows if we'll ever see her again? Summer Rae's real name is Danielle Moinet. Before signing with the WWE in 2011, she played lingerie football for several years. So she has athletic ability. She is currently on the WWE roster as Fandango's dance partner. So she's not supposed to be a wrestler. But I have seen her wrestle on NXT and she's not bad. I'm not a big fan of the Fandango character. It is doomed to be comedy relief. The episode begins with the announcement that Summer Rae is joining the cast of Total Divas. The general impression from the other cast members is she is fake. So there will be conflict later this season. The cliffhanger at the end of last season was will John Cena and Nikki Bella split up because Nikki is upset that Cena won't get married or have kids though she knew that all along. Well, they did split up...for now. Nikki has gone to live with her mom in San Diego. You may remember that last season Eva Marie tried to get her dad's blessing to get married to fiancee Jonathan. That didn't go over well. Well, the first thing we learn on this episode is they eloped and she still hasn't told her family. But the jig is up because they are coming to town to see her. Everyone tells her the same thing that she must tell them. But instead she moves Jonathan's stuff out of their apartment and sends him to a hotel. Meanwhile, with all these girls getting married, Nikki Bella is unhappy. She sees Cena at work but doesn't talk to him. Her sister Brie and fiancee Bryan Danielson try to cheer her up but it doesn't work. Later on, Cena contacts Nikki and wants to see her. He's flying in to San Diego. The episode ends when she shows up to see him. I predict they get back together. So Eva Marie's brother sees Jonathan's wedding band and the family goes a little nuts. Again, the resolution is left for next week. Eva Marie wants her family to approve but she has handled it poorly so it doesn't look good. Enjoy the video!
Total Divas S02E01 - Full Show (HQ) by WrestlingVidsUploaderHQv3

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Maurice Chevalier and Hermoine Gingold

Artist:Maurice Chevalier and Hermoine Gingold
Song:I Remember It Well
Album:Gigi: Original MGM Soundtrack

Of course Maurice Chevalier was one of the biggest stars of the 30s. But he left Hollywood in 1935 and remained a big star in Europe. He returned to Hollywood in the 50s and showed in the 1958 film Gigi that even as a senior that he was still a star. Hermoine Gingold was a British actress mainly known for her stage work in England. But she also moved to Hollywood in the 50s and has a rare singing role in Gigi. Gigi was based on the 1944 novella by Colette and was a Broadway hit in 1954 starring Audrey Hepburn. MGM producer Arthur Freed wanted to turn it into a musical and hired Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe to write the songs and Andre Previn to arrange and conduct the music. Though he offered the lead to Hepburn and she declined, Freed really wanted An American In Paris star Leslie Caron to star as Gigi. The rest of the casting including Chevalier and Gingold was easy. Vincente Minnelli was hired to direct. Gingold was a British actress who moved to Hollywood in the 50s. Her distinctive voice was because she had nodes on her vocal cords in the 20s. She was very nervous about doing Gigi because she didn't usually sing and she was a Hollywood newcomer. But she said Chevalier really helped her on the set and everything turned out great. Gigi won nine Oscars including Best Picture. The soundtrack is available on CD. The experience encouraged Gingold to do more Hollywood films. She died in 1987 at age 89. Chevalier retired in 1970 and died in 1972 at age 83. He showed in Gigi that he still had "it", whatever "it" is. Here's Maurice Chevalier and Hermoine Gingold performing I Remember It Well from the 1958 film Gigi.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Jessica Andrade vs Raquel Pennington

Here's the fight video for Jessica Andrade vs Raquel Pennington from last night's UFC show in Dallas. We have seen Jessica twice before and she battered Rosi Sexton in her last fight. Raquel was in The Ultimate Fighter 18 and she beat Roxanne Modafferi at the finale. I think Jessica is a more accomplished fighter that Raquel. Raquel is much taller and has a significant reach advantage. So her strategy should be to keep Jessica at a distance and pepper her with punches. Raquel doesn't have much of a ground game. It's a good theory but I didn't think it would work on someone as aggressive as Jessica. She has shown that she is willing to take a few punches to get in close and land her own punches. And she is a lot better on the ground. And that's how things went in round one. Raquel's attempts to hold off Jessica didn't work. Jessica landed significant strikes and won the round with a few takedowns. Raquel needed to be more aggressive. I scored round one 10-9 for Jessica. The other problem for Raquel is her corner was giving her poor advice. She was told that she had seen Jessica's best in round one. It wasn't true. Jessica continued to control Raquel with harder punches. It was similar to round one but Raquel hooked a standing guillotine with 30 seconds left in the round. That could have worked earlier in the round. I scored round two 10-9 Jessica as I do not believe in stealing rounds. But we are in Texas and judges can be very goofy. Again Raquel's corner gave her poor advice by telling her the fight was hers for the taking when most scorecards should have her down two rounds. So she needed a finish but because she was told that, she didn't go for a finish. I thought Jessica ran out of gas in round three and Raquel won the round 10-9. So I scored it 29-28 for Jessica. Two of the judges scored it that way but the third judge scored it 29-28 for Raquel. So Jessica won by split decision. I wasn't surprised because this is Texas and some judges believe in round stealing though I do not. Because Jessica is only 5'2", there is always going to be talk about her dropping to 115lb. I doubt that she will do that but when the UFC inevitably starts a 125lb division, I could see her dropping then. She is very powerful for her size and has a low center of gravity. So as we saw, taller fighters can't really outmuscle her. And she isn't the shortest 135lb fighter I have seen. Rin Nakai is 5'1". Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Phyllis Dillon

Artist:Phyllis Dillon
Song:Woman of the Ghetto
Album:Treasure Isle Presents Original Reggae

Music has always been a tough business for women in Jamaica. It just seems that producers think that women are only good as backup singers. When Phyllis Dillon went up against this boy's club in the late 60s, she moved to New York and took a job in a bank. She quit the music business for good in 1971. She was born Jan. 1, 1948 in Linstead, St. Catherine, Jamaica. While performing with The Vulcans, session guitarist Lynn Taitt spotted her and took her to his boss Duke Reid at Treasure Isle. Phyllis was 19 years old. She wrote some of her own songs but Taitt mostly had her record covers like Bettye Swann's Make Me Yours and Xavier Cugat's Perfidia. Woman of the Ghetto was written by jazz singer Marlena Shaw. She also recorded duets with Alton Ellis and Hopeton Lewis. I guess she didn't like the music business because at the end of 1967, Phyllis moved to New York and took a job in a bank. By that time, Taitt moved to Toronto. For the next few years she returned to Jamaica occasionally to record. But she quit for good in 1971 and worked in the bank for many years. Unfortunately there is no Phyllis Dillon comp CD currently in print. But you can get Woman of the Ghetto on this 2CD Treasure Isle various artists comp. Attempts to convince Phyllis to record were usually refused except once in 1998 by Lynn Taitt. Phyllis Dillon died of cancer on Apr. 18, 2004 at age 56. Here's a video for Woman of the Ghetto by Phyllis Dillon.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Rick Springfield

Artist:Rick Springfield
Song:Jessie's Girl
Album:The Essential Rick Springfield

Though Rick Springfield is frequently labelled as a talentless teen idol, his music holds up a lot better than you might think. Jessie's Girl was his only number one hit in 1981. Springfield has also had a successful acting career and he is still very busy today. He was born Richard Springthorpe Aug. 23, 1949 in the Sydney, Australia suburb of South Wentworthville. His father was an officer in the Australian Army so Springfield spent part of his childhood in England. Springfield started out in the late 60s band MPD Ltd. and they entertained Aussie troops in Vietnam. Then he formed Wickedly Wak. They recorded one single and then Springfield joined Zoot. They got attention by dressing in pink and charted in Australia with a cover of Eleanor Rigby. Zoot split up in 1971 and Springfield went solo with the 1972 top five Aussie hit Speak To The Sky. Then he moved to the US and signed with Capitol Records. Speak To The Sky was a top 20 hit but there were rumours that Capitol paid people to buy the record. Springfield moved to Columbia Records in 1973 and they tried to sell him as a teen idol. It didn't help that Springfield starred in the ABC kids TV series Mission: Magic! So it didn't work and Springfield left Columbia for the financially strapped Chelsea Records. They released the 1976 album Wait For Night but Chelsea was sold to RCA in 1977. While Springfield's music career stalled, he appeared in the pilot of the TV series Battlestar Galactica. Then he recorded the 1981 album Working Class Dog. Springfield and his agent didn't think the album would sell. So Springfield took a job on the daytime soap General Hospital. They were very surprised when Jessie's Girl topped the Billboard Hot 100 and no one called Springfield a teeny bopper. The song is about his friend's girlfriend who he admired from a distance. He didn't even know her name. Springfield won a Grammy for Jessie's Girl and the album cover featuring Springfield's dog also won a Grammy. Springfield's follow up albums did well and he had a couple more top ten hits. And he starred in the successful 1984 film Hard To Hold. Springfield went on hiatus and left RCA in 1988. This Sony 2CD comp includes some of Springfield's 70s recordings. In the 90s he did more acting then recording. But he signed with Universal's Hip-O label and released the CD Songs For The End Of The World in 2012. Among his acting roles were in the 1992 ABC series Human Target, the 1995 Broadway show Smokey Joe's Cafe and a recurring role in the Showtime series Californication. He appeared in General Hospital's 2013 50th anniversary show with his actor son Liam Springthorpe. This summer he will tour with Pat Benetar. I think Rick Springfield has had too much longevity to be dismissed as just another teen idol. Here's the video for Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield.

Friday, March 14, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jimmie Noone

Artist:Jimmie Noone
Song:I Know That You Know
Album:The APEX Of New Orleans Jazz

Along with Sidney Bechet and Jimmy Dodds, Jimmie Noone was one of the top clarinetists of the 20s. Though his smooth playing style was influential, he is forgotten because he died prematurely. He was born Apr. 23, 1895 in Cut Off, LA. He started out playing guitar. But he switched to clarinet as a teen and trained with the equally young Sidney Bechet. Noone was in bands led by Freddie Keppard, Buddy Petit, Kid Ory, Papa Celestin and The Young Olympia Band before moving to Chicago in 1917 to join The Original Creole Band. Then he was in King Oliver's band and recorded with Doc Cook. In 1926, Noone led the house band at the Apex Club in Chicago. They were called Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra. Among the members were alto sax player Joe Poston who worked with Noone in Cook's band. And the other was legendary jazz pianist Earl Hines. Noone signed with Vocalion Records in 1928 and I Know You Know was recorded in 1928. It's one of his more significant recordings along with Apex Blues. I Know That You Know was written by Vincent Youmans and Anne Caldwell for the 1926 show Tea For Two. That show was turned into a 1950 film starring Doris Day. Benny Goodman had a hit with I Know That You Know in 1936 and it has been a jazz standard ever since. This budget CD from ASV/Living Era is a good intro to Noone's music. Noone recorded for Vocalion until 1935 and then recorded for Decca and Bluebird. He briefly moved to New York in 1935 and then moved back to Chicago until he moved to Los Angeles in 1943. He joined Kid Ory's band and they were featured on the radio show The Orson Welles Almanac. Sadly, Jimmie Noone died of a heart attack on Apr. 19, 1944 at age 48. The Kid Ory song Blues for Jimmie is a tribute to Noone. Noone wasn't as well known as Bechet but Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman are among those who acknowledged his influence. Here's a video for I Know That You Know by Jimmie Noone.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dillard Chandler

Artist:Dillard Chandler
Song:Rain and Snow
Album:Classic Mountain Songs From Smithsonian Folkways

Dillard Chandler can best be described as a pioneer of folk music. But he never entered a recording studio and rarely performed on stage. Usually musicologists went into remote areas and recorded singers like Chandler in the field. The 60s folk boom generated new interest in those kind of singers. Chandler was born Apr. 16, 1907. He grew up in a log cabin in the mountains near Sodom, NC. A lot of singers came from this area but Chandler is considered to be one of the best of them. He was illiterate and worked in the logging industry. He sang for his own enjoyment. Chandler seemed to specialize in dark songs about murder and other things. During the folk music boom of the early 60s, John Cohen of The New Lost City Ramblers went into the mountains of Western North Carolina to record some of these mountain singers. He found through his research that though Chandler was one of the most popular singers in the area, he had never been recorded. These kind of recordings were usually sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute and they released them on Folkways Records. Cohen recorded Chandler and other singers and they were released on the 1964 album Old Love Songs & Ballads from the Big Laurel, North Carolina. You can get Rain and Snow on this Smithsonian Folkways various artists CD. Cohen also made a short documentary about Chandler called The End of an Old Song detailing his life. Bob Dylan told Cohen that he had that 1964 album and liked Chandler. So he was an influence. His songs have been covered by Uncle Tupelo and Tim O'Brien. Apparently Chandler was very mysterious even to his neighbours. He could have taken advantage of the 60s folk boom and become a celebrity. But he was shy and didn't like performing in front of crowds. His only folk festival appearance was in Chicago in 1967. Other appearances were scheduled but he would never show up. Dillard Chandler died Jan. 1992 at age 84. He was an enigma but a very powerful singer. Here's a video for Rain and Snow by Dillard Chandler.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Luciana Souza

Artist:Luciana Souza

Luciana Souza is a Brazilian singer who has been a best selling jazz artist for the last several years. She also won a Grammy for her work on Herbie Hancock's 2007 CD River: The Joni Letters. She was born July 12, 1966 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her father is singer and guitarist Walter Santos. She started out singing jingles as a child. After attending Unicamp University in Brazil, she earned a bachelor's degree in jazz composition at Berklee in Boston and then a master's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. Luciana was first noticed in the early 90s touring with Brazilan percussion legend Hermeto Pascoal. He has been a major influence. She toured with all kinds of bands in the 90s including the Zimbo Trio, Danilo Perez, Joey Calderazzo and many others. She recorded her debut CD in 1999 and signed with Sunnyside Records in 2000. Her big break came when she met producer Larry Klein at a 2005 Los Angeles Philharmonic concert. Klein is best known for his 80s marriage to Joni Mitchell. Luciana married Klein in 2006. Luciana appeared on Herbie Hancock's 2007 Joni Mitchell tribute CD River: The Joni Letters which Klein produced. The album was very successful and won the 2008 Album of the Year Grammy. This got Luciana a deal at Verve Records. She recorded three albums for Verve including Tide in 2009. Tide was written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and he recorded it in 1970. Klein produced and plays bass on the album Tide. Other musicians include pianist Larry Goldings, guitarist Larry Koonse, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and percussionist Cyro Baptista. Luciana is an outstanding singer and fans of Brazilian music and jazz should check her out. She has since returned to Sunnyside and released two CDs Aug. 2012. One of them, The Book Of Chet is a tribute to Chet Baker. Recently she has been touring with African born guitarist Lionel Loueke. Here's Luciana Souza performing Tide with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band featuring Axel Schlosser on trumpet and Oliver Leicht on alto sax in Frankfurt, Germany Jan. 2011. )

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-B.T. Express

Artist:B.T. Express
Song:Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)
Album:Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)

The funk group B.T. Express had their biggest success with the 1974 top five pop hit Do It ('Til You're Satisfied). And they had other R & B hits in the 70s. They were from Brooklyn, NY. They started out as The King Davis House Rockers with King Davis, guitarist Richard Thompson and sax player Bill Risbrook. they released a couple of singles. When Davis left, they added Risbrook's brother Louis Risbrook on bass and became the Brooklyn Trucking Express which was shortened to B.T. Express. They asked Billy Nichols of The Invaders to write a song for them and he wrote Do It ('Til You're Satisfied). Nichols had written songs for Millie Jackson. Then they signed with Roadshow Records and producer Jeff Lane. He also produced Brass Construction. Percussionist Dennis Rowe, drummer Terrell Wood and singer Barbara Wood were added to the band. Do It ('Til You're Satisfied) topped the R & B charts in 1974 and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Thompson and Louis Risbroook sang lead vocals. Their second single Express was also a top five hit. Louis Risbrook became a Muslim and changed his name to Jamal Rasool. He left B.T. Express in 1976 and was replaced by pianist Michael Jones who would go on to a lot of success in the 80s as singer and producer Kashif. When distributor Scepter closed, B.T. Express moved to Columbia and continued to have success on the R & B charts until they split up in 1982. You can get both of their big pop hits on this CD. B.T. Express has reformed over the years. They recorded a live CD in 1997 and may still be around. Here's B.T. Express performing Do It ('Til You're Satisfied) on Soul Train 1974.

Monday, March 10, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Philosopher Kings

Artist:The Philosopher Kings
Album:The Philosopher Kings

The Canadian band The Philosopher Kings had a US Top 40 hit with Charms in 1995. They were a bigger deal at home. And they have had some success with side projects and as producers of other artists. The Philosopher Kings were all music students at the University of Toronto. Pianist Jon Levine and singer Gerald Eaton led the band and wrote most of the songs. Other members were Brian West on guitar, Jason Levine on bass and Craig Hunter on drums. They signed with Sony Music Canada and their debut CD The Philosopher Kings was released in 1996. Sony US liked it enough to release it in the US and Charms reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified Gold in Canada. Eaton and Jon Levine wrote and produced most of the songs. Jazz musicians Terence Blanchard and Bobby Watson made guest appearances. They won a Best New Artist Juno. Their 1997 CD Famous, Rich & Beautiful did even better in Canada and was certified Platinum. I Am The Man and Hurts To Love You were top ten hits in Canada. The Philosopher Kings released a live CD in 1999. Then they started getting involved in production of other artists. The big one was Eaton discovered Nelly Furtado and with West produced her first two albums. Jon Levine has also produced other artists. Jason Levine was part of the group Prozzak. Gerald Eaton has released solo CDs as Jarvis Church. Craig Hunter is a high school music teacher. The Philosopher Kings last recorded in 2006 and I don't think they are active anymore. Here's the video for Charms by The Philosopher Kings.