Thursday, July 31, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Michael W. Smith

Artist:Michael W. Smith
Song:Place In This World
Album:The First Decade 1983-1993

Michael W. Smith is a very successful Contemporary Christian singer songwriter who had very brief pop crossover success with the 1991 top ten pop hit Place In This World. Christian artists need to be careful as with crossover success they risk alienating their core audience. He was born Oct. 7, 1957 in Kenova, WV. Smith learned to play piano as a child and sang in the church choir. He became a devout Christian at age 10. But he developed drug and alcohol problems when he was in college and this continued when he moved to Nashville in 1978. A 1979 nervous breakdown snapped Smith out of it and by 1981 he was a staff songwriter for Meadowgreen Music. His songs started getting attention and this led to Smith touring with Amy Grant who was very popular at the time. He also signed with her label Reunion Records owned by Grant's manager and brother-in-law. Smith became very successful in the CCM market and was headlining his own tours by the mid-80s. But Reunion saw pop crossover potential in Smith just as they had with Grant. So they made a deal with Geffen Records to promote Smith to mainstream radio. Smith's first CD under this agreement was Go West Young Man in 1990. Place In This World reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991. It was a surprise hit. Maybe listeners thought it was a new Richard Marx song. Smith wrote the song with long time songwriting partner Wayne Kirkpatrick and Amy Grant. The guitar solo is by Dann Huff. The only problem is his success did alienate the CCM audience and after two albums on Geffen, Smith ended his attempt to be a pop singer. Other than marketing, I'm not sure what the complaints were about. Place In This World is no different than Smith's CCM recordings. Reunion was sold to BMG in 1995. Smith continued with Reunion even after BMG was sold to Sony. He left in 2010 and now has his own label distributed through Sparrow/EMI. His latest CD Sovereign was released in May. This comp is a good intro to Smith's music. Here's the video for Place In This World by Michael W. Smith.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Greyboy Allstars

Artist:The Greyboy Allstars
Song:Toys R Us

If you like your funk on the jazzy side, you will want to check out The Greyboy Allstars. These guys have been around for twenty years and all the musicians are accomplished jazz musicians. The Greyboy Allstars are from San Diego. Greyboy is DJ Greyboy. Sax player Karl Denson was touring with Lenny Kravitz in 1993. After working on DJ Greyboy's 1994 CD Freestylin', Denson decided to form a house band and call them The Greyboy Allstars. DJ Greyboy is not a musician so he isn't a member of the band. But he helps produce their CDs. Other band members are Robert Walter on keyboards, Michael Andrews AKA Elgin Park on guitar, Chris Stillwell on bass and Zak Najor on drums. The band released their debut CD in 1995. They record jazz and funk covers but also record original songs. Toys R Us was written by Denson and was on the 1997 CD A Town Called Earth. That CD is out of print but the song also appears on the 1999 CD Live. They also recorded in 2007 and their latest CD Inland Emperor was released in 2013. Zak Najor was replaced by Aaron Redfield. The band does perform live occasionally. But all have solo careers so I guess it's hard to coordinate schedules. Denson leads his band Karl Denson's Tiny Universe and records as a sideman. Stillwell is a member of Denson's band. Walter leads his band Robert Walter's 20th Congress and they released a CD last year. Michael Andrews is mainly a film composer best known for scoring the 2001 film Donnie Darko. He has also released a couple of solo CDs. The Greyboy Allstars are worth checking out. Here's The Greyboy Allstars performing Toys R Us at the 2012 Gathering of the Vibes Music and Art Festival Bridgeport, CT.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lonnie Smith

Artist:Lonnie Smith
Song:Spinnin' Wheel
Album:Good Juice: Hot Hammond and Cool Organ Cocktails

Organist Lonnie Smith emerged in the late 60s and recorded some successful albums on Blue Note. Because he was constantly confused with pianist Lonnie Liston Smith, Smith started wearing a turban and calling himself Dr. Lonnie Smith. He did this just so fans would know who he is. Smith is still recording and touring today. He was born July, 3, 1942 in the Buffalo suburb of Lackawanna, NY. He grew up singing in church and singing in his family gospel group on their radio show. Smith got interested in jazz and his mom encouraged him to find an instrument he liked. So he tried the trumpet and the sax. He grew up playing with sax player Grover Washington Jr. After hearing Jimmy Smith, Smith decided to play the Hammond B-3 organ. Of course he couldn't afford to buy one so he started hanging around a local music store. When the music store owner Art Kubera saw him hanging around and heard him play, he gave Smith the organ. Smith started playing local clubs. When organist Jack McDuff came to Buffalo, his guitarist George Benson saw Smith play and approached him about starting a band. Smith recorded two albums with Benson on Columbia and then recorded his solo debut Finger Lickin' Good on Columbia in 1967. Then Smith appeared on sax legend Lou Donaldson's 1967 album Alligator Boogaloo. This led to a contract with Blue Note. He recorded four albums for Blue Note. This version of the Blood Sweat & Tears hit Spinnin' Wheel was on the 1970 album Drives. Musicians are Ronnie Cuber on baritone sax who was in the Benson band, Dave Hubbard on tenor sax who played with Lonnie liston Smith, Larry McGee on guitar who is an R & B guy and Joe Dukes on drums from Jack McDuff's band. Drives is not available on CD. But you can get Spinnin' Wheel on this Blue Note various organists comp. It's a good intro for beginners. Though Smith's Blue Note albums sold well, Drives was his final album for Blue Note. In the 70s he recorded for Kudu, Groove Merchant, LRC, America and Chiaroscuro. And he started wearing the turban. In the 80s, Smith didn't record as a leader. But he did appear on albums by Dave Hubbard, Monty Guy, Jimmy Ponder, Eric Gale and Ron Carter and Joe Beck. In the 90s, Smith recorded a couple of Jimi Hendrix tribute albums for the Japanese label Venus. A session with sax player Javon Jackson got Smith a deal with Palmetto Records. He recorded four CDs for Palmetto and his latest CD The Healer is on his own label. Smith is currently on tour in Europe. He is worth checking out if you aren't familiar with him. Hip hop guys know him. They sample his music. Here's a video for Spinnin' Wheel by Lonnie Smith.

Monday, July 28, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Phil Phillips

Artist:Phil Phillips
Song:Sea Of Love
Album:Great Men of Rock & Roll: The 50s

Sea Of Love is one of the all time great one hit wonders. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959 and Phil Phillips never charted again. He was born John Phillip Baptiste Mar. 14, 1928 in Lake Charles, LA. He started out in the gospel group The Gateway Quartet. he was working as a bellboy when he wrote Sea Of Love for a girl. He didn't get anywhere with her. But record store owner George Khoury liked the song and brought Baptiste into the studio. Pianist Ernest Jacobs of Cookie & The Cupcakes produced and arranged Sea Of Love and The Cupcakes sang backup. Khoury told Baptiste that his name was too French so he gave himself the name Phil Phillips and the record was released as Phil Phillips & The Twilights. When Sea Of Love became a regional hit, Mercury Records picked it up for national distribution. It topped the R & B chart and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. Unfortunately, Phillips was never paid for the record and never released an album. You can get Sea Of Love on this Collactables various artists comp. Mercury didn't seem to know what to do with Phillips and he never charted again. Sea Of Love charted in the 80s first by Del Shannon in 1982 and then Robert Plant's group The Honeydrippers in 1985. But Khoury's estate still owns the song and Phillips has never been paid a dime of royalties. Phillips performs occasionally. But he has been a DJ for years in  Louisiana. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Here's a video for Sea Of Love by Phil Phillips.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Juliana Lima

Here's the fight video of Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Juliana Lima from last night's UFC show in San Jose. The fight aired on UFC Fight Pass so I know a lot of fans didn't see it. As I said when this fight was announced, I've seen Juliana before and was not impressed. I don't know why the UFC bought her contract from Invicta. And then they decided not to use her in The Ultimate Fighter. So they found an opponent for her. Both were Muay Thai fighters before MMA. But Joanna is much more accomplished. The story of this fight was Juliana's very poor strategy. She thought she could psyche Joanna out by mugging. I guess she thought Joanna would get the UFC jitters. But Joanna remained very calm and stuck to her game plan. She showed excellent takedown defense when Juliana tried to take her down and a couple of times they were stuck against the fence. Ref Mike Beltran was forced to break them up twice. All this did was empty Juliana's gas tank. And when Joanna got the separation she wanted, her striking was very effective. Joanna continued to outpunch Juliana in round two. And in round three, Juliana finally got a takedown but did nothing with it. She showed no urgency to finish. I guess she thought she was winning. Joanna was simply more effective. She took what was given to her and won the fight. I scored it 30-27 in Joanna's favour. Two of the judges scored the fight 30-27 for Joanna and the other scored it 29-28 for Joanna. Joanna Jedrzejczyk wins by unanimous decision. Juliana needs to rethink her strategy. When asked about Juliana's mugging afterwards Joanna said that Juliana wasn't nice to her at the weigh ins so she had to beat her up. She also said she has no emotion in the cage. She's all business and can really punch. Her likely next opponent is Claudia Gadelha and her high level BJJ could give Joanna trouble. That would be a very interesting fight. Both women are potential Strawweight Championship contenders. Enjoy the video! Unfortunately the video cuts off before the decision announcement. The other source I use for videos wasn't working properly.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sarah Jaffe

Artist:Sarah Jaffe
Album:Suburban Nature

Folk music fans are going to want to check out singer songwriter Sarah Jaffe. She generated some interest touring with Midlake and Norah Jones. And she also showed some versatility appearing on Eminem's latest CD. She was born Jan. 28, 1986 in Red Oak, TX and grew up in Denton. An appearance at the 2008 Austin City Limits Festival and a 2008 EP led to a record deal with Kirtland Records. Suburban Nature was her full length debut CD in 2010. It was produced by veteran producer John Congleton from the band The Paper Chase. Kris Youmans from that band is also on the album along with singer songwriter Robert Gomez. Sarah toured with Midlake who are also from Denton and she opened for Norah Jones. She released her second CD The Body Wins in 2012 and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. But she was exposed to a larger audience when she appeared on Bad Guy from Eminem's 2013 CD The Marshall Mathers LP 2. It's a two part song and the first part was produced by rapper producer Larry "S1" Griffin. He and Sarah are in the band The Dividends. He sent Sarah the backing track for Bad Guy and she wrote the lyrics. Eminem liked it and thought of getting Dido to record the female vocal. But S1 convinced him to use Sarah instead. I doubt she ever met Eminem as he lives in Detroit. And she isn't credited. So that leads to a lot of "Who's the girl". And when fans listen to Sarah, they will like what they hear. She did get a songwriting credit so she's getting royalty cheques. Sarah also provided vocals for the 2013 Pixar short The Blue Umbrella which was shown before Monsters University. So I think Sarah Jaffe is on the cusp of stardom. Check her out before the big crowd finds out about her. She was on tour with The Polyphonic Spree and this fall she will tour with Astronautalis. Here's Sarah Jaffe performing Vulnerable on KGSR Discovery Sept. 2010.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tyrese

Song:Sweet Lady
Album:Super Hits

R & B singer songwriter Tyrese Gibson made a big splash with his 1998 debut CD Tyrese. Sweet Lady was his biggest hit from that album. When his music career faded, Tyrese turned to acting and he is more active in films today than he is in music. He was born Dec. 30, 1978 in Los Angeles. He performed in local talent shows as a teen. An appearance in a 1994 Coca-Cola commercial led to a modelling career. But he still wanted to sing and he signed with RCA in 1998. His debut CD Tyrese was certified Platinum. The singles Nobody Else and Lately both charted. But the third single Sweet Lady is probably Tyrese's best known song to date. It reached #9 on the R & B Singles chart and #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sweet Lady was produced and written by the Characters and Johnte Austin. Austin went on to record as a solo artist. The Characters are the team of Troy Taylor and Charles Farrar. Sweet Lady was their biggest hit when they were a team. They split up in 2000 and Taylor has written several hits for Trey Songz. Tyrese's next two CDs did OK but not as well as the first one. And though his 2003 single How You Gonna Act Like That charted higher than Sweet Lady, Sweet Lady is better known because the CD was more popular. By 2003, RCA was closed and Tyrese moved to J Records. But he was also getting into acting. He got a lot of attention for his performance in John Singleton's 2001 film Baby Boy. And this led to roles in The Transformers series and the Fast & Furious series. Tyrese left J in 2006 and started his own label Voltron with EMI distribution. You can get all his RCA hits on this budget comp. He released a CD in 2011 and has a new one scheduled for a 2014 release. He is also a member of TGT with Ginuwine and Tank. They released a CD on Atlantic in 2013. Tyrese has been laying low since his best friend and Fast & Furious costar Paul Walker died last year. But he'll be back. Here's the video for Sweet Lady by Tyrese. The girl in the video is actress Maia Campbell from the NBC/UPN sitcom In The House.

Friday, July 25, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Laid Back

Artist:Laid Back
Song:White Horse
Album:Mega Hits Dance Classics Volume 7

The Danish electropop duo Laid Back have been successful in Europe for many years and are still around today. White Horse was their only US hit in 1983. It topped the dance chart and was a top 30 pop hit. Laid Back are from Copenhagen, Denmark. Guitarist John Guldberg and keyboard player Tim Stahl were in The Starbox Band in the mid-70s. The band split up but the two continued to work together in Guldberg's studio. They started experimenting with electronic music and had a number one hit in Denmark in 1981 with Maybe I'm Crazy. Sunshine Reggae was also a number one hit in Denmark and other European countries. This got Laid Back a US record deal with Sire Records. But radio stations didn't like Sunshine Reggae. They preferred the B side White Horse. It got significant airplay in dance clubs and topped the dance chart. It also reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. Supposedly one reason for the song's popularity was that White Horse is slang for heroin. Attempts to follow up White Horse didn't chart. You can get White Horse on this Priority Records various artists budget comp. White Horse has been frequently sampled by hip hop guys, most notably on Monifah's 1998 hit Touch It. Laid Back still record together. They occasionally chart in Europe and have also scored films. Their latest CD Uptimistic Music was released in 2013 on their own label. Here in North America they are a one hit wonder. Here's the video for White Horse by Laid Back.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mary Bridget Davies

Artist:Mary Bridget Davies
Song:Piece Of My Heart
Album:A Night With Janis Joplin: Original Broadway Cast Recording

Mary Bridget Davies is mainly known for channeling Janis Joplin. She was nominated for a Tony award for her performance in the Broadway musical A Night With Janis Joplin. She has also recorded her own music. She was born Aug. 30, 1978 in Cleveland. She was involved in theater and music in high school and while attending Bowling Green University. She was singing in local clubs. In 2001, she saw a performance of the off Broadway musical Love, Janis. When she got home, she sent the producers her picture. The musical director of Love, Janis was Big Brother and the Holding Company guitarist Sam Andrew. He told her the band was coming to Cleveland and she should be there. Mary performed with them. Then when Andrew was casting the road company of Love, Janis in 2005, he hired Mary to play Janis. She has also toured with Big Brother and the Holding Company. And she has also recorded two CDs with her own band. The jukebox musical A Night With Janis Joplin was heading for Broadway in 2012. While still previewing on the road, original star Cat Stephani left the show while they were in Cleveland. Mary was immediately hired to replace her and remained with the show through its Broadway run from Sept. 2013 to Feb. 2014. She was nominated for a Tony. Mary is currently touring with her own band. She will try to transcend the Janis Joplin comparisons. But it's hard when someone is closely identified with a role. Here's Mary Bridget Davies performing Piece Of My Heart, Cry Baby and Me and Bobby McGee from the musical A Night With Janis Joplin. This video is not on Youtube.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rin Nakai "woe is me" blog post was much ado about nothing

So as we all know, Rin Nakai will face Miesha Tate on the UFC in Japan show Sept. 20 at the Saitama Super Arena. While she was in Tokyo for the press conference, she said she was looking for training partners. That wouldn't be a problem if she lived in Tokyo or Osaka. But she lives in the northern Japan island of Shikoku. And as I said to someone recently, she might as well be living in Outer Mongolia. It is astonishing that an elite fighter could come from someplace like that. And it's astonishing that she hasn't moved to Tokyo if only for better facilities. So she wrote on her blog on Sunday that she is just a hick from the sticks. She's training in a dilapidated gym and she can't get anyone to train with her. My question is who would pay to bring anyone to Shikoku. She doesn't have the money or sponsorship. She also questioned whether she could fight at a UFC level and that she even considered retirement. None of these "problems" are new. And my interpretation of her comments is she was having a bad day and she would get over it. Unfortunately, a friend of mine posted a translation on his blog and everyone overreacted...except me. I told him her comments were nonsense. Everyone has ups and downs and I would have waited a couple of days for a follow up post on Rin's blog. Sure enough, everything was better when Rin posted on her blog yesterday. She thanked fans for their support and now she is going to train hard and she's on a mission. So the uproar was much ado about nothing and I still look forward to seeing Rin Nakai fight in the UFC.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stan Getz Quartet

Artist:Stan Getz Quartet
Song:O Grande Amor
Album:Baubles, Bangles and Beads

Of course the career of sax legend Stan Getz spanned decades. But he is probably best known for popularizing Brazilian music when he recorded with Joao Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim in 1964. The Girl From Ipanema was a huge hit and O Grande Amor was one of the songs they recorded. When Getz' love affair with Astrud ended that alliance, he formed a new band with vibraphonist Gary Burton. Burton had toured with George Shearing but he was fairly new on the scene. Other band members were long time Burton collaborator bassist Steve Swallow and legendary drummer Roy Haynes. The 1964 album Nobody Else But Me was a return to jazz featuring Burton. But Verve Records refused to release it. They wanted Getz to continue recording Bossa Nova. Typical record company. This album remained unreleased until 1994. The Burton band was Getz' touring band until Burton left to go solo in 1967. Though the band performed O Grande Amor in concert, it doesn't look like they recorded it. But the Italian reissue label Get Back Records has released a live version on CD. The first part of Baubles, Bangles and Beads is from the 1961 Newport Jazz Festival with Steve Kuhn on piano, Scott Lafaro on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. The second part is from a 1966 Berlin concert with Gary Burton on vibes, Chuck Israel on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. I am told the recording quality of Get Back CDs can be sketchy. But that's not unusual for labels using live jazz recordings from strange sources. I think it's the only live recording of the Getz-Burton group on CD. And you get to watch this great video clip. Here's Stan Getz with Gary Burton, Steve Swallow and Roy Haynes performing O Grande Amor at the BBC 1966.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Elizabeth Phillips vs Milana Dudieva added to Aug. 23 UFC show in Macau

Milana Dudieva
Fighter manager Anton Linder announced on his Twitter this morning that his fighter Milana Dudieva will face Elizabeth Phillips on the Aug. 23 UFC show in Macau, China. This show will air on UFC Fight Pass. It's ironic because Milana was supposed to face Valerie Letourneau on UFC 174 on June 14 but had to back out due to reported visa problems. Elizabeth replaced her. She lost to Valerie by split decision. But considering she took the fight with a week's notice, I thought she did well. We'll see what she is like with a full camp. I expect her endurance to be a lot better just because she will have the proper preparation time. Elizabeth is 4-2 and trains at Sikjitsu in Spokane, WA. UFC fighter Michael Chiesa was in her corner last time. Milana is 10-3 and trains at Peresvet FT in Russia. I would describe her as unproven as I don't believe she beaten a high level fighter yet. She has lost to current UFC fighter Jessica Andrade and Swedish fighter Pannie Kianzad who maybe should be in the UFC or at least Invicta. So I have seen Milana and I need to be convinced that she deserves to be in the UFC. Until Milana shows me something, I like Elizabeth to win this fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lipps Inc.

Artist:Lipps Inc.
Album:Funkyworld: The Best Of Lipps Inc.

So I'm sure you're familiar with Funkytown which topped the charts in 1980. And you probably think it's Euro Disco. But Lipps Inc. was important in establishing Minneapolis as a black music power led by Prince and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Lipps Inc. was not a real group. They were studio musicians led by producer Steven Greenberg and singer Cynthia Johnson. Greenberg had tried for several years to get a record deal and he finally got the attention of Casablanca Records with the disco song Rock It. Though the single was not a hit, Casablanca liked it enough to ask Greenberg for a full album. Casablanca was known for disco music in those days. So he gathered some of his studio musician buddies including guitarist David Rivkin who was a member of Prince's band. But the biggest thing was he hired singer Cynthia Johnson. Cynthia was the 1976 Miss Black Minnesota and she was lead singer of Flyte Tyme led by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. After Cynthia left, Flyte Tyme would become The Time and Jam and Lewis became world renowned producers. Cynthia was working as a secretary at the police department and she approached Greenberg and wanted to work with him. Lipps Inc. released the 1979 album Mouth To Mouth. Funkytown topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in 1980. It was a worldwide hit and a huge dance hit. Subsequent singles were not hits and today Lipps Inc. is perceived as a one hit wonder though several songs were dance hits. After three albums, Cynthia left Lipps Inc. and was replaced by background singer Melanie Rosales. After one more album, Greenberg disbanded Lipps Inc. in 1985. You can get all their hits on this comp. The Aussie group Pseudo Echo had a hit with their cover of Funkytown in 1987. Steven Greenberg owns a web design company. Cynthia Johnson has been a studio singer in the Minneapolis music scene for years. And she is a member of the popular gospel group The Sounds of Blackness. She still works a lot with Jam and Lewis and does a lot of jingles. Cynthia released her debut solo CD All That I Am in 2013 and is currently working on a new CD. Here's Cynthia Johnson performing Funkytown on the French TV show Les Annee Bonheur Jan. 11, 2014.

Monday, July 21, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Slim Gaillard

Artist:Slim Gaillard
Song:Poppity Pop
Album:Laughing In Rhythm

Bulee "Slim" Gaillard was a jazz eccentric similar but not as well known as Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan. Gaillard even created his own language called Vout. But there was real musical talent underneath the silliness or guys like Dizzy Gillespie wouldn't have played with him as he did on this 1945 recording of Boppity Bop. Gaillard was born Jan. 4, 1916 in Santa Clara, Cuba and he grew up in Detroit. His father worked on cruise ships and would take Gaillard on voyages. He once accidentally left him on the island of Crete. Gaillard was a boxer, a mortician and a rum runner. But then he got into vaudeville and formed Slim and Slam with bassist Slam Stewart in 1936. Their song Flat Foot Floogie was a big hit and was covered by Benny Goodman. This is Gaillard's signature song. Slim and Slam recorded similar records and appeared in the 1941 Olsen & Johnson film Hellzapoppin. After serving in the US Air Force during World War II, Gaillard moved to Los Angeles and scored another hit with Cement Mixer. His band at the time was Bam Brown on bass, Dodo Maramarosa on piano and Zutty Singleton on drums. In 1945, he recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Jack McVea for Savoy. Gillespie has a trumpet solo on Poppity Pop. So Gaillard may be eccentric but he was a good enough musician to hang with Gillespie. You can get Poppity Pop on this Proper Records 4CD box set. In the 50s, Gaillard recorded for Verve and toured with Jazz At The Philharmonic and was a member of Stan Kenton's band. He left the music business in the 60s. And then he moved to Los Angeles in the 70s and acted on several TV shows. Gillespie got him back into music in the 80s. Gaillard moved to London and toured the festival circuit until his death on Feb. 26, 1991 at age 75. Gaillard's daughter was once married to Marvin Gaye. So actress Nona Gaye is the daughter of Marvin Gaye and granddaughter of Slim Gaillard. Here's Slim Gaillard performing Cement Mixer, Poppity Pop and Flat Foot Floogie in The Flip Wilson Show 1969.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Thin Lizzy

Artist:Thin Lizzy
Song:The Boys Are Back In Town
Album:Dedication: The Very Best Of Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy was probably one of the most underrated bands of the 70s. Their biggest hit was The Boys Are Back In Town in 1976. They had other hits in England but that was their one big hit in the US. Thin Lizzy were from Dublin, Ireland. In 1969, former Them guitarist Eric Bell and organist Eric Wrixton were looking to form a new band. They saw the band Orphanage with singer Phil Lynott and drummer Brian Downey. Lynott agreed to form Thin Lizzy on the condition that he play bass and writes the songs. That turned out to be a very good decision because Lynott turned out to be a great songwriter. They released a single in 1970 and Wrixton left Thin Lizzy to return to Them. They didn't replace him at the time and Thin Lizzy signed with Decca Records in 1971. They moved from Dublin to London. Their first two albums didn't sell. Then they toured England with the popular band Slade and Suzi Quatro. At the same time, Decca released their recording of the Irish folk song Whiskey In The Jar. it was a top ten hit in England and Thin Lizzy appeared on the popular TV show Top Of The Pops. Subsequent singles didn't chart and Eric Bell left in 1973. After a couple of short term replacements, the band hired guitarists Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham through auditions. The twin guitars turned out to be Thin Lizzy's trademark. Then they signed a new record deal with Phonogram in England and Mercury in the US. They toured the US for the first time with Bob Seger and then toured Europe with Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Then Thin Lizzy finally broke through with the 1976 album Jailbreak. The Boys Are Back In Town reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is still very memorable today especially when it was used in the hit Disney film Toy Story. But then Lynott got sick with hepatitis and they were forced to cancel their tour. Then Brian Robertson got into a bar fight. Lynott was upset about this and eventually replaced him with Gary Moore. Though they continued to be a good live draw, Thin Lizzy's albums weren't selling well. Moore left in 1979. Lynott started working on solo projects and he left in 1981 and Thin Lizzy split up in 1985. You can get all their hits on this comp. Phil Lynott died in 1986 as a result of his heroin addiction. Brian Downey and Scott Gorham have led a touring band of Thin Lizzy. But they released a CD in 2013 as Black Star Riders. They didn't want to use the Thin Lizzy name out of respect to Lynott's memory. They still tour as Thin Lizzy. Here's Thin Lizzy performing The Boys Are Back In Town on Top Of The Pops 1976.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington

Artist:Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington
Song:In A Mellow Tone
Album:The Great Summit: The Master Takes

When Duke Ellington's career was revitalized in the late 50s, he decided to be more open to collaborating with other jazz legends including Count Basie, John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins. After all, he wasn't getting any younger. One would have thought that over the years Ellington must have recorded with Louis Armstrong. But Ellington never did that with anyone and he had never recorded with Armstrong. So it was a big deal when producer Bob Thiele got them to record together on Apr. 3, 1961 in New York City. This was for Roulette Records. The two days of recording sessions were released by Roulette on two LPs. Together For The First Time was released in 1961 and The Great Reunion was released in 1963. Fortunately you can get them all on one CD. The band on these recording was the current edition of Louis Armstrong and his All Stars. There was Barney Bigard on clarinet, Trummy Young on trombone, Mort Herbert on bass and Danny Barcelona on drums. All the songs are from Ellington's catalog. In A Mellow Tone aka In A Mellotone was first recorded by Ellington in 1939. Because Ellington was under contract to Columbia at the time, this led to Roulette allowing Count Basie to record with Ellington soon after. And Bob Thiele produced Ellington's albums with Coltrane and Hawkins at Impulse Records. So Thiele deserves a lot of credit for getting Ellington to record these important albums. The current version of The Great Summit available on CD as The Master Takes was released by Blue Note in 2001. In 1990, a Complete Sessions CD was released with a second CD of outtakes. But that version is out of print. This album is obviously a must for any jazz fan as it is the only time these legends recorded together. Here's a video of In A Mellow Tone by Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Io Shirai vs Meiko Satomura

This is the match video of Io Shirai defending her World Of STARDOM Championship against Meiko Satomura. This was the main event of the July 11 show at Korakuen Hall. Though STARDOM really tries to sell Meiko as a legit title challenger, she really isn't anymore. There was no way Meiko was going to win this match. But she can still go and she has great chemistry with Io. Io sells a knee injury during the match. She's not really injured. I like the 619 that Io does around the ring post. I don't think I have seen her do that before. Midway through the match, Io is in trouble. But Meiko wastes time and just stands there instead of going for the pin. Then she takes Io to the floor and gives her what John Cena calls an Attitude Adjustment. But Meiko doesn't bring her back into the ring for the pin. And then when Io is back in the ring, Meiko goes to a rear chinlock rest hold. Look, if STARDOM wants fans to think Meiko can win, they have to have her show some urgency. Of course the tide turns and Io uses some of her trademark moves like moonsaults and German suplexes to win and retain her title. Yoshiko won a four way contender's match earlier in the show. She will get the next title shot. Despite my nitpicking, I enjoyed the match and I think you will too.
World of Stardom Title Match by cmrankin

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kindred the Family Soul

Artist:Kindred The Family Soul
Song:Everybody's Hustling
Album:A Couple Friends

They may not be as well known as Neo Philly Soul acts like The Roots and Jill Scott. But if you're a fan of that kind of music, you're going to want to check out Kindred The Family Soul. Everybody's Hustling is from their brand new CD A Couple Friends. Kindred The Family Soul is the husband wife team of Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon. Both grew up in Philadelphia. Dantzler started out writing songs for Bell Biv Devoe. Aja was a backup singer. They met and married and Dantzler worked as an appliance salesman while the two worked local clubs. Jill Scott spotted them and took them to her label at the time Hidden Beach and they released their debut CD Surrender To Love in 2003. Kindred The Family Soul have had modest R & B chart success. They just haven't been able to break through to a larger audience. They recorded three albums for Hidden Beach. A Couple Friends is their second CD on Shanachie Records and it was released last month. They work with all the top producers in Philadelphia including Vidal Davis, Andre Harris and James Poyser. Kindred the Family Soul write all their own material. Everybody's Hustling was co-written and produced by Steve McKie who is the drummer for singer Vivian Green. Kindred The Family Soul are currently touring to promote their new CD. If you are a fan of Neo Philly Soul, they are a hidden gem worth checking out. Here's the video for Everybody's Hustling by Kindred The Family Soul.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Claudia Gadelha vs Tina Lahdemaki

Here's the match video of Claudia Gadelha vs Tina Lahdemaki from last night's UFC show in Atlantic City. The fight was on UFC Fight Pass so I assume a lot of fans didn't see it. I expected a mismatch as Claudia is a lot more experienced and is a BJJ champ. Both are undefeated but Tina hasn't faced the same level of competition. Most of Claudia's fights have been at 125lb. She cuts a lot of weight to get to 115. This was an issue when her last Invicta fight was canceled because she got sick after weigh ins. And then it was decided that she would skip TUF20 because it would be tough for her to make 115 three times in six weeks. That's why we got the first UFC Strawweight fight. Claudia seems to be much bigger than Tina. I understand she puts on about 20lbs after weigh ins. She uses this size advantage to dominate Tina in round one. But Tina shows good defense and Claudia is unable to finish her. Claudia won the other two rounds as well. I scored the fight 30-27 for Claudia. But like a lot of Brazilian fighters, she doesn't pace herself well and has endurance problems. She's going to have to work on that because there are elite fighters in the UFC Strawweight division who will be able to tire her out especially over five rounds. And as good as Claudia is, that is a major achilles heel. I expect Claudia to get a UFC Strawweight Championship shot against whoever wins TUF20. As for Tina, I don't think good defense is enough for her to hang in the UFC. Maybe she needs to move to the US to get a higher level of training. She needs to raise her game but I don't know if she can do that. In her next fight, I would like to see Claudia face stiffer competition. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Leslie Smith vs Jessamyn Duke

Here's the fight video of Leslie Smith vs Jessamyn Duke from last night's UFC show in Atlantic City. A few days ago, Jessamyn admitted that she wasn't aggressive enough in her loss to Bethe Correia. She said that would be fixed in this fight against Leslie Smith. It wasn't. She didn't look any different in this fight. And with something to prove to UFC brass, Leslie was going to finish or crash and burn trying. And Leslie proved once again that her record is misleading because she has improved tremendously over the last couple of years. And she likes to fight top fighters. Some people think Jessamyn is a top fighter but maybe she isn't. I think some like her story that she could have been a model and chose fighting instead. And some assume her height is an advantage. It would be an advantage if she knew how to use her height. And of course she is part of the Four Horsewomen and they are very popular. And I think we all remember her fight vs Raquel Pennington on TUF18. But the girl who fought Berthe Correia and Leslie Smith doesn't look like the same fighter. She is very tentative and she needs to get that aggression back or she won't be in the UFC very long. What's wrong with her? Usually when a fighter's problem seems puzzling, it's not a physical problem. To me, she looks like she is thinking too much about what she wants to do instead of just using her instincts. And a lot of fighters won't admit they aren't thinking straight. Jessamyn said she solved her problem. This fight proved otherwise. She needs to stop kidding herself and figure it out. She also broke her hand blocking one of Leslie's kicks so she will have plenty of time to think about things. The fight was almost over at that point so it meant nothing. One thing is for sure. It was a great win for Leslie Smith. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Louis Armstrong

Artist:Louis Armstrong
Song:A Kiss To Build A Dream On
Album:The Complete Collection

Though jazz trumpet legend Louis Armstrong always sang, by the 60s he was singing more than playing trumpet. A lot of this was because his recording of Hello, Dolly topped the charts in 1964. I think most folks will be familiar with Armstrong's recording of A Kiss To Build A Dream on from the 1993 film Sleepless In Seattle. Armstrong recorded A Kiss To Build A Dream On in 1951 and he had a top twenty hit with the song. A Kiss To Build A Dream On was originally titled Moonlight on the Meadow. Legendary songwriters Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar wrote it for the 1935 Marx Brothers film A Night at the Opera. But it wasn't used. It sat in the MGM vault until Oscar Hammerstein II wrote new lyrics for the melody and changed the title to A Kiss To Build A Dream On in 1949. The song was used in the 1951 film The Strip starring Mickey Rooney. Louis Armstrong and his All Stars appeared in The Strip. They recorded A Kiss To Build A Dream On but it wasn't used in the film and was not released by Decca. But then Armstrong recorded the song with Sy Oliver's orchestra and that version reached #16 on the pop charts in 1951. And that's the version you will get on this 2CD British comp. Armstrong also performed the song with Bing Crosby on the TV show The Chesterfield Hour. I wish there was a video clip of that. In 1952, A Kiss To Build A Dream On by Hugo Winterhalter and his Orchestra featuring vocals by Johnny Parker reached #10 on the pop charts. The song became a regular part of Armstrong's shows and it is on plenty of 60s live recordings. Of course you can always get the soundtrack for Sleepless In Seattle. I think that's where a lot have heard Armstrong's recording of the song. Here's Louis Armstrong performing A Kiss To Build A Dream On in Sweden 1962.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Patsy Gallant

Artist:Patsy Gallant
Song:From New York To L.A.
Album:Greatest Hits

Patsy Gallant had success mostly in her native Canada. But From New York To L.A. was a worldwide hit mostly in dance clubs. Patsy's music was never released in the US and that's why the song never charted there. She was born Aug. 15, 1948 in Campbellton, NB. As a child, she sang with her sisters as The Gallant Sisters. She moved to Montreal and in her early days, she mostly sang jingles. But she also starred in the Radio-Canada TV variety series Smash. This led to a record deal with Columbia Records Canada. She recorded the 1972 album Upon My Own with producer Yves Lapierre and musicians like Doug Riley and Steve Kennedy of Dr. Music. The single Get That Ball charted in Canada. She recorded a couple of French albums and then recorded the 1974 album Power in Nashville with producer Bob Gallo. Columbia dropped her and Patsy signed with the Canadian label Attic Records. The 1976 album Are You Ready For Love was distributed worldwide by EMI but the US branch chose not to release it. The album was produced by percussionist Ian Robertson and pianist Dwayne Ford, drummer Marty Simon and guitarist Robert Cohen played on the album. Patsy arranged the vocals. From New York To L.A. was a top ten hit in Canada, England, Ireland, South Africa, Norway and Australia. And it was a big dance hit. But there was also controversy. The song is based on the Quebec separatist anthem Mon Pays written and recorded in 1964 by Gilles Vigneault. The vapid English lyrics were credited to Gene Williams. When the record was released, folks in Quebec were outraged that someone would do this to an iconic song like Mon Pays. And Vigneault disowned it. Patsy writes a lot of her own songs. They had to know that this would be controversial in Quebec. So it wouldn't surprise me if Gene Williams is a phony name. Sugar Daddy was Patsy's other top ten hit in Canada. This comp from Unidisc has all her hits. Patsy married Dwayne Ford and the two produced more music. But disco was dead by the mid-80s and Patsy moved to Paris to appear in musical theater. She had a successful run in the 90s appearing in the Luc Plamondon show Starmania. She moved back to Canada in 2005 and it looks like she also has a residence in France. She has appeared as a mentor on the French TV talent contest show Star Academy. Here's the video for From New York To L.A. by Patsy Gallant.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jon Secada

Artist:Jon Secada
Song:Just Another Day
Album:Greatest Hits

Just Another Day was the biggest hit for Jon Secada. It was the first single from his 1992 debut CD Jon Secada. It was all downhill from there. He's done well in the Adult Contemporary market and especially in the Latin market. He was born Juan Francisco Secada Martinez Oct. 4, 1962 in Havana, Cuba. His family moved to Hialeah, FL when Secada was age 8. He attended the University of Miami and planned to become a jazz singer. This changed when Gloria Estefan hired him as a backup singer in the late 80s. Gloria and her husband Emilio Estefan discovered that Secada had a real knack for songwriting. He wrote several songs for Gloria's 1991 CD Into The Light including the smash hit Coming Out of the Dark. This led to a contract with the Capitol/EMI label SBK. SBK was owned by EMI but run by veteran music executive Charles Koppelman. SBK had a lot of hits at that time but they were absorbed by Capitol and SBK has been inactive since 1998. It was at this time that Juan Secada legally changed his name to Jon Secada. His 1992 debut CD Jon Secada was produced by Emilio Estefan. It reached #15 on the Billboard 200 and was certified 3XPlatinum. The debut single Just Another Day reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped the Latin music chart and it was a big hit worldwide. Secada wrote the song with his frequent songwriting partner Miguel Morejon. When a debut is that big, it's hard to maintain. And though Secada never had another top ten pop hit, he continued to have success mostly in the Latin music market. You can get all his EMI hits on this budget comp. Secada moved to Sony in 2000 and after three CDs, he started his own production company. His most recent CD was released in 2011 but according to Secada's Twitter, he is working on new music. It was also rumoured late last year that he would have a residency at Wynn Las Vegas. But it's not clear if that actually happened. Here's the video for Just Another Day by Jon Secada. There are two videos for this song. This one was posted by EMI Music on Youtube. Gloria Estefan briefly appears in the video.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jessica Andrade vs Valerie Letourneau set for Sept. 13 UFC show in Brazil

Jessica Andrade
The UFC announced today that Jessica Andrade vs Valerie Letourneau has been added to UFC Fight Night 51 Sept. 13 in Brasilia, Brazil. This will be Jessica's first time fighting in Brazil since she joined the UFC. She's looked good in her last couple of fights and I expect her to be the favourite in this fight. She has looked more like the fighter I saw fight in Russia last year. Valerie is from Montreal. She won her UFC debut over Elizabeth Phillips last month. Both fighters were injury replacements but Valerie had earlier notice. I have seen Valerie several times over the last few years and this win didn't convince me that she is more than a midcard fighter. And I thought she was terrible in TUF 18. It's interesting because for most of her career, Valerie has fought in Canada and has had the crowd behind her. Now she is going into enemy territory and the crowd will be behind Jessica. And one bit of advice for Valerie. Be sure to get visas for your corner guys. I like Jessica in this fight. She has more tools.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Keni Burke

Artist:Keni Burke
Song:Risin' To The Top

Risin' To The Top is a song that is frequently sampled by hip hop guys and today is hailed as an R & B classic. You've probably heard it but I'm sure you don't know who recorded it. Keni Burke has been in the music business since he was a child. He's an in demand session musician who had brief success as a solo artist in 1982 with Risin' To The Top. He was born Sept. 28, 1953 in Chicago. As a child, he was a member of The Five Stairsteps. They were a family group and of course they had a smash hit with Ooh Child in 1970. Burke played bass. The group disbanded and Burke went on tour with Billy Preston. He introduced Burke to George Harrison. The Five Stairsteps reformed and released the 1976 album 2nd Resurrection on Harrison's Dark Horse label. They split up again but Burke signed as a solo artist for Dark Horse and released the 1977 album Keni Burke. Burke also became a session musician working with all kinds of acts. Burke signed with RCA Records and the 1982 album Changes was the second of his two RCA albums. Risin' To The Top hit the R & B charts but it didn't do well enough for Burke to remain at RCA. But the song has become a cult hit and has been sampled by many hip hop guys. The most notable example is the 1988 Doug E. Fresh hit Keep Risin' To The Top. Burke wrote the song with his pal Allen Felder and Chic singer Norma Jean Wright. Changes is available as a budget CD. Though Burke wouldn't record again until 1998, he remained active as a session musician and producer with acts like The Jones Girls, The O'Jays, Mavis Staples and The Whispers. He is still doing that today. And I'm sure royalty cheques for Risin' To The Top still roll in. Here's a video for Risin' To The Top by Keni Burke.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bebo & Cigala

Artist:Bebo & Cigala
Song:Viente Anos
Album:Lagrimas Negras

Before Fernando Trueba's 2000 documentary Calle 54, most of us only knew that Bebo Valdes was the father of legendary Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes. We also knew that Bebo lived in Sweden for many years. But Bebo's performance with his son in Calle 54 showed that Bebo could really play. So Trueba started his own Calle 54 label with RCA distribution. And his first signing was Bebo Valdes. Trueba brought in Spanish singer Diego El Cigala to record with Valdes. Cigala was born Diego Ramon Jimenez Salazar Dec. 27, 1968 in Madrid, Spain. The nickname El Cigala means Little Prawn. He was very thin so the name was a gag. He was unknown outside of Spain. Trueba brought him to New York City to record the 2003 album Lagrimas Negras. It seems like an odd pairing because Valdes is old enough to be El Cigala's grandfather. But it sure turned out great. They perform mostly Cuban standards like Viente Anos which was written by Cuban music pioneer Maria Teresa Vera. And there are guest appearances by Cuban sax player Paquito D'Rivera, Cuban percussionist Changuito, Spanish guitarist Nino Josele and Brazilian music legend Caetano Veloso. The album was highly acclaimed. It did so well that Trueba decided to record a live CD and DVD with the duo. It's pretty cool for a guy like Bebo Valdes who was 83 years old at the time. Of course Diego El Gigala is still very successful in Europe. Bebo Valdes continued to enjoy a career renaissance including a 2008 album with his son Chucho. But he started suffering from Alzheimer's and died on Mar. 22, 2013 at age 94. Here's Bebo & Cigala performing Viente Anos from their DVD.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Don Drummond

Artist:Don Drummond
Song:Roll On Sweet Don
Album:The Best Of Don Drummond

As a studio musician and founding member of The Skatalites, trombonist Don Drummond was a key figure in the development of Jamaican music in the early 60s. Sadly, mental health issues led to his 1969 death. So he is somewhat of a forgotten legend. He was born Mar. 12, 1932 in Kingston, Jamaica. He started out as a jazz musician in the early 50s. But by the late 50s he was a studio musician working for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One. Drummond wrote over 300 songs and played on hundreds of records in the early days of ska. And he was a member of The Skatalites when they were formed in 1964. And they were one of the most important groups in Jamaican music history. Occasional songs like Roll On Sweet Don were released as Don Drummond as opposed to The Skatalites. The guys never knew what Dodd would do with the songs. Drummond wrote Roll On Sweet Don with Skatalites sax player Roland Alphonso and there may have been some debate about whose name would be on the record label. You can get it on this comp that was first released in 1989 and re-released in 2011. There is a different song originally called Heaven and Earth that was retitled Roll On Sweet Don after Drummond's death. Drummond suffered from manic depression and his erratic behaviour earned him the nickname Cosmic Don. The Skatalites and Drummond's career came to an end when Drummond was arrested on New Year's Day 1965 for the murder of his exotic dancer girlfriend Marguerita Mahfood. Her body was found in his home with mutiple stab wounds. Drummond was declared legally insane and committed to a mental hospital. He died there on May 6, 1969 at age 37. There have been various theories about Drummond's death. But in the 2013 biography Don Drummond: The Genius and Tragedy of the World's Greatest Trombonist, author Heather Augustyn says Drummond's death was caused by his medications. So of course the hospital wanted to cover it up. BTW, Delfeayo Marsalis wrote the forward to this book. So a sad and premature end to a musical pioneer. Here's a video for Roll On Sweet Don by Don Drummond.

Friday, July 11, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Eddie Rabbitt

Artist:Eddie Rabbitt
Song:I Love A Rainy Night
Album:The Platinum Collection

I Love A Rainy Night was Eddie Rabbitt's biggest hit and signature song. It topped the pop and country charts in 1980. Rabbitt is from New Jersey and first came to Nashville in 1968. He had success as a songwriter with the 1969 Elvis Presley hit Kentucky Rain and the 1974 Ronnie Milsap hit Pure Love. He signed with Elektra Records in 1975. His first number one country hit was Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind) in 1976. From then, he started appearing regularly in the country top ten. The song that crossed him over to pop was the theme to the 1979 Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way But Loose which topped the country charts and reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. The next single Suspicions reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. His 1980 album Horizon would turn out to be the most successful album of Rabbitt's career. It was certified Platinum. And I Love A Rainy Night was the biggest hit single of his career as it topped the country and pop charts. The song recalls Rabbitt's truck driving days in the 60s. Rabbitt kept all his old demo tapes in his basement. He would sometimes listen to them looking for songs he could use. He brought the demo of I Love A Rainy Night to producer David Malloy and frequent songwriting partner Even Stevens and they helped him finish it. The rest is history. Stevens recorded a solo album in 1977 but turned to songwriting and wrote many hits with Rabbitt. Some of you may have heard I Love A Rainy Night on the soundtrack of the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Horizon was Rabbitt's final album for Elektra. He continued to have success recording for Liberty, RCA and Capitol until the late 80s. His final number one country hit was On Second Thought in 1989. You can get all of Rabbitt's Elektra hits on this budget comp. Warners chose not to license his post-Elektra hits but they have licensed them for other comp CDs. Also be aware that Rabbitt re-recorded his hits for Intersound Records in the 90s. Watch out for that. It was after recording that album that Rabbitt was diagnosed with lung cancer and died on May 7, 1998 at age 56. Here's Eddie Rabbitt performing I Love A Rainy Night on Solid Gold 1980.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Analysis of Invicta 8 full card for Sept. 6

Michelle Waterson
As was already announced, all future Invicta shows will be on UFC Fight Pass. So if you already subscribe to it like I do, there is no extra charge for Invicta shows. The UFC says they will still attempt to get foreign broadcast deals for Invicta. But Fight Pass is available everywhere so I don't know why any foreign broadcaster would pay for Invicta. The first show will be Sept. 6 in Kansas City and they are claiming that they will run shows every other month. That seems a little ambitious to me but we'll see. The biggest news is not who is on this show but who isn't. And that of course is Cris Cyborg. The original plan was for her to face Ediane Gomes for the Invicta 145lb title and then Cyborg planned to drop to 135. So I guess Cyborg has accelerated those plans. Here's the thing about Cyborg. Has she ever said she wants to drop to 135? Nope. She treats it like an unpleasant obligation and she plans to fight as few fights as possible at 135. But as UFC president Dana White said on the weekend, last year they offered the same deal to Cyborg that they offered to Ronda Rousey. That was an eight fight deal. And until Cyborg wants to commit to 135 long term, I don't know if she will be able to make 135. So the UFC has Cyborg front and center on the Fight Pass website and she's not on this first show? Most fans will be disappointed with that. The show has two title fights. Michelle Waterson will defend her Invicta Atomweight Championship against former Valkyrie Featherweight Champion Yasuko Tamada. I will assume the original plan was a rematch with Jessica Penne but she's on The Ultimate Fighter 20. Though Tamada has been around a long time, most fans here will not be familiar with her because all her fights have been in Japan. Her record is 15-8-3 and she trains with Megumi Fujii at AACC. The key phrase is she used to be a champ but not since Valkyrie closed. So she's an OK fighter but I think she's past her prime. She's also very thin even for a 105lb fighter. I always look at her and think she should eat something. I don't know what makes Invicta think she deserves a title shot. The other title match is for the vacant Invicta Strawweight Championship. It will be Stephanie Eggink vs Katja Kankaanpaa. Stephanie trains at Gracie Tampa and her record is 4-1. She's worked for the XFC for the last couple of years. I guess her visibility makes Invicta think fans are familiar with her so she deserves a title shot in her debut. She's a decent fighter but no. Katja is from Finland and her record is 9-1-1. She's also a decent fighter. I guess the main question is do they really need to fill this title vacancy immediately. How about a tournament? Ediane Gomes will face Tanya Evinger at 135lb. Gomes recently announced plans to drop to 135. But I thought that would happen after the Cyborg fight. She's bigger than Tanya but Tanya is very crafty. They are doing a rematch from several years ago. It will be Roxanne Modafferi vs Tara LaRosa. I understand that both fighters are very popular. But as I have said in the past, I don't like nostalgia booking and that's what this is. Peggy Morgan will face Irene Aldana at 135lb. Peggy was on TUF18. I didn't think much of her. She's tall. Aldana is an unknown from Mexico. Her record is 4-1 but she lost her last fight in Brazil. Veronica Rothenhausler will face Charmaine Tweet at 155lb. Some think Veronica has potential but she had trouble making 145lb the last time she was supposed to fight in Invicta. Charmaine is a Canadian kickboxer with a 5-4 MMA record. She normally fights at 145lb. She's game but that doesn't mean she's good. I don't think there are enough 155lb fighters for a weight class. So at some point, Veronica will have to come to terms with making a lighter weight. In the other fight on the main card, Michelle Ould will face DeAnna Bennett. Michelle is a great fighter. But she hasn't fought for almost two years mostly due to illness. DeAnna is from Utah and has a 4-0 record but this will be her first fight for a national promotion. In the prelims, Alexa Grasso will face Ashley Cummins. Alexa is from Mexico. Her record is 4-0 but this will be her first fight outside Mexico. She's 20 years old so there's that. Ashley is from St. Louis. Her record is 3-2. I think a lot of fans remember her getting clobbered by Joanne Calderwood a couple of years ago. That kind of loss is tough to get over. Jodie Esquibel will face Jinh Yu Frey. In 2013, Jodie won a split decision over Liz McCarthy that a lot of fans thought she lost. Then she lost by submission to Alex Chambers. Jinh is from Alington, TX and has a 2-0 record. This will be her major promotion debut. And finally J.J. Aldrich will face Delaney Owen. J.J. is from Denver. She has had several amateur fights but this will be her pro debut. Delaney is from Clearwater, FL and is 2-0. This will be her major promotion debut. I'm not crazy about the main card. I don't think Michelle Waterson's popularity as The Karate Hottie is enough for the main event when most fans have not heard of her challenger. And though I know ACs don't like one night tournaments, I think a 115lb one night tournament could have added some sizzle to this show. This show lacks sizzle.

Cat Zingano vs Amanda Nunes added to UFC 178 Sept. 27 in Las Vegas

So everyone has been asking me who will be the next challenger for Ronda Rousey's UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. This morning we got the answer when Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports reported that number one contender Cat Zingano will face Amanda Nunes. The winner is likely to face Ronda at the UFC's annual New Year's show in Las Vegas. This will be on UFC 178 Sept. 27 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This was the show that was supposed to be in Toronto but I guess Nevada forked over plenty of cash to get the show. I expect this fight will be on the main part of the PPV. Of course the big question is what will Cat be like post knee surgery. Not to mention her husband's suicide. I know she wanted the title match she was promised. But I always thought it would be better for her to take another match first. Since Ronda broke her hand on Saturday, she finally decided to take a different match. Of course this isn't a gimme. Amanda Nunes is from Bahia, Brazil and she currently trains at MMA Masters in Miami. She has won both her fights in the UFC by TKO. I think this has the potential to be a barnburner. And whoever wins deserves a title shot.

Three matches added to Aug. 9 DEEP JEWELS show

Shizuka Sugiyama, Song Hyo Kyung
DEEP JEWELS has added three matches to their Aug. 9 Shinjuku FACE show. This show will be headlined by a DEEP JEWELS Lightweight Championship match between MIZUKI and Emi Tomimatsu. Shizuka Sugiyama will drop to Welterweight to fight Korean kickboxer Song Hyo Kyung. Sugiyama previously fought at Bantamweight. So she's dropping from 135 to 125. Someone asked me if she would ever drop to 115. I don't think so. She's too big. Song is yet another CMA Korea sacrificial lamb kickboxer with an 0-4 MMA record. And those fights were at 115. This fight does nothing for Sugiyama because she hasn't won over a credible opponent in years. I guess the dirty old men still like her. In a Lightweight match Amiba will face Sachiko Fujimori. Amiba is 7-3. With the DEEP dojo closing, she is now training at AACC. Fujimori is 3-0 and trains at Brightness Monma which is owned by veteran fighter Hidetaka Monma. Her last win was over Shiori Hori on the Feb. 16 DEEP JEWELS show. In a Featherweight match, veteran Masako Yoshida will face relative newcomer Mina Kurobe. Yoshida has been around for years. She trains at Fight Chix and her record is 18-19. Kurobe is 2-0 and now trains at Master Japan which is owned by one time UFC fighter Kuniyoshi Hironaka. The now retired HIROKO trained there. Kurobe's last win was over Tomo Maesawa at the Mar. 30, 2013 JEWELS show. So this is kind of a restart for her as she has moved to a new dojo. They also added a couple of grappling matches including one with Saori Ishioka vs Yukiko Seki. I guess that one is also for the dirty old men. The last DEEP JEWELS show was on UStream iPPV. Last week on The Fight Network podcast Bauer & Pollock, former WWE writer and current Ring Of Honor staffer Court Bauer said that UStream is getting out of the iPPV business because when things go wrong, they don't have the customer service to handle problems. This is a potential problem for DEEP JEWELS, Dragon Gate and New Japan Pro Wrestling who all use UStream. The website Voices Of Wrestling posted further info this morning. As of Oct. 1, 2014, UStream will no longer carry individual iPPVs. I guess they are going to encourage these companies to use their Enterprise Pro service. So it appears they are changing their iPPV service as opposed to ending it. I'm sure we will get the next DEEP JEWELS PPV on UStream but we don't know what will happen after that. But I don't think iPPVs on Ustream are going away completely.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Charley Pride

Artist:Charley Pride
Song:Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'
Album:The Essential Charley Pride

Today Charley Pride is hailed as a pioneer for blacks in country music. But back in the 60s, RCA Records was so skittish about Pride being accepted by country music fans, they issued no publicity photos of him when they released his early records. Kiss An Angel Good Mornin' is Pride's signature song and the only one of his hits to cross over to pop. He was born Mar. 18, 1938 in Sledge, MS one of eleven children of sharecroppers. Pride played guitar but his dream was to play professional baseball. He pitched for the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro American League in 1952. He signed with the New York Yankees Class C farm team the Boise Yankees in 1953. An arm injury derailed Pride's baseball career. After two years in the US Army and failed tryouts with the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Mets, Pride turned to music. Red Sovine brought Pride to Nashville and Chet Atkins signed him to RCA in 1966. Pride's manager Jack D. Johnson was concerned that Pride wouldn't be accepted by country music fans because he's black. So no publicity photos were released with Pride's early singles. When his third single Just Between You And Me was a top ten country hit, they decided it was safe to take the covers off of Pride. In 1967, he was the first black to perform on the Grand Ole Opry since the 40s. Then Pride had a string of number one country hits and was one the biggest country music stars of the 70s. Kiss An Angel Good Mornin' was the biggest of those hits as it crossed over to pop and reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Ben Peters. Peters wrote several Pride hits and also wrote the 1975 Freddy Fender hit Before The Next Teardrop Falls. When Pride's career slowed down in the 80s, he left RCA in 1986. You can get all his RCA hits on this budget comp. Since then Pride has recorded for small labels. His latest CD was released in 2011. His autobiography was published in 1994. Pride still tours. He has had to slow down a bit after he had vocal cord issues in 1997. He's still a big baseball fan and is a minority owner of the Texas Rangers. Pride and his wife Rozene live in Dallas. There have been plans to do a Charley Pride biopic for some time, first starring Terence Howard, then Dwayne Johnson announced plans to star and produce a Pride biopic in 2011. There has been no progress since then. Here's Charley Pride performing Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Daryle Singletary

Artist:Daryle Singletary
Song:I Let Her Lie
Album:Now and Again

Neo-traditional country singer Daryle Singletary owes most of his success to country music star Randy Travis who got him a record deal. Singletary had three top five country hits in the mid-90s including I Let Her Lie in 1995. Singletary is still around but he hasn't recorded since 2009. He was born Mar. 10, 1971 in Cairo, GA and he grew up singing in church. He moved to Nashville after graduating from high school. Singletary became a demo singer and one of those demos got the attention of Randy Travis. Travis recommended Singletary to his management team and soon after, Singletary signed with Giant Records. Giant president James Stroud produced Singletary's 1995 debut CD Daryle Singletary. I Let Her Lie was the second single and it reached #2 on the Country Singles chart. The song was written by Tim Johnson who worked frequently with Rory Lee Feek of Joey + Rory. The two produced teen country singer Blaine Larsen. Johnson died in 2012. Singletary's two other top five hits were Too Much Fun in 1995 and Amen Kind Of Love in 1996. Giant dropped him after none of the singles from his 1998 CD Ain't It The Truth were hits. Singletary signed with Audium/Koch and released Now and Again in 2000. This is a greatest hits CD with some new music. He continued to record for Koch until E1 bought them in 2005. Singletary last recorded in 2009 but he still tours. It's doubtful that he can return to his 1995 success. Here's the video for I Let Her Lie by Daryle Singletary.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

How a minor part failure turned into a major repair

Occasionally I need repairs for this powerchair and for the most part, I am very happy with H.M.E.'s service. But this latest repair was such a headscratcher that I must write about it. The picture I am posting simply shows where the battery compartment is on a Quickie Xperience powerchair. It's a metal box that holds two batteries. I was going down Lakeshore in April when I heard something dragging behind me. It turned out that the rear door of the battery box opened on its own. Obviously I have to get that repaired. For one thing, I can't see it or reach it so when that happened, I had to get someone to close it. A repair guy from H.M.E. came out and said the door is spring loaded and shouldn't open like that. A part inside the door failed. He used plastic ties so the door would stay closed. So I thought that they could order the appropriate parts and it's a small repair. No big deal. Then we discover that the manufacturer doesn't sell these parts separately. They don't even sell the rear door separately because it is permanently attached to the battery box. But they do sell the front door separately. So in order to fix this, they would have to replace the entire battery box. So now it's a much bigger and more expensive repair. And the problem is that it's a time consuming repair. They want to take it into the shop and give me a loaner. After having one of their loaners in January for a major repair, that's something I want to avoid because their loaners are terrible. I told them the only way I would allow this repair would be on my terms. It's not an emergency repair but I want it done. Part of the problem was I was getting mixed signals about whether this repair could be done in the field. One issue is they give their service techs too many calls with too little time for a lengthy repair like this. There is also the question about whether the field techs have the knowledge to do this repair. So finally I was called by Steve. He is not a field tech. He does repairs at the shop. He wanted to pick up the chair early on July 4, take it back to the shop and return it to me later that day. He would leave me a manual chair to get around my apartment. But he was sick on Friday. Yesterday I was told that someone would come to my place and do the repair here. I questioned that because of what I was previously told. But David, who is apparently a new service manager at H.M.E., arrived at 1PM. He looked at the chair and said the repair would take less than an hour. He took it down to his truck and brought it back in less than an hour. He also replaced the batteries. So why was there so much wrangling over this repair? David said that if they had decent loaners, it would never have been a problem. He's already thrown some of their loaners in the garbage. So he will improve that. Part of the problem is this is a very unusual repair and some field techs have never done it. He agrees that the length of time a repair takes should be considered when scheduling field techs. Now they just load them up with calls. He plans to change that. So why doesn't the manufacturer sell the inside door parts? That would save a lot of time and money. He says those parts just don't fail very often so there's no call for them. I wonder about that. The box itself is just a box and shouldn't need replacement. The failure was a part inside the door, not the battery box. I am told the box is not built by the chair manufacturer. I guess that would explain it. At least the repair was finally done.