Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Song:If I Could Make A Living
Clay Walker had a pretty good run on the country charts in the mid-90s. If I Could Make A Living was one of his six number one country hits. He was born Aug. 19, 1969 in Beaumont, TX and grew up in nearby Vidor. His dad gave him a guitar when Walker was nine years old. Upon graduating from high school, Walker worked at the local Goodyear plant while playing local clubs. Then he got a regular gig at the Beaumont club Neon Armadillo. He was discovered by Giant Records president James Stroud and signed a record deal. Stroud also produced Walker's 1993 debut CD Clay Walker. Walker had immediate success when his first single What's It To You? topped the Country Singles chart. Two more singles Live Until I Die and Dreaming With My Eyes Open also topped the country charts. The CD Clay Walker was certified Platinum. If I Could Make A Living was Walker's second CD in 1994 and the single If I Could Make A Living was Walker's fourth number one country hit. The song was written by country music superstar Alan Jackson, his producer and frequent songwriting partner Keith Stegall and veteran songwriter Roger Murrah. Walker didn't like the song much complaining it was too short and too pop oriented among other things. Though the single This Woman and This Man also topped the country chart and the album was certified Platinum, Walker admitted that it wasn't as good as his first album. Though Walker's 1995 album Hypnotize The Moon was critically praised, there were no number one singles from the album. While Walker was working on his 1997 album Rumor Has It, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The disease has been in remission for the most part but Walker has become a major fundraiser for MS research. Rumor Has It was Walker's final number one country hit. Then he started to fade. Stroud left Giant and was replaced by Doug Johnson. Then Warner Music closed Giant in 2000. You can get all his Giant hits on this budget comp. After one album with Warner Bros., Walker recorded for RCA and has recorded for Asylum/Curb since 2005. His new single Rock the Radio is out and a new CD should be released shortly. I think Clay Walker's chart topping days are over but he has a big enough fanbase to do well. Here's the video for If I Could Make A Living by Clay Walker.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Here's the video of last night's episode of WWE Total Divas and I will proceed to separate fact from fiction. There are three storylines with a fourth mixed in. These women are presented as so stupid and selfish that maybe the show name should be changed to Total Idiots. This episode begins with a couple of scenes designed to set up this week's storylines. WWE Diva Paige is uncomfortable with Rosa Mendes coming on to her. Then The Bella Twins are having lunch and Brie Bella is concerned about money because neither she nor husband Bryan Danielson are working right now. Then Nattie Neidhart tells Rosa that her behaviour backstage can cause her problems. And this leads to another "Nattie's husband TJ Wilson takes Nattie for granted" storyline. Supposedly he has forgotten her birthday. Though their relationship is none of Rosa's business, her reaction will lead to drama later. Next Trinity McCray and husband Jon Fatu Jr. are bowling. Remember when Trinity had a birth control implant installed? It was giving her trouble so she had it removed but she is still sick. She's going to a doctor to see what is wrong. Then The Bella Twins are driving to one of Nikki's egg freezing appointments and Brie is whining to set up this week's "Brie Bella is a bitch" storyline. This continues when the Danielsons go to an appliance store and Brie didn't want to go. Nattie's parents are visiting her for her birthday and TJ gives her exercise equipment for her birthday. This is phony baloney. Is this the best they can come up with? Nattie checks into a hotel with Rosa to cool off. Now she's questioning her marriage. Here's the thing. Those two have been together for years. She knows what he's like. So none of this should be a surprise to her. Having Rosa come on to Nattie is the added element to this recycled storyline. Trinity is at the doctor and she has a polyp on her uteris and risks cancer if she doesn't have surgery. Next is Nattie's birthday party at a club. And Rosa tries to kiss Nattie. Of course that was out of bounds. Jon unsuccessfully tries to convince Trinity to have the surgery. After having lunch with Rosa and Summer Rae, Trinity is convinced that buying a stripper pole and learning how to use it will satisfy Jon. So now they have entered phony baloney territory. They added this just so the girls would do stripper moves. Nikki and Danielson confront Brie about her bitchiness. Eventually she admits that she is concerned that the WWE won't want her back. That turns out to be nonsense. Meanwhile after pole dancing class, Trinity tries to sell it to Jon. He ain't buying and eventually convinces her to have the surgery. Once she agrees, he's happy again. Again Nattie has to talk to Rosa about her behaviour. She apologizes but that's why Rosa is on the show. She has no self control. This episode ends with TJ giving a lame talk trying to get Nattie to return. Not surprisingly, she walks away. That's your cliffhanger. Enjoy the video!
WWE Total Divas S03E04 by watchwwelive
WWE Total Divas S03E04 by watchwwelive
Album:Lavender Blue: The Very Best Of Sammy Turner
Singer Sammy Turner had brief success working with the legendary production and songwriting team of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. Lavender Blue was his biggest hit in 1959. He was born Samuel Black June 2, 1932 in Paterson, NJ. There's not much info about him so I can only assume he grew up singing in church and appeared in doo wop groups in the 50s. He signed with Bigtop Records in 1959 and was produced by Lieber and Stoller. Bigtop would later have success with acts like Del Shannon and Johnny & The Hurricanes. Most of the songs they produced for Turner were more pop than R & B influenced by guys like Nat King Cole. And the record It's All In The Game by Tommy Edwards was a huge hit at the time. Lavender Blue is a British folk song dating back to the 17th century. Eliot Daniel adapted the song for the 1948 Disney film So Dear To My Heart. Burl Ives sang it in the film and it was nominated for an Oscar. Sammy Kaye and Dinah Shore charted with their versions of Lavender Blue. Lieber and Stoller probably heard Solomon Burke's mid-50s recording of Lavender Blue and figured they could add some strings and turn it into a pop hit. Sammy Turner's recording of Lavender Blue reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. Turner's recording of the old Vincent Lopez hit Always reached #19. The orchestra was conducted by Stan Applebaum. A Sammy Turner comp CD is available on Collectables. In the 60s, Turner recorded for Motown, 20th Century Fox and Verve. And he also wrote and produced for others. One album he appeared on was Jesus Christ Superstar The Soul Version in 1973. That album was produced by Atlantic Records co-founder Herb Abramson and Robert Banks who has worked on several projects with Turner over the years. Here's a video for Lavender Blue by Sammy Turner.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Here's the fight video of Cat Zingano vs Amanda Nunes from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. Whoever wins this fight gets a shot at Ronda Rousey's UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. The big question was what will Cat be like after two knee surgeries. Amanda is a very aggressive fighter and likes to finish early. But her endurance is questionable. Amanda took Cat down in round one and did land some shots. But Cat was very active from the bottom trying to get a submission. So it looked bad and Amanda won the round 10-9. But Cat's activity minimized the damage. So in round two Cat took Amanda down. She tried to wear Amanda out but she didn't really do much damage. But Amanda was not active from the bottom. I scored it 10-9 for Cat. Amanda seemed out of gas and ripe for a finish. So in round three, Cat took Amanda down again with a suplex takedown and pounded her until ref Jason Herzog stopped the fight. Congratulations to Cat Zangano. BTW, her post fight interview is NSFW but I liked it. Now she gets to challenge Ronda Rousey for the belt Jan. 3 in Las Vegas. Cat said she wanted to make UFC President Dana White forget about Gina Carano. So what happened with that? I said all along that Gina would never return. Her management doesn't want her to fight. They want her to make movies. Money was never an issue. Gina has signed to star in Bus 657 with Robert DeNiro, Dave Bautista of the WWE and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The film starts shooting in Mobile, AL in a couple of weeks. And she has another film scheduled after that. So no matter what she says, I don't see Gina returning to MMA ever. I know what you're asking. Can Cat Zingano beat Ronda Rousey? Probably not. And if Cat gets off to a slow start like she did in her first two UFC fights, Ronda won't give her a chance to come back like she was given in those two fights. Ronda is a finisher until an opponent shows me otherwise. I don't expect Cat Zingano to be that opponent.
Album:Decade Of Drive: 10 Years Of Hits
The Canadian country group Emerson Drive had modest success in the mid-00s with their brand of country pop. Moments was their only number one country hit in 2006. Emerson Drive are from Grande Prairie, AB. They started out in 1995 as 12 Gauge. Lead singer Brad Mates formed the band after entering a local talent contest. They recorded two albums and won a Battle of the Bands. They moved to Nashville in 1999. After a couple of personnel changes, band members were Pat Allingham on fiddle, Chris Hartman on keyboards, Dannick Dupelle on guitar, Jeff Loberg on bass and Mike Melancon on drums. Since there was already a group called 12 Gauge, the group name was changed to Emerson Drive. They signed with DreamWorks Records and I Should Be Sleeping and Fall Into Me were both top five country hits and crossed over to the pop top 40. Then Loberg, Hartman and Allingham all left and were replaced by Patrick Bourque, Dale Wallace and David Pichette. The band clicked with producer Richard Marx and he produced their second album What If?. That album did not perform as well and DreamWorks dropped Emerson Drive in 2004. DreamWorks Records closed in 2005. Emerson Drive signed with Midas Records and released the CD Countrified in 2006. Moments topped the country charts. The song was written by Dave Berg and the husband and wife team of Sam and Annie Tate. Berg has recorded a couple of CD but he is primarily known as a songwriter and has written several hits with the Tates. The song is about redemption and helping a homeless man. Patrick Bourque died from an apparent suicide in Sept. 2007. While Emerson Drive were recording their next album I Believe, Midas closed their Nashville division. Emerson Drive signed with Valory but Midas wouldn't allow the CD to be released in the US. Emerson Drive moved back to Canada and signed with Open Road. Open Road released this comp and then the 2012 CD Roll. Emerson Drive signed with Quarterback Records in the US. David Pichette left and Emerson Drive now tour as a four piece band. We should see new music from them in 2015. Here's the video for Moments by Emerson Drive.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Song:Welcome To My Life
Album:Still Not Getting Any...
Simple Plan have been successful since their 2002 debut CD. Welcome To My Life was their only number one hit in their native Canada. They have been successful in the US but they have never had a top 20 hit. Simple Plan is from Montreal. When they were teens in 1993, lead singer Pierre Bouvier and drummer Chuck Comeau were in Reset. After recording a couple of albums and touring, Comeau left Reset and then Bouvier left. They got back together and formed Simple Plan with high school pals Jeff Stinco on lead guitar, Sebastien Lefebvre on rhythm guitar and David Desrosiers on bass. After playing on the 2001 Warped Vans Tour, Simple plan signed with Lava/Atlantic. When their 2002 debut CD No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls included appearances by Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, that brought Simple Plan a built in fanbase. So the album was certified 2XPlatinum though there were no hit singles. They had two top ten hits in Canada. Simple Plan headlined the 2003 Warped Vans Tour and opened for Good Charlotte. Their 2004 CD Still Not Getting Any... was certified Platinum. Welcome To My Life topped the Canadian Singles chart. It was top 40 in the US. It's a typical teen angst song. The album title Still Not Getting Any... refers to Simple Plan not getting any positive reviews from critics. That's the down side of their association with Blink-182 and Good Charlotte. Simple Plan is viewed as derivative of those bands. Still Not Getting Any... is available on CD with a bonus DVD. Simple Plan's latest CD Get Your Heart On! was released in 2011. They are currently working on new music scheduled for a 2015 release. Here's the video for Welcome To My Life by Simple Plan.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Song:Don't Make Me Over
This 1989 cover of Don't Make Me Over was the biggest hit for R & B singer Sybil Lynch. Most of her success was on the R & B and dance charts and in England. She was born June 2, 1965 in Paterson, NJ. She attended college at North Carolina A & T State in Greensboro and still lives there. In 1985 she was in CeCe and Company led by singer CeCe Rogers. Then Sybil went solo and signed with Next Plateau Records which was the home of pioneering female rap group Salt 'N' Pepa. So she worked with some of the same producers. My Love Is Guaranteed was her first big dance hit in 1987. Her second album Sybil in 1989 was her most successful. And her most successful singles were covers of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David classics Don't Make Me Over and Walk On By. Don't Make Me Over was Dionne Warwick's very first hit single in 1962 and began her long partnership with Bacharach and David. Sybil's cover reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the R & B Singles chart. It charted higher than the original. The record was produced by Dolores Drewry who had worked with Salt 'N' Pepa. Sybil signed with British producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman for her 1990 album Sybilization. They were a hot production team of the late 80s. Sybil had some chart success in England. But for the most part, SAW were not able to get her back to the top of the charts. You can get all of Sybil's hits on this comp. She left Next Plateau in 1993 and recorded one more album in 1997. She has released occasional singles over the years. She teaches at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC. Here's the video for Don't Make Me Over by Sybil.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
|Jessica Eye, Leslie Smith|
Here's the video for The Ultimate Fighter 20 episode 3. The fight in this episode will be Jessica Penne vs Lisa Ellis. They are hyping this as a rematch of "the bloodiest fight in women's MMA history" from a couple of years ago in Invicta. It's just another reason why I don't like set matchups for this show. This episode begins with Dana White calling Bec Rawlings into his office. Her mom called from Australia and Bec's stepfather died. Apparently he had been sick for a long time but of course it's still tough to be half way around the world. Normally TUF contestants are cut off from the outside world while in the house. But White let Bec talk to her mom for as long as she wanted. And later her coach Gilbert Melendez brought her flowers. The scenes in the house continue to focus on Heather Clark trying to be a leader and the others led by Rose Namajunas telling her to knock it off. I expect this to continue for the rest of the series. The other girls seem to get along. It's just Heather who is causing drama. What I got from the pre-match interviews is that maybe Lisa Ellis should have stayed home. After that Invicta match, Lisa and husband Eddie Ellis had a daughter who is now one year old. This will be her first match back. Team Melendez coach Jake Shields is concerned that Lisa's head is elsewhere. There are no such problems with Jessica Penne. So I was not surprised when Jessica won the match fairly easily in round one with a rear naked choke. Melendez is pissed. Next week's match will have #1 seed Carla Esparza of Team Pettis vs #16 seed Angela Hill of Team Melendez. They teased a possible upset at the end of the show which means the match will probably go the opposite way. Also there will be more Heather Clark drama. Enjoy the video!
Song:Sunshine Of Your Love
Album:The Very Best Of Cream
The British trio Cream were only around for two years but were very influential by mixing blues and rock. They also gave birth to the term "supergroup". Sunshine Of Your Love was their biggest hit. By 1966, Eric Clapton was already the top guitarist in England mostly through his work with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers. But he got the itch to form a new band. He met Graham Bond Organisation drummer Ginger Baker. Baker was unhappy because Bond was addicted to drugs. Jack Bruce was bassist for that band. Clapton and Baker started jamming and agreed to form a band on the condition that Bruce was hired as bassist and lead singer. Clapton liked Bruce's singing voice. The problem was Bruce and Baker were notorious for constantly quarreling. But they put aside their differences and formed Cream which meant they were the cream of the crop of British musicians. They signed with Polydor in England and Atco in the US. Clapton was already a star in England but was still unknown in the US. Cream played some shows in the US and then they recorded their second album Disraeli Gears in New York produced by Felix Pappalardi who would later form Mountain and Atlantic Records producer Tom Dowd who would work with Clapton for many years. They recorded it in three days and then their visas ran out and had to return to England. Disraeli Gears was released in 1967. It was a mix of blues and psychedelia and it was certified Platinum. Sunshine Of Your Love reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would turn out to be their biggest hit. The song was written mostly by Bruce and poet Pete Brown after Bruce and Clapton went to a Jimi Hendrix show. Brown frequently wrote lyrics for Cream. Bruce wrote the famous guitar riff and Clapton wrote the refrain. Atlantic didn't like the song at first but changed their mind when Booker T. Jones of Booker T & The MG's liked the song. Cream's other top ten hit was White Room in 1968. You can get all their hits on this comp. Cream was successful but Clapton was getting restless and was tired of being a ref for Baker and Bruce's fights. Their final album Goodbye was released in 1969. Clapton immediately formed the short lived group Blind Faith with Steve Winwood. Bruce recorded jazz fusion and later formed West, Bruce & Laing with Leslie West and Corky Laing of Mountain. Baker has led Ginger Baker's Air Force for many years. Cream reunited when they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993 and they reunited for a few 2005 shows. Since then there have been rumours about Cream reuniting that were not true. Bruce wanted to reunite but Baker and Clapton did not. They were certainly a great band in the 60s. Here's Cream performing Sunshine Of Your Love at their farewell concert at Royal Albert Hall in London Nov. 26, 1968.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
|Emi Fujino, Ayaka Miura|
Song:Strange Place For Snow
Album:Strange Place for Snow
Swedish jazz pianist Esbjorn Svensson was very popular in Europe and was making inroads in the US when he died in a tragic scuba diving accident in 2008. He was born Apr. 16, 1964 in Skultuna, Sweden. His mom was a classical pianist and his dad was a big jazz fan. He studied classical piano as a child and played in garage bands as a teen. He returned to classical music and then gravitated to jazz. Svensson studied at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm for four years. He worked as a sideman in local clubs and formed his first band in 1990. This turned into the Esbjorn Svensson Trio or E.S.T. for short with Dan Berglund on bass and Magnus Ostrom on drums. They released three albums. But the fourth album Gagarain's Point Of View in 1999 got them acclaim in Europe outside Sweden and this led to a US record deal with Columbia Records. The 2002 CD Strange Place For Snow was their second US release. It is available as a budget CD. They won Best International Artist at the BBC Jazz Awards and were the first European jazz act to ever appear on the cover of Down Beat magazine. Svensson also produced albums by singer Viktoria Tolstoy. He was working on music that would integrate electronic and mechanical sounds with jazz when he went missing while scuba diving on June 14, 2008. He was later found unconscious and died in hospital. Svensson was 44 years old and left a wife and two sons. This was a big loss for the European jazz community. Jazz fans should check him out. Here's the Esbjorn Svensson Trio performing Strange Place For Snow 2003.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Song:Letter To Hermione
Jazz pianist Robert Glasper made a very successful foray into R & B with the 2012 CD Black Radio. After winning a Grammy and reaching the Billboard Hot 200 top twenty, he seems to have abandoned jazz. I think he is doing a very good job of mixing jazz and R & B but maybe he needs to cool it with the guest vocalists. He was born Apr. 6, 1978 in Houston. His mom was a jazz singer and took him to gigs. And Glasper grew up playing piano in church. He attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. It was here that he met R & B singer Bilal Oliver and they have worked together frequently. It got Glasper into working with R & B artists and he toured with Maxwell in 2009. Glasper signed with Blue Note in 2005. His first three albums were mostly jazz. But he says he got bored with jazz and went whole hog R & B with the 2012 CD Black Radio. The album was very successful. It reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 200 and it won the Best R & B Album Grammy. The band is Glasper's usual band of Casey Benjamin on vocoder, Derrick Hodge on bass and Chris Dave on drums. But there are guest vocalists on most songs including Glasper's old buddy Bilal. Letter To Hermione is an obscure David Bowie song from Space Oddity. Other guest vocalists include Erykah Badu, Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi, Musiq Soulchild and Chrisette Michele. Glasper continued this approach with the 2013 CD Black Radio 2. I saw him a few months ago opening for Ledisi and none of these singers tour with him. Casey Benjamin sort of sings but he isn't really a singer. But it doesn't seem to concern Glasper. He will tour Europe in October. Glasper is a very talented guy who likes to experiment. I'm concerned he might get stuck in a rut to feed commercial success. Here's the video for Letter To Hermione by Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Bilal.
Monday, September 22, 2014
This episode of WWE Total Divas should be called Beware of Morons because some of these girls are idiots. This is nothing new as The Bella Twins have repeatedly made decisions without thinking or consulting with their significant others. And now we can add Rosa Mendes to the stupid club. This episode begins with the angle at WWE Payback in Chicago when Brie Bella "quit" the WWE and slapped Stephanie McMahon. Then Brie and husband Bryan Danielson have lunch with The Bella Twins' mom who owns a corporate recruiting firm. Danielson's uncertain future following his surgery forces a discussion about what they would do post wrestling. So they go to mom's office to take a test and both fail miserably. It's interesting that in this discussion the possibility of Danielson opening a wrestling school is never discussed. Because that's what a lot of retired pro wrestlers do. In fact, current WWE wrestler Seth Rollins already owns a wrestling school and I'm sure he could help Danielson. So I'm not really buying this storyline. A clip from RAW is shown where Summer Rae returns from shooting a movie wearing a chicken suit. She removes it to attack Layla El who is Fandango's new dancer. If you recall from last season, all the girls hate Summer especially Nattie Neidhart. These two need to be kept apart. Then we go to Eva Marie and her husband Jonathan who are planning a big wedding. They are visiting her parents for July 4. The bone of contention is Eva Marie's dad wants a Catholic wedding and Jonathan won't convert to Catholicism. Eva Marie is hoping to avoid discussion of this topic. She should know better. Brie and Danielson are discussing post wrestling options and think that buying a Bed and Breakfast would be perfect for them. Of course this is based on romanticism and not common sense because it's a business and neither of them has any business experience. They go see it and the business will cost $800K and they need a $150K down payment. Danielson says they don't have the money after buying a house but Brie really wants to do this. So then we see the discussion of the wedding with Eva Marie's family. Eva wants to please her dad so much that she wants Jonathan to convert. He gets pissed and takes a walk. After discussing it with Jonathan, Eva talks to her dad and even he says pleasing Jonathan is more important. He's OK with Jonathan not converting. Arggggh! Couldn't they have done this two weeks ago? Now we go to The Bella Twins. Brie tells Nikki about the Bed and Breakfast and asks for a $100K loan from her and boyfriend John Cena. Brie did not discuss this with her husband who says later that he would have nixed it. Also, Nikki says "Oh, okay" without discussing it with Cena. And when she does tell him, he says he doesn't loan money to family after some bad experiences. That was a great decision as it avoided a dismal failure. Now we go to RAW in Minneapolis. Rosa Mendes offers Summer Rae a ride to the next taping. She says she paid for half the car rental. Nattie Neidhart paid for the other half. Rosa thinks Nattie and Summer can bond if they ride together. Didn't she watch season 2 of Total Divas? Those two hate each other. When she arrives, Nattie is upset but agrees to allow Summer to ride with them. It doesn't go well. Nattie pulls the car over in the middle of nowhere and pulls Summer out of the car. Rosa convinces her to not do that and she will drive and there will be no talking. She admits later that she didn't know things were that bad between the two. Nattie apologized to Rosa later. The Bella Twins are appearing at Wizard World in Philadelphia. They are smiling on the outside but bickering over the loan. Then Brie apologizes to Danielson for not discussing the loan with him. Next week, Jon Fatu Jr. wants kids, Rosa gets the hots for Nattie and more Bella Twins bickering. Enjoy the video.
Total Divas SE3 Ep3 HDTV by watchwwelive
Total Divas SE3 Ep3 HDTV by watchwwelive
Jazz fans are going to want to check out The Cookers. They are not to be confused with the Toronto based jazz group The Cookers Quintet. Trumpeter David Weiss formed The Cookers as sort of a tribute to his hero Freddie Hubbard but also to put the spotlight on underappreciated veteran sidemen. Weiss has been around the New York jazz scene since the late 80s. He has worked with tenor sax player Craig Handy since the early 90s. Weiss has also worked as an arranger for other jazz artists. He is the leader of The New Jazz Composers Octet and he has recorded as a leader since 2002. In 2006, he formed two bands. Point Of Departure Quintet features young musicians. The cookers features veteran sidemen who Weiss believes deserve more respect. The Core is a Freddie Hubbard song from the 2010 CD Warriors. Along with Weiss, there is Eddie Henderson on trumpet, Billy Harper on tenor sax, Craig Handy on alto sax, George Cables on piano, Cecil McBee on bass and Billy Hart on drums. Most jazz fans should recognize the names. Other than The Core, all the songs on Warriors were written by Cables, McBee or Harper and arranged by Weiss. The Cookers are currently on Motema Music and their brand new CD Time and Time Again was released last week. The only personnel change has Donald Harrison replacing Craig Handy. And I expect these guys to tour. I would go see them if they came to Toronto. They aren't getting any younger but they sure can play. Here's The Cookers performing The core in Germany 2008. This video is not on Youtube.
The Cookers - The Core 2008 by Half_Note_Jazz_Club
The Cookers - The Core 2008 by Half_Note_Jazz_Club
The Cookers - The Core 2008 by Half_Note_Jazz_Club
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Song:Love Will Find A Way
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection:The Best Of Pablo Cruise
Love Will Find A Way was one of two top ten hits for Pablo Cruise in the mid 70s. Pablo Cruise was not a person. It was a band from San Francisco. Lead singer and guitarist David Jenkins, keyboard player Cory Lerios and drummer David Price were members of the early 70s band Stoneground. Warner Bros. dropped Stoneground in 1973 after three unsuccessful albums. Jenkins, Lerios and Price formed Pablo Cruise with former It's A Beautiful Day bassist Bud Cockrell. They signed with A & M Records and released their debut album in 1975. Success came when Whatcha Gonna do reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. The album A Place In The Sun was certified Platinum. Cockrell left in 1977 and was replaced by former Santana bassist Bruce Day. The 1978 album Worlds Away was also certified Platinum and Love Will Find A Way reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was Pablo Cruise's peak and you can get all their hits on this budget comp. The band started to fall apart when Day left in 1980 and then Price left in 1981. The rise of New Wave didn't help and Pablo Cruise split up in 1983. After a 1985 reunion attempt failed, Jenkins was in the country rock group Southern Pacific. Lerios became a session musician. Jenkins and Cockrell led a version of Pablo Cruise in 1996. Then at David Price's 2004 wedding, Jenkins, Lerios and Price decided to reunite and they are still together. Bruce Day died in 1999 and Bud Cockrell died in 2010. They released a live CD in 2011 and they still tour. Here's Pablo Cruise performing Love Will Find A Way in 1978.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Here's the match video of Miesha Tate vs Rin Nakai from today's UFC show in Tokyo. It was on UFC Fight Pass so I know a lot of you don't subscribe. And the fight was in the middle of the night. I did watch it live so you could all get your beauty sleep. When this fight was announced, I said that Rin could win if she controlled the pace of the fight and be aggressive from the very start. Aggression in the first round has been a big problem for Rin over the last couple of years. So I knew after the first minute of round one that Rin would lose. She just didn't seem ready to me and I knew she wouldn't get away with that in this fight no matter what she did later. The one thing that Miesha worked on that seemed to pay off in this fight was her takedown defense. If Rin gets a clean takedown and top position early in the fight, that changes the tone of the fight. But it never happened. Single leg takedowns were not going to be successful. And though Rin got Miesha's back a couple of times later in the fight, she never got the position she needed to go for a finish. Rin won the third round. But she needed a finish and seemed a little desperate. She needed to do more than win that round. And she hadn't done enough earlier in the fight to wear Miesha down and set her up for a finish. So the start of fights is still a big problem for Rin Nakai. I scored it 29-28 for Miesha. Two of the judges scored it 30-27 and the other judge scored it 29-28 for Miesha. Leading up to this fight, all Miesha talked about was finishing the fight. But she never came close to a finish and by the third round, she seemed content to outpoint Rin. Obviously Miesha didn't want to get caught by Rin's ground game. But if she thinks a win like that will get her back into title contention, she's dreaming. She's still a gatekeeper which is what she was in this fight. Enjoy the video!
Album:...This Is The Place!
The Hammond B3 organ has been a big part of jazz since the 50s with legends like Jimmy Smith, Groove Holmes and Jimmy McGriff. Organissimo is one of several bands that continue that tradition. Organist and group leader Jim Alfredson is from Lansing, MI. His father played the organ so not surprisingly, Alfredson learned to play at an early age. He formed Organissimo in 2000 with guitarist Joe Gloss and drummer Randy Marsh. There is no bass in this trio. Gloss is also from Lansing. He started out in bluegrass but later turned to jazz. Marsh is from Grand Rapids. His father Arno Marsh played tenor sax with Woody Herman and Stan Kenton and his mother Mary Lou Marsh was a jazz singer. Organissimo has been recording on their own label since 2003. Smokin' Section is from the 2005 CD ...This Is The Place!. Gloss left in 2010 and their current guitarist is Larry Barris. Alfredson was in the band Root Doctor and he has toured with singer Janiva Magness. Marsh also plays with singer Paul Vornhagen. Organissimo's latest CD Dedicated was released in 2013. Fans of the Hammond B3 organ should check them out. Here's Organissimo performing Smokin' Section at For The Music Only in New Hope, PA June 17, 2009.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Album:Children Will Listen
Betty Buckley has had a long career on stage, screen, TV and music. But she is probably best known for winning a Tony in 1982 for her portrayal of Grizabella in the musical Cats. Memory is her signature song. She was born July 3, 1947 in Big Spring, TX and grew up in Fort Worth. Her mother was a dancer. She was crowned Miss Fort Worth in 1966 and was spotted by a talent scout at the Miss America pageant. She moved to New York City in 1969 and immediately won the role of Martha Jefferson in the musical 1776. In 1977, she joined the cast of the TV series Eight Is Enough after Diana Hyland died. Betty also starred in the 1976 film Carrie. When Eight Is Enough ended in 1981, she decided to go back to Broadway. Cats was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is based on the TS Eliot book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. When the musical was a success in London, they decided to move it to Broadway and bring the crew with them. But all the roles were recast for the Broadway production. Elaine Paige played Grizabella in London and also played the role in the 1998 film. And her recording of Memory was a hit in England. So it was risky to recast that role. But Betty won a Tony and Memory became her signature song. Cats became one of the biggest Broadway hits of all time. Betty left Cats in 1984 and continued to appear in movies, on TV and on the stage. Probably her most significant role was as Norma Desmond in the musical Sunset Boulevard from 1992-94. She also started recording CDs in the mid 90s. Children Will Listen was her first CD in 1994 and is a collection of Broadway favourites including Memory. Jazz pianist Kenny Werner is her musical director and he works with her in clubs as well. Normally I would recommend the Cats Broadway Cast CD. But it's expensive and Children Will Listen is budget priced. Betty Buckley still appears on Broadway and on TV and in movies. But this week she released her new CD Ghostlight produced by her old pal T-Bone Burnett and she will play a week at Joe's Pub in New York City in October. And I'm sure a short tour will follow. Here's Betty Buckley performing Memory and I believe that is Kenny Werner on piano.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Here's the video of episode 2 of The Ultimate Fighter 20. This week's fight has Joanne Calderwood of Team Pettis vs Emily Kagan of Team Melendez. Joanne is the favourite. I think Emily is ranked a little high. The episode begins with Randa Markos' victory celebration at the TUF house. The Team Pettis coaches bring her lunch. It becomes obvious that the drama in the house will focus on Felice Herrig and Heather Clark and we all know they hate each other and they will fight each other in round one. It appears Heather is being set up to be very annoying. She complains there is no blender in the house to the point where the other girls mock her. Then on the way to the gym, she tries to take a leadership role and tells the other Team Melendez girls not to be friendly to the Team Pettis girls. Rose Namajunas says she won't go along with that and the others follow her lead. At the gym, there are complaints that the Team Pettis coaching is inconsistent. Felice suggests a team meeting and it is hashed out. Meanwhile, Heather and Rose literally butt heads during Team Melendez training and both need stitches. Gilbert Melendez says it's no big deal. Before the fight, we see Joanne with her family in Scotland and Emily talks about leaving her family in Israel to train in New Mexico. Now it's time for the fight. Joanne gets off to a slow start in round one. But Emily doesn't get much offense in either. Joanne finally lands some punches towards the end of the round so I scored it 10-9 for her. But it was close. Joanne told Marc Raimondi of Fox Sports that Emily kept backing up and refused to engage. I understand the strategy but Emily needed to do more and didn't. Joanne caught her stride in round two and scored a takedown, some elbows, a kimura attempt followed by a triangle attempt. Emily was on top but Joanne had control. I scored the round 10-9 for Joanne so I thought she won 20-18. Two of the judges scored it 20-18 and the other scored it 19-19. Joanne Calderwood wins by majority decision. I still believe Joanne could have problems with an opponent with a high level ground game. She could face Rose Namajunas in the next round. That could be a tough fight for Joanne. I like Joanne's standup but her frustration with Emily made this fight closer that it should have been. I liked Emily's strategy but she needed to get more offense in. Next week Jessica Penne will face Lisa Ellis. They are selling it as an Invicta rematch. Enjoy the video!
Album:Wired: The Best Of Haywire
The hard rock band Haywire had modest success in their native Canada. Their biggest problem was they weren't able to get a US record deal and that's what killed them. Dance Desire was their biggest hit in 1987. Haywire were from Charlottetown, PEI. They have always had a strong following in the Maritime provinces. The lead singer and main songwriter was Paul MacAusland. Other members were Dave Rashed on keyboards, Marvin Birt on guitar and Ronnie Switzer on bass. They went through three drummers before settling on Sean Kilbride in 1986 and he was the drummer on all the albums. Haywire won the 1984 Q104 Homegrown contest. The prize was the chance to record a single but they added their own money and released an EP. Then in 1985 they won the Labatt's Battle of the Bands. This led to a deal with Attic Records in Canada. They recorded their first two albums with producer Brian Allen who produced the group Toronto. The albums Bad Boys and Just Don't Stand There did well in Canada. Dance Desire reached #10 on the Canadian charts in 1987. It would turn out to be Haywire's biggest hit. They had two big problems. One is they couldn't seem to get a US record deal. The other was conflict with Attic over promotional support and money. When Attic refused to finance music videos, Haywire would use their own money. And then when Chrysalis Records expressed interest in signing Haywire to a US record deal, Attic wanted too much money. With their 1990 album Nuthouse, Haywire tried to soften their sound to appeal to an older audience. When that didn't work, the 1992 album Get Off received no promotional support from Attic. Haywire split up soon after and Attic immediately released this comp CD. They have reunited occasionally but I'm not sure if they are active right now. Their website is mostly empty. Here's the video for Dance Desire by Haywire.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Song:Nine Pound Hammer
Album:I Am A Pilgrim
Legendary country singer Merle Travis is best known for his innovative guitar picking technique. But he was also a great singer and songwriter and he had some chart success mostly in the 40s. He was born Nov. 29, 1917 in Rosewood, KY. This is in the coal mining area of Muhlenberg County which was also a fertile area for music. Travis learned to play guitar from local legends like Arnold Shultz, Kennedy Jones, Mose Rager and Ike Everly, the father of The Everly Brothers. Travis' picking style got some attention when he was a regular on the radio show Boone Country Jamboree on WLW in Cincinnati. He worked with Grandpa Jones and The Delmore Brothers. He and Jones signed with King Records in 1943 and recorded as The Sheppard Brothers. After a brief stint in the US Marine Corps, Travis formed The Brown's Ferry Four with Jones and the Delmores. He left in 1946 and signed with Capitol Records. He had several top ten country hits with Divorce Me C.O.D. and So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed topping the country charts. His novelty songs seemed to chart higher than his serious songs about coal mining like Nine Pound Hammer. Travis' best known song Sixteen Tons was a monster hit for Tennessee Ernie Ford in 1955. While Travis was having chart success, he appeared in several B-western movies. And he appeared a lot on radio and TV. His career faded in the mid 50s due to alcoholism that resulted in several violent incidents in the Los Angeles area. He was also notorious for suffering from stage fright though you wouldn't know it by watching him perform. This comp from the Dutch label Country Stars is a good intro to his music. Travis left Capitol in 1969. He revived his career in the 70s appearing frequently on TV and recording for CMH Records. Merle Travis died of a heart attack on Oct. 20, 1983 at age 65. Many guitarists including Chet Atkins credit Travis as a guitar innovator and his techniques are still widely taught. Here is Merle Travis performing Nine Pound Hammer from the 1951 film Cyclone Fury.