Wednesday, December 31, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jim Byrnes

Artist:Jim Byrnes
Song:Running Out Of Time
Album:House Of Refuge





Though you may not know his name, I'm sure you have seen Jim Byrnes in films and TV shows produced in Vancouver. And you've heard his voice as he does a lot of animated films. But his first love is the blues and I first heard of him in the 80s. He was born Sept. 22, 1948 in St. Louis. He learned to play guitar as a teen and took acting classes. He was drafted to serve during the Vietnam War. But it's not clear if he ever went to Vietnam and he moved to Canada in 1970. So he could be a draft dodger a la Jesse Winchester. He lived in Toronto for a couple of years until he lost his legs in a serious car accident. Then he moved to Vancouver and playing clubs led to a record deal and the 1981 album Jim Byrnes for Polydor. Though he won a Best New Artist Juno award, he didn't record again until 1987 for Stony Plain. Meanwhile, his acting career took off with a recurring role in the TV series Wiseguy. He also started doing voice work in animated GI Joe films. Byrnes has worked in films steadily ever since. He has appeared in TV series like Highlander and Sanctuary which were shot in Vancouver. And he has recorded for the Vancouver based label Black Hen Music since 2004. Byrnes starred in the 2008 film Heart of a Dragon which was shot in China by a Canadian production company. He also recorded songs for the film including Running Out Of Time. You can get it on his 2006 CD House Of Refuge which is supposed to be Byrnes' gospel influenced CD. Byrnes' latest CD St. Louis Times was released Apr. 2014. It's supposed to recall his childhood. Byrnes is a strong performer so blues fans should check him out. Here's the video for Running Out Of Time by Jim Byrnes.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington added to Feb. 28 UFC show

Holly Holm, Raquel Pennington
Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington was supposed to happen on the Dec. 6 UFC show. But Holly was forced to drop out of the fight due to a neck injury suffered during training. So Ashlee Evans-Smith stepped in and Raquel won the fight with a bulldog choke at the end of the first round. Last week, Raquel told Steven Marrocco of MMA Junkie that she still wanted to fight Holly but Raquel was on a 45 day medical suspension due to a 14 stitch cut in her forehead suffered during her last fight. Last night, John Morgan of MMA Junkie reported that Holly vs Raquel will happen at UFC 184 Feb. 28 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The two have verbally agreed to the fight and signed fight agreements are expected shortly. One of the reasons Raquel still wants this fight is normally a debuting UFC fighter would be on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. But because Holly is a heavily hyped former boxing champ, I expect this fight to be on the main card. Holly has a 7-0 record but Raquel is a big step up in competition. Of course Holly will be favoured to win. But if Raquel pulls an upset, it's a bigger win for her. Raquel is probably a better fighter than her 5-4 record. Her last win was really good considering she was cut and couldn't see through the blood. So whoever wins this fight will get a big boost up the ladder with the winner of Miesha Tate vs Sara McMann being the winner's next opponent. I don't think any of them can beat Ronda Rousey but future title matches need to be set up even if it's someone as heavily hyped as Holly Holm.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tammi Terrell

Artist:Tammi Terrell
Song:Two Can Have A Party
Album:The Essential Collection





Most music fans should be familiar with Tammi Terrell for her classic duets with Marvin Gaye and her tragic death from a brain tumour at age 24. But she did record solo and you can get all her solo recordings on this budget comp. Tammi recorded Two Can Have A Party solo and as a duet with Gaye. Tammi Terrell was not a product of the Motown factory. She was born Thomasina Montgomery Apr. 29, 1945 in Philadelphia. Her nickname was Tammy after she saw the film Tammy and the Bachelor. She signed with Scepter Records producer Luther Dixon at age 15 and released several unsuccessful singles as Tammy Montgomery. She recorded some duets with Chuck Jackson but they weren't released at the time. Tammy also recorded for James Brown's Try Me Records and Checker Records. She returned to school and was taking pre-med at the University of Pennsylvania when Jerry Butler asked her to tour with him and she would return to school. While on tour in Detroit, Motown owner Berry Gordy spotted her and signed her. But he changed her name to Tammi Terrell because he thought Montgomery was too long. Two Can Have A Party was one of several unsuccessful singles written and produced for Tammi by veteran producers Harvey Fuqua and Johnny Bristol. In 1967, Tammi first recorded with Marvin Gaye after Kim Weston left Motown. Of course they were very successful until Tammi collapsed while performing. She was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. She couldn't perform anymore but Tammi still recorded. At times when she was too sick to record, Valerie Simpson filled in as Gaye's duet partner. She did record the 1969 solo album Irresistible. But Tammi got worse and died on Mar. 16, 1970 at age 24. She was a great singer and it was sad that she died so young. Here's a video for Two Can Have A Party by Tammi Terrell.

Monday, December 29, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Tractors

Artist:The Tractors
Song:Baby Likes To Rock It
Album:The Tractors





Though The Tractors recorded three albums for Arista in the mid-90s, I think it's fair to say they're a one album band. Their 1994 debut single Baby Likes To Rock It was their biggest hit and their debut CD The Tractors was certified 2XPlatinum. That was their high point. The Tractors were formed in Tulsa in 1988. All five members are veteran sidemen. Lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter Steve Ripley worked with JJ Cale and Bob Dylan. Guitarist Ron Getman worked with Loudon Wainwright III and Leonard Cohen. Keyboardist Walt Richmond was in Rockin' Jimmy & Brothers of the Night and worked with Bonnie Raitt. Bassist Casey Van Beek was in the 70s band Moccasin. And drummer Jamie Oldaker worked with Eric Clapton for many years. They signed with Arista and The Tractors was released in 1994. Baby Likes To Rock It was the debut single and it reached #11 on the Country Singles chart. The video was Video of the Year at the 1995 CMA awards. Ripley and Richmond wrote and produced the song. The album was certified 2XPlatinum and featured guest appearances by JJ Cale, Jim Keltner, Bonnie Raitt, Leon Russell, James Burton and Ry Cooder. The odd thing was their second CD was the Christmas album Have Yourself A Tractors Christmas. And though The Santa Claus Boogie is a Christmas perennial, it was probably too soon to record a Christmas CD. The Tractors real follow up CD Farmers In A Changing World was released in 1998 and by then I think folks forgot about them. The Tractors split up. You can get The Tractors as a budget CD. Ripley moved back to Tulsa and occasionally reforms The Tractors to record on his label Boy Rocking. He still owns custom guitar manufacturer Ripley Guitars. Here's the video for Baby Likes To Rock It by The Tractors.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

AccuRadio Song of The Day-Gladys Knight

Artist:Gladys Knight
Song:Men
Album:Icon





Of course most music fans should be familiar with Gladys Knight for her many hits with Gladys Knight and the Pips. But she went solo in the late 80s and Men was a top five R & B hit in 1991. She first recorded as a solo artist in 1978 when she was in a dispute with Buddah Records and they wouldn't allow her to record with The Pips. But they got back together on Columbia Records and then MCA. It was decided that The Pips would retire after the 1987 album All Our Love. Love Overboard was the final big hit for Gladys Knight and the Pips. After recording the theme for the James Bond film Licence to Kill, Gladys released Good Woman in 1991. Men reached #2 on the R & B Singles chart. The song was written, produced and arranged by Attala Zane Giles and Cornelius Mims. Giles was a one time member of Switch and he produced Con Funk Shun and Vesta Williams. Mims is a bassist who worked with Giles in his group Deco. This duo produced most of the songs on Good Woman. Gladys had some other hits including Superwomen in 1991 and Missing You in 1996. You can get all of them along with some Pips hits on this budget comp. Gladys Knight still tours and and her latest CD Where My Heart Belongs was released in September. It is her first gospel CD. Here's the video for Men by Gladys Knight.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jose Feliciano

Artist:Jose Feliciano
Song:Light My Fire
Album:The Definite Best...





Jose Feliciano's cover of Light My Fire was one of the more unlikely hits of the late 60s. But it made Feliciano a global star in English and Spanish and he's still going strong today. He was born Sept. 10, 1945 in Lares, Puerto Rico blind at birth due to congenital glaucoma. His family soon moved to Spanish Harlem in New York City. Feliciano learned to play the accordion and then his father gave him a guitar. Feliciano says his favourite guitarists were Andres Segovia and Wes Montgomery and his favourite singer was Ray Charles. He became a fixture in Greenwich Village folk music clubs until he signed with RCA Records producer Jack Somer in 1964. Somer produced flamenco guitarist Carlos Montoya and easy listening acts like Peter Nero. So he was not a contemporary pop music producer. At first, Feliciano's Spanish albums were very successful in Latin America. But his English albums went nowhere. So he moved to Los Angeles to work with RCA house producer Rick Jarrard who had produced Jefferson Airplane and Nilsson thinking he would give Feliciano a more contemporary sound. The 1968 album Feliciano! was a big success when the single Light My Fire reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Music fans loved Feliciano's guitar virtuosity and his passionate vocals. And of course they already knew Light My Fire by The Doors. The arrangements on Feliciano! were by Perry Botkin Jr. and Nilsson's arranger George Tipton. The musicians on the album were jazz guys; Jim Horn on flute, Ray Brown on bass and Milt Holland on percussion. Though Feliciano never had another hit as big as Light My Fire, he didn't need it as he is still recording and touring today. Feliciano's other top ten hit was Feliz Navidad in 1970 and that song continues to chart every year during Christmas season. And Feliciano wrote Feliz Navidad so it generates a lot of revenue. It's a Christmas perennial. This budget comp has Light My Fire and Feliz Navidad. Beware of off label CDs that don't have original recordings. Jose Feliciano just ended a world tour and he released the Spanish language CD Duets. His most recent English language CD was the Elvis Presley tribute The King in 2012. Here's Jose Feliciano performing Light My Fire 1968.

Friday, December 26, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Artist:Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Song:Love Is Here to Stay
Album:Best Of





Louis Armstrong may have invented scat singing but Ella Fitzgerald perfected it. So it's not surprising that these two legends recorded three very popular albums together in the 50s. Ella left Decca Records for Verve Records in 1955 and Verve owner Norman Granz became her manager. Ella got to know him when she appeared on some Jazz At The Philharmonic concerts. She wanted ro do more than bebop and felt Granz could have her sing real songs. And for the most part, that's what Granz did. This was the period when Ella recorded all her Songbook albums. But Granz thought it would be a great idea to have Ella record with Armstrong. Of course they knew each other but had never worked together. Armstrong had been left behind by bebop and Granz thought recording with Ella could revive his career. They recorded three albums. Ella and Louis was released in 1956. Musicians were Oscar Peterson on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and Buddy Rich on drums. This album of standards was so successful that the 2LP set Ella and Louis Again was released in 1957. The musicians are the same except for Louis Bellson on drums. Their excellent version of the Gershwin standard Love Is Here To Stay is from this album. Ella also recorded Love Is Here To Stay on her 1959 album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook. The third album is different as they interpret Porgy and Bess with an orchestra led by film composer Russell Garcia. This budget CD is a good intro to the magical chemistry of Ella and Louis. These albums led to a career revival for both. Here's a video for Love Is Here to Stay by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Clint Holmes

Artist:Clint Holmes
Song:Playground In My Mind
Album:A Golden Classics Edition





Playground In My Mind reached #2 in 1973. It was the only charted song for Clint Holmes and he only recorded one album. So it is a true one hit wonder. Holmes was born May 9, 1946 in Bournemouth, England. His mom was an opera singer who entertained US troops during WWII. She met jazz singer Ed Holmes. He was black and she was white. They married and after WWII they moved to the Buffalo suburb of Farnham, NY. Holmes studied music at Fredonia State College and then enlisted in the US Army and sang in a military chorus. After his discharge, Holmes moved to Washington, DC and sang in clubs. And he was spotted by veteran producer and songwriter Paul Vance. Vance and partner Lee Pockriss wrote and produced songs like Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. And he also produced Johnny Mathis. They wrote and produced Playground In My Mind and it was a flop when Epic Records released it in 1972. So it was back to the clubs for Holmes. But a Wichita, KS radio station started playing the song in Nov. 1972. And the song broke nationally in early 1973. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Epic had Holmes record an album which is what this CD from Collectables is. Holmes only recorded one album for Epic. BTW, the child singing the chorus is Paul Vance's son. If you are looking for Playground In My Mind on a various artists CD, beware of off labels like K-Tel using rerecorded versions. This might be one of those songs best acquired from iTunes. Holmes was Joan Rivers' sidekick on her 80s talk show. But for years, Clint Holmes has been a Las Vegas staple and he still performs. Holmes' mom moved there and he would always have her come on stage and do a number with him. Sadly, his mom died recently. So condolences for that. Playground In My Mind is one of those kitschy songs that you can't get out of your head once you hear it. That's why it was a hit a year after it flopped. It just needed a radio station to play it. Here's a video for Playground In My Mind by Clint Holmes.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-U.P. Wilson

Artist:U.P. Wilson
Song:Boogie Boy
Album:Boogie Boy: The Texas Guitar Tornado Returns




Guitarist U.P. Wilson was known as The Texas Guitar Tornado. On the CD cover, there is an endorsement of Wilson by Stevie Ray Vaughan. That endorsement got Wilson stardom after many years as a part time musician. As Wilson said himself, there are many guitarists in Texas. It's tough out there. Huary Perry Wilson was born Sept. 4, 1934 in Shreveport, LA and grew up in Dallas. He moved to Fort Worth and formed The Boogie Chillun Boys with drummer and singer Robert Ealey. They regularly played the Fort Worth club The New Bluebird. One musician who worked with Wilson was guitarist Cornell Dupree before he became an Atlantic Records session musician. Wilson played clubs at night while working as a school janitor during the day. He was known for one handed guitar playing. Wilson finally got the chance to record for the British label Red Lightnin' in 1988. Then Vaughan said "U.P. Wilson was my greatest inspiration for real blues". This led to a new record deal with JSP Records and the 1994 CD Boogie Boy. If you like down and dirty blues, you will enjoy U.P. Wilson. After years of obscurity, Wilson toured the world. After six months in prison for cocaine possession in 1998, Wilson moved to Paris and died during surgery on Sept, 22, 2004 at age 70. Here's a video of Boogie Boy by U.P. Wilson.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sonny Stitt

Artist:Sonny Stitt
Song:Just Friends
Album:It's Magic





Of course Charlie Parker was a huge jazz influence to many musicians. But Sonny Stitt was the guy who most closely emulated Parker. He toured and recorded for several decades. he was born Edward Boatner Jr. Feb. 2, 1924 in Boston and he grew up in Saginaw, MI. His father was a singer and his mother was a piano teacher. He was adopted out to the Stitt family and changed his name to Sonny Stitt. he played local bands as a teen and in the 40s, he worked for Tiny Bradshaw, Billy Eckstine and later Dizzy Gillespie. Stitt met Charlie Parker in 1943 and Parker noticed their similarities. Stitt usually played tenor sax to avoid comparisons with Parker. After some time in jail for dealing narcotics, he returned to New York and first recorded as a leader for Prestige in 1950. He recorded for Roost and moved to Verve in 1956. Just Friends was written in 1931 by John Klenner and Sam M. Lewis and singer Russ Columbo had a hit with it in 1932. The song is a jazz standard. Stitt first recorded Just Friends on the 1959 album Saxophone Supremacy. He also recorded it with sax player Red Holloway and on the 1972 album Tune-Up! with pianist Barry Harris. In the 60s, Stitt recorded frequently with organist Don Patterson and they toured together. It's Magic is a live recording from 1969 with Patterson on organ and Billy James on drums. It sat unreleased until Delmark Records released it on CD in 2005. Stitt was addicted to heroin in the 50s. When he kicked that habit, he drank heavily and it got worse in the 70s. But Stitt stopped drinking after suffering a couple of seizures. He recorded for Muse Records in the late 70s and toured until he died of a heart attack on July 22, 1982 at age 58. Here's a video of Just Friends by Sonny Stitt.

Monday, December 22, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Straight No Chaser

Artist:Straight No Chaser f/CeeLo Green
Song:White Christmas
Album:Under The Influence: Holiday Edition





Straight No Chaser started out in the 90s as a collegiate a cappella singing group. They split up upon graduation and then reformed in 2006 and signed with Atlantic Records. They seem to release a lot of Christmas CDs. Straight No Chaser was formed in 1996 by ten students at Indiana University. They didn't record at the time but they did appear mostly in the Chicago area. When the students graduated, a new Straight No Chaser was formed with new students. In 2006, original Straight No Chaser member Randy Stine posted a video of the group performing The 12 Days Of Christmas on Youtube. It became a viral video sensation and Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman asked Stine if he was interested in a record deal. Straight No Chaser reformed and released the 2008 CD Holiday Spirits. It was a huge success on iTunes and Amazon. The 2009 CD Christmas Cheers was an even bigger success. Under The Influence was released May 2013 and there is also a deluxe edition with bonus tracks. Meanwhile, Straight No Chaser appeared on CeeLo Green's 2012 Christmas CD CeeLo's Magic Moment on You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch. Green enjoyed working with them so much that he recorded White Christmas for a Holiday Edition EP of Under The Influence. Other guest artists include Colbie Caillat, Paul McCartney and Otis Redding vocals from the 60s. I don't normally recommend EPs. But this one is cheap and Green does a wonderful version of White Christmas. Straight No Chaser has recently released Text Me Merry Christmas featuring actress Kristen Bell and it is supposed to be on this EP. Straight No Chaser is currently on tour and they will tour Europe in February. Here's the video for White Christmas by Straight No Chaser featuring CeeLo Green.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-New Edition

Artist:New Edition
Song:I'm Still In Love With You
Album:Hits





I think most music fans are familiar with New Edition for their 80s hits as a teen R & B group. The unusual thing is they were equally successful when they reunited in 1996. Of course it didn't last but those kind of reunions usually flop miserably. After New Edition's success in the 80s even after Bobby Brown left and the solo success of individual members after they split up, why would they want to reunite? By 1995, Bell Biv Devoe, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill had all faded. And Bobby Brown was known more for his crazy marriage to Whitney Houston and his erratic behaviour. New Edition wanted to reunite anyway and they owed an album to MCA Records. Brown even agreed to appear and he hadn't worked with New Edition since he was replaced by Gill in 1985. Home Again topped the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 2XPlatinum. The single Hit Me Off reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and I'm Still In Love With You reached #7. The song was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and they wrote it with Ronnie DeVoe and Michael Bivins. It's certainly more mature than their 80s hits. New Edition went on tour but Brown caused problems. When Brown tried to extend his solo set in Las Cruces, NM, Bivins pulled him offstage and they fought. They both left the tour and the other guys finished up. Brown later admitted he was intoxicated. You'd think that would be the end of New Edition. But they reunited in 2002 minus Brown and recorded the 2004 CD One Love which was unsuccessful because of conflict with Bad Boy owner Puffy Combs. This budget comp has all their MCA hits. In 2010, Johnny Gill told Black Voices that a New Edition reunion was in the works. And though they played some shows, a proposed new CD hasn't happened though one song appears on Gill's new CD. The reunion seems to have fizzled. Here's the video for I'm Still In Love With You by New Edition.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sara Evans

Artist:Sara Evans
Song:A Real Fine Place To Start
Album:Playlist: The Very Best Of Sara Evans





Sara Evans has had five number one country hits including A Real Fine Place To Start in 2005. After a messy divorce, she returned to the top of the country charts in 2011. She was born Feb. 7, 1971 in Boonville, MO. As a child, she sang with her family's band. And as a teen, she sang in local clubs. Sara moved to Nashville in 1991 and then moved to Oregon and married Craig Schelske in 1993. Sara returned to Nashville in 1995 and one of her demos got the attention of veteran songwriter Harlan Howard. He got her a deal with RCA Nashville and Dwight Yoakam's producer Pete Anderson. He produced Sara's 1997 debut CD Three Chords and the Truth. Though Sara was praised for her traditional country sound, it may have been a little too traditional to catch on. They went in a more pop direction for her 1998 CD No Place Too Far and the single No Place Too Far was Sara's first number one country hit. Her 2000 CD Born To Fly was certified 2XPlatinum and the single Born To Fly topped the charts. The success continued with the 2003 CD Restless and the single Suds In The Bucket which is probably her signature song. Sara worked with Rascal Flatts producer Mark Bright on her 2005 CD Real Fine Place which was certified Platinum. A Real Fine Place To Start was her fourth country music chart topper. The song was written by Radney Foster and George Ducas. Foster recorded it on his 2002 CD Another Way To Go. Ducas toured with Sara as her opening act. After releasing CDs through Cracker Barrel and Hallmark followed a Greatest Hits CD, Sara went through a messy divorce with Schelske that was mostly blamed on her lawyer. Schelske sued her lawyer and he apologized for his behaviour. She married radio host Jay Barker in 2008 and moved to his hometown of Birmingham, AL with her three kids. Her next CD Stronger was released in 2011 and A Little Bit Stronger was her fifth number one country hit. The CD Slow Me Down was released Mar. 2014 and last month Christmas was released exclusively through Walmart. You can get all her hits on this budget comp. Sara has been appearing on TV to promote these CDs and will begin a tour in February. Here's the video for A Real Fine Place To Start by Sara Evans.

Friday, December 19, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-J.B. Lenoir

Artist:J.B. Lenoir
Song:The Mojo
Album:The Mojo 1951-1954





J.B. Lenoir (pronounced La-Nor) was successful on the Chicago blues scene in the 50s. and his best recordings were probably on J.O.B. Records in the early 50s. Unfortunately he died prematurely so he is somewhat forgotten. He was born Mar. 5, 1929 in Monticello, MS. JB was his given name. His father taught him to play guitar. Blind Lemon Jefferson was one of Lenoir's early influences. He moved to Chicago in 1949 and after a couple of singles for Chess, Lenoir signed with Joe Brown's J.O.B. Records. Lenoir was known for his showmanship and his high pitched voice. He frequently wore a zebra patterned jacket on stage. He also wrote social commentary like Eisenhower Blues. He first recorded The Mojo in 1953. The song is also called The Mojo Boogie. His band at the time included Sunnyland Slim on piano, Alfred Wallace on drums and J.T. Brown on tenor sax. Of course Slim was a Chicago blues pioneer. Brown was a Chicago session musician who also played with Elmore James. You can get all of Lenoir's J.O.B. recordings on this comp. Lenoir moved to Parrot Records in 1954 and had his only chart single with Mamma Talk To Your Daughters in 1956. He also recorded for Checker, Shad and VeeJay. By the early 60s, Lenoir gave up on being a full time musician and he worked in the kitchen at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Then Willie Dixon rediscovered Lenoir and took him on tour. J.B. Lenoir died on Apr. 29, 1967 at age 38 as a result of injuries he suffered in a car accident. Lenoir was featured in Martin Scorsese's series The Blues and he was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 2011. Here's a video of The Mojo by J.B. Lenoir.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Alexis Dufresne vs Marion Reneau added to Jan. 3 UFC show

Marion Reneau
The UFC announced today that Alexis Dufresne vs Marion Reneau has been added to UFC 182 Jan. 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This fight will air on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. Alexis trains at Team Quest in Temecula, CA. Her record is 5-1. She lost her UFC debut to Sarah Moras on July 6. For starters, she missed weight and the fight was at 143lb catchweight. And then she tried a lay and pray strategy that backfired. So it was a poor performance and Alexis will be looking to bounce back. Marion trains at Elite Team in Visalia, CA which is the home for Bellator fighter Doug Marshall. Her record is 4-1 and her last fight was a win over Maureen Riordon on the July 25 RFA show. She was under contract to Invicta and was supposed to fight Mexican Irene Aldana a couple of weeks ago. But Irene got sick and the fight was scrapped. Invicta contracts aren't exclusive and they wouldn't stop anyone from going to the UFC anyway. That means Invicta contracts aren't worth the paper they are printed on. And that's fine. They are supposed to be a feeder league anyway. Marion's recent fights are not on Youtube so I can't evaluate her. And she hasn't fought a high level of competition anyway. That's why this is on Fight Pass.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gary Numan

Artist:Gary Numan
Song:Cars
Album:Premier Hits





Here in North America, Gary Numan is a one hit wonder for his 1979 top ten hit Cars. he's a much bigger deal in his native England. He is perceived as an innovator of electropop and one of the guys who launched the MTV era. He was born Gary Webb Mar. 8, 1958 in Hammersmith, England. he got into music as a teen after his dad bought him a guitar. He was in various bands in the 70s until he formed Tubeway Army with his uncle Jess Lidyard and Paul Gardiner. he got the name Numan from the Yellow Pages. They signed with Beggars Banquet Records and the single Are Friends Electric? topped the British charts in 1979. Numan's main influence was German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk and his stage personality was influenced by science fiction. That's why he seems like an android. It was deliberate. Numan's solo album debut The Pleasure Principle was released in England as the Tubeway Army album Replicas. When Atco Records picked up the album in the US, Numan was convinced to turn it into a solo album. Cars reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the video was a big hit in the early days of MTV. He never had another hit in the US but he was very successful in England. He had six top ten hits in England in the early 80s. This comp covers that period. As Numan faded in the mid-80s, he got more into jazz and worked frequently with veteran sax player Dick Morrissey. Numan has owned his own label Numa since the mid-80s. He continues to record and tour today. Numan straddles the line between electronic music innovator and kitschy novelty act. Here's the video for Cars by Gary Numan.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ray Conniff

Artist:Ray Conniff
Song: Somewhere My Love
Album:The Best Of Ray Conniff





Like his labelmate Percy Faith, Ray Conniff was an easy listening staple for decades. His albums were big sellers in the 60s. And he would occasionally cross over to pop as he did with Somewhere My Love in 1966. He was born Nov. 6, 1916 in Attleboro, MA. His dad played trombone in a local band. Conniff learned to play trombone and led bands as a teen. He moved to New York and was in Bunny Berigan's band for two years. He also played with Bob Crosby, Artie Shaw and Glen Gray. During WWII, Conniff was in the US Army and was an arranger for Armed Forces Radio. He worked as an arranger for Artie Shaw until Mitch Miller hired him to be house arranger at Columbia Records in 1954. His biggest hit in that period was singer Don Cherry's 1955 hit Band Of Gold. He also worked with Johnny Mathis, Johnny Ray, Guy Mitchell and others. He also recorded as Jay Raye for Epic Records. Conniff was experimenting with an orchestra and chorus in the studio. and Miller liked the sound so much, Conniff recorded the 1956 album 'S Wonderful. The album was a big seller and the rest is history. Conniff's albums were very popular for most of the 60s. He created The Ray Conniff Singers in 1959 so he could tour. Conniff rarely strayed from his formula and that's why his albums were consistent sellers. Somewhere My Love reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966 and it was Conniff's only top ten pop hit. Of course it played on the success of the film Doctor Zhivago. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. Conniff continued to record for Columbia into the 90s and he was very popular in Latin America. Ray Conniff fell and hit his head and died on Oct. 12, 2002 at age 85. His music is not for me but one can't argue with his longevity. Here's Ray Conniff performing Somewhere My Love in Sao Paulo, Brazil in the 80s.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Julia Budd vs Talita Nogueira added to Feb. 13 Bellator show

Talita Nogueira
Bellator announced yesterday that Canadian Julia Budd vs Brazilian Talita Nogueira has been added to Bellator 133 Feb. 13 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA. Julia is from Port Moody, BC. Her record is 6-2 and the last time we saw her she beat Charmaine Tweet on the Dec. 7, 2013 Invicta show. She won all four of her Invicta fights but I don't think her opposition was top quality. Julia is a great kickboxer but she's not very good on the ground. Talita is from Sao Paulo, Brazil and trains at Gracie Fusion. Her MMA record is 6-0 but the combined record of her opponents is 1-7. So as an MMA fighter, I would describe her as unproven. However, she has been competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2007 and she won the 2011 World Jiu Jitsu Championship in her weight class which is 163lb. She drops to 145 for MMA. Back in the summer, she was in talks with the UFC to drop to 135. But when Scott Coker took over Bellator and got back into women's MMA, her manager got a call and she signed with Bellator so she could stay at 145. Talita has the kind of ground skills that could give Julia a lot of trouble. I haven't seen her striking but these elite BJJ competitors want to be complete MMA fighters so I'm sure Talita works on her striking daily. Julia will want to keep Talita standing at a distance. That could be a tough task for her. This could be an interesting fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pete Zimmer Quartet

Artist:Pete Zimmer Quartet f/Jeremy Pelt
Song:Doxy
Album:Chillin' Live @ Jazz Factory





Drummer Pete Zimmer has been part of the New York jazz scene since 2001. He started his own label in 2004. The 2008 CD Chillin' Live @ Jazz Factory was a fresh start with a new band featuring trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. Zimmer was born September 18, 1977 in Waukesha, WI. He took up drums as a child and played in local jazz clubs as a teen. One musician he played with was guitarist Dave Sullivan. His son John Sullivan would play bass in Zimmer's first band in New York. Zimmer studied at Northern Illinois University and then the New England Conservatory of Music. Among his teachers were drummers Jerry Bergonzi and Bob Moses. Another teacher was sax player George Garzone and Zimmer played in Garzone's band when he first moved to New York City. Zimmer started his own label Tippin Records and released his debut CD Common Man. His old pal John Sullivan played bass. Other musicians were Joel Frahm on tenor sax, Michael Rodeiguez on trumpet and either Toru Dodo or Rick Germanson on piano. With his fourth CD Chillin' Live @ Jazz Factory in 2008, Zimmer put together an all new band featuring rising star Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Avi Rothbard on guitar and David Wong on bass. Zimmer writes most of the songs but this cover of Sonny Rollins' Doxy is excellent straight ahead jazz. Zimmer's latest CD Prime Of life was released in 2012 and features his old teacher George Garzone on sax. They work together frequently in New York clubs. Here's Pete Zimmer with Jeremy Pelt, Avi Rothbard and David Wong performing Doxy at Jazz Factory 2008. This video is not on Youtube.

PETE ZIMMER QUARTET featuring: JEREMY PELT "Doxy" from Pete Zimmer on Myspace.

Monday, December 15, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jewel

Artist:Jewel
Song:You Were Meant For Me
Album:Greatest Hits





In hindsight, the success of folksinger Jewel Kilcher seems unlikely. But she had three top ten hits including You Were Meant For me in 1996. She was born may 23,1974 in Payson, UT but she was raised in Homer, AK by her father. her grandfather was an Alaskan state senator. Her upbringing was chronicled in the Discovery Channel series Alaska: The Last Frontier. Jewel and her father sang in local clubs and she learned to yodel. She moved to Michigan to study music at the Interlochen Arts Academy. After graduating, she traveled the US performing in clubs. She met Steve Poltz in San Diego and he would later be a key figure in her career. Jewel signed with Atlantic Records in 1994 after former Paramount exec Inga Vainshtein got a tip about her. Her 1996 debut CD Pieces Of You was produced by Neil Young's long time recording engineer Ben Keith. he had never produced anyone other than Young. Young's band The Stray Gators backs her up on the CD. You Were Meant For Me was the second single. After it was released, Atlantic pulled it and the music video and asked Jewel to record it again. This second version reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. And a new music video was filmed which featured Steve Poltz. He wrote the song with Jewel. The next single Foolish Games also reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pieces Of You was certified 12XPlatinum. So now Jewel is a big star. She had one more top ten hit Hands from her 1998 CD Spirit. You can get them on this budget comp. Though Jewel never had another hit single, her albums still did well until her 2006 CD Goodbye Alice in Wonderland was her first CD to not at least be certified Gold. Then she left Atlantic and recorded for the country label Valory. She has also had success with children's music. She is currently working on new music and the CD will be released on Jewel's own label. Jewel has published several books of poetry and has done a lot of TV. She hosted the 2011 TV talent show Platinum Hit. I expect that in the future we'll see her more on TV than on the charts. Here's the video for You Were Meant For Me by Jewel.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha

Here's the video of Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha from last night's UFC show in Phoenix. I expected this to be a fantastic fight. These two girls are high level athletes who are undefeated in MMA. The winner will get the first shot at Carla Esparza's UFC Women's Strawweight Championship. Joanna is a European Muay Thai champ who I think is the hardest puncher in women's MMA since Hisae Watanabe. Claudia is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. How will Joanna defend that and will Claudia run out of gas if Joanna defends well? Round one is the key round. Claudia gets a couple of takedowns but is unable to advance her position. You'll notice throughout the fight that the moment Joanna gets taken down, she heads straight for the fence to get back up. And Claudia does nothing to prevent that. So Claudia is in control but Joanna is preventing any damage with excellent defense. Joanna floors Claudia with an uppercut to the chin. But it's too late in the round for a finish. I scored that round 10-9 for Claudia. But I've seen the judges scorecards and all three scored that round 10-9 for Joanna. She stole the round with the knockdown. And that is the key to this fight. Claudia seemed to slow down in round two and Joanna was very effective striking from a distance. I scored round two 10-9 for Joanna. So did two of the judges but the third judge scored the round for Claudia. At the start of round three, Claudia is cut over the eye by an accidental head butt. The fight continued after the doctor looked at it. And I think the break helped Claudia. She controlled round three with takedowns though Joanna continued to defend well. Claudia landed a punch after the bell but she apologized and she said afterwards she didn't hear the bell. The apology means she won't be penalized. I scored that round 10-9 for Claudia and so did the judges. So I scored the fight 29-28 for Claudia but I Tweeted that I expected a split decision. And Joanna Jedrzejczyk wins by split decision. She gets the title shot. So that means that knockdown at the end of round one won her the fight. And indirectly her defense won her the fight too. Claudia's inability to advance her position after takedowns cost her this fight. It wasn't enough. And Joanna's defense could present similar problems for elite wrestler Carla Esparza. That's why you have to finish fights. This fight proves that a close fight can be decided by one thing. Of course Claudia's corner kept telling her she was winning. Now they say they will appeal the decision which will get them nowhere. Look, I don't believe in round stealing but obviously some judges do. That can be a big factor with a fight that was this close. Enjoy the video!


AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Trombone Shorty

Artist:Trombone Shorty
Song:Hurricane Season
Album:Backatown





Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is today's standard bearer for New Orleans music heritage. His music is s mix of jazz, R & B and New Orleans party music. He was born Jan. 2, 1986 in New Orleans. His older brother James Andrews is a jazz trumpeter. Their grandfather Jessie Hill had a hit single with Ooh Poo Pah Doo in 1962. Shorty's main instrument is trombone but he also plays trumpet and other instruments. He went to high school at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts whose graduates include Harry Connick Jr and Nicholas Payton. Beginning in 2001, Shorty released several CDs independently until he signed with Verve Records. Backatown was his Verve debut CD in 2010. Shorty plays trumpet on Hurricane Season which is one of his signature songs. Since then, Shorty has become one of Verve's best selling artists. His latest CD Say That To Say This was released in 2013 and topped the jazz charts. Trombone Shorty's music is not for jazz purists. He draws on his musical heritage to create a mix of all kinds of music including jazz. Trombone Shorty refuses to be put in a musical box. He recently appeared on the Foo Fighters HBO series Sonic Highways. Trombone Shorty is currently on tour. I saw him a couple of years ago and you should check him out if he's coming your way. Here's Trombone Shorty performing Hurricane Season at the 2012 North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Carla Esparza vs Rose Namajunas

Here's the fight video of Carla Esparza vs Rose Namajunas from the TUF 20 Finale in Las Vegas. The thing to keep in mind is those semi finals we saw on Wednesday actually happened four months ago. Carla had to know that she wasn't that impressive in the TUF fights compared to Rose. I thought Rose could win early in the fight but could she pace herself for five rounds? But I changed my mind after they came to the cage. I didn't like Rose's body language or her nervous energy. And Carla was very calm. So Rose came out gangbusters in round one. I thought she won the round marginally. But she seemed to run out of gas by the end of the round. Carla got takedowns but Rose defended well. Between rounds, Rose's trainer Trevor Wittman told her to pace herself better. But it was probably too late for that. Carla took over in round two and could have finished Rose with more time. The first minute of round three was a foregone conclusion. Carla took Rose down and won with a rear naked choke. Carla Esparza is the inaugural UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. So what was the difference? She fought like a champ last night. She didn't do that in the TUF fights. Maybe the TUF drama got into her head. Carla's first challenger will be the winner of Claudia Gadelha vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk on tonight's UFC show. That should be a good one. I won't post the videos of the other fights because it takes too long to upload them to the blog. But I'll give a quick analysis of each fight. Jessica Penne vs Randa Markos was probably the best fight of the night. I thought they split the first two rounds and Jessica won round three. So I scored it 29-28 for Jessica. The judges gave her the win by split decision. Felice Herrig won over Lisa Ellis by second round armbar. Felice was bigger and quicker than Lisa. I also think she's better when she is working with her usual coach Jeff Curran. The TUF house didn't do her any favours. Heather Jo Clark won over Bec Rawlings by unanimous decision. I thought they split rounds two and three. Round one was very close. I scored it for Heather but it could have gone the other way. Heather will have knee surgery this week and we'll probably see her in about a year. Joanne Calderwood beat Ham Seo Hee by unanimous decision. That's the Joanne we saw in Invicta. She admitted that TUF was not to her liking. I guess she likes to eat her mom's food and work with her usual trainer John Kavanaugh. Ham did OK. She stayed in the pocket and banged. But I have never thought that she is an elite fighter anyway. Ham is an elite kickboxer. Tecia Torres beat Angela Magana by unanimous decision. Tecia did her thing and Angela had nothing for her. She will have to do more to stick in the UFC. Aisling Daly beat Alex Chambers by first round armbar. And in the opener, Angela Hill beat Emily Peters Kagan by unanimous decision. It was dominant and maybe should have been stopped during round two. Neither Emily or Alex would be in the UFC under normal circumstances. I'm not sure how long they will stick around. Enjoy the video!



AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lovie Austin and her Blues Serenaders

Artist:Lovie Austin and her Blues Serenaders
Song:Traveling Blues
Album:The Chronological Lovie Austin 1924-26





Lovie Austin was one of two female jazz pianists in 1920s Chicago. Of course the other was Louis Armstrong's wife Lil Hardin. Lovie was mostly an accompanist but she also recorded as a leader. She was born Cora Calhoun Sept. 19, 1887 in Chattanooga, TN. After studying music in college, she toured the vaudeville until she moved to Chicago in 1923. As house pianist for Paramount Records in Chicago, she backed up singers Alberta Hunter, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox and Ethel Waters. Her song Downhearted Blues was a hit for Bessie Smith. She also recorded with her band the Blues Serenaders from 1924-26. Traveling Blues was recorded in 1924 with Tommy Ladnier on cornet, Jimmy O'Bryant on clarinet and W.E. Burton on drums. Trombonist Kid Ory recorded with Lovie in 1926. You can get all of Lovie's recordings on this CD. Lovie was musical director at the Monogram Theater in Chicago for many years and she didn't record after the 20s. She led bands and toured theaters for the Theater Owners Booking Association. Piano legend Mary Lou Williams says she saw Lovie perform when she was a child and she considers Lovie to be a big influence on her music career. Lovie had a bit of a comeback when she recorded the 1961 album Alberta Hunter with Lovie Austin's Blues Serenaders for Riverside Records. Lovie Austin died on July 10, 1972 at age 84. Especially as a woman in jazz, Lovie Austin was an unsung pioneer of jazz. Here's a video for Traveling Blues by Lovie Austin and her Blues Serenaders.

Friday, December 12, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Daniel Powter

Artist:Daniel Powter
Song:Bad Day
Album:Daniel Powter





Bad Day topped the charts in 2006 after it was used as the go home song on season five of American Idol. Powter never charted again but he's had more success in Europe. He was born Feb. 25, 1971 in Vernon, BC. He learned to play violin as a child and he switched to piano as a teen. He studied music in college but dropped out due to dyslexia. Powter released the EP I'm Your Betty in 2000 and a couple of songs were used in the Canadian TV series Higher Ground. After appearing on the 2005 Berlin Live 8 concert, Bad Day was used in a Coke commercial. The song became a hit in Europe. Warner Bros. released Bad Day in the US in 2006 after it was used as the go home song on season five of American Idol. It topped the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified Gold. Powter continued to have success in Europe and in Canada but he has never charted again in the US. I guess that makes him a one hit wonder. Billboard even named Bad Day the top one hit wonder of the decade. Powter left Warners after his 2008 CD Under The Radar didn't sell. After working with Marcy's Playground, Powter signed with the Japanese label Avex and his CD Turn Out The Lights was released in 2012. He seems to be active everywhere but the US. Powter announced in Apr. 2013 that he was working on new music but there's no release date yet. Here's the video for Bad Day by Daniel Powter.






Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review of The Ultimate Fighter 20 episode 12

Last night's episode of The Ultimate Fighter 20 had the semi final fights. The winners will square off for the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship on Friday. Both fights are set for three five minute rounds. The first fight has two former Invicta champs facing off, Carla Esparza vs Jessica Penne. They are good friends so Carla has misgivings about fighting Jessica. I have covered Carla her entire career and one of her flaws is she tends to overthink strategy to her detriment. She talks about keeping the fight standing because she is concerned about Jessica's ground game. Look, Carla is a four time collegiate All American wrestler. That's her game and that will get her a dominant win. Instead we got three rounds of boxing. It wasn't even kickboxing because neither fighter threw many kicks. I gave Carla the edge because she threw more combinations and Jessica could only throw one punch at a time. Neither has the punching power to break an egg. Carla also scored a couple of inconsequential takedowns. She won but that is not championship strategy. The second fight has Rose Namajunas vs Randa Markos. I liked Rose in this fight because of her quickness. She also likes to finish. Like I always say, fighters don't get paid by the hour. After some feeling out, Rose goes for a clinch and I can see how much quicker she is than Randa. This leads to a takedown and that leads to Rose's second kimura finish in a row. She ain't messing around. The title match will have Rose vs Carla. This will air Friday night on Fox Sports 1 in the US and Sportsnet 360 in Canada. After two UFC Fight Pass prelims, the televised prelims will begin at 7PM Eastern. It should be a fun night. I picked Rose to win the title before the show began so obviously I think she'll win. And remember, I don't look at rankings. I just evaluate the fighters and I liked Rose from the beginning. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cutting Crew

Artist:Cutting Crew
Song:(I Just) Died In Your Arms
Album:Broadcast





Cutting Crew topped the charts in 1986 with (I Just) Died In Your Arms. They had one other top ten hit and then faded quickly. Cutting Crew begins with lead singer Nick Van Eede. After opening for Slade and other bands and releasing a couple of singles in the late 70s, he formed The Drivers. They moved to Canada and released the album Short Cuts on RCA Canada. They scored a hit in Canada in 1983 with Tears On Your Anorak. While on tour, Van Eede became friends with guitarist Kevin MacMichael who was in the opening act Fast Forward. After The Drivers and Fast Forward split up, MacMichael moved to England to work with Van Eede. Demos got them a record deal with Virgin Records and then they hired session musicians Colin Farley (bass) and Martin Beedle (drums) to fill out the band. Cutting Crew is British slang for studio band. After (I Just) Died In Your Arms was a hit in England, Virgin released it in the US and it topped the charts. Apparently it was Virgin's first number one hit in the US. A second single I've Been In Love Before reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album Broadcast was certified Gold. It's available as a budget CD. Van Eede says the phrase "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight came to him while he was having sex with his girlfriend. So yes, the song is about an orgasm. Who else will tell you that? Unfortunately, a management dispute delayed the release of Cutting Crew's second album The Scattering until 1989. It was too long a delay and the album didn't sell. Farley and Beedle left in 1991 and Van Eede and MacMichael recorded the 1992 album Compus Mentus as a duo. Then they split up. MacMichael toured with Robert Plant and then returned to Nova Scotia and produced The Rankin Family among others. He died of lung cancer on Dec. 31, 2002 at age 51. Van Eede formed the band Grinning Souls in 2003 but decided to rename them Cutting Crew. They released a CD in 2005 and they still tour. Here's the video for (I Just) Died In Your Arms by Cutting Crew.




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Shirley Jones

Artist:Shirley Jones
Song:Till There Was You
Album:The Music Man: Original Soundtrack





I'm sure The Partridge Family is what most folks think of when they hear the name Shirley Jones. But she had a long career before that and she won an Oscar for the 1960 film Elmer Gantry. Till There Was You was her big song in the 1962 film The Music Man. She was born Mar. 31, 1934 in Charleroi, PA. Her father owned a brewery. She sang in church and performed as a teen. Her voice teacher convinced her to go to New York and audition for Broadway agent Gus Sherman. Her parents gave her a year to make it on Broadway. One of Shirley's first auditions was for Rodgers and Hammerstein casting director John Fearnley. They signed her to a contract and she debuted in a small role in South Pacific. Her first big role was in the 1955 film musical Oklahoma. And this was followed by Carousel and April Love. Shirley won an Oscar for her performance as Lulu Bains in the 1960 film Elmer Gantry. This led to her playing Marion in the 1962 film of the hit Broadway musical The Music Man. Till There Was You was her big number at the end of the film. She also starred in the 1963 film The Courtship of Eddie's Father. She appeared in other films and in the 1968 Broadway musical Maggie Flynn with husband Jack Cassidy. But her career was fading. And after turning down the role of Carol Brady in the TV sitcom The Brady Bunch, she agreed to do The Partridge Family. The show was a success and after it was cancelled, she was a regular guest star on TV until she starred in the 1979 sitcom Shirley. That show didn't last long. Since then, Shirley has continued to appear on TV usually doing guest shots or TV movies. She is still doing that. Here's Shirley Jones performing Till There Was You from the 1962 film The Music Man.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The S.O.S. Band

Artist:The S.O.S. Band
Song:Take Your Time (Do It Right)
Album:Best Of The S.O.S Band





The S.O.S. Band scored a top five pop hit with their 1980 debut single Take Your Time (Do it Right). They had a good run on the R & B charts in the 80s. The band was called Santa Monica when they formed in Atlanta in 1977. They were lead singer Mary Davis, Billy Ellis and Willie "Sonny" Killebrew on saxes, Jason Bryant on keyboards, Bruno Speight on guitar, John Alexander Simpson on bass and James Earl Jones III on drums. Their manager sent a demo to Tabu Records owner Clarence Avant and he signed them. He assigned them to producer Sigidi Abdullah. He was an arranger at Blue Note Records in the 70s working with Donald Byrd and others. He also produced Maxine Nightingale, Tata Vega and Freda Payne. He wanted to know why the band was called Santa Monica. Bryant told him they had a great gig there. So Abdullah named them The S.O.S. Band (Sounds Of Success). Take Your Time (Do It Right) was the first single. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the R & B chart. Abdullah wrote the song with frequent songwriting partner Harold Clayton. That was their biggest hit but they continued to have success on the R & B charts with hits like Just Be Good To Me and The Finest. As of the 1983 album On The Rise, they were produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Mary Davis left for a solo career in 1987 and was replaced by Chandra Currelley. When her solo career didn't pan out, Mary returned in 1994. I'm not sure if they are still active. They don't seem to have a website. Here's The S.O.S. Band performing Take Your Time (Do It Right) on Soul Train 1980.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Herica Tiburcio vs Michelle Waterson

I have been asked by fans who didn't get to see it to post the main event from Friday's Invicta show. I didn't have the time to do it yesterday so I'm doing it today. It's a pretty good match so I know you'll enjoy it. I wanted to outline my viewpoint that regardless of the result, this is still poor matchmaking. It started back in October when Michelle Waterson vs Yasuko Tamada was a horrible mismatch. Dave Meltzer has described it as the worst mismatch in recent MMA history. And Invicta deliberately hid that Tamada is 47 years old. Because I think fans would have been upset if they had known that. The fight never should have been booked. But when any promotion books a match like that, it erodes trust for the future. For the November show, Invicta booked Herica Tiburcio vs Ayaka Hamasaki but that match was cancelled. Cris Cyborg was supposed to headline Friday's show but got injured. Invicta has wildly overhyped Michelle Waterson as the face of the company though I think she's an OK fighter but nothing special. They thought they needed to have Michelle on the show. That's probably not true. They have other fighters that could have been in a main event. So they booked Herica despite the fact that she was unknown. And my whole point at the time was you don't book unknown fighters in a main event. After the Waterson vs Tamada fiasco, fans are right to be skeptical of Invicta's motives. But the biggest problem was this main event couldn't sell tickets. They mistakenly believed that Michelle is a big enough star to sell tickets. She isn't. And Herica didn't even appear on the poster. Anyone who watched Friday's show knows that there were plenty in attendance disguised as empty seats. They couldn't give away enough tickets to fill that place. There are plenty of fans and supposed MMA journalists who slurp Invicta. They can do no wrong. But it appears that fans put their wallets in their pockets when considering this show. That's what happens when a promotion books bad main events. Fans find other things to do. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Charlie Parker and Miles Davis

Artist:Charlie Parker and Miles Davis
Song:Bird Of Paradise
Album:Birdsong





Charlie Parker invented bebop so Miles Davis went looking for him when he first came to New York in 1945. Davis was part of Parker's band through 1948 and then he went off and did his own thing. Davis first saw Parker when the Billy Eckstine Band played Davis' home town of East St. Louis, IL. Parker and Dizzy Gillespie were in Eckstine's band at the time. Davis was even hired to fill in when trumpeter Buddy Anderson got sick. Clearly Davis wanted to move to New York and play with his idol. But his parents wanted him to attend Juilliard and further his education. Davis agreed to do this but instead he went looking for Parker when he moved to New York. Coleman Hawkins was among those who tried to discourage Davis because of Parker's heroin addiction. Davis found Parker and jammed with him in Harlem while attending Juilliard during the day. But he didn't like school and his father let him quit. Davis replaced Dizzy Gillespie in Parker's band in 1945 after Gillespie was fed up with Parker's unreliability. Davis remained with Parker's band through 1948. Parker had a nervous breakdown while in Los Angeles and Davis was left stranded. He joined Billy Eckstine's band to get back to New York. He rejoined Parker's band until he left in Dec. 1948 due to a dispute over money. Not long after, Davis met Gil Evans which was a turning point in his career. Parker's recordings with Davis for Dial Records are essential for jazz fans. But it's tough to find them in good quality on CD. So I recommend this 2004 CD from Savoy Records and then you can get into one of the Parker box sets that are available. Bird Of Paradise was recorded on Oct. 28, 1947 in New York. Parker based Bird Of Paradise on the standard All The Things You Are. The musicians are Charlie Parker on alto sax, Miles Davis on trumpet, Duke Jordan on piano, Tommy Potter on bass and Max Roach on drums. Here's a video for Bird Of Paradise by Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Raquel Pennington vs Ashlee Evans-Smith

Here's the match video of Raquel Pennington vs Ashlee Evans-Smith from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. Ashlee stepped in when Holly Holm pulled out due to a neck injury. Ashlee said in an interview earlier this week that the WSOF released her when the UFC came calling. She still has no idea why the WSOF signed her as they didn't seem to have any plans for her. We're seeing a lot of this with the WSOF because NBC dictates their schedule. Ashlee's record is 3-0 but she has plenty of amateur wrestling experience. Like her pal Carla Esparza, Ashlee is a four time collegiate All American in wrestling. Raquel was in The Ultimate Fighter 18 and she is probably better than her 4-5 record. She needs to avoid making mistakes. Ashlee took Raquel down where she wants her but inadvertently allowed her to get up. First mistake. Though Ashlee busted Raquel open with a knee, she goes for a headlock takedown. Second mistake. I was discussing this with someone during the Invicta show. A headlock takedown is a low percentage move that is likely to result in the opponent taking the back. The correct technique is to grab the head and the arm. It's a rookie move but Ashlee isn't a rookie and should know better. Raquel gets a takedown and on the way up, she hooks a bulldog choke and Ashlee goes to sleep as time runs out. The problem was Fox went to commercial immediately so we didn't know if the fight was over until the commercial break was over. This video is from a foreign source. There are no commercials. The end was at 4:59 of round one. A very good win for Raquel Pennington over a tough opponent. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sawyer Brown

Artist:Sawyer Brown
Song:Some Girls Do
Album:Best Of Sawyer Brown





Sawyer Brown won the TV talent contest Star Search and went on to a significant run at the top of the country charts. Some Girls Do was one of their three number one country hits. The band started out backing up country singer Don King. When he retired in 1981, they remained together. The lead singer and main songwriter was Mark Miller. Other members were Bobby Randall on guitar, Gregg "Hobie" Hubbard on keyboards, Jim Scholten on bass and Joe Smyth on drums. At first they were called Savanna and then named themselves Sawyer Brown after the Nashville street where they rehearsed. They won Star Search in 1983 and won $100K and a contract with Curb Records. Step That Step was their first number one country hit in 1984. Bobby Randall was replaced by Amazing Rhythm Aces guitarist Duncan Cameron in 1991. Some Girls Do was their second number one country hit in 1992. The song was written by Mark Miller. Their third number one country hit was Thank God For You in 1993. But they had several top ten hits through the 90s. Curb needs to release a definitive Sawyer Brown comp. This 2008 budget CD only has ten songs but it's the best one out there to date. Sawyer Brown faded in the late 90s and left Curb in 2005. Other than Cameron being replaced by Shayne Hill, Sawyer Brown is the same as they were twenty years ago and they still tour. They record for Mark Miller's Beach Street Records which has had success with Contemporary Christian acts like Casting Crowns and Rebecca St. James. Here's the video for Some Girls Do by Sawyer Brown.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Herica Tiburcio pulls out win over Michelle Waterson to win Invicta Atomweight Championship

The main event of last night's Invicta show emphasized that bringing in an unknown for a title match can be a double edged sword. I still think it's poor matchmaking regardless of the results. In case you didn't notice, Herica wasn't on the fight poster. All of Invicta's promotion for this show was all about Michelle Waterson. Most fans interpreted this as if Invicta didn't believe Herica was a credible challenger so why should they buy tickets? Or maybe Michelle is overhyped. That's the more likely answer. That's the great thing about MMA. Grand plans can go up in smoke in a split second. The first two rounds of the fight were fairly even. I gave round one to Herica and round two to Michelle. I thought that they wouldn't be able to keep up the quick pace for five rounds. One of them was going to run out of gas. Instead Herica won with a guillotine choke in round three. Most fighters don't apply that hold properly which is why it doesn't finish most of the time. In trying to get out from bottom position, Michelle just fell into the guillotine. She still doesn't know what happened. So now Herica has to prove that it was no fluke. Because the win can be perceived as lucky. So I expect a rematch which is marketable and will sell tickets. And though Invicta will say they don't care, you can be sure this is not the result they wanted. The rest of the show was OK. Tonya Evinger earned a shot at the vacant Bantamweight Championship with a win by second round armbar over Cindy Dandois. Cindy was off for three years so we didn't know what she would be like. It's been a while since I have seen a fighter cower from punches. Roxanne Modafferi showed improved striking with a split decision win over Andrea Lee. Andrea was a late replacement for Vanessa Porto who couldn't get a visa. I scored it 29-28 for Roxanne. Andrea needs to work on her takedown defense because that's why she lost. DeAnna Bennett won by unanimous decision over Jennifer Maia. I thought it was a poor decision. I scored it 29-28 for Jennifer. Peggy Morgan won by unanimous decision over Andria Wawro. This fight was so bad, I didn't care who won. There was way too much jockeying for position on the fence. And the ref couldn't seem to prevent them from doing that. Mexican Alexa Grasso won over Alida Gray by first round TKO. Alida complained about the stoppage but a cut over her eye was bad enough that the fight would have been stopped anyway. I would like to see Alexa against a better fighter. Jinh Yu Frey won over Cassie Robb by first round rear naked choke. And in the opener, Rachael Ostovich won over Evva Johnson by split decision. I thought Rachael was quicker and more aggressive than Evva. I'm not sure how one of the judges could have scored it for Evva. Well, the show was in Texas and the judging can be weird there. Invicta says they will run six shows in 2015. The next one should be in February featuring Cris Cyborg.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Patti LaBelle

Artist:Patti LaBelle f/Michael McDonald
Song:On My Own
Album:The Essential Patti LaBelle Limited Edition 3.0



Patti LaBelle has been around since the 60s. On My Own is her only number one solo hit. She was born Patricia Louise Holte May 24, 1944 in Philadelphia. She first had success as a member of Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles with the 1962 hit I Sold My Heart To The Junkman. And then with Labelle and the 1974 hit Lady Marmalade. After Labelle split up in 1976, Patti recorded for Epic Records and then Philadelphia International. Her biggest hit in this period was the 1983 number one R & B hit If You Only Knew. But she wasn't crossing over to pop. After making her film acting debut in the 1984 film A Soldier's Story, Patti signed with MCA Records. New Attitude reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was her biggest pop hit to date. It was in the film Beverly Hills Cop. So then Patti recorded the album Winner In You. On My Own was written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager for the Dionne Warwick album Friends. When it didn't make the album, they brought the song to Patti. Producer Richard Perry didn't like the song but Patti thought it would be a big hit. She asked Bacharach to produce the record. He thought it could use a male voice so Michael McDonald's vocals were added later. So it's ironic for a breakup song to feature singers who didn't actually record it together. BTW, it's not unusual for duet parts to be recorded separately. The record was Patti's only number one pop hit in 1986. And Winner In You topped the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 3XPlatinum. Though she never had another hit that big, Patti had a good run on MCA until she left in 2000. This 3CD Sony Legacy comp covers Patti's entire career. In recent years, Patti has concentrated on acting. Most recently she appeared in the FX TV series American Horror Story. She hasn't recorded in a few years but Patti still tours. Here's the video for On My Own by Parri LaBelle featuring Michael McDonald.