Saturday, February 28, 2015

Invicta FC11 damaged by too many late replacements

When the card for last night's Invicta show was announced last month, I thought it was a weak card. We knew that Cris Cyborg would wreck Charmaine Tweet in the main event so the rest of the card needed to have more competitive fights. I thought there were too many question marks on the show. But it got worse when four of the eight fights needed late replacements. Even if that was just bad luck, it hurt the show as none of those fights were competitive. In the main event, Cris Cyborg predictably won over Charmaine Tweet by first round TKO. After the show, Invicta announced that Cyborg will fight in July at 145lb. Lately there has been talk that the UFC wants to sign Cyborg. But last night Lorenzo Fertitta told Karyn Bryant they only want her to fight at 135. And they will want her to commit to multiple fights. They are not interested in Rousey vs Cyborg at 140lb catchweight because Cyborg needs them more than they need her. She has already wasted over two years on this and she will continue to waste her time. The ball is in her court. The real main event of this show had Alexa Grasso beat MIZUKI by unanimous decision. This was the fight of the night and I am posting the match video. In order to win this fight, MIZUKI needed to generate more offense. But just like in her last fight, she didn't so that. So by the time she started to control Alexa on the ground in round three, it was too late. She has already lost the first two rounds. I scored the fight 29-28 for Alexa and so did two of the judges. The third judge scored it 30-26. Huh? In this fight, we got to see more from Alexa and she did well. Don't be surprised if we see her on the upcoming UFC Mexico show. And I think they will sign MIZUKI too because they can use her on Japanese shows. In other matches, DeAnna Bennett dropped to 115 and beat Norma Center by unanimous decision. Norma was a late replacement. This was a terrible fight with way too much jockeying for position on the fence. This is the second straight fight where DeAnna won the fight but gave a terrible performance. In addition, Julie Kedzie refused to criticize the fight. Part of the problem was Mauro Ranallo wasn't available and they brought in Sherdog's TJ DiSantis. He wasn't able to control Julie's mannerisms the way Mauro can. She's not objective because she is the Invicta matchmaker so she shouldn't be a commentator. They have high hopes for DeAnna so Julie won't criticize her. And Julie used to train with Norma. They're buddies. Irene Aldana won over Colleen Schneider by rear naked choke. Colleen was a late replacement. Jamie Moyle put JJ Aldrich to sleep with a rear naked choke. Jamie looked good. Time to move her up the card. Amy Montenegro beat Brianna VanBuren by unanimous decision. This fight was at 115 and I think Brianna should drop to 105. Christine Stanley beat Laura Salazar by TKO. It might have been a quick stoppage. This fight was at 115 and Laura was a late replacement. I understand she normally fights at 105. And in the opener, 19 year old amateur phenom Aspen Ladd won by TKO over Ana Catolina Vidal. Ana was a late replacement. The stoppage was early. It was right at the end of the first round and most refs wouldn't have stopped it. And he stood them up before that unnecessarily. Invicta announced their next show will be Apr. 10 location TBA. They announced one match and as I normally do, I will analyze the entire card once it is announced. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bea Arthur

Artist:Bea Arthur
Song:The Man In The Moon
Album:Mame: Original Cast Recording

Though Bea Arthur is mainly known for the sitcoms Maude and The Golden Girls, she had a long career on Broadway before she turned to TV. she won a Tony Award for playing Vera Charles in the 1966 musical Mame. The Man In The Moon was her big number in the show. She was born Beatrice Frankel May 13, 1922 in New York City. Her family moved to Cambridge, MD in 1933 where her parents owned a clothing store. Bea performed while in school and she was in the United States Marine Corps during WWII. Afterwards, she studied acting in New York and appeared regularly on stage and also on live TV in the 50s. Her breakthrough role was as the yente in the 1964 musical Fiddler On The Roof and then she followed that with Mame in 1966. Mame was based on the very successful Broadway show and film Auntie Mame. Veteran songwriter Jerry Herman was hired to turn it into a musical. He also wrote Hello Dolly! and La Cage Aux Folles among other things. Herman wanted Judy Garland to play Mame and the producers tried to hire Mary Martin. But Angela Lansbury got the part and won a Tony. Bea was hired to play Vera. She was married to the show's director Gene Saks at the time. Bea also won a Tony. Angela and Bea perform their big number Bosom Buddies and Bea gets a solo turn with The Man In The Moon. Both songs are on this cast CD. Bea also played Vera in the 1974 film version of Mame starring Lucille Ball. Bea turned to TV when Norman Lear cast her as Edith Bunker's cousin Maude in the classic sitcom All In The Family and spun her off into the sitcom Maude. That show was very successful and made Bea a household name. Bea also became a regular on TV variety shows. She also starred in the 1983 sitcom Amanda's which was based on the British sitcom Fawlty Towers. It didn't last but then she starred in the very successful sitcom the Golden Girls from 1985-92. After that she did TV guest shots and toured with her own one woman show. Bea Arthur died on Apr. 25, 2009 at age 86. Here's Bea Arthur performing The Man In The Moon on the 1994 TV special Jerry Herman's Broadway at the Hollywood Bowl.

Friday, February 27, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Matt Monro

Artist:Matt Monro
Song:From Russia With Love
Album:The Very Best of Matt Monro

British pop singer Matt Monro was successful in the 60s. Though not his biggest hit, the theme from the James Bond film From Russia With Love is probably one of his most memorable recordings. He was known as The Man With The Golden Voice. He was born Terence Edward Parsons Dec. 1, 1930 in London, England. He got his first big break when he became a featured vocalist with the BBC Show Band in 1956. Pianist Winifred Atwell took him under her wing and named him Matt Monro. He recorded an album of standards for Decca in 1957. But it went nowhere and by 1959, Monro was singing jingles. His second big break came when producer George Martin asked Monro to record a song for the Peter Sellers album Songs For Swinging Sellers which was a spoof of crooners. This led to a contract with Parlophone and Martin produced all of Monro's 60s recordings. His biggest hit singles were Portrait Of My Love in 1960 and My Kind Of Girl in 1961. My Kind Of Girl was his biggest hit in the US too. But the theme for From Russia With Love is probably Monro's most memorable song because James Bond films have their own fanbase. The song was written by Oliver! composer Lionel Bart. The song played over the closing credits of the film. Monro recorded other songs for James Bond composer John Barry including Born Free in 1967. After living in California for a while, he moved back to England in 1970. Monro continued to record and tour but he wasn't as popular as he was in the 60s. This comp is a good intro to his music. Matt Monro died of cancer on Feb. 7, 1985 at age 54. Here's Matt Monro performing From Russia With Love on the BBC 1975. You gotta love the leisure suit.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Wrecking Crew review

Today I went to see the documentary The Wrecking Crew at the Bloor Cinema in downtown Toronto. Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time will know that I like music documentaries. Standing in The Shadows Of Motown is about The Funk Brothers who played on all the Motown hits. Muscle Shoals is about the Alabama musicians who played on plenty of hits. The Wrecking crew is a similar story of Los Angeles studio musicians who played on many hits of the 60s. What they all have in common is you haven't heard of these musicians but you have heard them. The film will be a revelation for the average music fan. I've known about The Wrecking Crew for years but I enjoyed seeing them get the spotlight. The film was directed by Danny Tedesco. His dad was Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco. The Wrecking Crew started out as a generational thing. Studio musicians of the 50s were very stiff and formal. Most of them were classically trained. A lot of the younger musicians were jazz musicians. The guy who probably deserved a lot of the credit for making The Wrecking Crew ubiquitous in Los Angeles recording studios was producer Phil Spector. They were on all his records but never got any credit. Record companies didn't want fans to know that rock groups didn't play their own music. This changed in the late 60s when The Monkees demanded to play on their own records. After that the use of studio musicians in Los Angeles became less common though many of them did film and TV work. We meet many of the musicians including bassists Carol Kaye and Joe Osborn, drummers Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer, guitarists Al Casey and Tommy Tedesco, pianist Don Randi and sax player Plas Johnson. The best known members of The Wrecking Crew were Glen Campbell and Leon Russell. There are archival interviews. The musicians credit producer H.B. Barnum as the first to give them a chance. Other interviews include Herb Alpert, Lou Adler. Cher, Dick Clark, Mickey Dolenz, Nancy Sinatra, Jimmy Webb and Brian Wilson. Wilson talks in detail about why he used The Wrecking Crew on records instead of The Beach Boys. Adler talks about using The Wrecking Crew on The Mamas and the Papas. He also said that in the 70s, singer songwriters like Carole King brought their own musicians so studio musicians weren't needed anymore. Some of the musicians show how they invented some of your favourite songs. Though it didn't surprise me, I think the scope of The Wrecking Crew's influence will surprise fans. They played on all these records? They certainly did. I enjoy these kind of music history docs so I loved it. Check out the trailer.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Honeycombs

Artist:The Honeycombs
Song:Have I The Right
Album:Have I The Right: The Very Best Of The Honeycombs

Have I The right was the only big hit for The Honeycombs at the height of The British Invasion in 1964. They were more successful in England. The most interesting thing about The Honeycombs is the drummer was female which was unusual at the time. They were formed in 1963 in London by hairdresser Martin Murray (rhythm guitar) and his assistant Ann "Honey" Lantree as The Sheratons. Honey brought in her brother John Lantree to play bass and the other members were lead singer Denis D'Ell and lead guitarist Alan Ward. They were spotted by the songwriting team of Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley. These two went on to a long career but they were just starting out at the time. The group had already planned to audition for producer Joe Meek so Howard and Blaikley gave them a couple of songs for the audition. Meek was best known for producing Telstar by The Tornados. They recorded Have I The Right and Meek sold it to Pye Records. Pye owner Louis Benjamin renamed the band The Honeycombs because Honey was a hairdresser's assistant. He correctly believed she would be the focal point of the group. In the US, the record was released by the Vee-Jay label Interphon. The record was released in June 1964 and by August it topped the British charts and became a worldwide hit. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Honeycombs had modest success on the British charts but were never able to score another big hit. Murray left and was replaced by Peter Pye. Then Pye, D'Ell and Ward left in 1966. Honey and John Lantree hired new musicians but The Honeycombs split up for good after one more single. This comp covers their entire career. In the 90s, Murray led a new version of The Honeycombs and Honey led another version of the band that included D'Ell and Pye. That band ended when D'Ell died in 2005 but Murray's The New Honeycombs still tours clubs in England. Here are The Honeycombs performing Have I The Right on Shindig 1964.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rose Namajunas vs Nina Ansaroff added to May 23 UFC show

The UFC announced on UFC tonight that Rose Namajunas vs Nina Ansaroff has been added to UFC 187 May 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Rose did very well in the TUF 20 house. But she seemed way too nervous in her fight against Carla Esparza on the TUF finale for the Women's Strawweight Championship. She's only 22 years old so she still has potential. But she probably needs a win just for her own confidence. Nina was thinking about retirement when the UFC called. She didn't look very good losing to Juliana Lima in November. In fact, neither fighter looked good. So Nina may need to at least look better even in losing. And Rose should be the favourite.

Aleksandra Albu vs Izabela Badurek added to Apr. 11 UFC show

The UFC announced this morning that a third Women's Strawweight bout has been added to UFC Fight Night 64 Apr. 11 at the Krakow Arena in Krakow, Poland. Russian Aleksandra Albu will face Poland's Izabela Badurek. Both will be making their UFC debuts. This entire show will air on UFC Fight Pass. Aleksandra is a curious case. She is 24 years old from Moscow, Russia and she trains at Red Fury. The UFC signed her in Oct. 2013 and she was supposed to fight Julie Kedzie in December. She backed out due to injury. At the time, her record was announced as 5-0. But only one fight was listed. Her management claimed she fought three times in Thailand. Now the UFC has announced her record as 1-0. So I don't know what happened to those other fights or if they were real. I guess if the fights aren't on video, they didn't happen. Aleksandra was supposed to fight at Bantamweight but Mike Chiapetta of Fox Sports reported in June 2014 that Aleksandra was dropping to Strawweight. So that isn't a surprise. I haven't seen her fight so I don't know if she's any good. I do know that Aleksandra started out in bodybuilding and modeling and started MMA training a couple of years ago. Izabela is 23 years old from Lublin, Poland and she trains at S4. Her record is 5-2 and all five wins were by first round submission. The only problem is she hasn't fought experienced fighters. Because of that, it's hard to tell if she is good. Her latest fight was a win over Zaira Dyshekova on ACB13 in Poland Jan. 31, 2015. And I've got the video of that fight. Izabela does fine but her opponent was making her MMA debut and her inexperience shows when she tries for one of those pathetic headlock takedowns. It's over soon after that. I'm sure fighting at home is a big deal for Izabela. But remember the UFC jitters could be a factor in this fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cannibal & The Headhunters

Artist:Cannibal & The Headhunters
Song:Land of 1000 Dances
Album:Golden Classics

Land of 1000 Dances was the only hit single for Cannibal & The Headhunters in 1965. They are significant as one of the first Mexican American rock groups. They were from East Los Angeles which has a large Latino population. The lead singer was Frankie Garcia who got the nickname Cannibal when he bit a boy during a childhood fight. Richard "Scar" Lopez and Robert "Rabbit" Jaramillo formed the group in 1963 as Bobby & The Classics. The fourth member was Jaramillo's brother Joe Jaramillo. Heavily influenced by Motown, they were a cover band in local clubs. Garcia replaced Tommy Keys in 1964 and the band was renamed Cannibal & The Headhunters after his real nickname. They signed with Rampart Records and they released Land of 1000 Dances in 1965. Chris Kenner wrote and originally recorded the song in 1961 and then Wilson Pickett had a much bigger hit with it in 1966. The Cannibal & The Headhunters recording reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. it would turn out to be their only chart single. Supposedly Garcia came up with the "nanananana" refrain when he couldn't remember the words of the song. Cannibal & The Headhunters opened for The Beatles on their second US tour in 1965. The backup band was led by King Curtis. They recorded one album for Rampart and then a second album for Date Records and then they split up in 1966. This Collectables comp is reasonably priced. There is a Cannibal & The Headhunters currently active but none of the original members are involved. Lopez described them in an interview as fake. Frankie Garcia died in 1996, Joe Jaramillo died in 2000 and Robert Lopez died in 2010. Here's Cannibal & The Headhunters performing Land of 1000 Dances on Hullabaloo 1965.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tecia Torres vs Angela Hill added to June 13 UFC show

Yesterday the UFC announced that TUF 20 alums Tecia Torres and Angela Hill will face each other on UFC 188 June 13 at the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City. Tecia trains at American Top Team in Florida. Her record is 5-0 and she beat Angela Magana in her UFC debut on the TUF Finale in December. It was a mismatch. My impression of Tecia is she is a very good kickboxer but as we saw in TUF when she lost to Randa Markos, she has no ground game. And all her fights have gone the distance. A lack of finish is always a big red flag for me. Is she an elite fighter? Not yet but she could get there someday. Angela is also a kickboxer. And as we saw in TUF when she lost to Carla Esparza, she also has no ground game. She won over Emily Kagan on the TUF Finale. But that fight only showed that Emily doesn't belong in the UFC. I think she has more power than Tecia but Tecia is quicker and busier. For that reason, some think this will be a mismatch that will favour Tecia and why is she fighting a lower ranked fighter. I think it just shows how tough it is to put decent fights together. Some fighters are more selective than others. There is also the thinking that a standup fight like this can be very entertaining for fans if they actually trade blows as opposed to clinching on the fence. I would prefer to see Tecia challenged by a grappler but maybe her camp doesn't think she is ready for that. Though Tecia will be the heavy favourite, I expect this fight to go the distance and one never knows about the judges decision.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Four Shells

Artist:The Four Shells
Song:Hot Dog (My Baby's Comin' Home)
Album:The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968 Vol. 5

Here's a one off single that was released by Stax Records in 1966. The Four Shells were from St. Louis. They are not to be confused with the 50s doo wop group The Shells and a Stax discography site actually mis-identifies the Four Shells as The Shells. The Four Shells were brothers Charles and James Calvin, Willie Exon and Billy Harper. At first they were called The Shells which explains the confusion. They were discovered by Chicago R & B legend Jerry Butler and recorded the single Whiplash on his label Conlo in 1965. Conlo released a few singles through Cameo-Parkway. Though the single was recorded and produced in Chicago, The Four Shells were from St. Louis. When Butler noticed the confusion with the doo wop group The Shells, he changed the group name to The Four Shells for the second single. Hot Dog was licensed to Stax and released on Volt in 1966. That was the final single for The Four Shells. Of course now when music fans hear this song, they don't understand why it wasn't a big hit. The answer was Stax wasn't going to push a song licensed from a Chicago label over their in house product. You can get Hot Dog on The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 9CD box set which I recommend to everyone anyway. And the song is available on mp3. The Calvin brothers and Billy Harper still live in St. Louis. Guitarist Willie Exon moved to Texas and was in Albert King's band at one time. Here's a video for Hot Dog (My Baby's Coming Home) by The Four Shells.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review of WWE Total Divas season 3 episode 16

On last night's episode of WWE Total Divas, we had the usual mix of fact and fiction including another idiotic Bella Twins dispute that seemed as phony as a three dollar bill. First we go to Las Vegas where Eva Marie is going to a family reunion. If you follow WWE TV, it would be fair to wonder if she still works there. But as we saw earlier this season, she had surgery and her mom said this family reunion was planned around her break. Eva is thinking about her dad's cancer so she is looking at this as his last hurrah. As we will soon see, he doesn't view it that way. And Eva thinks her mom isn't telling her the truth about dad's health. Now we go to RAW in New York. Nikki Bella announces that she is buying an expensive handbag and this leads to Brie Bella lecturing her about her spending habits. This storyline is pointless BS. With her dad in rehab, Nattie Neidhart turns her attention to her parents house which recently was flooded. So again she asks estranged husband TJ Wilson to help her. During this episode, you will get the impression that they are headed for reconciliation. But Nattie is extremely neurotic. TJ hires a contractor and this turns into an episode of Holmes On Homes. Back to The Bella Twins stupidity. Keep in mind that Nikki's extremely wealthy boyfriend John Cena buys her most of this stuff. So she's not even spending her own money. This argument is phony baloney created for the show. Eventually they decide to go to a financial planner. Back in Vegas, Eva Marie plans a bucket list of activities for her dad like skydiving, rock climbing and driving a race car. They show some of this stuff but when her dad finds out she planned it as a bucket list, he gets pissed. He's not dead yet. The only thing he really wanted to do was drive a race car. And that turns out well. But a lot of this nonsense seemed like filler to me. Brie complains to her mom about Nikki's spending and her mom points out that Brie also spends a lot but just differently. Then Nikki gets her handbag. Cena looks at her quizzically but I guess he'll buy her anything to make her happy. Then she takes it to work and Brie lectures her again. We go back to the renovation and then Eva Marie's dad finds out what she did and puts a stop to it. They do drive race cars which is the one thing he really wanted to do. Nattie and Trinity go furniture shopping for her parents. TJ is paying for it. The Bella Twins go to a financial planner. This is so laughable. When he asks them about post WWE plans, Nikki says she got her real estate license. Brie plans to be a mom. Keep in mind that at the time, she didn't know if husband Bryan Danielson would be able to return to work. She actually talks about being a pregnant Diva which elicits justifiable derision. So Brie didn't come across well. Afterwards, they talk about opening a wine bar. That would be a disaster. Imagine those two running a business. At the furniture store, we get to the bottom of Nattie's behaviour. Her dad was always away when she was a kid. So now she projects this on TJ. Trinity tells her to stop doing that. As I said earlier, I think Nattie and TJ will reconcile later this season. This sets the foundation for that. The episode ends with the race car segment and then the reveal of the house. I thought there was a lot of filler on this episode but check out the video for yourself.
WWE Total Divas S03E17 HDTV 2015-Feb-22 720p by Anor21

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Marion Reneau vs Jessica Andrade

Here's the video of Marion Reneau vs Jessica Andrade from last night's UFC show in Brazil. It aired on Fox Sports 1 in the US and The Fight Network in Canada. I watched it on UFC Fight Pass via Roku on my HDTV. Marion won her UFC debut fairly easily in early January. Her teammate Cody Gibson was already booked for Brazil and that's why she was on this show. Her opponent in her first fight was so bad, it was hard to tell if Marion is any good. I don't think we know any more after this fight. The UFC will really have to raise her level of competition. I think Jessica has potential. But as we saw in this fight, she needs to calm down in the cage and be more deliberate. In her last fight, she beat a highly touted but overhyped Larissa Pacheco. So I think this was a step up in competition for her too. Marion bloodied Jessica's nose early in round one and it looks like it may have freaked her out. Jessica dropped Marion and then went after her on the ground. But Marion wasn't hurt and immediately went after a triangle choke from bottom position. Jessica got out of it quickly and this is where things went off the rails. I like aggressive fighters but there are times when a fighter should just step back and reset. That's what Jessica should have done. Let Marion get up and they're on even terms. Instead she went after Marion on the ground for a second time. And for the second time, Marion applied a triangle choke. Jessica couldn't get out of it this time and the fight was over. Marion got a submission of the night bonus and now everyone is going gaga over her. But if Jessica doesn't make that fatal error, this is a much different fight. And I mention the bloody nose freaking her out because if she's thinking straight, she doesn't make that mistake. Before the fight, Jessica was talking about Bethe Correia as a potential opponent. That won't happen now but she's only 23 and still has potential. She just needs to calm down and know when to be aggressive. On the other hand, at 37 years old, the UFC has to find out how good Marion is quickly. So I expect them to raise her competition level soon. And that may depend on some upcoming fights. She got a good win but I'm not sold on her yet. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Roy Milton & His Solid Senders

Artist:Roy Milton & His Solid Senders
Song:Christmas Time Blues
Album:Roy Milton & His Solid Senders.

Roy Milton is a now forgotten blues artist who had success in the late 40s and early 50s. His music is similar to Louis Jordan but he wasn't as successful. Christmas Time Blues deserves to be a Christmas classic. He was born July 31, 1907 in Wynnewood, OK and grew up on an Indian reservation as his mom was Native American. Milton moved to Tulsa and was a singer and then drummer for Roy Fields. He moved to Los Angeles in 1933 and formed his band The Solid Senders. The key figure in his band was pianist Camille Howard. She sang lead on several of Milton's singles and also wrote a lot of the arrangements. Milton signed with Juke Box Records in 1945 and it would soon be renamed Specialty Records. Milton was a big part of establishing Specialty as a force in R & B. Of course they would go on to have success with Little Richard among others. Milton had a total of 19 top ten R & B hits including R.M. Blues, Information Blues and Best Wishes. Christmas Time Blues was released in 1950 on the B side of Oh, Babe!. It deserves to be a Christmas perennial. You can get all of Milton's hits on this CD. Blues fans should check it out. Milton left Specialty for Dootone in 1955 and with the rise of Rock 'n' Roll, Milton wasn't as successful as he was earlier in his career. He also recorded for King, Warwick and Cenco. By the early 70s, he was touring with Johnny Otis. And he recorded a few albums in Europe in the 70s. Roy Milton died on Sept. 18, 1983 at age 76. He is known as the Grandfather of R & B. Here's a video for Christmas Time Blues by Roy Milton.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Fred Neil

Artist:Fred Neil
Song:The Water Is Wide
Album:Echoes Of My Mind: The Best Of Fred Neil 1963-1971

Fred Neil was a big part of the 60s Greenwich Village folk music scene. But he never had the commercial success of some of his contemporaries. His claim to fame was writing Everybody's Talkin' and then he quit the music business in the 70s to become an environmentalist. He was born Mar. 16, 1936 in Cleveland and he grew up in St. Petersburg, FL. His father sold Wurlitzer juke boxes and this led Neil to the Brill Building in New York where all the songwriters hung out. He recorded a few singles and wrote songs for others. Then he started to hang around the Greenwich Village folk music scene and formed a partnership with Vince Martin of The Tarriers. They recorded the 1965 album Tear Down The Walls for Elektra Records. Neil also helped many young folksingers who came to New York including Bob Dylan and David Crosby. The Water Is Wide is from Neil's second album Bleecker & MacDougal. It's an old Scottish folk song also known as O Waly Waly and it has been recorded by many folksingers. John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful and Felix Pappalardi of Cream played on this album. Neil moved to Capitol in 1966 and he recorded Everybody's Talkin' on his 1966 album Fred Neil. In 1969, Harry Nilsson wrote I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City for the film Midnight Cowboy. He recorded Everybody's Talkin' on his 1967 album Aerial Ballet. Director John Schlesinger preferred that to Nilsson's original song and the rest is history. Obviously Neil made a lot of money with that song. So he moved back to Florida in the early 70s and founded the environmental organization The Dolphin Project. His final album was released in 1971. Though Neil performed occasionally and he recorded a couple of never released albums for Columbia in 1977, Neil retired from music to concentrate on The Dolphin Project. He died on July 7, 2001 at age 65. This comp from the British label Raven Records covers Neil's entire recording career. Here's a video for The Water Is Wide by Fred Neil.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

DEEP JEWELS rips off loyal fans with a less than two hour show

Today's DEEP JEWELS show at Shinjuku FACE had the first round of the DEEP JEWELS Featherweight Championship tournament...and nothing else. That means the show was over in less than two hours. That's called ripping off loyal fans. I'll get back to this in a minute because it looks like DEEP JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki may finally be coming to his senses. The tournament is about what one would expect when half of the fighters should get real jobs. When Ayaka Miura was forced to back out of her match with VV Mei, MIYOKO was her replacement. She was supposed to be in a reserve match. MIYOKO is a veteran fighter but she stinks. Her record is terrible. So it wasn't surprising when VV Mei zonked her with knees and the fight was over in less than a minute. Emi Tomimatsu vs Mina Kurobe was a lot closer. This was Tomimatsu's first fight at 48kg. Kurobe is 4-0 but she's 38 years old. The fight was very close and Kurobe won by split decision. When that happens, there will be cries of robbery. But Tomimatsu has been around a long time and should be a better fighter...but she isn't. SARAMI beat Masako Yoshida by unanimous decision. Yoshida has been around for years but she's not a good fighter. And in the other match, Tomo Maesawa easily beat 43 year old Yukiko Seki by unanimous decision. Look, if you can't get decent fighters for this, put it off until you can. There was no Ayaka Hamasaki, Sugi Rock or Saori Ishioka in this tournament. And then to add insult to injury, the only other match on the show was a ridiculous tag team grappling match that is not worth mentioning. This is not acceptable. Even Saeki admitted this afterwards. He says the semi finals will be on May 31 but he doesn't know how he will fill out the rest of the card. He is hoping Invicta will help him. I dunno about that. Then he says that in the summer, he's going to have the finals in a cage as what seems to be a DEEP show as opposed to a DEEP JEWELS show. I've been saying for two years that DEEP JEWELS should be folded into DEEP. They don't have enough decent female fighters for DEEP JEWELS. This piss poor tournament proves that. Maybe Saeki has finally figured that out.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Thelma Carpenter

Artist:Thelma Carpenter w/Coleman Hawkins & His Orchestra
Song:She's Funny that Way
Album:Seems Like Old Times

Thelma Carpenter is probably best known for her performance of He's The Wizard in the 1977 film The Wiz. But Thelma was singing with Coleman Hawkins and Count Basie when she was a teen. So she had jazz chops. Fortunately, the British reissue label Sepia Recordings has released Thelma's best recordings on CD including this 1940 classic She's Funny That Way. She was born Jan. 15, 1922 in Brooklyn, NY. As a child, she had her own radio show on WNYC in New York. Her big break came when she won amateur night at the Apollo and this led to legendary Columbia Records John Hammond discovering her in 1939. She debuted with Teddy Wilson's orchestra. But that was short lived and Hammond placed her in Coleman Hawkins new band. Hawkins had just returned from Europe and signed with RCA's Bluebird label. It looks like She's Funny That Way was Thelma's only recording with Hawkins. Musicians are Tommy Lindsay and Joe Guy on trumpet, Early Hardy on trombone, Jackie Fields and Eustis Moore on alto sax, Gene Rodgers on piano, William Oscar Smith on bass and Arthur Herbert on drums. She's Funny That Way is a jazz standard written by Charles N. Daniels and Richard A. Whiting. Gene Austin had a hit with it in 1929. In 1943, Thelma replaced Helen Humes as singer with Count Basie. After two years, she replaced Dinah Shore on Eddie Cantor's radio show. She went on to perform with Duke Ellington in the 50s. Thelma also appeared on Broadway as Pearl Bailey's understudy in Hello, Dolly and in Bob Fosse's Pippin. And she appeared in The Wiz. She rarely recorded as Thelma Carpenter but she charted with the Elvis Presley answer song Yes, I'm Lonesome Tonight in 1961. Thelma continued to make appearances until her death on May 14, 1997 at age 75. Here's a video of She's Funny That Way by Thelma Carpenter with Coleman Hawkins and his Orchestra.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Joanne Calderwood vs Maryna Moroz added to Apr. 11 UFC show

Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting reported today that Joanne Calderwood will face UFC newcomer Maryna Moroz UFC Fight Night 64 Apr. 11 at the Krakow Arena in Krakow, Poland. I'm sure Joanne and her fans are very happy and I will get to that in a minute. But first I want to talk about her opponent because I'm sure most fans have never heard of her. Maryna Moroz is 23 years old from the Ukraine and she trains at YK Promotion owned by veteran fighter Yuriy Kyselov. Maryna is the first fighter from this gym to sign with the UFC. She's listed as 5'7" so she's a little taller than Joanne. Her record is 5-0 and she has more international experience than I have come to expect from European fighters. She has won four of her five fights via armbar, all but one finished in round one. She has fought twice in China. Lately she has been part of the XFC Strawweight Championship tournament in Brazil. She is supposed to face Dora Perjes on Mar. 15 in the semi finals of that tournament. Not anymore. Her latest fight was a win over Karine Silva on the Nov. 1 XFC show. And I have the video of that fight for you. Maryna is in bottom position for the entire fight but she goes for an armbar several times until she gets it and the fight is over. She looks pretty good but Joanne is a different animal. So it's interesting that this is on the same show as Claudia Gadelha vs Aisling Daly. As I said when that fight was announced, this should be Claudia vs Joanne for a title shot. But Claudia chose to fight a lower ranked fighter and then told Tatame that a win would get her a title shot. I would believe that if she was fighting Joanne. Instead, I expect that if Joanne wins this fight, she will get a title shot and main event this summer's UFC show in Scotland. That will be insane. And despite being a UFC newcomer, Maryna Moroz looks like a very tough opponent who likes to finish. A fighter wins championships by beating tough fighters and that's what Joanne wants to do. I think her fans will be pleased. Check out the video of Maryna Moroz vs Karine Silva and see for yourself.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cake

Song:The Distance
Album:Fashion Nugget

The Distance is the best known song by the 90s alternative band Cake. Though they never had a big hit single, they did very well on the college and alternative circuits. Because they mix different styles of music, they are frequently compared to Soul Coughing and King Missile. After trying to make it in Los Angeles, Cake lead singer John McCrea moved back to his hometown of Sacramento in 1991 and form a new band. The name Cake refers to mud on a shoe, not food. Other members were trumpeter Vince DiFiore, guitarist Greg Brown, bassist Gabe Nelson and drummer Frank French. After releasing a CD independently in 1994, Cake signed with Capricorn Records. Before recording their major label debut Fashion Nugget, French and Nelson left because they didn't like touring and were replaced by Todd Roper and Victor Damiani. The Distance was the first single and it did well on the Modern Rock chart. Though some might think it is a rap song, I think it's a talking blues. The album was certified Platinum. But the constant touring took a toll on them and Damiani and Brown left in 1997. They were not replaced for the 1998 album Prolonging The Magic. That album was also certified Platinum but again they were unable to get that big hit single. Cake moved to Columbia for the 2001 CD Comfort Eagle. By this time, Xan McCurdy was the new guitarist and Nelson returned to Cake. Then Roper was replaced by Pete McNeal. The album did not do as well as the previous two. After the 2004 album Pressure Chief, Cake left Columbia and started their own label. Since then Cake has recorded a couple of albums, most recently in 2011. There was talk of new music last year but McCrea has admitted he hasn't begun to record. Cake plays occasional shows but they aren't touring regularly right now. Here's the video for The Distance by Cake.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Vinicio Capossela

Artist:Vinicio Capossela
Song:Si e Spento il Sole
Album:The Story-Faced Man

Singer songwriter Vinicio Capossela is revered in Italy as the Italian Tom Waits. He is unknown outside of Italy though Warner Music released this 2010 CD The Stony-Faced Man to introduce Capossela to the North American audience. He was born Dec. 14, 1964 in Hanover, Germany to Italian parents and the family soon moved to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. He played folk music clubs in the area and was a protege of folksinger Francisco Guccini. But Capossela has always been enamored with the beat poetry of Jack Kerouac and the music of Tom Waits. So his music is different from the usual Italian pop music. He signed with Warner Music and released his debut CD in 1990. He has been very popular in Italy ever since. Capossela has recorded with guitarist Marc Ribot who works with Waits. In 2010, Warner decided to release The Story-Faced Man on Nonesuch in North America. His CDs had never been released outside Europe. His cover of the 1962 Adriano Celentano hit Si e Spento il Sole was not released on one of his albums but as a bonus track on the 2003 comp CD L'Indispensable. You might also discover Capossela as I did through Putomayo various artists comps. I don't think he'll ever be popular here but he is worth checking out. Capossela's latest CD Rebetiko Gymnastas was released 2012. Here's the video for Si e Spento il Sole by Vinicio Capossela.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Io Shirai vs Mio Shirai

Here's the match video of Io Shirai vs Mio Shirai from the Feb. 14 M.I.O. show at Shinjuku FACE. This is billed as a sisters grudge battle. Though the match was hotly anticipated since it was the first time they worked together since splitting up three years ago, the match is unremarkable and then the angle became anti climactic when Mio announced her retirement on Monday. But I know fans want to see this match. I'm just warning you that it's OK but not epic. So why did they split up in the first place? When watching them as a tag team, I just felt that Mio wasn't cutting it in the ring. And the only way Io could advance herself in the joshi business was to go solo. You will see in this match that Mio can't keep up with Io. It's hard for her to look good when she just isn't a good enough wrestler. One would think they would be similar because they are sisters and at one time they were similar. But it's clear Io has made the effort to be more athletic in the ring and Mio chose not to do that. She chose to get by on sex appeal which got her to a certain level but Io is a much bigger star. Last year Mio signed a unique contract with four promotions, OZ Academy, Pro Wrestling WAVE, Ice Ribbon and Union. The main reason for this was to produce these M.I.O. vanity shows. I'm sure that deal was very complicated with that many hands in the pie. Just for the record, I'm not a big fan of vanity shows in general. They just seem like a big cash grab to me. And each of the four companies have different angles. They are only going to cooperate for the vanity shows. After Io won the match, there was no hugging or anything. I think there is animosity between them but the match didn't reflect that. It should have been more intense and it wasn't. Then on Monday, Mio announced her retirement show would be Sept. 20 at Korakuen Hall. She says she is retiring because of a lingering neck injury. The timing made the retirement announcement seem like a surprise. But I think it's been in the works for a while. Mio knew that she would lose to her sister and then retire immediately afterwards. I'm sure it affected her performance in the match. When asked about Mio's retirement by Daily Sports, Io said she didn't know about it. Maybe now that they aren't competing with each other, the two will reconcile. I certainly hope so. Enjoy the video!
Io Shirai Vs. Mio Shirai (2/14/15) Shinjuku FACE by Mosquitopilate1

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Rosemary Clooney

Artist:Rosemary Clooney
Song:But Not For Me
Album:Rosemary Clooney Sings The Lyrics Of Ira Gershwin

Rosemary Clooney was one of the most popular pop singers of the 50s. But she had a tough time in the 60s including a nervous breakdown. She returned in the 70s and had a long career recording jazz. In the 50s, Rosemary had a lot of success recording novelty songs she didn't like. When her career faded in the late 50s, she bounced around several labels including MGM, RCA, Coral, Reprise and Dot. She divorced husband Jose Ferrer in 1961 and began a relationship with bandleader Nelson Riddle. He worked for Frank Sinatra's Reprise label. After she remarried Ferrer, she left Reprise for Dot in 1965. Then she divorced Ferrer again in 1966. When Rosemary suffered a nervous breakdown in 1968, her career seemed to be over. After her sister Betty died of a brain aneurysm in 1976, Rosemary decided to return to performing and she toured with Bing Crosby. After recording a 1976 country music album for United Artists, Rosemary was asked to appear on the 1977 album A Tribute To Duke which also featured Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett and Woody Herman. Concord Jazz owner Carl Jefferson then signed Rosemary and put her together with jazz musicians. She became one of Concord's most popular artists until her 2002 death. The model for Rosemary's Concord albums was the Ella Fitzgerald Songbook series. But Not For Me is from the 1979 album Rosemary Clooney Sings The Lyrics Of Ira Gershwin. It was her fourth album for Concord. But Not For Me is from the 1930 show Girl Crazy. Rosemary sang it on the radio in the 50s. The band on most of these albums are guys who normally work for Concord with a couple of guest musicians. The flute solo on But Not For Me is by Roger Glenn of Mongo Santamaria's band. Other musicians were Scott Hamilton on tenor sax, Warren Vache on cornet and flugelhorn, Cal Collins on guitar, Chris Amberger on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums. With the exception of Jeff Hamilton, all these guys were Concord regulars. Hamilton replaced Jake Hanna on this album only. Rosemary started touring again and her Concord albums did very well on the jazz charts. So when most singers were in retirement, Rosemary Clooney was very busy until her death on June 29, 2002 at age 74. It's an amazing story considering where Rosemary was at in the 60s. Here's Rosemary Clooney with Les Brown and his Band Of Renown at the 1983 Aurex Jazz Festival in Tokyo.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rawlings vs Ham, Chambers vs Curran added to May 10 UFC show

Today the UFC announced that UFC Fight Night 65 will be May 10 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Adelaide, Australia. This show will air on May 9 in North America on UFC Fight Pass. Of course they filled up the show with Aussie fighters including two Women's Strawweight fights. Aussie Bec Rawlings will face Korean Ham Seo Hee and Aussie Alex Chambers will face Hawaiian Kailin Curran. Bec was in TUF 20 and lost to Heather Clark on the TUF Finale. It wasn't a very good performance considering that Heather had a torn ACL and has since had knee surgery. Ham made her UFC debut losing to Joanne Calderwood on the TUF Finale. Bec has a significant size advantage and she has a big fan following. I just don't think she's a very good fighter. Ham will be the underdog but she gave a good account of herself against an elite fighter like Calderwood. So she could pull out an upset. Both are strikers with no KO power so I would expect this fight to go the distance and possibly end in a split decision. Alex was also on TUF 20 and she didn't look very good losing to Aisling Daly on the TUF Finale. She's also 36 years old and she even admitted during TUF that this is her last chance to make it as a pro fighter. Kailin lost to Paige Van Zant in her UFC debut. She's young but I don't think she is a UFC caliber fighter. So this could be a must win for both fighters. The loser could get cut.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Crystal Gayle

Artist:Crystal Gayle
Song:Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
Album:Greatest Hits

Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue is the biggest hit and signature song by Crystal Gayle. Though she is classified as a country singer, there are certainly pop and jazz influences in her music, especially this song. She was born Brenda Gail Webb Jan. 9, 1951 in Paintsville, KY the younger sister of country music legend Loretta Lynn. The family moved to Wabash, IN when Crystal was four years old. Crystal admired her sister but they didn't grow up together. Loretta was already a star when Crystal was a teen. Crystal did tour with her in the summer while still in high school. After graduating in 1970, Brenda Webb signed with her sister's label Decca. But her name needed to be changed because of Brenda Lee. Loretta got the name Crystal from a hamburger chain and Gail is Brenda's middle name. Crystal Gayle is born. Decca wanted Crystal Gayle to sound like Loretta Lynn. Crystal didn't like that and she left Decca for United Artists and producer Allen Reynolds in 1975. Reynolds also produced Garth Brooks. He let her develop her own singing style. Immediately she started having more success. I'll Get Over You was Crystal's first number one country hit in 1976. And follow up singles topped the country charts. I'll Get Over You was written by Richard Leigh. Reynolds visited Leigh looking for new songs. He played Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue for Reynolds and told him his publisher was going to sell it to Shirley Bassey. Reynolds wanted the song for Crystal. I guess the thinking was the song would not be appropriate for a country artist. But Reynolds knew that Crystal would love the song and wanted to sing this style of music. The other key element of the song is the piano riff by Hargus "Pig" Robbins. The record not only topped the country music charts but it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. So now Crystal Gayle is a big crossover star. Of course there is always the criticism that she's not really a country singer but I don't think Crystal cared about that. Despite the criticism, Crystal had great success on the country charts in the 80s. And a couple of songs like Talking In Your Sleep crossed over to pop. Crystal left United Artists for Columbia in 1979 and also recorded for Elektra and Warner Bros. in the 80s. This budget comp covers her entire career. Crystal Gayle hasn't recorded for a major label since the early 90s. Her most recent CD of new music was released in 2003 though she has released live CDs. She has also recorded children's music. Crystal Gayle owns a jewelry store in Nashville and plays occasional shows at casinos. Here's Crystal Gayle performing Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue on the Grand Ole Opry TV show 1977. She is appearing on the Grand Ole Opry this weekend.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review of WWE Total divas season 3 episode 16

On this episode of WWE Total Divas, we have the long awaited return of Brie Mode. That Paige is quite the little jokester. We also take a look inside the mind of Alicia Fox. I'm not sure there is much there. And we have a look inside a very serious issue in the wrestling business. We begin in Birmingham, AL where Paige, Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes are harassing WWE announcer Renee Young who I think should be on Total Divas too. This leads to Alicia hiding under a table so she can pop out and scare someone. See what boredom does? We go to Nattie Neidhart's house in Tampa and she is concerned about her dad's health. Of course he is former WWE wrestler Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. She wants him to go to rehab for some sort of addiction. No specifics are given for privacy reasons. But pain pills addiction is a common problem in the wrestling business so that would be my guess. The WWE has a program where they will pay for any current or former employee to go to rehab. So Nattie just has to convince him to go. She's having trouble with that. Now we go to Knoxville where WWE Talent Relations stooge Mark Carrano reminds the girls about the upcoming European tour. The Bella Twins are appearing on the MTV European Awards. Paige wants to know about Brie Mode or Brie Bella in a drunken stupor. Apparently Nikki wants to prevent this. At St. Louis, WWE wrestler Wade Barrett returns from injury. Alicia dreads this because her relationship with Barrett recently ended. She doesn't want to talk to him but the other girls try to convince her otherwise. So now we go to England. They show Paige coming out to her home country fans. But they don't show that she lost her match. Nattie is trying to use the courts to get her dad into rehab. Rosa and Alicia are not on the tour so they go to Rosa's house in Las Vegas. Then a brief clip of The Bella Twins at the MTV European Awards in Glasgow. In Las Vegas, Rosa and Alicia mostly argue about Barrett. I'm not sure Rosa should be giving relationship advice. It doesn't go well. Now we go back to England. Paige is going to try to get Brie drunk and Nikki tries unsuccessfully to stop her. Nikki leaves but she doesn't take Brie upstairs with her. That lack of logic is no doubt a producer's decision. Why would she leave her with Paige? Paige orders several shots and you can guess what happens. Of course Brie makes a fool of herself and Paige just laughs. Shouldn't both of them be drunk? I guess Paige handles it better. They call Nikki on the way to the hotel and Paige blames Brie for everything. Back to Vegas and Alicia and Rosa discuss Barrett more rationally. Alicia says she doesn't know why he split up with her. Back to the morning after in England. The short version is brie barfs on Nikki. I guess that's the big scene. Alicia joins the European tour in Liverpool and the girls go on a Beatles tour and then have lunch. Meanwhile, Nikki goes all moralistic on Brie but she was fine. The outrage was silly. Paige was pretty funny. At lunch, Nattie gets a call that her dad is in the hospital. We are in Fort Wayne, IN. Nattie asks TJ to help her with her dad. He agrees to do this. Meanwhile, Alicia decides to face Barrett. She wants to know why he broke up with her. He says that he didn't see themselves in a long term relationship and decided to end it. It seems that she was more serious than him. So that's resolved. Now it's back to Tampa and Nattie has arranged for an intervention for her dad. It turns out to be former WWE and WCW wrestler Dan Spivey. He is now a drug counselor. The thinking is Neidhart knows him and will go with him. They don't show Spivey nor do they show the intervention. But they do play the audio. Neidhart asks who is paying for his rehab. When Spivey says the WWE, Neidhart agrees to go with him. Hopefully, he gets the help he needs. Again, they didn't show certain things for privacy reasons. But I do hope the producers follow up with this to see how he is doing. But I bet they don't. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stevie Nicks

Artist:Stevie Nicks w/Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Song:Stop Draggin' My Heart Around
Album:Crystal Visions: The Very Best Of Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks is best known for her work with Fleetwood Mac. But she has also had a successful solo career highlighted by the 1981 top five hit Stop Draggin' My Heart Around. She was born May 26, 1948 in Phoenix. Her father was president of Armour Foods but her grandfather was a country music singer and he taught her everything. She had a band in high school and then she met Lindsey Buckingham and she joined his band Fritz. They both attended San Jose State. When Fritz split up in 1972, Buckingham and Nicks continued to work together and recorded an album for Polydor. They were dropped and Stevie toured with The Everly Brothers. They got into Fleetwood Mac through producer Keith Olsen who played one of their songs for Mick Fleetwood. Bob Welch had just left the band and they needed a new guitarist. Buckingham told Fleetwood they were a package deal and the rest is history. Though Fleetwood Mac made Stevie a star, her tenure in the band has always been tumultuous. So she has this backlog of songs that Fleetwood Mac wasn't going to record. So she signed with Modern Records as a solo artist. Her 1981 debut album Bella Donna was produced by veteran producer Jimmy Iovine and Tom Petty. She appeared on a few of Petty's shows. Petty and guitarist Tom Campbell wrote Stop Draggin' My Heart Around for the Heartbreakers but Iovine suggested recording it with Stevie. It was the debut single and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a big hit in the early days of MTV. Bella Donna topped the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 4XPlatinum. Her second single Leather and Lace with Don Henley reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her other top ten hits were Stand Back in 1982 and Talk To Me in 1985. You can get all her hits on this budget comp. Stevie Nicks still records occasionally while still touring with Fleetwood Mac. Her latest CD 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault was released Sept. 2014. They are new recordings of demos she recorded many years ago. When I saw the title I thought it must be a greatest hits but it isn't. Here's the video for Stop Draggin' My Heart Around by Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ralph Stanley & Friends

Artist:Ralph Stanley & Friends f/George Jones
Song:The Window Up Above
Album:Clinch Mountain Country

Ralph Stanley is a banjo pioneer best known for his recordings with his brother Carter Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. After Carter died in 1966, Ralph Stanley simply continued just as he always had. This 1998 2CD set Clinch Mountain Country is all duets including Stanley's only recording with country music legend George Jones. The Window Up Above is a song that goes back to Jones' early days as a country music star. It was released in 1960 soon after Jones' breakthrough hit White Lighning. The Window Up Above reached #2 on the Country Singles chart. Mickey Gilley's 1975 cover of The Window Up Above topped the country charts. In 1998, Stanley's label Rebel Records decided to produce an entire album of duets. Among the special guests were Hal Ketchum, Ricky Skaggs, Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, Claire Lynch, Bob Dylan, Marty Stuart, Joe Diffie, David Rawlings and Gillian Welch, Rhonda Vincent, Diamond Rio, The Kentucky Headhunters, John Anderson, Alison Krauss, Junior Brown, Connie Smith, Tim O'Brien, Porter Wagoner, Vern Gosdin, Jim Lauderdale, The Whites, BR5-49 and Kathy Mattea. The duet with Jones is agruably the biggest coup as they had never worked together before. Ralph Stanley fans should check it out. Stanley's latest CD Man Of Constant Sorrow was released last month on Cracker Barrel. Stanley did a farewell tour last year. But he changed his mind and he will not retire. You can expect to see him at bluegrass festivals this summer. Here's a video of The Window Up Above by Ralph Stanley & Friends featuring George Jones.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Julia Budd vs Gabrielle Holloway

Here's the match video of Julia Budd vs Gabrielle Holloway from last night's Bellator show in Fresno, CA. This fight is wretched. I am posting it for two reasons. It was on the main card on Spike TV and I know fans outside North America didn't get to see it. The big problem with this fight was Julia's original opponent Talita Nogueira blew out her knee. She could have won this fight. So they brought in Holloway who was ranked ninth at 145lb. This is why rankings are useless. Look, they don't hire her if she isn't ranked. But I don't think anyone knew she would be this bad. Julia won so easily that one of the judges scored it 30-24 which is unheard of. But it was very similar to her lay and pray snoozefest win over Germaine De Randamie back in the Strikeforce days. Most fighters would go for a finish. But she seems to like to play it safe and just ride out a win over a clearly inferior opponent. Even her corner was yelling at her to finish. Fans got a little excited when Holloway got a takedown at the beginning of round three. But it led nowhere because Julia was a lot stronger than her. It was bad but 30-24 lays all the blame at Holloway's feet. And Julia didn't even try to finish. So I scored it 30-26. There is such a thing as dominant and disappointing. I can't believe a fighter would be satisfied with a win like that...but some are. That Holloway was ranked ninth makes me think that there is very little talent at 145lb. If that is true, I don't even know why Bellator is bothering with any kind of women's MMA. They couldn't have been very happy with this fight. it's starting to look very bush league over there and I don't know if they can do anything about it. Scott Coker really likes Marloes Coenen. Enjoy the video if you can.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bryan Ferry

Artist:Bryan Ferry
Song:The Way You Look Tonight
Album:The Collection

Of course Bryan Ferry is best known as lead singer of Roxy Music. As a solo artist, he is probably best known for covering standards. A lot of once popular rock singers have been doing that to sell CDs to older fans. Ferry has been doing it longer so it seems less of a marketing gimmick. He was born Sept. 26, 1945 in Washington, Tyne and Wear, England. He took up music while studying fine are at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He formed The Banshees and then moved to London in 1968. Ferry formed Roxy Music in 1970 and they went on to be one of the most successful bands of the 70s. He recorded his first solo album These Foolish Things in 1973. It was an album of covers. His first three solo albums were fairly successful and he recorded three more after Roxy Music split up in 1976. When the three albums that followed didn't do as well, Roxy Music reformed in 1979. Ferry concentrated on that until they split up again in 1982. Ferry recorded Boys and Girls in 1985. It was his most successful solo album to date. And it was all original material. So he continued like this in the 90s. Despite his success, Ferry seems to prefer recording standards and that's what he has done in recent years. His recording of The Way You Look Tonight is from the 1999 CD As Time Goes By.  It is all covers of 30s standards. This comp licensed by Disky covers Ferry's solo career. Ferry continues to mix original material with standards as he has on his latest CD Avonmore. I guess at this point Ferry is regarded as a British music legend. He will tour England this spring. Here's Bryan Ferry performing The Way You Look Tonight from the DVD Bryan Ferry Live in Paris at Le Grand Rex 2001.

Friday, February 13, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pinetop Smith

Artist:Pinetop Smith
Song:Jump Steady Blues
Album:Boogie Woogie & Barrelhouse Piano Vol. 1 1928-1932

Despite his tragic 1929 death, Clarence "Pinetop" Smith was an important figure in the creation of boogie woogie piano. But I don't think he actually invented boogie woogie the way some think. He was born June 11, 1904 in Troy, AL. Pinetop was a childhood nickname because he liked to climb trees. A self taught pianist, he moved to Pittsburgh in 1920 to work the vaudeville circuit as a singer, pianist and comedian. he accompanied blues legend Ma Rainey and the comedy team of Butterbeans and Susie. In the mid-20s, pianist Charles "Cow Cow" Davenport suggested that Smith move to Chicago and put him in touch with J. Mayo Williams of Vocalion Records. He moved with his wife and child to Chicago and signed with Vocalion. He lived in the same rooming house with Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis and no doubt this is where boogie woogie piano was created when these guys jammed together. Smith seems to get credit for the term boogie woogie because his 1928 recording Pine Top's Boogie Woogie was the first record to use the term. That seems like a happy accident to me. Of course Smith could have been as famous as Ammons, Lewis or Pete Johnson but he died tragically from a stray gunshot in a dancehall fight on Mar. 15, 1929 at age 24. He was scheduled to record the next day. You can get Smith's dozen recordings on this CD from the British label Document. Though Smith was quickly forgotten, Ammons and Johnson always gave him credit for developing the boogie woogie piano style. Here's a video of Jump Steady Blues by Pinetop Smith.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Claudia Gadelha vs Aisling Daly added to Apr. 11 UFC show

The UFC confirmed today that Claudia Gadelha vs Aisling Daly has been added to UFC Fight Night 64 Apr. 11 at Krakow Arena in Keakow, Poland. This will be the UFC's first visit to Poland. Claudia announced this fight in an interview with the Brazilian magazine Tatame on Monday. A split decision loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk cost Claudia a title shot. She still thinks she won that fight. So do I. But she didn't win decisively enough to convince the judges. She seems to think that winning this fight will get her another title shot. I disagree with that. If that was truly her goal, she would be fighting someone higher up on the foodchain like maybe Joanne Calderwood. I know Joanne would like to fight Claudia. But Nova Uniao always tries to protect Claudia. I don't believe that kind of stuff works in the UFC. This isn't Jungle Fights. I've watched Aisling for several years. I think she has overachieved a bit in the UFC. She beat Alex Chambers in the TUF Finale. That doesn't really prepare her for a BJJ black belt like Claudia. Claudia lost to Joanna because of easily correctable mistakes. Joanna was well coached and prepared well for Claudia. Aisling simply doesn't have the same level of striking skills as Joanna. And I don't think her takedown defense is all that great. Claudia should be the favourite and she should win if she doesn't mess up. But I don't think a win gets her a title shot. That will come from a different fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Right Kind

Artist:The Right Kind
Song:(Tell Me) Why Do You Have To Lie
Album:Bad, Bad Whiskey: The Galaxy Masters

Here's a very obscure single that will be of interest to 60s soul fans. The Right Kind recorded a few singles for Galaxy Records including Why Do You Have To Lie in 1968. The Right Kind was led by veteran guitarist and lead singer Cal Valentine. He was born May 28, 1937 in Dallas. In the mid-60s he worked with former Five notes member Al "TNT" Braggs who Valentine knew from high school. Then Valentine moved to Oakland and got into the studio scene after touring with Jimmy McCracklin. The Right Kind became a house band for Galaxy Records. Galaxy was owned by Fantasy Records. it started out as a jazz label in the 50s. But by the 60s it became a blues and R & B label after Fantasy bought Specialty Records. Other members of The Right Kind were Ronnie Lewis on sax, Bobby Reid on bass and Frank Samuels on drums. They recorded a few singles including (Tell Me) Why Did You Have To Lie. You can get it on this various artists comp of Galaxy Records rarities. When Etta James offered The Right Kind a backup gig in Las Vegas, all but Valentine went with her. That was the end of The Right Kind. In the 70s, Cal Valentine quit the music business and moved back to Dallas. He returned to music in the 90s and recorded one album before his death on Jan. 1, 1997 at age 59. Here's a video for (Tell Me) Why Do You Have To Lie by The Right Kind.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Artist:Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Song:When The Saints Go Marching In
Album:Best Of Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Though jazz is an experimental music, there is a need to maintain traditional New Orleans jazz as it was performed in the early 1900s. With the rise of post bop and free jazz in the late 50s, traditional jazz was becoming extinct in New Orleans. Tuba player Allan Jaffe managed Preservation Hall and in 1961 turned it into a showcase for traditional jazz. The original Preservation Hall Jazz Band was led by trumpeter Thomas Valentine AKA Kid Thomas and it was basically his band. In addition to regular gigs at Preservation Hall, they did a couple of tours which earned them a contract with Columbia Records. They released their debut album in 1966. Singer Sweet Emma Barrett toured with them in the late 60s. Promoter Bill Graham booked them to perform in rock concerts. Barrett's health forced her to stop touring in the early 70s and brothers Percy (trumpet) and Willie (clarinet) Humphrey started fronting the band. The video clip I have covers that period. When the Saints Go Marching In usually closed their shows. And as you can tell by the clip, it's more of a party than a performance. Other musicians in the band at that time were James "Sing" Miller on piano, Jim Robinson on trombone and Allan Jaffe on tuba. This budget comp covers the PHJB's 70s material. When the original musicians started to die, the next generation stepped in. When Allan Jaffe died in 1987, his son Ben Jaffe took over and he still runs the band today. And though Preservation Hall itself closed for a year after Hurricane Katrina, the band continued to tour. Their latest CD That's It! was released in 2013 featuring bluegrass musician Del McCoury who has toured extensively with PHJB in recent years. The legacy of traditional New Orleans jazz continues. Here's the Preservation Hall Jazz band featuring Percy Humphrey on vocals performing When The Saints Go Marching In 1973.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sarah Kaufman vs Alexis Davis added to Apr. 25 UFC show

The UFC announced today that Sarah Kaufman vs Alexis Davis has been added to UFC 186 Apr. 25 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Earlier today they were forced to cancel Rory MacDonald vs Hector Lombard after Lombard tested positive for steroids. Both fighters are Canadian so it kind of fills a hole in that respect. These two have fought twice before and Sarah won both fights. The last one was in Strikeforce Aug. 2012 and Alexis exhibited terrible strategy in the first two rounds by trying to trade punches with Sarah. She won round three but she needed a finish and Sarah won by unanimous decision. So there has been a lot of noise on Twitter about Sarah not being able to get a fight. I don't usually get involved in this stuff because we don't know the whole story. The UFC has a problem with both fighters. Both have lost to UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey in squash matches. Normally, they would both be perceived as more gatekeeper than title contender. But the division talent level is too low to need gatekeepers. So what can the UFC do with them? This was complicated when Sarah was in a car accident and was not cleared to train for several months. They were going to have her fight Sara McMann. Maybe they forgot about Sarah after she was cleared to train in October. So lately fighters have taken to Twitter to campaign for fights. That's fine but I'm not sure it's a good idea to target specific fighters. One fighter that they all want to challenge is Bethe Correia because of the Four Horsewomen nonsense. She's a beatable but high profile opponent. But Bethe said in December that she had eye surgery and won't be cleared to train until March. So calling her out was a waste of time. And she likes to prank potential opponents. Then Sarah calls out Miesha Tate who is currently on a six month medical suspension. Another waste of time. I don't know how receptive Sarah was to face an opponent she has beaten twice. But beggars can't be choosers. It should be a pretty good fight but I don't think a win elevates either of them. And that's the problem.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jodeci

Song:Come & Talk To Me
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Jodeci

The R & B group Jodeci has some success in the early 90s. But the group ended when K-Ci & JoJo branched out and were immediately more successful than Jodeci. There is now talk of a Jodeci reunion. Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey, his brother Joel "JoJo" Hailey, Donald "Devante Swing" Degrate and his brother Dalvin "Mr. Dalvin" Degrate all grew up singing in Charlotte, NC churches. The Degrates' father was a minister. So even if they didn't know each other, they knew about each other. They met as teens fighting over girls and started hanging out together. The name Jodeci is a mix of the four names. They sent a demo to Uptown Records and rapper Heavy D talked Uptown owner Andre Harrell into signing them. Their 1991 debut album Forever My Lady was produced by Al B. Sure and the Degrate brothers. And they wrote most of the songs including Come & Talk To Me. That record topped the R & B Singles chart and reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would turn out to be their biggest hit single. the album was certified 3XPlatinum. Things started to unravel when Jodeci threatened to leave Uptown for Death Row Records. So Uptown refused to promote the 1993 CD Diary of a Mad Band. It was still certified 2XPlatinum. The problems continued and included bas behaviour. While Jodeci was recording the 1995 CD, The Show, The After Party, The Hotel, Uptown spun off K-Ci & JoJo. And when they were immediately more successful than Jodeci, that was the end of Jodeci. Since then Donald Degrate has been very active as a producer. Jodeci reunited on the 2014 Soul Train Awards and there has been talk that Tim "Timbaland" Mosely is producing a new Jodeci album for Epic Records. He started his career working for Donald Degrate. A single was released so we are just waiting for a release date for the new album. Here's the video for Come & Talk To Me by Jodeci.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Review of WWE Total Divas season 3 episode 15

After a week off, we are back with a new episode of WWE Total Divas. As usual, this episode focuses on stupidity, cluelessness and Nattie Neidhart's weirdness. We begin with a pointless scene where John Cena wears a mask. I'll let you use your imagination. We go to Hell In A Cell in Dallas and Brie vs Nikki Bella. We may find out later why the WWE cut this feud short. But the girls recently admitted that they wanted it to run longer. Next we go to Austin and the WWE have recently had Nattie and husband TJ coming to the ring together. He's a heel being goaded by the crowd shouting "Nattie's husband". Of course it's awkward because they are separated. Rosa Mendes invites Ariane on a road trip she is taking with Alicia Fox hopefully to smooth out friction between Ariane and Alicia. Well, we all know how road trips go on this show. When Ariane says she doesn't know why Alicia is hostile to her, it shows how clueless she is about the wrestling business. Hey, stupid! You're taking her spot! And Ariane is also perceived as loud, obnoxious and untalented by Alicia and others. Rosa thinks she can help. Remember how she helped Nattie and Summer Rae? Oh, wait. So we know where this is going. Nattie is telling her troubles to Trinity including having her house fumigated. Trinity invites her to stay with them. She will soon regret that. While shopping, Brie Bella tells Nikki that she doesn't use birth control. Nikki's overreaction is "Gosh, what what if you get pregnant? It will be the end of The Bella Twins brand". After the obligatory bikini shopping segment, Alicia wants to know why Rosa invited Ariane on the toad trip. Rosa says it will be OK. Nikki tells John Cena that Brie isn't using birth control. He tells her to mind her own business. She ignores that because we can't have common sense on this show. After an unnecessary clubbing segment, Trinity and Jon pick up Nattie. He's complaining about it and I would not be surprised if this storyline got Trinity bounced from WWE Total Divas. Nattie's behaviour with her cats is just weird. You can see in the car that Jon and Trinity already regret inviting Nattie to stay with them. Brie and husband Bryan Danielson discuss Nikki's birth control concerns and Bryan just laughs. Then we get a road trip preview. Alicia and Ariane can't even agree on who will drive. They are discussing Ariane going for more training. Alicia tells her she needed it. So they are arguing and Rosa is trying to referee. At lunch, Nikki brings up birth control to Brie and Bryan. The short version is Bryan tells her to mind her own business. Now we go to Casa Fatu and Nattie's cats are making a mess. Looking at their wedding pics just reminds Nattie about how her own marriage went south. Back at the road trip, Ariane and Alicia are tossing insults at each other. Ariane walks off. Yet another successful Rosa Mendes road trip. Rosa gets her to return. Ariane and Alicia talk and guess what? Alicia thought Ariane was brought in to replace her. If I knew that, why didn't Ariane know that? Back at Casa Fatu, Nattie's cats are freaking Jon out so Nattie offers to leave. Trinity is trying to talk to her but it isn't helping. The final scene of this episode has Nikki meeting with WWE talent stooge Mark Carrano and merch guy Joe Hickey and Nikki brings up that Brie doesn't use birth control. He says if Brie got pregnant they would still push Nikki. Nah, I don't believe him either. Carrano then says he wants a meeting with Brie. I'm sure this isn't over. Enjoy the video!
720pHD: WWE Total Divas 08/02/15 Season 3... by WWEDivasEvolution

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gene Autry

Artist:Gene Autry
Song:Here Comes Santa Claus
Album:A Gene Autry Christmas

Gene Autry had a long career as the most popular singing cowboy in the movies. Though he had a lot of hits, his Christmas records are probably the most durable in his catalog. He was born Sept. 29, 1907 in Tioga, TX. His grandfather was a preacher so he grew up singing in church. His mom gave him a guitar for his twelfth birthday. Autry would sing while working at a telegraph office. Humourist Will Rogers heard him sing and encouraged him to sing. Autry auditioned for RCA Victor. They turned him down because they had just signed Jimmie Rodgers. Autry signed with Columbia Records in 1929. He had some success but became a huge star when Mascot Pictures owner Nat Levine discovered Autry in 1934. Later on, Mascot would be taken over by Republic Pictures. Smiley Burnette usually played his sidekick. Autry's early hits included Tumbling Tumbleweeds and his signature song Back In The Saddle. His career was interrupted by a two year stint in the Army Air Corps during WWII. When he returned, Autry signed with Columbia Pictures. The idea for Here Comes Santa Claus came to Autry when he rode in the 1946 Santa Claus Lane Parade. He wrote the words and hired publishing company manager Oakley Haldeman to write the music. The song reached #5 on the pop charts. Of course Autry's other big Christmas hit was Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. Both songs chart every year at Christmas time and you can get them on this budget CD. Autry continued his career on TV in the 50s until his 1964 retirement. In his later years, Autry was the owner of the California Angels baseball club which he got through his ownership of Los Angeles TV station KTLA. After selling both, Autry died on Oct. 2, 1998 at age 91. Here's Gene Autry performing Here Comes Santa Claus in the 1949 film The Cowboy and the Indians.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Daley

Artist:Daley f/Marsha Ambrosius
Song:Alone Together
Album:Days + Nights

British soul singer Gareth Daley is frequently compared to Mick Hucknall of Simply Red as they are both from Manchester. This slow jam Alone Together made a bit of a splash on the R & B charts despite never being released as a single. Daley was born Sept. 29, 1989 in Manchester, England. He was the featured vocalist on Gorillaz 2010 top 40 hit Doncamatic. Daley wrote the song with Gorillaz leader Damon Albarn. He also appeared on the debut CD by rapper Wretch 32. Then he released an EP Those Who Wait through his website. He signed with Universal Republic in the US and Polydor in England. The EP was rereleased as Alone Together and it reached #5 on the R & B chart despite never being released as a single. The song features former Floetry member Marsha Ambrosius who is a budding solo artist too. The record was produced and co-written by Canei Finch who produced some of Marsha's album. Daley's first full length CD Days + Nights was released Feb. 2014. Pharrell Williams and Andre Harris are among the producers on the album. Daley toured England with Miguel and has also done some gigs in the US. It says on his website he plans a British tour this year. My guess is he will start working on his next album shortly. Here's the video for Alone Together by Daley featuring Marsha Ambrosius.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Matches announced for DEEP JEWELS Featherweight tournament

DEEP JEWELS held a draw today to set the opening round matches in the DEEP JEWELS Featherweight Championship tournament. These matches will be on the Feb. 21 Shinjuku FACE show. The semi final matches will be in May. They may do the final on that show or do it in August. That hasn't been decided. There was a time when random draws were always done for tournaments. This is the first time in a long time that a draw has been held. Six of the eight fighters were in attendance. Tomo Maesawa and SARAMI were not there. They did rock paper scissors to determine the draw order. Yukiko Seki selected the first envelope and her opponent will be Tomo Maesawa. Masako Yoshida had the second selection and chose SARAMI. The next selection was by Ayaka Miura and her opponent will be VV Mei. And that means the fourth match will be Emi Tomimatsu vs Mina Kurobe. Another match announced will be Ayaka Hamasaki and Amiba vs Emi Fujino and Sachiko Fujimori in a tag team grappling match. I'm not a fan of tag team anything in MMA. I don't expect that this show will be streamed live. Though there have been rumours that DEEP is in negotiations with UFC Fight Pass and New Japan World to stream DEEP and DEEP JEWELS shows. When asked about that recently, Shigeru Saeki had no comment.