Tuesday, March 31, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Charlie Haden and Hank Jones

Artist:Charlie Haden and Hank Jones
Song:Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
Album:Steal Away: Spirituals, Hymns and Folk Songs

Though mainly known for his part in creating free jazz with Ornette Coleman, bassist Charlie Haden recorded all kinds of music with all kinds of musicians. On this album, he recorded spirituals with senior citizen jazz pianist Hank Jones around the time Haden released his more famous album The Montreal Tapes. He was born Aug. 6, 1937 in Shenandoah, IA. His family performed country music on the radio as The Haden Family and Haden sang with them as a child. While recovering from polio as a teen, he got into jazz listening to Charlie Parker and Stan Kenton and then he learned to play the bass. In the late 50s, Haden moved to Los Angeles looking for pianist Hampton Hawes. This led to Ornette Coleman and that's the band that made Haden famous. Drug problems led to Haden leaving Coleman's band in 1963. His other big collaboration was in Keith Jarrett's band from 1967-76. He also worked with Coleman again and formed Old and New Dreams with members of Coleman's band. Then he formed the Liberation Music Orchestra with Carla Bley. That band was active until Haden started the Charlie Haden Quartet West in 1986. In 1989, he became a regular visitor to the Montreal Jazz Festival and he released a series of albums called The Montreal Tapes. In 1994, he heard that legendary pianist Hank Jones was coming to Montreal and a recording session was arranged. It's just the two of them. There is no band and they are recording mostly traditional spirituals including Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen. The album was nominated for a Grammy. Haden continued his activities including recording country music until his death on July 11, 2014 at age 76. Here's a video of Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen by Charlie Haden and Hank Jones.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Ronda Rousey's Wrestlemania Moment

This was the best segment at last night's Wrestlemania so of course I had to post the video of Ronda Rousey's Wrestlemania Moment on my blog. And this is the complete segment. I thought it was odd that HHH and Stephanie came out during Wrestlemania as the WWE usually sticks to wrestling during PPVs. But I had heard earlier in the day that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was in town and he was to appear on the show. Stephanie and HHH cut their usual heel promo running down the fans and taking credit for everything. They should take the blame for the bad stuff too. So then The Rock comes out and does his usual thing. The only problem with this segment was it ran too long because the crowd wouldn't stop chanting. And Stephanie telling them to be quiet made it worse. When The Rock threatens to kick HHH's ass, Stephanie steps in and tells The Rock his whole family is nothing without her family. Then she slaps him. Knowing that he won't hit her, she tells him to get lost. The Rock plays this perfectly. He makes it look like he's going to the back with his tail between his legs. Then he goes around the corner of the ring. We already know that UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey is in the front row and the crowd is chanting her name before The Rock gets to her. Once they get into the ring, Stephanie won't back down and tells them to get out of her ring. Ronda says that any ring she steps into is hers. HHH tries to put an end to this. But The Rock hammers him and then HHH stumbles into a Ronda Rousey hiptoss. Then when Stephanie tries to slap Ronda, she ends up in an armlock. That was Ronda Rousey's Wrestlemania Moment. Did UFC president Dana White know about this? Of course, he watched it from his hotel room in England. William Morris Endeavor agent Brad Slater represents Ronda and Johnson and he told Ariel Helwani of MMA Figthting this appearance was scheduled months ago. The result of this is we will probably see HHH vs The Rock at next year's Wrestlemania. I don't know if White would allow Ronda to wrestle in the WWE but it's not necessary. This segment got the desired results. Check it out for yourself.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Comedian Harmonists

Artist:The Comedian Harmonists f/Josephine Baker
Song:Sous le Ciel d'Afrique
Album: The Essential Collection: Recordings 1930-1938

The German vocal group The Comedian Harmonists were very popular in early 30s Europe. They were unknown in North America. They sang with the legendary Josephine Baker in the 1935 film Princesse Tam-Tam. Soon after they split up due to Adolf Hitler's dictatorship and there has been some interest in them in recent years. The Comedian Harmonists were started in 1927 by unemployed actor Harry Frommermann influenced by the US vocal group The Revelers. After auditions, the other members were singers Ari Leschnikoff, Erich Collin, Roman Cycowski, Robert Biberti and pianist Erwin Bootz. They were very popular but by 1933 there were problems because of the rising Nazi regime. Frommermann, Collin and Cycowski were Jewish. It became so difficult for the group to perform that those three moved to Austria. In the meantime, The Comedian Harmonists were hired to record with Josephine Baker who was probably the biggest star in Europe at the time. Their vocals appeared in two songs in the 1935 film Princesse Tam-Tam. Because the film was shot in Tunisia, The Comedian Harmonists don't appear in the film. But that is them singing. The members who left for Austria formed a new version of The Comedian Harmonists. The members who remained in Germany were forced to change the group name to Das Meistersextett. Neither group was successful and they weren't able to tour the US because no one wanted to hire German acts. The Comedian Harmonists split up for good in 1941. They would have remained forgotten except for a 1977 documentary that aired on German TV. In the 90s, Hannibal Records owner Joe Boyd released a Comedian Harmonists CD. I recommend this 2CD comp from the British jazz label Avid. They were also the subject of the 1997 film The Harmonists and there was even a musical written by Barry Manilow that played in Los Angeles in 1997. Today there is a tribute group called The Berlin Comedian Harmonists that recreates the original arrangement. Here's The Comedian Harmonists featuring Josephine Baker performing Sous le Ciel d'Afrique from the 1935 film Princesse Tam-Tam.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Antlers

Artist:The Antlers
Song:Putting The Dog To Sleep
Album:Burst Apart

The Antlers are one of these indie bands that started out as Peter Silberman recording in his bedroom and then later on he turned it into a band. His music is never going to be mainstream but the band has a cult following. The Antlers began in Brooklyn, NY in 2006. The group name The Antlers is a song by the 90s group The Microphones. Silberman has acknowledged The Microphones as a big influence. The Antlers first CD Uprooted was recorded in Silberman's bedroom. As he was experimenting further, Silberman signed with Frenchkiss Records and turned The Antlers into a band with the 2009 CD Hospice. Pianist Darby Cicci and drummer Michael Lerner are still members of The Antlers today. Cicci is also the recording engineer so he has had a big influence on the evolving of the Antlers by adding layers of keyboards. Putting The Dog To Sleep is from the 2011 CD Burst Apart. The album wasn't as emotionally devastating as Hospice. But The Antlers were continuing to evolve. With the 2014 CD Familiars, The Antlers signed with the larger indie label ANTI Records. That alone got them more attention and The Antlers continue to get critical acclaim. They are currently on tour and if you're a fan of lo fi indie groups, the Antlers are worth checking out. Here are The Antlers performing Putting The Dog To Sleep on KEXP in Seattle 2011.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Aisling Daly vs Randa Markos about to be added to Apr. 25 UFC show

Randa Markos
On Wednesday, Claudia Gadelha posted on Facebook that an injury has forced her out of her Apr. 11 fight against Aisling Daly in Krakow, Poland. Based on Claudia's description, it seems like a spinal cord injury. Soon after, Aisling Tweeted that she will no longer be on the Krakow show. This probably means that if Joanne Calderwood wins over Maryna Moroz on the Krakow show, she will challenge for Joanna Jedrzejczyk's UFC Strwawweight Championship on the summer's UFC show in Glasgow. This morning, Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting reported that Aisling Daly vs Randa Markos will be added to UFC 186 at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Apr. 25. They have had to shuffle that show because the Dillashaw vs Barao fight was postponed. I expect this fight to be on the prelims. Randa is from Windsor, ON so it's not surprising they wanted to put her on a Canadian show. She was unheralded going into TUF20 but I thought she performed well and on the TUF Finale, she lost a split decision to Jessica Penne. But it was the best fight on the show. Her record is 4-2. She also has a good back story as she was born in Iran and her parents fled to Canada. She is known as Quiet Storm because she likes to do her talking in the cage. Aisling has a big experience edge but I'm not convinced she has the tools to be an elite fighter. She could win if she can keep the fight standing. But will she be able to do that? Aisling beat Alex Chambers on the TUF Finale but Randa is a much better fighter than Alex though not as highly ranked as Claudia. Aisling is from Ireland and is a teammate of Conor McGregor. If you look at their records and rankings, Aisling should be the favourite. I don't care about rankings and I see Randa as an improving fighter who hasn't reached her full potential. So you have Randa who may be underrated and Aisling who may be overrated. That makes for an interesting fight with upset possibilities.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Harry McClintock

Artist:Harry McClintock
Song:Big Rock Candy Mountain
Album:Haywire Mac

I'm pretty sure most of you think Big Rock Candy Mountain is a classic children's song as popularized by Burl Ives. But the song started out as a hobo song written by real life hobo Harry McClintock. He performed as Haywire Mac but he never recorded Big Rock Candy Mountain until 1953. He was born Oct. 8, 1882 in Knoxville, TN. He sang in church when he was a child but he also ran away from home to join the circus. By age 14, McClintock left home for good and spent most of his time riding trains as a hobo. He was also in The Philippines during The Spanish American War and was a one time union organizer. His experience as a hobo led him to write Hallelujah I'm A Bum and then Big Rock Candy Mountain. Both of these songs are considered to be traditional folk songs so McClintock didn't get credit for writing them. In 1925, McClintock got his own radio show and then recorded for RCA as Haywire Mac. He eventually sued to establish his copyright for Big Rock Candy Mountain. The song is about fantasies McClintock heard when he was a child. But the song also has hobo references that he had to remove before anyone would record the song. Big Rock Candy Mountain by Robert "Tex" Morgan topped the country charts in 1939. But the song was a huge hit when Burl Ives recorded it in 1949 and today that recording is considered a children's music perennial. Big Rock Candy Mountain was also featured in the 2000 film O Brother Where Art Thou. McClintock moved to Hollywood in 1938 and appeared as a bad guy in westerns. He moved to San Francisco in 1953 to host a radio show. And that's also when folksinger Sam Eskin interviewed him and got him to sing some of his songs. These recordings are available on CD from Folkways Records. McClintock continued with his radio show until he died on Apr. 24, 1957 at age 74. Here's a video for Big Rock Candy Mountain by Harry McClintock.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Analysis of Apr. 24 Invicta card

Yesterday Invicta finally announced the full card for Invicta FC12 Apr. 24 at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. This will air on UFC Fight Pass. When the main card was announced the other day, my first thought was that Invicta just can't seem to put together solid main cards. Look, fighter popularity or appearing on TUF18 doesn't mean a fighter deserves to be on a main card. I'll get to that in a minute. The main event will have Katja Kankaanpaa defending he Invicta Strawweight Championship against Brazilian Livia Souza. Who? Yeah, I know. Souza's record is 7-0 and six of her seven wins have been by submission. Of course her competition level is low so it's a big step up for her. I watched one of her fights. She's quick but it's hard to tell how she will do against an elite fighter like Katja. I have no problem with Invicta bringing her over but she shouldn't be in the main event. How can you sell tickets when no one has heard of one of the fighters in the main event? You can't. And it's not like Katja is a draw though she is an elite fighter. The co-main event will have Roxanne Modafferi vs Vanessa Porto and I assume the winner will get a shot at Barb Honchak's Invicta Flyweight Championship. That's why it's a co-main event though it should be lower on the card as both are midcard fighters at best. Roxanne's popularity is what gets it higher on the card. Fighter popularity is a red herring especially when there is a barrage of Tweets begging for a favourite to be on an Invicta card. I'm just not crazy about either fighter and I'm not expecting a great fight and that's why it should be lower on the card. In a Featherweight bout, Amanda Bell will face Faith Van Duin. Again, this should probably be lower on the card as both are making their Invicta debuts. Amanda's claim to fame is she won by KO over Ronda Rousey's BFF Marina Shafir. But she has also lost to fighters she should beat. Faith is from New Zealand and the talent level just isn't high there. In her latest fight, she lost to Arlene Blencowe who just signed with Bellator. In a Bantamweight fight, Ediane Gomes will face Raquel Pa'aluhi. Gomes should probably be fighting at 145 and Raquel should probably be fighting at 125. Raquel usually loses when she fights above her proper weight class. I think she could be a title contender at 125. I guess Gomes wants to go to the UFC though I don't see that happening. And in a Featherweight match, Peggy Morgan will face Latoya Walker. I know Peggy was on TUF18. I didn't like her on the show and she hasn't shown me anything in Invicta. She won her last fight but both fighters gave poor performances. Latoya is 4-0 and is making her Invicta debut. She's 4-0 but hasn't fought anyone good. At least two of these fights should probably not be on the main card and that's why it's weak. In the prelims, we have Lacey Schuckman vs Jenny Liou in a Strawweight fight. Lacey is a veteran fighter who tends to lose to elite fighters. Her record is 10-8. She lost to former Invicta Atomweight Champion Michelle Waterson by a controversial split decision and chose to stay at Straweight instead of getting a title shot. Hmmm. Jenny lost to Jamie Moyle in her Invicta debut. She didn't look good. She's also in her mid-30s which always sends up a red flag for me. Cassie Rodish will face Stephanie Skinner in an Atomweight fight. Cassie is from Iowa. She's 5-4 and 1-1 in Invicta. Stephanie is from Wyoming. She's a fighter that gets pimped on Twitter all the time. Her record is 4-5 and this will be her Invicta debut. I haven't seen her fight. In a Strawweight fight, Delaney Owen will face Sharon Jacobson. Delaney lost her Invicta debut in September. Sharon has fought previously at 125. Her record is 2-1 and she will be making her Invicta debut. In a Flyweight bout, Shannon Sinn will face Maureen Riordon. Shannon is an older fighter who lost to Andrea Lee in her Invicta debut in Nov. IIRC, she didn't look good. Maureen lost her MMA debut to Marion Reneau on an Aug. RFA show. It looks like she is dropping from 135 to 125. I think I saw that fight and I didn't like her. Maybe 135 is too high for her. This will be her Invicta debut. The opener will have Roma Pawelek vs Sijara Eubanks in a Flyweight bout. Both are making their Invicta debuts and Sijara is making her pro MMA debut. Roma is another fighter that gets pimped on Twitter. Her record is 1-0 and she seems to be dropping from 135 to 125 for this fight. I'm not as critical of the prelims because that should be a proving ground. I just don't agree with putting debuting fighters on the main card especially in the main event.

AccuRadio Song of The Day-Gary U.S. Bonds

Artist:Gary U.S. Bonds
Song:Quarter To Three
Album:The Very Best of Gary U.S. Bonds: The Original Legrand Masters

Gary U.S. Bonds topped the charts in 1961 with the quintessential party song Quarter To Three. Then he disappeared but he charted in the 80s with the help of Bruce Springsteen. He was born Gary Anderson June 6, 1939 in Jacksonville, FL and he grew up in Norfolk, VA. His group The Turks got the attention of local record store owner Frank Guida and Anderson signed with Guida's Legrand label. Guida gave him the name Gary U.S. Bonds hoping that radio stations would think the record was a public service announcement and the record would get more airplay. Bonds' first single New Orleans reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. And then Quarter To Three topped the charts in 1961. Quarter To Three is based on an instrumental called A Night With Daddy G by The Church Street Five and written by that group's leader Gene Barge. He recorded for Legrand. Bonds wrote the lyrics and Guida invited some teens into the studio so the record would have a party atmosphere. Bonds had other top ten hits like School Is Out, Dear Lady Twist and Twist Twist Senora. Bonds recorded two albums in the early 60s and then didn't record again until the 80s though he did co-write the 1972 Johnny Paycheck hit She's All I Got. You can get all his 60s hits on this budget comp from Varese. Bruce Springsteen played Quarter To Three in New Jersey clubs. When Steven Van Zandt approached Springsteen with the opportunity to record Bonds, they got him a deal with EMI Records. He charted with This Little Girl in 1981. The comeback lasted for a couple of years. Bonds has recorded occasionally since then and he still tours the oldies circuit and he wrote his autobiography in 2013. Here's Gary U.S. Bonds performing Quarter To Three probably in the mid-60s.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cris Cyborg needs to stop talking and start cutting to 135lb

Yesterday it was announced that Cris Cyborg has signed with Zuffa. The catch is she needs to fight at 135lb in Invicta before the UFC will consider bringing her over. I've known about this for a while and I mentioned it in my Ronda Rousey vs Cat Zingano analysis. It's the same deal she turned down two years ago. The bottom line is she has wasted a lot of time and received a lot of bad advice. And as long as Cyborg keeps whining about this, I'm not convinced that she will ever drop to 135. That's why she needs to shut up and make the commitment that will make her a lot of money. This all started back in 2011 in Strikeforce when Ronda Rousey beat Julia Budd and announced plans to drop to 135lb and challenge Miesha Tate for her title. A month later, Cyborg beat HIROKO and said in her post match interview she would try to drop to 135 at the request of Strikeforce president Scott Coker. Then Cyborg was suspended for a year for testing positive for PEDs. In 2012, an attempt was made to reduce Cyborg's suspension so she could fight Ronda. The California State Athletic Commission denied that request. Then Zuffa closed Strikeforce and brought Ronda to the UFC. Obviously they wanted Cris Cyborg to be her first opponent. This is where things began to go south for Cyborg. At the time, her manager was Chute Boxe owner Rudimar Fedrigo. On his recommendation, she announced that she will try to drop to 135 but she would not be ready for the first women's fight in the UFC. The UFC even sent nutritionist Mike Dolce to meet with her. Then she changed management to a new company owned by UFC legend Tito Ortiz and his partner George Prajin. Ortiz made all kinds of outlandish statements including that doctors told Cyborg dropping to 135 would be hazardous to her health. Mike Dolce quickly refuted this in an interview. Zuffa offered her an eight fight deal and she would be allowed to fight in Invicta to prepare to fight in the UFC. Remember this is the same deal they are offering her now. And that was two years ago. So instead of signing two years ago, she signed with Invicta for less money. Though I have heard several excuses for this stupidity, the likely real reason is Ortiz let his animosity towards UFC president Dana White get in the way of common sense and his client's best interests. And he cost Cyborg two years of her career and a lot of money. Last year Ortiz announced he was stepping down as Cyborg's manager. But his partner Prajin is still listed as her manager. So Ortiz still manages her though he says he isn't. Obviously Lorenzo Fertitta wants to keep Cyborg away from Bellator. And it was known that her recent Invicta fight was Cyborg's final fight on her contract. So I was not surprised by the signing when I first heard about it last month. But the question still remains will she drop to 135. Her next fight in Invicta this summer will be at 145. That she keeps talking about doing this fight at a catchweight makes me doubt that she will ever drop to 135. Zuffa has even hired nutritionist George Lockhart to help her with the weight cut. And as long as Ortiz manages her, I expect his poor advice to her will continue. Two years is a long time in a fighter's career. Who has time to waste on this kind of foolishness? If Fedrigo was still Cyborg's manager, Rousey vs Cyborg would have happened already. This is mismanagement taken to a criminal level. Fighters need to know their business is handled professionally, not like this. So my message to Cris Cyborg is stop talking and start cutting weight to 135lb.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Grand Funk Railroad

Artist:Grand Funk Railroad
Song:I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home)
Album:Greatest Hits

Though they were never a critic's darling, Grand Funk Railroad was one of the most popular rock groups of the 70s. I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home) was their most popular early song. They softened their sound in the mid-70s and were very successful with hits like We're An American Band. Grand Funk Railroad were from Flint, MI. The group name was a goof on the Grand Trunk Railroad that goes through Flint. Guitarist Mark Farner and drummer Don Brewer were members of the modestly successful band Terry Knight and the Pack. When they split up, Farner and Brewer formed Grand Funk Railroad with Question Mark & The Mysterians bassist Mel Schacher and Knight became their manager and producer. Cream was the prototype for a power trio like Grand Funk Railroad and they signed with Capitol Records in 1969 after a performance at the Atlanta Pop Festival. Though they didn't have any hit singles, their albums were an immediate success. Their 1969 debut album On Time was certified Gold and their 1970 album Grand Funk was certified Platinum. But when I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home) reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100, the 1972 album Closer to Home was certified 2XPlatinum. Farner wrote most songs including I'm Your Captain. But they fired Knight in late 1971 and Schacher was replaced by Craig Frost. Grand Funk self produced the 1972 album Phoenix. Then they decided to head in a more mainstream pop direction and they hired Todd Rundgren to produce the 1973 album We're An American Band. The singles We're An American Band and The Loco-Motion both topped the charts. So the stylistic change made them even bigger. After two albums with Rundgren, Grand Funk switched to producer Jimmy Ienner for the 1976 album All The Girls In The World Beware!!!. Some Kind Of Wonderful and Bad Time were top ten hits. But the band was burned out and wanted out of Capitol. They moved to MCA and after one Frank Zappa produced album, they split up in 1976. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Farner recorded two solo albums for Atlantic. The other members recorded for Columbia as Flint. Grand Funk reformed briefly in the early 80s. Then Farner went solo again and Frost and Brewer joined Bob Seger's band. The original members reformed to play some gigs in 1996. After Farner returned to recording Christian music, Brewer and Schacher recruited 38 Special lead singer Max Carl and Grand Funk Railroad still play occasional gigs. I used to think Grand Funk Railroad were terrible but now I don't think they were as bad as I thought at the time. Here's Grand Funk Railroad performing I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home) at Shea Stadium in New York City 1970.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of the Day-Isaac Carree

Artist:Isaac Carree
Song:In The Middle
Album:Uncommon Me

Gospel singer Isaac Carree is best known as a member of the group Men Of Standard. He went solo after they split up in 2010 and topped the gospel charts with the single In The Middle. He was born Apr. 29, 1973 in Greensboro, NC where his mom was a church pastor. So he grew up singing in church and later he was a member of John P. Kee's VIP Choir. That's where he met Lowell Pye and they formed Men Of Standard with Bryan Pierce. Men of Standard split up in 2010 after recording six albums. Carree joined Kirk Franklin's group and appeared on the 2007 CD The Fight Of My Life and the 2011 CD Hello Fear. Meanwhile, Carree released the 2011 CD Uncommon Me which topped the gospel charts and so did the single In The Middle. In The Middle was written and produced by Gerald Haddon and his wife Tammi. Haddon is the brother of popular gospel artist Dietrick Haddon. Gerald appears in the video for In The Middle. He has recorded albums but he is mainly a producer these days. Other producers on the album include Warryn "Babydub" Campbell and James Fortune but several tracks were written and produced by Eric Dawkins of Dawkins & Dawkins. Carree has toured with Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary among others. He released his latest CD Reset on his own Door 6 label again working mostly with Eric Dawkins and featuring guest appearances by Kirk Franklin, Lacrae, Kierra Sheard, Joe and R. Kelly. I don't see Carree crossing over to mainstream music but he's a great singer worth checking out. Here's the video for In The Middle by Isaac Carree.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lighthouse

Song:One Fine Morning
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Lighthouse

One Fine Morning was the biggest hit for Lighthouse in 1971. They were very popular in their native Canada but One Fine Morning was a top 30 hit in the US. Lighthouse was from Toronto. Drummer Skip Prokop was a member of The Paupers. He met pianist Paul Hoffert on a flight from New York to Toronto. They discussed the idea of a rock band with a jazz horn section and a classical string section. This was in 1968 when the jazz rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears were emerging and a lot of similar bands would follow. Prokop recruited guitarist Ralph Cole to move from his home in Detroit to Toronto. Prokop had been on shows with Cole when The Paupers played Detroit. The other original members of Lighthouse were Grant Fullerton on bass and lead singer Vic "Pinky" Dauvin. They recruited strings from the Toronto Symphony and local jazz musicians like Freddy Stone on trumpet, Howard Shore on sax and Russ Little on trombone. Duke Ellington introduced them at their first show in Toronto. Stone had played with Ellington. Lighthouse released two albums on RCA and played some high profile gigs. But the albums didn't sell and Lighthouse went through some changes. The biggest change was Bob McBride replaced Pinky Dauvin as lead singer. Lighthouse signed with GRT Records in Canada and Evolution Records in the US. GRT was a subsidiary of GRT audio tape manufacturing but they were only active as a record company in Canada. Evolution was owned by the Longines watch company. One Fine Morning was a huge hit in Canada reaching #2 on the RPM chart. It reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. I think being on the small label in the US hurt Lighthouse and they just weren't able to break through. But they continued to have hits in Canada like Sunny Days. Hoffert left in 1973 when he tired of the road. And they started having problems with McBride. He missed a recording session and Prokop sang lead on Sunny Days. As is known now, McBride had drug problems. Prokop left in 1974. Cole attempted to continue but Lighthouse split up in 1976. They reunited briefly in 1982 and then more permanently on 1989 initially with Prokop, Hoffert, Cole and McBride. But McBride was soon replaced by Dan Clancy due to his drug problems. McBride died in 1998. This comp CD was released in 2010 and Lighthouse still plays occasional gigs. Here's Lighthouse performing One Fine Morning 2012.

Monday, March 23, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sam Smith

Artist:Sam Smith
Song:Stay With Me
Album:In The Lonely Hour: Deluxe Edition

Right now British blue eyed soul singer Sam Smith is very popular. He just finished winning four Grammys. It remains to be seen if he can have longevity. One thing in his favour is he writes his own songs. But wasn't he Robin Thicke a couple of years ago? And we know what happened to him. Smith was born May 19, 1992 in London, England. He trained in musical theater but classic soul music is Smith's number one influence. He first got attention when he appeared on Disclosure's 2012 hit single Latch. Smith continues to work with Disclosure producer James Napier. Smith released the EP Nirvana May 2013 and then he signed with Capitol Records. Stay With Me is Smith's biggest hit to date. It topped the British charts and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Smith and Napier wrote and produced the song. But they were contacted by Tom Petty's publisher and told that Stay With Me is too similar to the 1989 song I Won't Back Down. Smith said he had never heard the song. But rather than go to court, they gave Petty and Jeff Lynne a 12.5% songwriting royalty. A live performance of Stay With Me featuring Mary J. Blige is on the 2014 CD Live From The Roundhouse. This Deluxe Edition of In A Lonely Hour has four bonus tracks including Disclosure's Latch. Smith performed Stay With Me on the Grammy Awards broadcast and then won four Grammys including Song of the Year. He is currently on his first world tour. We'll see if he can keep it up. But even if he doesn't, he can write and produce songs for others. Right now he seems to be a flavour of the month. Here's the video for Stay With Me by Sam Smith.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Amanda Nunes vs Shayna Baszler

Here's the match video of Amanda Nunes vs Shayna Baszler from last night's UFC show in Brazil. Both fighters were coming off of a loss but they're probably going in opposite directions. Amanda is still a top contender. Her rep is she is very aggressive at the start of fights but if she doesn't get a finish, she runs out of gas. And that's what happened to her when she lost to Cat Zingano. Amanda said she has solved this problem by switching to American Top Team in Florida. UFC Strawweight Nina Ansaroff was in her corner. Maybe we'll find out about Amanda's endurance down the road. But I didn't think this fight would get out of the first round. Shayna's loss to Bethe Correia was pretty bad. She got hit with one hard punch and then stopped moving. As much as we all respect Shayna for her longevity in women's MMA, she hasn't won a fight in almost three years. And I think she's lost a lot of her quickness over the last couple of years. Father Time always wins that battle. I didn't think she could keep up with Amanda. That's very clear if you watch the fight. Amanda hurt Shayna with strikes and Shayna wasn't returning fire. Then a kick to the knee and Shayna goes down. It's all over. Shayna's only hope was to get past the first round but it was unlikely she would be able to hold Amanda off. Maybe she went into the fight with a bad knee. I would like to see Shayna retire before she embarrasses herself further because her last two losses were embarrassing. But fighters can be very stubborn and Invicta has a bad habit of running pointless nostalgia matches with longtime fan favourites. I'm sure it won't surprise anyone that I hate nostalgia matches. Look, time catches up to all fighters but some fighters don't recognize when it's time to go. I can only analyze what I saw last night and Shayna's past accomplishments will tarnish the longer she hangs on. Fighting spirit isn't enough. Amanda said afterwards that she would like a rematch against Cat Zingano and the result will be different this time. Maybe we'll see. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Monotones

Artist:The Monotones
Song:The Book Of Love
Album:Vintage Music: Collector's Series Volumes 1 & 2

The classic doo wop song The Book Of Love was the only hit for The Monotones in 1958. The song got a big boost when George Lucas used it in the 1972 film American Graffiti. The Monotones were from Newark, NJ led by lead singer Charles Patrick. They sang at the New Hope Baptist Church led by Cissy Houston. That's right, Whitney Houston's mom. Charles and his brother James Patrick were cousins of Cissy Houston and Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick. Other group members were Warren Davis, Charles Malone, John Smith, Warren Ryanes and his brother John Ryanes. They were all high school students. In 1956, they won Ted Mack's Amateur Hour performing The Cadillacs' Zoom. James Patrick left The Monotones to join the rival group The Kodaks. The story goes that Charles Patrick heard a Pepsodent commercial on the radio and the slogan I Wonder Where The Yellow Went inspired him to write The Book Of Love. Davis and Malone helped him write it that day. They recorded a demo and this got them a deal with Hull Records who released it on their Mascot label. It got too big for Hull who licensed it to Chess Records who released it on Argo. The Book Of Love reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. After subsequent singles went nowhere, The Monotones split up in 1962. You can get The Book Of Love on this various artists budget CD. The song got a big boost when it appeared in American Graffiti. They started touring the oldies circuit and a version of The Monotones still tours today. Here are The Monotones performing The Book Of Love on The Dick Clark Beech Nut Show Apr. 12, 1958.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Artist:Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Song:I Love Rock 'N' Roll
Album:Greatest Hits

Joan Jett scored her only number one hit with I Love Rock 'N' Roll in 1981. She started out as a member of the all girl rock group the Runaways and she probably had the greatest solo success of the members of that group. She was born Joan Marie Larkin Sept. 22, 1958 in the Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood, PA. She went to high school in Rockville, MD and then her family moved to West Covina, CA. She hung around the club Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco which is where she met drummer Sandy West in 1975 and formed the Runaways with the help of producer Kim Fowley. Cherie Currie was the main lead singer of The Runaways. Joan occasionally sang lead but mostly played rhythm guitar and wrote some songs. I think it was inevitable that Joan was going to leave The Runaways and go solo. But she took over as lead singer when Currie left to go solo in 1977. There were other issues including a split with Fowley and the Runaways split up in 1979. I Love Rock 'N' Roll was written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of the British group Arrow and they recorded it in 1975. Joan saw them perform it on TV while she was on tour with The Runaways in England. It was one of three songs she recorded with Paul Cook and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols in 1979. She moved back to LA to make a film about The Runaways that was never completed. She met producer Kenny Laguna who had been hired to write songs for the film. He once worked for Kasenetz-Katz and he played keyboards on Tommy James and the Shondells' Mony Mony. They went to his studio in Long Island and he produced the 1980 album Bad Reputation. After all the record companies rejected the album, they released it independently. This led to a record deal with Boardwalk Records which was Neil Bogart's new label after he sold Casablanca Records to PolyGram. Boardwalk re-released Bad Reputation and then Joan and Laguna auditioned musicians for The Blackhearts. The musicians on I Love Rock 'N' Roll were Ricky Byrd on guitar, Gary Ryan on bass and Lee Crystal on drums. The single I Love Rock 'N' Roll topped the charts and the album was certified Platinum. After Bogart died in 1982, Joan started Blackheart Records and signed a distribution deal with MCA. Crimson and Clover in 1982 and I Hate Myself For Loving You in 1988 were Joan's other top ten hits. This 2CD comp was released when the film The Runaways was released in 2010. Joan was executive producer of the film. Joan Jett continues to tour and her latest CD Unvarnished was released in 2013. She is known as The Godmother of Punk. Here's the video for I Love Rock 'N' Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia added to Aug. 1 UFC show

The UFC announced today that Ronda Rousey will defend her UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship against Bethe Correia  on UFC 190 Aug. 1 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This was first reported by the Brazilian TV network Globo a few days ago. This has been in the works for a while and Ronda wants to do it in Brazil. It's all based on what Bethe did to disrespect Ronda's pals The Four Horsewomen. Would Bethe normally merit a title shot? Of course not. She hasn't beaten a top contender. So I guess pissing off the champ is a good shortcut to a title shot. It wasn't Bethe's idea to do The Four horsewomen stuff anyway. One of her trainers is an old school wrestling fan and he told her what to do after Bethe beat Jessamyn Duke. The initial plan was for Ronda vs Bethe to happen on an earlier Brazilian show. But the Cat Zingano fight was delayed until February. And Bethe had eye surgery and wasn't cleared to fight anyway. Several fighters called Bethe out but it's clear that Ronda wanted to put an end to Bethe's undefeated record herself. Ronda said she planned to embarrass Bethe in her home country. She even said she wanted to discipline Bethe. I'm not sure what that means. She also said she is adjusting her filming schedule around this fight. Look, the atmosphere of this show is going to be crazy. But I just don't see this fight ending differently than any of Ronda's other fights. Hip toss, armbar and it's over in the first round. It was also revealed that Miesha Tate will face Jessica Eye in a number one contender match. UFC president Dana White admitted that the announcement is premature. There is no location or date yet because Miesha isn't cleared to train yet after suffering a broken orbital bone. She is also on a six month medical suspension that ends in July. White was tentatively suggesting June for this fight but Miesha would have to be cleared very soon to meet that deadline. The rumour that I heard was this fight would be on the same show as the Aug. title fight. I actually like that idea and I would not be surprised if it happens on that show. I'll analyze that fight when it is officially announced.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Sundowners

Artist:The Sundowners
Album:Chicago Country Legends

There have been several bands called The Sundowners including one in the late 60s that toured with The Monkees. This band called The Sundowners were a country music group that played Chicago clubs for decades but were otherwise unknown. They finally got some recognition when Bloodshot Records released this CD of live recordings. The Sundowners started out in 1959. Lead singer Bob Boyd and guitarist Don Walls had a band Circle B Boys. When their bassist left, steel guitarist Curt Delaney switched from steel guitar to bass so he could join the band. Though all three guys lived in Chicago, they were from the south. Boyd was from Tennessee, Walls from West Virginia and Delaney from Georgia. They played honky tonk music highlighted by great vocal harmonies and Walls' jazz influenced guitar. They took the name The Sundowners in 1960. Though The Sundowners never got a record deal, they played Chicago clubs for decades and became a cause celebre for locals and visiting musicians. They had a local TV show called American Swingaround and appeared on the WGN radio show Barn Dance. Fats Domino and Robert Duvall were among those who always saw the band when they were in Chicago. The Sundowners continued to perform until Curt Delaney died in 1997 and Bob Boyd died in 1999. Bloodshot Records owner Jon Langford was a huge fan and he decided to release a Sundowners CD in 2003 of live performances that are mostly from the late 60s. This cover of George Harrison's Something was recorded in 1971. Country music fans should check it out. Sadly, Don Walls died in 2011 but The Sundowners were a big part of Chicago's country music scene for years and this CD contains their legacy. Here's a video for Something by The Sundowners.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Carly Simon

Artist:Carly Simon f/Jimmy Webb
Song:Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year
Album:Film Noir

Lately it's become very common for fading 70s pop singers to keep their careers going by covering pop standards of the 40s. Carly Simon was probably the first to do this in the 80s. The 1997 album Film Noir was a salute to 40s genre films. It was produced by legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb and he appears on Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year. When Carly's career as a singer songwriter faded in the late 70s, she recorded an album of standards Torch in 1981. It didn't do well probably because her label at the time Warner Bros. didn't like it and refused to promote it. She left Warners in 1983 and after one album for Epic, she signed with Arista. After scoring a couple of hits like Coming Around Again and Let The River Run, she recorded another album of standards My Romance in 1990. Then she recorded an album of new songs Have You Seen Me Lately. By the 90s, Carly is a nostalgia act so I'm sure Arista owner Clive Davis encouraged her to record standards as he would do ten years later for Rod Stewart. So everyone should know what Film Noir is. They are mystery films from the 40s that have a certain look usually photographed in black and white. And this album is a tribute to that kind of film. Webb produced the album with legendary producer Arif Mardin. The sessions were filmed for the AMC special Songs in Shadow: The Making of Carly Simon's Film Noir and Martin Scorsese wrote the album liner notes. Webb appears on Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year and John Travolta also appears on one song. I'm sure some don't even know that Webb sings. He's mainly known as a songwriter. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year is an obscure Frank Loesser song that was performed by Deanna Durbin in the 1944 film Christmas Holiday. It was directed by film noir specialist Robert Siodmak and the screenplay was written by Herman J. Mankiewicz based on the W. Somerset Maugham novel. I haven't seen it but it's supposed to be good. The album did OK and Carly's 2005 album of standards Moonlight Serenade did even better. So I guess if you want to blame someone for this trend of 70s singers recording standards, you can blame Carly Simon. Here's Carly Simon featuring Jimmy Webb performing Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year on The Rosie O'Donnell Show 1997. Peter Calo plays the guitar solo.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

DEEP JEWELS Featherweight Tournament finals set for May 31

DEEP JEWELS announced today that the semi finals and the final of the DEEP JEWELS Featherweight tournament will be on the May 31 Shinjuku FACE show. The talk was they might run the final in July. But it looks like they have something else in mind for that show. DEEP JEWELS also added three more matches to the show. The semi finals of the tournament will have VV Mei vs Mina Kurobe and SARAMI vs Tomo Maesawa. Then the final will be the main event of the show. All matches are scheduled for two five minute rounds when of course all fights should be three rounds and title fights should be five rounds. I would be surprised if VV Mei didn't win this tournament. Let's get to the other matches. Shizuka Sugiyama vs Kim Ji Yeon has been announced as a Middleweight Championship contender match. The winner will challenge current champ Takayo Hashi probably in July. Of course Hashi beat Sugiyama to win that belt last year. Nobody wants to see that again but they really don't have anyone to challenge Hashi. Of course it's possible that Kim could win. She's a Korean kickboxer with a 2-0-2 MMA record. Those two draws were against Sugiyama and Hashi. Is she that good or are they that bad? Probably the latter. Kim won over Miki Miyauchi on the Mar. 1 Gladiator show. I am told that Kim won some sort of Gladiator title but since that company is co-owned by those weasels at CMA Korea, it means nothing. I don't know if Kim is any good but I know Sugiyama isn't very good so an "upset" is possible. In a Featherweight bout, Emi Tomimatsu will face Ayaka Miura. Tomimatsu lost in the tournament and Miura was supposed to be in the tournament but dropped out due to injury. In a lightweight match. Amiba will face Misaki Takimoto. Amiba dropped to 48kg and lost to Tomo Maesawa in the Featherweight tournament. She is moving back up to 52kg and I think she is more comfortable fighting at that weight. She trains at AACC so Megumi Fujii will be in her corner. Takimoto is a veteran fighter but this will be her first fight since 2011. And she usually fights at 48kg. So why is she seemingly coming out of retirement? As a trainer at Zendokai in Yokohama, she trains Shizuka Sugiyama and Saori Ishioka. With Ishioka missing in action, it looks like Takimoto is stepping in for her. That's how low the DEEP JEWELS talent level is. They have to bring in someone who hasn't fought in 3 1/2 years and with a 15-13 record, she isn't very good anyway. Stay tuned for more matches as they are announced.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-K.T. Oslin

Artist:K.T. Oslin
Song:I'll Always Come Back
Album:Songs From An Aging Sex Bomb: Greatest Hits

Country music singer songwriter K.T. Oslin had success in the late 80s appealing to an older female audience because Oslin was already in her 40s when she became a star. She was born Kay Toinette Oslin May 15, 1942 in Crossett, AR. After her father died when she was five years old, she moved to Houston with her mom. While majoring in drama at Lon Morris College, K.T. performed in a folk trio with Guy Clark and David Jones. They recorded an album but it was never released. She also went to Los Angeles to record but the sessions were never completed. K.T. returned to Houston to work in musical theater. A part in a national touring version of Hello Dolly led to the same role on Broadway. K.T. moved to New York to work in shows and write and sing jingles. She signed with Elektra records in 1981 as Kay T. Oslin but she was dropped after two unsuccessful singles. But she started having success as a songwriter and she wrote hits for Gail Davies and Sissy Spacek. She eventually got the attention of Alabama producer Harold Shedd and he signed her to RCA. K.T.'s breakthrough single was the anthemic 80s Ladies which reached #7 on the Country Singles chart. The song won a Grammy, a CMA award and an ACM award and the album 80s Ladies was certified Platinum. Though 80s Ladies is K.T.'s signature song, the singles Do Ya and I'll Always Come Back both topped the country charts. Hold Me in 1988 and Come Next Monday in 1990 also topped the country charts. K.T. left RCA in 1991 and retired from touring because menopause was sapping her stamina. I guess that's the downside of stardom at an older age. You can get all her RCA hits on this budget comp. She appeared in a couple of movies and was planning a return to music when she had chest pains while mowing her lawn. This led to a triple bypass in 1995. She recorded two albums for BNA Records. The most recent was in 2001. Though K.T. seemed to be retired for several years, she performed at the Grand Ole Opry Nov. 2014 and has a new CD set for release in June. Here's the video for I'll Always Come Back by K.T. Oslin.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Artist:Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Song:You & Me & The Bottle Makes 3 Tonight
Album:Americana Deluxe

There were a few bands who attempted to revive swing music in the 90s. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy had mainstream success when You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three Tonight appeared on the 1996 hit film Swingers, a film that played on hipster nostalgia. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was formed in 1989 by lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Scotty Morris. Morris played in punk bands like False Confession in the 80s. Drummer Kurt Sodergren was the other original member. The band is from the Los Angeles area. Morris says the band name is because when he met blues legend Albert Collins, he signed Morris' poster "To Scotty, the big bad voodoo daddy". I guess he thought it was fate. Other band members are Joshua Levy on piano, Karl Hunter and Andy Rowley on sax, Tony Bonsera and Glenn Marhevka on trumpet, Alex Henderson on trombone and Dirk Shumaker on bass. The band wore zoot suits on stage. They played local clubs and released a couple of CDs independently. Their big break came when several songs appeared on the soundtrack of the 1996 hit film Swingers. You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three charted. They also appeared in the film playing in a club scene. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy signed with Capitol Records and their 1994 CD Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was re-released. Then they signed with Interscope and Americana Deluxe was released in 1997. They recorded three albums for Interscope. Probably the career highlight for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was appearing on the 1999 Super Bowl halftime show. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is currently on tour. they record for Savoy Jazz and their latest CD Rattle Them Bones was released in 2012. They also released a Christmas CD in 2013. Here's the video for You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Jessica Penne vs Juliana Lima added to May 30 UFC show

Juliana Lima Jessica Penne
Combat Sports reported yesterday that Jessica Penne vs Juliana Lima has been added to the May 30 UFC show at the Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil. Juliana confirmed this on her Instagram. Yesterday someone asked me if I thought that Joanna Jedrzejczyk's five inch height advantage over Carla Esparza made it a mismatch. It's funny how some bring this up after the fight is over when no one brought this up before the fight. Of course this is ludicrous. Fighters like Joanna will come from a different weight class (125) to grab that UFC brass ring. And she did. To discredit her accomplishment afterwards because of height is ridiculous. But I guess that's what dopes do these days. I bring this up because Jessica Penne came to the UFC after she was the Invicta Atomweight Champion. So over there she fought at 105 but she wanted to be in the UFC. Jessica is 5'5" so she might be considered a little tall for 105. There are are no rules for fighter height. You're not too tall if you can make the weight. And a fighter isn't too short if comfortable fighting at a weight. You'll notice I never mention the height of a fighter because it's not relevant. Jessica's fighting style is very similar to her friend Carla Esparza. Both are from California. She's very good on the ground. Carla beat Jessica in the TUF house and then Jessica won a split decision over Randa Markos on the TUF Finale. That was probably the fight of the night. I think she has improved since I first saw her in Bellator a few years ago. Juliana was supposed to be on TUF but it was decided her English wasn't good enough to be on the show. She's 1-1 in the UFC. In her debut, she lost to Joanna Jedrzejczyk and then made excuses afterwards. I hate that. Then she won over Nina Ansaroff in November by unanimous decision. Neither fighter looked very good. Juliana won with a lay and pray strategy that I don't think will work against Jessica. I didn't think much of Juliana when she was in Invicta and she has done nothing to change my tune. I don't believe lay and pray wins are really wins. I see Jessica winning by submission.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jack Teagarden

Artist:Jack Teagarden
Song:St. Louis Blues
Album:The Classic Years Volume 2

Jack Teagarden was known as the Father of the Jazz Trombone. He probably did more to popularize the trombone than anyone else including Glenn Miller. Teagarden was also a great singer. He was born Aug. 29, 1905 in Vernon, TX in a family of musicians. His father played trumpet and his mother played piano. Teagarden started playing trombone at age seven and began playing professionally as a teen. In the 20s, he toured with Peck Kelley's big band. Then he moved to New York in 1927. He played with various bands and could have been a big time bandleader in the 30s. But instead he signed a five year contract with Paul Whiteman in 1933 and kept Teagarden under wraps as he was exclusive to Whiteman. He did record with his brother Charlie Teagarden and Frankie Trumbauer as The Three T's but that was a Whiteman approved offshoot. Teagarden had trouble establishing himself after he left Whiteman. Bing Crosby helped him with his finances and Teagarden finally got his due when he joined Louis Armstrong's All Stars in 1947. He had tremendous chemistry with Armstrong and this was a very popular band at a time when bebop was just getting established. Teagarden also led his own band recording for RCA's Bluebird label. St. Louis Blues is from 1947. his band at the time included Max Kaminsky, Peanuts Hucko, Cliff Strickland and Gene Schroeder. You can get it on this 2CD comp from Prestige Elite. Teagarden left the Armstrong band in 1951 and though he continued to tour, his kind of jazz wasn't popular anymore in the 50s. Teagarden was on tour in New Orleans when he died of a heart attack on Jan. 15, 1964 at age 58. Here's Jack Teagarden performing St. Louis Blues.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Germaine De Randamie vs Larissa Pacheco

Here's the match video of Germaine De Randamie vs Larissa Pacheco from last night's UFC show. It aired on UFC Fight Pass. Because they are both Muay Thai champs, a couple of fans have asked me what is the difference between Germaine and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The difference is Joanna is good enough on the ground to put her opponent within striking range of her punches. Germaine has never been good on the ground and the way to beat her is to take her down. We haven't seen her for a while because she was injured and she moved back home to The Netherlands. I thought maybe we would see if she has worked on her ground game. But for some reason, Larissa Pacheco chose to strike with Germaine, And between rounds, her corner told her to take Germaine down. Germaine started to really pound her in round two and it was over very quickly. Larissa was undefeated in Brazil before she came to the UFC. She's 20 years old and she has lost both of her UFC fights. And she looked completely clueless in this fight. What is she doing in the UFC? I'm glad Germaine won but I need to see her against better competition. This was terrible. Here's the video.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Carla Esparza

Here's the match video of Carla Esparza defending her UFC Women's Strawweight Championship against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. A lot of fans seemed to favour Carla in this fight because of her superior wrestling. I wasn't so sure because we saw Joanna beat Claudia Gadelha, a BJJ black belt who some believe is the best fighter in the division, with takedown defense and striking. I thought it might go all five rounds. The big question was could Carla take Joanna down and keep her down. And what if she couldn't keep her down. That's the story of the fight. Because if Joanna pounds away at will, the fight would not last long. Before the fight, Joanna tried to get into Carla's head with trash talk and by giving her a cookie at the weigh ins. Though Carla admitted that no opponent had ever talked to her like this, she claimed it didn't bother her. I dunno about that. This fight reminded me of Carla's fight vs Tecia Torres on TUF. Carla got hung up with repeated unsuccessful takedown attempts. She was able to win that fight because Tecia didn't generate much offense herself. Joanna is a lot more experienced than Tecia and she punches a lot harder. Did Carla underestimate Joanna? In the first round, Joanna didn't come out throwing bombs. Carla immediately went for a takedown. It got stuffed. She kept trying for takedowns mostly unsuccessfully. I think one takedown was successful and Joanna got up immediately. That takes a lot of energy. So by the end of round one, Carla was out of gas and Joanna started to pound her. And that shows you how well trained and disciplined Joanna is. The one thing I didn't expect was for Carla to gas that quickly. The other thing is that a fighter needs a plan B in case plan A doesn't work out. In round two, it was clear that Carla had no plan B. She kept trying for unsuccessful takedowns. The more she did that, Joanna became more confident and aggressive. And her punches are hard and accurate. Once she started teeing off on Carla, it was just a matter of time. Carla couldn't continue to stand there and take shots. The fight was stopped with about a minute left in round two. Congratulations Joanna Jedrzejczyk or Joanna Champion as she said we could call her that after she wins. She is the new UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. So what's next? Well, the UFC Poland show is next month and Claudia Gadelha and Joanne Calderwood are both fighting on that show. But they aren't fighting each other. I think if she wins, Joanne gets the title shot on this summer's UFC show in Glasgow, Scotland. That fight would be a huge draw. Check out the video! I have included the pre-fight stuff.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Roberta Flack

Artist:Roberta Flack f/Donny Hathaway
Song:The Closer I Get To You
Album:The Best Of Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack had a lot of success recording with Donny Hathaway. The Closer I Get to You was their biggest hit in 1978. The two were classmates at Howard University. Hathaway was pianist and arranger on Roberta's 1970 album Chapter Two. Both were signed to Atlantic Records and Atlantic producer Jerry Wexler suggested they record together to help both of their careers. The album Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway was released in 1972 and the single Where Is The Love reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. After this, Roberta continued to have success with hits like Feel Like Makin' Love. But Hathaway was suffering from manic depression and was in and out of hospital. The Closer I Get to You was written by guitarist Reggie Lucas and percussionist James Mtume. They were both members of the Miles Davis band in the early 70s but at the time they were touring with Roberta. She was originally going to record the song solo. But her manager David Franklin suggested a duet with Hathaway. Hathaway was hospitalized at the time so they got permission to fly him in to record his vocal. the song appeared on Roberta's 1977 album Blue Lights In The Basement. The Closer I Get To You reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978. There were plans for the two to record an album together. But Hathaway's depression got worse and he jumped from the 15th floor of the Essex Hotel on Jan. 13, 1979 at age 33. He had recorded two songs with Roberta and they appeared on the 1980 album Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway. Roberta directed a video for The Closer I Get To You and announced that all her royalties for the sales of the record would go to Hathaway's family. Here's the video for The Closer I Get To You by Roberta Flack featuring Donny Hathaway.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jackie & Judy

Artist:Jackie & Judy
Song:In Paradise
Album:In Paradise

Jackie Edwards was a smooth crooner known as the Nat King Cole of Jamaica. He was popular in the 60s and 70s. This 1972 duet with another Jamaican legend Judy Mowatt is one of his most popular records. He was born Wilfred Gerald Edwards 1938 in Jamaica. He signed with Island Records and Island owner Chris Blackwell moved Edwards to England in 1962. Probably his biggest success was when his song Keep On Running was a big hit for The Spencer Davis Group in 1965. He also recorded an album with Millie Small. Edwards moved back to Jamaica and most of his 70s recordings were produced by Bunny Lee. Lee established himself producing other crooners like Slim Smith. In Paradise was first recorded by The Cookies in 1956. It's kind of odd for a Jamaican producer in the 70s to use an obscure doo wop song from the 50s. Of course it wasn't unusual for Jamaican producers to cover R & B songs. Lee thought the song would be a good duet for Edwards and he hired Jamaican music pioneer Judy Mowatt. Later on Judy would become famous as a member of Bob Marley's backup singers The I Three's. But in 1972 she recorded with Bunny Wailer as Jean Watt. Contractually she couldn't use her real name. So she recorded In Paradise with Edwards as Julie Ann. Later when it was learned that Judy was the singer on the record, the artist credit was changed to Jackie & Judy. It's the only time these two legends recorded together and you can get In Paradise on this Jackie Edwards comp. Edwards recorded occasionally until his death Aug. 15, 1992 at age 54. When Gregory Isaacs became popular in the 80s, Edwards was considered a major influence and given the name The Original Mr. Cool Ruler. Here's a video of In Paradise by Jackie & Judy.

Friday, March 13, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Artist:Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
Album:Keystone 3

Of course Art Blakey is one of the all time greats of jazz best known for his bands of the 50s and 60s featuring musicians like Wayne Shorter and Curtis Fuller. But you don't want to overlook his 80s version of The Jazz Messengers featuring Branford and Wynton Marsalis. Most of the 70s were lean times for Blakey. When shorter left The Jazz Messengers for Miles Davis in 1964 and Blakey left Blue Note, he recorded for several labels. He signed with Prestige in 1972. He seemed to flounder around for a few years. He seemed to find some consistency when he signed with Concord in the late 70s and Fuller returned to The Jazz Messengers for a brief time. At the time, the band included valery Ponomarev on trumpet, Bobby Watson on alto sax, David Schnitter on tenor sax, James Williams on piano and Dennis Irwin on bass. By this time, Blakey was interested in using his band as a proving ground for young musicians. So in 1980, he formed and all new version of The Jazz Messengers that for a time featured two sets of brothers, Branford and Wynton Marsalis and Robin and Kevin Eubanks. That was a larger band that recorded the 1980 CD Live At Montreux and Northsea. The band reduced soon after for this 1982 CD Keystone 3, the band was Wynton Marsalis on trumpet, Branford Marsalis on alto sax, Bill Pierce on tenor sax, Donald Brown on piano and Charles Fambrough on bass. The album was recorded live at Keystone Korner in San Francisco. Brown was just out of college and he replaced Williams when he left. Pierce and Fambrough were both part of the larger band that played Montreux. Alamode was written by Curtis Fuller and Blakey first recorded it in 1961. Blakey's albums from the 80s are as good as anything he recorded in the 50s. Of course not long after the Marsalis brothers became famous and had to leave. They were replaced by Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison. Not bad. But many jazz fans got to hear great musicians before they became famous because of Blakey. And Blakey's mentoring of young musicians is an important part of his legacy. He continued to do this until his death on Oct. 16, 1990 at age 71. Here's Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers performing Alamode on Jazz Club in Germany in 1989 to celebrate Blakey's 70th birthday. This all star band was put together for this show.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bob Kuban & the In-Men

Artist:Bob Kuban & the In-Men
Song:The Cheater
Album:The Northern Soul Story Vol. 1: The Twisted Wheel

The Cheater was the only big hit for Bob Kuban & the In-Men in 1966. They were an early example of Blue Eyed Soul and they had a horn section which was unusual in those days. Bob Kuban is from St. Louis. In the early 60s, he was a drummer for Chuck Berry and then Ike Turner. He was also a high school band teacher. In 1963, he spotted singer Walter Scott (born Walter Notheis Jr. Feb. 7, 1943 in St. Louis) and they formed a band. Scott was a white guy who sang like a black guy which made him perfect for Blue Eyed Soul as popularized by The Righteous Brothers. Other band members were John Michael Krenski on bass, Greg Hoeltzel on keyboards, Roy Schult on guitar, Skip Weissner on trombone, Harry Simon on sax and Pat Hixon on trumpet. Kuban says his use of horns was influenced by Ike Turner. Krenski wrote the Cheater. They were on a local label and when The Cheater got popular, it was picked up for national distribution by Musicland USA. The Cheater reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is considered a Beach Music classic in the Carolinas and a Northern Soul classic in England. You can get The Cheater on this CD which is part of a Northern Soul series compiled by DJs. They only recorded one album and a couple of extra singles. Kuban says their manager hated their music and tried to bury them. The other problem was several members were college students and exempt from military service. They were concerned that if they left school to go on the road, they would get drafted and sent to Vietnam. After the band split up, Scott recorded an album in 1968 and Kuban recorded several unsuccessful singles. Kuban has been Chuck Berry's drummer since 2000 and leads his own band playing gigs in St. Louis. Kuban and Scott planned to reform the In-Men when Scott went missing in 1983. His body was discovered in 1987 and his wife's lover was sentenced to life in prison for murder. This case was featured on Court TV's Forensic files and HBO's Autopsy. The book The Cheaters: The Walter Scott Murder by Scottie Preismeyer was published in 1997. Here's a video for The Cheater by Bob Kuban & the In-Men.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ervin "Big Boy" Groves

Artist:Ervin "Big Boy" Groves
Song:You Can't Beat The Horses
Album:Mad Music Presents: Robust Blues

Here's a great obscure 50s R & B single that is a lot of fun. Ervin "Big Boy" Groves sings in a talking blues style that will remind you of There's a Riot Goin' On by The Coasters. And I don't think that's a coincidence. Groves was born Jan. 20, 1927 in Muskogee, OK but by the early 50s he lived in San Diego. He traveled to Los Angeles to record. His first single I Gotta New Car was released in 1955 on Spark Records. Spark was owned by the legendary songwriting and production team of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. I guess they liked Groves' talking style so much, they had The Coasters record There's A Riot Goin' On and it was a huge hit in 1955. You Can't Beat The Horses was Groves' second single in 1956. It was on Vita Records, a small label whose best known artist was blues singer Willie Egan. It's a very funny song and you can get it on this various artists CD. In 1962, Groves recorded the single Bucket Of Blood which was about a Los Angeles club that was also the basis of the 1959 Roger Corman film Bucket Of Blood. Then Groves moved to Hawaii. You may be familiar with his daughter. Lani Groves was a Los Angeles background singer best known for her days with Stevie Wonder in the 70s. Before that she recorded as Little Mary Staten and dad produced the single. In 1982, father and daughter recorded the album Composer In Paradise together. And in the 90s, Lani recorded an album with Darlene Love. Soon after Composer In Paradise was released, Ervin "Big Boy" Groves died on July 21, 1982 at age 55. It's too bad Groves couldn't get better exposure because I like him and I wish he recorded more. Here's a video of You Can't Beat The horses by Ervin "Big Boy" Groves.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-B.B. King

Artist:B.B. King f/Jeff Beck
Song:Paying The Cost To Be The Boss
DVD:Live By Request

Though B.B. King is a legend, in recent years his health has really hampered his style. But occasionally he still rises to the occasion as he did on this 2003 TV special. It's part of a series of live shows that A&E began producing in 1996. Tony Bennett is credited with creating the show and he starred in the first one. The B.B. King episode was produced in 2003. The host is former CBS morning show weatherman Mark McEwen. The format of the show is they would take live requests from viewers. If you are expecting the B.B. King of the 60s, you will be disappointed. King was 78 years old in 2003. He can't play like he used to but he is still very entertaining. He still commands respect. The bonus on this show is that British guitar legend Jeff Beck sits in on the final three songs and contributes a lot of energy to the show. Beck knows what to do when playing with his guitar heroes. Paying The Cost To Be The Boss closed the show. It was a top ten R & B hit for King in 1968. This show and all the A&E Live By Request shows are available on DVD. And the big advantage of that is you can skip all the talking segments and just get to the music. King and Beck have never recorded together so this live show is likely to be the only time they will ever work together. King ain't getting any younger. Though he did a farewell tour in 2006, King still plans to continue touring though a health scare forced him off the road Oct. 2014. He has nothing scheduled right now. Here's B.B. King featuring Jeff Beck performing Paying The Cost To Be The Boss on the Live By Request DVD June 2003.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Review of WWE Total Divas season 3 episode 20

This is the season finale of season 3 of WWE Total Divas. For the first time, there is no wedding. But we do get a couple of cliffhangers including one that seems as phony as a three dollar bill. Plus Paige in love, sort of. We begin with Bradley coming to hang out backstage at RAW. Paige says she really likes him. Eva Marie is also there as she has returned to work. Bradley watches Paige perform for the first time. WWE Talent Relations stooge Mark Carrano gives The Bella Twins their three year contract renewals. Will they sign them? Eva Marie and husband and manager Jonathan are at a meeting for her to endorse a hair extension line. She says everything is set once she clears it with the WWE. Jonathan says it's separate and they don't need WWE approval. He is 100% wrong. All outside activities need to be WWE approved. She knows that and lets him handle it anyway. Big mistake that will lead to major conflict and our second cliffhanger. In San Diego, the Bella Twins meet for lunch with their very pregnant friend Shawna. Brie immediately gets child envy. They discuss the contract extension. Brie wants kids but Nikki wants to try acting. Keep in mind they left the WWE a few years ago to try acting. When it didn't go well, they returned to the WWE. Back at RAW in Grand Rapids, Paige and Bradley are going to Indiana to meet his mom. So obviously they are serious. She asks him to move in with her. She plans to move from Orlando to Los Angeles. He doesn't say yes. He wants her to meet his mom first. Nikki has a meeting at Extra. Is that show still airing? Isn't that where C-list celebs go to die? Meanwhile in Phoenix, Brie asks husband Bryan Danielson if they can afford to start a family. He says he's ready when she is and money is no problem. Back in LA, Eva Marie is doing a online makeup and hair tutorial. But first they're going to take some pics. Nikki goes to a meeting with a casting director. She says she wants to be the "female Rock". Ha! Ronda Rousey already has that job and even has the same agent as Dwayne Johnson. Nikki is told that her current schedule with the WWE limits what can be done with her. I think it's interesting that she has never been in a WWE Films production. As time gets short, Jonathan is getting testy about the live broadcast. Paige and Bradley arrive in Indianapolis to meet his mom. She gives his mom and sister a big bear hug. As this progresses, Bradley becomes less and less comfortable. She trying to get him to tell his mom that he is moving in with her but he is resisting that. Nikki talks to boyfriend John Cena about the contract extensions. He suggests that maybe she shouldn't sign it. While preparing for the photo shoot. Eva Marie gets a text from Carrano. She calls him and he says she should have got the photo shoot approved by the WWE. In Indiana, Paige and Bradley go to see his mom's horses. She's pissed because he won't tell his mom he's moving in with her. Eva Marie wants to cancel the photo shoot but Jonathan insists that this has nothing to do with the WWE. It doesn't matter. She's under contract and any outside projects need to be approved. The photo shoot continues. Back in Indiana, Paige finds out that Bradley was previously married. He doesn't think he has to tell her everything. She doesn't like that. They argue and the whole thing seems to be on the rocks. He storms off and after talking to him, they split up. I don't think this was expected. The producers didn't know what Paige was going to do. Now we go to Survivor Series in St. Louis where they show Nikki winning the WWE Divas Championship from AJ Lee in a very stupid match. Brie kisses AJ to distract her and it's over in seconds. They talk about this afterwards like it was a big accomplishment but the match was a joke. And they don't mention that AJ had planned to take time off to tend to a neck injury. Ultimately the WWE is to blame for enabling this crap. But The Bella Twins still don't get the wrestling business. Cliffhanger number one. Eva Marie and Jonathan argue about his role as her manager. She says if she wasn't her husband, he would have been fired for his behaviour. And that's what she does. He fires back and walks out. Are they through? Finally, the Bella Twins meet with Carrano and he immediately knows they won't sign the contract extension. That's your second cliffhanger. It doesn't mean they're leaving because they could always sign yearly extensions until they really want to leave. My guess is we'll know for sure before season four of WWE Total Divas begins in July. In the meantime, enjoy the video!
Total Divas S03E20 Finale Part 2 by MultiTvSeriesV4

Review of WWE Total Divas season 3 episode 19

Last night E! ran the final two season three episodes of WWE Total Divas. I will now cover the first of those two episodes. Both episodes feature Paige in a romance and I guess the main thing we find out is she is very impulsive and she has a bad temper. Of course there is also the usual Bella Twins stupidity and Nattie and TJ's cat obsession. We begin this episode in Buffalo where Paige, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox are going on vacation to Key West. The producers insist on showing us Rosa getting a bikini wax. I didn't need to see that. Paige has invited this guy Bradley and his friend on this trip. The guy is Bradley Walden. He is lead singer of the band Emarosa. Paige tells Ariane Andrew that for now Bradley is a "f**k buddy". This will get very complicated. We go back to RAW where Nattie Neidhart and husband TJ Wilson are very excited about Grumpy Cat guest hosting RAW. I know I was excited too...NOT! Nattie thinks her cats could be celebrities. I think she's out to lunch. A clip is shown from RAW where Nikki Bella wins a match prior to her Survivor Series match vs AJ Lee. You will notice in these two episodes that The Bella Twins are clueless about how bad they suck as wrestlers. It surprised me a little bit but they're both pretty stupid. In Key West, the girls listen to Bradley singing in the shower. They like him. While Alicia and Rosa are in the pool, Bradley goes to bed followed by Paige. Rosa tells her to bring a condom. In San Diego, The Bella Twins are with some of their cousins. Then Bella brother JJ mistakenly sends a nude selfie to Nikki that he was sending to his wife. She stupidly shows it to her cousins. He texts her to delete it but it's too late. The problem is Nikki thought it was funny and makes fun of him. The stupidity of The Bella Twins knows no bounds. After some Key West jet skiing, we go to Phoenix where Brie Bella and husband Bryan Danielson are discussing his upcoming autobigraphy which leads to JJ's selfie. Then to Tampa where Nattie arranges to have her mom pick up her cats while Nattie and TJ are away. Back to Key West where Paige has a fit while trying to pay her rent over her phone. Then they all go to the beach. Paige describes Bradley a "friend with benefits". It pisses him off and he takes a walk. Brie asks JJ to help her mount something on the wall. But he doesn't have the proper tools. The discussion turns to the nude selfie and how he mistakenly sent it to everyone. Now you know why I don't text. She snitches on her sister. Next we get some insight about why Nattie is weird. Blame her mom. She returns the cats after grooming them. She's the groomer from hell. They don't like it but they don't tell her. And she even asks them if they are upset with her. They lie of course. More phony baloney from the show producers. Back in Key West, the girls go on a cruise and Bradley sings a song for Paige. She gives him a big wet one. Bradley tells Alicia that Paige confuses him. It's the old "come here, get away" routine. He wants a serious relationship but he doesn't know if she wants one. Clearly, Alicia doesn't think it will work out. The Bella Twins have lunch with their mom, Danielson and JJ's wife. JJ doesn't come because he's mad at Nikki. She agrees to apologize which won't go well because she doesn't think she did anything wrong. Bradley confronts Paige. She says she doesn't want a serious relationship but he thinks she's lying to herself. He leaves. Nikki goes to apologize to JJ. But she doesn't really apologize which really pisses him off. Paige tells the girls what happened with Bradley. He was right. She's lying to herself because she was hurt in a previous relationship. That's right. It's amateur psychology time. Paging Dr. Ruth! The girls convince Paige to tell that to Bradley. She explains her fear of commitment to him and they get back together. There will be more about this in the next episode. We go to Detroit and guess what? A Valentine poem Nikki wrote to John Cena shows up on Instagram. How do you think that got there? She thinks it's embarrassing because it's corny. After all the girls laugh at her, she tells Brie she thinks JJ did it. It turns out Brie did it to teach Nikki a lesson. Nikki says she understands but she's actually planning revenge on Brie. Aren't they mature? I will write my review of the season three finale later. You can watch this video in the meantime.
Total Divas S03E19 Finale Part 1 by MultiTvSeriesV4