Friday, July 31, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Benny Goodman

Artist:Benny Goodman
Song:Love Me Or Leave Me
Album:The Early Years

Of course Benny Goodman was known as the King Of Swing. He led what was probably the first really popular swing band. Before he became popular in the late 30s, Goodman's recordings like this one from 1933 were more jazz oriented. And the CD is really cheap. Goodman moved from his home in Chicago to New York City in 1928. For the most part, he was a session musician. For example, he played on Bessie Smith's final recordings and plenty of other things. In 1933, Columbia Records producer John Hammond decided to record Goodman. Love Me Or Leave Me was one of those recordings. That song was written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn for the 1928 show Whoopee! and popularized by Ruth Etting in 1929. Goodman's band on this recording was Jack Teagarden on trombone, Charlie Teagarden on trumpet, Manny Klein on trumpet, Art Karle on tenor sax, Joe Sullivan on piano and Gene Krupa on drums. Goodman recorded Love Me Or Leave Me a second time in 1936 with basically the same band except Jack Teagarden sang on that version. By this time, Goodman had been on radio and was more popular and he had signed with RCA. You can get the 1936 recording on the RCA CD Greatest Hits. Biograph Records released this CD of early Goodman recordings in 1991 and Collectables picked it up for distribution a few years ago. I think it's a must if you're familiar with Goodman's more popular recordings of the late 30s. It gives you a good idea of his progression. He didn't know he would become the King Of Swing. Here's a video for Love Me Or Leave Me by Benny Goodman.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Peaches & Herb

Artist:Peaches & Herb
Song:Close Your Eyes
Album:The Best of Peaches & Herb: Love Is Strange

Most fans should be familiar with Peaches & Herb's 70s hits like Reunited and Shake Your Groove Thing. But that was the third version of the duo. The original version of Peaches & Herb scored a top ten hit with Close Your Eyes in 1967. It's an old doo wop song so the music was more traditional soul than the 70s recordings. They were from Washington, DC. Peaches was the real nickname of Francine Barker (born Francine Hurd Apr. 28, 1947 in Washington). She had a trio called The Darlettes. They signed with the Columbia label Date Records and their name was changed to The Sweet Things. Meanwhile producer Van McCoy met Herb Fame (born Herbert Feemster Oct. 1, 1942 in Washington) at a record store where Fame worked. After recording a couple of singles for The Sweet Things, Date house producer David Kapralik suggested pairing up Fame and Barker. The single We're In This Thing Together went nowhere. But the B-side Let's Fall In Love got some radio airplay. So they called the duo Peaches & Herb and decided to record some more singles. Close Your Eyes reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. The song was written by R & B legend Chuck Willis and it was recorded by The Five Keys in 1954. They had a few more hits like For Your Love and Love Is Strange. You can get them on this comp. Francine didn't like touring so she was replaced by Marlene Mack of The Jaynetts. Francine recorded a couple of solo singles. Fame left the music business in 1970 to become a police officer. But in 1976 he returned at the urging of Van McCoy with a new Peaches Linda Greene. And they had a lot of success. There have been several Peaches over the years and a version of Peaches & Herb still tours the oldies circuit. Here's a video for Close Your Eyes by Peaches & Herb.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jon Batiste and Stay Human

Artist:Jon Batiste and Stay Human
Song:Express Yourself (Say Yes)
Album:Social Music

Similar to Robert Glasper and especially Trombone Shorty, pianist Jon Batiste is taking jazz to a wider audience. His 2013 CD Social Music topped the jazz charts. And now he has taken a very high profile gig that could make him a household name. He was born Nov. 11, 1986 in Kenner, LA. He started out as a child playing percussion in his family's band The Batiste Brothers Band. His mom suggested the switch to piano. He was a classmate of Trombone Shorty at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. His 2005 CD Times In New Orleans featured Jason Marsalis, Donald Harrison Jr., and Christian Scott. Then he moved to New York City to study at Juilliard. It was here that Batiste met bassist Phil Keuhn and drummer Joe Saylor and they played local New York clubs. Later sax player Eddie Barbash and tuba player Ibanda Ruhumbika were added and that is the current Stay Human lineup. After a couple of EPs, Batiste signed with Razor & Tie and released the 2013 CD Stay Human. It topped the jazz charts. His music mixes R & B and New Orleans street music with jazz. As I said, he's similar to Trombone Shorty. And like Shorty, Batiste appeared in the HBO series Treme. After performing Express Yourself on The Colbert Report last year, Stephen Colbert announced in June that when he takes over The Late Show on CBS, Jon Batiste and Stay Human will be his house band. Big things are coming for Jon Batiste. Here's the video for Express Yourself (Say Yes) by Jon Batiste and Stay Human.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Martial Solal

Artist:Martial Solal
Song:On Green Dolphin Street
Album:Live At The Village Vanguard: I Can't Give You Anything But Love

Algerian born jazz pianist Martial Solal has been around since the 50s and he's still around. Live At The Village Vanguard is his latest CD. He's known in North America mostly from his 60s recordings. He was born Aug. 23, 1927 in Algiers, French Algeria. His father was an opera singer and his mother was a piano teacher. Solal started studying classical piano at age six. He served in Morocco during World War II and he played for US soldiers. After the war, he started playing piano professionally and he moved to Paris in 1950. He first recorded for Vogue Records in 1953 and he worked with Django Reinhardt, Don Byas, Sidney Bechet and others. In 1963, promoter George Wein brought Solal to the Newport Jazz Festival and Solal released the album Newport '63 on RCA. He first recorded the jazz standard On Green Dolphin Street on one of two albums he recorded for Columbia. It was called Trio 65. Unfortunately that album has never been released on CD. He also composed several film scores in the early 60s including the 1960 Jean Luc Goddard film Breathless. Since the 70s he has recorded with Lee Konitz, John Scofield, Peter Erskine, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian and Dave Douglas. Live At The Village Vanguard was released in 2008 and it is Solal's latest CD on CamJazz. He plays solo on this album. He doesn't have a website so I'm not sure if he still tours. But those who like piano jazz should check Solal out. Here's Martial Solal with Michel Gaudry on bass and Ronnie Stephenson on drums performing On Green Dolphin Street at the NDR Jazz Workshop Hamburg, Germany Aug. 30, 1965.

Monday, July 27, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Adam Wade

Artist:Adam Wade
Song:The Writing On The Wall
Album:The Very Best Of Adam Wade: The Writing On The Wall

Adam Wade had brief success in the early 60s with a singing style that was frequently compared to Johnny Mathis. The Writing On The Wall was his biggest hit in 1961. Wade faded after switching to a larger label and he turned to acting. He was born Mar. 17, 1935 in Pittsburgh. Wade performed in local clubs while working on as a lab assistant on the polio research team of Dr. Jonas Salk. He signed with Coed Records in 1959. Coed was owned by former big band leader turned producer George Paxton. Among the acts on the label were The Crests, The Rivieras and The Duprees. Wade's top ten hits were Take Good Care Of Her, The Writing On The Wall and As If I Didn't Know. The Writing On The Wall reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was the biggest hit for the veteran songwriting team of Mark Barkan, Sandy Baron and George Eddy. Tommy Steele charted in England with his recording of the song. Epic Records noticed Wade. And when Johnny Mathis left Columbia for Mercury in 1963, Epic signed Wade to replace him. But he wasn't as successful there and by 1965, Wade was cut. Wade even re-recorded his Coed hits on Epic and those re-recordings are on this Collectables CD. The original Coed recordings aren't available though I am hopeful they will be released on CD as someone acquired the Coed catalog in 2010. Though Wade recorded an album in the 70s, he concentrated on acting. He is probably best known as the host of the 70s game show Musical Chairs. He was the first black game show host. Since then Wade has toured in musicals and he performs in clubs with his wife Jeree. Here's a video for The Writing On The Wall by Adam Wade. This is the original version.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Elizabeth Phillips vs Jessamyn Duke

Here's the video for Elizabeth Phillips vs Jessamyn Duke from last night's UFC show in Chicago. It aired on UFC Fight Pass so a lot of fans didn't see it. Elizabeth is a teammate of Juliana Pena at Sikjitsu in Tacoma. You can hear Juliana screaming through the entire fight. After Elizabeth lost her last fight by split decision to Milana Dudieva, she almost was fired for complaining about the judging and the UFC. Just for the record, that fight stunk the joint out. But she got a reprieve. Jessamyn looked terrible losing to Leslie Smith in her last fight. Going back to her Invicta days, I thought Jessamyn was overrated and she hasn't shown me anything to make me change that. She now trains with Josh Barnett which could help her eventually. This fight could be her last chance. Basically, Elizabeth won the first two rounds and almost finished the fight a couple of times with ground and pound. But she pooped out and Jessamyn roared back in round three after Barnett read her the riot act. She did well enough to probably save her job. But it wasn't a 10-8 round. I scored it 10-9 and I thought the judges would score it that way too. Despite Joe Rogan's usual misinterpreting the effectiveness of submissions, Jessamyn controlled the round but she was never close to a finish. She needs to do that in all three rounds. So Elizabeth Phillips wins by unanimous decision. Elizabeth even had a nip slip at the end of the fight. The fan reaction to nip slips cracks me up because it's happened before and it will happen again. Of course fans are blaming the new Reebok uniforms. But if you watch carefully, for some reason Elizabeth grabbed her own top and that's what dislodged it. And just for the record, the uniforms are blah and the terms of the Reebok deal will hurt the UFC when trying to sign fighters who can make more money elsewhere. I believe it will be changed eventually by necessity when a fighter the UFC wants won't sign because of the Reebok deal. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Miesha Tate vs Jessica Eye

Here's the fight video for Miesha Tate vs Jessica Eye from last night's UFC show in Chicago. The winner of this fight gets a title shot probably against Ronda Rousey. Though I know a lot of fans don't want to see Miesha vs Ronda 3, the bottom line is Miesha is the only one of these girls who has stepped up and shown that she wants a title shot. She's a big step up in competition for Jessica. Jessica is mainly a striker and as we saw in her loss to Alexis Davis, she has no ground game. Though she claimed improvement in that area, I usually don't believe fighters who say stuff like that. They have to show improvement in the cage. Jessica got the edge with quicker striking in round one. But all it took was one punch to put Jessica on her back. The fight is basically over at that point. Jessica couldn't get out from bottom position just like she couldn't escape Alexis. And when Jessica came out for round two, she lost her aggression and Miesha knocked her down again. The rest of the fight was Miesha trying to disguise her lay and pray routine with enough activity to not get stood up. She was just killing time in round three. Miesha got a takedown and tried to make it look like she was going for a choke when she was just holding Jessica's wrist. She also threw some ground kicks that Miesha obviously learned training with Megumi Fujii. Ref Yves Lavigne recognized that Miesha was stalling and stood them up. The outrage over this standup was hilarious. The only supposed expert who recognized it as stalling was Luke Thomas of SB Nation. And me of course. Goldberg and Rogan's boneheaded commentary didn't help. Of course Miesha won the fight by unanimous decision and now she gets another shot at Ronda. The problem she has is the strategy she's been using to win fights over the last couple of years doesn't work on Ronda. She's going to have to come up with something else. I don't see her doing that. As for Jessica Eye, maybe she needs to go to someone like Robert Drysdale in Las Vegas to get specialized ground training. Because what she's doing now won't elevate her to top contender status. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Neil Sedaka

Artist:Neil Sedaka
Song:Laughter In The Rain
Album:Laughter In The Rain: The Best Of Neil Sedaka 1974-1980

Neil Sedaka's first number one hit was Breaking Up Is Hard To Do in 1962. His second number one hit was Laughter In The Rain in 1975. He seemed to disappear for ten years. Like many early 60s pop singer, Sedaka's career was killed by The Beatles and The British Invasion. He continued to record for RCA but he wasn't successful. Other artists still recorded his songs. His biggest hit as a songwriter in the late 60s was Workin' On A Groovy Thing by The 5th Dimension in 1969. After his 1971 album Solitaire, Sedaka left RCA and moved to England and signed with Polydor Records. He had worked on Solitaire with guys who would become known as 10cc, Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley. Working with these guys gave Sedaka hope for the future. And the success of the album Tapestry by his old girlfriend Carole King made him think he could return to the charts. Sedaka recorded the 1973 album The Tra-La Days Are Over with 10cc. Love Will Keep Us Together, a big hit for The Captain and Tennille, was on this album. Sedaka also ended his long songwriting partnership with Howard Greenfield to work with Phil Cody. Sedaka felt Cody's lyrics were more contemporary. Cody hung around the Brill Building and was probably recommended by Don Kirshner. So they had known each other for a few years. In 1973, Elton John was starting his new record label Rocket Records. The two met at a party. When John discovered that Sedaka didn't have a US record deal, he signed him to Rocket. Sedaka was about to release a new album in England called Laughter In The Rain. This album was produced in Los Angeles by veteran recording engineer Robert Appere with studio musicians like Dean Parks and Danny Kortchmar on guitar, Leland Sklar on bass Russ Kunkel on drums. Jim Horn played the sax solo on Laughter In The Rain. Rocket decided to release a comp of Sedaka's three British albums as Sedaka's Back. It took several months but Laughter In The Rain topped the Billboard Hot 100 early in 1975. Then he scored another number one hit with Bad Blood, a duet with Elton John. And a top ten hit with a remake of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. The comeback was complete. Of course it didn't last and after three albums on Rocket, Sedaka moved to Elektra. He wasn't successful there. You can get all of Sedaka's 70s hits on this Varese comp. You gotta love Sedaka's mullet on the cover. Sedaka still tours and records occasionally. He has also turned up as a guest judge on American Idol. There's a campaign to get Sedaka into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I don't know why he isn't in already. Here's Neil Sedaka performing Laughter In The Rain on The Midnight Special 1975. You gotta love that red hat.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Quincy Jones

Artist:Quincy Jones f/Dune
Song:Ai No Corrida
Album:Ultimate Collection

Quincy Jones was already well known as a composer and producer when he moved from Mercury to A & M in 1970. He started out recording jazz for A & M and he was still composing film scores. But by the mid-70s he got more into working with R & B artists. This was no doubt influenced by his main artist discovery at that time The Brothers Johnson. The 1974 album Body Heat was very successful. The 1981 album The Dude was Jones' most successful album from this period. He was leaving A & M for Warner Bros and his own label QWest and Jones owed A & M one final album. He sure went out with a bang. On this album Jones used two singers, James Ingram and Patti Austin. The singles Just Once and One Hundred Ways were big hits and they made Ingram a star. But the other big hit single from The Dude was Ai No Corrida which was an R & B and dance hit. Ai No Corrida was written by former Ian Dury and the Blockheads keyboard player Chas Jankel and veteran songwriter Kenny Young. Jankel recorded it on his 1980 debut album for A & M. No doubt someone from the label brought it to Jones. He turned it into a dance jam. The singers on the record are credited as Dune and the lead singer is credited as Charles May. Dune is not a real group. My guess is that Patti Austin was supposed to sing lead and she convinced Jones the song would work better as a group vocal. She arranged the vocals. May was a local gospel guy in Los Angeles who sang backup vocals on several Jones albums. So Dune is likely Austin, May, veteran soul singer Jim Gilstrap and veteran LA session singer Tom Bahler. The record also features a sax solo by Ernie Watts. Other musicians on the record include Herbie Hancock, David "Hawk" Wolinski, Greg Phillinganes, Ian Underwood, Louis Johnson and Paulinho Da Costa. Jones and Jerry Hey of Seawind won a Grammy for the arrangement. You'll notice in the video clip that Austin and Ingram sing Ai No Corrida. This budget comp has all of Jones' hits. As I said, Jones left A & M for Warners and though he was very busy as a producer, he would not record under his own name until 1989. Here's Quincy Jones featuring James Ingram and Patti Austin on vocals and Louis Johnson on bass performing Ai No Corrida in Japan 1981. There is a video for Ai No Corrida but I like this live clip a lot better.

Friday, July 24, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Johnny "Guitar" Watson

Artist:Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Song:A Real Mother For Ya
Album:The Best Of The Funk Years

Johnny "Guitar" Watson started out as a blues guitarist in the 50s. But he reinvented himself in the 70s as a funkmaster complete with pimp clothes. A Real Mother For Ya was his biggest hit but his influence on hip hop is wide. He was born John Watson Jr. Feb. 3, 1935 in Houston. His father played piano and his grandfather was a preacher who played guitar. Watson's main influences were T-Bone Walker and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. His parents divorced in 1950 and Watson moved with his mother to Los Angeles. He recorded for Federal Records as Young John Watson and then got his nickname from the 1953 classic western Johnny Guitar. Though Watson's 50s recordings are outstanding, he couldn't seem to break through with a big hit. Watson also toured and recorded with his best friend Larry Williams (Bony Marony). Watson signed with Fantasy Records in 1973 and he reemerged as a funk gangster. After three albums for Fantasy, he moved to DJM Records owned by British music publisher Dick James and distributed by Buffalo record wholesaler Transcontinental. His first album for DJM Ain't That A Bitch sold a half a million copies and was certified Gold. Superman Lover was a top 20 R & B hit, Watson's biggest hit since the 50s. His next album A Real Mother For Ya was even bigger and the single A Real Mother For Ya reached #5 on the R & B Singles chart. This was Watson's biggest hit. He also claimed to invent rap with his 1980 single Telephone Bill. Watson said rapping was based on talking blues that he had done since he was a kid. In 1981, Watson moved to A & M Records and though he didn't record much after that, he continued to tour until he died of a heart attack while on stage in Yokohama, Japan on May 17, 1996 at age 61. This Shout! Factory budget comp covers Watson's DJM recordings. Watson played guitar on Dr. Dre's 1993 hit Let Me Ride. Those guys respected him for paving the way for them and their tribute is to sample Watson's music. Here's the video for A Real Mother For Ya by Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Les Paul

Artist:Les Paul
Song:Dark Eyes
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Les Paul

Les Paul was not only one of the all time guitar greats but he invented recording techniques that revolutionized the music business. Most fans should be familiar with Paul's 50s recordings with singer wife Mary Ford. But before that he recorded with a jazz trio in the 40s on Decca. Paul first performed with a trio in 1937 and they were regulars on Fred Waring's radio program. Of course Paul's main guitar influence was Django Reinhardt. Dark Eyes is a traditional Russian folk song that was first recorded by Reinhardt in 1940. Paul picked up on that and recorded the song several times in the 40s. After WWII, Paul became friends with Reinhardt and Paul partially paid for Reinhardt's funeral in 1953. Paul's big break came when he appeared on Bing Crosby's 1945 radio show and they recorded together several times including the #1 hit It's Been A Long Long Time. Paul also toured with The Andrews Sisters and they had a top 5 hit in 1946 with Rumors Are Flying. Also he met Colleen Summers in 1945 and they would marry in 1949 and she became Mary Ford. It was also around this time that he started messing around with multitracking in his home studio and moved from Decca to Capitol. Because his fame was as a duo with Mary Ford, his 40s recordings for Decca are easily forgotten. This budget CD is a good selection of those recordings. Paul recorded Dark Eyes several times for Decca so I'm not sure which recording is on this CD. But the musicians in the video clip appear to be Hal Dean on piano and Bob Meyer on bass. Paul shattered his arm in a 1948 car accident. When he returned, he signed with Capitol and recorded How High The Moon with Mary. But you don't want to forget his jazz recordings from the 40s. Here's Les Paul performing Dark Eyes in the 1947 film Sarge Goes To College. The comedian in the clip is Sammy Wolfe.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review of WWE Total Divas season 3 episode 4

This episode of WWE Total Divas concentrates mostly on The Bella Twins at Wrestlemania with a couple of minor detours. This show tries to present The Bella Twins as locker room leaders. But they don't put this in any kind of context and the twins have conveniently short memories. In last week's episode, Nikki Bella says she wants to talk to Eva Marie about her conflict with the other girls. The Bella Twins' issue with Eva is why should the WWE waste special training on a girl who doesn't want to be a wrestler. What the show doesn't tell you is The Bella Twins left the WWE for greener pastures in Hollywood and returned after two years of failure. When they returned, they took wrestling more seriously by necessity. Eva Marie is doing the same thing. She was hired from a Hollywood casting cattle call and forced onto the main roster with no training because she's on this show. Since her return from her health problems, the WWE explained to Eva what they planned for her. My only problem with her private training is the WWE should have recognized this would be a problem for the other girls and tell them why they decided to do this. At least she wouldn't have been blamed for it. We begin at lunch before a charity event and the girls are being nice to Eva because they are in public. So now Nikki wants to meet with her. Again The Bella Twins talk about staying in the WWE. Brie and husband Bryan Danielson will get the results of their fertility test later in the show. Danielson again jokes about The Bella Twins' stupidity. Nattie Neidhart meets with Debra Miceli AKA Madusa AKA Alundra Blayze who she is inducting into the WWE Hall Of Fame. So now Nikki and Eva talk. Eva thinks Nikki should have said something to diffuse the conflict because Nikki is supposed to be the leader. But she said nothing. The basis of the argument was Eva's Instagram post accusing the girls of being sheep. Eva got the impression that Nikki was the ringleader against her. I don't know where she got that from because that's not what she was told. Like I said before, if Mark Carrano got the girls together and explained their plans for Eva, there wouldn't have been a problem. We'll see how Eva does as a wrestler. She will be on tonight's episode of NXT. There's also The Bella Twins' condescending attitude that Eva isn't a wrestler so who cares about her. There was a time when The Bella Twins were viewed by the rest of the roster as strictly models who didn't want to be wrestlers. They've forgotten about that. Nikki asks her why she didn't train for two years. Remember it's the WWE's idea to make Eva Marie an ace and have her train in LA so she could be in demand for other things. And in case you didn't notice, Nikki parroted her sister's viewpoint. Maybe Eva is right and Nikki isn't a leader. The Bella Twins discuss this and as I've said before, they have a high opinion of their accomplishments in wrestling. They aren't as good as they think they are. So we go to the HOF ceremony and an anonymous WWE producer tells Nattie to edit her speech. This was clearly set up by the show producers to create drama. Otherwise this person wouldn't be anonymous with an altered voice. She didn't change her speech. It was fine. Next we have some scenes from the HOF including Paige wearing a black gown with Doc Martens. Ha ha. Next we have dueling autograph sessions with The Bella Twins and Eva Marie. They show some scenes from Wrestlemania. When it's over, Brie and Bryan get the results of their fertility test. The producers draw this out to a ridiculous degree. There were two commercial breaks. They both passed. On the way home, Brie decides to stay in the WWE. Somehow the show producers dragged this out for three episodes. At dinner with husband Jonathan, Eva Marie announces that she has signed with WME agent Brad Slater who also represents Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Ronda Rousey. This is a big deal though I suspect it goes over the heads of most viewers. So now we know what the WWE has planned for her. Obviously they want her to do more than WWE Films direct to video fodder. But what if she can't wrestle? Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Babe Ruth

Artist:Babe Ruth
Song:The Mexican
Album:Grand Slam: The Best Of Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth was a British progressive rock band who had modest success in the early 70s. They probably didn't stay together long enough to have any kind of legacy. They never had a hit single but the Mexican is frequently sampled by hip hop guys. Babe Ruth were from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England which was a fertile ground for music. The leader of Babe Ruth was guitarist Alan Shacklock who wrote and arranged all the songs. Shacklock grew up with Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and Jethro Tull bassist John Glascock. Their band The Gods recorded a couple of albums for Columbia. The Gods split into two bands and Shacklock formed Babe Ruth with lead singer Jenny Haan, bassist Dave Hewitt, pianist Dave Punshon and drummer Dick Powell. Babe Ruth signed with Harvest Records and their debut album First Base was released in 1971. The album did really well in Canada but also did OK in the US but not in England. There was no hit single though Wells Fargo did get some college radio airplay. The Mexican has turned out to be Babe Ruth's most enduring song. Shacklock says he wrote The Mexican as a response to the historical inaccuracies in the 1960 John Wayne film The Alamo. And it is based on Ennio Morricone's theme from the film For A Few Dollars More. In 1978, there was a disco version by Bombers. Then in 1984, legendary mixmaster John "Jellybean" Benitez recorded a dance remix of The Mexican featuring Jenny Haan. It topped the dance charts. Since then the song has been sampled frequently by hip hop guys, most recently by rapper Gza. But at the time, Babe Ruth wasn't all that successful. They recorded four albums and then Jenny left. They tried to replace her but it didn't work out and Babe Ruth disbanded. Shacklock went on to a successful production career. This comp is a good intro to their music. Babe Ruth reunited in 2006 and recorded an album in 2007. They have toured and they still play occasional shows. Here's Babe Ruth performing The Mexican 1974.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jane Morgan

Artist:Jane Morgan
Song:The Day The Rains Came
Album:Fascination: The Ultimate Collection

Jane Morgan was a very successful nightclub singer first in France and then in the US. After signing with Kapp Records in 1956, she had a few hits including The Day The Rains Came in 1959. She was born Florence Catherine Currier May 3, 1924 in Newton, MA and she grew up in Daytona Beach, FL. She performed as a child and studied at Juilliard School of Music in New York with plans to be an opera singer. She played local clubs to pay her tuition and then in 1944, Art Mooney hired her to sing in his orchestra and changed her name to Jane Morgan. In 1948, French bandleader Bernard Hilda brought Jane to Paris to sing in the nightclub Club des Champs-Elysees. At first she sang in English but then she picked up French and sang in both languages. That would come in handy later. It was an upscale club so Jane became very popular. She recorded a few singles and also appeared on TV. In 1952 Jane moved to Montreal and played the Ritz Hotel bilingually. Then she moved to host her own NBC radio show in New York and she also played in London's West End. But she couldn't get a record deal because labels thought she was just a nightclub singer. When Dave Kapp started Kapp Records, he signed Jane and paired her with pianist Roger Williams who just scored with his big hit Autumn Leaves. The two scored with the single Two Different Worlds. Then Jane performed Fascination in the 1957 film Love In The Afternoon. This reached #7 on the pop charts and it was her biggest US hit. The Day The Rains Came was released in 1958 and it reached #21 on the US pop charts. But it topped the British charts early in 1959. So both songs were big hits. The Day The Rains Came is the song La Jour ou la Pluie Viendra written by legendary French songwriter Gilbert Becaud. Veteran songwriter Carl Sigman was hired to write English lyrics. He also wrote the Tommy Edwards hit It's All In The Game. Jane sang the French version on the B side of the single. After this, Jane got more into performing in stage musicals and she still performed in nightclubs. Her agent died in 1959 and Jerry Weintraub became her new manager. They married in 1965 and were still married when Weintraub recently died. In the 60s, Jane recorded for Colpix, Epic, ABC and RCA without much success. She even tried to record country music in the early 70s. Jane retired from performing in 1973 and helped Weintraub with his various activities including hit films like Ocean's Eleven. This 2CD comp from Jasmine Records has all of Jane Morgan's hits. Here's Jane Morgan with Louis Armstrong and Les Brown and his Band of Renown performing The Day The Rains Came on The Timex All Star Jazz Show 1959.

Monday, July 20, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Blue Boys

Artist:The Blue Boys
Song:Memphis Stomp
Album:Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow!: Vintage Fiddle Music 1927-1935

Guitarist Lonnie Johnson was one of the pioneers of blues and jazz. And he was also one of the first to use violin in jazz usually by his long time partner Eddie Lang. This 1928 recording of Memphis Stomp is not in Johnson's discography because he is a sideman on this record though he takes the lead on violin. And The Blue Boys weren't even the real name of this group. They were actually called The Johnson Boys led by guitarist Nap Hayes and mandolinist Matthew Prater. In the 20s, the mandolin was used mainly white musicians in the Appalachians and of course the mandolin is a staple of bluegrass music. But Prater was black and that makes him historically interesting. as The Johnson Boys, Hayes and Prater recorded a few songs for Okeh Records. They normally recorded ragtime. Because Johnson was on Memphis Stomp and it was much different from the music they recorded as The Johnson Boys, they decided to call themselves The Blue Boys. Johnson's violin playing is outstanding and you can get Memphis Stomp on this various artists CD of vintage fiddle music. But the record seems to have fallen through the cracks of the Lonnie Johnson discography. That happens sometimes when legendary musicians play on one off oddball recordings. Here's a video for Memphis Stomp by The Blue Boys.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery

Artist:Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery
Song:O.G.D. (AKA The Road Song)
Album:Jimmy & Wes The Dynamic Duo

Guitarist Wes Montgomery took a lot of criticism for making pop albums in the mid-60s on Verve. Of course the guys behind that were producer Creed Taylor and arrangers like Claus Ogerman and Don Sebesky. But Montgomery could still play and he recorded a couple of albums with legendary organist Jimmy Smith that are worth your time. Smith came to Verve in 1962 from Blue Note and he also worked with Taylor. So it's not surprising that Taylor decided to pair up his two most popular artists. They recorded two albums of material in Sept. 1966. Jimmy & Wes The Dynamic Duo was released first. Musicians were Richard Davis on bass, Grady Tate on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Horns were added on some tracks which included guys like Phil Woods and Clark Terry. The horns were arranged by Oliver Nelson. The second album Further Adventures of Jimmy and Wes were from the same sessions. O.G.D. is a Montgomery song that was on Further Adventures. When Verve released The Dynamic Duo on CD in 1997, an alternate take of O.G.D. was added as a bonus track. Both albums are recommended but The Dynamic Duo is more reasonably priced. Soon after this, Montgomery went with Taylor to A & M Records. But Smith stayed at Verve until 1973. And of course Montgomery died of a heart attack on June 15, 1968 at age 45. So this was the only time Smith and Montgomery recorded together. Be sure to check it out. Here's a video of O.G.D. (AKA The Road Song) by Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Joanne Calderwood vs Cortney Casey

Here's the match video of Joanne Calderwood vs Cortney Casey from this afternoon's UFC show in Glasgow, Scotland. Of course Joanne is a Glasgow native so the fans went nuts for her. She needed a big win after a bad loss in her last fight. Her original opponent Bec Rawlings dropped out a couple of weeks ago and Cortney stepped in on a week's notice. The only thing the UFC asked her was if she would have trouble making weight as she has fought mainly at 125lb. Her record is 4-1 and she has mostly fought for PXC in Guam. So this was a big step up in competition for and it's short notice. Cortney lives in Hawaii and is trained by her husband Edward Sanchez. She was signed to Invicta but hadn't fought for them yet. If Cortney was going to win this fight, she needed to finish it early or she would gas out. And she had a chance to do that as she hurt Joanne early in round one with strikes. But Cortney let up when she should have kept up the pressure. Then she went for a flying armbar of all things and landed in bottom position. And that was the turning point of the fight. Though Joanne did nothing from the top and Cortney was active from the bottom position, two of the three judges scored the round 10-9 for Joanne. Top position is king with some judges. I scored the round 10-9 for Cortney. Then Cortney's corner tells her to pull guard again. That's terrible strategy. The judges won't like that. By the middle of round two, Cortney was gassed out and Joanne was avoiding her guard. And in round three, a spin kick to the body dropped Cortney but it was too close to the fence for Joanne to get a finish. So Joanne won the fight by unanimous decision. I scored it 29-28 for Joanne. But Cortney had a chance to finish the fight early and she made a mistake and it slipped through her fingers. But her performance was good enough to get them a fight of the night bonus. With a full camp, Cortney could be a contender. Joanne's win didn't change my concerns about her. She's a one dimensional kickboxer with no ground game. And in this fight as in her last fight, she was rattled by strikes early in the fight and she was fortunate this fight didn't end like that one. She's got work to do. At least she got a big win in her home town. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Milt Jackson & John Coltrane

Artist:Milt Jackson & John Coltrane
Song:Three Little Words
Album:Bags & Trane

Vibraphonist Milt Jackson is best known as a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet. But he also recorded as a leader and he also recorded albums with other jazz greats including John Coltrane. Jackson was born Jan. 1, 1923 in Detroit. Dizzy Gillespie discovered Jackson in the mid-40s and Jackson was a member of Gillespie's big band. This led to the formation of the Modern Jazz Quartet who were all members of the Gillespie big band. At first the band was called The Milt Jackson Quartet but it was changed to MJQ so Jackson could record as a leader separately. By the mid-50s, John Lewis took over as MJQ leader and that was OK with Jackson because he signed a solo recording contract with MJQ's label Atlantic Records. Jackson recorded as a leader and also recorded albums with Ray Charles and Coleman Hawkins. And he also recorded Bags & Trane with sax player John Coltrane. When this album was recorded in 1959, Coltrane was still under contract to Atlantic. But he soon left for Impulse Records and Atlantic sat on the album for a couple of years before releasing it in 1961. This was so Atlantic could sell the album as a duet if Coltrane became a big star. It was originally supposed to be a Jackson solo album. It's a great album featuring a couple of Jackson originals and covers of standards like Three Little Words. Other musicians are Hank Jones on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Connie Kay of MJQ on drums. Rhino released Bags & Trane on CD in 1988 with some bonus tracks. It's the only time these two jazz legends recorded together so the album is a must for jazz fans. Of course Coltrane was one of the all time jazz greats until his 1967 death. Jackson continued with MJQ until they split up in 1974 and Jackson continued to record until his death on Oct. 9, 1999 at age 76. Here's a video for Three Little Words by Milt Jackson & John Coltrane.

Friday, July 17, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-King Sunny Ade and his African Beats

Artist:King Sunny Ade and his African Beats
Song:Ja Funmi
Album:Juju Music

King Sunny Ade was already a pioneer of Nigerian music when Island Records chose to promote him as kind of a world music successor to the late Bob Marley. The popularity of albums like Juju Music made Ade a global music icon. He was born Sunday Adeniyi Sept. 22, 1946 in Ondo, Nigeria to a Nigerian royal family. He started out in the 60s with the Federal Rhythm Dandies. Then he formed The Green Spots in 1967. He had success in Africa and Europe and eventually the band name was changed to African Beats. Juju is a traditional African belief. Ade says his music is party music, nothing too deep. After Bob Marley's death, Island Records owner Chris Blackwell was looking for a new artist to make a global impact. He was interested in Fela Kuti but Kuti had recently signed with Arista Records. Robert Palmer told Blackwell about Ade. Palmer heard him when he lived in Malta in the 60s. Blackwell was interested but he thought the length of Ade's songs would need to be edited to make him marketable. French producer Martin Meissonnier agreed and he produced the 1982 album JuJu Music. Meissonnier also produced Kuti's albums and US jazz artists living in Europe like Don Cherry. The album was a huge success and it made Ade a global music superstar. Ade sings lead on Ja Funmi and plays lead guitar. One thing you should watch for in the video clip is the steel guitar solo by Demola Adepoju. Ade released three albums on Island's Mango label and he was called "the African Bob Marley". So Island's strategy worked. Ade is still around. He last recorded in 2010. I don't think he's active right now. I'm sure his seven wives keep him busy. Here's King Sunny Ade and his African Beats performing Ja Funmi on the British TV show The Tube 1983.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Jessica Andrade vs Sarah Moras

Here's the video of Jessica Andrade vs Sarah Moras from last night's UFC show in San Diego. Sarah is from Kelowna, BC. She was on TUF 18 but has been injured. She won her UFC debut over Alexis Dufresne last year. Jessica lost her last fight to Marion Reneau by armbar after Jessica made a stupid mistake. Will she learn from that mistake? Sarah is taller than Jessica but Jessica is more powerful and much quicker. In round one, Jessica is getting the better of the striking exchanges. Sarah tries to take her down but Jessica stuffs them and makes Sarah pay with elbows to the head. I scored round one 10-9 for Jessica. This continues in round two and Jessica almost pounds her enough to get a finish. But she still wins round two 10-9. One thing was that Jessica was aware of Sarah's armbar attempts from bottom position. So Sarah needs a finish. But listen to what her trainer David Lea tells her between rounds. There doesn't seem to be much urgency. And if he doesn't communicate urgency, she won't fight with urgency. Sarah was pooped anyway and Jessica pounded her for most of round three. But an ill advised judo throw gave Sarah Jessica's back with a minute left in the fight. Sarah tries a standing choke but she never applies it properly and there isn't enough time to do anything with it anyway. Jessica wins by unanimous decision. Afterwards, Jessica says that she thought she was on the chopping block. I doubt that but fear of unemployment is a great motivator.
Remember she's only 23 years old so she has plenty of potential. She made a mistake in her last fight and she was more careful and it paid dividends. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Holly Holm vs Marion Reneau

Here's the video of Holly Holm vs Marion Reneau from last night's UFC show in San Diego. Holly is the former boxing champ trying to conquer MMA. Her first fight in the UFC was a disappointing split decision win over Raquel Pennington. She looked terrible. Marion looked pretty good in her first two UFC matches. So I think many of us were looking forward to this fight as a stiff test for Holly. We were all disappointed. What a stinker! It was nothing more than a glorified sparring match. The first round set the tone as neither fighter did much of anything. Holly landed a few punches and won the round 10-9. Round two was the same but Holly is getting her range and is scoring more. But Marion is doing nothing. Her trainer Doug Marshall is telling her what to do but she doesn't do it. Between rounds two and three, he tells her she needs a finish but her response is to do nothing. Holly finally hurts Marion with some strikes right at the end of the fight. Holly won by unanimous decision but both fighters were terrible. Holly had control of the center of the cage so if she is more aggressive at the start of the fight, she either gets a finish or Marion wakes up. To her credit, when Jon Anik tried to praise her for her performance in her post match interview, Holly acknowledged that she didn't perform well. Last night someone asked me about Holly's punching power. If you check her boxing record, she never had punching power. She would land a lot of punches but she usually won by decision. The only thing that saved her in this fight is that Marion threw very few punches. Holly won by default due to her opponent's inactivity. She will have to do much better than that to be a title contender. Check out the fight video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Wreckers

Artist:The Wreckers
Song:Leave The Pieces
Album:Stand Still, Look Pretty

The duo The Wreckers scored a number one country music hit with Leave The Pieces in 2005. They were a side project of the successful singer songwriter Michelle Branch. Michelle had success with the 2002 single All You Wanted but most folks will remember her guest vocal on the Carlos Santana hit The Game Of Love. After her 2003 album Hotel Paper, Michelle married bassist Teddy Landau and they had a daughter. She started working with Jessica Harp who sang backup vocals on Hotel Paper. Michelle liked how they sounded together. They decided to record together as The Wreckers and signed with Michelle's label Maverick Records. The CD Stand Still, Look Pretty was supposed to be released in 2005 but was delayed due to Michelle's pregnancy. It was released in 2006 and Leave The Pieces topped the country charts. The album was certified Gold. Michelle and Jessica wrote a lot of the songs on the album and most of the album was produced by John Levanthal who is Rosanne Cash's husband. But Leave The Pieces was written by Jennifer Hanson and Billy Austin and produced by John Shanks from Melissa Etheridge's band. Jennifer recorded an album in 2003 but she has been more successful as a songwriter. Occasional songwriting partner Austin is a session musician. The Wreckers appeared on the TV series One Tree Hill and then toured with Rascal Flatts. The Wreckers only recorded one album as Michelle and Jessica returned to their solo careers. Jessica said at the time that the Wreckers would record again but they haven't. Michelle has recorded but very little has been released. She is currently working on a new album. Jessica released the album A Woman Needs in 2010 but then announced her retirement from recording and she would concentrate on songwriting. It looks like both ladies were having problems with Warner Bros. Maybe they should reform The Wreckers. Here's the video for Leave The Pieces by The Wreckers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review of WWE Total Divas season 4 episode 2

Here's the video from last night's episode of WWE Total Divas. It's Wrestlemania week and we left off at RAW in Los Angeles with the Divas locker room berating Eva Marie for getting private wrestling training in Los Angeles. She would have been better off not going there. Again, Trinity attempts to explain what happened but jealousy rules. The WWE has invited Nattie Neidhart's dad Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart to appear at a signing during Wrestlemania week. This will be The Anvil's first public appearance since entering rehab. Next we go to the Ontario, CA airport where Paige finds out she needs to be formal at the WWE Hall Of Fame broadcast and she doesn't have a dress. When Eva Marie arrives at training the next morning, she tells Brian Kendrick what happened at RAW. He tells her the Divas get limited TV time and she's a threat to their TV time. Back to training. In Phoenix, it's clear that Brie Bella can't wait to get pregnant. Her period is late. This will be a recurring subject this season but remember she's still on TV. It's probably gas. In Tampa, Nattie is called by her mom. Her dad is misbehaving in rehab. They have to go get him. Nattie knows he has to be on his best behavior at Wrestlemania. This is a legit concern. Back in Phoenix, Brie seems disappointed that she isn't pregnant. The Bella Twins have lunch with mom and she suggests that Brie and husband Bryan Danielson have fertility tests just to be sure she can get pregnant. Oh and Brie calls "semen" "serum". They're such dopes. Nattie picks up her dad and he doesn't look very good. She has to figure out how to get him to Wrestlemania. Then we go to the fertility clinic. That speaks for itself. Danielson's jokes about it are funny. Now we go to Wrestlemania in San Jose. Alicia Fox is going to help Paige get a dress for the HOF. Somehow I don't think these two are as silly as they seem to be when the cameras are on. Alicia tells Paige that Trinity told Eva what they were saying about her. So they're going to confront her. Alicia says Paige will also get a spray tan. That's just what she needs...NOT! Nattie gets a call from her mom. Dad doesn't want to go to Wrestlemania. They're arguing about his meds. Nattie talks him into coming. Alicia brings a designer to the hotel to try and find Paige a dress. She doesn't like any of them. Nattie's dad arrives in San Jose and Nattie reads him the riot act. Next is...ahem...Paige's spray tan. This segment is funny because Paige is hilarious. But she doesn't like it. Then they go out to dinner with Trinity, Emma and significant others. Paige and Alicia confront Trinity about Eva Marie. They're arguing and Trinity's husband Jon points out that Eva Marie gets perks because the WWE likes her look. A lot of the griping about Eva Marie does seem to be jealousy. Trinity thought it was wrong. To be fair, Eva did nothing to deserve special treatment except the WWE likes her look. Does she even want to be a wrestler? Nattie and TJ have dinner with her uncle Bret Hart and his wife. They talk mostly about Nattie's dad and how guys got that way back in the day. But it doesn't end Nattie's stress. The next day, Alicia takes Paige dress shopping but ends up buying shoes instead. Paige doesn't like shopping much and she goes outside where a girl starts crying when she meets Paige. Apparently she had an eating disorder and Paige inspired her to stop it. This kind of thing does happen but it could have been set up by the producers. Finally Nattie and The Anvil have the signing and it comes off well. Nikki says she is going to confront Eva. We'll see that next week. Then we go to a Paige signing followed by Eva Marie going to an event where she will butt heads with Nikki. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chris Botti

Artist:Chris Botti f/Yo-Yo Ma and Billy Childs
Song:Cinema Paradiso
Album:In Boston

Trumpeter Chris Botti made his name as a sideman first with Paul Simon and then with Sting. He has recorded as a leader since 1995 but his time with Sting raised his profile and he is one of today's best selling smooth jazz artists. He was born Oct. 12, 1962 in Portland, OR. His mother was a piano teacher. Botti started playing trumpet after hearing Miles Davis' My Funny Valentine. In 1981, he played Carnegie Hall in New York after being named to Mcdonalds All American High School Jazz Band. He also started playing local Portland clubs. He attended the Indiana University School of Music and trained with Woody Shaw and George Coleman. He left school and moved to New York. After brief stints with Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich in 1985, he settled into session work and that's where he met Paul Simon. That got Botti into touring with Simon and others. That's where he met Michael Brecker and Botti worked on the 1993 Brecker Brothers album Out Of The Loop. This led to a contract with Verve and Botti's solo debut CD First Wish was released in 1995. Botti recorded three albums for Verve. In 1999, he went on tour with Sting as a featured soloist and this led to a new record deal with Columbia Records and veteran producer and Blood, Sweat & Tears founding member Bobby Colomby. Botti's cover of Ennio Morricone's theme from the film Cinema Paradiso was on the 2004 CD When I Fall In Love featuring Billy Childs on piano. This was his first number one jazz album and all his albums have sold well since then. In Boston is a 2009 CD/DVD package first broadcast on PBS. Botti records with the Boston Pops Orchestra and with several guests including classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma on Cinema Paradiso. Pianist Billy Childs is also featured and other musicians are Mark Whitfield on guitar, Robert Hurst on bass and Billy Kilson on drums. Other guest appearances include Sting, Katharine McPhee, Josh Groban, John Mayer and Steven Tyler. Botti's latest CD Impressions was released in 2012. He's probably due for a new CD soon. He is touring this summer. I think that Chris Botti's style of jazz is for those who don't listen to jazz and don't really know what jazz is. He's too easy listening for me. Here's Chris Botti with the Boston Pops Orchestra featuring Yo-Yo Ma and Billy Childs performing Cinema Paradiso on the DVD In Boston.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Johnny Mercer

Artist:Johnny Mercer f/Phil Silvers
Song:Strip Polka
Album:Capitol Collectors Series

Johnny Mercer is best known as one of the most successful songwriters of all time and the founder of Capitol Records. But he also had success as a singer in the 40s. Strip Polka was his very first top ten hit single in 1942. He was born Sept. 18, 1909 in Savannah, GA. His father was a prominent attorney and Mercer got into black music through the children of his family's servants. He moved to New York in 1928 and started out as an bit actor while continuing to write songs. He gave a song to Eddie Cantor. Though Cantor didn't use the song, he encouraged Mercer to keep writing. He took a staff songwriting job at Miller Music and he finally had a hit in 1933 with Lazybones which he wrote with Hoagy Carmichael. Mercer had sung with the Paul Whiteman band and he returned there after Lazybones. Mercer moved to Hollywood in 1935 to write songs for movies. He started hanging around with Bing Crosby and this led to the hit song I'm An Old Cowhand from the 1936 film Rhythm On The Range followed by the hit Goody Goody. Then he worked for Warner Bros. and wrote songs like Too Marvelous For Words, Hooray for Hollywood and Jeepers Creepers. He got back into singing and hosted the Camel Caravan radio show featuring Benny Goodman. He continued to write and Blues In The Night was one of his biggest hits. Then he founded Capitol Records in 1942. One of the first things Mercer did was record himself. Strip Polka was his first release and it reached #7 on the pop charts. The song featured comic actor Phil Silvers and The Mellowaires on vocals with an orchestra conducted by Freddie Slack. Strip Polka was also a top ten hit for Alvino Rey, Kay Kyser and The Andrews Sisters. Mercer also scored hits with Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive, On The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and Personality. You can get them all on this budget comp. Mercer didn't record much after the 40s. But he continued to write hits like Moon River, I Wanna Be Around and Summer Wind. Johnny Mercer was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and he died on June 25, 1976 at age 66. There's no doubt he would have continued to write hit songs as Paul McCartney wanted to work with him. Here's a video for Strip Polka by Johnny Mercer featuring Phil Silvers.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Michelle Waterson vs Angela Magana

Here's the fight video of Michelle Waterson vs Angela Magana from last night's TUF21 finale in Las Vegas. Of course Michelle is the former Invicta Atomweight Champion making her UFC debut. The Karate Hottie is very popular but that doesn't mean she's all that good of a fighter. But I expected her to beat Angela who has looked terrible in the UFC and could be on the chopping block. Angela is now training at Alliance in San Diego. She actually looked pretty good in round one. She's bigger than Michelle and took her down and went for an armbar. She just didn't hold onto it long enough to get a submission. Michelle got out of it and attempted her own armbar. I thought the round was close but Angela looked pooped by the end of the round. The tide had turned and Michelle looked much fresher in round two and won the round easily. In round three, Michelle landed a head kick that seemed to take a lot out of Angela. And this led to a suplex followed by a rear naked choke for the win. Of course Michelle winning her UFC debut is a big deal. But I think she will have trouble with fighters higher up in the division. Remember Michelle fought at 115 early in her career. But she was overmatched and dropped to 105. She's undersized at 115 and that's why I expect her to have problems. Angela showed the way to beat Michelle in round one. But she didn't have the cardio to make that work. Jessica Penne has been bugging UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby that she wants to fight Michelle claiming that Michelle's win over Jessica in Invicta was a fluke. If these two have issues, let them work it out in the cage. I think the UFC needs to find out how Michelle stacks up with some of the legit 115 pounders in the division. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Paul Anka

Artist:Paul Anka
Song:Lonely Boy
Album:Paul Anka Sings His Big 15

Paul Anka was the very first really successful teen pop singer. The secret to his success was he wrote his own songs. Lonely Boy was his first number one hit in 1959. He was born July 30, 1941 in Ottawa, ON. His parents immigrated from the Middle East and owned the Locanda restaurant in Ottawa. Anka sang and played piano and began songwriting at age 12. He released the single I Confess in 1956 on The Bihari Brothers' RPM label. Then he went to New York with his group The Rover Boys and he auditioned for ABC-Paramount Records producer Don Costa. He was immediately signed and the song he sang in the audition was Diana. It was his first single and it reached #2 on the pop charts. His other early top ten hit was You Are My Destiny in 1957. In the 1959 film Girls Town, Anka played a pop singer and he sang Lonely Boy in the film. Girls Town was a female juvenile delinquent film starring Mamie Van Doren. The movie didn't do well. But Lonely Boy topped the Billboard Hot 100. This was followed by hits like Put Your Head On My Shoulder and Puppy Love. While Anka was shooting the 1962 film The Longest Day, he left ABC-Paramount for RCA. His RCA recordings in the 60s weren't as successful as his ABC-Paramount recordings. and he re-recorded the ABC-Paramount singles on RCA. So most of the Paul Anka CDs have the RCA re-recordings of Lonely Boy. One exception is this Hallmark Records re-release of an album first released by ABC-Paramount in 1960. It is available as a budget CD and these are the original versions. Though Anka's singing career faded in the 60s, he continued to have success as a songwriter with My Way, She's A Lady and the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Anka scored another number one hit with (You're) Having My Baby with Odia Coates in 1975 for United Artists. Anka is still around. His latest CD Duets was released by Sony in 2013. And he still tours. Here's Paul Anka performing Lonely Boy on the Dick Clark Saturday Night Beech Nut Show May 9, 1959.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jimmy Charles

Artist:Jimmy Charles
Song:A Million To One
Album:Memories Are Still Made Of Hits Volume 1

Teen pop singer Jimmy Charles scored a top five hit in 1960 with the ballad A Million To One. He had one other song chart and that was the end of his career. He was born in Paterson, NJ in 1943 and he grew up singing in church. At age 16, his uncle took him to New York City and Charles won the amateur talent contest at the Apollo Theater four straight weeks. Then his uncle hooked him up with producer and songwriter Phil Medley who was best known as the co-writer of Twist and Shout which was a big hit for The Isley Brothers and The Beatles. Medley wrote A Million To One and he thought a kid like Charles would be a good fit for the song. They recorded a demo and Medley sold it to Promo Records. Promo was a very short lived label. They were only in business for a couple of years. Medley recorded a more elaborate arrangement of A Million To One featuring the girl group The Revellettes singing backup vocals. They were friends of Charles from Paterson. A Million To One reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. Covers of A Million To One by The Five Stairsteps and Brian Hyland charted. But Donny Osmond scored a top 30 hit with A Million To One in 1973. A second single The Age Of Love charted and Charles recorded a couple of Christmas albums. And that was it because Promo closed in 1961. That was probably the big reason Charles never recorded again. His career wouldn't have survived the British Invasion anyway. Collectables has released a Jimmy Charles CD. But it's short and I think most fans will only want A Million To One. You can get it on this various artists budget CD from the British label Sequel Records. Jimmy Charles currently lives in Texas and he still tours the oldies circuit occasionally. Here's a video for A Million To One by Jimmy Charles.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Ayaka Hamasaki vs Herica Tiburcio

Here's the match video of Ayaka Hamasaki vs Herica Tiburcio from Thursday's Invicta show from Las Vegas. It aired on UFC Fight Pass so I'm sure plenty of you didn't get to see it. As I said in my show recap, this is the kind of match that opens the debate of judging the whole match vs the ten point round system that is currently used. I think Ayaka wins the Invicta Atomweight Championship either way but one never knows how judges will interpret things and that made this fight closer than it actually was. Round one was mostly standing and I thought Ayaka landed more punches. But towards the end of the round, Herica took Ayaka down and applied her favourite hold, the guillotine. But Ayaka escaped. I scored the round 10-9 for Ayaka. But Herica could have stolen the round on the judges scorecards. And she has the ability to do that in every round. So Megumi Fujii told Ayaka to ground Herica and keep her there. The balance for Ayaka is to be active enough so ref Kim Winslow doesn't stand them up. The problem is that Winslow is very inconsistent. Who knows what she will do? In round two, Ayaka took Herica down. And though I thought she was active enough, Winslow stood them up. Ayaka took her down again and I thought the second stand up was worse than the first. It didn't seem to bother Ayaka and I scored round two 10-9 in her favour. Look, I'm not a fan of that strategy but this is for the title. It was the best strategy for Ayaka to win the fight. And we saw in round three that Herica took Ayaka's back towards the end of the round and threatened with a rear naked choke. I gave Herica that round 10-9 and that's why grounding her was the right strategy. The way for Herica to change the flow of the fight is to be more aggressive and initiate her own offense. She didn't do that. And Ayaka won the final two rounds the same way she won round two. So I scored the fight 49-46 for Ayaka. One judge scored it the same as me. The second judge scored it 48-47 for Ayaka. But the third judge scored it 48-47 for Herica. I don't see how anyone could score three rounds for Herica. She didn't do enough. That just shows that Ayaka had a winning strategy though it wasn't very exciting. Congratulations to Ayaka Hamasaki for winning the Invicta Atomweight Championship. And congratulations to Megumi Fujii for providing the winning strategy. Of course Ayaka was crying during her post match interview. BTW, the translator was Ayaka's manager Shu Hirata of Sucker Punch Entertainment. Also in attendance was retired fighter Rina Tomita with her daughter. Rina got Ayaka into MMA. And retired fighter Rumina Sato who has been pals with Megumi Fujii for many years along with the president of clothing sponsor Inspirit. So it was a great night for Ayaka and Megumi and for all their fans. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dave Bartholomew

Artist:Dave Bartholomew
Song:Bad Habit
Album:The King Sides

Of course Dave Bartholomew is a New Orleans R & B legend as a writer and producer mostly with Fats Domino. But he also plays trumpet and sings and he always has recorded under his own name. But he never had much success and his own recordings took a back seat to producing and writing for others. Bad Habit is one of several sides Bartholomew recorded for King Records in the early 50s. He was born Dec. 24, 1918 in Edgard, LA. Bartholomew's dad played tuba but Dave played trumpet after his family moved to New Orleans in 1933. Bartholomew learned about arranging while playing in the US Army band during World War II. After the war, he formed a band and played New Orleans clubs. Bartholomew recorded a few singles for Deluxe Records in 1948 including the regional hit Country Boy. But Deluxe closed. His band included Red Tyler on sax, Ernest McLean on guitar, Salvador Doucette on piano, Frank Fields on bass and Earl Palmer on drums. This is the band that played on those classic Fats Domino records. Then Bartholomew made a deal to be New Orleans house producer for Imperial Records. He had immediate success with Domino. But when some singles didn't chart, Bartholomew left Imperial and signed with King Records. He recorded for King from 1951-54. Bad Habit was released in 1952 the B side of My Ding-A-Ling, a song that would be made famous years later by Chuck Berry. You can get all of Bartholomew's King recordings on this Collectables CD. Bartholomew returned to Imperial in 1955 and that's when he really had a lot of success with Domino and other artists. But his King recordings are as good as any R & B from that era. Bartholomew has always recorded his own music but he was never successful. In recent years he has led his Dixieland jazz band playing trumpet. Dave Bartholomew was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1991. Here's a video of Bad Habit by Dave Bartholomew.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ayaka Hamasaki is the first Japanese Invicta champion

Ayaka Hamasaki, Megumi Fujii and Ayaka's new baby
It's International Fight Week in Las Vegas and it was a good idea for Invicta to tie in a show with that. The crowd was much better than usual. Unfortunately for their next show in September, they are returning to Kansas City where many fans will be disguised as empty seats. I watched last night's show on UFC Fight Pass on my TV using Roku. The show was fine. The worst thing about the show was two of the worst refs in MMA were assigned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Steve Mazzagatti and Kim Winslow. The third ref Mark Smith is OK. The problem with Mazzagatti is he's not observant and he regularly misses obvious calls. Winslow exhibits poor judgement and it's almost like she's not familiar with the fighters. Refs should know fighter habits. There were three title matches. Cris Cyborg successfully defended her Invicta Welterweight Championship over Faith Van Duin from New Zealand. As expected, it was over in less than a minute. For her next fight, Cyborg is supposed to drop to 135 which will set up a UFC fight vs Ronda Rousey. I hope she does drop to 135 which should have happened over two years ago. I'm not sure that she will. There's too much screwing around for me. Veteran fighter Tonya Evinger won the vacant Invicta Bantamweight Championship with a win over highly touted Mexican prospect Irene Aldana. Tonya dominated until the fight was stopped at the end of round four for strikes. Some thought this was an upset. But I thought Irene was overhyped. Her previous Invicta wins were over mediocre competition. Tonya was a big step up for her and she didn't measure up. I'll talk about Tonya's possible next challenger in a moment. The third title match had Japanese fighter Ayaka Hamasaki win over Brazilian Herica Tiburcio by split decision to win the Invicta Atomweight Championship. This is when the debate about how fights are scored comes up. If you score the whole fight, Ayaka won easily. But fights are scored by the round. Ayaka had to be very careful with Herica because Herica has the ability to steal rounds which she did at least once and she almost stole the fight. And ref Kim Winslow was no help when she stood them up a couple of times unnecessarily. And who knows what the judges are thinking? The fight was scored closer than it was. The video for this fight isn't up yet. I will post it in the next day or so. On the rest of the card, Danish fighter Pannie Kianzad won by unanimous decision over Aussie Jessy Jess Clark. Pannie won easily but she ran out of gas at the end. She's a very polished fighter for 23 years old. I've liked her for a couple of years. She would be an excellent challenger for Tonya Evinger. And of course I'd love to see Pannie in the UFC. Amber Brown won over Irish fighter Catherine Costigan by a first round rear naked choke. They brought Catherine over because there were plenty of Irish fans in town to see Conor McGregor. I thought Amber would be very stiff competition for her. Amber won easily. Jamie Moyle won by split decision over Amy Montenegro. I thought Jamie ran out of gas but she did enough in the first two rounds to win. And in the opener, Amber Leibrock won her debut over Marina Shafir by first round TKO. Amber knocked Marina down and then seemed to grab the fence for more leverage to land punches and the fight was stopped. Mazzagatti missed the fence grabbing. It's not the first time this kind of thing has occurred with him and it won't be the last. Invicta's next show will be in Kansas City in September. I will analyze the complete show when it is announced. I'm going to sleep now. It was a late night.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gloria Estefan

Artist:Gloria Estefan
Song:Anything For You
Album:Greatest Hits

Cuban immigrants Gloria Estefan and husband Emilio Estefan started out as leaders of Miami Sound Machine. They had success first in the Latin market and then in English in the 80s. Anything For You was their first number one pop hit in 1987 and it was soon after that Emilio dropped the band and Gloria has been a solo artist ever since. She was born Sept. 1, 1957 in Havana, Cuba. Her family moved to Miami in the mid-60s. She met Emilio in 1975 and they married in 1978 after starting Miami Sound Machine in 1977. Gloria has a BA in psychology from the University of Miami and and she worked as a translator at the Miami airport. The early Miami Sound Machine albums were in Spanish on their own MSM label. They signed with CBS International in 1979. Their first English album was Eyes of Innocence in 1984. Dr. Beat scored on the dance charts. The 1985 album Primitive Love was much bigger. It was certified 3XPlatinum and Conga, Words Get In The Way and Bad Boy were all top ten pop hits. For the 1987 album Let It Loose, they were now billed as Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine. The ballad Anything For You was their first number one pop hit. By this time, Emilio had stopped performing with Miami Sound Machine and was strictly a producer. The band was falling apart anyway so he ended Miami Sound Machine and Gloria would be a solo artist on all future albums. On her 1989 album Cuts Both Ways, Gloria scored a number one hit with Don't Wanna Lose You. Then she almost died when her tour bus crashed in 1990 near Scranton, PA. Gloria returned with her 1991 chart topper Coming Out Of The Dark. This was probably her biggest hit and you can get all her hits on this budget comp. Coming Out Of The Dark was Gloria's final number one pop hit though she continues to tour and record. Her latest CD The Standards was released in 2013. Here's the video for Anything For You by Gloria Estefan.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ken Page

Artist:Ken Page
Song:Oogie Boogie's Song
Album:Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Musical theater performer Ken Page has been around since the 70s and has had success on Broadway. But he is best known for providing the voice for the villain Oogie Boogie in the 1993 film Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. He was born Jan. 20, 1951 in St. Louis and he has been a long time supporter of the St. Louis live theater scene. He made his Broadway debut as The Lion in the 1975 show The Wiz. And that led to playing Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the 1976 revival of Guys and Dolls for which he won a Theater World award. He also won a Drama Desk award for his role in the 1978 Fats Waller musical Ain't Misbehavin'. He also appeared in the 1982 hit show Cats. Page has also appeared on TV mostly doing guest shots on sitcoms. After doing the voice of Gator in the 1989 film All Dogs Go To Heaven, Page was hired to play Oogie Boogie in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Oogie Boogie's Song has taken on a life of its own and Page has provided the Oogie Boogie voice in several video games and other Disney properties. The soundtrack of The Nightmare Before Christmas is available in a deluxe edition with bonus tracks. This role has given Page enough fame that he tours the US with his one man show Page By Page. Other than that, Page does a lot of acting and directing live theater for The Muny in St. Louis. That's where he got his start so now he gives back to the community. Here's Ken Page performing Oogie Boogie's Song in the 1993 film Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Review of WWE Total Divas season 4 episode 1

We're back with season four of WWE Total Divas. As usual, I have the video of the season premiere and I will attempt to determine fact from fiction of the series storylines. You may recall that the main cliffhanger from last season was the possibility that The Bella Twins will leave the WWE. Of course anyone who watches WWE TV knows they are still there. But on this show, they don't assume that viewers watch WWE TV. And I know plenty who watch WWE TV who don't watch Total Divas. The other big storyline is Eva Marie's comeback after health issues caused by a leaking breast implant. We begin at brunch and the girls are discussing The Bella Twins departure from the WWE. Not so fast, girls. Nattie talks about a character change that I'm pretty sure was made up for this show. As we will soon see, Nikki is having second thoughts about leaving. There is a clip from RAW just to show that it is a couple of weeks before Wrestlemania. And remember AJ Lee left the WWE right after WM. Nikki's second thoughts are because she's champ right now and it's risky to leave while on top. Her talk about working on her "craft" for eight years is laughable considering The Bella Twins left for two years and failed in Hollywood. And of course she's living with John Cena. Look, we all know she's a fraud. I guess she thinks if she repeats saying this junk enough, someone will believe her. Nattie goes to see WWE talent stooge Mark Carrano. He tells her not to assume that The Bella Twins are leaving. They haven't decided yet. Nattie wants to do a dominatrix character which will never happen because the WWE wants to be PG. But it's a good way to make Nattie look foolish on this show. She brings up Eva Marie but Carrano tells her that Eva will be training in Los Angeles. The girls are under the impression that she is supposed to be training at the WWE Performance Center in Tampa. This is perceived as special treatment and it won't go over well. The WWE thinks that Eva Marie can replace The Bella Twins despite the fact that Eva has shown neither an interest in training or much pro wrestling aptitude. Of course they like her because of her looks. She lives in Los Angeles but was going to train in Tampa. Former WWE wrestler Brian Kendrick was in Tampa as a guest trainer and he appeared on a couple of episodes of NXT. He lives in Los Angeles and he has a ring. So they hired Kendrick to train Eva Marie. Training in Los Angeles would make it easier if there are media requests for her. Obviously this change was made at the last minute so Eva was unable to tell everyone about it. The other girls think this is a big deal but she's just doing what she was told. And as you will see in this episode, Kendrick is an excellent trainer. Eva is in NXT now and I think she's on tonight's show. We'll see how she looks. I would laugh my head off if she used Kendrick's finisher the Sliced Bread. He's not taking it easy on her. He knows what the WWE wants. Meanwhile, the other girls think Eva Marie lied about going to NXT. But as Trinity points out, she didn't know until the last minute. All this just shows that the WWE is out to lunch about women wrestlers. Putting all their eggs in the Eva Marie basket is misguided because of her lack of experience especially when NXT wrestlers like Sasha Banks are ready to go. The Bella Twins talk to Carrano about Eva Marie and he explains it was the WWE's idea to have her train in LA. Nikki also says that they have thrown more money at her to get her to stay. Nattie takes Trinity and husband Jon Fatu Jr. to a sex shop to look into this dominatrix nonsense. This is so stupid. And then she invites a real dominatrix to her home and her husband TJ freaks out. In the end, she had a jacket made and didn't go any farther with the dominatrix stuff. I hate filler. At a restaurant, the girls are talking about Eva Marie. They are upset with her when as Trinity points out, they are upset that the company wants to give her one of their spots. The WWE is going to do what they want even if it's stupid. The next day, Eva is not into training. But Kendrick won't put up with it. He knows that she has to get used to the wear and tear. Kendrick wants her to do a leapfrog which is a standard ring move. But she's never done it. After failing twice, he tells her to take a break. She admits to Jonathan that the talk is getting to her. She goes back in and does an ugly leapfrog. But you'll notice that Kendrick congratulates her. He's a great trainer. So now the WWE is in Los Angeles for Wrestlemania. Nikki tells Brie that she plans to sign a new WWE contract. Brie is not convinced. Of course Eva comes backstage and it's not pleasant. But first, Nikki tells the girls that she's staying. The final scene is the big confrontation between Eva Marie and the other girls. Eva does not explain her position well and she leaves. And that's it until next week. Enjoy the video!