Saturday, October 31, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dave Van Ronk

Artist:Dave Van Ronk
Song:St. James Infirmary (Gambler's Blues)
Album:Down In Washington Square: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

Though he never had commercial success, Dave Van Ronk was an important figure in the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the early 60s. Bob Dylan was one of Van Ronk's disciples. He was born June 30, 1936 in Brooklyn, NY. He started out in the 50s playing traditional jazz. But then he got into the blues by listening to records by Furry Lewis and Mississippi Fred McDowell. He recorded his debut album Van Ronk Sings Ballads, Blues and a Spiritual for Folkways Records in 1959. St. James Infirmary or as it's called here Gambler's Blues is on that album. St. James Infirmary is a traditional song that dates back to 18th century England. An adaptation was made famous by Louis Armstrong in 1928 and then in the 1933 Betty Boop cartoon Snow White by Cab Calloway. At the same time, it was recorded as Gambler's Blues by Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra. There are other versions of St. James Infirmary with different titles but Gambler's Blues is the best known. The song was part of Van Ronk's live shows for his entire career. When artists like Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs came to Greenwich Village in the early 60s, Van Ronk helped them get gigs. Van Ronk never became famous because he rarely strayed from acoustic folk music. He tried to form a folk rock group in the mid-60s but he didn't like it and he went back to performing solo. And he didn't drive and he hated flying so touring was a problem. This 2013 3CD box set from Smithsonian Folkways covers Van Ronk's entire career. It has Van Ronk's original recording of Gambler's Blues plus a live version from 1997. This box set was released around the time the film Inside Llewyn Davis renewed interest in the early 60s folk music scene. Van Ronk was writing his memoir when he died on Feb. 10, 2002 at age 65. That book, The Mayor of MacDougal Street, was published in 2005. Here's Dave Van Ronk performing St. James Infirmary at Barns at Wolf Trap 1997. That entire concert is included in this box set.

Friday, October 30, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Fergie

Song:Big Girls Don't Cry
Album:The Dutchess

Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson started out as child performer and struggled as an adult before becoming famous with The Black Eyed Peas. The 2006 CD The Dutchess is her only solo CD to date. But it was a huge seller and Big Girls Don't Cry was the biggest of the five hits from the album. She is currently working on her second album. She was born Mar. 27, 1975 in Hacienda Heights, CA. As a child, she was a regular on the show Kids Incorporated and she did voiceovers in Peanuts cartoons. After she left Kids Incorporated, she formed the female trio Wild Orchid with Stephanie Ridel and Kids Incorporated castmate Renee Sandstrom. Wild Orchid recorded three unsuccessful albums for RCA. Stacy left the group in 2001. She admits to having drug abuse problems while in Wild Orchid. She replaced Kim Hill in The Black Eyed Peas and that turned out very well and made her famous. Of course it was inevitable she would record solo. Most of The Dutchess was recorded while The Black Eyed Peas were on tour in 2005 in John Lennon's studio bus. produced the album. Fergie co-wrote all the songs. There were five hit singles from the album. Big Girls Don't Cry was the biggest of those hits. Fergie wrote the song with producer Toby Gad. The guy in the video is actor Milo Ventimiglia from the TV series Heroes. The Dutchess was a huge success. It sold almost 4 million copies. While Fergie continues to work with The Black Eyed Peas, there has been talk of a second solo album since 2012. The single L.A. Love (La La) was released Sept. 2014 but there has been no release date set yet. I guess she's busy with The Black Eyed Peas and with her marriage to actor Josh Duhamel. They had a son in 2013. Normally I would think there has too long of a gap between albums. And The Black Eyed Peas have been on hiatus since 2011 and are also working on new music. So maybe fans have forgotten about Fergie. Here's the video for Big Girls Don't Cry by Fergie.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Lee Hooker

Artist:John Lee Hooker
Song:Blues For Christmas
Album Blue Yule

Around this time of year, music fans start asking me about Christmas CDs. So I always like to feature a couple of jazz or blues Christmas CDs that are reasonably priced and are worth getting. Blue Yule is a various artists CD released by Rhino in 1991. I bet you didn't even know John Lee Hooker recorded a Christmas song. Of course he was a blues legend best known for his hits of the 60s like Boom Boom. Hooker wrote and recorded Blues For Christmas in 1954 at a time when he recorded for so many different labels and so many phony names it would make your head spin. He was under contract to Modern Records but it didn't stop him from recording for Chess as The Boogie Man, King as Texas Slim, Savoy as Birmingham Sam and as Johnny Lee for DeLuxe. He even recorded as John Lee Cooker. I guess he would record for whoever paid him and figure out the details later. Blues For Christmas was recorded at a recording session for the Detroit label Fortune Records. But Blues For Christmas was released as a single on Elmor Records and re-released on Chess. The song turns up on some of Hooker's Chess comps. Musicians are Jimmy Miller on trumpet, Johnny Hooks on tenor sax, Bob Thurman on piano and Tom Whitehead on drums. Hooker settled down and stopped recording under phony names after he signed with VeeJay in 1955. Canned Heat, Roy Milton, Charles Brown, Louis Jordan and Sonny Boy Williamson II are among the artists who appear on Blue Yule. Blues fans should check it out. Here's a video for Blues For Christmas by John Lee Hooker.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rose Namajunas in for injured Joanne Calderwood on Dec. 10 UFC show

The UFC announced this afternoon that Joanne Calderwood is out and Rose Namajunas will face Paige VanZant in the main event of the Dec. 10 UFC show at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. This show will air on UFC Fight Pass. Paige's Team Alpha Male teammate Justin Buchholz spilled the beans on this a couple of days ago. It's still a big step up in competition for Paige though I think Rose is a much different fighter than Joanne. She's quicker and she's better on the ground. Rose is coming off a recent win over Angela Hill. Because this is scheduled for five rounds, endurance could be an issue. Who has the best gas tank? Both fighters have been heavily hyped by the UFC. Who will live up to the hype?

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brotherhood Of Man

Artist:Brotherhood Of Man
Song:United We Stand
Album:Golden Classics

The 1970 single United We Stand was the only big US hit for Brotherhood Of Man. But they have been more successful in their native England and a second version of the group still performs today. The group was formed in 1969 by songwriter and producer Tony Hiller using session singers. Hiller wrote United We Stand with John Goodison. Goodison was a member of Brotherhood Of Man along with Tony Burrows, Roger Greenaway, Sue Glover and Sunny Leslie. Burrows was the man behind groups like Edison Lighthouse and White Plains. Greenaway usually wrote songs with partner Roger Cook. Sue and Sunny were sisters Yvonne and Heather Wheatman. They were mainly backup singers who recorded as a duo occasionally. They signed with Deram Records and United We Stand was the second single. Sue and Burrows sang the leads. The record was a hit in England and then crossed the pond and reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been frequently used as a patriotic anthem. They had one other chart hit, Where Are You Going To My Love, and the original group only recorded one album. Goodison and Greenaway left in 1971 and Hiller dissolved the rest of them in 1972. Then he formed a new version of Brotherhood Of Man with Martin Lee and Lee Sheriden who worked as songwriters for Hiller and singer Nicky Stevens. Sandra Stevens was added in 1973. They signed with Pye Records and scored a number one hit in England with Save Your Kisses For Me in 1976, Angelo in 1977 and Figaro in 1978. You can get the hits from both versions of the group on this budget comp. Brotherhood Of Man split up in 1983 but they reformed in 1990 and they still perform in England today. Here's Brotherhood Of Man performing United We Stand on Top Of The Pops 1970.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stephen Stills

Artist:Stephen Stills
Song:Love The One You're With
Album:Stephen Stills

Of course Stephen Stills is best known as part of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash. But he also scored a major solo hit with Love The One You're With in 1970. He was born Jan. 3, 1945 in Dallas but his dad was in the military so they moved a lot. He dropped out of college in the early 60s and he was in several bands. He was in The Au Go Go Singers who were the house act at the Cafe Au Go Go in New York. They recorded one album but this is where Stills met Richie Furay. The group split up and Stills and Furay formed The Company. When the group was on tour in Canada, they met Neil Young. Eventually, they all moved to Los Angeles and formed Buffalo Springfield. Stills wrote their big hit For What It's Worth. But the band wasn't around very long as they couldn't get along. After Stills played on Super Session with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield, he met David Crosby who had just left The Byrds and Graham Nash who had just left The Hollies. And they became Crosby, Stills and Nash and then Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. All four recorded solo with Young being the most successful. But Stills scored a top 20 with Love The One You're With from his 1970 solo debut Stephen Stills. It reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. But what it really did was boost sales of the album as it was certified Gold. The idea for the song came from a remark Billy Preston made that Stills heard at a party. The album is available as a budget CD. Stills recorded two solo albums for Atlantic and two albums with Manassas, the band he formed with Chris Hillman. After the 1974 CSNY reunion tour, Stills moved to Columbia Records. An attempt at a CSNY album turned into The Stills-Young Band. Stills' Columbia albums weren't as successful as his Atlantic albums and he returned to Atlantic in 1984. CSN have reunited several times over the years. Stills doesn't record solo very often. His most recent solo CD was released in 2007. But he still tours sometimes with his band The Rides. Here's Stephen Stills performing Love The One You're With from the 2008 DVD Live at Shepherd's Bush. I noticed that Stills can't seem to recreate the energy of the studio recording live.

Monday, October 26, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Subdudes

Artist:The Subdudes
Song:All The Time In The World
Album:Primitive Streak

The Subdudes were a mix of several musical styles similar to Little Feat. And like Little Feat, commercial success was always going to be an uphill battle for The Subdudes. Though they never broke through in a big way, The Subdudes had a loyal fanbase in the 90s. The formation of The Subdudes came out of the New Orleans club scene. After backing up touring artists at the New Orleans club Tipitinas, lead singer and guitarist Tommy Malone, pianist John Magnie, bassist Johnny Ray Allen and percussionist Steve Amedee formed the band in 1987. Positive buzz got them a record deal with the Warner Music label East West Records. At the time, Sylvia Rhone was running the label and she was signing all kinds of acts. The Subdudes released two albums on East West. The reviews were positive and they were a strong live act. But their diverse sound probably hurt them commercially. So The Subdudes left East West for the Windham Hill owned label High Street where there would be less pressure on them to generate record sales. They recorded two albums for High Street followed by a live CD. All The Time In The World is from the 1996 CD Primitive Streak. it is available as a budget CD and it features a guest appearance by Bonnie Raitt. Then Allen left The Subdudes and the band went on hiatus. Also, High Street closed in 1997. They returned in 2002 with new members Tim Cook and Jimmy Messa and a record deal with the EMI owned label Back Porch. They recorded three albums there and their most recent CD Flower Petals was released in 2009 on 429 Records. After the original lineup reunited in Mar. 2014, Johnny Ray Allen died in May 2014. The Subdudes are currently on tour. Fans of bands like Little Feat should check them out. Here are The Subdudes with guests Bill Payne and Paul Barrere of Little Feat performing All The Time In The World at the Wolftrap in Vienna, VA June 25, 2007.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Aisling Daly vs Ericka Almeida

Here's the match video of Aisling Daly vs Ericka Almeida from yesterday's UFC show in Dublin, Ireland. This aired on UFC Fight Pass and I watched it on my HD TV using Roku. Of course the big deal here is Aisling is fighting in front of her home town fans. The crowd in the arena was bonkers especially when one of their own is fighting. Aisling lost her last fight against Randa Markos. Her main flaw is she has no ground game and that really hurt her against Randa. Ericka lost her UFC debut to Julianna Lima. She came in on short notice and the weight cut really affected her. Ericka is a submission specialist but Aisling is bigger and her size could offset Ericka's ground skills. Aisling ended up doing a lot of stalling in this fight. The ref should have stopped it but he didn't. Round one was fairly even until Aisling got a takedown with a minute left in the round. Aisling spent most of the round stalling against the fence. This went on for over two minutes. She didn't advance her position and the ref never even warned her. I scored the round 10-9 for Aisling but the ref didn't do his job. If he shows early in the fight that he won't tolerate stalling, the fighter will stop doing it. He's sending the opposite message. Aisling gets a takedown in round two but just lays on her. She does attempt some ground and pound which is mostly blocked. Finally Ericka reverses and almost gets a rear naked choke. But I gave Ericka round two 10-9. Again in round three, Aisling stalls for most of the round. She tries one of those useless headlock takedowns and almost gave up her back. Instead Ericka winds up on her back and Aisling stands over her punching her ankles. She never advanced her position and the ref should have stood them up. But he didn't. So I scored round three 10-9 for Aisling and I scored the fight 29-28 in her favour. The judges scored it 30-27, 29-27 (?) and 29-28 for Aisling. I don't think the ref did his job and that really affected this fight. He needs to prevent the stalling and he didn't do that. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kiss

Song:Rock and Roll All Nite
Album:The Very Best Of Kiss

Rock and Roll All Nite was the breakthrough hit for Kiss. Their music was standard hard rock. But what made them was glam rock costumes and makeup and stage antics. Sometimes it's difficult to capture a band's stage appeal on record and that was true of Kiss until the 1975 album Alive!. Kiss were from New York City. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were in the band Wicked Lester. They recorded an album for Epic Records that was never released. They played a few live shows but Simmons and Stanley thought the band needed to be more flamboyant. They found drummer Peter Criss through an ad he had placed in Rolling Stone and guitarist Ace Frehley came through auditions. They were going to keep the name Wicked Lester. But after a failed audition for Epic, the name Kiss was because Criss once was in a band called Lips. They sent a demo to producer Eddie Kramer and he got them a deal with Neil Bogart's new Casablanca label. Bogart had previously been with Buddah Records. Kiss went on the road with the glam look and comic book characters. They were popular live but record sales for their first three albums were disappointing. Bogart was having financial problems and Casablanca was close to closing. He decided the only way to capture Kiss was to release a live album. Alive! was recorded in various places and crowd noise was added to enhance the band's live experience. There was probably more studio dubbing on the album. This was common on live albums from the 70s. But it was successful as Rock and Roll All Nite was Kiss's first big hit. Alive! was certified Gold. Their next album Destroyer was certified 2XPlatinum and Beth was their first top ten hit. The success has continued ever since. Rock and Roll All Nite first appeared on the 1975 album Dressed To Kill. But the hit version was from Alive! and that's the version on this budget comp. Attempts by Kiss to change their music or remove the stage makeup have been unsuccessful. It seems fans only want to see the Kiss from the 70s. Simmons and Stanley still lead Kiss today. Here's the video for Rock and Roll All Nite by Kiss.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Asuka vs Billie Kay

Here's the match video of Asuka's match on this week's episode of NXT for those of you who don't get the WWE Network. Asuka's opponent is Aussie wrestler Billie Kay. She is former SHIMMER wrestler Jessie McKay and she and her high school pal Cassie McIntosh were hired by the WWE last spring. They are calling Cassie Peyton Royce. After doing anonymous jobs over the summer, both have been given new names and characters. This was Billie's first match as a heel. While coming to the ring, Billie cuts a promo in an inset. She says she has been in the ring with Asuka before. That's true. They worked together in SHIMMER. Then she says she has the longest legs in NXT. They should fire whoever told her to say that. Dusty would have never had her say that. Asuka offers to shake Billie's hand. Billie gets the jump on her and controls her for a minute including a pretty good vertical suplex. From her back, Asuka kicks Billie in the jaw and then kicks her a couple more times. Billie lands an elbow smash to Asuka's jaw. Asuka smiles at her. I guess this is a part of her regular shtick. Then Asuka hits her flying armbar followed by a German suplex and a shining wizard. Then she finishes her with the Asuka lock. Asuka is very over with the crowd and she is really good at playing to them. In two weeks, she will face Cameron. It will be a real test for Asuka to make that greenhorn look halfway decent. Enjoy the video!
Asuka vs. Billie Kay by therackattackvideos

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Eileen

Song:Ces Bottes Sont Faites Pour Marcher
Album:Best Of Pop a Paris: Psyche-Rock et Minijupes

Fans of the TV series Gossip Girl have probably heard this French version of Nancy Sinatra's smash hit These Boots Are Made For Walkin' and wondered what the heck it is. Eileen not only recorded the song in French but in German and Italian. Fans of the TV series Orphan Black have heard the German version. And the funniest part of this is Eileen is American. Eileen Goldsen was born May 16, 1941 in New York City. Her father was music publisher Micky Goldsen. After studying french at UCLA, she took a job as a teacher and moved to Paris in 1963. She got into music when she was asked to translate English folk songs to French. She told Disc'AZ that she wanted to record the songs and they tried her out. She released a couple of EPs. The second EP included French versions of two Lee Hazlewood songs. When the Hazlewood song These Boots Are Made For Walkin' became a big hit for Nancy Sinatra, AZ's distributor Vogue Records wanted a German version. It was not unusual for European record companies to record foreign language versions of big US hits. Eileen was suggested and she recorded French, German and Italian versions of These Boots Are Made For Walkin'. Vogue had to get permission to use the song from the US publisher who turned out to be Eileen's dad. The German version was recorded first and it did well in England but the other versions did well too. There is also a version by the Quebecois singer Muguette which was a hit there. You can get Eileen's French version on this 2CD comp from Universal France. Eileen didn't want to be known as a Nancy Sinatra tribute act so she went back to recording folk songs. She also recorded with Mickey Baker including a remake of the Mickey and Sylvia hit Love Is Strange. By the late 60s, Eileen's music career was over and later she got into music publishing just like her dad. Here's a video for Ces Bottes Sont Faites Pour Marcher by Eileen. Thanks to Ready Steady Girls for the Eileen bio.

Friday, October 23, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stan Getz

Artist:Stan Getz
Song:Captain Marvel
Album:Captain Marvel

One of the reasons tenor sax legend Stan Getz had such a long career was his willingness to adapt to changing musical trends. Of course the most notable example of this was when he had great success playing Brazilian music in the 60s. So it's not surprising that when Jazz Fusion became popular in the late 60s, he wanted to work with those musicians. Getz first worked with pianist Chick Corea on the 1967 album Sweet Rain. At the time, Corea had just recorded his debut album Tones For Joan's Bones though Atlantic records didn't release it until 1968. Corea was working for Herbie Mann at the time. Sweet Rain was straight ahead jazz with Corea, Ron Carter on bass and Grady Tate on drums. While Getz continued to record for Verve, Miles Davis released Bitches Brew and Jazz Fusion was the next big movement in jazz. Corea played on that album and he also started his own band Return To Forever. When Getz left Verve for Columbia in 1971, he wanted to make a big splash with his Columbia debut. So he asked Corea to put together a band and they recorded the album Captain Marvel. The other musicians were Stanley Clarke on bass from Return To Forever, Tony Williams on drums and Airto Moreira on percussion. Both guys played on Bitches Brew. The album was a huge success especially after the band minus Moreira played the 1972 Montreux Jazz Festival. That concert is available on DVD. Corea wrote most of the songs on the album. Captain Marvel was a song that Corea recorded on the Return To Forever album Light as a Feather. It doesn't look like Getz and Corea ever worked together again. Getz recorded for Columbia until he moved to Concord in 1981. He recorded straight jazz with pianist Jimmy Rowles and then pianist Joanne Brackeen. Then he tried to revisit Jazz Fusion with former Woody Herman pianist Andy Laverne. Captain Marvel was the high point of his Columbia recordings and it is available as a budget CD. Here's Stan Getz with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Tony Williams performing Captain Marvel at the 1972 Montreux Jazz Festival.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Michael Kamen

Artist:Michael Kamen w/L.A. All Star Orchestra f/Dr. John
Song:Cruella De Vil
Album:101 Dalmatians: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack

Michael Kamen started out in rock music in the 60s. But in the 80s got into scoring for films and he was very successful until his 2003 death. He was born Apr. 15, 1948 in New York City. He played the oboe growing up and studied at Juilliard. Then he formed The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble with classmates Martin Fulterman (X Files composer Mark Snow) and Dorian Rudnytsky. The idea was to mix rock with classical music and they performed in tuxedos. Leonard Bernstein spotted them and they appeared on one of his Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. They got a record deal with Columbia and they recorded five albums. Kamen said Bernstein planted the seed of working in films. After the band split up in 1972, Kamen started composing ballets. And he was musical director for David Bowie. For the rest of the 70s, Kamen worked as a session musician most significantly with Pink Floyd doing orchestrations for The Wall. He started composing for films in 1976. But his first significant score was for David Cronenberg's 1983 film The Dead Zone. This was followed by his work on Terry Gilliam's 1985 film Brazil. And he worked steadily on films after that. His significant scores include Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and Mr. Holland's Opus. Cruella De Vil is from the 1996 film 101 Dalmatians. It features Dr. John on vocals. The rest of the album is instrumental music played by studio musicians called the L.A. All Star Orchestra. Kamen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997. And then he moved to England. He continued to work on films when he died of a heart attack on Nov. 18, 2003 at age 55. He was working on new music with Kate Bush at the time. And he was still active in films and TV with scores for X-Men and Band Of Brothers. Here's the video for Cruella De Vil by Michael Kamen with the L.A. All Star Orchestra featuring Dr. John.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Quincy Jones

Artist:Quincy Jones
Song:Killer Joe
Album:Summer In The City

For all he has done in his long career, we tend to forget that Quincy Jones is a jazz musician. Killer Joe is a significant record because it was Jones' return as a recording artist after he was a behind the scenes figure for most of the 60s. It was also Jones' first chart single in 1970. Jones first led his own big band in the late 50s. But he wasn't making any money so when Mercury Records offered him the musical director job at their New York City studio, he took it. By 1964, Jones was promoted to vice president. He was producing all kinds of artists. The most successful was Lesley Gore. Then he composed the score for the 1964 film The Pawnbroker which led to Jones move to Los Angeles. So for the rest of the 60s, he worked on films and TV. He left Mercury in 1965. He didn't have a record deal when he was writing for films. He decided to sign with A & M Records in 1969 and Walking In Space was his first album. It's a big band album featuring Freddie Hubbard, J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Hubert Laws, Eric Gale, Ray Brown and Grady Tate. Killer Joe is a jazz standard written by the great sax player Benny Golson. It was released as a single and it was Jones' first chart single. The album sold well especially in the jazz and R & B markets. He recorded three more jazz albums and then with the 1974 album Body Heat, he got more into using guest vocalists on R & B. And by the early 80s, that's what he was famous for. 1974 was when Jones almost died from a brain aneurysm and he had a broader musical view when he recovered from that. This 2007 Verve budget comp covers Jones' jazz from his A & M period in the 70s including Killer Joe. He moved to Warner Bros. in 1981 and his recordings there were more commercial with very little jazz content. Here's Quincy Jones featuring Jerome Richardson on flute, Jerry Hey on trumpet and Pete Christleib on sax performing Killer Joe in Japan 1981.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robert John

Artist:Robert John
Song:The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Album:Greatest Hits

Most music fans should be familiar with Robert John's 1979 chart topper Sad Eyes. His one other big hit was his 1972 cover of The Lion Sleeps Tonight which of course was a huge hit for The Tokens in 1960. He was born Robert John Pedrick Jr. 1946 in Brooklyn, NY. As 12 year old Bobby Pedrick Jr., he charted in 1958 with the single White Bucks and Saddle Shoes for Bigtop Records. He recorded for other small labels with little success. As leader of Bobby and the Consoles, his 1962 single My Jelly Bean was a regional hit in New York. In the mid-60s, he recorded for MGM's Verve Forecast label with little success. Then he changed his name to Robert John and signed with Columbia Records in 1968. He charted with the single If You Don't Want My Love and an album was released with the same title. Then he recorded a couple of unsuccessful singles for A & M. Finally John struck gold when Atlantic Records released his 1971 cover of The Lion Sleeps Tonight. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The interesting thing about this record is it was arranged by Hank Medress of The Tokens and produced by Dave Appell who also produced the original recording. Unfortunately, John only released a few singles on Atlantic and there was never an album. Later in the 70s, he recorded a few singles for Ariola America. Then he struck gold again in 1979 with Sad Eyes on EMI America. He recorded two albums for them and he last recorded in the early 80s. You can get both of John's big hits on this Curb Records comp. John actually recorded a dance mix of The Lion Sleeps Tonight for this CD. He retired after that. Here's a video for The Lion Sleeps Tonight by Robert John.

Monday, October 19, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nat King Cole

Artist:Nat King Cole
Song:Autumn Leaves (Japanese version)
Album:Live In Tokyo

Of course Nat King Cole was one of the greatest singers of all time. He was the first black to host his own variety show. One of the curious aspects of Cole's career was that he recorded and performed in foreign languages. This wasn't usually done even back then unless the singer could speak different languages. Cole only spoke English so he had to learn the songs by rote. This began with the 1958 album Cole Espanol which he recorded in Cuba. The album was so popular not only in Spanish speaking countries but in the US that Capitol Records had Cole record two more Spanish albums. And they had him record in French, Portuguese and even Japanese. The records were released in foreign markets and he would sing live in those languages when he appeared in those countries. He sang Autumn Leaves in English, French and Japanese. I have chosen the Japanese version because I have a clip of Cole performing it in Japanese. Autumn Leaves was a French song that was adapted to English. Japanese lyrics were written for Cole's recording. Capitol released the French and Japanese versions of Autumn Leaves on an expanded edition of the 2005 comp The World of Nat King Cole. But the expanded edition was only released digitally. It is not available on CD. But I found this CD Live In Tokyo released last year by the European label In Crowd Records. The first part of the CD was recorded at the New Latin Quarter in Tokyo Feb. 22, 1963 with Cole's usual band of Reunald Jones on trumpet, John Collins on guitar, Charlie Harris on bass and Leon Petties on drums. Cole performs several of the Spanish songs he recorded. And he also performs Autumn Leaves and Love Is A Many Splendored Thing in Japanese. The second part of the CD is a 1963 BBC concert with an orchestra conducted by Ted Heath. I understand the recording quality isn't the best but it's a very rare recording so Cole fans will want to check it out. Here's Nat King Cole performing the Japanese version of Autumn Leaves on Japanese TV.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Judas Priest

Artist:Judas Priest
Song:Living After Midnight
Album:The Best Of Judas Priest: Living After Midnight

British heavy metal band Judas Priest floundered for a decade before they hit it big with the 1980 album British Steel and their signature song Living After Midnight. They were never a big singles band but their 80s albums were big sellers and they are still a strong concert draw today. The name Judas Priest is from the Bob Dylan song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest. The late 60s band with that name only lasted a few months. Guitarist K.K. Downing, bassist Ian "Skull" Hill and drummer John Ellis took the Judas Priest name when they formed a band in 1970. Only lead singer Al Atkins remained from the first band. He suggested keeping the name. They played gigs without much success. Atkins left in 1974 and he was replaced by Rob Halford. They signed with Gull Records. They added guitarist Glenn Tipton. The 1974 album Rocka Rolla and their European tour didn't go well. Things improved when they signed with Columbia Records in 1977. Deep Purple's Roger Glover produced the 1977 album Sin After Sin. And this was followed by the successful 1978 album Killing Machine. Plus it looked like drummer Les Binks was worth keeping. Judas Priest is known for a revolving door of drummers. But with success Judas Priest went in a more commercial direction. Binks didn't like that and he left. Dave Holland from Trapeze joined and he remained for several years. Though the 1980 album British Steel was more radio friendly, it didn't alienate the Judas Priest fanbase. Living After Midnight was probably the biggest hit from that album. Working with producer Tom Allom, Judas Priest found a formula that worked and they stuck with it through the 80s. All of their albums went at least Platinum and they were a huge concert draw. They started to fade when they added synthesizers for the 1988 album Ram It Down. Holland left the band at this time. Then Halford left in 1992. One would think that losing their lead singer would end Judas Priest and they did go on hiatus until they returned in 1997 with new lead singer Tim "Ripper" Owens from a Judas Priest tribute band. Meanwhile, Halford released three albums for Epic with his new band Fight. After Epic dropped them, he formed Halford in 2000. This budget comp covers Judas Priest's 80s music. Halford returned to Judas Priest in 2003 and he still leads them today. K.K. Downing retired in 2011. Judas Priest released a new CD last year and they continue to tour. They have certainly had longevity. Here's the video for Living After Midnight by Judas Priest.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of the Day-Nicki French

Artist:Nicki French
Song:Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Album:Unstoppable 90s

Of course most music fans know that Total Eclipse of the Heart topped the charts for Bonnie Tyler in 1982. This 1995 dance cover of the song by British singer Nicki French was a top five hit. It was her only hit in North America though she is still active in England. She was born Sept. 26, 1964 in Carlisle, Cumbria, England. She was a backup and session singer in the 80s. Stock Aitken Waterman were a very successful dance music production team. Their first big success was Bananarama. They also produced Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue, Donna Summer and plenty of others. In 1991, Matt Aitken was burned out and quit. Then Pete Waterman and Mike Stock split up in 1993. Stock started Love This Records and Nicki French was his first signing. Stock reunited with Aitken. At first, Nicki didn't like the idea of recording a dance version of Total Eclipse of the Heart. She thought it was too big of a hit. But she did record it and Stock heard it and decided to record a new version and he even recorded a third version which was the version that was a big hit. In that third version, the first verse was a straight cover and then the dance beats kicked in with the second verse. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was a huge hit on the dance charts. The album Secrets was released in 1995 and it did OK. Total Eclipse of the Heart was her only big hit. A cover of For All We know was a modest hit in England. Secrets is still available on CD. But you can get Total Eclipse of the Heart on this K-Tel various artists budget comp. I don't usually recommend K-Tel releases but they are OK for this kind of music. Nicki continues to record occasionally. She released a CD this year. And she has appeared on British TV and on the stage. You may have seen her on the 2003 ABC TV special The Disco Ball: A 30 Year Celebration. But in North America she is a one hit wonder. Here's the video for Total Eclipse of the Heart by Nicki French.

Friday, October 16, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Harold Faltermeyer

Artist:Harold Faltermeyer
Song:Axel F
Album:Beverly Hills Cop: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack

This instrumental from the hit film Beverly Hills Cop was a top five hit in 1984, It was the only big hit for German synthesizer whiz Harold Faltermeyer. He worked on some other 80s films and then he returned to Germany. He was born Oct. 5, 1952 in Munich, Germany. He was a child prodigy classical pianist. He was a producer for Deutsche Grammophon when in 1978 Georgio Moroder brought him to Los Angeles to arrange the score for the film Midnight Express. He continued to work with Moroder producing Donna Summer among others. After Faltermeyer got positive reviews for his keyboards for the 1984 film Thief Of Hearts, Paramount hired him to compose the score for Beverly Hills Cop. Axel F is the only Faltermeyer instrumental to appear on the soundtrack album and surprisingly it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The rest of the album contains songs that appeared in the film but most of Faltermeyer's score was never released. He did co-write and produce with Keith Forsey the Glenn Frey hit The Heat Is On. But most of the other songs were licensed from outside record companies. The soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop was a huge seller at the time and it is available as a budget CD. The same thing happened with Faltermeyer's music for Top Gun and Fletch. Most of his music was not released. The exception to this was his music for the 1987 film The Running Man. Faltermeyer's music is on the soundtrack album. He also recorded a solo album for MCA in 1987. They tacked on Axel F against his wishes. After he composed the score for the 1989 film Tango & Cash, Faltermeyer returned to Germany to raise his family. He worked on German films and produced artists. He returned to Hollywood to score the 2010 Kevin Smith film Cop Out. That looks to be a one time return as he still is active in Germany. Here's the video for Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gerald Fried

Artist:Gerald Fried
Song:The Ritual/Ancient Battle/2nd Kroykah
Album:Star Trek: Original Television Soundtrack Volume 2

I'm pretty sure Star Trek fans are interested in music from the original TV series. You would be surprised how much of it is available on CD. Of course the theme from Star Trek was composed by Alexander Courage. But he didn't compose the music for the episodes. Amok Time is one of the most popular episodes and this music from a fight scene is very popular. It was composed by Gerald Fried who worked on a lot of TV shows. He was born Feb. 13, 1928 in The Bronx, NY. and he attended Juilliard. He went to high school with Stanley Kubrick and it was Kubrick who gave Fried his start in film composing. Fried composed the scores for Kubrick's 1956 film The Killing and the 1957 film Paths Of Glory. Then Fried moved to Los Angeles and worked for low budget film legend Roger Corman. Then he got into TV. Fried's first hit series was Gilligan's Island and then he wrote a lot of the music for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. For Star Trek, Fried wrote the music for five episodes. The 1967 episode Amok Time was the season two premiere. This was the episode that featured Spock's mating ritual. It's one of the more popular episodes and the music The Ritual/Ancient Battle/2nd Kroyah was under a Captain Kirk fight scene. Fried's music was so good that it was used as a template for future fight scenes. GNP Crescendo has released a series of CDs of music from the original Star Trek TV series. They usually put two episodes on one CD. This CD features Amok Time and The Doomsday Machine composed by Sol Kaplan. Of course this will interest Star Trek fans. The Ritual was used in the Jim Carrey film The Cable Guy. Fried has had a long career in film and especially TV. His most significant score was for the 1977 miniseries Roots and the sequels. He won an Emmy for Roots. It looks like Fried went into semi-retirement in the late 80s though he surfaces occasionally. Here's a video for The Ritual/Ancient Battle/2nd Kroykah by Gerald Fried.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

DEEP JEWELS resorting to desperate gimmickry for Nov. 23 show

Emi Fujino, Nori DATE
At a time when they should be closing and folding women's MMA fights into DEEP, DEEP JEWELS is resorting to desperate gimmickry to fool fans into attending their Nov. 23 Shinjuku FACE show. First they announced a double main event with midcard fighters. Both are attempts at Atomweight championship contender fights. One will have Emi Tomimatsu vs Sarami and the other will have Sugi Rock vs Mina Kurobe. These should be midcard fights and shouldn't be at the top of the card. None of them deserve a sniff at a title. They aren't good enough. So now because their last show was so short, DEEP JEWELS has resorted to the kind of gimmickry that Smackgirl used to get slammed for. They have taken five teens from what they are calling Team DATE and four of the five will make their pro MMA debuts. The other will be an amateur bout. Lately DEEP JEWELS has been presenting T-REX amateur MMA shows. So on their most recent show, the prize was a match on a DEEP JEWELS show. So when the two winners were on the same team, they decided to make it a full blown invasion. The biggest match of these five will have veteran Emi Fujino facing 17 year old Nori DATE. Of course we all know Fujino. Nori has kickboxing and Shoot Boxing experience. But she's getting thrown into the deep end for her MMA debut. Remember MMA is not regulated in Japan. Here in North America, no athletic commission would approve of a match with that kind of experience difference. Regulation prevents shady promoters from pulling this kind of crap. The other matches aren't as bad and probably would be approved. 34 year old housewife Emi Yamamoto (0-2) will face Hana DATE. Hana is another teen kickboxer. Sachiko Fujimori will face Karei DATE and Pan Hui will face Proof DATE. And in an amateur match, Reina Miura will face Nao DATE. If you like that kind of gimmickry, great. I think it's a bunch of nonsense. I kind of expect all five of these DATE girls to sing and dance before the show like AKB-48. I bet Shigeru Saeki would love that.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day- Hal Ketchum

Artist:Hal Ketchum
Song:Small Town Saturday Night
Album:The Hits

Hal Ketchum had success on the country music charts in the early 90s. Small Town Saturday Night was his first single in 1991 and one of his biggest hits. He was born Apr. 9, 1953 in Greenwich, NY which is in the Adirondack mountains. He performed in local clubs as a teen. He moved to Austin, TX in 1981 and began to write songs while working in local clubs. He released an album independently in 1988 and then he moved to Nashville and signed with Curb Records. His major label debut Past the Point of Rescue was released in 1991. The album was produced by veteran producers Allen Reynolds and Jim Rooney. Reynolds is best known for producing Garth Brooks. Rooney is best known for producing Nanci Griffiths. Small Town Saturday Night was the first single and it reached #2 on the Country Singles chart. Though Ketchum wrote most of the songs on the album, Small Town Saturday Night was written by Pat Alger and Hank DeVito. Alger started out in the 70s with the folk duo Happy and Artie Traum. He's worked a lot with Rooney writing songs for Nanci Griffiths. DeVito is best known as steel guitarist for Emmylou Harris. He wrote the Juice Newton hit Queen of Hearts. Ketchum's other top five hits were Past the Point of Rescue, Sure Love and Hearts Are Gonna Roll. You can get them all on this comp which was released in 1996. By then he had faded though he continued to record for Curb until 2008. Ketchum slowed down when in 1998 he was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis which is similar to multiple sclerosis. It affects the nerves in the spine and Ketchum suffered from paralysis. He recovered from that and he released an album on his own label last year. He is currently on tour. Here's the video for Small Town Saturday Night by Hal Ketchum. The film in the video is the infamous 1939 all midget western Terror Of Tiny Town widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mouth & MacNeal

Artist:Mouth & MacNeal
Song:How Do You Do?
Album:Absolutely The Best

How Do You Do? was a worldwide smash hit in 1972 and a top ten US hit for the Dutch duo Mouth & MacNeal. They had success in Europe and they split up in 1974. Mouth & MacNeal was put together by the production team of Hans van Hemert and Harry van Hoof. They were house producers at Philips Records in The Netherlands. van Hemert would find the talent and van Hoof wrote the arrangements. They produced several acts together. Wilhelmus "Big Mouth" Duyn was in several bands in the 60s. Singer Sjoukje van't Spijker was under contract to Philips and she had released one single. van Hemert thought they might make a good duo and he asked Duyn to come to the recording studio. They named van't Spijker Maggie MacNeal so the duo could be sold internationally and they used Duyn's nickname. Mouth & MacNeal was born. How Do You Do? was their second single. It was huge hit in Europe and Philips tried to promote it in the US. The song was discovered by Rhode Island radio personality Jim Connors who published a tip sheet for DJs called Think Sheet. He earned 13 gold records for breaking new artists, the most notable being Harry Chapin. Other DJs picked up on How Do You Do? and it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was their only North American hit but they continued to have success in Europe until the split up in 1974. This budget comp covers their entire run. Duyn formed Big Mouth & Little Eve with future wife Ingrid Kup. Later he recorded solo and also did voice acting. Duyn died in 2004. Maggie recorded solo for years and she was a frequent participant in the Eurovision Song Contest. Since 2000, she has been a member of Dutch Divas with TV host Marga Bult and they are popular locally. Here's Mouth & MacNeal performing How Do You Do? on German TV 1972.

Monday, October 12, 2015

AccuRadio Sing Of The Day-J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise

Artist:J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise f/Melissa Bethea
Song:You Are Worthy
Album:I See Victory

Youthful Praise has been one of the top contemporary gospel choirs for at least a decade. I've known about them for at least that long. I See Victory is their latest CD. Youthful Praise is from Bridgeport, CT led by James "J.J." Hairston. Their base is Turner's Faith Temple in Bridgeport and they were originally called Teens of TFT. The choir got the attention of James D. Robinson Jr., co-owner of the gospel music website and they started Evidence Gospel and Youthful Praise was their first signing. Evidence would merge with Light Records and in 2010 Light was sold to Entertainment One. Robinson still works with Youthful Praise and he has also produced Coko, Shirley Caesar and Jessica Reedy. Awesome God was Youthful Praise's debut CD in 2001 and it was nominated for two Stellar awards and a Soul Train award. Since then they have released new music every couple of years and appeared regularly on BET's Bobby Jones Gospel. Hairston writes all the songs and leads the choir. On their 2014 CD I See Victory, VeShawn Mitchell, Donnie McClurkin, Jason Nelson and Karen Clark-Sheard are among the guest vocalists. Choir member Melissa Bethea sings lead on You Are Worthy. I think they are a very energetic choir and if you're a gospel music fan, you should check them out. Their website is under construction meaning they probably have a new CD coming. Here's J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise featuring Melissa Bethea performing You Are Worthy.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jerry Orbach and Company

Artist:Jerry Orbach and Company
Song:Lullaby of Broadway
Album:The Only Broadway CD You'll Ever Need

Jerry Orbach is probably best known for his long run on the TV series Law and Order. But he had a long career on Broadway before that including his Tony nominated performance in the musical 42nd Street. He was born Oct. 20, 1935 in The Bronx, NY. His parents were both performers and the family moved around a lot. Orbach went to high school in Waukegan, IL and attended Northwestern University before moving back to New York City to study acting with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. After small roles in films and on Broadway, Orbach's first big role was as El Gallo in the 1960 cast of The Fantasticks. He was the first to perform Try To Remember. He was nominated for a Tony for his role as Sky Masterson in the 1965 musical Guys and Dolls. Then he won a Tony for Promises, Promises. Then in 1975 he was nominated for another Tony for Chicago. In the 80s, he started to appear in more films and TV. The Broadway revival of 42nd Street was Orbach's final appearance on Broadway. He was nominated for a Tony and the show ran for five years. Unfortunately the original cast album is not available on CD. But you can get Orbach's performance of Lullaby of Broadway on this various artists budget CD that is supposed to be an introduction to Broadway for beginners. In Hollywood, Orbach did mostly character and supporting roles in films and on TV. But his performance in the 1981 film Prince Of The City showed that he could handle larger roles. He finally got that signature role in the 1992 series Law and Order. He starred in the show for over a decade. Orbach was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1994. He continued on Law and Order while undergoing chemotherapy. Orbach left Law and Order in 2004 and he was supposed to continue on one of the spinoff shows with a lighter workload. But Orbach died on Dec. 28, 2004 at age 69. Jerry Orbach is in the American Theater Hall of Fame and a New York theater and street were named after him. Here's Jerry Orbach and company performing Lullaby of Broadway on the 1981 Tony Awards broadcast.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Murmaids

Artist:The Murmaids
Song:Popsicles and Icicles
Album:Romancing The '60s: This Magic Moment

The 1963 top five hit Popsicles and Icicles was the only chart single for the girl group The Murmaids. And then they all returned to school. The Murmaids were from Los Angeles. Sisters Carol and Terry Fischer grew up in show business. Their father Carl Fischer was Frankie Laine's musical director and mom sang with Stan Kenton. Grandma was in vaudeville. The third Murmaid was their neighbour Sally Gordon. These high school students recorded demos with future TV theme composer Mike Post. He was just beginning his career. Chattahoochie Records producer Kim Fowley liked the demos and he wanted the girls to record Popsicles and Icicles. Fowley had already worked on hits like Alley Oop and Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow and he's a legendary figure in the Los Angeles music scene. Popsicles and Icicles was written by David Gates who went on to fame as the leader of Bread. He wrote and produced all kinds of artists before Bread. The vocal arrangement was by Skip Battin of Skip and Flip and later on The Byrds. Popsicles and Icicles reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. And that was it. The Murmaids recorded enough songs for an album. But the album wasn't released and only surfaced recently when Collectables released a Murmaids CD. Part of the problem was the girls refused to quit school and tour. And I guess Fowley soured on them for that reason. And he even tried to continue the Murmaids with different girls. You can get Popsicles and Icicles on this 2CD Time Life various artists budget comp. There are also CDs covering David Gates' early career and Kim Fowley's career. In 1969, Terry Fischer was a member of The Carnival, a spinoff of Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66. Then in the 70s, she was a background singer for TV talk show bands and in Las Vegas. The Fischer sisters reunited The Murmaids in 1998 with a third singer and they released a CD in 2002. But The Murmaids will forever be remembered for the innocent sound of Popsicles and Icicles. Here's a video for Popsicles and Icicles by The Murmaids.

Friday, October 09, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension

Artist:John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension
Song:The Fine Line
Album:To The One

British guitarist John McLaughlin is best known as a Jazz Fusion pioneer first with Tony Williams and Miles Davis and then leading The Mahavishnu Orchestra. The 4th Dimension is McLaughlin's current and it should give fans fond memories of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. For most of the 90s, McLaughlin recorded for Verve Records. He left Verve after the 2006 album Industrial Zen. One of the musicians he recruited for that album was British keyboard player and drummer Gary Husband. Though Husband has recorded as a leader, he has been a sideman since the 80s with Alan Holdsworth, Level 42, Jack Bruce and Billy Cobham. He also records for the jazz label Abstract Logix and he suggested them to McLaughlin. So McLaughlin decided to form a new band with Husband called 4th Dimension. But first McLaughlin toured with Chick Corea and recorded an album as Five Peace Band. This was a one off project. When McLaughlin returned, he recorded the 2010 CD To The One. Husband plays keyboards and drums. On the video clip, he's playing drums. The other musicians are British drummer Mark Mondesir and bassist Etienne Mbappe. Mondesir is best known for his days with British sax player Courtney Pine. Mbappe is from Cameroon but he lives in France and does a lot of session work. For the 2012 CD Now Here This, Mondesir was replaced by Indian drummer Ranjit Barot, a long time associate of film composer A.R. Rahman. McLaughlin knew him from his Shakti revival. The band's new CD Black Light was released last month and they are touring Australia and Asia. So if you're a long time fan of McLaughlin, you may want to check out his new band 4th Dimension. Here's John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension performing The Fine Line live in the recording studio 2010.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Asuka debuts in NXT

Here's the match video of Asuka vs Dana Brooke from last night's NXT show that aired live on the WWE Network. This is for those of you who don't have the WWE Network which is worth getting mostly for NXT. Last night's main event of Bayley vs Sasha Banks was almost as good as their Brooklyn match. I hated the ending and I would have preferred a ten minute extension. But I want to talk about Kana who is called Asuka in NXT. There seemed to be a lot of hand wringing by fans about how the WWE would change Kana to fit into the WWE. Other than the name change, she's the same Kana we have come to know and love over the last few years. She was wearing slippers as opposed to wrestling barefoot but she has worn slippers before. I'm sure HHH had to work on her playing to the camera during her entrance. That's something she never had to do in Japan. But as HHH said on Tuesday, Kana has natural charisma that can't be taught. So her entrance was great and the crowd was hot for her. The idea behind this match is not only for Kana to look like a star but for her to make Dana Brooke look good. I think she accomplished that. Of course Kana is much quicker than Dana or any other WWE female wrestler. She did all her trademark moves including her Asuka lock cross face chicken wing. She also pulled off a flying armbar. I also liked her mocking Dana's shtick which I suspect she adlibbed. Dana got in a bit of offense with Emma's help. Guess who's in for the next beating. And Kana does this with a big smile on her face. Remember she will make more money over the next year in the WWE than she made in her whole career in Japan. No wonder she's happy. I can't ask for more. She was perfect. Then Dana attacks her after the match and Kana knocks her out with a spinning head kick. I am also posting a bonus video of Dana in the medical room and she can't remember the match. Then Kana comes in. Enjoy both videos.
Dana Brooke vs Asuka by MrCena456

Randa Markos vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz added to Dec. 19 UFC show

Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Randa Markos
It was announced on last night's episode of UFC Tonight that Randa Markos will face Karolina Kowalkiewicz on UFC on FOX 17 Dec. 19 at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL. I expect this fight to air on the prelims. Last year, Karolina won a split decision over MIZUKI in Invicta. At the time, I thought she won that fight because of MIZUKI's lack of aggression. It was a close fight so it didn't really sell me on Karolina. Most of her other fights have been for KSW in her native Poland. She's 7-0. Someone asked me about her a couple of months ago and I thought she would be a tough signing for the UFC because KSW does pay fighters well so they will stay and with the UFC's Reebok deal killing sponsorship, she would probably make more money in KSW. So the UFC probably had to pay Karolina a premium. So they are giving her a tough opponent for her debut to find out if she's any good. Randa is from Windsor, ON but she recently moved to Montreal to train at Tri Star. She won her last fight over Aisling Daly in April. Randa is an ace grappler so we may find out about Karolina's takedown defense. And that could be the key to this fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Donald O'Connor

Artist:Donald O'Connor
Song:Make 'Em Laugh
Album:Singin' In The Rain: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Donald O'Connor was a song and dance man best known for his performance in the 1952 musical Singin' In The Rain with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds and especially his showstopper Make 'Em Laugh. He grew up in show business. O'Connor was born Aug. 28, 1925 in Chicago. His parents were vaudeville performers who emigrated from Ireland. When his father died on stage from a heart attack, O'Connor and two of his brothers toured the vaudeville circuit with mom. Donald O'Connor was three years old. At age 13, O'Connor appeared in the 1937 film Sing You Sinners with Bing Crosby. Paramount used him in a few films but O'Connor returned to vaudeville. He returned to Hollywood and signed with Universal Pictures in 1941. They used him in B musicals but the 1943 film Mister Big was turned into an A movie. Then O'Connor was drafted into the US Army and served during World War II. Upon his return, O'Connor appeared in a few musicals before he made the 1950 film Francis with a talking mule voiced by Chill Wills. These comedies were very successful. There were six Francis The Talking Mule films. Then he was loaned out to MGM for Singin' In The Rain. His role was based on and originally offered to Oscar Levant. I don't think Levant could have performed Make 'Em Laugh like O'Connor. Of course the film is a classic and so is O'Connor's performance. Make 'Em Laugh was so physical that O'Connor had to rest in bed for three days to recover. And then the take got messed up and O'Connor had to do it again. Singin' In The Rain was one of the first soundtracks released in 1952 by MGM on a 10 inch LP. It's been released on CD several times. This version from Sony Classical has some bonus tracks. Beware of cheap European releases with inferior audio quality. O'Connor hosted NBC's Colgate Comedy Hour and then The Donald O'Connor Show in 1954. So he was more active on TV in the 60s and 70s than in films usually doing guest shots. He also had alcohol issues and would need heart bypass surgery in 1990. He continued to perform until his death on Sept. 27, 2003 at age 78. Here's Donald O'Connor performing Make 'Em Laugh in the 1952 film Singin' In The Rain.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Luther Vandross

Artist:Luther Vandross f/Mariah Carey
Song:Endless Love
Album:The Ultimate Luther Vandross

For all the songs that Luther Vandross wrote and arranged for himself and others, why would he need to record an album of covers? But in 1994 he did exactly that and his cover of Endless Love with Mariah Carey would turn out to be one of his biggest hits. The idea for Vandross to record an album of covers came from Sony Music president Tommy Mottola and at the time he was married to Mariah Carey. She was probably Sony's biggest star at the time and who better to get Vandross to the top of the charts. It was her idea to record Endless Love as a duet. Of course Endless Love was written by Lionel Richie for the 1981 film Endless Love and Richie's recording with Diana Ross topped the charts. Normally one would not want to cover a song that was that big a hit. The record was produced and arranged by Walter Afanasieff. Of course Vandross sings in an understated style and Mariah typically oversings like she always does. The strategy worked. Endless Love reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the biggest hit of Vandross' career. The album Songs reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 200 and it was certified 2XPlatinum. Vandross also covers another Richie song Hello and even The Impossible Dream. Songs is still available as a budget CD. But you can also get Endless Love on this budget comp. Here's the video for Endless Love by Luther Vandross featuring Mariah Carey.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Ham Seo Hee vs Cortney Casey added to Nov. 28 UFC show

Ham Seo Hee, Cortney Casey
Today the Korean media reported and the UFC just confirmed that Korean Strawweight Ham Seo Hee will face Cortney Casey Nov. 28 at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul. It looks like this show will air on UFC Fight Pass. This will be the UFC's first show in South Korea. I have known for a while that Ham would be on this show. I was just waiting for her opponent to be announced. Ham is a kickboxer who has fought MMA mostly in Japan. She is a former DEEP JEWELS 105lb champ. And part of her problem is she is undersized for 115lb. The size difference was obvious when Ham lost to Joanne Calderwood in her UFC debut in December. Ham is a quality striker but her other skills aren't good enough to overcome her size disadvantage. She was supposed to fight in Australia earlier this year but she dropped out due to injury. Ham has a long history of back problems. Cortney is from Hawaii. She lost her UFC debut to Joanne Calderwood in July. But I thought she looked pretty good considering she took the fight on short notice. I want to see how she does with a full camp of preparation. Stay tuned because I think the UFC is trying to put together a second women's fight for this show.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Verve Pipe

Artist:The Verve Pipe
Song:The Freshmen

The Verve Pipe scored a top five hit in 1996 with The Freshmen. It would turn out to be their only big hit because by the time they released a follow up album, they were forgotten. The Verve Pipe are from Lansing, MI. Lead singer and main songwriter Brian Vander Ark merged two local bands in 1992. Vander Ark and bassist brother Brad Vander Ark were in Johnny with an Eye. Drummer Donny Brown and guitarist Brian Stout were in Water 4 the Pool. The Verve Pipe released the 1992 CD I've Suffered A Head Injury independently. Stout left and was replaced by A.J. Dunning. After they released the 1993 album Smear, they were popular enough in Michigan that major labels came calling. The Verve Pipe signed with RCA Records. Keyboard player Doug Corella was added to the band. They recorded their 1996 major label debut Villains with producer Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads. The Freshmen reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Villains was certified Platinum. An acoustic version of The Freshmen was on I've Suffered A Head Injury. Vander Ark said at the time that The Freshmen was about an ex-girlfriend who had an abortion and committed suicide. He later admitted that the ex-girlfriend was real but he made up the rest of it. The Freshmen would turn out to be their only big hit. Villains is available as a budget CD. By the time they released their 1999 CD The Verve Pipe, their post grunge style music wasn't popular anymore. Also, Soundgarden producer Michael Beinhorn gave them a much darker sound that didn't catch on with listeners. After one more album, they left RCA in 2001. Vander Ark recorded three solo albums and reformed The Verve Pipe in 2009. He's the only original member left. They released a CD last year and they tour mostly in the Midwest. Here's the video for The Freshmen by The Verve Pipe.

Monday, October 05, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Artist:Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Song:You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

I think most music fans are aware that Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) are a spinoff of the legendary Canadian group The Guess Who. BTO had a great run in the 70s. You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet was their biggest hit. When Randy Bachman left The Guess Who in 1970, the original plan was to produce an album for his former Guess Who bandmate Chad Allan. This turned into Brave Belt who recorded two albums for Reprise Records. Randy's brother Robbie Bachman played drums and then Neil Young suggested bassist C.F. "Fred" Turner. Tim Bachman joined as second guitarist. After two albums, Allan left and the band name was changed to Bachman-Turner Overdrive. The first BTO album was actually the third Brave Belt album. They signed with Mercury Records who suggested the name change. BTO II was their breakthrough album especially the hit single Takin' Care Of Business which Bachman had written for The Guess Who a few years earlier. Tim Bachman left and was replaced by Blair Thornton. Then they scored a #1 hit in 1974 with You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet. Bachman says the song was a gag and was never intended to be released. It's based on The Who's Baba O'Riley. The gag is that brother Gary Bachman stutters. Mercury was looking for a hit single for the 1974 album Not Fragile. Bachman told Mercury's Charlie Fach that You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet was a gag on Gary because of his stuttering. But Fach wanted to hear it anyway and he liked it and thought it was the hit he was looking for. So it was added to the album. When radio stations started to play You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet as an album track, Mercury released it as a single. The rest is history. And Bachman tried to prevent the single release because the song embarrassed him. But he relented because sometimes dumb songs are hits. Bachman left BTO in 1977 but the group continued for a couple of years. He recorded a solo album and BTO split up in 1979. This 2CD budget comp is definitive. BTO first reformed in 1983 and have reunited occasionally over the years. They don't seem to be active right now. Here's Bachman-Turner Overdrive performing You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet. This was released as a promo video in 1974.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Rose Namajunas vs Angela Hill

Here's the match video of Rose Namajunas vs Angela Hill from last night's UFC show in Houston. After she lost the TUF 20 final to Carla Esparza, a lot of folks wanted to throw Rose on the scrap heap. Geez, she's only 23 years old. It didn't help when a scheduled fight was cancelled when her opponent missed weight and got sick. So now she is facing Angela who is a kickboxer and not really an MMA fighter. She lost her last fight to Tecia Torres who sat on her for three rounds and didn't do either of them any favours. The way to beat Angela is to take her to the mat. And that's what Rose did. Angela gave up her back and then tried to get up. That was a rookie mistake. Rose clamped on a standing rear naked choke and put Angela to sleep. Good night. Hopefully, Rose will face stiffer competition next time. I think Angela would be better off in Glory or Lion Fight. She just isn't an MMA fighter. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Julianna Pena vs Jessica Eye

Here's the match video of Julianna Pena vs Jessica Eye from last night's UFC show in Houston. After she lost her last fight to Miesha Tate, Jessica wanted to get right back on the saddle. I think she should take some time to work on her non existent ground game. Of course Julianna won TUF 18 and she is on the comeback trail from a knee injury. For some reason, Jessica thought that clinching against the fence was going to win her this fight. But instead the ref warned her to do something or he would break them up. Julianna got a couple of takedowns which was enough to win round one 10-9. Jessica did better in round two. She was able to get in top position but she didn't seem to know what to do once she got there. And Julianna has good ground defense. So I scored that round 10-9 for Jessica. But then the ref took a point away from Jessica for a knee to a grounded opponent. First, I hate this rule and they should get rid of it. And both fighters were on the ground and I don't think that was the intention of the rule. I think the ref misinterpreted this rule and taking a point from Jessica was stupid. In the end, it didn't matter much as Julianna dominated round three and almost scored a finish with a rear naked choke. I scored the fight 29-28 for Julianna and the judges gave her a unanimous decision. Afterwards, Julianna called out Ronda Rousey for a title shot. My guess is she will have to go through Amanda Nunes for that. Remember that after Ronda's upcoming title defense, she's making a movie. So there is plenty of time to set up the next challenger. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Michael Buble

Artist:Michael Buble
Song:Haven't Met You Yet
Album:Crazy Love

Michael Buble is a very successful neo-crooner. For the most part, his music is aimed at an older mostly female audience. So he doesn't need pop hit singles. Haven't Met You Yet is is biggest pop hit to date and it didn't break the top 20. He was born Sept. 9, 1975 in Burnaby, BC. He has wanted to be a singer since he was a child. He also wanted to be a hockey player but he says he isn't any good at that. His grandfather paid for singing lessons and got him gigs in local clubs. Buble loved The Mills Brothers just like Dean Martin. He won a talent contest, got a manager and was a frequent guest on Vicki Gabereau's CTV talk show which was taped in Vancouver. Buble's big break came when he sang at the wedding of Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's daughter Caroline and producer David Foster was a guest at the wedding. Buble signed with Foster's 143 label distributed by Warner Bros. His 2003 debut CD Michael Buble sold three million CDs worldwide. Then his 2005 CD It's Time sold six million CDs. Remember this is all without benefit of a hit single. Haven't Met You Yet is from Buble's 2009 CD Crazy Love. The single reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is his biggest hit to date. Buble wrote the song with his pianist and musical director Alan Chang and Amy Foster-Gilles who is David Foster's daughter. The girl in the video is Argentinian actress Luisana Lopilato who is married to Buble and is currently expecting a second child. Buble's latest CD To Be Loved was released in 2013 and his sales are holding up very well. He's a big concert draw. He isn't touring right now as he is working on a new album. Here's the video for Haven't Met You Yet by Michael Buble.

Music Video: "Haven't Met You Yet" (Michael Buble) from Alec Rivera on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Linda Ronstadt

Artist:Linda Ronstadt
Song:When Will I Be Loved
Album:The Collection

Though Linda Ronstadt had a long career performing several styles of music, her biggest success was in the mid-70s covering oldies like You're No Good and When Will I Be Loved. Linda first had success as lead singer of The Stone Poneys and the 1967 hit Different Drum. After they split up in 1968, Capitol Records turned Linda into a solo artist. But her three albums on Capitol didn't perform to expectations and Linda moved to Asylum Records. She also started working with producer Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon along with Andrew Gold and Kenny Edwards. Gold was the son of film composer Ernst Gold and legendary session singer Marni Nixon. He went on to solo success but he wrote the arrangements for Linda's mid-70s albums. Edwards was a founding member of The Stone Poneys. Linda's 1973 Asylum debut Don't Cry Now was her first Gold album. And she charted especially on the country charts with Silver Threads and Golden Needles. Linda owed Capitol one more album and that album was Heart Like A Wheel. She topped the charts with her cover of Betty Everett's You're No Good. And her cover of The Everly Brothers hit When Will I Be Loved reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album topped the Billboard Hot 200 and it was certified 2XPlatinum. So what Linda needed was the right producer and that was Peter Asher. In the 80s, Linda went more towards a jazz vocal style and she recorded in Spanish like she always wanted. Asher remained her producer until 1993. Her albums continued to sell in the 80s. And of course her 1989 duet with Aaron Neville Don't Know Much was a big hit. This 2CD comp from Music Club covers Linda's entire career. Linda left Asylum in 2000 and recorded for Verve and Vanguard. She announced her retirement in 2011 as she suffers from Parkinson's and can no longer sing. Here's Linda Ronstadt performing When Will I Be Loved on The Midnight Special 1975. The guys on the insets are Andrew Gold and Kenny Edwards.

Friday, October 02, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ray Walston

Artist:Ray Walston
Song:Those Were The Good Old Days
Album:Damn Yankees: An Original Cast Recording

Ray Walston is probably best known as the star of the 60s sitcom My Favorite Martian. But before his long career in movies and TV, Walston was successful on Broadway. He won a Tony award for his role as The Devil in the musical Damn Yankees and he also starred in the film version. He was born Dec. 2, 1914 in Laurel, MS and he grew up in New Orleans. The acting bug bit Walston at a very early age as he was in local theater in New Orleans and then in Margo Jones' repertory company after his family moved to Dallas. He spent three years at the Cleveland Play House and then he moved to New York to study at the famed Actors Studio. In 1949, Walston appeared in the short lived Broadway show Mrs. Gibbons' Boys. But the show was produced by George Abbott who would remember Walston when he was casting Damn Yankees. Walston appeared in the musicals Me and Juliet and House of Flowers before Damn Yankees. Damn Yankees was written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross as the follow up to The Pajama Game. Damn Yankees is about Joe Hardy of the New York Yankees who is tempted by Mr. Applegate and his accomplice Lola to sell his soul to the devil. When film star Mitzi Gaynor turned down the role of Lola, the producers settled on the inexperienced Gwen Verdon as Lola and Stephen Douglass as Joe. He appeared in The Pajama Game. Abbott remembered Walston and cast him as The Devil. Those Were The Good Old Days was Walston's big solo number. Damn Yankees was a big hit on Broadway and the show won seven Tonys including awards for Walston and Verdon. When Damn Yankees was turned into a film, Douglass was replaced by Tab Hunter but Walston and Verdon remained. They had great chemistry. The original Broadway cast of Damn Yankees is available as a budget CD. The movie soundtrack is out of print. Walston moved to Hollywood and appeared in the film version of the musical South Pacific. Walston had a long career in films and TV. His best known role was as Martin the Martian in the 60s sitcom My Favorite Martian. It typecast him so he went back to character roles in the 70s. Then Walston became popular with a new generation when he appeared as the teacher Mr. Hand in the 1982 film Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Walston was grateful when fans greeted him on the street as Mr. Hand because it got away from Martin the Martian. After he appeared as a judge on the series LA Law, producer David E. Kelley hired Walston to play the same character on his series Picket Fances. Walston was nominated for three Emmys. In 1994, Walston was diagnosed with lupus and he started winding down his career. He appeared in a few things including the 1999 movie remake of My Favorite Martian. Ray Walston died on Jan. 1, 2001 at age 86. Here's Ray Walston performing Those Were The Good Old Days in the 1958 film Damn Yankees.