Sunday, January 31, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Bachelors

Artist:The Bachelors
Song:Diane
Album:Presenting The Bachelors





The Irish group The Bachelors scored a top ten hit in 1964 with Diane. They were a much bigger deal in England. Despite the timing, they weren't a British Invasion act. And though they look like a folk music group, they recorded Tin Pan Alley standards. The Bachelors are from Dublin, Ireland with Conleth Cluskey, his brother Declan Cluskey and John Stokes. At first they were called The Harmonichords. Decca Records A & R man Dick Rowe suggested the name change to The Bachelors. He signed them and assigned them to producer Shel Talmy, best known for producing The Kinks. Charmaine was their first top ten hit in England in 1962 followed by I Believe. Diane topped the British charts in 1964 but it also reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Erno Rapee and Lew Pollack for the 1927 film Seventh Heaven. Mario Lanza, Jim Reeves and Miles Davis are among those who have recorded Diane. This is typical of the songs The Bachelors recorded. Their music was aimed at an older audience. Though Diane was their biggest US hit, The Bachelors continued to have success in England. This CD from the British reissue label RPM is a repackaging of The Bachelors first US album with some bonus tracks added. Beware of off labels selling re-recorded versions of The Bachelors hits. Though The Bachelors faded in the late 60s, they continued to perform in the 70s and record for Philips Records. They split in 1984. The Cluskey brothers still perform as The New Bachelors. Stokes also performs as The New Bachelors. I guess there is a legal dispute about the use of the name The Bachelors. Both groups tour the oldies circuit in England. Here are The Bachelors performing Diane and I Believe on a 60s variety show.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Veteran pro wrestler Syuri signs multi fight deal with Pancrase

Syuri
After the weigh ins for tomorrow's PANCRASE show, PANCRASE owner Masakazu Sakai held a press conference to announce that veteran pro wrestler Syuri (real name-Kondo Shuri) has signed a multi fight deal with PANCRASE. She will make her MMA debut on PANCRASE 277 Apr. 24 at Differ Ariake. Though this will be Syuri's MMA debut, Sakai knows her very well. Syuri debuted in pro wrestling in 2008 for Hustle which was owned by Sakai. Then she worked for SMASH which was also owned by Sakai. After SMASH closed, Syuri worked for Wrestling New Classic. Currently she works for REINA as their top babyface. She's one of the more popular joshi wrestlers in Japan. At the same time, Syuri holds a 13-1 kickboxing record and she is the current Krush Women's Champion. Syuri says her goal is to be the Queen of PANCRASE Champion and then go to the UFC. She will compete in Strawweight and she will train at AACC with Invicta Atomweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki who got a lot of credit for training RENA for her successful MMA debut in RIZIN. She already trains with former UFC fighter Eiji Mitsuoka. Apparently this is a four fight deal. Syuri says she will continue pro wrestling with REINA. But she plans to relinquish her Krush kickboxing title. Syuri is a good athlete. She was a dancer before she became a pro wrestler. Maybe she can transition from kickboxing to MMA. We shall see.

Lisa Fischer concert review

Photo by David Spodek
Last night I went to Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto to see legendary backup singer Lisa Fischer. Have you seen the Oscar winning doc Twenty Feet From Stardom? You can read my review by using the Search box in the top left hand corner of this page. Lisa is one of the featured singers in the film. She started out in the 80s as a background singer and she topped the R & B charts with the 1991 single How Can I Ease The Pain. When management changes at Elektra Records scuttled Lisa's second album, she returned to background singing and still does that today. Most notably, she has toured with The Rolling Stones since 1989 and she was featured on their 2005 live recording of Gimme Shelter. What is unusual about this tour is Lisa isn't promoting a new CD. She doesn't even have a record deal. She should be on Verve or Concord or Blue Note. Don Was, where you at, man? Her backing band Grand Baton is unorthodox but very interesting. They are from France led by JC Maillard. He plays guitar, piano and SazBass. What? Maillard invented the SazBass in 2000. It's an eight stringed mix of the saz from Turkey and the bouzouki. Maillard explains the SazBass on the 2014 NPR Tiny Desk Concert featuring singer Sofia Rei. You can watch this on Youtube. The other musicians are Thierry Arpino on drums who has toured with French violin legend Jean-Luc Ponty and bassist Aidan Carroll. Because this is a small band, the concert is very intimate though Maillard makes all kinds of noises with his various instruments. Because Lisa isn't promoting a new CD, she mostly mines her past including How Can I Ease The Pain. She also performs several Rolling Stones songs including Jumpin' Jack Flash, Gimme Shelter and Wild Horses. She also used two microphones, one for her singing and the other for vocal effects. That's very unusual but Maillard seems like the kind of guy who thinks outside the box. Of course Lisa is a great singer or I wouldn't be there in the first place. But as is usually the case with these Koerner Hall concerts, a lot of the audience are long time season subscribers who have no idea of Lisa Fischer's history. Would somebody please sign Lisa to a record deal and record her with this band?

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sixpence None The Richer

Artist:Sixpence None The Richer
Song:Kiss Me
Album:Top Ten





Sixpence None The Richer is a Contemporary Christian Music group that crossed over to pop when Kiss Me was used as the theme for the 1999 film She's All That, a film very popular with teens. They were already successful in the CCM market. The pop crossover was a bonus. The name Sixpence None The Richer comes from the C.S. Lewis book Mere Christianity. The band is from the Dallas area. Lead singer Leigh Nash and guitarist Matt Slocum met in the early 90s in a church in her hometown of New Braunfels, TX. After the band toured and released a couple of CDs independently, Sixpence None The Richer signed with Squint Entertainment in 1997. Squint was owned by CCM singer songwriter Steve Taylor. The 1997 CD Sixpence None The Richer did very well in the CCM market. Kiss Me got some attention when it was used in the TV series Dawson's Creek. Columbia picked up the album for distribution and Kiss Me was used as the main theme in the 1999 film She's All That. Kiss Me reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album Sixpence None The Richer was certified Platinum. A couple of their other songs charted but Kiss Me was their biggest hit. You can get it on this comp. Sixpence None the Richer recorded their next album. But Squint was having financial problems and they closed in 2002. The CD Divine Discontent was released but ultimately Sixpence None The Richer split up in 2004. Slocum formed The Astronaut Pushers. Leigh Nash started her own label with Nettwerk Records distribution and released a solo CD in 2006. Sixpence None The Richer reformed in 2009 and they released a CD in 2012. Leigh Nash also continues to record solo. Here's the video for Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Io Shirai vs Kairi Hojo

Here's the match video of the main event of STARDOM's fifth anniversary show Jan. 17 at Korakuen Hall. It's Io Shirai defending her World of STARDOM Championship against Kairi Hojo. The thing I will say about Hojo is for a model, she is becoming a decent wrestler. She was out of shape when she first came to STARDOM. She's improved a lot but she's not quite there. But STARDOM needed for Hojo to be credible for a half hour match with their ace Io Shirai. In many ways, Hojo is a copy of Io. She does some of the same moves. The big difference is Io is much more experienced. Her moves are more crisp but she sells Hojo's offense well enough to keep this match interesting for 30 minutes. But I never thought Hojo could win. The turning point of the match was when Hojo landed her flying elbow drop finisher and Io kicked out of the pin. When she goes for the move again, Io gets her knees up and that's the beginning of the end. Io Shirai is the ace of STARDOM and I expect her to be the ace for a long time. Enjoy the video!
Watch Io Shirai vs Kairi Hojo in Sports  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Bethe Correia vs Raquel Pennington added to Apr. 16 UFC show

Bethe Correia, Raquel Pennington
The Brazilian TV network Globo reported this morning that Bethe Correia vs Raquel Pennington has been added to UFC on FOX 19. This show will be on Apr. 16. The location has not been announced. Of course Bethe suffered her first loss last Aug. to Ronda Rousey by KO. Her previous wins in the UFC were unimpressive. But she knows how to talk. Raquel is a lot better than her 6-5 record because she likes to fight top fighters. She choked out Jessica Andrade in her last fight and sent her to Strawweight. Before that, Raquel lost to current champ Holly Holm by split decision despite breaking both hands during the fight. Maybe she will send Bethe back to the office job she had before she was a fighter.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Klaatu

Artist:Klaatu
Song:Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft
Album:Klaatu/Hope





Klaatu was one of the more enigmatic bands of the 70s. The band was so intent on being anonymous that trade magazines like Billboard speculated that they could be The Beatles recording under a pseudonym. People believed this for a while and it helped Klaatu's record sales until fans discovered the truth. Klaatu were from Toronto. They named themselves after the alien from the classic sci-fi film The Day The Earth Stood Still. And much of their music including Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft had a sci-fi theme. Klaatu was formed in 1972 by Toronto studio musicians John Woloschuk and Dee Long. Drummer Terry Draper was added later. After releasing a couple of singles on GRT Records, they signed with Daffodil Records and released their debut album 3:47 EST in 1976. The album and the single Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft did well enough that Capitol Records picked it up for release in the US. The group insisted on remaining anonymous. There were no publicity photos of Klaatu and there were no names on the album cover. The songwriting was credited to Klaatu. When the album started getting radio airplay, the similarity to The Beatles was noticed and rumours started spreading. It took on a life of its own when Steve Smith of the Providence Journal wrote about it. Klaatu was recording their album Hope in England. They knew about The Beatles rumours because the British music paper New Musical Express published an article Deaf Idiot Journalist Starts Beatle Rumour. But they didn't realize how widely the rumour had spread. So they didn't take it seriously. Finally somebody checked the US Copyright office and found out Klaatu's real identity. Obviously Klaatu's record sales weren't as strong after that. Their first two albums are available as a twofer. Klaatu split up in 1981. Capitol in Canada tried to get them to tour but Long refused and left the band. Long and Woloschuk returned to studio work. Draper owns a successful roofing business but he started releasing albums in 1997 and he still does that today. Here's the video for Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft by Klaatu.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko added to Mar. 5 UFC show

Valentina Shevchenko
This afternoon the UFC announced that Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko has been added to UFC 196 Mar. 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Valentina won her UFC debut in Dec. with a split decision win over Sarah Kaufman. But most media outlets including yours truly and even Sarah Kaufman thought she deserved a unanimous decision. Valentina is an elite kickboxer with plenty of experience. For this fight, we may get to see how good her takedown defense is. Amanda is a Brazilian who trains at American Top Team in Florida. She likes to finish as quickly as possible. She has finished 10 of her 11 wins including her last win over Sara McMann in August. But if she doesn't get a first round finish, she has been known to run out of gas as she did when she lost to Cat Zingano a couple of years ago. But I think Mike Brown at ATT has been working on improving Amanda's endurance. This fight is an interesting contrast of styles and a good test for both fighters.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stan Kenton and his Orchestras

Artist:Stan Kenton and his Orchestras
Song:Swing House
Album:All Time Greatest Hits





Unlike other big band leaders, Stan Kenton embraced bebop. He was criticized for this but Kenton's progressiveness served him well and his band was very successful in the 50s after other big bands had faded. He was born Dec. 15, 1911 in Witchita, KS. Because he was conceived out of wedlock, he was told that he was born Feb. 19, 1912. He was never told the truth so that date is on his gravestone. Kenton learned piano as a child. He went to high school in Bell, CA and he was already leading bands in local clubs. In the 30s, Kenton played in dance bands led by Vido Musso and Gus Arnheim. But by 1941, he started his own band and he signed with Capitol in 1943. All kinds of musicians like Stan Getz and Art Pepper went through his band. June Christy was the featured singer. Other featured musicians included Pete Rugolo, Bob Cooper, Video Musso and Kai Winding. After a year off, Kenton returned in 1950 with a new band that featured younger musicians. Swing House is from the 1952 album New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm. It was written and arranged by Gerry Mulligan. The song was not on the original 10" LP release but was added when the album was released as a 12" LP. Among the musicians on this album are Maynard Ferguson, Conte Candoli, Bill Russo, Frank Rosolino, Lee Konitz, Bill Holman, Richie Kamuca, Sal Salvador and Stan Levey. This album was released on CD in 1989 but is currently out of print. Fortunately many Kenton radio broadcasts have been released on CD by Sounds Of Yesteryear. This 2CD comp is a good intro to those broadcasts. Kenton continued to be very successful into the 70s. His career ended when he suffered a fractured skull from a 1977 fall and Kenton died on Aug. 25, 1979 at age 67. Here's Stan Kenton and his Orchestra performing Swing House at the Sporthalle in Berlin, Germany Aug. 27, 1953.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stone Temple Pilots

Artist:Stone Temple Pilots
Song:Interstate Love Song
Album:Thank You





Though Stone Temple Pilots were frequently accused of ripping off other bands, it didn't stop them from being successful. When a band starts out with a cult following and then blows up, they tend to attract a lot of hate. At first they were called Mighty Joe Young when they formed in 1989. Lead singer Scott Weiland and bassist Robert DeLeo met in 1985. After trying a couple of guitarists, DeLeo suggested his older brother Dean DeLeo who only played guitar as a hobby. It worked out and a demo got them a deal with Atlantic Records. Drummer Eric Kretz was already in the band. For copyright reasons, they weren't going to be able to use the name Mighty Joe Young so the band name was changed to Stone Temple Pilots because they liked the STP logo they saw on race cars. Their 1992 debut album Core was a big hit. It was certified 8XPlatinum. MTV played videos like Plush and Creep. And though STP was slammed by music critics for being "grunge imitators", it didn't matter and they were very successful. In 1994, Rolling Stone writers named them the Worst New Band and Rolling Stone readers named them the Best New Band. The success continued with the 1994 album Purple which was certified 6XPlatinum. Interstate Love Song was the biggest hit from that album as it topped the Mainstream Rock chart. Their 1996 album Tiny Music...Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop wasn't as successful as the first two albums. And Weiland was having drug abuse issues. So STP went on hiatus. Weiland released a solo album and the others released an album as Talk Show. STP reformed and recorded two more albums before disbanding in 2002. This budget comp covers their 90s hits. Weiland formed Velvet Revolver and the DeLeo brothers formed Army Of Anyone. STP reformed in 2008 after Weiland was fired from Velvet Revolver. STP went on tour and released a 2010 album. Weiland was fired in 2013 and replaced by Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. He toured and recorded with STP before returning to Linkin Park in Nov. 2015. Weiland toured with his new band the Wildabouts and on Dec. 3, 2015, he was found dead in his tour bus apparently from a drug overdose. STP acknowledged that Weiland was gifted beyond words but he was also cursed with drug abuse. It is unknown if Stone Temple Pilots will continue. Here's the video for Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Clinton Gregory

Artist:Clinton Gregory
Song:(If It Weren't For Country Music) I'd Go Crazy
Album:If It Weren't For Country Music, "I'D GO CRAZY"



Clinton Gregory is a fifth generation fiddle player. He started out as a session musician and sideman. After brief success on the country music charts in the early 90s, Gregory returned to session work. He was born Mar. 1, 1964 in Martinsville, VA. His father Willie Gregory performed on the Grand Ole Opry. In the 80s, he got into session work and also was in country music star Suzy Bogguss' band. In 1990, veteran producer Ray Pennington signed Gregory to his label Step One Records. Ray Price was also on that label. Gregory's debut album Music 'n' Me was released in 1990. But he didn't have a hit single until his second album If It Weren't For Country Music, "I'D GO CRAZY". The title track reached #26 on the Country Singles chart. The song was written by Alan Syms. His other top 30 country music hits were Play, Ruby, Play and Who Needs It. In 1995, Gregory moved to Polydor Records and released the album Clinton Gregory. When that wasn't successful, he returned to session work. He still does that today. The album If It Weren't For Country Music, "I'D GO CRAZY" is available as a budget CD. Gregory last recorded for Melody Roundup Music in 2013. It looks like it was a bluegrass album. He released a couple of singles in 2014 but he closed his website. So that tells me that he isn't planning to record in the future. He toured with his bluegrass band in 2015. Here's the video for (If It Weren't For Country Music) I'd Go Crazy by Clinton Gregory.

Monday, January 25, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Keith Urban

Artist:Keith Urban f/Eric Church
Song:Raise 'Em Up
Album:Fuse





So if you are country music star Keith Urban and your record sales are starting to fall off, a good way to keep yourself relevant is to record duets with singers who are at the top of the charts. So with his 2013 CD Fuse, Urban recorded We Were Us with Miranda Lambert. That topped the country charts. Raise 'Em Up with Eric Church was the fifth single from the album. So it didn't top the charts but it reached #8 on the Country Singles chart. It's good strategy. Both guys are on Capitol Records. Right now, Church is a much bigger star than Urban. If Church's fans like the song, they buy a Keith Urban record that they normally wouldn't buy. And maybe they get into Urban's back catalog. There's no down side to this. Urban writes and produces a lot of his music usually with long time producer Nathan Chapman. With Fuse, Urban went in a more pop music direction than previous albums. He wanted to see how far he could go before it's not him. Raise 'Em Up was written by Nashville songwriting veterans Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnston and Jeffrey Steele. Urban sent a demo to Church with the intention of recording it as a duet. Church loved the song and that was it. It did very well. Urban is currently a judge on the final season of American Idol. In October, Urban announced that his next CD Ripcord will get a 2016 release. Do you think it might come out during the final season of AI and he performs a song on the show? Here's the video for Raise 'Em Up by Keith Urban featuring Eric Church.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tracy Nelson

Artist:Tracy Nelson
Song:Down So Low
Album:The Best Of Tracy Nelson/Mother Earth





Singer Tracy Nelson has been around since the 60s. She's always been respected by singers and musicians. But she was never able to break through to a wider audience. Down So Low is probably her best known song as Linda Ronstadt covered it. Tracy was born Dec. 27, 1944 in Madison, WI. While attending the University of Wisconsin, she sang in local clubs. She recorded the 1964 album Deep Are The Roots for Prestige Records and she lived in Chicago for a couple of years. Then she moved out to San Francisco and formed the band Mother Earth. Opening for Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix got them a record deal with Mercury and producer Barry Goldberg. Tracy and former Thirteenth Floor Elevators member Powell St. John wrote most of the band's songs. Down So Low appeared on Mother Earth's 1968 debut album Living With The Animals. That album is available on CD from the reissue label Wounded Bird. The band changed after they moved to Nashville. But Tracy was still lead singer and she wrote a lot of the songs. Mother Earth recorded four albums for Mercury and then two albums for Reprise. She recorded Down So Low on her 1974 album for Atlantic Tracy Nelson. This Best Of CD consists of songs from that album and Mother Earth's Reprise albums. Tracy also recorded in the 70s for Columbia and MCA. Her music was highly acclaimed but it didn't sell. So she signed with the roots label Flying Fish and there was less pressure on her to sell records. When Flying Fish closed, Tracy moved to Rounder. Tracy last recorded solo in 2011. In recent years, she had recorded and toured with The Blues Broads. This started out as an informal group but became more permanent in 2012. I'm not sure if they are still around. They last toured in 2014. Tracy's website closed in 2013 so maybe she has retired. She's certainly one of the best singers you never heard of. Here's Tracy Nelson performing Down So Low on The Lonesome Pine Specials 1987.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

MIZUKI added to Mar. 6 DEEP JEWELS show

MIZUKI, Nori DATE
DEEP JEWELS added a few matches to their Mar. 6 show at Shinjuku FACE. The good news is that MIZUKI will be on the show. The bad news is she will face one of those greenhorn DATE girls. DEEP JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki's insistence on pushing this group of models will ultimately fail. You can't throw these girls in the deep end of the pool before teaching them how to swim. It's not fair to anyone. He's just desperate to sell tickets even if it's to dirty old men. Of course MIZUKI just beat Lacey Schuckman in Invicta last week. She's the DEEP JEWELS Strawweight Champion. She's an elite fighter. Nori DATE is a 17 year old model. In her MMA debut, she got thrown into the deep end of the pool with veteran fighter Emi Fujino. MIZUKI is better than Fujino. It's not even close. At least it's not for the title. MIZUKI's training partner Yukari Yamaguchi has a 1-0 MMA record. But she's already a kickboxing champ. Her opponent Hana DATE won her MMA debut over Pan Hui. But Pan is a newbie too. She's going to have a much tougher time with Yukari. The other two matches they have added aren't as big of a deal. Mina Kurobe will face newcomer Renju DATE. Kurobe is 5-2. She has lost her last two fights. The problem with her is she is 38 years old and she may have hit a wall in her development. The other fight will have Pan Hui against newcomer REAL Date. Both are greenhorns so it's a more realistic fight. They have also added a couple of amateur matches. If they add any more matches, I will let you know.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gary Burton and Chick Corea

Artist:Gary Burton and Chick Corea
Song:Falling Grace
Album:Crystal Silence: The ECM Recordings 1972-79




Gary Burton is an innovator of the four mallet vibraphone as opposed to the two mallet technique used by guys like Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson. Burton emerged in the 60s with Stan Getz and then with his own jazz fusion band. Some of Burton's best recordings were duet albums with pianist Chick Corea led by Crystal Silence in 1972. Burton was born Jan. 23, 1943 in Anderson, IN. He studied at Berklee in Boston and Burton has been on the staff at Berklee since the 70s. He became known to jazz fans for his mid-60s stint with Stan Getz. Then he started his own band in 1967 with guitarist Larry Coryell, drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Steve Swallow. Swallow is still a member of Burton's current band. In 1972, Chick Corea had already been a big part of the popularization of jazz fusion with Miles Davis. Then he formed Return To Forever and signed with ECM Records. After success in the late 60s recording for RCA and Atlantic, Burton also signed with ECM. His first album for ECM was the 1972 album Crystal Silence with Corea. It's just the two of them. This album was so successful that they toured as a duo and they recorded three more albums. The albums were Duet in 1979, In Concert Zurich Oct. 28, 1979 and Lyric Suite for Sextet in 1982. That final album was recorded with a string quartet. You can get all four albums on this 4CD box set from ECM. Falling Grace was written by Burton's long time bassist Steve Swallow. It was first recorded on the 1969 album Paris Encounter featuring violinist Stephane Grappelli. Swallow played bass on the album. Burton also recorded Falling Grace on the 2009 CD Quartet Live featuring guitarist Pat Metheny. Burton and Corea reunited for the 1997 album Native Sense on Concord. Crystal Silence may have been intended as a one off project. But it turned into a very successful long term partnership. Gary Burton still tours and he recently published his autobiography. His latest CD Hommage A Eberhard Weber was released Sept. 2015. It was recorded live in Germany with the SWR Big Band and it marks Burton's return to ECM after leaving in 1986. Here's Gary Burton and Chick Corea performing Falling Grace 1986.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Ham Seo Hee vs Bec Rawlings added to Mar. 19 UFC show

The Brisbane Times first reported and the UFC confirmed last night that Ham Seo Hee vs Bec Rawlings has been added to UFC Fight Night 84. This event will be at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia Mar. 20. It will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada on Mar. 19. These two were supposed to fight last May but Ham pulled out due to a broken nose. Bec won her fight over Lisa Ellis. Then she was supposed to face Joanne Calderwood but Bec pulled out due to a hip injury. Meanwhile Ham got a big win over Cortney Casey in her native Korea in Nov. Though undersized for a Strawweight, Ham has showed a lot of heart in her two UFC fights. And I think she gained a lot of fans with her last fight. Of course I have known about her for years because of her history in Japan. She is a former DEEP JEWELS Atomweight Champion. Bec is popular because of her look and her ability to talk. Like a lot of the Aussie fighters, I think she's a little behind in her training. To address this, she moved from her home town of Brisbane to train at Alliance in San Diego. We haven't seen her in almost a year so we'll see if she's progressed at all. She's fighting in her home town so she'll be hyped. We saw how having her home town fans behind her helped Ham. But fighting in enemy territory won't bother her as she has fought most of her career as a Korean in Japan. She's used to it.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Patina Miller

Artist:Patina Miller and company
Song:Magic To Do
Album:Pippin: New Broadway Cast Recording





Patina Miller won a Tony award for her performance in this 2013 revival of the Stephen Schwartz musical Pippin. Magic To Do is the opening number of the show. What's interesting is Patina is playing the same role that Ben Vereen played in the original 70s production. So yes, the producers did a gender switch. Patina was born Nov. 6, 1984 in Pageland, SC. She grew up singing in church (her mom is a minister) and she attended high school at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities. She went to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on a full scholarship and she graduated in 2006 with a degree in musical theater. Her first professional experience was auditioning for the role of Effie in the film musical Dreamgirls. Of course Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar for that role. After appearing on the daytime soap All My Children, Patina was an understudy for Dawnn Lewis in the Atlanta production of the musical Sister Act. Patina won the lead role when Sister Act opened in London in 2009. She got a lot of acclaim and that led to her playing the same role when Sister Act came to Broadway in 2011. Then  she won a Tony for playing Leading Player in the 2013 revival of Pippin. Andrea Martin also won a Tony. Patina has turned her attention to film and TV. She played Commander Paylor in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2. And she currently stars as press coordinator Daisy Grant on the CBS TV series Madam Secretary. I guess we've seen the last of her on Broadway. Here's Patina Miller and company performing Magic To Do at the cast recording session for Pippin.



Thursday, January 21, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tommy Overstreet

Artist:Tommy Overstreet
Song:(Jeanne Marie) You Were A Lady
Album:20 Classic Songs Of Tommy Overstreet





Smooth singing Tommy Overstreet was a proponent of what was known in the 60s and 70s as Countrypolitan. He had several top ten country music hits in the 70s. He was born Sept. 10, 1937 in Oklahoma City and her grew up in Houston and Abeline, TX. His cousin was jazz singer and songwriter Gene Austin and Overstreet got interested in music at an early age. While studying broadcasting at the University of Texas, Overstreet toured with Austin as Tommy Dean. After a stint in the Army, Overstreet moved to Los Angeles. He was signed to a record deal but nothing was ever released. So he moved back to Texas and formed his own band. In 1967, he moved to Nashville to work as a regional manager of Dot Records. But he also wanted to record. After releasing a few singles, Overstreet released his debut album in 1971. The title track Gwen (Congratulations) reached #5 on the Country Singles chart. This began a string of top ten hits. His biggest hits were Ann (Don't Go Runnin') and Heaven Is My Woman's Love in 1972. (Jeanne Marie) You Were A Lady is from  Overstreet's 1974 album Woman, Your Name Is My Song. It reached #3 on the Country Singles chart. The song was written by Ricci Moreno and Charlie Black. Moreno produced all of Overstreet's 70s albums. Overstreet had a few more hits. But then it all ended when Dot's parent company ABC Records was sold to MCA in 1978. Overstreet lost his job and his record contract. You can get all his hits on this Varese comp. Overstreet also recorded for Elektra and the German label Intercord. But by the late 80s, he didn't have a record deal. Overstreet was one of the first performers to move to Branson, MO and open his own theater in 1989. After several years, Overstreet retired and moved to Oregon. He got married and had two more kids. Tommy Overstreet died on Nov. 2, 2015 at age 78. Here's a video of (Jeanne Marie) You Were a Lady by Tommy Overstreet.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ojos De Brujo

Artist:Ojos De Brujo
Song:Ventilaor R-80
Album:Bari





The Spanish group Ojos De Brujo mixes traditional flamenco with hip hop. This got them a lot of international attention about ten years ago. The 2002 CD Bari is probably their best known CD. Ohos De Brujo translates to Eyes Of The Wizard. Lead singer and main songwriter Marina Abad started hanging around with flamenco musicians like guitarist Ramon Giminez and percussionist Xavi Turull. They brought in musicians like guitarist Paco Lomena and percussionists Sergio Ramos and Maxwell Wright. They decided to add DJ Panko on the turntable and see if they could mix flamenco with hip hop. This went very well with the 2002 CD Bari which was a big seller in Europe. They did several collaborations with hip hop artists worldwide. Ojos De Brujo likely would have been bigger if they had continued but they disbanded after the 2009 CD Aocana. Marina Abad is now known as Marinah. She released a CD in 2013. Ojos De Brujo is recommended to flamenco fans looking for something different. Here's Ojos De Brujo performing Ventilaor R-80 on Later with Jools Holland 2004.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kenny G

Artist:Kenny G
Song:Songbird
Album:Ultimate Kenny G





Though Kenny Gorelick didn't invent Smooth Jazz, he certainly defined it in the 80s with hits like Songbird. And though he will never be respected by jazz fans like me, his music is aimed at people who don't listen to jazz. Tommy Dorsey did the same thing in the 40s. So Gorelick's approach is not new. It just seemed new at the time. He was born June 5, 1956 in Seattle. He started playing the sax at age 10 and Gorelick was in his high school band. He's also an avid golfer and he played on his high school golf team. While still in high school, Gorelick played in Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra. He was in the band Cold, Bold and Together while studying accounting at the University of Washington. After graduation, Gorelick joined the popular jazz fusion group The Jeff Lorber Fusion. At the time, Lorber was signed to Arista Records. Arista owner Clive Davis thought he could spin Gorelick off as a solo artist. So he renamed him Kenny G and signed him to a solo deal. Clearly, Davis was influenced by the success of Grover Washington Jr. Lorber produced Gorelick's 1982 debut album Kenny G and on his next couple of albums, Gorelick worked with Kashif to try and get an R & B vibe. Early on, Gorelick's success was mostly on Adult Contemporary radio and the jazz charts. His albums were going Platinum. But Davis wanted a hit single to launch Gorelick to multi Platinum status. He got that with the 1986 album Duotones produced by Narada Michael Walden. Walden had just produced Aretha Franklin's #1 hit Freeway Of Love for Arista. The album's first single Don't Make Me Wait For Love featuring Tower Of Power's lead singer Lenny Williams reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Songbird reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. That fueled sales for Duotones which was certified 5XPlatinum. That turned out to be the biggest hit single of Gorelick's career. But it fueled album sales for his entire career. He didn't really need any more hit singles. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. Gorelick's album sales started to fade in 2006 and he left Arista. He now records for Concord and his latest CD Brazilian Nights was released Jan. 2015. The criticism that Kenny G is not jazz will always be there. He's laughing all the way to the bank. Here's the video for Songbird by Kenny G.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha to coach TUF 23

I've known about this for a while but last night the UFC officially announced that UFC Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and her number one challenger Claudia Gadelha will coach The Ultimate Fighter 23. Joanna will defend the title against Claudia at the TUF 23 Finale on July 8. The location for this show has not been announced but it will be in Las Vegas. This is the night before UFC 200. TUF 23 will feature Strawweights and Light Heavyweights. The two hour season premiere will air on Apr. 20 on Fox Sports 1 in the US and on TSN in Canada. The title match is the showdown we have all been waiting for. Joanna and Claudia fought in Dec. 2014. Joanna won by split decision but many in the media including yours truly thought Claudia won though it was very close. Since then, Claudia and her Nova Uniao coach Andre Pederneiras have constantly whined about the decision. I think Claudia needed to be more dominant and she wasn't. One never knows how the judges will score the fight. It's not always going to go your way. So now Claudia gets to avenge that loss. Their mistake may be in treating victory in this match like a foregone conclusion. Joanna has been champ for almost a year now. She's improved since the first fight and you should never discount the resolve of a champ. It should be a very interesting season of The Ultimate Fighter and I can't wait for the title fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Naughty By Nature

Artist:Naughty By Nature
Song:Hip Hop Hooray
Album:Greatest Hits: Naughty's Nicest





The rap group Naughty By Nature scored two top ten pop hits in the early 90s including Hip Hop Hooray in 1993. They were one of the more successful rap acts of the era. They drifted apart in the mid-90s and weren't successful when they tried to reunite. The three members of Naughty by Nature went to high school together in East Orange, NJ. Anthony Criss (Treach), Vincent Brown (Vin Rock) and Kier Gist (DJ Kay Gee) were discovered in 1989 by Queen Latifah. She became their manager and she got them a record deal with Tommy Boy. Before that they were known as New Style and they had released an album independently that was picked up by MCA. The CD Naughty By Nature was released in 1991. O.P.P. was the first single. It not only topped the rap charts but it crossed over to pop and it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album Naughty By Nature was certified Platinum. Their 1993 album 19 Naughty Ill was also certified Platinum. And the single Hip Hop Hooray reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. That kind of sustained success was unusual for rap acts. A lot of them were one hit wonders. Among the samples used were Funky President by James Brown, Don't Change Your Love by Five Stairsteps, Make Me Say It Again by Isley Brothers, You Can't Turn Me Away by Sylvia Striplin, 74 Miles Away by Cannonball Adderley and Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel. Spike Lee directed the video which featured an appearance by Queen Latifah. What both songs had in common were very catchy choruses. Naughty By Nature started to fall apart when Criss got into acting. He's still doing that today. And Gist started his own record label which was very successful. So the group went on hiatus after the 1995 album Poverty's Paradise. They attempted to reunite a couple of times but they weren't successful. You can get all their hits on this comp. Here's the video for Hip Hop Hooray by Naughty By Nature.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Invicta FC 15 damaged by injury and matchmaking woes

So the good news about last night's Invicta FC 15 is it wasn't in Kansas City. It was at The Hangar at OC Fair in Costa Mesa, CA. It's not a big place but they were able to sell it out. And that means on TV it didn't look like they were fighting in an empty warehouse. Their next show will be in Las Vegas and I guess they are going to go back and forth. I don't care as long as they stay out of Kansas City. The problem with last night's show is it was short on competitive content. Two of the nine scheduled matches were cancelled. And there were two late replacements and that always leads to mismatches. And when fans know how your main event will go, you have to compensate with competitive matches on the rest of the card. So what got cancelled? Christine Stanley vs Shannon Sinn was cancelled when both fighters got hurt. Amanda Bell vs Ediane Gomes was cancelled when Gomes got sick on Thursday. That leaves us with seven matches and Invicta hasn't run a show since September. It's not enough. Invicta's thinking that announcing the full card three weeks in advance of the show would limit injury replacements hasn't worked out. Of course Cris Cyborg easily defended her Invicta Featherweight Championship against Russian Daria Ibragimova. Daria thought that if she grabbed Cyborg's leg and tried to take her down, it would unnerve her. It didn't work. Cyborg hammered her while Daria was holding her leg and the inevitable knockout came at the end of the round. In the co-main event, Livia Renata Souza easily defended her Invicta Strawweight Championship over DeAnna Bennett with a first round body kick. I assume Invicta was hoping this would be competitive. But they have overrated DeAnna. She was 8-0 but her recent wins have been shaky at best. I think DeAnna is a better fighter at 125 so I would like to see her go back there. Objectively, I didn't like her at 115 and I would have never given her a title shot. That's a big Invicta flaw. Their matchmaking needs to be more objective. Colleen Schneider won over Raquel Pa'aluhi by split decision. Raquel was the favourite going in but she wasn't the same after getting cut early in round one. I thought Colleen won but I don't think either of them can beat Invicta Bantamweight Champion Tonya Evinger. This fight was delayed for ten minutes when the ambulance took Lacey Schuckman to the hospital and they had to wait for the ambulance to return. The fighters had already been introduced and stood waiting in the cage. That's a bad screw up. Amber Brown beat Shino VanHoose with a first round guillotine choke. Shino was a late replacement for Lisa Ellis. Shino lived in Japan a few years ago. She's young and she has talent but she makes mistakes and that's how she lost this fight. I expect Amber to get a shot at Ayaka Hamasaki's Invicta Atomweight Championship. I wanna see that. MIZUKI returned to Invicta and got a big win over Lacey Schuckman with a third round armbar. MIZUKI looked much more aggressive in this fight. She knew she beat herself in her two previous Invicta matches. I hope she's back on track. Angela Hill beat late replacement Alida Gray with a first round KO. Original opponent Jodie Esquibel will probably be on TUF 23. This change really hurt this fight as Alida is not at a level where she should be fighting in Invicta. Is she the best fighter you can find? Geez! In the opener, Aussie Megan Anderson won over Amber Leibrock with a third round KO. Megan was winning the fight anyway. Megan has moved from Australia to Kansas City and it looks like the training has paid off for her already. Don't feed her to Cyborg yet. Invicta's next show will be in March in Las Vegas. They didn't announce anything for that show but I know they are planning a Flyweight Championship tournament.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chris Thomas King

Artist:Chris Thomas King
Song:Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
Album:Dirty South Hip-Hop Blues




Chris Thomas King was one of several roots music artists who got a big boost from the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. King performed his cover of the Skip James classic Hard Time Killing Floor Blues and he played blues legend Tommy Johnson in the film. King is known for mixing blues with hip hop as he does on this 2002 album. He was born Chris Thomas Oct. 14, 1962 in Baton Rouge, LA the son of blues musician Tabby Thomas. After touring Europe with his dad, Thomas signed with Arhoolie Records and released his debut album in 1986. He also recorded for Warner Bros.' Sire label and Hightone Records. He started experimenting mixing rap with blues. Warners encouraged this experimentation but when Thomas recorded an album, they chose not to release it. Hightone wanted him to record traditional blues but that didn't interest Thomas. He finally got a break when British producer John Porter got Thomas a deal with RCA's Private Music label. They released the 1995 CD 21st Century Blues...From Da Hood. The results were mixed as some were not ready for rap and blues mixed. He changed his name to Chris Thomas King and he was fortunate to be cast as Tommy Johnson in the Coen Brothers 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and he performed Hard Time Killing Floor Blues in the film. He also recorded it on the 2002 CD Dirty South Hip-Hop Blues, his first album on his own 21st Century Blues label. He still records for his own label. His latest CD Bona Fide was released in 2012. And he played R & B legend Lowell Fulson in the 2004 film Ray. King is currently on tour so check him out if he's coming your way. Here's Chris Thomas King performing Hard Time Killing Floor Blues at the Loveless Cafe in Nashville Sept. 5, 2012.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gavin Lee

Artist:Gavin Lee f/Laura Michelle Kelly
Song:Step In Time
Album:Mary Poppins: Original London Cast Recording




Gavin Lee is an actor and choreographer known mainly for playing Bert in the stage musical adaptation of the 1964 film Mary Poppins. He appeared in the London and Broadway productions and he was nominated for a Tony award. He was born Oct. 15, 1971 in Enfield, Middlesex, England. Early in his career, Lee was mainly a choreographer and he appeared in London shows as an offshoot of that. One of the shows he choreographed was Phantom of the Opera. In 1993, Phantom producer Cameron Mackintosh acquired the rights to adapt Mary Poppins to the stage. Mackintosh got together with Disney so the songs from the 1964 film could be used. The show premiered at the Prince Edward Theater in London on Dec. 15, 2004. Mary Poppins was played by Laura Michelle Kelly and Bert was played by Gavin Lee. When Mary Poppins premiered on Broadway in 2006, Lee was the only cast member brought over from the London production. The show was very successful and Lee was nominated for several awards including a Tony. Of course Step In Time is Lee's big number just as it was for Dick Van Dyke in the 1964 film. The London Cast recording is available on CD. It says on Wikipedia that there was a recording of the Broadway cast. But I couldn't find one for the 2006 production. It surprised me that a successful Broadway show didn't have a cast album. There is a cast album for the 2011 Broadway production but Lee isn't on it. He also appeared in the National Tour production of Mary Poppins and he returned to the Broadway show when that was finished. He has recently appeared in London productions of Top Hat and Les Miserables. Lee hasn't done much film or TV. But he did have a recurring role in the 2014 season of the USA Network series White Collar. Here's Gavin Lee featuring Laura Michelle Kelly performing Step In Time from Mary Poppins.

Friday, January 15, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jimmy Liggins & His Drops Of Joy

Artist:Jimmy Liggins & His Drops Of Joy
Song:I Want My Baby For Christmas
Album:Jimmy Liggins





Jimmy Liggins was the younger brother of the well known R & B singer Joe Liggins. Jimmy had modest success on the R & B charts in the early 50s. By the late 50s, he quit recording and started his own management company. He was born Oct. 14, 1918 in Newby, OK and he grew up on San Diego. As a teen, Jimmy was a pro boxer as Kid Zulu. He quit boxing to work for brother Joe Liggins who toured with his band The Honeydrippers. Then Jimmy decided to start his own band The Drops Of Joy and he signed with Specialty Records in 1947. Jimmy had some success on the R & B charts with Cadillac Boogie. But it wasn't quite enough for Specialty owner Art Rupe to push Jimmy nationally. The seasonal song I Want My Baby For Christmas was released in 1950 and it reached #2 on the R & B singles chart. The sax solo is by Maxwell Davis who worked a lot with Jimmy. By 1954, Jimmy knew he was going nowhere at Specialty. and he left for Aladdin. His biggest hit I Ain't Drunk was on Aladdin. You can get all of his Specialty recordings on this CD. By the late 50s, Jimmy Liggins' style of music wasn't popular anymore and he started his own label Duplex Records in 1958. He never recorded again. Jimmy Liggins died on July 18, 1983 at age 64. Here's a video for I Want My Baby For Christmas by Jimmy Liggins.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hisae Watanabe to return on Feb. 5 WSOF show

Hisae Watanabe, Ye Ji Lee
You may recall a couple of years ago that World Series Of Fighting planned to run shows in Japan in partnership with PANCRASE. The deal did not work out. But now the WSOF has opened a Global Championship division. They ran a show in China and in December, they announced plans to run a show on Feb. 7 at TDC Hall in Tokyo. For readers of this blog, the most interesting part of this announcement is the return of former DEEP Women's Champion Hisae Watanabe. Of course regular readers of this blog will also know that I'm not crazy about fighters who come out of retirement for no reason. I would prefer she stay retired. The WSOF finally announced her opponent will be Korean fighter Ye Ji Lee. In 2007, Hisae got married and retired. After giving birth to a child, she decided to return in 2010. Though she intended to return to MMA, her comeback was cut short when RENA KOd her at the 2010 SHOOT BOXING Girls S-Cup. Hisae is now 35 years old. She became famous in Japan when she won the 2004 Golden Muscles tournament that aired on TBS in Japan. Even in her prime, Hisae had two things going for her; legit KO power and sex appeal and charisma. But as a one dimensional kickboxer, she had holes in her game and she lost fights she should have won. Maybe she looks at her initial run as unfinished business. Then in 2010, we last saw her crumpled up in the corner by RENA. She had to be disappointed. The problem is when you go away for eight years and then return, you don't improve. Father Time always wins this battle. Her opponent is a 16 year old Korean girl who looks more like a reality show contestant than a fighter. She lost her MMA debut to Satoko Shinashi in the July 25 Road FC show. This is a fight that would never have been approved here because regulators would nix it because of the experience difference. There are no athletic commissions in Japan to rap a promoter's knuckles when he pulls this kind of crap. So it looks like a mismatch but one never knows especially with a fighter like Hisae who is known to be inconsistent.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Linear

Artist:Linear
Song:Sending All My Love
Album:Love In The 90's Vol. 1





Sending All My Love was a top five hit in 1990. It's one of those fluke hits that happens in the music business occasionally. Though Linear is perceived as a one hit wonder, a couple of their other songs charted. So technically they were not a one hit wonder. But they only recorded two albums so they weren't around very long. Linear came out of the Miami freestyle scene and more specifically Stevie B, best known for his 1990 number one hit Because I Love You (The Postman Song). Charlie Pennachio and producer Tolga Katas were members of Stevie B's band. Pennachio liked to call himself Charlie Steele. They recorded an album on their own label Futura International. When Sending All My Love started getting radio airplay in Florida, Atlantic Records liked it enough to try and track Pennachio down and sign him to a contract. For some reason, Pennachio decided to turn this into a group. Maybe he told Atlantic it was a group. It wasn't necessary because Pennachio was the lead singer and he wrote and produced all the songs with Katas. And the album Linear was already finished. Linear started with five members but was reduced to three with Wyatt Pauley and Joey Restivo joining Pennachio. Sending All My Love reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990. They recorded a second album Caught In The Middle in 1992. The single T.L.C. reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. But then Pauley left and Pennachio decided to disband Linear. You can get Sending All My Love on this various artists budget comp from Madacy. Pennachio went on to write and produce songs for Mandy Moore and Anastacia. He is also one half of the production duo The Shadowmen. Here's the video for Sending All My Love by Linear. This is pretty cheesy as videos go.







Wednesday, January 13, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sergio Mendes

Artist:Sergio Mendes f/Black Eyed Peas and Gracinha Leporace
Song:Mas Que Nada
Album:Timeless



I think we could all be excused if we tossed Brazilian legend Sergio Mendes on the nostalgia scrap heap. But Mendes has always found ways to reinvent himself as he did with the 1983 smash hit Never Gonna Let You Go. In 2003, Black Eyed Peas leader will.i.am asked Mendes to play piano on a cover of the Antonio Carlos Jobim classic Sexy. This was on the album Elephunk. This went so well and will.i.am is such a big Mendes fan, he decided to produce an album for him. Mendes hadn't recorded since the 1996 album Oceano. I don't think Mendes had a record contract at the time. But he still toured and his 60s recordings are still popular especially with hip hop guys. So will.i.am got Mendes a record deal with Concord and he decided to turn the 2006 CD Timeless into an all star extravaganza aimed at marketing Mendes to Black Eyed Peas fans. Guest performers include Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Q-Tip, Jill Scott, John Legend, India.Arie and Justin Timberlake. will.i.am appears on several tracks. For the single, will.i.am produced a remake of the Jorge Ben classic Mas Que Nada. This song was Mendes' very first single in 1966 and it is in the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame. The record features Black Eyed Peas and Brazilian singer Gracinha Leporace who is Mendes' wife and has toured with him since the 60s. The single did very well on the dance charts. But what it really did was get Mendes recording again. He recorded three albums for Concord. His latest CD Magic was released on Sony's Okeh label in 2014 and it includes guest appearances by will.l.am, John Legend, Seu Jorge, Janelle Monae and Milton Nascimento. Mission accomplished for will.i.am as he made Mendes contemporary again. Here's the video for Mas Que Nada by Sergio Mendes featuring Black Eyed Peas and Gracinha Leporace.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Holly Holm to defend UFC Bantamweight Championship vs Miesha Tate on Mar. 5

Holly Holm, Miesha Tate
This afternoon the UFC finally announced that Holly Holm will defend the UFC Bantamweight Championship against Miesha Tate on UFC 197 Mar. 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In the co-main event, Rafael Dos Anjos will defend his UFC Lightweight Championship against UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor. This was first reported last week by Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report. Today the UFC issued a press release and there will be a press conference next week. This show was supposed to happen in Brazil. But the UFC recently moved it to Las Vegas. There was some wrangling going on that delayed the announcement. Last month, the UFC insisted that Holly would sit around and wait for a Ronda Rousey rematch probably on UFC 200 in July. Fortunately they came to their senses and agreed to have Holly defend the belt against Miesha Tate. They can still do Holly vs Ronda in July. Of course Miesha was promised the title shot  that Holly was given. So she was on the outs with the UFC for a while. And she said she even considered retirement. Now she is getting the title shot that she rightfully earned. Here's the thing about Holly Holm. It's one thing to win the title. It's another thing to keep it especially when her coach Mike Winklejohn admitted to deliberate sandbagging in her first two UFC fights. You can only do that once. Now there are no surprises. If Miesha can take Holly down and grind her as Miesha did in her most recent win over Jessica Eye, she can win the fight. If Holly can keep it standing, she can win the fight with one of her head kicks. Of course Miesha could win by submission but five rounds of lay and pray is a possibility. That would be a very long fight if the ref allows it. The atmosphere at this show is going to be insane. You'll have the Brazilian fans for Dos Anjos and McGregor's Irish fans. But also, NASCAR is in Las Vegas that weekend. And NASCAR's Kevin Harvick manages Miesha Tate. A lot of the drivers like Jimmy Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are big UFC fans. I expect a lot of them will be at the show. And Harvick also manages Rose Namajunas so put her on the show too. I don't know about setting records but this will be a big show.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Old Dominion

Artist:Old Dominion
Song:Break Up With Him
Album:Meat and Candy





With a name like Old Dominion, you might think they are an old school country music throwback band. You would be wrong. They did score a top five country music hit with their debut single Break Up With Him. And now that their debut CD is finally out, it's doing OK too. I'll get to that pet peeve in a minute. The leaders of Old Dominion are lead singer Matthew Ramsey and guitarist and keyboard player Trevor Rosen. Ramsey is from the Roanoke, VA area and Rosen is from Detroit. They met in 2003 after moving to Nashville. Drummer Whit Sellers knew Ramsey as they went to competing high schools in Virginia. While attending James Madison University, Sellers met bassist Geoff Sprung and guitarist Brad Tursi. They all moved to Nashville and formed Old Dominion with Ramsey and Rosen. Old Dominion is the nickname for the state of Virginia and most of the band is from Virginia. The band was formed to showcase songs they had written for other artists like The Band Perry, Kenny Chesney and the TV series Nashville. Producer Shane McAnally convinced them to record and an EP was self released Oct. 2014. McAnally is best known for producing Kacey Musgraves. Break Up With Him was on the EP and it was released as a single in Jan. 2015. It reached #3 on the Country Singles chart and it led to a deal with RCA Records. So now they had to record an album while they went on tour opening for Kenny Chesney. The album was finally released Oct. 2015 and it's doing OK. But I think the delay hurt CD sales as fans who liked the single probably forgot about Old Dominion. Attention spans are notoriously short these days. The second single Snapback was released yesterday and Old Dominion will tour to support it. I looked at this song a few months ago before the album was released. It looks like RCA chose to have Old Dominion tour in the summer rather than finish the album. I don't think that was the best choice but I think Old Dominion will be OK. Here's the video for Break Up With Him by Old Dominion. Take note of the Back To The Future reference.

Monday, January 11, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Neil Diamond

Artist:Neil Diamond
Song:Sweet Caroline
Album:The Neil Diamond Collection





Neil Diamond has success first as a songwriter and then as a recording artist in the late 60s. Sweet Caroline was Diamond's first big hit in 1969. It really put him on the map. He was born Jan. 24,1941 in Brooklyn, NY. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Europe. While attending summer camp, Pete Seeger performed and he inspired Diamond to get into music. And though he attended New York University on a fencing scholarship, he preferred hanging around the Brill Building getting tips from songwriters. Diamond's first recording contract was with Columbia in 1962, first as Neil and Jack with his high school pal Jack Parker and then as a solo artist. That went nowhere and he returned to the Brill Building. Diamond finally had success when his song Sunday and Me was a top 20 hit for Jay and the Americans in 1965. Then a breakthrough when several of his songs were recorded for The Monkees TV series. The biggest hit was I'm A Believer. Then he signed a record deal with Bert Berns' Bang Records. His first single Solitary Man charted and then Cherry, Cherry reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Those recordings were produced by legendary Brill Building songwriters Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. You might think he was on his way but Diamond didn't see eye to eye with Berns who just wanted him to record hits. Diamond got out of his contract and signed with MCA's UNI label in 1968. His second album for UNI was Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show in 1969. The title track was released as a single and it reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was produced in Memphis by veteran producers Chips Moman and Tommy Cogbill. Sweet Caroline was not on the album. But UNI decided to release it as a single. It reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it did well internationally. UNI reissued Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show with the title Sweet Caroline and a new cover. The album did well. But what it really did was set Diamond up for future success which came when Cracklin' Rosie topped the charts in 1970. Caroline in the song is Caroline Kennedy. Diamond said he wrote the song for his wife but he needed a three syllable name for the song. This comp covers Diamond's UNI years. He left UNI for Columbia in 1974 and he was one of the most successful stars of the 70s. He's been with Columbia for most of his career. But he recently moved to Capitol and released the 2014 CD Melody Road produced by Blue Note Records president Don Was. Neil Diamond was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2011. Here's Neil Diamond performing Sweet Caroline at the BBC 1971.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of the Day-Smokey Robinson

Artist:Smokey Robinson
Song:Being With You
Album:My World: The Definitive Collection





Of course Smokey Robinson is best known for all his 60s hits as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. What you may not know is he wrote and produced a lot of those hits. And he was a vice president at Motown. So when Robinson left The Miracles in 1972, he planned to retire from recording and performing, concentrate on his VP job at Motown and spend more time with his family. It didn't last long. Robinson released his solo debut album Smokey in 1973 followed by Pure Smokey in 1974. The albums did OK but not as well as Robinson would have liked. Baby Come Close from Smokey was the only top ten R & B hit. The 1975 album A Quiet Storm did a lot better as Baby That's Backatcha topped the R & B Singles chart. But subsequent albums didn't do well as Robinson concentrated on his VP job. He got back on track when Cruisin' reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979. The story goes that Robinson liked Kim Carnes' 1980 cover of his classic More Love. He went to see her producer George Tobin to pitch him Being With You. When Tobin heard it, he thought Robinson should record it himself. And Tobin agreed to produce the album. The single reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album was certified Gold. It would turn out to be the biggest hit in Robinson's solo career. The sax solo on Being With You is by Joel Peskin. Tobin produced one more album for Robinson and went on to concentrate on teen pop star Tiffany. Robinson continued to record but cocaine addiction and the 1986 end of his marriage affected him badly. After MCA bought Motown in 1988, Robinson left and he didn't record until he returned to Motown in 1999. He left Motown again in 2005. And after recording on his own label, Robinson is now signed to Verve Records. His 2014 CD Smokey & Friends is duets of classics featuring Elton John, Steven Tyler, John Legend and others. Robinson is touring to support the album. Here's the video for Being With You by Smokey Robinson.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Goapele

Artist:Goapele
Song:Closer
Album:Change It All





Neo soul singer songwriter Goapele (pronounced Gwa-pull-ay) Mohlabane has had some success on the R & B charts. Closer was her very first single in 2002. You may have heard it in the 2003 film Honey starring Jessica Alba. She was born July 11, 1977 in Oakland, CA. Goapele means to move Forward in the South African language Setswana. Her father Douglas Mohlabane is an exiled African political activist. Her mother is American and she met and married Douglas while attending school in Kenya. They moved to the US and Goapele grew up in a South African exile community in Oakland. So obviously she was raised to be politically active. Goapele began singing in high school. She was in the Oakland Youth Choir and was part of Vocal Motion. After graduating high school, Goapele studied at Berklee School Of Music in Boston. After graduating, she moved back to Oakland and started working on her music. She self released her 2001 CD Closer. In 2002, she started her own label Skyblaze and reworked Closer as Even Closer. This is when Columbia Records came calling and signed Goapele to a distribution deal. They also used Closer in the 2003 film Honey. Goapele writes all her own songs but she works with several producers. Closer was produced by AMP Live aka Anthony Anderson. He is one half of the production duo Zion 1. They do a lot of remixes and produce their own albums. Goapele has appeared on their albums. Change It All is Goapele's third album. Columbia tacked on Closer at the end of the album because they thought listeners might remember it from Honey. Goapele also made several TV appearances and had some R & B chart success. Goapele's latest CD Strong As Glass was released in 2014. She recently signed with Eric Benet's new label Jordan House and she is working on a new CD that I expect will get a 2016 release. Here's the video for Closer by Goapele.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Marion Reneau vs Ashlee Evans-Smith added to Feb. 21 UFC show

Marion Reneau, Ashlee Evans-Smith
The UFC has added a Women's Bantamweight match to UFC Fight Night 82 Feb. 21 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. It will be Marion Reneau vs Ashlee Evans-Smith. This will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. Marion won her first two UFC fights. But then she looked really bad in a loss to Holly Holm last spring. Afterwards, the talk was that Marion was fighting with a broken rib. If that was true, she should have dropped out of the fight. Fighters need to be a lot smarter than that. Ashlee lost her UFC debut to Raquel Pennington in Dec. 2013 by bulldog choke. She came in as a late replacement for an injured Holly Holm. Then she was suspended for a year for testing positive for diuretics. Diuretics help with weight cutting. That's why we haven't heard anything about her. She just finished the suspension. So both fighters are on the comeback trail.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stacy Lattisaw

Artist:Stacy Lattisaw
Song:Love On A Two Way Street
Album:With You





Stacy Lattisaw was 12 years old when she first entered a recording studio. After several R & B hits including Love On A Two Way Street in 1981, she switched record companies and her career faded. She retired in 1991. She was born November 25, 1966 in Washington, DC. Veteran producer Van McCoy was also from Washington and he heard about her and got her a record deal with Atlantic's Cotillion label. He produced Stacy's 1979 debut album Young And In Love. Sadly, McCoy died in 1979. Jazz drummer Narada Michael Walden was just getting started as a producer. He would go on to be one of the top producers of the 80s. He produced Stacy's 1980 album Let Me Be Your Angel. When Jump To The Beat topped the dance charts, Stacy crossed over to R & B and to a lesser extent, to the pop charts. This 1981 cover of The Moments classic Love On A Two Way Street reached #2 on the R & B Singles chart and #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the first single from the 1981 album With You. She continued to have success until she left Cotillion for Motown in 1986. Rhino released a Stacy Lattisaw comp in 1998. But it's out of print. With You is available as a budget CD from Collectables. Stacy's Motown albums weren't as successful. For one thing, she wasn't working with Walden anymore. Stacy retired from the music business in the early 90s and she really hasn't returned. At one point, she planned to record a gospel album but I guess that never happened. She was featured on a 2010 episode of the TV One series Unsung so check that out if you want to catch up with her. Here's Stacy Lattisaw performing Love On A Two Way Street on Soul Train 1981.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Emi Tomimatsu vs Saori Ishioka announced for Mar. 6 DEEP JEWELS show

Emi Tomimatsu, Saori Ishioka
DEEP JEWELS announced that Emi Tomimatsu vs Saori Ishioka is the first match added to the Mar. 6 show at Shinjuku FACE. It's not clear if this will be the main event of the show or if this is a title contender of some sort. If so, it's a bit underwhelming and just shows how low the talent level is. The contracted weight is 48kg. Both fighters used to fight at 52kg but both dropped to 48 when they failed at the higher weight. Dropping a weight class seems to be DEEP JEWELS matchmaker Shigeru Saeki's answer for everything. It isn't. Tomimatsu is 10-10 and she never going to be a great fighter. Her pattern is she wins a couple of fights and then loses a couple. She's probably due for a loss as she won her last two fights. DEEP JEWELS tries to push her as a former interim champ. But she only held that belt because MIZUKI missed weight and really, the fight should have been postponed. It's a sham. After a couple of years off to get married and have a baby, Ishioka has been 1-1 since her return. Her last fight was a loss to Ham Seo Hee in Nov. 2014. She didn't fight last year due to injury. Trying to promote mediocre fighters as stars doesn't do anything for DEEP JEWELS. It's just the same old same old. I think they have high hopes for these Team DATE girls. Excuse my skepticism.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cole Swindell

Artist:Cole Swindell
Song:Ain't Worth The Whiskey
Album:Cole Swindell





Cole Swindell made a big splash on the country music charts with his 2013 debut CD. He scored with four top ten country hits including Ain't Worth The Whiskey. He will release a new CD in 2016. If you think that Swindell is similar to Luke Bryan, that's not a coincidence. They are very good friends and they share the same producer. Swindell was born June 30, 1983 in Glennville, GA. He met Luke Bryan while studying marketing at Georgia Southern University. After Swindell left school, he moved to Nashville and worked in merchandising for Bryan and he started writing songs. In 2010, Swindell signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Some of his songs were recorded by other artists. The big one was Swindell co-wrote the Florida Georgia Line hit This Is How We Roll. Then he released the single Chillin' It independently and that got Swindell a deal with Warner Music Nashville. Chillin' It topped the country charts. His full length debut CD Cole Swindell was released Feb. 2014. The album was produced by Michael Carter who plays guitar for Bryan and produces his albums. So they're using the same musicians who appear on Luke Bryan albums. Swindell's second single Hope You Get Lonely Tonight reached #7 on the Country Singles chart. And Ain't Worth The Whiskey reached #3 on the Country Singles chart. Swindell wrote the song with Josh Martin and Adam Sanders who may be under contract to Carter. Swindell went on tour and he released a couple of EPs to promote the tour. He has a new CD coming out. But a title and release date have yet to be announced. The single You Should Be Here was released last month so the album should be out soon. And it should tell us if Swindell can sustain his success. Here's the video for Ain't Worth The Whiskey by Cole Swindell.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sugarloaf

Artist:Sugarloaf
Song:Green Eyed Lady
Album:Best Of Sugarloaf





We all know what a one hit wonder is. Sugarloaf is a two hit wonder. Green Eyed Lady was a top five hit in 1970 and Don't Call Us, We'll Call You was a top ten hit in 1974. They were on different labels so getting them on the same CD can be a problem. Sugarloaf was from Denver. Lead singer and keyboard player Jerry Corbetta and guitarist Bob Webber were in The Moonrakers. They released a few singles on Tower Records that went nowhere. After The Moonrakers split up in 1968, Corbetta and Webber formed Chocolate Hair with drummer Myron Pollock and bassist Bob Raymond. They were under contract to producer Frank Slay. He is best known as the man behind Incense and Peppermints by The Strawberry Alarm Clock. Liberty Records liked the band but not the name Chocolate Hair. Pollock was replaced by Bob MacVittie. After the album was recorded, Liberty suggested a name change. Webber lives near Sugarloaf mountain in Boulder, CO. Green Eyed Lady was the debut single and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. They went on tour but follow up singles went nowhere. And then Liberty closed in 1973. You might think that was the end of Sugarloaf. Corbetta recorded a solo album that turned into a Sugarloaf album. Then in 1974, Corbetta recorded Don't Call Us, We'll Call You which was released as Sugarloaf on Slay's label Claridge Records. It reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. You can get both hits on this comp that was first released by Curb Records in 1993. It was out of print for awhile but was reissued in 2011. And it contains the full version of Green Eyed Lady as opposed to the shorter radio edit. Corbetta toured as Sugarloaf until 1978 when he recorded a solo album for Warner Bros. He was a member of The Four Seasons from 1980-84. Then in the 90s, Corbetta toured with a couple of nostalgia acts until his 2009 retirement. Here's a video for Green Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Change

Artist:Change
Song:Change Of Heart
Album:Reach For The Sky: Anthology





Change were very successful on the early 80s dance charts. The 1984 single Change Of Heart was probably their biggest hit. Change had longevity for what was essentially a studio group. Jacques Fred Petrus was a DJ in Milan, Italy in the mid-70s. He became friends with Italian musician Mauro Malavasi and they decided to form the group Change. This was influenced by the success of Chic. What they did was very unusual. Malavasi and partners David Romani and Paolo Gianolo wrote and produced the instrumental tracks in Italy. They sent the tapes to New York to record the vocals. The vocals were by Luther Vandross and Jocelyn Brown. The 1980 album The Glow Of Love was certified Gold and A Lover's Holiday featuring singer Zachary Sanders was a top 40 hit. For the 1981 album Miracles, Petrus was unable to come to terms with Vandross. He was replaced by James "Crabs" Robinson and the album wasn't as successful. Then they started to flounder around and the next two albums didn't do well. They tried to turn Change into a real group and record in New York. But Malavasi was still producing in Italy. Malavasi left and bassist Timmy Allen and former Fatback Band singer Deborah Cooper remained with Change. Petrus hired Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who had recently left The Time. They produced half the songs and Allen produced the others. Change Of Heart was written and produced by Jam and Lewis. It did well on the R & B charts and internationally. Change bounced back. Unfortunately, Petrus had financial issues with Jam and Lewis and they left. Allen produced the 1985 album Turn On Your Radio and it was a failure and Petrus disbanded Change. You can get all their hits on this 2CD comp. Petrus was murdered in 1987. He was under investigation for tax evasion. David Romani attempted to revive Change as X-Change. A 1992 album was produced but it sat unreleased until 2010. Here's Change performing Change Of Heart on Italian TV 1984.