Wednesday, November 30, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Macy Gray

Artist:Macy Gray
Song:I Try
Album The Very Best Of Macy





With her quirky style and raspy voice, Macy Gray burst upon the scene with the 1999 top five hit I Try. Though Macy is still around, I Try turned out to be her only big hit. I think it's fair to say her career has been disappointing. She was born Natalie McIntyre Sept. 6, 1967 in Canton, OH. Though she studied music, she didn't like her own voice. So she went to the University of Southern California to study screenwriting. She wrote some songs for a friend. But when the singer didn't show, Macy sang them herself and her demos got her a deal with Atlantic Records. Record company management changes cancelled the deal and she went home to Canton. She was convinced to return to Los Angeles and she signed with Epic Records. She recorded her 1999 debut CD On How Life Is with former Warren Zevon producer Andrew Slater. Macy writes a lot of her own songs with members of her band, especially pianist Jeremy Ruzumna. I Try was the second single and it reached #5 on the Billboard hot 100. The album On How Life Is was certified 3XPlatinum. She also won some awards and even appeared in the 2001 film Training Day. With her quirky look and Billie Holiday influenced voice, Epic thought Macy was set up for long term success. But she never had another hit single and after three albums, she left Epic for Geffen. Though he 2007 Geffen debut album Big was produced by will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas, it did not sell. Since then Macy has recorded for Concord, 429, Kobalt and her latest CD Stripped was released on Chesky in Sept. 2016, she has been unable to capture the success of I Try. It looks like when her second Epic album did not sell as well as the first album, the record company hit the panic button. Macy's new album is with jazz musicians Ari Hoenig, Russell Malone, Daryl Johns and Wallace Roney. She says now she got caught up trying to hit pop music home runs and now she's getting back to basics. You can get all her Epic hits on this budget comp. I never liked Macy's pop music but I may check her out again if she's doing jazz. Here's the video for I Try by Macy Gray.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Sasha Banks vs Charlotte

Here's the match video of Charlotte defending her WWE RAW Women's Championship vs Sasha Banks from last night's episode of RAW. So if you have been paying attention, you'll know that Vince McMahon has been very reluctant to keep the belt on Sasha. And at Hell In A Cell, Sasha was supposed to retain the title but Vince changed the ending at the last second. That's why the end of that match was so awkward. I can't comment on Vince's thinking but I don't think HHH has been happy with him. So Charlotte agrees to give Sasha a rematch in her home town of Charlotte. They do the match early in the show and Charlotte finagles a double count out so she keeps the belt. RAW GM Mick Foley comes out and informs Charlotte that he won't accept that result. They will restart the match later with no DQ and Falls Count Anywhere. The match starts out conventionally but then things get interesting when they take it outside the ring. Sasha pulls a kendo stick from under the ring and that turns the tide for the rest of the match. One of the more interesting spots had Charlotte doing a moonsault off the announce table onto Sasha. And I really liked the finish though I won't reveal it. It was right out of Korakuen Hall. So Sasha wins the title again and just to put the cherry on top of that sundae, Ric Flair came out to congratulate Sasha. Now we have to wait and see if Vince will let Sasha keep the belt. That should be very interesting. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-David Gray

Artist:David Gray
Song:Fugitive
Album:The Best Of David Gray





Singer songwriter David Gray has been very successful in his native England. He has had success in North America but just not to the same level. His music is worth checking out. He was born June 13, 1968 in Manchester, England. His family moved to Wales. While attending the Liverpool School Of Art, he played in a couple of punk bands. He soon decided to be a solo artist and he started playing local clubs. Gray started out as an acoustic artist recording two albums on Virgin's Hut label. He was on Caroline in the US. Then he started experimenting with electronics and started  recording what is called folktronica. He had success in England with the 1998 album White Ladder and the single Babylon. So he's had a lot of chart success in England. Attempts by Dave Matthews' ATO label to break him in the US hasn't been as successful. But Gray has a loyal following. Fugitive is from the 2009 album Draw The Line, Gray's first album with Polydor. This comp The Best Of David Gray was just released a couple of weeks ago. It's a good intro to his music. David Gray is worth checking out. Here's the video for Fugitive by David Gray.

Monday, November 28, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Blue Cheer

Artist:Blue Cheer
Song:Summertime Blues
Album:Good Times Are So Hard To Find: The History of Blue Cheer




Blue Cheer were hard rock pioneers. They built the bridge from garage band psychedelia to what would become heavy metal. Summertime Blues was their only big hit. Blue Cheer were from San Francisco led by bassist and lead singer Dickie Peterson along with guitarist Leigh Stephens and drummer Eric Albronda. The band was named after a popular variety of LSD. Albronda became their manager and was replaced by Paul Whaley. They added a few members for a while but then cut back to the original trio. Blue Cheer signed with Philips Records and their debut album Vincebus Eruptum was released in 1968. Their cover of the classic Summertime Blues reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would turn out to be Blue Cheer's only big hit. This original lineup recorded one more album and then Stephens was replaced by Randy Holden. The band membership soon became a revolving door and that hurt Blue Cheer's music and they split up on 1972. They first reformed in 1978 and then split up in 1980. But they reformed more permanently in 1999 and would continue to tour until Dickie Peterson died of cancer in 2009. This budget CD should give you a clear picture of Blue Cheer. Today Blue Cheer are hailed as hard rock pioneers. Here's Blue Cheer performing Summertime Blues on the German TV show Beat Club 1968.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Danielle Taylor vs Ham Seo Hee

Here's the match video of Danielle Taylor vs Ham Seo Hee from last night's UFC show in Brisbane, Australia. This was a terrible fight. But afterwards there was a lot of whining about the judging and the ref. So I took another look at it. Geez, the things I do for you guys. I didn't think either fighter did enough to win. But Danielle is the main culprit. She got on her bike and played keep away for three rounds. It's the same strategy Maryna Moroz used to beat Danielle. And it's a great strategy to use on Ham, a technical kickboxer with no power. Of course the ref could put a stop to it. But most don't and it's a legitimate strategy to win fights. Some fighters don't care if their fights are boring. They just want that W. The ref did miss an eye poke on Ham in round three. But I doubt it made any difference. It's a difficult match to judge. I suppose they gave it to Danielle for cage control. She won by split decision. It's a cheap way to win and it doesn't move her up the ladder. Her camp will say a win is a win. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Today

Artist:Today
Song:I Got The Feeling
Album:The New Formula





Today was an R&B group that had brief success in the early days of the New Jack Swing movement. They split up after two albums. Today started out in 1984 in Englewood, NJ as The Gents. The members were Lee "Bubba" Drakeford, Larry Singletary, Wes Adams and Larry McCain. They were introduced to uberproducer Teddy Riley and he changed their name to Today and got them a record deal with MCA Records. It was around this time that MCA bought Motown and put Jheryl Busby in charge. Today was moved to Motown and the idea was to promote them as the "new" Four Tops. Today's 1988 debut CD was produced by Riley and partner Gene Griffin. The singles Him Or Me and Girl I Got My Eyes On You did well on the R&B charts. But Riley was not involved with the 1990 album The New Formula. Griffin was still involved but I guess Today were upset that Riley wasn't around. I guess this was around the time that Riley split with Griffin. I Got The Feeling was produced and written by Elliott "Dr. Freeze" Straite who also produced Bell Biv Devoe's Poison. I Got The Feeling reached #12 on the R&B Singles chart. There has been renewed interest in this song after it was used in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Drakeford left to go solo. He recorded three albums as Big Bub. The rest of the group tried to continue but they were unsuccessful. Today reunited in 2010 and they released a gospel CD. Here's the video for I Got The Feeling by Today.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Gabi Garcia vs Shinobu Kandori added to RIZIN New Year's Eve

Gabi Garcia, Shinobu Kandori
So there I was sitting watching the Raptors game last night and keeping an eye on Twitter when pics from a RIZIN press conference start coming up. What the hell is Shinobu Kandori doing there? Now, I don't expect most younger fans to know about Kandori. There was a time when she was a big star and she was also important in the development of women's MMA. I guess she's still a big deal in Japan or RIZIN owner Sakikabara wouldn't have Kandori fight Gabi Garcia. It's just sad that his gimmickry has come to this. Last night I was asked if Kandori was in the Olympics. No, but she did compete at the 1984 World Women's Judo Championships. She turned to pro wrestling in the 90s. Her gimmick was that she was a real fighter and that led to one of the biggest feuds of the joshi boom of the 90s against Akira Hokuto. The matches were outstanding helped by Hokuto's unmatched ability to convey emotion in the ring. When the joshi boom died down, Kandori became owner of Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling (LLPW). And LLPW promoted the very first women's MMA show in 1995. Kandori's MMA record was 4-1. In Japan, they have never had weight classes for larger women. It's always been Open Weight. Kandori was 1-1 against Russian Svetlana Goudarenko who outweighed Kandori by 100lb. Kandori lost the first match and then won the rematch with a rear naked choke. And that's the selling point of her match vs Gabi Garcia. She's done it before. She can do it again. But that was in 1998. Not to mention that Kandori is 52 years old and she has been a member of the Japanese House of Councillors since 2006. Kandori hasn't been relevant as an athlete since the 90s. So I don't expect much from this match. But it certainly created a buzz in Tokyo today which no doubt pleased Kandori and Sakikabara.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Eric Dolphy

Artist:Eric Dolphy
Song:Hat To Beard
Album:Out To Lunch





Sax player Eric Dolphy was best known for his work with Charles Mingus. He was just coming into his own as a leader when he died prematurely. The 1964 album Out To Lunch is a must. He was born June 20, 1928 in Los Angeles. He played the clarinet as a child and got into jazz as a teen. Dolphy played with local bands like Gerald Wilson and Roy Porter. His first high profile gig was with Chico Hamilton in 1958. Dolphy moved to New York and joined Charles Mingus' band. The two knew each other growing up in Los Angeles. While touring with Mingus, Dolphy recorded several albums as a leader for Prestige. He also recorded with John Coltrane and Booker Little. Dolphy left the Mingus band in 1964 and he also left Prestige for Blue Note. The 1964 album Out To Lunch is the one essential Eric Dolphy album. Musicians are Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Richard Davis on bass and Tony Williams on drums. Then Dolphy moved to Europe. He thought his brand of jazz would go over better in Europe and his fiancee was a ballerina in Paris. Sadly, Out To Lunch was Dolphy's final recording. On June 29, 1964, Dolphy collapsed on stage in Berlin. The hospital assumed he overdosed on drugs when in fact, Dolphy was a diabetic. He died after he was given the wrong treatment. Eric Dolphy died at age 36. His music is worth checking out. Here's a video for Hat and Beard by Eric Dolphy.

Friday, November 25, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nat King Cole

Artist:Nat King Cole
Song:O Come All Ye Faithful
Album:The Christmas Song





One of the most successful Christmas records of all time was Nat King Cole's 1946 recording of The Christmas Song. For one thing, it was the first time Cole recorded with strings. So he was able to move farther from his jazz roots to pop stardom. Of course back then, there were no albums. So now you want to know if Cole ever recorded a Christmas album. The album The Magic Of Christmas was released in 1960. The songs including O Come All Ye Faithful are traditional Chistmas classics arranged and conducted by Ralph Carmichael. But for some reason, Capitol did not include The Christmas Song. I guess they underestimated the demand for Cole's version of that song. So in 1962, Capitol re-released The Magic of Christmas as The Christmas Song. The version on this album is not the original 1946 version but a 1961 version that Cole recorded for The Nat King Cole Story. And that 1961 recording is the one usually played on the radio. The Christmas Song was first released on CD in 1986. But it underwent a major overhaul in 2003 that included some bonus tracks. In 2009, Capitol did another overhaul including a new cover. It also includes the 1946 and 1961 versions of The Christmas Song. This is the version that is currently available on CD. I guess the bottom line is if you need a Christmas album by a major league crooner, you can't go wrong with Nat King Cole. Here's a video of O Come All Ye Faithful by Nat King Cole.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sir-Mix-A-Lot

Artist:Sir-Mix-A-Lot
Song:Baby Got Back
Album:Mack Daddy





Here's a video I'm sure you all remember from the early 90s. It was all about butts. Baby Got Back topped the charts in 1992. It turned out to be the only big hit for rapper Sir-Mix-A-Lot. He was born Anthony Ray Aug. 12, 1963 in Seattle. In 1983, he started his own label Nastymix with partner Nasty Nes. In 1987, Ray scored a regional hit with Posse On Broadway. The record has plenty of Seattle references. He had a couple of minor hits but then he had a nasty split with his partner. American Recordings owner Rick Rubin signed Ray to his American Def label and he also bought Ray's old masters. That ended the dispute. Ray recorded the album Mack Daddy. Baby Got Back topped the charts despite the controversial subject matter. MTV even banned the video for a while. It turned out to be Ray's only big hit. He recorded a couple more albums and then returned to Seattle. He's still active locally and he hosts his own radio show based in Fresno, CA. So like a lot of rappers, Sir-Mix-A-Lot had a very brief run. Here's the video for Baby Got Back by Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Justine Kish vs Ashley Yoder added to Dec. 9 UFC show

Justine Kish
The UFC announced today that Justine Kish vs Ashley Yoder has been added to UFC Fight Night 102 Dec. 9 at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. This show will air on UFC Fight Pass. Justine trains at Black House in Los Angeles. Her record is 5-0. She was supposed to be in TUF 20 but she was forced out due to a knee injury. She returned to the UFC in January. She won a unanimous decision over Nina Ansaroff though I thought the judges got it wrong. Justine was supposed to fight in August but she dropped out due to injury. Ashley trains at Team Quest in Temecula, CA. Her record is 5-1. She was on TUF 23. She won by armbar over Amber Brown on last week's Invicta show. So that's a quick turnaround. Ashley missed weight for that fight and Amber is an Atomweight who probably shouldn't fight at 115. This fight should air on the prelims.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Alanis Morissette

Artist:Alanis Morissette
Song:You Oughta Know
Album:Jagged Little Pill





The highlight of Canadian singer songwriter Alanis Morissette's career was the 1995 album Jagged Little Pill and the top ten single You Oughta Know. It was the right thing at the right time and Alanis has never been able to recreate the success of that album. She was born June 1, 1974 in Ottawa, ON. She started to play piano at six years old. She appeared in the locally produced kids TV show You Can't Do That On Television. She started sending out demos at age nine and then signed with MCA Records Canada in 1991. She released two albums on MCA that can best be described as teen dance pop. Alanis wrote all the songs with Leslie Howe of the duo One 2 One. She had modest success but the albums were released only in Canada. She was dropped after two albums. Her new manager had her move to Toronto. And this is where she met producer Glen Ballard. Together they wrote and produced the album Jagged Little Pill. Maverick Records picked it up. You Oughta Know was the first single and it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jagged Little Pill sold over 30M copies worldwide. The music was a complete about face from the dance pop of Alanis' previous albums. The music had a much harder sound and the songs seemed more personal. Maverick's request for MCA to discontinue the early albums led to skepticism. To Alanis' credit, she has never disowned her early music. She said she was innocent at the time and her experiences in the music business toughened her up. Her single Ironic reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was always going to be tough for Alanis to follow that. And album sales decreased accordingly. And she's never had another hit single. Jagged Little Pill is available as a budget CD. Alanis left Maverick in 2008 and she released her 2012 CD Havoc and Bright Lights through Sony. Alanis is married to rapper Mario "Souleye" Treadway. They have two kids including a daughter born July 2016. It remains to be seen if Alanis returns to recording and touring. Here's the video for You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Percy Faith His Orchestra and Chorus

Artist:Percy Faith His Orchestra and Chorus
Song:We Need A Little Christmas
Album:Christmas Is...Percy Faith





If you're looking for an old school Christmas album, you can't really go wrong with Percy Faith. Of course Faith started out with the CBC in Toronto and then he moved to New York as an arranger at Columbia Records. Though Faith would occasionally score a hit single, for the most part he produced dozens of easy listening albums for older adults. His albums usually sold well enough that Columbia allowed Faith to continue to record until the mid-70s. Christmas Is... is from 1966. It has the usual Christmas standards that you would expect. But the first single from the album was the lesser known Christmas song We Need A Little Christmas. Jerry Herman wrote the song for the 1966 musical Mame. Angela Lansbury performed it in the Broadway production. So at the time, this was a new song. The record charted on the Adult Contemporary chart. It's not one of those Christmas songs that has been covered to death. It turned up in the TV series Glee in 2010. But Faith's recording is probably definitive. Some of the other songs on the album are more familiar. It's available as a budget CD. It's not my kind of music. But I guess Faith's sound can be very soothing during the holidays. That's why he had such a long career. Here's a video for We Need A Little Christmas by Percy Faith His Orchestra and Chorus.

Monday, November 21, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Los Del Rio

Artist:Los Del Rio f/Carla Vanessa
Song:Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix)
Album:Fiesta Macarena





This record is probably the most successful one hit wonders in history. Macarena topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks and it was a worldwide dance sensation. Not surprisingly, the success was a complete fluke that came out of nowhere. Los Del Rio have been around in their native Spain since the 60s. The two guys you saw in the video are Antonio Romero Monge and Rafael Ruiz. They are a vocal duo and normally their music is easy listening lounge music. In 1992, Los Del Rio were at a private party in Venezuela. Monge was so impressed with a dancer who performed at the party, he made up a song about her on the spot. That song became Macarena. Los Del Rio recorded it and it was a hit in Spain. It was also popular in Puerto Rico and that's where US tourists heard the song. Miami DJ Jammin Johnny Caride heard Macarena in a club where he worked. And he thought the song could be a hit if it had English lyrics. His radio station Power 96 agreed to finance a remix. Caride called his buddies Mike Triay and Carlos de Yarza of Bayside Records to do the remix. Triay wrote English lyrics sung by Carla Vanessa and of course the beat was reworked to appeal to North American tastes. This version of Macarena known as the Bayside Boys Remix is the version that topped the charts for 14 weeks. You can get it on this budget CD. In 2002, VH1 named it the greatest one hit wonder of all time. The song made Los Del Rio very wealthy. They still perform in their native Spain. The Bayside Boys released an album and toured. But this record was their only hit. Here's the video for Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix) by Los Del Rio featuring Carla Vanessa.












Sunday, November 20, 2016

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Asuka vs Mickie James

Here's the match video of Asuka defending the NXT Women's Championship from last night's NXT Takeover show in Toronto. I am posting all of Asuka's matches for any of her fans who don't get the WWE Network. Considering that these two performers had never laid eyes on each other until they were across the ring from each other last night, I thought it was a tremendous match. We all know what Asuka can do. In recent years, Mickie has gone to indy feds facing wrestlers she doesn't know who don't have Asuka's experience or ring skills. After a feeling out process, both of them got to work and there was no messing around. Mickie got her offense in and then Asuka got her offense in. They did some fun spots and the thing that surprised me was how smoothly these two worked together though they had never met before. The announcers tried to put over how much offense Mickie got in. But it makes no sense to make a big deal out of bringing Mickie in without showing that she is a threat to win. Of course Asuka won but the important thing is they put on a great show with no practice. That's what great pro wrestlers do. They tear the house down every single night. Major props to Asuka and Mickie. Enjoy the video!
WWE NXT Takeover Toronto 3016 Asuka vs Mickie... by WomensOfWrestlingNetwotk

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Marion Reneau vs Milana Dudieva

Here's the match video of Marion Reneau vs Milana Dudieva from yesterday's UFC show in Ireland. Marion is from Visalia, CA trained by Bellator fighter Doug Marshall. She looked pretty good in her first couple of UFC fights. But she's looked terrible especially in her last fight. She lost a close decision to Ashlee Evans-Smith but neither fighter performed well. Milana may be the worst fighter in the UFC. She doesn't even look good when she wins. She's coming off of a pregnancy layoff. The first round isn't much. Neither fighter wants to commit to anything. Marion scores with a few punches late in the round to win 10-9. Marion does better in round two and she comes close to finishing Milana. And then she does finish her with a takedown and some ground and pound. So Marion gets a much needed win and Milana is still useless. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Amanda Bobby Cooper vs Anna Elmose

Here's the match video of Amanda Bobby Cooper vs Anna Elmose from yesterday's UFC show in Ireland. Amanda was in TUF 23 and she lost in the final. She seems to have a loyal fan following. I've seen her a couple of times and I haven't been impressed with her. She's from Bath, MI. For this fight camp, she spent some time with Julianna Pena at Sik Jitsu in Spokane. Anna is from Denmark. she made her UFC debut as a Bantamweight and got splattered by Germaine De Randamie. She may be better as a Strawweight. The fight was reasonably entertaining and competitive. Round one was fairly even. Amanda scored with strikes and then Anna got a takedown near the end of the round and she probably stole the round. Amanda came back in round two and the fight was even. She continued to control Anna in round three. So I thought Amanda won 29-28 and the judges gave her a unanimous decision. This fight is worth a look. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Claudia Gadelha vs Cortney Casey

Here's the match video of Claudia Gadelha vs Cortney Casey from last night's UFC show in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After her loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Claudia left her long time camp Nova Uniao. She opened her own gym in Philadelphia. For this match, she trained at Jackson Wink in New Mexico. Claudia is still one of the best Strawweights. But I need to see some improvement for her to get back in the title picture. Cortney is a decent fighter. But she's just not at Claudia's level. So it's one thing for Claudia to win this fight. But she needs to make a statement and she didn't really do that. Claudia won all three rounds easily. She could take Cortney down whenever she wanted. She outstruck her consistently. But she never came close to finishing the fight. And that's what I need to see from her. I don't think a unanimous decision win is a strong performance. Of course there was controversy when Claudia kicked Cortney in the head while she was down. I don't think it was deliberate. But she is known to be careless. The ref seemed confused and he probably should have taken a point from Claudia...but he didn't. It wouldn't have mattered as Claudia won 30-27 on all three scorecards. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cher

Artist:Cher
Song:Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
Album:Gold





One might think it was a no brainer to spin off Cher solo from Sonny & Cher. But nothing is ever that simple. Cher first recorded solo in 1964. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves was her first number one hit in 1971. When Cher first met Sonny Bono, he wanted to produce her as a solo artist. But she suffered from stage fright and convinced him to perform with her. After a couple of failed singles as Caesar & Cleo, Cher signed with Imperial Records and All I Really Want To Do was a top 20 hit in 1965. Then Sonny & Cher signed with Atco Records and had a lot of success. Sonny attempted to keep Cher's solo career going and Bang Bang was a top five hit in 1966. But that was her only solo success. Then Sonny & Cher went into decline. Cher released the album Backstage in 1968. But it flopped and Imperial dropped her. Atco dropped Sonny & Cher but they signed Cher as a solo artist. They sent her to Muscle Shoals to record the 1969 album 3614 Jackson Highway. It flopped and Sonny hated the album. So it looked like they were through and they were having problems anyway. But then they put together a nightclub act where they bickered on stage. This got them the CBS variety show The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour in 1971. It was very successful. Cher signed with Kapp Records. After her first single was unsuccessful, she was sent to Nashville to work with veteran producer Snuff Garrett. He produced Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves which topped the charts in 1971. The song was the biggest hit written by veteran recording engineer Bob Stone. This 2CD comp covers Cher's entire career. Of course everything came crashing down when Sonny and Cher divorced in 1974. And Cher would reinvent herself many times. Here's Cher performing Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves on a 1971 episode of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.






Saturday, November 19, 2016

Shocking title change saves lackluster Invicta FC20

Last night's Invicta FC20 was in that mausoleum in Kansas City that only makes a lackluster show look worse. Then they opened the broadcast with self congratulatory bullshit when the truth is Invicta would have closed two years ago if it wasn't for UFC Fight Pass. They bungled away any kind of broadcast deal. But you know what they say. A pat on the back is 18 inches from a kick in the pants. There were two main events on this show. Tonya Evinger defending her Invicta Bantamweight Championship against Russian Yana Kunitskaya who had never fought outside Europe. Obviously she never should have gotten a title shot in the first place. This is a repetitive Invicta mistake. Stop giving unknown fighters title shots. So Tonya takes Yana down and it looks like the end is near for Yana. But then Tonya makes a rookie mistake and gets caught in an armbar. She steps on Yana's face to try and escape. Ref Mike England tells her not to do that which was an incorrect call and then she taps out. Your new champ is Yana Kunitskaya. Afterwards, Tonya blamed England. But it just shows you that even great fighters can make really dumb mistakes. I'm expecting a rematch. In the other title match, Angela Hill defended he Invicta Strawweight Championship against Kaline Medeiros, a Brazilian living in Boston. So the problem here was Alexa Grasso went to UFC. MIZUKI blew out her knee. Kaline won her two Invicta fights over mediocre competition. She's not an ideal title challenger. And that's the way the fight played out. Kaline wasn't good enough. She tried but it wasn't happening. Angela won an easy unanimous decision. On to the rest of the show. Former Invicta Atomweight Champion Herica Tiburcio won by unanimous decision over Simona Soukupova. Herica is a more energetic fighter. I've never liked Simona anyway. Ashley Yoder missed weight and then won over Amber Brown with a second round armbar. Amber is an Atomweight who should not fight at Strawweight. The size difference was the deciding factor. Pam Sorenson won by unanimous decision over Jessy Jess Clark. This was a terrible fight. JJ Aldrich won by unanimous decision over Lynn Alvarez. JJ was more aggressive. Alexa Connors won by split decision over overhyped Swiss fighter Stephanie Egger. The fight should have been stopped during round three. Alexa was hammering Stephanie when ref Mike England briefly stopped the fight because Stephanie lost her mouthpiece. We all thought the fight was over. Just a terrible blunder. And in the opener, Miranda Maverick won over Samantha Diaz by a first round rear naked choke. This fight was at Strawweight. Miranda missed weight and she should be a Flyweight. You learn nothing about a fighter from that kind of mismatch. On the whole I thought the show was lackluster.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Better Than Ezra

Artist:Better Than Ezra
Song:King Of New Orleans
Album:Greatest Hits




Better Than Ezra never had a big hit single. But they had success in the alternative rock market in the mid-90s. They may have got lost in the shuffle of similar bands. Better Than Ezra was formed in New Orleans in 1988. All four members were attending Louisiana State University. There was lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter Kevin Griffin, lead guitarist Joel Rundell, bassist Tom Drummond and drummer Cary Bonnecaze. They won't reveal the meaning of the band's name. Drummond once told a reporter the origin of the name is so lame you wouldn't want to print it. They released a demo on cassette in 1990. But then Rundell committed suicide on Aug. 8, 1990. Better Than Ezra continued as a trio. They released the CD Deluxe independently in 1993. That got them a record deal with Elektra. Elektra re-released Deluxe and the single Good topped the Modern Rock chart. It reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's probably their biggest hit single. Deluxe was certified Platinum. Bonnecaze left and he was replaced by Travis McNabb. King Of New Orleans was the first single from the 1996 album Friction, Baby. Both charted but weren't a successful as the first album. Better Than Ezra released three albums on Elektra. Then Elektra dropped them due to declining sales. This comp covers their Elektra recordings. Better Than Ezra signed with Beyond Records. But by the time their CD Closer was ready for release, Beyond was having financial problems and they closed. Better Than Ezra is still around. Their last CD was released in 2014. They tour and Griffin tours solo playing off his success as a songwriter. But I think it's fair to say that Better Than Ezra's mid-90s run was a little disappointing. Here's the video for King Of New Orleans by Better Than Ezra.

Friday, November 18, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robin Ward

Artist:Robin Ward
Song:Wonderful Summer
Album:The Best Of The Girl Groups Volume 2





Wonderful Summer was a top 20 hit in 1963. Dot Records tried to sell that the singer was a teen. But the singer was actually veteran session singer Jackie Ward. It's a long story. Jackie was born in Hawaii in 1941 and she grew up in Nebraska. Her dad was in the US Air Force. Jackie and her sisters sang together. After winning a talent contest, they moved to Los Angeles. She sang on KTLA's TV show Bandstand Revue and after that got into singing demos and that led to studio work. That was Jackie singing backup vocals on the 1962 Pat Boone hit Speedy Gonzales. Producer Perry Botkin Jr. had Jackie sing a demo of Wonderful Summer. Botkin wrote the song with Gil Garfield. Botkin liked Jackie's performance so much he decided to release it as a single. He added some sound effects and Jackie suggested releasing it as Robin Ward after her daughter so listeners would think the singer was a teen. The record reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Robin Ward recorded an album but it didn't sell. It's available on CD but it's expensive. Most fans will only want Wonderful Summer and you can get it on this Rhino various artists comp. Jackie Ward had a long career as a studio singer. She sang on variety shows like Red Skelton and Danny Kaye. She was part of a group of singers led by Ron Hicklin who sang on hundreds of movies and TV shows. For example, they were the backup singers on The Partridge Family records. Also, she was a regular with Anita Kerr and Ray Coniff. And she dubbed her singing voice in movies for actresses like Natalie Wood, Janet Leigh and Linda Evans. So that studio work was Jackie's bread and butter. Wonderful Summer was a brief detour. Here's a video of Wonderful Summer by Robin Ward.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jessy J

Artist:Jessy J
Song:The Tango Boy
Album:My One And Only One





Not to be confused with British pop singer Jessie J, this Jessy J is a sax player. She started out as a sideman and session musician and then she started recording as a leader a few years ago. She has had success in the Smooth Jazz market. My One And Only One is her latest album. She was born Jessica Arellano Dec. 20, 1982 in Portland, OR and she grew up in Hemet, CA. Her father is Mexican. She started out playing piano and as a teen, she took up the sax. She earned a degree in jazz studies at the University of Southern California. Then she started out as a studio musician and she toured with The Temptations, Jessica Simpson and Michael Bolton. She also starred in the touring company of the off-Broadway musical Blast!. So now she wants a record deal and one of her demos got the attention of Paul Brown. Brown is a Smooth Jazz guitarist himself. But he is mainly a producer. He took her on tour. Then he signed her to Concord's Peak label and he produced her 2008 album Tequila Moon. They decided to call her Jessy J. The J is foe Jazz. Brown continues to work with Jessy today. They write most of her songs and he plays guitar on her albums. Jessy now records for Shanachie. My One And Only One is her latest CD. A new Christmas CD California Christmas will be released next week. Jessy is currently on tour and I know she appears in Mexico frequently because she is half Mexican. I think Jessy has the talent to be a real jazz musician. But the Smooth Jazz market is very lucrative especially for an attractive girl like Jessy. Here's the video for The Tango Boy by Jessy J.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Florin Niculescu

Artist:Florin Niculescu
Song:Opportunity
Album:Florin Niculescu Plays Stephane Grappelli




Fans of legendary jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli may want to check out Romanian violinist Florin Niculescu. He has been part of a couple of Django Reinhardt tribute acts and now he has recorded a few albums as a leader. He was born Feb. 8, 1967 in Bucharest, Romania. His father taught him to play violin. Niculescu heard Grappelli at age 13, And since then he has tried to emulate Grappelli's style. In 1991, Niculescu moved to Paris hoping to meet Grappelli and establish his own career. He did attend school but his teachers told him he would be better off on stage. Then he met Grappelli in 1994. Grappelli was so impressed with Nicolescu that he wanted to record with him. But Nicolescu didn't think he was worthy. So he started working with guitarist Romane and his band New Quintet Du Hot Club De France and Bireli Lagrene's Gypsy Project. He has recorded a few CDs as a leader. Florin Niculescu Plays Stephane Grappell was released in 2008. Musicians include Peter Beets on piano, Darryl Hall on bass and Bruno Ziarelli on drums with guest guitarists Marc Fosset and Christian Escoude. Recently Niculescu has concentrated on session work. Here's Florin Niculescu with Thuryn Michell on piano, Samuel Hubert on bass and Bruno Ziarelli on drums performing Opportunity at the 2010 Queen Violin Festival in Moldavie.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Rin Nakai, Syuri get easy wins at PANCRASE 282

Rin Nakai and Syuri both appeared on Sunday's PANCRASE 282 at Differ Ariake. The show aired live on UFC Fight Pass. I did not watch the show live but I did watch both fights yesterday. Both fights suffered from the same problem. The original opponents pulled out and not surprisingly, the late replacements were terrible. Syuri's opponent was Sharma Debaia of The Philippines. She looked out of shape and out of her league. Syuri did so much stuff to her that the stoppage was probably late. I think Syuri has potential. But it's hard to tell against an opponent like this. Afterwards, Syuri applied the Cobra Twist on PANCRASE owner Masakazu Sakai as a gag. Syuri is very loyal to him as he started her in the business when he owned Hustle and she also worked for him when he owned SMASH. Obviously I would like to see her fight better opposition. When Rin's original opponent pulled out, she was replaced by Charlene Watt from New Zealand. Charlene usually works the Australian regional circuit. After Charlene tried a head kick, Rin took her down and pounded her until the ref stopped the fight midway through round two. It's what I expected. Afterwards, it was announced that Rin will fight Kanako Murata at the RIZIN New Year's Eve show. Kanako asked for the match after the last RIZIN show. She's probably not ready for Rin. And Kanako normally fights at Strawweight. This fight will be at Flyweight. If Rin can get off to a quick start, she should be able to overpower Kanako. Look at those arms. I like Kanako but I don't like the match.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Xscape

Artist:Xscape
Song:Who Can I Run To
Album:Super Hits





Though Xscape only recorded three albums, they scored a total of six top ten hits in the 90s including this cover of the 70s song Who Can I Run To. Xscape were from Atlanta. Sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott grew up singing in their dad's church. They met the other members of Xscape at the Tri Cities performing arts high school. There was Kandi Burruss, Tamera Coggins-Wynn and Tameka "Tiny" Cottle. Tameka's dad and uncle were in The Tams. Tamera left the group. In 1991, Xscape were discovered by producer Jermaine Dupri while performing at a Martin Luther King festival. They signed with his So So Def label. Their 1993 debut album Hummin' Comin' At 'Cha was certified Platinum and the single Just Kickin' It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Who Can I Run To is from the 1995 album Off The Hook which was also certified Platinum. It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Who Can I Run To was recorded by The Jones Girls in 1979 but it was not a hit at the time. Xscape continued to have success with the 1997 album Traces Of My Lipstick. Then LaTocha Scott went solo and the rest of the group went on hiatus. An attempt to reform Xscape in 2005 was unsuccessful. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Kandi Burruss has had a lot of success as a songwriter. She also stars on the reality show The Real Housewives Of Atlanta. The other three have had modest success at best. Here's the video for Who Can I Run To by Xscape.

Monday, November 14, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-David Soul

Artist:David Soul
Song:Don't Give Up On Us
Album:Don't Give Up On Us: The Very Best Of David Soul



David Soul is best known as the star of the 70s TV series Starsky & Hutch. But he also topped the charts here and in England with Don't Give Up On Us in 1976. It was his only hit here but he did better in England and Soul moved there in the 90s. Soul started out as a singer. He was born David Solberg Aug. 28, 1943 in Chicago. His father was a Lutheran minister and the family moved around a lot to places like Germany and Mexico. He could have been a baseball player. Soul turned down a contract with the Chicago White Sox to study political science at the University of the Americas in Mexico City. But then he got the music bug and moved back to the US. He got some notoriety appearing on The Merv Griffin Show as The Covered Man. He sang while wearing a mask. He released a couple of singles on MGM. The gimmick didn't help. But Soul signed with Columbia Pictures and he starred in the TV series' Here Comes The Brides and Owen Marshall, Counselor At Law. Then he starred in Starsky & Hutch and I think everyone knows him from that. But he still wanted to sing. So he signed with Private Stock Records. His 1976 album David Soul didn't sell. But then for his second album Playing To An Audence Of One, he went to England to work with legendary producer Tony Macaulay. Macaulay wrote and produced hits for groups like The Foundations and Edison Lighthouse. He wrote and produced Don't Give Up On Us and it topped the charts. It turned out to be his only hit in the US. Some of his other songs were hits in England. Soul continued to appear on TV. But he was never able to repeat the success of Starsky & Hutch. In the 90s, Soul moved to England and mostly appeared in live theater. He still turns up on TV occasionally. This 2CD budget comp covers Soul's 70s recordings. Here's the video for Don't Give Up On Us by David Soul.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Lix Carnouche vs Katlyn Chookagian

Here's the match video of Liz Carnouche vs Katlyn Chookagian from last night's UFC show. Remember when Liz was on the main event of UFC 157. It's quite a drop to UFC Fight Pass. And she has been off for a while with injuries. Katlyn is from New Jersey. So this is like a home game for her. She won her UFC debut over Lauren Murphy. Or I guess she didn't lose. Neither fighter was very good. For the first two rounds of this fight, Katlyn does very little. Liz is able to take her down and sit on her. It was enough to win the first two rounds. Finally she wakes up in round three and nails Liz. But she needs a finish and doesn't get it. I scored the fight 29-28 for Liz. The judges gave the win to Liz by split decision. Both of them tried to give the fight away and it wasn't very good. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Vdeo Theater-Raquel Pennington vs Miesha Tate

Here's the match video of Raquel Pennington vs Miesha Tate from last night's UFC show. Miesha is looking for a win to get her back into the title picture. Raquel has won her last two fights and is looking to get into the title picture. Miesha just seemed off during this fight. It was like she was a step behind Raquel through all three rounds. Raquel never came close to a finish. But she won an easy unanimous decision. And then Miesha announced her retirement. I guess she decided before the match that she would only continue if she won. I suggested last night that she probably doesn't want to be a gatekeeper. I think it's a great decision. Too many fighters hang on too long to fading careers. She accomplished a lot, including holding the UFC Bantamweight Championship, and now she wants to move on. Good luck to her. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Here's the match video of Joanna Jedrzejczyk defending her UFC Strawweight Championship against fellow Pole Karolina Kowalkiewicz. The big news leading up to this fight is that Joanna moced from her home in Poland to American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL. Joanna has wanted to move to the US for a while mostly to get better endorsement opportunities. I'm not exactly sure what Mike Brown can do to improve her fighting style. Karolina is a striker similar to Joanna but she's just not at the same level. I thought Joanna would win easily. And it was except for one moment in round four when Karolina staggered Joanna with a punch straight in the mush. I've seen several of Karolina's fights and I've never seen her land a punch that hard. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes. It was enough for me to give her that round. But other than that, she couldn't do much with Joanna. So I scored the fight 49-46 for Joanna. Joanna outclassed her in all areas. So who's next for Joanna? I'm looking at you, Jessica Andrade. They actually used to train together and they had the same manager. But Joanna has distanced herself from Jessica since Jessica moved to Strawweight expecting to fight her down the road. One more win for Jessica and we might see this fight. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gene Nelson

Artist:Gene Nelson w/Gloria Grahame
Song:All Er Nuthin'
Album:Oklahoma! Original Motion Picture Soundtrack




Gene Nelson was a dancer somewhat similar to Gene Kelly. But Nelson was never a star and in the 60s he worked behind the scenes. His role as Will Parker in Oklahoma was probably his most memorable role. He was born Leander Eugene Berg Mar. 24, 1920 in Astoria, OR and he grew up in Seattle and went to high school in Los Angeles. He attended the Fanchon and Marco dancing school. After graduating high school, he toured with figure skater Sonia Henie and appeared in a couple of her films. While in the US Signal Corps during WWII, Nelson appeared in Irving Berlin's all star extravaganza This Is The Army. He made his Broadway debut in the 149 show Lend An Ear. Then he signed with Warner Bros. and starred with Doris Day in the 1951 musical Lullaby On Broadway. I guess Warners didn't like him much and they dropped him in 1955. So Nelson turned to TV. Meanwhile he was cast as Will Parker in Oklahoma. All Er Nuthin' is one of Nelson's two big numbers. He returned to TV. But a horse riding accident forced Nelson to the sidelines and he became a director. He directed a few films like the Elvis Presley films Kissin' Cousins and Harum Scarum. But mostly he worked on TV. He returned to Broadway for the 1971 show Follies. Then he returned to TV. It looks like he retired in the 80s to teach at San Francisco State University. Gene Nelson died on Sept. 16, 1996 at age 76. Here's Gene Nelson with Gloria Grahame performing All Er Nuthin' from the 1956 film Oklahoma.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brian Courtney Wison

Artist:Brian Courtney Wilson
Song:All I Need
Album:Just Love: Deluxe Edition





Brian Courtney Wilson gave up a secure job as a pharmaceutical salesman for a career in gospel music. All I Need was his first hit in 2009. And since then he has done well. He was born in Chicago and grew up singing at the Rock of Ages Baptist Church. After graduating from the University of Illinois, Wilson worked for Johnson & Johnson as a pharmaceutical salesman while singing on the side. Wilson moved to Houston and he was introduced to Matthew Knowles. That's right, Beyonce's dad. Knowles owns Music World Music and he was signing mostly gospel artists. Knowles listened to Wilson and signed him. His 2009 debut CD Just Love was produced by Stan Jones who has produced The Canton Spirituals. Jones also wrote All I Need which was Wilson's breakthrough single. You can get Just Love in a Deluxe Edition with bonus DVD. It's available as a budget CD. Wilson went on to release a 2012 CD So Proud and he was also part of the United Tenors with Fred Hammond, Dave Hollister and Eric Roberson. Wilson left Music World for Motown Gospel and his latest CD Worth Fighting For was released Jan. 2015. He is still working with Stan Jones. All of Wilson's albums have done well on the Gospel charts and gospel fans should check him out. Here's the video for All I Need by Brian Courtney Wilson.

Friday, November 11, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Four Seasons

Artist:The Four Seasons
Song:December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)
Album:The Very Best Of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons




The British Invasion killed most doo wop influenced vocal groups in the mid-60s. But it didn't affect The Four Seasons much as they continued to score plenty of hits. The late 60s change to socially conscious lyrics and psychedelia is what killed them. Bob Gaudio didn't seem to know what to do. The 1967 Frankie Valli solo hit Can't Take My Eyes Off You should have pointed Gaudio in the right direction. But he was reluctant to abandon The Four Seasons for Valli as a solo act and chart success was drying up. Gaudio even tried a concept album with The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette. But it didn't work and The Four Seasons left Philips in 1970. They signed with Motown's new Mowest label for the 1972 album Chameleon. But it didn't sell and Motown refused to release their second album. So they signed two new record deals. Valli signed with Private Stock Records and had success with My Eyes Adored You. The Four Seasons signed with Curb Records distributed by Warner Bros. They scored hits with the disco influenced Who Loves You which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and then December, 1963 which topped the charts in 1975. Bob Gaudio wrote the song with wife Judy Parker. The lead vocals were by drummer Gerry Polci and bassist Don Ciccone. Valli sang the bridge. Though The Four Seasons would continue to record in the 80s, December, 1963 was their final number one hit. Here's the video for December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night) by The Four Seasons.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes

Artist:Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes
Song:Ten Minutes Ago
Album:Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella: Original Broadway Cast Recording




Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes both got Tony nominations for starring in the 2013 Broadway production of Cinderella. This was the first time this show was ever produced for Broadway. Remember it was a TV show. Laura Osnes was hired to play Cinderella. She was born Nov. 19, 1985 in Burnsville, MN. Laura moved to New York in 2008. She starred as Bonnie Parker in the 2011 musical Bonnie & Clyde. She has also appeared in South Pacific and Anything Goes. Cinderella was her biggest role to date and she was nominated for a Tony. She also has recorded a couple of albums. In 2017, Laura will return to Broadway with the new musical The Bandstand. It is currently in previews in New Jersey. Fontana was born Mar. 21, 1982 in Stockton, CA. On Broadway, he appeared in Billy Elliot and then he was hired to play Prince Topher in Cinderella. He was nominated for a Tony. Fontana also played Prince Hans in the 2013 Disney animated film Frozen. He is currently a regular on the CW series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He had a recurring role on the NBC series Shades Of Blue. So it looks like he is moving away from the stage to films & TV. Here's Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes performing Ten Minutes Ago in Central Park in New York for The New York Times June 2013.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

New opponent named for Rin Nakai's Nov. 13 fight.

Rin Nakai, Charlene Watt
On this Sunday's PANCRASE show at Differ Ariake, Rin Nakai was supposed to face Brazilian Priscila de Souza. Last week I heard that Priscila was forced to pull out due to injury. Today PANCRASE announced that New Zealander Charlene Watt will take her place. Charlene is 29 years old from Hamilton, New Zealand. Her record is 6-2 in the Australian regional circuit. She is the XFC Australia Flyweight Champion. In her last fight, she lost to Faith Van Duin on the June 17 BRACE show in New Zealand. This was her first fight at Bantamweight. It didn't say in PANCRASE's press release what weight class this fight will be in. It probably doesn't matter much. This is a big step up in competition for Charlene. It will be her first fight outside the Australian regional circuit and the competition level is very low. Rin shouldn't have any trouble with her.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lord Invader

Artist:Lord Invader
Song:New York Subway
Album:Calypso In New York





I think many have heard some calypso music but know very little about the artists. Lord Invader was a pioneer of calypso. He started out in the 30s and then moved to New York in the 40s. He was born Rupert Westmore Grant Dec. 13, 1914 in San Fernando, Trinidad. He first recorded for Bluebird and Decca in the late 30s. He first went to New York in 1941. Probably Lord Invader's best known song was Rum and Coca Cola. Comedian Morey Amsterdam heard the song while he was on a USO tour and he took credit for writing it and it was a smash it for The Andrews Sisters in 1945. Lord Invader moved to New York so he could sue Amsterdam. He won the lawsuit and he remained in New York. And that's why a lot of his songs talk about being a fish out of water in New York City. On the 1958 recording New York Subway, he talks about getting lost on the subway. Everyone can relate to that. He maintained a residence in Trinidad and he owned a club there. In the 50s, Lord Invader recorded for Smithsonian Folkways. And they have released this comp. it's worth checking out. Lord Invader died on Oct. 15, 1961 at age 56. Here's a video for New York Subway by Lord Invader.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Irene Aldana vs Leslie Smith added to Dec. 17 UFC show

Irene Aldana
Yesterday Steven Marrocco of MMA Junkie reported that Irene Aldana vs Leslie Smith will be added to UFC on FOX 22 Dec. 17 at the Golden1 Center in Sacramento. The good news is that Irene is a teammate to Alexa Grasso who made her successful UFC debut on Saturday. The bad news is Irene isn't as good as Alexa. The fighters that Irene beat in Invicta are at a low competition level. In her one fight against an elite opponent, Irene lost to Tonya Evinger by TKO. I've seen enough of her to believe that she is not a UFC caliber fighter. But I guess she and Alexa are a package. Similarly, I don't believe Leslie is a UFC caliber fighter either. She got into the UFC as a late replacement and her record is 8-7-1. And that's how Leslie's career has gone. She alternates wins and losses. Leslie earned a new UFC contract when she agreed to be the sacrificial lamb for Cris Cyborg's UFC debut. There's no question she's a game fighter. It doesn't mean she's a good fighter. Neither fighter has much of a ground game. So I expect this to be a glorified kickboxing match and it could be a snoozer if it goes the distance.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Bangles

Artist:Bangles
Song:Walk Like An Egyptian
Album:We Are The 80s





The girl group Bangles had a great run in the 80s. Walk Like An Egyptian was probably their biggest hit and Billboard named it the biggest hit of 1987. Bangles formed in 1981 when lead singer Susanna Hoffs placed an ad in the Los Angeles Recycler. She got a response from sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson. Vicki plays guitar and Debbi plays drums. The fourth member was bassist Annette Zilinskas. They called themselves The Bangs but changed it to Bangles when they found there was already a group called The Bangs. They released an EP on Miles Copeland's Faulty label and then they signed with Columbia Records in 1983 after Copeland closed Faulty. Annette left to form her own band. She was replaced by one time Runaways member Michael Steele. Their 1984 debut album All Over The Place did OK but there was no hit single. But they got the attention of Prince and he gave them the song Manic Monday which he had written for Appolonia 6. Manic Monday was the first single from the 1986 album Different Light. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. This was followed by a cover of the Jules Shear song If She Knew What She Wants and then Walk Like An Egyptian. Producer Liam Sternberg wrote the song. Bangles producer David Kahne heard a demo and he had Bangles record it. The original idea was to have all four girls sing a verse. But Kahne didn't like any of Debbi's vocals so he relegated her to background. Walk Like An Egyptian topped the charts. Different Light was certified 3XPlatinum. So the album was very successful. One of the big differences was on the first album, the girls wrote most of the songs. And on the second album, Kahne brought in songs from outside songwriters. I've seen this happen before. Some bands write their own songs. They just aren't good songs. There was friction within the band because Susanna was perceived as the lead singer though all of them sang. Then Susanna starred in the 1987 film The Allnighter. Bangles recorded one more album featuring the number one hit Eternal Flame. Then Susanna left to go solo. You can get all of their hits on this budget comp. Susanna was dropped by Columbia after one solo album. Bangles reformed to write a song for the film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me directed by Susanna's husband Jay Roach. They toured in 2000 and released the CD Doll Revolution in 2003. After Michael Steele left in 2005, Bangles continue to tour and record occasionally. Here's the video for Walk Like An Egyptian by Bangles.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Arisa Nakajima vs Kyoko Kimura

Here's the match video of Arisa Nakajima vs kyoko Kimura from the Nov. 3 JWP Korakuen Hall show. As I think most fans already know, Kyoko is retiring at the end of this year. So JWP owner Commando Bolshoi decided to give her a final run with the JWP Open Weight Championship. As JWP's current ace, Arisa wanted the title back. So Kyoko agreed to give her a title shot in a street fight. Arisa has done this kind of match in the past. But they wanted to emphasize that it's not her style. So she didn't bring any weapons to the ring. Of course Kyoko brought all kinds of stuff. The match is nothing special. Most of it has Kyoko grounding Arisa with weapons and Arisa overcoming that. Also, the one camera broadcast coverage is subpar. You can see for yourself. Of course Arisa wins the match and gets the title belt. But the big story is she then announces she will leave JWP to go freelance on Dec. 28. That is a big hole for JWP to fill. I wonder if the WWE has already called her. Enjoy the video!
{JWP} JWP Openweight Championship: ~Street... by NoCode1

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Elliott Fisher and his Orchestra

Artist:Elliott Fisher and his Orchestra
Song:Theme From Our Man Flint
Album:Ultra-Lounge Vol. 4: Bachelor Pad Royale




Our fascination with electronic music began in the 60s. And of course the Moog synthesizer would become very common in the late 60s. So here's a guy who made that kind of space age music with a violin. Elliott Fisher was a session musician and arranger. In 1966, he recorded an album of secret agent themes. Fisher is from Philadelphia. He was a concert violinist for the first part of his career. He was a professor of music at Denver University and leader of the Busch Chamber Orchestra. But then his career took a swerve when film composer Paul Sawtell asked Fisher to create spooky sounds for the 1957 alien robot movie Kronos. This was before the creation of the moog synthesizer. Fisher used his violin to create these sounds. In he 60s, he became a go to guy for spooky sounds for TV or movies. Fisher also played violin on recording sessions. With the popularity of James Bond, Capitol Records hired Fisher to record an album of mostly James Bond themes but Our Man Flint is also on the album. Fisher's unique sounds were the selling point of the album. It's the only album Fisher recorded for Capitol. It was called Bang! Bang! Bang!. It has never been released on CD. But Capitol has released some of Fisher's recordings on their Ultra-Lounge series. Those who are into exotica should check it out. Fisher recorded one other album. But when electronic keyboards began making weird noises, it made Fisher's techniques obsolete and he went back to playing violin on sessions. Here's a video for Theme From Our Man Flint by Elliott Fisher.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Alexa Grasso vs Heather Jo Clark

Here's the match video of Alexa Grasso vs Heather Jo Clark from last night's UFC show in Mexico City. This was Alexa's long awaited UFC debut. Alexa is 23 years old from Guadalajara, Mexico. She trains at Lobo Gym which is owned by her family. She is trained by her dad and her uncle. Most of us have known since we saw her in Invicta that Alexa has serious star power. Her delay going to the UFC was because of a year and a half injury layoff. Once she successfully returned to Invicta a few months ago, the UFC snapped her up quickly. She was heavily favoured in this fight and I expect a quick rise if she can beat a higher level of competition. Heather is a 36 year old veteran. She was in TUF 20 and then she had knee surgery. She lost in her return earlier this year. Heather is very good friends with Miesha Tate and they train at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas with coach Rob Follis. At her age, one has to wonder how long the UFC will keep Heather around. It's not surprising that Alexa's strength is boxing since her dad was a boxer. We see that in round one. After a feeling out process, Alexa lands some heavy shots and almost finishes Heather. She broke her nose and orbital bone. But Alexa didn't quite finish her and I thought it was only a matter of time. Then she went on cruise control for the next two rounds. She could have given the fight away but Heather could barely see and she just hung on. I think her dad is playing games. "We've shown them enough. We don't want to show them everything." It's too late for that. We've all seen Alexa before. We know what she can do. And you can be sure future opponents are watching her too. Alexa won an easy unanimous decision. But I would have liked to see her finish the fight. Maybe she would have earned a bonus. I'm looking forward to seeing Alexa against a higher level of competition. But after last night, I'm concerned about her dad's shenanigans. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Frankie Seay & The Soul Riders

Artist:Frankie Seay & The Soul Riders
Song:Soul Food
Album:Florida Funk 1968-1975





Here's a nice slice of late 60s funk that never really made it out of Florida until many years later. And because of that, Frankie Seay had to resort to deception to make a living. Soul Food is a good enough song that it occasionally gets sampled by hip hop guys. Frankie Seay & The Soul Riders released a couple of singles in the late 60s and early 70s. The group was led by Frankie Seay and his guitarist brother Eddie Seay. Other guys bounced in and out of the group but they included Oscar Williams, Leon Butler, Billy Mack and Joseph Palmer. The band performed in Florida in the 70s but I guess they weren't making much money and Seay figured out an easier way to make a living. He decided to take bookings as The Ink Spots. His story was that he and Eddie were nephews of 60s Ink Spot Joe Boatner. Phony versions of The Ink Spots have been so common that the original rights holders had lawyers combing the US for them. Seay continued to do this until it finally caught up to him and he wound up in court in 1985. He was ordered to knock it off. If only a great song like Soul Food had found a wider audience, he never would have resorted to The Ink Spots scam. Seay's singles turn up on various artists comps like Florida Funk. DJ Shadow is a big fan of Soul Food as he's sampled it a couple of times. Check it out. You might like it too. Here's a video for Soul Food by Frankie Seay & The Soul Riders. Thanks to Sir Shambling's Deep Soul Heaven for the Frankie Seay info.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Darius Rucker

Artist:Darius Rucker
Song:What God Wants For Christmas
Album:Home For The Holidays





It's around this time of year I am asked about Christmas albums. So I try to feature a few that I think are worth purchasing. Of course most fans know Darius Rucker as lead singer of the 90s band Hootie and the Blowfish. In recent years, he has been very successful in country music. So it's almost obligatory for country artists to record a Christmas album. Of course Rucker grew up in church so it's not surprising he would want to record a Christmas album anyway. Home For The Holidays was released in 2014. It sold well because a couple of the sings charted. Rucker records the typical Christmas standards. What God Wants For Christmas is an original written by Rucker, producer Frank Rogers and veteran songwriter Monty Criswell. Sheryl Crow guests on Baby, It's Cold Outside. Like most Christmas albums, it's supposed to be comforting and make for perfect background music for the holidays. And it's available as a budget CD. Rucker is currently working in a new CD for a 2017 release. Here's the video for What God Wants For Christmas by Darius Rucker.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Supposed favourites go down at Nov. 3 DEEP JEWELS show

Mina Kurobe gets thw win
The Nov. 3 DEEP JEWELS show was billed as having a double main event. Except neither fight was main event caliber except in matchmaker Shigeru Saeki's mind. For years Saeki has pushed Saori Ishioka as a main event fighter based mostly on her looks. She was never that good in the first place. And she hasn't improved since returning from pregnancy. She has no business being in a main event except that Saeki was tying to sell her to RIZIN to face RENA on New Year's Eve. Selling fighters to outside companies is how Saeki makes money these days. Her opponent Mina Kurobe has a 9-2 record. She's a decent fighter but at 39 years old, most outside companies won't be interested in her. The fight was close but Ishioka ran out of gas and Kurobe won by unanimous decision. Oh, well. The other supposed main event had Tomo Maesawa vs Emi Tomimatsu. Both are midcard fighters at best. Maesawa won with a third round rear naked choke. Retired boxer Emiko Raika made her DEEP JEWELS debut with a unanimous decision win over Korean kickboxer Jin Hee Gan. Raika has done poorly against better competition. Ayaka Miure returned to DEEP JEWELS after a two year break and won over Sachiko Fujimori with a second round scarf hold armlock. Ayaka is 26 years old and attractive so she may be marketable. Sarami returned looking to break a two fight losing streak. She also switched gyms to Pancrasism Yokohama. Sarami won over Miyuki Furusawa with a first round armbar. Furusawa trains at Megumi Fujii's new place Burst. The problem is she's only 0-2 and 36 years old. Nori DATE beat BB Taka with a second round TKO. Hana DATE beat Sayuri Yamaguchi by unanimous decision. And finally "King" Reina Miura won her MMA debut over Eri by first round armbar. This fight was at under 70kg so basically Openweight. King had trouble making weight as an amateur. I saw a pic of her at the weigh ins. She hasn't missed many meals. At some point she has to decide what her fight weight will be. And there are so few heavier fighters in Japan, I think she will have to move to the US to get anywhere.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Earl Scruggs and Friends

Artist:Earl Scruggs and Friends
Song:Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Album:Earl Scruggs and Friends





Of course Earl Scruggs is one of the all time greats of bluegrass music. He invented the three finger banjo picking style. Of course he is best known for his days with Lester Flatt creating classics like Foggy Mountain Breakdown. Flatt and Scruggs split up in 1969 mainly because Flatt didn't want to play anything but traditional bluegrass and Scruggs wanted to spread his wings. So beginning in 1970 Scruggs led the Earl Scruggs Revue. It looks like Scruggs retired in the mid-80s. But then he returned and this 2001 CD Earl Scruggs and Friends is a must for his fans. The album was produced by Scruggs' son Randy Scruggs who toured with his dad as part of The Earl Scruggs Revue. This all star version of Foggy Mountain Breakdown sure is a lot of fun. All the special guests solo including Glen Duncan on fiddle, Randy Scruggs on guitar, Steve Martin on banjo, Vince Gill on guitar, Marty Stuart on mandolin, Gary Scruggs on harmonica, Albert Lee on guitar, Paul Shaffer on piano, Jerry Douglas on dobro and Leon Russell on piano. And of course Earl Scruggs himself on banjo. Other special guests on the album include Elton John, Sting, Dwight Yoakam, Rosanne Cash and John Fogarty. This CD is a must for Earl Scruggs fans. Scruggs continued to tour occasionally until his death on Mar. 28, 2012 at age 88. Here's the video for Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Earl Scruggs and Friends.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Crooked Still

Artist:Crooked Still
Song:Ain't No Grave
Album:Shaken By A Low Sound





Crooked Still is classified as a bluegrass group though they're more of a folk music group that uses bluegrass elements. You may have heard their recording of Ain't No Grave on the HBO series True Blood. Crooked Still are from Boston. Lead singer Aiofe O'Donovan was a student at the New England Conservatory of Music in 2001. She was in the folk group The Wayfaring Strangers and so was bassist Corey DeMario. They met cellist Rushad Eggleston and and banjo player Gregory Liszt and formed Crooked Still. Eggleston was studying at Berklee. They started playing local clubs. The CD Hop High was released in 2004 after adding violinist Brittany Haas. For the 2006 CD Shaken By A Low Sound, they signed with Signature Sounds to get better distribution. They perform mostly traditional music. Ain't No Grave appeared on the HBO series True Blood. Bluegrass traditionalists might not appreciate the use of the cello. But I think it works well within the context of the group. Eggleston left and was replaced by Tristan Claridge in 2008. Eggleston moved back to California and formed Tornado Rider. Crooked Still recorded three more albums and then went on hiatus after a 2011 tour. That hiatus became more permanent after Aiofe O'Donovan signed with Yep Roc. She has released three albums. Last year she toured with Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz. Brittany Haas is a member of the Dave Rawlings Machine. So though it doesn't look like Crooked Still will reform, their music should be of interest to folk and bluegrass fans. Here's Crooked Still performing Ain't No Grave at the Greenhoe Theater in Landmark College in Putney, VT Apr. 4, 2009.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Glynis Johns

Artist:Glynis Johns
Song:Sister Suffragette
Album:Mary Poppins: Special Edition





Actress Glynis Johns is not a musical performer. But her two best known performances happen to be in musicals. She won a Tony For her performance in the 1973 Broadway musical A Little Night Music. And she appeared in the 1964 film Mary Poppins. She was born Oct. 5, 1923 in Pretoria, South Africa but she grew up in Wales. Her father was actor Mervyn Johns and her mother was concert pianist Alys Steele. Glynis first appeared on stage in 1935 and her film debut was in 1938. She moved to the US in the 50s and she got a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for the 1960 film The Sundowners. That got Walt Disney's attention at a time when he was working on turning the Mary Poppins books into a film. Meanwhile Glynis appeared in the ABC TV series The Roaring 20s and the CBS series Glynis. When Disney was casting Mary Poppins, there was concern that Julie Andrews would be unable to star due to pregnancy. So he brought in Glynis as a backup. But she didn't know that. She thought she was playing Mary Poppins. The way Disney and songwriters The Sherman Brothers got around that is they told her that Sister Suffragette was written for her. It was Glynis' big song in the movie. The soundtrack is available in a Special Edition with a second CD of bonus tracks. Glynis other big musical role was in the 1973 Broadway production of A Little Night Music for which she was nominated for a Tony award. Glynis continued to work in films and on stage. Among other things, she played Shelley Long's mother in Cheers. She seems to be retired. Her last film was in 1999. here's Glynis Johns performing Sister Suffragette in the 1964 film Mary Poppins.