Thursday, October 19, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Marcie Blane

Artist:Marcie Blane
Song:Bobby's Girl
Album:Bobby's Girl: The Complete Seville Recordings

No, Bobby's Girl is not a lost Leslie Gore recording. Marcie Blane scored a top five hit in 1962 with Bobby's Girl. It turned out to be her only hit though a couple of other songs charted. You can get all her recordings on this budget comp. She was born Marcia Blank May 21, 1944 in Brooklyn, NY. Her father Ernest Blank was a pianist and music teacher. Marcie grew up on Long Island. She was in the high school band at Jamaica High. Bobby's Girl was written by Gary Klein and Hank Hoffman. Klein has had a long career in the music business. Hoffman asked Marcie to record some demos for him. Seville Records A&R man Marv Holtzman liked Marcie's voice and he signed her. Bobby's Girl was the first single and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was arranged and the orchestra was led by veteran session guitarist Billy Mure. So now she's a pop star. In England, Bobby's Girl was a hit for Susan Maughan. Klein and Hoffman wrote and produced similar songs for Marcie. But they were unable to score a second big hit. Marcie continued to record for a couple of years. She also studied music at Queens College. But she quit the music business after her contract ended in 1965. Marcie got married, had two kids and became a teacher. In a 1988 interview, Marcie said she loved music but she hated the music business. Now she appreciates her success but back then she was miserable. Here's a video for Bobby's Girl by Marcie Blane. Thanks to Spectropop for the Marcie Blane info.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ma$e

Artist:Ma$e f/Total
Song:What You Want
Album:Harlem World

Rapper Mason "Ma$e" Betha had success in the 90s mostly guesting on recordings produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs. After he had three top ten hits from his 1997 debut album Harlem World, he seemed to be conflicted about music. He keeps retiring and then he returns. He was born Aug. 27, 1975 in Jacksonville, FL but he grew up in Harlem in New York City. As a teen, he got into trouble. So his mom sent him back to Florida. Betha returned to New York at age 15 and that's when he got into rap. Mason attended SUNY in Westchester on a basketball scholarship. But he left after two semesters to pursue a music career. His big break came when his manager took him to a rap convention in Atlanta. Betha auditioned for Combs and signed with Bad Boy Entertainment. Before he recorded Harlem World, Betha appeared with The Notorious B.I.G. on the 112 single Only You. He also appeared on the Puff Daddy album No Way Out. Then he recorded Harlem World produced by Combs and members of his production team The Hitmen. After the death of The Notorious B.I.G, Combs had big plans for Betha. There were three top ten hits from Harlem World. What You Want was the second single. It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. It featured the popular girl group Total. There were so many guest singers on this album it made it look like Betha was the guest artist. What You Want was produced by Nashiem Myrick of The Hitmen. It samples the Curtis Mayfield song Right In For The Darkness. Harlem World was certified 4XPlatinum. After Betha's 1999 album Double Up didn't do nearly as well, he promptly retired from music with plans to become a minister. Of course he returned with the 2004 album Welcome Back. It did OK but I guess many fans had forgotten about him. Betha started hanging around with 50 Cent who wanted him to join his group G-Unit. But Combs wouldn't let Betha out of his Bad Boy contract. He retired again but he returned in 2009 as a guest rapper. He did that for a while and again tried to get out of his Bad Boy contract. When that didn't happen, Betha retired again in 2010. Of course he returned again and a new CD Now We Even will be released in December. This will get him out of his Bad Boy contract. I just find it hard to believe that after 20 years that music fans remember Ma$e. He was a big deal in 1997. Not anymore. Here's the video for What You Want by Ma$e featuring Total.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tecia Torres vs Michelle Waterson added to Dec. 2 UFC show

This afternoon the UFC announced that Tecia Torres vs Michelle Waterson has been added to UFC 218 Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. I expect this to air on the main card. These two were supposed to fight in 2015 but Michelle broke her hand. After Tecia won her latest fight, she asked for Michelle. Both fighters are ranked in the top ten but both have major flaws. I think they are probably overrated. They are good but not that good. Of course Michelle is famous as The Karate Hottie. I don't know of that's a blessing or a curse. It probably gets her more attention than she deserves. Michelle has decent skills. Her big problem is she's an Atomweight trying to be a Strawweight. And that was her big problem when she lost to Rose Namajunas in April. If she wins that fight, she gets a title shot. Tecia is a one dimensional kickboxer with no power. That makes her a points fighter. That being said, she won her last fight over Juliana Lima with a rear naked choke. Not only was that her first submission finish, it was her first finish of any kind. Can she do that against better competition? I think Michelle has a better chance for a finish. Though I don't think the winner gets a title shot, the winner will move closer and she might get the next number one contender's match. So it is an important fight. I just think both are overrated.

Ham Seo Hee vs Jinh Yu Frey to main event Dec. 23 Road FC show

This morning Road FC announced that Ham Seo Hee will defend her Road FC Atomweight Championship against Jinh Yu Frey Dec 23 Seoul, Korea. The arena has not been announced. The event is called Road FC 045 XX. The XX means that this will be an all women's MMA show. I heard about this last week but I was waiting for Road to set the date. Of course Ham fought in the UFC as a Strawweight. They wanted to sign her to a new contract. But she's a natural Atomweight and she's fighting at home making a lot more money. She won the title with a third round TKO of DEEP JEWELS fighter Mina Kurobe. The fight was not competitive. That fight was scheduled for three rounds. Championship fights should be five rounds. Ham is mainly a kickboxer. But she's a really good kickboxer who has adapted well to MMA. But she has no power. That last fight was her very first TKO win. Jinh Yu Frey is an Invicta veteran from Arlington, TX. Her record is 8-2. Jinh is also a striker but she doesn't have any power. So she wins most of her fights by decision. So this is likely to be a kickboxing match. But what kind of kickboxing match? An exciting slugging match would be great. But I think these two are too technical for that. So we could see anything including light sparring or endless clinching on the fence. That kind of fight would be very difficult to judge. And crazy judging happens a lot in Asia. So I'm expecting this fight to go to a decision. But I am hoping that one of them is aggressive enough to win with no controversy. I have my doubts.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Motley Crue

Artist:Motley Crue
Song:Without You
Album:Greate$t Hit$

Motley Crue was a band that didn't need hit singles. They were very popular in the 80s. But they had two top ten hits from their 1989 album Dr. Feelgood including the power ballad Without You. Motley Crue was formed in Los Angeles in 1981. Bassist Nikki Sixx had just left the band London and he was jamming with drummer Tommy Lee and guitarist and singer Greg Leon who Sixx worked with in another band. When Leon left, they brought in Mick Mars who had placed an ad in The Recycler as a loud rude guitarist looking for a band. Lee knew lead singer Vince Neil from high school. Mars saw him with his band Rock Candy. Neil was reluctant to leave at first. But when Rock Candy started falling apart, he jumped ship. Mars heard the expression "motley crew" about a band he was in. The stylized spelling was because they were drinking Lowenbrau beer at the time. They released a single and then signed with Elektra Records in 1982. They had already recorded an album which Elektra released. And the band toured Canada. They soon became famous for bad behavior. Sometimes these incidents were staged like a phony bomb threat that got them banned from Edmonton. What really got Motley Crue noticed was touring with Ozzy Osbourne in 1984. Their next few albums did very well. They had a 70s glam look and excessive behavior may have helped too. But Sixx almost died after a 1987 heroin overdose. And in 1988 the whole band went into drug rehab. Upon recovery, the 1989 album Dr. Feelgood became their most successful album. It was certified 6XPlatinum. Dr. Feelgood and Without You were both top ten pop hits. Without You reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is notable for Mars' steel guitar solo. Supposedly Without You is about Tommy Lee's relationship with actress Heather Locklear. Motley Crue faded after that mostly due to changing musical tastes. Grunge became very popular in the early 90s. Neil was replaced by John Corabi in 1992. But it didn't work out and Neil returned in 1997. They left Elektra to start their own label in 1998. Motley Crue continued until they retired in 2015. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Here's the video for Without You by Motley Crue.

Monday, October 16, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Phantogram

Song:Black Out Days

Phantogram is a duo who began to pick up steam when they signed with a major label in 2013. I doubt they will ever be mainstream but they have done well on tour. Phantogram is from the upstate New York town of Greenwich and they live in Saratoga Springs. Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel went to high school together. After briefly separating, they returned home and started working on songs together. Sarah sings and plays keyboards. Carter plays guitar, bass and drums in the studio. They hire musicians for touring. At first they performed in local clubs as Charlie Everywhere and that was changed to Phantogram in 2009. After releasing a couple of EPs, they signed with Barsuk Records for their debut album Eyelid Movies. The album was reviewed positively. They also wrote and produced a couple of songs for Big Boi from Outkast. It was enough to get them a deal with Universal's Republic label for the 2014 album Voices. The album and a couple of singles did well on alt rock charts. But they haven't crossed over to mainstream yet. To promote Phantogram, songs have been placed in TV shows. Black Out Days appeared on CSI: Las Vegas, Shameless and The Magicians. The theory is fans use that to find Phantogram on Spotify or iTunes. That strategy must be successful or labels wouldn't do it. For their 2016 album Three, Phantogram worked with producers Ricky Reed and former Semisonic leader Dan Wilson in an attempt for mainstream success. But Three didn't sell as well as Voices. Phantogram are on tour. My guess is they will record when the tour is over. Maybe Republic should leave them alone and let them make music minus outside producers. That seemed to work well for Voices. Here's the video for Black Out Days by Phantogram.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-RENA vs Andy Nguyen

Here's the match video of RENA vs Andy Nguyen from today's RIZIN show in Fukuoka. This was the main event of the show and part of the first round of the Atomweight tournament. So Andy missed weight yesterday. Remember Japan is not regulated. So it's up to RIZIN. I don't think they did anything. The match was live on Fuji TV. When that happens here a percentage of the purse goes to the opponent. I can assure you RENA was pissed off with Andy. RENA got off to a slow start and Andy took her down. Andy got RENA's back. But her big mistake was letting RENA get back up. Andy was still on her back trying for a standing rear naked choke which is a low percentage submission. And RENA's Shoot Boxing experience came in handy. Once she got out of it, RENA hammered Andy especially to the body. After one body shot took a lot of steam out of Andy, another one dropped her and it was over. As expected RENA goes on to the semi final. In other tournament bouts, Maria Oliveira bear Alyssa Garcia by unanimous decision, Kanna Asakura beat Sylwia Juskiewicz by unanimous decision and Irene Rivera beat Miyuu Yamamoto by armbar. and in a non tournament match, King REINA beat Crystal Stokes by unanimous decision. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Michelle Williams

Artist:Michelle Williams f/Beyonce and Kelly Rowland
Song:Say Yes
Album:Journey To Freedom

Michelle Williams is best known as a member of the second version of Destiny's Child. As a solo artist, she has recorded mostly gospel. An attempt to record secular music didn't work out. She's had success in the gospel market including this 2014 Destiny's Child reunion Say Yes. She was born July 23, 1980 in Rockford, IL. She grew up singing in church. Michelle studied criminal justice at Illinois State. But after two years, she decided to try singing as a career. After touring as a backup singer for Monica, she met Beyonce and Kelly Rowland in an Atlanta hotel lobby. And that led to Michelle joining Destiny's Child in 2001. While still a member of Destiny's Child, she released the 2002 album Heart To Yours. It was a gospel album. The single Heard A Word was written and produced by gospel music producers Buster & Shavoni. She also made her Broadway debut in the hit musical Aida. she released the 2004 CD Do You Know mostly produced by her brother Erron Williams. After Destiny's Child split up, Columbia convinced Michelle she should record secular music. But the 2008 album Unexpected didn't do well. And she left Columbia in 2010. For a while she concentrated on musical theater. And she also appeared on the British TV dance competition Strictly Come Dancing. Apparently she was recording a secular album in 2011 but it doesn't look like anything came of it. She decided to return to gospel and signed with Light Records. the 2014 album Journey to Freedom was produced by Brit Harmony Samuels. He's a protege of Rodney Jerkins and he has produced Fantasia among others. The single Say Yes was a Destiny's Child reunion. They appeared on her other albums. The song topped the gospel charts. The African groove is because Samuels is of Nigerian descent. Destiny's Child performed Say Yes on the 2015 Stellar Awards broadcast. Other guests on Journey To Freedom are Eric Dawkins, Lecrae, Tye Tribbett and Fantasia. Since then she has made some TV and stage appearances. And she has appeared at some events with a new boyfriend. But there is no word on new music. Maybe she is working on something and we don't know about it yet. She'll always be overshadowed by Beyonce. That's why gospel is a good market for her. Here's the video for Say Yes by Michelle Williams featuring Beyonce and Kelly Rowland.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sugarhill Gang

Artist:Sugarhill Gang
Song:Rapper's Delight

Rapper's Delight was the very first rap record to cross over to pop in 1979. It was actually the second rap record released. Like doo wop in the 40s, rap started in the streetcorners of Harlem in New York City. Sylvia Robinson was best known as one half of Mickey and Sylvia and for the hit single Pillow Talk. But with her husband Joe she also had success as owner of All Platinum Records, especially The Moments. Sylvia was aware of street rappers and she wanted to record them. So she started Sugar Hill Records with funding from Roulette Records owner Morris Levy. At first she had trouble finding rappers willing to record. Some rappers thought rap should only be live. Sylvia's son heard a rapper at a pizza place. He went there to find him. That was Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson. Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien worked in the pizza place. When he saw this, he auditioned too. And so did Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright. Sugarhill Gang was born. Rapper's Delight is based on Chic's Good Times. When Chic's Nile Rodgers found out, he sued Sugar Hill. Rodgers says he likes the record. He just wanted proper credit. The band on the record is Positive Force. Rapper's Delight reached #4 on the R&B Singles chart and it was also a hit in England. Then it crossed over to pop and it reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100. And the term "hip hop" came from Wonder Mike's rap at the start of the song. Sugarhill Gang recorded four albums and some of their singles were successful on the R&B and dance charts and in Europe. Of course rap became this big thing. Sylvia Robinson deserves most of the credit for having the vision to record rap in the first place. Rapper's Delight was so successful she was able to buy out Levy. Henry Jackson died in 2014. But Sugarhill Gang toured last year. You can get all their hits on this Rhino budget comp. Here's the video for Rapper's Delight by Sugarhill Gang.

Friday, October 13, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-New Edition

Artist:New Edition
Song:If It Isn't Love

It looked like New Edition was through after Bobby Brown left in 1985. But the group was able to overcome that by adding Johnny Gill and recording in a more mature style with the 1988 album Heart Beat. If It Isn't Love was a top ten hit. After the 1985 album All For Love, New Edition voted Brown out of the group for behavioral problems. Mainly, Brown wasn't getting along with Ralph Tresvant. They also had a poor contract with MCA Records. None of them were making as much money as they should but Brown was more vocal about it. So MCA wanted him out too. New Edition continued as a four piece and released the 1986 album Under The Blue Moon, an album of doo wop covers produced by Freddie Perren who was very successful in the 70s but the death of disco killed his career. The album did not sell as well as previous albums. The only hit single was New Edition's cover of Earth Angel from The Karate Kid Part II. It wasn't supposed to be on Under The Blue Moon and was tacked on afterwards. Tresvant was thinking of going solo. But the other members voted to bring in Johnny Gill who had success recording with his childhood friend Stacy Lattisaw. At first Tresvant was uneasy about Gill. But they became friends and Tresvant stayed in the group. For the 1988 album Heart Break, New Edition went to Minneapolis to record with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who were becoming the hottest producers in the record business. They gave New Edition a more mature sound. If It Isn't Love was the first single. It reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Tresvant sang lead. Heart Break was certified 4XPlatinum. So New Edition was back. But they split up after a successful tour. Gill and Tresvant both went solo. and the other three guys became Bell Biv Devoe. New Edition returned in 1996 mostly because they owed an album to MCA. But that album was successful and it solidified New Edition's durability. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Here's the video for If It Isn't Love by New Edition.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

PANCRASE deal with Invicta likely to lead nowhere

PANCRASE owner Sakai
A couple of months ago, PANCRASE released a Youtube video heralding a big announcement about women's MMA in PANCRASE. On Sunday's show, PANCRASE owner Masakazu Sakai announced a talent exchange agreement with Invicta. Though that may sound good, I don't expect it to amount to much if anything. And an interview Sakai did yesterday with EFight indicates that he did what plenty of Japanese promoters have done in the past. They make big announcements with no idea of how it should be executed and yield results. And it's not the first time Sakai has made big announcements with no follow up. Remember when Smash was supposed to be a pro wrestling and MMA company? He even hired Akira "Mr. Pride" Shoji to run the MMA company and the Smash dojo. But when the MMA part of Smash never opened, he closed Smash after Tajiri refused to have MMA on his pro wrestling shows. After Sakai brought PANCRASE, he announced working agreements with King of the Cage and American Kickboxing Academy. Nothing came from those. Remember when PANCRASE was supposed to do shows with WSOF? Nothing came of that and eventually the WSOF opened an office in Tokyo and did a few shows of their own. PANCRASE wasn't involved. The only deal that happened was when Canadian reality TV show Fight Xchange arranged for four fighters to train in Japan and fight in PANCRASE. But most of the credit for that should go to Fight Xchange creator Aaron Avruskin with a SuperChannel broadcast deal in hand. So that's why I am very skeptical of Sakai's announcement. He brought out two fighters at Sunday's show. One was veteran Takayo Hashi who probably isn't an in demand fighter outside Japan. The other is Toyoko who hasn't fought yet but was a 2002 high school judo champ. So she's old and she hasn't fought yet. Sakai claims this deal with Invicta is supposed to help Japanese female fighters. But he doesn't seem to know how to do that. What he's done before is promote individual fighters to sell to the UFC. And he brought over gaijin fighters to lose to them. He doesn't need Invicta to bring in gaijin fighters. Sakai suggested getting experienced fighters from other organizations. But all the good fighters are under contract elsewhere. What remains is very low talent level. He even suggested recruiting kickboxers to MMA. That's probably not adequate. RIZIN has Olympic Gold Medal wrestler Saori Yoshida scout amateur and college ranks for new talent. Yoshida found Hanako Murata wrestling in college. Sakai could do the same thing. But he might not want to spend the money. Talent development ain't cheap. My conclusion is this was a big announcement that is not supposed to lead anywhere because recruiting talent is not easy, simple or cheap. And Sakai has no idea how to recruit fresh talent.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Carleen & The Groovers

Artist:Carleen & The Groovers
Song:Can We Rap
Album:The Funky 16 Corners

Most folks who listen to this song probably think it's an obscure James Brown song. But Can We Rap is the best known song by the obscure 70s funk group Carleen & The Groovers. They were from Charleston, SC and a family group. Carleen Butler played drums and her brother Clary Butler played trumpet and sang. So they grew up singing in church and Clary was a big James Brown fan. He even toured briefly with Wilson Pickett. Carleen played drums in her high school marching band. She was playing in a local jazz band in 1970 when Clary talked her into starting a band with some guys he played with in The Exotics from Orangeburg. So the band that recorded Can We Rap was Clary Butler on trumpet and vocals, Leonard Chisholm on sax, John Scott on guitar, David Stevens on bass and Carleen Butler on drums. They recorded three singles and then Carleen moved to Germany in 1975 and the band ended. Carleen played jazz on tour boats in Germany before moving home to become a deputy sheriff. After briefly reforming The Groovers, Clary was a DJ before becoming a minister. Of course DJs are always on the lookout for classic funk. Chris "Peanut Butter Wolf" Manak started Stones Throw Records to release classic funk on CDs like The Funky 16 Corners. All the bands are obscure but as you will tell with Can We Rap, any of these songs could have been hits if they had been on labels with decent distribution. Here's a video for Can We Rap by Carleen & The Groovers.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-P!nk

Song:So What
Album:Greatest Hits...So Far!!!

When Alecia "P!nk" Moore started out, she seemed like just another pop singer. But she's still around and she has a new album coming out in a couple of days. The 2008 single So What is her biggest hit to date. She was born Sept. 8, 1979 in the Philadelphia suburb of Doylestown, PA. She performed in Philadelphia clubs as a teen. P!nk was a childhood nickname. Apparently she was very rambunctious. She was in the group Basic Instinct which didn't last. Then she was in the group Choice. A demo landed in the hands of LaFace Records owner LA Reid. They auditioned and signed. They recorded an album that was never released. After one single was released, Reid decided he only wanted P!nk. He told her to go solo or go home. Her 2000 debut album Can't Take Me Home was certified 2XPlatinum. The singles There You Go and Most Girls were top ten hits. She worked with several producers including Babyface and Kevin "She'kspeare" Briggs who had produced Destiny's Child. P!nk writes the lyrics for all her songs. And that's one of the reasons she has been successful. she writes about her life and fans identify with her. P!nk's first #1 hit was the cover of Lady Marmalade with Christina Aguilera, Mya and Lil' Kim from the film Moulin Rouge!. So yeah, it was a gimmick hit. for her 2001 album Missundztood, P!nk brought in veteran songwriter Linda Perry. And they wrote and produced most of the album including the top five hit Get The Party Started. The album was certified 5XPlatinum. Her 2003 album Try This had more of a punk sound as P!nk brought in Rancid's Tim Armstrong to produce. But it wasn't as successful as the first two albums. She bounced back a bit with the 2005 album I'm Not Dead. Most of the album was produced by Billy Mann. But it was also the first time she worked with Swedish producer Max Martin who was very successful producing Britney Spears. She worked even more with Martin on the 2008 album Funhouse. And that really paid off when So What topped the charts. So What is about P!nk's split with motocross racer Carey Hart. They got back together and they now have two kids. It is her biggest hit to date. Funhouse was certified 3XPlatinum. Her next #1 hit was Raise Your Glass from Greatest Hits...So Far. It was also produced by Martin. The success continued with the 2012 CD The Truth About Love and the #1 single Just Give Me A Reason. Her new album Beautiful Trauma is coming out on Oct. 13. I expect her success to continue. If it doesn't sell as well, P!nk seems to be very good at adjusting to changing musical tastes. Here's the video for So What by P!nk.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Andrea True Connection

Artist:The Andrea True Connection
Song:More, More, More
Album:Summer Party: The Essential Collection

Andrea True was a porn star who lucked into one of the more memorable hits of the disco era despite the fact she couldn't sing or dance or anything. More, More, More was a top five hit in 1976. She was born Andrea Marie Truden July 26, 1943 in Nashville. As a teen, she moved to New York City to become famous. She sang in clubs and did bits in a couple of films like The Way We Were. Her friends were making a porn movie and she decided it would be good experience. She did about a dozen porn films in the mid 70s. Andrea was hired to go to Jamaica and film a commercial for a real estate company. While she was there, Jamaica imposed sanctions preventing foreigners from transferring money out of the country. So she decided to make a record. She contacted drummer Gregg Diamond who had a group called Five Dollar Shoes. He was also a session musician. He brought musicians to Jamaica and recorded an album. Remix pioneer Tom Moulton remixed More, More, More. Buddah Records at first released the song to clubs. But it became so popular that it crossed over to pop and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. She recorded two albums for Buddah. Her music did OK in clubs but More, More, More was her only memorable song. You can get it on this 2CD various artists budget comp from Demon Records. After a third album failed, Andrea tried to return to porn but she was too old. And she had vocal cord surgery. So she couldn't sing anymore. She still got royalties from More, More, More. She eventually became a drug rehab counselor in Florida. Andrea True died on Nov. 7, 2011 at age 68. Here's The Andrea True Connection performing More, More, More on Musikladen in Germany 1976.

Monday, October 09, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Meli'sa Morgan

Artist:Meli'sa Morgan
Song:Do You Still Love Me?
Album:Do Me Baby: Expanded Edition

Meli'sa Morgan is a big voiced soul singer who had success on the R&B charts in the 80s. She may be best known for the single Love Changes that she recorded with Kashif. She was born Dec. 6, 1964 in Queens, NY. She grew up singing in church. Meli'sa started out as a background singer. She was in a couple of groups. Shades Of Love had a dance hit with Keep In Touch in 1982. There was also High Fashion who had an R&B hit with Feelin' Lucky Lately in 1982. High Fashion recorded two albums for Capitol. At the same time, Meli'sa sang backup for Melba Moore who was produced by Paul Laurence who had a deal with Capitol. She left High Fashion and signed with Capitol. Laurence was one of two producers who worked on Meli'sa's 1986 debut album Do Me Baby. Her cover of the Prince song Do Me Baby was produced by Laurence. It topped the R&B Singles chart and reached #46 on the Billboard Hot 100. Do You Still Love Me? was the second single. It reached #5 on the R&B Singles chart. Meli'sa wrote and produced that song with Lesette Wilson who had worked with smooth jazz trumpeter Tom Browne among others. The album Do Me Baby did OK. It has been released on CD by the R&B reissue label SoulMusic owned by the British label Cherry Red. Meli'sa continued to have success with her 1987 album Good Love featuring the hit Love Changes written and produced by Kashif. Her 1990 album The Lady In Me didn't do as well and she left Capitol. Since then Meli'sa has recorded occasionally. She appeared on an 2015 episode of the TVOne series Unsung. She still tours. She doesn't have a website anymore but she uses Twitter to promote her appearances. Here's the video for Do You Still Love Me? by Meli'sa Morgan.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Poliana Botelho vs Pearl Gonzalez

Here's the match video of Poliana Botelho vs Pearl Gonzalez from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. This aired on the prelims. Pearl is a former XFC champ from Chicago. She looked OK there but she may not be a UFC caliber fighter. I guess her chief asset is she's hot. She lost in her UFC debut. Poliana is from Brazil. She was supposed to make her UFC debut last year. They said on the broadcast that she broke her hand twice. She's also a former XFC champ. She's big for a Strawweight but she has fought most of her career at Flyweight so I would expect her to wind up there. She's mostly a striker. Pearl's strategy was to avoid her striking and then take her down. But Pearl wasn't strong enough to take her down. So she pushed her against the fence. Poliana landed strikes from that position and that's how she won the fight. There are some coaches who misguidedly think that cage control counts on the judges scorecards. Like takedowns, cage control only means something if the fighter follows up with offense. All Pearl did was push Poliana against the cage and lean on her. Ref Jason Herzog kept breaking them up but Pearl kept going back to it. So that means her coach came up with faulty strategy based on misguided assumptions about scoring. That's a recipe for failure and a one way trip to Palookaville. Maybe Pearl needs a new coach.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Mara Romero Borella vs Kalindra Faria

Here's the match video of Mara Romero Borella vs Kalindra Faria from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. This was on the main card but at least it should have been moved to the prelims. But really when Andrea Lee was forced out due to a previous positive drug test, the fight should have been scrapped and Kalindra's UFC contract cancelled. Having seen her before, she doesn't belong in the UFC. Being a late replacement is the only way the UFC books her and that was as a warm body to face Andrea Lee. And yes, I have seen Kalindra's record. It's heavily padded with Brazilian regional fights. She has failed miserably each time she has fought outside Brazil. Mara is from Italy but she trains at American Top Team in Florida. We saw her in Invicta in July. She won but she wasn't impressive. This fight was at Flyweight. The fight went as I expected. Mara took Kalindra down and it took a couple of minutes but she won with a rear naked choke. Kalindra couldn't even help herself. In an attempt to cage walk, she positioned herself farther away from the cage. So it wasn't so much that Mara was impressive but that Kalindra is inept. We'll see what happens when Mara faces a better level of competition. A win against a terrible opponent tells me nothing. Here's the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Suzy Bogguss

Artist:Suzy Bogguss
Song:Someday Soon
Album:20 Greatest Hits

Suzy Bogguss had a good run on the country music charts in the early 90s with four hits from the 1991 album Aces including this cover of the 60s classic Someday Soon. She was born Dec. 30, 1956 in Aledo, IL. Her father served in the US Army in WWII and was a machinist in an International Harverster plant. Suzy sang in church and took piano lessons. She also visited Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in California. They were friends of her grandparents. She graduated from Illinois State University in 1980 with a degree in metalsmithing. Then she started performing in local clubs and released a couple of albums. She moved to Nashville in 1985. She auditioned for Dolly Parton and became a featured performer at Dollywood. Eventually one of her demos got the attention of Capitol Nashville head Jim Fogelsong and he signed her to Liberty Records. Suzy's career didn't take off until Jimmy Bowen took over as head of Capitol Nashville. He produced her 1991 album Aces. Someday Soon was the first single and it reached #12 on the Country Singles chart. Someday Soon was written by Ian Tyson and Ian and Sylvia recorded it in 1964. Probably the most memorable version of Someday Soon was recorded by Judy Collins in 1969. And the familiarity that fans had with that song probably helped make it a hit for Suzy. That led to three top ten hits from Aces and Aces was certified Platinum. The first single from Suzy's 1992 album Voices In The Wind was Drive South. It reached #2 on the Country Singles chart and it would be her biggest hit. Suzy faded after that and went on hiatus in 1995 to start a family with husband Doug Crider. She left Liberty in 1998. Suzy started her own label in 2001 and she still records and tours. You can get all her hits on this budget comp. Here's Suzy Bogguss performing Someday Soon on Nashville Now June 12, 1991.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Review-Asuka: The WWE Network Collection

With Asuka moving up to RAW in a couple of weeks, the WWE has posted all her NXT matches on the WWE Network. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at her overall NXT run and see how she has evolved in the last two years. Most of Asuka's improvement has been in her overall presentation. Her ring work and her ability to have quality matches with anyone was already there. She was already doing that in Japan and HHH spoke to her before her debut to be sure that she would wrestle her style and not change anything. After he was wowed by her debut vs Dana Brooke, she approached him backstage and said "Was that OK?". She got a good match out of a greenhorn and wants to know if it's OK. And that's why she will be on RAW. Her ability to elevate her opponent is unparalleled. Asuka's look is the same as it has been since 2010 based on the main character in the joshi puroresu video game Rumble Roses. Asuka was recently profiled by Eurogamer as a worldwide video game expert and she has also designed games. So it's not surprising that she is inspired by games. You'll notice that for most of her NXT run she wears all new gear at each Takeover show and she changes her hair color frequently. She just wants to keep her look fresh. I guess she was told she can't wrestle barefoot so she wears sneakers. She has not worn wrestling boots since 2009. You'll notice in her early matches she doesn't scream. Apparently Sara Amato noticed this and asked why Asuka wasn't screaming in the ring. She didn't know they wanted her to do that stuff. So now she does a lot of screaming and great facial expressions. And that's the one major improvement. From what I could tell, dancing to the ring during her entrance started at the 2016 Brooklyn show when she came to the ring with a sheet. I don't know the significance of the sheet but I guess someone backstage liked her dancing and asked her to keep doing it. I think it enhances her presentation tremendously. Of course there is the streak which was Goldberg's idea. That just adds an aura to Asuka and it protects her from the WWE's dreaded 50/50 booking. The majority of Asuka's matches are entertaining, even the squashes. The only dud was the match vs Eva Marie. Asuka sells Eva's offense too much and Eva shouldn't have been anywhere near a ring in the first place. Eva was inexperienced and inept. The best match was the Last Woman Standing match vs Nikki Cross. I would have liked to see that feud continue as they have great chemistry. And who knows what they would have done at Brooklyn. I'm sure Asuka would want to top the first match. But instead they went with Ember Moon who is saddled with a blah character. But Asuka made the best of it and they had a good match. We'll see what happens when Asuka shows up on RAW.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Melody's Echo Chamber

Artist:Melody's Echo Chamber
Album:Melody's Echo Chamber

Fans of neo psychedelia will want to check out Melody's Echo Chamber. It's another case of a solo artist hiding behind a band name. Melody Prochet was born Apr. 3, 1987 in Puyricard, France. She recorded as Narcoleptic Dancers and My Bee's Garden. She turned My Bee's Garden into a band and in 2010 they toured with the Aussie band Tame Impala. Tame Impala leader Kevin Parker invited Melody to record at his recording studio in Perth, Australia. Apparently the name Melody's Echo Chamber came from a dream she had about the acoustics in her bedroom. It also meant she could sell it to a different record company. Fat Possum released Melody's Echo Chamber in 2012. Melody's music certainly isn't mainstream but it got a lot of critical buzz. As I said, I recommend Melody's Echo Chamber to fans of neo psychedelia or dream pop. There is a second album. Melody released a single in 2014. Earlier this year she released a video on Youtube. The album is called Bon Voyage. Then in June her family posted on Facebook that Melody was in a serious car accident and she is in hospital for the next few months. The album release is postponed and her tour was canceled. Hopefully Melody returns in 2018 and the album is released and the tour rescheduled. Here's the video for Crystallized by Melody's Echo Chamber.

Friday, October 06, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Enigma

Sing:Sadeness Part 1
Album:Love Sensuality Devotion: Greatest Hits & Remixes

I always thought it was appropriate that this act was called Enigma. Because it's certainly odd that this mix of new age music, Gregorian chants and dance beats spawned the 1990 top five hit Sadeness. Enigma is Romanian born musician Michael "MC Curly" Cretu. In the late 70s, he was a session musician in Germany working for famed disco producer Frank Farian (Boney M). He also released albums of New Age music. After marrying his singer wife Sandra in 1988, Cretu got the idea for Enigma. You may recall when  Gregorian Chants were popular briefly in the 80s. This gave Cretu the idea of mixing those chants with his usual music and do it to a dance beat. He recorded the album MCMXC a.D with Sandra on vocals, lyrics by David Fairstein and samples by Frank "F. Gregorian" Peterson. Cretu signed with Virgin Records and he decided to call himself Enigma. Sadeness is part of a larger suite called Principles Of Lust. Virgin decided to release a radio edit of Sadeness as a single. I don't think they expected much. So I'm sure they were surprised when Sadeness started gaining steam in dance clubs. Then it became a big hit in Europe and then it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. On the original album, you can only get Sadeness as part of the larger suite. But it is separate on this 2CD budget comp. Polydor sued Virgin for sampling Gregorian Chant recordings. The chants are public domain but not the recordings. It was settled out of court. The album was certified 4XPlatinum. Enigma scored one other hit single Return To Innocence in 1993 from the album The Cross of Changes. By that time Cretu was sampling African tribal chants and he was sued for that as well. Cretu recorded as Enigma for years on Virgin. But he switched to Island for his latest CD The Fall of a Rebel Angel released last year. So Cretu turned a fluke hit single into a 20 year career. Here's the video for Sadeness Part 1 by Enigma.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Kairi Sane vs Aliyah

Here's the match video of Kairi Sane vs Aliyah from this week's episode of NXT. As I did with Asuka, I am posting all of Kairi's matches for fans who don't have the WWE Network. For those not familiar with Aliyah, she's been doing jobs on NXT for a couple of years. She's 22 years old from Toronto and she trained with Rob Fuego at Toronto's Squared Circle Training Center. She's an OK wrestler but she lacks personality. She's of Arabic descent so they tried to give her a gimmick based on that. Now it looks like the WWE doesn't know what to do with her. Aliyah may want to talk to Kairi who has plenty of personality. I guess charisma is a special sauce that can be hard to acquire. Kairi's entrance is already a big event. And of course she can back it up in the ring. The match is about what one would expect. Aliyah gets some offense in. But Kairi takes over and wins with her elbow drop. Kairi will be part of a four way match to crown the next NXT Women's Champion on November's Takeover show. I already know who will be participating but I don't do spoilers. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gloria Gaynor

Artist:Gloria Gaynor
Song:I Will Survive
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Gloria Gaynor

I Will Survive was one of the biggest hits of the disco era. It was also Gloria Gaynor's biggest hit and her signature song. And it became an anthem for the gay community. Gloria Gaynor was born Gloria Fowles Sept. 7, 1949 in Newark, NJ. Her dad played New York clubs in the duo Step 'n' Fetchit. He sang and played ukulele and guitar. Gloria grew up singing in church. She was in the late 60s group The Soul Satisfiers and that's when she changed her name to Gloria Gaynor. She was spotted and signed by MGM Records president Mike Curb. On Wikipedia, it claims she was signed to Columbia by Clive Davis. That "error" is politically motivated. Davis is a Democrat. Curb is a Republican and a former Lt. Governor of California. Gloria scored a top ten hit in 1975 with a cover of the Jackson 5 hit Never Can Say Goodbye. That was produced by Meco Monardo and Tony Bongiovi. Monardo is best known for the disco version of Star Wars. Gloria recorded two albums for MGM and then moved to Polydor. She released two albums but was hindered by health problems. She took a year to recover from a car accident. And her mom died. For the 1978 album Love Tracks, she worked with producers Dino Fekaris and Freddie Perren. They wrote and produced I Will Survive. Perren produced the Jackson 5, The Sylvers and many others. I Will Survive was released on the B-side of the single Substitute. But DJs flipped it over and dance clubs really made I Will Survive huge. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 on 1979. You'll notice there are no background vocals on I Will Survive. The video features a roller skater named Sheila Reid-Pender. She was a member of a Harlem skating group. After this, disco died and Gloria never had another hit. She left Polydor in 1982. You can get all her hits on this budget comp. Gloria Gaynor still tours and records occasionally. But I guess she's a nostalgia act at this point. Here's the video for I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kate Nash

Artist:Kate Nash
Album:Made Of Bricks

Singer songwriter Kate Nash had success in her native England with her 2007 debut CD Made Of Bricks and the single Foundations. When her music career stalled, she turned to acting and she is currently a regular on the Netflix series GLOW. She was born July 6, 1987 in Dublin, Ireland but she grew up in London. She learned to play piano as a child but she was more interested in acting. Unfortunately, she was unable to get into an acting school. So she worked a couple of day jobs. While recovering from a broken foot, Kate wrote some songs and uploaded them to MySpace. This got her a manager and producer and a single was released in 2007. Then she signed with Polydor's Fiction label. The 2007 album Made Of Bricks was produced by Paul Epworth. Epworth was just getting established at the time but his work with Adele has made him an in demand producer. The single Foundations reached #2 on the British Singles chart. The album topped the British charts. In the US, the album was released on the small Cherrytree label. It never got the promotion needed to go anywhere. Maybe Kate sounded too British. She doesn't hide her accent. Kate toured and also appeared on Later...With Jools Holland. For her 2010 album, My Best Friend Is You, Kate worked with producer Bernard Butler who had recent success with Duffy. The album didn't do as well and there were no hit singles. Polydor dropped Kate and she started her own label. She began to explore acting and she appeared in the 2012 film Greetings From Tim Buckley. Kate released her third album Girl Talk in 2013. She is currently working on a new album which she financed through Kickstarter. Meanwhile, Kate plays Britannica on the Netflix series GLOW. They should be shooting season two of GLOW in the near future. Kate toured England last summer and she has a new album planned. But the success of GLOW could lead to more acting opportunities and less time for her music. Here's the video for Foundations by Kate Nash.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The SteelDrivers

Artist:The SteelDrivers
Song:Drinkin' Dark Whiskey
Album:The SteelDrivers

I would describe the original version of The SteelDrivers as neo bluegrass because they play their own songs in the traditional bluegrass style. This changed somewhat when founding members Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson left because they wrote all the songs. The current version of The SteelDrivers performs bluegrass standards. The SteelDrivers were formed in 2007. All are veterans of the Nashville music scene. Lead singer Chris Stapleton was an established songwriter when he started The SteelDrivers. Mike Henderson was Stapleton's frequent songwriting partner who recorded a few albums in the 90s. Fiddler Tammy Rogers also recorded solo in the 90s. But she was mostly a session musician and a long time member of Buddy Miller's band. Mike Fleming was a member of the 80s band Brush Fire. Banjo player Richard Bailey was a member of the Tennessee Gentlemen and the studio group Pickin' On. The SteelDrivers played some bluegrass festivals and signed with Rounder Records. Drinkin' Dark Whiskey is from their 2008 debut CD The SteelDrivers. Stapleton and Henderson wrote all the songs. After the 2010 album Reckless, Stapleton left. He has become one of country music's biggest stars. Henderson left in late 2011 after the album Hammer Down was recorded. It was released Feb. 2012. Henderson released an album in 2014 but he also does session work. They were replaced by Gary Nichols who had released a couple of singles and he had been a sideman. Brent Tuitt was mainly a session musician before joining The SteelDrivers. This new lineup released the album The Muscle Shoals Recordings in 2015. They won a Best Bluegrass Album Grammy for that. They are currently on tour and I would expect them to record a new album when that is done. Bluegrass fans should check them out. Here's The SteelDrivers performing Drinkin' Dark Whiskey at The Loveless Cafe in Nashville on Music City Roots Feb. 6, 2013.

Monday, October 02, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dreamers

Song:Sweet Disaster
Album:This Album Does Not Exist

Fans of indie rock may want to check out Dreamers who released their debut CD last year. They had some success on the Alt Rock chart and they may be headed for big things in the near future. Lead singer Nick Wold moved from his home in Seattle to New York to study jazz sax at New York University's Steinhardt School. While in school, Wold was lead singer and guitarist of Motive which included his friend Chris Bagamery on drums. After Motive split up, they met bassist Marc Nelson and formed Dreamers. They released a single which was in rotation on Sirius XM's Alt Nation. Then they released an EP. They were named by Alternative Press as a band you need to know. Then they signed with Fairfax Recordings which is also the home for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Dreamers opened for Stone Temple Pilots on early 2015. They were picked out of 500 bands who submitted entries. Then they moved to Los Angeles and Bagamery was replaced by Jacob Lee Wick. Dreamers recorded the album This Album Does Not Exist with several producers. Wold and Nelson write all the songs. The producer on Sweet Disaster was Frederik Thaae from the Danish group A Kid Hereafter. Sweet Disaster reached #7 on the Alt Rock chart. Dreamers is currently on tour. They have potential to cross over to mainstream pop with their next album. I expect that album to be recorded in 2018. They are already worth checking out. Here's the video for Sweet Disaster by Dreamers.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Stan Getz & Dizzy Gillespie

Artist:Stan Getz & Dizzy Gillespie
Song:It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

Of course Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie were two of the all time greats of jazz. Before he had mainstream success in the 60s, Getz was an up and comer. Gillespie was older and more established. Gillespie was impressed with Getz and he really wanted to record an album with him. The 1953 album Diz and Getz was recorded right after Gillespie's famed Massey Hall concert. Gillespie had just signed with Verve/Norgran and he thought recording with Getz would make a big splash. Getz was already recording for Verve. The album was recorded Dec. 9, 1953 at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. The band was the Verve Records house band, Oscar Peterson on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and Max Roach on drums. The Duke Ellington standard It Don't Mean A Thing kicks off the album and sets a great pace for the rest of the album. Peterson has said that Gillespie really wanted to push Getz and find out what he was made of. The album was very successful. One track on the album, One Alone, was recorded a few months later with a different band featuring Hank Mobley. I don't know why Norman Granz did that. There are enough outtakes from this album that the version available on CD has six bonus tracks and there are bootlegs of the outtakes out there too. I suggest this 2CD Stan Getz budget comp as a good intro to his music. This album was more important for his career anyway. Getz and Gillespie would record together on the 1956 album For Musicians Only also featuring Sonny Stitt on alto sax. And they would cross paths and play one off shows at jazz festivals. Here's Dizzy Gillespie with Stan Getz, Arnie Lawrence, John Lewis, George Duvivier and Shelly Manne performing It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) at the 1979 Nice Jazz Festival in France. This is on the DVD Jazz Collection: The Legends Series.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pond

Album:Man It Feels Like Space Again

The Aussie band Pond is a spinoff of Tame Impala. Pond should be of interest to Tame Impala fans because the music is similar. They are from Perth, Australia. Jeff Parker records all of Tame Impala's music in his home studio. He plays all the instruments. His record label asked him to form a band for touring. Nick Allbrook and Jay "Gumby" Watson were in the Tame Impala touring band. Allbrook and Shiny Joe Ryan were with Parker in the band Mink Mussel Creek. When that band split up, Parker started Tame Impala. Allbrook and Watson had no input to Tame Impala's music. So they started Pond with Ryan so they could make their own music. It was only supposed to be a side project. But they had success when they released the 2012 album Beard, Wives, Denim on Modular and they played music festivals in the US. Allbrook left Tame Impala in 2013 to concentrate on Pond. Watson is still in Tame Impala's touring band. The 2015 album Man It Feels Like Space Again was released on the British label Caroline. It was their most successful album to date. They released The Weather in 2017. Pond will be of interest to fans of neo psychedelia. They still work with Parker. He produces their albums. Allbrook and Watson have released solo albums. Pond still seems more like a side project than a full time band. Allbrook seems happy with that. Pond goes on tour in November. Here's the video for Zond by Pond.

Friday, September 29, 2017

KING Reina vs warm body added to Oct. 15 RIZIN show

Today RIZIN held a press conference to announce an opponent for KING Reina Oct. 15 at Marine Messe Fukuoka. The fight will be at 75kg and the opponent will be Crystal Stokes. This is another example of how lack of regulation can hurt a fighter's career. The bottom line is this. RIZIN has exactly zero credible opponents for Reina. But because there is no regulation in Japan, there is no one to slap RIZIN on the wrist and tell them not to do things. A proper athletic commission would never approve Crystal Stokes to fight Reina. Crystal is 38 years old from California. She trains at Team Cyborg. The big problem is this fight is Crystal's MMA debut. And that's why an AC would never allow this fight. Reina is too experienced for her. Crystal is mainly a professional bodybuilder. She has also played football and she was a Marine stationed in Iraq. Training in MMA doesn't make her a fighter. She's a warm body and her purpose is to keep KING Reina from leaving Japan because Reina is a legit draw for RIZIN. Reina didn't seem too thrilled about her opponent but she doesn't think she'll have any trouble with her either. RIZIN also announced that Shinju Auclair will not appear on the Oct. 15 show. She is on the poster. She recently moved from Detroit to San Francisco and she wants to get settled and then get back into fighting. I guess we'll see her New Year's Eve.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Maynard Ferguson

Artist:Maynard Ferguson
Song:Gonna Fly Now
Album:The Essential Maynard Ferguson

Jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson was famous for hitting those high notes. He had been doing that since he was in Stan Kenton's band in the 50s. So it was a big surprise when Ferguson scored the only hit single of his career with Gonna Fly Now in 1976. That's right. It's the theme from Rocky. The original was a number one hit. Ferguson's version was a top 30 hit but I think it may be more memorable than the original. Obviously folks confuse the two versions. Ferguson was born May 4, 1928 in the Montreal suburb of Verdun, QC. His parents were musicians and Ferguson was a child prodigy violinist. He picked up the trumpet at age 9 and as a teen he appeared frequently on CBC Radio. After studying at the Montreal Conservatory of Music, Ferguson played local clubs until he moved to Los Angeles in 1948 to join Stan Kenton's band. And that's where Ferguson became famous. He won the Down Beat Magazine Readers Poll as Best Trumpeter for three straight years. In 1953 he left the Kenton band for Paramount Pictures. He also recorded as a leader for Mercury's jazz label EmArcy. So you hear Ferguson in movies like The Ten Commandments. But while working for Paramount, he wasn't allowed to play live gigs in clubs. He left Paramount in 1956 and he signed with Roulette Records to lead the Birdland Dream Band. They toured and recorded successfully until 1966. Ferguson was already involved with Eastern culture and spiritual awakening through his friend Timothy Leary. Ferguson and his wife moved to India in 1967 and then to England in 1969. That's when he got back into recording with Columbia Records. At first he recorded with a British band and he led the house band on LWT's The Simon Dee Show. Then he moved back to New York in 1971 and formed a new band with mostly young musicians. His albums were doing OK but producer Bob James wanted more commercial music. So for the 1976 album Primal Scream, James brought in guest musicians like Chick Corea, Steve Gadd and Eric Gale. Ferguson liked the record but he wanted to use his own band on the next album Conquistador. He got what he wanted except for the recording of Gonna Fly Now. Jay Chattaway arranged and conducted. Guest musicians included Bob James, Harvey Mason, Ralph McDonald, Randy Brecker, Marvin Stamm, Jon Faddis and Joe Farrell. Bobby Militello from Ferguson's band played the flute solo. Gonna Fly Now reached #28 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the only hit single of Ferguson's career. Ferguson left Columbia in 1982. Except for a couple of late 90s albums for Concord, Ferguson and his band Big Bop Nouveau recorded for small labels and toured a lot. He died on Aug. 23, 2006 at age 78. This 2CD comp is a good overview of Ferguson's entire career. Here's Maynard Ferguson performing Gonna Fly Now on The Mike Douglas Show 1977.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Alexis Davis vs Liz Carmouche added to Dec. 9 UFC show

This afternoon the UFC announced several matches for UFC Fight Night 123 Dec. 9 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA. One of those matches will have Alexis Davis vs Liz Carmouche at Flyweight. Both were one time Bantamweight title contenders. We're seeing a lot of weight class switching. In many cases, it's a shortcut. Like Lauren Murphy on TUF 26 dropped to Flyweight. She's still a terrible fighter at any weight class. These two have fought before. Alexis won by unanimous decision on Nov. 6, 2013. Since then she took time off to have a baby. She's had two fights since her return. She lost to Sara McMann by submission. And then she beat Cindy Dandois in a fight that was so bad that Cindy was released. Alexis fought at Flyweight when she started out in Canada ten years ago. She hasn't fought at 125 in a long time. She was a decent fighter a few years ago. This fight could answer if she can still fight or she doesn't have it anymore. Liz has never fought at 125 before. I don't know if dropping a weight class will help her. I don't think she's that good anyway. For me, she's a mid card fighter at best. She only got title shots due to timing and circumstances. In her last fight, she beat Katlyn Chookagian by split decision. Liz should have had an easier time because Katlyn is a Flyweight. I don't think Liz has performed very well in a while. These two have been around and fans may remember the names. But when was the last time either had a decent fight. Obviously I have low expectations for this fight.

Andrea Lee vs Kalindra Faria added to Oct. 6 UFC show

Andrea Lee, Kalindra Faria
Last week the UFC announced that Paige VanZant vs Jessica Eye was off of UFC 216 because Paige suffered a back injury. She's had trouble with her back before. They are trying to reschedule this fight possibly for the end of the year. Last night, Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting reported that another Flyweight match will replace that fight. Andrea Lee will face Kalindra Faria on UFC 216 Oct. 6 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Andrea is currently the LFA champ. She defended that title last week. A lot of fans were upset that she wasn't on TUF 26. But I understand she was having health problems at the time. She's probably one of the most popular fighters around because of her looks. Her record is 8-2. I've seen her in Invicta and LFA. She's a decent fighter but the competition level especially in LFA is low. So we'll see how she does in the UFC. That being said, I don't believe Kalindra is a UFC caliber fighter. She's 31 years old from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her record is 18-5-1. She has spent most of her career on the Brazilian regional circuit. She seems to run into problems when she fights a higher level of competition. I saw her WSOF fight a couple of years ago against Jessica Aguilar. And Kalindra did nothing for five rounds. Jessica won by unanimous decision. She also lost to Karolina Kowalkiewicz in KSW. Her most recent fight was a win over Carina Damm for a Titan FC title a couple of weeks ago. Carina was an elite fighter...ten years ago. At this point, she's just a name that fans might know. But she hasn't been a good fighter for a while. So does that mean if Carina had won that fight she would have got to the UFC? Geez, I hope not. A win over her doesn't answer questions about Kalindra. But it's a short notice fight and you take who you can get. I expect this fight to air on the main card mostly because of Andrea.

Cynthia Calvillo vs Carla Esparza added to Dec. 30 UFC show

On last night's episode of UFC Tonight, it was announced that Cynthia Calvillo vs Carla Esparza has been added to UFC 219 Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. I expect this match to be on the main card. This match could give us the next contender for Joanna Jedrzejczyk's UFC Strawweight Championship. I guess the short version is Cynthia is on the way up and Carla looks to be on the way down. If Cynthia wins, she gets into the title picture. Right now she is ranked #8. Cynthia is 30 years old. She trains at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento. Her record is 6-0 and she is 3-0 in the UFC. Cynthia is known for her ground game. But in her last fight, she won over Joanne Calderwood using a keep away strategy. Fans were annoyed with her but it was good strategy because why would you want to clinch with Joanne Calderwood. If Joanne had made successful adjustments, Cynthia could have tried other things. It wasn't an exciting fight. But there was a lot of pressure on Joanne in her home town. And I don't think she expected that strategy from Cynthia. It showed me that Cynthia is versatile and can execute a game plan given to her by coach Justin Buchholtz. Carla is also from California. She's 29 years old and her record is 12-4. Right now she's ranked #7. I don't think Carla has looked very good since returning from shoulder surgery. In her last fight, she won a squeaker over Maryna Moroz. Neither of them were very good. I don't think it helped her. Cynthia is a much tougher opponent. There's a lot at stake for both. With a win, Cynthia can move up to the title picture. So could Carla but a loss could put her on a one way trip to Palookaville. So I think this is a significant fight in the Strawweight division.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Focus

Song:Hocus Pocus
Album:The Best Of Focus: Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus was a top ten hit in 1973. So I assume it still get played on oldies radio. And folks must hear this song and go "What the hell is that?" It was a fluke hit single from the Dutch progressive rock group Focus. They were formed in 1969 by keyboardist, singer and flautist Thijs van Leer. He wrote most of the songs. The band came out of a theater group in Amsterdam. Guitarist Jan Akkerman joined and he came up with the name Focus. Focus' first job was the pit band in a local production of Hair. They were supposed to go on European tour with the show but they decided to become a full time band instead. The rest of the band was Martin Dresden on bass and Hans Cleuver on drums. Focus recorded the album Focus Plays Focus and Imperial Records released it in Europe. Then Sire Records owner Seymour Stein saw them live and he signed them to a US deal. Akkerman was unhappy with the rhythm section and he threatened to leave if they weren't replaced. And he was going to leave but a new manager kept the band together. Dresden and Cleuver were out. Drummer Martin van der Linden and bassist Bert Ruiter were in. van der Linden and Akkerman were previously in a band together. Mike Vernon was brought in to produce their next album. Like Stein, he liked Focus live but didn't like their first album. That album was Focus II in Europe but it was called Moving Waves in the US. Hocus Pocus was first released as a single in 1971. But it wasn't until they recorded a second much faster version that it reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. I guess van Leer's yodeling is part of why fans liked the song. It's certainly different. van Leer and Akkerman wrote the song. But since Akkerman left Focus in 1976, Akkerman claims he wrote it alone. After leaving Focus, Akkerman has recorded jazz fusion guitar. This comp is a good intro to Focus' music. van Leer disbanded Focus in 1978 and they reunited a few times. van Leer and van der Linden reformed Focus in 2001 and they still tour and record today. Here's Focus performing Hocus Pocus on The Midnight Special 1973.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Rob Wasserman

Artist:Rob Wasserman f/Aaron Neville
Album:Rain Man: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Bassist Rob Wasserman was a sideman who was nominated for a couple of Grammys for the 1988 album Duets. You may have heard this recording of Stardust featuring Aaron Neville in the popular 1988 film Rain Man. Wasserman was born Apr. 1, 1952 in San Mateo, CA. He started out playing violin and he switched to bass while studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He joined David Grisman's band in 1980 and while he was in that band for most of the 80s, he also worked as a sideman for Van Morrison and Oingo Boingo among others. Wasserman's debut album Solo was released by Rounder in 1983. Then he signed with MCA for the 1988 album Duets. The album was highly acclaimed and nominated for a couple of Grammys. The recording of Stardust with Aaron Neville appeared in the film Rain Man. The soundtrack of Rain Man is available as a budget CD. Duets is available on CD but it's expensive. And Stardust doesn't appear on an Aaron Neville CD. Others who appear on Duets include Rickie Lee Jones, Bobby McFerrin, Lou Reed, Jennifer Warnes, Dan Hicks, Cheryl Bentyne of The Manhattan Transfer and Stephane Grappelli. Wasserman left Grisman's band and he was in Lou Reed's band in the 90s. He released the album Trios in 1993 also featuring many guest artists. He also released an album with Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead in 1997. He also toured with Weir. Wasserman continued to work as a sideman until his death on June 29, 2016 at age 64. Here's Rob Wasserman featuring Aaron Neville performing Stardust on the TV show Night Music 1988.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lina Lansberg vs Aspen Ladd added to Oct. 21 UFC show

The Krakow Chronicle reported last night that Lina Lansberg vs Aspen Ladd has been added to UFC Fight Night 118 Oct. 21 at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. I expect this fight to air on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. Lina is 35 years old from Malmo, Sweden. Her record is 7-2. In Europe she is known as a kickboxer. That's why her nickname is Elbow Princess. The way she got into the UFC is she was willing to take a beating from Cris Cyborg. Then she won over late replacement Lucie Pudilova in March. I was not impressed with either fighter. Lina was supposed to fight Leslie Smith in July but she dropped out due to injury. I don't think Lina belongs in the UFC. Aspen was supposed to make her UFC debut in July vs Jessica Eye but Aspen got sick during fight week. She's 5-0 and I was very impressed with her Invicta fights. She trains at MMA Gold in El Dorado Hills, CA which is becoming a really good gym for female fighters. Invicta's Yaya Rincon also trains there. Aspen should be the favourite.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Zara Larsson

Artist:Zara Larsson f/MNEK
Song:Never Forget You
Album:So Good

19 year old pop singer Zara Larsson is already a star in her native Sweden and other European countries. And now she is starting to make inroads in the US. Never Forget you is her biggest hit to date. She was born Dec. 16, 1997 in the Stockholm suburb of Solna, Sweden. She was 10 years old when she won the 2008 season of Talang which is basically Sweden's Got Talent. She sang My Heart Will Go On on the finale and that was released as a single. She signed with TEN Music Group in 2012. She released a couple of EPs and Uncover was her first #1 hit in Sweden. Her debut album 1 was released in 2014 and a couple of songs were hits in Sweden. Zara signs with Epic Records and she records her second album So Good. Epic released a couple of singles and the album was finally released Mar. 2017. It was very successful in Europe and Never Forget You reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. She works with several producers on the album. But she seems to like working with Uzoechi "MNEK" Eminike. He wrote and produced Never Forget You with Aaron "Astronomyy" Davey. MNEK has released an album. But he's starting to be an in demand producer. And that's probably where his future is. So Zara has gotten to this point and her next album should tell us if she will be a star. Here's the video for Never Forget You by Zara Larsson featuring MNEK.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Two women's fights added to Nov. 25 UFC show

Kailin Curran, Yan Xiaonan
The UFC will make their Shanghai debut Nov. 25 at the Mercedes Benz Arena. The UFC was making a promotional tour over the weekend and they announced a couple of women's matches featuring Chinese newcomers. In a Strawweight bout, Yan Xiaonan will face Kailin Curran. And in a Bantamweight bout, Yanan Wu will face Gina Mazany. The entire show will air on UFC Fight Pass.  Yan is 28 years old from Liaoning, China. Her record is 7-1-1NC. For the last couple of years, she has fought for the Korean company Road FC on their Chinese shows. So the competition level is lower that Road's Korean shows. In her last fight in Nov., Yan faced Japanese veteran Emi Fujino and the fight was stopped and ruled a no contest after an accidental clash of heads. And Road FC women's matches in China are scheduled for two rounds. They need to give them three rounds. Two round women's fights are sexist. Kailin is 26 years old from Hawaii. Her record is 4-5 and she's 1-4 in the UFC. I don't believe she belongs in the UFC. I've said that since 2014 and she's still there. Her biggest problem is she loses concentration during fights and that has cost her. It's also not something that can be easily fixed. Yanan is 21 years old. Her record is 8-1. She's tall at 5'9". She has fought mostly on the Chinese regional circuit for Kunlun and WLF. Her one loss was to Yana Kunitskaya on a show in Russia. Both Chinese fighters like to punch. I don't expect much of a ground game from either. Gina is 29 years old originally from Alaska but she now trains at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. She is managed by Miesha Tate who recently started a management company. Her record is 4-1 and she lost her UFC debut to Sara McMann last year. It was over in a minute. She also lost in the TUF 18 qualifiers. Gina is also a pro wrestler who frequently works with her brother who is an EFC champ in MMA. It's typical of the UFC to use these type of fighters to fight local newcomers in places like Shanghai. I haven't seen the Chinese fighters but we'll see if they are any good.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-OneRepublic

Artist:OneRepublic f/Timbaland
Song:Apologize (Remix)
Album:Dreaming Out Loud

There is always going to be a market for R&B influenced soft rock like OneRepublic. Apologize was their 2007 debut single and their biggest hit to date. The leader of OneRepublic is lead singer and songwriter Ryan Tedder. He formed a band with Zach Filkins while attending high school in Colorado Springs, CO. They played local clubs as This Beautiful Mess. After winning an MTV songwriting contest, Tedder moved to Los Angeles and signed a development deal with producer Tim "Timbaland" Mosely. While writing and producing for other artists, Tedder got Filkins to join him and form a new band. They were called Republic and they signed with Columbia. They were told to change the name as it was too similar to existing bands. It was changed to OneRepublic. They recorded an album but Columbia dropped them and it wasn't released. OneRepublic turned to MySpace to keep their music out there. This led to Mosely signing them to his label. Dreaming Out Loud was released Nov. 2007. Reviews were lukewarm at best. There are two versions of Apologize. The first version was on Dreaming Out Loud. But Mosely remixed it for his own album Shock Value. That's the version that reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Mosely rearranged the song to give it a more R&B feel. Both versions are on the Dreaming Out Loud CD. OneRepublic's other big hit was the top five hit Counting Stars in 2013. They haven't been as successful recently. Tedder has been suffering from anxiety attacks but he has recovered sufficiently to start working on a new OneRepublic album for 2018 release. Tedder also continues a very successful career writing and producing for others including U2, Leona Lewis, Maroon 5 and many others. He could disband OneRepublic and just do that stuff. But he's not ready to do that yet. Here's the video for Apologize by OneRepublic featuring Timbaland.