Tuesday, January 31, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gentle Giant

Artist:Gentle Giant
Album:Three Friends/Octopus

Gentle Giant was a progressive rock group in the 70s. Their music was complex even for progressive rock. So though attempts to commercialize them were unsuccessful, they had a very strong cult following and they were also an excellent live band. The 1972 album Octopus is considered to be one of their best albums. Gentle Giant were from Portsmouth, England led by brothers Phil, Derek and Ray Shulman. Their father was a jazz trumpeter and he encouraged them to learn to play many instruments. They started out as an R&B group and by the mid-60s they were Simon Dupree and the Big Sound. They recorded for EMI and they scored a top ten hit in England with Kites in 1967. By this time EMI convinced them to record psychedelic music. But the Shulmans didn't like it and they recorded R&B as The Moles in 1968. Rumours surfaced that The Moles were actually The Beatles but it was then revealed that it was Simon Dupree and the Big Sound. The band disbanded and Gentle Giant was formed in 1970. The Shulmans brought in guitarist Gary Green and keyboard player Kerry Minnear and they kept drummer Martin Smith from the old band. Minnear turned out to be a key addition because he was a classically trained musician with a degree in composition from the Royal College of Music. He came with the musical sophistication that the Shulmans wanted. They signed with Vertigo Records and their second album Acquiring The Taste was the first to be critically acclaimed. And they began to be a live draw. Smith was replaced by Malcolm Mortimore. But he was injured in a motorcycle accident and John "Pugwash" Weathers replaced him. Gentle Giant signed a US record deal with Columbia. The albums Three Friends and Octopus were both concept albums. Octopus is short for "octo opus" because it was an eight part opus. Knots has a very intricate vocal arrangement. Today Octopus is considered to be Gentle Giant's best album. The British reissue label Beat Goes On has released Three Friends and Octopus on CD as a twofer. I think that works better for Gentle Giant than a greatest hits comp. They toured and then Phil Shulman left because he didn't like touring. Gentle Giant continued recording for Capitol and Chrysalis. Chrysalis unsuccessfully tried to commercialize Gentle Giant and the band hated the music. By 1979 they moved to Los Angeles to record their final album Civilian. They split up in 1980. Derek Shulman went into record company management first with PolyGram then as president of Roadrunner Records. He currently runs his own company. Ray Shulman became a producer for Echo & The Bunnymen among others. Phil Shulman became a teacher and owned a gift shop. Kerry Minnear runs Alucard Music and he manages Gentle Giant's recordings. The band has never completely reunited but there have been partial reunions. It's just hard to get all of them in one place at the same time. If you are a progressive rock fan and never checked Gentle Giant out, I suggest you do so. Here's Gentle Giant performing Knots 1974.

Monday, January 30, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

Artist:Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes f/Sharon Paige
Song:Hope We Can Be Together Soon
Album:The Ultimate Blue Notes

Of course most music fans should be familiar with the great Philly Soul sounds of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes especially the songs featuring legendary soul singer Teddy Pendergrass. But by the mid-70s, Melvin knew that Pendergrass was going to go solo. So he went looking for a replacement. Hope We Can Be Together Soon features Sharon Paige. It topped the R&B charts. The song appears on the 1975 album To Be True. I don't have any bio info about Sharon so I can only assume that she was probably a backup singer at Philadelphia International. Pendergrass was demanding star billing and more money to stay with The Blue Notes. No doubt Melvin discussed the problem with producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and they decided to try Sharon out on one song. Hope That We Can Be Together Soon topped the R&B Singles chart. Melvin is the main male singer on the record. Pendergrass does appear near the end of the record. On their next album Wake Up Everybody, the title song was a huge hit. But Sharon appeared on two songs on that album. Soon after Pendergrass left to go solo and he was replaced by David Ebo. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes left Philadelphia International for ABC Records. Not long after MCA purchased ABC. At this point, Sharon became a regular member of the group until their final MCA album in 1980. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes last recorded in 1984. But they continued to tour. And Sharon was a member of that touring group. It looks like she may have recorded solo once. But mainly she is known for this one hit song. Here's Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes featuring Sharon Paige performing Hope That We Can Ne Together Soon on Soul Train 1975 with guest host Richard Pryor.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Asuka vs Billie Kay vs Peyton Royce vs Nikki Cross

Here's the match video of Asuka defending her NXT Women's Championship vs Billie Kay, Peyton Royce and Nikki Cross from last night's NXT Takeover in San Antonio. Readers of this blog will know that I don't like four way matches. But this match was about as good as you can get of this kind of match. The Aussies Billie and Peyton are doing a mean girls gimmick similar to LayCool. A couple of weeks ago they beat up Asuka in the parking lot. Asuka is really pissed and then Nikki gets involved. Nikki is part of Eric Young's Sanity. She's being portrayed as insane. Billie and Peyton know their opposition is dangerous so they need to isolate them. They succeed in doing this. After Nikki lays out Asuka with a neckbreaker to the floor, Billie and Peyton take Nikki to the announce table. As Nikki is about to dive onto them, they give her a suplex onto something and that's the last we see of Nikki. There was talk this morning that she might have been legit injured but I don't think that is true. So the Aussies go back to the ring to finish off Asuka. They almost do it but they waste way too much time. After two near falls, Asuka nails Peyton with a roundhouse kick, gets rid of Billie with a spinning head kick and another roundhouse kick finishes Peyton. Asuka is still your NXT Women's Champion. I thought the match was very entertaining and like I said, I don't usually like these kind of matches. And it also sets up programs with all three of Asuka's opponents. Also, Ember Moon called out Asuka on the pre-show. When asked about Ember afterwards in a backstage interview, Asuka said "She works here?". Asuka walks away smiling. Enjoy the video!
NXT TakeOver San Antonio: Asuka vs Billie Kay... by womenswrestlingvideos

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Valentina Shevchenko vs Julianna Pena

Here's the match video of Valentina Shevchenko vs Julianna Pena from last night's UFC show in Denver. This was the main event of the show and the winner gets a shot at UFC Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes. Sometimes on this blog, I talk about a fighter beating herself. This fight is a perfect example of that. Julianna was winning this fight and she made a really stupid mistake and that was it. She beat herself and she should be kicking herself all the way home to Chicago. I still think she's a better fighter than Valentina but one mental error cost her. Round one of this fight was pretty close but I scored it 10-9 for Julianna. I thought she did well in the clinch with knees. Valentina got a couple of takedowns but she did nothing with top position. Two of the three judges scored it the same. In round two, Julianna took Valentina down and started pounding on her. So Julianna was winning. With a minute left, she left her arm open and Valentina did what any fighter should do and that's take advantage of an opportunity. If that doesn't happen, Valentina is down two rounds and she's in a hole that would be difficult to crawl out of. Does this mean that Valentina is now a submission ace? No because she hadn't won by submission in over ten years back when she was fighting regionally in Russia. And in those days MMA was a sideline for her. It takes more than one win to change my perception of any fighter. But she deserves credit for being opportunistic. A lot of fighters would not have recognized what Julianna handed to her and the ending would have been much different. So now she gets a title shot. Of course Amanda beat her by unanimous decision last year. I could see Valentina winning if she survives round one. Meanwhile Amanda keeps yapping about fighting at Welterweight. Dana White has put the brakes on that. Of course many are happy that Julianna lost because she has a big mouth. She has all the physical tools. But I'm not surprised that a mental error led to a loss. It's the one thing she needs to work on. Time will tell. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-George Benson and Earl Klugh

Artist:George Benson and Earl Klugh
Song:Since You're Gone

As a teenager, guitarist Earl Klugh appeared on a couple of George Benson albums. So when Klugh came to Warner Bros. in 1985, it's not surprising that they recorded an album together and headlined a tour. Klugh was 17 years old when he appeared on one song on Benson's 1972 album White Rabbit. He also played on Benson's 1973 album Body Talk. Klugh had previously appeared on Yusef Lateef's 1970 album Suite 16. He joined Benson's touring band in 1973 and this led to Klugh signing with Blue Note in 1976. From there, Klugh was very successful as a solo artist and also with pianist Bob James. Meanwhile, Benson came to Warner Bros. in 1976 and became a huge star with the album Breezin'. Klugh moved to Warner Bros. in 1985 so I'm sure they suggested to Benson that the two record together and tour. The 1987 album Collaboration was produced by Benson's long time producer Tommy LiPuma. The album was very successful as it topped the jazz charts and was certified Gold. And they went on a successful tour. The songs are mostly originals. Klugh wrote Since You're Gone. Apparently this was Benson's first all instrumental album in 11 years. Musicians are Greg Phillinganes on keyboards, James Newton Howard on synthesizer, Marcus Miller on bass, Harvey Mason Sr. on drums, Paulinho Da Costa on percussion and Paul Jackson Jr. on rhythm guitar. I'm sure Warners would have liked a second album from them. But with constant touring, it can be difficult to make things like that happen. Fans of both musicians should enjoy this album. Here's George Benson and Earl Klugh with Michael O'Neil on guitar, Barnaby Finch and Dave Garfield on keyboards, Stanley Banks on bass, Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums and Kate Markowitz on percussion performing Since You're Gone in Japan 1988.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Savage Garden

Artist:Savage Garden
Song:Truly Madly Deeply
Album:Truly Madly Completely: The Best Of Savage Garden

The Aussie duo Savage Garden only recorded two albums. But they scored two number one hits including Truly Madly Deeply. Savage Garden are from Brisbane, Australia. Daniel Jones plays guitar and keyboards. in 1993, he led the band Red Edge. He placed an ad in the newspaper looking for a new lead singer. Darren Hayes was attending university and had no experience. But he was the only one to respond to the ad. So he joined the band and the two started writing together. They split off and at first they called themselves Crush. But there was already a band with that name. So they called themselves Savage Garden from Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles. They sent out demos and signed with Roadshow Music which was a division of the film company Village Roadshow. They recorded with veteran producer Charles Fisher who had worked with Air Supply. When their first single I Want You was a hit in Australia, they signed an international deal with Columbia Records. I Want You was released in North America Feb. 1997 and it reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Truly Madly Deeply did even better as it topped the charts. And the album Savage Garden was certified 7XPlatinum. So the album was a big success. Savage Garden recorded their 1999 album Affirmation in New York with Mariah Carey's producer Walter Afanasieff. It didn't do as well as the first album but it was certified 3XPlatinum. And the single I Knew I Loved You topped the Billboard Hot 100. But there was trouble in paradise. Hayes moved to New York and he wasn't planning to return to Australia. Jones stayed in Australia. That wasn't going to work. So they had split up already but they didn't acknowledge the split until late 2001. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Hayes released his first solo CD Spin in 2002. He has had chart success mostly in Australia. He last recorded for Mercury Records Australia in 2011. Hayes lives in Los Angeles and he is trying to get into acting. It seems Jones didn't like fame. Jones owned his own record label for a while and then he quit the music business for real estate. He still lives in Australia. Here's the video for Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Irene Aldana vs Katlyn Chookagian added to Apr. 8 UFC show

The UFC announced today that Irene Aldana vs Katlyn Chookagian has been added to UFC 210 at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. As I have said before, I don't believe that Irene belongs in the UFC and she was brought in mainly to keep her teammate Alexa Grasso company. Irene lost to Leslie Smith in her UFC debut. I didn't see anything from Irene to make me change my mind. She's a striker with no power and she doesn't throw combinations. She needs to show me something in this fight. Katlyn won her UFC debut over Lauren Murphy but then she lost to Liz Carmouche. Liz sat on her for two rounds. She didn't look good in either fight. Part of her problem is she's normally a Flyweight and she is undersized at Bantamweight. So I don't know if she belongs in the UFC either. That's not a formula for a good fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jermaine Stewart

Artist:Jermaine Stewart
Song:We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off
Album:Old School Volume 7

R&B singer Jermaine Stewart scored a top five pop hit with We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off in 1986. He had some other chart hits and he did very well in England. He was born Sept. 7, 1957 in Columbus, OH. His family moved to Chicago and that is where he went to high school. Stewart was a Soul Train dancer and he was friends with Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel. When Soul Train moved to Los Angeles, they all auditioned to be in Shalamar. They were the first act to sign with Soul Train's new record label Solar Records. Stewart was not selected to be in Shalamar but he did tour with them as a dancer. While on tour in England, Stewart met Culture Club bassist Mikey Craig who produced a demo for Stewart. That demo got Stewart a deal with Virgin Records in England and Arista in the US. Stewart recorded his 1984 album The Word Is Out in England with veteran British producer Peter Collins. The single The Word Is Out did very well on the dance chart. Stewart wrote all the songs on the album with Craig. For his 1986 album Frantic Romantic, Stewart was produced by Narada Michael Walden who was very hot at the time. He had just topped the charts with Whitney Houston's How Will I Know. We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the British charts. The song was used on the TV series Miami Vice. Walden wrote the song with frequent collaborator Preston Glass. It would turn out to be Stewart's biggest hit. He recorded four albums for Arista. His music continued to do well in England. Then he left Arista for Reprise. He recorded an album in 1991 but it was never released. The British reissue label Cherry Red released Frantic Romantic on CD in 2010. But I think most fans will only want the one song and you can get it on this various artists budget comp. Stewart was recording a new album when he died of AIDS related liver cancer on Mar. 17, 1997 at age 39. His brother released those recordings on CD. We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off returned to the British charts in 2011 after it was used in a Cadbury commercial. Here's the video for We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off by Jermaine Stewart.
Jermaine Stewart- We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off (Released '86, Billboard #5) from Chris OBrien on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Raydio

Song:You Can't Change That
Album:Greatest Hits

Raydio was the group led by Ray Parker Jr. before he had solo success with hits like Ghostbusters. Raydio scored three top ten hits including You Can't Change That in 1979. Parker was a session musician and sideman for Stevie Wonder, Rufus and Barry White before forming Raydio in 1977. The other members of Raydio were Arnell Carmichael, Jerry Knight and Vincent Bonham. Though it looks like the original plan was for these three guys to alternate lead vocals, it ended up that Parker and Carmichael did most of the singing. This no doubt annoyed the other two guys. Raydio signed with Arista and they released their debut album in 1978. Jack and Jill reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. By the time the 1979 album Rock On was released, Knight and Bonham left. Knight signed with A&M and he released a solo album in 1980. He had success in the mid-80s as half of Ollie & Jerry with Ollie Brown. Carmichael remained and that's him trading lead vocals with Parker on You Can't Change That. It reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. For the 1980 album Two Places At The Same Time, the group name was changed to Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio. On this and the 1981 album A Woman Needs Love, other than Carmichael, Parker is using session musicians. The single A Woman Needs Love reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was at this point that Parker decided to end Raydio and become a solo artist. Carmichael remained as a backup singer. Parker remained on Arista so all of Raydio's hits are on Parker comps including Greatest Hits. There are three Ray Parker Jr. budget comps available. Here's the video for You Can't Change That by Raydio.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pro wrestler Yoshiko to make MMA debut on Feb. 11 Road FC show

Road FC announced yesterday that pro wrestler Yoshiko will make her MMA debut on Road's Feb. 11 show at Chang Chun Gynasium in Seoul, Korea. Her opponent will be Chun Sun-Yoo. This will be at Open Weight. Most joshi puroresu fans are familiar with Yoshiko from her days in STARDOM and the infamous match where she seriously injured Act Yasukawa. Yasukawa was forced to retire and STARDOM fired Yoshiko and her trainer Nanae Takahashi. Of course as we all know Takahashi has started her own company SEAdLINNNG and not surprisingly, Yoshiko has returned to pro wrestling at SEAdLINNNG. I have never written about SEAdLINNNG or Yoshiko because I don't think she deserves to be a pro wrestler. Takahashi is equally responsible as Yoshiko's enabler. I am only writing about this because MMA fans asked me about Yoshiko. So why is she doing MMA? This looks to be Takahashi's idea. Takahashi has been dabbling in martial arts including the hybrid company SEI*ZA. So I am unsure if Yoshiko is just doing this to please her boss. I understand that Yoshiko is training at U-File. The big problem with Yoshiko as a fighter is the same problem she has as a wrestler. She's not an athlete. She's been a pro wrestler since 2001 and the only thing she's really good at is exhibiting heel behaviour. Her ring skills are mediocre at best. Also, she normally weighs 175lb. and I think she would have to lose some weight to get into good enough shape to last three rounds. As she looks now, I could see her running out of gas very quickly. She has a big size advantage over Chun. First, I love her nickname Zombie Girl. Her record is 0-1 and she lost to Ramona Pascual by first round TKO at the Nov. 19 IMPI FC show in China. This fight was at 135lb. I guess I could see Yoshiko sitting on her for three rounds. When told about Yoshiko beating of Yasukawa, Chun said that she hits back. Yoshiko has said nothing so I have no idea why she is trying MMA except possibly to please Takahashi. I don't see this match as being watchable.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ram Jam

Artist:Ram Jam
Song:Black Betty
Album:The Very Best Of

Here's a 1977 one hit wonder that I'm sure you all remember. But who the hell was Ram Jam? Well, they only recorded two albums and Black Betty was a top 20 hit. It should have been much bigger. Ram Jam was from New York City. Guitarist Bill Bartlett was a member of The Lemon Pipers who had a big hit with Green Tambourine. When they split up, Bartlett formed the group Starstruck with other members of The Lemon Pipers. Starstruck released a cover of the Leadbelly classic Black Betty on their own label and it was a regional hit in the New York area. So you all remember the production team of Kasenetz-Katz who were behind a lot of 60s bubblegum hits. They heard Starstruck's Black Betty and they wanted to release it nationally. They thought it could be a big hit. Bartlett told them that Starstruck had disbanded. So they suggested he form a new band and they will release the record under the new name. So Bartlett formed Ram Jam with bassist Howie Blauvelt who was in The Hassles with Billy Joel, singer Myke Scavone who worked for Kasenetz-Katz and Pete Charles on drums. Ram Jam signed with Epic and Black Betty reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would have charted higher but the NAACP called for a boycott. The album Ram Jam didn't sell. Ram Jam recorded a second album Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ram. By then, Bartlett was replaced by Jimmy Santoro. That album didn't sell either and Ram Jam split up. Epic Germany released both albums on this budget CD. But you can also get Black Betty on plenty of various artists comps. The members of Ram Jam are still involved with music but nothing notable. They reformed to release the 1994 album Thank You Mam. Here's the video for Black Betty by Ram Jam.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Persuaders

Artist:The Persuaders
Song:Thin Line Between Love And Hate
Album:Thin Line Between Love And Hate

The Persuaders scored their biggest hit with Thin Line Between Love And Hate in 1971. They were formed in New York City in 1969 out of the ashes of other vocal groups. The lead singer was Douglas "Smokey" Scott. Other members were Willie Holland, James Barnes and Charles Stodghill. The Persuaders signed with Atco Records and were produced by Richard and Bobby Poindexter and Bobby's wife Jackie Members. They had previously worked with the O'Jays and Linda Jones in the 60s. They wrote and produced Thin Line Between Love And Hate. It topped the R&B Singles charts and it reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would turn out to be The Persuaders biggest hit. The single Love Gonna Pack Up (And Walk Out) was a top ten R&B hit. Both are on the budget reissue of the album Thin Line Between Love And Hate. Some fans may recall The Pretenders charted with their 1984 cover of Thin Line Between Love And Hate. The Persuaders were affected by personnel changes and though they didn't have much success, a couple of their songs were hits for others. They first recorded Some Guys Have All the Luck in 1973. Rod Stewart's 1984 cover was much bigger. They also recorded Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me in 1974 around the same time as Gladys Knight and the Pips. Gladys scored the hit version. The Persuaders faded by the late 70s. A couple of versions of the group still tour the oldies circuit. There are no original members in either group. Here's The Persuaders performing Thin Line Between Love And Hate on Soul Train 1971.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sara McMann vs Liz Carmouche added to Feb. 19 UFC show

Today the UFC announced that Sara McMann vs Liz Carmouche has been added to UFC Fight Night 105 Feb. 19 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, NS. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. Fans may recall that these two were supposed to face each other in Strikeforce in 2012. But Sara got hurt and then Zuffa closed Strikeforce and Liz got to fight Ronda Rousey for the inaugural UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. Both fighters have had ups and downs in the UFC. But right now both are on two fight winning streaks. But I think Sara has beaten a higher level of competition. She got a big win on Dec. over Alexis Davis by second round rear naked choke. Sara's success depends on her level of aggression. Sometimes she's passive and that has cost her in the past. In her last fight, Liz beat Katlyn Chookagian by split decision. Neither fighter performed well. So I expect Sara to be the favourite. But both have given away fights in the past. I guess the big question is who wants it more.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The String-A-Longs

Artist:The String-A-Longs

Here's one of those songs that I'm sure you have heard since it was a top five hit in 1961. And most folks know nothing about the song or the group that recorded it. The String-A-Longs were from Plainview, TX. Guitarists Keith McCormack and Richard Stephens and bassist Aubrey de Cordova were high school classmates and they called themselves Patio Kids. McCormack's uncle was their manager. They added a third guitarist Jimmy Torres and changed their name to Rock 'n' Rollers. McCormack's mother paid for a recording session at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, NM. Of course Petty was best known for producing Buddy Holly. They added drummer Don Allen and changed their name to The Leen Teens. McCormack was lead singer. They released a single on Imperial that went nowhere. When McCormack had trouble with his voice at one session, Petty suggested they record an instrumental. He also gave them the name The String-A-Longs. Petty licensed Wheels to Warwick Records and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961. There has been some confusion about the songwriting credit as Warwick mixed them up on the single. Today the song is credited to Petty, Torres and Stephens. Apparently Wheels was a mix of two songs. It hardly mattered as Warwick went bankrupt to avoid paying recording royalties. They do get songwriting royalties. There have been many covers of Wheels, most notably by Billy Vaughn. The singles Brass Buttons and Should I also charted. And The String-A Longs moved to Dot Records and continued to record with little success. Ace has a deal with Petty's estate so all of the String-A-Longs' Petty recordings are on this CD. McCormack and Torres wrote the 1963 Jimmy Gilmer smash hit Sugar Shack. And in 1968 McCormack was a member of The Fireballs when they recorded as The String-A-Longs for Atco. One thing is for sure. Wheels is a memorable instrumental classic. Here's a video for Wheels by The String-A-Longs.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The-Dream

Artist:The-Dream f/Young Jeezy
Song:I Luv You Girl

Terius "The-Dream" Nash has had a lot of success as a writer and producer. He has also released a few albums and he had some hits from the 2007 album Love/Hate. He hasn't been as successful recently and he has had record company issues. But he has a new album coming out shortly. He was born Sept. 20, 1977 in Rockingham, NC but he grew up on Atlanta. He learned to play drums and guitar as a child. But his mother's 1992 death inspired Nash to write songs. He lives with his grandfather after his mom died. After writing the song Everything for B2K, producer Laney Stewart got Nash a publishing deal. This is when he started calling himself The-Dream. He also met Laney's brother Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and they have worked together ever since. Nash's first big hit was Rihanna's 2007 smash Umbrella. It's his biggest hit to date. But it got him a record deal with Def Jam. His debut album Love/Hate was released Dec. 2007. He had three top ten R&B hits from the album including I Luv You Girl featuring rapper Young Jeezy. The album was certified Gold. Nash wrote and produced it with Stewart and Carlos "Los da Mystro" McKinney. Rihanna and Fabolous made guest appearances. Nash won Best New Artist at the BET Awards. His 2009 album Love vs Money also did well. Since then his albums haven't done as well though he continues to have a lot of success as a producer especially with Beyonce, Jay-Z and Rihanna. Nash left Def Jam in 2014 and signed with Capitol. He seems to have left Capitol too. He says he has a new CD Love Affair coming in March. But it's not clear how this will be released. He doesn't have a website right now. In a recent interview with Billboard, he complained about racism in the record business. I think he would be better off sticking to writing and producing for others. Who needs the aggravation? Here's the video for I Luv You Girl by The-Dream featuring Young Jeezy.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Eric Paslay

Artist:Eric Paslay
Song:Friday Night
Album:Eric Paslay

Eric Paslay had success as a songwriter before releasing his 2014 debut album and scoring a top ten country hit with Friday Night. He has a new album coming out shortly. He was born Jan. 29, 1983 in Abilene, TX and he grew up on Temple. His grandfather had a local band. Paslay started playing guitar as a teen. He moved to Nashville to attend Middle Tennessee State University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree but a music business internship led to a publishing deal. After success writing hits for Jake Owen, Love and Theft and The Eli Young Band, Paslay signed with EMI Nashville. His debut album Eric Paslay was released Feb. 2014. It was produced by veteran producer and session musician Marshall Altman. Altman plays keyboards on the album. Friday Night reached #6 on the Country Singles chart. Paslay wrote the song with Rose Falcon and Rob Crosby who have recorded as solo artists but Crosby in particular has had a lot of success as a songwriter. Friday Night was first recorded by Lady Antebellum in 2011. Paslay's new album Dressed In Black doesn't have a release date but it should be out shortly as Paslay will begin touring in the spring. Two singles have already been released. He's a great songwriter and he will have a long career in Nashville. Here's the video for Friday Night by Eric Paslay.

Friday, January 20, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Warrant

Album:Playlist: The Very Best Of Warrant

The 1989 power ballad heaven was the biggest hit for the hard rock group Warrant. They faded in the early 90s partially due to the rise of grunge and also a revolving door of personnel changes. Warrant was formed in Los Angeles in 1984 by guitarist Erik Turner. None of the original members stayed with the band. Bassist Jerry Dixon replaced the original bassist. So the band is playing Los Angeles clubs without much success. When lead singer Adam Shore left to form Hot Wheelz, Turner was watching a band called Plain Jane in Sept. 1986. He was impressed with lead singer Jani Lane. So he invited Lane and drummer Steven Sweet to jam in the studio. The key thing was Lane was also a songwriter. Guitarist Joey Allen completed the lineup. This was the band lineup during their prime. So they recorded a demo and signed with Columbia Records in 1988. They were assigned to producer Beau Hill who had success with similar bands like Ratt and Winger. Warrant's debut album Dirty Rotten Stinking Filthy Rich was released Jan. 1989. Heaven was the second single and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified 2XPlatinum. But there was controversy about if Turner and Allen played guitar on the album. Hill admitted that both guys were weak at guitar solos. So he brought in session musician Mike Slamer to play all the solos. Warrant's second album Cherry Pie was equally successful as it was certified 2XPlatinum. Cherry Pie and I Saw Red were both top ten hits. With the 1991 album Dog Eat Dog, the rise of grunge began to affect Warrant negatively. It didn't do as well as the first two albums and there were no hit singles. Columbia dropped them and Lane left to go solo. This budget comp has all their hits. Allen and Sweet left. Lane recorded a solo album that was never released so he returned to Warrant in 1994. They recorded two albums that didn't sell. There were more departures and Lane left and released a solo album in 2002. Lane attempted to form his own version of Warrant but he was threatened with legal action. He formed a new group Saints of the Underground and they released an album in 2008. He returned to Warrant in 2008 for a tour but he would only stay a few months. Lane died of acute alcohol poisoning on Aug. 11, 2011 at age 47. Except for lead singer Robert Mason, the Warrant on tour is the same band that was popular in 1989. They last recorded in 2012 but it says on their website that they are planning to record soon. Here's the video for Heaven by Warrant.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Four fights added to Feb. 25 DEEP JEWELS show

Shizuka Sugiyama, Yukari Nabe
DEEP JEWELS has added four more fights to the Feb. 25 Shinjuku FACE show. In a Flyweight match, Shizuka Sugiyama will face Yukari Nabe. Sugiyama is 13-4 and she trains at Zendokai in Yokohama. This will be her first fight in over two years. When she started her MMA career in 2008, she won her first five fights in a row. But when she started to lose, she lost confidence and she moved to Australia for a while. She's had mixed results since her return and she may have been inactive by choice. Her career has been a disappointment. Nabe is from Toyama, she trains at Paraestra Kashiwa. She made Her MMA debut on Aug. with a win over Nao Date. This fight should give us a better idea of her potential. In an Atomweight fight, high school student Kanna Asakura will face Natsuki Shimomakise. Asakura is 5-2 and she lost to Alyssa Garcia on the RIZIN NYE show. Natsuki is 0-2 and she also has an 0-2 amateur record. Her last fight was an amateur fight in Shooto in Nov. In an Atomweight bout, the veteran Emi Tomimatsu will face KAI. Emi should win this fight as KAI is 3-1 against lesser opponents. Emi runs into problems when she faces a higher level of competition. And in a Flyweight bout, Emiko Raika will face Komachi. Raika is a retired boxing champ who is 3-4 in MMA. She won her DEEP JEWELS debut over Jin Hee Gan in Nov. Komachi is a karate champ making her MMA debut. So obviously they are selling this fight as boxing vs karate.

Lina Lansberg vs Veronica Macedo added to Mar. 18 UFC show

The UFC announced today that Lina Lansberg vs Veronica Macedo has been added to UFC Fight Night 107 Mar. 18 at the O2 Arena in London. This will air on UFC Fight Pass. Lina is from Sweden. She was brought in to get clobbered by Cris Cyborg and it's hard to tell if she's any good based on that fight. She is known as The Elbow Princess so I guess she's a striker. Veronica was born in Venezuela but she now lives in Poznan, Poland. She was brought in as a late replacement for the Sept. UFC show in Germany. She ran out of gas during her fight and lost to Ashlee Evans-Smith by third round TKO. She is also undersized for a Bantamweight. A full camp might help her but she's used to fighting a lot so maybe it won't matter. Veronica is 21 years old and Lina is 34. So Veronica likely has a better upside. This fight should give us a clear picture on if either fighter has a UFC future.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Great White

Artist:Great White
Song:Once Bitten Twice Shy
Album:Absolute Hits

The hard rock group Great White scored their biggest chart hit with the 1989 single Once Bitten Twice Shy. They were very successful as an album and concert draw. Unfortunately, their success is overshadowed by the tragic 2003 fire in Rhode Island that killed a hundred people. Great White are from Los Angeles. Singer Jack Russell and guitarist Mark Kendall met in 1977. They formed a band that ended in 1979 when Russell was sentenced to eight years in prison for a botched robbery. Kendall formed a new band Dante Fox but when the singer left, he discovered that Russell was released from prison. They hired manager Alan Niven who had success with Motley Crue. He suggested the name Great White because of Kendall's very light blonde hair. The band was Russell, Kendall, bassist Lorne Black and drummer Gary Holland. They released an EP and played local clubs. They signed with Capitol and their debut album was released in 1984. Holland was replaced by Audie Desbrow and keyboard player Michael Lardie joined for the 1986 album Shot In The Dark. By the time Once Bitten is released in 1987, Great White has built enough of a following through constant touring that the album was certified Platinum. Black was replaced by Tony Cardenas AKA Tony Montana. The 1989 album Twice Shy was an even bigger hit. It was certified 2XPlatinum. Once Bitten Twice Shy reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. And now they are headlining shows for the first time. Though Russell and Kendall usually wrote all of Great White's songs, Once Bitten Twice Shy was written and first recorded by Mott The Hoople leader Ian Hunter in 1975. Then Great White started to fade and after two more albums, they left Capitol. This budget comp covers their Capitol hits. After three albums on three different labels, Kendall left Great White in 2000. Russell attempted to keep the band going and they were going to record for Columbia. But it was scrapped and Russell announced the end of Great White in Dec. 2001. Russell and Kendall recorded solo. But when that went nowhere, Russell revived Great White as Jack Russell's Great White. It was during this tour that the fire happened on Feb. 20, 2003 at The Station in Warwick, RI. Pyrotechnics caused the fire. One hundred people died including Great White guitarist Ty Longley. After that the band played concerts to benefit the victims families. Russell went into rehab for alcohol and cocaine. And he also had a facelift that was chronicled on Extra. Great White reformed in 2006 and there are now two bands. Great White is led by Mark Kendall and there is Jack Russell's Great White. Both are currently touring and Great White plans to record. Russell has released a few singles. Here's the video for Once Bitten Twice Shy by Great White.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Joe Walsh

Artist:Joe Walsh
Song:Life's Been Good
Album:The Definitive Collection

Guitarist Joe Walsh is best known for his days with The James Gang and Eagles. But he has also had a successful solo career and as an in demand session musician. Life's Been good was his biggest hit single in 1978. He was born Joseph Fidler Nov. 20, 1947 in Wichita, KS. His mother was a classically trained pianist. After his father died in a plane crash, he took his stepfather's name Walsh. Walsh grew up on Columbus, OH and then his family moved to Montclair, NJ and that's where he attended high school. He was in the popular local band The Nomads. While attending Kent State University, Walsh played in several bands in the Cleveland area, especially The Measles. They released a couple of singles. Then Walsh got involved in what would eventually be The James Gang. They signed with ABC Records in 1969. This was when Walsh first met producer Bill Szyczmyk who would go on to produce Eagles. The James Gang appeared in the 1969 film Zachariah. They had success in the early 70s with hits like Funk #49 and Walk Away. Walsh left The James Gang in Dec. 1971. He was invited to replace Peter Frampton in Humble Pie. But Walsh decided against that and he moved to Boulder, CO to form Barnstorm. They released two albums though both were marketed by ABC as Walsh solo albums. The 1973 album The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get did very well featuring the hit single Rocky Mountain Way. Barnstorm split up in 1974 and Walsh released the album So What. It was around that time that Szyczmyk suggested that Walsh should replace Bernie Leadon in Eagles. He has been a member ever since. But Walsh has continued to record solo. He moved to Asylum Records for the 1978 album But Seriously, Folks... The single Life's Been Good is about the life of a rock star. It reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is Walsh's biggest hit to date. He also scored the 1980 top 20 hit All Night Long from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack. You can get all of Walsh's hits on this budget comp. Walsh continued with Eagles and recording solo. He has also toured with Ringo Starr & His All Star Band. Walsh's latest CD Analog Man was released 2012 on Fantasy Records. Beginning in April, he will be part of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 40th Anniversary tour. Here's Joe Walsh performing Life's Been Good on Night Music 1988.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jessica Andrade vs Angela Hill added to Feb. 4 UFC show

The UFC announced today that Jessica Andrade vs Angela Hill has been added to UFC Fight Night 104 Feb. 4 at the Toyota Center in Houston. This will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. This fight was supposed to happen at UFC 206 but Angela was not in the USADA testing program for four months. The UFC has granted an exemption and there are plans to change the rules to accommodate returning fighters. Angela is currently the Invicta Strawweight Champion. She went 4-0 in Invicta. So the thinking is she has improved since the UFC released her. I'm not convinced that the competition level of her Invicta opponents was high enough. And Jessica has been a beast since moving to Strawweight. The UFC has already offered her a title shot. But her manager Tiago Okamura wanted another fight first to pay for a full camp. Of course the interesting thing is Jessica used to train with UFC Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Okamura managed both of them. Unlike most female fighters, Jessica is a powerful striker and she has ground skills as well with a fondness for the guillotine choke. Angela is mainly a kickboxer with no ground skills. It's a tough fight for her UFC return. The winner should get a title shot.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Silverchair

Album:The Best Of Volume 1

Silverchair was one of the more durable bands of the 90s. Tomorrow was their first single in 1995 and it's also their biggest hit. Silverchair is from Newcastle, Australia. They were teens when they were formed in 1992 as Innocent Criminals. Lead singer Daniel Johns and drummer Ben Gillies were schoolmates. They met bassist Chris Joannou at Newcastle High School. At first they were a cover band but then Johns and Gillies started writing songs. Their big break came when their demo for Tomorrow got them on a competition called Pick Me on the SBS TV show Nomad. They changed their name to Silverchair for the show. The name comes from The Chronicles Of Narnia series. After winning the contest, Silverchair signed with Sony's Murmur label. Tomorrow was first released on an EP. Producer Kevin Shirley had Silverchair re-record Tomorrow for their 1995 debut CD Frogstomp. The single was a worldwide smash hit including topping the Billboard Hot 100. The album Frogstomp was certified 2XPlatinum. Tomorrow would turn out to be Silverchair's biggest hit. They had one other top five hit Abuse Me from the 1997 album Freak Show. They recorded three albums for Sony and then signed with Atlantic for the 2002 CD Diorama. This budget comp covers their Sony recordings. After touring to support Diorama, Silverchair went on hiatus. They returned and released a CD on their own label in 2007. By this time, Silverchair are still a big deal in Australia but not anywhere else. They continued to tour and attempted to record their next album. But they stopped recording and announced they were splitting up in 2011. Johns released a solo CD in 2015. Gillies leads his band Bento. Joannou seems to have left the music business. Gillies says the final Silverchair album was almost finished when they split up so it may still be released. Here's the video for Tomorrow by Silverchair.

Monday, January 16, 2017

King Reina vs Shayna Baszler added to Feb. 25 DEEP JEWELS show

King Reina, Shayna Baszler
Today DEEP JEWELS added a final match to their Feb 25 Shinjuku FACE show. They have this fighter King Reina who is listed at 70kg. They announced a while back that she would be on this show but they really don't have anyone on Japan who can face her. She's too big. Fortunately, veteran fighter turned pro wrestler Shayna Baszler is currently on tour in Japan for STARDOM. In fact, she will challenge Io Shirai for the World Of STARDOM Championship on an upcoming show. Since she's in the neighbourhood, Shayna has agreed to face King Reina in what I assume is an Open Weight fight. Shayna hasn't fought since she left the UFC. She's a full time pro wrestler now. And of course Reina is much bigger than Shayna. So I don't expect any surprises. Reina is supposed to win and that's what I expect.

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Nina Ansaroff vs Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger

Here's the match video of Nina Ansaroff vs Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger from last night's UFC show in Phoenix. This fight aired on UFC Fight Pass. Both fighters were 0-2 in the UFC coming into this fight. So they both need a win. I think Nina is the better fighter. A lot of us thought she deserved to win her fight against Justine Kish but those Nevada judges thought otherwise. Of course she is the girlfriend of UFC Bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes and they train at American Top Team in Florida. Jocelyn is a former RFA champ who came to the UFC in a short notice match against Tecia Torres. She lost that match. She lacked quickness. I guess the main thing is her reactions are very slow. I thought maybe she would look better in her fight against Randa Markos with a full camp. But she didn't. So I have come to the conclusion that she doesn't belong in the UFC. Jocelyn trains at MMA Lab in Phoenix. So I expected Nina to win this fight. The problems that Jocelyn has are not easy to fix. And in the first two rounds, Nina is just quicker in her striking and she also takes Jocelyn down and pounds her. Between the second and third rounds, Jocelyn's coach John Crouch yells at her hoping that she'll get pumped up and show some urgency. But it doesn't work. Nina takes her down and wins with a rear naked choke. So Nina got a much needed win. I think she's better than her record. She could surprise us down the road. I expect Jocelyn to be released. It's not so much that she lost three times. But she hasn't been competitive in any of her fights. Check out the video for yourself.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Melba Moore

Artist:Melba Moore
Song:Love's Comin' At Ya
Album:Soul Classics Volume 4

Melba Moore first came to prominence as a Broadway performer in the late 60s. She had some success in music in the 70s and 80s. Love's Comin' At Ya was a big hit on the dance charts in 1983. It's probably her biggest hit. She was born Beatrice Melba Hill Oct. 29, 1945 in New York City. Her mom was 40s singer Bonnie Davis and her dad was bandleader Teddy Hill. After they divorced, her mom married jazz pianist Clement Moorman and he got her a record deal in the 70s. Melba started out in the original Broadway production of Hair. Then she won a Tony for Purlie in 1970. She hosted a TV variety show with Clifton Davis in 1972. when their relationship ended, so did the show. At this point, she had already recorded three albums for Mercury. She married her new manager Charles Huggins in 1975 and he got her a record deal with Buddah. Her 1976 single This Is It reached #2 in the Dance charts. It was written and produced by Van McCoy (The Hustle). In 1978 she moved to Epic. At first she worked with Philly Soul producers McFadden & Whitehead. And then Epic got her to record disco and it wasn't as successful as her Buddah recordings. Melba signed with Capitol in 1981. On her first album, she again worked mostly with McFadden & Whitehead. But for her 1982 album The Other Side Of The Rainbow, she worked with producers who had a better handle on what would be successful in the 80s, specifically Kashif. Love's Comin' At Ya reached #2 on the Dance charts and #5 on the R&B Singles chart. It was her biggest hit since This Is It. The song was written and produced by Paul Laurence who also worked with Freddie Jackson. And of course Melba would have success recording with Jackson. Melba remained on Capitol through the 80s and had modest success. There is no Melba Moore comp on print right now. You can get Love's Comin' At Ya on this Capitol various artists budget comp. In the 90s, Melba returned to Broadway and she has had a lot of success with her one woman show I'm Still Standing. It looks like she has recorded mostly gospel albums. In 2013, she released a CD with Phil Perry called The Gift Of Love. It's not clear if Melba is still active. She seems to be semi-retired. Here's Melba Moore performing Love Comin' At Ya on Top Of The Pops 1983.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Poor officiating continues to dog Invicta

At Invicta FC 20, the Bantamweight Championship changed hands due to a poor call by ref Mike England. Tonya Evinger appealed. The Missouri AC reversed the decision and now Tonya and Yana Kunitskaya will have a rematch in March. Those kind of mistakes are unacceptable and they are a byproduct of Invicta continuing to run shows in Kansas City when they should go elsewhere. One would think the Missouri AC would smarten up and use different refs. But when I saw that England was reffing last night's opening match, I knew something weird would happen. This time the culprit was ref Greg Franklin. And because of his incompetence, I have to talk about a prelim match before the main event because it overshadowed the rest of the show. The match was between Amy Montenegro and Celine Haga. The match itself deservedly won Match Of The Night. But the ending was one big screwup. So we're coming down to the final seconds of round three. Celine applies a rear naked choke that puts Amy to sleep. So Celine seems to win the fight. But Franklin called that the final bell came first and it would go to the judges. The decision went to Amy. But the replay showed that Franklin was very slow arriving to the scene. If he had been quicker, he could have made the correct call. I expect Celine to appeal this. But I don't know what the Missouri AC will do. There have been plenty of theories floating around but I think one thing overrides this. Franklin didn't SEE Amy go unconscious until after the fight was over. And he can only call what he sees. That's a can of worms that the AC may not want to open. Of course Invicta will claim to have no control over this. The answer is get the hell out of Missouri. The main problem is this is what fans are talking about instead of Megan Anderson winning the Invicta Welterweight Championship over Charmaine Tweet by first round TKO. Megan is an Aussie but she has improved a lot since moving to Missouri to train with UFC fighter James Krauss. Her dominance didn't surprise me as she has looked good since Krauss has been training her. Afterwards, she called out UFC president Dana White. She wants the winner of the upcoming UFC Welterweight Championship match. That could happen. Here's the rest of the results. Raquel Pa'aluhi won over Pannie Kianzad by first round rear naked choke. We'll see if Raquel can get a Bantamweight title shot this time. She has come up short in the past. Newcomer Leah Letson won over ex-UFC fighter Elizabeth Phillips with a first round head kick. I guess some might look at that as an upset. But Elizabeth did not perform well in the UFC. I was not familiar with Leah. She is from Wisconsin and she trains with UFC fighter Rick Glenn. Aspen Ladd remained undefeated with a unanimous decision win over Sijara Eubanks. Andrea Lee returned from a drug suspension with a win over Jenny Liou. This was a late stoppage. A body kick folded Jenny up but ref England missed it and stopped it after some extra punches landed. Jenny looked overmatched in this fight. And in the opener, Invicta newcomer Christine Ferea won over Rachael Ostovich with a third round head kick. It was another England late stoppage. Rachael is a very popular fighter because of her looks and the whole Wonder Woman thing. But she didn't look good in this fight. It might be time for her to go. So the fights were good but the refs were not. That can be fixed.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-When In Rome

Artist:When In Rome
Song:The Promise
Album:Super Hits of the '80s Into the '90s

The 1988 hit single The Promise is one of those songs that fans remember hearing but they don't remember anything else about it. The song is perceived as a one hit wonder but one other song charted. When In Rome is a one album wonder. They are from Manchester, England. When his band Beau Leisure split up, Clive Farrington wanted to form a new band. He was writing songs with poet Andrew Mann but they needed a lyricist so Farrington recruited Michael Nutall and renamed him Michael Floreale after a box of chocolates he saw at his mom's house. They recorded some demos and When In Rome signed with the Virgin Records label 10 Records. Producer Ben Rogan (Everything But The Girl, Sade) was interested in The Promise. It was released as a 12" dance single. After it topped the Billboard Dance chart and it reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, Virgin ordered an album. Unfortunately, the album didn't do well. And then Farrington and Floreale weren't getting along and When In Rome split up. You can get The Promise on this 2CD budget comp. Floreale moved to Dallas. When The Promise was used in the popular film Napoleon Dynamite, he reformed When In Rome and they tour the nostalgia circuit. He also copyrighted the name When In Rome so Farrington and Mann can't use it. They are currently battling in court over the name. Here's the video for The Promise by When In Rome.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bethe Correia vs Marion Reneau added to Mar. 11 UFC show

Yesterday the Brazilian website Combate reported that Bethe Correia will face Marion Reneau at UFC Fight Night 106 Mar. 11 at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil. Bethe confirmed this on Twitter. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. Marion is one of many fighters who have called Bethe out probably because she's ranked. I just don't think she's very good. After getting KOd by Ronda Rousey, Bethe lost a split decision to Raquel Pennington and then won over Jessica Eye. Jessica is now on long term hiatus. Marion has also had mixed results. After losing to Holly Holm and then dropping a split decision to Ashlee Evans-Smith in a fight so bad, it was booed by fans, she beat Milana Dudieva by TKO. The problem is Milana is terrible not that Bethe is much better. Marion's big problem is she's 39 years old and she needs to step up because the clock is ticking. So this is one of those fights that I'm not crazy about either fighter so I'm not expecting much from this fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Portrait

Song:Here We Go Again
Album:Greatest Hits

The R&B group Portrait had brief success in the early 90s at the tail end of the New Jack Swing movement. Here We Go Again was their biggest hit in 1992. Portrait was formed in Los Angeles by Michael Angelo Saulsberry, Irving Washington III. Eric Kirkland and Philip Johnson. They produced the 1991 album To The Maxx by Suave. That was on Capitol Records and that led to Portrait signing with Capitol. Their debut album Portrait was released in 1992. Three singles charted but Here We Go Again reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B Singles chart. Portrait wrote and produced all their songs. Here We Go Again sampled Michael Jackson's I Can't Help It. Portrait performed Here We Go Again on an episode of the sitcom Family Matters. By the time they released their 1995 album All That Matters, Kurt Jackson replaced Johnson. That album didn't perform as well and Capitol lost interest in them. They recorded a third album but it was only released in Japan. You can get all of Portrait's hits on this budget comp. Since then the members of Portrait have written and produced songs for others. They reunited and released an album in 2005 that was released only in Japan. Here's the video for Here We Go Again by Portrait.

Friday, January 13, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brothers Osborne

Artist:Brothers Osborne
Song:Stay A Little Longer
Album:Pawn Shop

Not to be confused with the legendary bluegrass group The Osborne Brothers, Brothers Osborne scored a top five country hit with Stay A Little Longer from their 2015 debut CD Pawn Shop. John and T.J. Osborne are from Deale, MD. T.J. is the lead singer. John is the lead guitarist. They had a couple of bands in high school. They recorded an album as Jax 'n' Jive. John and then T.J. moved to Nashville. They got a publishing deal and a couple of their songs were recorded. Of course what they really wanted was a record deal. And in 2013 they signed with EMI Nashville and producer Jay Joyce. He produces Eric Church. They released an EP in 2014 and then they recorded Pawn Shop. Stay A Little Longer was on the EP but Joyce had them re-record it for the album. It reached #4 on the Country Singles chart. The Osbornes usually write their own songs with a third writer, in this case Shane McAnally who is best known for producing Kacey Musgraves. Stay A Little Longer was nominated for a Grammy and Brothers Osborne won a CMA award for Vocal Duo of the Year. They have been nominated for a Grammy this year for 21 Summer. Brothers Osborne are just finishing their first tour as a headliner. Once that is over, they should head back to the recording studio to record new music. They are off to a good start. Let's see if they can keep it going. Here's the video for Stay A Little Longer by Brothers Osborne.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Jazz Composer's Orchestra

Artist:The Jazz Composer's Orchestra
Album:The Jazz Composer's Orchestra

This 1968 album is a must for avant garde jazz fans. The Jazz Composer's Orchestra started out as a way to raise funds for the Jazz Composers Guild. The orchestra was founded by Austrian trumpeter Michael Mantler and his wife Carla Bley. When the Jazz Composers Guild closed in 1966, Mantler and Bley founded the non-profit organization Jazz Composer's Orchestra Association (JCOA). This 1968 album was the first produced by the JCOA. Mantler wrote, produced and conducted the album. And he put together an all star band of avant garde jazz elite led by pianist Cecil Taylor. Other musicians are Gato Barbieri, Lew Tabackin, George Barrow and Pharaoh Sanders on tenor sax, Steve Lacy, Steve Marcus and Al Gibbons on soprano sax, Jimmy Lyons, Bob Donovan, Gene Hull and Frank Wess on alto sax, Charles Davis on baritone sax, Don Cherry on trumpet and cornet, Randy Brecker, Stephen Furtado and Lloyd Michaels on flugelhorn, Jimmy Knepper and Roswell Rudd on trombone, Jack Jeffers on bass trombone, Howard Johnson on tuba, Bob Northern and Julius Watkins on French horn, Carla Bley on piano, Larry Coryell on guitar, Ron Carter, Richard Davis, Eddie Gomez, Steve Swallow, Reggie Johnson, Alan Silva, Kent Carter, Bob Cunningham, Charlie Haden and Reggie Workman on bass and Andrew Cyrille and Beaver Harris on drums. That's an all star band for the ages. The Jazz Composer's Orchestra continued in various forms until 1975 but this is the one album that is a must. In recent years Mantler has attempted to revive The Jazz Composer's Orchestra as Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update. Stick to the original. Here's a video for Communications#10 by The Jazz Composer's Orchestra.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

PANCRASE getting into the joshi puroresu business

In an interview with Tokyo Sports, PANCRASE owner Masakazu Sakai announced plans to get into the joshi puroresu business. No, not women's MMA, women's pro wrestling. The new company will be called Pancrase Girls. In the past, Sakai owned the pro wrestling companies Hustle, Smash and The Tenyru Project. And Smash was also supposed to be an MMA company as well but it never got off the ground. He says he has already held auditions and there will be several teams of six girls. The girls he has chosen are currently training. Apparently MMA fighter Rin Nakai will be a participant. The first thing he will do to promote this is post a video on Youtube with a girl labeled Pancrase Girl No. 1. Her face will be hidden. When the video reaches 100,000 views, her identity will be revealed. He says he is using the success of DDT's model turned wrestler Saki Akai as the inspiration for Pancrase Girls. There will be a grand prize sponsored by Tokyo Sports. Well, joshi puroresu can always use new money and certainly Sakai has plenty of money. But as STARDOM has shown, the company will need veteran wrestlers to anchor the company because a company of all greenhorns won't work. Also, it was recently announced that Differ Ariake will close in 2018. Sakai says he has been looking for a new location and he will reveal the new home of PANCRASE at the Feb. 5 show.

Syuri vs Minna Grusander added to Feb. 5 PANCRASE show

Syuri, Minna Grusander
PANCRASE announced today that Syuri will face Finland's Minna Grusander at PANCRASE 284 Feb. 5 at Differ Ariake. Of course Syuri is the pro wrestler and kickboxing champ looking to break into MMA and make it to the UFC Strawweight division. She's 3-0 and she's done very well so far. But Minna could be a very tough opponent. Though her pro record is only 2-0, Minna has good amateur MMA experience. She won the Strawweight division of the 2015 IMMAF MMA World Championships. Her latest fight was a TKO win over Anna Kuzmenko at the Battle Of Botnia Dec. 10, 2016 in Sweden. She could be a good test for Syuri as she is more experienced than any of Syuri's previous opponents. Syuri trains at VOS in Tokyo. Minna trains at Finnfighters in Turku, Finland. This show will air on UFC Fight Pass.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Eric Roberson

Artist:Eric Roberson
Song:At The Same Time
Album:Mister Nice Guy

Eric Roberson is an outstanding R&B singer and he releases CDs on a regular basis. But most of his success has been as a songwriter and producer for others. He was born Sept. 25, 1976 in Rahway, NJ. He recorded an album for Warner Bros. in 1994 that was never released. They did release a single. He studied Musical Theater at Howard University. Then he signed a publishing deal with EMI and his songs were recorded by Musiq Soulchild, Vivian Green and he worked a lot with DJ Jazzy Jeff. Roberson released his 2001 debut CD on the Japanese label P-Vine. Then he started his own label Blue Erro (Erro is his nickname) and he has released CDs ever since. At The Same Time is from Roberson's 2011 CD Mister Nice Guy. The song was written and produced by Aaron Hardin who has also worked with Raheem DeVaughn. Guest artists include rappers Chubb Rock and Phonte. Roberson's latest CD Tigallerro was recorded with Phonte and released July 2016. Roberson was also one of The United Tenors with Fred Hammond, Dave Hollister and Bryan Courtney Wilson in 2013. Roberson has recently worked with Algebra Bassett and Robert Glasper. But he's a great singer and his CDs are worth checking out. Here's the video for At The Same Time by Eric Roberson.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Carla Esparza vs Randa Markos added to Feb. 19 UFC show

The UFC announced today that Carla Esparza vs Randa Markos has been added to UFC Fight Night 105 Feb. 19 at the Scotiabank Center in Halifax, NS. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. The intriguing thing about this is these two don't like each other going back to TUF 20. After Randa beat Carla's best friend Felice Herrig on the show, Carla and Randa did some verbal sparring on the talk show that followed TUF. But the two have never faced each other in the cage. Of course Carla won TUF and became the first Strawweight Champion. Then she had shoulder surgery after losing the belt to current champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She successfully returned last May with a win over Juliana Lima. Recently she has been in the news for selling the Harley-Davidson motorcycle she won on TUF due to financial hardship brought on by her long layoff after her surgery. Carla is a four time All American wrestler and she trains at Alliance in San Diego. Randa is from Windsor, ON and she trains at Michigan Top Team in Dearborn, MI. She's a pretty good wrestler but she makes mistakes that cost her matches. And that's what happened when she lost to Cortney Casey in August. She went for one of those dreaded headlock takedowns and gave up her back. She can't do that against Carla. Of course the trash talk leading up to the fight could be interesting if Randa participates.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Soul Rebels Brass Band

Artist:Soul Rebels Brass Band
Song:Rebel Rock
Album:No Place Like Home: Live In New Orleans

The Soul Rebels Brass Band are an updated version of the traditional New Orleans brass band with elements of jazz, hip hop and R&B. You may have seen them on the HBO series Treme. Lumar LeBlanc and Derrick Moss were drum majors at Texas Southern University. They met tuba player Damion Francois as members of Milton Batiste's Olympia Brass Band. In 1991, they decided to start their own band with Tannon Williams and Marcus Hubbard on trumpet and Winston Turner on trombone. While sharing a stage with The Neville Brothers, Cyril Neville called them "soul rebels" and the name stuck. They became the house band at the New Orleans club Le Bon Tomps Roule and they perform there when they aren't touring. They released their debut CD in 1995. Rebel Rock is from the 1998 CD No More Parades. It was written by Winston Turner. That CD is out of print but this live CD self released by the band is available. It was recorded at the Blue Nile Nightclub and Bar in New Orleans Feb. 13, 1999. It features a guest appearance by Trombone Shorty. Their latest CD Unlock Your Mind was released on Rounder Records in 2012. The Soul Rebels are constantly on tour. They have recently appeared with Lauryn Hill, Talib Kweli and Nas. That's just the tip of the iceberg. These guys are in demand because they are a lot of fun live. They have appeared on the HBO series Treme, Later with Jools Holland, Conan and others. When they were on Later, Metallica liked them so much, they invited them on tour. So if the Soul Rebels are coming your way, be sure to check them out for a sure fire party. Here's the Soul Rebels Brass Band performing Rebel Rock and Rebelosis at the 2016 Nola Jazz Fest in New Orleans.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Marloes Coenen vs Julia Budd to headline Mar. 3 Bellator show

Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting reported last night that Marloes Coenen will face Julia Budd for the Bellator Women's Featherweight Championship Mar. 3 at the WinStar Casino and Resort in Thackerville, OK. Bellator confirmed the fight this afternoon. It will air on Spike TV. The fan reaction has been "Why has it taken so long?". It's been delayed by injuries. First Marloes was injured. Then Bellator announced the match for May 2016. Remember the kerfuffle when Bellator was going to air it on the online prelims? At least they learned their lesson and they aren't doing that again. Julia pulled out due to injury and Marloes lost to Alexis Dufresne when Marloes stupidly underestimated her. Alexis was offered this fight and turned it down. Meanwhile, the UFC is launching their own Welterweight division with Holly Holm vs Germaine De Randamie. And a rumour surfaced today that Holly broke a rib in training. And Cris Cyborg is headed for a drug suspension. All this nonsense confirms what I have said all along. There aren't enough 145lb fighters for one Welterweight division, let alone UFC, Bellator and Invicta. What a shmozzle!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sevyn Streeter

Artist:Sevyn Streeter f/Chris Brown
Song:It Won't Stop
EP:Call Me Crazy, But...

It's been a long and winding road but R&B singer Sevyn streeter is finally releasing her first full length solo CD at the end of January. It Won't Stop is her biggest hit to date but it is from the 2013 EP Call Me Crazy, But... She was born Amber Streeter July 7, 1986 in Haines City, FL. She grew up singing in church and she is a big fan of gospel singer Yolanda Adams. At age 15, she was a member of the girl group TG4. The group was signed to A&M Records. They released three singles and recorded an album. But the album was not released and TG4 split up on 2005. Then producer Rich Harrison found Amber on MySpace. At the time, Harrison was best known for producing Amerie. He signed Amber and named her Se7en. He put her in the group RichGirl who were signed to Jive Records. They released a couple of singles and they recorded an album. But when the singles didn't chart, the album was shelved and RichGirl split up in 2010. Then Amber signed with Chris Brown's CBE label and she decided to call herself Sevyn Streeter. The EP Call Me Crazy, But... was released Dec. 2013. The Single It Won't Stop reached #4 on the R&B Singles chart and #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. Amber wrote the lyrics. The music was written and produced by Thomas "Diplo" Pentz and Jean-Baptiste "Free School" Kouame who has worked with Brown. Since then, Amber released a second EP. But her full length debut Girl Disrupted is coming out Jan. 27, 2017. A couple of singles have already charted in the R&B market so I think the album will do OK especially with the recent kerfuffle about Amber performing The Star Spangled Banner at a Philadelphia 76ers game. The team was stupid but it will help Amber. And if her solo career doesn't work out, she can always go back to writing songs for others as she has done in the past for Brown. Here's the video for It Won't Stop by Sevyn Streeter featuring Chris Brown.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Amii Stewart

Artist:Amii Stewart
Song:Knock On Wood
Album:The Best Of & The Rest Of Amii Stewart

Amii Stewart topped the charts with this 1979 disco cover of the Eddie Floyd classic Knock On Wood. She had most of her success on the dance charts and in Europe. She was born Amy Stewart Jan. 29, 1956 in Washington DC. Her father signed her up for singing and dancing lessons when she was four years old. When she registered with Actor's Equity, there was already an Amy Stewart so she changed her name to Amii. She studied at the DC Repertory Dance Company and she was in the touring company of Bubbling Brown Sugar. It was while she was appearing in this show in London that she met producer Barry Leng who at the time was working for the German label Hansa though that label would be taken over by Ariola. Leng wrote and produced Amii's music with film and TV composer Simon May, best known for writing the theme for the popular TV show EastEnders. They produced Amii's 1979 album Knock On Wood. The single did so well in Europe, Atlantic picked it up for US distribution. It topped the charts worldwide. This was her only big hit in the US though some of her other songs did well in Europe. Her 80s albums on RCA were only released in Europe. From what I could tell, Amii has lived in Italy since the 80s. This budget comp appears to be a CD of remixes from the British label Action Replay. Beginning with the TV movie Secrets Of The Sahara, she has worked frequently with legendary film composer Ennio Morricone. Most recently she appeared on the Italian TV dance competition show La Pista. So though she is a one hit wonder here, Amii has had a long career in Italy. Here's the video for Knock On Wood by Amii Stewart.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nelly Furtado

Artist:Nelly Furtado f/Timbaland

Nelly Furtado first became popular with hits like I'm Like A Bird which had a 60s vibe. That first album Whoa, Nelly! sold nine million copies. When her 2003 album Folklore only sold three million copies and there were no hit singles, Nelly decided she needed a musical and image makeover. This came at a time when her label DreamWorks had been sold to Universal and Nelly was moved to Geffen Records. So making a big change was a huge risk and she didn't know if Geffen would support it. Influenced by Madonna's Ray Of light album, Nelly wanted a smooth and sexy sound and image. Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine suggested Nelly work with Tim "Timbaland" Mosely who was best known for producing Missy Elliott's Get Ur Freak On. Mosely produced the album and he also appeared on the single Promiscuous which was Nelly's first number one single. Nelly wrote the lyrics with Tim "Attitude" Clayton and the music was written by Timbaland and his partner Nate "Danja" Hills. These three work together regularly so that had to give Nelly the confidence to make these very risky changes. It paid off because Nelly scored a second number one hit with Say It Right. The album Loose sold twelve million copies. Of course Nelly was criticized for her new sexy image. But the success of Loose proved her right. Loose is available as a budget CD. Unfortunately Nelly has yet to repeat that success. After she released the Spanish CD Mi Plan in 2009, the CD The Spirit Indestructible was released in 2012. That album was produced by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins. There were no hit singles and the album did not perform well. Six years is too long for fans to wait for new music. They forget and I think that's what happened to Nelly. Nelly Furtado's new CD The Ride will be released in March. I don't expect it to return her to the top of the charts. Here's the video for Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland.

Friday, January 06, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robin Trower

Artist:Robin Trower
Song:Day Of The Eagle
Album:Day Of The Eagle: The Best Of Robin Trower

Guitarist Robin Trower has had a very successful solo career since leaving Procol Harum in 1971. He's never had a hit single. His success is as a live draw and album artist. He was born Mar. 9, 1945 in Catford, London, England but he grew up in Southend-On-Sea, Essex. He formed The Raiders in 1959 who became The Paramounts in 1960. Of course the other key member of The Paramounts was pianist Gary Brooker who was a teen at the time. They scored a top 40 hit in England in 1964 with their cover of Poison Ivy. But they were otherwise unsuccessful and they split up in 1966. Then Brooker formed Procol Harum and Trower joined as lead guitarist. Of course they had great success. But Trower left in 1971 and he formed the short lived group Jude with Frankie Miller which included bassist and singer James Dewar from Stone The Crows. When Trower formed his own band, he kept Dewar and added drummer Reg Isidore from Peter Bardens' group. Trower signed with Chrysalis Records. Day Of The Eagle is from Trower's 1974 album Bridge Of Sighs. It's probably his best known album. Of course as a power trio, there's no question that Jimi Hendrix was a big influence on Trower. But Trower has been very successful in his own right. This comp is a good intro to his music. Trower had his greatest success in the 70s. In 1981, he formed BLT with Cream bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Bill Lordan who replaced Isidore in Trower's band. Then Isidore replaced Lordan and the band name was changed to Truce. Trower has recorded for V12 Records since 1994. His new CD is Where you Are Going To and he will begin a US tour in April. Here's Robin Trower with James Dewar and Reg Isidore performing Day Of The Eagle at Le Bataclan in Paris 1973.