Wednesday, May 31, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Michael King

Artist:John Michael King
Song:On The Street Where You Live
Album:My Fair Lady: Original Broadway Cast

John Michael King is best known for playing Freddie Eynsford-Hill in the Broadway production of My Fair Lady. He performed On The Street Where You Live and he won a Theater World award. He performed on Broadway for years but he was never a star. He was born May 13, 1926 in New York City. His dad was British actor Dennis King who moved to the US in 1921. He was also a Broadway performer best known for the 1925 show Rose Marie. John Michael King made his Broadway debut in 1943. But he didn't have a significant role until he auditioned for My Fair Lady. Of course that show was a huge success and King sang On The Street Where You Live. He won a Theater World award. But he was unable to parlay that into bigger roles on Broadway. For most of his career, King did a lot of touring musical casts. His biggest role on Broadway was in a 1977 revival of The King And I. His only TV appearance was in the 1983 mini series Kennedy. He died on Aug. 17, 2008 in Kilmarnock, VA. Here's a video for On The Street Where You Live by John Michael King.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Leslie Smith vs Lina Lansberg added to July 16 UFC show

The Herald in Scotland reported last night that Leslie Smith vs Lina Lansberg has been added to UFC Fight Night 113 July 16 at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. But I expect this fight to air on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. I would describe both fighters as game midcard fighters. Both were game enough to get clobbered by Cris Cyborg. For most of Leslie's career, she has alternated wins and losses. She's 3-3 in the UFC and 9-7-1 for her career. She got into the UFC as a late replacement in 2014 and she's managed to hang in there since then. She beat Irene Aldana in her most recent fight. I guess that was a big win for Leslie except that Irene was grossly overrated. I was not surprised that Leslie won. Leslie's big problem is she's a one dimensional striker with no power or ground game. And that catches up to her half the time. Lately she has shown some interest in the possibility of a UFC fighter union. She may find that getting fighters to organize is an exercise in futility. As a fighter, Lina is not much different from Leslie. Lina is from Malmo, Sweden. She is known as the Elbow Princess. She was brought into the UFC as Cris Cyborg fodder. She won her most recent fight over late replacement Lucie Pudilova. After the fight, she declared that Lucie won. Lucie did win round three but Lina won the first two rounds. The whole thing was weird. Like Leslie, Lina is a striker with no power or ground game. So I expect a competitive fight that will go the distance as neither fighter is a finisher. But I don't know if it will be a good fight. It may depend on how much fence clinching is allowed by the ref.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kneebody

Album:The Line

The jazz group Kneebody have been around for over 15 years. They record and tour when the members aren't busy playing on other folks records. Lowell is from their 2013 album The Line which was their major label debut on Concord. They have a new album out on a different label. Most of Kneebody were students at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. After graduation they all moved to Los Angeles and formed Kneebody. The members are Adam Benjamin on keyboards, Shane Endsley on trumpet, Ben Wendel on tenor sax, Kaveh Rastegar on bass and Nate Wood on drums. Benjamin was a member of Dave Douglas and Keystone. Douglas agreed to let Kneebody record for his Greenleaf label. All five guys are active sidemen and session musicians. Benjamin has recorded three solo albums and recorded with Dave Douglas. Endsley has recorded two albums and recorded with Steve Coleman and Ani DiFranco. Wendel has recorded three albums and recorded with Daedelus and Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra. Rastegar does a lot of session work with Colin Hay, Beck and John Legend. Wood has recorded three albums and he has recorded with Tigran Hamasyan and Donny McCaslin. Benjamin wrote Lowell from the 2013 album The Line on Concord. This was Kneebody's first album on a label with decent distribution. They just released a new album Anti-Hero on Motema Music but I don't think Kneebody is on tour at the moment. Jazz fans should check them out. Here's Kneebody performing Lowell at the Blue Whale in Los Angeles in 2013.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Chan Mi-Jeon in for Nadia Kassem at June 10 UFC show

Though this hasn't been announced, the UFC has posted on their website event page that Chan Mi-Jeon will replace Nadia Kassem and face JJ Aldrich on UFC Fight Night 110 June 10 at Vector Arena on Auckland, New Zealand. Nadia withdrew but it doesn't say why. Of course JJ is an Invicta veteran from Denver. She didn't look very good losing in her UFC debut to Juliana Lima. Chan is 19 years old from Seoul, South Korea. Her record is 5-0. All her fights have been for ALL FC in Korea who also own the gym where she trains. In her last fight, she was on the main event of ALL FC's Sept. 10 show against Megumi Yabushita. Chan won by KO. Of course Megumi is a Japanese MMA pioneer. But she shouldn't be fighting anymore and she should just stick to pro wrestling. This is another example of Asian countries not being regulated. So there is no one to tell promotions not to do stupid stuff. So I would describe Chan as unproven. Last month she signed with Invicta so no doubt that had a lot to do with UFC's interest in her. Also, all her fights have been at 55kg (121lb). She has never fought at 115. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. But I expect this match to air on UFC Fight Pass. Fans have asked me about the UFC signing two Korean fighters after the release of Ham Seo Hee. First, Ham wasn't released. They liked her and offered her a new contract. But she can make more money fighting at home for Road FC as an Atomweight. I think the two signings are coincidental. Ji Yeon Kim has been on the UFC radar for a while. I have known about her for a few years. The Chan signing is because they needed a late replacement and she was probably in training for her upcoming Invicta debut. Don't read too much into it.

Lucie Pudilova vs Ji Yeon Kim added to June 17 UFC show

Though it hasn't been announced, the UFC has added Lucie Pudilova vs Ji Yeon Kim to their website page for UFC Fight Night 111 June 17 at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. But I expect this match to air on UFC Fight Pass. Lucie is 22 years old from the Czech Republic. She made her UFC debut as a late replacement vs Lina Lansberg on Mar. 17 in London. She won the third round but she lost the fight because she wasn't aggressive enough in the first two rounds. Ji Yeon Kim is 27 years old from Seoul, South Korea. Her record is 6-0-2. The UFC has been after her for a while. They wanted her to face Rin Nakai at last year's Korea show. Then they offered her Holly Holm for this show. But Holly's manager Lenny Fresquez selected Bethe Correia mainly for name value. Kim is probably a better fighter. She went to Japan and won the DEEP JEWELS Bantamweight Championship from Takayo Hashi. Lately she has been fighting for TFC in Korea. The two draws were two round fights from Asian promoters who should smarten up. I'm not surprised to see her in the UFC. This could be a decent fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Spice Girls

Artist:Spice Girls
Song:Say You'll Be There
Album:Greatest Hits

For a couple of years in the late 90s, Spice Girls were the most popular musical act in the world. It didn't last of course because they were a manufactured group. Say You'll Be There was their second single and second biggest hit. The idea behind Spice Girls was boy bands like Take That were popular in England at the time and Bob and Chris Herbert wanted to create a girl group to compete with that. They held auditions and all the girls chosen had entertainment experience though not necessarily as singers. The original five were Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Michelle Stephenson and Geri Halliwell. They were to be called Touch. They spent most of 1994 training. During this period, Michelle wasn't working out and Emma Bunton replaced her. The group name was changed to Spice. They recorded but record companies weren't interested. And in 1995, Spice Girls left the Herberts for Simon Fuller. And he immediately got them a deal with Virgin Records. There was already a rapper named Spice so the name was changed to Spice Girls. Most of the debut album Spice was was produced by the production duo Absolute (Paul Wilson and Andy Watkins). They brought Spice Girls to Fuller. They produced the debut single Wannabe which was their biggest hit. Say You'll Be There was the second single. It was produced by Richard "Biff" Stannard. He has produced plenty of hits. The harmonica solo is by session musician Judd Lander. Both singles topped the British charts. Wannabe topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Say You'll Be There reached #3. One of the things I didn't like about Spice Girls was having all five sing lead in the same song. It makes their music disjointed. Ideally, each song should have one lead singer. I assume the egos in the recording studio was the main reason Fuller allowed this. The album Spice sold 23 million copies worldwide. Spice Girls got songwriting credit on all the songs. And that's one of the reasons they left the Herberts. They wouldn't listen to their ideas. Fuller was smart enough to listen to them. So now Spice Girls were the biggest thing in pop music. Of course it was all downhill from there. The biggest problem was personality clashes, not surprising considering the girls didn't know each other before being thrown together. That's the inherent problem with manufactured pop groups. After recording three albums, Geri and then Emma left Spice Girls in 1998. Emma returned for the 2000 farewell album Forever and that was the end. They had a great cottage industry for a while. They even made a movie. But it was never going to last. Spice Girls were only around for four years. It seemed much longer. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Of course the girls have gone on to individual things with mixed success. They reunited for a tour in 2007. They released a single but no album. They reunited again in 2012 to promote the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever and they performed at the Summer Olympics. There was a 20th anniversary planned but it didn't come together. Here's the video for Say You'll Be There by Spice Girls. This video is based on the 1965 Russ Meyer cult film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Syuri wins PANCRASE Strawweight belt. Is she UFC bound?

At today's PANCRASE show at Differ Ariake, the co-main event had Syuri vs Brazilian Kinberly Novaes for the Strawweight Queen of PANCRASE. Kinberly had been to Japan before. She lost a Shoot Boxing match to RENA. The hope was that she would be a tough opponent for Syuri but that Syuri would still win easily. That's what they were hoping when they brought in Minna Grusander from Finland with her amateur credentials. But she turned out to be a very disappointing opponent for Syuri. She did nothing for three rounds. Before the fight, Kinberly made a lot of noise saying she would KO Syuri. In the end, the fight went a full five rounds and Syuri won by unanimous decision. In round one, Kinberly pushed Syuri to the fence and scored with knees. She won the round. It reversed in round two and Syuri took control with punches and kicks. Then she really took control in round three. Most of the damage was done in the clinch with knees and elbows. Syuri knocked Kinberly down in round four and one of the judges scored the round 10-8 for Syuri. The domination continued in round five. The only thing Syuri didn't get was a finish. But she was happy with the win and Kinberly at least was competitive for a while. Syuri's goal has always been to get to the UFC. I expect her to appear on September's Japan show. It's certainly a long way from Hustle. When Syuri first announced her entry into MMA, I heard plenty of skepticism because she's a pro wrestler. But she had already been a kickboxing champ. And I never liked her as a pro wrestler and I thought she would be better in MMA. She was a dancer before she got into pro wrestling. And I always said she wrestled like a dancer. A lot of her skills were based on dance moves. Otherwise she was a limited pro wrestler. Ex-dancers like Naomi are more common in the WWE so you're more likely to see that there than in Japan. Of course she can't use that crutch in MMA and we already knew she was a good kickboxer. And Vos is a good gym. We've seen her improve over five fights and maybe she's ready for the UFC. Syuri has surprised people already and if she gets into the UFC, she could surprise a lot more people.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Daniel Merriweather

Artist:Daniel Merriweather
Album:Love & War

Aussie singer songwriter Daniel Merriweather got his start as a guest singer. He released his solo debut album Love & War in 2009. He had some success especially in England. But it's his only album to date. Because he seemed to have star potential, there has been a lot of speculation about him. I will add my speculation which I think you will find boring. He was born Feb. 17, 1982 in Melbourne, Australia. He got into music as a teen. As I said, Merriweather became known as a guest singer especially with British producer Mark Ronson who is best known as producer of the late Amy Winehouse. And when Ronson records his own albums, he uses guest singers because Ronson doesn't sing. Merriweather appeared on a couple of songs on Ronson's 2003 album Here Comes The Fuzz. He signed with Ronson's label Allido and a couple of singles were released in 2004. There was some buzz and speculation that Merriweather was recording an album. It turned out to not be true. It looks like they were demos. He worked with Aussie hip hop artist Phrase. In 2007, he appeared again as a guest vocalist on Ronson's album Version. The single Stop Me did well in England. Finally Merriweather's debut CD Love & War was released in 2009 including guest appearances by Wale and Adele. Red was the second single and it reached #5 on the UK Singles chart. The album was certified Platinum in England. The song was written by Amanda Ghost, Ian Dench and Scott McFarnon. Amanda has recorded solo but I don't think she ever recorded this song. Merriweather toured but he has yet to record a second album. Love & War is available as a budget CD. He has done some writing and production. He was even the victim of a recent death hoax. There was also a report in a British music mag that Merriweather plans to release new music and tour in 2018. It's not true. I don't know if Merriweather will ever record a second album. I doubt it. For one thing, he closed his website. That doesn't mean he won't continue in music. But he seems to prefer writing and producing and maybe he doesn't enjoy being in the spotlight. I told you it was boring. Here's the video for Red by Daniel Merriweather.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Trombones Unlimited

Artist:Trombones Unlimited
Song:Ode To Billy Joe
Album:Original Recordings

We don't see much of this anymore but back in the 60s, it was not unusual for record companies to put together instrumental groups to cover current hits in the hope of scoring a fluke hit single. And even if there was no hit single, these kind of bands were popular with older listeners. These albums were cost effective so they were profitable regardless. Liberty Records seemed to produce a lot of this kind of music. Trombones Unlimited is a mix of jazz musicians and Los Angeles studio musicians. I wouldn't call it jazz but trombone fans will probably enjoy it. Trombones Unlimited was led by veteran jazz trombonists Frank Rosolino and Mike Barone. Rosolino recorded several albums as a leader in the 50s. But in the 60s he was a Los Angeles studio musician and he rarely recorded as a leader. Barone was much younger than Rosolino and he was in big bands led by Louis Bellson and Gerald Wilson. There was also bass trombonist Bobby Knight who was in Stan Kenton's band. The producer and main arranger was Tommy Oliver who was the musical director for the 50s game show Name That Tune. After he left the show, he settled into studio work. The other musicians were part of the Los Angeles studio collective The Wrecking Crew including Carol Kaye on bass, Nick Ceroli on drums, Jim Horn on flute, Dennis Budimir and Tommy Tedesco on guitar, Mike Melvoin on piano and Emil Richards on percussion. Be sure to check out the documentary The Wrecking Crew on Netflix and my review on the blog. They mostly recorded standards though Ode To Billy Joe was a big hit at the time and it was covered by other instrumental groups. Trombones Unlimited recorded five albums from 1966-68. Ode To Billy Joe is from the 1968 album One Of Those Things. Liberty released a few singles but there were no hits and the musicians returned to other things in 1968. I think jazz fans are aware that Frank Rosolino died in a 1978 murder suicide. But Mike Barone is still around and he has released two CDs of Trombones Unlimited on his own label. Here's a video of Ode To Billy Joe followed by In The Mood by Trombones Unlimited.

Friday, May 26, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lea Salonga

Artist:Lea Salonga w/Simon Bowman
Song:Sun and Moon
Album:Miss Saigon: Original London Cast Recording

Lea Salonga was 18 years old when she scored the starring role in the musical Miss Saigon. Though she has done other things, it's still the role she is best known for. She was born Feb. 22, 1971 in Manila, Philippines. As a child, she appeared in musicals locally. As a teen, she hosted her own TV show and appeared in films. When the producers of Miss Saigon were casting, they were unable to find a strong enough Asian actress in London. So they scoured the world and discovered Lea in the Philippines. She got the role and a star is born. The show was a huge success and Lea won an Olivier award for Best Actress. She also starred in the Broadway production and she was the first Asian actress to win a Tony. Lea appears on the London cast recording but not the Broadway cast recording. The video is from the 2000 Manila version with Nashville's Will Chase. Lea continues to perform on stage most notably in revivals of Les Miserables and Flower Drum Song. She has recorded several albums that have done well in the Philippines. She's obviously a much bigger deal there than she is here. Her best known film roles are as Princess Jasmine in the 1992 Disney film Aladdin and as Mulan in the 1998 Disney film Mulan. These days she does a lot of TV in the Philippines most notably The Voice of the Philippines. She also appeared in the Broadway musical Allegiance. And she appeared on an episode of the CW sitcom My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Here's Lea Salonga with Will Chase performing Sun and Moon in Manila 2000.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kailin Curran vs Aleksandra Albu added to July 29 UFC show

Yesterday the UFC announced several fights for UFC 214 July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. One of those fights is a Strawweight bout with Kailin Curran vs Aleksandra Albu. I expect this to air on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. Kailin is from Hawaii. She is 1-4 in the UFC. She clearly has the physical skills. But her number one flaw which her trainer has acknowledged is she tends to lose concentration during fights. This has cost her fights. I don't believe this is a problem that can be fixed. For that reason, I don't believe she belongs in the UFC. My guess is she probably needs a win to stay in the UFC. Aleksandra signed with the UFC in 2013. But her only fight to date was a 2015 win over Izabela Badurek. Based on that, I'm not sure how good she is because Izabela was terrible. We could see the same thing in this fight. Aleksandra is from Moscow, Russia. She signed with the UFC as a Bantamweight with a 1-0 record. There was talk that she had some "smoker" fights in Thailand. They are not part of her official record. At 5'2", she's short for a Bantamweight. But she injured her knee in training. So when the Strawweight division was announced, she decided to drop to 115. Her win over Izabela in Apr. 2015 was her UFC debut. Where has she been? It looks like she was busy attending school. She also does plenty of fitness modelling. She has a significant fanbase just for that. I just haven't seen enough of her to know if she's a good fighter. Her first UFC fight was in Poland so this will be her US debut.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Loretta Lynn

Artist:Loretta Lynn
Song:Coal Miner's Daughter
Album:The Definitive Collection

Of course Loretta Lynn is one of the all time country music greats and the autobiographical Coal Miner's Daughter is her signature song. Because there was a very successful film about her life, I think fans are familiar with her story. She was born Loretta Webb Apr. 14, 1932 in Butcher Hollow, KY. And yes, her dad was a coal miner. She had seven brothers and sisters including singer Crystal Gayle. She was 15 years old when she married Oliver "Doolittle" Lynn and they were married until his 1996 death. He bought her a guitar in 1953 and eventually she started playing gigs with her brother Jay Lee on guitar. He was born Willie Lee Webb Feb. 12, 1937. Jay Lee was a childhood nickname. She moved to Nashville in the late 50s. And after a few singles, she signed with Decca in 1963 and she remained there for most of her career. Loretta credits Patsy Cline with getting her into Decca and she also worked with Patsy's producer Owen Bradley. Her first number one country hit was Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind) in 1966. By the late 60's, Loretta was a fixture at the top of the country charts. But the autobiographical Coal Miner's Daughter made her an international star. Not only is it her signature song but it propelled subsequent singles to the top of the country charts. Loretta had 11 number one hits mostly in the 70s. And she also recorded successful duets with Conway Twitty. The success of the 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter only enhanced that. You can get all of Loretta's hits on this budget comp. Though she faded in the 80s, Loretta continued to have success especially with the 1993 album Honky Tonk Angels which she recorded with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette. Loretta was recently hospitalized after suffering a stroke. She has a new album coming out in August on Sony's Legacy label called Wouldn't It Be Great produced by Johnny Cash's son John Carter Cash. We don't know yet if she will be able to continue touring. Here's Loretta Lynn performing Coal Miner's Daughter on The Johnny Cash Show 1971.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

RIZIN finds a warm body to face KING Reina

RIZIN held a press conference today to announce that the Bantamweight tournament will begin July 30 at Saitama Super Arena. They have yet to announce details of the upcoming Women's Atomweight tournament. But they did add a couple of women's matches to this show. Unfortunately neither match is very interesting. After her recent DEEP JEWELS win, KING Reina told RIZIN owner Nobuyuki Sakakibara that if he doesn't give her a decent opponent on July 30, she will move to the US. It is inevitable that she will have to do that anyway. The good news is he found an opponent for her. The bad news is it's pro wrestler Lei'D Tapa. Of course she has appeared in RIZIN before and she lost a very ugly match to Gabi Garcia. She hasn't fought since then. The only thing she has going for her is she's big. But that didn't help Alpha Female when she fought KING Reina. Lei'D Tapa is very inexperienced at MMA. And having seen her wrestle a few years ago in TNA, she isn't very good at that either. So I expect a quick finish from KING Reina. I'm interested in what she will do afterwards. She has threatened to go to the US. How long is she going to put up with this nonsense? The other women's match announced has Miyuu Yamamoto facing Cassie Robb. Miyuu is a walking talking gimmick. Her younger brother is the legendary Kid Yamamoto and her son is a fighter too. She has been coaching wrestling for years in Canada. Sakakibara admitted he had to do a hell of a job to get a 42 year old mom to try MMA. Look, it's just another gimmick to him. She lost her first two fights. You may recall Cassie Robb fought in Invicta a few years ago. She lost both of her fights. She is currently fighting for King Of The Cage. And they have sent other fighters to RIZIN including Andy Nguyen who has beaten both fighters. Cassie's record is 2-5. But she won her latest fight. How long is Miyuu willing to continue losing? She's looked terrible in both fights. Maybe she's just not an MMA fighter. If RIZIN adds any more women's matches I will tell you all about it.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Lemonheads

Artist:The Lemonheads
Song:Into Your Arms
Album:Laughing All The Way To The Cleaners: The Best Of

The alt rock group the Lemonheads had success in the early 90s. They never had a hit single but a couple of their albums did well. The Lemonheads are from Boston led by lead singer, main songwriter and guitarist Evan Dando. Dando, drummer Ben Deily and bassist Jesse Peretz were classmates. They were at first called The Whelps and then Dando named them after a brand of candy. They released a couple of albums for a local label. Regional airplay got them a deal with Atlantic Records. Deily left and was replaced by David Ryan. The Lemonheads Atlantic debut CD Lovey did OK but then Peretz left and was replaced by Juliana Hatfield. The 1992 album It's a Shame About Ray was released. Then a cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic Mrs. Robinson was released as a single to promote the video release of The Graduate. The single was popular enough that Atlantic re-released It's a Shame About Ray with Mrs. Robinson added. The album was certified Gold. With the 1993 album Come On Feel The Lemonheads, Dando was searching for that big hit single. He never got that but Into Your Arms topped the Modern Rock chart. The album was certified Gold. Then the band fell apart mostly due do Dando's cocaine habit. He formed a new version of The Lemonheads for the 1996 album Car Button Cloth. But the album didn't do well and Dando was unable to keep the band together anyway. He even toured solo for a while. Atlantic dropped The Lemonheads. This 2CD comp from the British label Music Club is definitive. Dando released a solo album in 2003. He toured and performed a mix of Lemonheads and solo songs. He formed a new version of The Lemonheads in 2005. They have released a couple of albums and they are currently on tour. There has been talk about a new album since 2012. Ryan Adams was supposed to produce. Maybe it never happened. Here's the video for Into Your Arms by The Lemonheads.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Remy Shand

Artist:Remy Shand
Song:Take A Message
Album:The Way I Feel

Blue eyed soul singer Remy Shand had success and critical acclaim with his 2002 debut CD The Way I Feel and the single Take A Message. Then he seemed to disappear. He has reemerged recently but a lot of fans of this album believe he should have been a star. He was born Oct. 14, 1977 in Winnipeg. Shand moved to Toronto and got into the local studio scene. Shand not only sings and writes songs but he plays all the instruments and produces. So this led to a contract with Universal Canada and then Motown in the US. The Way I Feel did well especially in Canada. And Take A Message was an R&B hit. Shand won a Juno in 2003 for Best R&B Recording and he was nominated for four Grammys. So what happened to him? Apparently he recorded a second album but Motown didn't like it and it was never released. This was around the time that former Elektra CEO Sylvia Rhone replaced Kedar Massenburg as president of Motown. And it's not unusual for new management to clean house of artists signed by the old management. Then he went through a messy divorce and that led to other problems including depression. Shand surfaced with his own label in 2013. He still lives in Toronto. He has released a couple of albums and several singles. He also records as CANARY. The Way I Feel is available as a budget CD. And his new recordings are available as digital downloads at his website Remy Shand World. Though I doubt Shand will ever be a star again, it's good to see that he's still making music. Here's the video for Take A Message by Remy Shand.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Mayu Iwatani vs Kairi Hojo

Here's the match video of Kairi Hojo defending her Wonder of STARDOM Championship against Mayu Iwatani on the May 14 STARDOM show at Korakuen Hall. This match has historical significance as Hojo had already announced she is leaving Japan for the WWE. So naturally she had to drop the belt. With Io Shirai also signing with the WWE, that makes Mayu STARDOM's ace by default. The only problem with that is Mayu announced early this year she plans to retire at the end of 2017. I suppose she could change her mind if she is made the ace. She's an OK wrestler but nothing special. The match is OK. Obviously there's no heat. Both are babyfaces. Kairi gets to leap from the Korakuen Hall balcony and land some of her other trademark spots like the rolling cradle. The turning point comes when Mayu gets her knees up for a flying elbow drop. Then Mayu lands a couple of tiger suplexes for the win. So enjoy the match. Kairi will make her final Japanese appearance this Wednesday at an autograph session. Then it's off to Orlando. I will have more on that subject very soon.
Mayu Iwatani vs Kairi Hojo by scott1060

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Strokes

Artist:The Strokes
Song:Last Nite
Album:Is This It

The alt rock band The Strokes had success with the 2001 album Is This It and the single Last Nite. Though they are American, they were a much bigger deal in England. The Strokes are from New York City. The lead singer and songwriter is Julian Casablancas. He is the son of Elite Modelling owner John Casablancas. Casablancas, guitarist Nick Valensi, bassist Nakolai Fraiture and drummer Fab Moretti went to school together. When Casablancas was sent to school in Switzerland, he met guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. His dad Albert Hammond scored a big hit with It Never Rains In Southern California in 1972. When Hammond moved to New York to attend Tisch School of the Arts, he shared an apartment with Casablancas. And that's when The Strokes began. They got a deal with Rough Trade in England and an EP was released. When an mp3 of Last Nite was given away in the British music paper NME, there was enough buzz to start a bidding war for The Strokes which was won by RCA. Is This It was released October 2001 and it did fine. The album was certified Platinum but The Strokes never had a hit single. They got most of their airplay on Alt Rock radio. They were much bigger in England because the music press hyped them and Rough Trade knew how to use that hype. Is This It is available as a budget CD. Of course The Strokes toured. This album was their peak. They recorded three albums and they all did OK especially in England. They went on hiatus in 2006. Hammond released a couple of solo albums. Casablancas released a solo album in 2009. The Strokes reformed in 2009. They still tour and they have released a couple of albums. It looks like they are in the process of recording new music now. Here's the video for Last Nite by The Strokes.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Asuka vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot

Here's the match video from last night's NXT show of Asuka vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot for the NXT Women's Championship. This was set up by a number one contender battle royal. Asuka interrupted it and waylaid Ruby, Nikki and Ember Moon. It was supposed to be a four way but Ember was pulled due to a shoulder injury. I'll get back to her later. Regular readers of this blog will know that I don't like three way matches because inherent flaws make them disjointed. But if anyone can make a three way match watchable, it's Asuka. She has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. Nikki is part of Sanity. And she is portrayed as so insane that she sometimes loses concentration. Ruby is a punk rocker chick. Both are pretty good wrestlers. It was a pretty good match. It appears that Asuka may have hurt her right elbow performing a missile dropkick. She rarely goes to the top rope. Among the highlights were Asuka hitting Ruby with an Iguchi bomb and transitioning into an ankle lock. Then Ruby missed a top rope Alabama Jam and Asuka hooked the Asuka lock. Nikki broke it up. I also liked Nikki trapping Asuka in the apron and beating the crap out of her. Of course that led to the finish with Asuka pinning both of them. So Asuka is still the champ and still undefeated. The WWE obviously still wants to push Ember Moon as they had her on the pre-show and showed her watching this match. I still think the character needs a reboot because I don't think she will ever get over. Don't they know this? And the women's tournament is coming. I'll have more on this when I know who's in it. I know some who are in it but I'll wait until it's official. Of course we already know that STARDOM's Io Shirai and Kairi Hojo are coming. I'll have more on that when Io's signing is official. William Regal is in Japan now to get her signature in he dotted line. Maybe he's scouting other talent. Until then, enjoy the video.

Last night's Invicta FC show was a tough slog

There's no question that I am critical of Invicta FC matchmaking. I don't believe they understand card placement and they seem to play favourites with some fighters and ignore others. One thing to remember is Invicta contracts are non-exclusive so they are meaningless. But on last night's show for the very first time, the fighters underperformed. The majority of the fights on last night's show were not good. It almost seemed like most of them didn't want to fight or they were afraid to take risks. Is matchmaking the main culprit? Maybe Invicta needs to change. I'll get to that later. The main event of this show was Vanessa Porto vs Agnieszka Niedzwiedz in a Flyweight title contender match. I had no problem with the fight but it's not a main event. As it turned out, it wasn't a very good fight either. Agnieszka won by unanimous decision and then in her post fight interview she admitted she didn't perform very well. The whole show was like this. It's like the fighters were in a fog or something. The exception to this was Roxanne Modafferi vs Sarah D'Alelio. Roxanne has improved tremendously since training with John Wood at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas. She got the only finish of the night with a third round TKO. A few years ago she wouldn't punch anyone so that kind of finish is very encouraging. The problem is Sarah is inconsistent anyway and now at 36 years old she's slowing down. That's why I didn't like the matchmaking. I knew the result last month. Herica Tiburcio beat Tessa Simpson by split decision. Herica is looking to get back into the Atomweight title picture. Neither of them did enough to win. And the funny part is it won Fight Of The Night. That tells you how bad the rest of the show was. Then Kelly Faszholz beat Elizabeth Phillips by unanimous decision. I talked about Elizabeth's unprofessional behaviour last month. Then she missed weight. So it was at a catchweight. Then the fight itself was terrible. And I understand there is value in ex-UFC fighters. But both came to the UFC as late replacements. And it's not unusual for UFC late replacements to wash out. They don't belong in Invicta either. I would prefer to see Invicta concentrate on developing young fighters instead of bringing in UFC washouts that should be in regional MMA. Be more selective. Andrea Lee won over Liz Tracy by split decision. It should have been a unanimous decision. I questioned this matchmaking when it was announced. I thought Andrea should face a more established fighter. The problem with Liz is she lacks quickness. Andrea got tired in the third round but I thought she won easily. Ediane Gomes won over Pam Sorenson by split decision. This is an example of why Welterweight is a landmine. There aren't enough decent Welterweights so you have Bantamweights like these two moving up. And both are slow. I didn't care who won because neither performed well. Tiffany Van Soest won over Christina Ferea by unanimous decision. Another terrible fight. Both are kickboxers trying to convert to MMA. Of course Tiffany is much better known. She lost her first Invicta fight while Christina won her Invicta debut over a mediocre opponent. Neither looked good. I understand bringing Tiffany in and the hype surrounding her. But elite kickboxers don't necessarily become elite MMA fighters. Plenty of them fail. Of course the problem is there's no money in kickboxing in North America. And that's why you see kickboxers trying MMA. And in the opening Bantamweight fight, Yaya Rincon won over Brooksie Bayard by unanimous decision. It was Yaya's MMA debut. The fight wasn't bad. But when this was announced last month I didn't know that Brooksie is 34 years old coming in with a 1-1 record. Don't book fighters with fewer than five fights over 30 years old. And I know fans get upset with me for bringing up age all the time. But Father Time is undefeated in MMA. And he's catching up to Brooksie already as she looked like she was fighting in quicksand. I liked Yaya though. She needs to walk out to Yaya by George Harrison. I guess the main thing is I would like to see some common sense in Invicta's matchmaking and I'm not seeing that. The fighters usually overcome poor matchmaking but not this time.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mantronix

Album:King Of The Beats: Anthology 1985-1988

Though they never had mainstream success, Mantronix were hip hop pioneers especially as it relates to electronic dance music and DJ techniques. Bassline is probably their best known song. The two guys in Mantronix were DJ Kurtis Mantronik (Kurtis el Khaleel) and rapper MC Tee (Toure Embden). Both guys were born in Jamaica and grew up in New York City. el Khaleel was inspired by Ryuchi Sakamoto of The Yellow Magic Orchestra to start experimenting with electronic music. He became the in store DJ at Downtown Records in New York City and Embden was a customer. They decided to work together and they signed with local hip hop label Sleeping Bag Records. el Khaleel also became their house producer. Mantronix: The Album was released in 1985. Songs like Bassline were a very early example of electronic dance music. Though commercial success eluded Mantronix, the music was very influential on other hop hop guys. Bassline has been sampled many times. Their second album for Sleeping Bag Music Madness was more dance music oriented. And that eventually forced Embden to leave Mantronix in 1988. He moved to Atlanta and left the music business. They signed with Capitol Records and the 1988 album Full Effect was Embden's final album with Mantronix. He was replaced by rapper Bryce "Luvah" Wilson. el Khaleel also brought in singer Wondress Hutchinson and the single Got To Have Your Love had R&B and dance chart success. After the 1991 album The Incredible Sound Machine, el Khaleel was burned out and he quit the music business. This 2CD comp covers Mantronix's 80s recordings. el Khaleel returned in 1998 and he has recorded two albums. He still does plenty of remixes and producing. Here's the video for Bassline by Mantronix.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

KING Reina is a big problem for Japanese promoters

DEEP JEWELS ran a show today at Shinjuku FACE. Before I get into this show, you'll notice there are no DATE girls on this show. It appears that this attempt to turn models/idols into fighters is over. Most of them couldn't fight anyway. Though a couple may continue fighting, most of them are appearing for the Ice Ribbon joshi puroresu company. I don't follow Ice Ribbon very closely because their product stinks. So I can't comment on if these girls will be any better at pro wrestling than MMA. It was a pathetic attempt to appeal to the DEEP JEWELS dirty old man fanbase. On to this show. The main event had KING Reina facing German Kristin Handel. The most notable thing about her is she's tall. She had a 1-0 record but that fight was in 2013. So she had no business being anywhere near Reina. I understand that after her 2013 fight, Kristin returned to amateur karate. So she's not really a pro fighter. This kind of nonsense would never get approved if Japan was regulated. Not surprisingly, Reina destroyed Kristin and the ref stopped it at 4:24 of round one. This crap was your main event, folks. Of course the real problem is KING Reina is threatening to move to the US. She said that if RIZIN owner Nobuyuki Sakakibara doesn't give her a decent opponent on July 30, she's leaving. Of course Sakakibara doesn't want her to leave because that girl is money. But I have said for a while that Reina going to the US is inevitable. And they seem to have real problems finding opponents for her. That will only get worse. In other fights, Sarami won her third straight fight with a win over Tomo Maesawa with a second round TKO. The most notable thing about this fight was Sarami's anime inspired ring entrance. Yuko Kiryu won over Natsuke Shimomakise with a second round armbar. Natsuke is now 0-4. Time for a new line of work. They had a tag team exhibition match with Mina Kurobe and Mika Nagano vs Emi Tomimatsu and Kanna Asakura. Can you say filler? KAI won over Kyu Kitano by unanimous decision. Mizuki Furuse won over Madoka Ishibashi by highlight reel head kick. Mizuki is a 16 year old high school student making her DEEP JEWELS debut. Madoka seems to be more model than fighter. She was doing sexy poses at the weigh ins. The opening amateur match had 12 year old Momo choking out 24 year old Momoko Yamazaki. This was controversial to outsiders because of Momo's age and she's facing a 24 year old. For one thing, Momoko is not a fighter. She's a hostess in a club. Secondly, 12 year old fighters are not unusual in Asian countries. There are plenty of them in Thailand. And Momo's dojo Hakushinkai starts them young. It is also the home for MIZUKI and at age 15, she broke Emi Fujino's nose in a kickboxing match. I know it looks bad to outsiders but it's not a big deal. In the future, ask someone who knows.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Boney James

Artist:Boney James

Sax player Boney James is one of the more durable smooth jazz artists. This cover of Stevie Wonder's Creepin' was on his 1992 debut album Trust and it's one of his signature songs. He was born James Oppenheim Sept. 1, 1961 in Lowell, MA and he grew up in New Rochelle, NY. He began to play clarinet at age eight and then switched to sax. His main influence was smooth jazz pioneer Grover Washington Jr. At age 15, he moved to Los Angeles with his family. He was in the fusion band Line One while attending UCLA. After graduating, Morris Day hired James to play keyboards. James convinced Day to let him play sax. He toured with Day for four years. He also toured with The Isley Brothers, Bobby Caldwell and Randy Crawford. The nickname Boney James was a comment about Oppenheim's physique by a fellow starving musician. While on tour with Caldwell, James met guitarist and producer Paul Brown. They released the 1992 album Trust on the indie label Spindletop. And it did so well that Warner Bros. signed James to a contract. Of course Creepin' is a Stevie Wonder Song from the 1974 album Fullfillgness First Finale. James and Brown wrote most of the other songs with arranger Jeff Carruthers. Musicians include Allen Hinds on guitar, Roberto Vally on bass, Carlos Vega on drums and Lenny Castro on percussion. James had a great run on Warners until he left for Concord in 2004. He also had success recording with trumpeter Rick Braun. I was surprised that Warners hasn't released a Boney James comp. Trust is out of print on CD but it is available as a digital download. James is currently on tour. He does a lot of jazz festivals and jazz cruises. He still records for Concord. His latest CD futuresoul was released 2015 and it includes guest appearances by singer Stokely from Mint Condition, Dwele and trumpeter Marquis Hill. Here's Boney James with Gregg Karukas on keyboards, Ray Fuller on guitar, Smithy Smith on bass and Donnel Spencer on drums performing Creepin'.

Friday, May 19, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Alexander O'Neal

Artist:Alexander O'Neal
Song:If You Were Here Tonight

Alexander O'Neal is probably best known for his duets with labelmate Cherelle. But he also had success mostly on the R&B charts with hits like If You Were Here Tonight and Fake. He was born Nov. 15, 1953 in Natchez, MS. His father died before he was born. After attending Alcorn State University, he moved to Minneapolis and he was in The Mystics, Wynd Chymes and Enterprise. Then he joined Flyte Tyme led by Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Monte Moir. Moir was in The Time who were popular at the time and the bands toured together. O'Neal was brought in as lead singer after Cynthia Johnson left. Flyte Tyme merged with The Time. O'Neal was replaced by Morris Day. Jam and Lewis left the Time in 1983 and became hotshot producers for Tabu Records. They signed O'Neal and his debut album Alexander O'Neal was released in 1985. If You Were Here Tonight was the second single. It reached #17 on the R&B Singles chart. Moir wrote the song. O'Neal continued to have success with duets with Cherelle. His biggest hit was the 1987 single Fake which topped the R&B Singles chart and reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. O'Neal continued to have success on the R&B charts until he left Tabu after the 1993 album Love Makes No Sense. You can get all his hits on this budget comp. Since then O'Neal has recorded occasionally but he seems to tour England a lot. I think he lives there now. Last year he released a remake of Fake with the British band Mamma Freedom. He seems to appear on British TV a lot most recently on Celebrity Big Brother in 2015. And in 2011, O'Neal and Cherelle were featured on TVOne's Unsung series. Here's the video for If You Were Here Tonight by Alxander O'Neal.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Anita O'Day

Artist:Anita O'Day
Song:Boogie Blues
Album:Ultimate Anita O'Day

Anita O'Day is one of the all time great jazz vocalists. She is best known for her days with Gene Krupa in the 40s. But she went on to have a lengthy solo career most notably for Verve from 1951-64. She originally performed Boogie Blues with Krupa and it became one of her signature songs. She was born Anita Belle Colton Oct. 18, 1919 in Kansas City, MO. She grew up in Chicago. She left home at age 14 to tour as a dancer with Walk-a-thons dance marathons. She sang occasionally and she was determined to be a professional singer. This began when she met and married drummer Don Carter in 1937. He taught her music theory. She worked in the Chicago club Off Beat and that's when Gene Krupa saw her. She joined the Krupa band in 1941. Of course that band was very popular and had many hits. That band disbanded when Krupa was arrested for marijuana possession in 1943. Anita worked for Woody Herman and Stan Kenton and then returned to Krupa in 1945. That stint only lasted a year but it did yield the hit Boogie Blues written by Krupa. Anita went solo in 1946 and she recorded for several labels including Coral and Mercury. She also went to jail for marijuana possession along with her husband Carl Hoff. When she got out, she sang with Herman, Kenton and Count Basie. Then she signed with Norman Granz in 1951. She recorded for Norgran, Clef and then for Verve beginning in 1956. Meanwhile, she got addicted to heroin and almost landed in jail again. In the studio she usually worked with the Verve house band led by Oscar Peterson. Drummer John Poole led her touring band for years. By 1960, Granz wanted to retire. So he sold Verve to MGM in 1961. They put Creed Taylor in charge of Verve. Anita's re-recording of Boogie Blues is from the 1962 album All The Sad Young Men. Here she is working with a larger band arranged and conducted by Gary McFarland. Musicians are Bernie Glow, Herb Pomeroy and Doc Severinsen on trumpet, Bob Brookmeyer and Willie Dennis on trombone, Phil Woods and Walter Levinsky on clarinet and alto sax, Zoot Sims on tenor sax, Hank Jones on piano, George Duvivier on bass and Mel Lewis on drums. You can get Boogie Blues on this comp compiled by Alan Paul of Manhattan Transfer. Anita left Verve soon after and had serious drug problems through the 60s. She returned at the 1970 Berlin Jazz Festival and she recorded mostly for her own label until her death on Nov. 23, 2006 at age 87. In the 80s, she appeared on TV a lot talking about her drug addiction. No doubt a lot of this footage turns up in the 2007 documentary Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer. I may have to check that out. Here's Anita O'Day with John Corwin on piano and Toshiyuki Miyama and The All-Star Orchestra performing Boogie Blues at TBS Studio in Tokyo Dec. 30, 1963.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Juliana Lima vs Amanda Ribas added to July 7 UFC show

Yesterday UOL in Brazil reported and several sources confirmed that Juliana Lima vs Amanda Ribas has been added to the TUF 25 Finale July 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. I expect that this fight will air on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. Both fighters are from Brazil. Juliana is 3-2 in the UFC. I don't like her because she tends to use lay and pray to win fights. That's what she did last Dec. when she beat JJ Aldrich. She looks bad when she loses but she looks worse when she wins. Amanda is 23 years old from Varginha, Brazil. As an amateur, she won the 2014 IMMAF World Championships. As a pro, Amanda is 6-1. She seems to like to finish fights as only one win has gone the distance. In her last fight, she won the Max Fight Strawweight Championship with a win over Jennifer Gonzalez Araneda on May 21, 2016. I have posted the fight video below so you can check her out for yourself. Amanda is wearing the Brazilian green and gold outfit. After this fight, Amanda moved to the US and she's now training at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL. This is Amanda's first fight outside Brazil so I would describe her as unproven. Even Juliana is a step up in competition. But she's training at one of the best camps anywhere with plenty of UFC champs. I hope they have taught her to stop using that stupid headlock takedown. Enjoy the fight!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Earl Thomas Conley

Artist:Earl Thomas Conley f/Emmylou Harris
Song:We Believe In Happy Endings
Album:16 Biggest Hits

This one off duet topped the country charts in 1988. It is the only time Earl Thomas Conley and Emmylou Harris recorded together. At the time, Conley was very popular. He had a long string of number one country hits. One of those hits was the 1986 duet Too Many Times with Anita Pointer of The Pointer Sisters. Both artists were on RCA. So when it came time for Conley to record the 1988 album The Heart Of It All, producers Emory Gordy Jr. and Randy Scruggs wanted Conley to record another duet. At the time, Emmylou was at her most popular mainly because of the success of the 1987 album Trio with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt. She was on Warner Bros. but they probably thought that recording with Conley would get Emmylou to the top of the charts. And it did but the only thing was this was at the end of Conley's successful run. He faded soon after this. We Believe In Happy Endings was written by veteran songwriter Bob McDill and it was a top ten country hit for Johnny Rodriguez in 1978. It's one of McDill's 31 number one hits. You can get it on this Conley budget comp. The song isn't on The Essential Earl Thomas Conley. Emmylou Harris fans can get it on her Duets comp. It's a little more expensive. It's the only time these two recorded together so I think it will interest fans of both. Here's a video of We Believe In Happy Endings by Earl Thomas Conley featuring Emmylou Harris.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chasing Trane review

Today I went to the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in downtown Toronto to see Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary. This is the first ever documentary about Coltrane. It's long overdue and it's obvious that Coltrane's family led by his sax playing son Ravi Coltrane have wanted to do this for a long time. The film was written and directed by John Scheinfeld who has directed many similar documentaries for PBS. The one I remember is the 2010 film Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everyone Talkin' About Him?). I watched that on PBS. This is Scheinfeld's first attempt at chronicling a jazz artist. The biggest hurdle in trying to do a documentary about Coltrane is though there is plenty of performance video footage, he never did any video or audio interviews. He did print interviews with Down Beat Magazine for example and he also wrote liner notes for his albums. Obviously that's not very cinematic. So Scheinfeld asked Denzel Washington to read Coltrane's words for the film. Washington doesn't try to be Coltrane. He reads the words in his own voice. And there's not a lot of that so it's not really narration. I think Washington's participation helped promote the film. But I don't think it was necessary. And that's my only criticism of the film. Other than that, Chasing Trane is a straightforward chronicle of John Coltrane's life and career. Even if you're a big Coltrane fan and you're familiar with his story, you need to see this film because it hasn't been done before. And this needed to be done because Coltrane is one of the most influential figures in modern music history. There are plenty of interviews with Coltrane's musician pals like Benny Golson, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner and Jimmy Heath along with guys who he influenced like rapper Common, Bill Clinton (he plays sax), Carlos Santana and The Doors drummer John Densmore who are huge jazz fans, Wynton Marsalis, Kamasi Washington and of course Coltrane's son Ravi and other family members. We also see a lot of professor Cornel West who appears in a lot of black history documentaries. The film covers Coltrane's history comprehensively including things like his 50s heroin addiction. It also covers Coltrane's important music like A Love Supreme. And it talks about his family life. The most important thing is it chronicles how Coltrane's music changed over the years especially when in 1965 he changed to a free jazz style that was less accessible than his Classic Quartet. This film is a must for jazz fans. Check out the trailer.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Olivia Newton-John

Artist:Olivia Newton-John f/John Travolta
Song:You're The One That I Want
Album:Definitive Collection

Generally when Hollywood turns a hit Broadway musical into a film they make plenty of changes. And that was certainly true of the 1978 film Grease. You're The One That I Want was the biggest hit from the film and only one of the four top ten hits from the film was in the original musical. The film was produced by record company mogul Robert Stigwood and producer Allan Carr. They produced Saturday Night Fever for Paramount and that success got them Grease. The big thing about Saturday Night Fever was the success of the soundtrack album. Paramount bought the film rights to Grease. At first they wanted Henry Winkler from the TV series Happy Days to star. But Winkler was concerned about typecasting and he decided against it. They cast Travolta after Saturday Night Fever made him a star. Travolta asked for director Randal Kleiser who directed him in The Boy In The Plastic Bubble. And Travolta also pushed for the hiring of Olivia Newton-John despite her having very little acting experience. But she was a huge singing star and they felt it could work after her screen test. They did keep many of the songs written for the show by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey and their song Summer Nights was a top ten hit. But the other three hits were written for the movie. Grease written by Barry Gibb and sung by Frankie Valli was the first single and it topped the charts. You're The One That I Want was the second single and it also topped the charts. That song and Hopelessly Devoted To You were written and produced by Olivia's usual producer John Farrar. They really wanted to showcase Olivia and obviously that approach was very successful. The soundtrack is available on CD. But I suggest this Olivia Newton-John budget comp which also includes a 1998 remix of You're The One That I Want. Paramount produced Grease 2 but it wasn't that successful. Of course Travolta has been a big star for years. He did have a brief career as a teen idol recording artist that I might look at someday. Olivia continued to have success in music. She appeared in a couple of films including the 1983 film Two Of A Kind which reunited her with Travolta. But the film bombed and Olivia returned to music. Here's Olivia Newton-John featuring John Travolta performing You're The One That I Want in the 1978 film Grease.

Monday, May 15, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers

Artist:Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers
Song:All The Gold In California
Album:17 Greatest Hits

The 1979 hit All The Gold In California was one of Larry Gatlin's three number one country hits. It's also from his most popular album Straight Ahead. He usually performs with his brothers Steve and Rudy. He was born May 2, 1948 in Seminole, TX. His dad worked on oil rigs so the family moved around a lot in Texas. They grew up singing in church and won local talent contests. Larry played football in high school and then at the University of Houston. After college, he joined the gospel group The Imperials. They were playing Vegas and Dottie West thought Gatlin looked like singer songwriter Mickey Newbury. She recorded a couple of Gatlin's songs and she got him a job in Kris Kristofferson's band. Gatlin moved to Nashville and signed with Monument Records. He recorded six albums for Monument and scored his first number one country hit with I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love in 1977. Gatlin's brothers Steve and Rudy first appeared on the 1976 album Larry Gatlin with Family & Friends. When Gatlin signed with Columbia in 1979, they were billed as Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers. Straight Ahead was their first album on Columbia. It was certified Platinum. And All The Gold In California topped the Country Singles chart. Gatlin wrote the song while he was stuck in a Los Angeles traffic jam. The song is about how the bright lights of Hollywood aren't what they are cracked up to be. Gatlin performed the song at President Ronald Reagan's 1985 inauguration. Gatlin continued to have success in the 80s. You can get all his Columbia hits on this budget comp. Gatlin left Columbia in 1989 and he recorded one album for MCA and then three for Capitol. In 1992, the Gatlins retired from touring and opened their own theater in Myrtle Beach. He still records occasionally. Gatlin appears as a commentator on Fox News Channel and he hosts a couple of shows on WSM radio in Nashville. The group appears regularly on the Grand Ole Opry and they also tour. Here's Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers performing All The Gold In California on Pop Goes The Country.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Cortney Casey vs Jessica Aguilar

Here's the match video of Cortney Casey vs Jessica Aguilar from last night's UFC show. This aired on UFC Fight Pass. This was Jessica's return to action after knee surgery. She's a veteran fighter and she's had success elsewhere. But not in the UFC. But at 35 years old, she's not getting any younger. And like I always say, Father Time always wins. Can she be competitive in today's UFC? Despite being inactive for almost two years, Jessica was still ranked #3. I don't know why because I don't pay attention to rankings. But I know fighters and their managers do. Obviously Cortney is looking to move up those rankings. Based on this fight, Jessica has clearly lost a step. Cortney was much quicker and that's why she won the fight. When Jessica tried to take Cortney down, Cortney was able to use upkicks to score points. This is a direct result of Jessica's lack of quickness. Cortney was even more dominant in round three. She just wasn't able to finish her. I don't think this makes Cortney a top ranked fighter because Jessica was ranked too high. Should Jessica retire? Probably but I don't expect that if she has fights left on her contract. She should get one more shot. We'll see how that goes. Enjoy the fight!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Jessica Andrade

Here's the match video of Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Jessica Andrade from last night's UFC show in Dallas. This fight went pretty much as I thought. Jessica is tough. She has skills. But Joanna is just on a much higher level right now. Going through an entire training camp at American Top Team and moving in with Perfecting Athletes and having them run her life while training really agreed with her. The big thing was Joanna used her height and reach advantage to maximum effect. Jessica is very aggressive and I thought she might have a chance to swarm Joanna early in the fight. Jessica got a couple of takedowns but they went nowhere and Joanna made her pay. And once that strategy went out the window, Jessica had nothing for her. She had Plan A but no backup plan if that didn't work. Joanna's plan was to keep her distance. She knows Jessica only knows to to go forward. And when she did that, Joanna hammered her with combinations and leg kicks. For the most part, Jessica couldn't get close enough to do much damage. By round three, Jessica was worn out. The only thing Joanna didn't do was finish her. But a lot of those shots would have finished other fighters. Jessica made it through five rounds but it turned out to be an easy win for Joanna. This is Joanna's fifth title defense. She not only throws punches in volume but her striking is accurate. Apparently she broke her own record for volume of strikes. And the other thing is Joanna is built to go five rounds. No fighter in that division will outlast her. And her defense is hard to penetrate. Something might get through occasionally but it's not likely to be enough. Of course as champ, Joanna has a target on her back. Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz both want another shot. They will fight in a couple of weeks. I think Rose Namajunas will be the next challenger. She was shown on camera last night with a scowl on her face. That was pretty funny. Of course Rose thinks she can beat Joanna. She should think that. It just seems unlikely that anyone can beat Joanna right now. One fighter to watch is Cynthia Calvillo who has already won twice in the UFC and will face Joanne Calderwood in July. The UFC obviously sees a lot in her and she could face the Claudia vs Karolina winner. I also still like MIZUKI who is currently recovering from knee surgery. She showed a lot of maturity and improved technique in her last couple of Invicta fights. When she returns, she could be UFC bound after one Invicta fight. And another fighter to watch is BJJ ace Mackenzie Dern. She currently fights for LFA but she will be in the UFC soon. The only question about her is weight class as she has had trouble making 115. There's also talk that Joanna wants to fight at Flyweight. Based on her interviews, I don't expect her to try that until late next year. I think Joanna will fight at 125 but not immediately. Her plan is to be a two division champ. Oh and Joanna is now managed by the company that manages Conor McGregor. What a coincidence. Enjoy the fight!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Club Nouveau

Artist:Club Nouveau
Song:Lean On Me
Album:Life, Love & Pain

This hip hop cover of the Bill Withers classic Lean On Me topped the charts in 1986. It was the only big hit for Club Nouveau. They emerged from the ashes of Timex Social Club. After Rumors was a top ten hit, Timex Social Club split up and Jay King and Denzil Foster formed Club Nouveau with Thomas McElroy, Valerie Watson and Samuelle Prater. Their debut single Jealousy was about the Timex Social Club split. They signed with Warner Bros. and the album Life, Love & Pain was released in 1986. Most of the songs were written and produced by King, Foster and McElroy. Lean On Me was the only cover. Prater was lead singer. Lean On Me topped the charts and Life, Love & Pain was certified Platinum. The album is available on CD. Beware of re-recorded versions of Lean On Me. Why You Treat Me So Bad charted but Lean On Me was their only big hit. Club Nouveau released three albums on Warners. Then Foster and McElroy left. They recorded an album but they are best known for producing En Vogue. Club Nouveau continued with King, Watson and Prater. King has had his own production company for years. I'm not sure if they are still around. They were still touring at the end of 2016. But King hasn't posted anything on Facebook lately. Their website is up but it doesn't appear to be active. Maybe Club Nouveau retired. Here's the video for Lean On Me by Club Nouveau.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko to co-main event July 8 UFC show

At yesterday's Summer Kickoff press conference in Dallas, the UFC announced that Amanda Nunes will defend her UFC  Women's Bantamweight Championship against Valentina Shevchenko on UFC 213 July 8 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Obviously we have known about this for a while but now the date and location are confirmed. Of course these two fought before and I'll get to that in a minute. But I wanted to talk about fighter patterns. All fighters have established skills and most of them don't change once those patterns are established. Some fighters lie about that but that's another story. So it was a big surprise when Valentina won her last fight over Julianna Pena with an armbar. That's because Valentina is a championship caliber kickboxer but her ground game is elementary at best. Julianna was winning the fight when she left her arm hanging and Valentina grabbed it and the fight was over. It's likely Valentina would have lost the fight otherwise. Mistakes are part of MMA and Valentina deserves credit for taking advantage of Julianna's mistake. It doesn't make her a BJJ or wrestling ace. She got lucky. The funny part is afterwards when she was asked about it, Valentina said she has finished fights with an armbar before. That was 11 years ago. Amanda's pattern is pretty much what we saw in their first fight. Amanda dominated the first two rounds and then ran out of gas and almost lost in the third round. Her endurance is her primary weakness. So I expect Amanda to try to finish this fight in round one. And if Valentina can withstand that onslaught, she has a chance to win in the later rounds. Amanda's pattern is early finishes so that's what I expect.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Max Roach

Artist:Max Roach f/Abbey Lincoln
Album:We Insist! Freedom Now Suite

Of course drummer Max Roach was one of the all time jazz greats probably best known for his 50s band with trumpeter Clifford Brown. The 1960 album We Insist! is one of his most important albums as it is a social commentary about civil rights. And it features his soon to be wife Abbey Lincoln on vocals. In 1959, Roach and Oscar Brown Jr. began working on music they planned to perform in 1963 at the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. But they decided the urgency of the civil rights movement was too important to wait. So they wrote Freedom Now Suite and it was released in 1960 on Candid Records. Brown lived in Chicago and Roach lived in New York. Brown says they wrote it over the phone. After most of this was written, Brown backed out as he disagreed with Roach over the ending. Brown thought there was too much unnecessary screaming. So he wasn't involved in the recording. The album was produced by Candid A&R director and legendary jazz critic Nat Hentoff. Of course the key figure on the album is singer Abbey Lincoln who married Roach in 1962. Driva'Man is the first track on the album. It is supposed to evoke images of slavery. Musicians are Booker Little on trumpet, Julian Priester on trombone, Walter Benton on tenor sax and James Schenk on bass. the sax solo is a guest appearance by the legendary Coleman Hawkins. At the time, Roach was criticized for addressing such a controversial subject. You have to remember he was one of the first jazz musicians to do that. He even tried to turn We Insist! into a play. Today We Insist! is acclaimed as a landmark of jazz and the civil rights movement. It's available as a budget CD and it was released in Europe with three bonus tracks. Two of the songs are from the 1960 Jazz Artists Guild album Newport Rebels and the other is from the album The Jazz Life also by The Jazz Artists Guild. I guess it makes the CD a better value but they aren't related to the rest of the album. This album is a must for jazz fans. Here's Max Roach with Abbey Lincoln, Clifford Jordan on tenor sax, Coleridge Perkinson on piano and Eddie Kahn on bass performing Driva'Man on Belgian TV 1964.

Friday, May 12, 2017

JJ Aldrich vs Nadia Kassem added to June 10 UFC show

JJ Aldrich, Nadia Kassem
The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported this morning that JJ Aldrich vs Nadia Kassem has been added to UFC Fight Night 110 June 10 at the Vector Arena in Auckland, NZ. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada but I expect this match to air on UFC Fight Pass. JJ is from Denver. Her record is 4-2. Most of her fights have been in Invicta but TUF 23 got her a late replacement call to the UFC to face Juliana Lima in Dec. That was a break for Juliana as her original opponent Tatiana Suarez got injured. Juliana's main offense is lay and pray. Any good fighter will avoid that. Not JJ. She lost by unanimous decision. I saw JJ in Invicta. She's nothing special. Nadia is 21 years old from the Sydney suburb of Wentworthville, Australia. She trains at Australian Top Team in Sydney. Her record is 5-0 on the Aussie regional scene. So even JJ Aldrich is a big step up in competition for her. Fighting in front of her family and friends could bring on a major attack of the UFC jitters. She's won all of her fights with strikes. This is the kind of fighter that even if you watch any of her fights, the competition level is so low, nobody can tell if she's any good. And that includes UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby. So how did she get into the UFC? Nick Walshaw of The Daily Telegraph reports that Nadia's coach/boyfriend Suman Mokhtarian's brother Ashkan Mokhtarian is also making his UFC debut on this show vs John Moraga. Sometimes it's not what you know. It's who you know. The UFC is always looking for local fighters for foreign shows. Opportunity knocks for Nadia Kassem. We'll see what kind of answer she gives.

Joanne Calderwood vs Cynthia Calvillo added to July 16 UFC show

This morning the UFC Europe Twitter account announced that Joanne Calderwood vs Cynthia Calvillo has been added UFC Fight Night 113 July 16 at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. I expect this fight to air on the main card. Of course Joanne is a native of Glasgow so her fans have been going nuts on Twitter trying to get her on this show. I don't participate in that kind of nonsense because it's pointless and a waste of time and matchmaking isn't as easy as some fans think. I think this is reasonable matchmaking and a tough match for Joanne. For the last couple of years Joanne has trained at Tristar in Montreal. She's basically a kickboxer with zero ground game. So you might say isn't the champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk a kickboxer with no ground game. The difference is Joanna has great takedown defense. That is the number one thing that Joanne lacks. And we saw this in her last fight where Jessica Andrade took Joanne down and submitted her with a guillotine choke. Joanne needs better takedown defense to use her striking skills. She's probably going to need it in this fight because Cynthia has used a rear naked choke to submit her two UFC opponents. This will be Cynthia's first UFC fight against a ranked opponent. And she's going into hostile territory as the fans in Glasgow will go nuts for Joanne. Some fighters get rattled by a hostile crowd. Cynthia trains at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento. So she has plenty of teammates including her coach Justin Buchholtz who can relate to that. If Cynthia wins, her rapid ascent to the top of the Strawweight ladder will continue. Joanne's weaknesses are the same as when I first saw her in Invicta a few years ago. I'd like to see some progress in those areas.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cornershop

Song:Brimful Of Asha
Album:Plastic Compilation Vol. 2

Cornershop had success in the 90s mostly in their native England. Brimful Of Asha topped the British charts in 1997 and it was also a minor hit in North America. Cornershop is from Wolverhampton, England led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Tjinder Singh, his brother Avtar Singh on bass, David Chambers on drums and Ben Ayres on keyboards. The name Cornershop is from the stereotype that all Asians in England own convenience stores. Their music is a mix of rock with Indian music elements. After David Byrne heard their 1994 album Hold On It Hurts, he signed them to his Luaka Bop label with Warner distribution. Chambers left and was replaced by Nick Simms. The 1995 album Woman's Gotta Have It was released and Cornershop toured. The 1997 album When I Was Born For The 7th Time featured the single Brimful Of Asha. A remix of the song by Norman Cook topped the British charts. Cook sped up Tjinder Singh's vocals and added more drums. The song became a club hit. Unfortunately, When I Was Born For The 7th Time is out of print. But you can get Brimful Of Asha on this various artists budget comp that is part of a series of electronic music CDs released by Nettwerk. Cornershop continues to record on their own label Ample Play. Their latest CD was released in 2015. Most music fans have probably heard Brimful Of Asha and that's the one song that will be of interest. Here's the video for Brimful Of Asha by Cornershop remixed by Norman Cook.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Andrew Gold

Artist:Andrew Gold
Song:Lonely Boy
Album:The Essential Collection

Singer songwriter Andrew Gold scored a top ten hit in 1977 with Lonely Boy. He is also known for Thank You For Being A Friend which was the theme for the sitcom Golden Girls. He was a big part of the Los Angeles studio scene as a writer and producer. He was born Aug. 2, 1951 in Burbank, CA. His dad was Oscar winning film music composer Ernest Gold (Exodus). His mom was legendary studio singer Marni Nixon who most famously dubbed Natalie Wood's singing voice in West Side Story. Gold began writing songs as a teen. He was going to school in England and his demos got him a record deal with Polydor. He released a single in 1967 as Villiers and Gold. He moved back to Los Angeles and he was in the band Bryndle with Stone Poneys leader Kenny Edwards and singers Karla Bonoff and Wendy Waldman. They recorded an album for A&M but it was never released. Gold's friendship with Edwards led to him joining Linda Ronstadt's band as a pianist and musical director. So Gold was a big part of her success. And then he signed with her label Asylum Records. Things really clicked with his second album What's Wrong With This Picture?. It was produced by Peter Asher (Peter and Gordon) who produced all of Linda's albums. Her band played on the album and they also toured with Gold. Lonely Boy reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though the song seems autobiographical, Gold always claimed that it wasn't. I dunno. A lot of the details in the song are true. He admitted later that was a bad idea. Gold's other big hit Thank You For Being A Friend was mainly known as the theme for the sitcom Golden Girls. You can get all Gold's hits on this 2CD comp from the British label Music Club. Gold recorded four albums for Asylum. At the same time he was active as a producer for Art Garfunkel and Rita Coolidge. Then in 1981 he went to England and produced three songs for 10cc's album Ten Out Of 10. Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart wanted Gold to join 10cc. But the group split up and Gold formed the band Wax with Gouldman. Wax had success mostly in England. Gold continued to produce many artists including Cher, Trisha Yearwood and Wynonna Judd. He wrote and produced Judd's hit single I Saw The Light. In the 90s, Gold and Edwards reformed Bryndle and they released an album in 1995. Gold continued to record on his own label QBrain until his death on June 3, 2011 at age 59. Gold had been suffering from cancer but he died in his sleep from heart failure. Here's Andrew Gold performing Lonely Boy on The Midnight Special 1977. The guitar solo is by Waddy Wachtel.