Saturday, June 30, 2018
Song:You Make Me Feel...
After bassist Gabe Saporta left Midtown in 2005, he started Cobra Starship as a solo project. He turned it into a band after it started to have success. Cobra Starship scored two top ten hits including You Make Me Feel... in 2011. The story goes that Saporta had a spiritual awakening during a trip to the Arizona desert. This inspired him to leave Midtown and record as Cobra Starship. While recording his 2006 debut album While The City Sleeps, We Rule The Streets, Saporta formed a band so they could tour. Members were Ryland Blackinton on lead guitar, Victoria Asher on keyboards, Alex Suarez on bass and Nate Novarro on drums. Cobra Starship's big break came when they recorded the theme for the film Snakes On A Plane. It was a big enough hit that Cobra Starship toured and they got a record deal with Atlantic's Fueled By Ramen label. They scored their first top ten hit with Good Girls Gone Bad featuring Leighton Meester in 2009. You Make Me Feel... is from the 2011 album Night Shades. It reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though Saporta normally writes and produces everything, You Make Me Feel... was written and produced by Steve "Steve Mac" McCutcheon who has had success in his native England. The guest singer is Jenice "Sabi" Portlock of the girl group The Bangz. She is a dancer who has unsuccessfully attempted a singing career. It looks like she was signed to Warner Bros. at one time but I don't think much came from that. Cobra Starship toured to support the album. Saporta was also involved in a 2014 Midtown reunion. After Blackinton and Suarez left, Saporta decided to disband Cobra Starship and quit the music business. He formed the management company TAG/The Artist Group. From what I could tell, they own an art gallery in Florida. Here's the video for You Make Me Feel... by Cobra Starship featuring Sabi.
Friday, June 29, 2018
Trumpeter Brian Lynch was a long time member of Eddie Palmieri's band and he was also in the final edition of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. So it's not surprising his music is a mix of post bop and Latin jazz. He was born Sept. 12, 1956 in Urbana, IL and he grew up in Milwaukee. Lynch has a degree from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. He moved to San Diego and was in Charles McPherson's band. Then Lynch moved to New York in 1981. He played with Bill Kirchner, Horace Silver and the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. At the same time, he got into the Latin scene and he was in Hector LaVoe's band for four years. Lynch began working with Eddie Palmieri in 1987 and he joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in 1988. And he made his recording debut as a leader in 1986. In the 90s he toured with Phil Woods. And he became Palmieri's musical director. Lynch recorded as a leader for Criss Cross and Sharp Nine. In 2010, he started his own label Holistic MusicWorks. Unsung Heroes was the first album on his new label. Lynch says the album is a tribute to trumpeters who were great but aren't as well known as they should be. Hence the title Unsung Heroes. Though Further Arrivals is an original composition, most of the songs were written by those Unsung Heroes like Joe Gordon, Tommy Turrentine, Charles Tolliver and Louis Smith. The band is Vincent Herring on alto sax, Alex Hoffman on tenor sax, Rob Schneiderman on piano, David Wong on bass, Pete Van Nostrand on drums and Vicente "Little Johnny" Rivero on congas. Lynch was so pleased with the album that he released a second Unsung Heroes in 2013. Lynch's latest CD Madera Latino: A Latin Jazz Interpretation on the Music of Woody Shaw was released in 2016. He regularly plays New York clubs and sometimes tours. Here's Brian Lynch performing Further Arrivals in the recording studio 2010.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Album:On The Rocks
Midland scored a top five country hit with Drinkin' Problem and their debut album On The Rocks was released Oct. 2017. The band has a retro vibe. Even the album cover and the band's clothes have a 70s look to it. Though it is claimed Midland is from Texas, they met in Los Angeles. Jess Carson and Cameron Duddy had a band. When the band split up, Duddy met Mark Wystrach and they decided to form a band. The three met at Duddy's wedding in Wyoming. The three played together and decided to form a band and move to Texas. The name Midland is after the Dwight Yoakam song Fair to Midland. They released a single in 2015 and that got them a deal with Big Machine and producer Shane McAnally who is best known for producing Kacey Musgraves. The single Drinkin' Problem and an EP was released Oct. 2016. The single reached #4 on the Country Singles chart. Midland wrote the song along with McAnally and his frequent songwriting partner Josh Osborne. I guess the song was a surprise hit because now they had to record an album. On The Rocks was released Oct. 2017. Midland wrote most of the songs with McAnally and Osborne. They produced along with studio guitar ace Dann Huff. The album has done OK. They got a couple of Grammy nominations. Midland is currently on tour with Little Big Town and Thomas Rhett. I am sure they will record new music after the tour. Here's the video for Drinkin' Problem by Midland.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Here's the match video of Antonina Shevchenko vs Jaimee Nievera from last night's Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series. The winner of this fight competes with the other fight winners for a UFC contract. Of course Antonina is the older sister of UFC Flyweight Valentina Shevchenko. Like her sister, Antonina is a kickboxer and she doesn't have much MMA experience. Antonina's original opponent dropped out due to a knee injury. Jaimee was brought in on very short notice. She is a Bellator veteran and she fought for LFA a few weeks ago. The one thing anyone should learn from this fight is any opponent of Antonina should stay out of the clinch. Her knees are lethal. And that was Jaimee's big problem. She tried to take Antonina down. But that didn't really work. She was pooped by the end of round one and had a cut over her eye. The size difference was also a big factor. Look, that's what you get with a late replacement. Antonina continued to dominate in round two and it was only a matter of time before Herb Dean stopped the fight. I thought the fight could have been stopped sooner but it hardly matters. The fight was about what I expected. And Antonina did earn a UFC contract partially because the UFC needs women Flyweights. It doesn't make Antonina a hot prospect. For one thing, there's no such thing as a 33 year old prospect. Obviously we need to see Antonina fight at a higher level. So she did great and she got the contract. Let's see who she fights next. Enjoy the video!
Song:The Volcano Song
Album:The Budos Band
Funk fans should check out The Budos Band. They call themselves Staten Island Soul and they are part of the Daptone Records retro soul movement. The formation of The Budos Band came out of jam sessions with Antibalas. So there are also African music influences. The band membership changes quite a bit because the musicians all play sessions. They also play on a lot of Daptone recordings by Lee Fields among others. The 2005 album The Budos Band was produced by Daptone owners and Dap-Kings members Gabriel Roth and Bosco Mann. Tommy "TNT" Brenneck co-produced and plays guitar and co-writes most of the songs. Other musicians include Andrew Greene and Michael Irwin on trumpet, Neal Sugarman of the Dap-Kings on tenor sax, Daisy Sugarman on flute, Jared Tankel on baritone sax, Mike Deller on organ, Daniel Foder on bass, Brian Profilio and John Carbonara Jr. on drums and Johnny Griggs, Duke Amayo, Rob Lombardo and Dame Rodriguez on percussion. The Budos Band have recorded five albums. Burnt Offering was the latest in 2014. They are still around playing occasional gigs in the New York area. And as I said, the members play on other Daptone albums. Here's the video for The Volcano Song by The Budos Band. Classic animation fans will recognize that the animation in the video is from the 1942 Superman cartoon Volcano produced by The Fleischer Brothers.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Album:The Collection Vol. 1
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony has proven to be one of the more durable rap groups. They topped the charts with Tha Crossroads in 1995 and they are still around today. They are from Cleveland formed as the Band Aid Boys in 1991. They changed that to B.O.N.E. Enterpri$es in 1993. They all have the name bone in their names. Members are Anthony "Krayzie Bone" Henderson, Steven "Layzie Bone" Howse, Byron "Bizzy Bone" McCane and Charles "Wish Bone" Scruggs. Stanley "Flesh-n-Bone" Howse joined later. He is Layzie Bone's brother and Wish Bone is their cousin. They released the 1993 album Faces Of Death with Layzie Bone's older brother Kermit Henderson producing. It didn't look like they were going to go anywhere when rapper Eric "Eazy-E" Wright agreed to check them out. He signed them to his Ruthless label and their name was changed to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Their 1994 EP Creepin om ah Come Up did very well with hits like Thuggish Ruggish Bone. It was certified 4XPlatinum. While they were getting ready to record an album, Wright died of AIDS on Mar. 26, 1995. The group was concerned about their future. But Ruthless continued to support them and the album E. 1999 Eternal was released in 1995. The album and the single Tha Crossroads was a tribute to Eazy-E. Tha Crossroads topped the Billboard Hot 100. Most of the album including Tha Crossroads was produced by Tim "DJ U-Neek" Middleton. The girl group featured at the start of the video is called Tre'. The album was certified 4XPlatinum. The success continued with the 1997 album The Art Of War and the top five single Look Into My Eyes. It was also certified 4XPlatinum. They went into decline after internal strife with Bizzy Bone. Also Flesh-n-Bone was convicted of a gun charge and jailed. Breakup rumors plagued the 2000 CD BTNHResurrection and the album didn't do as well as previous albums. Bizzy Bone was fired after the 2002 CD Thug World Order and their Ruthless contract ran out. It looked like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony would end. The guys turned to solo projects. They reformed in 2006 and signed with Koch (now E1) and then they started their own label with Warner Bros. distribution. There was some talk of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony retiring. But they released an album last year and they are touring. This comp CD covers their first two albums. Here's the video for Tha Crossroads by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
Monday, June 25, 2018
Song:A Whole New World
Album:The Best Of Peabo Bryson
Though Peabo Bryson had success as a solo artist, he was mainly known for his many duets with female singers like Roberta Flack, Natalie Cole and others. His only number one hit in his long career was this 1992 recording of A Whole New World with Regina Belle. It was from the Disney film Aladdin. Bryson and Celine Dion scored a top ten hit in 1991 with the theme from Beauty and the Beast. So Disney decided to try and repeat that success with Aladdin. The songs for Aladdin were written by Alan Menken and Tim Rice who stepped in after Menken's long time partner Howard Ashman died. The song is performed during the film by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga. The recording by Bryson and Regina Belle plays over the end credits. It was on the soundtrack and released as a single with a video. It topped the charts in 1992. Both singers were under contract to Columbia and the song appeared on solo albums by both. The record was produced by veteran producer Walter Afanasieff who had worked with both singers previously. And the two had recorded together before. Veteran session musician Michael Landau played the guitar solo. The Aladdin soundtrack is available on CD. For most of Bryson's career he recorded for Capitol and then Elektra. He only recorded two early 90s albums for Columbia. Time Life released a career spanning Bryson comp CD in 2006. Unfortunately, that is out of print. So this 2004 budget CD that covers Bryson's Columbia recordings is recommended. You can also get A Whole New World on Regina Belle comps and Disney CDs. Maybe there should be a CD of all of Peabo Bryson's duets because he recorded plenty of them. I guess I'm asking for too much. Here's the video for A Whole New World by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle.
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Album:The Collected Terry Callier
Though songs like Ordinary Joe were critically acclaimed in the 70s, Terry Callier never had commercial success. So he retired from music in the 80s. Encouraged by British DJs like Giles Peterson, Callier returned in the 90s and played jazz festivals until his 2012 death. He was born May 24, 1945 in Chicago. Childhood friends included Curtis Mayfield, Major Lance and Jerry Butler. He started out in doo wop groups. After releasing a 1962 single on Chess, Callier was discovered playing Chicago folk music clubs by Prestige Records producer Samuel Charters. The album The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier was recorded in 1964 but it sat around until 1968. The story was Charters misplaced the masters. Callier continued to perform in clubs but he started to concentrate on songwriting with Jerry Butler's Chicago Songwriters Workshop. After a couple of his songs including the 1972 hit The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind) were hits for The Dells, Callier released three albums on Cadet Records produced by Earth, Wind and Fire's Charles Stepney. Ordinary Joe is from the 1972 album Occasional Rain. Though these albums were critically acclaimed, they didn't sell and Cadet dropped Callier in 1976. After two unsuccessful albums on Elektra Records, Callier retired from music in 1983 to work as a computer programmer at the University of Chicago. Callier returned in the 90s after Acid Jazz Records owner Eddie Piller discovered his music and brought him to England. He started performing again and Callier signed with Giles Peterson's Talkin' Loud label in 1996. This career revival continued as Callier became a regular on the jazz festival circuit. There was no Acid Jazz or Smooth Jazz in the 70s. I guess Terry Callier was ahead of his time. This budget comp covers his Chess recordings. Terry Callier died from cancer on Oct. 27, 2012 at age 67. Here's Terry Callier performing Ordinary Joe at Bratislava Jazz Days in Bratislava, Slovakia 2009. The flute solo is by Gary Plumley and the piano solo is by Chris Kibble.
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Here's the match video of Ji Yeon Kim vs Melinda Fabian from this morning's UFC show in Shanghai. This fight was at Flyweight. Kim is a Korean kickboxer who lost her UFC debut at Bantamweight and then dropped to Flyweight and won her second fight. Melinda is from Hungary. She was on TUF 26 and she fought to a draw on the TUF 26 Finale. This fight gave me a better idea of where she is. And that's nowhere. Kim is a very experienced kickboxer so she wanted to keep the fight standing. Melinda is supposedly a wrestler. Her father is a wrestling coach. But she never tried to take it to the ground where she might have an advantage. There was no way that Melinda was going to win a kickboxing match with Kim. So I don't understand her strategy. I scored the fight 30-27 for Kim. I thought she won easily but not dominantly which did not surprise me because she's not a finisher. But the judges fave Kim a split decision win. I looked at the scorecards and I didn't see any consistency. Round two was close but Melinda needed to do more. So I guess she's not so good. And maybe Kim would be a good opponent for Jessica Eye. She gave a good performance. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Xiaonan Yan vs Viviane Pereira from this morning's UFC show in Shanghai. This fight was at Strawweight. Yan is from China. She won her UFC debut over the now released Kailin Curran. I didn't expect Viviane to be any better. She looked terrible losing to Tatiana Suarez in her last fight. She got into the UFC as a late replacement and she doesn't belong in the UFC. The story here was Yan had a significant size advantage and Viviane couldn't do anything about it. Other than Yan breaking Viviane's nose, it was three rounds of light sparring and Yan won easily. I don't know if she is any good because both her opponents have been terrible. I was not surprised as I know Viviane is awful. But it didn't tell me if Yan is any good. Check out the video!
Here's the match video of Jessica Eye vs Jessica-Rose "Jessie Jess" Clark from this morning's UFC show in Shanghai. I had some UFC with my Tim Hortons. There were three women's fights on this show that were all different levels of blah. None of these fighters seem capable of finishing or dominating a fight. Light sparring is all they can seem to do. Jessica is a veteran fighter who did poorly at Bantamweight. So now she is fighting at Flyweight which is her natural weight. She won her first Flyweight bout against a terrible opponent and the fight was awful. I was hoping that Jessy Jess would give her a better show as she may have some potential. It didn't happen. It was three rounds of boring light sparring. Jessy Jess said afterwards she was knocked loopy during round one and she was never the same after that. And that would explain why she didn't do much of anything. But it doesn't explain why Jessica played it safe and settled for a unanimous decision. Why not show you can finish a fight? Well, you know what they say. A win is a win. I'd like to see how that works against a higher level of competition. In fact, there was another fighter on this show who is a very good kickboxer that might be a very interesting opponent for Jessica. Want to know who it is? Stay tuned and enjoy the video!
Song:Honey To A Bee (Latin Rascals remix)
Album:Disco Box Vol. 9: Dance Machine
Tina Baker is probably best known to Freestyle fans as the wife of pioneering producer Arthur Baker. Normally she sang background vocals on all his productions. She had her greatest success as a solo artist with the 1984 single Honey To A Bee especially the Latin Rascals remix. Today the song is considered to be an early classic of Freestyle. She was born Tina Klein in Brooklyn, NY. She led her own band as a teen. She met Arthur Baker when he was an aspiring DJ in Boston. They married and she appeared on most of Baker's productions on Tommy Boy and other labels. Tina got a record deal with Elektra and released the 1984 album Tina B. She wrote and produced the album with Baker and his partner John Robie. Honey To A Bee was a dance hit at the time. But a 1986 remix was an even bigger hit in clubs. And today that version is most memorable. The remix was done by The Latin Rascals Tony Moran and Albert Cabrera. Moran is one of the more prolific producers of Freestyle. You can get Honey To A Bee on this various artists budget comp. Tina B. continued to release occasional music on her husband's label Criminal Records. It looks like she has her own label now and she has gotten into mixing opera with contemporary pop. I don't know if there's much of a future in that. But she is well remembered by dance music fans for one song. Here's a video for Honey To A Bee by Tina B.
Friday, June 22, 2018
Song:Meant To Be
Bebe Rexha's debut album Expectations was released today. She started out as a songwriter and after some hits including Meant To Be, she is poised to become a big star. She was born Aug. 30, 1989 in Brooklyn, NY to Albanian immigrants. Her family moved to Staten Island when she was six. As a teen, she won a Grammy Day songwriting contest. That got her a manager Samantha Cox who sent her to songwriting classes. She met Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz in 2010. Fall Out Boy was on hiatus and he started Black Cards. Bebe was lead singer. They released a few singles but Bebe left before an album could be recorded. Bebe signed with Warner Bros. She also wrote the Eminem and Rhianna hit single Monster. She starts releasing singles. Her first top ten hit was Me, Myself & I with rapper G-Eazy in 2015. This is on his album When It's Dark Out. So she's doing a lot of guest appearances. Then in 2017, she releases two EPs, It's All Your Fault Pt. 1 and Pt. 2. Meant to Be is on the second EP. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It sounds like a Florida Georgia Line song with her vocals tossed in. They are probably the hottest group in country music so I understand why she would want to work with them. She also toured with them. Then she announced plans to release a third EP in the series. It looks like Warners told her it's time to release an album. Expectations is being released today. Meant To Be has been tacked on at the end of the album. We'll see where she goes from here. She has potential but she needs to have her own musical identity which she doesn't have yet. The single I'm A Mess was released last week. Here's the video for Meant To Be by Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
|Me with the Permobil tech gurus|
Exgel Seat Cushion
Song:Tones For Joan's Bones
Jazz pianist Lynne Arriale was discovered in the 90s. She has recorded several albums with her trio including this 2002 album. She was born May 29, 1957 in Milwaukee. She has a Masters degree in classical music from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. But she was drawn to jazz by Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. Her big break came when she won the 1993 Great American Jazz Piano Competition. That got her a record deal with DMP. Lynne is also a member of the faculty at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops. After three albums on DMP, Lynne moved to the Swiss label TCB. Her version of the Chick Corea song Tones For Joan's Bones is from the 2002 album Inspiration with Jay Anderson on bass and Steve Davis on drums. Both guys are veteran sidemen. Davis is also an instructor at the Aebersold workshop. She continued to record with this trio after she left TCB for Motema. Lynne last recorded in 2011. But she still tours and she is currently a Professor of Jazz Studies at North Florida University. Here's the Lynne Arriale Trio performing Tones For Joan's Bones at JazzOpen in Stuttgart, Germany 2002.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Song:The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)
1958 was a big year for Ross Bagdasarian. As David Seville, he scored a number one hit with Witch Doctor. Then he scored a second number one hit with The Chipmunk Song. And those chipmunks are Bagdasarian's legacy because they are still around. He was born Feb. 27, 1919 in Fresno, CA. His cousin was famed playwright William Saroyan. The two wrote the 1951 Rosemary Clooney hit Come On-a My House. Bagdasarian did some acting most notably as the piano player in the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window. This led to the minor hit Alfi and Harry based on the 1956 Hitchcock film The Trouble With Harry. But then he bought a tape recorder that allowed him to vary the recording speed. That led to the 1958 #1 hit Witch Doctor. While driving in Sequoia National Park, a chipmunk dashed in front of his car. That inspired Alvin & The Chipmunks. He was very smart to give them individual personalities. It wouldn't have worked if it had been generic. The Chipmunk Song topped the charts in 1958 and it became a Christmas perennial. Bagdasarian recorded all the voices. He signed with Liberty Records. Though other Chipmunks songs charted, Bagdasarian never had another big hit. He didn't need it because he turned Alvin & The Chipmunks first into a comic book and then The Alvin Show TV series in 1961. Ross Bagdasarian died on Jan. 16, 1972 at age 52. His son Ross Bagdasarian Jr. runs the company today and he continues to produce films and TV shows. Here's David Seville with Alvin & The Chipmunks performing The Christmas Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) on The Ed Sullivan Show Dec. 13, 1959.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Album:The Best Of UFO
Though they never had the commercial success of other hard rock bands, today UFO is considered to be very influential on bands that followed. Lights Out may be their signature song. UFO was formed in London, England in 1968 as Hocus Pocus. They were lead singer Phil Mogg, guitarist Mick Bolton, bassist Pete Way and drummer Andy Parker. They changed their name to UFO in honor of the London club where they were discovered and signed to Beacon Records. They recorded two albums. The second one was more space rock with a 26 minute track. They wanted to get back to hard rock so Bolton was replaced by 18 year old German guitarist Michael Schenker. Schenker was in an early version of his brother Rudolf's band Scorpions. And UFO signed with the larger Chrysalis Records. They began to get momentum with their next two albums. But it's the 1977 album Lights Out that really broke UFO internationally. Savoy Brown keyboard player Paul Raymond was brought in for this album. The album was very successful and Lights Out is one of their more popular songs. The success allowed UFO to tour the US and record two more albums which did well especially in England. But Schenker wasn't getting along with Mogg. He left in 1978 to form Michael Schenker Band. The 1980 album No Place To Run didn't do as well. Raymond was replaced by Neil Carter. Then Way left after the 1982 album Mechanix to form Fastway. Billy Sheehan replaced him. But things weren't going well and UFO split up in 1983. Mogg formed a new version of UFO in 1985 and a version of the band still records and tours today. Mogg recently announced that UFO's 2019 50th Anniversary tour will be his last as he will retire. It is not known if UFO will continue. This comp is a good intro to their music. Kirk Hammett of Metallica and Dave Mustaine of Megadeath are among those who credit UFO as a major influence. That is their legacy. Here's UFO performing Lights Out at the Roundhouse Theater in London June 12, 1977.
Monday, June 18, 2018
Here's the match video of Carmella vs Asuka for the WWE Smackdown women's Championship from last night's Money In The Bank show. Of course the big story is the return of James Ellsworth which led to Carmella winning. The match was fine but the ending was beyond stupid. I'll explain that in a minute. Asuka's biggest challenge was getting a decent match out of a very limited wrestler. So what did Asuka do? She sold Carmella's offense though Carmella did very little. Asuka ran herself into the post. I don't know if Carmella even touched her. And Asuka threw herself outside of the ring. She took bumps to try to make Carmella look half decent. Those self inflicted bumps led to all of Carmella's offense. Some complained that Asuka sold too much. But she wants to make her opponent look good. It's just that trying to make Carmella look good is an impossible task. Of course her awfulness is part of this angle. I expected shenanigans with Ellsworth but I didn't think it was executed very well. He shows up in an Asuka costume to distract Asuka. Her reaction was understandable at first. But it took too long to develop. And then when Ellsworth unmasked, Asuka's reaction should have gone from shock to "Oh, it's the doofus". She should go back on the attack. But instead Asuka just continued to stand there with her mouth open and Carmella kicked her from behind for the win. And the funny part is the cameras missed the kick. They showed it on replay and it looked awful. I have no problem if the finish was believable...but it wasn't. It was illogical and stupid. If a finish needs to be explained maybe a different finish should have been done. I'm sure tomorrow's Smackdown will give some direction. Enjoy the video!
Song:You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else
Album:The Jones Girls
The Jones Girls were around for over a decade mostly as backup singers before they scored a chart hit with You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else in 1979. It turned out to be their biggest hit. Brenda, Valorie and Shirley Jones are from Detroit. Their mom was gospel singer Mary Frances Jones. They released a few singles on Hot Wax, Paramount and Curtom with no success. They worked with producers like Ronald Dunbar, Leroy Hutson and Gil Askey. Askey was an arranger for Diana Ross and he suggested hiring them as backup singers. After three years touring with Diana, The Jones Girls signed with Philadelphia International (PI). Their debut album The Jones Girls was released in 1979. The album was produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Dexter Wansel and John Ursy Jr. wrote the arrangements. You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else reached #5 on the R&B Singles chart and #38 on the Billboard Hot 100. Gamble and Huff wrote the song and Ursy arranged it. This was their biggest hit though some of their other songs had success on the R&B charts. The Jones Girls released three albums for PI and then returned for a fourth after the disastrous 1983 album On Target was released on RCA. Shirley Jones released a solo album Always In The Mood for PI in 1986. Do You Get Enough Love topped the R&B charts. But for the most part, The Jones Girls returned to backup singing. Valorie Jones died in 2001. Brenda Jones moved to Atlanta and performed in clubs. She died in 2017 after being hit by a car while visiting her daughter in Wilmington, DE. Shirley Jones leads a version of The Jones Girls on the oldies circuit. Here's a video for You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else by The Jones Girls.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Metallica is one of the most durable bands in history. They have been around since the 80s and are still going strong today. For the most part they are an album band. Enter Sandman is one of their few hit singles and it is also their signature song. In 1981, drummer Lars Ulrich placed an ad in the Los Angeles paper the Recycler looking for musicians to jam with. Guitarist James Hetfield responded and he could sing too. The name Metallica came from a friend. Ulrich placed another ad and Dave Mustaine responded. They added bassist Ron McGovney and Metallica started playing gigs. They saw bassist Cliff Burton of Trauma and they invited him to replace McGovney. He agreed on the condition Metallica move to San Francisco. They recorded their first album Kill 'Em All for Megaforce. Mustaine was fired due to drug and alcohol abuse and replaced by Kirk Hammett. Mustaine went on to form Megadeath. Metallica toured and the album did well enough that they signed with Elektra Records. Master Of Puppets was their first album on Elektra in 1985. The album did well but then disaster struck on Sept. 27, 1986 while on tour in Sweden. The driver lost control of their bus and Burton was killed. Their was doubt that Metallica would continue. After many auditions, Jason Newsted was hired. He was bassist for most of Metallica's run. Their success continued with the 1988 album ...And Justice For All. The 1991 album Metallica was recorded with producer Bob Rock. It was a tough experience as Rock was not happy with the songs they were writing. Ulrich, Hammett and Newsted all divorced their wives. So there were problems in the recording studio. But despite that, the album was a huge success. It was certified Diamond. Enter Sandman reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. It became their signature song. The album is available as a budget CD. There aren't any Metallica greatest hits comps. They continue to be successful today though obviously they aren't as big as they were back then mostly because they have gone on hiatus occasionally. Newsted was replaced in 2001 by Robert Trujillo. Metallica's latest album was released in 2016 and they continue to tour. So like I said, they are very durable. Here's the video for Enter Sandman by Metallica.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Album:The Best Of Santana
Most music fans are probably familiar with Santana's early Latin tinged hits and also his late 90s comeback. But he had a long dry period in the 80s. Winning was a top 20 hit in 1981. And of course it doesn't sound like a Santana song. It sounds like a generic pop rock song. Santana went in that musical direction with the 1978 album Inner Secrets. That album was produced by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter who wrote most of the songs. They are pop music producers. They revived Glen Campbell's career with Rhinestone Cowboy. Carlos Santana may have thought that they could help him score a big hit too. The lead singer at the time was Greg Walker who was unknown before joining Santana. Though a couple of singles charted, the album was a failure. For the 1979 album Marathon, Santana hired producer Keith Olsen who had success with Fleetwood Mac. He also brought in a new singer Scotsman Alex Ligertwood. He was lead singer of Brian Auger's Oblivion Express. The rest of the band was the same as Inner Secrets and like that album, Marathon was a failure. For the 1981 album Zebop!, Olsen was still producer and the band was the same. It looks like he took more time to record it and it was more successful. Winning (written and recorded by Russ Ballard in 1975) reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Santana's biggest hit since 1971. The 1982 album Shango was similarly successful with the single Hold On reaching #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. The success did not continue with the 1985 album Beyond Appearances and this led to a long dry period and Santana's departure from Columbia in 1990. Certainly Winning was not one of Santana's more memorable hits. And it wasn't typical of their usual music. But it was a hit and you can get it on this budget comp. Here's the video for Winning by Santana.
Friday, June 15, 2018
Song:Audition/Love To Be Unhappy
CD:Live From New York
Of course Gilda Radner was best known for her Saturday Night Live (SNL) performances in the late 70s. She was not a recording artist but her one woman show of SNL sketches was filmed and an album was released. She was born June 28, 1946 in Detroit. Her family was upper middle class and Gilda based one of her characters on her nanny. She suffered from an eating disorder as a child and a doctor put her on dexedrine when she was ten years old. Her father ran Detroit's Seville Hotel and he took Gilda to New York to see Broadway shows. Sadly he died from a brain tumor when Gilda was a teen. She left the University of Michigan after three years to move to Toronto with sculptor boyfriend Jeffrey Rubinoff. Gilda made her acting debut in the 1972 Toronto production of Godspell. And then she joined Second City along with Godspell cast members Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin and Martin Short. She also appeared on the National Lampoon Radio Hour with John Belushi and Chevy Chase. And that led to Saturday Night Live. There she created characters like Baba Wawa and Emily Litella. Gilda usually wrote her own material with staff writer Alan Zwiebel. After a successful run, she left SNL in 1979. She turned down NBC's offer of a variety show. Instead she did a one woman show Gilda Radner Live In New York on Broadway. This show was based on SNL sketches. It was turned into the movie Gilda Live by director Mike Nichols. And an album was released. Neither the film or album did well. The Audition which Gilda wrote with Paul Shaffer is from that album which is available as a budget CD. The DVD of the film is out of print. Gilda married SNL guitarist G.E. Smith in 1980 and they divorced in 1982. Then she met and married Gene Wilder on the set of the 1982 film Hanky Panky. And she made a couple of movies with him. While filming the 1985 film Haunted Honeymoon in England, Gilda got sick and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She had surgery and went into remission. But the cancer returned and Gilda Radner died on May 20, 1989 at age 42. Her legacy is the many Gilda's Clubs across North America that help those living with cancer. Here's Gilda Radner performing Audition/Love To Be Unhappy from the film Gilda Live.
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Song:A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes
Album:Cinderella: The Legacy Collection
Ilene Woods was the voice of Cinderella in Walt Disney's 1950 film Cinderella. She was named a Disney Legend in 2003. She was born May 5, 1929 in Portsmouth, NH. Apparently her mother was quite the stage mother and Ilene started performing at a very early age. At age 15, Paul Whiteman hired her to sing on his radio show. She even had her own fifteen minute show for a while. And that's where she met legendary songwriters Mack David and Jerry Livingston. They had her sing some demos for songs they were writing for Cinderella. After Disney heard the demos, he offered Ilene the role of Cinderella. And that was it. The film was huge success. Disney was in debt at the time so he needed a big hit. Ilene sang A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes at the start of the film. Ilene recorded a version of A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes for RCA Records. Ilene released an album in 1957. But mostly she was only known for Cinderella. She married Tonight Show drummer Ed Shaughnessy in 1963 and she retired from show business. This 2CD Legacy Collection edition of the Cinderella soundtrack was released in 2015. As I said, Ilene was named a Disney Legend in 2003. She died on July 1, 2010 at age 81. Here's Ilene Woods performing A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes on The Perry Como Show 1950.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Here's the match video from last night's Smackdown. It was a ten woman tag team match to set up this Sunday's Money In The Bank (MITB) show. The show began with a "Summit" hosted by Smackdown GM Paige. It was similar to what they did on RAW. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Naomi and Lana bickering about what will happen at MITB. The Iiconics, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose come out and Paige turns it into an eight women tag team match. Then Paige encounters Asuka backstage. Asuka wants Carmella tonight. Paige says she can't do that but she can add them to the tag match. So now it's a ten woman tag team match. The match is OK for what it is. It's supposed to serve the storyline. Becky is getting heat for an extended time. And then Charlotte comes in and misses a moonsault on Peyton Royce. Asuka finally gets the tag and that's when the match breaks down. Asuka applies the Asuka Lock on Mandy Rose. But that's broken up. Becky is rammed into the barricade. Charlotte hits a moonsault to the floor on the Iiconics. In the ring, Carmella hits a superkick on Asuka but Lana breaks up the pin. Asuka transitions into the Asuka Lock and Carmella taps. See, I told you the match served the storyline. The segment ends with Asuka surrounded and the other girls staring at the MITB briefcase. Corey Graves says if Asuka wins on Sunday, she will have a target on her back. So your question is will she win the title. One would think so but there are ways for that to not happen. On Monday, Mike Johnson of PW Insider reported that James Ellsworth could return to the WWE on Sunday. Of course everyone remembers how he helped Carmella get the briefcase last year. There was a rumor killer that Ellsworth is supposed to be in China of all places on Sunday. But Mike doesn't make stuff up and I'm sure the WWE could get Ellsworth out of that show if they wanted. Obviously they would want any appearance by Ellsworth to be a surprise. Of course he would try to help Carmella. There are two ways Ellsworth could be used and it doesn't necessarily mean Carmella keeps the title. I'll talk about this and the other women's matches when I preview Money In The Bank on my podcast on Saturday. Until then, enjoy the video!
Album:Legends Of Acid Jazz
Organist Charles Kynard is best known for his 1968-1971 albums on Prestige Records. He's not as well known as his labelmate Charles Earland because Kynard was never a full time musician. But today he is revered by hip hop and Acid Jazz guys and is frequently sampled. He was born Feb. 20, 1933 in Kansas City, MO. His uncle Ben Kynard was in Lionel Hampton's band. He learned piano as a child. He started playing clubs while attending the University of Kansas. That's when he switched to organ. While in the US Army, he toured with their band. In the early 60s, Kynard played organ at Kansas City A's games. He moved to Los Angeles in 1963 to become a special needs teacher. He played clubs at night and he even played organ at his local church every Sunday. Kynard first recorded as a leader for World Pacific in 1963. He worked frequently with guitarist Howard Roberts and that got him into the LA studio scene where he worked on film music. Kynard also toured with Gladys Knight and Jimmy Witherspoon. Kynard signed with Prestige Records in 1968. His albums for Prestige are his best known albums. This Legends Of Acid Jazz CD contains two of those albums. Sweetheart is from the 1970 album Afro-Disiac. The songs are written and arranged by Richard Fritz. Musicians are Houston Person on tenor sax, Grant Green on guitar, Jimmy Lewis on bass and Bernard Purdie on drums. The second album on this CD is Wa-Tu-Wa-Zui from 1971. Musicians are Virgil Jones on trumpet, Rusty Bryant on tenor sax, Melvin Sparks on guitar, Jimmy Lewis on bass and Idris Muhammad on drums. This CD is available at a budget price. Jazz fans should check it out. After five albums for Prestige, Kynard recorded three albums for Mainstream. His final album was in 1973. At that point, he occasionally played clubs. But he concentrated on his teaching job until his death on July 8, 1979 at age 46. One current musician and Missouri native who is a big Kynard fan is Pat Metheny. Here's a video for Sweetheart by Charles Kynard.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Song:Take Me Out
The Scottish band Franz Ferdinand have been successful mostly in England. Take Me Out from their 2004 debut CD is probably their best known song mostly because the video was very popular. They are from Glasgow, Scotland. Lead singer and guitarist Alex Kapranos and drummer Paul Thomson were in the 90s band Yummy Fur. As that band was winding down in 1999, Kapranos and Thomson started working on songs together. Kapranos taught his friend Bob Hardy to play bass. Rhythm guitarist Nick McCarthy had studied jazz in Germany. Franz Ferdinand was born. They named themselves after the Austrian Archduke whose murder started WW1. They signed with Domino Records in 2003 and and an EP got them attention in NME and other British music papers. They recorded their 2014 debut CD Franz Ferdinand in Sweden with Cardigans producer Tore Johansson. Take Me Out reached #3 on the British Singles chart. They have charted in the US mostly on the alternative music chart. The album was certified 4XPlatinum in England and Platinum in the US. The video helped them in the US. It won an MTV Award and then they were nominated for a Grammy and they performed on the broadcast. Take Me Out was featured in the video games NHL 2005, Madden 2005 and Guitar Hero. That was probably their high point in the US. Franz Ferdinand has continued to have success in England. They had four top ten hits and their albums still sell well. In 2015 they formed FFS with Sparks and an album was released and they toured England. Nick McCarthy left the band in 2016 to spend more time with his family. For their new album Always Ascending, he was replaced by Dino Bardot and keyboardist Julian Corrie joined the band. Franz Ferdinand is currently touring Europe. Here's the video for Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand.
Monday, June 11, 2018
Album:Rock 'N' Roll Enforcers
There were two bands in the 80s known as The Silencers. The better known of those bands was from Scotland and were active in the late 80s. This is the other band. They were from Pittsburgh. Their claim to fame was that their video was played on MTV's first day of operation. Unfortunately they only recorded two albums and split up. The leader of The Silencers was Pittsburgh music veteran Frank Czuri. As a teen, he was in the doo wop The Igniters who recorded for Atlantic in 1959. Later on he was in The Jaggerz who scored a top ten hit with The Rapper in 1969. Then he was in Diamond Reo in the mid 70s. In 1979, Czuri produced demos for the CBS label Precision Records. He got a record deal and Czuri formed The Enforcers with Diamond Reo guitarist Warren King, Dennis Takos on keyboards, Mike Pella on bass and drummer Ron "Byrd" Foster from Roy Buchanan's band. King was a big Joe Jackson fan and he wanted to form a new wave band. Their 1981 debut album Rock 'N' Roll Enforcers was produced by veteran recording engineer Bob Clearmountain. The video is interesting because it's a medley of The Peter Gunn Theme, Remote Control and Illegal. Why was a medley done? Music videos were new at the time and I guess they didn't know any better. CBS wanted a reedited video that would be easier to promote. But MTV played it anyway when they began broadcasting on Aug. 1, 1981. Supposedly it was the 39th video played on that day. They had enough success that The Silencers recorded the album Going Romantic in 1982. King left The Silencers and then Czuri ended the band in 1984. Rock 'N' Roll Enforcers is available as a digital download. Czuri formed the doo wop group Pure Gold in 1985. He has toured the nostalgia circuit for years. He is a member of the current version of the legendary doo wop group The Skyliners. King worked with Diamond Reo bandmate Norman Nardini. He died in 2010. Foster was in The Iron City Houserockers. He died in 2011. Here's the video for The Peter Gunn Theme, Remote Control and Illegal by The Silencers.
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Here's the match video of Claudia Gadelha vs Carla Esparza from last night's UFC show in Chicago. These two fighters are looking to get back into the Strawweight title picture. Claudia is coming off of a bad loss to Jessica Andrade. Carla is a former champ who seems to be in decline after shoulder surgery. I thought Claudia won round one 10-9. Carla's only significant offense was a right hand that wobbled Claudia. It looks like Claudia hurt her knee. I didn't think it was enough to give Carla the round. I also thought Claudia won round two. But the knee injury slowed her down and Claudia has had endurance issues in the past. Carla clearly won round three but she needed a finish. I did not think it was a 10-8 round. So I scored the fight 29-28 for Claudia. Claudia won by split decision. Two judges scored it 29-28 for Claudia. The third judge scored it 29-28 for Carla. One might think he had Carla steal round one. But he scored round two 10-9 for Carla. I can't imagine what he saw. I know there were fans who thought Carla won or the fight was at least a draw. And the crowd booed the decision. I thought Carla lost the first two rounds and needed a finish in round three and she didn't get it. She didn't do enough to win. Is Claudia back in the title picture? I don't think so but let's see what's going on with her knee. She went to the hospital for an MRI last night. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Holly Holm vs Megan Anderson from last night's UFC show in Chicago. Of course Megan was unproven at this competition level coming into this fight. But I thought if Holly fought her usual fight style, Megan could use her size advantage to win. And at first, it looked like that was going to happen. But after Megan got the better of the striking exchange in round one, Holly neutralized her by controlling the clinch against the fence. That was not going to win Holly the fight. So towards the end of the round, Holly went for a takedown. That's not something she usually does. At first she didn't seem to know what to do in top position. And for that reason I scored round one 10-9 for Megan because she was effective striking early in the round and I don't usually score clinching against the fence favorably. But I thought if Holly continued to go to the ground, she would win the fight because Megan wasn't prepared for that. And that's what Holly did. So I scored the second and third round 10-9 for Holly and I scored the fight 29-28. Two of the judges scored it 30-26 and the third scored it 30-27. I didn't think either round qualified for a 10-8. Though Holly did score some ground and pound, she didn't come close to a finish. Holly hasn't gone to the ground in the past. She joked about that in her post fight interview. But she needs to learn how to finish. If she continues a diversified attack, Holly Holm could be champ again. So I hope this is not a one time thing. We shall see. Enjoy the video!
Album:Stop The Clocks
Oasis was one of the most successful bands of the 90s. They broke in the US which was something many British bands couldn't seem to do. Wonderwall was their biggest hit. Oasis are from Manchester, England. At first they were called Rain with Paul Arthurs on guitar, Paul McGuigan on bass, Tony McCarroll on drums and lead singer Chris Hutton. Arthurs invited friend Liam Gallagher to replace Hutton. He suggested the name change to Oasis. Liam's brother Noel Gallagher had songs written and he agreed to join Oasis if he was the lead singer and main songwriter. The band needed direction and agreed to this. Gallagher wanted commercial success so he kept the music simple. It wasn't long before record companies came calling and Oasis signed with Epic in 1993. They were immediately successful in England with the 1994 album Definitely Maybe. They had four hit singles in England. Of course Oasis was not without problems mostly Noel Gallagher's bad behavior. The 1995 album (What's The Story) Morning Glory broke Oasis in the US. During the recording of the album, McCarroll was replaced by Alan White. And the Gallagher brothers fought constantly. Liam was always threatening to leave. But the bottom line is the album was a huge success and it was certified 4XPlatinum in the US. The single Wonderwall reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Oasis wasn't as successful after that. But their albums did very well though there was a critical backlash which normally happens when bands are successful. Then Arthurs and McGuigan left. The band continued until they split up in 2009. The Gallaghers could never seem to get along and the musicians they hired after the original members left didn't like the situation. This 2CD comp is a good intro to their music. Noel Gallagher and his new band High Flying Birds have released three albums. Liam Gallagher formed Beady Eye with other members of Oasis. They released two albums and split up in 2013. Liam released a solo album last year. Considering the acrimony between the Gallaghers, Oasis probably lasted longer than they should have. They just couldn't seem to get along. Here's the video for Wonderwall by Oasis.