Thursday, April 30, 2015
Song:Tell It To My Heart
Album:Playlist: The Very Best of Taylor Dayne
Everything about Taylor Dayne was bombastic and over the top including her look. But she was very successful in the late 80s mostly in the dance market. Tell It To My Heart was her debut single and first top ten pop hit. She was born Leslie Wunderman Mar. 7, 1962 in Baldwin, Long Island, NY. After graduating high school, she started singing in local bands like Felony and Next and she also released a couple of singles as Les Lee. Clive Davis saw her in a New York club and signed her to Arista. She was assigned to British born house producer Ric Wake. He went on to produce several female singers but Taylor Dayne was his first big success. Tell It to My Heart was written by Seth Swirsky and Ernie Gold. It was first recorded by Canadian pop singer Louisa Florio in 1987. Swirsky was a staff songwriter at Chappell Music. He has written plenty of hits but Tell It To My Heart was his first big hit. From what I can tell, Ernie Gold is a pseudonym for veteran singer songwriter Franne Golde. It looks like there may have been a publisher conflict and she had to use a phony name. The single reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a worldwide dance hit. Taylor had a string of hits including the chart topper Love Will Lead You Back in 1989. After seven consecutive top ten pop hits, Taylor had faded by the time her 1993 album Soul Dancing was released. That was her final album for Arista. You can get all her hits on this budget comp. Since then she has recorded occasionally and also done some acting on TV series like Nightman and Rude Awakening. She has also turned up on reality shows like CMT's Gone Country. Her most recent CD of new music was released in 2008 but she has recorded several live CDs. I guess when I hear her I think of the bombastic 80s. I'm not sure that is a good thing. Here's the video for Tell It To My Heart by Taylor Dayne.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Song:I Don't Call Him Daddy
Album:The Kings Of New Country
Doug Supernaw had brief success on the country charts in the mid-90s. I Don't Call Him Daddy was his only number one country hit in 1993. He faded by the late-90s and I don't believe he is in the music business today. He was born Sept. 26, 1960 in Bryan, TX. His mom was a big country music fan and Supernaw listened to George Jones and Gene Watson who was probably his biggest influence. He was also on the high school golf team and attended college on a golf scholarship. Supernaw dropped out of college in 1979 and briefly worked on an oil rig before playing in local bands. He moved to Nashville in 1987 and found work as a session musician. Then he moved back to Texas and formed the band Texas Steel. Supernaw was spotted by Lorrie Morgan's producer Richard Landis. He signed Supernaw to RCA's BNA label. Supernaw's second single Reno reached #4 on the Country Singles chart. Then I Don't Call Him Daddy topped the charts. The song was written by Reed Nielsen and was first recorded by Kenny Rogers in 1987. Nielsen recorded as Nielsen/Pearson in the late 70s and turned to songwriting after that group ended. He has written several songs with Vince Gill. And Landis produced Nielsen/Pearson. Supernaw's career was derailed by a surfing accident, then a car accident and then food poisoning. He recorded a second album for BNA but it didn't do well and Landis took him to Giant Records. The 1995 single Not Enough Hours In The Night reached #3 on the Country Singles chart. That was it. Supernaw recorded in 1999 but the album went nowhere and that's the last time he recorded. His CDs are out of print but you can get I Don't Call Him Daddy on this various artists budget CD. Supernaw's son Phillip Supernaw is currently a tight end for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. It doesn't look like Doug Supernaw is in music anymore. But he has been in the news for failure to pay child support and arrests for erratic behaviour and public intoxication. He was even committed to a mental hospital for a time. So Supernaw's glory days are long behind him. Here's the video for I Don't Call Him Daddy by Doug Supernaw.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Song:You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Dusty Springfield was one of the most popular pop singers of the 60s and You Don't Have To Say You Love Me was her biggest hit in 1966. She was born Mary O'Brien Apr. 16, 1939 in London, England. Dusty was a childhood nickname. She started out in folk groups like The Lana Sisters and then The Springfields with her brother Dion O'Brien. He became Tom Springfield and she became Dusty Springfield. they recorded for Philips Records and producer Johnny Franz. They had some success on the British charts but Dusty felt folk music was limiting and left to go solo in 1963. She had success when her debut single I Only Want To Be With You reached #4 on the British Singles chart. Then Wishin' and Hopin' was a top ten hit in the US. She continued to have success in England but was not as successful in the US. Dusty performed at the 1965 Italian Song Festival in San Remo. She heard the song Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te) and wanted to record an English version. The song was written by Pino Donaggio who at the time was a successful singer songwriter in Italy. He would go on to be a film composer for horror films. So an instrumental track was recorded and Dusty still doesn't have English lyrics. Manager Simon Napier-Bell and Ready Steady Go producer Vicki Wickham were having dinner and they decided to try and write lyrics for this song though they weren't songwriters. The end result was You Don't Have To Say You Love Me. The record topped the British charts and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though Dusty would have a long career in music, that was her biggest hit and you can get it on this budget comp. Dusty got a lot of acclaim for recordings like Son of A Preacher Man and she had success in the 80s with The Pet Shop Boys. By the mid-90s, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and died on Mar. 2, 1999 at age 59 two weeks before she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here's Dusty Springfield performing You Don't Have To Say You Love Me 1967.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Album:Platinum & Gold Collection
The R & B vocal trio Next topped the charts with Too Close in 1997. They had one other top ten hit. Their music was notably raunchy. Next came out of the Minneapolis gospel scene. The uncle of brothers Terry "T-Low" Brown and Raphael "Tweet" Brown was a choir director. He thought they should form a group. And they did with RL Huggar. At first they were called Straight4ward. But producer Lance "LA" Alexander formerly of the group Lo-Key? suggested the name Next which stands for Nobody Ever eXpected This. The Browns took vocal training from their godmother, Sounds Of Blackness lead singer Ann Nesby. Next was introduced to Keir "KayGee" Gist of Naughty By Nature. He signed them to his Divine Mill label with Arista distribution. Next's debut CD Rated Next was released in 1997. The debut single Butta Love was a top five R & B hit. But the second single Too Close topped the R & B Singles chart and the Billboard Hot 100. Rated Next was certified 2XPlatinum. The uncredited female singer was Vernell "Vee" Sales of the duo Koffee Brown who were also on Divine Mill. The song was written by Raphael Brown, KayGee and and Divine Mill house producer Darren Lighty who produced the record with his brother Cliff. Naughty By Nature and Adina Howard also made guest appearances on the album. So Next had to follow up one of 1997's biggest hits. And their 2000 album Welcome II Nextasy did well. The single Wifey featuring Lil Mo reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It appears that KayGee closed Divine Mill and sold it to Arista. When Arista founder Clive Davis left to form J Records, he took Next with him. RL released a 2002 solo album and then Next released The Next Episode in 2003. The album didn't do that well and Terry Brown's throat surgery was of some concern. There was also conflict over RL's outside activities. J Records dropped Next. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Next signed with Interscope and were supposed to work with producers Jermaine Dupri, Rich Harrison and Babyface. But nothing ever came of that and they signed with Music World owned by Matthew Knowles (Beyonce's dad). Apparently they recorded an album but it was never released and there was conflict within the group over explicit content. Remember these guys were all church boys. Next released a single last year but the album hasn't been released yet. And RL is working on a solo album. Here's the video for Too Close by Next.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Here's the fight video of Randa Markos vs Aisling Daly from last night's UFC show in Montreal. Aisling was supposed to fight Claudia Gadelha in Poland. When Claudia pulled out, this fight was set up and the late addition of this fight is why it aired on Fight Pass. Randa lives in Windsor, ON and trains at Michigan Top Team in Dearborn, MI. UFC fighter Daron Cruickshank was in her corner. Randa also trained with Jessica Eye at Strong Style on Cleveland. Randa is an elite grappler which I thought would be kryptonite for Aisling who is terrible on the ground. But the interesting thing is that in round one, Randa was much quicker than Aisling on her feet and was outstriking her. Then she took Aisling down and almost submitted her. Randa used the dreaded headlock takedown a couple of times because her training with Aisling in TUF made her think Aisling was ripe for that move. So I scored round one 10-9 for Randa. This continued in round two until Randa got a little unlucky when she took Aisling down and Aisling ended up on top. An elbow cut Randa above her left eye and I thought that was enough to score round two 10-9 for Aisling. Looking at the cut, I thought Randa would be fine. So who wants it in round three? Things were even until Aisling initiated a takedown and Randa wound up on top. So as Randa was unlucky in round two, Aisling was unlucky in round three. That's how fights go sometimes. I thought Randa's armbar attempt was enough for me to score round three 10-9 for Randa. So I scored the fight 29-28 for Randa and the judges gave her the win by unanimous decision. Was that an upset? Not for me because I thought Aisling was overrated and Randa was underrated. I don't think Randa will be on UFC Fight Pass anymore. Enjoy the fight!
Here's the match video of Valerie Letourneau vs Jessica Rakoczy from last night's UFC show in Montreal. It aired on UFC Fight Pass. Both were fighting at 115lb for the first time. And they both looked emaciated at the weighins. We haven't seen Jessica since TUF 18. She recovered from a shoulder injury and moved back to her home town of Hamilton, ON. She's a former boxing champ but I don't think she's much of an MMA fighter. Valerie is from Montreal but she now trains at American Top Team in Florida. She admitted the weight cut was not pleasant. Valerie seemed to be quicker on her feet and was winning round one. They went to the mat and Valerie destroyed Jessica's right eye with an elbow. She couldn't see after that and Valerie won easily by unanimous decision. The doctor almost stopped the fight before round three. But he let it go on but it really hampered Jessica's vision. I guess the main thing I got from this fight is both women would be better off fighting at 125lb. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Alexis Davis vs Sarah Kaufman from last night's UFC show in Montreal. Both of these fighters want to get back into the title picture. Alexis is a very good fighter who is error prone. The thing I remember about their 2012 Strikeforce fight was Alexis losing the striking battle with Sarah. By the time she took Sarah down, she lost the first two rounds. Would she make the same mistake? And Alexis did make the same mistake in round one and though I don't think she was ever hurt, Sarah did win round one 10-9. I guess a light bulb went on between rounds because Alexis took Sarah down and got the win with an armbar. And until Sarah develops a ground game, that's how you you beat her. What will it take for her to at least be able to defend on the ground? That weakness has cost her all her losses. Opponents have figured that out. Anyway, it's a big win for Alexis especially after how she lost to Ronda Rousey. But I'm not sure it puts her any closer to a title shot. I don't do fantasy booking so I don't know who Alexis should face next. Enjoy the video!
Album:16 Biggest Hits
Though Delta Dawn was not Tanya Tucker's biggest hit, she was 12 years old when it hit the country charts in 1972 and established her for the bigger hits that came after. And Tanya continued to have success in the 80s and 90s. She was born Oct. 10, 1958 in Seminole, TX. Her father was a heavy equipment operator and the family moved around quite a bit. Tanya grew up in Arizona and Utah and she wanted to be a performer at an early age. After performing at the Arizona State Fair with country singer Judy Lynn, Mel Tillis liked Tanya enough to invite her on stage to sing with him. The Tucker family moved to Las Vegas in 1969 to advance Tanya's singing career. Songwriter Dolores Fuller gave Tanya's demo to legendary Columbia Records producer Billy Sherrill, best known for producing Tammy Wynette, and he signed her up. Sherill's original plan was to have Tanya record The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA but Sherrill heard Bette Midler sing Delta Dawn on The Tonight Show and he had Tanya record it. Of course Donna Fargo had a huge hit with The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA. Delta Dawn was written by former child rockabilly star Larry Collins and veteran Nashville songwriter Alexander Harvey, not to be confused with the Scottish rocker Alex Harvey. Harvey recorded Delta Dawn on his 1971 Capitol Records album Alex Harvey which was partially produced by Kenny Rogers. The first recording of Delta Dawn that I heard was by Dianne Davidson on her 1972 Janus Records album Backwoods Woman. Bette Midler heard Tracy Nelson sing it at a club (Tracy sang backup on Harvey's album) and added it to her show though I don't think Midler ever recorded it. Helen Reddy did have a pop hit with Delta Dawn after Tanya's recording was a hit. Tanya's recording of Delta Dawn reached #6 on the Country Singles chart. But when fans found out her age, she became a big sensation and scored #1 country hits with What's Your Mama's Name and Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone). Tanya left Columbia for MCA in 1975 and continued to have success there and later on at Capitol Records. This budget comp has her Columbia hits including Tanya's original recording of Delta Dawn. Beware of re-recorded versions. Tanya Tucker has been one of the more durable country music artists but this is how her career started. Here's Tanya Tucker performing Delta Dawn on Hee Haw 1972.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Song:You, Me and He
Album:Soul Hits Of The 80's
You, Me and He was one of two big hits by 80s R & B group Mtume. The other hit, Juicy Fruit, is supposed to be one of the most sampled songs in history. The leader of Mtume was percussionist James "Mtume" Forman. He was born Sept. 27, 1946 in Philadelphia the son of jazz sax legend Jimmy Heath. He started out in Miles Davis' 70s band that was more funk than jazz. Mtume was on the 1972 album On The Corner and the 1974 album Big Fun. Guitarist Reggie Lucas was also in that band. The two left Davis in 1976 for Roberta Flack's band. The two formed Mtume and brought in session singer Tawatha Agee. After two albums on Epic Records had modest success, Lucas left and was replaced by Ed "Tree" Moore. Lucas went on to be one of the producers on Madonna's 1983 debut album. The 1982 single Juicy Fruit topped the R & B charts and is supposedly one of the most sampled songs in history. You, Me and He is more of a slow jam. But it did just as well on the R & B charts in 1984. The sax solo is by Sonny Fortune. Unfortunately, the only Mtume comp released to date is out of print. So you can't get both singles on one CD. I recommend this 3CD various artists budget comp to get You, Me and He. Mtume split up in 1986 and both Mtume and Lucas have had long careers as producers. Tawatha Agee recorded a 1987 solo album and then returned to session singing especially with Luther Vandross. Here's the video for You, Me and He by Mtume.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Album:House Of Ill Fame
The Trews are originally from Nova Scotia and had success on the Canadian charts in the late 90s. Every Inambition was their first single and they would go on to have a couple of number one hits in Canada. The Trews are a family group from Antigonish, NS. Colin MacDonald is the lead singer. His brother John-Angus MacDonald is the guitarist. Cousin Sean Dalton plays drums and childhood pal Jack Syperek plays bass. They formed while in high school as One I'd Trouser after a Monty Python song in The Meaning Of Life. They released an EP under that name and then a fan suggested The Trews which acknowledges their Scottish roots. They moved to Naigara Falls to be closer to the Canadian music business hub in Toronto. In 2002, they won Rocksearch, an annual talent contest held by St. Catherines radio station HTZ-FM and this got them a record deal with Bumstead Productions with Sony BMG Canada distribution. The 2003 debut CD House Of Ill Fame was produced by Big Sugar lead singer Gordie Johnson. Every Inambition was the first single and it reached #14 on the Canadian Rock chart. They went on to have number one Canadian Rock hits like Not Ready To Go, Hold Me In Your Arms and Yearning. Their music is straight ahead Beatles influenced rock. They don't try to get fancy. Of course there's a lot of competition out there and that has made it difficult for The Trews to establish themselves outside Canada. But they still have a big following especially in the Maritimes. Syparek's father owns several clubs in Nova Scotia so he handles their booking. Their latest CD The Trews was released April 2014 and it features a guest appearance by Serena Ryder. They will tour Canada this summer. If you have never heard of them, The Trews are worth checking out. Here's the video for Every Inambition by The Trews.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Song:The Dipsy Doodle
Album:The Seventeen Number Ones
Edythe Wright was a featured vocalist in Tommy Dorsey's band from 1935-39 usually on his radio broadcasts. She sang several Dorsey hits from that era including The Dipsy Doodle and You was probably the biggest Dorsey hit she appeared on. She was apparently born Aug. 16, 1914 in Bayonne, NJ. I say apparently because the census info is sketchy. Her father died when she was young and she and her siblings lived with their grandparents. After graduating high school, Edythe ran a coffee shop with her sister and studied drama at the New Jersey College for Women in New Brunswick, NJ. In the summer of 1935, bandleader Frank Dailey asked Edythe to fill in for his regular vocalist on a show at the Asbury Park Casino. She was spotted by Tommy Dorsey's manager and he hired her to sing in the Dorsey band. She wasn't crazy about the idea but at age 21, she needed a job. Edythe was frequently described as sultry. Her singing voice was okay but I wouldn't describe her as passionate. She appeared frequently on Dorsey's radio show and those recordings are available on a massive box set. You and The Dipsy Doodle were her two biggest hits. The Dipsy Doodle was written by Larry Clinton who recorded his own version with his big band. There are no Edythe Wright CDs but you can get several of her notable recordings on this budget CD. Like Dorsey's male vocalist of that era, Jack Leonard, Edythe left Dorsey in 1939. She was ultimately replaced by Jo Stafford and of course Leonard was replaced by Frank Sinatra. Edythe constantly argued with Dorsey over her dislike of performing novelty songs and that led to her departure. Both had notoriously fiery tempers. Afterwards, Edythe moved to Los Angeles and worked in radio voiceovers. She moved back to New Jersey in 1950 and managed musician Sy Oliver. She was married with a son and was involved in local politics and amateur theater. Edythe Wright died of pancreatic cancer on Oct. 27, 1965 at age 51. Here's a video of The Dipsy Doodle by Tommy Dorsey featuring Edythe Wright.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Album:The Essential R. Kelly
Robert Kelly has been an important R & B artist and producer for over twenty years. Honey Love is one of his first big hits from his debut album. He was born Jan. 8, 1967 in Chicago. His mom was a singer and Kelly grew up singing in church. He was also a very good basketball player and was on the high school basketball team. One of his teachers suggested he leave the team and concentrate on music. By the late 80s, Kelly had a group called MGM (Musically Gifted Men) and he won the TV talent show Big Break in 1989. MGM released one single and split up. Kelly signed with Jive Records in 1991 and he wanted a backup group. He auditioned Public Announcement (Earl Robinson, Andre Boykins, Ricky Webster) and hired them. They were billed as R. Kelly and Public Announcement for the 1992 debut CD Born Into The 90s. So it was supposed to be a group but Kelly wrote all the songs and sang all the lead vocals. So he might as well have used studio singers. Honey Love was the second single and Kelly's first #1 R & B hit. The song is a standard slow jam that could have been written by anyone. Honey Love was used in the 1993 film Menace II Society. Born Into The 90s was certified Platinum. Kelly and Public Announcement toured and then Kelly left to go solo in early 1993. I don't know why he thought he needed a backup group in the first place. Public Announcement split up but would reform in 1998. Of course Kelly would go on to be a big star with hits like I Believe I Can Fly. Honey Love is on this 2CD Essential comp but Born Into The 90s is available as a budget CD. So that was R. Kelly in his early days. Here's the video for Honey Love by R. Kelly and Public Announcement featuring an appearance by Halle Berry.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Song:Wishing On A Star
Wishing On A Star was one of two top ten hits for The Cover Girls. I think it's fair to say The Cover Girls were very similar to other pop/R & B girl groups of the 80s like Expose, Seduction and Sweet Sensation. The Cover Girls came out of the New York club scene. They were formed by club owner Sal Abbatiello and DJ Andy "Panda" Tripoli in 1986. The original members were Louise Angel Sabater AKA Angel Clivilles, Caroline Jackson and Sunshine Wright. They recorded the 1986 album Show Me on Abbatiello's label Fever. Wright left in 1987 and was replaced by Margo Urban. The Cover Girls signed with Capitol Records and released the 1989 album We Can't Go Wrong. The single We Can't Go Wrong reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. They toured with New Kids on the Block. Sabater left to go solo in 1990 and was replaced by Evelyn Escalera. Then Urban left in 1992 and was replaced by Michelle Valentine. They moved to Epic Records and released the 1992 album Here It Is. Wishing On A Star reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Escalera and Valentine sang lead vocals. Though Tripoli still worked with The Cover Girls, Wishing On A Star was produced by Tony Moran and Andy Marvel who both came from a club DJ background. Wishing On A Star was written by Billie Rae Calvin of the 70s group The Undisputed Truth. Rose Royce first recorded it in 1977 and Jay-Z and Beyonce both recorded it but not together. The Cover Girls version is the most memorable version. For the 1996 album Satisfy, Valentine left during the album's production and Evelyn sang most of the lead vocals with two other girls. The group disbanded soon after. You can get all their hits on this comp CD. Evelyn briefly reformed The Cover Girls in 2006 and she has recorded as Evelyn Deville. I think she still works with Abbatiello. Sabater released a solo album in 2000 produced by Tripoli. Here's the video for Wishing On A Star by The Cover Girls. The version that is on Youtube is a remix. This is the original.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Album: Always & Forever
The 1977 top five hit Boogie Nights was the biggest hit for Heatwave. Heatwave was not only multi-racial but multi-national. Lead singer Johnnie Wilder Jr. is from Dayton, OH. He was in the US Army stationed in Germany. When he was discharged, he decided to remain in Europe and sang in clubs. Then he moved to England and met keyboard player Rod Temperton through a newspaper ad. Wilder brought over his brother Keith Wilder from the US. Other band members were Mario Mantese on bass, Ernest Berger on drums and Eric Johns and Roy Carter on guitar. All were from different countries. Heatwave signed with GTO Records in England and Epic Records in the US and worked with pop singer turned producer Barry Blue. Boogie Nights was Heatwave's third single and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was a huge worldwide hit especially in dance clubs. Rod Temperton wrote Boogie Nights and plenty of other Heatwave songs. Heatwave's other big hits were Always and Forever and The Groove Line. You can get them on this budget comp. Johns left and was replaced by Billy Jones. But the big blow was when Temperton left to produce Michael Jackson. He became one of the top producers of the 80s. Then Mantese was stabbed and unable to continue and then Johnnie Wilder Jr. was paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident. He would continue to work with Heatwave in the studio but couldn't tour. They hired future Commodore JD Nicholas to sing on tour. These unfortunate events caused Heatwave to fade and they disbanded when Nicholas left in 1983. Keith Wilder reformed Heatwave in 1988. He was the only original member. Johnnie Wilder Jr. recorded a couple of gospel albums. He died in 2006. The new version of Heatwave recorded a couple of albums and toured. It looks like they stopped touring around 2002. Here's Heatwave performing Boogie Nights on Top of the Pops 1977.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Here's the match video of Paige VanZant vs Felice Herrig from last night's UFC show in Newark, NJ. The hype over Paige since her first UFC win has been ridiculous. I thought Felice would be a pretty good measuring stick to see where Paige is in her MMA career. For this fight, Paige returned to Team Alpha Male in Sacramento and UFC fighters Martin Kampmann and Andre Fili were in her corner. Paige starts out slowly and Felice has ground control for the first half of the round. This was set up by Paige's headlock takedown which gave up her back. That's a habit that needs to be broken. After a couple of submission attempts, Paige turns things around and scores a few punches from the top. The round was close and I scored it 10-9 for Felice because she controlled most of the round. Felice's trainer Jeff Curran tells her to use her kickboxing more. But I think the worm had turned already and that's what Paige was told between rounds. By the middle of round two, Felice looked like she was out of gas and Paige was firmly in control. I scored round two 10-9 for Paige. Coming out for round three, Felice looked beat and Paige was much fresher. Paige threw a lot of punches from top position but was unable to get a finish. I scored round three 10-8 for Paige and I scored the fight 29-27 for Paige. One of the judges scored it the same as me and the other two scored it 30-26 for Paige. It was a big win for Paige VanZant but people need to cool it with the overhype. Look, she has potential but she also has a lot of work to do. Geez, she's only 21 years old. Give her some time. Though Paige won decisively, a couple of things concern me. In both of her fights, Paige got off to a slow start. She won't get away with that against better competition. And by the number of punches she threw in round three, she doesn't throw hard enough to break an egg. She needs to work on her striking technique. Sometimes less is more. After the fight, Felice's BFF Carla Esparza Made excuses for Felice's performance. I'm sure Carla would love to fight Paige. I don't know why she made excuses. I've covered Felice's entire career and though she has improved under Curran's coaching, she's a mediocre fighter who used shrewd self promotion to become famous. The only thing that surprised me about Felice in this fight was how poor her cardio was. That's why she lost. There's no excuse for that. Enjoy the video!
Song:With God On Our Side
DVD:The Other Side Of The Mirror: Bob Dylan Live At The Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965
Bob Dylan's appearances at the Newport Folk Festival in the 60s were pivotal moments in his career especially when he went electric in 1965. Fortunately, this documentary chronicles this period and it's available on DVD. Bob Dylan arrived in New York in 1960. Not long after, he signed with Columbia Records and by 1963 he had become a very prolific songwriter. With God On Our Side is one of Dylan's more blistering protest songs. It's not a song he performs frequently. He first recorded it on the 1964 album The Times They Are A-Changin'. But before that, he performed it with Joan Baez at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival. Clearly Joan loved that song as she performed it regularly before Dylan recorded it. They performed it again in 1964 but the 1963 version was filmed and you can get it on this DVD. The performance was released on the various artists album Newport Broadside and that is available on CD. But the documentary The Other Side Of the Mirror is worth checking out on DVD. The film was directed in 2007 by Murray Lerner who also directed the 1967 documentary Festival about the Newport Folk Festival. He has directed several music docs. Using footage from that film, he documents Dylan's transformation from protest singer to rock musician. Of course it includes Dylan's 1965 performance with electric instruments and the resulting uproar. The film was broadcast on BBC 4 in 2007 and the DVD is recommended to Dylan fans. Here's Bob Dylan featuring Joan Baez performing With God On Our Side at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival. This video is not on Youtube.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Song:Goin' Out Of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You
Album:Capitol Collectors Series
The vocal group The Lettermen have been around since the late 50s and had some chart success in the 60s. This medley of Goin' Out Of My Head and Can't Take My Eyes Off You was a top ten pop hit in 1967. That might seem odd in the midst of psychedelia but there were radio stations that preferred this kind of sound. The leader of The Lettermen is Tony Butala. He was born Nov. 20, 1940 in Sharon, PA. As a child, Butala sang on a Pittsburgh radio station. Then his family moved to Los Angeles and Butala appeared in films like Peter Pan and White Christmas until his voice changed. He became assistant music director of the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir. In the late 50s he wanted to form a vocal group. His first group The Fourmost included Connie Stevens. Then he formed The Lettermen and they were hired to impersonate The Rhythm Boys in a Vegas revue. The original group didn't work out. But then Butala met Jim Pike and Jim Engemann who sang together while attending Brigham Young University. Engemann's older brother Karl Engemann was a record producer at Warner Bros. The Lettermen recorded a couple of singles and then went with Engemann when he left Warners for Capitol in 1961. They had immediate success when When I Fall In Love reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961. It also topped the easy listening charts. And it's that easy listening market that has sustained The Lettermen for many years. That and concerts because their harmonies are real, not studio enhanced. And The Lettermen didn't write songs. They recorded strictly covers. Engemann was replaced by Jim Pike's brother Gary Pike in 1967. They continued to have success mostly as an album artist until Goin' Out Of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. This first appeared on the 1967 album The Lettermen!!...And Live and then after it was a hit, the single was added to an album that was retitled Goin' Out Of My Head. Of course Goin' Out Of My Head was a Little Anthony & The Imperials hit and Can't Take My Eyes OfF You was a Four Seasons hit. The combination of the two was only to be performed live. They never intended to record it but it was on the live album. The Lettermen recorded for Capitol until 1973. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Jim Pike left The Lettermen in 1976 and sold the name to Butala. Butala still leads a version of The Lettermen today and Jim and Gary Pike have a similar group called Reunion. So there is still demand for smooth vocal groups that aren't too challenging to listen to. It's not my kind of music but there ya go. Here are The Lettermen performing Goin' Out Of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You on The Hollywood Palace 1968 followed by a separate clip of Never My Love.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Song:Back In Your Own Backyard
Album:Hello Young Lovers
Jazz singer Nancy Wilson worked with several arrangers on her early 60s recordings for Capitol. But a couple of her most successful albums were with pianist George Shearing. The British pianist had moved to New York and was also on Capitol. So after her first two albums with arranger Billy May were successful, her mentor Cannonball Adderley told her to return to recording jazz. He suggested recording with Shearing and Nancy recorded the 1961 album The Swingin's Mutual with Shearing's quintet. After Nancy recorded with Adderley, she returned to working with Shearing but this time he not only brought his band including Dick Garcia on guitar, Warren Chiasson on vibes, Ralph Pena on bass, Armando Peraza on percussion and Vernel Fournier on drums, but Shearing also wrote string arrangements. So Nancy was again recording with an orchestra but this time with a jazz orchestra. The orchestra was conducted by Milt Raskin who was a pianist and arranger for Gene Krupa and Tommy Dorsey in the 40s and turned to studio work in the 50s at Capitol. Back In Your Own Backyard was written by Billy Rose and Dave Dreyer who also wrote Me And My Shadow. The song was first recorded in 1928 by Ruth Etting and then Al Jolson. It was revived when Patti Page scored a hit with Back In Your Own Backyard in 1950. Hello Young Lovers did very well on the album chart in 1962. But for years the album was not available on CD until the British label Hallmark licensed it from Capitol and released it as a budget CD in 2013. Here's a video for Back In Your Own Backyard by Nancy Wilson.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Song:Feel Like Funkin' It Up
Album:Feel Like Funkin' It Up
The rise of New Orleans brass bands began in the 80s and they continue to be popular today. The Rebirth Brass Band is one of the more popular bands recording and performing this kind of music. And they got a big boost when they were featured in the HBO series Treme. People always ask me if this music is jazz. Well, it has jazz elements. But it also has elements of New Orleans street music and high school marching bands. In particular, the street music is unique to New Orleans. You don't see it anywhere else. The Rebirth Brass Band was formed in 1983 by tuba player Phil Frazier, his brother bass drummer Keith Frazier and trumpeter Kermit Ruffins. They started out playing New Orleans clubs and music festivals and this led to the 1985 album Here To Stay on Arhoolie Records. This led to a deal with the much larger Rounder Records and the album Feel Like Funkin' It Up was released in 1989. This was their breakthrough album mainly because of wider distribution and Rebirth started touring internationally. After several albums for Rounder, Ruffins left to go solo in 1994. The band continued recording on labels like Mardi Gras and Basin Street. In recent years, they have had success on the jazz charts because of the HBO series Treme which featured a lot of New Orleans musicians. As a music expert, I loved that show. Their latest CD Move Your Body was released June 2014 and features a guest appearance by Trombone Shorty. So if the Rebirth Brass Band is coming your way, they are a party waiting to happen. So be sure to check them out. Here's the Rebirth Brass Band performing Feel Like Funkin' It Up in Jam In A Van at the 2013 Telluride Blues and Brews Festival in Telluride, CO.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Song:What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)
Of course Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the all time greats of Rock 'N' Roll. But you may not know that he had a very strong run on the country music charts in the late 60s and the 70s. What Made Milwaukee Famous was a top five country hit in 1968. So when Lewis married his cousin 13 year old Myra Brown in 1958, the scandal killed his career. And by 1963 he left Sun Records for Smash Records, a subsidiary of Mercury Records. At first Smash tried to recreate Lewis' previous success by having him record his old hits. But with Beatlemania on the rise, that wasn't going to work. Mercury promotions manager Eddie Kilroy suggested that Lewis record a country album. So Lewis went into the studio with veteran Nashville producer Jerry Kennedy and recorded Another Time, Another Place. That single reached #4 on the Country Singles chart. So they decided to record a full album. At the time, Lewis was performing on stage in a rock musical adaptation of Othello in Los Angeles. So he was commuting to Nashville to record the album. What Made Milwaukee Famous was the next single and it reached #2 on the Country Singles chart. That song was written by Glenn Sutton who was Billy Sherrill's partner and those two wrote plenty of Tammy Wynette hits. And Sutton did base the song on the Schlitz Beer slogan. So now Lewis had a whole new audience and for the next ten years he recorded country albums. It was a very successful transformation and you can get all of Lewis' country hits on this budget CD. This all ended when Lewis was arrested outside Graceland for threatening Elvis Presley in 1976 and he left Smash for Elektra in 1979. But the country music of Jerry Lee Lewis is worth checking out. Here's Jerry Lee Lewis performing What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me) on Hee Haw 1969.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Album:Alley-Oop: 30 One Hit Wonders: US Pop!
You might think that I would run out of one hit wonders. But here is a song that was a top five hit in 1958 and it's the only song to ever chart for Robin Luke. At least he wrote it so he can make a buck off it. He was born Mar. 19, 1942 in Los Angeles. His father worked for Douglas Aircraft so the family moved around quite a bit. Luke spent his teen years in Hawaii. He wrote Susie Darlin' for his little sister. He was performing on a school music program when he was spotted by legendary manager Kimo Wilder McVay. This is the guy who discovered Don Ho. McVay thought this fresh faced teen could be a star so he brought him to producer Bob Bertram who normally produced country artists like Eddie Dean and Joe Maphis. That's why Susie Darlin' has a rockabilly vibe because Bertram would produce it like a country record. Susie Darlin' became a hit in Hawaii and then was picked up for national distribution by Dot Records. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. Luke appeared on American Bandstand and toured with The Kalin Twins, Buddy Holly and Ricky Nelson. Dot bought Luke's contract from McVay but subsequent singles didn't chart and he returned to school. The German label Bear Family has released a Robin Luke CD. But it's expensive and I think most would only be interested in Susie Darlin'. You can get it on this one hit wonder comp from the British reissue label Jasmine Records. Robin Luke still tours the oldies circuit. But in real life, he has a Ph.D. in Marketing and he is a professor at Southwest Missouri State University. Robin Luke is in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Here's a video of Susie Darlin' by Robin Luke.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Album:Get Your Kicks On Route 99
If you're a fan of instrumental R & B like Booker T & The MGs, you might want to check out the much more obscure The Merced Blue Notes. As the name hints, the band was from Merced, CA. They started out in 1957 led by guitarist Kenny Craig and harmonica player George Coolures. he was also Merced's fire chief. When they started out, Roddy Jackson was their lead singer. Specialty Records west coast A & R man Sonny Bono got them an audition. But Specialty only signed Jackson. One would think that would be the end of The Merced Blue Notes. But Coolures replaced Jackson and also became the band's manager. Other members included Bill Robertson on sax, Gilbert Fraire on bass, Bobby Hunt on keyboards and Carl Mays Jr. on drums. For the next decade, they played Northern California clubs and bounced around different labels with little success. In the early 60s, they signed with Harvey Fuqua's Tri-Phi label and were on Motown after Motown bought Tri-Phi. But Motown weren't interested in them and cut them after releasing a couple of singles. Then they signed with the Fantasy Records label Galaxy Records and The Merced Blue Notes had modest success with singles like Rufus, Rufus Jr. and Mama Rufus. Their music is instrumental R & B similar to Booker T & The MGs and the British reissue label Ace Records has released all their recordings on this CD. The Merced Blue Notes bounced around California clubs until splitting up in the early 70s. One guy who went through the band was future Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch who had solo success in the late 70s. The Merced Blue Notes were a very interesting but very obscure band. Here's a video for Rufus Jr. by The Merced Blue Notes.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Here's the match video of Aleksandra Albu vs Izabela Badurek from yesterday's UFC show in Poland. Both were making their UFC debuts. Aleksandra signed with the UFC a year and a half ago to fight in the Bantamweight division. But she hurt her knee and announced last year that she would fight at 115lb. Her official record is 1-0 and there is no video of her so I don't know if she can fight or if she is a glorified fitness model. She started out in bodybuilding and there are plenty of glamour pics of her out there. BTW, her nickname Stitch is from the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch. I assume she is mischievous like Stitch in the movie. To me, Izabela looked like she was signed because they wanted a Polish fighter for this show. I posted one of her fights on my blog and I didn't think she was anything special. Previously Izabela fought at 125lb and she missed weight but made it on the second pass. At the start of round one, Aleksandra started throwing jabs. Izabela didn't like getting hit in the face so she took Aleksandra to the fence for some pointless clinching. Izabela was trying to take her down but couldn't. Aleksandra was much stronger than Izabela. I scored round one 10-9 for Aleksandra. The same pattern continued in round two and probably would have continued for the rest of the fight. Except Izabela attempted a takedown and fell into a guillotine choke and that was it. Aleksandra won but I'm not sure if she's much of a fighter because Izabela was terrible. Aleksandra's jabs were effective but she didn't through enough of them and she didn't throw any combinations. I thought she was a little too willing to clinch on the fence. So until she fights someone better, I'm not sold on Aleksandra. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Maryna Moroz vs Joanne Calderwood from yesterday's UFC show in Poland. When this fight was announced, I posted one of Maryna's fights on the blog. Atypical of UFC newcomers, I thought she would be a very tough opponent for Joanne. She had international experience in China and Brazil and usually wins with an armbar from bottom position. And on the broadcast it was mentioned that she has boxing experience and that her husband and trainer is a former boxer. So I don't know why Joanne was such a big betting favourite except that some fans assume that a UFC newcomer is an automatic underdog. Of course the other thing is Joanne is a big fan favourite. I was rooting for her to win only to see the fan mayhem if she were to challenge for the belt in Glasgow. But I thought it would be a close fight that could go either way. I didn't think it would end in less than two minutes. Joanne came out as she normally does leading with her jab. After landing some punches, Maryna backed her up into the fence with strikes and then went for her trademark armbar from bottom position and it's over. This is Maryna's favourite submission so I don't know why Joanne wouldn't have a defense for it. I have thought since her Invicta days that she needs to work on her ground game and her takedown defense in particular. And we saw that weakness in TUF when Rose Namajunas submitted her. Now that she has lost a fight, maybe she'll work on improving in that area. She needs to be able to prevent takedowns to keep opponents honest. But Maryna was outpunching her anyway. She throws hard. After the fight, She challenged UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzrejczyk who was sitting in the front row. Joanna's response was "Let's fight tomorrow". That suits me fine. Make it happen, Dana White. The fan reaction to this has been laughably similar to when Ronda Rousey challenged Miesha Tate in Strikeforce. Look, Maryna just beat the #6 Strawweight contender in a dominant fashion. She didn't beat a scrub. And I like that she called the champ out. I know a couple of fighters who won't like that Maryna jumped the line. They'll get over it. I like both Joanna and Maryna and I think it would be a great fight. I don't care about rankings or pecking order. Maryna Moroz just leaped to the top of the food chain with a big win and a big mouth. Let's see if she can back it up against the champ. Enjoy the video!
Song:She Can Do What She Wants
Album:Tones Of Town
Field Music has had some success in their native England. But I think fans of 60s influenced pop should check them out. They are from Sunderland, England featuring brothers David and Peter Brewis. Peter Brewis was once drummer for The Futureheads. Pianist Andrew Moore was a member for the first two albums. Now the Brewis brothers bring in friends from bands like The Futureheads and Maximo Park to record in the studio and they hire musicians for touring. Tones Of Town was their second album in 2007 and it is considered to be their best to date. They announced they were splitting up after it was released. But then they clarified that they weren't actually splitting up but they were doing other projects along with Field Music. And sure enough, both Brewis brothers released solo albums in 2008 before reforming Field Music for the 2010 CD Field Music (Measure). Their latest CD Plumb was released in 2012 and it charted in England. The Brewis brothers again released solo albums last year and Field Music is currently touring England. I expect we will see new music from Field Music in the near future. Legendary singer songwriter producer Al Kooper interviewed Field Music for Songfacts and says they are his favourite current band. They are recommended to those who like 60s influenced pop music. Here's the video for She Can Do What She Wants by Field Music.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Album:Glorious: The Singles 97-07
Torn was a huge worldwide hit in 1997. It's probably one of those songs that was played so much we all got sick of it. To date it is Natalie Imbruglia's only big hit though she is still around. She was born Feb. 4, 1975 in Sydney, Australia. Her younger sister Laura Imbruglia is also a singer. As a teen, she landed a role on the popular TV soap opera Neighbours. After two years, she left the show and moved to England to pursue a music career. She recorded a demo and signed with RCA Records. Torn was her debut single and it was a huge worldwide success everywhere but the US. At the time, Billboard had a rule that if a record wasn't officially released as a single on CD, it wasn't eligible for the Billboard Hot 100. This stupid rule was changed in 1998. Torn should have topped the US charts. The video was in constant rotation on MTV. The general feeling at the time was Torn was a hit because of Natalie's looks and sex appeal. Though Natalie wrote most of the songs on her 1997 CD Left of the Middle, Torn was written by album producer Phil Thornalley and recorded by his band Ednaswap in 1995. Thornalley is a former member of the 80s band The Cure. Though Natalie continued to chart in England with songs like Big Mistake, Smoke and Shiver, elsewhere she is perceived as a one hit wonder. She recorded three albums for RCA and this budget comp covers those years. Natalie has done some acting, most notably in the 2003 film Johnny English. She now lives in Los Angeles and after appearing in the 2013 film Underdogs, she signed a record deal with Sony Masterworks and her new CD Male will be released July 2015. The first single is a cover of the 2010 Daft Punk hit Instant Crush. It sounds like Sony wants to sell her to the adult pop market. Here's the video of Torn by Natalie Imbruglia. The guy in the video is British actor Jeremy Sheffield. He currently appears on the British TV series Hollyoaks and he has been a regular on other British TV series.