Saturday, December 31, 2016
Here's the match video of Amanda Nunes defending her UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship against the former champ Ronda Rousey from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. So we all know what happened but why did it happen. Even when she was winning, Ronda was always willing to eat shots to get to the clinch and her judo. That's because most of these girls don't punch hard enough to break an egg. In her loss to Holly Holm, Ronda finally got hit hard enough that she lost. Amanda Nunes punches harder than Holly. So what Ronda needed to work on was not getting hit in the face. In the first ten seconds of this fight, it was obvious her camp didn't work on avoiding Amanda's striking. She needed more head movement. It was only a matter of time before the fight would be stopped. Look, I have covered Amanda's career since before she came to the US. She's a first round finisher just like Ronda. But Ronda needed to get through the initial onslaught so she could get in the clinch. She obviously wasn't prepared to do that. Ronda complained to ref Herb Dean that she never went down. But it was a good stoppage. She wasn't defending herself. I was not surprised by the fight. This was exactly how Amanda was going to win this fight. Her weakness is her endurance. Ronda and her camp know this so we can only conclude that she was poorly coached. Will Ronda retire? We don't know yet but her mom told TMZ that she wants Ronda to retire. Keep in mind that her mom never wanted her to fight in the first place. But MMA has given Ronda all these opportunities like movies. Without fighting, she may still be a bartender living in her car. And of course we should all remember that Ronda made it possible for women to fight in the UFC. That's her real legacy. And dislike of her behaviour or her coach doesn't change that. Now we move on to Amanda Nunes. Her next likely challenger will be the winner of Julianna Pena vs Valentina Shevchenko. As I said, I have liked Amanda for several years. But if you saw her lose to Cat Zingano, she needs to work on her gas tank. Someone will exploit that weakness. Enjoy the video!
720pHD UFC 207 Ronda Rousey vs Amanda Nunes by WomensOfWrestlingNetwotk
720pHD UFC 207 Ronda Rousey vs Amanda Nunes by WomensOfWrestlingNetwotk
Song:Make It Hot
Album:Loaded With Hits
The 1998 top five hit Make It Hot is the highlight of Nicole Wray's music career. Fans of the song may wonder what became of her. She's bounced around a lot but she's still around. She was born May 2, 1979 in Salinas, CA but she grew up in Portsmouth, VA. She grew up singing in the church choir. She was introduced to Missy Elliott by one of Elliott's cousins. This led to Nicole being featured on the song Gettaway from Elliott's 1997 album Supa Dupa Fly. Then she signed with Elliott's label The Goldmind. Her debut CD Make It Hot was released in 1998. At the time there was criticism of too much Missy Elliott on the album. But it didn't stop the single Make It Hot from reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written and produced by Tim "Timbaland" Mosely and Elliott is featured along with rapper Mocha. It turned out to be Nicole's only big hit. In 2001, The Goldmind released a single from Nicole's upcoming album Elektric Blue. But the single stiffed and the album was cancelled. Nicole left The Goldmind. She signed with Roc-A-Fella owned by Jay-Z and Damon Dash and recorded the 2004 album Love Child. A single was released but there were problems at Roc-A-Fella when Jay-Z left to become president of Def Jam. Her album got lost in the shuffle and it was never released. Jay-Z's partner Damon Dash started a new label. Nicole continued to work with him while becoming a backup singer for The Black Keys. After recording and touring with them, Nicole formed the duo Lady with Terri Walker. They released a 2013 album but then split up. Nicole now calls herself Lady Wray and she released the CD Queen Alone on Sept. 2016. Her album Make It Hot is available on CD but it's expensive. You can get the single Make It Hot on this 2CD various artists budget comp. Here's the video for Make It Hot by Nicole featuring Missy Elliott & Mocha.
Friday, December 30, 2016
Here's the match video of Asuka defending the NXT Women's Championship against Nia Jax from the NXT show in Osaka, Japan. The WWE Network aired this show on Wednesday and next week they will air the Melbourne, Australia show. Of course the big deal is Osaka is Asuka's home town. So her family and friends welcome the conquering hero. With the NXT women's division a little thin right now, monster heel Nia Jax was brought in from RAW where she has been running roughshod. Not surprisingly, this match is very similar to their match in June. Nia's overconfidence is her undoing. She thinks she can beat up Asuka like she does everyone else. But Asuka won't quit and she keeps coming back. The size difference seems to be more pronounced in this match. Asuka may have watched the first match and made appropriate adjustments to emphasize the size difference. Several times Asuka looks to be finished. But again Nia's arrogance gets the best of her. She allows Asuka to recover outside the ring instead of bringing her back into the ring for a pin. After a couple of Asuka's trademark transitions into submissions, she stuns everyone with a German suplex followed by a roundhouse kick for the win. The suplex was unbelievable considering the size difference. Everything about Asuka's performance was masterful. Her selling of Nia's offense including Asuka's facial expressions was fantastic. Too many wrestlers don't know how to sell offense properly. They forget about it sometimes. As I have said before, Asuka's attention to detail makes her matches satisfying. She won but we know it wasn't easy. Check out the video for yourself. Enjoy!
NXT Women's Championship: Asuka © vs. Nia Jax by therackattackvideos
NXT Women's Championship: Asuka © vs. Nia Jax by therackattackvideos
Album:The MF Life
Melanie Fiona had some success on the R&B charts a few years ago with songs like 4AM. Her fans may wonder what happened to her. she's supposed to have a new album coming but there is no release date yet. She was born Melanie Fiona Hallim July 4, 1983 in Toronto. Her parents are Guyanese immigrants. Her dad played guitar in a band. Melanie began writing at age 16. In 2002, she was in the group X-Quisite. They recorded one album and they split up in 2005. She was also in the group The Renaissance with Drake. Melanie went to Los Angeles looking for a record deal. She was offered deals but she thought the labels would try to change her. So she did some writing and recorded as Syren Hall on the CD Reggae Gold 2008. Finally she signed with Universal Motown and Roc Nation. Her 2009 album The Bridge did OK and the single It Kills Me topped the R&B Singles chart. The MF Life was released in 2012 and 4AM reached #8 on the R&B Singles chart. 4AM was written and produced by Richard Butler. He raps as Rico Love and he has had some success as a producer. But Melanie was unhappy with Universal. She thought they didn't promote her enough. So she left Universal and she now has her own label with Sony distribution. Melanie has recorded a new album called Awake. The single Bite The Bullet was released last year. But there is no release date for the album. In March, she and boyfriend Jared Cotter welcomed a son so that probably delayed the album. It's just that she keeps talking about it. It's time to release it before her fans forget about her. Here's the video for 4AM by Melanie Fiona.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Song:Colonel Hathi's March (The Elephant Song)
Album:Walt Disney's The Jungle Book
Though you may not know his name, I'm sure you would recognize British character actor J. Pat O'Malley if he appeared on your TV. He worked regularly for Disney including providing the voice for Colonel Hathi in the 1967 film The Jungle Book. And though he wasn't known for his singing, O'Malley started out in England as a big band singer. He was born Mar. 15, 1904 in Burnley, Lancashire, England. He started out in music halls and he recorded solo in 1925. Then in 1930, he sang with Jack Hylton's big band. Both guys came to the US to work with Ray Noble. That venture was short lived. Hylton returned to England but O'Malley stayed in the US. He called himself J. Pat O'Malley so he wouldn't be confused with the actor Pat O'Malley. O'Malley appeared on Broadway in the 1945 play Ten Little Indians and the 1952 musical Of Thee I Sing. He appeared in a few films like Lassie Come Home in 1943. He started working for Walt Disney providing voices for the 1949 film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and the 1951 film Alice In Wonderland. He worked regularly for Disney including the 1955 film Spin and Marty. O'Malley was a regular doing guest shots on TV shows like Hogan's Heroes and Green Acres. And he continued to work for Disney including the 1967 film The Jungle Book. Based on Rudyard Kipling's novel, it was the final film produced personally by Disney before his death. Disney regular George Bruns composed the score. Disney hired Terry Gilkyson to write the songs. But with the exception of Bare Necessities sung by Phil Harris, Disney thought his songs were too dark and Richard and Robert Sherman came to the rescue. O'Malley provided the voice of elephant leader Colonel Hathi and he sings Colonel Hathi's March. When the soundtrack was first issued in 1967, it just had songs from the movie. The CD is an expanded version which includes some of Bruns' score. It's available as a budget CD. O'Malley continued to appear on TV in the 70s. He was a regular on the 1973 series A Touch Of Grace and he had a recurring role on Maude. J. Pat O'Malley died on Feb. 27, 1985 at age 80. Here's J. Pat O'Malley performing Colonel Hathi's March in the 1967 film The Jungle Book.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Song:Under The Bridge
The Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) were very popular in the 90s. Their popularity was based on live performance and album sales. But they did have a few hit singles including Under The Bridge in 1991. Though it wasn't their biggest hit, it was important in establishing RHCP as stars. When RHCP were formed in 1983, they were called Tony Flow and Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. Singer Anthony Kiedis, guitarist Hillel Slovak, bassist Michael "Flea" Balzary and drummer Jack Irons were classmates at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. They were inspired by the Los Angeles punk scene. Their performances were improvised music set to Kiedis' poems. But there was enough interest that they changed their name to Red Hot Chili Peppers. Meanwhile, Slovak and Irons had another band called What Is This?. That band signed with MCA and RHCP signed with EMI America. Cliff Martinez and Jack Sherman replaced Slovak and Irons. RHCP released their debut album in 1984 but they didn't like it. They felt it was too polished. They went on tour and Sherman was fired. Slovak left What Is This? and returned to RHCP. The 1985 album Freaky Styley was produced by George Clinton and he brought funk to RHCP. The album didn't sell but at least the band was happy with it. They were heavy drug users at the time. This became a problem while trying to record their next album. Martinez left and Irons returned. Kiedis went to rehab and got clean. But then he relapsed during the recording of the 1987 album The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. Both Kiedis and Slovak were out of control. And then Slovak died on June 25,1988. Irons left and years later was a member of Pearl Jam. RHCP decided to continue. D.H. Peligro of The Dead Kennedys replaced Irons and eventually John Frusciante replaced Slovak. They went on tour and Peligro was fired for drug use. He was replaced by Chad Smith. This lineup released the 1989 album Mother's Milk. Their cover of Higher Ground reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified Gold. But the band was unhappy with EMI and they moved to Warner Bros. for the 1991 album Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Rick Rubin agreed to produce. Give It Away reached #73 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it became one of their signature songs. Under The Bridge reached #2 and it was their biggest hit. The album was certified 7XPlatinum. It made them big rock stars. Frusciante was uncomfortable with this fame and he was constantly arguing with Kiedis. He also had developed a drug habit. He left while RHCP was on tour in Japan in May 1992. They continued with temporary replacements. One of those replacements Dave Navarro joined in 1995. He was on the 1995 album One Hot Minute. But it wasn't working. They were all on drugs and touring was a mess. They almost split up in 1998. It was decided they needed Frusciante and he was convinced to return for the 1999 album Californication. It returned them to the top of the charts. The success continued until Frusciante left again in 2008. This budget comp was released in 2003. It is the only comp of their Warners music. I think they are due for a new comp. Josh Klinghoffer replaced Frusciante and RHCP are successfully touring today though they aren't as big as they were in the 90s. Their latest CD The Getaway was released on June 2016. Here's the video for Under The Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Song:Lovely Liza Lee
Album:Jazzwomen: Great Instrumental Gals
Back in the 30s, female musicians were looked at as a novelty in jazz. The Mills Cavalcade Orchestra was an attempt to have a band with men and women in it. Unfortunately they only recorded four songs in 1935 and Lovely Liza Lee was the only record released. The man behind this band was probably the most powerful man in jazz at the time. His name was Irving Mills and he was best known as Duke Ellington's manager. But he was also the founder of Columbia Records. He was progressive because he was the first to promote mixed race bands. And he was also a promoter of women in jazz. He would later manage the great Ina Ray Hutton. And he also had his own bands like the Hotsy Totsy Gang. In the case of The Mills Cavalcade Orchestra, Mills was not actually in the band. He hired trombonist George Brunies as musical director. Brunies was known as King of the Tailgate Trombone. In the 20s, he was a member of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. And then in 1924 he was a big part of the famed Ted Lewis band. When he left Lewis in 1934, Mills called him about the Mills Cavalcade Orchestra thinking a mixed gender big band could draw. But the band never got off the ground. They recorded four songs in June 1935. Lovely Liza Lee was their only record on Columbia featuring the Boswell Sisters knockoffs The Dollie Sisters. I think part of the problem was that most of the musicians were inexperienced. It was going to be tough for Brunies and drummer Frank Carlson to keep the band together. But Lovely Liza Lee is a pretty good record and you can get it on this various artists comp from Sagajazz. By the late 30s, Brunies was in Muggsy Spanier's band and Carlson was an in demand session musician. The Mills Cavalcade Orchestra was a footnote in their careers. But a cool footnote. Here's a video for lovely Liza Lee by the Mills Cavalcade Orchestra featuring The Dollie Sisters.
Monday, December 26, 2016
Song:U.M.M.G. (Upper Manhattan Medical Group)
Album:This Side Of Strayhorn
Trumpeter Terell Stafford made his name in the early 90s as part of sax player Bobby Watson's band. He started recording as a leader in 1995 and now he is a favourite of the jazz festival circuit. This tribute to the legendary Billy Strayhorn was released in 2011. He was born Feb. 25, 1966 in Miami but he grew up in Chicago and Silver Spring, MD. He started playing trumpet at age 13. Stafford was studying classical music at the University of Maryland in 1988 when he happened to meet Wynton Marsalis. Marsalis suggested he study with Dr. William Fielder at Rutgers to get a well rounded education in the trumpet. Stafford says his big influences are Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan. Stafford became known to jazz fans for his five years as part of sax player Bobby Watson's band. Organist Shirley Scott was in that band and she became musical director on Bill Cosby's You Bet Your Life. Stafford was in that band. It's where he met sax player and long time collaborator Tim Warfield. Stafford was also in McCoy Tyner's Latin All Star Band. He made his debut as a leader with the 1995 album Time To Let Go on Candid Records. U.M.M.G. is from Stafford's 2011 CD This Side Of Strayhorn on MAXJAZZ. This album came out of Stafford's participation in Dayton, OH's Celebrating Billy Strayhorn festival. of course Strayhorn was a songwriter and arranger with Duke Ellington. Musicians are Tim Warfield on sax, Bruce Barth on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Dana Hall on drums. The same band appears on Stafford's latest CD Brotherlee Love: Celebrating Lee Morgan released June 2015. Stafford is currently the Director of Jazz Studies at Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. Stafford and Warfield usually tour together. But Stafford is also a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra which is the house band at New York's Village Vanguard. And he is also touring with The Clayton Brothers. Here's Terell Stafford with Tim Warfield on sax, Keith DeStefano on bass, Anam Owili-Eger on piano and Joe Falcey on drums performing U.M.M.G. at the 2015 OutBeat Jazz Fest in Philadelphia.
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Song:I Feel So Good
Album:Here We Go
Bluesman Johnny Rawls was a sideman for many years before recording as a leader in the 90s. Here We Go was his 1996 debut album and he's been going strong ever since. He was born Sept. 10, 1951 in Hattiesburg, MS. His grandfather John Paul Newson was a local blues musician and he taught Rawls to play guitar. As a teen, he backed up Joe Tex and Z.Z. Hill when they toured the area. And in the 70s he joined the band of R&B singer O.V. Wright and Rawls became his musical director. After Wright's 1980 death, Rawls continued to lead his band backing up touring blues musicians. In the 90s, Rawls recorded two albums with guitarist L.C. Luckett for Rooster Blues. They split up and Rawls signed with the British label JSP. The 1996 CD Here We Go was Rawls' debut as a leader. He also worked as an arranger and producer for JSP. Rawls produced albums by Lonnie Shields, Percy Strother and Johnnie Marshall. He started working the blues festival circuit. JSP recently re-released Here We Go on CD. Rawls left JSP in 2002 and he released a couple of CDs on his own label. He currently records for El Paso based Catfood Records. His latest CD Tiger In A Cage was released recently. Johnny Rawls is currently touring and he's worth checking out if he's coming your way. Here's Johnny Rawls performing I Feel So Good at the 2007 Toronto Distillery Blues Festival.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Song:Mon Mec A Moi
Album:Rien Ne S'Arrete: Best Of 1987-2001
Patricia Kaas was a very popular pop singer in France in the 90s. She has had success in Europe and Quebec but is otherwise unknown. The 1988 single Mon Mec A Moi is her biggest chart hit. But she's more of an album artist. She was born Dec. 5, 1966 in Forbach, Lorraine, France. That's near the German border. Her mother was German and she was the one who encouraged Patricia to sing at an early age. Sylvie Vartan and Mirielle Mathieu were among her favourites. She sang in local clubs as a teen and became a model at age 16. In 1985, French film star Gerard Depardieu sponsored her and he produced her first single Jalouse. The song was written by Depardieu's wife Elizabeth and veteran songwriter Francois Bernheim. The record got the attention of another veteran songwriter Didier Barbelivien. Bernheim and Barbelivien began writing songs for Patricia. She recorded the album Mademoiselle Chante... with producer Bernard Estrady for Polydor. She had three top ten hits from the album including Mon Mec A Moi which reached #5 on the French charts. The album sold 1.5M copies. Then she signed with CBS/Sony and she has recorded for them for most of her career. Patricia continued to have a lot of success through the 90s. This comp covers her career until 2001. Since then she continues to tour but her recent albums haven't sold as well. She left Sony in 2008. She just released a new CD Patricia Kaas on Warner Bros. Patricia is still a strong live draw across Europe. Here's the video for Mon Mec A Moi by Patricia Kaas.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Song:Findin' A Good Man
Findin' A Good Man was the biggest hit for country singer Danielle Peck in 2006. She faded into obscurity when her second album was more or less cancelled by her record company. She was born Sept. 14, 1978 in Jacksonville, NC and she grew up in Coshocton, OH. Her dad was in the US Marines but his parents were country music performers. Her mom was in her family's gospel group. So Danielle began singing in church. She formed her own band after graduating high school. Then she moved to Nashville and got a publishing deal. This led to her signing with DreamWorks Records in 2005. After DreamWorks closed, DreamWorks Nashville head Scott Borchetta started Big Machine Records and took Danielle with him. Her 2006 debut album Danielle Peck was produced mostly by Big Machine house producer Jeremy Stover. He also produces Justin Moore. Stover produced Findin' A Good Man and he wrote it with Casey Koesel and Brian Dean Maher. The record reached #16 on the Country Singles chart and the album did well. She recorded a second album Can't Behave. After releasing two failed singles, Big Machine decided not to release the album and Danielle left Big Machine. Danielle released a CD in 2014. I'm not sure if she is still active. Danielle married her tour manager Josh Smith in 2014. Then she had a daughter. And then she announced earlier this year their separation. It is not known if Danielle will return to music. Here's the video for Findin' A Good Man by Danielle Peck.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Cinderella
The hard rock band Cinderella had success in the late 80s because MTV put their videos in heavy rotation. They scored three Platinum albums and three top 20 hit singles. they faded in the early 90s partially due to changing musical tastes. Cinderella was from Philadelphia led by lead singer, main songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist Tom Keifer and bassist Eric Brittingham. The other original members were guitarist Michael Smerick and drummer Tony Destra. Those two left in 1985 to form Britney Fox. Jon Bon Jovi saw them in a club and got them a deal with his label Mercury Records. Guitarist Jeff LaBar and drummer Jim Drnec joined. Drnec didn't last long. By the time Cinderella's debut album Night Songs was released in Aug. 1986, Fred Coury was the drummer and he would be on all the band's albums. Night Songs did great. It was certified 3XPlatinum. The single Nobody's Fool reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. MTV put their videos in heavy rotation. They worked with veteran British producer Andy Johns. They toured with Bon Jovi. Their 1988 album Long Cold Winter was also certified 3XPlatinum. The single Don't Know What You Got reached #12 and Coming Home reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The 1990 album Heartbreak Station didn't do as well as the first two albums. Then Keifer lost his voice and required several surgeries. This delayed Cinderella's next album until 1994. By this time, hard rock wasn't popular anymore and the album didn't sell and Mercury dropped them. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Cinderella is still around but they haven't released new music since 1994. They signed with Sony in 1999 but the only thing that came from that was a lawsuit. Tom Keifer released a solo CD in 2013. Cinderella plays occasionally but it doesn't look like they are touring. I guess they are a nostalgia act now. Here's the video for Coming Home by Cinderella.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Song:Flying High Again
Album:Memoirs Of A Madman
Before he became America's favourite reality TV dad, Ozzy Osbourne had a significant music career first with Black Sabbath and then as a solo artist. Despite never having a big hit single, Osbourne's 80s albums were consistent sellers and he was a strong concert draw. Flying High Again from the 1981 album Diary Of A Madman is representative of his music. He was born John Michael Osbourne Dec. 3, 1948 in Birmingham, England. His father was a toolmaker at General Electric. Osbourne has had the nickname Ozzy since he was a child. Hearing The Beatles sing She Loves You inspired Osbourne to quit school at age 15 to become a rock star. He worked various jobs and even got thrown in jail for robbery. In 1969, Osbourne formed Black Sabbath with Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Bill Ward. They were very successful in the 70s. It was during this time he met wife Sharon who was the daughter of the band's manager. In 1978 Osbourne looked to go solo. But he returned to Black Sabbath only to be fired in Apr. 1979. They claimed it was because of his excessive drug use but it was really because of conflict with Iommi. Osbourne signed with Jet Records owned by Sharon's dad. He formed a band with guitarist Randy Rhoads of Quiet Riot, keyboardist Don Airey of Rainbow, bassist Bob Daisley of Rainbow and drummer Lee Kerslake of Uriah Heep. The 1980 album Blizzard Of Ozz was a huge seller despite the lack of a hit single. Airey left but would return later. The 1981 album Diary Of A Madman was just as successful. Rhoads became very popular during this time. After this album, Daisley and Kerslake were replaced by Tommy Aldridge and Rudy Sarzo. Aldridge was Osbourne's original choice for drums but he was unavailable at the time. Sarzo was in Quiet Riot and was good friends with Rhoads. Then on Mar. 19, 1982, tragedy struck. Rhoads was in a light airplane piloted by the band's tour bus driver. They knew where the tour bus was and as a prank, they made low passes over the bus. The plane clipped the bus and Rhoads died in the crash. After some chaos, the band continued with the 1983 album Bark At The Moon with former Ratt guitarist Jake E. Lee and the return of Don Airey. The band continued to be very popular and through all this, Osbourne was taking drugs. Lee left in 1987 and he was replaced by Zakk Wylde. Osbourne wasn't as successful in the 90s. But his albums still sold well. Then he and Sharon started Ozzfest in 1996 and that was very successful too. In 2001, Osbourne released his first album since 1995. And MTV began production of The Osbournes reality show. The show was one of the first big reality TV hits and it is the template of the many shows that followed. Osbourne continues to record occasionally. He released a live album in 2011. This 2014 budget comp is a good overview of his career. Currently Osbourne and son Jack host the History Channel show Ozzy & Jack's World Detour. Not bad for a guy whose substance abuse inspired him to bite the head off a dove at a record company promotional appearance. Here's the video for Flying High Again by Ozzy Osbourne.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Album:Donnie Darko: Music From The Original Motion Picture Score
This cover of the Tears For Fears song Mad World was a surprise hit single. It's from the 2001 film Donnie Darko. Michael Andrews composed the score for the film and he brought in Gary Jules to sing. Andrews was born Nov. 17, 1967 in San Diego. He was childhood friends with Jules. They were in the 80s band Origin. Later, Andrews was in The Greyboy Allstars when film director Jake Kasdan asked them to score his 1999 film Zero Effect. This led to Andrews working on the TV series Freaks and Geeks. And then Richard Kelly hired him to score Donnie Darko. It was a low budget film so Andrews kept the score simple. But he wanted to include a vocal performance in the film. So he asked his old buddy Jules to sing Mad World, a favourite of both guys. What they didn't expect was that British DJs went nuts over the record and it topped the British charts. And of course it had a ripple effect and became a hit elsewhere. You can get Mad World on the Donnie Darko soundtrack or on the 2001 Gary Jules album Trading Snakeoil For Wolftickets. Jules returned to obscurity. Andrews continues to score films and TV. He currently works on the HBO series Togetherness from Jay and Mark Duplass. Andrews has scored some of their films. here's the video for Mad World by Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Song:Body and Soul
Album:Ken Burns Jazz
For all his fame as The King Of Swing with his big band, it is frequently forgotten that Goodman started out in small bands. My guess is he preferred a trio but the big band is what made him money. This recording of Body and Soul is from a series of trio recordings from the late 30s. Of course the members of The Benny Goodman Trio were Teddy Wilson on piano and Gene Krupa on drums. And it was later expanded to a quartet with the addition of Lionel Hampton on vibes. Of course Wilson is an important figure in jazz history. When he joined the Goodman band in 1935, he became one of the first black musicians to play in a white band. He and Goodman worked together for many years. Krupa was the first celebrity drummer. He joined the Goodman band in 1934. The trio played during intermissions of the big band concerts. Then the trio recorded for Bluebird. This budget comp has a good selection of Goodman recordings for beginners. Of course this trio ended when Krupa left the Goodman band in 1938. And Wilson left in 1939 to form his own orchestra. But that was short lived and Wilson returned to Goodman and they worked together for many years. Here's Benny Goodman with Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa performing Body and Soul Oct. 27, 1961 New York City.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Here's the match video of Leslie Smith vs Irene Aldana from last night's UFC show in Sacramento. Irene is a teammate of Strawweight Alexa Grasso. But she's not as good a fighter. I thought Leslie would be a good test for her because if she beats Leslie, maybe she's better than I thought. Leslie is a good striker but she lacks a ground game or any kind of finish. The fight was competitive enough that it won both fighters Fight of the Night bonuses. For me, the big difference was Leslie landed combinations and Irene didn't. Leslie scored a knockdown with a combination in round one. And I thought she had a good chance to finish. But Leslie let her get away. That could cost her against better competition. As I said, Irene isn't that good. I guess the UFC had to take her with Alexa. But Irene needs to show something to stick in the UFC. I have my doubts. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Michelle Waterson vs Paige VanZant from last night's UFC show in Sacramento. Of course Paige is being pushed as a star. At some point, she needs to improve as a fighter. Despite her highlight reel finish in her last fight, I don't think she's there yet. Veteran fighter Michelle would be a good test. The only question mark was a year and a half injury layoff. Michelle came out southpaw which she said after the fight was designed to confuse Paige. And Michelle used side kicks to keep Paige off her. Paige didn't do the fancy stuff she did in her last fight. Instead she closed distance and went for a head throw and gave up her back. That was her big mistake. Michelle got her against the fence and used the fence for a successful takedown. Michelle applied a bodylock and this allowed her to be patient going for a rear naked choke. After several attempts, Michelle puts Paige to sleep and it's over. Michelle got a well deserved submission bonus. It was perfect technique on the fence leading to the sub. Paige had no way to escape. All it took was one big mistake. Paige says she will get back to work. Remember she's only 22 and she has plenty of time to eliminate mistakes. Michelle moves up the ladder. I won't speculate on who she should face next. There are plenty of choices. Enjoy the video!
After a false start as a straight country artist, Chris Lane was reworked as a country pop artist similar to Sam Hunt. Fix was his 2015 breakthrough hit. He was born Nov. 4, 1984 in Kernersville, NC. He has a twin brother Cory. Both played baseball at UNC Charlotte. But injuries forced Lane to learn to play the guitar. He moved back home and started a cover band. Lane formed a band and released a CD in 2012. Then he decided to move to Nashville. He signed with Big Loud and opened for Florida Georgia Line. When Lane's first single Broken Windshield View did not perform as well as expected, producer Joey Moi (Florida Georgia Line) decided to take Lane in a country pop direction similar to Sam Hunt. Fix was released as an EP in Nov. 2015. It reached #10 in the Country Singles chart. That's the result they wanted. Fix was written by Sarah Buxton, Jesse Frasure and Abe Soklasa. Soklasa planned to record it himself but then he sold it to Big Loud. Veteran songwriters Buxton and Frasure were brought in to countrify the song. When I heard the record, I didn't think it was a country record. Girl Problems was released Aug. 2016 and Lane has toured with Rascal Flatts and Florida Georgia Line. When he finishes touring, I'm sure he will record his next album. Here's the video for Fix by Chris Lane.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Steve Wariner had a strong run on the country charts in the 80s. He had a total of ten number one country hits including The Weekend in 1987. He is also a strong guitarist and songwriter. He was born Dec. 25, 1954 in Noblesville, IN. He played in his dad's band as a teen in Indianapolis clubs. Wariner's main influences were Chet Atkins and George Jones. At age 17, Dottie West hired him to play bass. Wariner also toured with Glen Campbell, Bob Luman and Chet Atkins. Then Atkins signed him to RCA in 1976. RCA released a few singles before finally releasing Wariner's debut album in 1981. All Roads Lead To You was his first number one country hit in 1981. But it seems like RCA didn't know how to promote Wariner and he moved to MCA in 1984 to work with producers Jimmy Bowen and Tony Brown. He worked with Brown at RCA. So he liked the sound he was getting but not RCA's attempts to promote him. Wariner wasted no time as the 1985 single Some Fools Never Learn topped the country charts and this began a string of number one country hits including The Weekend in 1987. It's from his album It's A Crazy World. The Weekend was written by the husband wife team of Bill LaBounty and Beckie Foster. After LaBounty recorded three unsuccessful albums in the 70s, he turned to songwriting and has been very successful especially in Nashville. When Wariner began to fade, he moved to Arista in 1991. His first Arista album I Am Ready was his first Gold album. It appears that producers Tim Dubois and Scott Hendricks gave Wariner a more contemporary pop influenced sound and a bigger promotion budget. But after three albums, Wariner moved to Capitol for the 1998 album Burnin' The Roadhouse Down. This was after he had success singing duets with Anita Cochran. Wariner's 1999 hit Two Teardrops crossed over to pop. This budget comp covers Wariner's entire career. Wariner started his own label Selectone in 2003. In October, he released his latest CD All Over The Map. He still has some success writing songs for others and he's still in demand as a guitarist. Here's the video for The Weekend by Steve Wariner.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Song:Follow Your Arrow
Album:Same Trailer Different Park
Kacey Musgraves looked like the next big thing when Same Trailer Different Park was released in 2013. But her second album didn't sell that well and there were no hit singles. But she will still have a long career as a songwriter which is what got her noticed in the first place. She was born Aug. 21, 1988 in Golden, TX and she grew up in Mineola. Her major influence was Lee Ann Womack who is from the same part of Texas. And so is Miranda Lambert. And that similarity to those singers may be part of Kacey's problem. She's just not distinctive enough. After Kacey released albums independently and a failed appearance on Nashville Star, she signed with Mercury in 2012. Same Trailer Different Park was released in 2013 produced by veteran producers Luke Laird and Shane McAnally. Merry Go Round reached #14 on the Country singles chart. Follow Your Arrow reached #10. The album was certified Gold. She also won a couple of Grammys. Kacey writes her own songs usually with McAnally or Baird and sometimes other songwriters like Brandy Clark. Kacey's second CD Pageant Material was reviewed positively but it didn't catch on as well as the first album and there were no big hits. Biscuits made the top 30. She recently released A Very Kacey Christmas and she is currently on tour. But her next album may tell us if Kacey is a flavour of the month or if she has a long career as a performer. Certainly she would make a good living as a songwriter. Here's the video for Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Album:Harlem Holiday:New York Rhythm & Blues Vol. 1
Here's a great doo wop song from 1957. The Lovenotes recorded two singles and then disappeared. First, there was another group called The Lovenotes in the early 50s. This group was originally called The Ivories in 1955. They were formed in New York by Johnny Earl Jackson. Johnny Hicks was lead singer. Other members were Dave Cole, Joe Shiloh, James Coney and pianist and arranger Sylvester Bradford. They recorded a couple of singles for George Bennett's Jaguar Records. But they didn't turn out very well and Bennett even had the Ivories re-record the songs. It just didn't work out. Both Cole and Jackson left and they were replaced by Lucy Cedeno. She clicked with Hicks and the group name was changed to The Lovenotes. They signed with Danny Robinson's Holiday label and United did very well in the New York market. Hicks sang lead and Lucy did the spoken word part. They made appearances in New York in 1957. There was a second single called If I Could Make You Mine. And then they just disappeared. Lucy says that James Coney was arrested for an armed robbery in New Jersey and that was the end of The Lovenotes. You can get all four of their songs on this Collectables Holiday Records comp. Lucy Cedeno recorded a couple of singles as Lucy Rivera and then Laurie Davis. Then she married Gary US Bonds and sang backup for him for his entire career. Here's a video for United by The Lovenotes. Thanks to Unca Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebook for the info about The Lovenotes.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
For those who wondered what happened to the screwy guy who runs this blog, I took a two week "vacation" to St. Joseph's Health Center. Nothing major as it turned out. I woke up Dec. 1 and immediately knew my blood sugar was too low. I keep glucose tablets on hand but they were in the other room. So I called 911 and landed in Emergency at St. Joseph's. Unfortunately I was incoherent at the time so I wasn't able to take my phone. I also have a rash on my legs that I was planning to get checked out anyway. The first couple of nights my blood sugar got really low. Doctors decided that I was taking too much medication so they have decreased it accordingly. They gave me antibiotics for the rash and after a dermatologist looked at it, a lotion called Lamosil was prescribed which I am supposed to apply twice daily. The rash was caused by not being able to elevate my legs aggravated by the diabetes. If that had been all, I would have been out in less than a week. But blood tests revealed a low blood count. So after drinking a horrible liquid to empty my bowels, they did a colonoscopy. I was supposed to have an ultrasound and a CAT scan but the tests were delayed a couple of days. After having the tests, it was determined that I had an iron deficiency and they pumped me full of iron by IV for three days and now I have to take iron tablets. I also had an MRI on my brain. They found nothing (rimshot) and an MRI on my spine to confirm what I already knew. My spinal cord injury has deteriorated. I will follow up with doctors at St. Joseph's in a month or so. I will now get back to blogging beginning with tomorrow's song of the day. I think I was very fortunate this wasn't serious.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Album The Very Best Of Macy
With her quirky style and raspy voice, Macy Gray burst upon the scene with the 1999 top five hit I Try. Though Macy is still around, I Try turned out to be her only big hit. I think it's fair to say her career has been disappointing. She was born Natalie McIntyre Sept. 6, 1967 in Canton, OH. Though she studied music, she didn't like her own voice. So she went to the University of Southern California to study screenwriting. She wrote some songs for a friend. But when the singer didn't show, Macy sang them herself and her demos got her a deal with Atlantic Records. Record company management changes cancelled the deal and she went home to Canton. She was convinced to return to Los Angeles and she signed with Epic Records. She recorded her 1999 debut CD On How Life Is with former Warren Zevon producer Andrew Slater. Macy writes a lot of her own songs with members of her band, especially pianist Jeremy Ruzumna. I Try was the second single and it reached #5 on the Billboard hot 100. The album On How Life Is was certified 3XPlatinum. She also won some awards and even appeared in the 2001 film Training Day. With her quirky look and Billie Holiday influenced voice, Epic thought Macy was set up for long term success. But she never had another hit single and after three albums, she left Epic for Geffen. Though he 2007 Geffen debut album Big was produced by will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas, it did not sell. Since then Macy has recorded for Concord, 429, Kobalt and her latest CD Stripped was released on Chesky in Sept. 2016, she has been unable to capture the success of I Try. It looks like when her second Epic album did not sell as well as the first album, the record company hit the panic button. Macy's new album is with jazz musicians Ari Hoenig, Russell Malone, Daryl Johns and Wallace Roney. She says now she got caught up trying to hit pop music home runs and now she's getting back to basics. You can get all her Epic hits on this budget comp. I never liked Macy's pop music but I may check her out again if she's doing jazz. Here's the video for I Try by Macy Gray.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Here's the match video of Charlotte defending her WWE RAW Women's Championship vs Sasha Banks from last night's episode of RAW. So if you have been paying attention, you'll know that Vince McMahon has been very reluctant to keep the belt on Sasha. And at Hell In A Cell, Sasha was supposed to retain the title but Vince changed the ending at the last second. That's why the end of that match was so awkward. I can't comment on Vince's thinking but I don't think HHH has been happy with him. So Charlotte agrees to give Sasha a rematch in her home town of Charlotte. They do the match early in the show and Charlotte finagles a double count out so she keeps the belt. RAW GM Mick Foley comes out and informs Charlotte that he won't accept that result. They will restart the match later with no DQ and Falls Count Anywhere. The match starts out conventionally but then things get interesting when they take it outside the ring. Sasha pulls a kendo stick from under the ring and that turns the tide for the rest of the match. One of the more interesting spots had Charlotte doing a moonsault off the announce table onto Sasha. And I really liked the finish though I won't reveal it. It was right out of Korakuen Hall. So Sasha wins the title again and just to put the cherry on top of that sundae, Ric Flair came out to congratulate Sasha. Now we have to wait and see if Vince will let Sasha keep the belt. That should be very interesting. Enjoy the video!
Album:The Best Of David Gray
Singer songwriter David Gray has been very successful in his native England. He has had success in North America but just not to the same level. His music is worth checking out. He was born June 13, 1968 in Manchester, England. His family moved to Wales. While attending the Liverpool School Of Art, he played in a couple of punk bands. He soon decided to be a solo artist and he started playing local clubs. Gray started out as an acoustic artist recording two albums on Virgin's Hut label. He was on Caroline in the US. Then he started experimenting with electronics and started recording what is called folktronica. He had success in England with the 1998 album White Ladder and the single Babylon. So he's had a lot of chart success in England. Attempts by Dave Matthews' ATO label to break him in the US hasn't been as successful. But Gray has a loyal following. Fugitive is from the 2009 album Draw The Line, Gray's first album with Polydor. This comp The Best Of David Gray was just released a couple of weeks ago. It's a good intro to his music. David Gray is worth checking out. Here's the video for Fugitive by David Gray.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Album:Good Times Are So Hard To Find: The History of Blue Cheer
Blue Cheer were hard rock pioneers. They built the bridge from garage band psychedelia to what would become heavy metal. Summertime Blues was their only big hit. Blue Cheer were from San Francisco led by bassist and lead singer Dickie Peterson along with guitarist Leigh Stephens and drummer Eric Albronda. The band was named after a popular variety of LSD. Albronda became their manager and was replaced by Paul Whaley. They added a few members for a while but then cut back to the original trio. Blue Cheer signed with Philips Records and their debut album Vincebus Eruptum was released in 1968. Their cover of the classic Summertime Blues reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would turn out to be Blue Cheer's only big hit. This original lineup recorded one more album and then Stephens was replaced by Randy Holden. The band membership soon became a revolving door and that hurt Blue Cheer's music and they split up on 1972. They first reformed in 1978 and then split up in 1980. But they reformed more permanently in 1999 and would continue to tour until Dickie Peterson died of cancer in 2009. This budget CD should give you a clear picture of Blue Cheer. Today Blue Cheer are hailed as hard rock pioneers. Here's Blue Cheer performing Summertime Blues on the German TV show Beat Club 1968.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Here's the match video of Danielle Taylor vs Ham Seo Hee from last night's UFC show in Brisbane, Australia. This was a terrible fight. But afterwards there was a lot of whining about the judging and the ref. So I took another look at it. Geez, the things I do for you guys. I didn't think either fighter did enough to win. But Danielle is the main culprit. She got on her bike and played keep away for three rounds. It's the same strategy Maryna Moroz used to beat Danielle. And it's a great strategy to use on Ham, a technical kickboxer with no power. Of course the ref could put a stop to it. But most don't and it's a legitimate strategy to win fights. Some fighters don't care if their fights are boring. They just want that W. The ref did miss an eye poke on Ham in round three. But I doubt it made any difference. It's a difficult match to judge. I suppose they gave it to Danielle for cage control. She won by split decision. It's a cheap way to win and it doesn't move her up the ladder. Her camp will say a win is a win. Enjoy the video!
Song:I Got The Feeling
Album:The New Formula
Today was an R&B group that had brief success in the early days of the New Jack Swing movement. They split up after two albums. Today started out in 1984 in Englewood, NJ as The Gents. The members were Lee "Bubba" Drakeford, Larry Singletary, Wes Adams and Larry McCain. They were introduced to uberproducer Teddy Riley and he changed their name to Today and got them a record deal with MCA Records. It was around this time that MCA bought Motown and put Jheryl Busby in charge. Today was moved to Motown and the idea was to promote them as the "new" Four Tops. Today's 1988 debut CD was produced by Riley and partner Gene Griffin. The singles Him Or Me and Girl I Got My Eyes On You did well on the R&B charts. But Riley was not involved with the 1990 album The New Formula. Griffin was still involved but I guess Today were upset that Riley wasn't around. I guess this was around the time that Riley split with Griffin. I Got The Feeling was produced and written by Elliott "Dr. Freeze" Straite who also produced Bell Biv Devoe's Poison. I Got The Feeling reached #12 on the R&B Singles chart. There has been renewed interest in this song after it was used in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Drakeford left to go solo. He recorded three albums as Big Bub. The rest of the group tried to continue but they were unsuccessful. Today reunited in 2010 and they released a gospel CD. Here's the video for I Got The Feeling by Today.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
|Gabi Garcia, Shinobu Kandori|
Song:Hat To Beard
Album:Out To Lunch
Sax player Eric Dolphy was best known for his work with Charles Mingus. He was just coming into his own as a leader when he died prematurely. The 1964 album Out To Lunch is a must. He was born June 20, 1928 in Los Angeles. He played the clarinet as a child and got into jazz as a teen. Dolphy played with local bands like Gerald Wilson and Roy Porter. His first high profile gig was with Chico Hamilton in 1958. Dolphy moved to New York and joined Charles Mingus' band. The two knew each other growing up in Los Angeles. While touring with Mingus, Dolphy recorded several albums as a leader for Prestige. He also recorded with John Coltrane and Booker Little. Dolphy left the Mingus band in 1964 and he also left Prestige for Blue Note. The 1964 album Out To Lunch is the one essential Eric Dolphy album. Musicians are Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Richard Davis on bass and Tony Williams on drums. Then Dolphy moved to Europe. He thought his brand of jazz would go over better in Europe and his fiancee was a ballerina in Paris. Sadly, Out To Lunch was Dolphy's final recording. On June 29, 1964, Dolphy collapsed on stage in Berlin. The hospital assumed he overdosed on drugs when in fact, Dolphy was a diabetic. He died after he was given the wrong treatment. Eric Dolphy died at age 36. His music is worth checking out. Here's a video for Hat and Beard by Eric Dolphy.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Song:O Come All Ye Faithful
Album:The Christmas Song
One of the most successful Christmas records of all time was Nat King Cole's 1946 recording of The Christmas Song. For one thing, it was the first time Cole recorded with strings. So he was able to move farther from his jazz roots to pop stardom. Of course back then, there were no albums. So now you want to know if Cole ever recorded a Christmas album. The album The Magic Of Christmas was released in 1960. The songs including O Come All Ye Faithful are traditional Chistmas classics arranged and conducted by Ralph Carmichael. But for some reason, Capitol did not include The Christmas Song. I guess they underestimated the demand for Cole's version of that song. So in 1962, Capitol re-released The Magic of Christmas as The Christmas Song. The version on this album is not the original 1946 version but a 1961 version that Cole recorded for The Nat King Cole Story. And that 1961 recording is the one usually played on the radio. The Christmas Song was first released on CD in 1986. But it underwent a major overhaul in 2003 that included some bonus tracks. In 2009, Capitol did another overhaul including a new cover. It also includes the 1946 and 1961 versions of The Christmas Song. This is the version that is currently available on CD. I guess the bottom line is if you need a Christmas album by a major league crooner, you can't go wrong with Nat King Cole. Here's a video of O Come All Ye Faithful by Nat King Cole.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Song:Baby Got Back
Here's a video I'm sure you all remember from the early 90s. It was all about butts. Baby Got Back topped the charts in 1992. It turned out to be the only big hit for rapper Sir-Mix-A-Lot. He was born Anthony Ray Aug. 12, 1963 in Seattle. In 1983, he started his own label Nastymix with partner Nasty Nes. In 1987, Ray scored a regional hit with Posse On Broadway. The record has plenty of Seattle references. He had a couple of minor hits but then he had a nasty split with his partner. American Recordings owner Rick Rubin signed Ray to his American Def label and he also bought Ray's old masters. That ended the dispute. Ray recorded the album Mack Daddy. Baby Got Back topped the charts despite the controversial subject matter. MTV even banned the video for a while. It turned out to be Ray's only big hit. He recorded a couple more albums and then returned to Seattle. He's still active locally and he hosts his own radio show based in Fresno, CA. So like a lot of rappers, Sir-Mix-A-Lot had a very brief run. Here's the video for Baby Got Back by Sir-Mix-A-Lot.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Song:You Oughta Know
Album:Jagged Little Pill
The highlight of Canadian singer songwriter Alanis Morissette's career was the 1995 album Jagged Little Pill and the top ten single You Oughta Know. It was the right thing at the right time and Alanis has never been able to recreate the success of that album. She was born June 1, 1974 in Ottawa, ON. She started to play piano at six years old. She appeared in the locally produced kids TV show You Can't Do That On Television. She started sending out demos at age nine and then signed with MCA Records Canada in 1991. She released two albums on MCA that can best be described as teen dance pop. Alanis wrote all the songs with Leslie Howe of the duo One 2 One. She had modest success but the albums were released only in Canada. She was dropped after two albums. Her new manager had her move to Toronto. And this is where she met producer Glen Ballard. Together they wrote and produced the album Jagged Little Pill. Maverick Records picked it up. You Oughta Know was the first single and it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jagged Little Pill sold over 30M copies worldwide. The music was a complete about face from the dance pop of Alanis' previous albums. The music had a much harder sound and the songs seemed more personal. Maverick's request for MCA to discontinue the early albums led to skepticism. To Alanis' credit, she has never disowned her early music. She said she was innocent at the time and her experiences in the music business toughened her up. Her single Ironic reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was always going to be tough for Alanis to follow that. And album sales decreased accordingly. And she's never had another hit single. Jagged Little Pill is available as a budget CD. Alanis left Maverick in 2008 and she released her 2012 CD Havoc and Bright Lights through Sony. Alanis is married to rapper Mario "Souleye" Treadway. They have two kids including a daughter born July 2016. It remains to be seen if Alanis returns to recording and touring. Here's the video for You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Song:We Need A Little Christmas
Album:Christmas Is...Percy Faith
If you're looking for an old school Christmas album, you can't really go wrong with Percy Faith. Of course Faith started out with the CBC in Toronto and then he moved to New York as an arranger at Columbia Records. Though Faith would occasionally score a hit single, for the most part he produced dozens of easy listening albums for older adults. His albums usually sold well enough that Columbia allowed Faith to continue to record until the mid-70s. Christmas Is... is from 1966. It has the usual Christmas standards that you would expect. But the first single from the album was the lesser known Christmas song We Need A Little Christmas. Jerry Herman wrote the song for the 1966 musical Mame. Angela Lansbury performed it in the Broadway production. So at the time, this was a new song. The record charted on the Adult Contemporary chart. It's not one of those Christmas songs that has been covered to death. It turned up in the TV series Glee in 2010. But Faith's recording is probably definitive. Some of the other songs on the album are more familiar. It's available as a budget CD. It's not my kind of music. But I guess Faith's sound can be very soothing during the holidays. That's why he had such a long career. Here's a video for We Need A Little Christmas by Percy Faith His Orchestra and Chorus.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Song:Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix)
This record is probably the most successful one hit wonders in history. Macarena topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks and it was a worldwide dance sensation. Not surprisingly, the success was a complete fluke that came out of nowhere. Los Del Rio have been around in their native Spain since the 60s. The two guys you saw in the video are Antonio Romero Monge and Rafael Ruiz. They are a vocal duo and normally their music is easy listening lounge music. In 1992, Los Del Rio were at a private party in Venezuela. Monge was so impressed with a dancer who performed at the party, he made up a song about her on the spot. That song became Macarena. Los Del Rio recorded it and it was a hit in Spain. It was also popular in Puerto Rico and that's where US tourists heard the song. Miami DJ Jammin Johnny Caride heard Macarena in a club where he worked. And he thought the song could be a hit if it had English lyrics. His radio station Power 96 agreed to finance a remix. Caride called his buddies Mike Triay and Carlos de Yarza of Bayside Records to do the remix. Triay wrote English lyrics sung by Carla Vanessa and of course the beat was reworked to appeal to North American tastes. This version of Macarena known as the Bayside Boys Remix is the version that topped the charts for 14 weeks. You can get it on this budget CD. In 2002, VH1 named it the greatest one hit wonder of all time. The song made Los Del Rio very wealthy. They still perform in their native Spain. The Bayside Boys released an album and toured. But this record was their only hit. Here's the video for Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix) by Los Del Rio featuring Carla Vanessa.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Here's the match video of Asuka defending the NXT Women's Championship from last night's NXT Takeover show in Toronto. I am posting all of Asuka's matches for any of her fans who don't get the WWE Network. Considering that these two performers had never laid eyes on each other until they were across the ring from each other last night, I thought it was a tremendous match. We all know what Asuka can do. In recent years, Mickie has gone to indy feds facing wrestlers she doesn't know who don't have Asuka's experience or ring skills. After a feeling out process, both of them got to work and there was no messing around. Mickie got her offense in and then Asuka got her offense in. They did some fun spots and the thing that surprised me was how smoothly these two worked together though they had never met before. The announcers tried to put over how much offense Mickie got in. But it makes no sense to make a big deal out of bringing Mickie in without showing that she is a threat to win. Of course Asuka won but the important thing is they put on a great show with no practice. That's what great pro wrestlers do. They tear the house down every single night. Major props to Asuka and Mickie. Enjoy the video!
WWE NXT Takeover Toronto 3016 Asuka vs Mickie... by WomensOfWrestlingNetwotk
WWE NXT Takeover Toronto 3016 Asuka vs Mickie... by WomensOfWrestlingNetwotk
Here's the match video of Marion Reneau vs Milana Dudieva from yesterday's UFC show in Ireland. Marion is from Visalia, CA trained by Bellator fighter Doug Marshall. She looked pretty good in her first couple of UFC fights. But she's looked terrible especially in her last fight. She lost a close decision to Ashlee Evans-Smith but neither fighter performed well. Milana may be the worst fighter in the UFC. She doesn't even look good when she wins. She's coming off of a pregnancy layoff. The first round isn't much. Neither fighter wants to commit to anything. Marion scores with a few punches late in the round to win 10-9. Marion does better in round two and she comes close to finishing Milana. And then she does finish her with a takedown and some ground and pound. So Marion gets a much needed win and Milana is still useless. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Amanda Bobby Cooper vs Anna Elmose from yesterday's UFC show in Ireland. Amanda was in TUF 23 and she lost in the final. She seems to have a loyal fan following. I've seen her a couple of times and I haven't been impressed with her. She's from Bath, MI. For this fight camp, she spent some time with Julianna Pena at Sik Jitsu in Spokane. Anna is from Denmark. she made her UFC debut as a Bantamweight and got splattered by Germaine De Randamie. She may be better as a Strawweight. The fight was reasonably entertaining and competitive. Round one was fairly even. Amanda scored with strikes and then Anna got a takedown near the end of the round and she probably stole the round. Amanda came back in round two and the fight was even. She continued to control Anna in round three. So I thought Amanda won 29-28 and the judges gave her a unanimous decision. This fight is worth a look. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Claudia Gadelha vs Cortney Casey from last night's UFC show in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After her loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Claudia left her long time camp Nova Uniao. She opened her own gym in Philadelphia. For this match, she trained at Jackson Wink in New Mexico. Claudia is still one of the best Strawweights. But I need to see some improvement for her to get back in the title picture. Cortney is a decent fighter. But she's just not at Claudia's level. So it's one thing for Claudia to win this fight. But she needs to make a statement and she didn't really do that. Claudia won all three rounds easily. She could take Cortney down whenever she wanted. She outstruck her consistently. But she never came close to finishing the fight. And that's what I need to see from her. I don't think a unanimous decision win is a strong performance. Of course there was controversy when Claudia kicked Cortney in the head while she was down. I don't think it was deliberate. But she is known to be careless. The ref seemed confused and he probably should have taken a point from Claudia...but he didn't. It wouldn't have mattered as Claudia won 30-27 on all three scorecards. Enjoy the video!
Song:Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
One might think it was a no brainer to spin off Cher solo from Sonny & Cher. But nothing is ever that simple. Cher first recorded solo in 1964. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves was her first number one hit in 1971. When Cher first met Sonny Bono, he wanted to produce her as a solo artist. But she suffered from stage fright and convinced him to perform with her. After a couple of failed singles as Caesar & Cleo, Cher signed with Imperial Records and All I Really Want To Do was a top 20 hit in 1965. Then Sonny & Cher signed with Atco Records and had a lot of success. Sonny attempted to keep Cher's solo career going and Bang Bang was a top five hit in 1966. But that was her only solo success. Then Sonny & Cher went into decline. Cher released the album Backstage in 1968. But it flopped and Imperial dropped her. Atco dropped Sonny & Cher but they signed Cher as a solo artist. They sent her to Muscle Shoals to record the 1969 album 3614 Jackson Highway. It flopped and Sonny hated the album. So it looked like they were through and they were having problems anyway. But then they put together a nightclub act where they bickered on stage. This got them the CBS variety show The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour in 1971. It was very successful. Cher signed with Kapp Records. After her first single was unsuccessful, she was sent to Nashville to work with veteran producer Snuff Garrett. He produced Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves which topped the charts in 1971. The song was the biggest hit written by veteran recording engineer Bob Stone. This 2CD comp covers Cher's entire career. Of course everything came crashing down when Sonny and Cher divorced in 1974. And Cher would reinvent herself many times. Here's Cher performing Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves on a 1971 episode of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.