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.