Tuesday, June 27, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Debby Boone

Artist:Debby Boone
Song:You Light Up My Life
Album:You Light Up My Life: Greatest Inspirational Songs




You Light Up My Life topped the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks in 1977. Even back then the record was criticized for being overly sappy. That didn't prevent it from being a million seller. It was the only pop hit for Debby Boone. She also had some success in country music. But mostly she has recorded Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). She was born Sept. 22, 1956 in Hackensack, NJ. Of course she is the third of Pat Boone's four daughters. And her grandfather was country music legend Red Foley. Of course Pat Boone was a big pop star in the 50s. When that faded, he turned to Christian music. All four girls toured with dad and they recorded CCM in the mid-70s. Debby was usually the lead singer. Family friend and Curb Records owner Mike Curb convinced Debby to go solo. You Light Up My Life was released as a single. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks. The song was written for the 1977 film You Light Up My Life by Joe Brooks. He also wrote and directed the film. Brooks started out as a jingle writer and he got into films in the 70s. In the film, You Light Up My Life was performed by actress Didi Conn and dubbed by opera singer Kasey Cisyk. Brooks knew her from the jingle business. Her version was a minor hit but Curb wanted Debby to record it. Brooks came to the studio with his backing track and Debby just sang over it. After the single was a huge hit, Curb had to scramble to put an album together. He brought in old buddies Michael Lloyd and Bob Gaudio to help and the album was certified Platinum. Debby also won a Best New Artist Grammy. It looked like she was going to be a big star. But she only recorded four albums for Warner Bros. and her only other hit Are You On The Road To Lovin' Me Again was a #1 country hit. Since then Debby has mostly recorded CCM. She's had a lot of success in that market. You can get You Light Up My Life on this Curb comp. Neither the album or soundtrack You Light Up My Life have been released on CD. Debby continued to record Christian music in the 80s. Her most recent album Swing This in 2013. It appears to be a jazz album. She also turns up on TV occasionally and she still tours. Here's Debby Boone performing You Light Up My Life.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Carla Esparza vs Maryna Moroz

Here's the match video of Carla Esparza vs Maryna Moroz from last night's UFC show in Oklahoma City. Carla was the first UFC Strawweight Champion. After losing the title, Carla had shoulder surgery and she just hasn't looked good since returning especially losing her last match to Randa Markos. Obviously Carla wants to get back into the title picture. But it's questionable if she's good enough anymore. She needs a big win. Maryna is from the Ukraine. She's mainly a boxer. So is her husband. She looked pretty good when she first came to the UFC. Not so much since then. She hasn't even looked good in her wins. Maryna has a big height advantage. As a striker, one would think she would use that to her advantage. But she seems content with doing as little as possible while still winning the fight. That worked in her last fight. Neither of them did much in round one. But I thought Maryna was slightly more effective so I scored the round 10-9 for Maryna. In the other two rounds, Carla was able to get her timing and that resulted in several takedowns. The problem was she didn't do much after the takedowns. That was mostly because Maryna kept her from doing anything. You don't score points for that. On one occasion, ref Mario Yamasaki told them to get busy or he's stand them up. Carla says "She's holding my wrist". Yamasaki said that was her problem. The whole fight was like that. Maryna was terrible and Carla was marginally better. She won by unanimous decision. I scored it 29-28 for Carla. So you know how fighters are. A win is a win. That's what Carla was saying afterwards. She thinks one more win gets her a title shot. I'm sure it won't surprise you that I don't buy that. She needed a dominant win. She didn't get it. A squeaker like that doesn't cut it. She would get clobbered by a really good fighter, even her BFF Felice Herrig. Several years ago, I never would have thought that Felice would be higher than Carla on the food chain. But there you have it. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Felice Herrig vs Justine Kish

Here's the match video of Felice Herrig vs Justine Kish from last night's UFC show in Oklahoma City. In her last fight, Felice beat highly touted prospect Alexa Grasso. So this past week she was wondering aloud why she wasn't fighting a ranked opponent. Though Justine won both her UFC fights, she hasn't been that effective. Her defense needs a lot of work. Her opponents were worse than her. So if she's on her game, I expected Felice to win handily. And consistency has been the big question mark in Felice's career. That's what UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby is looking for with Felice. But Felice has shown a marked improvement since training with veteran fighter Jeff Curran. And there he was in her corner. Justine trains at Black House in Los Angeles. She was supposed to be on TUF 20 but she had knee surgery. I just haven't been impressed with her two UFC wins. Her main flaw was obvious in this fight. Her defense isn't good enough. Felice kept taking Justine down and no one can win fights on defense all the time. Felice almost finished her in the third round with a rear naked choke. I don't know how Justine escaped that. Look, she's a tough girl. That's not enough to win fights. She has too many holes in her game. And as I'm sure you heard, she took a crap on the mat which has made international headlines. It was on TMZ this morning. At least she had a sense of humour about it afterwards. That's one way to become famous. Justine had nothing for Felice. I scored the first two rounds 10-9 for Felice and round three 10-8. The only thing Felice didn't do was finish. Felice won by unanimous decision. I assume she'll get what she wants now. She says she never turns down fights. What about Claudia Gadelha or maybe Cynthia Calvillo who has a fight coming up in a couple of weeks. They might as well throw Felice into the deep end of the pool and see if she swims. Either opponent would be very tough. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nina Simone

Artist:Nina Simone
Song:Love Me Or Leave Me
Album:The Great Nina Simone





Today Nina Simone is so well known for her part in the civil rights movement and her turbulent personal life that I think it is forgotten that she was a very versatile singer. This recording of the standard Love Me Or Leave Me is from her 1958 debut album Little Girl Blue. It's a straight jazz album focusing on her singing and piano skills. She would stray quite a bit from that later. She was born Eunice Waymon Feb. 21, 1933 in Tryon, NC and she grew up singing in church. Then she got interested in jazz and renamed herself Nina Simone after French actress Simone Signoret so her Methodist minister mom wouldn't know Eunice was singing the devil's music. Nina recorded the album Little Girl Blue in 1958 and when the single I Loves You, Porgy got radio airplay, she sold the album to Bethlehem Records for $3,000. Boy, did she regret that. I Loves You, Porgy turned out to be the biggest hit single of her career. The album is worth getting because it's straight ahead jazz with Jimmy Bond on bass and Albert "Tootie" Heath on drums. Bond was a sideman at the time. He would be a successful Los Angeles studio musician in the 60s. Heath is the brother of sax player Jimmy Heath and bassist Percy Heath. He's still around at 82 years of age. The British label Music Club has released Little Girl Blue on CD as The Great Nina Simone. It is a budget CD and it contains bonus tracks. Love Me Or Leave Me was written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn for the 1928 Broadway show Whoopee! and popularized by singer Ruth Etting. Nina recorded the song again on the 1966 album Let It All Out. That's the version on any of her Verve comps. In the 60s, Nina recorded for Colpix and Philips. But though she was a civil rights activist in concert, her albums didn't reflect that until she signed with RCA in 1967. So though her RCA recordings are her most famous recordings, you shouldn't overlook her 1958 debut album on Bethlehem. Here's Nina Simone performing Love Me Or Leave Me. It looks like this might be from the CBS series Camera Three in 1962.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Aaron Neville concert review

The Toronto Jazz Festival is back. In the past the festival has had concerts spread out across the downtown district including the Mainstage at City Hall. This year they have decided to have most of the concerts in the Yorkville district. Back in the 60s, Yorkville was a major music hub with plenty of folkies singing in coffee houses. I can't tell you how many nights I spent at the Riverboat doing artist interviews for a radio show I had at the time. So returning to Yorkville is a blast from the past. Some of the bigger concerts are at Koerner Hall on Bloor St. and they are also reviving 888 Yonge St. at Davenport. It's a heritage building that began as a Masonic Temple. It was also known as The Rock Pile in the 60s. In recent years, CTV used it as studio space. But they sold the building and it is being called Concert Hall. I think the building is more suited to rock than jazz. But Danforth Music Hall gets most of the rock acts that come to Toronto. Who knows what will happen after the festival. They have also set up free concerts at three outdoor stages. Last night I went to see legendary singer Aaron Neville at a stage set up at Yorkville and Belair. BTW, the nearest subway station is Bay but it is not accessible. So I used Yonge Station. I will return to this theme in a few days. Of course Aaron Neville is best known as part of the popular group The Neville Brothers. Back in the 60s he scored a hit with his signature song Tell It Like It Is. But on small labels he wasn't able to make a living in music until he started working with his brothers in the late 70s. They had hits with songs like Yellow Dog and Sister Rosa. But his biggest success was his 1989 duet with Linda Ronstadt Don't Know Much. Neville's latest album Apache is on his own label. Neville wrote and produced it with Eric Krasno of Soulive. On this show, he was accompanied by a pianist. There was no band. Neville sang some of his own hits including Tell It Like It Is and Don't Know Much. But he also sang plenty of oldies like This Magic Moment, A Change Is Gonna Come and Stand By Me. At one point, Neville said he has so many songs in his head, he gets them mixed up. That reminded me of when I saw New Orleans music legend Irma Thomas a few years ago. She brought this big binder on stage that had all her songs in it. Neville had a set list but he did some medleys and he was improvising on the fly. The pianist did a great job keeping up with him. I have been a big Aaron Neville fan for years. I have always wanted to see him and thanks to the Toronto Jazz Festival, we got to see one of the world's great singers for free. I have two more free concerts to attend this week. Stay tuned.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Celine Dion f/Clive Griffin

Artist:Celine Dion f/Clive Griffin
Song:When I Fall In Love
Album:Sleepless In Seattle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack




The thing that I thought was unusual about this recording is it doesn't appear on any Celine Dion compilation CDs. It was recorded for the 1993 hit film Sleepless In Seattle. If you recall the film, the songs on the soundtrack and the songs on the soundtrack album are mostly standards recorded by legends like Jimmy Durante, Louis Armstrong and others. John Barry was hired to compose the score. But when he was given a list of 20 songs that had to be in the film, he left and Marc Shaiman replaced him. Shaiman started out in cabaret and Broadway and he was more suitable for this film. The music was supposed to evoke nostalgia. As I said, they used mostly vintage recordings. But they wanted a new recording as a hit single to sell the soundtrack album. David Foster to the rescue. He was one of several producers working on Celine Dion's new album The Colour Of My Love. When I Fall In Love is a pop standard written by film composer Victor Young with lyrics by Edward Heyman for the 1952 film One Minute To Zero. Doris Day scored a hit with it at the time. It was also performed in the 1957 film Istanbul by Nat King Cole. Cole's recording is the one I remember. The original plan was to have Celine sing the song with Stevie Wonder. When that couldn't be worked out, British singer Clive Griffin was brought in. My guess is there was a time crunch to get the recording done. Griffin had just signed with Epic Records and they thought this was a good way to get him out there. The single reached #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. It won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist and nominated for a couple of other awards. It turned out to be Griffin's only big hit. He only recorded one album for Epic. When I Fall In Love appears on the Sleepless In Seattle soundtrack and The Colour Of My Love. Both are available as budget CDs. But I guess it wasn't a big enough hit to appear on any of Celine's comp CDs. That surprised me but that's the reason I decided to feature this recording. Here's the video for When I Fall In Love by Celine Dion featuring Clive Griffin.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Rhinoceros

Artist:Rhinoceros
Song:Apricot Brandy
Album:Rock Instrumental Classics Volume 3: The Seventies




Rhinoceros was an attempt by Elektra Records to form a "supergroup". The music was good but record sales were disappointing and the band split up after three albums. The instrumental Apricot Brandy was their biggest chart hit. Elektra Records house producer Paul Rothchild asked Frasier Mohawk to put a band together. Mohawk recruited Stephen Stills to join Buffalo Springfield. He asked Mohawk to audition musicians. This was how Moby Grape was formed. They got from the first audition singer and pianist Alan Gerber and guitarist Doug Hastings. Hastings briefly replaced Neil Young in Buffalo Springfield and a member of the Seattle based group The Daily Flash. The second audition brought them singer John Finley from the Canadian group Jon & Lee & The Checkmates and guitarist Danny Weis who was a founding member of Iron Butterfly. Weis suggested former Iron Butterfly bassist Jerry Penrod and Finley suggested former Checkmate pianist Michael Fonfara who had just left The Electric Flag. The final member was former Mothers Of Invention drummer Billy Mundi. Rhinoceros first recorded as backing band for David Ackles. Their debut album Rhinoceros was released in 1968. Apricot Brandy reached #46 on the Billboard Hot 100. But the album didn't sell. That was the story of Rhinoceros. Elektra had high expectations but they didn't get the results they wanted. For their second album Satin Chickens, Penrod was replaced by another former Checkmate Peter Hodgson who had been working with David Clayton-Thomas in Toronto. Then for their 1970 album Better Times Are Comin', Gerber and Mundi were replaced by former Checkmates Larry Leishman and Duke Edwards. So Rhinoceros became a Jon & Lee & The Checkmates reunion. In addition to all this, their manager turned down an invitation for Rhinoceros to appear at Woodstock. Imagine if they had appeared there. After three unsuccessful albums, Elektra dropped Rhinoceros. Most of the guys moved back to Toronto and recorded a 1972 album for GRT Records as Blackstone. You can get Apricot Brandy on this Rhino various artists comp. Fonfara was a member of Rough Trade in the 70s, The Lincolns and later The Downchild Blues Band. Rhinoceros reunited in 2009 in Kitchener, ON. Here's a video for Apricot Brandy by Rhinoceros.

Friday, June 23, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Medicine

Artist:Medicine
Song:5ive
Album:Shot Forth Self Living




Medicine is probably best known for their appearance in the 1994 film The Crow. The problem was they split up soon after. Medicine is clearly in the neo-psychedelic vein which would have been a tough sell in the early 90s. Their label sold them as noise pop. Medicine were from Los Angeles led by drummer Brad Laner. After his previous band Savage Republic split up, Laner recorded some tapes at home. Record companies told him that if he could form a band that sounded like the tapes, he could get a record deal. And Medicine was born. They signed with Rick Rubin's Def American label. 5ive is from their 1992 debut album Shot Forth Self Living. Laner produced the album and he also sang, played guitar, piano and percussion. Other members were Beth Thompson on vocals, Jim Putnam on guitar, Eddie Ruscha on bass and he also designed the album cover and Jim Goodall on drums. The album got some airplay on college radio and videos played on MTV. The problem was Medicine was a one man band. Laner could do everything if he wanted. But he needed a band to tour. By the time their third album Her Highness was released in 1995, Medicine was reduced to Laner, Thompson and Goodall. The others had left and Laner never replaced them. Medicine got a boost when they performed in the 1994 film The Crow. But by this time it was clear that Laner wasn't going to keep them together as he preferred recording in his home studio anyway. Laner joined the group Lusk led by former Tool bassist Paul D'Amour and former Guns 'n' Roses pianist Chris Pitman. They recorded one album. Laner has been in other bands and he continues to record at home. And he has reformed Medicine a couple of times. The first was in 2003 with Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee. They released an album. And more recently he reformed the original lineup and they recorded two albums in 2014. Medicine doesn't seem to be active right now Laner could always reform them down the road. Here's the video of 5ive by Medicine.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Io Shirai having neck problems, not coming to the WWE yet

Io Shirai held a press conference today. It was expected that she would announce that she was leaving STARDOM and coming to the WWE. Yesterday she dropped the World of STARDOM Championship to Mayu Iwatani. Instead she announced that she is having neck problems and numbness in her arm. She thinks the injury occurred when she took a piledriver during a recent match with Toni Storm. Considering her wrestling style, I'm surprised Io hasn't been seriously injured before. She did take some time off last year to have bone fragments removed from her butt. That's what happens when you take a lot of bumps. But this could be more serious. And she must get it resolved because she won't pass the WWE physical until it is resolved. Obviously this will depend on if she needs spinal fusion surgery. If she does, Io will be out indefinitely and she may not come to the WWE at all. Or she may be forced to retire. The match against Toni Storm was on May 14. I have posted the video so you can see for yourself. If you aren't familiar with Toni, she was born in New Zealand, lives in England and she will be in the WWE tournament. She has been working for STARDOM for the last few months. She's pretty good for a 21 year old. The match was a 30 minute draw. The video is edited. The piledriver is about 14 minutes into the video. Io says she knew she was in trouble immediately. She couldn't move. The ref rolled her out of the ring and kept Toni back. Io is such a good seller, it was impossible for Toni to know there was something wrong. The ref was going to count Io out so he could stop the match. But she got back in the ring though you can see that she can't move her left arm. The ref is still trying to stop the match because he knows this is serious. The trouper that she is, Io finishes the match. She says she will undergo medical testing in July including an MRI. There's no timetable for her return until the results are known. She will be out up to a year if she needs surgery. Io says she was healthy before this match so that's when she got hurt. Io was not going to be in the WWE tournament anyway because like Kairi Hojo, she was going to do a farewell tour. And she's released her autobiography. I have posted the cover above. Hopefully this turns out to not be serious. But I don't like the looks of it. I will let you all know when I know. Be sure to check out the video.

Amanda Lemos in for Lina Lansberg on July 16 UFC show

Amanda Lemos
Yesterday Globo in Brazil reported and the UFC confirmed today Brazilian fighter Amanda Lemos will replace the injured Lina Lansberg against Leslie Smith on UFC Fight Night 113 July 16 at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. But I expect this fight to air on UFC Fight Pass. I would describe Amanda as unproven. She is 30 years old from Para, Brazil. Her record is 6-0-1. She has fought mostly for Jungle Fights. In her latest fight, she beat Mayra Cantuaria by TKO on the June 25, 2016 Jungle Fights show Pocos de Caldos, Brazil. That was the main event but it was also a rematch as the two had previously fought to a draw. Amanda was supposed to fight Arlene Blencowe on a January Legend MMA show in Australia. But Amanda pulled out due to injury. Leslie is obviously a big step up in competition. But the way to beat Leslie is to take her down as she has no ground game. Except for the draw, Amanda has won most of her fights by TKO. Of course Leslie is a veteran and she probably already knows what Amanda will try to do. She needs to keep it standing.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Zhane

Artist:Zhane f/Fam
Song:Hey Mr. DJ
Album:Pronounced Jah-Nay





The female duo Zhane scored a top ten hit with Hey Mr. DJ in 1993. It turned out to be their only big hit. But the song is very durable and it gets sampled a lot by hip hop guys. Renee Neufville and Jean Norris met at Temple University in Philadelphia. They sang together on some of the same shows. After they appeared on the 1991 DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince single Ring My Bell, former Warner Bros. exec Benny Medina suggested they become a group. The name Zhane is a mix of their names. The Jah-Nay pronunciation is to make it sound French. It's not a real word. They recorded Hey Mr. DJ for the various artists CD Roll Wit Tha Flava featuring Queen Latifah. Hey Mr DJ did so well as a single from that album that Zhane got a record deal with Motown. Hey Mr DJ reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Most of the album including Hey Mr. DJ was written and produced by KayGee of Naughty By Nature. KayGee has had a lot of success as a producer and owner of Divine Mill Records. Renee wrote the lyrics of Hey Mr. DJ and most of the album. It samples Looking Up To You by Michael Wycoff, Step To The Rear by Brand Nubian and Troglodyte by Jimmy Castor Bunch. And Hey Mr. DJ has been frequently sampled. The rapper is Abdullah "Fam" Barr from Rottin Razkals. The album Pronounced Jah-Nay was certified Platinum. It's available as a budget CD. Zhane had a couple more hits like Groove Thang and a cover of Evelyn "Champagne" King's Shame from the film A Low Down Dirty Shame. Their 1997 album Saturday Night didn't do as well and then Zhane split up. Jean married drummer Marcus Baylor of Yellowjackets and most of her music has been with him along with studio work. Renee was lead singer of Roy Hargrove's RH Factor and she writes songs for other artists. Here's the video for Hey Mr. DJ by Zhane.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tecia Torres in for Amanda Ribas on July 7 UFC show

Yesterday the Las Vegas Journal Review reported that Tecia Torres will replace Amanda Ribas and face Juliana Lima at the TUF 25 Finale July 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. This show will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. Amanda was flagged for a USADA doping violation. She is suspended pending a hearing. This is the fourth straight time Juliana will face a late replacement. Tecia is pretty good for a late replacement. Tecia began her career with eight straight wins. But her lack of a ground game was exposed on TUF 20. She suffered her first official loss when Rose Namajunas exposed that flaw. She bounced back with a win over Bec Rawlings. At the same time, she was talking about retirement. She is now married to Raquel Pennington and they train together in Colorado. Tecia also has a criminology degree. I can see her winning if she can keep the fight standing and outpoint Juliana. On the other hand, if Juliana can take her down and sit on her, I can see her winning. That's how she won her last fight over JJ Aldrich. Both are points fighters so I don't see a finish. And I would not be surprised if Tecia retired if she lost.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Natalie

Artist:Natalie
Song:Goin' Crazy
Album:Natalie





Natalie Alvarado scored a top 20 hit with Goin' Crazy in 2005. When follow up singles and her second album stiffed, she returned to dancing and choreography which is what she was doing in the first place. She was born Sept. 2, 1979 in Clear Lake City, TX which is a suburb of Houston. Natalie studied criminal justice in college. She answered an ad for Houston Rockets cheerleader auditions. She got the job. To make extra money, she started doing choreography in videos for local rap artists. She also started rapping and singing mainly to add to her dancing. Latium Entertainment owner Charles Chavez thought Natalie had potential. Obviously her looks were part of the deal. He decided to turn her into a singer. Chavez is the man behind Chamillionaire and Baby Bash. He had a distribution deal with Universal. Nathan "Happy" Perez produced most of Natalie's 2005 debut CD. She co-wrote all of the songs. Perez had already worked with Chamillionaire and Baby Bash. Goin' Crazy reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Perez didn't produce that song. It was written and produced by local Houston guys Eddie Guardian and D. Botts. Natalie made some guest appearances on recordings by Chavez' other artists. A second album Everything New was released in 2006. She worked with some of the same producers. But a lot of the songs were produced by the duo of Play-N-Skillz. They are brothers Juan & Oscar Salinas. Unfortunately for Natalie, there were no hit singles and the album didn't sell. After that, Natalie returned to the Houston Rockets and she runs the Houston Rockets Power Dancers. Here's the video for Goin' Crazy by Natalie.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Analysis of Invicta FC 24 card

Yesterday Invicta announced the full card for Invicta FC 24 July 15 in Kansas City. This will air on UFC Fight Pass. As usual, I will analyze the card. A few weeks ago, Megan Anderson defending her Welterweight belt against Helena Kolesnyk was announced. Since Megan is going to the UFC, Bantamweight champ Tonya Evinger will move up to Welterweight. It's not a title fight anymore. It doesn't matter. It's a weak main event because Helena is a nobody. She does not belong in a main event anywhere. So who is she? She's from Russia. Her nickname is Pretty. Like a lot of Russian female fighters including the other ones on this show, she is heavily protected at home to a ridiculous level so when they come here to fight, none of them are any good. Her record is 5-0-1NC. Four of her six fights have been for WBK in China against beginners. And then I found this video of her June 9, 2016 fight vs Xiaomin Wing. Wing wins the first round probably by 10-8. At the start of round two, Helena gets called for an illegal knee. Then they are clinching on the fence and the ref inexplicably calls for the finish and Helena gets the win. He thought Wing tapped but there was no submission. It's a brutal call and everyone in the arena is shocked. When I research fighters, I see a lot of weird stuff. This was pretty bad. I have posted the video. You can see it for yourself. This girl wasn't going to last long with either Megan or Tonya. And when the main event is that weak, it hurts the rest of the card. And it's not a strong card anyway. Milana Dudieva will make her Invicta debut vs Mara Romero Borella. Of course Milana was in the UFC. She was terrible. I knew about her before she was in the UFC. She never belonged in the UFC and she doesn't belong in Invicta either. Mara is Italian. Her record is 10-4-1NC. Italy has produced a lot of great kickboxers but very few MMA fighters because the training is at a low level. This will be Mara's first fight outside Europe. And it's at Flyweight. I would be OK with her on the prelims but she's too high on the card. In a Bantamweight fight Raquel Pa'aluhi will face Yana Kunitskaya. Raquel is a very popular fighter from Hawaii. She currently trains with Robert Drysdale in Las Vegas. Her problem is she tends to come up short in important fights. This is an important fight. Yana has already has two chances at Tonya and she wants another. I like Raquel but I know her history too. In an Atomweight fight, Jinh Yu will face Ashley Cummins. The winner probably gets a shot at Ayaka Hamasaki's title. Jinh already lost to Ayaka. Ashley looked really good in her last fight. Let's get to the prelims. In a Flyweight bout, Karina Rodriguez will face Barbara Acioly. Both are Invicta newcomers. Karina is from Puebla, Mexico. Her record is 4-2. Most of her fights have been for one Mexican promotion. Barbara is from Brazil. She is 4-0. She has fought twice for regional US promotions. Both are unproven which is OK on the prelims. In a Strawweight bout, Sunna Davidsdotter will face Kelly D'Angelo. Sunna is from Iceland. She's 2-0 but she's 32 years old. I liked what I have seen from her but the clock is ticking. Kelly is 30 years old from Missouri. She's 2-0. Her age is an issue. I prefer younger fighters. In an Atomweight bout, Mallory Martin will face Tiffany Masters. The last time we saw Mallory she lost to Sunna in March. She's 1-1 and 24 years old. Who knows? Tiffany is an Invicta newcomer. She's 2-0 from Fond du Lac, WI. She's fought for King Of The Cage twice. The opener is a Featherweight bout. Felicia Spencer will face Amy Coleman. We've seen both of them before. I would describe both as developing talents. There is going to be a demand for good Featherweights. Felicia is from Montreal but she now trains in Orlando, FL. Her record is 2-0 and she beat Madison McElhenny in her Invicta debut. Amy is from Knoxville, TN. Her record is 2-1. She lost her Invicta debut last Sept. My assessment is the top two fights are weak and that hurts the entire show. Don't forget to check out the video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Linda Ronstadt f/James Ingram

Artist:Linda Ronstadt f/James Ingram
Song:Somewhere Out There
Album:Icon





Linda Ronstadt was one of the biggest stars of the 70s. But in the 80s she wasn't a pop star anymore. She was on Broadway and she recorded pop standards with legendary bandleader Nelson Riddle. Those recordings did well but they weren't going to get her back to the top of the charts. Somewhere Out There was a top five hit in 1986 and it not only got her to the top of the charts but it set her up for success recording a more mature sound than her 70s recordings. Somewhere Out There was from the 1986 animated film An American Tail. The film was produced by Steven Speilberg's company Amblin and directed by former Disney animator Don Bluth. The score was composed by James Horner. Speilberg asked the husband wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil to write four songs for the film with Horner. They were surprised when Speilberg told them that he thought Somewhere Out There could be a big hit. It was decided to play the song over the end credits. He also wanted a high powered duet. At the time, Linda was dating George Lucas. And though she last scored a big hit single in 1980, her albums still sold well. Ingram was known for his success with Quincy Jones and his chart topping duet with Patti Austin Baby Come To Me. Linda brought her producer Peter Asher and Steve Tyrell was associate producer. They used Linda's usual studio band bassist Leland Sklar and drummer Russ Kunkel and Horner associates David Kitay, Guy Moon and C. Wells Christie on keyboards. Veteran session musician Bob Mann played the guitar solo. Somewhere Out There reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and An American Tail was a big hit too. You can get Somewhere Out there on this Linda Ronstadt budget comp. But it is also on a couple of James Ingram comps. Both singers had chart success in the ensuing years. I just think it was a bigger deal for Linda at the time. Here's the video for Somewhere Out There by Linda Ronstadt featuring James Ingram.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cris Cyborg vs Megan Anderson added to July 29 UFC show

The UFC announced this morning that Germaine De Randamie has been stripped of the UFC Women's Welterweight Championship. Cris Cyborg will fight Megan Anderson for this championship on UFC 214 July 29 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. And so ends one of the most disgraceful episodes in UFC history. As I said a couple of weeks ago, the number one person to blame for all this is UFC President Dana White. I have said for several years that there aren't enough 145lb fighters for a UFC division. This "If you build it they will come" is nonsense from idiots. It was back in 2012 that Strikeforce's Scott Coker first asked Cyborg to drop to 135 because she cleaned out 145. And White admitted there are no 145lb fighters to Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports 1. What changed? Well, Cyborg is somewhat of a draw in Brazil and White needed a title match for the Brooklyn show in February. Cyborg was not going to be able to fight because of a positive drug test that she got a TUE for. So instead of delaying the fight until Cyborg was ready, White forced the Holm vs De Randamie match which sucked anyway. You may recall I scored it a draw. And then it was obvious by Germaine's post fight interview, she was never going to fight Cyborg. This was all caused by White's impatience. So now we have Invicta champ Megan Anderson coming in. Megan is an Aussie who has improved a lot since moving to Missouri to train with UFC fighter James Krause. I doubt she will be able to do much with Cyborg. But there's no one after her. Most Welterweights worth considering are signed to Bellator. It's slim pickings otherwise. None are any good. If only Cyborg had dropped to 135 when Coker first requested it. We wouldn't be talking about this. And for those who claim it's unhealthy for her cut to 135, I have news for you. Cutting to 145 is just as unhealthy and difficult for her. There's no difference. Her natural weight is 165. There are no women fighting at that weight. In her case, extreme weight cutting comes with the territory. And remember the UFC agreed to sign her in the first place if she agreed to drop to 135. Her decision not to do it is a breach of contract. The health concerns were always a Tito Ortiz red herring. Cyborg's former nutritionist George Lockhart admitted the real reason Cyborg didn't want to drop to 135 was she was concerned about losing her competitive edge. That's what I thought but I was surprised someone would actually say it.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Randy Weston and his African Rhythms Trio

Artist:Randy Weston and his African Rhythms Trio
Song:African Sunrise
Album:Zep Tepi




Pianist Randy Weston has been around since the 50s. And he's still touring at 91 years old. He's 6'7" so he's an imposing presence on stage. But his mix of post bop and African rhythms never gets old. He was born Apr. 6, 1926 in Brooklyn, NY where his father owned a restaurant. His dad was from Jamaica and as a staunch Marcus Garvey supporter, he passed his Afrocentric views to Weston. Weston studied classical piano and dance as a child. He got into jazz when he was a teen. He served in the US Army during WWII. Meanwhile, his dad's restaurant was frequented by jazz musicians including Duke Ellington and cousin Wynton Kelly. But Weston's big influence was Thelonious Monk. Weston started as a sideman in the late 40s. His first recording as a leader was in 1954 on Riverside Records. He started working with arranger Melba Liston in the late 50s and they had a very successful partnership in the 60s. Weston recorded for several labels including United Artists, Roulette, Verve, Polydor and CTI. He became known for incorporating African rhythms and Weston toured a lot in Africa. In the 70s and 80s, Weston recorded for a lot of small labels that were poorly distributed. His music wasn't getting exposure until he returned to Verve in the late 80s. African Sunrise was first recorded on the 1991 album The Spirits of our Ancestors which reunited Weston with Melba Liston. So the song was written for a large band. Unfortunately that album is out of print. But he recorded it on the 2006 CD Zep Tepi. It's a trio album with Weston on piano, bassist Alex Blake from Billy Cobham's band and percussionist Neil Clarke from Carlos Garnett's band. These guys have worked together a lot. As I said, Weston is 91 years old and still touring. His latest CD The African Nubian Suite was released Jan. 2017 through CD Baby. It is a concept album with a full orchestra. Weston is still going strong and I suggest you check him out if he's coming your way. Here's Randy Weston and his African Rhythm Orchestra performing African Sunrise at the 1985 Montreux Jazz Festival.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review of People In Motion 2017

So I went down to People in Motion this year looking for new products of interest. If you have been reading my blog lately, you will know that I recently got a brand new Permobil F3 powerchair. I demoed the chair at the 2015 PIM show and then last year I met Randy Keith of Motion Specialties and he got me the chair. So far the chair has been great. Randy made a couple of adjustments. But I was still having trouble with a vibration that felt like a loose wheel. Permobil was at the show and they told me on Twitter that I should come to their booth and they'll take a look at it. That's the first thing I did when I arrived. I was turned over to one of their tech gurus. We went outside. He wanted to see what the chair looked like while I was driving. He didn't like the looks of the left rear caster. I told him what I thought. He agreed that the caster was loose and we went inside. To save time, he decided to replace both casters. And that was it. That took about ten minutes. He jacked up my chair while I was sitting in it. That fixed it. The chair has been perfect ever since. It doesn't vibrate anymore. I still have plans to do a snow demo with Permobil once I get snow tires installed later this year. I'm very happy with the chair and it all started at the PIM show. Now let's talk about a couple of new products.






BrazeView


I've been talking to Braze Mobility for a couple of years at a couple of these shows. This was their first time at PIM. When I first spoke to them, the BrazeView was a very rough prototype. The idea was to have a sensor in the front and rear of the powerchair that tells the user when you're going to run into something. I didn't think the front device was necessary. But I did think the rear sensor was a good idea. When I spoke to them again, they had abandoned the front sensor and they were building prototypes of the device for the rear sensor. It says in their promotional material that the BrazeView can be installed on any manual wheelchair but it's more appropriate for powerchairs. The device installs in the rear of the chair and it attaches to the controller. When it senses you're going to hit something, it beeps. It's a useful warning device. This is not a prototype anymore. You can now buy one. What they need to do now is get BrazeView approved by ADP so it can be used as a standard addon through ODSP. I am talking to them about possibly doing a demo of BrazeView and then write about it. They can be contacted at info@brazemobility.com.





SmartDrive


Last year I wrote about a product that turned a manual wheelchair into a powerchair. SmartDrive attaches to the back of a manual wheelchair. It's supposed to give a power boost when needed. One of the biggest problems for manual wheelchair users is shoulder problems from trying to navigate a chair over rough terrain and steep grades. SmartDrive is supposed to sense this and power the user over any obstacle including curbs. The new version of this is called MX2+ and it comes with the PushTracker wristband and an app for iPhone or Android. It not only allows you to track your activity. But it also allows customization for acceleration, speed and other things. It says in the promotional material that SmartDrive can be used all day on one charge. It looks like a pretty good product for manual wheelchair users looking for increased mobility. SmartDrive is manufactured by Max Mobility in Tennessee and distributed by Quart Healthcare in Toronto. They can be contacted at 416-757-3731 or www.quarthealthcare.com. That's it from this year's People In Motion. Remember you can check out my blog at frankp316.blogspot.com or follow me on Twitter @frankp316.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Kaleo

Artist:Kaleo
Song:Way Down We Go
Album:A/B




Kaleo is a new band that has become popular by placing songs in TV shows. That's how music is promoted these days. Fans hear a song on their favourite TV show and they download it at iTunes or Spotify. Kaleo is from Mosfellsbaer, Iceland. Lead singer JJ Julius Son (Jokull Juliusson), bassist Daniel Kristjansson and drummer David Antonsson were schoolmates. They formed Kaleo with guitarist Rubin Pollack in 2012. Juliusson writes most of the songs and of course he's the lead singer. So blues tinged rock seems to be his big influence. They released their debut album in 2013 and had success at home in Iceland. The song All The Pretty Girls did so well on Spotify that Elektra Records signed Kaleo. The band moved to Austin, TX. On their 2016 album A/B, they worked with Kings Of Leon producer Jacquire King and Arctic Monkeys producer Mike Crossley. Crossley produced Way Down We Go. The song appeared in the film Collateral Beauty and a whole host of TV shows. The single was a worldwide hit and it reached #54 on the Billboard Hot 100. But the real success was it got fans to download the album from iTunes or Spotify and it was certified Gold. Also Kaleo appeared on all the late night shows like Conan etc. Kaleo is currently on tour. Last night they played The Firefly Festival and their set was live streamed on Yahoo. I saw that on my Twitter feed. Elektra deserves a lot of credit for getting Kaleo out there. We'll see if it lasts. Here's the video for Way Down We Go by Kaleo.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Lucie Pudilova vs Ji Yeon Kim

Here's the match video of Lucie Pudilova vs Ji Yeon Kim from this morning's UFC show in Singapore. I was up very early to watch this on UFC Fight Pass. Lucie is from the Czech Republic. She made her UFC debut as a late replacement. She lost to Lina Lansberg. Some thought she did enough in the third round to get a draw after losing the first two rounds. I was not among them. She wasn't dominant enough to get a 10-8. Ji is from Korea. She has wins over Takayo Hashi and Shizuka Sugiyama. The UFC tried to get her to face Rin Nakai in last year's Korea show. She was also offered to Holly Holm on this show. She is mainly a boxer. So I expected mostly a kickboxing match. Round one was very close. I thought Lucie won 10-9 very marginally. I don't think Ji threw enough punches. She seemed to fix that in round two and I thought Ji won that round 10-9. Lucie's guillotine choke attempts were enough to give her round three 10-9. So I scored it 29-28. Round one was close enough that I thought we might see a split decision. But all three judges scored it 29-28. I've seen worse fights but neither fighter was very impressive. Check out the fight for yourself!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Holly Holm vs Bethe Correia

Here's the match video of Holly Holm vs Bethe Correia from this morning's UFC show in Singapore. This aired on The Fight Network in Canada and UFC Fight Pass everywhere. I'm sure you know by now that Holly won with a highlight reel head kick in round three. Of course the usual idiots overreact to this like Holly is suddenly a great fighter. What these idiots forget is up until that point the fight was terrible. It was the snoozefest I was expecting. Both fighters did nothing for the first two rounds. I scored both rounds 9-9. The crowd was booing and it was so bad that ref Marc Goddard stopped the fight in the second round and told them to stop screwing around. This is something more refs need to do but very few will. And the ironic thing is that Bethe taunted Holly and she was out moments after. So what took Holly so long? Believe it or not, patience is her strategy in all her fights. The problem is that doesn't work most of the time. That's why Holly lost to Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine De Randamie. She waited and waited and waited. And after she lost those fights she gave woulda coulda shoulda excuses. The solution is she needs to be more aggressive from the very start. I don't know if she can do that. Rin Nakai has had the same problem for years and she can't fix it. Sometimes fighters get set in their ways and can't change. Remember this is not a physical problem. It's a mental problem. Maybe she should see a sports psychologist. She has to change. Her manager Lenny Fresquez said he wants Holly to get a title shot either Featherweight or Bantamweight. How do you think patience will work against Cris Cyborg or Amanda Nunes? Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jason Isbell

Artist:Jason Isbell
Song:24 Frames
Album:Something More Than Free





Jason Isbell is an outstanding singer songwriter and a former member of Drive By Truckers. He won Grammys for the album Something More Than Free and the song 24 Frames. His musical roots are in Alabama. He was born Feb. 1, 1979 in Green Hill, AL. His grandfather was a Pentacostal preacher who also played guitar. He taught Isbell various instruments. What got him into Drive By Truckers is he became friends with legendary Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood. His son Patterson Hood was leader of Drive By Truckers. Isbell worked at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals until he joined Drive By Truckers in 2002. After leaving Drive By Truckers in 2007, Isbell released his first solo album. He also formed his band 400 Unit. Though the band isn't always credited on the album cover, they play on all of Isbell's albums and tour with him. The band is guitarist Sadler Vaden of Drivin' N Cryin', pianist Derry DeBorja of Son Volt, bassist Jimbo Hart and drummer Chad Gamble. Isbell began to have success when he started to work with producer Dave Cobb who produced Shooter Jennings. Their first album together was the 2013 CD Southeastern. This was also Isbell's first album after alcohol addiction recovery. The 2015 album Something More Than Free did even better. It won the 2016 Best Americana Album Grammy and 24 Frames won for Best Americana Song. Isbell's new album The Nashville Sound was just released. Isbell and 400 Unit are on tour with special guest violinist Amanda Shires. Be sure to check them out if they are coming your way. Here's Jason Isbell and 400 Unit performing 24 Frames on Conan Aug. 12, 2015.

Friday, June 16, 2017

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

Here's the match video of Asuka vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot from this week's episode of NXT. I am posting videos of Asuka's matches for those who don't get the WWE Network. This is a rematch from NXT Takeover Chicago except it's an elimination match. The match itself is nothing special. It's very similar to the Chicago match with the usual stuff you see in three way matches. But the post match brawl is worth seeing. Nikki eliminates Ruby with a top rope spinning neckbreaker. After a break, Nikki makes the mistake of underestimating Asuka. Asuka is not insane like Nikki but she is crazy. So they wind up on the floor and Asuka hits a butt bump from the apron. They go brawling to the back. The ref calls the match a No Contest. The problem was Tom Phillips announced that there was no DQ or countout. And as we would soon see, it wasn't necessary anyway. The crowd booed the ref but it wasn't his fault. Someone backstage had a brain fart and told him in his earpiece to do that. We go briefly to the announce desk because they have to make it look like there are no cameras in the back. We finally see Asuka and Nikki on the loading dock beating the crap out of each other. The highlight had Asuka bouncing Nikki's head off the loading dock door several times. They go into the catering area. I was hoping for a food fight. But instead they open a cooler and Nikki tries to drown Asuka. They go back to the arena and they end up on a tech table. You'll notice someone working on the same table a few feet away. They fall off the table through another table and both of them are out. That's the end. The only problem is another angle was shown and they only fell three feet. Except for that, I thought the brawl was well planned. Everything has to be blocked out in advance so the cameras are in place. And I doubt that either Asuka or Nikki had ever done a backstage brawl. You won't know it. They both were great. These kind of brawls can be hit or miss. This one was pretty good. Today a Last Woman Standing match for the NXT Women's Championship was announced for June 28. It will be taped next week. It should be interesting to see what crazy stuff they will do. BTW, both are fine. So they not only executed the brawl properly but neither got injured. Check out the match for yourself.
NXT Women's Championship: Asuka © vs... by therackattackvideos

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Queens Of The Stone Age

Artist:Queens Of The Stone Age
Song:No One Knows
Album:Songs For The Deaf





Queens Of The Stone Age (QOTSA) had their greatest success with the 2002 album Songs For The Deaf. The band is still around. They have a new album coming out in August. But they are way past their prime. QOTSA are from Palm Desert, CA. Guitarist Josh Homme formed them in 1996 after his previous band Kyuss split up. At first they were called Gamma Ray but there was already a band with that name. At first QOTSA was not really a band. Homme just brought in musicians to play on their early recordings. When Homme wanted to tour he more or less reformed Kyuss. And even after signing with Interscope and releasing the 2000 CD Rated R, QOTSA still wasn't really a band. Homme decided to change that for the 2002 album Songs For The Deaf. Former Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri was already there. And for this album he added Screaming Trees lead singer Mark Lanegan and Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. Of course Grohl has gone on to great success as leader of Foo Fighters. Lanegan co-wrote and sang lead on No One Knows and that turned out to be the band's biggest hit. This band toured in 2004. Homme fired Oliveri for domestic abuse of his girlfriend. Grohl returned to his other activities. He was never supposed to be a full time member. He liked the band and wanted to help them. Lanegan went back to his solo career and has returned to QOTSA occasionally. Songs For The Deaf is available as a budget CD. QOTSA continue to tour and record. They left Interscope after the 2007 album Era Vulgaris. They now record for Matador and a new album Villains will be released in August and they will tour to support that. Their albums still sell OK but I can't help thinking they could have been much bigger. Here's the video for No One Knows by Queens Of The Stone Age.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-808 State

Artist:808 State
Song:Pacific 707
Album:808:88:98





808 State were pioneers in electronic dance music commonly known today as techno or house music. Of course they didn't know they were pioneers. They were just experimenting with electronic instruments. They were especially popular in their native England. 808 State are from Manchester, England. Martin Price owned a record store and he formed Hit Squad Manchester with customers Graham Massey and Gerald Simpson. They were supposed to be a hip hop group. But as they recorded their 1988 debut album Newbuild, they decided to change the name to 808 State. Price released the album on his own label. Simpson left in 1989 and he was replaced by DJs Andrew Barker and Darren Partington AKA The Spinmasters. They released Pacific State as a single and it reached #10 on the British Singles chart. Then they signed with Trevor Horn's ZTT label. Massey says there are several versions and remixes of Pacific State. Pacific 707 was their first single on ZTT and that was apparently the version that charted. Massey is playing the sax in the video clip. 808 State did release the album Ninety. But Pacific 707 was not on the album. However it is on this comp released in 1998. Price left 808 State in 1991 to get into production. The group continued recording their own music and plenty of remixes for other artists. Though 808 State's music was released in the US on Tommy Boy, they never caught on as they did in England. Today they are viewed as pioneers of electronic dance music and very influential. Massey and Barker still perform and record as 808 State. Here's 808 State performing Pacific 707 on Top Of The Pops 1989.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Dories

Artist:The Dories
Song:I Loved Him So
Album:Love Charms: West Coast Hits and Rarities from California Girls and Groups 1957-1962



Here's a one off doo wop single from a group that seemed to change their name like the rest of us change our socks. They are best known as the Safaris. They had a top ten hit in 1960 with Image Of A Girl. But when they formed in 1959 at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, they called themselves The Mystics. There was already a group called The Mystics so they changed it to The Enchanters. The lead singer was Sandy Wiseman and the other members were Marv Rosenberg and Richard Clasky. After one single, Sheldon Briar joined and The Enchanters became The Dories. I Loved Him So was their only single and then Sandy quit to get married. Clasky wrote the song and it's a pretty good doo wop song. You can get it on this various artists budget comp from Jasmine. Jim Stephens replaced Sandy and they changed their name to The Angels. They met trumpeter Herb Alpert and his pal Lou Adler. They were starting a new label and Rosenberg wrote Image Of A Girl after his girlfriend threatened to leave him if he didn't quit music. Alpert didn't like the song and instead had The Angels record A Lover's Poem (To Her) backed by Darlene Love's group The Blossoms. When that went nowhere, The Angels signed with Eldo Records and changed their name to The Safaris. Image Of A Girl became a top ten hit in 1960. When their second single stiffed, the members of The Safaris all quit and went back to school. Stephens joined a folk music group. The other members returned as the Suddens in 1961. After two singles, they all left the music business. Clasky owns a market research firm in Vancouver. Rosenberg has a Ph.D in psychology and Stephens is a sales manager at a bottled water company. Here's a video for I Loved Him So by The Dories. Thanks to Jay Warner's great book American Singing Groups: A History from 1940s to Today for the tangled history of The Dories.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Why Bayley will never get over on RAW

After last night's wretched Bayley interview, I thought it was time to answer many of the questions I have been getting about her. First, there is no easy fix for Bayley because there are several reasons why her character doesn't work on the main WWE roster. The other thing is the result was predictable. Her character should have been fixed at NXT. But the character was over there and they didn't think it needed fixing. This has happened with other characters like Adam Rose. So one would think the WWE would learn not to trust the reaction of the Full Sail audience. I guess not. So I remember seeing Bayley when she was Davina Rose in Shimmer. She mostly worked indy feds in Northern California which is where she is from. She's an OK wrestler but not great. She has a non-traditional look and the WWE may have been looking for that when she was signed. The Bayley name and character was created by the late Dusty Rhodes and he would be the first to say that basing a character on a wrestler's real personality is a good thing. But even in NXT, the other wrestlers would make fun of Bayley's goody two shoes character. But Bayley got over at NXT because they tape shows at Full Sail in front of the same fans. We have seen repeatedly that characters go over in NXT but fail on the main roster. It's enough of a pattern that the WWE should be wise to it. What may have hurt Bayley was she had great matches in NXT especially against Sasha Banks and Asuka. When was her last great match on RAW? The answer is she hasn't had a great match on RAW. This is where Bayley is the problem. Bayley has been a wrestler since 2008. She should be good enough to carry a green wrestler to a good match. But she's not. Her technical wrestling skills have not progressed. She's still the same wrestler I saw as Davina Rose in Shimmer in 2011. Asuka is so good that she can carry anyone to a good match. On RAW, Bayley is mostly working with Alexa Bliss. Alexa is a great talker but a green wrestler. It's up to Bayley to carry her to a good match. She's not good enough to do it. She can fix that by improving her ring skills. Bayley's character is a bigger problem since it looks like the WWE won't do anything to fix it. When I watched Bayley at NXT, I never thought her character would do well on RAW. It's a much broader audience. Adjustments like making the Bayley character more confident in promos haven't been made. This is where Dusty Rhodes' death has hurt Bayley. If he was still alive and he saw her on RAW, he would constantly be on her case about her performance. Now there is no one to do that. She seems to need that. Bayley's merchandise sells well and that's why the WWE is reluctant to change her character. They don't want to alienate her core audience of little kids. That's a typical short term WWE viewpoint. For the long term, the WWE needs to take some risks with the Bayley character before she sinks without a trace. Based on last night's interview, I don't think the WWE has the balls to do that. It's sink or swim time for Bayley. And her little kids alone won't help her swim.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sandie Shaw

Artist:Sandie Shaw
Song:Girl Don't Come
Album:Long Live Love





Pop singer Sandie Shaw had success in her native England in the mid-60s. She never attained the same success in North America and then she retired in the 70s. She was born Sandra Ann Goodrich Feb. 26, 1947 in Dagenham, Essex, England. After graduating high school, she worked in the local Ford plant and modeled part time. A second place in a local talent contest got her a trip to a charity concert in London. Pop singer Adam Faith spotted her and took her to his manager Eve Taylor. Pye Records signed her up and gave her the name Sandie Shaw. They paired her with songwriter Chris Andrews who had written hits for Faith. He wrote most of her songs. But her first number one hit was a cover of the Burt Bacharach Hal David song Always Something To Remind Me which was a hit in the US for Lou Johnson. The next single was I'd Be Far Better Off Without You with Girl Don't Come on the B side. Apparently Sandie didn't like Girl Don't Come. But Eve convinced her to record it anyway. When Sandie performed both songs on TV, fans and DJs preferred Girl Don't Come. It reached #3 on the British singles chart and it became Sandie's signature song. Sandie's other number one hits were Long Live Love in 1966 and Puppet On A String in 1967. She was also successful in other European countries by recording her hits in several languages. This was common practice back then. After Puppet On A String won the Eurovision Song Contest and was a big hit all across Europe, Sandie faded and Eve turned her into a cabaret performer. Sandie retired from music when her Pye contract ended in 1972. You can get all her hits on this comp. Sandie concentrated on writing and acting. She returned to music in the 80s and then again in 2010. So she's still active but not like her heyday in the 60s. Here's Sandie Shaw performing Girl Don't Come on Ready Steady Go 1964.

Monday, June 12, 2017

AccuRadio Song of The Day-The Little Big Horns

Artist:The Little Big Horns
Song:Get Back
Album:Ultra Lounge: On The Rocks Part One





The Little Big Horns were a studio instrumental group put together by Capitol Records. They recorded one album in 1969 and the individual members went back to being jazz musicians. It looks like producer Roger Karshner had the idea for this. At the time he was a house producer at Capitol. He had some success with Time Won't Let Me by The Outsiders. He was a jazz musician. He once had a group with Chuck Mangione called The National Gallery. Mangione was the arranger for The Outsiders and The Little Big Horns. Soon after Mangione returned to his home town of Rochester and we all know that turned out very well. The Little Big Horns recorded the 1969 album My Cherie Amour. It's an album of covers of current hits including The Beatles classic Get Back. At the time jazz rock was becoming popular with groups like Blood Sweat & Tears. And I guess record companies thought jazz rock could be contrived in the recording studio. They were wrong as groups like The Little Big Horns didn't last very long. The horn section was pretty good though. Bobby Keys was a sax player who would have been a session musician at the time. He would go on to tour with The Rolling Stones among others. Frank Vicari played sax in Maynard Ferguson's early 60s band and then he became a studio musician. Howard Johnson is best known as a tuba player but he also played sax and probably played the lead flute on Get Back. He's still active as a sideman. Trumpeter Steve Madaio was a member of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and later Stevie Wonder's band. After the one album, The Little Big Horns released one more single. And then they went back to their real careers. Get Back appears on one of those Capitol Records Ultra Lounge series CDs. This one is all covers of 60s hits. Here's a video of Get Back by The Little Big Horns.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-JJ Aldrich vs Chanmi Jeon

Here's the match video of JJ Aldrich vs Chanmi Jeon from last night's UFC show in Aukland, NZ. This fight aired on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. Most fans should remember JJ from Invicta. She was in TUF 23 and she came to the UFC as a late replacement in December. She lost when Juliana Lima sat on her for three rounds. JJ is trained by Trevor Wittman in Colorado and Rose Namajunas is her teammate. JJ is nowhere near as good as Rose. She's a striker with zero ground game which is why she had so much trouble with Juliana. Chanmi is 19 years old from Korea meaning she is the youngest fighter on the UFC roster. She was brought in as a late replacement less than two weeks ago. She signed with Invicta in April and I guess the plan was for her to fight in July. She would have been in training for that. Chanmi is 5-0 and Muay Thai is her background. She doesn't have a ground game either. And she missed weight. I expected a kickboxing match. JJ's strategy was what we call "keepaway". It's designed to win a unanimous decision or as I call it points fighting. JJ's southpaw fighting stance was enough to befuddle Chanmi. It just shows how inexperienced Chanmi is. Maybe she's never even trained with a southpaw. I thought she was very tentative for someone who is supposed to be aggressive. The first round was close but I thought JJ won it. And JJ really got her range in round two. Chanmi showed a little aggression at the end of round two. But she didn't follow it up in round three and JJ won an easy unanimous decision. At 19 years old, Chanmi has plenty of time to improve. And she has plenty of charisma so I am interested in seeing a fully prepared Chanmi Jeon. I thought JJ could have dominated this fight. But she chose to points fight. That approach won't be effective against the better fighters in the division. She was like that in Invicta too. Everyone knows I hate points fighters. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.

Artist:Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.
Song:Theme From Mission: Impossible
Album:Mission: Impossible: Music From and Inspired By The Motion Picture




Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. are normally members of U2. This dance remix of the theme from Mission: Impossible scored them a top ten hit in 1996. It's the only time they recorded solo or as a duo. Of course the film was based on the 60s hit TV series Mission: Impossible (M:I). Paramount Pictures had wanted to do a film remake for years. But it finally came together when Tom Cruise and his manager Paula Wagner were starting a production company and Cruise chose M:I as his first project. The film was directed by Brian DePalma and it was a big hit. Alan Silvestri was hired to score the film. But there were creative differences and Cruise hired Danny Elfman to replace Silvestri. Paramount wanted a hit soundtrack album for the film so they made a deal with U2's label Mother Records with Island Records distribution. Of course Clayton and Mullen are big fans of Lalo Schifrin's M:I theme. So they really wanted to record it. But they were nervous about it because they didn't want to mess up. The main change to the theme was by Elfman as the time signature was changed to make the song danceable. They actually recorded two versions. Clayton recorded his in New York and Mullen recorded his in Dublin. There were several remixes done mostly by Junior Vasquez. There was even a music video. The theme from M:I reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album it is on mostly has music that isn't in the movie. That's what "inspired by" means. There is a second CD of Elfman's score for film music collectors. So this was a one shot hit from Clayton and Mullen and they returned to U2. Here's the video for Mission: Impossible Theme by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Ham Seo Hee vs Mina Kurobe

Here's the match video of Ham Seo Hee vs Mina Kurobe from today's ROAD FC show in Korea. This was the main event of the show for the ROAD FC Atomweight Championship. Several fans have asked me why the UFC released Ham. The correct answer is they didn't release her. Her contract ended and she knew she wasn't a title contender. Part of the problem is she isn't a Strawweight. She's an Atomweight. Real success in the UFC wasn't going to happen for her. She knew that when she signed with the UFC. Her plan was to make some money and then retire. Ham has talked about retirement for years. She's only 30 years old but she's been around for over a decade. She could have gone to Invicta. But I think signing with ROAD FC is a smart move. She'll make more money there than in the UFC. And she can fight as an Atomweight. Mina Kurobe is a decent fighter and the current DEEP JEWELS Atomweight Champion. The big problem with Mina is she's 40 years old. Her success says more about the lack of talent in DEEP JEWELS than anything else. I expected Ham to win. In round one, Ham did what she is good at which is kickboxing. Mina's strategy was to get a takedown. But it didn't really work and by the end of round one, Mina was out of gas. Mina kept trying because she doesn't have the striking to compete with Ham. Ham defended well and she got some submission attempts from the bottom. The only thing that changed in round three was Ham got top position and she pounded Mina long enough to get a TKO with a minute left. Ham Seo Hee is the new ROAD FC Atomweight. So already fans are asking me if Ham will be in the RIZIN Atomweight tournament. Those guys were there. I can't answer that. I guess that depends on what RIZIN wants that tournament to be. Do they want it to be competitive? Or do they just want to crown RENA as queen? I'm not sure they can have both. While you mull that over, enjoy the video.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Margaret Cho

Artist:Margaret Cho
Song:Asian Chicken Salad
DVD:Margaret Cho 3





Though she has had some success on TV, Margaret Cho is known mainly for her stand up comedy. Asian Chicken Salad is one of her more popular routines from her 2003 album Revolution. She was born Sept. 5, 1968 in San Francisco. Her parents were Korean immigrants who owned a book store. Margaret was molested and bullied as a child. The one good thing is it got her into performing and she attended the San Francisco School for the Arts. She was in their improv comedy group. She worked as a phone sex operator and later as a dominatrix. She started performing stand up comedy at a club next to her parents store. Then she started touring and made her name. She opened for Jerry Seinfeld and she was a frequent guest on The Arsenio Hall Show. Margaret won the 1994 American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedian. ABC decided to create a sitcom based on Margaret's comedy. At the time, networks were developing several shows with female comics. The show was created by Empty Nest creator Gary Jacobs and produced by Dolly Parton's company Sandollar and Disney's Touchstone division. All American Girl was heavily hyped but panned critically and ultimately a failure. It only ran 19 episodes. The biggest problem was Margaret had no creative control so the show glossed over her real issues. It could have been funny but it wasn't. Then when things didn't go well, she was blamed. Afterwards, depression drove Margaret to drugs and alcohol. She continued to perform but things didn't go so well until she recovered in 1999. Her show and autobiography I'm The One That I Want details her addiction. She released a few albums on Nettwerk. Asian Chicken Salad is from her 2003 CD Revolution. This album is available as a digital download. But it was also released on DVD and it's available on a 3DVD box set with I'm The One That I Want and Notorious C.H.O. Margaret continues to tour. She had success with the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva and she had a recurring role on 30 Rock. She's even recorded a couple of music albums. But Margaret Cho will mostly be remembered for her stand up comedy. And that's how it should be. Here's Margaret Cho performing Asian Chicken Salad from the 2003 DVD Revolution.

Friday, June 09, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jack Scott

Artist:Jack Scott
Song:What In The World's Come Over You
Album:The Very Best Of Jack Scott





Jack Scott straddled country and rock in the late 50s. He had a total of four top ten hits in the late 50s including What In The World's Come Over You in 1959. He ran out of gas in the early 60s because his record label was sold and the new owners didn't know what to do with him. He was born Giovanni Scafone Jr. Jan. 24, 1936 in Windsor, ON. At age 10, his family moved to the Detroit suburb of Hazel Park. His mom taught him to play guitar. Growing up Scott was a big bluegrass fan. After graduating high school, He formed The Southern Drifters. After three years, Scott signed with ABC-Paramount Records in 1957. After two singles, Scott moved to Carlton Records owned by former RCA A&R head Joe Carlton. He scored a top five hit with My True Love in 1958. Then he served in the US Army. When he returned, Scott signed with Top Rank Records owned by the British film studio Rank Organisation. Their US branch was run by Bob Shad who would go on to found Mainstream Records. Top Rank was sold to EMI in 1960. It's with Top Rank that Scott had his greatest success. What In The World's Come Over You reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Burning Bridges reached #3. Scott wrote most of his own songs including What In The World's Come Over You. His Top Rank albums were produced by jazz musician and bandleader Sonny Lester who would go on to found Groove Merchant Records. Scott also recorded a gospel album and a Hank Williams tribute album. When EMI bought Top Rank, Scott was moved to Capitol. They released some singles but Capitol didn't seem to know what to do with Scott. One possible answer is that he clicked with Lester but he didn't have chemistry with other producers. After a final album in 1964, Scott left Capitol. You can get all his hits on this 2CD budget comp. Scott continued to tour and he would occasionally record. He had some success in country music in the 70s. Scott still lives in Detroit but he is now retired. He was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2011. Here's Jack Scott performing What In The World's Come Over You on American Bandstand in 1960.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Sebastian

Artist:John Sebastian
Song:Welcome Back
Album:Singers & Songwriters 1976-1977





John Sebastian was already famous as the leader of the 60s group The Lovin' Spoonful. But his solo career wasn't going too well when he scored with the 1976 chart topper Welcome Back. It turned out to be his only hit single. He was born Mar. 17, 1944 in New York City. His father was classical harmonica player John Sebastian. His mother wrote radio show scripts. The family lived in Greenwich Village so there were plenty of musicians around like Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie and Lightnin' Hopkins. So it's not surprising that Sebastian was a part of the folk music boom. He started out playing guitar and harmonica on albums by Billy Faier, Fred Neil and Tom Rush. He was in The Mugwumps which split into The Mamas and The Papas and Sebastian's group The Lovin' Spoonful. He could have gone on tour with Bob Dylan. The Lovin' Spoonful were very successful until Zal Yanovsky's weed bust in San Francisco. Sebastian left The Lovin' Spoonful in 1968. After his Broadway musical Jimmy Shine had a brief run, Sebastian made an impromptu appearance at Woodstock. That got him a record deal at Reprise Records. But things didn't go well there. After three unsuccessful studio albums and two live albums, Reprise was going to drop him. He wanted out anyway as Sebastian was making more money in real estate than in music. He owed them one final album. Alan Sachs and James Komack were developing a sitcom for stand up comic Gabe Kaplan. Sachs wanted a theme that sounded like The Lovin' Spoonful. Sachs and Sebastian had the same agent so he set up a meeting. Sachs loved the song so much that he decided to call the show Welcome Back, Kotter instead of Kotter. When the show was a huge hit, folks wanted to buy the theme. But it was never supposed to be a single. Sebastian and producer Steve Barri quickly recorded a longer version of Welcome Back and an album. The single topped the charts. Sebastian still left Reprise. Edsel Records has released all of Sebastian's Reprise albums in a box set. But I think most fans will only want Welcome Back and you can get it on this Time Life 2CD various artists comp. Sebastian hasn't recorded much since then. But he worked a lot for the Nelvana animation studio, most notably their Care Bears movies and TV series. He still tours and he has also produced a series of instructional DVDs. Here's John Sebastian performing Welcome Back 1976.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Sarah Moras vs Ashlee Evans-Smith added to Sept. 9 UFC show

TSN reported this afternoon that Sarah Moras vs Ashlee Evans-Smith has been added to UFC 216 Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB. This fight will air on the prelims on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. Sarah is from Kelowna, BC with a 4-2 record. She was on TUF 18 but due to injuries, she has only had two fights in the UFC. The last time we saw her she lost a unanimous decision to Jessica Andrade in July 2015. That's before Jessica dropped to Strawweight. Sarah wasn't very good in that fight. She was supposed to fight Lauren Murphy Feb. 2016. But she pulled out due to injury. This was the second time Sarah was out for a long injury layoff. Her problem against Jessica was lack of quickness and then when she lost the first two rounds, no sense of urgency. Ashlee had a similar problem when she lost to Ketlen Vieira in April. She lacked quickness and was completely outclassed. And even in her two wins she hasn't looked very good. Ashlee is from California. So this could be one of those fights where the loser gets a one way trip to Palookaville.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tim Heintz

Artist:Tim Heintz
Song:Someone
Album:Searching The Heart





Smooth jazz fans will want to check out the handful of albums released by pianist Tim Heintz in the 80s. He's still around mostly as a sideman, session musician and film composer. Heintz' parents were missionaries so as a child he lived all over the world. And his church upbringing brought him to Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) in the mid-80s with artists like Bryan Duncan. He was also a member of the R&B group General Kane who released a couple of albums on Motown. When they split up, Heintz signed with the jazz label TBA and he released three albums on that label and then two more on other labels. Someone is from his second album Searching The Heart released in 1988. Someone was recorded by El Debarge in 1986 and it was written by veteran session guitarist Jay Graydon. Musicians are Paul Russo on alto sax, Eric Marienthal on soprano sax, Terence Elliott on guitar, James Jamerson Jr. on bass and Alvino Bennett on drums. This album is available as a digital download and I recommend it to smooth jazz fans. Heintz hasn't released an album since 1992. But he's still a very busy guy. He has toured with Chaka Khan, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs and John Tesh. He has also worked in films like One Hour Photo and TV shows like Sister, Sister. And he continues to play sessions. He's worked a lot with John Tesh over the years he seems to still be popular with CCM artists. Here's a video for Someone by Tim Heintz.