Thursday, August 31, 2017
Here's the video for The Mae Young Classic episode 3. The first round continues and we begin with Toni Storm vs Ayesha Raymond. Toni is 21 years old. She is billed from Australia. She was born there but she lives in Liverpool, England. She's worked for STARDOM the last couple of years so I have seen quite a few of her matches. For 21 years old, she's a very mature performer. She can go in the ring and she has natural charisma. She has "it", whatever that is. She is signed to the WWE but her STARDOM contract ends in October. She's in Japan now. Ayesha is 27 years old from England. She's 6 feet tall and she calls herself The Deadlift Diva. She was trained by Ricky Knight (Paige's dad) and she's been a wrestler since 2008. I hadn't seen her before but I didn't like her. As we'll see later in this show, size doesn't necessarily mean slow. And Ayesha is slow. Toni is very quick so that doesn't do Ayesha any favours. She heels it up and misses a top rope splash. Toni rolls her up for the win. Next up is Dakota Kai vs Kavita Devi. Dakota is from New Zealand and fans may have seen her as Evie in SHIMMER. She has that girl next door look. She signed with the WWE last year and this was her TV debut. Kavita is a powerlifter from India. This is more tokenism but this girl has no business being in the ring. Dakota tried to make her look good but it didn't work. Dakota won with a top rope double foot stomp. Next up is Bianca Belair vs Sage Beckett. When the WWE signs guys, they are looking for great athletes that can be taught to wrestle. That's why they go after college football players etc. It's a lot tougher with women which is why they sign a lot of dancers and cheerleaders. Bianca was a track star at the University of Tennessee. She's a great athlete. And she seems to be picking up wrestling. And I love the hair whip because that sets her apart. Sage is the wrestler formerly known as Rosie Lottalove. She trained at Team 3D. She retired in 2012 and returned in 2014 after losing over 100lbs. She signed with the WWE last year. I didn't like her. She's more experienced than Bianca but you wouldn't know that by watching this match. Bianca also has a lot of charisma. She could be a great heel. Bianca won with the hair whip followed by the spear. The final match is Piper Niven vs Santana Garrett. Piper is the Scottish wrestler better known as Viper. I've seen her in STARDOM. She moves well for her size. I'm not a big fan of this kind of wrestler because there's only so much that can be done with her. Santana grew up in wrestling. Her dad was a wrestler. I've seen her several times over the years. She worked for TNA and has also worked enhancement in NXT. She's OK but I don't like that she poses and flips her hair between moves. A woman wrestler once told me "Some wrestlers would rather look good than have a good match". That's Santana Garrett. The match is fine but I never thought Santana could win which is why she was chosen for this match. Piper finished with a senton and a Michinoku driver which was good. As I said, I saw her in STARDOM so I know she's versatile. I'll have episode four tomorrow. Enjoy the video!
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Song:TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)
Album:Love Is The Message: The Best Of MFSB
TSOP is probably best known as the theme for Soul Train. And the song topped the charts in 1974. MFSB was the Philadelphia International (PI) house band. They backed up everyone that recorded at Sigma Studios in Philadelphia. The name MFSB was Mother Father Sister Brother reflecting the spiritual beliefs of PI owners Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. The album MFSB was released in 1972. It was mostly instrumental covers. A cover of Family Affair was released as a single but I don't think Gamble and Huff had any illusions about MFSB having a hit single. But then Don Cornelius approached Gamble about a new theme for Soul Train. And that was TSOP. You might wonder why there is no mention of Soul Train in the song. Cornelius later admitted that was his mistake and Soul Train was later added to the version that played on the show. The song was arranged and conducted by Bobby Martin who worked on many PI hits. The Three Degrees sing the vocals. Musicians are Leon Huff, Lenny Pakula, Eddie Green and Harold "Ivory" Williams on keyboards, Bobby Eli, Norman Harris, Reggie Lucas, Roland Chambers and TJ Tindall on guitar, Vincent Montana Jr. on vibes, Zach Zachary and Tony Williams on sax, Anthony Jackson and Ron Baker on bass, Earl Young, Karl Chambers and Norman Farrington on drums, Larry Washington on percussion and the Don Renaldo strings and horns. TSOP topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. MFSB never had another big hit but some songs charted. You can get them all on this budget comp. Several of the musicians led by Earl Young left PI over money and went to Salsoul Records where they became The Salsoul Orchestra. Gamble and Huff simply replaced them and MFSB continued to record until 1980. Philadelphia International faded until closing in 1987. Here's MFSB featuring The Three Degrees performing TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) on the 2008 PBS special The Sound Of Philadelphia Concert.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Here's the video for episode 2 of The Mae Young Classic as we continue with first round matches. The first match is Mercedes Martinez vs Xia Li. Mercedes is one of the most experienced and accomplished veterans in this tournament. She is mostly known for her long term association with SHIMMER but she's been everywhere. I'm glad she got into this tournament. Her opponent is Xia Li. The WWE has spent a lot of time in China recently. They just signed a new TV deal there. They had tryouts and Xia Li was one of the signees. She has a background in martial arts and she owns a fitness studio. She's a good athlete but new to pro wrestling. And this is her first TV appearance. So Mercedes is the perfect opponent for her. I think the match went well. Mercedes let Xia do a few things and then Mercedes put her away. That should show everyone what a real pro does. It's why I have been a big Mercedes Martinez fan for years. The second match on this show didn't go so well. It was Rachel Evers vs Marti Belle. Of course Rachel is Paul Ellering's daughter. She's appeared on NXT TV before. She's an OK wrestler. I didn't think she looked in great shape. Marti is best known for her days in TNA Impact but she's worked all over. I didn't think much of her when she worked for TNA. The reason she was in this tournament is she is billed from the Dominican Republic though she grew up in New York. And the WWE wants to make a big deal about this tournament having wrestlers from 13 countries. Based on this match, booking Marti was a big mistake. She's terrible. And she's been a pro wrestler since 2008. So it's not like she's inexperienced. In the past, there have been women wrestlers who get by on their looks and they never try to improve their ring skills. That's Marti Belle. Promoters will still hire her for her sex appeal. Velvet Sky is very similar to her. The rumour is Marti was supposed to win but that was changed during the match. I don't think Rachel knew Marti was that bad. Someone in management should have known. Next was Rhea Ripley vs Miranda Salinas. Rhea is 20 years old from Adelaide, Australia where she wrestled as Demi Bennett. She's tall (5'8"), she's athletic and she has a girl next door look. She also toured Japan in 2015. She worked mostly for Pro Wrestling Diana. She is under WWE contract. Miranda is from Houston. She trained at Booker T's Reality Of Wrestling. She had a WWE tryout a few months ago but I don't think she is signed. They must have thought she needed seasoning and based on this match, she still does. Rhea won in four minutes and she looked great. I look forward to seeing more of her. And the final match had Mia Yim vs Sarah Logan. Both are very experienced pro wrestlers. Mia has worked for just about everyone including several tours of Japan. She is probably best known as Jade in TNA Impact. She made the best of a bad situation. Mia has gotten a lot of publicity for speaking out about domestic abuse. That could get her a WWE contract. I have always liked her so that would be fine with me. Sarah is the wrestler best known as Crazy Mary Dobson. She's also been everywhere. She even trained in Japan with K-Dojo owner Taka Michinoku. She signed with the WWE last year. And at first she worked NXT under her real name Sarah Bridges. Now they have renamed her and given her this horrible Kentucky hillbilly gimmick. I hate, hate, hate this gimmick. I half expect Eric Weissberg's Dueling Banjos from Deliverance to play when she comes out. But she is a good wrestler. And so the match is very good and both wrestlers look good. Mia wins with the Eat Defeat. Stay tuned for episode three tomorrow enjoy the video!
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Song:All Time High
Rita Coolidge had some big hits in the 70s like her 1977 cover of the Jackie Wilson classic Higher and Higher. But I was not aware that All Time High was the theme for the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy. And if I don't know it maybe James Bond fans don't know it either. And there are collectors of anything James Bond. By 1983 Rita was at the end of her run. She left her long time label A&M in 1984 and she has rarely recorded since then. So if you think she was an odd choice for a Bond theme, you would be correct. The 1983 film Octopussy marked the return of long time Bond composer John Barry after Bill Conti scored the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only. Barry brought in Tim Rice to write the lyrics. They weren't planning to use the film's title in the theme song. Rice gave Barry six title choices and he chose All Time High. Rice was given a script and he watched some film footage to help him write the song. The original choice to sing the theme was British singer Mari Wilson. She had some success in England but she was unknown in the US so Bond producer Cubby Broccoli nixed her. Broccoli stated in Jan. 1983 that he was trying to get Laura Branigan who was popular at the time. Barry and Rice liked that choice. But then in March Broccoli announced that Rita Coolidge would sing the theme. Barry and Rice were surprised as they knew Rita was past her peak. But Broccoli's daughter Barbara Broccoli really liked Rita and she chose her. All Time High reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it did poorly in England. So it was not one of the more successful Bond themes. You can get it on this Rita Coolidge budget comp. But the Octopussy soundtrack is available on CD and it turns up on some James Bond music comps. Here's the video for All Time High by Rita Coolidge. Supposedly this was the first music video ever produced for a James Bond theme.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Here's the video of episode 1 of The Mae Young Classic. Because the WWE Network is on cable in Canada, this episode aired last night after RAW and the second episode will air tonight after 205 Live. I prefer to watch it this way on my HDTV. Before I get into this episode, I wanted to talk about the announcing. When they announced that Jim Ross and Lita would be the announcers, I thought it was a safe move and maybe they could have gone outside the box. Using JR seems to be a crutch at this point. Look, he's a legend but he doesn't know these wrestlers and he's going off of notes that are given to him. And I understand using a woman on this show but Lita just isn't very good and she had never done colour commentary before. So it didn't surprise me when JR said last week that they had to redo half of the commentary in Stamford. My preference would have been to have Renee Young do PBP. I have no problem with a woman broadcaster. I just don't think Lita is any good. And on colour, SHIMMER owner Dave Prazak was there. He knows all the wrestlers. Most of them have worked for him. He's an expert. Of course the problem is the WWE Women's Revolution should be called Women's Tokenism. Too bad the WWE doesn't know the difference. And I expect we'll see plenty of tokenism in this tournament. The first match is Kay Lee Ray vs Princesa Sugehit. Kay Lee is 25 years old from Scotland. Most fans have probably seen her in SHIMMER or SHINE. She's been all over the world. She is currently in Japan working for STARDOM. I don't think she is under WWE contract. She likes to do high flying even when it's not such a good idea. One problem is her accent is so thick she needs subtitles. Sugehit has been around for 20 years. And I guess this is an example of tokenism. Most Mexicans are under contract to CMLL or AAA. Sugehit is freelance and works for everyone. I'm sure Sarah Stock knows her well. She's an OK wrestler. I'm not as big on lucha libre as some. The match was fine but it wasn't anything special. Sugehit won with an armbar. I would have had Kay Lee win. The second match was Serena Deeb vs Vanessa Borne. Of course Serena left the WWE in 2010 for bad behaviour. So her appearance here is about redemption. After she left the WWE, Serena worked a program with Asuka for Smash in 2011. And then she retired in 2015 due to concussions and she now owns a yoga studio in Richmond, VA. I expect this to be her swan song. I don't think she wants to work a full schedule anyway. Vanessa has been on NXT first under her real name Daniele Kamela. They darkened her look and changed her name so she could work heel. She's a former Arizona Cardinals cheerleader. She can certainly talk. But as we see in this match, she's very rough in the ring. And Serena had ring rust. So the match is not that good and Serena wins with a spear. Next is Shayna Baszler vs Zeda. I think this was Zeda's first TV appearance. Her real name is Julia Ho. She was a model but she trained in BJJ and has a 2-0 amateur MMA record. Fortunately, Shayna is good enough to carry anyone. And the match was short. Of course Shayna is an MMA pioneer but she has really picked up pro wrestling. Of course she's pals with Ronda Rousey and we know this will lead somewhere. I don't know what she calls it but Shayna's finisher is pretty slick. And she is under contract as she is working house shows. The final match is Jazzy Gabert vs Abbey Laith. Of course Jazzy is the real name of the veteran German wrestler known as Alpha Female. The bottom line is she is a big girl. She's worked everywhere including a title run in STARDOM a couple of years ago. Apparently the WWE hasn't signed her to a contract. To be fair, she may not want to move to the US. Abbey is the wrestler formerly known as Kimber Lee. This is her first appearance with a new gimmick playing off her ballet training. I don't like the gimmick or her look at all. The booking is boneheaded. Supposedly Abbey was given Mae Young's finishing pin the Alligator Clutch. So they had her win with that despite Jazzy tossing her around like a sack of potatoes for most of the match. Ugh! The ending ruined the match. I have a feeling this may not be the last booking decision to piss me off. Stay tuned for episode two tomorrow. Enjoy the video!
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Song:Wing And A Prayer
Album:Between The Lines
Jazz guitarist Mike Stern started out as a sideman and he began to record as a leader in the 80s. He had a pretty good run on Atlantic including this 1996 album Between The Lines. He is respected by his peers for his technique. He recently had serious health problems due to a fall. But he has returned and is currently on tour. He was born Michael Sedgwick Jan. 10, 1953 in Boston. His cousin is actress Kyra Sedgwick so he's less than six degrees from Kevin Bacon. Stern grew up in Washington and attended Berklee. After graduation, he joined Blood, Sweat and Tears from 1976-78. Then he joined Billy Cobham's band in 1979. In 1981 he joined Miles Davis' band until John Scofield replaced him in 1983. Apparently Stern was drinking heavily and was addicted to heroin. Davis told him to go to rehab or leave. He worked with Jaco Pastorius when both guys were heavy drug users. Stern finally got clean with Michael Brecker's help. Stern signed a record deal with Atlantic and toured and recorded with Brecker in the late 80s. Stern recorded for Atlantic from 1986-2001 so he had a good run there. Wing And A Prayer is from Stern's 1996 album Between The Lines with his touring trio of Jeff Andrews on bass and Dave Weckl on drums. On sax is Bob Malach from the Bob Mintzer Big Band and Jim Beard played keyboards and produced the album. It was one of several Stern albums that was Grammy nominated. It's available as a budget CD. Since leaving Atlantic, he has recorded mostly for Heads Up Records. In 2012 Guitar Player Magazine gave Stern a Certified Legend award. On July 3, 2016, Stern tripped and fell while hailing a cab. He broke both arms and suffered nerve damage in his right hand. After two surgeries, he was able to play guitar again. He has to glue the guitar pick to his hand. Stern has been touring with trumpeter Randy Brecker and his new album Trip will be released Sept. 8. Those who are guitar technique fans will want to check out Mike Stern. Here's Mike Stern with Jeff Andrews and Dave Weckl performing Wing And A Prayer at the 1996 Nancy Jazz Festival in France.
Monday, August 28, 2017
Song:Let It Burn
Jazmine Sullivan made a big splash on the R&B charts with her 2008 debut album Fearless and the single Need U Bad. I featured this song a few years ago. She was 21 years old at the time. One of the notable things about Jazmine is that she was mentored by Missy Elliott. She decided to leave the music business after her 2010 CD Love Me Back was released. But she returned with the 2015 album Reality Show. Jazmine grew up in music. Her mom was a backup singer at Philadelphia International. And she signed her first record contract at age 15. On Fearless, she worked mostly with Elliott and producer Salaam Remi. When a debut album is that successful, there's a lot of pressure to follow it up. For the 2010 album Love Me Back, she continued to work with Elliott and Remi. The album was critically acclaimed and Jazmine has been widely praised as a future star. But it didn't do as well as the first album. And I guess Jazmine didn't enjoy making it because in Jan. 2011, she announced she is leaving the music business because it wasn't fun anymore. Jazmine decided to return after recording the 2013 song You're My Everything with Bilal and Robert Glasper for Glasper's album Black Radio 2. The song appears on the deluxe edition of the CD. So she announced in 2014 that she was recording a new album. She told Billboard that she can't escape that music is her calling. Several songs on Reality Show including Let It Burn were produced by Dwane "Key Wane" Weir II who is best known for producing rapper Big Sean. Weir first met Sean when he was in 8th grade. He is now 26 years old. The album did OK and so did Let It Burn. Jazmine also returned to writing songs for others. She has two songs on the new Mary J. Blige album. I don't know if Jazmine will ever have the chart success she had in 2008. But I don't think she cares about that anymore. She now realizes that music is her calling and she plans to enjoy the ride. Here's Jazmine Sullivan performing Let It Burn on Yahoo Live in Birmingham, AL June 2015.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Here's the match video of Kelly Kobold-Schmitz vs Christine Stanley from Friday's LFA show from Prior Lake, MN. I was asked by fans to post this fight because the finish was controversial. I just try to call it as I see it. This show did not air in Canada. Some LFA shows air on The Fight Network but on Friday there was a Glory show at the same time and they aired that. Long time fans will know that Kelly fought Gina Carano in the early days of televised women's MMA. Kelly is now 34 years old from Minneapolis. Her record is 18-3-1. Of course the problem is her last fight was in 2011. That is an awful long time to be off. What was she doing? Well, I know she played in the Lingerie Football League for a while. But mostly she has owned a gym with her husband. So she always trained. It's just that ring rust is a real thing. She looked in great shape. Christine is an Invicta veteran. She trains at Alliance in San Diego. She's 36 years old and her record is 5-3. She's mostly a striker. For Kelly to win, she needs to take Christine down and go for subs. Round one was very close. But I scored it 10-9 for Kelly. Unfortunately, Kelly got called for an illegal knee and the ref took a point off so that makes it 9-9. I don't agree with the ref taking a point off. Issue a warning. I've seen a lot worse and points don't get taken off. Round two was also very close. I scored it 10-9 for Christine but it could go the other way. I thought Christine did more damage. In round three, Kelly did what she should have done in round two. She took Christine down and kept her there. I scored it 10-9 for Kelly. I didn't think the round was dominant enough for 10-8. There were no near submissions and I also thought Kelly wasn't in control long enough. So I scored the fight 28-28 and so did the judges. It's a draw! But Kelly wins if the point isn't deducted. And I thought that was unnecessary. For someone who hasn't fought since 2011, Kelly Kobold-Schmitz looked damn good. Are you paying attention Invicta? Enjoy the video!
Song:I Go Crazy
Album:The Very Best Of Paul Davis
Though he's not a memorable personality, singer songwriter Paul Davis scored a few hit singles including the 1977 top ten hit I Go Crazy. His music is a mix of soft pop and country and he had success in both areas. He also had success as a producer and songwriter of other artists. He was born Apr. 21, 1948 in Meridian, MS. He led a couple of local bands until he signed with Malaco Records as a staff songwriter in 1968. Then he signed with Bang Records in 1969. After Bang owner Bert Berns died in 1967, his widow Ilene continued Bang. Davis was her first signing. She sold Bang to CBS in 1979. Davis scored a top 30 hit in 1974 with Ride 'Em Cowboy. Then I Go Crazy reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977. The story goes that Davis recorded a demo of I Go Crazy and he begged Columbia to give it to Lou Rawls. But they liked his recording and decided to release it. Rawls did record it and I Go Crazy was an R&B hit for him. Davis wrote and produced most of the songs on the 1977 album Singer of Songs-Teller of Tales in Muscle Shoals. The single Sweet Life was a top 20 hit. Davis left Bang and signed with Arista in 1981. The singles Cool Night and 65 Love Affair were both big hits. Then he moved to Nashville and didn't record much. He was writing and producing for others especially Marie Osmond and Tanya Tucker. It looks like he was a house producer for Capitol Nashville. His 1986 duet with Marie Osmond You're Still New To Me and It Won't Take Less Than Your Love with Tanya Tucker and Paul Overstreet were both number one country hits. I recommend this 2015 Varese comp as it is the only Paul Davis comp that has those two songs. Davis also wrote the Dan Seals #1 country hit Bop. It doesn't look like he did much after that. I guess he lived off his royalties and retired to his home town Meridian, MS. Paul Davis died of a heart attack on Apr. 22, 2008 at age 60. Here's Paul Davis performing I Go Crazy on The Midnight Special 1978.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Here's the match video of Talita Nogueira vs Amanda Bell from last night's Bellator show in Verona, NY. Last night Bellator had five women's matches on the show. Three were on the prelims which streamed on the Spike TV website. This fight was the only one I was interested in. It marked the Bellator debut of BJJ whiz Talita Nogueira. Talita was supposed to fight Julia Budd in 2015. But she blew out her knee in training and had reconstructive surgery. I was very disappointed at the time. Honestly, most of the female fighters signed by Bellator have been blah. And that was true of most of the fighters who were on last night's show except for Talita. She's 31 years old from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her record is 6-0 but she has very impressive BJJ credentials. After her recovery, she was supposed to fight Marloes Coenen but Talita missed weight badly and the fight was cancelled. She said last week that her mom died and it affected everything. On this show, she was supposed to fight Gaby Holloway. But Gaby got hurt and Amanda Bell replaced her. Amanda is an Invicta veteran. She's from Medford, OR with a 5-4 record. Amanda has KO power but she also has no defense. Her goal in this fight was to keep it standing. Well that didn't work out very well. Talita is much quicker than Amanda and it wasn't long before she took the fight to the ground. Amanda was never able to get out from under and this led to a rear naked choke finish. So Talita was very impressive and I think you will like her too. She's a threat for Julia Budd's Welterweight belt. The other female fights were about what I expected, not very good. Arlene Biencowe beat Sinead Kavanagh by split decision. I don't like either fighter and the fight was boring. Kate Jackson beat Colleen Schneider by doctor stoppage. Colleen blew out her knee. Kate was on TUF 23. I didn't like her. Colleen is a veteran fighter who just isn't very good. On the main card, Bruna Ellen beat Veta Arteaga by split decision. One look at Bruna and you know why Bellator hired her. But she's nothing special and she needed to be more dominant. And in a fight that happened after the main event, Jessica Sotack and Kristi Lopez fought to a draw. I don't know if anyone saw this fight. I remember Kristi from TUF 23. Pretty girl, crappy fighter. Enjoy the video!
Song:Stranger On The Shore
Clarinetist Acker Bilk was a mainstay of the British traditional jazz scene for years. But in 1962 he made a brief detour and topped the pop charts with Stranger On The Shore. He was born Bernard Stanley Bilk Jan. 28, 1929 in Pensford, Somerset, England. The nickname Acker is Somerset slang for friend. He learned to play the clarinet while serving in the British Army in the Suez Canal. After he left, he worked as a blacksmith for his uncle. He got into music in the early 50s with Ken Colyer's band in London. He formed his own Paramount Jazz Band and played all over England. He signed with EMI's Columbia label and he had success on the British charts with the 1960 single Summer Set. Bilk wrote the song Jenny for his daughter. But he was asked to change the title so it could be used as the theme for the BBC TV series Stranger On The Shore. When the record became a hit in England, it was picked up by Atco in the US. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962. The record was produced by Columbia house producer Denis Preston and arranged and the orchestra conducted by Leon Young. In England it was the biggest selling single of 1962. Robert Mellin wrote lyrics for Stranger On The Shore and Andy Williams and The Drifters charted with that. Bilk recorded Stranger On The Shore many times. It looks like Universal owns the original version that you can get on this budget comp. Things didn't change much for Bilk because he knew the hit was a fluke and he didn't want to be a pop star. He continued to tour with his band and frequently played with other British traditional jazz musicians like Chris Barber and Kenny Ball. He also recorded on three Van Morrison albums. In 2012, he told the BBC that he was fed up with playing Stranger On The Shore but it's OK to be fed up with something after fifty years. Bilk and his wife retired to his home town of Pensford. Acker Bilk died on Nov. 2, 2014 at age 85. Here's Acker Bilk performing Stranger On The Shore 1988.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Song:Another Girl, Another Planet
Album:The Only Ones
The Only Ones were a pioneering punk band that probably deserved to be more successful than they were. Another Girl, Another Planet was their most popular song. They were probably New Wave before there was such a term. The Only Ones were formed in London in 1976 by lead singer and songwriter Peter Perrett. The other members were John Perry on guitar, ex-Spooky Tooth drummer Mike Kellie and former Beaststalkers bassist Alan Mair. They released a single independently and that got them a deal with CBS Records. Another Girl, Another Planet was the next single. And though the song wasn't a hit, it did well enough that they recorded an album. It did well enough that they got to record a second album. It also got the attention of Columbia in the US and The Only Ones were brought over to the US to open for The Who. Columbia released the 1979 album Special View which was a mix of the two albums. That is available on CD but it's too expensive so I recommend the original 1978 album The Only Ones. Today The Only Ones are considered to be New Wave pioneers and very influential. The Replacements and Blur are among the bands that have named The Only Ones as an influence. But they split up after releasing three commercially unsuccessful albums. That happened during the US tour apparently due to drug abuse. Perrett has a history of heroin use. After Another Girl, Another Planet was used in a 2006 Vodafone commercial, The Only Ones reformed to tour. They also appeared on Later...with Jools Holland. They have not recorded new music but they did release live CDs and DVDs. The Only Ones last toured England in 2015 and they may have split up. Here's The Only Ones performing Another Girl, Another Planet on French TV 1979.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
|Alex Chambers, Nadia Kassem|
Song:A Thousand Miles
Album:Be Not Nobody
Singer songwriter Vanessa Carlton scored a top five hit with her 2002 debut single A Thousand Miles. Her debut album Be Not Nobody was certified Platinum. She looks good. She writes her own songs. She seems to be set up for a long successful music career. But her second album tanked and she hasn't been able to recreate that initial success. She was born Aug. 16, 1980 in Milford, PA. She took piano lessons as a child. Then she got into ballet and as a teen, she attended the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center in New York City. After graduating, she started performing in local clubs and writing with producer Peter Zizzo. Her demo got her a deal with Jimmy Iovine at A&M Records. She recorded songs for an album but she was unhappy with it and it was not released. A&M president Ron Fair took over and organized new recording sessions. Fair is more A&R man than musician. But he is known for developing new artists like Christina Aguilera. The album Be Not Nobody was released Apr. 2002. A Thousand Miles was the first single. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified Platinum. It was a song that was recorded for the unreleased album and Fair had Vanessa rework the song. He's always looking for that hit single. Vanessa toured and one of the bands she opened for was Third Eye Blind. She began a relationship with lead singer Stephan Jenkins. He produced her 2004 album Harmonium. Vanessa thought her first album was too commercial and she wanted to record something more personal. Over A&M's objections, Jenkins allowed her to do that. Unfortunately, Harmonium didn't do well and then she broke up with Jenkins. Then she left A&M and signed with Irv Gotti's label The Inc. On her 2007 album Heroes & Thieves, she continued to work with Jenkins and veteran songwriter Linda Perry. Though the album was positively reviewed, it still didn't sell and she left The Inc. Since then, Vanessa has recorded for Razor & Tie and then Dine Alone. She now records for her own label. She is married to John McCauley of Deer Tick and they have two children. She released a live CD earlier this year and she is recording new music for a 2018 release. Here's the video for A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Song:Search and Destroy
Most music fans are probably familiar with Iggy Pop and hits like Lust For Life. But you may not be familiar with his band The Stooges who were pioneers of punk rock. No one knew what to call them in the late 60s. Iggy Pop was born James Newell Osterberg Jr. Apr. 21, 1947 in Muskegon, MI. He went to high school in Ann Arbor. He played in several area bands as a teen including The Iguanas and The Prime Movers. He formed The Stooges in 1967 with Ron Asheton on guitar, Scott Asheton on drums and Dave Alexander on bass. They became known for wild performances and they got a deal with Elektra Records. They released two albums on Elektra neither of which sold. Meanwhile their shows got even crazier mostly because all of them were heroin addicts. But in 1970 Alexander was fired for showing up to a show drunk. He was replaced by James Recca. They added a second guitarist James Williamson and he tried to stabilize things. Elektra dropped them and they were going to split up. But fate intervened when Iggy Pop met David Bowie on Sept. 7, 1971 at Max's Kansas City in New York. He loved The Stooges and he signed them to his management company and this led to a record contract with Columbia. They were billed as Iggy and the Stooges. Bowie produced the 1973 album Raw Power. The album was well received critically and it sold well. Bowie's involvement didn't hurt. The album is now considered to be very influential on the punk rock that would follow. The album is available as a budget CD. The Stooges toured to support the album but then they split up in 1974. Pop's ongoing heroin addiction was probably the biggest problem. After rehab, he would launch his solo career with Bowie's help in 1977. The Stooges reunited in 2003 and toured extensively for several years. James Williamson was an electronic engineer for Sony until his 2009 retirement. He returned to The Stooges and they toured until retiring in 2016. Here's Iggy and the Stooges performing Search and Destroy in Europe.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Song:Nuthin' But A "G" Thang
Album:The Chronicle: The Best Of The Works...
These days Andre "Dr. Dre" Young is mainly a producer. But he started out as a rapper and his 1992 hit Nuthin' But A "G" Thang did a lot to popularize rap and especially Calvin "Snoop Doggy Dogg" Broadus. Young was born Feb. 18, 1965 in Compton, CA which is the center of west coast rap. Young's father had a doo wop group and his stepbrother is rapper Warren G. Young was headed nowhere because of poor grades in high school. But he heard Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and he thought he could do that. He became a DJ. At first he called himself Dr. J after basketball legend Julius Erving but that changed to Dr. Dre. He met rapper Antoine "DJ Yella" Carraby and the two experimented in the four track recording studio in the back room of the club. One of the songs they worked on Surgery became a hit for World Class Wreckin' Cru. Young was briefly a member. He met O'Shea "Ice Cube" Jackson in 1986 and this led to the formation of N.W.A. with Eric "Eazy-E" Wright. The two albums N.W.A. recorded were successful. But Jackson left in 1989 and then Young left in 1991 and signed with Suge Knight's Death Row Records. Young's debut album The Chronic was released in 1992. The first single was the theme for the film Deep Cover. Nuthin' But A "G" Thang was the second single. Though there were other guest rappers on the album, Broadus is on the whole album. He had never recorded before so The Chronic introduced the rapper now known as Snoop Dogg. Though Nuthin' But A "G" Thang is today considered an iconic rap song and very influential, it didn't top the Billboard Hot 100. It only reached #2 because Informer by Snow topped the chart for seven weeks. Nuthin' But A "G" Thang is based on Leon Haywood's I Wanta' Do Something Freaky To You. I wouldn't call it sampling. The backing track is the entire basis of Nuthin' But A "G" Thang. Back then they called everything sampling but this is more than that. The Chronic was certified 3XPlatinum. Young could have continued to be a successful rapper. But he became a producer and he still does that today. This budget comp covers his Death Row days. Today Young owns his own label. He released an album in 2015 but it was his first album since 1999. His legacy is all the artists he has produced including of course Snoop Dogg. Here's the video for Nuthin' But A "G" Thang by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Song:If You Could Only See Me Now
Album:All-Time Greatest Hits
T. Graham Brown had a great run on the country charts in late 80s. If You Could Only See Me Now was his final top ten country hit in 1990. He was born Oct. 30, 1954 in Arabi, GA. His first name is Tony but there is a very successful producer in Nashville named Tony Brown. So he called himself T. Graham Brown to avoid confusion. He got into music while attending the University of Georgia, first in the duo Dirk & Tony then in the outlaw country band Reo Diamond. Then he formed Rack Of Spam in 1979 and he moved to Nashville in 1982. At first he sang jingles and he was a staff songwriter first at Columbia and then at EMI. This led to a Capitol Records contract in 1984. Brown had nine top ten country hits in a row. He had three number one hits, Hell and High Water and Don't Go To Strangers in 1986 and Darlene in 1988. He worked with producer Bud Logan who also produced John Conlee. Brown recorded all his albums in Muscle Shoals. By the late 80s, Brown was having serious alcoholism problems. He recorded the 1990 album Bumper To Bumper produced by Muscle Shoals legend Barry Beckett. If You Could Only See Me Now reached #6 on the Country Singles chart. It would turn out to be Brown's final top ten country hit. The song was written by Susan Longacre and Rick Giles who wrote Reba McEntire's #1 country hit Is There Life Out There. After one more album, Capitol dropped Brown. You can get all his hits on this comp. His alcoholism got worse. Brown signed first with Warner Bros. and then Sony but nothing was ever released. He recovered by the late 90s and Brown has recorded for small labels ever since. His recent recordings have been more in a gospel vein. He released Forever Changed and Christmas with T. Graham Brown in 2015. He still tours. I guess he's an 80s nostalgia act now. Here's T. Graham Brown performing If You Could Only See Me Now on the 2012 RFD-TV special Country's Family Reunion: Salute To The Kornfield. It's a Hee Haw reunion.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Here's the match video of Asuka vs Ember Moon from last night's NXT Takeover show. It's a rematch from April. The story had Asuka injuring Ember Moon's shoulder and then on her return, she said Asuka cheated to win the first time. She gave Asuka The Eclipse. Actually, she botched it but Asuka sold it anyway. As with the first match, many supposed experts picked Ember to win because Asuka needs to drop the best to go to the main roster. But that's not true. She can keep The Streak going and vacate the NXT belt which is what Paige did a few years ago. So as I did in April, I went against traditional logic and I expected Asuka to win. This match was a lot better than the April match. Once again, Asuka showed how great she really is. Everything from her entrance complete with a headdress that may have been worn by a Vegas showgirl to her strategy and her tremendous selling of Ember Moon's offense was perfect. Her attention to detail is second to none. And the bonus is she may have gotten Ember Moon over. Ember started the match quickly. But they went outside and Asuka gave Ember Moon a hammerlock suplex on the steel ramp. And for the next few minutes, Asuka gave a clinic on how to work an arm. This was great strategy because of Ember's injury. And it sets up the Asuka Lock. Ember got her offense in which Asuka sold like she got shot. And she even used The Eclipse on Asuka. But once Asuka kicked out of that, that was the beginning of the end. In the end, Asuka outsmarted her by playing possum after a superkick and applying the Asuka Lock. The crowd cheered both after the match. So I don't know when Asuka is going up to the main roster, maybe for her 36th birthday next month. In an interview with USA Today's Josh Barnett, HHH said that he kept Asuka at NXT to protect her from Vince McMahon. That's the purpose of The Streak. He also said he needed her to sell NXT tickets after Nakamura went up to Smackdown. They did the same thing with Finn Balor. He remained in NXT for two years because he's a draw. I think Asuka needs to go up very soon because new blood is coming in. We'll see what happens. EDIT: The WWE reports today that Asuka has suffered a broken collarbone. She will be out for 6-8 weeks. ANOTHER EDIT: Since the WWE doesn't seem sure when Asuka's injury happened, I watched the match again. Go to the 16 minute mark of the video and watch the next minute. A standing shoulder block followed by a lariat seemed to be the cause. Asuka grabs her shoulder a couple of times but then she gets back to work. And until after the match when she can't move her right arm, you won't be able to tell there is anything wrong. She's a tough chick. So it's a routine move that caused the injury. Enjoy the video!
Asuka vs. Ember Moon (NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III... by VanishingWalker
Asuka vs. Ember Moon (NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III... by VanishingWalker
Song:Theme from New York, New York
Album:Nothing But The Best
The theme from the 1977 film New York, New York was Frank Sinatra's final big hit and it quickly became one of his signature songs. After Sinatra returned to the top of the charts with Strangers In The Night and That's Life, he recorded with his daughter Nancy, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Duke Ellington. After the 1970 album Watertown and a series of concerts with Count Basie, he decided to retire. Barbara Sinatra said he was bored doing the same old songs every night. Of course he didn't stay retired and in 1973 he returned with the TV special and album Ol' Blue Eyes is Back. For the rest of the 70s, Sinatra performed mostly at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. But he didn't record for a few years until the 1980 album Trilogy: Past Present Future. This was a three record concept album where each record was supposed to represent a different era. Sinatra planned to record this with longtime arranger Nelson Riddle. But they had a falling out. The first LP was covers of standards arranged by Billy May. It's supposed to represent the past. May worked with Sinatra in the 50s. The second LP was covers of contemporary songs arranged by Don Costa. It's supposed to represent the present. Costa worked with Sinatra in the 60s. The third LP was a suite called The Future written and arranged by Gordon Jenkins. Apparently this was the kind of thing Jenkins had wanted to do with Sinatra for years. This audacious project was the brainchild of producer Sonny Burke. One day Sinatra was fooling around in the recording studio and Burke suggested it. The album was certified Gold mainly because New York, New York was a hit. Of course the song was written by the legendary team of Fred Kander and John Ebb for Martin Scorsese's 1977 film New York, New York. Liza Minnelli sang it in the film. The film was a critical and box office failure but Sinatra popularized the theme and it reached #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sinatra performed it regularly in concert sometimes with Liza. He even recorded it with Tony Bennett for the 1992 album Duets. It turned out to be Sinatra's final hit single though he continued to record until his 1995 death. Trilogy was released on 2CDs but I don't recommend it. Jenkins' The Future was criticized at the time as pretentious and it hasn't aged well. So I recommend this comp which has Capitol and Reprise hits. Here's Frank Sinatra performing Theme from New York, New York.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Song:Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye
Album:The 60's Ultimate Collection Vol. 1
This cover of the song Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye was a top ten hit in 1967. It's a little odd as The Casinos were a doo wop group and doo wop was already dead by the mid-60s. The Casinos were from Cincinnati led by Gene Hughes. They were formed in 1962 and they played local clubs. Hughes left The Casinos but he returned in 1965. Cincinnati DJ Tom Dooley saw The Casinos in a club. He wanted to record a song and asked The Casinos to back him up and he would pay for the studio time. Hughes asked if he could record something for themselves and Dooley agreed to that. The song The Casinos recorded was Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye. The song got a good crowd reaction at live shows. The song was written by legendary songwriter John D. Loudermilk and it was first recorded as a country song by pop singer Don Cherry in 1962. The Casinos recorded it and Fraternity Records released it in 1967. It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. They recorded an album but it turned out to be their only hit. You can get Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye on this Collectables 2CD various artists comp available at a budget price. Hughes went on to work for MCA Nashville as a record promoter for many years. He died in 2004. Former lead singer Ken Brady led The Casinos on the oldies circuit for years but I think they are now retired. Here's the video for Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye by the Casinos.
Friday, August 18, 2017
Album:Dumbo: Original Soundtrack
Though Betty Noyes appeared on screen in films and TV, she is best known for two off screen appearances. The first was singing the Oscar nominated song Baby Mine in the 1941 classic Disney film Dumbo. The other was for dubbing two songs in the 1952 classic film Singin' In The Rain. She was born Oct. 11, 1912 in Tulsa, OK. She started out in a group called the Debutantes in the big band of Ted Fio Rito. She appeared on radio with Bing Crosby and she was getting calls for film work. The first film Betty's voice appeared in was The Wizard Of Oz though it is not known what she did. Then she got the call from Walt Disney to sing Baby Mine in Dumbo. The song was nominated for an Oscar. Nobody knew who sang the song so it didn't make her famous. The film studios, especially Walt Disney, didn't want anyone to know who did the voice work. Betty's other big credit was dubbing Debbie Reynolds' singing voice in Singin' In The Rain. Betty sang Would You and You Are My Lucky Star. Her other notable dubbing appearance was in the 1954 film Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. Her voice appeared in other films of the 50s and 60s. The most notable of these was as Lady Fish in the animated part of The Incredible Mister Limpet. Her one notable on screen appearance was as Mother in the 1965 TV musical Cinderella. She also appeared in a 1956 episode of I Love Lucy called Lucy Goes To Scotland. But for most of her career, Betty Noyes worked in anonymity as a studio singer. She died on Dec. 24, 1987 at age 75. Here's Betty Noyes performing Baby Mine as it appeared in the 1941 film Dumbo. Get your hankies out.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Song:I'ma Make It
Album:Tell You What I Know
JJ Thames always had the singing talent. But it was only recently that she was able to concentrate on music. And now she appears at blues festivals worldwide. JJ grew up in Detroit. And though she was exposed to all kinds of music, she showed talent as a blues shouter. But then she gave birth to her first son at age 17 and she moved to Jackson, MS to study business and marketing at Mississippi College. She continued to sing on the side. Then in 2004 she gave birth to her second son who died in 2006 of lymphoma. So JJ moved back to Detroit and started singing in local clubs. A move to New York didn't work out. And then she gave birth to her third son in 2010. She was getting work as a backup singer. But she wanted more so she took her family back to Jackson. She was spotted by producer Grady Champion. He is president of the Malaco Records label DeChamp. He produced JJ's 2014 debut CD Tell You What I Know. She wrote most of the songs on the album with keyboard player Sam Brady. The rest of her band is Celeb Armstrong on guitar, David Hyde on bass and Vince Barranco on drums. Guitarist Eddie Cotton appears on a few tracks. The album did well and JJ is currently on a European tour. I guess she always had that star quality. She just needed an opportunity. JJ's latest CD Raw Sugar was released last year. She does a lot of blues festivals. Here's JJ Thames performing I'ma Make It at the 2015 Bagnols Blues Festival in France.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Here's the match video of Jamie Colleen vs Tiffany Masters from last night's episode of Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWTNCS) at the UFC Gym in Las Vegas. This aired on UFC Fight Pass. This was the first women's match on the show. the fighters are not only fighting each other but they are competing with the other fighters on the show for a UFC contract. This is supposed to encourage fighters to be aggressive. I guess these two didn't get that memo. Jamie is from Philadelphia and a King Of Cage regular. Tiffany is from Wisconsin and she was supposed to be on last month's Invicta show. I didn't think she looked in shape and I thought her cardio could be a problem. Jamie is know for her striking but she didn't come out very aggressively. Tiffany wasn't much better but she was marginally better and I scored round one 10-9 for Tiffany. She also won round two by taking Jamie down and scoring with some ground and pound. But she needed to go for a finish to get that contract. Instead she pooped herself out. Jamie was read the riot act between rounds. She was much better in round three and ultimately got an armbar submission in the last minute of the fight. But I didn't think either would get that contract. It was the first fight on the show so we had to wait to find out and as I expected, neither got UFC contracts. If Jamie had come out aggressively from the start, she had a chance. But inexplicably, she didn't do that. That's a wasted opportunity. Enjoy the fight!
Song:Kisses In The Rain
Album:Kisses In The Rain
Smooth jazz trumpeter Rick Braun has been successful since the 90s when he recorded for Atlantic and then Warner Bros. He is still successful today recording for his own label. He was born July 6, 1955 in Allentown, PA. Braun's mom played piano. He played drums in high school. His high school music teacher suggested he try the trumpet. Braun's influences include Freddie Hubbard but he has acknowledged Herb Alpert as his biggest influence. While studying at the Eastman School of Music, he was in the jazz fusion band Auracle. They recorded a couple of albums in the late 70s for Chrysalis produced by Teo Macero. They were pretty good but they split up after two albums. Braun got into session work in the 80s with acts like REO Speedwagon, Johnny Mathis, Natalie Cole and others. He began to record as a leader in the early 90s with Mesa/Blue Moon with Atlantic Records distribution. He had success on the jazz charts. Blue Moon was taken over by Atlantic in 1998 and Braun was moved to Warner Bros. His first album for Warners was with popular sax player Boney James. Shake It Up is one of the best selling smooth jazz albums in history. The 2001 album Kisses In The Rain was his second of three albums for Warners. Smooth jazz guitarist Peter White makes a guest appearance on the song Kisses In The Rain. The song was written by David Woods who also plays keyboards and bass. Woods also worked with Boney James. The rest of the band is Peter White on acoustic guitar, Tony Maiden of Rufus on electric guitar, Fourplay's Harvey Mason Sr. on drums and Cuban percussionist Luis Conte. He has worked a lot with Poncho Sanchez. In 2005, Braun started his own label Artistry. His latest CD Around The Horn was released in February. He is also in the band BWB with sax player Kirk Whalum and guitarist Norman Brown. Braun is currently on tour. Not surprisingly, he does a lot of jazz festivals and smooth jazz cruises. Here's Rick Braun with Peter White performing Kisses In The Rain.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Song:We Belong Together
Album:#1 To Infinity
Of course Mariah Carey has been very successful since the 90s. But there was a time when things weren't going so well and she faded. The 2005 single We Belong Together was her big comeback hit. And I think it's fair to say that record solidified her status. The decline began with the success of the 1997 album Butterfly. That was when she split with long time producer Walter Afanasieff and husband Tommy Mottola. She had one album left on her Columbia contract. Rainbow was released in 1999. Though the singles Heartbreaker and Thank God I Found You topped the charts, the album was her least successful to date. There was a lot of tension with Columbia while making the album. After she was through, Mariah couldn't wait to leave and sign with Virgin Records. Her first project for Virgin was the film Glitter and the soundtrack. She was also having health problems mostly exhaustion from overworking. She said later that at the time there was no one to tell her to rest. And then Glitter bombed. Her 2003 album Charmbracelet also didn't do well. Among other things, she was criticized for her voice. Virgin bought out her contract and she signed with Island Records. It looked like she was through. For the 2005 album The Emancipation Of Mimi, Mariah worked mainly with veteran producer Jermaine Dupri and Manuel Seal Jr. The name of the album was LA Reid's idea as Mimi is her nickname. He wanted it to be her comeback album. We Belong Together was the second single. Dupri and Seal produced the song. It topped the charts and the Emancipation Of Mimi was Mariah's most successful album since Daydream in 1995. Her albums since then haven't been as successful. But I don't think it's a big deal anymore. She doesn't need a second comeback. In 2015, she began a residency at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and signed with Epic Records. This comp is the first to have songs from Mariah's entire career. She has also been doing Mariah's World for E!. I don't expect her to make the top of the charts again. Mariah may have other ideas. Here's the video for We Belong Together by Mariah Carey.
Monday, August 14, 2017
|Ayaka Miura, Viviane Araujo Gomes|
Song:Somehow Our Love Survives
From what I could tell, this is the only time singer Al Jarreau ever recorded with pianist Joe Sample. It was on Sample's 1989 album Spellbound. But it never appeared on a Jarreau album. At the time, Jarreau was a big star on Warner Bros. Records and Spellbound was Sample's first Warners album after leaving MCA. The album was produced by veteran producer Tommy LiPuma who had worked with both of them. He also produced the Crusaders. After many years of success, The Crusaders disbanded in 1987. Sample signed with Warner Bros. and he decided to reunite with LiPuma after producing his own albums at MCA. No doubt it was LiPuma's idea to bring in Jarreau and a couple of other guest singers. I'm sure Sample and Jarreau knew each other from the Los Angeles jazz scene. But they had never recorded together. Somehow Our Love Survives was written by jazz singer Michael Franks who also appears on this album. The band is Michael Landau on guitar, John Pena on bass, Omar Hakim on drums and Lenny Castro on percussion. Other guest singers are Michael Franks, Take 6 and Ruben Blades. As I said, it's the only time Sample and Jarreau ever recorded together though they may have toured together. Jarreau fans may not be aware he recorded this as it does not appear on one of his albums. Here's a video for Somehow Our Love Survives by Joe Sample featuring Al Jarreau.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Song:You Talk Too Much
Album:The Golden Age Of American Rock 'N' Roll Vol. 9
You Talk Too Much was a top five hit in 1960. It was the only big hit for Joe Jones. One of his other singles charted so he's not technically a one hit wonder. He went on to a career in music publishing and he was an advocate for black songwriters. He was born Aug. 12, 1926 in New Orleans. He served in the US Navy and studied music at Juillliard. Jones returned to New Orleans to valet for BB King. He became a pianist and arranger for King. Jones also worked for Shirley & Lee. He released a single on Capitol in 1954. Reggie Hall wrote You Talk Too Much for his brother in law Fats Domino. Domino rejected it but Jones liked it and recorded it for Roulette Records. But they didn't release it. So Jones recorded a new version on Ric Records. When the record started to get airplay, Roulette filed an injunction and the Ric version was pulled. The original Roulette version is the one that reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. The sax solo is by Harold Battiste. You can get You Talk Too Much on this Ace Records various artists comp. It turned out to be Jones' only big hit. He also discovered and managed The Dixie Cups. But when Jones sued to prove that he wrote their hit Iko Iko, he lost. Then he moved to Los Angeles and got into music publishing and jingles. He became an advocate for black songwriters who were taken advantage of by record companies. Joe Jones died after heart surgery on Nov. 27, 2005 at age 79. Here's a video of You Talk Too Much by Joe Jones.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Song:I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You
Album:The Best Of Leon Haywood
R&B singer, songwriter and producer Leon Haywood had success on the R&B charts beginning in the late 60s. But he crossed over to pop with the top 20 hit I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You in 1975. He was born Feb. 11, 1942 in Houston. He learned to play piano as a child and performed locally as a teen. Then he moved to Los Angeles to work with Big Jay McNeely and Sam Cooke. He recorded a couple of singles for Fantasy and then two more for Imperial. The single She's With Her Other Love was a top 15 R&B hit in 1966. While releasing his own music, Haywood got into session work especially with the Booker T & The MGs spinoff group The Packers led by Stax owner Estelle Axton's son Packy Axton. Things finally picked up for Haywood when he signed with 20th Century Records. He scored a top 15 R&B hit in 1974 with Keep It In The Family. Then I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You reached #7 on the R&B Singles chart and #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975. If you have heard this song, you probably remember the moaning on the record obviously influenced by Donna Summer's Love To Love You Baby. Haywood wrote and produced the record with Love Unlimited Orchestra arranger Gene Page. All the musicians on the album are veteran session musicians. Haywood plays piano along with Joe Sample of the Crusaders and Larry Nash, David T. Walker, Dean Parks, Ray Parker Jr and Roland Bautista on guitar, Gary Coleman on vibes, Wilton Felder of The Crusaders on bass and Vince Charles on drums. The song has been liberally sampled by hip hop guys, most notably Ain't Nothin' But A "G" Thang by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg in 1992. You can get the full version of this record on this comp. Beware of edited versions. Haywood had some other hits but then 20th Century closed. Haywood's albums on Columbia, MCA and Casablanca weren't successful. So he turned to producing and scored the 1981 Carl Carlton hit She's a Bad Mama Jama. After that, he recorded occasionally for his own Evejim label and he produced Jimmy McCracklin among others. Leon Haywood died on Apr. 5, 2016 at age 74. Here's a video for I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You by Leon Haywood.