We first checked in on Rochester, New York’s Fine Recording Studio via the Inspirational Gospel Singers in Good God! Born Again Funk. And now, thanks to the hard work of Mark Taylor, the remainder of the Fine archive is being digitized for future generations to enjoy. Here’s the skinny:
In December 2002, a shipping container arrived in Sydney, Australia. Its contents largely unknown, it was unloaded into a warehouse in East Botany. For the next 6 months a story unfolded, a history of the recorded music of Rochester, NY, from the immediate post-war era, until the untimely death in 1977 of studio owner and jazz big band leader Vincent Giancursio, aka Vince Jan, aged 58. The studio later suffered fire and flood damage.
The contents of the container, as they were unpacked, revealed hidden musical treasure representing every genre and diversity of the era. Big band jazz and lounge music, popular songs, country and western, rockabilly and incredible gospel groups dominate the 1950′s. Following this came early beat and pop groups, early garage r&r, northern soul and funk, culminating in a slew of brilliant undiscovered garage punk masterpieces, the reason for the existence of this site. After 1967, psychedelic and progressive styles took hold, and the energy was lost. However, the story must, and will, be told…
Check Mark’s site for a larger rundown of the studio’s musical contents, and oh yeah, grab this face-melting compilation of Fine gospel that another Fine fan put together.
We were saddened today by the news that our friend Ada Richards passed on Tuesday. She was visiting her son in Atlanta when she suffered a sudden heart attack. We talk to Ada pretty often. By The Numbers readers know her from her letters to us (written from the point of view of her friends at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Holls, Michigan). Numero fans also know her music from our Good God! Born Again Funk compilation.
Ada will be remembered more in Detroit for her generosity as a successful local businesswoman with a small chain of beauty parlors who was known to share from her surplus. After her retirement she was known for her volunteer work. We consider ourselves lucky to have gotten to know her.
Filed under: A Light On The Southside, Al Jarnow, Boddie, Eccentric Breaks & Beats, Good God!, Lonesome Heroes, Lowlands, Playlists, Syl Johnson | Tags: Sea Of Sound
So, I gotta little jealous last week that we didn’t have something as slick as Josh’s new online ghetto blaster and decided it was time to revive my old podcast, The Sea Of Sound. This episode below in it’s fancy Flash 1.0 player – give it a few seconds to load – is a healthy mix of past, present, and upcoming Numero tracks, side by side with some old favorites, and a few cuts from various new releases for your listening pleasure. Enjoy, Michael
“Don’t Trade Love For Money” – Jackie Russell
“Woodpiles On The Side Of The Road” – Jack Rose
“Hummingbirds” – Kieran White
“Jane, Jane” – Tia Blake
“Yellow Roses” – Heron
“Lonely Son” – Vernon Wray
“Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart” – Arthur Russell
“Tried So Hard” – The Flying Burrito Brothers
“Never Too Far” – Tim Hardin
“I Found My Music” – Sage
“Every Day We Grow Closer” – Alex Chilton
“The Ballad Of El Goodo” – Big Star
“The Summer Sun” – Chris Stamey
Beaumont, TX Dodge Commercial
“I’ve Got To Get Over” – Syl Johnson
“Bring It Down Front” – Hugh Hawkins
“Lean Lanky Daddy” – Little Ann
“You’ve Got To Steal It” – The Flairs
“I’m Drunk & I’m Real High (In The Spirit Of God) – Ada Richards
“Cosmic Clock” – Shoes
“Love Letter Full Of Promises” (Rehearsal) – Juanita Rodgers
Filed under: Good God!, Numero Vinyl, Uncategorized | Tags: Born Again Funk, Caine Mutiny
Perhaps the rarest pressing of any Numero release is the defective first pressing of the 030 release on LP. Only a few copies slipped out accidentally in mailorders, and, like the Caine Mutiny pressing, a few Numero factory workers absconded with a few other copies.
Much like the Caine Mutiny soundtrack, the defective first pressing is useless for its musical content and novel merely for its rarity. It was a major setback, unfortunately, and we’re working around the clock (not literally) to get the new LPs swapped into the jackets (keep checking the blog for images of the rigorous and painful process thankfully being performed mostly by our loyal interns).
Now we’re back on track and finally pushing out the first flawless pressing of the long awaited (we’d like to think) 030 Good God! Born Again Funk. Expect them to be arriving at a store near you either this week or next, or naturally you can check our website to order copies fresh off the assembly line.
Filed under: Good God! | Tags: Fire In My Bones, Good God! Born Again Funk
Oliver Wang continues to shower us with praise, this time spotlighting Good God! Born Again Funk for All Things Considered. While we’re pretty meh about the other reviewed compilation (Fire In My Bones), it’s nice to know that NPR is willing to challenge it’s primarily lefty listener (ourselves included).
Filed under: Catherine Howe, Good God!, Methodology | Tags: Catherine Howe, Eccentric Soul, Trevor Dandy
Back at the end of 2009 we started talking about putting Numero 012 Catherine Howe: What A Beautiful Place on vinyl. As you may have noticed, over the last 24 months we have been actively trying to get the entire catalog on wax, a feat we should get two steps closer to by the end of the year when we issue a deluxe version of Numero 002 Antena: Camino Del Sol. One of the major stumbling blocks for What A Beautiful Place was figuring out what to do with the CD bonus track “In The Hot Summer.” The not-quite-a-concept-album’s “Prologue,” “Interlude,” and “Epilogue” were perfectly spread out on Reflection Records’ original 1971 issue, and it made no sense to try and stuff the bonus track on there.
Having taken the bonus 45 route with Pisces: A Lovely Sight (sold out kids), we thought it might be fun to resurrect the old Reflection label. We dug back through our archives and relistened to the bonus tapes Catherine had sent over to us while working on the CD issue. A half dozen demos had been cut before she ended up recording Harry for RCA, including “Let’s Keep It Quiet Now,” a real Lite-FMish pop ballad. Now all we had to do was figure out who could manufacture those old-style UK breakaway spindles.
When I talked to Beth Proctor at United about the possibility of doing a breakaway spindle, she countered with, “Did you and Jack White just get off the phone?” It seems the White Stripe had been thinking about doing something similar for his Third Man imprint, but wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. Master in hand, we pushed hard. Two months later tests of the first UK style 45 to ever be pressed in America showed up at our door.
The Catherine Howe 45, (limited to 1000 copies) will be available only through our website when you buy the LP issue of What A Beautiful Place. You can pre-order it now and the LP will be shipped to your home or office before the 3/17/2010 release date.
You’ve heard the “new,” so what’s the “extremely limited”?
To commemorate their new product extension, United wanted to press up a handful of breakaways to give away to the big wigs at Warner, EMI, Universal, and Sony. They wanted it to look and sound good, so you know who they called. Jack White? No. Numero! More than likely because we could guarantee artwork and a WAV file in one day, United asked us if we’d like one side of an extremely limited 45. Thinking only, “How can we make the collector nerd sweat?” we said yes.
The real battle was figuring out what we would want in our personal collections on 45. There was talk of an unreleased Four Mints track we discovered in Dean Francis’ archives a few years back, and after a copy of the Andrew Brown 45 on Brave blew up we considered it too. But when the dust settled, Trevor Dandy’s “Is There Any Love” was the winner. Don’t Cry Little Tree easily commands $500+, and is, in our opinion, the classic one-tracker. Couple the Kid Cudi and Monsters of Folk samples from last year with the song’s three appearances in Friday Night Lights‘ 5th season and you’ve got a recipe for a hit 45. Except for one thing:
United only pressed 200 copies.
So while the people running the music into the ground are sitting on 100 freebies, likely even tossing them into the trash, the rest of you are left to fight it out for the remaining copies. And since we know this is going to end up on the Bay for triple the value by the time it sells out by week’s end, we’ve priced it accordingly. There will be no repress, there will be no mercy. There will be only one per customer.
More about the 45:
We initially contracted Jaffa from the-Unknown to build us a multi-use back plate. It would have looked something like this:
But due to time constraints (United literally mastered, plated, printed, and pressed these in six days), we had to scrap the back plate idea. Not wanting to go with a stock color background, we dialed up our label man Davd Hamlet to see what stock back plates he had lying around. Both Kenny Dope and Daptone had recently used the old Modo plate, so we couldn’t go that way. And Get Hip had a bunch of Capitol orange and yellow swirls laying around. But what we really wanted was something blue… something like the old London label, you know, the one Jaffa was biting in the first place! Norton’s Rolling Stones cover 45 series had us covered. We bought up a few hundred sheets and had David walk them over.
Why only one side? The other side is basically an advertisement for United’s new product line and features an etching of their logo and website address. The records themselves come in our stock Eccentric Soul 45 sleeve for easy pulling.
What, you’re still here?
Yesterday Fed Ex freight pulled up with a massive delivery of LPs. After a blowout with AAA Cooper (things haven’t been the same since Ceasar was canned), we were forced to switch freight companies, and sadly FE arrived with no lift gate and no pallet jack. Next thing you know, six guys are out in the elements breaking down two pallets. After transferring nearly 60 boxes by dolly down the sidewalk and into our basement, we finally got to crack the shrink on our latest opus:
That’s Good God! Born Again Funk if you didn’t know, available on glorious double vinyl in a heavy gatefold sleeve with a tipped in booklet. A holiday treat for sure. And because we’re in the giving mood, here’s a needle drop of the late January release:
Filed under: Good God!, Lonesome Heroes, Methodology | Tags: Ada Richards, Good God! Born Again Funk, Josh Bearman, Lonesome Heroes, Tucker Zimmerman
We sent a few CDs to Ada Richards, who is included on the next Good God! compilation (030, available at the end of January). One of them made it into the hands of (we believe) one of the patients at the hospital where Ada volunteers. She sent this enthusiastic letter.
My favorite thing about the letter is that usually friends and family members of the artists are only excited about the track or tracks they have a personal connection to. Our friend (as best as I can tell, her name is Carrie) is excited about the whole thing, even mentioning particular tracks she’s fond of. Refreshing to say the least.
Another thoughtful missive came from Tucker Zimmerman. It’s been 8 or 9 years since my friend Josh Bearman turned me onto Tucker’s Song-Poet LP and it’s long been one of my favorites. It’s sufficient to say, I’m very excited about working with him on the recent collection, 028 Wayfaring Strangers: Lonesome Heroes.
This is our favorite kind of mail!
Filed under: Eccentric Soul Revue, Good God! | Tags: Aaron Wickenden, Ben Poster, Good God! Born Again Funk, Lincoln Hall, tl barrett
We got this great video on the road that Ben Poster and Aaron Wickenden cut together in a pinch to help us promote the NYC shows but, we never had a chance to upload it in time. So, here’s the opening song of the tour from Chicago with Pastor TL Barret and his choir doing, “Like A Ship” off our upcoming release Good God! Born Again Funk!
Filed under: Good God!, Twinight | Tags: Gene Cash, Harrison & the Majestic Kind, Twinight
Yesterday we had our first sit down with Chicago ghetto-custom label legend Gene Cash. We’ve been working with Gene for the last few years as a songwriter on Harrison & the Majestic Kind’s “Can You Find Me A Love” for Twinight, and we finally got the license done for the Victory Travelers’ “I Know I’ve Been Changed” which appears on Good God! Born Again Funk (releasing 1/26/2010).
Pictured above is Gene with tha’ Group, captured for historical posterity by his friend Larry, whose last name none of us can seem to remember. More information about Gene Cash can be found by clicking Harrison’s link above.