When it came time to secure cover art for his band’s full-length debut, Cleveland native Lou Ragland knew he wanted to do something unusual. Although illustrator James Richard “Dick” Dugan, a full-time sports illustrator for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, had created lasting logos for both the hometown Browns (“Brownie”) and Indians (“Chief Wahoo”), his quote for a cover image, a meager $125, was too good to pass up.
While technically a commission piece, Lou requested that Dugan add his signature to the sketch, which appears just below the handle. This detail, and the corresponding caricature, was missed by most; Hot Chocolate fans were more likely to pick up The Call and Post than the Plain Dealer, and fans of “Doodles Dugan” were unlikely to see this heavy-hitting platter on west-side record shelves. When Dugan passed away on April 16th of this year, many of his creations were resurrected, all of which bear an undeniable resemblance to his creation for Ragland and company. When Numero exhumes a wealth of rare-and-unreleased Ragland tracks later this year, you can bet Dugan’s Hot Chocolate concoction will also get dusted off.
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