Numero Group: By The Numbers

Black Beethoven: Boddie to Brown Sugar (and Beyond)
September 26, 2011, 10:44 am
Filed under: Boddie, Lou Ragland

If you needed something arranged on the east side of Cleveland during the 1970s, you essentially had two choices; commission the tried-and-true charts of veteran John Brinson, or those of recent John F. Kennedy High graduate, Dunn Pearson. A student at nearby Kent State, Pearson spent a good deal of his college career being chauffeured to and from Boddie, and later Cleveland Recording Studios, where his services were in near-constant demand. Upon graduating in 1976, he was scooped up by the O’Jays as a pianist and arranger, moving to New York with the group–Cleveland’s most successful export–in the process.

Although Pearson’s electronic press kit (EPK, for short) omits danceable oddities like “Groove on Down,” it reveals even deeper career movement, like a Jody Watley fitness video and a Wendy’s/Kool and the Gang collaboration (pre-Dollar Menu). It’s hard to pick a favorite, but an orchestration credit/video cameo on D’Angelo’s “Cruisin’” redux has to be up there.

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