Numero Group: By The Numbers

Own a piece of Numero History
April 10, 2014, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Belize City Boil Up, Discographies, Record Store Day


In the midst of combing through our office to find long lost goodies to share with you at our annual Numero Pop Up store, we found something exceptionally exciting. Housed in an unassuming black sleeve with the gold stamped CES logo, this 12” is the very first Numero release on vinyl. Back in the summer of 2006, our fledgling label had only nine CDs under our belts, and we were unsure of the viability of releasing things on vinyl (oh how times have changed!). After fielding many fan requests, a run of 100 copies (with no test pressings) were made featuring two of the most dance-friendly cuts on Belize City Boil Up, plus a pair of re-edits by Earwig. Each copy was hand stamped, includes a printed insert and resides inside a dead-stock CES sleeve.

Eventually re-packaged in a “Numero Disco sleeve” and released as +001 in our disco 12″ series, Lord Rhaburn Combo / Jesus Acosta & The Professionals ‎– Disco Connection / Guajida is officially out of print on that format as well.

Folks coming out to the Numero Pop Up shop can have their chance at one of the three recently unearthed copies of this true rarity for the collectors price of $50.

The Numero Pop Up Shop is taking place April 19th, 2014

2579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL


Boddie Recording Company: The Field Trip
March 17, 2011, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Boddie, Discographies, Downriver Revival, Record Store Day

For the most part, our expeditions into the wild (read: the most mundane cities you could ever go to) are too filled with fact hunting to really spend time documenting the process itself. If you saw our Downriver Revival documentary (comes free with both the CD and LP versions of 026 Local Customs: Downriver Revival) it’s the rare occasion when silent observers (Ben Poster, Kyle Obriot, and Zach Goheen) were willing to tag along during the generally endless tedium of these sort of trips (that’s a whole week boiled down to one 30 minute segment, people) to capture a few gems. This latest trip to Cleveland was no different: lots of hustling up and down the East Side, not much time to stop and smell (or photograph) the roses. But we did get a few shots of some of our new friends. The “Tribute to the Boddie Record Label” poster (not the official title) that we made came in before the trip, so we were able to share it with some of the folks involved. Here’s the daughter of the late Frankie Pighee, Pat Pighee, showing off her new wall hanging:

And the illustrious Harvey Hall:

One of these comes free with every copy of the Local Customs: Pressed At Boddie LP, available for one day only: April 16th, 2011 (I guess that happens to be Record Store Day… who knew?) Visitors to our pop-up store on that same day can also grab one there.

San Francisco Sound Chart
February 21, 2010, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Discographies, Uncategorized | Tags:

This weekend we picked up a copy of McSweeney’s #33, Panorama, their very impressive Sunday style newspaper that is easily one of the most ambitious and inspiring things we’ve seen from them over the years.  We kinda thought we were hot shit when we made our print catalog last year but this…this just set the proverbial bar on another level.  One of our favorite portions is a part of the arts section which came with a fantastic (but no where near complete) time line of the San Francisco music scene of the last 50 years as seen above.

The complicated history of R.E.W. Record Distribution
July 11, 2009, 12:30 pm
Filed under: A Light On The Southside, Discographies, Methodology | Tags: ,

We spent all week working on the liners to Light: On The South Side, after having spent what seems like months trolling through back issues of Jim O’Neal’s crucial Living Blues Magazine. After Dante let us borrow his collection of 20 issues, Rob hit the Harold Washington library to pump up on the rest. It’s a real treasure, and if you ever have the chance to sit down and read an issue (especially from the 70s), don’t pass it up. 

O’Neal was kind enough to go over our 5000 word document on Chicago Blues in the 70s, filling out much needed background in places where information was thin. He ripped my paragraph on R.E.W. Record Distribution a new one, forcing me to go back and completely rework it. Here’s a glimpse at one of the most dense and untold stories of a record distributor you never wanted to know about. 

Beyond what’s revealed by a handful of records bearing its three-letter acronym, very little of what is known about R.E.W. Record Distributors is rock solid. Fitting with Mack Simmons’ fast and loose business acumen, R.E.W. was part of a series of fly-by-night labels, distributorships, and promotional scams that began with Lynn’s Productions and labels such as Little Lynn’s, Reginald, Henvick, and Big Beat in Greenville, Mississippi. From there it morphed into V.H. & L. Circle Distributors, with many releases paid for by the artists who were also required to give the distributor 500 free copies for promotion. Bearing the R.E.W. stamp were singles by Harmonica Williams, who songs were stripped out of an LP on the Ahura Mazda label from New Orleans, two by Florida’s Bobby Williams, southern soul singer Chuck Armstrong, and finally Lady Margo popped up on the R.E.W.-distributed M.T.H. label. Joyce “Lady Margo” Fargo had issued two singles on the Soul World label before the second was inexplicably “reissued” on M.T.V.H. Records, which was distributed by M.T.H., who slapped their logo on top of her third single, 1974s “This Is My Prayer (To Find Someone Of My Own),” with R.E.W. listed as the distributor. Confusing? That word best describes R.E.W.’s entire business model. 

Putting together a Reginald and related discography is a feat of strength, so bless the Soul Strut family for giving it a go. I’m sure Dante will have additions, and we’ll follow up when it’s a little more solid. If anyone has any further insights into this extremely deep world, don’t be afraid of the comments section.

Unravelling the USA Records 100 series mystery
October 8, 2008, 9:58 pm
Filed under: A Light On The Southside, Discographies | Tags: ,

Our licensing for the upcoming compilation A Light On The Southside has led us into the darkest corners of Chicago’s seedy record history. The original USA label was an offshoot of Paul Glass’ All State Distribution firm, issuing a plethora of garage, soul, and blues sides before shuttering in the late 60s. A few years later, and under new ownership, the label hit reset and started the 100 series, eventually issuing a handful of records nationally that All State was already distributing locally. This is made evident by the myriad dead wax markings that show the records being cut at various plants, with no discernible catalog numbering system outside of USA’s printed label. Here are a few fun examples:

USA 101, 102: Both Lost Weekend 45s were simply new pressings of original 45s with the same plates, done as part of a distribution deal. There was never a licensing arrangement. This has been cited by the band, who retained their master tapes. USA 103: Jackie Ross has Cedric catalog numbers in its matrix, although it was never issued on Cedric directly. 

USA 105: The Brown Family, who we work closely with, didn’t even know that there ever was a USA pressing of Sandy Cleveland’s Bandit 45. The catalog numbers gel with other Bandit catalog numbers.

USA 106: The plates of the Shadows 45 are identical to their release on Golden Sound. 

USA 108: The Mod Singers 45 has Savern catalog numbers on its plates, even though only one side of it came out on Savern. We have compared the plates of that one side and they are identical to the Savern pressing.

USA 110: The producer of the High Society 45, Philip Davis,  claims that he was ripped off by USA and that USA was never supposed to put it on their label to begin with.

The current owner of USA has no masters, and likely no paperwork on any of these records, leaving the fate of these 45s in limbo.