these records were rare and nearly unattainable from Day One. See the correspondence of Mrs. Kathereen Farley <sic>, an early adopting Brooklyn-based record collector, with the late, great Felton Williams, dated 1972. She had spent three years of hard digging in the crates to get her hands on a Shirley Ann Lee 45 (issued in 1969) before finally going straight to the source.
And, as she states, none of the Broadcasting Stations have heard of it. We suppose that’s the 1972 equivalent of “it’s not on Spotify.”
On Sunday, March 11th, the Numero Group lost a close friend and partner. Felton Williams, founder of Double U Sound and the Revival label, passed suddenly while his beloved wife, Ida, was at church. After surviving several heart attacks, his time came. Until the end, he was a vibrant, loving man who never lost his love of the steel guitar or flair for electronics. His story inspired our Local Customs series of releases, and the documentary included with our Downriver Revival release focused on his beautiful character, and we just revisited his vaults and issued some of the gorgeous recordings he made with Shirley Ann Lee. He will be long remembered. Here’s a little outtake from the documentary that tells his story:
Filed under: Downriver Revival | Tags: Calvin Cooke, Felton Williams, sacred steel
That is, the sacred steel hall of fame. It’s hard to imagine that a hall of fame could exist without these two luminaries. Those of you who scoured the liner notes to our Downriver Revival compilation and watched the accompanying documentary know Felton Williams and Calvin Cooke well, but the rest of the world does not. We’re thrilled to see them getting recognition from fellow musicians.
See both Felton and Calvin play a little here:
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.
Every once in awhile we need to dig through the Numero archives to track down some long forgotten images and we realize how many awesome photos that have, for any of a number of reasons, gone unused. These photos, taken from a Church of the Living God service on the northside of Detroit in the 1960s, were saved by Felton Williams, the generous fellow behind Double U Sound Studios from Ecorse, Michigan. Unfortunately we don’t know who took them, but we enjoyed revisiting them and decided to share. We’ll try and do this every month or so to get some great lost images into the light.
Filed under: 24-Carat Black, Downriver Revival, Lonesome Heroes, Pisces | Tags: Pazz & Jop
The venerable Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll has deemed Numero’s Wayfaring Strangers: Lonesome Heroes to be the one-thousand-six-hundred and twentieth best record of 2009, above # 1641,Various Artists, Purplish Rain (Prince Tribute Record), Spin Magazine Download, # 1731, Shpongle, Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland and # 1864, DJ Plastician, Cashmere Agency Presents Mr. Grustle & Tha Russian’s Dubstep LA: Embrace the Renaissance Vol. 1 Mixed by Plastician. Awesome!
The one to beat, though, was # 1160, Warren Zevon, A Playlist I Made of Warren Zevon Songs. Damn. Maybe next year.
Critics of America, keep up the good work!
Addendum: Probably because I was reading the list on my phone last night, I forgot to note:
# 946 Various Artists, Downriver Revival
# 1029 Pisces, Pisces:A Lovely Sight
# 1113 24 Carat Black, Gone: The Promises of Yesterday
Looks like we kicked that Zevon playlist’s ass!
We have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
Let’s strive for the low 800’s next year!