It was Dante Carfagna who first suggested that we compile all the records from Miami’s first black-owned record company: Deep City. At the time, the 40-year chain of title was a bit unclear, but we kept seeing the same three names on every record: Johnny Pearsall, Willie Clarke, and Clarence Reid. With Pearsall dead and Clarke in the wind, Clarence would be our first point of contact.
My first encounter with Clarence Reid came during the 2005 edition of SXSW, in the green room of Emo’s. I’d brought print outs of 45 labels baring the Deep City, Lloyd, and Reid imprints, and he thumbed through them slowly while I asked a series of extremely specific questions. Who owns the rights? When was the last time you talked to Willie? Who were the Delmiras? I prattled on for a few minutes before Clarence stopped me and told a story about his experience in the music business:
If you get fucked up the ass by a dinosaur once, you blame the dinosaur. But if you get fucked up the ass by a dinosaur again? Boy, that’s your own goddamn fault.
Reid had been burned many times in his career; Sold off his publishing at a low point in the ‘80s, his masters in the early ‘90s. About the only thing he had left was the mask and cape he donned to perform under his alter-ego Blowfly. That night he had little interest in my schpiel about how we could resuscitate his career. He had songs to sing about rappin’ dirty and shittin’ on the dock of the bay.
Numero did finally track down Willie Clarke, and the first Deep City came out in 2006 sans any Clarence Reid songs. Most of the masters, as it would turn out, were sold to Dial and Jamie-Guyden. But there were publishing royalties due. Not much, but some. Our first check to him was around $350. He called up a few days after receiving it to tell me something I’ve since heard dozens of times, but which still gnaws at me:
This is the first royalty check I’ve gotten in my entire life. I got advances, I got cars. But no one ever bothered to tell me where I was at. Thanks for that. Now I’m going to watch jai alai. Fuck you later.
Filed under: Deep City, Eccentric Soul 45s, Good God!, Universal Togetherness Band | Tags: Numeroquai, Perk Badger, Trevor Dandy, Universal Togetherness Band
We’ve heard you loud and clear: You need more reproduction singles for your DJ gig at the local sandwich shop on Wednesday evenings 8-midnight.
Let’s start your set with a hard slice of Florida funk from Perk Badger. “Do Your Stuff” was recently used in a Nike Air Jordan campaign, so Becky Backpack and Tony Trainspot won’t be leaning over the decks during at least one song.
Looking for that perfect segue between the Doobie Brothers and Jamaroquai? We got you covered. The hit that never was, Universal Togetherness Band’s “My Sentiments,” finally comes to 45 with an exclusive unreleased flip. Dig that sax.
Finally, after half a decade on the shelf, we put Trevor Dandy’s “Is There any Love” back in print as a two sided single. Cue burn the A side to your heart’s content, then flip it over and start again. 400 plays guaranteed! Let the chin scratchers pontificate about where they heard it first. Yelawolf? Ghostface? Cudi? Common?
It’s always nice to take a trip down the two-way street of love that connects Wilco to the Numero Group. Wilco holds the distinction of having curated their own Numero compilation, Wilco Spins The Numero Group (2010). Numero holds the distinction of having disc jockey’d before and after Wilco shows, here and abroad. This time, it’s Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy making the trek into the Numero universe with his sons/bandmates, Spencer and Sam. The occasion: Tweedy’s edition of the Amoeba Music web series “What’s In My Bag?” In this edition, Spencer Tweedy selects Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts Of Deep City from the millions of LPs that populate the Hollywood superstore.
Pull Quote: “I love Numero Group and we usually get all the stuff that they put out—and I especially love their Boddie Recording Company comp.”—Spencer Tweedy
And also, not to get too deep into responsible parenting, but I really appreciate how Spencer first identifies the Boddie roster as “B-list,” only to have his father gently redirect his phrasing into “less successful.” Aw! You guys!
The whole Wilco gang will be hosting the Solid Sound Music and Arts Festival in North Adams, MA June 25th-28th. Our buddy and Best Show maestro Michael Slaboch will be out there programming Solid Sound Radio 88.7-FM, so you’re sure to hear some bottom-of-the-dial Numero gems there as well. Thank you again to the Tweedy family for your support. Let us know what else you guys need, okay? You know where we live.
Bonus Track: Our own Rob Sevier gives the “What’s In My Bag?” series the Numero Group treatment.
In a recent episode of Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain travels to Miami. Even the locals down at Miami New Times admitted that Bourdain mostly got it right here. Despite marquee contributors Iggy Pop and Questlove being distinctly not-from-’round-here, we were all delighted to see deeper recruits from Magic City, among them Willie Clarke, whose Deep City label was the focus of not one but two compilations in our Eccentric Soul series. It was cool to see bass mechanic and friend-of-the-label Otto Von Schirach talking shop, and who could not delight in freaky tales with Uncle Luke? Deep City songbird Helene Smith offers a few moments of a cappella magic, making this a very digestible episode of Parts Unknown. CNN has a pretty rich overview of the episode at their website (and a few tasty samples), but no streaming video. Check your local listings (and any sketchy streaming sites you frequent), because it looks like this thing is showing again on Sunday at 8pm on CNN.
The Numero Group considers themselves very lucky to have contributed several songs to the sonic landscape of Mad Men. And for the sake of historical accuracy, the songs were often upstaged by grand-slam singles from the Beatles, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Turtles, et al—just like in the good old days. Even at TuneFind, a website dedicated to identifying songs in television and cinema, users gathered in the comments field to determine what unidentified track is being played, quietly, in a peripheral scene—a diner, a brothel. Time and time again, those song originated here on Marshall Boulevard. But we’re quite content with our role in Mad Men, and are perpetually thankful that special people—music supervisors and viewers alike—continue to discover the great songs that populate our dense catalog. So if you’re planning a Man Men binge, look out for these Numero tunes, scattered about the show’s 7-season run.
S2, E2 “Flight 1” – George McGregor, “Temptation Is Hard To Fight” (Twinight)
Notes: Starts towards the scene where Peggy is making out in the hallway.
S2, E2 “Flight 1” – Edd Henry, “Crooked Woman” (Big Mack)
S2, E9 – Helene Smith, “Pot Can’t Talk About The Kettle” (Outskirts Of Deep City)
S5, E5 – Harvey & The Phenomenals “Darlene” (Boddie)
Notes: Playing in the background when the guys are in the brothel
S6, E4 – Stormy, “The Devastator” (Twinight)
S6, E4 – The Grand Prixx, “I See Her Pretty Face” (Big Mack)
S6, E10 – Cave Dwellers, “You Know Why” (Run Around 2×7″)
S6, E10 – Pretty, “Electric Hand” (Mustache In Your Face 2×7″)
Notes: At the pool when Don had been rescued from drowning by Roger.
S6, E11 – Little Alice, “Why Oh Why” (4J, Unissued)
Notes: Pete, Peggy and that partner guy are sitting at a bar
S7, E14 – Bobby Welch, “Benshaw Glenn” (Lowlands)
Filed under: Deep City
Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound debuted last night on WLRN-Ch. 17 in Miami, Florida. And much like early sides by Helene Smith, Betty Wright, and Frank Williams & The Rocketeers, we fear the documentary will have a hard time breaking out of southern Florida. For those on the Miami-Dade cable grid, scheduled showings are as follows.
Thursday, September 25 at 9 p.m.
Friday, September 26 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, September 27 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, September 27 at 10 p.m
Over the last ten years, the Numero Group has become a reliable resource to progressive music supervisors in the worlds of television, cinema, and advertising. These industries have given us a unique avenue for circulating our tunes, plus yielding some exceptional royalty checks for our artists in the process. This week, a particularly resilient strain of Mall Madness struck Numero HQ, resulting in placements for both The Gap and Nike.
The Gap tried on “Wait A Minute Girl” by the Newday from South Side Story Vol. 23…
While Nike found a good fit in “Do Your Stuff” by Perk Badger from Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts of Deep City
If you, like some Youtube users, find yourself screaming “IM MAD I CANT FIND THIS SONG” or simply “Disappointing. Most of this video doesn’t live up to the song,” be aware that both South Side Story Vol. 23 and The Outskirts of Deep City are available in physical formats and download on our website.