Numero Group: By The Numbers

Merry Christmas Delight From WJPC-AM Chicago
December 23, 2014, 1:37 pm
Filed under: Nickel & Penny, Uncategorized

tom joyner illustration

Long before he was the host of his nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, Tom Joyner was a jock for Chicago’s WJPC-950AM. During the Christmas season of 1979, Tom Joyner and his fellow WJPC personalities gathered ’round the mic to track a Christmas/Kwanza miracle called “Christmas Delight.” Among those delivering holidays flows was Chicago’s beloved dusties pioneer and Eccentric Soul: Nickel and Penny catalyst Richard Pegue. The crew revisited the concept the following year for “Christmas Delight 80,” adding to the mix, among others, Pastor T.L. Barrett (featured on Good God!: Born Again Funk). A pressing flaw makes the sequel less festive, so we’re posting the original below.

Happy Holidays from everyone at The Numero Group!!!

Numero pop-up store exclusive 45
April 11, 2012, 9:10 am
Filed under: Nickel & Penny, Record Store Day

Last Record Store Day we opened up a little shop on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. In addition to providing the best selection of used LPs and 45s available in the city that day, we offered up a 45 you could only buy in that store, on that day. This was it:

We sold out of that 45 in about two hours.

This year, in honor of our pop up store and radio station, we made a 45 of three killer Chicago soul jingles. The first is a Richard Pegue (Nickel and Penny labels) production featuring Rotary Connection’s Sidney Barnes, recorded for Ember Furniture in 1969.

The second and third are from a team of producers that ran Tel-Fi Studios (Jim Porter [Jay Pee, Sagport, Erect labels], Richard Pegue, and Robert Pairs [Orr label], likely featuring South Shore Commission, and recorded for Greyhound in 1969. We’ve cut the pop-country opener and kept the mid-tempo funkers “Feeling Tired” and “Greyhound And Grooved”

In keeping with last year’s theme of manufactured rarity, we’re only pressing 100 of these, available on a first come, first served basis, for $5 each.

The pop up store details are as follows:

1035 North Western Avenue

Chicago, IL


Cash, credit, barter.

For more information on the Numero shop, click here.

Our Top 10 of 2011

Every year we take the temperature of the Numero office to find out what people thought of all the crap we dreamed up in a year. Here’s the top 10 (of 14) weighted amongst the 11 full and part time staff members of the label.

10. Little Ed & the Soundmasters 3×45

Being the youngest employee at Numero, it seems fitting that Little Ed and the Sound Masters would be my first full design project. I throw around the term “pixel pusher,” but seriously, by having an extra hand in the design department, we were able to integrate design into every element of this release, making this box set more than just a few records thrown haphazardly  into a box. For those familiar with Light: On The South Side, the Little Ed box answers any remaining questions about this family bar band backed/fronted by their 8 year old drumming brother. For those who aren’t, may I suggest you buy both? —Nate Phillips

09. Doc Rhymin “Dictionary Rap”+2 12”

Rap was its own greatest recruitment tool; what rap fan in the late ’80s wouldn’t want to be a rapper? Lyrical marathons of this ilk start in the cafeteria, gain momentum by the lockers, and are debuted on the bus. Was enough afterschool revenue squandered to record, but not enough to press? Unfortunately, these rhyme practitioners still elude us. Even contributors from the Cleveland Style compilation, a regional rap survey from the same era, failed to recognize any of these three impressionable emcees by name or nature. The lone rap entry in Thomas Boddie’s everyman recording log, Doc Rhymin’ is a idyllic artifact of inland rap in its emergent stages. Short explanation: It’s bonkers. —Jon Kirby

08. Titan: It’s All Pop! 4LP

I admit it, I can be had by colored vinyl. So I felt no burn when a scant 500 copies of this dove headlong into the red—a translucent red, no less, about as transparently candy-like as the bulk of the pop confections within. Numero’s first foray into the non-black, 024V upgrades the tidy original 2CD package’s contact-sheet chic into an assault on the senses carried out by pic sleeves, glossies, and mimeographed posters, all in glorious 12×12. The hook-mining of Titan’s Mark Prellburg and Tom Sorrells, though, is the coup de grace, especially considering the LP version’s 10 extra tracks, all future candidates for that “Wait a second, I’m singing along to this” moment. You know it’s coming, too. —Judson Picco

07. Penny & the Quarters “You And Me” b/w “Some Other Love” 45

What I love about this record is not just its casual, tossed-off, one-take vibe, its youthful innocence, or its almost-Motown-if-only-for-lack-of-a-full-production potential. No, what I really love about “You And Me” is that it’s a hit. The sole musical focus and turning point of “Blue Valentine,” an independent film that found its way out of the art houses and into the hearts of couples everywhere, “You And Me” sold like McFuckingRib. At its peak we were averaging 500 downloads a day and burned through our first pressing faster than the FBI burned through Waco. A great song? Yes it is. A great song that everyone loves? Shit, isn’t that what this business is supposed to be about? —Tom Lunt

06. Stone Coal White: S/T LP/CD

In the liner notes to Cali-Tex’s first album in three years you’ll find the words, “as unique as anything recorded anywhere at the time”. It would be quite hard to argue with that statement. The rare sound of these hazed out psych-funk trailblazers is unprecedented, no matter how deep you dig. The 45’s captured on this release, plus the additional four we scraped off a waterlogged tape, shine a light on a midnight hour, raw as steel, black as smoke motorcycle scene that no other place and time could ever replicate. Stone Coal White just feels like a dark relic that has every right to be preserved, up there with the finest to come from the already unique Dayton, Ohio funk scene. Also, we got an actual tombstone cut for the cover, which sits in our yard and is pretty awesome. —Ryan Razowsky


05. Father’s Children: Who’s Gonna Save The World LP+45/CD

This nugget of previously unreleased soul from D.C.-based vocal group Father’s Children might of been the most slept on Numero release of year. In 1972 Father’s Children found their home outside the Chocolate City, nestling into DC’s vanilla suburbs at Robert “Jose” Williams DB Sound Studios. Like Kohoutek, touted by Time Magazine as “The Comet of The Century,” Father’s Children passed by Earth in 1973 and was quickly forgotten. Who’s Gonna Save The World is a hypothesis of the album that could have been, a comet for this new century that’s still circling around your local record store. —Zach Myers

04. Willie Wright: Telling The Truth LP+45/CD+5″ 

The first time I heard Willie Wright’s Telling The Truth was when our friend Douglas Mcgowan of Yoga Records had sent us MP3s of that LP which he had found in a Massachusetts thrift store. Needless to say, we listen to a lot of music at the office and our attention span is pretty kinetic and highly opinionated—Numero HQ is not for the faint of heart. But Willie Wright’s soulful folk songs seemed to immediately transcend all of the snarkiness and critical nature of everyone’s various tastes in music. And therein lies the beauty of this simple but unforgettable album. To me, it crushes anything in Terry Callier’s catalog—the immediate touchstone for this type of music. It was my go to album throughout most of the year because really, what is better to put on then some breezy sunshine music as a coping mechanism to get through the wretched Chicago winter, or to cruise around with the windows down along the Pacific Coast highway. According to my iTunes & iPod I listened to these crude MP3s over 150 times before we got the new masters late in 2010, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since then. For some reason these simple songs never get old to me, they just keep getting better. — Michael Slaboch


03. Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels 2LP/CD

The cuts compiled from Pegue’s Nickel and Penny labels are, in a way, a love letter to the magic of the man himself.  He was moved by these tracks, and he wanted to share that with the masses. Admittedly I’m generally not into ballads, but the opening to “Never More” by Little Ben & the Cheers just sends chills down my spine. And it just gets better from there; the groovy, girly sounds of “Fall In Love Again”,  Jerry Townes’ rockin’ “You Are My Sunshine”…and then Little Ben and the Cheers just absolutely slay it on “Mighty, Might Lover” a choice mid-album burner. Things heat up even more with a couple of stunners by the South Shore Commission, and ultra funky, but not related, Brothers & Sisters.  Then, as the album progresses, the production gets weirder and weirder, culminating in the completely whacked out “Sign of the Zodiac” by South Suburban Electric Strings, a nice little instrumental cut with a bit of off-kilter drumming complimented by brilliant orchestration and some great funk guitar work.  Then to bring it all full circle, “The Ember Song” is the perfect capstone, because the ember of Pegue’s influence really is and should be forever.

Growing up in suburbs of Chicago, I’ve always loved the role that WGCI has played in Chicago’s soul scene. To me, the old soul and dusties that were played were almost otherworldly compared to the alternative rock radio and pop overload I was used to. And nobody championed those dusties better than WGCI’s own Richard Pegue. When he told you he was playing “the best music of your life,” it wasn’t just hyperbole. Pegue meant it, and it was gospel truth. Because when you heard those cuts, they became part of you, and not in that annoying can’t get it out of your head sort of way, this was deep. Real deep. — Dustin Drase

02. Local Customs: Pressed/Dubbed/Burned At Boddie 2LP/CD

Our only regret this year was making the record so limited. Just 1000 LPs, 1000 CDs, and 300 cassettes exist, which is a shame for a record of this caliber. Such is the life of a mix tape. When we first excavated the Boddie archive in the summer of 2009, we were pleasantly surprised with the volume of tapes by non-Boddie labeled artists that were still on the premises. And not just tapes, but unused labels, order forms, stampers, dead stock, jackets, test pressings, acetates, and all manners of record pressing-related ephemera. We knew a project existed among all this detritus, we just needed to listen to the tapes to find it. Using Dante Carfagna’s discography and a red binder kept in Thomas Boddie’s desk drawer that listed nearly every record ever made on site, we cobbled together a dream compilation. We assigned a half number not to denigrate the album, but rather to tie it in as a companion to the larger Boddie box we knew was coming (The concept was grabbed from the classic “split label” releases that Dischord employed in the ’80s and ’90s). Tracks like the Imperial Wonders, Los Nombres, and Harvey & the Phenomenals were shoe-ins, but it’s the outliers that really made this record special; Slippery When Wet, Donald Eckert, and Wicked Lester are among my favorite discoveries of the year. And that’s saying a lot because we uncover cool shit almost everyday. Perhaps most remarkable is the possibility of a sequel, as we left an equal number of treasures on the cutting room floor. I suppose this is what 10 year anniversary editions are made for.  —Ken Shipley

01. Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio 5LP/3CD

It’s no surprise that Boddie Recording Company galloped easily to the #1 slot. Six years in the making, with over two years spent just evaluating the material. Five trips to Cleveland, countless meals at Yours Truly, hundreds of master reels listened to, thousands of pages of documents sorted, dozens of letters written to artists and group members… the Numero office has really been the Boddie Historical Society for the last few years. To see the massive, extraordinary results is a triumph around here. Sure, it was delayed weeks by a shipping crisis involving a lost trucking container and a drunken train conductor. But as Boddie was plagued by rotten luck during their time, we expected some of it would rub off on our box.

Some have called Boddie our finest work and wondered where we can possibly go next. The kids in the mail order department have pleaded with us to not do anything like it again. Only one group is going to be disappointed. Sorry Nate Phillips, it’s going to be yours. —Rob Sevier

Nickel & Penny, Mod Squad vinyl arrive
November 10, 2011, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Boddie, Eccentric Soul, Nickel & Penny

It was an absolute flurry of activity here at Numero HQ as we received the hotly anticipated Nickel & Penny LPs as well as the Mod Squad bonus LP for the Boddie pre-orders today.  Mother Nature has a cruel sense of humor, subjecting our Numero staffers to a little taste of pending winter while unloading the palettes of records into our already stuffed storage space.  Hopefully our 6ft high stack of Boddie CDs will leave us enough room to fit all those Boddie LP boxes on their way to us in the next day.

D.J.’s Need Assurance….
November 9, 2011, 3:22 pm
Filed under: Nickel & Penny | Tags:

While disasters, natural and unnatural, continue to hold up the dissemination of Boddie Recording Company product, there is another title that needs some reassurance. The story of Chicago’s beloved dusties DJ extraordinaire Richard Pegue is contained in the Nickel & Penny set that will be hitting the stores, mailorder sites, and backalleys of our nation in one week. Numero followers already know Richard’s work well. On the seminal release, 013 Eccentric Soul: Twinight’s Lunar Rotation, he is well represented in the work of Sidney Pinchback, Renaldo Domino, and The Perfections. You’ll even hear one of those songs again, drastically altered but hauntingly familiar. This little record needs a shot in the arm from y’all, so place your order here as soon as you can (subscribers, of course, will be getting theirs soon, if they haven’t already.)

CD subscribers rejoice – Boddie is on its way…
November 7, 2011, 6:07 pm
Filed under: Boddie, Nickel & Penny, Subscription

For all you CD subscribers who’ve been wondering where the tail end of your 2011 subscription is….wonder no more!  We sent Zach and Nate off on a perilous journey to the bowels of west industrial Chicago to a town whose name ends in lake…Woodlake? Westlake? Honestly we don’t even know where it is they went, but after a fierce and bloody battle, they returned victorious with a carload of Boddie CDs to send out to the Numero faithful. As evidenced by the photos below, the Numero staff quickly went to work packing up the subscriber orders.




Here’s Rob and Jon and the towers of mail order.

And here’s what the subscribers can expect to receive:

Boddie Recording Co. (3CD)

Boddie Bonus CD (Limited to 500)

Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels CD

Group from Lutheran East 45 (Subscriber only)

And here’s a little video of the box being packed up

**note…rubber bands probably not included.

So there you have it, the end of the 2011 CD subscription.

If you’re sad that you missed out, we’ll surely make more noise about this soon, but keep your eyes peeled for the official 2012 Numero Call For Subscriptions.

Let’s throw some light on this joint:
The CD sub 2012: Six tiles (eight CDs) – $100

January : Los Nombres
In the early ‘70’s, Lorain, Ohio’s Puerto Rican community, one of the largest in the the US, gave birth to this fiery Latin soul combo. Features long “perdito” recordings from the Daywood, Beth and Lorain Sound labels.

March: Lou Ragland: I Travel Alone  (3CD)
Cleveland ‘s intensely prolific Lou Ragland had his fingers in so many pies, he couldn’t stop licking them. Featuring the sweet soul sounds of his long unavailable Conveyer LP, the equally lost Hot Chocolate LP, and an only recently discovered full live Hot Chocolate set that nearly burns down the Agency Recording Studio where it was recorded. CDs are wrapped in three, seperate facsimile sleeves and housed with a 28 page booklet in a hot, chocolate colored slipcase.

May: Eccentric Soul: A Red Green Black Production
On the heels of Father’s Chidren, prepare to devour more of DC producer R. Hosea Williams’ capital soul, with Dyson’s Faces, Summits, Promise, East Coast Connection, Skip Mahoney & the Casuals & the Exceptions.

June: To-Be-Titled, Illinois Power Pop comp (044)
Anyone who lived through the seventies in the Land Of Lincoln knows it was Power Pop Central. Pretty Boys, Julian Leal, Loose Lips, Bandjocks, Kevin Lee & Heartbeat and 13 more contribute to this first ever state-wide overview.

July – Good God! (title TBA)
The third in our gospel series could be our best yet. It’s so good, we’re afraid to talk about it, lest we be struck down with a glorious heavenly blow.

September – Eccentric Soul: The Cash Label
From Chicago’s gamey West side, the Gene Cash finally get their due in this single disc compilation of the their trifecta of labels, Cash, CRA, and Jade.

LP subscription will be announced later this week!

Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels… Revealed
October 24, 2011, 10:48 am
Filed under: Newsworthy, Nickel & Penny

Our final release of 2011 is one we’ve been working on for close to five years. Astute readers of our liner notes may remember a section on acclaimed Chicago dusties DJ Richard Pegue in Eccentric Soul: Twinight’s Lunar Rotation. But for those who are more aurally connected to Numero, he’s brilliant arranger and producer on Renaldo Domino’s “Not Too Cool To Cry” and “Nevermore,” the Perfections “Why Do You Want To Make Me Sad” and “Which One Am I,” and Sidney Pinchback’s “Soul Strokes.” As soon as Twinight was done we approached Richard about doing a similar treatment for his Nickel and Penny concerns. He was immediately interested, but then again, Pichard Pegue was interested in everything. He died in the middle of working on this project, but we think he’d be pretty thrilled with the finished product.

Available on November 22nd on 2LP or CD, Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels is our first entry in the Eccentric Soul series in nearly two years, and we know it won’t disappoint. The LPs aren’t expected in until week’s end, but take a look at the CD to see what to expect:

And the track lists for those keeping score at home:


01. Jerry Townes . Just Say The Word
02. Little Ben & the Cheers . Never More
03. Voices . Fall In Love Again
04. Jerry Townes . You Are My Sunshine
05. Matta Baby . Do The Pearl, Girl (Part 2)
06. Norvells . Why Do You Want To Make Me Sad
07. Voices . Forever Is A Long, Long Time
08. Little Ben & the Cheers . (I’m Not Ready To) Settle Down
09. Jerry Townes . Three Sides To A Triangle
10. Little Ben & the Cheers . Mighty, Mighty Lover
11. Jerry Townes . Little Old Lovemaker Me
12. Little Ben & the Cheers . I’m Gonna Get Even With You
13. Norvells . Without You
14. Jerry Townes . Never More
15. Extentions . This Love Of Mine
16. Halleluiah Chorus . I’ve Got To Find A Way
17. South Shore Commission . Shadows
18. Richard Terry & Company . Instrumental #1
19. Joyce Williams . The First Thing I Do In The Morning
20. South Shore Commission . You Got Me Hummin’
21. Brothers & Sisters . Don’t Let ‘Em Tell You
22. Sidney Pinchback . This Is The Woman
23. South Suburban Electric Strings . Sign Of The Zodiac
24. Sidney Barnes . The Ember Song



01. Jerry Townes . Just Say The Word
02. Little Ben & the Cheers . Never More
03. Voices . Fall In Love Again
04. Jerry Townes . You Are My Sunshine
05. Matta Baby . Do The Pearl, Girl (Part 2)
06. Norvells . Why Do You Want To Make Me Sad
07. Voices . Forever Is A Long, Long Time Pegue


01. Little Ben & the Cheers . (I’m Not Ready To) Settle Down
02. Jerry Townes . Three Sides To A Triangle
03. Little Ben & the Cheers . Mighty, Mighty Lover
04. Jerry Townes . Little Old Lovemaker Me
05. Little Ben & the Cheers . I’m Gonna Get Even With You
06. Norvells . Without You
07. Jerry Townes . Never More


01. Halleluiah Chorus . I’ve Got To Find A Way
02. South Shore Commission . Shadows
03. Richard Terry & Company . Instrumental #1
04. Joyce Williams . The First Thing I Do In The Morning
05. Brothers & Sisters . Don’t Let ‘Em Tell You
06. Sidney Pinchback . This Is The Woman


01. South Suburban Electric Strings . Sign Of The Zodiac
02. South Shore Commission . You Got Me Hummin’
03. Sidney Barnes . The Ember Song
04. Extentions . This Love Of Mine
05. Background Singers. You Made It Good
06. Background Players . Untitled Theme

Note: The 2LP edition contains two bonus tracks not on the CD. 

Snippets of Nickel & Penny
August 1, 2011, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Nickel & Penny

In anticipation of our November compilation Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels, we went ahead and had a bunch of tapes and records transfered this last week. What came back was a treasure trove of Chicago soul (which of course we were expecting), but also a ton of minor curiosities. Listen:

The album itself will be broken up into individual Penny and Nickel LPs, with two skeletal instrumentals tacked onto side D, while the CD will feature 14 tracks from Penny, 9 tracks from Nickel, and Richard Pegue’s famous Ember Furniture Co. jingle featuring Sidney Barnes.