The now out-of-print Eccentric Soul: Omnibus contained not one but two releases on Fly-By-Night records, a two-and-through imprint perpetuated by Cleveland’s first Black anchorman, Bill Jacocks. These individual singles were among the more coveted 45s from the set, so we decided to put them back in to circulation as stand-alone catalog items. The fact that the Pat Stallworth track has not been looped into infinity or utilized in a laundry detergent/yogurt/diet soda commercial is simply unbelievable.
By 1974, Jacocks had been nominated for Emmys and Peabodys, but the desire to create music persisted, occasionally intermingling with his journalistic work. While producing a documentary about the racial issues that affect Northern Ohio, Jacocks enlisted the neighborly garage group, Stone Creations to help track the score. “Hands On A Golden Key” was the titular theme to Jacock’s documentary, which ran exactly once on WEWS-TV in 1973. Shortly thereafter, Jacocks approached Pat Stallworth following a theatrical production at the Karamu House about cutting a record. For Stallworth’s backing band, Jacocks hired the underground sensations, Mother Braintree (pre-Bell Telefunk, pre-Kinsman Dazz, pre-Dazz Band). Fans of Lou Ragland’s Conveyor will recognize and appreciate about 85% of the musical cast (and vibe). As Jacocks himself stated in the Omnibus liner notes: “We made it, in our purview, a silky funk masterpiece.”
Filed under: Omnibus
Out of the 45 curious singles that populate our Eccentric Soul Omnibus, many bloggers, journalists, and podcasters were drawn to the Ultimate Break and instrumental workout produced by Durham, North Carolina’s Duracha.
At the time of the Omnibus’s construction, retired chemist, eBay grinder, Tarheel, and soul historian Jason Perlmutter was hard at work on an exhibition of artifacts from Durham’s music scene and was able to send us high resolution impressions of Duracha with the quickness. Finally, that exhibit can be seen by all at BullCitySoul.org.
Editor’s Note: Los Angeles rap group People Under The Stairs were among the first to go on record about Duracha, mentioning the Microtronics label by name in a 2002 rap song about record shopping (around 1:09). Those drums, also Duracha.
Filed under: Omnibus
In the comments section of the blog today, we got a somewhat off topic request:
“What about featuring Inbassador on Facebook?”
This request came from Robert Benson, bassist of the intentionally misspelled Delaware group who we profiled in our Omnibus Box Set. Although we eventually found a more suitable group photo, Inbassador’s first submission was this creation—scanned, ink-jetted, modified with scissors and scotch tape, scanned, printed, signed, sealed, and delivered.
While we loved this promotional collage, it wasn’t quite right for the hardbound volume that accompanied the Omnibus. However, it’s about perfect for a Facebook feature. So Robert Benson, today is your lucky day! We love your record, and we’re glad you reached out. How are things in Delaware?
Our friends at Daptone are bringing the incomparable Charles Bradley (fresh off tour with Sharon Jones! Catch him before his blockbuster run in Australia!) to Chicago for a two-night stand on December 30th and 31st (the latter being, of course, New Year’s Eve.) It is a rare occasion when Numero Group helmsmen Ken Shipley and Rob Sevier get out of the trenches to play selections from their record collection, but Charles Bradley’s monster live show is well worth the effort. Hear all the 45s cut from the Eccentric Soul: Omnibus because the artists or producers couldn’t be found!
Pictured above are the 19 variations of our 45 box. Two months ago they took up a tractor trailer’s worth of space in our office, today there’s half a pallet sitting in the front room. Time flies. At the pace we’re ripping through them, we won’t have any left by the end of January. If you want one (or know someone who might), here’s the specs:
Size: 7 1/4″s wide x 7 1/2″s tall x 4″s deep – This is meant to hold Numero 45s and classic ’60s and ’70s singles—not your ’90s indie rock pic sleeves.
Construction: 8gsm board wrapped with vinyl.
Hardware: Metal hinges with plastic handle.
Sadly, we’ve run out of every color combo, and as there’s no real way to keep track of what we’ll have left on any given day, you have no choice of color. However, in the comments field of your order you can specify what you’d like and we’ll do our best.
Just when we were prepared to take our 45 box and go home, NPR’s Oliver Wang went ahead and unleashed a thousand and a half words on Eccentric Soul: Omnibus. Mea Culpa.
The salient bit is this:
Reissue labels generally fly below the radar: it’s the albums or compilations they put out that are supposed to be the main focus. With Numero though, from very early on, the label itself established its imprimatur via a few distinctive features: a consistent packaging style, meticulous liner notes featuring interviews with original artists and producers and perhaps most importantly, a sense of exclusivity without snobbery, education without pedantry. Numero releases often make you feel like you’re learning something important without overselling that point.
Not to be outdone, the Onion’s AV Club has a longish Q&A with Numero ringleader Ken Shipley.
Here’s the take home quote:
We have really passionate people over here who look for these great moments of recorded history that have fallen between the cracks. The hope is that if you keep the entire catalog in print, if you keep everything out there and in circulation, songs really can’t be lost. They’re just waiting to be discovered by somebody else. Rian Johnson wasn’t with us in 2005 when we started working on Twinight, but he was there in 2011 when he had this idea for a movie and the song struck him. It’s an important part of the movie for him, and when you touch people like that with music, you’ve done the job that the song was supposed to do in the first place. It just took a lot longer to get there.
Finally, last night this little Boston Phoenix gem showed up in our Google Alerts:
A massive cup-runneth-over of 45 45s that gives lavish treatment to 90 sides of criminally ignored funk and soul radness.
Here’s a few more while we have you here:
Numero has achieved a reputation for quality both in content and in presentation andOmnibus certainly lives up it, raising the bar such that I can’t imagine what they have in store for their second collection.—Consequence Of Sound
Numero Group, one of the country’s leading reissue labels, crams 45 45’s and a hardback book into a portable case that’ll appeal to anyone curious about the genre’s golden years.—New York Magazine
Chicago Magazine stuffed it into their gift guide.
But really, that’s kinda it. To the many freelance writers and magazine editors out there who will point to not being serviced with the release we ask, “How many $250 box sets are showing up in your mailbox on a regular basis?”
Hop to kids, we’ve got less than 100 copies in our warehouse.