Numero Group: By The Numbers

Going, going… almost gone
September 30, 2010, 9:57 am
Filed under: Smart's Palace

After a recent reorganization, we realized that our Smart’ Palace t-shirt inventory was mighty low. How low? 7 smalls, 1 XL. So if you’re really big, or really small, this is your last chance to get in on this high quality, three color, screen printed, black t-shirt.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Tim Jacob vs. Gay Poppa
August 27, 2010, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Smart's Palace | Tags: , , , ,

At Numero sometimes the story of how a single comes to fruition can be more interesting then the single itself.  In this case it’s Tim Jacob’s “Mercy Baby” and its connection to the instrumental “Pauls Midnight Ride” by the Delights Orchestra. For those without immediate knowlegde of every song in our catalog,  “Mercy Baby” is featured on 2008’s Eccentric Soul: Smarts Place CD/2LP, wherein we chronicle the Smart Family and the Wichita soul scene. Give a listen:

Dick Smart issued this single on his Solo Records imprint with local DJ Tim Jacob. With no authorization what-so-ever, Jacob rapped over “Paul’s Midnight Ride” that is the instrumental flip off the 1968 Atco single “ Baby Be Mine” by the Sweet Delights. This instrumental was at the time used as his theme song for his radio show. The name of the track off the Solo single was taken from the common catch phrase Jacob used in his shows. But was it his first?

Though we can’t confirm the year, a second version of “Mercy Baby” was issued on Shreveport, Louisiana’s Custom Sound label, credited to and purportedly sung by Sonorose “Gay Poppa” Rutledge. According to some dude who popped in for one post on a known funk 45 message board, Jacob was working at KOKA in Shreveport at the same time as Rutledge, but said messenger could provide no further information on who bit from who.

We’ll have to hope Tim Jacob comes out of the woodwork to solve this mystery as Rutledge is long in the ground.

Now for the footnotes:

The vocal side of the single  “Baby Be Mine” by the Sweet Delights was the only single released by this Philadelphia group. The group included Gerylane (Moore) Edgehill who was married to Eddie Edgehill who managed the group and co-wrote the song. Edgehill had been active in the Philly R&B scene since the 1950’s being an integral part of such groups as The Valentines and The Del-Knights. Lastly, the ATCO single features arrangements and production by Virtue-Stiles who among other things arranged the break-beat laden Atlantic single  “Sexy Coffee Pot” by Tony Alvon & The Belairs.

These four singles each released on three different labels from three different scenes (Philly, Wichita, Shreveport) show how one groove can attract diverse array of people despite each singles respective obscurity.

Seasonal Soul Music
December 25, 2009, 11:06 am
Filed under: Smart's Palace | Tags: ,

Here’s some seasonal soul music by Chocolate Snow doing, “Let Me Be Your Christmas Toy” from our Eccentric Soul: Smart’s Palace comp.

Happy holidays from everyone at Numero HQ and thanks so much if you did some shopping with us this season, we hope everyone is enjoying their gifts!

Chicago snow
December 10, 2009, 10:05 am
Filed under: Smart's Palace | Tags: , ,

We’re in the teens here at the Numero HQ in Chicago. I got up this morning and immediately began digging the place out. A half hour later (apparently it was -17 with the wind chill factor) we’re open for business. I sat down and turned the computer on, opened iTunes and hit shuffle. First song? Corneilus Neal & the Smart Brothers’ “I Cried A Long Time.” And that got me thinking about the Smart Bros. photos in our archive from their brief time in Chicago. The group cut a handful of records at the I.R.C. studio in Wicker Park for the United International and United Continental labels which are scarce-as-fuck, including backing up the Skytons on “Dry Your Eyes” and ” Talk Too Much.” Pictured above is the Smart’s and Neal as they loaded up their stationwagon in the snow to head back to Kansas City a few days before Christmas 1963.

“I Cried So Long” was ultimately left on the cutting room floor while sequencing Eccentric Soul: Smart’s Palace, enjoy it in its crackly form here:

Pitchfork Delay
November 3, 2009, 8:17 am
Filed under: Lonesome Heroes, Smart's Palace | Tags:

Picture 1

Almost eight months past due, we finally got a solid review on Pitchfork for NUM027 Eccentric Soul: Smart’s Palace.  We also got a thoughtful review from them last week on NUM028 Wayfaring Strangers: Lonesome Heroes.  Both images link to the reviews for your reading pleasure.

Picture 2

Smart Brothers Are On The Airwaves
August 18, 2009, 10:25 am
Filed under: Smart's Palace


Wichita’s Public Radio affiliate ran a piece yesterday where they interviewed the Smart Brother’s about their club, the music, and their stage antics that we covered in our Smart’s Palace release earlier this year.  You can listen to the interview here.

Smart’s Palace Memorial T-Shirt
July 24, 2009, 3:12 pm
Filed under: Smart's Palace | Tags:


New Years Eve 1966, Smart’s Palace. The Smart Bros. Band take the stage fronted by Baby Neal and tear into two hours of soul, funk, and acrobatics. Using only his teeth, Leroy “Iron Jaw” Smart picks a guy up by his belt buckle and spins him around. They tear through “Lorraine,” “I’m Not Ashamed,” “I’ve Got A Funny Feeling, and “Barefoot Philly.” There are ribs in the next room over, with Mama Smart behind the grill. You paid $2, with 50 cents going to a charity that may or may not be real.

Except you weren’t there. You didn’t live in Wichita, and you were more than likely not even born. Now, for the first time ever, you can relive all the magic of Smart’s Palace through this limited edition T-Shirt. Supplies are limited, so order now or forever regret it.

Haphazardous and Overzealous
June 4, 2009, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Smart's Palace | Tags: , , , ,


Yesterday, National Public Radio featured Theron & Darrell’s “I Was Made To Love Her” as their “Song of The Day.” As the venerable Oliver Wang intones, “Once heard, it sticks in your ear to the point where it’s hard not to sing along every time the hook returns.” From your lips to god’s ears, O-Dub.

While the complete story can be read, and listened to here, the most fascinating bit is found in the comments section: 

There’s quite a few good reasons why this was forgotten. I won’t name them out of respect for the dead. However I will say this: There is music that is alive today, and is starving for the shot at exposure that columns like this might give. Perhaps I could make a few suggestions, if I didn’t feel they would fall upon deaf ears. Kevin Bowers, Dave Grelle, Michael Erker, John Henry, all seem stuck on the edge of Oblivion, and if the dead were not endlessly raised from the earth by haphazard, overzealous, misplaced anthropology, there might just be room on this mighty focal point of the vast internets. Life is A Boat, open up the sails, see where the winds take you.

As a group of haphazardous, overzealous, and dead-raising anthropologists, we take issue with the above. But we sure look forward to discovering Kevin Bowers, Dave Grelle, Michael Erker, and John Henry, after they’ve gone over oblivion’s edge in thirty years.

Out today
June 2, 2009, 10:01 am
Filed under: Pisces, Smart's Palace | Tags: , ,


For those who still get excited about Tuesday new releases, we’ve got two reasons for you to stop by your local record emporium today (if Best Buy is your spot, we apologize). Perhaps you’re just getting home now from a long night camped out in front of your shop in eager anticipation. I can remember begging my mom to let me stay out to buy Use Your Illusion I & 2 on cassette at midnight from the Tower on Bascom Avenue in Campbell, California. It was a no go. If any 14 year olds are reading this and missed out, I sympathize. 

We’ll be the first to admit that we’re not so good at getting two formats out on the same day. Try as we may, the process of manufacturing vinyl still takes double the time of what it does to make a CD. Jackets alone are six weeks, not to mention inner sleeves, lacquers, bum test pressings, and a litany of other problems that crop up along the way. That said, we hope that the wait hasn’t been too long for you Smart’s Palace enthusiasts. That extra month and half gave us the time to get a really high quality product made, proving to be one of our nicest LPs to date. Witness the heavy wax, two inner sleeves jammed with notes and photos, and the thickest jacket to ever come off the Stoughton line. Retail price is $22, but you can buy it from us for two bucks less (and take an additional 15% off if you’re a Numero subscriber!). 

The other is the CD version of #029: Pisces: A Lovely Sight. Pisces were primarily a studio band operating out of Rockford, Illinois in the late 60s that churned out seriously damaged pop. This Numero-created “album” is the best of their unreleased material and three 45s for the Vincent label. Sometimes fronted by the lovely and mysterious Linda Bruner, the landlocked group took their cues from the Beatles and Jefferson Airplane, but somehow ended up sounding more like the Velvet Underground’s meth’d out Midwest cousin. Give a listen to the needle drop below:

Like it? Alright, get your shoes tied, grab your wallet, and get to the shop. In your boxer shorts? Lazy? A little of both? Buy it from us by clicking here.

Smart’s Palace 2LP
May 18, 2009, 1:07 pm
Filed under: Smart's Palace

Smart's LP_400

The Smart’s Palace 2LPs have arrived and damn they are looking slick!  You can get your copies here.