Numero Group: By The Numbers


Lou Ragland: Between the Sheets
February 23, 2012, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Lou Ragland

Vinyl and compact disc proofs for Lou Ragland’s massive anthology arrived within 24 hours of one another. For the better part of the morning, our human/feline staff fawned over pages and pages of text and context, documenting the Cleveland genius in poster-sized bites.

I Travel Alone will land on nationwide record shelves March 27th, and will be available in 3-CD and 4-LP incarnations. Pre-order here.



After These Messages: Lou Ragland Hype Video Debut
February 7, 2012, 12:21 pm
Filed under: Lou Ragland

Lou Ragland’s 1967 single “I Travel Alone” is eccentric soul hall-of-fame material. It possesses all the necessary criteria—compositional integrity, thoughtful lyrics, a danceable beat, international notoriety, and +40 years of relative scarcity in the marketplace. It’s a song that we truly never tire of, even after hours of editing this promotional video for the Cleveland cannonball we’ll be lobbing into global record pools on March 27th. You can pre-order your 4LP or 3CD set here. In the meantime, good luck getting this song out of your head.



Numero 042.5: Love Apple Needle Drop
January 31, 2012, 9:50 am
Filed under: Lou Ragland, Love Apple

A perfect companion piece to the immersive I Travel Alone (March ’12), Love Apple was a presumably undocumented chapter in Lou Ragland’s recording career. But when a rehearsal tape from 1978 turned up in the Boddie archives, we knew that the two were destined to share shelf space. Below is a needle drop of some of the record’s most brilliant moments—the choice nugs, if you will. There are three ladies singing their hearts out, Lou Ragland on guitar, and Tony Roberson on drums (No bass—like the White Stripes!) These six songs, in their entirety, will go on sale February 28th, a full month before their bandleader’s dedicated release.

[audio https://numerogroup.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/love-apple-needle-drop.mp3 ]

Undeniable Proofs : Lou Ragland
January 3, 2012, 1:31 pm
Filed under: Lou Ragland, Methodology

Proofs for the CD version of I Travel Alone arrived over the holidays, bringing us one hurdle closer to the mid-March finish line. The box set’s stoic facade comes courtesy of Cleveland photographer George Shuba, who spent much of the ’60s and ’70s immersed in the arena of rock, documenting Ohio dates by everyone from Aerosmith to the Zombies. His archive is so star studded, it’s a wonder that two unpublished rolls of Lou Ragland studio portraiture from the late ’60s did not fall through the cracks of his cataloging system. Numerous stills of this well-lit Cleveland luminary are included in both the CD and LP versions of I Travel Alone.

 



What’s next?
December 8, 2011, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Lou Ragland, Newsworthy, Revival

In the flurry of wheeling and dealing this last week, we almost forgot to mention that we finished two great records.

Shirley Ann Lee: Songs of Light (NPH44003)

In the works since we acquired Felton Williams’ Double U Sound tape vault and began working on Local Customs: Downriver Revival, Toldeo, Ohio’s Shirley Ann Lee finally gets to step out on her own. A polite church going lady, Shirley cut a series of no-budget records for Williams’ Revival imprint and her own Shirleo record label in the late ’60s and ’70s. Rocking a decidedly out of date style, her 45s sank without a trace. By the mid-’70s Shirley ann Lee had ceased recording altogether. Collected here is the bulk of her Revival sides, plus demos, rehearsals, and a few snippets from the Shirley Ann Lee Radio Hour (never issued).

Track list:

Side A

1. Introduction
2. All I Have To Depend On
3. I Shall Not Be Moved
4. Stop Look & Listen
5. You Better Run
6. There’s A Light
7. Everything Gonna Be Alright
8. You’ve Been So Good To Me
9. Blessed Quietness

Side B

1. Intermission
2. How Can I Lose
3. Time
4. Stay On Your Knees
5. Someday
6. Get Back
7. Walk Through The Valley
8. Please Accept My Prayer
9. I’ve Got To Make It

Songs Of Light will be available on LP only (cut in glorious mono) on February 28th 2012.

Born out of a few masters that turned up in our Boddie haul, we’re pleased to be issuing I Travel Alone, the complete recordings of Lou Ragland between 1967-1978. Packaged as three CDs replicating his albums Hot Chocolate and Understand Each Other, plus an unreleased live album cut at the Agora Ballroom in 1973, or four LPs that cover the aforementioned three plus an album of singles, I Travel Alone is Ragland’s first career spanning overview.

Track list:

CD 1

Lou Ragland “I Travel Alone”

Lou Ragland “Big Wheel”

Volcanic Eruption “Red Robin”

Volcanic Eruption “I’ve Got Something Going For Me”

Hot Chocolate “Good For The Gander”

Hot Chocolate “We Had True Love” (45 version)

Hot Chocolate “Ain’t That A Groove”

Hot Chocolate “So Dam Funky”

Hot Chocolate “Sexy Moods Of Your Mind”

Hot Chocolate “Messin’ With Sly”

Hot Chocolate “We Had True Love”

Hot Chocolate “What You Want To Do”

Hot Chocolate “What Should I Do”

Lou Ragland & Hot Chocolate “I Can’t Take It”

Lou Ragland & Hot Chocolate “What The Doctor Prescribed”

 

CD 2

Lou Ragland “Since You Said You’d Be Mine”

Lou Ragland “Didn’t Mean to Leave You”

Wildfire “Tend To Your Business”

Lou Ragland “Understand Each Other”

Lou Ragland “What Happened To The Feeling”

Lou Ragland “Since You Said You’d Be Mine”

Lou Ragland “Just For Being You (Lovin’ You)”

Lou Ragland “What Should I Do?”

Lou Ragland “It’s Got To Change”

Lou Ragland “The Next World”

Lou Ragland “Understand Each Other” (Instrumental)

 

Live from Agency

Hot Chocolate “The World Is A Ghetto”

Hot Chocolate “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love”

Hot Chocolate “Understand Each Other”

Hot Chocolate “It Ain’t My Fault”

Hot Chocolate “Until I Met You”

Hot Chocolate “Spend My Life Loving You”

Hot Chocolate “Brother Louie”

Hot Chocolate “Good For The Gander”

 

 



Numero Group and Lou Ragland Travel Alone, Together
October 20, 2011, 11:01 am
Filed under: Lou Ragland

Pulled from the grainy confines of the Cleveland Call and Post microfiche archive, this impression of Hot Chocolate accompanies a brief article, confirming that Lou Ragland’s trio had been held over “for the umpteenth time” at the Mayflower Gold Lounge on East 116th Street. The year was 1971, and the industrious Ragland was splitting his time between the stage, the road, and the studio. As in demand as the bandleader was on area bandstands and sessions, his talents went largely unrecognized outside of northern Ohio during his reign.

I Travel Alone is a triumphant collection of major and minor moments in the recording career of this midwestern soul man. Having been discovered several times by northern soul, funk, and modern soul factions, this box set will give everyone a sizable idea of the rich diversity and stylistic agility inherent within the singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer’s near-mythical songbook.

The 3 CDs are oriented chronologically, threading together the robust Hot Chocolate LP (1971) and the more finessed Conveyor (1978) with a string of singles and one-offs produced along the way. The 4 LP version will present both albums in their entirety, an unreleased live performance from Agency Recording, and final platter dedicated to 45s.

I Travel Alone – CD Version

CD 1
Lou Ragland “I Travel Alone”
Lou Ragland “Big Wheel”
Volcanic Eruption “Red Robin”
Volcanic Eruption “I’ve Got Something Going On”
Hot Chocolate “Good For The Gander”
Hot Chocolate “We Had True Love” (45 version)
Hot Chocolate “Ain’t That A Groove”
Hot Chocolate “So Dam Funky”
Hot Chocolate “Sexy Moods Of Your Mind”
Hot Chocolate “Messin’ With Sly”
Hot Chocolate “We Had True Love” (LP version)
Hot Chocolate “What You Want To Do”
Hot Chocolate “What Should I Do”
Lou Ragland & Hot Chocolate “I Can’t Take It”
Lou Ragland & Hot Chocolate “What The Doctor Prescribed”

CD 2
Lou Ragland Since You Said You’d Be Mine
Lou Ragland Didn’t Mean to Love You
Wildfire “Tend To You Business”
Lou Ragland “Understand Each Other”
Lou Ragland “What Happened To The Feeling”
Lou Ragland “Since You Said You’d Be Mine”
Lou Ragland “Just Being You (Lovin’ You)”
Lou Ragland “What Should I Do?”
Lou Ragland “It’s Got To Change”
Lou Ragland “The Next World”
Lou Ragland “Understand Each Other” (Instrumental)

CD 3 – Live from Agency
Hot Chocolate “World Is A Ghetto”
Hot Chocolate “Understand Each Other”
Hot Chocolate “It Ain’t My Fault”
Hot Chocolate “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love”
Hot Chocolate “Until I Met You”
Hot Chocolate “Spend My Life Loving You”
Hot Chocolate “Brother Louie”
Hot Chocolate “Good For The Gander”

I Travel Alone – Vinyl Version

A
Hot Chocolate “Ain’t That A Groove”
Hot Chocolate “So Dam Funky”
Hot Chocolate “Sexy Moods Of Your Mind”
Hot Chocolate “Messin’ With Sly

B
Hot Chocolate “We Had True Love” (LP version)
Hot Chocolate “What You Want To Do”
Hot Chocolate “What Should I Do”

C
Hot Chocolate “World Is A Ghetto”
Hot Chocolate “It Ain’t My Fault”
Hot Chocolate “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love”
Hot Chocolate “Until I Met You”

D
Hot Chocolate “Spend My Life Loving You”
Hot Chocolate “Brother Louie”
Hot Chocolate “Good For The Gander”

E
Lou Ragland “Understand Each Other”
Lou Ragland “What Happened To The Feeling”
Lou Ragland “Since You Said You’d Be Mine”
Lou Ragland “Just Being You (Lovin’ You)”

F
Lou Ragland “What Should I Do?”
Lou Ragland “It’s Got To Change”
Lou Ragland “The Next World”
Lou Ragland “Understand Each Other” (Instrumental)

G
Lou Ragland “I Travel Alone”
Lou Ragland “Big Wheel” 2:30
Volcanic Eruption “Red Robin”
Volcanic Eruption “I’ve Got Something Going On”
Hot Chocolate “Good For The Gander”
Hot Chocolate “We Had True Love” (45 version)

H
Lou Ragland Since You Said You’d Be Mine 315
Lou Ragland Didn’t Mean to Love You
Lou Ragland & Hot Chocolate “I Can’t Take It”
Lou Ragland & Hot Chocolate “What The Doctor Prescribed”
Wildfire “Tend To You Business”



2011 Numero Trading Cards
October 14, 2011, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Lou Ragland, Methodology, Newsworthy

It seems like half a decade since we first dreamed up our Donruss-inspired set of trading cards. Actually, it was 2008. Then we followed it up with a set of Light: On The South Side cards. We took 2010 off for lack of appropriate content, but we’re back with a vengeance in 2011. Look at that spread above. We fuckin’ wept when those rolled off the truck this morning. And then we wept again hand collating the sets. Who ever thought there would be a Tonistics rookie card?

We’ve made only 300 complete sets, hand numbered natch. Posters are limited to 50, numbered again. Of course you can always try to complete your own set by buying our records (one card per release), but that’s a daunting task that we’ve never heard completed.

We’ll be selling them at our yard sale tomorrow between 9AM-3PM, but those outside of Chicagoland can pick them up at our website now.

Extended series:

We found this sick photo of Lou Ragland that falls outside of our I Travel Alone set coming out next March. Look at that jacket!

Romancing you indeed. Here’s the video that jacket inspired in 1991: