Numero Group: By The Numbers

March 24, 2011, 3:54 pm
Filed under: Newsworthy, Wee | Tags: , ,

Ohio is ever-sprawling…!

“Jazzman Gerald” was kind enough to send us (2) 20 count boxes of the WEE 45s he had pressed up for his “SOUL 7” series [licensed from NG].
The catalog numbers SOUL7-020 contain the mellow groovers “I Luv You” b/w “I Want To Show You” and SOUL7-021 has album edits of “Try Me” c/w “You Can Fly On My Aeroplane.”
They may be procured here for $5 a pop.
Get ’em while they last, cheap!

The internet is obviously broken
February 7, 2011, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Wee


$124 or $5. Your call.

Norman Whiteside: Yesterday, Today and Maybe Tomorrow
January 8, 2010, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Wee | Tags: , , ,

Since most of you don’t live in Columbus and this isn’t online, we’ve scanned this great article on the enigma that is Norman Whiteside from Columbus Monthly. Enjoy:

The Epistles of Norman
June 23, 2009, 11:31 am
Filed under: Wee

We got some great mail from our favorite jailbird, Norman Whiteside. He hadn’t heard from us in a little while so he hand drew a little card and sent it through the penal mail system, which tends to take considerable time.


We’ll be glad to give him a reference to Hallmark when he gets out. We are going to be asking for letters of support from fans of his incredible LP, You Can Fly On My Aeroplane, when it gets closer to his parole hearing.

Wee gets some Karaoke love…
February 20, 2009, 6:21 pm
Filed under: Wee

So, I am a fairly recent convert to Karaoke. Not that I have a problem making a fool of myself per se. I mean, I’d like to think I have an easy going sense of humor and regularly take/give the piss at the office and in my personal life. However, the thought of seeing/hearing other people [or myself!] try to tackle some song that has been flogged to death over the course of decades is not my idea of fun.
My first attempt at karaoke failed miserably as I learned some valuable karaoke lessons. The least of which was not to pick a 5 minute song! 5 minutes is a loooong time. I must say that heretofore I missed the whole point of karaoke altogether, which is, at least to my revelation, to transform oneself while singing/performing etc… I could never consider myself ‘entertaining’ someone while singing but I’m sure some would certainly think so and not in the sense I’d hoped for.
At any rate, Brian Raftery’s book, Don’t Stop Believing, chronicles the history of karaoke and reveals an obsession which is frightening at it’s worst but truly eye-opening at it’s best. Every month, his blog previews a karaoke wishlist, a list of songs that are not yet licensed that he wishes he could sing on the weekends. Numero Group is proud to announce that Wee’s “Try Me” became the #1 wish in January.
It’s true that singing lyrics can give one the chills and be uplifting. Switch’s “I Call You Name” comes to mind but then so does the Misfits’ “Where Eagles Dare.” Whatever the case may be, the book is a highly entertaining read and I suggest you pick it up the next time you’re in your local book store.

Palace out of a piss hole
November 12, 2008, 5:42 pm
Filed under: Methodology, Wee

One day a week I play racquetball for an hour with an old friend and those tend to be some of my most productive mornings, when I come into the office freshly showered and feeling pretty fit. The feeling fades by noon, so I’m trying to crank a lot out right now. I wrote some notes for the forthcoming Downriver Revival collection already today and sent a letter to Norman Whiteside with some personal testimonials from his new fans. It occured to me while explaining to Michael here that he can only get shit through the mail that Norman (who’s been in prison now 25 years) has never used the internet and probably hasn’t an inkling what a blog is. I’m gonna have to start filling him in now for when he gets out next year. Hopefully he’ll be willing to do a guest entry in this blog. Here’s some words from the legendary Dean Francis about Norman which I sent off today:

Norman Whiteside- the “Ghetto Shepherd”

When I think back to the first time I met Norman Whiteside at Capsoul Studio in the upper rear portion of Vans music Store, in Clintonville in Columbus Ohio, in 1972, I thought he was crazy. I still think he is crazy, but now I understand totally his genius and his gift as well as his questionable attributes.

I had been asked to write for and produce the Four Mints by Bill Moss, the founder of the label. Bill consulted few people if anyone when he made a decision to do something. So one day, in pops Norman. I never knew where Bill found him or any details about why he was in the studio. I just knew he could play the piano since he made himself at home on the studio piano.

Soon it became obvious that he was a songwriter-producer as well, brought in to add to the variety of material available to Capsoul artist. Although I did not warm up to his high tinty voice, Norman’s lyrics had a mystifying and interesting treatment of the truth that I had to respect. His approach to musical arrangement satisfied my own preference for uniqueness mixed with commercial flavor. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that both Norman and I were heavily into Sly and The Family Stone at the time. Both of us were noticeably influenced in the style of “original” music and lyrical approaches we were producing.

Norman and I got along just fine. We had mutual respect for each others talent, and the fact that Bill Moss had selected us both to play a role in Capsoul Records as writer/producers. I always thought he was a nasty boy. He had big lips and he always slobbered when he laughed. He had no trouble telling off color jokes in any kind of company, and would do shit that most people would not do. Norman was the kind of person that would do anything on a dare.

Normans band was primarily his street crew as well. I only knew two guys in Wee very well. His bass player “Spanky”, now deceased, was a damned good player and singer and was a good person who was rock solid loyal to Norman. Vick Martin, his guitar player, was a great rhythm guitar player with an enormous knowledge of chords. He could sing too. Both these guys came from low to moderate income black families in the hood. After Capsoul folded, Norman followed the crowd to Owl Studios on Sunbury Road in Columbus, to continue his recording activities.

Shortly after the release of Areoplane, I lost track of Norman. I believe it was the beginning of the end of his musical career. First I heard there was trouble raising money to do a second album. Then I heard Norman was involved with check fraud and other schemes and cons. Then I heard the worse thing of all. I heard that he was involved in a shooting with some other people I knew that went for gangsters, and a white woman was killed. Norman went down for that, and has been in prison ever since.

One thing I can say about Norman Whiteside is that he is a survivor….kind of like a roach is a survivor. Norman can make a palace out of a piss hole. Back in the day, Norman Whiteside was a Ghetto Shepard. He dominated everything and everyone in his domain. He was Wee.  The good news is that I hear he is about to be released from prison and that he has new music. What a treat that should be.

Dean Francis

Take a look below to see the view from my office door. We are completely inundated with boxes right now. These are the archives of Jewel studios in Cincinnati. Below that is boxes of LP jackets that need to be finished. It’s outrageous right now.



That’s basically the whole front area of the office.