Numero Group: By The Numbers

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.