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The world of the Boddie Recording Company

December 28, 2011

eddie & the ant hill mob – i’m a number runner
chantells – why won’t you say (what you want)
headlines – he’s looking for kove (demo)
corinthian singers – why? (it’s a shame)
mod squad – you got me hummin’
(all taken from “boddie recording company: cleveland, ohio“, numero group 2011)

Chicago label The Numero Group ends an already terrific 2011 (Willie Wright, Father’s Children and more) with what I can only describe as a knock out of a box set. “Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio” is a 5LP or 3CD documenting the work of Thomas and Louise Boddie running their eponymous  record label / studio / pressing between 1958 and 1993. Five years in the making, the Numero team went trough endless reels of recordings to come up with the cream of  10.000 hours of recordings.

The contents of these tapes? Everything from lo-fi eccentric soul, psychedelic funk, doo-wop, fiery gospel, raucous instrumentals and more. The Boddie boxset offers a guideline by way of the labels that the husband-and-wife-team operated: Soul Kitchen for funk and socially conscious soul (check out the tracks by Eddie & The Ant Hill Mob and The Chantells above), Luau for soul, doo-wop and instrumental cuts (listen to the Headlines demo above) and Bounty for gospel (represented faithfully by the Corinthian Singers in the tracks at the top of this post). The first 500 first owners of the vinyl edition also received the rare live LP by the Mod Squad;  check out their version of “You got me hummin” above to hear why I’m happy to be one of those lucky few.

Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio” lovingly recreates the life and work of the Boddies trough music, images and detailed background stories. I’m the kind of music lover that likes his aural pleasures in context, and listening to these discs knowing the where, why and how of the music’s creation makes me very happy.

Both vinyl and CD come in suitably impressive packaging loaded with ephemera,  information and  photographs. The pictures at the bottom of this post are of my unpacking and opening of the box set; the CD version looks like this. Looks expensive? It’s not. The vinyl edition retails for $60, the CD version for $50.

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