Numero Group Preps Clevo Boddie Box


Long before the Dead
Boys and Pere Ubu, Boddie was Cleveland’s
original champion of lo-fi DIY underground aesthetic.


By Blurt Staff

The latest elaborate production from the Numero Group label is coming Oct. 25: Boddie Recording
Company: Cleveland, Ohio
pins 12202
Union Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, permanently in place on America’s
underground custom recording map. It’s a deluxe 3CD or 5LP set boasting 59
tracks and more than three hours of music. (Go here to read some of our recent
comments about the Numero Group.)


This isn’t the first time to the Boddie well for Numero:
last year they issued the limited-to-1000 copies Boddie Acetate Box, a triple-45 collection featuring three unknown
groups from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. More recently, they released a 12″
from Cleveland
rap artist “Doc Rhymin'”. And as part of their “Local Customs” series, the
various artists Pressed At Boddie album came out just this past April featuring 17 cuts of obscure rock, soul,
gospel, etc.


There’s a very good Boddie story that was published at The Plain Dealer back in November worth
checking out, by the way.


From 1958 to 1993, Thomas and Louise Boddie’s industrious
Boddie Recording Company issued nearly 300 albums and 45s, recorded 10,000
hours of tape, and hand-pressed more than a million records.  Its DIY recording studio and makeshift
pressing plant churned through the Boddies’ every waking hour, a mom-and-pop
shop that gave northern Ohio’s homegrown musical journeymen and -women cheap
time in the tracking room and their very own box of LPs or 45s to scatter
across the Midwest. With nothing but long hours and backbreaking labor to bank
on, Boddie led his artists forth fearlessly, grasping for audiences larger than
the corner congregation, but only found them on the other side of decades of
public indifference.


In 2009, after three years of overtures, the Numero Group
finally nudged Louise Boddie and her company’s long-quiet legacy- still
overstuffing the ancient dairy barn they converted into a studio in the early
’60s- back into the light, long past due for resurrection. Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio compiles material from Thomas
Boddie’s Soul Kitchen, Luau, and Bounty labels – with their array of primary
colors and unrefined designs – revealing an unspoiled rustbelt reservoir of
kitchen-sink soul, fuzzbox funk, and haunted, eerily hook-laden spirituals.


Exhaustive liner notes, a massive discography, unseen
vintage imagery, and unique “cramped office” packaging, replete with
manila flip-file sleeving (see above), lay out the world’s first good look at Boddie’s Rube
Goldberg-esque machinery, unkempt small business marginalia, decayed ¼-inch
tape boxes, and those inimitable hand-done labels in exquisite detail.




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