Available as a 3-CD or 5-LP collection on October 25th 2011, with 59 tracks clocking in at 3+ hours, Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio pins 12202 Union Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, permanently in place on America’s underground custom recording map. 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 is the Numero Group’s lovingly curated look at 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, 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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