The soul of Baltimore; Ru-Jac label to be reissued by Omnivore Recordings with 4-CD compilation series coming in January/February 2018.
The Baltimore soul/R&B label Ru-Jac Records was founded in 1963 by local promoter Rufus Mitchell and investor partner Jack Bennett (their names forming the Ru-Jac name). The label primarily released regional soul/R&B singles from 1963 until the mid 1970s, when Mitchell stepped away to focus on another business venture. Omnivore has already released albums by two of the label’s biggest names, Winfield Parker – Mr. Clean: Winfield Parker at Ru-Jac (Parker also serves as the consulting producer for all of Omnivore’s Ru-Jac releases) and Gene & Eddie – True Enough: Gene & Eddie With Sir Joe at Ru-Jac.
In January, Omnivore will roll out four various-artists volumes, collecting for the very first time anywhere the audio history of Ru-Jac Records. Kevin Coombe, series co-producer and East Coast soul historian, provides liner notes detailing the rise and eventual closure of the label, and its close ties to the then-segregated beaches and performance spaces of the region. Rare photos and ephemera will be included in each volume to help illustrate and trace the history of the label.
Various Artists – Something Got a Hold on Me: The Ru-Jac Records Story Volume 1, 1963–1964 (CD/Digital)
Various Artists – Get Right: The Ru-Jac Records Story Volume 2, 1964–1966 (CD/Digital)
Various Artists – Finally Together: The Ru-Jac Records Story Volume 3, 1966–1967 (CD/Digital)
Various Artists – Changes: The Ru-Jac Records Story Volume 4, 1967–1980 (CD/Digital)
Omnivore Music Publishing has also acquired the accompanying publishing catalogs for Ditty Bop and Ru-Jac Publishing.
All releases have been produced and compiled by Pawelski and Coombe, with mastering and restoration by Graves. Ru-Jac artist Winfield Parker, serves as the consulting producer and is helping oversee the projects.
Streaming now, tracks from the four Ru-Jac Records releases: “Crying Won’t Help You” by The Teardrops Band featuring Marie Allen (from Volume 1), “Chicken Wings” by Mask Man & the Cap-Tans (from Volume 2), “Do the Roller” by Leon Gibson (from Volume 3) and “Keep Off the Grass” by Dynamic Corvettes (from Volume 4). Full albums available January 19 and February 2, 2018.