The Soul Of Baltimore: The Ru-Jac Records Story 1963–1980
Release date: August 31, 2018
First-ever audio history chronicling the Ru-Jac label, now available as a boxed set.
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 single-artist packages by some of the label’s biggest names, including 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.
This specially priced 4-CD boxed set pulls together the individual volumes which Omnivore has rolled out over the past year—collecting for the very first time anywhere the audio history of Ru-Jac Records. Each volume is produced by the Grammy® Award-winning producer Cheryl Pawelski and Kevin Coombe, East Coast soul historian. Coombe provides liner notes detailing the rise and eventual closure of the label, and its close ties to the 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. Utilizing original tapes, extremely collectible 45s, and acetates, all four volumes underwent extensive restoration and mastering by Grammy® Award-winning engineer, Michael Graves.
Volume One: Something Got A Hold On Me: The Ru-Jac Records Story, Volume One: 1963–1964 contains 28 tracks, 10 of them previously unissued. The other 18 tracks chart the history of the first 45s issued by the label and includes songs by Winfield Parker, Flattop Bobby & The Soul Twisters, and Brenda Jones among others.
Volume Two: Get Right: The Ru-Jac Records Story, Volume Two: 1964–1966 contains 22 tracks, 8 of them previously unissued, including newly discovered demos by Arthur Conley. The other 14 tracks are derived from 45s issued by the label as Ru-Jac started to gain momentum in the region, and includes songs by Shirley Of The Soul Sisters & Brother, The Mask Man & The Cap-Tans, and Bobby Sax & His House Keepers among others.
Volume Three: Finally Together: The Ru-Jac Records Story, Volume Three: 1966–1967 contains 25 tracks, 11 of them previously unissued. The other 14 tracks are derived from 45s issued by the label as Ru-Jac hit its stride, and includes songs by Rita Doryse, Kitty Lane, Gene & Eddie, and Sir Joe among others.
Volume Four: Changes: The Ru-Jac Records Story, Volume Four: 1967–1980 contains 25 tracks, 3 of them previously unissued. The other 22 tracks are derived from the last 45s issued by the label and demonstrate a change in musical direction both for Ru-Jac and in the country. Included are songs by Fred Martin, Dynamic Corvettes, and Jimmy Dotson & Rhythm By Inner Light Band among others.
Fatback(Take 1) – Lamont Esquires* Please Don’t Go– Jessie Crawford with Kay Keys Band I Love You So– Jessie Crawford with Kay Keys Band A Woman Like You– Little Sonny Daye with The Shyndells Band I’m Through With You– Little Sonny Daye with The Shyndells Band Every Day I Have The Blues(Take 2) – Jeanne Dee* Saving All My Loving– (Mr. T) Tiny Tim It’s Everything To Me– (Mr. T) Tiny Tim I Want To Be Sure– Celestine* You Won– Celestine* Cross Track(Take 2) – Flattop Bobby & The Soul Twisters (Bobby Kinchen)* When I’m Alone– Winfield Parker Can’t You See– Brenda Jones Let’s Go Back To School– Brenda Jones That’s All You Have To Do– Brenda Jones One Of These Mornings(Take 3) – Winfield Parker* Put A Light In The Window– Charles Johnson My Father Watches Over Me– Fruitland Harmonizers Take Care Of Me– Fruitland Harmonizers Something Got A Hold On Me– unknown artist* All Over Again– The Teardrops Band featuring Marie Allen Crying Won’t Help You– The Teardrops Band featuring Marie Allen Trash Can– unknown artist* Don’t Bit Mo– Rockin’ Robin* Foolish To Try– James Hill Meadow Of Love– The Jolly Jax The Monkey Cha Cha– The Jolly Jax Joe(Take 5) – The Jolly Jax* Goose Pimples– Butch Cornell’s Trio Here ‘Tis Now– Butch Cornell’s Trio Goose Pimples(Alternate Version) – Butch Cornell’s Trio* It Must Be Love– Brenda Jones I’m So Afraid– Brenda Jones So Alone(Take 3) – Brenda Jones* It Must Be Love(Backing Track) – Brenda Jones* What More? (Can Anyone Want)– Shirley of The Soul Sisters & Brother You Don’t Really Care– Shirley of The Soul Sisters & Brother Where You Lead Me– Harold Holt I’m A Stranger– Harold Holt Where You Lead Me(Alternate Version 2) – Harold Holt* Get Right– Bobby Sax & His House Keepers Soul At Last– Bobby Sax & His House Keepers Come On Over– The Neltones C’est Le Vie (That’s Life)– The Neltones I Love You Just The Same(Demo) – Winfield Parker* I Love You Just The Same(Version 1, Take 5) – Winfield Parker with The Shyndells Band* Love Can Do Wonders– The Mask Man & The Cap-Tans Chicken Wings– The Mask Man & The Cap-Tans Hiding Out In Blue Shadows– Arthur Conley* Wait Til Then– Rita Doryse (The Shyndells Band) When I’m Alone– Rita Doryse (The Shyndells Band) Please Let Me Love You– Rita Doryse & The Bob Craig Combo Goodie Goodie– Rita Doryse & The Bob Craig Combo Born To Be Loved– Rita Doryse* It’s Love I Need– Kitty Lane Sweetheart– Kitty Lane The Feeling Is Gone– Kitty Lane* Finally Together– unknown artist* Searching– unknown artist* Go Away Playgirl(Take 5) – Winfield Parker* I Would Cry– Gene & Eddie I Tell You– Gene & Eddie Sweet Little Girl– unknown artist* Sweet Little Girl– Winfield Parker with The Shyndells Band My Love(Demo With Background Vocals) – Winfield Parker* She’s My Girl(Demo) – Winfield Parker* Lightning (Part 1)– The Shyndells* Ooby Gooby– The Shyndells* Never Never Leave Me– unknown artist* Do The Roller– Leon Gibson Working Hard– Leon Gibson Nobody Beats My Love– Sir Joe I Can’t Stay Away– The Caressors Who Can It Be– The Caressors She’s So Pretty– Winfield Parker Nothing– Winfield Parker* She’s So Pretty(Backing Track) – The Upsetters* Tighten Up– unknown artist* You Don’t Fool Me– Gene & Eddie Let Me Go Easy(Alternate Version) – Gene & Eddie I’m The One (Who Loves You)– Fred Martin Review Sweet Little Girl– Gene & Eddie It’s No Sin– Gene & Eddie Every Day (I’ll Be Needing You)– Sir Joe Take Me Back Again– Fred Martin Review I Know It’s Going To Happen– Fred Martin Review Contagious– Fred Martin Review Love Don’t Leave Me Now– Fred Martin Jr. & The Exciters Changes Part 1– Saturday Sugar– Fred Martin & Revue When I’m Alone– Fred Martin & Revue Keep Off The Grass– Dynamic Corvettes It’s A Trap– Dynamic Corvettes Days May Come, Days May Go– Francine Long Days May Come, Days May Go– Utopian Concept I Loved You Once– Willie Mason with The Fredie Martin Review Go On Back– Willie Mason with The Fredie Martin Review Think Of Me As Your Soldier– Jimmy Dotson & Rhythm By Inner Light Band To Be Your Lover– Jimmy Dotson & Rhythm By Inner Light Band