Something Got a Hold on Me: The Ru-Jac Records Story, Vol. 1: 1963-1964

Something Got a Hold on Me: The Ru-Jac Records Story, Vol. 1: 1963-1964


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Named after label founders Rufus Mitchell and Jack Bennett, Ru-Jac was a soul label based in the Baltimore area that operated from 1963 to the mid-'70s. By most measures, it was the definition of a local label, generating no big national hits and no stars. Prior to their release of the multi-volume The Ru-Jac Records Story, Omnivore issued compilations focusing on Winfield Parker and Gene & Eddie, two fine R&B acts whose profiles were not much higher than cult favorites, and the same could be said for the label as a whole: It's the kind of imprint collectors cherish but isn't especially well-known at large. Divided into four individual installments, all The Ru-Jac Records Story should change that narrative somewhat, even if the series winds up revealing that it was indeed a local label following the fashions of the time: As the volumes pass, it's possible to hear uptown rhythms give way to funky grooves, and the whole affair feels anchored to the breezy sounds of the east coast. This is especially true on Something Got a Hold on Me, the first installment in the series. Beginning in 1963, a good half of the record is devoted to sophisticated soul that echoes what was being made in New York City in the early '60s -- Tiny Tim (aka Mr. T, which means he's most assuredly not to be confused with the "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" singer) sounds like a hybrid of Chuck Jackson and Jackie Wilson, for instance, while Celestine is a dead ringer for any number of girl groups. The ease of Winfield Parker stands out in this setting, as does the occasional instrumental dancefloor number (Flattop Bobby & the Soul Twisters' "Cross Track," the unknown group who cut "Trash Can"), since they move Ru-Jac slightly away from the expected, but part of the appeal of Something Got a Hold on Me is that in unearths largely unknown sides that sound vaguely like beloved 45s. Maybe the songs and performers are sometimes a shade generic, but the vibe is right.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/19/2018
Label: Omnivore Recordings
UPC: 0816651013128
catalogNumber: 101312


  1. Fatback
  2. Please Don't Go
  3. I Love You So
  4. A Woman Like You
  5. I'm Through With You
  6. Every Day I Have the Blues
  7. Saving All My Loving
  8. It's Everything to Me
  9. I Want to Be Sure
  10. You Won
  11. Cross Track
  12. When I'm Alone
  13. Can't You See
  14. Let's Go Back to School
  15. That's All You Have to Do
  16. One of These Mornings
  17. Put a Light in the Window
  18. My Father Watches Over Me
  19. Take Care of Me
  20. Something Got a Hold On Me
  21. All Over Again
  22. Crying Won't Help You
  23. Trash Can
  24. Don't Bit Mo
  25. Foolish to Try
  26. Meadow of Love
  27. The Money Cha Cha
  28. Joe

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Greg Allen   Art Direction
Ethel Ennis   Composer
Charles Johnson   Composer
Glenn Schwartz   Licensing
James Walker   Composer
Tim Harris   Composer
Kenneth Carroll   Composer
Paul Johns   Composer
Winfield Parker   Composer
James Hill   Composer
Charles H. Gabriel   Composer
Kevin Coombe   Liner Notes
Jessie Crawford   Composer
Wesley Aydlett   Composer
Frederick Robinson   Composer
Peter Chapman   Composer
Roland Holland   Composer
James K. Scottland   Composer
Carroll Hill   Composer

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