- photos by Walter Novak
- Duran Duran bassist John Taylor (left) and an adoring fan, converging at Wolstein Center, March 29.
In honor of the O'Jays' recent induction to the Rock Hall, internet radio station Soul Patrol (www.soul-patrol.net) has made the Canton-spawned group the focus of the latest installment of Cleveland Soul: Rare '60s & '70s Classic Soul Straight Outta Cleveland.
"Soul Patrol attempts to document the past, present, and future of black music," says CEO Bob Davis. "And in the past, there was a thing called regional sound. You had a New York sound, a Philadelphia sound, a Texas sound, a Chicago sound. And you had a Cleveland sound that was as popular, if not as recognized. Cleveland is a particular place, like East meets Midwest, with a Southern influence."
John Wilson -- formerly Sly of Sly, Slick and Wicked -- hosts the two-hour program, spotlighting Northeast Ohio acts that include the O'Jays, the Sensations, and the Imperial Wonders. The new episode features a 75-minute interview with individual members of the group, including singer Bobby Massey.
"That interview is one of the things you can't get from Rolling Stone or Vibe," says Davis. "Massey was a founding member of the group for 15 years, and he left of his own volition on the brink of their international stardom with Philadelphia Records. And he's not bitter. He left to pursue a dream, to try to establish a Cleveland-based label. The fact that an African American artist did that is significant."
Based in Philadelphia, Soul Patrol was founded in 1996. The popular information archive www.soul-patrol.com receives three million hits a month, and Soul Patrol's broadcast site has 70,000 listeners. The shows feature other regional sounds, including a Columbus show hosted by longtime DJ E. Norman Harris. Two other Cleveland shows are available for streaming.
· Cleveland metal innovator Breaker is recording a new LP, and it also has a new track available on Eagleution: A Tribute to Saxon. Breaker recorded a cover of the seminal English metal band's "To Hell and Back Again" for the disc, which was recently released on Remedy Records. Breaker's forthcoming LP is slated for release later this year on Cleveland's long-running Auburn Records, which hopes to issue new albums, unreleased material, and expanded reissues from all its major bands this year, including Destructor, the Manimals, Shok Paris, and Purgatory.
· In addition to Cleveland's Brazen Rogues, Akron punk bands First Offense and Labor Force will appear on the Backstreets of American Oi! 2 compilation, set for spring release through Philadelphia's Street Anthem Records.
· Ray Terry, singer for gothic post-hardcore Nightbreed, has holed up in the basement of Lakewood's Hi-Fi Club (11729 Detroit Avenue), opening a studio called Tragic End Recordings. Terry, who also works at Hi-Fi owner Billy Morris's Lava Room studios, says he plans to focus on small bands with limited budgets. Tragic End is also the name of Terry's label, which plans a June release for Closed Doors Open Tracks by Interfuse, the hard-edged Cleveland rock combo. Interested bands can contact Terry at email@example.com. Nightbreed plays the Hi-Fi Thursday, April 7.
· The glam rock band Cherry Monroe has landed a song on the new Nickelodeon Kids Choice compilation CD, next to tracks by Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, and Good Charlotte. The band will film a video for the song "Can't Explain" Saturday, April 9, at the Youngstown Jillian's (7401 Market Street, Boardman).