100% Soul, 100% Local. Shake a tailfeather to locally made old-school funk and soul records including tunes from the remarkable West Baltimore label Ru Jac Records, active from 1963-1980. Music curated by DJ Nitekrawler.
Ru-Jac Records Local Soul Dance Party is made possible through a fellowship grant from The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, which “exists to promote innovation in science and technology, arts, education and social justice."
Before the dance party, check out these cool events:
Baltimore Record Bazaar Pop-Up - 5pm
Vinyl lovers, come on down! Curated by Mikie Love, Baltimore Record Bazaar (BRB) brings together the city's best record dealers for a crate digging extravaganza. At this pop-up, select record dealers will offer choice selections for you to go home and drop the needle on some soulful treasures. Ru-Jac vinyl re-issues will be available!
Join us in our Amalie Rothchild Gallery for the opening exhibition of Ru-Jac Records-related memorabilia and ephemera collected by Kevin Coombe, local music historian and liner notes for Omnivore Recordings re-issue of the Ru-Jac Records catalouge. Join the discussion with Kevin and other Ru-Jac experts about the importance of the label and Ru-Jac owner, Rufus Mitchell.
Ru-Jac Records History
Ru-Jac Records, located at 427 Laurens Street, was owned and operated by Rufus E. Mitchell. An associate of the notorious yet empowering business man Little Willie Adams, Mr. Mitchell was for decades one of the central figures of the Baltimore’s black entertainment scene. Among other places, Mitchell booked at the Baltimore Civic Center (now the Royal Farms Arena), the historic Royal Theatre and the legendary Carr's Beach, a segregation-era beach for African-Americans that Mitchell and Little Willie turned into a top east coast destination. As general manager of Carr’s Beach, Mitchell booked the most famous black acts of its time to perform, including Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin and James Brown. Mitchell’s life is a prime example of black business people turning injustice on its head and finding paths for success.
Through his Ace Bookings business, Rufus maintained a roster of some the area’s very best black pop talent whom he often booked as openers for famous acts. In the early 1960s Rufus began Ru-Jac Records, recording sides for most of his Ace Bookings roster including early Ru-Jac star Winfield Parker, duo Gene & Eddie, Rita Doryse and a young Arthur Conley. Thanks to Mitchell’s relationship with Otis Redding, Redding later produced and co-wrote Conley’s giant hit, “Sweet Soul Music” a #2 Billboard Top 100 hit and enduring soul anthem. Ru-Jac was a launching pad not only for Conley; Winfield Parker and Sir Joe Quarterman found success after the head start provided by Ru-Jac. Ru-Jac Records helps tell the story of a dynamic Baltimore music scene and an ambitious black entrepreneur at the center.
SAT AUG 25 | 8PM | $12, $9 mbrs. (+$3 at the door)