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Capsoul: Ohio's Answer to Motown

An original Capsoul 45 label.
An original Capsoul 45 label.

Following in the tradition of Detroit's Motown Records, the Capsoul label was formed during the early 1970s to bring Columbus, Ohio's local talent to a national audience. Unlike Motown, Capsoul had just a few minor hits over several years before going out of business.

Now a new label, the Numero Group, has collected lost Capsoul gems and released them on the CD Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label.

NPR's Liane Hansen speaks with the Numero Group's Ken Shipley and with Capsoul founder Bill Moss about the label's history -- and future.

Shipley was introduced to Columbus soul when a researcher played him a copy of "You Can't Blame Me" by the group Johnson, Hawkins, Tatum & Durr.

Sold from the song's first notes, Shipley tracked down Moss only to find that all of Capsoul's master tapes were destroyed after the label shut down. All of the tracks on Eccentric Soul are painstakingly cleaned transfers from Capsoul 45s. Some were purchased by Shipley via the online auctioneer eBay.

Moss, who moved from the record business to local politics, is happy to hear the music again. "I don't think there has been a day that has gone by that I have not thought about that record company," he says. "It's like the first woman you ever really loved. You never get over that one."

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