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Tom Dechristofaro, as he is known outside of his stint as monthly Secret Soul Club DJ, is not only a master of tunes but a master of history as well. Tom lays out his favorite Northern Soul cuts from his collection for us, all of which have Cleveland roots. Step back in time with this edition of Mixtape Masterpiece. When he isn’t spinning 45’s you can find Tom working for The Beachland Ballroom or Gotta Groove Records. You can attend the next Secret Soul Club hosted by the Five O’Clock Lounge on Friday, March 27.

 Marlene & the Debanettes- “Earthquake”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5iRfE6eJ2c

Marlene and the Debanettes were a super-duper shortly lived Cleveland soul band that released only two singles and a total of three songs (the equally amazing “Bad Love” appears on both 45’s).”Earthquake” is an absolute monster.

Marvelous Ray- “Whirlpool”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXWkYossl4Y

This is probably one of the most in-demand Cleveland Northern Soul 45’s. Marvelous Ray’s “Whirlpool” was a HUGE 70’s spin at the (in)famous England’s Wigan Casino, where the DJ’s would cover up the label as Baby Washington “Going ’round in Circles” to thwart bootleggers and rival DJ’s! Understandable as its dance floor potential is undeniable.

Los Nombres- “Loving You”

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IdAw_oFKDw

Lorain’s Latino-funk group Los Nombres have so many amazing songs in virtually every style it’s hard to pick a favorite. The tune is flipside to the mega-rare, hard-charging acid funk A-side “Cold Wine”. Never doubt the power of a killer B-side though! This is perhaps my favorite slow jam of all time. The heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics and lush production really make it timeless.

Derc Hotzog- “Church Going Girl”

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At2Co4bWuaI

This one is special because it’s from my hometown of Youngstown. Its hard picking a side since both are astounding, but “Church Going Girl” is the jam. Who was Derc Hotzog other than an unfortunately named fella, eh? We may never know, but he left us this gem.

Jesse Fisher- “You’re Not Loving A Beginner”

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JIP2LX4bhI

Way-Out Records, which received the posh reissue treatment via Numero Group last year, has many fine and dandy releases. This is my number one: raw, unhinged, and in your face. For some reason there are two separate mixes of this, with the tri-color label version being the best and toughest to find, if you’re a collector.

The Missing Lynx- Behind Locked Doors

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3js1rbub3U

I can’t leave out some good, ole-fashioned, snotty garage punk so there’s this. A brutal dose of dark and mysterious rock’n’roll, straight outta suburban Cleveland Heights 60’s hell!

The Tangenetts- “Any Ole Way”

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3WeKuaTa6w

I don’t know much about this group other than the Shaker Heights address on the label, AND that it’s one of the coolest girl-group RnB tunes in my collection.

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Rachel Hunt

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