SummaryThe balance of this record hangs within one song. It's a song about life and death. Of love and loss. One song that has stopped a roomful of people dead in their conversations. A hit, a fluke, and a flop, all in three minutes. A song so powerful and intense that it almost destroyed a label.
When Rob Sevier brought "You Can't Blame Me" over to our office, you could tell he knew he had something special. The needle dropped, and from that first note vibraphonist Billy Wooten played, we were sold. Two days later we had Bill Moss on the phone. We had heard only two songs that his tiny Columbus, Ohio label had released 30 years prior, but there was a feeling that this was just one bite of a much larger meal.
Moss didn't believe it when we told him we were coming to Columbus to talk about the possibility of reissuing the Capsoul records. People had been calling him for years trying to get copies of one 45 or another, a guy in the UK even wanted to do some CDR only compilation. Some had promised money, others "his due," but they had all disappeared. It was understandable that he might be skeptical of three guys who showed up in a purple Saturn stationwagon. But an agreement was reached that day, and a story began to unfiold about one of the greatest midwest soul treasures ever unearthed. The story of Capsoul is not the story of a handful of 45s or their chart positions. It's intertwined with the life of Bill Moss, his ideas, his heart, and for lack of a better word, his soul. He was an activist, a preacher, a songwriter, an entreprenuer, a musician, a father, and at one point a criminal.
The Capsoul label was an anomaly then and still is now by record industry standards. At a time when distribution meant showing up at a shop and popping your trunk, a time before the airwaves were strangled by the noose of national play lists, a time when "independent promotion" went by its true name: "payola", Bill Moss might have been another Berry Gordy, The Four Mints, his Miracles and Virgil Johnson certainly would have been his David Ruffin. Of course, we know now that it didn't work out that way. But for a brief moment in the early 1970's there was real magic being committed to tape down in Cap City. These 19 tracks illustrate magnificently the rise, fall, and resurrection of one of the last great artifacts of small label soul, its storied life a secret no more.