Way Out records was established by Lester Johnson and Bill Branch in the early 1960s as a outlet for Cleveland's large African-American music scene, primarily R&B. The Way Out operation included a recording studio and office located on East 55th Street in Cleveland. As the music scene moved toward soul, Way Out started releasing records in that style, with the Springers and the Sensations as their lead acts. The Sensations were based in Michigan but gradualy moved to Cleveland. On the basis of a couple local hits, the label struck a distribution deal with first Atlantic records (apparently for the Springers records only), then MGM. That lasted until about 1969, when the label went back to local only releases.
The Way Out numbering system is pretty confusing at first. The original series was not numbered, using only the RCA master numbers. During the MGM period, the 1000 numbering was used. In the late 1960s, post MGM, a 2000 number series was used. For some reason, the 2000 series are by far the rarest titles on the label. The 100 series was the last, starting in 1971. It's possible that the numbering series were used depending on who was producing and/or providing the money. A couple one-shot numbers also exist.
BOS records was the Gospel 'subsidiary' of Way Out. The BOS name came from a gospel group led by James Bullard (the "B"). Bullard was working for Way Out and released a few 45s using the Way Out numbering sequence. Later BOS releases used the Way Out address but were distributed independently. The BOS catalog is still being assembled and verified before posting.
Big Jim records was a companion label that was established through the efforts of Hall-Of-Fame Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown. The Way Out staff ran the label. Only two records have the Big Jim label, but curiously Way Out 104 by Jesse Fisher, mentions Big Jim records, in 1971 - five years after Brown retired to start a movie career.
|No #||Ben Iverson and the Hornets||Fools Rush In / Love Me||1962 (RCA NO8W-4959/60)|
|5564||Joan Bias||Crazy Over You / I Don't Know What's Right Anymore||1963 (RCA P4KM-5564/5)|
|No #||Lou Ragland and Bandmasters||Never Let Me Go / Party At Lester's||1964 (RCA R4KM-2605/6)|
|No #||the Gaylords||Never Go Back To GA. / Loose Beat||1964 (RCA R4KM-3359/60)|
|No #||the Springers||It's Been A Long Time / You Can Laugh||1965 (RCA 920W-5696, S4KM-5696/7)|
|No #||the Springers||I Know Why / I Know My Baby Loves Me||2699|
|No # / 2799||the Springers||Why / Last Heartbreak||1965 (1st press - RCA SK4M-2799/80 ; 2nd press - label number 2799, Atlantic WO-9620/1)|
|No #||Laura Green||Don Deopo (Female Bandit Of Love) / Come Have A Drink With Me||1966 (RCA T4KM-5945/6)|
|No #||the Sensations||Get On Up Mama / I Won't Be Hurt|
|No #||the Sensations||Too Shy / Please Baby Please||1966 (RCA T4KM-5947/8)|
|1000||the Sensations||Gotta Find Another Girl / Lonely World|
|1001||the Soul Notes||How Long Will It Last / Don't Make Me Beg||March 1968 (MGM 104,530/1, Monarch 70581)|
|1002||Fred Towles||Too Much Monkey Business / Too Much Monkey Business - Part II||(MGM 105,085/6)|
|1003||the Sensations||Oh Girl / I Guess That's Life|
|1004||Fred Towles & the Jacksonians||Hook It To The Mule (vocal) / Hook It To The Mule (instrumental)||Jan '69 (Monarch 74352, MGM 105,867/8)|
|1005||the Sensations||It's A New Day / Two Can Make It||1969 (MGM master 105,981/106,065)|
|1006||the Soul Notes||How Long Will It Last / I Got Everything I Need||1969 (MGM master 104,531)|
|1966||Verna And Rob||More Soul / I'm In Love With You||1969 (the label number is NOT the year)|
|2001/2||Bobby Wade||Four Walls And One Window / Can't You Hear Me Calling||late '69-early '70|
|2003/4||the Harmonics||Harmonics On The Warpath / Which Way||late '69-early '70|
|2005||the Sensations||Gonna Step Aside / Demanding Man||late '69-early '70|
|2006||the Volcanic Eruption||I've Got Something Going For Me / Red Robin||1970|
|(BOS) 2007||the Sensational Saints||I'm Glad He Knows (My Heart) / Jesus In The Morning||1970 (007/8)|
|011/012||BOS Singers||My God On High / So Many Years||1970|
|(BOS) 014||the Capitalaires||I Will Never Turn My Back On The Lord / One Of These Mornings||1971 (B-7151)|
|101||the Exceptional Three featuring Ruby Carter||What About Me? / Unlucky Girl||1971 (B-7149)|
|102||See note for 103, Bobby Wade, below|
|103||Bobby Wade||I'm In Love With You / Down Here on the Ground||1971 (B-7169)|
|104||Jesse Fisher||You're Not Loving A Beginner / Waiting||1971|
|105||Embryo Infinity Rebirth||Let Me Tell You A Story / Walls||1971|
|106||Jesse Fisher||Little John / Why||1971|
|984 (PS-101/2)||Jesse Fisher||Super Funky / Super Funky||1972 - B side is the continuation of the A side|
|01||Norman Scott||Baby Don't Go / Ain't That A Heartache||1973|
|WH 100||Jesse Fisher||Mr. Super Nobody / Don't Cheat On Me||1973|
|Big Jim (920W-3273)||the Occasions||Baby Don't Go / There's No You||1967 (RCA U5KM-3273/4)|
|Big Jim (920W-3275)||Bobby Wade||Flame In My Heart / Can't You Hear Me Calling||1967 (RCA U5KM-3275/6)|
#103, Bobby Wade has two pressings - first on a gray label is a Boddie Press. The A side is labelled as #102. The second pressings are on the red/white label, and the sides are labelled 103A and 103B.
#104 has two pressings - first on the white label, a Boddie press, second on the red/yellow label. The two pressings have different EQ and mastering. The red/yellow one has much more bottom end, and sounds a little less crisp.
#105, Embryo Infinity Rebirth were a white psychedelic rock band from Pittsburgh. This was the only rock styled record on the label. "Walls" was originally an 18+ minute jam!
#01 has two pressings - first on the gray label, Boddie press, second is the red/yellow label. We've not heard the gray pressing to compare.
#2001/2 - the recording of Can't You Here Me Calling was originally released on the Big Jim 45. That's why the label reads copyright 1967 although this pressing was released in 1969
#1001, #1006 - the recording of How Long Will it Last is the same on both releases.
Big Jim #3273 - Two pressings, the first is an RCA press with the football logo, the second is pressed by ARP in Detroit but still includes the RCA matrix numbers on the label