Blue Heaven & The Cadillac Queens
This really obscure 45 hails from Cleveland and is dated 1978. “I Ain’t Gonna Eat That Thing” clearly shows how Blue Heaven got the first part of his name, but the other side is the one to get excited about. Closet Of My Dreams is the best ballad that Melvin Van Peebles ever wrote. It features on his key theatrical work “Don’t Play Us Cheap” and the version that may be familiar to most soul fans is that sung by the excellent Joshie Jo Armstead. But this cut may just have the edge. I presume the singer is one of the Cadillac Queens, sadly no name is credited. But after a tasteful and beautifully rendered rap she launches into a scathing attack on the man of her past, bringing Van Peebles’ extended tailoring metaphor vividly into life. There’s a wonderful tone to her voice, and the gospel styled vocal support from the other members of the Cadillac Queens is just superb.
The tracks were cut by that key Cleveland record man Tom Boddie. But who were this group? Somebody must have details.
UPDATE ~ My great friend Greg Burgess writes to say that the 45 "was recorded at Thomas and Louise Boddie Recording Company facilities in Union Avenue and released on his house label Bounty 7815. I'm guessing but this might have been in error because this was 99% a gospel label."
I ain’t gonna eat that thing / Closet of my dreams ~ SOUL MINE 7815 / BOUNTY 7815 (1978)
Special thanks to Barry Solz and Greg Burgess.