Boddie Recording Company Photographs 

The Boddie Recording Company (f. 1950s) was the first recording studio in Cleveland, Ohio, owned by African-Americans. In order to hold down costs, Thomas Boddie created all his recording equipment by hand, rather than purchasing pre-made machines. He owned the company with his wife, Louise Boddie. Their clientele included musicians of various styles, including gospel, country, bluegrass, rock, soul, and rhythm and blues, earning the studio the nickname of “Little Nashville”. Records were made for national distribution as well as for independent groups and artists who only wished to have their music recorded for personal use or local distribution, such as recordings of sermons for church groups, with Boddie creating small, independent record labels for the purpose. The collection consists of 28 negatives and 36 black and white photographs of artists and the recording studio.