Saru was financed by Chuck Brown, who together with his father owned a bail bonds business. Brown was not strongly musically inclined, so he hired top Cleveland talent, including Lou Ragland and the O'Jays, to handle the artistic side of the label. Supposedly Saru is a conjunction of two of Brown's family members, seems probable but not proven. Frank Key was also involved with the startup of Saru.
The first two 45s by the Out Of Sights have an address of 2300 Payne, which was the address of the Brown's business. In 1971, the O'Jays were in a down cycle and Brown hired them to write and produce. They leased space on 14009 Miles that had a business office and music studio. The 122x numbering is the result of that collaboration. The Saru 45s were recorded at Agency, except for the 1st Out of Sights 45 which was done at Boddie (and possibly the Sir Stanley 45). The backing musicians included Calvin Brown (no relation) on guitar and the Shades of Soul band.
By late 1971 Brown decided to start a new label, Horoscope records. The first 45 was by Pandella Kelly, about which little is known at this time. The next release was by the Ponderosa Twins + 1 and became a big local and regional hit. Brown struck a distribution deal with All Platinum records in New Jersey for the record. All Platinum decided to rename the label Astroscope and took over the imprint. In 1972 All Platinum took some O'Jays tracks cut for Brown at Agency Recording and released them as a 45. This was just prior to the O'Jays hitting it big with the Philly Gamble and Huff team. Brown (and others) tried several times to get the O'Jays signed with a major record company until CBS through G&H finally took them on. The remaining Astroscope artists were not from Cleveland, although a couple NE Ohio natives moved east to join some of All Platinum's acts.
In 1972 Brown started a third label, Pisces. This label seems to have existed for only two records and one group - the Ba-Roz. The numbering of the Ba-Roz 45s suggests that Brown transferred the Horoscope numbering sequence to Pisces, as the first 45 has H-103 in the dead wax (the 3840 number is on the label). This seems to have been Brown's last attempt in the recording business. When the O'Jays signed up with CBS in 1972, Brown's key musical talent left as well. The Shades of Soul, who had gone on tour backing the Ponderosa Twins, renamed themselves the Ninth Street Exit and recorded for Solid Foundation.
Chuck Brown continued to have a stake in Astroscope records until the mid 1970s but the relationship went downhill, mainly because All-Platinum was trying to cut him out by changing the publishing credits on their most successful act, the Ponderosa Twins. Brown left the music industry but he continued to grow his bail bonds business to the largest African-American owned business of its kind in the US.
|Out Of Sights
|You Made Me Beg / For The Rest Of My Life
|c. June 1969
|Out Of Sights
|I Can't Take It / Baby You Got It
|Out Of Sights
|Tears Don't Care Who Cry / I've Got Ta Be Me
|I Was Wrong / My Woman's Love
|Can't Make It Without You / For Only Lovers
|Shattered Man / LaDeDa (Means I'm Out To Get You)
|Got To Get My Broom Out / Got To Get My Broom Out Instrumental
|Hey Lady / Got To Make It Right
|Son In Law / Just To Be With You
|Just To Be With You / Just To Be With You (Instrumental)
|Fever / Prove It
|Are You Man Enough / I Believe
The song "Just To Be With You" on #1223/4 and #1225 use the same music track, with vocals by the listed artist
Horoscope / Astroscope
|Loves Needed / Stand In For Love
|the Ponderosa Twins + One
|You Send Me / Hey Girl
|the Ponderosa Twins + 1
|2 + 2 + 1 =
|1971 (LP label has no title listed)
First pressings of #102 do not say "Distributed by All Platinum" and are pressed at ARP. A second pressing uses the Horoscope name but is distributed by All Platinum. Later pressings use the Astroscope name.
|Come Back Boy / The Last Time
|Mockingbird / Mockingbird (instrumental)
Copies of #3840 exist as the Ra-Boz, a misprint. The records look the same other than the different spellings