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Classic Columbus soul song licensed for Blackberry's Super Bowl commercial

Posted by Chris DeVille | February 01, 2013 05:02 PM

Marion Black recorded "Who Knows" for the late Bill Moss' legendary Columbus record label Capsoul way back in 1970, but ever since RJD2 sampled the track on his 2002 album Deadringer, it's been licensed by TV shows, movies and advertisements galore. (Among its credits: Showtime's "Weeds" and the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?") It also appeared on Numero Group's compilation Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label.

According to Daniel Moss, Bill's son and Capsoul's current manager, the song was licensed again this week, this time for use in Blackberry's Super Bowl ad for its new touch-screen smartphone, the Z10, designed to compete with iPhone and Android. The spot is set to air during the third quarter of Sunday's 49ers-Ravens showdown, which Moss expects to yield a large sales bump for Black and Capsoul at large.

"Talking to the guys at Numero, this is going to mean a lot of things for the Capsoul brand," Moss said Friday. "They had to make sure they had enough CDs in stock... This will lead to people wanting to explore more of dad’s music."

Read more about Black and "Who Knows" in this 2009 Alive feature.

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