Whatever happened to Barry?
My brother used to go there to get all sorts of ethnic music. He was getting into bluegrass - J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers, bringing home all that banjo stuff, and driving me and my Mum nuts! To this day I cringe when I hear a bloody Banjo!!
I started going to Barry's because he had a great blues selection, and all the latest imports (not that I could afford them). I was working at Wilson Advertising, as a trainee something or other 1962-63 age 16 - on the corner of Lever St and Dale St - way up off Piccadilly.
So nutter that I was, I used to make excursions there on my lunch hour. I was pretty fast - I could get to Old Shambles in about 5-7 minutes, maybe 20-30 minutes in Barry's then plod up back to Lever St - sometimes without having eaten anything, risking being late back from my lunch hour just to be in his store an extra few minutes.
That place was magic - a whole new world of music from the land of the blues. Smokey Hogg? Who's he? I found out at Barry's
I purchased many discs from there - two that stand out were Jimmy Witherspoon's 'Evening Blues', which I have on Cd to this day - a classic. I bought it because I had never heard that jazz-blues style before and T.Bone Walker was on it!
One tune ;"Money's Getting Cheaper" is performed by me to this day on my gigs here in Denver. Colorado .When I first came to Denver, I got a job as radio announcer on an AM Radio station. They gave me a blues show on Saturdays .. this would be about 1982 .. guess who came to town? Jimmy!
I interviewed him live on the radio via phone, from his hotel room - he invited me down to the club that night for his show. I ended up playing with him that night onstage!!
The other disc that stands out was The Best Of Little Walter on Chess .. not available in UK at that time .. I paid 5 quid at Barry's for the import on Chess .. two weeks later it came out on Marble Arch (Pye budget label ) for what .. 9 and eleven pence .. or something like that .. I was pissed off!!
Great days of discovery, great memories - there was no store like Barry's Record Renezvous!!
I worked next door to Barry's, at a small advertising agency called Davis Advertising during 1967-1968.
It was great being able to slip next door during the lunch break and shift through the hundreds of 45's and albums they had in stock as well as listen to the latest albums booming out in the store.
They changed the window display every week, and it was always an exciting to have a look at the new stock (an imports) in the window.
They had a good stock of soul, jazz and the latest "underground' releases - I well remember staring at the debut Santana release and trying to work out the design, and pondering whether to really buy Zappa's Lumpy Gravy and Rueben And The Jets albums on the meagre wages to hand.
My father was Barry Ancill who sadly died in in 2006 from cancer.
I was delighted to hear the kind comments about his shop on Blackfriars Street. Ater Blackfriars Street he opened a shop in St James Square and then in later years started to sell ticktets from a new business - Picadilly Box Office - selling tickets for all the major concerts around the country.
He loved his jazz and he was a big fan of Frank Sinatra. Over the years he met many major music stars, and loved to be a part of everything in the music scene.
Elizabeth Copeland (nee Ancill)