Record Shops

Ralphs
Barry's Record Rendevous
The Music Centre, Bradford
The Spin Inn
Paul Marsden Records
Robinsons
Kofflers, Gorton
Rare Records
Penny's, Moss Side
Disc City, Salford
Paul Marsh, Moss Side

Tib Street

Bury
Sam Taylors

 

Sorry for putting this here - but I loved these records.


Ralph's Records
Corporation Street, near Victoria Station
   


Ad from Grass Eye, Nov 1969

   

Although some bands bought sheet music, many chose to just buy the record and learn it from there.

Ralph's had a really good selection of soul imports and was the haunt for many of the early dj's.

Ralph's was the place to go - I bought "London Live at the Marque Club" there in 67? - possibly my all time favourite album! Just got a copy again in recent weeks - thanks Malcolm!!!!! Hey I still know all the words and links between tracks.


Ad from Grass Eye, Nov 1969



Phoenix City Smash perfectly reflect the times by having photos taken at many of the in-places of the time. Other pics taken on same day include New Century Hall, Top of the Town, George Best Boutigue and The Wheel - plus Spin Inn (below).

Webmaster with head down, second right.
Wouldn't do that now - a hole at the back!

 

 

Ralphs Records had a branch in Underbank Stockport for a while. I worked there Saturdays and College Holidays for a while. I used to deal with the soul side of things and sold the various American imports and UK represses (not always that legal) we stocked.

Reggae was also a big seller and I remember an album called RockSteady with Dandy being a good seller.

Close to Ralphs was a small club where I seem to remember Jimi Hendrix being advertised. If he did appear I did not go as I had no time for rock music.

I have had my own record/music based business for 30 years and still enjoy soul music and release tracks via my RealSide label.

Terry Thomas

I used to work at Ralphs Records around 1968-69, it was an amazing place, not just a record shop it was a great  place to meet and hear new music. Great times.

We had to write the weeks new Top Ten on a blackboard. OK till Cliff hit no 1 with 'Congratulations'. Ditsy here renamed him Cliff Richardson ... shamefaced fool ... I never noticed.   

Lynn Richardson
28/12/10

Barry's Record Rendevous


Ad from Grass Eye, Nov 1969


Ad from Grass Eye, Nov 1969
 

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 atBBarry'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!!

David Bowker

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 wether to really buy Zappa's Lumpy Gravy and Rueben And The Jets albums on the meagre wages to hand.

Tony Burke

my father was Barry Ancill who sadly died in in 2006 from cancer.

Iwas 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)
28/9/10

 

 


Ad from Grass Eye, Nov 1969

There was the ‘SPIN INN’ on Cross Street and an excellent shop with cool stuff was ‘HYME & ADDISON’ you could get some good US imports from there. If I’m not mistaken they had another shop somewhere in south Manchester. Anyone know where?

There was also DJ Kenny Edmund's shop in Salford, with a small outlet in a shopping centre in Rusholme.

 

 

The Music Centre
Ashton New Road, Bradford, Manchester

The Music Centre on Ashton New Road, Bradford Manchester, selling radiograms and tellys, was officially opened in about 1958 by Benny Hill and the Actress Kay Kendal. Crowds blocked the roadway as queues formed to enter the tiny shop where the two stars sat at a table handing out signed photographs: which I received and have since lost.

Peter Bradford

 
 

Kofflers

Kofflers were a Radio and TV Shop on Hyde Road (the A57) in Gorton.  They also sold luxury items such as washing machines and fridges - they were the height of luxury in 1950's Gorton. 

In, I think, 1957 they opened a record department in the basement which was run by a member of the Koffler family.  He was quite a cool dude by the standards of the day and as well as stocking the usual hit parade pap, he would come up with some really unusual stuff. 

The first record that I remember buying there was a Leadbelly 78 which I think was on the blue Vogue label. 

Soon after I made a major purchase, the LP 'Murderer's Home' recorded at Parchman Farm (Parchman State Penitentiary).  I've still got the LP which is close to unplayable.  The 78 is being looked after by my son-in-law, a pro jazz musician who still uses a wind-up gramophone.

For some reason the record shop didn't seem to last very long, shame really.

Pete Crooks
5/6/09

Robinsons Records


Situated at the bottom end of Blackfriars Street, Robinson's was my favouite haunt for cut price albums including lots of blues and R&B stuff.

The owner of the store, Arthur Robinson used to visit the USA and import albums and 45's.

I bought up a shed load of budget albums on the United label, (a budget label from the USA issued by the Bihari Brothers owners of Modern, RPM and Kent Records) including Howlin' Wolf, loads of B. B. King compilations, Gene Phillips, Ike & Tina and the full series of blues compilations of blues recordings from Memphis, Arkansas, Detroit, Mississippi, Texas, West Coast and California blues.

United was an ultra-budget label with no sleevenotes, no inner sleeves, even some of the covers were recycled!

I am not sure what year it opened but I used to go there on my way to Old Trafford on Saturday's.

Tony Burke

 

The Spin Inn
Cross Street

Next to Top of the Town

Great shop - bought my second favourite album ever there - Outward Bown (The Alan Bown!)

Paul (webmaster)
Thats me, bottom left, with Phoenix City Smash outside the shop

Gary Laine and the Spin Inn, I got most if not all my records from this wonderful establishment. Gary was a real star sifting through all the inevitable junk that was being released, or escaping in those days! He kept a selection of discs for the regular jocks on one side each week and we simply turned up and paid ... took the bag of tricks home and sorted which to keep or not!

Real cool dude was Gary.

Graham Green DJ
24/7/10

Wow! I was a regular at Spin Inn and actually dated with Gary Laine for a while. He was a wonderful guy! He had an assistant called Linda.

He would sometimes DJ in Top of the Town, next door to Spin Inn. I wonder where he is now??

Would love to catch up him or anyone else who used to frequent Top of the Town/Spin Inn My email is chrisby53[at]hotmail.com. I am now living in Penang Malaysia. Cheers!

Lynda D
27/9/10

In it's day, The Spin Inn was one of the coolest record shops it the UK.
Great staff and a great selection of often hard-to-get discs - I've still got many of them.

I had a soul band called The Executives and when we visited Manchester we often played next door at the Top Of The Town and invariably I blew a lot of my earnings at The Spin Inn.

Sadly, these days there are few shops in the UK that Kept The Faith like Spin Inn.
I live in London and a really decent record store with clued-up staff is a rarity.

Roy Carr
(ex-NME, VOX, MM etc)
28/10/10


Sample poster by Bob Lee

 

Penny's Record Corner
Princess Road, Moss Side

I sort of remember the shop but never bought anything there.  But the Army and Navy Shop next door was my number one place for jeans.  Bought my first Wranglers there - 3 pounds 12 and 6d I think.  Hard when only on 6 quid a week working at the CWS.

Paul Mlynarz
9/4/11

 

Disc City
Cross Lane, Salford

I thought I would send you a photo of this record shop where I used to buy most of  my records when I was young.
It was called Disc City record shop and was on Cross Lane in Salford, sadly long gone.
The first record I ever bought was "Once Upon a Dream" by Billy Fury.

Peter Quigley
1/6/11

Paul Marsh Records
24 Alexandra Road, Moss Side

Paul Marsh was a small record shop, situated on the bustling Alex Road in Moss Side, it always seemed to be full and there was always a queue to use one of the 'Listening booths' at the back of the premises, there was a gizmo on the counter for removing the centres from the 45s, I would imagine many subscribers of Manchesterbeat popped in at one time or another.

Phillip Roberts
6/8/11

Both sets of my grandparents lived in Moss Side, one near Maine Road the others nearer to Hulme so  a walk on Alex Road was inevitable and a look in at Paul Marsh essential. During the mid 1960s I recall they sold and played a lot of ska and bluebeat music not surprising because there was a big West Indian community in the area. The sound came booming out.

I also recall a shop nearby called Berkhams (I think that was the name - not sure of the spelling) that sold lots of ska and bluebeat, rock steady along with pop stuff.

They used to have racks outside selling cut price ska records on labels such as Treasure Isle, Dr. Byrd and Island (yes the white Island label). I did buy some discs from there including an Earl Bostic 45.

I recall some of the labels had water damage too! I also bought a John Lee Hooker album, second hand on Marble Arch, which I still have, either from there or a junk shop nearby.

Tony Burke
21/11/11

I went to school at St Bedes' on Alex Road and made my first 45 purchases at Paul Marsh's shop. The water damaged discs from the outside shop on the corner further down included Coxsone singles by Jackie Mittoo and Island white label. No soul just West Indian music at that shop.

Brian Jones
23/12/11

I used to 'work' (my pay was a couple of brand spanking new imports from Jamaica!) at the brother-shop to Pail Marsh records in the underground market off Market St in Manchester.

I haunted the place between 1972-77 every Saturday, usually the worse for wear after a Friday night at the West Indian Centre on Carmoor Road followed by the inevitable trip to the Western or the Reno, fortified by some curry goat along the way! Amazing people, amazing music - happy days.

Karen
1/6/13

Tib Street

No idea what the shop was called but for me, it was the best.  Counters full of cheap 45's, mostly ex-jukebox!

Paul (Webmaster)
23/6/13

                 

 

Bury

Sam Taylors

This was a shop on Silver Street in Bury. They had a record shop inside. in the mid 1960's I had a school friend whose very glamorous Auntie worked there full time.

She had access to the very thick singles catalogues that retailers were given to buy/order their 45's. We used to look up all the Northern Soul titles that we loved from the Youth club and later the  Twisted Wheel. The disc labels I remember were Red and Black Atlantic, Stax, Fontana, Tamla etc

Dee Parker
15/11/13

 
 



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