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Bebop Spoken There

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13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Record Shop Days

No, this has nothing to do with the animated comments that followed the Bacon Butty post. In fact, at the time I'm writing about, vinyl was but a gleam in the record companies' eyes.

No, here I'm reminiscing about Gordon Eades Ltd. I don't know who Gordon Eades was or if there ever was such a person but, his name was the name over the door of a record shop on Fawcett St., in Sunderland and, as is relevant to this post, a shop in Jarrow which is now, after several other changes of direction - including another record shop - a Turkish barbers. 


The shop sold records (78rpm), sheet music and pianos - a bit like J.G.Windows at the time and probably many others throughout the country.

The Jarrow branch was run by a rather doddery old gentleman called Mr. Stubbs. My parents were regular customers buying say a recording of Eileen Joyce playing Dohnányi's Rhapsody in C Major (my mum could also knock out a fair version which, in years to come, became her signature dish - I digress!)

I too was a regular customer buying, at first, such things as Tennessee Ernie's Shot Gun Boogie or Frankie Laine's Jezebel before moving on to Louis, Artie, Duke, Benny, Stan etc.

The thing about Mr Stubbs was, if my mum asked for something by Chopin, Mr Stubbs would happily trot along to get the record or the music, humming the melody as he left on his quest, when I asked for a pop or a jazz record he would refer me to his assistant saying, "Serve this young chap will you?"

His assistant was an attractive blonde, so I didn't mind at all! However, she was older and totally out of the range of a 15 year old who had yet to start shaving!

I changed record shops.

In neighbouring Hebburn, there was a small record shop - The Tinkler Music Service - it's now the Citizen's Advice Bureau or something similar.

Back then, it was presided over by a rather attractive girl - Sylvia. She was older than me but, by now, I'd started shaving so the age difference wasn't so noticeable.

We kinda clicked and went to jazz concerts at The Odeon, The Essoldo and the City Hall in Newcastle. I got my records cheap and her dad had a pub. But, as happens ...

After National Service in the RAF I found myself living in London and, needless to say, I was a regular at Dobell's on Charing Cross Rd. but, my most abiding memory is of James Asman's shop on, was it St. Martin's Lane? Among the records were a couple of books - Mezz Mezzrow's Really The Blues and Charles Delauney's Hot Discographie. They were both quite expensive and, I think, first editions so I left to speculate on which one to go for. I drank a pint of Watney's Red Barrel in a nearby pub and decided, what the hell, I'll buy them both. Needless to say, when I returned, they had both been sold.

Eventually, the wheel turned the full circle. Gordon Eades Ltd. had gone but, up in Newcastle, J.G. Windows Ltd. hadn't and, eventually, I spent the next 30 odd years of my life working there.

So, best of luck on Record Store Day, sell lots of albums - irrespective of format and, maybe one or two customers will buy a saxophone or a trumpet or a grand piano.

However, re the bacon butties - is there a Vegan option?
Lance 

2 comments :

Russell said...

Lance- you must take a look at www.britishrecordshoparchive.org. It includes an advert for the Disque record shop chain. There was a branch in Jarrow!

Lance said...

I can't remember much about Disque. Before the Turkish Barbers' sign went up you could still see, in faded lettering - Discount Records.

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