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Soulbowl magazine cover

For those avid collectors of rare soul vinyl, the mail order list of SoulBowl (proprietor, John Anderson) should have a special place in their heart, because for the last 50 years it has been at the forefront of vinyl digging for those rare soul imports that we hold so deep in our hearts.

Soul Bowl is to present a connoisseurs room at this forthcoming Prestatyn weekender and has lined up some of it's previous primary customers, including Colin Curtis, Richard Searling, Soul Sam etc. to play something engaging.

To promote this room and also shed a little light on the Soul Bowl set up, I've managed to get a small introduction from John and then a few words about my experience as a collector, including finding records on the weekly list, or in person at the warehouse.

For those who have never had the fortuity to have experienced Soul Bowl's mail order business, or for those who did, but would like a reminder of what went on in those early years of the rare soul scene, I've also posted up some old sales lists. I hope you find them as interesting and amazing as I did

JA intro:

Mark has asked me to write a few words about my 48 years or so of selling records.my first deal came about from my time trawling shops on glasgow. There was a camera shop that had tons of 50’s/60’s uk singles they had bought as a load. I was in there one day and they saidwe got a lot more in a room behind a false wall in the basement. There were four titles in quantity–miracles on fontana/both marvelettes on fontana/eddie holland-jamie. I bought them for 3 old pence and sold them to reddinton’s records in birmingham for 6 old pence-i was on my way!

My second deal was a load of 10,000-us singles i bought blind-took out the soul and managed to offload the rest to an office supply shop in glasgow.

My third bigger deal was going to the states and i hand picked 60,000-soul singles and shipped back sea freight and when my mum and dad saw the truck turning up at our second floor council house they thought the floor would collapse with all the weight! I didn’t have these records for long,word got out and that was the start of our time in the record business proper. I’ve been on the road in the states most years for 4 or 5 months so after close to 50 years you forget a lot of the deals you made.the only year we added up the invoices was 1977 and that year we shipped in one million singles.our major problem was space in king’slynn we had 4 places in town. An old church, a barn and a huge double garage, but we were always running out of places to put the next load. The great thing about those days was we learnt as we went along and there were no price guides which really mean nothing as prices change all the time, also collectors had very little money and we would end up with piles of bounced cheques! All very different from today.

Mark has also asked me to mention a couple of record deals we made back in the day. two that come to mind are the time i went to cincinnati to buy a load of 200,000 singles. They were in the basement of a one stop that had closed down–ceiling to floor-they were mainly promo copies.the one stop would mail out a few and then through the rest in the basement from the late 50’s to ‘67. I couldn’t really see much as there was no power-so it was a gamble and we made the deal.i had them shipped but had no idea what we had until the truck’s turned up in king’s lynn. I opened the first box and inside were 50 copies of the invitations-ski-ing in the snow. We ended up with thousands of obscure mid west/west coast soul records as well as demos on major labels. I could write pages about these deals but the second one i’ll mention was in the uk. I used to swap loads with a friend of mine paul who ran stalls on bradford market.he had picked up a load from me and a few weeks later he called me up and said we’ve just got in a big load from the west coast. I went there with gary cape––it was mainly west coast labels in quantity–mirwood/pzazz/highland etc etc––they came from record merchandisers in los angeles. I just remembered that when i still lived in scotland i got the train down to bradford and went to paul’s house to look at the records in his garage––there was 50 copies of the salvadors on wise world in there–wish i had them today!!!!!


From a collectors perspective:

In the early 7ts I was already a devoted follower of Northern Soul, even at the tender age of 14yrs. The Torch allnighter was the place to go and my older brother, Ant, was a regular attendee. He had a reasonable collection of imports and gave me the go-ahead to play them when I wanted to. Becoming more interested in vinyl I would peruse a weekly list that my brother was receiving; the list was called Groove City and was basically a couple of A4 pages with about 200 records for sale, mainly Ric Tic, Motown and various Detroit labels on offer. Trying to remember what was on those lists 43 yrs ago is a real struggle, but i do remember that a regular record that you could buy, was Sam Ward 'sister lee' Groove City for 75p. This it turned out was the prototype soul list to SoulBowl.

Eventually, i got signed up to the SoulBowl list in my own name and became a regular buyer, an addiction to this day that ive never been able to restrain. The mail order business was essentially run by husband and wife team, John and Marissa Anderson, with support from a Northern Soul dj, Poke.

One of the real attractions of the list was the Pound Special page. Since there wasn't a great deal of money in a young person's pocket at that time, being able to buy a decent original Northern 45 for a Quid was just what us budding collectors needed.

Most weeks, another excellent section of the list contained a record that had been hitherto 'big' at the major allnighters, which had now been discovered in some quantity and was now for sale at a fraction of the price it had been previously. This would usually be the talking point for many of the collectors in the Wigan record bar, or at our local 'soul pub' the Antelope. See if you can spot any of these records on the sample lists at the end of this article.

Obviously, most of the records on the weekly list were rarities and therefore you needed to phone as early as possible to reserve. For most of us, that meant running down to the phone box at the end of the street and dialing the ten digit number, usually getting the engaged tone for at least the first twenty tries. When you finally got through, you heard the dulcet, Scottish inaugural greeting, 'SoulBowl' Pushing your coins into the phone box, hoping and praying that your most wanted records were still available, you were able to put in your order. Being able to secure any records from your wish list would set the tone for that day and sometimes for days after. I remember one day in particular, when i was able to reserve five top notch sounds and i ran back up the street, punching the air like I'd just scored in the cup final.

As the years passed and my interest in the the obscure 45 became more intense, I began to send Soul Bowl my wants list, or casually ask about an particular record during a phone order. Eventually, John said those magic words: why don't you come down to the warehouse and have a look around for yourself. This was music to my ears and for the next few days I prepared for the visit, putting together my list of things to look for and simultaneously finding as much cash that i could muster.

The visit was a record collectors dream, over a million soul 45s in one barn, racked out in label/alphabetical order. FInding so many great records in one place and at great prices. It was so good that i decided to stay for an extra day and make a weekend of it. Records that i bought included Montclairs hey you, Bob & Fred Ill be on my way, revells trent town, sonatas hotline, webs dynamic, paul sindab, voltaires bacone, willie mason kalama, four andantes modo, wendell watts kiss a good thing etc. etc. I came away with over 200 hand-picked records and i remember John saying to me, 'im glad you came, as nobody else wants these kind of records' At that period of the scene, he was right; there wasn't really many collectors looking for obscurities.

On consecutive visits to the warehouse, like many of the djs that ive talked to who took trips there, John had a box of specially selected 45s just for my consideration. Inside those boxes there was always something significantly good, unknown and rare. Some of the titles that came from these visits were: Saints Wigwam, Sensations demanding man, Poets J2, George Pepp, Appointments Delite, Love is alright acetate, Hank Hodge eye for an eye.

On one occasion i asked John about a record by the Imperial Cs on Phil la Soul, which has appeared on the main sales list the week before; "what's it like", I asked? John's reply was, "give it a play", as it didn't sell and was still in the sales box. Price was £8 and the rest is history!

Countless other collectors will have similar memories to these that I've described and it would be great to hear about them too.

It's hard to describe the impact Soul Bowl has had on the world of Soul collecting, but it is immense. I haven't even touched upon the stories of their UK wholesale operation, or their substantial sales overseas (including the legendary Japanese lists) and maybe someone else can expand upon these anecdotes following this article. For me, Soul Bowl was the lodestar in discovering the beauty and diversity of American Soul music.

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Source Magazine Comments

Soul Shaw


Great read !! more more more




What a read Mark

,I used to buy off John in the mid seventies,yeah, constantly getting the engaged tone,then the "oh yes" moment when the records you wanted were still available.It would have been a postal order and order form to pay as I don't think I had a bank account at the time,remember the weekly paypackets all paid in cash.

When Saxie Russell was a hot track I ordered 3 copies as two mates wanted one 85p each John sent 2 issues and a white demo as it was a multiple buy!!!!! 

Think it was also known as the cake factory as nearly every  enquiry got the reply S gone haha

Eddie Hubbard


What a fantastic tribute to Soul Bowl Records,Mark .I had been buying from them since the mid 70's , but I think my best buys were from 1980 onwards , once I became a postman .This was because I got my list at work at 5am and was able to browse carefully while sorting , and be at a phone box dead on 8am to make the all important call .I remember calling once at 7.30 because Soulville All Stars " I'm gonna get to you " was on there for £2 , John's then young son answered the phone ,quickly followed by John laughing ....yes I got it BTW .Other great buys were Willie Hutch " Love runs out " £25 ,Peoples Choice " Saving my love for you " £12 , Willie Tee " I'm having so much fun " £3 [ off the Soul section ] ,Al Williams on La Beat £12 etc etc .Even now I pass the phone boxes in town , and think " I got so and so that morning " bit sad I know ...Front page focus was always a great section of records John had stocks of : Ivorys " Please Stay " £6 ,Matthew Barnett on Puff £6 , Len Jewell " All my good lovin " on Pzazz £3 , it was endless .I think John and Soul Bowl was the best ever record list ,and very fair with prices and condition of records .Best wishes ,Eddie


Posted (edited)

Top recollections.


As well as the Northern rarities lists I kept the bulk label lists of General Soul for decades. In the days before the internet and widely available discographies these were an invaluable resource to see just how much soul had been released on labels like Atco, Chess, RCA, Wand etc. All these were interspersed with great reproductions of trade ads, artist photos etc. It was obvious this was all done with great care and added to the idea this was above being just a business.


Also worth bearing in mind that most everything was unplayed stock. I remember ringing up for Willie Tee "First Taste Of Hurt" in the mid 80s. John had the 45 for something like £8. He mentioned that he had a copy with a different b-side (I'm Having So Much Fun) but because it was what he called 'far from mint' I could have it thrown in for nothing. Crazily I turned it down. That's how much we took for granted the idea that there were stocks of great records in brilliant condition from that source, and that crucially it was all priced to actually sell.


It's no exaggeration to say that without John and Marisa the whole character of the UK Northern Scene could have been completely different. Their hard work provided the raw material the whole scene could thrive on at a crucial time. Had they not been doing so i'm not convinced that the incredible surge in popularity of the scene circa '73-'75 and beyond could have been sustained musically.

Edited by garethx


God, it seems like yesterday looking at those lists. Oh for a time machine! Me and my bro David would pool our pocket money and often buy what was a front page focus or what just sounded like it might be good. Johnette, or Ruff Francis and the Illusions anyone? Yes, we bought a few duffers but when that list arrived you were in the magic zone. Highlights for me were managing to get the Fantastics on Impressario and the Caprells Hey Girl on Bano for a ton each in the same phone call. I hadn't spent a ton on a record before and I think I was white when I put the phone down. The other occasion out of many, was when I got a copy of Rivage which was a very hot 45 after a particular Yarmouth weekender. Could be a bit of a thread this.



Brilliant, brilliant read. Seeing those lists - hard to believe 30-35 years. The £1.50 Northern Specials section!!!



Marvellous read. A million records alone in 1977 and Matt Lucas BYBGG and Joe Matthews ANYCD for 10 and 12 quid!! I too would like a Tardis, not necessarily for another night back at Cleethorpes/Wigan, but rather to get on that phone at 8.10 and ask for a Tobi Legend and a Herbert Hunter at those prices again! 

Steve G

Posted (edited)

Excellent write up. There has just been so much stock go through those hands in the last 48 years it's unbelievable just how much soul music.  Amazing lists too and some amazing prices back then. Where have all the records gone?


First record I got from John was Prince & Princess "Stick together" on Bell in 1977, having heard Richard play it at Wigan. I started going to Soul Bowl in 1982, on Saturdays once a month, getting picked up by Soul Sam in Peterborough who would drive over from wherever he'd been on Friday night. I didn't have much money and always ended up spending more than I set out to. So no money for the rest of the month! Trouble is I started going too regularly :lol: ….Always the same story to the missus when she asked "How much did you spend?" "Oh only about £20". The important word was the "about" -it was always lots more.


I remember the separate piles of records for different people, For Sam it was rare modern (which he was buying at the time) and for me a cheaper box of good soul records that John thought I'd like - everything from deep soul to modern. I always remember shelves of King records in the middle section, there must have been twenty thousand of them. That barn had some enormous spiders in it too.  


Then there were the stories John had, looking for records having guns being pulled on him, finding the first copy of Ronnie McNeir in the living room of a B&B that one of the Detroit Emeralds had him put up in, having to hide in a record shop in remote Georgia until an inquisitive and unfriendly crowd of locals had dispersed. Getting the first copies of Billy Woods from the sound engineer and going back on the bus to Philly with them in his bag etc etc.


There was so much stock at Soul Bowl that no one could afford to buy everything that John had - even the front page you had to be very selective. Think we've all missed lots of good things over the years.


John was also a great supporter of Blackbeat magazine in the 80s. :thumbsup:


And he's still doing it, turning up rare records to this day. 

Edited by Steve G


Happy days indeed!


Starting getting the lists when it was still Groove City. Every week would just marvel at the array of unknown artists and labels on offer. Just absorbing all the info was pleasure enough even on weeks I couldn't afford anything.

Me and my mate Phil Attley used to club together to buy the Soul Packs too. Feel sick at what we passed over if the first few bars of a tune weren't on the fours stompers or zippy floaters or too funky!

As someone said.....oh for a time machine knowing what we do now!


High insight: the benefit of knowing before it becomes Hindsight!!

Soul Shrews


Even into the 80s with his"" new and recent releases "' front page section Mr Anderson was on top of the game.


Cheers Paul

Still Diggin


I found out about soul bowl while i was still at school, either through blues and soul or black echoes. I then preceded to read the lists in physics lessons. I really had no clue what i was looking at. just the odd artist that looked familiar. The first title i got was £1.50 and my mum had to show me how to do the postal order, probably around 78/79 . My first expensive record was Gene woodbury £20, I was so exited I told John I would come and pick it up at portland street. I travelled on the bus from nowich, i't took forever going round all these little villages, but i could not drive so had little other option. Got my record then John took me back to the bus station. Traveled back on the bus thinking, iv'e just met the king!. Top bloke who has forgot more than most know.


Steve L


Great stuff, looking forward to the Saturday afternoon session at Prestatyn  :)



Great stories and anecdotes,..just what was asked for..and i presume this thread hasn't even scratched the surface yet...( hopefully worth several hundred more! ) i, sadly can't add to this..other than to say if in anyway it's of remote interest or irony, the "cheap element" has metamorphosed into what i call john's "dustbin" at prestatyn...and i, like many others i'm sure, can't wait to get their grubby little paws in it from friday onwards! :yes:  :lol:

Jim Elliott


Smashing read. My first list was 86 ish.

Glad it wasnt just me that used to leg it up the phone box with my orders!

The internet has made it all TOO easy!

Great stuff.



Charlie Rees


This could turn out to be the biggest and best thread ever. The weekly emotions a Soul Bowl list would generate for me from the early seventies when I was still at school meant that I could only call at lunchtime the following day. Sneaking out of the school grounds to the nearest phone box was stressful enough, sometimes to find the phone box out of order; running to the next one only to find the number engaged until, eventually, the answer `Soul Bowl`. The elation in finding the record(s) I wanted still available; the utter devastation at the words `sorry, thats gone`.   



Excellent read. So many memories. I too spent most of my wages at Groove City and then Soul Bowl.
A friend had mentioned about Groove City during a conversation about current wants. l was hooked from the initial phone call and list. I have kept almost every list, mailer and purchase from that time. The lists boxed and in order. Only sold spare copies of records along the way. Sadly my friend is no longer with us but that friendship and conversation  changed my direction as a collector for sourcing records.


A few trips to Portland Street, Kings Lynn traveling through the night to get there by morning, but mainly mail order and the dialling frenzy already mentioned when the list arrived.



Brilliant ..Back in the early to mid 70s there was teriffic places to source rare soul 45s Global. Hime & Addison.Ralphs.ect in Manchester Brian 45 Phiĺips..Bostocks Martin Koppel .Bradford but John A was always the man ya looked too to find that rare 45 you where looking for..These 45s at the time where less than 10 yrs old and if you knew what you where doing like John A did they where easily to obtain Stateside Oh in hindsite if only if only LOL Nice fellas like John put hell of a lot of time money and hard work into the spreading of Soul Music here in first the UK then around Europe ect without icons like JA and Co would the Rare Soul Scene ever have got to the Legendary Scene it is today food for thought in my.opinion we owe hell of a lot to people like John A Martin Kopp Simon Soussan Ian Levine Richard Searling ect

Winsford Soul


Del Larks. £50 WOW. How many people could afford that back in the day.

Amazing reading. Thanks for posting



Bob Blackwood


I drove ian levine there one time,he got quite excited driving through Asby de la Zouch,his favourite place name.Anyway for driving he gave me a copy of bobby taylor there are roses when really i wanted anything more uptempo!!!

Val  (Chunky)


Great read Mark love these tales of old. I've still got quite a few old 'Soul Bowl' lists somewhere (find them quite depressing these days seeing what I missed) interesting how times have changed eg you could get 4 copies of Two People for 1 Wynder K Frog



Great reading Mark, didn't start buying from soul bowl until the mid/late 70s. Have a persistent memory of sneaking into my Managing Directors office around 8:00am trying to get through on the phone before his car came round the corner. I remember the fear of getting caught making my heart beat almost out of my chest but as an obsessive collector needs must.


Also good to finally read the definitive story of what happened with Bostocks, Bradford. There are stories of the Salvadors from the very early 70s from Andy Simpson, John Manship etc.

The ex soul bowl Mirwood and Money label 45s were still there for sale as late as the early 80s offered in record packs.
Ironically I had a Bob & Fred Ill be on my way from John too, it was in the deep soul section of the list!, from memory I think ended up selling or swapping with you Mark.


Posted (edited)

Brilliant read ! I went to Portland St. with Rob and Martin Thomas in the late 70's I think , was blown away and got Edward Hamilton - BDYW £8 and the Ideals - Mighty Lover £4 plus Harold Melvin - Get Out £4  and I reckon I was only earning £15 a week  :lol: Oh and those Soul Packs , got Innersection Demo in one that I remember , happy days eh?



Edited by SWIFTY


Fabulous reading...thanks for posting

Val  (Chunky)


list No: 212 


Val  (Chunky)

Posted (edited)

List No:125



Edited by Val (Chunky)


What a brilliant read thanks. Sadly born just too late for Soulbowl (lost count of the stories and quotes I've read or heard about prices then, but all relative I guess). Just grateful now that many of those amazing records are still being played out and filtering their way out of some collections to still be enjoyed elsewhere.

Steve G

Posted (edited)

Just found a copy of "I'm superman" in my lock up which was a Soul Bowl cheapie or in a soul pack and it reminded me of another aspect.


I was working in London and one day we had a train strike so I had to get a coach back to Peterborough from Victoria. This would have been 83. Anyway I was reading Black Echoes and this older geezer behind me leans through the seat gap and says in a Geordie accent "Can I borrow your Echoes when you've finished?". Turns out he was a big N.O collector who had been buying off of John since the 60s (Tony Wilson). We became regular travelling companions on the commute and I went to Soul Bowl with him a couple of times too.


Anyway over the years John A had pretty much helped Tony build one of the best New Orleans collections you could imagine. Apart from all the Rics, Rons, Deesus, White Cliffss, Dovers, Parlos  Instants etc., he had amassed all of the major northern rarities, and some mighty obscure things you just never see apart from in discographies. Anything John got from N.O Tony basically got a copy. 


In the late 80s unfortunately Tony ended up selling them all cheap. I think John was willing to buy them back, but he sold them somewhere else instead. 


Aside from the lists I reckon there were probably quite a few collectors scattered around who John helped build first rate collections with.

Edited by Steve G


Fantastic read and brought back happy memories. First stated receiving the lists in 1975, late for school waiting for the post. From memory there also used to be the new releases on the front page e.g sexy sugar plum, Alfie Khan, Barnaby Bye etc. Got back into the scene around 1996 and started getting the lists again picking up the Pointer Sisters. Records were always mint. Like a lot us, I wished we had a time machine. Also wished I had purchased some of those soul packs. 



Wow, memories. Remember buying stuff like The Ringleaders, John Bowie - Your gonna miss a good thing for about a fiver before they went huge.


wish I still had them today instead of selling them, ah well hindsight!


Great shop and list for picking up so many tunes back in the day.

Tony Smith


What great memories! as an apprentice platemaker in 81 I had Soul Bowls lists sent to my work and got in for the post to drop around 8.15 there'd be barely time to look before I'd start dialling, sometimes I'd dial before I'd even got the staple out, always got something, those really were the days!

Mike Lofthouse




Great read. Thanks Mark and John A of course.

I was fortunate that our post was delivered fairly early so I had some success, albeit on limited funds, without being too late for school.

Mike Lofthouse


one I posted a few years ago.......


£1 specials with William Cummings listed at 41 smile.png also slipping in at 47 - Skip Jackson. Think the list is a bit later than '75 because Eddie Horan's LP on HDM is listed on the reverse... anyhow thought people might like to see it...

  • post-3687-0-81987200-1318183572_thumb.jp


Should the hall of fame thread have a category in which John is recognised as a promoter of soul. No in the sense of running an event or as a DJ but as a provider of soul to the masses.

Ian Dewhirst


We're very proud to announce that the forthcoming 'The Odyssey: A Northern Soul Time-Capsule' will contain a DVD with an exclusive Richard Searling interview with John Anderson which we filmed at Prestatyn last year. It's a spellbinding interview with one of the most enigmatic characters who has been involved with the scene for the last 45 years. And it's LONG 'cos we had a lot of ground to cover. 


I think we're releasing the trailer for the project tomorrow, so that'll give everyone an inkling of the mind-set of probably the most influential record dealer in Soul Music history. It's a must watch believe me.


Ian D  :D



I can only echo what everyone has said here...

Absolutely great read Mark and John.

It has actually given me a new perspective on the whole origins of the rare soul scene that evolved into what it has become up till today.

In fact it's like a breath of fresh air to be honest!


Thank you.  :hatsoff2: 


Posted (edited)

No wonder I could never get through on the phone.


I very rarely got my first choice of record, it was very frustrating in those days.


I always wanted visit Soul Bowl in person, but it was a bloody long way and I never did make it.


I had an arrangement with my boss at work so that I could use the telephone in my department until I got through, then however much time I had lost, I would work when everyone else had gone home.


As well as Soul Bowl, Brian Phillips list was my favourite. Again I very rarely got my first choice off the list, and I'm not surprised after hearing that half the countries Dj's were perminently camped outside his house at the time.

Edited by Quinvy

Posted (edited)

The Del Larks in 75 is worth more than 450 quid in today's money! No wonder only people like John Vincent could afford one. Mere mortals just had to go to Sam's, Wigan or wherever he was booked to hear and dance to it. The way it should be!! Here's a UK inflation caculator so we can get a grip on those seemingly cheap prices!!

Edited by macca


Same here with the phone calls etc.

Must say i didn't know he had connections with Paul & Gerry at Bostocks in Bradford.

So in addition to all the good stuff that we got off Bradford market, there were tons more that ended up at Soul Bowl. It would be interesting to know how that deal came about.



Great read, should be Hall of Fame surely? Here's one of my memories.


So, it's Saturday morning, 1974 'ish, and the postman arrives with my "Soul Bowl" purchase. Risk running downstairs in my undies to grab it as soon as possible. Back up to the room, un-stick the mailer and behold the record. It was sssoooooo precious to me I just held it in my hands like a formula-one car steering wheel. Oooops! I snapped the record. It had cost me about £3, a lot of money for a fifteen year old schoolboy. Get dressed, run to the phone box, phone Soul Bowl. "The record you sent me is broken. Is there any chance you have another?" (little did I know that they had loads and were trickle feeding them). They said it was unusual for records to be broken in the post and I said I appreciate that but?.......they sent me a replacement. It was "Cool off"on orange Pameline and it was my pride and joy. :)

Dave Moore


Should the hall of fame thread have a category in which John is recognised as a promoter of soul. No in the sense of running an event or as a DJ but as a provider of soul to the masses.


The category is already there. I'd expect John to be nominate at some stage.  Problem is to be inducted, you have to first be nominated. 





Steve G

Posted (edited)

Getting through on the phone was always a problem. Engaged, engaged, engaged. Through.


Remember when John was selling up to Craig Moerer in the 90s….Andy Davies calls says he's just found an unissued Millie Jackson album acetate and John wants to throw it in the skip  :lol:

Edited by Steve G
dean jj


In the early 80's I was working for a co-op who were the first people to produce fresh pasta and other Italian food products in the north [pesto? whats pesto? its green?] Anyway at one point I was doing food demos in the old food hall in Kendalls [House Of Fraser now] on Deansgate in Manchester trying not to get ragu on the fur coats. Being a rather old fashioned company they had a phone in the middle of the store....with a direct outside line! No more standing in phone boxes on Boundry Lane in Hulme trying to buy the latest front page indie soul 45. Little did I know I'd be working for John and Marrisa [and Richard] four years or so later but then that is the strange nature of a soul boys meandering road.




Used to get most of my 45s from the "Northern specials" & Obscure sections. Some great unknowns passed through a lot of hands over the years and thankfully mine on occasion..


Posted (edited)

What a fantastic article and read of one of  the hardest working guys in the business  (48 years plus and still going strong  ) Wow !!! 


"John Anderson and Soul Bowl Records " 


tfk :rofl:














Edited by tfk
Guest johnny hart


The Del Larks in 75 is worth more than 450 quid in today's money! No wonder only people like John Vincent could afford one. Mere mortals just had to go to Sam's, Wigan or wherever he was booked to hear and dance to it. The way it should be!! Here's a UK inflation caculator so we can get a grip on those seemingly cheap prices!!


These lists illustrate how todays rocketing prices have took record buying away from many. The average wage in 1980 was £120 per week, Soul Bowls prices approx; Del -Larks £50,Brice Cofield,£6, Sandy Wynns £2.50. Today average wage £400 Per week approx. What price similar records now? [also way back then beer was 30p a pint and petrol 28p alitre!   Oh for the good old days. Anyone remember when Soul Bowl lists featured"pen and Ink "style collages of unknown artists on the back of lists ,Esplendido post gracias!

Guest randy


I first started buying records from Soulbowl in the early 70’s. It was always exciting waiting to get the new list and hoping the postman wasn’t late. We didn’t have a phone in the house back then and had to run to phone box and hope no one was in so you could ring through bang on 9:00 or else all the good stuff would be gone.


I use to spend hours going through those lists there was so much stuff on there I still have so some of the muti-coloured lists from 1973 Ivory’s at £3 wow

I will always remember Tobi Legend £3 and Reparata & Delrons £3 arriving brand new in Bell sleeves I still have those records today. I was only on £5 a week wages!


John mentions his mate on Bradford market I use to go and buy records from him I had no idea that he was connected to John that solves that mystery where he was getting records from.


Back in the day before the internet etc there very few places you could buy any decent records from. The only places I could find where:-


Soul Bowl - mail order lists

Boylans in Conisbrough — help set up by my old mate Snowy Morgan

Violet Mays in Sheffield — first time I ever saw multi coloured Motown label imports

Barnsley Market — market stall run by young girl turns out these were Bubs right hand man Derek Greenhoff’s spare copies I still have my Montclair’s WDJ I bought off the stall.


John as well as inventing selling records by mail he is a really nice chap, I eventually met him in the flesh at a record fair in Leicester a few years back now.  I had spent all my money and John let me take a copy of Choice of Colour 45 on APT and without even paying for it, Mick Smith vouched for me and I sent John a cheque in the post when I got home. Not too many dealers would do that today.


Happy days

son of stan


Late 80s I used to share a flat with a mate who got the list. He'd often have gone to work when it was delivered. I used to carefully undo the staple and then bend it back when I had finished with the list . Lol!

While I am fessing up, I once phoned up to reserve a record but must have had a night in the pub or bought another record or something because for some reason, I couldn't scrape together the six quid(!) to pay for it and didn't' complete the purchase.Anyway, couple of days later the record is delivered anyway. Garland Green 'Girl I Love You'. Always felt a bit guilty about that....



Great memories- love hearing them..



These lists illustrate how todays rocketing prices have took record buying away from many. The average wage in 1980 was £120 per week, Soul Bowls prices approx; Del -Larks £50,Brice Cofield,£6, Sandy Wynns £2.50. Today average wage £400 Per week approx. What price similar records now? [also way back then beer was 30p a pint and petrol 28p alitre!   Oh for the good old days. Anyone remember when Soul Bowl lists featured"pen and Ink "style collages of unknown artists on the back of lists ,Esplendido post gracias!

120 quid a week was a fortune! I was paid the princely sum of 98 quid a month as an office junior in 1977, and that was at the city's second biggest employer, a major engineering company. 30 something line managers probably earned 120 quid a week. 

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