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Articles: Soulbowl

Posted

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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Posted (edited)

I started buying off John in 74, i was earning £6 a week at our local golf club. The only phone i had use of was in the entrance to the club & i sure got some funny looks from members when i finally got through to John on list day. My first trip down to Kings Lynn would be 79, tho i'd actually met John for the first time earlier that year in Chicago. Like most i guess it was like you had to serve time down there before being offered the serious bits & on my 3rd/4th vist i remember so vividly John saying to me "we need to lift yr profile a bit, here's some things i was gonna let Gary ( Rushbrook ) have". He reaches up onto this high shelf and gives me things like La Rom Baker, Bobby Wisdom, Elbie Parker, all £40/50 each. Next trip down 2/3 months later in my pile is Deltours ( 2nd copy ) Charles Brandy, Sonic Explosion. All around were 100/200 count boxes of high quality tracks & a sea of 45's all neatly racked, it was mind blowing even then. A week or 3 after Sam had done the big 60's for 70's swap with Richard i was at the Bowl & John says, "Richard thinks this Cheating Kind is rare, well here's 3 i just picked up this week", it was in my pile at £100 but decided i didn't want oldies & went for Bobby Thurston & some other rare modern instead :D . Yep, no doubt about it, the experience & memories of going to Soul Bowl are some of the best i've ever had. John ! i salute you :yes:  

Edited by Arthur Fenn

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i loved Soul Bowl, when we started going to Stafford in the early 80s we would follow Keb and Guy up and down the country and by speaking to people would sometimes find out who the cover ups were by.

I remember picking up Bobby Hutton-come See- Demo for £5 and Sam Fletcher pic cover for £7 amongst many others.

 

An invaluable part of collecting Soul for me and many of my friends.

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Posted

 The hey days of Soul Bowl must have been something else, many enthusiasts  have looked through large quantities of records while digging in the states - but one can only imagine the unique experience of facing a million Soul 45's all in relative label/ artist order... without the frustrating hinderance of pop,country and polka in the mix ! Like many collectors i came along too late to experience Kings Lynn hands on, but only a fool would doubt the incredible experience and knowledge in all styles and genres of black music that John still purveys to this day.... I think it's fair to say that John's photographic memory has certainly rubbed off on Mark !

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Posted

a great read and some top stories....never bought from soul bowl myself,another too young in the 70s and early 80s by the mid 80s when id left school and had some money I was spending it all on my scooter and being happy with the bootlegs bought from the rallys :huh:

 

but your stories about waiting for the list ..and then ringing up after 8 and the line being engaged and missing out on tunes struck a chord..use to do the exact same thing in the very early 90s when  djing and collecting reggae from a list sent out monthly from a bloke in Nottingham..loads of original JA 7s for a couple of quid a time..got his 'typed' lists again about 10 years back as hes still not doing the internet thing....prices had certainly changed though!

 

dean

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Posted

Nearly started weeping looking at those lists.

 

Great read btw!

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Yes great read.

Wish i'd have had the money and nous,to get involved in the early Soul Bowl era. :(

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Posted

Great article!

We ALL owe John Anderson a great debt of gratitude for supplying so many fantastic records over the years. This wonderful scene of ours (oldies & modern) would be a much poorer place if John hadn't been involved.

Keep it going John! :)

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Posted

Give credit where credit is due. Fantastic read Mark and thanks for sharing. Brings back memories when you and John where holding court in the Hydro Peebles last year. I was all ears; so many fantastic stories about the heydays of soul 45 collecting.

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Posted (edited)

I remember a mate of mine getting the Soul Bowl lists in the late 70s/early 80s, he was well into it but unfortunately I wasn't really into collecting when I first got into the scene, more interested in the dancing and the er... 'social' side of things. Always felt like I'd missed the boat, and this confirms it. :(

 

To be honest I'm not sure I would have ever, or even now, had the patience, dedication to put in the time and effort required to built a great collection. True collectors, like our esteemed author, are truly a breed apart in my opinion.

 

p.s. Just sitting here trying to imagine what 200,000 45s would look like filling my front room... :g:

 

pps In 1984 I was working at the Jag, living at home, but earning the same wage as a married man with kids. What the hell did I spend all my money on? :huh:

Edited by Matt Male

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In 1975 I was not much of a collector , not having a lot of money and any money I did have went on getting to venues, gear etc.

Anyway, after a  Peterborough Wirrina nighter which were on a Friday night I decided to visit John`s shop in Kings Lynn.

John was amazingly patient with a very " animated " young soulie who was quite happy to gaze in wonder at all the records and " chat " about anything and everything.

He eventually, very tactfully managed to steer me out of the door clutching a copy of the Epitome of Sound which I still have today.

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Posted

I wish John was a regular contributing member on this site so he could share some of his stories and knowledge

 

Also the likes of Tim Brown, Pat Brady, Mick Smith etc

 

I'd also welcome the return of John Manship and Ian Levine

 

And let's have more from Dave Raistick, Mark Dobson, Andy Dyson, Andy Rix etc - they've all got great stories to tell and information to share. Much more interesting than the threads like 'what's your top 3 so and so'

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Posted

What a fantastic  artical and read on one of  the hardest working guys in the business  (48 years plus ) Wow !!! 

 

"John Anderson and Soul Bowl Records " 

 

tfk :rofl:

Loved those green sleeves the '45's usually arrived in ....

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Posted (edited)

Super read and a truly fitting tribute to arguably the greatest finder of rare soul music.  Oh for a time machine to go back to the time the lists came out and to have todays tech with it, enough to make you cry reading some of the titles and prices when you consider what they achieve price wise in today's market.  Some of those paying silly prices now do not realise in some cases just what quantity was available for some titles.

 

What day and what time is the Soul Bowl tribute at Prestatyn?

Edited by chalky

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Posted (edited)

Super read and a truly fitting tribute to arguably the great finder of rare soul music.  Oh for a time machine to go back to the time the lists came out and to have todays tech with it, enough to make you cry reading some of the titles and prices when you consider what they achieve price wise in today's market.  Some of those paying silly prices now do not realise in some cases just what quantity was available for some titles.

 

What day and what time is the Soul Bowl tribute at Prestatyn?

 

2pm - 5.30pm on Saturday  :thumbsup:

Edited by Steve G

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Posted

2pm - 5.30pm on Saturday  :thumbsup:

 

 

I might be coming for the Saturday so if I do will be there for that.

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Posted

Let's not forget the DJ's got first pick! Ian Levine got the Carstairs from John. He heard it in the US, couldn't find and he and Colin Curtis found it in Soul Bowl. Colin told me that 20 years ago.

 

Whats amazing is John was going to the U.S. when it wasn't safe for a white man to venture into some of the areas he went (not a racist comment, just that is how it was then)

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Posted

I think the enigmatic Mr Anderson appears on this trailer....

Ian D  :D

 

site note 

post edited -youtube embed removed

if interested then see the odyssy box set thread for the youtube trailer

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Posted

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:

 

I would finish my paper round and the lady who ran the shop would be there every tuesday trying to get through..!! Some absolute great records she managed to get for me !!

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Posted (edited)

This write up by Mark and John got me thinking back to those easy flowing 1970s? 

 

Get this :-  

 

Aged about 13//14  years circa 1975/1976ish and  already getting the soul/ rare soul DNA. bug  imprinted into my head ( my older brother and sisters were already heavily into the music and scene and their odd looking girlfriends and boyfriends too , could never understand why they kept rolling up at my parents all hours of the day with hold-all bags full of 45s  ) very strange '?  so the record player in our house was always turned on 24//7 music blasting out and piles of records laying around (bet we were like the neighbours from hell) lol , also loads of mags / Black Echoes/Blues and Soul etc,once I was up to speed with my reading (haha ) and stumbling across an advert for sales lists of Soul and Northern Soul records ( Soul Bowl 7 Portland  Street Kings Lynn) also my paper round money was beginning to pile up and getting stashed around the house ,  it was 7 day working back then non of this "35 hour week carry on" that also including a double paper round plus supplements on a Sunday too just to boost my average earnings to about a quid (a old pound note)  a week ... hey they were a tough old crowd from the Manton estate in Worksop - it was no place for sissys or the faint hearted .... Always being a case of first up in a morning best fed and dressed etc and your  reflexes had to be pretty sharp  - the only way to survive was work ....so what did I do with my hard earned stash of money ( go and buy some  barley wine,beers n fags etc) no way I did what all sensible 13/14 year olds did back then with their money and purchased a PO from the PO and subscribed to weekly issues of the Soul Bowl sales lists - after spending clueless months reading the lists I decided the sensible thing to do was buy a soul pack ( 100 records for £6 inc postage ) 

So a couple of days after sending for my soul pack - I had confirmed with John (via the public phone box at the top of our street - this phone box later becoming an integral part of my record collecting ) that the Soul Pack parcel had been dispatched and  he assured me that it was due to arrive tomorrow - tell you what it was all very exciting stuff back then . so I was up bright and early that morning 4am and ready for some action ( paper round and school ? don't make me laugh no way ' I had lot bigger fish to fry) ... So I invented a mystery overnight illness to validate  a day off  my work and schooling , so that's the house all to myself and the Soul Pack arrives -very strangely I was suddenly feeling a whole lot better !!! Soul Pack now in my possession and the record player already turned on ready for some proper action - I open the cardboard box and along with 100 new to me 45s was a covering of American warehouse dust ' so I start pulling the records out I got a face full of this dust which started a 24 hour sneezing bout from hell lol ..which was just the right cue to skank another 2 days off school , just sufficient time to play both sides of these new records - I can still remember not knowing about 100 of the 100 records - fabulous looking labels from around America ( various titles on labels like Capri/Instant/Phil la /Nola /Note ) it just blew me and my schooling away ( nothing else then mattered )  - more Soul Packs were soon heading my way - fabulous times !!! Mispent youth defo !!! 

 

And thanking John Anderson and Soul Bowl records for sewing those magic seeds for  a life time obsession with records and our music !! 

 

tfk  :rofl:

 

More to follow ' 

Edited by tfk

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Posted

Great writeup and tribute to JA at Soul Bowl, Butch

 

I would just like to add that without ppl like John, the scene would just not of been the same and help find so many great Soul Sounds, feeding top DJ's such as Richard Searling.

 

I have forgotten about all about the money you had from me John back then, when myself and Kelvin Loach use to order various tracks including Soul Packs, now legendary !

 

ktf and respect

Richard 

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Posted

Great read and who didn't wait with bated breath for the SB list? I was lucky, my mate Ian was a postie at the sorting office so I would get the 5am call and we would go through the list but unlike Eddie I didn't wait for 8am, basically as soon as we were ready the phone started to ring! Mrs Soul Bowl was lovely, but in the end John didn't have the phone on until the stated time so we just had to hope the chosen ones were there. Great days, legend dealer and part of the scenes history. 

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Posted

I started buying off John in 74, i was earning £6 a week at our local golf club. The only phone i had use of was in the entrance to the club & i sure got some funny looks from members when i finally got through to John on list day. My first trip down to Kings Lynn would be 79, tho i'd actually met John for the first time earlier that year in Chicago. Like most i guess it was like you had to serve time down there before being offered the serious bits & on my 3rd/4th vist i remember so vividly John saying to me "we need to lift yr profile a bit, here's some things i was gonna let Gary ( Rushbrook ) have". He reaches up onto this high shelf and gives me things like La Rom Baker, Bobby Wisdom, Elbie Parker, all £40/50 each. Next trip down 2/3 months later in my pile is Deltours ( 2nd copy ) Charles Brandy, Sonic Explosion. All around were 100/200 count boxes of high quality tracks & a sea of 45's all neatly racked, it was mind blowing even then. A week or 3 after Sam had done the big 60's for 70's swap with Richard i was at the Bowl & John says, "Richard thinks this Cheating Kind is rare, well here's 3 i just picked up this week", it was in my pile at £100 but decided i didn't want oldies & went for Bobby Thurston & some other rare modern instead :D . Yep, no doubt about it, the experience & memories of going to Soul Bowl are some of the best i've ever had. John ! i salute you :yes:  

To me this kind of input is like gold dust!  I believe  that it really all should be documented, so that it can be enjoyed by others and passed on. There's sure to be a book in it, may be more than one.

I for one would also be interested to know more about "Sam's big 60's for 70's swap" too. As passionate as I've always been about soul music, both Northern and Modern, I find the anecdotes and stories behind the  finds and trades absolutely fascinating. Please tell us more!

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Posted

Best thread for ages  :thumbsup:  and no bitching !! yet  :lol:

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Hi John, it's been mentioned before but in a nutshell Sam believed so much in the new modern tracks John was turning up he asked Richard ( who was getting 1st plck ) to trade 3  of his biggies, Larry Houston, Z Z & Co , Dustin Wilson in exchange for William Powel, Don Gardner & Daemon Fox, I know! you sort of had to be there mate  :D

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Posted

Let's not forget the DJ's got first pick! Ian Levine got the Carstairs from John. He heard it in the US, couldn't find and he and Colin Curtis found it in Soul Bowl. Colin told me that 20 years ago.

 

Whats amazing is John was going to the U.S. when it wasn't safe for a white man to venture into some of the areas he went (not a racist comment, just that is how it was then)

"He heard it in the US"....not exactly....he actually started to record local radio stations (on cassette)and whilst in Miami he tuned in to a BRILLIANT black music(can I say that on Soul Source ? No racism intended)radio station called WCKO.It was a local dj that introduced and played the Carstairs.IL found that out from the tape.... :thumbsup::):hatsoff2:

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Hi John, it's been mentioned before but in a nutshell Sam believed so much in the new modern tracks John was turning up he asked Richard ( who was getting 1st plck ) to trade 3  of his biggies, Larry Houston, Z Z & Co , Dustin Wilson in exchange for William Powel, Don Gardner & Daemon Fox, I know! you sort of had to be there mate  :D

Thank you for enlightening me Arthur. That's true belief indeed. 

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Posted

Great article - the anticipation of waiting for the list and the phone calls - fantastic memories trying to pick the bargains with Jordi and Dave Ripolles - also some mistakes but we were only 16 / 17 at the time!

Happy days!  Adam.

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Posted

I was always late for work in the 70's. I could sleep through a hurricane.

 

But the noise of the letterbox followed by a satisfying thud as a parcel of records hit the doormat had me up and there in seconds.

 

Great thread and article.

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Posted (edited)

"Some relaxing reading for a Sunday afternoon " a few more from Those amazing John Anderson Soul Bowl lists ....

 

Make sure you check the office opening times before you do call   :thumbsup: Lol 

 

Joe Coleman , Nightchill and The 4 Sonics ,hastily marked up on the last sheet - not sure why I put a Qmark next to The 4 Sonics - I guess that was ma full weeks wage blown just in one phone call , ah well who needs to eat and pay the bills when you've just nailed some cool tunes down !!  always ready for next weeks wages and looking fast forward to the Soul Bowl list arriving ...

 

tfk  :rofl:

 

more to follow ...

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Edited by tfk

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Posted

Hi John, it's been mentioned before but in a nutshell Sam believed so much in the new modern tracks John was turning up he asked Richard ( who was getting 1st plck ) to trade 3  of his biggies, Larry Houston, Z Z & Co , Dustin Wilson in exchange for William Powel, Don Gardner & Daemon Fox, I know! you sort of had to be there mate  :D

which did he get in exchange for Dusty Wilson?

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Posted

post-1804-0-95758900-1424633798_thumb.jp

 

 

This interview by Snowboy with John ,which ran over two issues of the Hiphop /Funk / Graffiti magazine : Big Daddy is essential reading .....

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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.

Andy

Andy i took Berni for a day out their when we first met seemed a better option than a meal out.Been married  25 years so it did no harm. :)

John did get the wine out and chips were ordered.

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Posted

which did he get in exchange for Dusty Wilson?

don't think it really matters does it? which ever option you go for its a bummer  :D but did show Sam's commitment  :yes:  

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I actually can't wait for the Soul bowl special at Prestat. I'm going to cut the proverbial rug right there in the corner.

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I like the reference he made to bounced cheques. That might have been me I'm afraid. At that time living beyond my means trying to balance a life with record collecting a bounced cheque was a regular occurance.

 

Kev

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Posted

Great writeup and tribute to JA at Soul Bowl, Butch

 

I would just like to add that without ppl like John, the scene would just not of been the same and help find so many great Soul Sounds, feeding top DJ's such as Richard Searling.

 

I have forgotten about all about the money you had from me John back then, when myself and Kelvin Loach use to order various tracks including Soul Packs, now legendary !

 

ktf and respect

Richard 

 Kelvin Loach from Congleton ? If so he drove to Wigan one week, drove down a motorway slip road the wrong way and then got lost in Wigan and went the wrong way down a one way street. Those were the days.....

 

John

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Posted (edited)

Posted on behalf of Ian Clark, who is not very good with computers lol ;-)

Louise

The uk soul scene would not be where it is today without the hard work soul bowl and john anderson put in all those days ago. From rare northern to rare groove and breaks and beats, let alone opening our ears and minds to such classics as ernest baker, melvin moore, pages, king tutt, zz and co, tolbert, bobby rich, gilmore brothers, larom baker, phil flowers, motherfox, sideshow, vise, george hobson that list is endless sixties soul from little ann, george pepp, bobby kline, martells, vondells, springers, poets wrapped around etc what a tune. Prices are like stocks and shares, but taste and having contacts and a dedication to soul is beyond the call of duty, respect and admiration.

Without john and the chip butties i would have never gained the reputation for a soul spinner over these decades of soul music, the best years ever !

It was an honour to have climbed the steps to portland st to see the copy of maurice williams being sold for 3 quid or was it 10 to ian levine...aye

"Its sold ian, I'll have find you another one" John has an unassuming air, never letting on e j chandler was in the next box..or the new wanderers on ready.

The best was the aeroplane song and lil ann acetate 'lean lanky daddy'which i believe was written about john???..aye.

I miss the barn,the smell, the chats, the chips, the whole house given over to a soul heaven.

A stunning operation, thank god for John and america for soul music.

oh! and the carstairs, also don't forget graham and john at cheapo, or terry at record corner.Plus dave burton with his tapered trews and the freddie jones.

respect

clarky

hidden in norfolk, near kings lynn (or soul bowl as the locals call it).

Edited by Louise

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Posted (edited)

Forgot to mention you could buy anything off his cheapie selection at the front for under a tenner and know it would be bloody fantastic! Im sure i got my Timeless Legend and Storm from him from that front page bit but will have a look at the old lists with the rings around the buys I have in the loft to confirm. JA is a leg end of biblical proportions and does deserve a book about his record hunting and dealing. 

His listing of all his stock for sale by label was an absolute goldmine and interspersed with old adverts etc for the releases made for fantastic viewing. Will again look to see whats in the loft 

Edited by TheBigO

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 Kelvin Loach from Congleton ? If so he drove to Wigan one week, drove down a motorway slip road the wrong way and then got lost in Wigan and went the wrong way down a one way street. Those were the days.....

 

John

 

Thats sound like Kelv, ran it ( white VW Beetle iirc ) out of OIL once too...... lol

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I phoned up for Moses Dillard "I'll Pay The Price" original for £7. It was still there and when I asked if he had another copy for a mate he said he did! Two mint copies of Moses Dillard for £14! Great days!

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Posted

Thats sound like Kelv, ran it ( white VW Beetle iirc ) out of OIL once too...... lol

 

LOL it wasn't a Beetle though it was either a Sunbeam or Hilman soft top

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Here is a page from an early 90s list I found today when clearing some stuff out.

 

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Soul Bowl was unique in so many ways. It was never a "one trick pony". As well as northern and 60s John always sold funk, deep soul, 70s -80s - 90s, 12s, LPs, Motown and general soul records. Its reach was therefore large, essentially anyone into any type of soul music would buy records from Soul Bowl. People you wouldn't associate with "the scene".

 

Back in the 70s, there was the wholesale operation mentioned by Mark - shops like Record Corner, Black Wax etc. in London supplied with copies of new and recent releases and shifting copies in high quantities. Much of the stuff they advertised in Black Music and B&S came from Soul Bowl and  I am sure many import stores all over the country got lots of their import stock from Kings Lynn. 

 

But beyond selling records at the Bowl, John's contribution to soul music has also been immense - there were the custom releases like Milton Wright, there was Grapevine Records which everyone knows about. We mustn't forget Expansion Records in the early days either and all the fantastic material that John sourced, like Anthony & Donette, Ronnie McNeir and a host of other soul acts who wouldn't have otherwise got to see their material released here to a new generation of soul music lovers. And I think Rare Grooves was also John (not 100% sure about that), a short lived label that put out LR Superstars in 1990. 

 

John has always had an impeccable ear for spotting a great tune. He's also produced a few soul songs over the years, working with Ingram, Leo Lyons and others.

 

  

 

 

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LOL it wasn't a Beetle though it was either a Sunbeam or Hilman soft top

 

I'm sure it was, the engine was air cooled and was in the boot.......use to go everywhere with him and Linda - Always took it to Richardson's to be repaired !

 

Them were the days ..........

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.....................And I think Rare Grooves was also John (not 100% sure about that), a short lived label that put out LR Superstars in 1990. 

 

 

Yes, it was, and Vince Broomfield was extremely complimentary towards John when I interviewed him for Prestatyn radio back in 2013, saying he owes a debt of gratitude to John for his exposure in the UK.

 

 

Cheers,

Mark R 

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Grapevine surely one of the very best UK labels Steve with quality with every release and the 2000 series just bloody brillent, the Modern releases certainly saved me from vinyl heartache and divorce! 

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Posted (edited)

Like so many others I loved my trips down to see John. Would go down with Ady Pountain, spend the day going through his filed records on the shelf pulling out great things. He used to have a couple of areas I loved looking through, in a back corner of the main barn was a Detroit section, so many cool tunes pulled out of there. Also at one end of one of the main shelving runs was an section for test pressings with little of no info on, some great surprises found in there.

 

Towards the end of the day you'd go to cash up and that would be when he'd pull out his special things for your consideration by which time you'd be totally spent up. Then when you thought all was done he'd pull out a couple of extra special things, like The Ringleaders acetates and the like. You'd look at him in a certain amount of pain, 'John their fantastic, but I've no more money'. He'd smile, knowing you were hooked and say 'That's OK take them and pay me over a few weeks and I'll put you in the book'. At Stafford he was a bit of a 'Fifth Beatle' , constantly finding new things for DJ's to play.

John's contribution to soul music in general has been immense, whilst traveling the States to this day, so many artists and record business guys still speak warmly of him, with comments, like ......................

'He came along and help get me out of a hole'

'John would always treat us fairly, unlike many others that came by'

'That guy gave my career a real boost when no one else was interested'

 

Much later on in life when I decided to sell records full time, he gave me some great advise that I use to this day as a mantra, always happy to help others along the way, when he could. We speak weekly even now, always got great stories to tell and wealth of knowledge which he is happy to share.

 

Can't speak highly enough of The Man

Edited by Dave Thorley

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Posted (edited)

Some fabulous  story's so far   - As well as John being  tops with the 60s and Northern, Group and deep soul there were also fantastic stuff waiting to be grabbed on those Soulful Dance and Coast to Coast independant sales sheets too ....used to love  checking out the new small label stuff ...

 

. tfk  :rofl:

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Edited by tfk

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Posted

Ira Watson PS…..Love it.

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