BillF

Mole Jazz on BBC Radio 3

90 posts in this topic

I recall a Collets 'Left-wing' book shop that did records too in the mid to late 80s. It was in what was then a quite new building just up towards TCR tube station from Foyles. I recall it being good for folk but don't recall the jazz. In fact - I might be wrong here - when it closed it's collection might have shifted to the downstairs room in Rays. Might have been the 90s.

Same enterprise?

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I recall a Collets 'Left-wing' book shop that did records too in the mid to late 80s. It was in what was then a quite new building just up towards TCR tube station from Foyles. I recall it being good for folk but don't recall the jazz. In fact - I might be wrong here - when it closed it's collection might have shifted to the downstairs room in Rays. Might have been the 90s.

Same enterprise?

My memory may be playing tricks but I believe that Ray's evolved from the Collett's shop. Before it moved to the new building in TCR the Colletts shop used to be in New Oxford Street, just up from CentrePoint and just a little further on from where the Imhof's store was ( anyone remember that record shop?). The folk section used to be on the ground floor and jazz in the basement ( where else ). The eponymous Ray used to be the manager of the jazz section. I distinctly recall buying the Don Ellis 'Live At Monterey' album after hearing it played over the P.A in the basement - one of a very few occasions that I've bought an album in that way. Anyway, at some point ) late 80s or early 90s ( ? ) the folk section moved to TCR and Ray set up in Shaftesbury Avenue with just jazz and blues ( not sure whether the Shaftesbury Ave shop was originally Colletts before Ray took it over ). Anyway, it was the rent and rates that led to the move from Shaftesbury Ave to Foyles. Also, jazz may have originally been in TCR before moving to Shaftesbury Ave. In the TCR folk shop I recall a rather formidable folkie lady, called Jill I believe.

If it sounds that I spent much of my youth in these shops then that's probably true!

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Cor! I'd forgotten about Imhofs. I know I bought Tom Lehrer's 10" LP - "Songs by Tom Lehrer" - there in January 1960. I think possibly one or two others, as well, when I had an Christmas holiday job with a silk merchant in Riding House Street, just up the road.

MG

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I remember the Collet's left wing book shop on Tottenham Court Road from the 1980s. Radicals/anarchists hang out. Vaguely remember the folk stuff on sale. Wasn't there also a folk section in the basement at Ray's? (update - there was and I suspect it transferred to here from TCR).

Edited by sidewinder

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I remember the Collet's left wing book shop on Tottenham Court Road from the 1980s. Radicals/anarchists hang out. Vaguely remember the folk stuff on sale. Wasn't there also a folk section in the basement at Ray's? (update - there was and I suspect it transferred to here from TCR).

Yes I believe the folk section did transfer to Rays basement in Shaftesbury Ave ( now I think about, I'm sure that Ray's shop in Shaftesbury Ave started off as Colletts ).

It gradually evolved to concentrate more on blues and world music. Used to be some lethal spiral staircase down to the basement.

Speaking of basements, does anyone remember the damp, smelly basement at Dobells in Charing Cross Road? It was run as a second hand shop and run by ( I think ) a chap called John Kendall who always reminded me of Tubby Hayes.

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I don't remember the New Oxford Street shops. I do remember Dobells on Charing Cross Road - another place that did folk too. Probably a hangover from the days when, if you owned a jazz record you automatically owned a folk record, a duffle coat and annually marched to Aldermaston.

The Collets on TCR was a very modern building - I'm sure it opened within my period of visiting London hunting the record shops (started about 1972). I know I'd been in Collets somewhere else but can't recall where. Maybe it was on Shaftesbury Ave.

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I remember the Collet's left wing book shop on Tottenham Court Road from the 1980s. Radicals/anarchists hang out. Vaguely remember the folk stuff on sale. Wasn't there also a folk section in the basement at Ray's? (update - there was and I suspect it transferred to here from TCR).

Yes I believe the folk section did transfer to Rays basement in Shaftesbury Ave ( now I think about, I'm sure that Ray's shop in Shaftesbury Ave started off as Colletts ).

It gradually evolved to concentrate more on blues and world music. Used to be some lethal spiral staircase down to the basement.

Speaking of basements, does anyone remember the damp, smelly basement at Dobells in Charing Cross Road? It was run as a second hand shop and run by ( I think ) a chap called John Kendall who always reminded me of Tubby Hayes.

I still have several Johnny Kendal used items, still harboring that authentic Dobell's basement damp pong, which has definitely matured over the years! :bad:

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I remember the Collet's left wing book shop on Tottenham Court Road from the 1980s. Radicals/anarchists hang out. Vaguely remember the folk stuff on sale. Wasn't there also a folk section in the basement at Ray's? (update - there was and I suspect it transferred to here from TCR).

Yes I believe the folk section did transfer to Rays basement in Shaftesbury Ave ( now I think about, I'm sure that Ray's shop in Shaftesbury Ave started off as Colletts ).

It gradually evolved to concentrate more on blues and world music. Used to be some lethal spiral staircase down to the basement.

Speaking of basements, does anyone remember the damp, smelly basement at Dobells in Charing Cross Road? It was run as a second hand shop and run by ( I think ) a chap called John Kendall who always reminded me of Tubby Hayes.

I still have several Johnny Kendal used items, still harboring that authentic Dobell's basement damp pong, which has definitely matured over the years! :bad:

Yes I remember having to dry out a couple of purchases!

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Didn't Dobell's also have a folk/blues shop next door in TCR?

I've tried listening to the Mole Jazz programme a couple of times but it keeps saying that the content isn't working and please try again later. Am I doing something wrong, stupid, or is the BBC out to lunch?

MG

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Didn't Dobell's also have a folk/blues shop next door in TCR?

MG

Yes, I half remember two shops next to each other. I think they were below Cambridge Circus...but I could be wrong.

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or is the BBC out to lunch?

MG

It's 9.00 p.m. MG.

The BBC will be out to dinner!

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Didn't Dobell's also have a folk/blues shop next door in TCR?

MG

Yes, I think they did, but being of an older generation than Bev ("if you owned a jazz record you automatically owned a folk record"), I never went in there!

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Didn't Dobell's also have a folk/blues shop next door in TCR?

MG

Yes, I think they did, but being of an older generation than Bev ("if you owned a jazz record you automatically owned a folk record"), I never went in there!

I think I'm younger than that generation! I owned rock records, never had a duffle coat and knew Aldermaston as an actor who played a teacher in a comedy series on TV.

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Didn't Dobell's also have a folk/blues shop next door in TCR?

MG

Yes, I think they did, but being of an older generation than Bev ("if you owned a jazz record you automatically owned a folk record"), I never went in there!

I went in there once, realised I was in the wrong place (there were no James Brown albums there :)) and left hurriedly.

MG

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I went in there once, realised I was in the wrong place (there were no James Brown albums there :)) and left hurriedly.

MG

Good for you! :tup (I guess I never got over those jazz v. folk wars of the early sixties!)

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I've tried listening to the Mole Jazz programme a couple of times but it keeps saying that the content isn't working and please try again later. Am I doing something wrong, stupid, or is the BBC out to lunch?

MG

I can still get it to play, but only after checking the box that I'm over 16!!! :lol:

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I've tried listening to the Mole Jazz programme a couple of times but it keeps saying that the content isn't working and please try again later. Am I doing something wrong, stupid, or is the BBC out to lunch?

MG

I can still get it to play, but only after checking the box that I'm over 16!!! :lol:

Oh, do I have to be over 16? :D

I'll give that a try. Thanks Bill.

MG

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It turned out that I needed to install Real Player.

Going now.

MG

Good stuff, Real Player! Also gets you Night Lights. :g

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Speaking of basements, does anyone remember the damp, smelly basement at Dobells in Charing Cross Road? It was run as a second hand shop and run by ( I think ) a chap called John Kendall who always reminded me of Tubby Hayes.

I have fond memories of visiting both Dobell's shops during my trips to london in 1975/76/77. To this 15 to 17-year old student who'd just started collecting records seriously this was sort of heaven indeed, though there was MUCH too MUCH to buy and even more of it was beyond my means financially.

I seem to remember that both the "Folk" store and the "Jazz" store were either next door to each other or just on opposite sides of the street facing each other but my memory may be failing me. I remember them being downstairs (were they both or is that I just spent more time in the downstairs "Folk" store?), and somehow the selection Dobell stocked in both shops did not seem that much different from each other to me. There must have been some jazz (secondhand??) in the Folk store too.

During one of my visits I recall buying both an LP by Gid Tanner & The Skillet Lickers (a 20s hillbilly string band on the U.S. Country label) and a secondhand copy of Sonny Rollins' "Saxophone Colossus" at the same time. Must have looked like a strange combination to be picked up by a young feller wearing a leather jacket ... :D

On another occasion I literally jumped at the bin there that held new copies of that Cyril Davies LP released on the Folklore label (a Dobell enterprise, I found out later).

Being the young dude from abroad that I was, I guess I wasn't the typical customer of that record at Dobell's either ... ;), but having read about that release in a book about the roots of British Beat I figured I ought to give it a try.

(Seeing the price that Ray's later in the 90s charged for a secondhand copy of this in his downstairs Folk/Blues section I guess I did well to pick it up and hang on to it...)

As for John Kendall, that name rings a bell. I think a few of the secondhand LPs I picked up at Mole in the 90s carry a tag that says "This record supplied by John Kendall Jazz Records" or something like it. So did he set up his own shop after Dobell closed down?

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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As for John Kendall, that name rings a bell. I think a few of the secondhand LPs I picked up at Mole in the 90s carry a tag that says "This record supplied by John Kendall Jazz Records" or something like it. So did he set up his own shop after Dobell closed down?

That's interesting! Never heard about that! After Dobells had to move from Charing Cross Road because of the demolition of "the buildings" for redevelopment (and what a monstrous collection of tourist traps it is now!) they survived for a brief time in a quiet street in Covent Garden before their final collapse. It's interesting to speculate that John continued in the record trade in some way.

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Will check later on in my collection so see if i can substantiate this.

BTW, how does fit JAMES ASMAN into alll this?

For some time (at least in the 90s when I stopped by there) he seemed to have been a sort of oldtime jazz outlet of Mole (and the Mole Jazz carrying bags had Asman's address and logo on one side) and though the sales blurb about the selection of ALL jazz supposed to be available there was widely exagerated IMHO I did manage to pick up a few nice ones there because whatever secondhand jazz LPs they had in stock that were stylistically well past the old-time barrier (read. "too modern") would not be too expensive as they apparently fell out of Asman's habitual trading focus.

At any rate, I guess the shop was past its best days when I stopped by there every now and then during my stays in London in the 90s.

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Will check later on in my collection so see if i can substantiate this.

BTW, how does fit JAMES ASMAN into alll this?

For some time (at least in the 90s when I stopped by there) he seemed to have been a sort of oldtime jazz outlet of Mole (and the Mole Jazz carrying bags had Asman's address and logo on one side) and though the sales blurb about the selection of ALL jazz supposed to be available there was widely exagerated IMHO I did manage to pick up a few nice ones there because whatever secondhand jazz LPs they had in stock that were stylistically well past the old-time barrier (read. "too modern") would not be too expensive as they apparently fell out of Asman's habitual trading focus.

At any rate, I guess the shop was past its best days when I stopped by there every now and then during my stays in London in the 90s.

Oh yes I remember James Asman's shop. He was very much a specialist in New Orleans and nothing much beyond the 30s. He did carry some modern jazz however, although he gave the impression that this was with some reluctance! I remember buying 'Miles In The Sky' in there for some reason and I still remember the rather pitying look he gave me when he passed it over. He also had another branch in the City somewhere and I remember there being some good second hand stuff in yet another damp basement.

Some of these record shop proprieters make the Jack Black character in High Fidelity look like a pussycat.

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