Run by John Abbey. Shop was called Contempo.
(Mar 6, 2013) brian peters said:i am really surprised that nobody has left any comments, as this was the best place to get soul imports during the 70s.
Name David Holder Comment: I remember hitch hiking over 200 miles down to London just to buy a single from the shop because they didn't stock soul music in my local shop. (Nov 8, 2016)
Name rob chambers Comment:recently met up in australia, with maureen j.b."s ex wife who helped start and run the contempo shop.this was the lady i used to write to for my records -small world!..rob chambers-derby uk.
Like Brian Peters' comment (of 4 years ago!), I also can't believe there are such few comments on what was THE mecca for buying Soul records, especially imports, in the dark days of the 1970's.
While I can't match David Holder's 400-mile roundtrips, I used to travel up from Croydon regularly to buy the latest import. The train fare used to cost almost as much as the import.
But, for your money, you got the full expereince... hearing great Soul music blast out of the open first-floor window as you approached the shop, on a side street just off Oxford Street...waiting your turn on the rickety (uncarpeted) wooden staircase to get into the hallowed inner sanctum above as good music blared out from above... the regular cries from behind you of "What was that? Save me a copy!"... finally getting into the shop, that was no bigger than the average family's kitchen - with 3 or sometimes 4 guys behind the counter serving a dozen or so punters and playing good music... before finally getting your turn to buy the one record you'd travelled all that way for. Ah, those were the days!
I particularly remember travelling up just before Christmas 1972 to buy "Me & Mrs Jones" on import - and being served by the great man, John Abbey, himself. (I was also VERY surprised to discover he doesn't have his own page on Wikipedia. He did SO MUCH for Soul music in the UK!! Maybe I'll start one myself.)