Cann's is well remembered by Sheffield record buyers and others. It was named after the founder and owner Philip Cann, and his name was on the front of the original building. The shop opened at the top end of Dixon Lane, No. 4. Dixon Lane today is a rather forgotten backwater, but was once a busy thoroughfare leading up to the city centre from the old market. They are listed there in the Sheffield Trades Directory 1927-28, although judging by surviving 78 rpm sleeves from the shop (with their catchy slogan “Cann’s The Music Man”) were probably there before this; one early 78 Cann’s sleeve lists them stocking Winner, Pathe, Zonophone and other early labels.
The record sleeves were changed regularly and variously advertise Cann’s as “For Everything Musical – Most Complete Record Stock In Yorkshire. Gramophone Records / Gramophone Players”, “Record Cases, music, strings”, or “Music and Musical Instruments of every description”. The shop expanded next door into No. 2 then 4a Dixon Lane.
Carole Froggatt remembers beginning work there in 1956 and was put in charge of the four large 78rpm players linked to listening booths. She says the store was always very busy on Saturdays, and recalls selling hundreds of copies of Rock Around The Clock (the track came out in 1955 but following the movie in 1956 it went on to became the biggest selling UK single of the fifties, reaching number one in 1957).