Name: John Boven
Comment: Back in Eastbourne at the turn of the 1960s, I transferred my allegiance to Davis Record Shop in Terminus Road, more or less opposite the railway station. Once again, its main business was selling TVs and radios.
There I continued buying hot new London releases such as Ooh Poo Pah Doo by Jessie Hill and Mother-In-Law by Ernie K-Doe, New Orleans classics both from the Minit label. In the racks were cheap ex-jukebox 45s including Chuck Berry’s Too Pooped To Pop, Billy Bland’s Let The Little Girl Dance, and Fats Domino’s Before I Grow Too Old, albeit with their centres popped out.
The big prize at Davis’ came when I spotted a pile of magazines in the manager’s office. After I asked what they were, he said, ‘Cash Box. Would you like them?’ And so by walking away with eventually nearly one year’s issues of this quintessential music trade magazine, my education in the American record business was ramped up many notches. That interest culminated in my book Record Makers and Breakers, with three interviewees being the New York Cash Box editors from that era: Ira Howard, Irv Lichtman and Marty Ostrow.
Every small English town seemed to have a radio-TV-record shop. Now working for Midland Bank in the market town of Hailsham, Sussex, I was able to afford my first LPs (the sensational London trio of Yes Indeed! by Ray Charles, The Best of Muddy Waters, and Champion Jack Dupree’s Blues From The Gutter). By 1960-61, the 45 collection was building nicely, including two cracking Parlophone 45s from that Hailsham shop: Think by James Brown and Hide Away by Freddy King (both on Federal, part of the King group).
(17 November 2015)