Established 1946 Closed 1992
Firstly a bit of history about Dobell's, it all started in 1946 when the founder was his groovy lordship Doug Dobell took over his father's antiquarian bookshop in Charing Cross Road and reserves a small part of the premises for the sale of 78 rpm records. Doug Dobell who was centre piece of the jazz scene in London in the fifties, sixties and seventies. It was the place where musicians used to hang out, smoke and where you find certain records nowhere else. Dobell's set up his own record label called "77" after the address of the street ( Charing Cross Road) there was a limited edition of pressings and it was mainly folk, jazz and some oddities from the US. To say the least a certain American artist called "Blind Boy Grunt" released his first recordings via "77" records, it was no other than Bob Dylan. Doug Dobell died in Niece during a jazz festival in 1987. Some famous Associations (shoppers) Muddy Waters, B.B.King, Rolling Stones, Alexis Korner, and Tubby Hayes.
Record Label "77" and Folklore.
Whenever B.B. King was in London in the 70s he would go to Dobell's and buy
blues LPs by the truck load. There's documentary proof of this in a Melody
Maker interview of June 1971 thus:
"I (Max Jones) was surprised to find him almost literally knee deep in books and records. It was the result of a shopping expedition. "Well I took some time off and went to see Ray in Dobells shop. I remember him from before and it's always nice to talk to him. Whilst I was there I bought some books and records"
(Max Jones The Blues Boy In London, Melody Maker 19th June 1971 page 15)"
Ray Bolden at Dobell's would phone round and tell his mates "B's in the shop". I last saw him there in 1987.
Mousetrap was playing for about 25 years) the serious - and I mean *serious* - jazz stuff was in the front of the shop and the Blues/RnB stuff was in the back. I still have a handful of gospel albums that I bought there, but the atmosphere in the front part of the shop was very intimidating. It felt like you had to have a degree in higher hipology before they'd even deign to sell you something. It was an ambition of mine to own all the albums featured on the bags they used. Rob Hall
Doug Dobell had another shop at 10 Rathbone Place, where the mail order business was run from.
The shop was Dobells Folk and Blues Shop from (about) 1961 to 1965 I was the manager of the shop,
Bill Colyer ran the mail order dept. We also were the wholesalers for, Riverside, Blue Note, Folklore, 77, Prestige and Electra among others. One of our first sales reps was Graham Bond. I wrote many sleeve notes for Doug's own labels, and was present at all his recording sessions including the famous Richard farina, Rik Von Schmitt and Blind Boy Grunt session, you can hear my dulcet tones on all of the choruses. Fascinating and wonderful times. rongould
Wave is a wonderful tune. I first heard this song on the first Oscar Peterson album I ever bought.
I cycled up to London from Poole to purchase it at Dobell's jazz record shop, and cycled all the way back with it strapped to my rear cycle rack with a bunjy chord (a round trip of 200miles). It's a miracle it wasn't damaged, I still have it.
Mike Hatchard musician
I can remember buying a Louis Armstong EP in Dobell's, just around the corner in Charing Cross Rd, before they moved. The second-hand stuff was downstairs in a tiny cramped cellar. After Dobell's moved to their shop (just along from where the Mousetrap was playing for about 25 years) the serious - and I mean *serious* - jazz stuff was in the front of the shop and the Blues/RnB stuff was in the back. I still have a handful of gospel albums that I bought there, but the atmosphere in the front part of the shop was very intimidating. It felt like you had to have a degree in higher hipology before they'd even deign to sell you something. It was an ambition of mine to own all the albums featured on the bags they used - Rob Hall
With my husband, Robin, good memories of John Kendall presiding over the basement, Ben Webster smiling happily to all comers from his chair; an evening spent with John and Henry Red Allen; and celebration the arrival of the Ellington band.
Myself and my friends used to come down to Ronnie Scotts once a year from Nottingham and always visited Dobells to buy jazz records.I still have my Charlie Byrd LP I bought in the 60's. A mecca for jazz enthusiasts. Comment: Peter Minkley.
I used to go to Dobells nearly every Saturday afternoon in the late 60's. John Kendall was so helpful in finding stuff. I remember telling him I was looking for a good Prestige copy of 'Saxophone Colossus' and a week later when I went in John had kept one under the counter for me. I also remember the murals on the staircase, reputed to be by David Stone Martin! Comment Tony Saul
Some of the happiest days and best memories of my life are from the time that I worked at Dobells. Comment:Ron Gould
(Apr 27, 2013) chris standen said:I remember the basement with all the secondhand 78s,and listening to them in the tiny booths whilst puffing on a roll-up.Good music and gloriously incorrect
(Mar 14, 2013) brian said:I was one of the crowd who used to hang out with Ray Boulden who ran the blues and folk shop at number 75. In fact Ray was a jazz lover, rather than the largely blues and bit of folk he sold. He really did phone around when a big name blues artiste was in the shop, even in anticipation. We used to spend hours in the Cottage Club a couple of minutes away where Ray had a permanent pint glass of gin that was topped up by the round and put under the bar when we left. I am not sure whether I spent more money on LPs or drinking but those days are far, far gone.
(Feb 4, 2013) B.Herdman said:What about John Kendall?
(Feb 1, 2013) John Barnes said:Around 1968 when I was 18 I used to visit Dobells at least once a week. Through my older brother who had been one of John Kendalls closest friends I also became close to John. I worked in a large department store in their record department. This was the days of your record will be in both no.6 Sir. On my day off on a Wednesday I would spend my afternoon down in Dobells basement. This was convienient for John. `Ah young John, can you man the counter Ben is on his way.` There would then be the sound of heavy feet coming down the stairs to the basenent second hand section which John ran. `Old bones` said the rather rotund man desending the stairs. Hi Ben John is here so we can go over the road fro a drink. John Kendal and Ben Webster would then leave me to climb the stairs to cross the Caring Cross Road for a few beers.
(Sept 8, 2012) Pete Batten said:Very happy memories of Dobell's, mainly thanks to the late John Kendall. I learned a lot from him and enjoyed his stories about his friendship with Red Allen. I remember also a hilarious account of a trip round Soho when John was trying to help Ben Webster buy some ground nutmeg. Not so happy memories of the late Bill Colyer and his rather insulting treatment of customers who did not share his knowledge of the jazz scene. Overall a wonderful shop and a great period in my life.
(Feb 25, 2015)
Dobells in Charing Cross Road was great in the early 1970's. It had several racks of second hand records. I remember squeezing through into the back part of the shop and buying Bob Dylan bootlegs, recent West Coast albums and other oddities. Sometimes there would be not much there but, in 1971, I found a battered copy of the 13th Floor Elevators' "Easter Everywhere". I couldn't resist the cover. Comment: Jon Savage.
(May 15. 2015) Jon Taylor wrote this on BB: I had the great pleasure of seeing him various times, and was on a festival bill with him (sadly our shows were at the same time). I also had the great pleasure of meeting him in Dobell's record shop, Covent Garden, London, back room in the 1980s, when Les Fancourt was running the blues section.
Dave Davies's autobiography, Kink. The time he's writing about is around 1962:
"Peter Quaife and I would sometimes meet at lunchtime or after work to venture round second-hand music and record shops...In the late Fifties and early Sixties record stores were still very small-time. One of our favourites was Dobell's, where we'd hear Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Diz Dizzly, and of course Django Reinhardt. This is the store where I first discovered Eddie Congdon. They also had many blues records which were refreshingly new to me - Big Bill Broonzy, Leadbelly, Sonny Boy Williamson, Sleepy John Estes." Source Garth Cartwright.
( March 1, 2016) I started work in Page Street, Westminster aged 16 and a half. Finishing early on Fridays I used to walk up Whitehall, across Trafalgar Square and onto the bottom end of Tottenham Court Road/Charing Cross Road and make my way to Dobells basement - because I could only afford second hand albums. Just to be there was magical - there was quite often a jazz celebrity on the ground floor. I remember buying a Big John Patton Blue note album "Along Came John".I got it in stereo on Cd some 15 years ago and all those memories came flooding back! What a great place it was! Comment: Mike Richards.
( March 18, 2016) Dobells Blues shop was initially a bit of a shock. To buy blues records in Halifax you had to order them and hope - and only if they were released by a major label. Like Robert Johnson on CBS. But Dobells gave me the impression that they had such a comprehensive selection that some on the LPs were on sale before they'd even been recorded. And where was I going to get the money to buy all those records. Just the ones I wanted, never mind those that I needed as well. One sticks in my mind. A recording recommended by the reviewer in Blues Unlimited. Trash Talkin' by Albert Collins on Liberty. Still have it and I think it might still have the yellow Dobells price label in it. Comment:Truats Heytarl.
Name Robert Brown Comment: I loved Dobells. I used to visit weekly in the late 1960's and early 1970' to buy a Blues album. I would always find something great to buy and often went in to buy one album and went away buying three. Those were the days. (August 14, 2016).
Name Bradley Scorey Comment: My dad used to drag me to the folk shop as a kid in the earley seventies never really appreciated how fantastic it was. (Jan 5, 2017).
Name Roger Hall Comment: I have George Wallington Quintet acetate from Doug Dobell's early 1950S the first Bohemia club LP,with "snakes-jay mac's crib- bohemia after dark-the peck-johnny one note-sweet blanche-minor march. Hand written white label. Says on card sleeve recorded at Dobell's charing x rd etc.Anyone know of live session of this at Dobell's??? (July 24, 2017)
Name Patrick Collard Comment: Yep I remember Dobells, a mate told me about this shop where you could find loads of old blues records......I spent my wad came out with 20 LPs...Blind boy Fuller, Blind Blake, Robert Johnson, Jesse Fuller, etc. I was the original "kid in a sweet shop".....was a great shop. (July 14th, 2017)
After Ray Bolden left Dobell´s he went to work at BT in Tunbridge Wells, where I met him when I started my first job. One of my prized possesions is a signed drawing of BB King that BB gave to me when he invited Ray & myself backstage at Hammersmith Odeon.Ray was great company and was also an accomplished photographer - despite sitting on his glasses and never replacing them!
I worked next door at Caplan's, with Barry Preston.. we shared the entrance ( Dobell's to the right; Caplan's to the left )... Doug often wandered in to chat with Barry... I befriended Ray... Magical time (1972).. Lou Hart ( Bunjie's ) was also a frequent visitor
Wonderful article thanks.
Having searched the world pre internet 1970s
I located a copy or Muddy Waters Fathers and Sons at this wonderful shop Dobells to this day my most played vinyl. Also emptied the shop of everything written by Willy Dixon. Very happy day.
From about March to April, 1965, I actually worked as front salesman in the Rathbone Place shop. I knew nothing about white folk music and got some puzzled looks when I always referred to "Bobbie" Dylan the folkies obviously thought I had some sort of insider knowledge to refer to the great man in this way. Doug was a very kind man, but Bill Colyer in the back room tried to have a go at me about not changing the display window! The rest of the guys were great to me as they realised I had quite a few trad jazz connections such as Hugh Rainey, my old mucker from the Queen Mary College jazz Band of 1955. We were allowed to take l.ps home to record on tape as long as they were back on the shelves the next day- this way I amassed a huge collection of open reel tapes covering Coltrane, Mingus etc. I was always busy and one of the big problems was keeping an eye on the West Indian fans who used to nick the album covers to decorate their pads.
Derek (Norrie or Del) Paramor
I owe Dobells (Charing Cross Road) a huge debt of gratitude. In the early sixties I was aimless, I certainly didn't like the pop music of the period, I came from a home that never really listened to much music and musically I had nowhere to go.
During '64 or '65 I was dragged by my friends to La Discotheque in Wardour Street but what always fascinated me was stairs that went down to the Ronnie Scoot's club in Gerrard Street!? The one thing that did attract me and get some interest were the crooners; Mel Torme, Vic Damone etc. And then by chance I heard Charlie Mingus's Oh Yeah, and that did get my attention.
I used to come into the West End a lot from Tilbury in Essex and used to go to Foyles so I was aware of Dobells. I went into Dobells ('65ish) and came out out a few LP's. A couple of more visits ensued and more LP's were bought; some quite rare from the used records section. Then I went to sea to complete my apprenticeship and lost touch.
It's not the records that I bought from Dobells that I am writing for; though I am, even to this day, extremely grateful; it's the world that Dobells introduced me to. I love music of most kinds but my one passion and obsession is Bebop, especially J Coltrane, D Gordon and O Nelson and I wouldn't have heard of that without Dobells.
Thank you so much
Who can forget the advertising slogan “Every jazz fan is born within the sound of Dobells”?
I used to visit the shop as part of a circuit comprising of Mole Jazz, Dobell, Ray’s, and if time permitted, HMV in Oxford Street.
When living in Cambridge England I reulary visited Dobell's and Dave Carey Swing Shop to dicover music. Rock back pages podcast (2022)
‘I’m living for the ones who didn’t make it’: Bonnie Raitt on her unquenchable thirst for music. Kat Lister Interview Guardian.
Keith Pro"When she discovered Wallace in 1968 at Dobells record store on Charing Cross Road in London, she had no idea that by recording three songs – Mighty Tight Woman, Women Be Wise and You Got to Know How – she would reintroduce Wallace to a new audience. She also had no idea that Wallace was still alive and singing gospel in Detroit. “I begged her to come out to the Ann Arbor blues festival in 1972 and we sang Women Be Wise in the backstage trailer.” They toured together for 15 years until Wallace died in 1986."
Ruskin Old Boy
Another record shop I remember from the 1960s was Dobells in Charing Cross Road. I bought Blue Beat records from them - the first, a Prince Buster album I still have and play. Carried on buying records from them - mostly blues until they closed in 1992 after moving to other locations nearby.
This is the branch in Charing Cross Road:
Mick Jagger tells his 'Life as a Rolling Stone'He mentions buying blues record in the Charing Cross Road which would have been Dobell's. He states that this kind of music was hard to find but as the curator with an oversight of what was happening at the time, the choice was greater than he knew. You had Collets. Imhoff's, HMV, Keith Prowse to name but a few off the top of my head. I would suggest that the collection of R&B and Blues albums under Mick's arm that got Keith's attention at Dartford station, came from Dobell's.
Just to say I first met Ray in the Folk Shop in 1965 along with Chris Cambridge where he made me a cup of tea with whisky in it as it was January. I used to visit often and Ray and I would go to the Cottage Club during the afternoon. We’d also end up in the “Two Brewers” with John Kendall and other members of staff where we watched the 1966 World Cup with Maisie the wardrobe mistress from the “Mousetrap”. I also met Sandy Denny in the folk shop when she was with Jackson C. Frank a favourite folk singer of mine from Les Cousins. They were a great bunch and also sold Melody Maker on Wednesdays instead of Thursdays so you could buy concert tickets before anyone else. It’s a shame it closed down then we lost John and Ray and I’m proud to say I was a member of “SODS - Society of old Dobellians.
Wonderful days, blissfully politically incorrect with great people, wonderful atmosphere and sense of humour.
With warmest regards
Bonnie Raitt In the Letterman interview she mentions getting the record in London.
Click hereto purchase CHELSEA space - #49 Dobells Jazz Folk Blues
Detailed Description#49 Dobells Jazz Folk Blues 10.04.13 – 18.05.13
2013 Published by CHELSEA space
A5 fully illustrated black and white 20 pagesISBN 978-1-906203-69-6
Below is a list of staff who worked together giving us one of the greatest record shops in world:
DOBELL'S RECORD SHOPS 1946-1992
75-77 Charing Cross Road London
21 Tower Street
10 Rathbone Place W1
Doug and Gladys Dobell
Counter and Other Staff including mail order and accounts:
Ray Bolden - 75 Charing X Mick Brocking – 77 Toby Calder - Tower St Chris Cambridge - 77 Mick Carroll – 77 Bill Colyer - Brighton/77/ Rathbone - Peter Crumpton – 77 Dave Davies - 77 George Ellis – 77 Les Fancourt - 75/Tower - Gerry Finningley 77 George Foster – 75 Tony Gordon – Rathbone Dick Gough – 77 Ron Gould - Rathbone/75 - Brian Harvey – 77 Denis Hill – 77 Gerry Ingram – 77 John Jack – 77 Colin Jones – 77 John Kendall – 77 Ken Lindsay - 77 Frank Liniger - 77/Tower Alf Lumby – 77 Charlie McIvor – 77 Tony Middleton - 77/Tower Mick Moffett - 75/Tower - Les Muscutt – 77 Graeme Osborne – Tower Brian Peerless - 77/Tower Chris Pratt – 77 Trevor Salter – 77 Keith Shadwick – Tower Don Sollash - Brighton/77/Tower - George Tyler – 77 George Wilkins – 75 Johnny Winterbourne – 77
Pat Buttimer, Julia Doig, Eileen Finningley, Monica Sollash, Judy Wurr
What made it the greatest shop are the people who went there
This is a list of known people to use Dobell’s as a hangout and a place to network. This is by no means a definite list, it seems that everyone went to Dobell’s!
- Stuff Smith
- Henry Red Allen
- Coleman Hawkins
- Ben Webster
- Roy Eldridge
- Earle Warren
- Bud Freeman
- Peanuts Hucko
- Ralph Sutton
- Nat Pierce
- Bill Coleman
- Ray Nance
- Harry Sweets Edison
- Buck Clayton
- Ed Hubble
- Wild Bill Davison
- Pee Wee Russell
- Pepper Adams
- Zoot Sims
- Don Ewell
- Paul Gonsalves
- Jimmy Hamilton
- Bud Johnson
- Oliver Jackson
- Jake Hanna
- Haywood Henry
- Eddie Jones
- Buddy Tate
- Booty Wood
- Lockjaw Davis
- Sir Charles Thompson
- Gus Johnson
- Cat Anderson
- Ramblin Jack Elliott
- Slim Gaillard
- Janis Joplin
- Yusef Lateef
- Errol Garner
- Horace Silver
- Joe Willaims
- Jessie fuller
- Cannonball Adderley
- Albert Nicholas
- Nat Pierce
- Henry Red Allen
- Marion Williams
- Muddy Waters
- Jimmy Rogers
- Bob Dylan
- B.B. King
- Al Casey
- Dorris Henderson
- Canned Heat Ali Wilson and Bob Hite
- Ruby Braff
- Meat Loaf
- Eddie Condon
- Mezz Mezzrow
- Junior Mance
- Dan Kochakian (Record Collector)
- Roland Kirk
- Count Basie
- Bonnie Raitt (purchased Sippy Wallace)
British Musicians And Others
- Colin Purbrook
- Keith Ingham
- Keith Christie
- Brian Lemon
- Phil Seaman
- Dave Green
- Alan Littlejohn
- Dill Jones
- Alex Welsh
- Roy Crimmins
- Lennie Hastings
- John Chilton
- Chris Barber
- Digby Fairweather
- Diz Disley
- Tubby Hayes
- Dick Heckstall-Smith
- Rory Gallagher
- Martin Carthy
- Rolling Stones
- Eric Clapton
- Alexis Korner
22. Eddie Thompson, 23. Vic Lewis 24. Graham Bond 25. John Dankworth 26. Ken Colyer 27. Jools Holland
28. Gail Thompson 29. John Barry 30. Roy Castle 31. Dudu Pukwana 32. Leon Calvert 33. Hank Shaw
34. Les Condon 35. Johnny Mumford 36. Herman Wilson 37. Pete Myers 38. Al Newman 39. Bobby Wellins
40. Stan Robinson 41. Denis Rose 42. Stan Tracey 43. Brian Dee 44. Johnny Walker 44. 45. Malcom
Cecil 46. Jeff Clyne 47. Laurie Morgan 48. Ted Simmons, 49. Sandy Brown 50. Mac McGann,
51. Lonnie Donegan 52. David Bowie 53. Tommy Whittle 54. Barbra Jay 55. John Chadwick 56. The Vipers Skiffle Group
57. Acker Bilk 58. Baron Timmie Rosenkrantz 59. Jimmy Page 60. Pat Hawes 61. Tony Standish 62. John R.T. Davies 63. Bob Dawbarn
64. Johnny Parker 65. Barry Martyn 66. Sammy Rimington 67. Cluff Billett 68. Mike Pointon 69. Brian Chadwick
70. Len Doughty 71. Geoff Cole 72. Keith Nichols 73. Bill Wilkinson 74. Peter Dyer 75. Dara O'Lochlainn
76. Ginger Baker 77. Carlo Krahmer 78. Chris Ellis 79. Steve Benbow 80. Jona Lewie 81. David Essex. 82.Dave Davies Kinks.
Scholars, Actors, Poets, Journalists, Polictions, Photographers etc..
1. Sinclair Traill 2. Albert McCarthy 3. Max Jones 4. Jim Godbolt 5. Jack Armitage
7. Samual Charters 8. Guy Stevens 9. Len Deighton 10. Nik Cohn 11. Len Daniels, 12. Colin
Maclnnes 13. Jack Dash 14. Kenneth Clarke 15. Michael Parkinson 16. Lord Gowry, 17. Warren Mitchell
18. Anthony Frewin 19. Alan Bates 19. Mike Horovitz 20. Pete Brown 21. Spike Hawkins 22. Anselm Hollo
23. Ted Milton 24. Adrian Mitchell 24. Val Wilmer 25. David Redfern 25. Charlie Gillett 26. Dandy Baker
27. Spike Millagan 28. Derek Guyler 29. Jo Grimond 30. Christine Keeler 31. Mandy Rice-Davies 32. Paul Oliver
33. Alan Balfour 34. John Antill 35. Peter Clayton 36. Michael Brooks 37. Alun Morgan
38.Neil Slaven 39. Mike Leadbitter 40. John Broven 41. John Prescott 42. Tony Burke 43. Norman Darwen
44. Keith Briggs 45. Chris Bentley 48. Dave Penny 46. John Turner 47. Ray Smith 48. Tom Murray ( Royal Bank of Canada)
49.Peter Guralnick rock back pages podcast
If you recall other people of note who you saw at Dobell's please send your information to
2. On Charing Cross Road just down from Shaftesbury Avenue - on east side of road across from Dobell's - there's an entrance to Sandringham flats No. 75-169,
Go through gate, turn left, go to four steps in corner, and on fence to the left.just beyond them. The lettering's still half visible on the first turning of the stairs.
New CD release due soon in April which references Dobell's as the place for Mods to seek black American music.
A Customers Story by Richard Antill
I first went to Dobells looking for Rock ‘n’ Roll records in 1959 however fruitless that was. I moved to London in 1963 to work at Cadby Hall in Hammersmith then on to Hotels in the West end. My father was a fashion photographer and Jazz Fan whilst with him we visited Dobells basement and I was introduced to John Kendall with when I had an immediate rapport and gained his respect for the type of material I wanted to own.
I soon returned to the shop on a regular basis before or after work (shifts in Hotels ) Nearly every day, we became good pals drinking and having the same passionsand enjoying the same music. I couldn’t help meeting all the staff and Doug Dobell and was soon on the first name terms with all. Ray Bolden (Blues Shop) Brain Peerless (Jazz Shop) Don Solash (Jazz shop Dougs son in law) Bill Colyer (Jazz Shop/ mail order) Geroge Tyler ( Jazz Shop) all using Dobells as their social base which shimmied from the shop to the Two Brewers ( Monmouth Street) and the Cottage Club ( Key Club for drinkers). There was a regular clientele of British musicians who would be around the shop networking and enjoying the latest releases.
A list of those who would socialize and be a major part of the Dobells Scene.
Colin Porbrook pno,Keith Ingham pno,Keith Cristie Tmb,Brian Lemmon pno,Phil Seaman Dms Dave green Bs,Alan Littlejohn Tpt,Dill Jones Pno,Alex Welsh tpt,Roy Crimmons Tmb, Lennie Hastings Dms
American visitors with whom we enjoyed the company of at Dobells the Two brewers and the Cottage Club.
Stuff Smith Vln Henry Red Allen Tpt Coleman Hawkins Ts Ben Webster Ts Roy Eldridge Tpt Earle Warrens As Bud Freeman Ts Peanuts Hucko Cl Ralph Sutton Pno Nat Pierce Pno Bill Coleman Tpt Ray Nance tpt/Vl Harry Sweets Edison Tpt Buck Clayton Tpt Ed Hubble Tmb Wild Bill Davison Cnt Pee Wee Russel CL Pepper Adams Sax Zoot Simms TS Don Ewell Pno Paul Gonsalves Ts Jimmy Hamilton Cl Bud Johnson Ts Oliver Jackson Dms Jake Hanna Dms Haywood Henry Sax Eddie Jones Bs Buddy Tate Ts Booty Wood Tmb Lockjaw Davis Ts Sir Charles Thompson Pno Gus Johnson Dms Cat Anderson Tpt Ruby Braff Cnt
By no means a definitive list but people I remember being involved with – what a history of first and second generation players and the greatest exponents of Jazz that there will ever be with direct links back to the orginal Basie, Ellington, Henderson bands and more. The other people who regulary arrived at Dobells were the Jazz critic’s and authors who hoped to catch up with their hero’s and find out who was on that particular ‘78’ release on Regal Zonophone etc etc..
Sinclair Trail ( Mag editor) Albert McCarthy ( critic/Discogrpher) Max Jones (writer) Jim Godbolt ( Author) Jack Armitage (writer) Tinmie Rosenfranz (Author)
John Chilton ( Musican/ Author) Sam Charters ( Blues Buff)
In ’72 Doug arranged a trip for 10 jazzers to go to New York for the Newport in New York festival what a week of Jazz, we also visited Sam Goodys where we met up with John and Rays contempories in New York Harry Lim and Jeff Atterton ... The stories from New York could fill a book!
By 1972 I had my own business in south of England , but every Monda,.my day off I travelled to town to catch up with Doug/John/Ray/Bilko etc. and remained close friends till they one by one passed on John hopelessly overtaken by alcohol, I saw him in the last week of his life lying in a fetal position caring for nothing.How I cried I miss him so much his humor, knowledge and friendliness, Ray succumbed to cancer, I spoke to him on the phone only days before the end. Doug went out in style at the Nice Jazz Festival and Bilko lived the longest finishing his days at an old person's home where his pal Dave Forbes another Dobells man was his carer .They all made a huge contribution to my life and I never pass Charing Cross Road with a wry smile and nod to such wonderful memories.
To Sum It Up For Me
I wouldn’t of had the friendships of a dozen plus pals with the same interests in Jazz who turned me on to the likes of George Orwell-Buster Keaton-WC Fields-PG Woodehouse-Jack Kerouac and just a multitude of music Ellington, Herman, Basie, Henderson, Morton, Armstrong,Holiday most of these only names to me when I left school. So my whole education and love of music all stems from the days of helping out at Dobells and mingling with he Dobells Alumni.
Thanks Doug for everything that still surrounds my life!
Records On The Bag
1. The Greats Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Cal Tjader 2. The West Coast Jazz Of-Gerry Mulligan 3. With The Keating Sound - Shake Keane 4. Western Reunion- New Jazz Orchestra
5. Genuine Dud-Dudley Moore Trio 6. The Subtle Sound Of -David Snell 7. Jazz Suite -Stan Tracey Quartet 8. Indo-Jazz Suite Joe Harriott Quintet 9. Benny Goodman The Golden Age Of Swing 10. Glen Miller 11. Solo Flight- Charlie Christian with Benny Goodman 12. The Original Sound Of The 20s 13. The Bessie Smith Story Vol 2 –Bessie Smith14. Sketches Of Spain -Miles Davis 15. Monk Dream- Thelonious Monk Quartet 16. Time Out- Dave Brubeck Quartet
17. Hollywood Stampede Coleman Hawkins 18. Get Ready, Set, Jump- Junior Mance
19. At The Tropicana - Stan Kenton 20. Every Day I Have The Blues- Count Basie/Joe Williams
21. Now Playing- Erroll Garner 22. Mickey One - Stan Getz 23. The Many Sides Of Max - Max Roach 24. Polytones - Buddy De Franco & Tommy Gumina 25. Vaughan With Voices -Sarah Vaughan 26. The Music Of Henry Mancini -The Quincy Jones Orchestra
27. Hello, Dolly! -Louis Armstrong28. Jazz At The Preservation Hall Vol.4- The George Lewis Band Of New Orleans 29. Feeling + Finesse = Jazz -Stephane Grappelly 30. The Ray Charles Story Volume Two –Ray Charles 31. Ken Colyer Skiffle Group 32. Slightly Latin- Roland Kirk
33. Plays Michelle- Oliver Nelson 34. Once Upon A Time -Earl Hines
35. The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady- Charlie Mingus 36. A Love Supreme - John Coltrane
37. More Blues And The Abstract Truth -Oliver Nelson 38. Historical Masterpieces Vol. 2-Charlie Parker 39. Chic Chic Chico-Chico Hamilton 40. The John Coltrane Quartet 41. Here’s Art Tatum –Art Tatum 42. Sonny Plays Alfie -Sonny Rollins 43. Elation -Willie Bobo 44. Oscar Peterson Salutes The Count And The Duke 45. Getz/Gilberto No. 2 Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto
46. Arthur Prysock - Count Basie 47. Look To The Rainbow- Astrud Gilberto 48. The Jazz Side Of -Harry James 49. Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography –Louis Armstrong 50. The Original Crane River jazz Band 51. Nothing But Jazz- Jack McVea 52. Keith Smith With George Lewis Jazz Band& Jimmy ArcheyHot Six 53. Handyman Vol. 1 - Capt. John Handy/Barry Martyn
54. Hot Jazz, Pop Jazz, Hokum & Hilarity-Jelly Roll Morton 55. Concert Of Sacred Music - Duke Ellington 56. Glad To Be Unhappy - Paul Desmond 57. Our Man In Jazz - Sonny Rollins
58. The Indispensable Volume Two- Duke Ellington 59. My Name Is -Albert Ayler
60. Intimate - Ben Webster 61. Leaps Again - Lester Young 62. Outward Bound-Eric Dolphy
63. Night Lady - The Johnny Griffin Quartet 64. The Be-Bop Era 65. Mezzin Around -Mezzrow Newton 66. Pastel Blues - Nina Simone 67. Recorded In Person At The Trident - Jon Hendricks
68. Getting Romantic- The Swingle Singers 69. Ain't Misbehavin- Fats70. John Renbourn -Yes but no last 71. Wee'll never get t-h-a-t 72. Changes - Julie Felix 73. The Country Blues
74. Lonesome Bedroom Blues – Curtis Jones 75. Hard Drivin' Blues – Roosevelt Sykes
76. The Blues Never Die - Otis Spann 77. Remembering-Big Bill Broonzy
78. Penitentiary Blues Lighnin' Hopkins 79. Bad Religion And Bad Company - Blind Gary Davis
80. This That And The Other 81. The Watson Family82. The Butterfield Blues Band-East West
83. Curtis Jones-Lonesome Bedroom Blues 84. Judy Collins-Fith Album 85. Songs Of The civil war
The bag came into being in early 1966, prior to that Dobell's used plain white with wording "Dobell's Jazz Shop" in red. The record sleeve selection was changed for the plastic bag in 1968.
Rob Hall, Alan Balfour and Leon Parker
Dobell dies at jazz festival