Coldharbour Lane shop
All run by the late Reggae artist and producer Larry Lawrence. The Coldharbour Lane shop later became a West Indian eaterie managed by him. Also, according to a press ad for Joe's Record Shack it seems Joe Mansano had 336 Coldharbour Lane as a 2nd outlet before Larry Lawrence took it on. Joe also tried to take on the Balham branch of Musik City after it closed circa 1974 but nothing seemed to come of it. Comment: Mark Griffiths
249 Kilburn High Road
Record producer, Clifton ‘Larry’ Lawrence, opened his first shop in 1973 in Kensal Green selling reggae records on his own Ethnic label. Then he moved to Kilburn High Road from 1974 to 1976, before going to Coldharbour Lane in Brixton from 1976 to 1983. While in Kilburn he released his album, ‘Out of One Man Many Dubs’ which included a track called ‘Kilburn High Rock Dub.’ Larry was born in Jamaica and recorded there before coming to the UK in 1966. He worked as a lorry driver and produced records for Trojan. He also acted as an unofficial road manager for touring Jamaican performers, including Bob Marley and the Wailers. This led him to become the in-house producer for Bruce White and Tony Cousins, Creole Records. Larry died in 2008 from cancer.
Clifton "Larry" Lawrence
Born in Jamaica in 1947, died August 2008 in London, UK.
Larry began his career in the music business while still in his teens, cutting ‘Garden Of Eden’ for Leslie Kong’s Beverley’s Records in 1963. Two years
later he moved to the UK where he found employment as a lorry driver while also launching his own sound system, eventually making his mark as a producer
with a number of sides by London-based singer, Junior English that saw issue on Trojan’s Big Shot in the Spring of 1970.
Over the next year or so, he continued to produce local talent for Trojan (his output being issued on the company’s Big Shot, Jackpot and Duke imprints),
hile also licensing material to newly formed labels, Torpedo (owned by Equals’ front-man, Eddy Grant) and Junior Lincoln’s Bamboo operations, along with
Emile Shalit’s long-established Melodisc Records.
Throughout this time, Larry also acted as an unofficial road manager for various Jamaican performers (including Lee Perry & the Upsetters), a role he continued
to undertake for the remainder of the decade, ensuring the requirements of such visiting luminaries as Bob Marley & the Wailers were always met. This role led to
a close association with Bruce White & Tony Cousins who operated Commercial Entertainments,
a music artists agency that specialised in handling touring Jamaican acts, and after the pair launched Creole Records they secured his services as their in-house
producer. Among his productions from this period were a number of superior recordings with Dave Barker and Bobby Davis of the Sensations, many of which later saw
issue on the Trojan LP, ‘In The Ghetto’.
In 1973, Larry established retail outlets in North London’s Kensal Green and Kilburn High Road and launched his own Ethnic label, on which he primarily released
his own productions as well as those by Lee Perry. Among the more successful of his works from this time were the Selectors’ ‘Rock Back’ and ‘Jenny Jenny’, Jimmy
Strathden’s ‘So Long Baby’, his own ‘King Boxer’ (on which he accredited himself as King Duke) and two fine sides by former Mohawks’ front-man, Sidney Rogers:
‘Miracle Worker’ and ‘Another Lonely Night’.
A year after launching Ethnic, Larry started a second imprint, Fight, which after cutting distribution ties with Creole and EMI, merged with the former to create
Ethnic Fight, which continued to operate into the eighties. The new label continued to focus much of its output upon his own productions and Jamaican-produced
works by the likes of Lloyd Campbell and Lee Perry, the latter supplying such notable singles as George Faith’s ‘To Be A Lover’, Leo Graham’s ‘Pampas Judas’
and the excellent ‘Mumbling And Grumbling’ by Junior Byles.
Larry moved his business to Coldharbour Lane in Brixton in 1976, South London remaining his base for the remainder of his life with the record shop later being
converted into a popular West Indian restaurant. Although he went on to launch Larrys Records, by the nineties he had grown disillusioned with the direction of
Jamaican music and rather than highlight new material, much of the new label’s output highlighted his earlier output.