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(Apr 8, 2013) John Kimber said:

Ah Henry's Records. It was jam packed with vinyl and had listening booths too!! It seemed to have everything ie some very exotic and rare platters. I remember being very impressed and envious when a young woman came in and bought All Things Must Pass by George Harrison! A very expensive triple LP well out of reach of a very young music fan at that time! Henry's was where I first heard Close To The Edge by Yes crouching in one of the booths - I was mesmerised by the cover! I bought lots of albums there - Gentle Giant "Octopus", Led Zeppelin II, "No Dice" by Badfinger, "Split" by the Groundhogs and countless singles. A fantastic shop from a classic and bygone era!

After a great deal of encouragement from the then EMI Regional Manager, Dennis Tungate, who had become a good friend, Henry found premises at 136 St Mary Street in Southampton for a rent of 250 a year plus rates and the first HENRY’S RECORDS opened on Saturday November 23rd 1956
with a capital outlay of 500. The opening stock consisted of 150 opening order from Thompson, Diamond and Butcher, one of the major distributors of the day who gave him credit facilities on a month to month basis and a lucrative HMV agency, which was hard to obtain normally and had been engineered by Dennis Tungate, along with a smaller than normally accepted opening order of 150. Besides the records which numbered 75 long players (LPs), 50 extended players (EPs) and 300 78s, the store’s other opening stock consisted of a 16 record player from J.J. Storie, 8.50 worth of toys from Rood Brothers, 30 worth of musical goods from Rosetti and Co and 4 worth of sheet music from Francis, Day and Hunter. Henry had no staff, just himself and he put his own personal radiogram in the shop for customers to listen to records on! He did have some help occasionally from his mother, Rose, his Aunty Glad and her husband Bill Lewis and Uncle Harry Lambert, especially around that first Christmas. Uncle Harry also built a lot of the store’s fixtures and fittings. On the first Saturday (23rd November), Henry took 25.8s 6d and for the first full week, he took 178.5s.9d. The prices of records were 5s.6d for a 78, 9s.6d for an EP, 1.12s.6d for an LP and 1.18s for a classical LP. Of course, a young American by the name of Elvis Presley had broken big earlier that year in May with his first 78 “Heartbreak Hotel” and the rock and roll boom was in full swing, so the timing for opening a record shop was perfect! Thanks to Mik Brown

A fascinating look at the story of Henrys Record Shop Southampton from the Fifties to the Eighties. Fondly remembered as a local landmark by thousands of music lovers across those decades as they browsed the shelves that encompassed a wide range of tastes. This book tells of a young Welsh lad born in 1917, charting his life as a talented musician with dreams of owning his own record shop. This dream came true after a family move to Hampshire, leading to the opening of his store in 1956, with perfect timing as the new rock’n’roll craze was sweeping the country. Henrys Records soon established itself as one of the finest outlets in the South, then elevated to its higher profile when a local fifteen year old ‘vinyl junkie’ landed his own dream job behind the counter. John Clare’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the music industry, along with his legendary personal customer service, boosted the takings to new levels by giving the customers exactly what they wanted. The History of Henrys Records takes the reader behind the scenes of the music industry, with its highs and lows and inside looks of how it all worked back in the days when the charts dictated the ever changing tastes. This will be very nostalgic for the ‘baby boomers’, whilst younger readers will be able to see what later generations missed out on, although vinyl has made a comebackJohn wrote down this basic story many years ago, merely for his own personal use until circumstances in recent times gave him the idea of getting it published. Some of the content appeared as a webpage dedicated to Henrys, in amongst a number of other pages that outlined much of the Sixties live music scene. Much of the information was copied across from a massive compilation written back in the early Eighties by John Clare and Terry Hounsome, named ‘Southern Roots’. Later this year (2021) sees the publication of edited material from that collection via David St John who assisted in this book.

Mick Smith

bought my first record there, frank ifield i remember you. two & six

Kevin Hunt

Purchased my first ever record from there, it was the kinks come dancing, loved that song

John Clare

No back entrance which was a real problem when the Love Affair were there promoting their "Everlasting Love" single, a few years later. We had hoards of screaming girls ready to tear them to bits and had to "pretend" that we had a back entrance and that they'd left and then keep them hidden in our store room until the girls went home!!!!

John Clare

Oh Ha! Ha! Dave. Actually, the first time that Sidney introduced Frankie Vaughan to Henry, "Green Door" was out but Henry had a big ad for the original US version in his front window by Jim Lowe. Frankie was NOT impressed. Not a good start to their relationship but Frankie and Henry went on to become the best of friends.

Roger Hardingham

I remember going to a launch there once, can't recall the pop singers name though! I see Frankie Vaughan was this event?

Alan Jenkins

he was there roger


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