I set up the Record Dept. and was its first manager. Great while it lasted and I got to work with some super people including David and Toni Arthur. One of my customers was a saxophone-playing American student who just might have been Bill Clinton. Love to hear from anyone who was there.
Most of the many other people I recall were bookshop or publisher rather than records
My assistant was Georgina Webb, niece of HR manager Mr. Upstone. I was unceremoniously replaced by an aristocratic Frenchman, one Jacques Perdreil-Vaissiere, who knew nothing about records, but let me ride his new E-Type. Re-visiting the store some years later I found the wonderful Kay Boswell still running the coffee, sadly without her student-assistant Lesley.
On this occasion I made a successful offer for the now-disused monitor loudspeakers which I had commissioned specially for the shop. This began my long and ongoing association with the manufacturer, Lockwood. These speakers were eventually sold to Bill Leader who produced records of, among others, Dave and Toni.
Because this was a pet project of Mr. Maxwell I saw quite a bit of him and could fill many pages with anecdotes. He was the most unforgettable character I’ve ever met – watching the documentary, I see a personality very different from the I .R. Maxwell who had employed, inspired, and later fired me.
David and Toni Arthur
They married in 1963, moving to Oxford to run a university bookshop while simultaneously building a reputation on the folk club circuit. Their 7” version of traditional folk song ‘The Cuckoo’, recorded as The Strollers, was released on the Fontana label in 1965. Its crossover folk-pop stylings, however, were absent from the minimalist albums that followed: Morning Stands on Tiptoe (1967) and The Lark in the Morning (1969). Both are beautiful essays in unaccompanied traditional song with a distinct leaning towards the pastoral. As the decade wore on, the Arthurs’ interests progressed from interpreting established folk club favourites to actively seeking out hitherto uncelebrated stories and songs – with an increasing leaning towards the uncanny.