If you ever went to Manchester in the 1970s then visiting Robinson’s Records was a definate must, I met up with the owners Arthur & Edna Robinson just recently and was reminicing about the place,
But before you read Arthur’s memories of the shop, here are a few memories from old customers and staff…….
The story of how Robinson’s Records Manchester, England,
came about.;-Robinson’s Records – 2011
The following is taken from Morrissey Autobiography;
Robinsons Records on Blackfriars Street offers a vast warehouse of extraordinary stock – pristine pressings lovingly racked and dazzlingly stacked, tearfully beyond my budget. I stand for hours flipping each sleeve, examined and memorized, domestic and American, always, always out of reach. On John Dalton Street there is Rare Records, whose records are not rare at all, but whose air is the leathery and old giving way to the young sounds. Rare Records is the last to offer listening booths, yet it is cosmopolitan enough to display the first album by Jobriath […] On Lever Street, the cramped Virgin Records is heavy on prog and student notice boards, and always first with American imports – unaffordable at £5.25 when £2.25 is the general retail ceiling. When HMV appears on Market Street its stock is stylishly shrinkwrapped, and this out-dazzles Virgin’s unvarnished and bending manhandled presentations. Piccadilly Records is awkwardly run-of-the-mill, yet it is here that £2.39 secures the New York Dolls’ first LP as the main window of the shop blazes with thirty Dolls sleeves stapled together in a dramatic traffic-stopping mosaic, 50 million unimpressed shoppers running by with a speed suddenly increased by the sight of Arthur Kane.
The famous Robinson's Records. A huge place that sold loads of cut-outs and cheap albums. Thats where I bought most of the BB King "United" albums, the various blues compilations they issued, Howlin' Wolf, Gene Phillips etc They were so cheap that some had covers pasted over the original album sleeves, no sleevenotes just the listing of albums in catalogue, no inner bag. I got a Howlin' Wolf reprocessed stero album there that wouldn't play on mono equipment!!
Tony Burke Sound of the world forum
Name Steve Carter
Comment: I remember Robinsons another shop on my regular Saturday morning trips into town. I remember coveting a 60's beat compilation for ages but not having the money to buy it. About a year later I went back in with my hard earned cash but it had long gone. I asked the bloke behind the counter and described the cover of the record. He went into the back room and 10mins later came out with the record, made my year that did. and I still have that album. 30+ years later. ( Jan 25, 2017).
As well as the retail part there was a wholesale section in the basement behind the Jazz and Soundtracks. I ran this for 4 or 5 years in the late 70s. We sold thousands of deleted LPs that Arthur Robinson had amassed over the years to places in Europe and Japan.We also sold US oldies singles to shops in the UK and represented the US Starday and the UK Biggar C&W labels. It was a fantastic shop and place to work but suffered when the pound fell and the big chains started to discount heavily.
There must be a massive number of collectable and valuable records around now that originally came from Robinson's.
I remember huge quantities of UK label reggae and US soul singles in the basement that are fetching high prices today, if only I'd known that now.
Robinsons is where I got all my Tony Joe White and Jimmy Reeds albums..About the same time the COOP on Deansgate had a cellar full of USA imports and thats where I picked up my Atlantic and Stax collection from..They where so cheap you could literaly buy arm fulls and take a chance.As I was going to The Wheel at the time it was a case of buying as many of the good lables as you could find-Stateside,London,plus the Tamla stuff and dragging it home and seeing what your lucky dip had turned up...Great days indeed.Still have all the good ones except the Stax as I sold my complete set to Tony Davidson years ago..
My Mum took me to Robinsons Rare records for my 12th birthday in 1979 . I chose a Sgt Peppers picture disc album by Capitol which I was thrilled with and still have . Happy days.
I used to get the bus from Oldham to Manchester (10p) and walk over the bridge to Robinsons and got so many of my Bee Gees records there (all from the 60s and 70s which by then were deleted). It was a fabulous shop with fabulous staff. I can't count the number of time i've been laughed at when buying Bee Gees/Robin Gibb lps but never at Robinsons. They were friendly, knowledgeable and never in the least judgemental. Happy days.