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The Hot Spot, the name of the basement shop in Thomas Street which specialised in Jazz records. Indeed we only sold jazz records, both new and second hand. The business started in 71, Woolwich New Road as a radio repair shop and the original capital was provided by the sale of my very extensive record collection possibly as many as 7,000! The record side of it dealt with collectors from all over the world. We began importing copies of 'Empty Bed Blues' and ' Strange Fruit' from the earliest days and I like to think that we were the first, and for some years, the only jazz record shop in Europe. We moved about 1944 to 23 Thomas St and later to 12/14 Thomas St.
Not long after our move we converted the basement and renamed the record part of the business The Hot Spot. The department was managed by James Asman and opened by Humphrey Lyttelton in January 1949. Subsequently we opened a branch at 100 Charing Cross Road from which we delivered hundreds of records to shops all over the British Isles. This department was managed by Heather Maitland. In May 1951 we produced The Independent Record Catalogue which listed all the records of all the independent labels. There were 29 companies listed, almost all producing jazz records. When 'Too Young' hit the charts, on Polygon, an Independent Label for which we held the wholesale rights, we were forced by the action of Decca to give up and we closed down the business. Comment: Owen Bryce



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