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Zion Sound owned by Alfred Paddyfoot, known to friends as Paddy, was at the time, owner of one of England’s most influential emporium of reggae records and merchandise - Zion Records on Villa Road, Handsworth. ‘Zion’ was a carpenter by trade, honourable by nature, and always paid promptly, next day, which was an exception during hard times, and low budget productions. Zion dealt with obscure, rare, pressings on 7” and 12”, of Jamaican reggae music, and remained based in Handsworth, until his shop was robbed in the 80s. • Quaker City, operated by a man known to me as Carl, was the rival ‘system to Mafia and Zion. He also owned a record shop and label on Lozells Road called Orbit Records. I have observed in Digbeth Civic Front Hall (now the much maligned Sanctuary Nightclub) Quaker played bass-lines that would pull so much power from the electricity supply that the house lights would blink and dim, starved by the valve amplification he used. He would drive 20, six-foot tall, varnished, wardrobe-sized, speaker cabinets, each loaded with 4, 18-inch speakers. Carl promoted some of the biggest and best-attended concert performances by reggae artists visiting Birmingham and without doubt these became inspirational moments for music lovers, which in turn helped shape our current dance music landscape.




Zion Lozells Road

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