1960s

Photo:My first record

My first record

Photo by Paul Clarkson

Photo:Bellmans sales label

Bellmans sales label

Photo by Paul Clarkson

Your first record?

By Paul Clarkson

Our first record player

It was in 1964 that my dear old Nan bought the family's first record player, as with most people it was a 'Dansette'. I can still remember to this day the excitement of having our first record player. The Beatles were and still are my favourite group, but luckily I had an older sister and brother who covered that department and bought their records. This left me to concentrate on my favourites of the time. The first single record I ever bought was 'Make Love to Me' by John Leyton. It cost me 6s 8d and I bought it in John Beal's record department in East Street.

Mad on music

I have always been a fan of John Leyton and used to enjoy seeing him in films such as 'The Great Escape' and 'Everyday's a Holiday' I thought his singing was fabulous. I also bought the EP 'Tell Laura I Love Her' by John Leyton and you can clearly see the 'Bellmans' sticker showing that it cost me 10s 9d. I was mad on music and used to save all my pocket money up to buy records. There were loads of record shops in Brighton, but Bellmans seemed to be the one where most people remember buying their first disc.

Watching the records go round

I remember one day we took a trip on the bus to Lewes and there was a cute little record shop just by the railway bridge on the Cliffe High Street, where I bought 'Boy's Cry' by Eden Kane. It was a nice era for music, no videos then of course. We used to gather round the Dansette and watch the records as they played, which is why to this day I can still name which label a particular record was on from the 1960s; handy for any pub quiz.

Your first record?

So what was the first record you bought? Where did you buy your records? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

 

This page was added on 06/03/2014.
Comments about this page

I'm ashamed of the first record I purchased, so sorry I can't tell you!  By the time I left school in 1970 I was into The Rollin' Stones, John Mayall, Hendrix etc.  I purchased my first record at the age of 13 in about 1967, a one-off-wonder hit, and I am now ashamed, so, sorry I cant tell you, but I did play it to death on a Dansetts!

By Peter Groves (07/03/2014)

Back in the 80s when he had left showbiz behind I saw your hero John Leyton in the index room at Companies House when it was still in City Road, London, Paul. He looked much the same, but didn't break into song, much to our great relief! I gather he still does a few retro-concerts to this day.

By Stefan Bremner-Morris (07/03/2014)

The first two records I remember buying were 'Paperback Writer' by The Beatles and 'Sunny Afternoon' by The Kinks.  These were purchased from Bellmans, the record section was immediately to the left as one walked into the store.

By David J Scott (07/03/2014)

'Come on' by The Stones 1962. Got it from Bellmans.

By Terry Eggy Boyle (07/03/2014)

My very first record was "Lonely Little Pup (in a Christmas shop)" by Adam Faith, when I was 13 in 1959.  My dad bought me a record player for Christmas 1959 and this was the first of many Adam Faith records that I purchased from Bellmans.  I remember being so happy to be able to play the songs I liked over and over again.

By Sandie (07/03/2014)

Peter Groves what are you on about. Own up. That first record cannot be so bad you will not tell us all. Give us a chuckle - please?

By Jennifer Drury: Website Editor (07/03/2014)

Don Partridge, Blue Eyes, purchased in the record shop in George Street, Hove.  I just checked it on the net - it was 1968, so I was 14! Actually although it would have been bad for my 1970s image, he was actually a much better musician than many around today, and he does have a connection with the area.  He lived in Seaford in later life, and could be seen busking in many towns around the area.  He died in Seaford in 2010.  Right you lot, keep it quiet, no-one to tell Mick and the boys!

By Peter Groves (07/03/2014)

Oh Peter you silly boy. Blue Eyes was brilliant - but my favourite was Rosie. I just found a video of him on the net - he was so clever. And good for you to buck the trend and buy what you liked.

By Jennifer Drury: Website Editor (07/03/2014)

Christmas 1966. Just had my 14th birthday and a Dansette as a present. Mum gave me money to buy 2 records for her: "Green, Green Grass of Home" by Tom Jones, and "Matthew & Son" by Cat Stevens. (My brother is called Mathew.) For myself I bought "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys and "Think Sometimes About Me" by Sandie Shaw. I really wanted to start my Beatles collection, but I wanted to be cool and get the latest records. Still love Vibrations. And, Pete, I loved the busker, Don Partridge, but preferred "Rosie". No need to be ashamed!

By Renia (08/03/2014)

My fist record was 'Strawberry Fair' by Anthony Newly. 'Strawberry Fair' was the A side and 'Pop goes the Weasle' was the B side. I loved that song - I was about 11 years old. I purchased that record in the old Woolworths on the corner of Cheapside in London Road. I can still remember the building - as you walked in the main doors the old wooden stairs would be on the right and you got your records up there as well as my Airfix kits.

By Stephen Raynsford (09/03/2014)

The first record I ever bought was 'Diana' by Paul Anka (1957). Far more important though was finding Mose Allison's 'Parchman Farm' in Bellman's some years later in one of their bargain bins. That was a key point in my musical career. For the last 45 or so years, I have been able to play 'Parchman Farm' on the piano.

By Philip Burnard (09/03/2014)

How strange that you bought the record in George Street, Hove as Don Partridge used to busk there regularly at the end of his life. I used to see him at the Neville pub but he would never sing 'Blue Eyes' - he said he couldn't sing it back in the day never mind now!

By Marilyn Jones (09/03/2014)

This is a brilliant site.
I used to go to a very tiny record shop in Guildford Road, a few yards up the hill from Brighton Station. I can't remember the name of the lady who ran it. My first two records which came from there in 1954 were "A Dime and a Dollar" by Guy Mitchell and "Secret Love" coupled with "The Deadwood Stage" by Doris Day. I still have them along with many Frankie Laine, Guy Mitchell and Bill Haley records, all bought at the same shop. I remember her ordering earlier records for me such as "Jezebel" and "She wears red feathers", great times! I had a fantastic wind up gramophone which had leather casing and I used to buy, from the same shop, tins of needles. Each one could only be used once so they didn't last long. I've moved on since those days!

By Peter Guy (09/03/2014)

Great stuff Paul, Jennifer and Peter G. The first record I ever bought was 'Jailhouse Rock' by good old Elvis, queued with my pals for what seemed like hours outside Beales in East Street on September 24th 1957 - the day it was released. Other favourite records in that era played to death on the juke box at our Oak Leaf Cafe in Saltdean were 'Born too Late' by the Pony Tails, 'Picture of You' by Joe Brown and The Bruvvers and 'It's Only Make  Believe' by Conway Twitty - even in those days that name was very uncool. Come on Andy Grant give us a smile :) and tell us your first or favourite record.  Might it have been 'Needles and Pins' by the Re-Searchers?

By Chris Wrapson (10/03/2014)

Hi Chris, I can't honestly say I remember the first record I bought. I was very much into Jan & Dean, Jay and the Americans, Happenings, 4 Seasons, Beach Boys and the Hollies, but the records I had were really more eclectic than just those. I wonder if anyone remembers the 'cheapo' EPs containing covers of the latest hits (I believe they were on a label called Top Six and were really not very accurate covers). Similarly the Baron Knights used to regularly release comedic covers of the latest hits. Incidentally, Joe Brown lived locally to me and still surfaces from time-to-time at our local carnivals and town shows. Regards, Andy

By Andy Grant (11/03/2014)

Some great replies there, nothing wrong with 'Blue Eyes' Peter, a great song. I can remember buying records that I regarded as a 'guilty pleasure'. In my 'long hair' days I can remember buying Tamla and reggae singles which confused my mates, but if it's a good song then why not? I also remember, as does Chris, that I once queued up for a record. Mine was a few years later and it was 'Dark Side of the Moon' from Virgin by the Clock Tower and yes Andy we had some of the 'cheapo' EPs that you mentioned in the '60s. We had a 'trad jazz' one with Kenny Ball and Chris Barber, we also had one with 'Venus in Blue Jeans' by Mark Wynter and 'Telstar' by the Tornados. 

By Paul Clarkson (11/03/2014)

Bought my first record Wonderful Land by The Shadows in Wickham and Kimber, George St, Hove. Didn't have a record player yet, was anticipating Christmas! My parents had a 78rpm gramophone; they owned quite a collection of music.

By Marguerite Roberts (14/03/2014)

The very first record I ever bought was "What's New Pussycat", by Alvin and the Chipmunks. I went with my Dad to the record department of the Co-op on London Road.  Probably 1964ish? The first "proper" record I bought was the Twist and Shout EP by the Beatles - got it with a birthday record token - can't remember the name of the shop, but it was on the west side of London Road, a few yards down from Preston Circus.

By Marc Turner (20/03/2014)

The first record I went out and bought was as a direct result of skipping off school with my mates and attending a Radio One Club lunch time session at the Top Rank Ice rink. It was Prince Buster's 'Capone'.

By Adi Proud (06/08/2014)

The first record I bought was 'A Teenager in Love' by Marty Wilde. We used to go to a shop in Lewes Road where ex-juke box records were sold then we had to buy centres to fit into the records in order to play them on the Dansette at home.     

By Roger Brill (09/08/2014)

‘I got Rhythm’. Not only very ‘square’, as you might call it, but wordless too. Just the music!! That is the first record I recall dad bringing home to our house. So for me who was regularly bopping away to Radio Luxemburg this was a big disappointment. GI Blues LP was my very first own purchase. After seeing the movie with my girlfriends I found out I could buy it weekly from one of my friend’s home shopping catalogues. I think it cost around £1.10 shillings.  So over 20 weeks I could pay it off at something like 1 shilling and 3d. Not bad you might think? But I only earned £2.10 shillings a week and from that mum needed house-keeping, my daily bus fares to work, and anything else we paid for in 1961/2. However did we do it?

By Sandra Bohtlingk-Baldwin (09/08/2014)

I can't remember the very first but one of the first records I bought  was 'C'mon Everybody' by Eddie Cochrane in about 1958/59.  I'd heard it at a youth club one night and thought it the best thing I'd ever heard.  

By Jacqueline Thomas/Parker nee Jones (09/08/2014)

My first record was 54321 by Manfred Mann. My Father in Law Harry Durrant in later life made a double necked guitar for Don Partridge. I thought "Rosie" was a great record and liked Don's music. My sister still lives in the family home and her next door neighbour is the one and only Johnny Wakelin who had the hit about Mohammed Ali.

By Alan Spicer (04/09/2014)

I found myself in some kind of youth club or coffee bar one Saturday morning, somewhere in Portslade or Southwick in the early 50s. A couple of 'with it' guys were playing the latest hit record, and from that moment I knew I just had to buy it: "Oh, Mein Papa" by Eddie Calvert, a trumpet solo! I still have it, buried up in the loft. I would need special equipment now in order to play it  - it's an old shellac 78rpm!

By Brian Hatley (09/03/2015)

I have good memories of Eddie Calvert. He had a gold trumpet and had several hits. 'Oh Mein Papa' and 'Cherry pink and Apple blossom white' both got to number one. Other hits were 'John & Julie', 'Stranger in Paradise' and 'Zambesi'. I saw him at the Hippodrome and he was great!

By Peter Guy (13/03/2015)

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