Bygones: Sounds like nostalgia ...
SOME of the first records I remember having as a child were picture sleeve discs of the famous Rev Audrey railway stories, as told by Johnny Morris, writes Tim Mickleburgh.
These were 45rpm singles. However, I did also have a few 78s, which were prone to break easily.
The main record store when we came to Grimsby in 1968 was Gough and Davy's in a then unpedestrianised Victoria Street.
I'm reminded of it when I hear of HMV's closure in Freshney Place, as it too was a specialised store.
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What I recall most about it was the special booths to listen to music before you bought it. I wonder how many youngsters took advantage of this facility who had no intention of making any purchases?
The cost of a traditional single seemed to vary between 8\2d (41p) and 8\6d (42.5p).
This incidentally was at a time when it cost five shillings (25p) for adults to watch a game at Blundell Park, showing just how much soccer admissions have risen. I mean, you can buy an album on CD these days for less than the cost of a match-day ticket!
Going back to record outlets, it is interesting to note that just as today, you could pick up records in other stores which sold a wide range of goods.
There was one shop on the corner of George Street from where I bought an MFP soundtrack version of The Sound Of Music which I'd enjoyed so much on the big screen.
MFP stood for Music For Pleasure, and was a discount label for record chain EMI. You didn't get the original artists performing the songs, but because of this, you paid considerably less than an LP would have cost.
MFP discs were extremely popular, and I believe that of The Sound Of Music sold half-a-million copies in its own right. Hallmark specialised in discount LPs, producing many discs in their Top Of The Pops series.
The format of each would be the same, namely a picture of a dolly bird on the front, and a selection of cover versions of songs which had recently been in the charts.
No indication was given as to who the singers actually were, though I'm told that a struggling Elton John added to his income that way.
With Top Of The Pops records selling at supermarkets and non-traditional record outlets, less has changed over the years than some would like to think!