JJ 01/73: Welcome to Europe

Touching reminders of how JJ advertisers marked the UK's entry into the European family. It appears none has celebrated its departure


The January 1973 edition of Jazz Journal contained two adverts that saluted the UK’s entry into the Common Market.

In its advert, above, Peter Russell’s renowned Hot Record Store, specialised in jazz, went to town on the wordplay, rechristening the Market Avenue, Plymouth road in which the shop was located.

Peter had chosen Plymouth for the location for his shop because the nearest competition was in Bristol. But he didn’t find his Plymouth clientele very enlightened, referring to the town (which voted 59.9% to leave the EU in 2016) as “a pre-historic city”, “squaresville” and “the back of beyond”. They weren’t much interested in jazz. But he built up his trade by developing an international mail-order business, aided by EEC, EC and EU membership, and opening a hi-fi department, noting that many people in Plymouth still had wind-up players.

Russell, a grammar-school educated anti-nuclear campaigner and vegetarian, also provided inspiration to local boy and budding saxophonist John Surman, who worked for a while in the shop. Surman said: “Of course I should have been in school . . . but damn! . . . where was I going to get an education like THAT?” Another local, Mike Westbrook, said: “One day, either by accident, or more probably by design, as I went into the shop he had on the turntable Duke Ellington’s Blues in Orbit – one of the sounds than changed my life.”

Peter Russell died aged 88 in 2014. More on his life and the Hot Records Store can be found on Facebook, in an extensive interview in the British Record Shop Archive and at Jazz Promo Services.

Meanwhile, in the same January 1973 issue of Jazz Journal, Selecta were pleased to offer a range of new releases from French RCA, featured in CBS’s continental catalogues: