My start in the record biz proper came when I suggested to Ace co-founder Ted Carroll at his Golborne Road record stall that I could compile a soul LP from the Kent/Modern catalogue Ace were currently working with. The resulting “For Dancers Only” record was the disc to be seen with in 1982 and went on to sell over 30,000 in its various guises. 97 more LPs were issued and in 1992 a series of CDs was started that is now around the 500 mark.
The Kent job entails finding and negotiating with the US label owners, tape research (and hopefully finding unissued gems), compiling the CDs, writing the sleevenotes and assisting with memorabilia for the artwork.
The last string to my ukelele was added in 1994 when I started the Cleethorpes Northern Soul Weekender, which is the scene’s longest-running event, annually attracting up to 1000 participants from all over the world and presenting some of the best 60s and 70s soul acts ever to appear in the UK. The 100 Club still packs them in and we are now into our 44th year. www.6ts.info.
Kent Records is in its 41st year and along with the rest of the music industry we are back to vinyl in an appreciable way – though the CD is the ideal format for the zealously documented histories of the great soul labels, producers, writers and acts.
Having reached my three score and ten last year, I have slowed down on the DJing and have a new 6TS partner, at the 100 Club, in Mattie Bolton who helps me make it through to 6am to play ‘Baby I Need Your Loving’ to an emotional crowd of dancing soul fanatics. Kent continues and there is no end to the projects, including a seemingly never-ending stream of great, previously unissued, recordings.