Category Archives: Ady Croasdell

I first became interested in black American music through my dad’s 78s of Paul Robeson, Fats Waller and the Ink Spots. An interest in rural blues developed throughout the early 60s and from there I found John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.
The need to attract girlfriends led me to soul music, as there weren’t many lookers into country blues. It was the standard Stax/Motown/Geno route that so many late 60s mods took. In 1969 I fell by chance into an “Old Soul” all-nighter and things were never the same again. I fell in love with the music that was later to be named Northern Soul by journalist Dave Godin and listened to it, collected it, talked about it and danced to it for the next ten years.

A degree in International Relations at University College, London only served to give me more time for my hobby and a job on a singles record stall on Soho’s Rupert Street market set me up as a rare record dealer for the next ten years. In 1974 I sold up my hard-won collection of UK Tamla and rare soul items to finance my first record-buying trip to the USA. The trip was a success and I made 20+ over the next dozen years.

In 1979 my favourite soul club folded and necessity caused me to start the 6Ts Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Club with friend and fellow enthusiast Randy Cozens. That club is still running today at London’s 100 Club and is the longest-running Northern Soul night ever (and the longest-running club night). A DJing career was forced upon me around this time and I have DJed all around the UK, Europe and even the USA.

Finding The First Copy with Ady Croasdell

Bette Swann & Ady Croasdell

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. 

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.

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