Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Cross Reggae Shops/Labels

Really only beginning to find out more about the contribution of New Cross and surrounding area to the history of reggae. I've mentioned before Eve Records in Upper Brockley Road, birthplace of Lovers Rock in the 1970s.

Another important record shop/record label was Fay Music. According to the Reggaepedia 'Fay Music was the label of Winston Edwards. It was set up from Jah Shaka's house in Alpha Road, London in 1974. In 1975 Edwards opened his Fay Music record shop in southeast London's New Cross. The greatest success for the label was the album 'King Tubby Meets The Upsetter At The Grass Roots Of Dub' which remained for three months at the top of Black Music's reggae chart. The label was closed down in 1978'. Fay Music also released singles by Augustus Pablo and U Roy.

The addresses for Fay Music I have come across are 21 Alpha Road, SE14 (presumably Shaka's house) and 324 New Cross Road, SE 14 (presumably the New X record shop referred to previously).

After the closure of Fay Music, Edwards apparently went on to manage Joe Gibbs' record shop in Lewisham Way, 'He also launched his Studio 16 label here. He worked there to the start of the 80's and the shop seem to have folded when Joe Gibbs was having various legal problems'. So legendary Jamaican artist/producer Gibbs had a record shop in Lewisham Way - was he actually living in London at the time, or was it just the London end of his Jamaican business?

Joe Gibbs Record City was at 29 Lewisham Way (where Viva Zapata is now) and regularly compiled the UK reggae chart in the early 1980s.

As for Shaka himself, he had 'had an Arts & Craft Culture shop in New Cross' in the 1980s. Would be good to know where so we know where to put a plaque...

Yet another reggae record label based locally was Sound City Records (1978-81) at 494 New Cross Road, SE14 and at the same address King & City Records (1980-82)

Finally, another local landmark in this respect would have to be the Mad Professor's 1980s Ariwa studio at 42 Gautrey Road, SE15 - technically a Peckham postcode, but only a couple of streets outside SE14 in the Nunhead area.

Anybody with any memories/information about these places, please get in touch so that we can do justice to them.

Here's some footage of Jah Shaka in 1986 in Arklow Road, Deptford:


IMR said...

Saxon Sound were around Lewisham from the late 1970s and Island set up a record label for them, UK Bubblers, but don't know any more about it.

Lezlee Lyrix/William Henry's book What the Deejay Said: A Critique from the Street has got a lot of info on the Deptford/New Cross reggae and dancehall scene.

Anonymous said...

Hello there
I found this blog as I was looking for information for my son about how music was accessed when I was younger.
Sound city records was on new cross road, my mum used to write the music reviews for the Pepys diary so I spent a lot of my childhood in that shop listening to music or her asking Frenchie (owner) if he knew of a song she had heard on a pirate radio station often Sky Radio which was a Lewisham station. The only djs name I can remember is Delroy Briscoe because we met him a lot as kids and we used to request songs alot!
Sorry to babble on my I realised recently that to my son this is all history so I think it's good for him to see how access to music has changed since I was a child.

Also I just remembered, my dad once gave me a signed copy of a single from ariwa because he was a taxis driver in at the time and got chatting to an artist from that studio one night

Unknown said...

I used to take all the photographs for Winston Edwards back in the day.
I remember going to Downing St at midnight and driving up to the front door of No10
I got out my camera and tripod and took a photo of the Bobby and the front door.
This was the photo used for Dub conference at 10 Downing St