Thursday, April 24, 2008

Deptford Soul City

In autumn 1966 the first specialist soul records shop in Europe opened at no. 21 Deptford High Street, with a speech about freedom by novelist Brigid Brophy. The shop, Soul City, was the brainchild of 'an Esperanto-speaking vegan-anarchist from Bexleyheath, Dave Godin' (see here) and his friends David Nathan and Robert Blackmore.

The shop attracted enthusiasts from all over the country in search of soul obscurities, and later in 1967 (apparently after a burglary in the Deptford shop) it moved to Monmouth Street in Covent Garden).

Dave Godin (1936 -2005) was a key figure in promoting soul music in the UK through his shop, record labels and writing in Blues and Soul magazine. Born in Peckham and raised in Lambeth and Bexleyheath, he has been credited with introducing soul music to Mick Jagger at Dartford Grammar School and with coining the term 'northern soul'. As well as the record shop, Soul City was also a record label for a while.

The image above of the Deptford shop is reproduced from 'The In Crowd: The Story of the Northern and Rare Soul Scene' by Mike Ritson and Stuart Russell. The bottome picture shows Trevor Churchill, later of Chiswick and Ace Records (left) and Dave Godin (centre) outside the Deptford shop.
As with all our history material on this site, we'd love to hear more - anybody out there remember the Deptford shop?


Anonymous said...

excellent post

Andrew Brown said...

Dave Godin's Deep Soul CDs have pride of place in my collection. The man had an ear for great music.

pilgrim said...

hi neil

there are two quite lengthy and interesting interviews with Dave Godin at (just launched). Go here and scroll down to the section on the Shadows of Love CD...