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In 1992, Kelvin’s friend Joop rang to say that he had heard about a big record collection coming up for sale in Holland – was Kelvin interested? Apparently the head of Billboard for the Benelux countries was selling his collection of over 3000 albums. They headed for Holland and looked at the collection, all stacked and racked on the top floor of a tall, narrow house. It was a great collection, so they ‘did the deal’.

A Record Shop In Soho The problem, however, was how best to sell them on. Kelvin was getting fed up with Walthamstow: the rent and rates had gone sky-high. Keith Stone of Daddy Cool Records in Soho said that the Blue Bird record shop in Berwick Street was becoming vacant and agreed to help fund Kelvin moving in. They called it ‘Rocking Sarah’, as a dedication to Keith’s sister in law.

Bluebird Records - the Soho one was a top shop for Reggae Comment: David Morris
I worked at Bluebird Records in Church St. Paddington before co-owning the Bluebird Luton shop in 1985-90. Great atmosphere, vibe was second to none! When US imports and promos were the main selection. Comment: Colin Watts

I remember London's "Groove Records" on Greek Street and "Bluebird Records" on Edgeware Road. Spent many hours (and pounds) in both shops in the mid 80's. Good times. Comment:Steve Troughton

(Mar 9, 2014) Tooty Toots said:Seemed to spend every spare minute and every spare pound in the Church St Shop. Between 1980-4

(Oct 18, 2013) ian copland aberdeen said:the legendary billy davidson spent loads of time(and cash!)on our numerous trips to the smoke to pick up stacks of stuff to fan the fire back in scotland...great times n great music!

(Mar 19, 2013) Darren said:I remember you Colin, you were a dude. When i was at school i had a saturday job in a bakery and used to walk down to Bluebird in Stuart street and spend my £12 wages. Imports were £8.99 at the time if i remember rightly (1986ish).What was the blonde blokes name? Andy seems to ring a bell. Not sure when jive fm started up but remember chatting to DJ Stumpy (Remember him) in the shop. Can still see 2live crew and MC Shy D album covers hanging up on that central beam that ran across the shop, those were the days. Also remember when licensed to ill was released (Made the Groove Hip Hop sales chart before mainstream) and everyone thought the beasties were Black. Guy i worked with wouldn't have it that they were white! Anyway good times, great shop!

March 1st, 2015)I remember going to Bluebird Records in Church Street. It was always packed in there. I use to find killers in the 'Cut-Out' shop next door! I remember when Mantronix & MC Tee came into the shop. That was a great experience seeing them and I got to meet them! Abbey and Stuart was working there at the time. I was 15 and going up there, as well as other record shops every Saturday, to spend my pocket money & buy a killer tune. The atmosphere was so brilliant to me & the staff were so cool as well as the other vinyl junkies in there. Man, good days indeed. Miss it alot!!! Comment:Dave James

(April 22, 2015)I was very young going to Bluebird from sarf London, which we always referred to as Edgeware Road. The cut out shop was our speciality as I didn't really have any pocket money but scraped together what i could. Just the sound of tunes and the spell of the vinyl kept me coming back time after time. Picked up some tunes over the yeas and even walked back from Edgeware Road to Deptford just after getting some records. Good, Good times!!! Comment: Neville Dinnall.

(May 8, 2015) 1986..I worked as an office junior in a law firm in Luton...as soon as it was pay day..I was up Blue Bird in my lunch hour..scouting for 12" versions of the latest vibe. Great record shop. Great times. x Good memories. Ronara Butler

(May 27, 2015) Does anybody remember Davy G from Bluebird in Luton. Seem to remember him being there around 87 88 ish. I was about 14/15... Used to have a white label 12" by him mixing up Dynamix II 'Give the DJ a Break' and loads of other stuff. Lost that record about 20 years ago and really want it again. MASSIVE LONG SHOT I KNOW....Please help...Duncan Roberts.

( November 25, 2015) I've still got my blue bird record box I bought down church street, used to buy reggae, I lived down Lisson Grove, became a DJ , MC and producer aka MC Kinky.

( Feb 11, 2016) Well well well. It all seemed from another time. I'm Billy that owned Bluebird Records in Church Street in Paddington in Luton, Berwick St and Streatham I had the best years of my life at Bluebird and I still have all my vinyl up here in Scotland. Happy days and looking forward to coming down for C J Carlos boat trip reunion in July. Billy senior died 6 years ago just as he was trying to revive some of the old tunes. Maybe one day. Love to everyone who I knew. Does anyone know what happened to my old mate Cornelius Felix ? Comment: Billy C.

Name Mike Perch Comment: Good memories of Bluebird records. Buying 12's at Church Street and a few years later, working at the much larger Edgware Road branch. Worked with Stuart, Gary, Ronnie and others. Bill & Billy buying pizza on Saturdays when there were often three or four people deep at the counter; no time for a break. Sad to hear of the death of Billy. Ronnie and me worked together at the Berwick Street market branch. Bluebird Records' One of the best jobs I've had. Michael. ( July 11, 2016).

Name Rob Knighton Comment: Does anyone who was involved with Bluebird records Edgware rd around 1985 know what the amazing sound system was please? ( Sept 17, 2016).

Name Sasha Felix Comment: Billy - that's my dad :) Get in touch. (April 9, 2017).

Name Ivor Griffiths Comment: Oh boy I used to bike to bluebird in Luton from Milton Keynes was there on opening day Loose Ends and Tony Blackburn was there, I know Colin Watts (nice guy) such a good shop, went to Edgeware rd shop when in London , miss shop's like them. (July 11, 2017).

Name Laurence Taylor Comment: I used to work just round the corner from the Church Street shop; when they started doing tea as well we often went in there because we were too lazy to make our own! It was around the same time I got to know Roger Tate (Bob Tomalski) of Radio Invicta. Happy days! All those shops gone now :( (July 27,2017)

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Amazing times really whole scene culture vibes remember buying cut outs from church street
Name
sam scenario
(2017)

Comment
Great memories
Name
Leeroy Rodham
(2018)

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Hi guys. My name is Damon I used to work in both shops in Paddington with Stuart and Abbey. Spent most of my time helping the punters find wicked tunes in the cut out shop. Used to serve Dancing Danny D. CJ Carlos. Chris Hill and Froggy. Norman Jay. Happy times indeed. I miss shops like these.
Name
Damon Knight
(2018)

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The blonde guy in Luton store was Andy Taylor. That shop is responsible for me having no money through out the whole of the 80s!!
Name
scott whitman
(2018)

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Does anyone have copies of the Bluebird Charts which were run on Radio Invicta?
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praful shah
(2019)

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Does Billy Carruthers remember encounter in the "Bluebird" early 1983?
Name
mark Sims
(2020)

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Strange how the years roll back and memories return, if you search the interweb !!

I used to work at 376-378 Edgware Road from late 1978 when it was trading as the NuSound hi-fi shop (which Bluebird moved into later on).

Bluebird records was originally over the road in Church Street at the time and another guy who I got to know, called Jose (who worked at another hi-fi store nearby) loved his reggae and he would sometimes pop into our store having just bought some new releases from Bluebird, plus some paella or a bag of cooked prawns from a nearby Spanish restaurant.

By 1982, I was working at another hi-fi shop, in Surrey called Unilet - and who as woring there? - a certain Bob Tomalski (RIP) (the same person as mentioned above by Laurence Taylor).

In fact, in the late 1970s, I used to listen to a number of pirate radio stations on Sundays when I lived in London - Radio Free London, Radio Jackie and others - and I'd recorded some shows (as they played some great music) and one recording was of "Roger Tate" who was having a moan about "lady drivers"...and when I got to work with him, a few years later, I recognised this voice, and put 2 and 2 together - and played this cassette recording at which point a rather red-faced Bob T had to admit he was Roger Tate.

So, there's some strange links going back about 40 years. Bluebird - 376 Edgware Road - Bob T and me... :-)
Name
Tim O'Malley
(2020)

Comment
I was a regular at the edgware rd branch buying up all the imports what amazing memories used to travel up from tooting BEC
Name
barry simms
(2020)

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Writing on behalf of my wife Mary who worked at Bluebird up in the office in Church Street and then in Edgeware Road from the early days up until about 1989 I think - she was responsible for the admin and mail order making sure the customers got the music they were after. She loved her time there and we all loved the two Billys. Happy Days!
Name
Mary PATTERSON
(2020)

Comment
I Worked in Edgware road when it moved from Church Street. The two Billy were good friends also all the boys Ronnie Stuart Gary etc etc .I still recall all the drinks we had after the shop closed. I still have all my record and the memories of living the life in the 80s were so good Maze at Hammersmith Luther Vandross at the Dominion Tottenham court road I was there saw it heard it lived it love to everyone . Sam T (2022)


Comment
I just wanted to also add, when I was 14/15 years of age, i use to make it a day out on Saturdays to go to Bluebird Records in Church Street. I remember Billy buying chips and offering me some as he saw me in and out of the shop for hours,
Miss you guys, Billy,Stuart, Gary, Abbey..
Miss the Shop, Great Times and Great days. All the best to all of you, and for making my Vinyl journey an amazing experience :))
Name
Dave James
(2022)

Comment
Remember the guy with Motown tattoo on his hand Edware road shop.
Name
Graham Joyes
​(2023)

Comment
I went to the "Beyond the Streets" exhibition at the Saatchi gallery, they have a set up of a record shop. Hundreds of old vinyl records, posters etc. It sent me back to the days of my youth when I'd be in Bluebird scouring for the latest Tommy Boy releases - I actually found a couple amongst the vinyl at the exhibition. Really got some old memories flooding back.
Name
John D
​(2023)


Comment
Fabulous pic, Ivan!
Name
Glynn Williams
​(2023)

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Photograph '© David Corio' 1984 Church Street Stuart behind the counter.

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( November 25, 2015) I've still got my blue bird record box I bought down church street, used to buy reggae, I lived down Lisson Grove, became a DJ , MC and producer aka MC Kinky.

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Image donation http://www.doyourecords.co.uk/

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Music Week 1991

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Comments

Nick Greenfield
27 Aug 2023 at 05:36
Billy C! Just read this and very sad to hear of Billy senior's death. I used to do your legal work in the 80's. PLEASE if you read this get in touch. SO many happy memories of you both.
Dave Harwood
16 Apr 2024 at 02:45
I found this picture caption on the front page of the 'Marylebone Mercury' dated 28th May 1982:
“AMERICAN Soul singer Patrice Rushen, fast rising in the charts with her single 'Forget-me-nots', found time to pop into the Bluebird Record Shop, Church Street, Marylebone to sign autographs before appearing live on Top of the Pops. With her are the shop's owners, left: Billy Carruthers and Billy Russell.”
... and this piece on the front page of the 18th April 1991 edition: “THE thundering beat of MC Hammer, and other dance music stars, cost a struggling Soho record shop £1,500 for noise pollution. Publishing company Ian Weald Editing, situated above Bluebird Records in Berwick Street, complained to the council about the ear-piercing beat which was rocking the building's foundations.”

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