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My first visit to Imhofs: mid 1950s, went through the door, heard the Eroica. It was a Collaro transcription unit [I bought one subsequently] with an RCA cartridge, Decca yellow label LXT Erich Kleiber/Concertgebouow! [Can't remember what I did yesterday]. Just along Oxford Street, turn into Newman Street and there you'd find the EMG Handmade Gramophone Co. shop where comfortable and quality LP auditions were available. I wanted the latest Karajan: Pictures at an Exhibition. I asked for it by catalogue number. The assistant asked what it was and when told replied "We don't recommend that one! Have you heard the Toscanini version?" He took it off the shelf and ushered me into a comfortable sitting room, with the latest EMG speakers which faced the room's corners to widen the sound stage, set up the disc and and invited me to take my time. I was 21. Still have the disc and its CD re-issue. I also used to shop at Henry Stave in Dean Street. kitmed 2y

( December 17, 2015) Oh such a nice surprise to come across this page. I used to work at Staves. It was not Company just a canny one man show and he used the name Stave because it was musical and Henry because it sounded very English. He had an unpronounceable Jewish name.He was a wonderful eccentric and it was like working in a mad house but great fun.Love to hear if you have any memmories of shopping there. Comment: Daphne Morgan.

Comment: I only ever shopped for LPs in the late sixties at two places: Saville's Pianos in High Street, Walthamstow, and later at Henry Stave. I was attracted by their 'Guaranteed Unplayed' cachet. I still have all of the LPs, many with the small 'Stave-Sealed' adhesive disc intact. Colin Doman. (Oct 7, 2016)

Name: Josephine Michell( later Sewell and Davies
Comment: I worked at Henry Staves from Jan.1962 - August1964.It was the most wonderful job I ever had..... Changed my Life!! Fascinating people we met in the shop during the two and a half years
I was there. Critics, composers, conductors and musicians flocked in the shop and there were SO many invitations to concerts, recitals & Promenade concerts. I actually went to the 1962 Covent Garden production of the 'The Rite of Spring' , and
Also the 2nd performance of Benjamin Britten conducting 'The War Requiem' in London. Halcyon Days!Robert, Warren. Mary ,Ann, Anneliese, MonicaJane, Janet, Gillian, Carole........ I remember you all SO fondly!. The BEST record shop ever. (Feb 20, 2017)

Name: Peter Mechen
Comment: Golly! Wonderful information concerning Henry Stave and Company! To think I bought LPs from him to post to New Zealand for about six years and didn't know anything of what Daphne Morgan has said - I simply assumed it was a kind of efficient, faceless record shop with a mail order department. Henry Stave was VERY efficient as well as being very kind, because he used to either replace or refund LP which weren't perfoect and which I set back to him (this was in the days when postage was cheap - nowadays postage firms charge like wounded bulls!). I have the most pleasant memories of dealing with Henry Stave, and most of the LPs in my collec tion dating from 1969 to 1975 come from that shop! I finally got to London in 1994 and worked there as a teacher for a year - sadly, when I went to No.9 Dean St. there was no sign of Henry Stave. I was so disappointed! I wanted to thank someone - anybody! - who had perhaps been there during my halcyon record-buying days for all the pleasure I'd got from those packages of LPs sent to New Zealand! (June 18, 2017).

I have such fond memories of Henry Stave Ltd. The first time I went there, probably around 1970, they were playing "Il Trovatore". I had no idea what it was but, after a few minutes of listening, I went up to the counter and said "I want that." And so my first opera recording. I still have it and still listen to it. I kept going back and buying records, J.S. Bach Complete Organ Works; Beethoven Symphonies. I moved to the USA in 1974 and, on one of my subsequent trips back, I walked down Dean Street looking for the shop, but it was no longer there. I regret never having met the proprietor and thanking him.
Ian Zitron

I bought many records there in the sixties and later worked in the building when it became a television post production
compan. It was 8 Dean street and moved to 9 just before it closed forever in the early 70's

David Ellis

I have just come across this page again. The service of every record inspected was absolutely true. He had two women in a little room upstairs who would slide out every record without touching them and look for little bubbles which were quite common in those days. he would go down the dustbins every night to see if there were any co. secrets being thrown out. he was convinced HMV were spying on him. I got poached by HMV so he came round oxford store and started screaming the odds so i nwent back to him as he gave me such a good raise!!! He heard Yeudi Menuin telling a customer about HMV so threw him out of the shop. Funny as henry was only about 5ft5 oh happy days Daphne

Richard Winton, Tokyo

I read by chance in the April 2019 Gramophone issue that Harold Moores had died at the end of last December (2018). It was he who hired me to work at Henry Stave & Co. when the shops were owned by Rediffusion. I worked mainly in the King William Street branch with Colin Butler. This was in the mid-1970s (when Virginia Wade won Wimbledon - Colin was great tennis fan). Anyone know what happened to him and Sally Rettig and John at Dean Street?
Richard Winton,
Tokyo (where they still have CD shops and Tower Records, though slowly shrinking . . .) (2019)

Name: Ian Ward
Comment: I remember the shop in King William Street, EC4. Often called in there. Not sure what year it was, I remember Mr & Mrs Marcos taking it on and it becoming 'Classical Record Centre'. Lasted a few years and became a newsagent/sweet shop.

Name: Carla Rosenthal
Comment: My father Erich Rosenthal designed the record sleeves and company artwork. I have original drawings of the prints. I'd love to hear from anyone who knew him.

Name: Emma
Comment: My great-uncle, Robert F Leslie, worked at Henry Stave & Co in the past. I came across a lovely poem recently, which was given to him when he left the company. It would be great to hear from anyone who may have worked with him.


Michael Browne
07 Jun 2023 at 07:11
On leaving school in 1964 and starting work in the Ministry of Transport HQ in Southwark, just along from the South Bank, I very soon discovered Henry Stave and Company in Dean Street, Soho - and it became my favourite record shop. There were others, like The Record Hunter near Waterloo Station, run by John Hunter(?), who went on to found Unicorn Kanchana records - always worth a browse - and EMG Handmade Gramophones just round the corner from Henry Stave, in Soho Square. But as a young 19 year old I found EMG rather intimidating and stuffy - they didn't so much recommend a recording, as tick you off for asking for something they did not approve: "Barenboim and Klemperer? - oh no," (curl of the lip), "you should go for Gilels and Szell.")
Henry Stave was a much more agreeable, friendly and supportive place for a young person to go to for advice.

At the MoT I inherited the running of the MoT Sound Reproduction Society (not a family planning advice centre!...) where in a top floor room once a week Civil Servants were able to relax and enjoy a lunchtime concert of carefully curated classical pieces. Henry Stave were happy to offer a generous 10% discount for members of the Society.

Going to live in Nottingham in '71, I was unaware of Henry Stave's move from Dean Street to Great Marlborough Street, and later when on the occasional visit to London and Harold Moores' shop, quite unaware that it had once been Henry Stave and Company. All the London classical music shops seemed to have vanished; it's happened here in Nottingham too, where retirement saw the end of Classical CD in the Lacemarket, and the very smart Classical Music Shop on Chapel Bar went a bit earlier, probably as a result of exorbitant city centre rental demands. At least the latter morphed into the wonderful online Europadisc, based here in Beeston, on the outskirts of Nottingham.

Emma, above, mentions Robert F Leslie, her Great Uncle. The name rings a bell, and I think I can put a face to the name too. Certainly I can remember one of the senior Henry Stave staff featuring in an article in either Gramophone or Records and Recording as an artists' agent signing up the venerable Dr Eugen Jochum. Was this Emma's Mr Leslie?

In Autumn 1975 I travelled down from Nottingham to the RFH to hear the LSO and Previn do a lovely programme of Debussy, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninov, and sitting right in front of me were Dr and Mrs Jochum - and 'Mr Leslie'. This was the period when certain members of the LSO were agitating to have Previn dethroned and replaced with a more 'serious' figure, and Jochum was strongly mooted for this role. The Jochums appeared to enjoy the concert hugely, smiling broadly and vigorously applauding both the orchestra and Previn. Meanwhile, Mr Leslie, if indeed it was he, did not offer a single clap or indeed any other sign of approbation towards the man he wanted his client to supersede! Fascinating.

Thank you for prompting a huge wave of nostalgia. I shall return to this website again with keen anticipation.



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