HMV 363 Oxford Street

This was the Daddio of record shops. HMV 363 Oxford Street, London in the late 1950′s:

The shop plays a part in The Beatles story. HMV, which was then part of EMI, had a small recording studio that members of the public could record songs for their sweethearts. In February 1962 Brian Epstein was in London doing the rounds of the London record companies trying (unsuccessfully) to get a record deal for the boys. He stopped at HMV Records at 363 Oxford Street to get some acetate discs made from the (unsuccessful) reel-to-reel Decca demo. The disc-cutter was Jim Foy who mentioned the group to publisher Sid Colman who in turn mentioned them to George Martin at E.M.I.’s studios in Abbey Road NW8. George gave The Beatles a recording test some months later and the rest is history.

People also bought music there!

You can browse more wonderful photos from HMV in the 1960′s here

The original HMV shop burnt down in 1937 to be rebuilt and reopened 2 years later on 8th May 1939. Sir Thomas Beecham, the famous conductor, opened the store. Here is his speech and photos of the fire.

The original shop was opened in 1921 by Sir Edward Elgar (who also opened Abbey Road Studios ten years later)

The shop closed down on April 2000. A certain George Martin was there to send it on its way with a Blue Plaque.

14 thoughts on “HMV 363 Oxford Street

  1. I have just purchased the most wonderful HMV 102 Red Gramophone (1936) in mint condition still in its original carton. It cost a fortune but worth every penny, Glenn Miller String of Pearls perfection. God bless all those wonderful people that worked in the Hayes factory that produced such an instrument.
    Good Old Nipper

  2. My Good Friend and Beatles Fanatic Alan Harrington will open the Revamped Iconic HMV Store on 28 Sep at 363 Oxford St London W1.

  3. I was in the crowd and saw alan Harrington going to Paul McCartney with his cd when Paul said to him I know you I was so proud to have know Alan as he was one of the best DJ I have ever seen in north London he always played Beatles records then I saw Alan playing in carnby street two years ago the street came to a stand still on that Saturday playing great music my eyes were full of tears well done Alan keep London happy as you always did your biggest fan Jill Coleman lots love

  4. A great British brand, Merc, since 1967 has given to London its signature style with an attention to details mixing classic retro style with new trends for both men and women.
    During the Saturday when the Carnaby Street Fashion Show has been held, the atmosphere and the music of when for the first time Merc opened up its door for business, relived thanks to Alan Harrington, more than a DJ, an icon of that golden era that was the Swinging Sixties. Alan Harrington, one of the most specialist on Elvis Presley, the Beatles and all the music that was 50′s and 60′s played old classics at the shop, accepting music requests from the customers visiting the shop and introducing his music on the microphone, reminding me of Wolfman Jack from “American Graffiti”.
    While inside the shop listening to those great tracks I could admire the sharp tailoring of the outfits on display recognizing some of the pieces from the fashion show.
    Thanks to Merc, for few hours Carnaby Street has been brought back 50 years, because I’m sure that during that magical decade all the songs played yesterday at Merc has been played half a century ago while Mods and girls in Twiggy miniskirts were doing their shopping in the newest and trendiest street in London.

  5. Yes that day I remember very well with that great Dj never seen a Dj like him I would put him up there with the likes of Alan freeman and the rest of all the greats would love to know where he is to day playing that great music never seen a day like it thanks Alan Harrington for the music Anne ward from Chelsea london

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