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.

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3 thoughts on “HMV 363 Oxford Street

  1. Wasn’t there a small studio at 363 Oxford Street, as well as disc cutting facilities? I have a feeling that Sir Cliff recorded some early demo discs with the Drifters there.

  2. Brilliant photos – imagine browsing 78rpm discs! You couldn’t do that in Murdochs, Maidstone. And yes, Louis, you’re right about the demo studio which Cliff used – though I only know that from his various biographies/autobiography. It was the record fans’ Mecca for so many years. Loved the sophistication of the TV and radiogram floor(s). Surely the quality of the retail experience has sunk badly over the last 40 years?

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