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.
17 thoughts on “HMV 363 Oxford Street”
This is great history in sound and image. Hope to see more
Thank you! And welcome aboard.
Yes the store is opening again in sep 20013 I closed the store and opened the new one across the street very sad to see it as a shoe shop now it’s coming home where it belong so come down for the opening in September all the very best to all the fans of hmv Dj. Alan please go to alanspopshop.com
Please what are the dates?
In 1951 or there abouts i made my first record at HMV studios Oxford street as a boy suprano with mmy shool
That’s fascinating, Robert. What did you record and is it available? What are your memories of the recording? Can you remember anybody from the studio?
I’m in heaven, a Nipper web site with all the info I’m ever going to need. THANK YOU VERY MUCH
Thanks Mike glad your enjoying our dog blog…and if you do have any Nipper Gram Comp stories please feel free to share with us!
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
My Good Friend and Beatles Fanatic Alan Harrington will open the Revamped Iconic HMV Store on 28 Sep at 363 Oxford St London W1.
That so cool. Can you send a photo in either to the hound or the emi group archive trust, check out their website for address
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
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.
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
I’ve just saw this site about this dj funny ive moved back to New York City USA was living in London in 2001 till 2008 we went to this pub in North London the pub was Kilburn the bell on Sunday’s it was packed with people dj Alan was playing I say it was some pub with him playing the Rock and roll was out of this world he had everything from the 1950s 1960s what a showman I watch him for hours with his Mike talking ive meet members of the four seasons pop group I’ve told them about this dj if ever you go to London go to the bell. Pub and see the best dj in the world then he never played again so sad I still think about him dj Alan where ever you we miss you danny torqued big fan
DJ Alan sadly passed away last year. His music memorabilia plus HMV Nipper dog that was given to him when HMV in Oxford Street closed is up for sale on ebay. Please click on the below link to see his collection.