February 1967, London

Now that our record shop Soul City is getting more well known, some of our local customers, many who have immigrated to the UK from the Caribbean are asking for what were then quite obscure imported singles that had been popular in Jamaica, notably Willie Tee’s “Walking Up A One Way Street”, Barbara Lynn’s “Letter To Mommy & Daddy” and then rarest of them all, Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” none of which we can get at the time!

I’m enjoying working at our shop and my boyfriend Franklin has stopped in a few times to see me on Saturdays at the store. He’s a little flirtatious with Robert who along with Dave Godin is my partner at Soul City. I’m aware that Dave and Robert’s relationship may be beyond platonic and one memorable Saturday when Frankiin comes early to meet me from work, Dave tells me he doesn’t want him there, I suspect because of Franklin’s flirting with Robert and Robert’s seemingly eager response.  I say, ‘If he goes, I go!’ and when Dave is adamant, so I am… I leave and by Tuesday, I’m still not returning. Dave calls and my mum says he wants to know when I’m coming back, suggesting he’ll tell my mum ‘things’ about me… I grab the phone and tell him I’ll call him back. I don’t respond well to blackmail….