May 1968, London

The team at Soul City – myself, Dave Godin and Robert Blackmore – are now joined by sister Sylvia, four years younger than me, who has been running the Nina Simone Appreciation Society I started in 1965 with me.  Almost inescapably, Sylvia has been subjected to the music of my favourite R&B and soul artists from the constant blasting from my record player in our  ‘play’ room above Kilburn High Street, where my Dad managed the fish-and-chip shop and we as a family lived.  Sylvia fell under Nina’s musical spell quite naturally and after leaving school in 1968, she comes to work with us at Soul City as a sales assistant.  It’s perfect timing given that much of Dave’s energy is now devoted to developing our newly-launched record label which is benefiting from great sales with Gene Chandler’s “Nothing Can Stop Me.”  Dave is pursuing other opportunities to license U.S. product for Soul City Records…

“May I speak to Dave Godin?”  asks a short man with a moustache who walks into our shop in a midweek afternoon.  Dave comes out from the back office.  “Hi, my name is Dave Kapralik,” smiles the man with the American accent. “I work with Epic Records and I’ve been receiving your letters regarding putting out some of our repertoire on your label…”  Indeed, Dave has requested tracks like Major Lance’s “The Beat” and Billy Butler’s “The Right Track” which are popular among the growing crowd of soul fans who frequent clubs in the North of England and The Midlands: the procedure involves asking for particular tracks via CBS Records in London who pass on the requests to Epic and Columbia executives…

Mr. Kapralik is at Soul City to discuss his primary focus: “I manage Sly & The Family Stone,” he tells us, “and I want to know if you guys would be interested in promoting their music in Britain.” It seems CBS Records in London hasn’t quite known what to with the multi-ethnic funk, rock’n’soul band and “Dance To The Music,” a Top 10 pop & R&B hit in the US has gotten no ‘love’ in the UK.  Dave Godin sets up a proper meeting with Dave Kapralik to discuss how we can help get Sly & company off the ground in  Britain….and a whole new chapter full of adventure and drama is about to open up!

Click the link to download “Dance To The Music”