News Stories

Zella Studios/Records

Contributor Reiss sent this in to the archive about the extremely important Zella Studio and Record Label. More information is needed!
Although Zella Records had been born and grown from Ladbrokes Music shop whose address was on Bristol Street, the studio itself was detached and was located in a delivery quadrangle to the rear of the shop which was accessible through a pair of large gates built into the facade of the Bristol Street shopfronts to permit lorry deliveries to the rear.  This quadrangle also backed onto Essex Street so effectively, the studio was in Essex Street and Ladbrokes Music Shop was on Bristol Street. Spencer Davis, The Move, The Uglys, Idle Race, Magnum, Beshara, Band of Joy and Black Sabbath who made their very first studio recording there .

“Tracks on the double album ‘Brum Beat Live at the Barrel Organ’ were edited and mixed at Johnny Haynes’ Zella Recording Studios”.

Johhny Haynes ran Zella and relocated it to Ampton Road, Edgbaston. Again more details needed about this please!

Ex Rumblefish singer/guitarist Jeremy Paige sent me over to You Tube and this video for Fine Young Cannibals – Johnny Come Home which he told me was shot at Zella Studios in Ampton Rd:

The First Rhythm & Blues Festival in England

I was shown this album by Alan Cross, Andy Hamilton’s manager, who has a pretty impressive record collection.

According to the title, the first ever Rhythm and Blues festival was held at the Town Hall on 28 February 1964.

Recorded live, the album features greats such as Sonny Boy Williamson, Spencer Davis R & B Quartet, The Yardbirds and Long John Baldry  and the Hoochie Coochie Men who included a young Rod Stewart on vocals.

The cover clearly states Rod Stewart but as you can see on the label there is a credit for Rod Stuart. Anyone who went could clear this up?

What is also interesting is the album was part of a series called the Rock Generation (this is volume 5) yet this is a Rhythm and Blues Festival. Released on BYG Records, this is a great slice of Birmingham, Town Hall and British R&B history.

As always, would love to hear from anyone there, or did you know the Announcer caught on record, Bob Wooler?


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