Founded by Neville Noyan who was born in St Mary, Jamaica. At the age of 2 months old his parents moved to Trench Town, in the capital of Kingston.
From an early age Neville gained a love for music with his first inspirations of listening to the Juke Boxes, Radio and Sound Systems and anywhere he could be around music.
Neville began his new school life at Ebenezer Junior School and would utilise his lunch breaks by going to a little deli on Bond Street, next door to the Treasure Isle liquor store. At first Neville was not aware that some of the music he so loved was made right there on top of the liquor store by some of his favourite artists.
In 1964 Neville move with his family to London in the United Kingdom. London being very different from what he was used to, so Neville sorted comfort in what made sense and that was always music.
Neville was always looking for new musical experiences and was very opened minded when it came to this. His elder brother was also into music and had a great Hi-Fi set which was music to his ears (pardon the pun). He played Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz and Ska and many more and they brought back memories of when he was a little boy living in Jamaica.
With any money he got Neville would use this to buy music and started his own record collection. He would save his lunch money and the money he got from a part time job he had on Friday’s after school and on Saturday’s working at a Green Grocers stall in Brixton Market. It helped to quenched his thirst for all the great music he was hearing from the likes of Duke Reid, Neville – The Musical Enchanter, Freddie – Cloudburst, Duke Lee, Glen – The Melody Maker ect.
The first set of records he bought were three 7” for six shillings & eight pence each at the time, (which was approx £1:00). His prize purchases were, ‘You’re No Good’ by Jackie Opel, ‘Naughty People’ by Delroy Wilson and ‘Little Village’ by Charlie Organaire.
Neville was active on the club scene. These included places like Ska Bar, El Partido, Ramjam, On The Tile, Roaring Twenties, Mr B’s and all the shubeens and house parties that were going on.
His taste became a craving when he started listening to Sound System Sir Coxsone Outer National and was a converted Coxsone follower after the experience.
After secondary school and college of further education, Neville did various jobs until the early 1970’s when he started to worked as a coil winder supervisor for a firm that made electrical switch gears. They relocated far away in 1980 and this forced him to take redundancy.
Neville was faced with an uncertainty of what to do next. He turned his hobby to work at a market stall, but with music always at the core of his passion he sought to rent a shop and so in 1983 from this decision ‘Collectors Corner’ was born.
It was named Collectors Corner because it was a specialist shop aimed at collectors and it was situated on the corner of Clapham North Tube station.
Through the shop Neville went on to build some great memories, good customers and met some great musicians. He was invited to sit in on various recording sessions and this built his enthusiasm to grow which led him to get into the production side of things. His first record production was called ‘Jazzy Lady (baby)’ by an artist called Paula on his very own label ‘Rock N Groove’.
The single was a Reggae cover of Richard Dimplesfield’s (Jazzy Lady) and was so well received that it became a hit in the year of 1984.
Jazzy Lady (baby) was in the UK reggae charts for several weeks and charted at number 2. It received a gold disc in 1985 from the BBC Radio London for Best Female Newcomer.
Like most good luck that seems not to last, Neville received some unfortunate news that London Transport who owned the premises, which housed Collectors Corner was to undergo an upgrade for the station so his lease was not renewed. This left Neville having to close the shop after 7 years of successful trading.
It was difficult at first for Neville to find another shop straight away and as any business owner will tell you location is everything. In the meantime, Neville took on a market stall in New Covent Garden Market. He went on to do that for several years building back up his networks of clientele.
The time came and Neville found the shop he wanted in Brixton Hill in the year 2000 and named it ‘Vinyl Gems’. So why name it ‘Vinyl Gems’?
With the birth of CD’s and digital downloads the manufacturing of Vinyl records were becoming exceptional, Neville thought this was an appropriate name for his shop as he had a collection of rare vinyl that you couldn’t really find on many CD’s or Digital platforms. Most music collectors are purists and vinyl is their preference.
During the many years as a record shop owner, Neville met many famous artists, musicians and producers and it was dubbed “The Head Quarters”. Sadly to say some of them are no longer with us today, but Neville treasured the moments and memories spent in the shop with such great and talented people.
Unfortunately, after 6 years of trading Neville closed the shop due to high cost of running a premises and the various digital methods that music can be bought and sold.
Neville’s passion for music is always at his focal point to keep alive, so he formed ‘VinylGemsMusic’, and continues with the production side of things and also created an online shop with the help of his wife, Maureen.
Neville feels he owes it to the next generation to encourage them to pick up the baton to carry on this great music that he dubbed ‘M.O.J.O’ (Music Of Jamaican Origin). This is our legacy to the world.
**Music Is The Food Of Life And Neville Loves It**
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