Pete Russell of Peter Russell’s Hot Record Store renown has died. The Australian-born records man first began to sell records in Plymouth at the Stonehouse end of Union Street, in a shop called The Record Shop in the early-1960s later setting up Peter Russell’s Hot Record Store. His “The Good Noise” leaflets and guides detailing new jazz and blues releases were manna for record collectors all over the country. Pete was 89, and his health had been going downhill noticeably over the last couple of months living in his home, according to his step-son Cris Gill. Russell’s final three weeks were spent in hospital, where he passed away peacefully on Friday 19 September.
The great jazz saxophonist and bass clarinettist John Surman, one of countless musicians to have frequented the Hot Record Store over the years, in The Wire spoke of his early jazz education via the Russell store: “I listened to music a lot at Peter Russell’s record store in Plymouth. He’d imported all the records and was really interested in the music. He introduced me to all the great players and gave me a history course in jazz music. I’m grateful for that to this day.” SG
Pete Russell, above. Photo: Plymouth Herald/British Recordshop Archive