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Tributes paid to legendary soul music specialist

Legendary record dealer and soul music specialist John Anderson died recently aged 70, and his humanist funeral was held at Roucan Loch Crematorium and Woodland Burial site in Dumfries.

John Anderson – soul music specialist

Glasgow-born John was one of the first original mods in Scotland, and developed an obsessive interest in R&B, ska and the music of black America. He married Merissa MacDonald (pictured above with John) and sold records by day, and ran R&B clubs together at night.

John went on to scour US ghettos for rare and obscure soul records that helped fuel leading UK clubs riding the soul boom, from Blackpool Mecca’s Highland Rooms to the Wigan Casino. They later moved south to establish Soul Bowl Records in King’s Lynn.

Northern soul DJ legends Colin Curtis and Richard Searling were among the mourners at the funeral which inevitably featured a meticulously curated soundtrack, including The Elgin’s Heaven Must Have Sent You, Jimmy Radcliffe’s Long After Tonight Is All Over (usually the last record of the night at Manchester’s Twisted Wheel all-nighter), and The 5 Stairsteps’ Ooh Ooh Child, a record that bridged the musical chasm between John and his son Stuart, who developed a passion for hip-hop, and a song sampled by 2Pac and R Kelly among others.

The humanist celebrant quoted John’s own words “ … I always knew that there was great music hidden away in places that you were not meant to go. That was my life. That was my privilege.”

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