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Vintage Music Pontypridd







Vintage Music

Digger talks to Terry at Vintage Music. Terry specialises, or should we say 'generalises', in diverse artists and genres on CD from the forties through to the eighties. 
Folk, rock, pop, easy listening, comedy, blues - from the commonplace to the obscure. Terry has a finding and sourcing service for those harder to find items and is happy and willing to do the searching for you.



Digger: Good morning Terry, it's David at Retrosellers. How are you today?

Terry: Hello David. Iím pretty good thanks.

Digger: Please tell us about your background and the background to Vintage Music.

Terry: My background is sport. Iíve always loved sport, rugby and others.

Digger: Iíve never seen you but I can visualise you as a rugby player. What was your position?

Terry: Number 8.

Digger: I bet you loved the recent victory against England?

Terry: Yes. But Iíve gone off rugby a little bit recently because it seems a bit stale compared to what it used to be years ago, to be honest.

Digger: Thereís a lot of stoppages.

Terry: Yes, a lot of stoppages and the back play isnít as exciting as it used to be. Thereís too much defence and it stops things, you know?

Digger: I suppose they try to inject pace and they obviously know that tries are the thing that people want to see. But you donít get a lot of matches with a good number of tries, do you?

Terry: No, the defence is so better organised now. Although they are a lot fitter than when I used to play! And itís a lot more physical.

Digger: There also seem to be a lot of stupid and unnecessary fouls.

Terry: Yes, itís ridiculous really, isnít it?

Digger: Almost as though theyíre not thinking it through. They must go through this a lot in training?

Terry: Some of it is coached into them to stop things happening but other things are just a spur of the moment loss of brain power.

Digger: So you were playing rugbyÖ

Terry: I also worked for a brewery and got a back problem which meant I couldnít work for them anymore, nor play rugby. So I had to finish them both. Thatís when I started the music business on a market stall.

Digger: In what year?

Terry: 1998. I worked on the outside market for a year or so and then it became too difficult with my spine. So I came into an indoor market stall and itís where Iíve been for the last fourteen years. We have now spread onto three stalls and itís ticking over nicely with the CDs for the older generation.

Digger: Iím the same as them. I like to get something for my money and when I download I feel cheated because thereís nothing tangible. No artwork or sleeve notes. I prefer CDs.

Terry: Yes, theyíre starting to re-issue a lot of the CDs from the sixties and seventies. I notice on your site youíve got Salvo Music and people like that. We sell a lot of their stuff. Thereís a lot of small specialist record companies starting up at the moment, so itís pretty good really.

Digger: Yes, there seems to be a bigger thing in Retro now even than when I started this in 2001.

Terry: Itís good for us. I do stock the latest chart stuff but find it difficult to sell. You can order three and only sell one. I prefer to stock sixties, seventies and eighties and even right back to the forties really.

Digger: Is this for youngsters too?

Terry: You do get a lot of youngsters coming in for things like Pink Floyd and The Beatles. Obviously theyíve heard it from their parents.

Digger: I was looking at the top selling artists of all time and the list made interesting reading. The Beatles, Elvis and Michael Jackson were at one, two and three, followed by Madonna, Mariah Carey, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, The Rolling Stones and The Bee Gees. No surprises really.

Terry: The Beatles donít sell that much here really. They had a resurgence over Christmas.

Digger: The Beatles catalogue has been re-issued in so many formats now and theyíve also recently been included on iTunes.

Terry: Thatís it. With the catalogue that EMI have got they should be pushing it all a lot more. For example, with Dorothy Squires they used to do a Say it With Flowers CD and a Live At The Palladium CD but if you look at their website now all theyíve got is a 'Best of'. When we get people coming to the stall they ask for My Way or Say It With Flowers and you canít get them on the 'Best of' CD.

Digger: Why put out a 'Best of' and exclude the rarer tracks when most people who would buy a Dorothy Squires album would already have the more common tracks anyway? They should be releasing the rarer stuff.

Terry: Thatís true. I know that JSP records have just produced a nice box set of her material. Itís a good-priced box set with about 60-odd songs on there.

Digger: I just noticed something you can do as a sideline, Terry, is a Tom Jones voice impersonator! Thereís a strong resemblance and that Welsh accent is musical. Itís superb.







Terry: Is it? (Laughs)

Digger: You have a very broad range of products and nostalgia titles. What are the most popular lines?

Terry: Although Iím in Pontypridd, youíd think Tom Jones would be the biggest artist, but heís not really. I sell a bit of Tom Jones but not a lot. The biggest seller is a fellah called David Alexander. Heís a ballad singer, like Tom Jones, and sounds quite a bit like him. He died about sixteen years ago.

Digger: So like Eva Cassidy heís bigger when heís gone?

Terry: He was quite big even when he was around. He used to do all the local pubs and clubs. Blackpool and all the northern clubs as well. His wife is a ventriloquist and they had a place in Tenerife - they used to do a band awards on the island.

Digger: I wasn't aware of him. Itís funny how you get these people who are locally popular but not generally known. I thought I knew a lot about music but youíre always learning.

Terry: Heís from Blackwood, which is about nine miles from here. Heís a really nice singer.

Digger: Iíll have a listen. The personal touch and building a relationship with customers is very important to you. What other strengths have you got compared to the big anonymous suppliers?

Terry: Itís an intimate relationship Iíve got with the customers and we get a lot of old customers coming through. And theyíve been listening to the radio on a Sunday morning and thereís a lot of the older shows on a Sunday morning. They say "I heard a song and Iím not sure who sung it now but it went something like thisÖ" and they start singing it to you or telling you some of the words. And I might sometimes be able to pick up on a line and then I can track the artist down and track a CD down. Then I get it in for them. Thereís a lot of searching involved. We used to have books that had the song titles and which album it was on but I canít seem to find anything like that now so itís a lot of searching on Google to try and come up with it. But thatís part of the enjoyment of the job, to be honest.

Digger: Thatís good because it could be quite labour-intensive selling one or two CDs to an old person. But if youíre enjoying the research side of it as well. So, what sort of feedback do you get about your products from customers?

Terry: I get good customer feedback normally. Occasionally I sell them a CD and they say ďI didnít like thatĒ or ďthere were some good tracks on it but not allĒ but I get a lot of repeat customers. I try to understand what they like and whatever I get in I get in on sale or return from different companies. So I might recommend to some clients when they come in.

Digger: Youíve got a very broad range there. Youíre in about twenty categories in our directory so what are the biggest sellers in terms of genre?

Terry: I think the biggest is probably the seventies era.

Digger: Is it a moving target? Do you think in fifteen or twenty years time it might be nineties and noughties Retro?

Terry: The youngsters are picking up on the seventies at the moment and the eighties have been making a comeback as well with Duran Duran and people like that. So whether it will move along that line I donít really know.

Digger: That obviously helps you in terms of marketing doesnít it? You cover all these different decades, so you can always pick up on a trend canít you?

Terry: Yes. What I find now is a lot of my senior customers are going back to the forties and fifties Ė The Stan Kenton Orchestra and people like that. There are labels that are very good and doing that kind of stuff. I used to do quite a bit of that.

Digger: What sort of music do you listen to on your days off?

Terry: James Taylor or more acoustic stuff.

Digger: I've been trying to get an interview with Graham Nash - fingers crossed. I interviewed Bobby Elliott and they're still mates, of course.

Terry: I really like acoustic guitar and I don't think people realise but there's a lot of that stuff coming up all of the time. 'Proper Music' do quite a lot of that genre and there's a bit of a crossover between country and folk and singer/songwriter. So you have to listen to it all because you can't pigeon-hole where it's going to go.

Digger: What relationship have you got with all these small Retro record labels? Do they send reps around to see you?

Terry: They email me the catalogue of upcoming issues and they do a sale or return. I struggle to sell jazz or world music so they omit that but they do send me country and blues and folk.

Digger: Not a big demand for pan pipes in Pontypridd then?

Terry: We do get people asking for pan pipes but it's the same as military bands - we do get them in but there are some that are really cheap at £2.99 and £3.99 and the other end at £10 or £12. A lot of people who've been in the forces will come along and buy it. Of course, with the Royal Wedding coming up we're getting a lot from The Welsh Guards and The Coldstream Guards. They're bringing a lot of wedding music out at the moment - church music and brass bands and things.

Digger: You really need to keep an eye out with what you're doing for the current trends and news and what's going on?

Terry: Yes. You can tell by what people are asking for and decide whether or not it's going to be worth getting some more in. Then you get two or three more people coming in asking for it and creating a bit of a demand - that's when you order a lot.

Digger: What are the most enjoyable aspects of what you do?

Terry: I suppose meeting people and the regulars in the market who actually come two or three times a week - local people and they'll have a chat with you. That's probably the main aspect. And also people not able to get a hold of a song or record and they've tried all around and then I'm able to track it down. I'm sometimes lucky and sometimes not - and if I'm able to import it from America or via Proper Music or somebody then they're over the moon. That then makes me feel good that I've done something as well.

Digger: That's good. Do they pay extra if you import from the States?

Terry: Sometimes it's cheaper from the States than it is here. I get the price first before I tell them.

Digger: What impact does The Internet have on your business and how much of a challenge is it to keep up with evolving technology in the music field?

Terry: Downloading has had an impact and a youngster said he doesn't know anyone who buys CDs anymore. So they don't even look at it - they download straight away.

Digger: It's a generational thing.

Terry: Yes, so I don't know how long I'll be able to keep going with CDs. But I am possibly going into vintage instruments or something along those lines.

Digger: There's a few successful players on the vintage musical instruments - drums and guitars circuit. They seem to be doing very well actually.

Terry: Yes. On the stall I don't sell that many guitars over the years compared to the Cardiff stores. I sell strings and more bits and pieces.

Digger: If you had a specialist shop on The Internet you'd pick business up from the UK, USA and Europe.

Terry: Yes. but with running the stall it's difficult to find the time to do everything.

Digger: What plans do you have for the future of Vintage Music? 

Terry: I'm concentrating on the shop for the near future and see how things pick up. Which way music is going to go and how we bounce back from the recession. I don't know which way it's going to go. 

Digger: And in the meantime you are always there to help people find that rare or difficult to find item?

Terry: People can phone me and email me anytime.



Vintage Music

Vintage Music is a music store that caters for all ages and types of music. We are retailers of music at Pontypridd Indoor Market in South Wales and are now in our Tenth year of trading. Our sales have tripled in the last three years since expanding the business. With the introduction of broadband at the stall, with links to our wholesalers, we can track down the artists that you cannot find in many of the high street shops. We stock a wide variety of CDs and DVDs from the 1940s to the present day. Whether it's Jazz to Metal, or Ballads to Blues you're looking for you'll find it here. We pride ourselves on fulfilling requests from all types of musical tastes.

You can e-mail us at:

You can also phone us at (01443) 406421 on Tue, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday (9am-4pm) or 07773711841 at other times. 







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