TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular city record shop owner known as ‘Dr Jazz’ who has died aged 88.
Peter Russell ran Peter Russell’s Hot Record Store in Market Avenue and later his Hi-Fi Attic above Woolworths in New George Street.
Peter died on September 19 and his funeral is set to take place on Wednesday.
Plymouth historian Chris Robinson, who knew Australian-born Peter since the 1960s, said: “He was a gentleman. He ran the best independent record shop that I think Plymouth ever had, he was massively into his music. It was not a shop where you go and get the latest pop records, it was far more specialist than that.
“When he opened his Hi-Fi store it was good quality Hi-Fis so people could hear music properly.”
In an obituary notice in The Herald, Peter’s family said he was known for his anti-nuclear campaigning and “an enduring and infectious love of jazz music”.
“He was a genuine enthusiast, he loved the music and wanted to share it with other people,” Mr Robinson said. “He ran a record shop where he was bringing in imports that you could not buy in other record shops, which made it that much more interesting.
“I think everybody who used his record shop would have known and respected him. Some people went there just to buy records, but other people went there because it was Pete that was running it and you could speak to him. He would ask what you liked and say ‘Have you heard this?’”
The Herald’s features editor, Martin Freeman, wrote a profile of Peter in 2011.
He recalled that he was born in Melbourne, Australia, and moved to the UK with his parents at the age of seven.
After working as an electrical engineer, he started selling records for a jazz specialist in a shop in Nottingham.
He moved to Plymouth and opened his first record shop at the Stonehouse end of Union Street.
In the early 1960s he set up Pete Russell’s Hot Records Store in Market Avenue, in a shop on the outside of the Pannier Market building.
Then he opened Pete Russell’s Hi-Fi attic a few years later, moving to a separate home in New George Street.
“I started another business, Pete Russell’s Hi-Fi Attic in 1963 or 64.” The business later got a separate home in New George Street, above Woolworths.
He got rid of the record shop in 1987 and concentrated on selling music from the Hi-Fi attic premises. That continued until he sold the business in 1991.