Jumbo Records was set up in Leeds in 1971 by Hunter Smith as an offshoot from the mobile disco that he was doing at the time. Dealing in the hits of the day and with a special reputation as a supplier of soul and reggae releases, the shop was run by Hunter and partner Lornette up until 2014, when they retired and sold the business to long-term customers Nick Fraser and Justinia Lewis. Current staff members Adam, Matt, Trev, Sally, Tre, Jack, Marko, Sarah-Jane and Martha combine huge experience with youthful enthusiasm. They are music obsessives who love helping customers find the music that soundtracks their lives, and are proud that people from the under-10s to the over-80s all shop there.
Over decades, the successive impacts of rock, punk, hiphop, dance and indie have shaped Jumbo into what it is today, and there are few genres that are not stocked in the shop now. As well as those already mentioned, they sell country, jazz, rock’n’roll, psychedelia, electronica and folk musics from around the world, with extensive selections on both vinyl and CD. The shop also sells concert tickets for almost all venues in Leeds and many for further afield, as well as magazines, storage cases, styli and other accessories. Jumbo acts as a hub for the local music scene, a place where venues can advertise gigs for free via the extensive wallspace, and where local bands can bring in their homemade releases for the shop to sell.
Wherever you travel in the country, if you meet a fellow music fan who lives in Leeds or who has studied there it won’t be long before the name Jumbo Records is brought in to the conversation. Often it will be about the shops logo an iconic silhouette of an elephant in the letters of its name which appears on its bags and T-shirts and on its JUMBO sized illuminated sign shining brightly in its window.
Jumbo celebrated its 40th birthday in 2011 and had quite a party. Artists who played in the shop included Corinne Bailey Rae and Lanterns On The Lake. A Jumbo beer was produced by the local Revolutionary Brewing Company and although Jumbo does not have a licence, the beer was sold in many local bars. A jumbo-sized cake was baked that went down well with customers. It was also a day in which they swapped experiences and stories with lots of the regular customers who have become part of their lives. To celebrate the 45th anniversary last year, record label Too Pure released a Jumbo 7” single featuring songs by Menace Beach and Post War Glamour Girls.
Proper / Red Essential releases popular in Jumbo in 2016 include those by Nick Cave, White Denim and Nicolas Jaar, along with the seemingly never-ending stream of fine releases on Soundway Records. Looking ahead, new albums by Laura Marling and Run The Jewels promise big things in 2017.
If you would like to be Proper’s Featured Store, contact Graham Jones
Tel: 0113 245 5570
Vinyl, CDs, Secondhand
Monday – Thursday, 9:30am – 5:30pm
Friday, Saturday, 9am – 5.30pm
Sunday, 10.30am – 4.30pm
St Johns Centre
5 – 6 St Johns Centre