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Jumbo Records History

Jumbo Records was established in1971 by Hunter Smith, the name and logo coming from the successful disco and DJ business he was involved with called Jumbo Mobile Discotheque. The Tams’ "Hey Girl Don't Bother Me" was at number 1 in the charts followed by Rod Stewart’s "Maggie May", and Isaac Hayes’ "Black Moses" was our first good selling album. Selling hits of the day plus imports and all the latest soul and reggae releases, Jumbo established itself in Leeds’ Queens Arcade, then the Merrion Centre and the St Johns Centre. In the 70s Punk Rock came along with its decisive impact on the independent music scene, and Jumbo broadened its range and started to take on the shape that it has today.

Long-term owners Hunter and Lornette Smith retired in 2014 after over 40 years of sterling service, selling the business to dedicated customers Nick Fraser and Justinia Lewis, who clearly knew a good record shop when they saw one. Continuing with most of the same staff as well as one or two new faces, the shop made the move to its current home at 1-3 The Merrion Centre in 2017, a modern spacious unit allowing room for more stock, a coffee area, book stand and a small stage for the regular “in store” gigs that we host.

A proudly independent record shop in the heart of Leeds’ city centre, we sell CDs, vinyl, books, magazines, styli and other accessories, tickets to a wide variety of local music venues and much more.

We are fiercely committed to the region's music scene, continuing to offer a point where promoters and customers alike benefit from our involvement in local live music, as well as providing a place for local musicians to have their home-produced CDs and records on sale to the public.

Long-regarded as one of the north's key music shops, we aim to be open to all types of shopper and as many types of music as we can accommodate within our four walls (if, indeed we can be said to have four walls), selling new releases and re-issues across all genres of music, as well as maintaining a deep and varied back catalogue. We like nothing more than taking recommendations from our customers on music we should have in the shop. If we haven’t got something in our customers want and is possible to get it, then we’ll track it down for you.

Our staff are passionate music fans who love nothing more than talking to other people about the music that they are into. We have the website (that will be re-vamped in summer 2018) and social media so you see our recommendation, shop with us and (virtually) talk to us if you can’t visit, but we’re a physical record shop and like people to come and see us. So if you can….WE’D LOVE TO WELCOME YOU IN OUR SHOP…. CHAT TO THE TEAM OR OTHER CUSTOMERS, have a browse, listen to what we are playing on the shop stereo or our listening posts, relax in the seating area and look at music magazines, maybe grab a coffee and enjoy this most social of music-supporting spaces.

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