Hot jazz and air raids

The birth of record collecting in the UK

The bomb that nearly killed Brian Rust made a rasping sound as it fell, that Saturday afternoon in mid-July 1944. He had been looking at a box of records outside a shop in central London when he heard it, a whirring, mechanical noise. The sound grew louder as it fell, and changed pitch. He ran inside, and sheltered behind a pile of 78s. The blast destroyed the shop front, and the box outside, and showered Brian in glass and brick dust. The 78s protected him. “I think those records probably saved my life,” he told Vintage Jazz Mart, years later.

Recommended by Longreads, Digg, The Guardian. Most Popular pick by Longform, Medium. Fanatics and Collectors out now via Few Press. Twitter: @MrJPRobinson