About us

View All

Trevor Churchill

Trevor's Top 10 Songs

  1. 'I Wonder Why' - Dion & the Belmonts
  2. 'Image Of A Girl' - The Safaris
  3. 'Just To Be With You' - The Passions
  4. 'Hushabye' - The Mystics
  5. 'Since I Don't Have You' - The Skyliners
  6. 'My True Love' - The Jive Five
  7. 'Little Star' - The Elegants
  8. 'There's A Moon Out Tonight' - The Capris
  9. 'Once Upon A Time' - Rochell & the Candles
  10. 'Wildflower' - Color Me Badd

I was born on 12 June 1941 and can therefore claim to be the eldest in this team. My family didn't own a record player and my first recollection, at the age of four, of anything musical was an old pianola that played those great big paper rolls. I loved it, as it was an intriguing mechanical device, it made wonderful sounds and you could pretend you were playing it. The only musical inklings in the family belonged to my father who played trumpet in a jazz band at university, and I had a go when I was eleven. I didn't persevere as I realised all trumpeters had a dodgy lip and I didn't want to deter any potential kisses that might come my way. Pure vanity.

My musical awareness was reawakened at age fourteen hearing Alan Freed on American Forces Network, occasional rock'n'roll shows on Voice of America and those record company sponsored shows on Radio Luxembourg. I can still hear the D-E-C-C-A tune in my head. Somewhere along the way I must have heard about Billboard and badgered my father into buying a 1956 copy at Solosy's in Charing Cross Road. This was the turning point.

Not only was the music great but it was released on all these fascinating little labels, run from all corners of the United States. We had five record companies in England and in the States there were literally tens of thousands. There was no practical way of importing any records back in the 50s, so we had to wait and see whether it was London, Columbia, Parlophone, HMV, Philips or later Pye International and Top Rank who would release them, if at all. After many years at school and university studying American and English labels, their releases, their personnel and their licensing relationships (along with some chemistry in between), this all culminated in my trip to New York in 1964.

After that there was nothing else I could do but get into the record business. My first break came after three months marking time at Ilford Films, when a friend of my uncle got me into EMI's management services department. They had no idea of the knowledge I had of their catalogues, they just wanted a graduate who could help in their back room functions.

Needless to say this was great grounding for what I have ended up doing for the last 35 years as Chiswick/Ace's back room boy. Jobs at Bell, Rolling Stones Records, Motown and Polydor International gave me all the experience needed to establish my skills, and lack of them, in various areas of the music business. Ted and Roger had the A&R and artist management skills I lacked, and so it came to pass. 

Trevor recounts his summer in New York in 1965: