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FOUND: Diary Of A Teenager (1970): Untold Soirees and A Reggae Playlist

Updated on March 27, 2018
juliannehenry profile image

Hello, from a former Model, now a Published Writer (Lover's Rock Reggae Music Quiz Book), from NW London with a BA in New Media Journalist.

Somewhere Down In Chiswick

Drum Roll please!

Somewhere, down at Jamaica; perhaps in their cultural development wing, or, up at Mona University's Reggae Unit. down at a major studio; like Channel One, or SoundBetter

If not, down in London, up at Birmingham University, the Black Studies Unit, or up at Stingray records - In any event someone, somewhere, will be positively chuffed with a green cloth-bound Diary, (above) dated 1970 that I discovered at a car-boot in Chiswick!

I can explain.


According to the blurb; ' We’re at Chiswick School, Burlington Lane, London W4 3UN' every fortnight' - So, one Saturday morning last year along with my b/f went to check out Chiswick's Car Boot Sale -

It was at the said car-boot sale that I came across a faded cloth bound diary.

It caught my eye immediately and after a quick peruse I realised that it was not only a 1970 Diary but it was also the diary of a teenage reggae afficionado. An exciting find then for a reggae buff like me. So, on exchanging a few pounds with the seller, it was mine.

Untold Soirees

Back home, and a thorough read later, revealed a tittle tattle of 'teanage' tales - of 1970's 'house party's - clubbing, soirees 'up-town'....destined for the untold stories pile I'm afraid -

Wm. Collins & Sons

But not so the gem at the back;

Remember when phones were the size of a brick, you kept your 'mix tapes' in a shoe box, and you wrote your playlist in....the back of a diary of course.

And written in the back pages of this vintage 1970 Collins Diary - 'My Records' - which in today's parlance is The Playlist.

But first, to the Diary makers, of this particular vintage gem. . I'm pleased to report that they are a brand of note. A diary maker with a steller history. One that goes back over 190 years - to a William Collins, 1789 – 1853.

A rush to find out about Collins and a google later, established Collins as Publishers. The first Collins diaries published for the mass market were dated 1881. Operating from Cathedral Street in Glasgow, Wm. Collins & Sons who went on to become one of the world's leading publishers.

Their product range has expanded over the years to include Bibles, dictionaries, educational publications, fictional and non-fictional books as well as a wide range of Office products.

But back to the Playlist in the back of this Collins Diary.

The massive influence of Jamaican music on the British music scene may well have been documented, from its heyday from the late 60's onwards, so what's in a teenager's 1970 Diary that cam add to the story?


Why Keep A Diary?

But first, why keep a Diary?

Back in 1970, I would imagine it was as d'rigour!

How else to keep track of the soirees; the Askew Road blues parties, sessions at the Metro, Acton Town Hall, and to keep a record of your vinyl!.

Certainly back in the day, without the help of technological insights and gear, keeping a diary was possibly the best way to go.

"If You Like It, Put It On Your Playlist"

I love me a Playlist.

So too - the world! - Indeed, we're in the age of the Playlist. And, if the blurb is anything to go by,.the Playlist has become 'one of the great issues of our day, yesterday and tomorrow', is what we have on our Playlists.

Meanwhile, when the say's put it on your Playlist, we often do.

What with all the choices today, there are plenty of tutorials to show you 'how to generate a playlist'. Indeed, there are several ways to use ‘the power of playlists’ to enhance how we listen to digital music. Tutorials for Kids too -,..

In short, whether for listening to your vinyl, on your stereo, or on our drive out, relaxing at home alone, or with a significant other, assuming you have a collection of great music ...the Playlist is a must..

Yesterday Once More

But first, to put the Playlist in context.

Back in the day, a trip to a Reggae Record shop was Your first port of call. And it was how yesterday's teenagers kept up with the charts. And from dub vendor, LadbrokeGrove,, Webster |records, Shepherds bush, too many to mention -, reggae record shops are still swaying our musical tastes. That and with YOU TUBE it can be yesterday once more for the reggae charts, Indeed, today on your playlist, it can be 1970!

'The Seventies Reggae Revolution'

IT IS worth remembering that during the late '60s and early '70s, 'a revolutionary or two' emerged on the world stage; from Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to Huey Newton and Angela Davis.

Still, teenagers, were teenagers and one of the best ways of impressing on them the seriousness of the times was, through music.

Notwithstanding, Reggae was also spoken of in the same ''revolutionary breath' - with the likes of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, bands like Culture, & Roots Radics from the UK, and many other emerging as music's 'reggae revolutionairies' -

That and the genre that we know and love, lover's rock, arrived in Europe. First stop - London!.



Reggae goes back to when vocalists like Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke were singing songs 'protesting the senseless of war and urging peace', invoked a sense of community in the music world at least that crossed boundaries, and vocalizing over Studio One tracks. A movement without precedent apparently, 'not based on art or the media, yet truly influential' amongst teenagers at least. As the 1960s came to a close, artists were working vigorously on anthems that would define their beliefs. and in the 702, In reggae, the teenager was as well versed.

Going deeper

Back then, like today, in a time when its hard to go any deeper, arguably innocent reflections of the Century, in song - 'truthful and courageous' terms, went further than any other media, tp explain our world.

1970 Playlist

sO, what did a teenage reggae fan have on their Playlist in 1970?


Playlist 1970

Over to You-Tube

Reggae Singer, N. Hall, London
Reggae Singer, N. Hall, London



The Late Great....

Reggae Time!


Jules | Source
5 stars for Reggae 1970

© 2016 Julie Henry


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    • profile image

      Joe 9 months ago

      Much appreciated as a Child of the Seventies!

    • profile image

      Jah Luke 16 months ago


    • profile image

      Dave, NW London 22 months ago

      The notebook looks pukka!

    • juliannehenry profile image

      Julie Henry 23 months ago from UB

      Cheers to the reggae industry! x Jules