6Ts - Northern Soul's Southern Home

Randy Cozens - By Dave Rimmer

 

On the 15th June, 2003, the UK Soul scene lost one of it’s oldest, and most respected members.

Randy Cozens was one of the original Sixties Mods, and it was in the early Sixties that he picked up his passion and love of Soul music. That passion and love stayed with him throughout his life. And it often seemed that Randy's real passion was to pass that love of Soul music onto others.

I didn’t know Randy all those years ago, and it’s only through his death that I have really come to realise how influential he actually was. His network of friends stretched almost over the whole of the London, and South of the country, and many of those friends are now respected DJs, writers, and collectors in their own right. In fact I doubt very much whether there is anyone, who is a known name, on the scene from the South who hadn’t been influenced by Randy in some way. He would send tapes out by the dozen, just so that people could hear records he felt deserved hearing. If people were desperate for a certain record, and Randy had a copy, he would give them his own copy.

But perhaps his greatest legacy to the Soul scene in this country was that he started the started the whole 6T’s scene with Ady Croasdell. Although Randy bowed out of the running of the club eventually, Ady will be the first to admit that without Randy there would probably not have been a club, and consequently the 100 Club would not have been celebrating the 24th Anniversary this month.

Although I knew who Randy was, I was really only on nodding terms with him until Ady introduced us in 1996. He introduced us because Randy had a live tape of the 100 Club that he wanted me to sell through the magazine. We became friends almost immediately, he was that sort of person, who if you clicked with him straight off, you were his friend for life.

Whilst we never became really close friends, simply because we only saw each other once or twice a month for a couple of minutes at a venue, whenever we met up at a venue somewhere it was always a chat, and a swapped tape or magazine.

In October 2000, Randy invited me to DJ at the 15th Anniversary of the Southgate alldayers, which I regarded as a real honour because traditionally the Soulgate alldayers were always Randy’s free celebration of the Soul scene in London. I went down on the Saturday, had a great day, got pissed, joked, laughed, and even danced, and then Randy opened his home to me for the night. I was back at the Rising Sun the next lunchtime to DJ for him.

The last time I saw Randy was in May, 2003, at the Valatone and 100 Club. We had our customary chat, and he pressed a video of last year’s Southgate alldayer into my hand.

Unfortunately, because of work I couldn’t make either the funeral, or this year’s Southgate alldayer which went ahead at Randy’s specific request after his death. He wanted people to celebrate his life, not mourn his death, that was Randy all over, and I raised a glass to him that night, and will continue to do so for a very long time. I and many, many other people have lost a friend.

Dave Rimmer
www.soulfulkindamusic.net

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