VALLEY (1)



The record label of Ray Donn (Leisure) Ltd, of 80-82 Harvey Gardens, Charlton.  Impresario Ray Donn started out in the Pub and Club Entertainment business in 1960, and has enjoyed a long and successful career.  In the 1970s and into the early '80s he ran the Valley Club, at Charlton Athletic FC.; which is doubtless where the name of the record label came from.  If catalogue numbers are any indication at least six records were issued, with albums and EPs sharing the same VAL-000 series.  There were at least four 7" EPs, one of which was definitely from our decade: comedian Charlie Smithers's 'Live At The Palace' (VAL-002) has no date on it, but the 45cat site puts it at 1975, which seems reasonable.  Smithers also had an album out on Valley, 'London Laughs' (VAL-005; 1980).  The Incrowd's EP featuring 'Love Is In The Air' and three other tracks (VAL-003) may be from the end of the '70s, as that song was a hit for John Paul Young in 1978; the same can be said for the EP by Dave Gold, which featured Barry Manilow's 1978 hit 'Can't Smile Without You' among its four tracks (VAL-004).  By that time the label design had changed to something more ambitious; an example can be found on the 45cat site.  VAL-006 was an EP by Peter Antony, 'The Arrangement'; that too was undated, but as VAL-005 was from 1980 we can safely say that it was from early in that decade.  Other Valley releases - presumably there was at least a VAL-1 or 001 - have escaped Google's net.   Thanks to Keith Stephens for the scan and for drawing the label to my attention, and to David Kavanagh for supplying Ray Donn's address and details of the Incrowd record.






Copyright 2010 Robert Lyons.