Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Gary Van den Bussche

Washed ashore on a lonely island in the sea is my latest guest castaway...  Presenter, promoter and record label owner, Gary Van den Bussche.
Gary started collecting records as a nine-year-old. At school his love of soul music was influenced by pioneering DJ's Greg Edwards, Peter Young and Robbie Vincent.  

It was always Gary's dream to run a record shop and, aged just 17,  he managed Baker Street Records in London's West End with regular clients including Edwin Starr, Paul Weller, Randy Crawford, Neil Francis, Leo Sayer, Peter Sellers & Fitz Brown.

Fitz Brown gave Gary an opportunity to DJ at one of the worlds most celebrated clubs, Tramp in Jermyn Street. The pay was poor, but he got to DJ and play at private parties for the likes of, Tony Curtis, The Stones, Rod Stewart, Joan Collins, Georgie Best, Royalty, Tony Hall, Mel Brooks... in fact everybody who was anybody ! 

When the record shop closed down, Gary moved on to plugging records and his pushing brought #1 hits with Phyllis Nelson's 'Move Closer', Amii Stewart's 'Knock On Wood' and many others. 

Tony Monson gave Gary a spot on Solar Radio which he presented after spinning at Tramp, receiving great reviews in the music press.

Ater a few years Gary left Tramp to open his own clubs after working in various other venues around the south. Starting at Maidstones Kent Hall he built up a huge membership and the proceeded to open every night at venues in Orpington, Gravesend, Ashford, Cheam, Weybridge, the Town & Country Club in London and many others. 

After meeting Noah Johnson, Gary was introduced to the recording studio and taught how to write and produce songs. His first record release was 'Young Free & Single' as Dee Gee (Disco Gary) which reached #1 on John Leech's Show. He then started Wizz Records (with the first three releases being done with Dave Morgan of Fresh Records) and at the same time running a distribution company : driving around the south creating the buzz with these records and  his own white labels. Soon other labels gave us theirs to sell, then we expanded to further vans & telesales,the problem was record shops were not paying, so we used a factor which gave us the money & as the cheques bounced, so they took the money back & soon we had no choice but to close.

After a career change in the pub and restaurant business, Gary started a page on Facebook called 'Disco, Soul, Gold' which has since grown to almost 60,000 likes and a group page to almost 20,000. Then, given the opportunity to develop an unheard duo from Newcastle, DSG Music the label started again with 'Listen' by SouLutions being the first release. He arranged for the single to be remixed from their demo started to promote the song. It achieved great success, with the Drizabone remix reaching #1 in the Soul Chart and Amazon's sales chart.

Gary now has an in-house UK radio promotions service, helping many soulful acts of the past, present and future get noticed.

The DSG Music label has achieved a lot of success in just a year with 'Listen' by SouLutions being voted by many as being the Soul Track of 2014, Ola Onabule's 'Soul Town' hitting #1 on Soul and Amazon UK Sales Charts and #2 Soul Amazon success with Samuel D Sanders 'Make You Mine'.

After attending the Camp Soul Festival and hearing 'Your Smile' by Neo, Gary contacted the composer who agreed for DSG Music to release it. This hit #2 on the Amazon Sales Chart and #4 in the UK Soul chart with new mixes to follow. McCrei the blue-eyed Soul Sisters from Kent debut single for DSG Music 'Show Me' reached #1 on the UK Amazon Sales Chart and and #2 in the UK Soul chart

The Samuel D Sanders cover of 'Thinking Out Loud' with a fantastic Nigel Lowis remix that takes us back to the time of classic Philly Soul. A UK Soul Chart hit, it is what Gary refers to as Modern Retro... exactly what DSG Music like to release : Soulful, modern retro tunes with a twist and a memory. 

"I love Music..."

Three Degrees - When Will I See You Again

Gary's first track was one of the most successful recordings of the Philly Soul era. In the U.S., the song reached #1 on the adult contemporary chart, #2 on the pop singles chart and #4 on the R&B chart in the autumn of 1974.

"My favourite group in my teens and I still love Sheila Ferguson's amazing vocals."

Dennis Edwards - Don't Look Any Further

Gary's second choice is this 1984 track by former Temptations lead singer Dennis Edwards, featuring Siedah Garrett.  

"Always had a lot of attention when I was one of the first to pick this track from his import album. I once supported the Foundations at the Piccadilly Theatre when Clem said ''Man, what was that track ?''

Sylvia - Pillow Talk

The third track chosen by Gary is the 1973 single whch was originally written by Sylvia Robinson for Al Green, but rejected because the risque lyrics compromised his religious beliefs.

"As a child, this was one of my first 7 inch singles and I still like it today."

Barry White - Oh Love, Well We Finally Made It

"The only track that Barry recorded as Smoke, under his own name, with Love Unlimited and with his Orchestra.  Four versions, and each one uplifts the soul."

Randy Crawford - Just To Keep You Satisfied

From Randy's 'Raw Silk' album. A perfect cover and soul music at his best from a singer who is not just a nice person I had the pleasure of meeting on a number of occasion, but someone who is undiscovered in her home country... apart from 'Street Life'."


Gary's DSG Music has it's own website... check it out !

click on the link

And check out the DSG Music blog to keep up-to-date on all that is happening...

click on the link