Dave Godin  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

David Edward Godin (June 21, 1936, Peckham, London - October 15, 2004 in Rotherham, England) was an English fan of American soul music, who made a major contribution internationally in spreading awareness and understanding of the genre, and by extension African-American culture.

Godin began collecting American R&B records when at Dartford school, where he encouraged the younger Mick Jagger's interest in black American music. After working at an advertising agency and a hospital, he founded the Tamla Motown Appreciation Society, and in time was recruited by Berry Gordy to become Motown's consultant in the UK, setting up its distribution through EMI.

In 1968, he founded Soul City, a record shop and label on which he released such then-obscure soul classics as Go Now by Bessie Banks. As a music journalist with Blues & Soul magazine, he coined the terms northern soul and Deep Soul, and promoted the interests of a large number of American musicians whose work had fallen out of favour in their home country.

In the mid 1990s he started to compile a series of CDs of rare (and some not so rare) recordings - Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures - for Ace Records, which featured such artists as Loretta Williams, Eddie and Ernie, Jaibi, Ruby Johnson and Jimmy and Louise Tig. The albums were greeted with universal critical acclaim, and Godin described the series as the proudest achievement of his life.

He went on to show interests in other areas including Esperanto and especially film, becoming involved in the British Film Institute. Having studied art, design and film course at Sheffield Polytechnic, he helped found and was director of the Anvil Cinema (1983-90) in the city, the only cinema in the UK to be funded by a local authority.

Dave was also a vegan and an advocate for animal rights. He was also known for his involvement in anarchist and anti-capitalist organizations, including the Freedom Newspaper and Class War. He was the only atheist in his local pro-life organisation. Towards the end of his life he developed an interest in Jainism.

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