Vox at the Moscow Trade Fair 1966.
8th - 24th July
As issues of "The Board of Trade Journal" for July 1966 indicate, the Fair was of huge importance - commercially, culturally, and politically. Around 4,000 tons of goods were shipped in total to Moscow. Although the "The Board of Trade" had its eye on the broader picture, music papers were quick to pick up on the forthcoming presence of Jennings Musical Industries at the show.
Published April 1966.
"Billboard" magazine, 14th May, 1966.
Moscow, Sokolniki Exhibition Centre, the venue for the Fair, pictured in 1959. Picture: Life Magazine.
The big push for 1966 was the "4" and "7" series amps, which had been unveiled at the Frankfurt Trade Fair in February and March.
Despite the obvious interest both of the press and of the Russian public, however - see the reports in "The Stage" towards the foot of this page - sales were abysmal: a meagre £1500 reported. The succinct lines in "Beat Instrumental", below right, April 1966, summed up the difficulties, known all too well in advance.
The syndicated report published widely in August. Above, from The Birmingham Post, 13th Aug. 1966. Perhaps one was meant to sense the creak of the iron curtain being drawn aside.
News snippets relating to the 700 series from "Beat Instrumental": March, April and May 1966 (nos 35-37)
"Beat Instrumental", July 1966. For potted biographies of Colin Barratt and Dave Roberts, see the foot of this page. The American trade fair netted Jennings $2 million, around 80 times what the Moscow Fair returned.
The rotunda of the Sokolniki Exhibition Centre, pictured in 1961.
Interior of the rotunda, 1959.
"Beat Instrumental" magazine, September '66.
"The Stage" 30th June 1966, promoting the show. Dave Roberts, former lead guitarist with the Fentones (led by Shane Fentone, later Alvin Stardust), was chief demonstrator for Vox / Jennings.
"The Stage" 18th August 1966.
"The Beacon" Journal of Royston Industries, issue for July 1967. The whole is available here.
Published February 1967, seven months after the Moscow Trade Fair.