The CONA Coffee Bar Manchester – Modernists CD

Modernists - Kent Records KENT 505 (Unwrapped)

The CD called Modernists has a picture of some ‘Mods’outside the Cona Coffee Bar on Tib Street Manchester. Whether this is a spontaneous photograph or (as we suspect) a posed ‘scene’, is open to debate.

The Cona Coffee Bar was a Mod hangout for Manchester Soul Mods. My one recollection concerning the Cona was going down into its smoky interior where my friend at the time decided it would be a good idea to roll a joint. This was way back in 1967. As an ardent socialist, part of his manifesto was that not only should marijuana be legal, he would act as if it already was. Being the inveterate coward that I was, I hurried back up the steps. Not long after the infamous Manchester drug squad headed by Police Sergeant Plummer arrived and my erstwhile mate was taken away. Later the incident was reported in the Manchester Evening News, together with the headline ‘Drug Boy’s father breaks down in court” , or something very similar. As I had once visited his father in Wythenshaw hospital, recovering from stomach ulcer surgery, I wondered if this incident made him worse…

The Cona Coffee Bar Manchester
The Cona Coffee Bar Manchester

This CD compilation has some good and interesting tracks on it, but I must say not one of them was played at the Cona as far as I remember. I do know and remember it well, Saturday lunchtimes drinking Cona machine filtered coffee served in large glass cups and there long before Starbucks re- invented the idea but with mugs.

Often Roger Eagle the Twisted Wheel DJ would be there talking records, selling copies of his R&B Scene magazine.

The music on the Jukebox that were our favourites and some that people brought there to exchange, sell or to just show people has little resemblance to those tracks on this new CD.

Is that blond guy Pete Bamford from Moston, who used to park it outside the Cona: a Lambretta GT 200…?

The Cona Coffee Bar Manchester

Music Played at The Cona Coffee Bar Manchester in the sixties

Anyway here is my Cona Playlist from what we remember

Green Onions – Booker T. And The MG’s

Behave Yourself – Booker T. And The MG’s

Its All Over Now – The Rolling Stones

Gloria – Them

Commin’ Home Baby – Mel Torme

Another Saturday Night  – Sam Cooke

Nadine  – Chuck Berry

Rescue Me – Fontella Bass

Walk On By – Dionne Warwick

A House Is Not A Home – Dionne Warwick

You’ll Never Get To Heaven If You Break My Heart – Dionne Warwick

Georgia – Ray Charles

The Times They Are A Changing – Bob Dylan

King Of The Road – Roger Miller

The Locomotion – Little Eva

It Might As Well Rain Until September – Carol King

On Broadway  – The Drifters

Can’t Get Used To Losing You – Andy Williams

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – Shirelles

A Lovers Concerto – Toys

Last Night – The Mar – Keys

Remember Walking In The Sand – Shangri Las

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – The Righteous Brothers

Rhythm – Major Lance

The Monkey Time – The Miracles

Mickeys Monkey – The Miracles

Baby Love – The Supremes

Under The Board Walk – The Drifters

A Little Piece Of Leather – Donnie Elbert

Tobaco Road – The Nashville Teens

For Your Love – The Yardbirds

Yeh Yeh – Georgie Fame

A Touch Of Velvet A Sting Of Brass – The Mood Mosaic

Swinging On A Star –  Big Dee Irwin and Little Eva

Track listing from the Modernists CD

None of these were ever played at the Cona to the best of our knowledge

1. Soul Jerk It, Baby – Jeb Stuart
2. Dog (Ain’t A Man’s Best Friend) – Lewis Clark
3. Harlem Shuffle – Robert Moore
4. Good Humor Man – Clifford Curry
5. Cat Dance – The In Crowd
6. Jet Set – Mel Williams
7. Hold Your Dog – Oliver Morgan
8. Dynamite – Little Eva
9. Stone Fox – The Pac-Keys
10. I Got Loaded Lil Bob
11. Shirley – John Fred & The Playboys
12. (You Should Have Been A) Doctor – Bessie Banks
13. Boston Monkey – The Hustlers
14. Turn Around And Go – Lee Bernard
15. Got A Good Thing Going On – Clarence Daniels & Obie Jessie
16. Long Ways To Go – Timmy Wilson
17. Shaggy Dog – Danny & The Velaires
18. Bugaloo Pete – Lester Young & The California Playboys
19. Crow Baby Crow – Leroy Harris
20. Monkey Man – Gene Burks
21. Tingling – Eddy Giles
22. She’s Got Soul – Bill Locke
23. Charles’ Shing A Ling – Charles Hodges
24. After Hours – Paul & Rick