The son of a milkman, Dave Godin spent his early childhood in Peckham before bombing forced the family to move to Bexleyheath, Kent, where he won a scholarship to Dartford Grammar School. Godin began collecting American R&B records when at school, where he encouraged the younger Mick Jagger's interest in black American music. He said: "..It was at Dartford Grammar School that I met Mick Jagger and introduced him to black music, I'm ashamed to say. It's ironic that as a result of meeting me he's where he is today." Godin played a minor role in the early jam sessions out of which the Rolling Stones emerged, but resented Jagger for what he saw as the Stones' exploitation of black music.
After working at an advertising agency and as an hospital porter in place of national service (he was a conscientious objector), Godin 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. At a recording of Ready Steady Go! in 1964, Jagger asked Godin to introduce him to Marvin Gaye. "I told him to fuck off and introduce himself", Godin recalled.
In 1967, he founded Soul City, a record shop which in 1967 developed into a record label on which he released such then-obscure soul classics as "Go Now" by Bessie Banks, with colleague David Nathan and friend Robert Blackmore. It was in their shop that Godin coined the term 'northern soul', a description that he would popularise through his work as a music journalist. In a 2002 interview with Chris Hunt of Mojo, he explained that he had first come up with the term in 1968 as a sales reference to help staff in his shop differentiate the more modern funkier sounds from the smoother, Motown-influenced soul of a few years earlier:
"I had started to notice that northern football fans who were in London to follow their team were coming into the store to buy records, but they weren’t interested in the latest developments in the black American chart. I devised the name as a shorthand sales term. It was just to say ‘if you’ve got customers from the north, don’t waste time playing them records currently in the US black chart, just play them what they like - ‘Northern Soul’."
In his career he also coined the term Deep Soul and he promoted the interests of a large number of American musicians whose work had fallen out of favour in their home country.
His second career was in cinema exhibition. Having studied art, design and film course at Sheffield Polytechnic, he became a senior film officer for the British Film Institute and helped found and was the manager of the Anvil Cinema, Sheffield (1983–90), the only cinema in the UK to be funded by a local authority.
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.
Godin, a vegan, was an advocate of animal rights and Esperanto. 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.
1.The Knight Brothers - I'm Never Gonna Live It Down 2.Timmy Willis - Easy As Saying 1 2 3 3.Zerben R Hicks & the Dynamics - Lights Out 4.Irma Thomas - Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand) 5.Jean Wells - Have A Little Mercy 6.Dori Grayson - Try Love 7.Brendetta Davis - I Can't Make It Without Him 8.Kenny Carter - Showdown 9.Larry Banks - I'm Not The One 10.Jimmy Holiday – The Turning Point 11.The Incredibles - Standing Here Crying 12.The Just Brothers - She Broke His Heart 13.The Untouchables - You're On Top 14.Reuben Bell & the Casanovas - It's Not That Easy 15.Van & Titus - Cry Baby Cry 16.Jean Stanback - I Still Love You 17.Bessie Banks - Try To Leave Me If You Can (I Bet You Can't Do It) 18.Raw Spitt - Songs To Sing 19.Lee Moses - How Much Longer (Must I Wait) 20.Billy Young - Nothing's Too Much (Nothing's Too Good) 21.Sam & Bill - I Feel Like Crying 22.Eddie & Ernie - I'm Goin' For Myself 23.The Knight Brothers - Tried So Hard To Please Her 24.Pearlean Gray & the Passengers - Love Of My Man 25.Jaibi - You Got Me
1.Doris Duke - How Was I To Know You Cared 2.Eddie Holman - I'm Not Going To Give Up 3.The Soul Children – The Sweeter He Is 4.Tony Owens - I Don't Want Nobody But My Baby 5.Bobby Moore & the Formosts - It Was A Lie 6.Jimmy & Louise Tig and Company - A Love That Never Grows Cold 7.Ben E. King - It's All Over 8.Nat Phillips - I'm Sorry I Hurt You 9.Wendy Rene - What Will Tomorrow Bring 10.Arthur Conley - Let Nothing Separate Us 11.Irma Thomas - These Four Walls 12.Johnny Adams - If I Could See You One More Time 13.Ruby Johnson - I'll Run Your Hurt Away 14.The Premiers - Make It Me 15.Eddie Giles - Losing Boy 16.Doris Allen – A Shell Of A Woman 17.Otis Redding - Just One More Day 18.Bessie Banks - Go Now 19.George Perkins & the Silver Stars - Cryin' In The Streets 20.Big John Hamilton - How Much Can A Man Take 21.Barbara West - Anyone But You 22.Carla Thomas – Stop! Look What You're Doing 23.Toussaint McCall - Nothing Takes The Place Of You 24.Eddie & Ernie - Hiding In Shadows 25.Lisa Richards - Let's Take A Chance
1.Toussaint McCall - I'm Undecided 2.Baby Washington - Breakfast In Bed 3.Dee Clark - In These Very Tender Moments 4.Jean Plum - Look At The Boy 5.James Brown - Lost Someone 6.Eddie & Ernie - Thanks For Yesterday 7.Bessie Banks - It Sounds Like My Baby 8.Bobby Womack - Baby I Can't Stand It 9.Etta James - I'd Rather Go Blind 10.Syl Johnson - Is It Because I'm Black 11.Maxine Brown - All In My Mind 12.Robert Ramsey - Like It Stands 13.Irma Thomas - Wish Someone Would Care 14.Ray Gant & the Arabian Knights - Don't Leave Me Baby 15.Carla Thomas - I Can't Take It 16.J R Bailey - Too Far Gone To Turn Around 17.Bettye LaVette - Let Me Down Easy 18.Bobby Bland - I'm Too Far Gone To Turn Around 19.Barbara & the Browns - I Don't Want To Have To Wait 20.The Enchanters - I Paid For The Party 21.Rozetta Johnson - Who Are You Gonna Love (Your Woman Or Your Wife) 22.Rick James & Friend - Ebony Eyes 23.Doris Duke- He's Gone 24.The Impressions - My Deceiving Heart 25.Loretta Williams - I'm Missing You
1.The Knight Brothers - Temptation 'Bout To Get Me 2.Eddie & Ernie - I Believe She Will 3.Matilda Jones - I've Been Wrong Too Long 4.Bobby Bland - I Pity The Fool 5.Chuck Edwards - I Need You 6.Ruby Andrews - Just Loving You 7.Clarence Carter - Slip Away 8.Black Velvet - Is It Me You Really Love 9.Paul Kelly - The Day After Forever 10.Gladys Knight & the Pips - Giving Up 11.Arthur Conley - I'm A Lonely Stranger 12.Jackie Lee - I Love You 13.The Miracles - The Tracks Of My Tears 14.Roosevelt Matthews - You Got Me Diggin' You 15.Doris Duke - I Don't Care Anymore 16.Lawrence & Jaibi - You Make Me Feel Good 17.Barbara Brown - Can't Find No Happiness 18.Garnet Mimms - My Baby 19.The Webs - It's So Hard To Break A Habit 20.Irma Thomas - Time Is on My Side 21.Tony Owens - This Heart Can't Take No More 22.Jaibi - It Was Like A Nightmare 23.Roy Hamilton - The Dark End Of The Street 24.Jimmy Robins - I Made It Over 25.Bob & Earl - Don't Ever Leave Me