Ghosts of Record Stores Past and Present

Much of my youth was spent hunting for and playing vinyl. I have created this site to remember many of the stores I've visited. Don't try and visit them without calling first, as many of them are no longer with us. If I've posted a picture of a store that you want me to delete please let me know and I'll take it down. To see a particular store just open the photo album with its name on it or click on the green (open) or red (closed) marker in the map below. Expanding the map will reveal more stores in the same city.

The site also contains links to interesting articles and information on record shops and record collecting and fine musical suggestions and playlists for your listening pleasure (with You Tube links so you can check them out for yourself). The Playlists can be found by scrolling to a separate section of the index under the heading musical resources. And our latest addition, Song of the Day, a glimpse at what's playing on my stereo today, appears there as well.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Jerry's Records

Jerry's Records -  2136 Murray Ave Pittsburgh PA  15217
Ain't Closin'

Finally made it to Jerry's and it was worth the trip.  One of the great record stores in the USA today, it occupies (much) of the massive second floor of the building pictured below.   Mucho used records of all genres priced cheap - and if that isn't cheap enough they were giving away mystery boxes of records so long as you looked at them at home.  Run by Jerry Webber (pictured) you will need quite a lot time to do it right.  And of course you can listen to it before you buy it.  Just remember to bring cash as he won't take cards.  It has all genres - include Bad Rock Operas!  And who wouldn't love a store that features an album titled "Music of Today" in the Classical section.  Issac didn't lie.

And don't just take my word for it.

The store was featured in Rolling Stones' Best Record Stores In The USA published in Sept. 2010.

And here's an article in Dan Lindich's Sound Advice from Dec. 2016 Jerry's Records In Pittsburgh PA Records For People To Listen To  with more photos and an interview with Jerry, recounting the history of the store.

Oh, and I almost forgot.  Whistlin Willie's 78s is just down the hall on the same floor (if you look for 78s).

Friday, March 10, 2017

Whistlin' Willie's 78s

Whistlin' Willie's 78s -  2136 Murray Ave., 2d Floor, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania  15217

I finally made the journey to one of the great records stores in the US today, Jerry's Records in Pittsburgh.  More about that in our next post.  But as an added bonus, next to Jerry's, in the same building, and also on the (mammoth) 2d floor, is Whistlin' Willie's 78s.  I know its not officially part of Jerry's as you had to pay separately for your purchases, but if you're into 78s, this is the place to go.  Numerous titles, quite reasonably priced.  As I have an old Wurlitzer 1100, that only plays 78s, I am always on the look out for 78s I can play.  Highly recommended.  Quite happily bought both the original 'Hound Dog' by Big Mama Thornton and Maybellene by Chuck Berry, among others.

The press reports the store is owned by Willie Weber (son of the Jerry of Jerry's records), who opened the store in 2010.  Here an article about the store's opening that appeared in the Pittsburgh City Paper in 2010 titled  New Record Store Whistlin Willies Specializes In The Old Time 78s


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Song of the Day

Billy Idol - White Wedding

I had a hankerin' for my MTV - that staple of the 80's, where the public got introduced to songs via VJs and videos.  One of my personal favorites was today's Song of the Day - Billy Idol's White Wedding from 1982.  A great video - very Goth - of what in my opinion was his best song (go ahead, say you like Rebel Yell or Dancing With Myself) but I'll take this one.  With Steve Stevens on guitar, and his girl friend as his 'bride.'

Monday, February 20, 2017

Crooked Beat Records

Crooked Beat Records -  Arlington Virginia
  Open -  802 N. Fairfax St., Arlington Virginia  22314

The new home of Crooked Beat Records, now a destination visit, after it moved from its long time home in Adams Morgan.  While a smaller shop, its nicely stocked and run by a nice guy (Bill Daly - picture below) so worth the trip.  And you'd be in good company, as any store the features both Neutral Milk Hotel and Belle & Sebastian on its list of best all time sellers draws the right kind of crowd.


Here's an article that appeared in 2016 in the University of Maryland student paper the Diamondback titled Six Months After Leaving Adams Morgan, Crooked Beat Has Found A Home In Alexandria  And another in Borderstan announcing the closing of the old store titled  Adams Morgan Record Store To Close Next MonthNice to hear the store is doing well.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Song of the Day

Small Factory - Scared of Love

Shame on us.  Today's Song of the Day is from Rhode Island's Small Factory.  A perfect indie pop song circa 1994, Scared of Love features three part harmony from a three piece band made up of guitarist Dave Auchenbach, drummer Phoebe Summersquash and bassist Alex Kemp.  Sounds alot like REM circa Murmur.  No, the singing is not excellent, but can Bob Dylan really sing? Tom Waits?  and we still love them, no?  Unfortunately, they put out two albums in the 90s, and a handful of singles, didn't break through, and left us.  A recent check on You Tube for Scared of Love indicates its been viewed 20 times since its posting some 17 months ago, and I'm 5 of them.  This song, and the rest of their catalogue are well worth checking out.

Here are another couple of their tunes

First is Lose Your Way

Next, here's a live version of Versus Tape at The Bell House in New York City

For more information on the band here is  Trouser Press' History of the band and an article published in 2009 in Magnet Magazine, Lost Classics: Small Factory For If You Cannot Fly

And here are pictures of my copy of the Scared of Love single.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Song Of The Day

Palehound - Molly/Cushioned Caging

Today's Song of the Day features a pair of songs off of Palehound's 2015 debut album - Dry Food. Here are two rockers, the first - Molly - fast and the second Cushioned Caging - slow.  Palehound, and these songs, are the project of Boston-based old Ellen Kempner, who not only wrote the songs and sings lead, but also plays a mean guitar.  Sounds like 90s indie, maybe Pavement (Gold Soundz/Cut Your Hair) or the Pixies.  Or maybe Poe's Trigger Happy Jack.  Not bad company.  You decide for yourself.  And the videos are pretty cool too.  and "i knew you were a close call" is a great line to describe a lover, no?

Saturday, December 31, 2016


Wombleton -  5123 York Blvd., Highland Park, Los Angeles Ca.  90042

Next up on my Los Angeles tour was Wombleton records in Highland Park.  Billed as the place to go for the 'good stuff', it lived up to its reputation.  For all the crate digging you do, every once in awhile you want a treat of a nice rare record - you'll find it here, if you're looking for rare imports from the UK and Europe, but you should expect to pay what its worth.  The shop was run by a very nice guy (standing in for the owner) who would be happy to make sure you liked your purchase before you left.  Set up like an old London record store, its a worthy place to go for some high end vinyl.

I went with an English first pressing of Blur's first album Leisure (which has a different track listing than the US pressing).  90s albums are very hard to find, given their limited pressings.