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, June 30, 2012

Volume Records Ithaca New York

Volume Records - 126 E. State St., Ithaca New York 14850 on the Commons
  Now just part of the second floor of a clothing store.

Volume Ithaca NY on the Commons

B Side Record Store Madison Wisconsin

B-Side 436 State Street, Madison Wisconsin 53703

B-Side Madison Wisconsin - Store Front

Here's an article that appeared on October 4, 2012 in the Badger Herald 30 Years Later Still Selling Vinyl describing the store and its (then) 30 year history. 
Inside B-Side Madison Wisconsin - open

83VHVNUTEPQS Technorati claim token

Tower Records Greenwich Village New York

Tower Records - Greenwich Village NYC

It was huge and I bought many a record there, including my first Sonny Clark record on a clerk's excellent recommendation.  You don't get that on eBay.

Inside Tower NYC 1984

Tower Records Greenwich Village NYC

Tower Records - Greenwich Village NYC

Inside Tower Records

NY Dolls at Tower Records

Footlight Records Greenwich Village New York

Footlight Records - Greenwich Village NYC - closed

Showtunes - can't remember anything I bought there, but that didn't stop me from going in.

Here's a February 2009 from American Theatre Web, Footlight Records Rises From The Ashes, which describes the history of the store, and its transformation into a web only service.

Footlight Records

Inside Footlight Records

Midnight Records - Chelsea NYC - not at this location anymore -
     but still doing mailorder

An article titled Record Stores: Out of Site, Not Obsolete appeared in the NY Times on September 29, 2009 and described what Midnight (and Vinyl Mania's) owners were doing since the store closed to continue selling records.

Record Hunter Record Store New York

Record Hunter - 517 5th Ave NYC - long closed. 

And here's an article that appeared in the NY Times in January 1993 Strictly Business; How The Music Stopped For The Record Hunter reporting on the life and death of the Record Hunter.
Record Hunter Bag

A-1 Record Shop Greenwich Village New York

A-1 Record Shop - Greenwich Village NYC - Open

Here's a link to a You Tube video of A-1 Records featuring a short tour of the shop.
A-1 Records - Greenwich Village NYC
Someone has to be first

A-1 Records Greenwich Village NYC

House of Oldies

House of Oldies - 35 Carmine St., Greenwich Village NY 10014

Here's a November 15, 2011 post by Mitch Broder from his blog Vintage New York titled House of Oldies: Selling Last Century's Hits For Half A Century that discussed the store and its long history selling vinyl.  Lots and lots of rare vinyl.
House Of Oldies - No CDs here!

Inside House of Oldies

Inside House of Oldies

Permanent Records

Permanent Records - Brooklyn NY
Closed here - but (maybe) open over there.

Nope, not here anymore.

And closed here too in Northport Long Island.

But (apparently) open here, upstairs, at 159 20th Street, South Slope, Brooklyn NY.  At a minimum, they still sell records online. 

Here's a story in Mashable How Many Times Does A Brooklyn Record Store Have To Reinvent Itself about the store's latest move to new digs.

And here's an article in the Brooklyn Vegan Permanent Records Opened In South Slope Location Today from October 2014 announcing the opening of the South Slope store.
Permanent  Records - Brooklyn NY

Permanent Records

Permanent Records - Northport LI - moved to Brooklyn NY

Norman's Sound & Vision

Normans Sound & Vision - Brooklyn NY

Norman's Sound & Vision

Norman's Sound & Vision - 555 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn NY  11211

When I first went there in June 2012, Norman's Sound & Vision had just moved from their old long time home in the East Village to Metropolitan Ave., and were still setting up the shop.

Norman's Sound & Vision - Brooklyn New York Record Store

Here's the finished product.

And the store's long time owner Norman Isaacs.

The old East Village location at 67 Cooper Square in the East Village.

Related image

Inside Normans Sound & Vision - Brooklyn NY

Inside Normans Sound & Vision -  Brooklyn NY

Links/Info/Cool Stuff

I've listed here some cool sites/articles I've seen in my travels about record stores.

Ben Sisario wrote a great article originally in the NY Times
and later published and updated on his blog Crime's Against Music
which tracked New York record stores as of 2008 listing which had gone out of business and which were still open with a map that tracked their locations.

A link to a list of used record stores throughout the world by Piero Scaruffi.

the Vinyl District provides a free app that lets you find the record store nearest to you.

Link to Record World commercial, circa 1978.  Can't find a picture of the store (still looking) but in the meantime this ad will have to do.

The NY Times reports that vinyl is making a comeback ...  "Turntables, those once arcane machines for playing records, have staged a big comeback as hipster essentials ...  If you need a gift for someone who stays ahead of the trends, what could be better than some vinyl with a high cool factor?"  NY Times, The Secrets of a High Quality Vinyl Records, May 31, 2012.

The Vancouver Sun similarly reports that vinyl sales are up, with numbers to back it up.  In an article titled What Goes Around Comes Around: Vinyl records spin higher sales by Misty Harris, the Sun reports that album sales rose from 857,000 units in 2005 to 3,868,000 units in 2011, and are climbing yet again in 2012.  This article originally appeared in the Vancouver Sun, and now appears on the website

Turntabling is a blog that contains a section titled Vinyl Road Rage, where the authors report (complete with pictures) on their tour of independent record stores throughout the country.  You can also find a link in my Blog roll.

40 sad portraits of closed record stores from BuzzFeed.

List Of Dead Indie Record Stores courtsey of the blog GoJohnnyGo, has a long list of closed record stores mainly in the mid west, with some pictures mostly of adversting materials.

And what list of Record Store links would be complete without a link to High Fidelity John Cusack's 2000 movie about a record store owner and his loves.  Great scenes inside the record store, featuring in addition to John Cusack, Jack Black as one of the two store clerks.

Bill Kelly Teenage Wasteland .  If you want to learn more about 60s garage/punk, or revivalist bands that continue to play music with the same spirit ( or the occasional 60s girl group) then Bill Kelly is your man.  Bill has long dj'd a weekly 2 hour show on WFMU that is graciously available on the Internet, including archives of past shows and set lists.  A great place to listen and learn from one of the best.  The link will take you to archives of the radio program.

 Unoffical Guide To Music in Greenwich Village and More: March 1995 by Bob Garjarsky features an extended listing of record stores in Greenwich Village and elsewhere, including Hoboken, with a description of each store and its offerings, all circa 1995/1996.

The World's Largest Record Collection is displayed in this YouTube video by Rocketboom/Sean Dunne.  Belonging to Paul Mawhinney, former owner of Record Rama, it features over 1 Million albums and 1.5 million singles, including what he claims is the first ever flat disc, from 1881. 

Here's a fun link to a You Tube video commemorating The Free People's Store complete with store jingle.  Quite hilarious, the video features ads of a record store that operated in Pittsburgh circa 1969 - 1973,

Articles about particular stores can be found in the section that bears the store's name, usually in the post that appears first about the store when you click on the link.

We've added a new section, titled Record Reviews, which identifies a number of publications/web sites that contain record reviews to help you decide if that record you are thinking about buying is actually worth it.  You'll find it in the Musical Resources section of the site.

We also feature cool playlists of some of my favorite songs.   The lists come complete with You Tube links so you can either sample the song individually or play them all together.  Look under the Playlist label for the lists and songs.  I've created mix tapes since I was in college, and these are some of my personal favorites.

Norman's Sound & Vision  - East Village NYC - moved to Brooklyn NY

Inside Norman's Sound & Vision

Inside Norman's Sound & Vision

Norman's Sound & Vision