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.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Randy Now's Man Cave

Randy Now's Man Cave - 134 Farnsworth Ave. Bordentown New Jersey 08505

Next up on my Jersey tour was Randy Now's Man Cave, just down the road from the Record Collector in Bordentown.  The store's owner - Randy "Randy Now" Ellis (pictured below) - was, among many things, a promoter who arranged shows for the Record Collector.  Not just a record store, it has a lot of memorabilia (some shown below) bobble heads, magazines, and books in a back room.  My personal favorite was the Beatle's Flip Your Wig game (you won the game when you got 4 cards of the Beatle you were playing).  A smaller store, it had a good selection of Ska 45s and British New Wave.  So many record stores, so little time ...... 

Here's an article that appeared in the Bordentown Current in October 2017 The Man Behind The Cave which tells you about the store's owner and his days as a promoter.

And here's another that appeared in in March 2012 Randy Now Launches His Man Cave  announcing the opening of the store.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Record Collector

Record Collector - 358 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown, NJ 08505

Next up on my tour of New Jersey's finest was a trip to Bordentown, which features not one but two worthy record stores - Randy Now's Man Cave, which I will cover in a later post - and the Record Collector - which I went to first because it closed first.

It was a fine record store with a larger space enabling it to have quite a bit of everything.  But what really caught my eye were two rare soul 45s, The Temptations My Girl, and Martha and the Vandellas Dancing in the Street.  I had never seen the Temptations single in the wild before (or anywhere for that matter).

Pictured below is one of the store's owners - John Chrambanis.

Here's an article that appeared on in February of 2015 Bordentown Record Store Comes Alive With Music that describes some of the shows held in the store - as you can see, its a big enough space, with stage in the back, to hold a small concert.  The list is quite impressive for a record store.

And here's link to a YouTube video of  Agent Orange 2010 Record Collector  Agent Orange is a surf punk band from Southern California formed in the early 1980s.

And here is an explanation of where the name Vandellas came from.  Ever what to know?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Princeton Record Exchange

Princeton Record Exchange - 20 S. Tulane St., Princeton, NJ  08542

Recently returned to what has long been rated as one of America's top record stores - Princeton Record Exchange.  It was on Rolling Stone magazine's 2010 list of the 31 best record stores in the US.  And as the sign in the store's window will tell you, on many others as well.  As advertised, it had tons and tons of records (and Cds and cassettes for those interested).  It had rock and soul and rap and 45s and more.  But most of all it had PEOPLE!  Old people, young people, men, women.  In a record store.  Unbelievable.  According to one article, on an average weekday, 500-600 people visit the store, and double that amount on a weekend.

And it has it's own Wikipedia Page!


Here's a video on You Tube titled Documentary on Princeton Record Exchange 2011 which will give you a good idea of what the store is like.

And tons of press - about the store, its new owner and its history.

Like this 2015 article that appeared on Classical Music: Princeton Record Exchange Still Thriving After 35 Years

This one appeared in the NY Times in 2008 In Princeton, An Offline Haven For Music Shoppers Thrives

And another 2015 article reporting on the sale of the store in the Princeton Planet Princeton Record Exchange Sold To Longtime Manager Jon Lambert/

And of course we bought a few records.  Most happy with a Small Factory single (for the whopping price of $2.99 - did I say the records were reasonably priced?) So What About Love b/w We Will.  If you want to hear some Small Factory (but not these songs) follow the link.  Or perhaps you & remember Ian Dury Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll?  and quite a few others.