Chicago area record stores past and present (with photos)

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by larry333, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Rodz42

    Rodz42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Record breakers is now in the Avondale neighborhood along Milwaukee avenue. was there a few weeks ago. No more cds, just vinyl and some shirts
     
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  2. christopher patarazzi

    christopher patarazzi Active Member

    Man, this thread is great. So many stores the names/places I've forgotten. Deerfield Record Store in Deerfield, one in Highwood maybe called Rainbow Records. Dog Ear in Libertyville. Eventually I started working at the stores I loved. Over the decades I worked at High Living on Lake St. and Milwaukee both a great head shop and record store. The owner, Terry turned me on to tons of great music. Record City both in Northbrook and Skokie, 2nd Hand Tunes on Clark in Chicago, Dempster in Evanston and in Hyde Park, Rose Records on Wabash, Tower Records on Clark, Rock Records on Washington in Chicago, Crow's Nest downtown Chicago. Loved Round Records near Loyola too. Bogart's in Addison. Rolling Stone. Jazz Record Mart was essential.I loved hitting Quaker Goes Deaf and Evil Clown!! So sad when both those closed. Lived right around the corner from Video Beat on Clark. Loved that place too. A guy who worked there made these cool bootleg box set of Pink Floyd and Rolling Stones. Killer package! Ran into one of the other workers there at the Tangerine Dream show at Poplar Creek in 1988. He told me he recorded the show and I got a copy later that week. Nice! Also hung at Dr. Wax, Vintage Vinyl, Hegewisch, Val's Halla...losing track of names now. Still some killer stores around like Dusty Groove, Reckless, Laurie's Planet of Sound, Bucket-O-Blood, Dave's...
     
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  3. Fortysomething

    Fortysomething Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    I'm kinda fascinated with the fact that apparently a few of the current store owners all worked for some bigger store back in the day (2nd Hand Tunes, maybe?) and that you can still see in their stock that they all split the remaining stock when they went to their own stores. They all have the same "Very Fine" stickers!

    Dave is one of them. He has SO many records in that store - some are just so high up I don't think anyone could ever reach them! (Not ragging on him, I know it's a small space.)
     
  4. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    In the early to mid 1980s, I made two purchases at a place called "Big Apple Rec0rds". It sounds like a name for a typical mall chain, but I cannot recall where the place was, just that their price sticker is on the shrink wrap of two LPs released 1982 and 1984, and that it most likely was located in Cook County or southern Lake County, north of Dempster, and west of I-94. That would include Woodfield and Schaumburg, Golf Mill, Old Orchard, Randhurst, Northbrook Court and Hawthorne Mall, with areas in between. I did buy the complete Buddy Holly cox at a place on Dundee Rd (not Hip Cat) about 1983. Could that have been it? Any ideas?
     
  5. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    There used to be a pretty cool store east of Hipcat maybe 1/2 mile down Dundee. I forget the name, but used to talk with the owners a lot, nice people.
     
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  6. Trebor

    Trebor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    There was a place on Milwaukee just north of Golf Rd, and that may have been the place. There also was a store in Elgin with Apple in the name as well. The store on Dundee was at Elmhurst Rd. I don't believe it had Apple in it's name.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  7. This Heat

    This Heat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I vaguely remember that place on Milwaukee! Wow. Hadn't thought of that place in years.
     
  8. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    Good call. I think that is the candidate that I mentioned in my first post, if it was in the little strip mall at Dundee and 83/Elmhurst Rd where there was also a small movie theatre. I saw "Strange Brew" there, then stopped in the record store after the film and bought at least the Buddy Holly box, and maybe REM. I think the same strip mall later had a Sears outlet and repair center there.

    And Hip Cat was further west. I think it was in Dun-ell Plaza, but that is actually already Buffalo Grove at that point, on the way to the old Sound Warehouse further west at Arlington Heights Rd.

    Any further input would be most welcome.
     
  9. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    Well, that place on Milwaukee just north of Golf Rd was the big Laury's store until 1986, then became Rose Records, with a (relatively) shrunken space by about 1/3, until it closed between 1990-1992. Then for a short time it was a used record and CD store in the same relatively shrunken space with either West Coast or California in the name. Man, that Laury's, especially when it was big, was THE go-to, anywhere between Evanston and Schaumburg at least. I think what finally killed Laury's/Rose off was the big Sound Warehouse that opened nearby at Golf and Milwaukee behind Toys-R-Us about 1987 or 1988.

    When I was in there as a used store about 1992 or soon after, it almost brought tears to my eyes to remember what it once was. Back in the day, they were the first CD section that I saw in ANY record store. They were Valhalla for imports and audiophile vinyl, and they had a separate partitioned listening room for classical. That was the place where I personally observed the decline and near disappearance of vinyl along with the rise and eventual supremacy of CD in real time.

    I suspect that you were in that store in the late 1980s or later. No record fan of any stripe would EVER forget the name and location of a record store like that Laury's was in the early 1980s, even if you only went once. That was the kind of place you would crawl a mile on crushed glass to get to in the northwest burbs. For anything else that good you had to go to Deerfield (another Laury's), Evanston (another Laury's) or Schaumburg. There is actually a supermarket there now.
     
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  10. EddieMann

    EddieMann I used to be a king...

    Location:
    Geneva, IL. USA.
    Is it possible you guys are talking about Appletree records? I have a friend who worked at one in the 70’s. He now has the old sign in his basement.
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    Nope. Not Appletree. It was "Big Apple Records". That's what it says on the shrink wrap price sticker on the two LPs I have from there. The design of the sticker suggests some sort of chain, ut I have never seen any reference to Big Apple by googling. Of course it doesn't help that there a record label by that name, making it akin to finding a needle in a haystack to begin with.
     
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  12. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    I hope I'm remembering correctly but you're pretty much right, except that Hipcat was in Wheeling at that point. Real close to the border of Buffalo Grove though.I used to be pretty good friends with Jim (Hipcat's owner) years back and would on occasion help him run his booth at the Hillside record show. This was all in the 1990's, and I lost touch with him when I moved to California. I need to stop by his Highland Park store and say hello.
     
  13. Dflow

    Dflow Forum Resident

    Hipcat is now located in Glenview or Wilmette on Lake street. Not sure where the village lines are drawn.
     
  14. Hogues

    Hogues Forum Resident

    Wilmette, I think.
     
  15. Fortysomething

    Fortysomething Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    that photo - the new releases on the wall!!
     
  16. EddieMann

    EddieMann I used to be a king...

    Location:
    Geneva, IL. USA.
    Yeah, he made his basement into the old Appletree record store. It’s really cool.
     
  17. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL


    I have a couple of LPs with shrink and Big Apple sticker on each, released 1982 and 1984. I can't for the life of me recall the store or location, but I don't think it was Highland Park (I did shop at a Rainbow Records there in 1982, picked up "Love Over Gold" that time).

    I have a couple of candidates for the Big Apple store I shopped between 1982-1984. On is Dundee and Elmhurst in Wheeling, the other at Gold and Elmhurst in mount Prospect (where Dominick's and Phar-More was. just a couple of blocks east on Golf was a Big Daddy record store as well.

    If you know any other locations of Big Apple, it sure would help. My real go-to during that era was that fabulous Laury's on Milwaukee in Niles just north of Golf Mill, before the store shrunk by a third and bought out by Rose around 1986, not necessarily in that order. The opening of Sound Warehouse just behind Toys-r-Us across from Golf Mill was probably the kill shot for the Laury's/Rose store, gone by about 1991-1992.

    Anybody else feel free to sound off on Big Apple locations in the north or northwest burbs.
     
  18. sa5150

    sa5150 Forum Resident

    There was a Record City on Dundee , The best Record City was in Skokie , I spent most of my time there and Rolling Stones in the 80's . :) Another great shop was Wavelength in Just off of Harlem and north , And an awesome little place in oak park for used cds I forgot the name , There is a vinyl store there now which is filthy lol.
     
  19. sa5150

    sa5150 Forum Resident

    what was the pace in downers grove ? great cd section .
     
  20. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    If on Ogden Avenue in Downer's Grove, wasn't there a Crow's Nest there on the south side of the street?
     
  21. I worked there in the late 70s. Fun place, also was a mini head shop. I recall two other locations out in northwest suburbs, but I was never at those. I also worked a while in the same era at Sounds Good near Belmont and the lake shore, I forget the exact cross street. I'll always remember one of the female clerks behind the counter up front putting on "Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop" over the store system while I was out in the aisle stocking vinyl, what a great song! Memory courtesy of just listening to that very song, by coincidence, on my current audio playlist.
     
  22. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I was at Hip Cat Records today for the first time at their Lake Street location (which means my first time in many years). I tried a couple times over the years but they always seemed to be closed whenever I was passing by that way, even when it was supposed to be open. So today (Saturday) I made a special trip. The owner was there, and he cleared up some of my questions. The previous Dundee Rd location in the 80s and 90s was at 1089 W Dundee Rd in Wheeling, which was just east of Schoenbeck. There is no 1089 W. Dundee today, just the parking lot for the big new Walgreen's at 1199, SE corner of Dundee & Schoenbeck, then London Middle School at 1001 just east, opening in 1995, with a narrow end of a subdivision in between. He said the old Hip Cat Records at that location was in an old 7-Eleven.

    He also remembers the record store I mentioned at Dundee and Elmhurst back in the 1980s, which I thought might be a candidate for being Big Apple Records because of the early 1980s time frame. He said it wasn't Big Apple (which I thought it might be) but "Rockin' Records" (or maybe "Rock-n-Records" or "Rock'n'Records").

    And as for Big Apple, he said it was not a chain, but he thought there were maybe two or three stores. The one he knew about was on Waukegan Road north of Lake Street, in a little strip mall across from a Burger King. It does make some sense because that was the same strip mall that had a little baseball card and sports memorabilia store that I went to several times. The only problem is that my memory of visits to that baseball card store was more like 1990s, MUCH later than I could possibly have purchased "Born in the USA" (1984) and "Shoot Out the Lights" (1982). But maybe it was another Big Apple location further west closer to where I lived west of the Tri-State on Golf or Milwaukee.

    At least the picture is a little but clearer. I don't like not remembering a record store location and name, especially if I bought records there...
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  23. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I worked for a short time at Rockin Records. I think that is the right name. What I remember about the place was that it was in a strip mall and I think it was run by a husband and wife. They had a ton of promo posters for sale and I remember buying Simple Minds - Sparkle In The Rain there when it was released.

    I also remember Hip Cat Records in the old 7-11 location and bought a Bowie single there.

    That Record City on Dundee was one of my favorites though. Lots of great imports there! I remember buying the Depeche Mode - Stripped 12" single there when it was released. Funny how you relate certain releases to the store you bought it at.
     
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  24. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    Was that Rockin Records in a strip mall southwest corner of Dundee and Elmhurst, toward the end closest to Elmhurst, and a small movie theatre beyond the western end away from Elmhurst (this would be early 1980s)? At least that is the way I remember it. I actually stopped in that store after seeing Bob and Doug McKenzie in "Strange Brew" late summer/early fall 1982, then stopped in the record store right after that before heading home. I bought the 6 LP Buddy Holly box ("The Complete Buddy Holly") at that store that night. Maybe you rang me up.

    Now that you bring it up, where was the Record City on Dundee? I don't remember that one at all.

    I might as well mention that until 1981 there was a Sounds Good (a chain owned by Rose Records) also on Dundee, but farther east by Dundee and Sanders at Sanders Court. Very good store with knowledgeable staff.

    But for early 1980s, the 500 pound gorilla of 'em all was that big Laury's on Milwaukee just north of Golf Mill, at least for the area where I lived in Prospect Heights. Killer selection until they started to fade in the mid-1980s before being bought out by Rose in late 1986. I saw an article quoting one of the Rose people as saying that Laury's went whole hog into CDs a bit too early. Rose only owned it for four or five years before it was gone completely. A new Sound Warehouse opening a couple of blocks south will tend to do that.
     
  25. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    I found an old (1981) ad in Tribune online archives It says "Rock'n Records" in Wheeling, but does not give a street number address. The same ad (for Scotch blank tapes) also mentions a "Rockin' Records" in Hammond.

    I would have to say that spelling may not be the ad writer's long suit. Also mentioned in large bold type is "The Flip Record Stores (all locations)". Since I never heard of The Flip Record Stores despite what appears to be many locations, I am left to assume the ad writer must have meant The Flip Side. But who knows?

    Now you mentioned Record City on Dundee. Where on Dundee (or at least what town)? I assume further west like Buffalo Grove or maybe even Arlington Heights? No mention of Record City at any location in the ad.

    Lastly, and maybe most interesting considering it is only 1981, there are already TWO locations for Sound Warehouse, in Downers Grove and Oak Lawn. I never heard of them until very late in the 1980s.
     
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