Chicago area record stores past and present (with photos)

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

  1. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    The 2nd Hand Tunes on Clark became Dave's Records. For a while I used to park on Fullerton and walk up Clark and Broadway hitting Tower Records, Dave's Records, Hi Fi Music Exchange, Video Beat and Reckless, usually also stopping in at Borders. Of those only Dave's and Reckless remain now.
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    Through a Google search, it appears that Val's Halla is still around in Oak Park. Didn't they move a few years ago? I stopped in their store in 2005, which I think was before they had moved. In '05, they had a fairly quaint shop as I recall with a modest CD selection. I didn't find much there, unfortunately, but Val was very pleasant.
  3. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    Here is their website. Yes, they moved (in 2006 judging from the newspaper article linked on that site).
  4. Gary C

    Gary C Forum Resident

    This was mine too. I wish I had all my old Hegewisch records t-shirts!
  5. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Brings back memories. I lived in Chicago a decade ago & Rock Records was down the street from where I worked. Spent a lot of time at Tower too & remember when they closed. Bummer.
    Wingsfan2012 likes this.
  6. JimC

    JimC Well-Known Member

    That's a shame. I bought a lot of CDs there on visits north through the years.

    One of the links in this thread mentioned Looney Tunes in Lombard. I've been visiting that suburb for almost 30 years, but don't remember it. Where was it on Roosevelt, and when did it close?
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    Thanks. I was on their web site this morning and saw the part about the "Grand Re-Opening", but missed the article.

    Here's a picture of the old store. This is what I remember. It was tightly packed.


    The new location looks a bit more roomy.

  8. tspit74

    tspit74 Forum Resident

    Woodridge, IL, USA
    Remember When in Westmont was the best record store ever. Hank closed the shop last September and is enjoying his retirement.

    However, vinyl is still alive and well at the same location. Second Hall Mall moved over from two doors down and has a record store inside. It's still finding its sea legs, but it's getting better all the time and is starting to stock new LP's.
    John Carsell likes this.
  9. Adam9

    Adam9 Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    It's always good to post pictures of record stores. :righton:

    I think I visited that jazz store in Chicago a few years back (it was the year the Black Hawks won the Stanley Cup).

    Again, off topic but I will probably visit Cleveland at the end of May, so any good record stores left in the downtown area? The only one I remember the last time I was there about 5 or so years ago was in the RRHOF.
  10. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    The record stores have been falling down left and right around here. Very sad. The Lakewood area is one of the last hold outs. There's The Mind's Eye 13727 Madison Avenue Lakewood, Ohio 44107 (216) 521-6660.
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    Rock Records sounds familiar. They may have had a store in Champaign when I started grad. school down there in 1993. The main drag running near campus is Green Street, and I can remember five CD shops within a half mile on Green Street back then. Rose Records was one of them, and Rock Records may have been another. I bought a used, but near-mint copy of the MFSL gold The Wall set in '93 at what I believe was Rock Records.

    There are no CD shops on Green Street now. :(
  12. CusBlues

    CusBlues Fort Wayne’s Favorite Son

    I had some friends who lived in South Holland and they used to talk about Hegewisch a lot. It must have been a great store. I visited South Holland a few times, but never made it to the store.
  13. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member


    yes, I miss Tower myself. I would drive to New Orleans (my nearest store) just to buy their great discs!

    Great photos guys!
  14. JimC

    JimC Well-Known Member

    You're right. My son is in school there, and I did find the store Exile onMain Street downtown during his freshman year. Good store.
  15. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs

    And to think we used to have TWO Towers here...and we'd go to both on the same day sometimes. :agree:
  16. bob338

    bob338 Forum Resident

    Sausalito, CA
    When did this happen? I used to go there as a teenager in the 80s. Bob and Carol were the nicest people, and very generous with their sideline business, as well!

    Wow, I hope this isn't really true...
  17. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    In my younger (pre-driving license) days my friends and I would ride our bikes to Uncle Albert's in downtown Arlington Heights. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of it but it was a great store and it's where we bought many used Beatles, Stones, Doors, etc. vinyl for affordable prices. The owner was a real trip.

    We'd also go to Oranges which had a terrific import section. I still remember buying all of The Kinks Pye imports there (a combination of Spanish and German IIRC) in the 1980's for some ridiculous price like $3.99.
  18. deadbirdie

    deadbirdie Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    Used to buy a lot from a place called Kroozin Music in Brighton Park (long gone). Also loved Remember When, bought a ton there.
  19. feinstei9415

    feinstei9415 Forum Resident

    South Bend, IN
    I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned Laurie's Records on Sherman Ave. in Evanston on this thread!

    Back in the late 1960's and through the late 70's, they were THE place for bootlegs and imports. Their interest and care for superior imported pressings was evident in the fact that they themselves imported Decca Classical LP's and boxed sets from Great Britain because the owner and manager claimed that they were better quality both in packaging and in pressing than their London Records counterparts (remember that London Records classical LP's were ALSO made in Great Britain!).

    They had a Decca Solti Ring set that I coveted greatly. It was housed in a beautiful metal/wooden box. It was priced at $350 back in 1971. I mowed a lot of lawns and saved up for that wonderful set (I remember taking the Number 8 Evanston bus to pick that set up) which I still have.

    I also bought "Kum Back", "Great White Wonder", and "Stealin'" as well as the $12.00 Let It Be box set (which was already in lousy shape when I bought it as an import in 1970) at Lauries. A wonderful place and pioneers in the audiophile music business.
    Matt Richardson and weaselriot like this.
  20. Clark Kauffman

    Clark Kauffman Active Member

    Favorite Chicago record store was, by far, Wax Trax. In the late 1970s and early 1980s. they had an astonishing array of import singles, EPs and LPs, plus a great selection of bootlegs. Mountains of obscure stuff you couldn't find anywhere else in the pre-Internet age. Wish I could find some photos of the store from back then, but here are a few photos of the business cards they kept at the counter and the poly bags they used...

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  21. GuyDon

    GuyDon Forum Resident

    Those cards and the bag bring back memories...
  22. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Hello! I was the manager of the 2nd Hand Tunes vinyl shop on Dempster from '91-'95, so I'm sure I saw you in there from time to time! Hopefully you've got decent memories of when I ran the place. I believe I always tried to be fair in my pricing and keep things moving, unlike a couple of the other 2nd Hand Tunes shops that seemed to treat their stock as though they were museum pieces. I went through and did full markdowns on the entire stock once every two months until stuff moved.

    We were owned at the time by a rich guy named Jim Mayhercy. Much of the stock in the stores came from estate sales . . . he'd show up at the back door to my shop with his Lincoln filled to the brim with LPs in the trunk and back seat, and then I would literally wind up with piles of LPs stacked down the center aisle of the store until I could price all of them.

    We had no air conditioning, just a huge vent in the back of the store, which I guess at one point was probably a bakery. During the summers, I would buy bags of ice at the corner store, put them in a bucket, and then stick my hands and wrists into the bucket from time to time to keep my blood cool.

    It was the best job I ever had. If I could go back in time and tell myself not to move to Seattle with my then-wife, I would do it in a heartbeat -- except for the fact that I then probably wouldn't know my current wife, so I guess it all worked out OK. :)
  23. lpecucci

    lpecucci Member

    Oh yeah!...wax trax was my fave too! clothes and mags upstairs,great music downstairs!.....I. remember searching for Scott McCaughet's solo albu
    M for ages....they had it for a buck!
  24. bob338

    bob338 Forum Resident

    Sausalito, CA
  25. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    I forgot to add going to Hip Cat in Wheeling. At the time (late 80's / early 90's... it's gone now), it was one of the better places to get imports and CD boots in the 'burbs.

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