Chicago area record stores past and present (with photos)

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

  1. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs

    :shtiphat: ChicagoPD-1972Chevrolet.jpg
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  2. Cactus Bob

    Cactus Bob << Desert Rat >>


    That's a great shot! I remember those well. From the outside at least. :)
  3. Cactus Bob

    Cactus Bob << Desert Rat >>

    I posted this on the "Vinyl Spin" thread on Saturday Evening and thought it might be of interest on this thread.

    What I did exactly 30 years ago . . .

    The flyer from the event;


    The albums with my AS Strat; I later went to a signing at Tower Records at Clark & Belden in the 90's with Robert Fripp and added his autograph. I need to catch Tony Levin at a Stickmen show to complete the albums.


    Adrian asks me; What should I write on this one? I said, how about "I Like It"? He said oh yeah! After he signs it I said, I guess we should have done that on the "Discipline" album. We both had a good chuckle on that one.

  4. Dflow

    Dflow Forum Resident

    Loved the ALS tent sale. Vinyl, CDs, audio equipment, instruments, music books. Can't believe it has been gone that long. Whenever I see a tent in the West lot I end up wishin' for it to reappear - sadly just another oriental rug sale. Sigh.
  5. Dflow

    Dflow Forum Resident

    I worked in the loop as well. The shops fell like dominoes. Tower first, then the Crow's Nest and finally Rock Records. Might have lost a Coconuts on there as well. Not much of a loss there but the other three were major. At least we now have a Reckless Records on Madison.
  6. Dflow

    Dflow Forum Resident

    For me you had See and Hear on the far north end of my walk and Tower on the south end. See and Hear was kinda cool because you could sample the CDs. There used to be one on North Ave as well.
  7. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    Was that the stores name ? You're probably right. I thought it was Angel Records because I thought it had a sign like that somewhere in the front but maybe that was a sign showing they sold Angel Records ( the brand ).
    I went to Schurz and normally would take the Milwaukee Ave CTA bus home from directly in front of the school and go thorough Six Corners heading north, but once in a while my friends and I would walk to the record store and buy stuff and then pick up the bus from there.

    Here's my story from earlier in the thread:

    I've mentioned it here before but when I was in high school there was a record store named Angel Records on Milwaukee Ave. across the street from the Portage Theater.
    Even in the late 60's they had a listening area with turntables.
    Anyway, I have a distinct memory of being there after school one day and seeing that they still had Elvis's original EP's in their wood browers bins. You know, the red covered one's with a black and white picture of Elvis performing, moving like his pants were on fire ? There were a half a dozen different ones but I passed on them all in favor of current 45's of which I bought six at one time, making myself feel extremely guilty. :D That was around six bucks, a lot of money for one days worth of 45's for a high school kid probably getting a ten dollar a week allowance for lunch and bus fare.
    I wish I could set the way back machine and scoop up those Elvis EP's though.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
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  8. Cactus Bob

    Cactus Bob << Desert Rat >>

    Yes. that was Deluxe Music. They had the turntable listening area. We used to go there all the time, it was in walking distance from home. There was a cool little malt shop next door called "Laswell's". We used to go in there after we bought records and play the jukebox and eat lunch etc. Saw tons of movies at The Portage.
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  9. mj_patrick

    mj_patrick Forum Resident

    Elkhart, IN, USA
    Quoting on an old post here- I never made it to the Hegewisch Records in Calumet, but I did frequent the one in Merrillville, IN, and it was one of the best record stores I've ever been in.
  10. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    Yep, I went to the Portage plenty also. One of the few movie theaters where the parking lot was down the street a bit.:D It's still there. There was a good donut shop down the street also.
    One of my favorite memories was getting the Magical Mystery Tour album from the Sears at Six Corners. I knew it was out that day, so on my lunch period from Schurz I literally ran to Sears, bought the album and ran back to Schurz.:p
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  11. Cactus Bob

    Cactus Bob << Desert Rat >>

    I found a picture of Rose Records on Ashland at School Street. I used to shop there regularly. Anyone else remeber this store? This picture looks like it was taken in the 80's. It was an A&P Grocery Store back in the 60's.

  12. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    I know this is an old thread and these are old posts, but I was just surfing around tonight and I found a different website where people were talking about their local record stores and a Chicagoan mentioned that little shack in Skokie we both used to shop at. Surprisingly, it turns out it's name was...wait for it...The Record Shack.:D So now we know.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
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  13. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs

    I haven't thought about the Skokie Swift in decades. I thought it was the funniest thing as a kid, this one car train, buzzing up and down the tracks. I expected clowns to jump out of it ! :laugh:
  14. dr jazz

    dr jazz Forum Resident

    park ridge,il,usa
    thanks for all the great memories. I went to northwestern from 1976-79 and then came back to stay from 1982 on. Remember record city in skokie fondly. Also really loved the ALS tent sale---i think of that when i pull cd's from my collection that still has their sticker on it. I also remember donating some fairly cheap stuff and the guy taking the donation said"looks like $500 worth at least to me" and winked and gave me a tax donation receipt for that amount.
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  15. lennonology

    lennonology Formerly pas10003

    St. Louis, MO
    There was another chain store called 'Big Apple' - I think. There's was nothing particularly memorable about them, but one thing I do recall is that they were an early adopter of CDs and used to keep them all in a display case. The Highland Park, IL store made an appearance in a Brat Pack-era film that I can't remember. Does that ring a bell for anyone - Bueller? Bueller?

    C'mon Glenn, you should remember.

    Chip Madinger
  16. sons of nothing

    sons of nothing Forum Resident

    Metal Haven in Chicago. It was a sad day for Chicago Metal when Mark closed down. Super Nice guy, and i hope he's doing well. He knew his customers tastes and was usually spot on with his suggestions. Good [​IMG]

    Nightfall Records was another awesome place, but im pretty sure they were just beat down by Metal Haven. On a plus side, the Admiral was just 2 blocks from Nightfall. A nice and knowledgeable guy named Tom worked there, and i think Don Decker was the owner.
  17. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    I'm a little late responding Chip, but I dont remember that record store !
  18. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Mid Atlantic USA
    For a non-Chicagoan that'll be travelling there soon, is that Reckless? If not, what is the name if you don't mind?

    I've been to Chicago a few times but have only been able to visit the Jazz Record Mart which was a great experience.
  19. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    Dave's Records is the store shown in the photo in Vinyl Blues's post. Reckless is another great one and the location on Broadway is not far from Dave's.
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  20. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

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  21. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    Regarding my post above, I learned that the owner of Arlington Records - Paul Sampson - was also the owner of The Cellar.
  22. Beatles4503

    Beatles4503 Forum Resident

    I used to ride my bike to Hegewisch Records on Torrence Ave in Cal City (where I grew up) to buy records and here's my recollection of the store:

    Walk-in thru the north door, pass thru the turnstile and look up to see hundreds of T-shirts and posters hanging from the ceiling. I remember specifically buying a Shoes "Present Tense" black t-shirt that I thought was the cooling piece of clothing in the world, at the time. Go to the isle where the Beatles' records were (on the left hand side if I recall). Pick up a record ($4.99) and head for the counter to pay. But first I grab the yellow paper that has the WLS or WCFL top 100 singles and have a look. Ask for the 45 rpm single of "Go All The Way" from the Raspberries ($.95). The heavy set bad-ass intimidating guy at the counter is actually a super nice guy. He's got a wall of 45's behind him. That's on your right as your leaving but on your left was glass cabinets filled with Zig Zag rolling papers of all types, pipes, bongs, etc. Funny how you remember things....
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  23. bodine

    bodine Forum Resident

    Washington DC
    Always stop at Jazz Record Mart when I'm in town. I just about lived there when I lived in Chi in the 90s. And on Saturdays I'd take my little boy food shopping and we'd stop in at my fave 3 in Oak Park--Chicago Digital, Oak Park Records and Val's
  24. hockman

    hockman Forum Resident

    Man, this thread sure stirs up some good old memories.

    I was a grad student at the U of C in the 1980s and I remember being a regular at some of the city stores including Rock Records, Rose, Peaches, Tower and the great Jazz Record Mart. The JRM was really a wonderful place for used jazz vinyl but I was too naive then and always wanted new records instead :rolleyes:. At the time, they were located in a warehouse space not very far from their present location (with Bob Koester manning the front). Later on return visits to the city and I would hit the JRM and bleed my wallet and inevitably the check out clerk would ask "would you like a box for your records?" :D

    Another place where I spent a fair bit time was at this discount store in Hyde Park that specialized in remainders, cut-outs, etc called Spin-it. As a poor student I got a cheap intro into jazz at this store -- Columbia, Japanese Verve, Actuel etc at 3 for $10, sometimes a bit more.

    Shortly later, I moved to Princeton and Princeton Record Exchange was literally across the street but by then I was enamored with CDs instead of used vinyl. Was my main store for music but really should have picked up a lot more used vinyl instead of CDs. Story of my life.
  25. Rodz42

    Rodz42 Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    Great thread! As a relative newbie to Chicago (6 years) i love hearing about the old places i never got to check out. At least there's still a good core of stores here that are alive and well. But i have no idea how Beverly Records stays open. That may be the worst record store that i've ever been to. Especially considering how it's somehow been around for over 40 years?!

    One of these days i need to check out Hyde Park Records. And that place near Joliet it sounds like

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