Where should stores file Sinatra and Ray Charles

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by radickeyfan, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. radickeyfan

    radickeyfan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    interesting discussion at a store i was visiting today... the store filed both in Jazz...they tried Sinatra in pop at one time (and he was basically ignored ) .... Ray they tried in R&B/Soul (and again ignored ) ......moved both of them to Jazz, and can not keep any in stock ...thoughts??
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  2. Christopher B

    Christopher B Forum Resident

    New Castle, DE
    My local Barnes and Noble has Sinatra in the Easy Listening/Standards group while I dont see Ray Charles at all. Id say Ray would go in Soul/R&B.
  3. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

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  4. Hoover Factory

    Hoover Factory Forum Resident

    Spokane, WA
    Logically, I would place Sinatra in pop and Charles in R&B. But, I think the OP’s store is onto something. Who is likely to buy a Frank Sinatra or Ray Charles LP? Not current pop or Hip Hop fans. It would likely be people who also buy jazz LPs.
    Jfkaess likes this.
  5. SITKOL'76

    SITKOL'76 Forum Resident

    Colombia, SC
    qwerty likes this.
  6. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

  7. samthesham

    samthesham Forum Resident

    Moorhead MN
    When I had my store I filed Sinatra under male vocalist & Ray under R&B / Soul...

    Of course that was during the 70s, but it worked quite well for my clientele
  8. john hp

    john hp Forum Resident

    Warwickshire, UK
    In the UK I would expect to find Sinatra in Easy Listening and Ray Charles in Jazz (or if not there in Soul)
  9. bluejimbop

    bluejimbop Forum Resident

    Castro Valley, CA
    Brother Ray. A category unto himself. Wow.
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  10. humpf

    humpf Allowed to write something here.

    Sinatra under S and Charles under C.
  11. Record Rotator

    Record Rotator Forum Resident

    Jazz. Or better still: Vocal Jazz.
  12. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    HMV used to and possibly still files Little Richard in the Easy Listening section.

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  13. bluejimbop

    bluejimbop Forum Resident

    Castro Valley, CA
    Coincidentally, when he first hit the set, he was filed in the WTF?! Section.
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  14. Jack/UK

    Jack/UK Active Member

    I was yesterday in Soho, London. Both artist were under Jazz with personal tag dividers
  15. crispi

    crispi Vinyl Archaeologist

    I say, whatever works best for them. This is not science. I do believe they chanced upon a valuable realisation: file according to your buying public, not by any strict genre rules.

    I personally am sure I missed a lot of interesting records (to me), because they were filed in sections where I usually don’t look; say, jazzy bossa nova filed under World Music, where I would never look, or French music like Jacques Brel.
    bluejimbop likes this.
  16. tmwlng

    tmwlng Forum Resident

    In the store I work at we have always filed Sinatra under jazz. It also seems to be the section where most people look for him and his work.

    Ray Charles is much tougher to judge; most people would probably look in soul and R&B, with certain elements rummaging through the jazz section or maybe even the blues section. For the moment we have put him in the jazz section, though I must admit I would have rather have him in the R&B section. That said, our R&B section also includes Beyonce, James Brown and sometimes even Swamp Dogg, so if Charles is a fit in that category, I don't know.
    Tommyboy likes this.
  17. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Wellington , NZ
    Well the question for me, though it's ultimately the same question, is: when I go to a record store to buy a Ray Charles or Sinatra album, where's the first place I'm going to look?

    In my collection, Charles is in the soul/R&B/funk section. Sinatra, though, has moved around a bit. 'Classic pop' makes sense, but I don't want too many categories, especially small ones. He was in jazz, but I don't really think of him as a jazz singer, though I don't deny that he could sing jazz. More recently, I started making a vocal section (Sinatra, Davis Jr, Fitzgerald), but there are some artists (Fitzgerald) that I don't want to take out of the jazz section, and some I still haven't.

    And this all goes back to the old question of why have different sections. Well, I do because my moods tend to align with the big picture. When I'm in a blues phase (which can last months or years), I want to browse just the titles that fit that mood, so a blues section makes sense for me.
  18. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Wellington , NZ
    Swamp Dogg may not be prototypical R&B (it ain't prototypical anything!), but R&B is definitely the best fit.

    Your examples show a wide variety, to be sure, but not more than I would expect to find in rock (Tori Amos, Billy Joel, Metallica, Partridge Family) or classical (Tallis, Ligetti).

    But you can't draw just one line. Once you draw one, you have to draw more.
  19. Wes_in_va

    Wes_in_va Trying to live up to my dog’s expectations

    Southwest VA
    A little off topic but not really...
    I was at a record store in Madison WI and was looking for some Mose Allison in the jazz section. I was a little bummed to find none and was leaving when I saw bunches of Mose in the male singers section. I was a bit surprised at their filing but I was stoked to pick up 7 Mose LPs in pristine condition including several autographed ones.
  20. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    Well, they had Slayer and Brain Drill in pop, so . . .
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  21. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    The first thing I'd always do in a record store would be to walk through it so I could see the genre or category divisions they had. That would help you make an educated guess where they might file various things.
  22. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    Sinatra in Vocalists, Ray Charles in R&B.
  23. jason202

    jason202 Forum Resident

    Washington, D.C.
    This. I've never worked at a record store, but I've spent a sizable part of my life browsing through them, and if it were up to me, all genres would be mixed together, A–Z.
  24. intv7

    intv7 Forum Resident

    Boston, MA, USA
    In the '90s, the big chain store in which I worked had Frank under "Easy Listening" (euphamism for "old people music"), and Ray under "R&B/Soul". I kinda took issue with what seemed like policy of automatically placing guys with gray hair and a microphone in hand in Easy Listening and putting anyone with a particular skin tone in R&B...but in these cases I guess I agreed with the choices.
  25. Kevin Davis

    Kevin Davis Forum Resident

    "Alphabetize, don't categorize." It's the only way.

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