[pullquote quote="Thankfully we still have some of the small, neighborhood shops, and that's what we'll celebrate around Chicago and around the country this Saturday." credit="Terri Hemmert"]Since I was old enough to spend my babysitting money on records, my favorite thing to do on a Saturday afternoon was to go to a record store and see what I could find. My friends and I in Piqua, Ohio, would go to Gentner’s Music, where they actually had a turn table and would play a song for you before you bought it. Cool. But they would get crabby if you asked to hear too many songs. And they would really give us the cold shoulder if they sensed we were listening there, but going down the street to Murphy’s 5 & Dime to buy the same record for about 20 cents less. Once in awhile we would shell out the extra dimes just to placate them. But what fun. New Beatle single. Another record with the Motown label on it. Get a few cut-outs for dirt cheap. Then go to the bus station soda fountain to buy the latest rock magazine (usually 16, Tiger Beat, or the coolest when available..Fave, from the UK!) Good times.
Then when I went to Elmhurst College, once a week, no matter what the weather, I’d walk to E.J. Corvette’s to buy one album a week. That’s all I could afford. It was half of my weekly spending money. And I’d buy a Mono album because they were a dollar cheaper than the Stereo release. On my cheap record player, who could tell the difference?
[photogallerylink id=72876 align=left]When I graduated college and worked behind the scenes for WGLD in Oak Park, making minimum wage, Val was nice enough to hire me part time around the holidays at Val’s Halla so I could afford to buy my family Christmas presents. Good thing they liked music, because with my employee discount, they all got records. That 12 inch package is easy to gift wrap, too. No tricky corners.
So the music business has changed, some forever not for better, to quote Mr. Lennon, and records stores, and the music business in general has been struggling…like every other business. But it’s not just the economy. It’s the changes in technology and the demise of some of the greats like Rose and Tower. Thankfully we still have some of the small, neighborhood shops, and that’s what we’ll celebrate around Chicago and around the country this Saturday. Record Store Day will not only offer some special releases for the day, but also a lot of live music, and just the vibe of walking into a busy record store, surrounded by other music fanatics. Again, a great way to spend a Saturday. Val’s Halla moved a few years ago but is still open in Oak Park. Go see my friend Val. You’ll make a new friend and find some great deals. Check out Reckless Records at any of their locations. Looking for jazz? You’ve got to visit Bob Koester at the Jazz Record Mart. People come from all over the world for that store. Dave’s, Dr. Wax, Dusty Groove, Shake Rattle & Read, Gramaphone, Groovin’ High….go to more than one if you can. We have a list of stores for you. Make it an adventure. Bring a kid. Show them the wonder of it all. And if you’re in the Lincoln Square area, come by Laurie’s Planet of Sound. I had so much fun working there last year, that I’ll be back at my post behind the counter to congratulate you on your excellent taste in music, and turn you on to some different things, and hopefully you can introduce me to something I don’t know about. I’m on the air till 3, so should get to Laurie’s around 4 and hang for a couple of hours. Hope to see you there. But by all means, get out of the house and go hug your record store clerk and buy something this Saturday at Record Store Day 2012. Also check out this website. We’ll post a lot of info on Record Store Day right here at www.93xrt.com. See you Saturday!