Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Musical Memories - The Record Rack


My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

Today, my memories are about a place.  A place I found too late in life and a place I helped kill.  A place that was a treasure and will be missed by those who knew her.

The Record Rack opened in Beaumont in the 1950's.  But I didn't meet her until the late 70's.  I was from a small town to the North of Beaumont.  And when we did come to Beaumont it was usually to big chain stores or the mall. And that's where I'd buy my records in my mid to later teens. But all too often, the big chains let you down in one way or another.  For one, when a new release was really hot it could take several trips to manage to score a copy.   And, if you had heard something ten, twenty years older you had fallen in love with, you could just hang it up.



I don't even really remember just how I came to learn of her.  But I remember my first time through her doors like it was yesterday.  The shop was cram packed everywhere you looked.  There were notes stuck all over the front counter. People were coming in and out conversing with the woman behind the counter like she was family.  And while that may have been charming, the clincher was the rows of bins, all organizer and enticing. Filled with gold, silver and platinum. And a whole section dedicated to Motown!  Oh, my gosh, overall that was the best music ever made! Spector's wall of sound is awesome even today.  And Cadillac Records gave us some of the best vocal talents. But for a total package, delivered constantly, Motown was the epitome'.  The first thing I looked for was "If I Were You're Woman" by Gladys Knight and the Pips.  I had only heard it once or twice, but adored it.  And she had it!  


I went on to find many treasures in that store.  And if they didn't have it they'd get it for you pronto 

Now, I enjoy music on a stick and I adore having Spotify, but if you never walked into a store dedicated to music and found a treasure you had searched high and low for, if you've never slipped vinyl out of a crisp pressed paper cover and lay a needle to  it,  then you've missed a treasured experience.  

In honor of her, I share this playlist with you:




Were you fortunate enough to ever visit a Mom & Pop Record shop like this?
Scroll through or play the playlist above and tell me one of your favorites and why.
Do you know who on my playlist was born in Beaumont and returned to live here?  (No googling allowed!)

30 comments:

  1. I envy you that experience. There was nothing like that near me when I was growing up.

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    1. I hate that Samantha. But, hey, thanks for stopping in and commenting!

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  2. I miss going through records - I never do nowadays. It's an online venture.

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    1. I think one rainy Saturday me and my daughter just might hole up together and spin a few, make cookies, be silly.

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  3. Oh my gosh the memories! I am glad I found your blog among all the others. I don't have any of the 45's any longer but I do have a few of the 33's.

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    1. Oh, a long-play girl! Glad you made it here!

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  4. What a great upbringing. Dropping in from the A to Z I have given your blog a shout out from my letter R today https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

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    1. Oh, cool! Way cool! I'll be over to check it out.

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  5. I always loved the record store. There's something about the covers and the art. Then come home and read the liner notes while you sat in front of the turntable. Oh keep the hits coming, Barbara, you've caused me to drag out some old CDs and play them. I kinda wish I still had a turntable too.

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    1. Oh, neat! Glad I could inspire your nostalgia!

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  6. These places are special like aladin's cave.

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  7. Vinyl was on the way out when I was coming of age. I do remember records, though. My parents had shelf fulls.

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    1. Yeah, Pete's step father had tons of swap/cajun music on records. The family is constantly coping them onto CD's and keeping the fun alive!

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  8. There was nothing like a record store, was there. And now it is so sad that you can hardly score a record any longer. And if I could find one I wouldn't have anything to play it on. But I love digital. I have yet to try Spotify

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    1. Oh, Paula, it can be free and you make your own playlists with only what you want to hear. The free version does have commercials, but it's only for other song/artists and they don't come on near as often as radio or TV. You should give it a try!

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  9. Hi there - I have a few fond memories of wandering around in record stores. BTW, I'm dropping in from a shout out to your blog on Rosie Amber's blog https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/.

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    1. Thanks for making the trip over and for sharing your thoughts!

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  10. We had a few music stores but there was one family owned one in Alameda that everyone used to go to for insturments and another for music. So miss those days.

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    1. Oh, that's wonderful! Your area was blessed.

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  11. We had one or two in every town I lived in. I admit I tended to go to the chains as well, although those were replaced by CD's. Surprised those stores still exist since so many download music now.

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    1. Well, that's just it Alex, The Record Rack hung in there till the bitter end, but finally closed up shop. The building still stands, unchanged and unused. Probably hard to sell the space. The access is awkward since they widened the roads in the area and the neighborhood isn't all it used to be.

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  12. Last question first.....Janis Joplin!!! Groovy post, Barbara. What a trip and I'm not trippin' on anything but memories from all the songs on your playlist. The Supremes...omgosh...so senior memories....prom, dances at the Youth Center, Dianna Ross' Fro...they played a concert in Odessa...I didn't get to go...but it was in the news paper. Thanks for another great post and trip down memory lane. Great playlist.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

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    1. Yes, mam, Janis Joplin was from Beaumont. But she never returned to permanently live here, before her death. But it was an excellent try! There was nothing as elegant as Dianna Ross fronting the Supremes in that day! Glad I could jog some good memories for you.

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  13. I remember the local record store in the old downtown area of our city. You had to parallel park in order to go inside, but luckily I was good at that. :)

    I love Motown songs. Smoky Robinson is one of my favorites from that era. I loved "Rock The Boat" by Hughes Corporation.

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    1. Yeah! That was a good song, Rock the Boat. I'll have to add it to my playlist. ;) Thanks for sharing your memories!

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  14. The Record Rack in Beaumont closed some time around 2006. There was an article about the store in a 1998 issue of Billboard magazine, which you can read at https://books.google.com/books?id=6w4EAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA112&ots=JvXL3EsXcE&pg=PA112#v=onepage&q&f=false , saying it first opened in 1959, and built the store's own building in 1965, where it remained until it closed.

    Even back in 1977, Texas Monthly magazine called it one of the last few mom-and-pop-owned record stores in the state: http://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/the-last-record-store/

    A photographer posted a photo of the abandoned building on Flickr earlier this year, with the paint still surprisingly well-preserved: https://www.flickr.com/photos/57146521@N02/26831750703

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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