September 28, 2011 – 5:34 pm

Cosmopolitan Corner… Could that be The Beatles?

Just think: kids being born today will probably never see the inside of a record store. And why would they? Buying music used to involve wandering around a store browsing, picking things up based on cover art, putting them down based on scornful glares from record store employees, and generally being outside your house. Now, buying music usually amounts to nothing more than a click of the mouse from the safety of your couch. So we were filled with nostalgia and warm feelings when we saw this series of vintage photographs of British record store HMV in the 1960s over at Vice. The rows of records! The milling consumers! The record players! That was the life. Click through to see how much things have changed, and then head over to Voices of East Anglia to see even more photographs from the series. By Emily Temple, posted at flavorwire.com.

Until not too long ago, there were multi-storey shops selling music.

Records were placed in racks, according to genre…

Easy to browse or flip through…

There might even be a knowledgeable salesperson on hand…

With a spiral staircase for that posh Art Deco look.

Those boxy turntables on legs and speaker stacks - really a thing of the past.

Now, it’s a click of the mouse if you are looking for a particular release.

Those were the days when shops had wall space to fully display their wares.

Where Stage and Screen probably meant Oscar & Hammerstein or Gilbert & Sullivan… not your latest movie compilations.

Where TV sets looked like something from The Avengers… actually, they could jolly well be in The Avengers…

And a comfy corner just to rest your feet or ask for help.

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  1. 9 Responses to “WHAT RECORD STORES LOOKED LIKE IN THE ’60s”

  2. A GREAT article. Thank you for posting.
    Makes me feel alive again.

    By Timmy on Sep 28, 2011

  3. Ahhh. I once “worked”, as if it was work, helping customers find what records they were looking for. It was 1974, and I didn’t even have to run the register. It was part-time while I went to college, and I got $2 an hour in the Northridge,Calif area at a huge department store. We had a turntable and played whatever we wanted. Top 40 was $3.98 LP sale price on $5.95 retail. The 45rpm “singles” (which usually had 2 songs, usually a hot song and a lame song) and sold for 69 cents. The top question I got was when customers would ask, “I don’t know the name, and I don’t remember any of the words, and I don’t know who does it, but it goes like this: la la la la…” 6 months of a good time.

    By 3yrsnojob on Sep 29, 2011

  4. THANKS for the incredible photos!

    I feel SO sorry for today’s kids, because they’ll never know the sheer joy of experiencing a real record store — the fun of searching for a favorite record, discovering new music and artists, enjoying album art, and just spending time browsing through the racks. Nowadays, the closest they’ll ever get to all that is from watching the movie “High Fidelity.”

    By Jonny on Sep 30, 2011

  5. Once music went digital via Computer, the record industry was doomed.

    By James on Sep 30, 2011

  6. Video lowered the importance of talent.
    Businessmen lowered the importance of heart.
    Foreign owners took over the labels and legacy was gone. Country was modernized to “soft sex rock” played for women. Label support and royalties disappeared, so touring became the only real source of money for big acts. Thanks, BigO, for being there for us.

    By 3yrsnojob on Oct 3, 2011

  7. my first ‘real’ job was behind the 45 counter on fulton street in brooklyn ny … i wasn’t old enough to work the back of the store (i never did figure out what they were up to back there)but i still remember the thrill of playing new sides for customers as they walked in off the street it seemed like james brown had at least one new 45 out every week.i was at the shop when the beatle’s new lp sgt. pepper’s stunned the world but in our shop it was the latest mighty sparrow 45 that got people excited.the cast of charactors that i found on both sides of the counter and the look and feel of vinyl was a life-changing experience … did i mention the album art? the album art …damn

    By jwillaum on Oct 23, 2011

  8. I was “New Wave” Dave at Sam Goody in Queens, NY. I even love the smell of records to say nothing of staring at the covers while entranced by the music. And, by the way, the music rocked.

    By David on Nov 9, 2011

  9. I, too, miss record stores. In 1969, after moving from the East Coast (VA) to the West (SoCal), I went inside the largest record store I had ever seen up to that point, Wallach’s Music City, in the Eastland Shopping Center in West Covina, CA. “WOW” is what I thought. GIGANTIC! It was astounding how many different genres of music were contained there. NOT specialized. Soon after I’d find myself shopping at Licorice Pizza (in Pasadena, where I met my spouse!), Music Plus (my first one was in Claremont), Tower (the one in West Covina, I’ll never forget the punk rock mohawked gal, and that was in 1977!), Moby Disc, Poo-Bah (in Pasadena), Texas Records (in Santa Monica), Rhino (in Westwood) and Vinyl Fetish (the original, on Melrose). So much joy, driving around for a few hours, hitting a bunch of those places. And I met SO many friends I still have to this day, some still in the music biz, via record shopping. Sigh.

    By Skip on Dec 12, 2011

  10. Dear reader,

    I justed wanted to say that someone who’s born in 1998 is still collecting records. And not some shite from 2020’s but my collection is mostly 60’s/ 70’s music.

    I’m a massive Beatles fan and from that I became the biggest Paul McCartney fan. Whilst I’m writing this I am listening to Band On The Run and I’m trying to collect and listen to Pauls solo career.

    I just wanted say that you shouldn’t worry, maybe most youngsters are not listening to The Beatles, Love, Zeppelin, Doors, ELP, King Crimson, Dylan etc.. but we are out there.

    Cheers for reading.

    By Jense on Jan 20, 2023

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