By Bill Dudley
If you haven’t noticed, your old phonograph records from the 1960’s thru 1980’s are making a huge comeback. We now call it “Vintage Vinyl”. It was 1999 when I left Portland, Oregon after close to 20 years of opening and operating my first of 6 successful record stores in that lovely city.
On Friday The 13th of October, I opened store # 7, at 4633 Torrance Blvd (at Anza) in Torrance. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but 4 weeks later I have already sold close to 2,000 records from my own collection. The difference between my store and many others is that my personal collection is all in mint or near mint condition. The new store is a hit, with young and old, male, female, and all generations. Much like the original location in Portland, we also feature posters, t-shirts, stickers, posters, neon clocks, highway signs, old license plates (in the Route 66 tradition), CD’s, cassettes and other music related memorabilia. One of my friends commented, “It’s like 1985 in here”. She nailed it ! The store is becoming a real old school neighborhood hangout. The younger people that come in have never seen anything like it. The older folks wax nostalgic of an earlier more peaceful time.
I was blessed with many very bright and talented employees in Portland who I am still in touch with today. That tradition continues as one of my early employees, Gordon Walker passed the torch of my 1980’s store to 20 year old Jesse Chavez-Gallellah a short time ago at The WAVE Sunday Brunch at Spaghettini in Seal Beach. The video is quite touching, and is posted on my store website www.dudleysrecords.com.
South Bay newspaper The Beach Reporter ran an excellent story on myself and the store the other day, and I also appeared on the “Born To Talk” TV/radio show hosted by Marsha Wietecha. Although my stock is primarily my own record collection, I am also looking for “Vintage Vinyl” that YOU may want to sell or donate to the store. I am looking for Rock, Jazz, Soul, and 80’s New Wave vinyl. You may contact me at (831)-228-3170 from 11am-6pm Mon-Sat. Thanks to some hard work by my pal Barry Funkhouser, the last 7 digits (228-3170) are the same ones that I had at the original store in downtown Portland for almost 20 years. Come see us with your old record collection. It may be worth something.