Friday, April 17, 2015

Record Store Day: A look back at Tower Records in 1971

This is in honor of Record Store Day (April 18th).  Remember these now-defunct record stores?

Waxie Maxie's, Wall-To-Wall Audio & Video (later known in its last years as "The Wall"), Sam Goody, Harmony Hut, Camelot Music, Waves, and  the biggest of them all (until its demise in 2006)- Tower Records.

Recently unearthed on the Internet Archive (via the Center for Sacramento History), a 1971 film of the day-to-day operations of the Los Angeles Tower Records location on Sunset Boulevard.  It was filmed and edited by Sacramento City College professor Darrell Forney.  Forney mixed his footage with two popular hit songs (of the era)- "Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Again" by Sly & The Family Stone, and "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin.

Forney's film is an interesting look at the then-modern record store of the day, and one of the popular locations of the Tower chain.  It is a must see for lovers of music and physical media!

Tower would enter the Washington area in the mid-1980's.  The Sacramento-based chain shuttered all of its stores in 2006, due to financial problems, online retailers and the threat of digital downloads.

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RECORD STORE ON RECORD STORE DAY! If you enjoyed Darrell Forney's film of Tower Records in 1971, be sure to support your local record store.  Nothing can beat any genre of pre-recorded music on physical media.

And when you do purchase your favorite music on vinyl or CD, be sure to play your favorite songs on a good, well-calibrated stereo system! Don't fall for bad sound!

For participating retailers, click here.

1978 advertisement for Harmony Hut Record Stores
in the News-Post.  Harmony Hut would be acquired
by the Musicland Group, and would be converted
to the company's Sam Goody stores.

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