Four New York City Record Stores
Besides maintaining New York’s underground legacy alive and providing DJs, vinyl collectors and music lovers with palatable music environments and copacetic shopping experiences, there are four record stores in New York City that delineate the current vinyl musical landscape.
“Vinyl is the message we are preaching.”
Formerly located and a staple in the West Village, Vinyl Mania opened its doors in 1978. Beginning with a lean selection of Rock Records, owner Charlie Grappone quickly discovered his heart lay with House Music when, from around the corner, Paradise Garage club-goers and DJ Larry Levan started asking for specific records and began to patronize his store. From serving up Disco and House Classics and preserving the sound of music on vinyl, he went on to found one of the most influential labels that has charted and guided the course of House Music. In its heyday great times were had by all. Charlie would sit up front talking to anyone who wandered in, while DJs took requests and played fresh new vinyl. Unfortunately in 2007 after over thirty years of business and building and supporting dance music community and culture, Vinyl Mania closed its doors. No need for despair though, vinyl junkies can find Vinyl Mania’s stock available for purchase on Ebay, Discogs and at Funky Slice Vinyl Shop.
“An oasis from your nine-to-five jobs.”
Since 1996 A-One Record Shop (439 East 6th Street, New York; 212-473-2870) has been a lifeline for record collectors and DJ’s. Focusing on Soul, Jazz, Hip-Hop—and a Disco and House Music selection that has a high turnover—this used record shop is a treasure-ship for anyone who has the inclination to dig for rare and undiscovered gems. Sustained for more than 15 years by loyal customers and managed by local and knowledgeable DJ’s, it features a large collection that calls attention to its variety and an accurate categorization scheme organized by label. While the LP covers adorning all walls and surfaces and eclectic mixes by guest DJ’s and employees are sure to draw your attention, don’t forget to take the time to look through the bargain bins where you might find the slice of wax that could save your life! This independent store is more than a true vinyl shop: it’s a New York institution.
“Holy Grail type records that crazy-record-freak-collectors drool over.”
Founded in 2005 by John Sklute, aka Jonny Paycheck, not only a former producer and rapper in various ensembles but a risk management broker turned record dealer, Good Records NYC (218 East 5th Street, New York; 212-529-2081; Good.Records@gmail.com) is a record collector’s haven that carries Soul, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Folk, Rock, Hip- Hop, Disco, House and International music ranging from Africa to Latin America. Offering the most carefully selected, clean and fresh vintage stock found in New York City while also more than reasonably priced makes this record shop a magnet for vinyl connoisseurs. Trading, buying and selling daily, Jonny and his well-informed staff are always ready to help find what you want and point-out recent arrivals and discerning choices that may be hiding in the bins. With a few turntables equipped for your listening and great never-heard-of tunes playing, this warm space is inviting.
“Keeping vinyl alive…”
With transmissions from New York’s underground, and completing the trinity that includes DailySession.com, an online media source known for its live streaming radio show and Cedar Room Party, where ninjas gather to dance, Funky Slice Vinyl Shop (17 Cedar Street, Bushwick; 347-699-0940) is a membership record listening joint that provides exclusive vinyl weaponry. Not only a boutique record shop but also a community center for DJ’s and vinyl enthusiasts, in this green room you can catch more than sonic waves to reach that elusive Zen Zone that nature yields. Exclusively making stock available from Vinyl Mania ranging from Disco and House to Soul Funk here you will find an impressive collection of wax notorious for its variety and rare grooves. Only for the initiated.