10 Big Record Stores We Can’t Forget

today02/25/2024 228 10 3

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I Loved Shopping For Records

In the late 1970’s, record store chains began to pop up all across the nation. Before that, most of us purchased records from retail stores like Montgomery Ward, Penny’s, Woolworth’s and K-Mart. Let’s not forget about the small independent record shops, too. Most of these big record store chains were located in shopping malls. They were individual companies at first, but were eventually gobbled up by Trans World Entertainment who later rebranded many of these stores into an F.Y.E.

 I have fond memories of spending hours in these stores. The best part was getting back home and listening to the cool music I had just purchased….especially if you had a “decked out” stereo system. I liked reading all of the liner notes that included information about where the songs were recorded, Info about the artist and who was playing what instruments. 

I still have most of my 45’s, tapes, CD’s and vinyl albums. It’s a collection!

How about you?

Tower started in Sacramento, California and grew to have stores all over the world. Filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and liquidated in 2006.

Started in 1956 in Massillon, Ohio. First retail store in North Canton, Ohio. Know for its medieval castle facade.  Acquired by Trans World Entertainment in 1998. 

Based in Los Angeles with about 50 stores in 22 states. Most remembered for their signature wooden peaches crates that would hold your album or 45’s collection.

Originally began in New York City. Purchased in 1978 by American Can which also owned Minneapolis based Musicland. It was sold to Best Buy along with Musicland in 2001.

Began around 1956 in downtown Minneapolis. Musicland was once the largest music retailer in the United States. Musicland was purchased by Best Buy in 2001.


Originally part of the Musicland Group. It was purchased by Trans World Entertainment and rebranded as an F.Y.E. store.

Owned by New York City’s Morris Levy…famous as the President of Roulette Records and owner of the Birdland Jazz Club. Strawberries was eventually acquired by Trans World Entertainment.

A very popular chain in Northeastern , Ohio. You could find a Recordland in most every mall around Cleveland and Akron. I remember them most for their special section of the weekly top 20 singles played on CKLW radio from Windsor, Ontario Canada.

Founded in 1992 by Musicland. One of my favorite stores to shop. They were BIG and had almost everything you were looking for. All 61 stores closed in 2006. After that, they were acquired by Transworld Entertainment.

F.Y.E (For Your Entertainment) is what most of these stores came to be. In 2001, Transworld Entertainment now owned Camelot, Sam Goody, Strawberries, Coconuts, Musicland, Media Play and more…and rebranded most of them in 2009 under the F.Y.E. banner.

Written by: Music Mike

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