Glenn Wallichs owned the biggest record store in Los Angeles. Wallichs Music City record store opened in 1940 and was located in Hollywood on the corner of Sunset and Vine across the street from the art deco NBC building. It was the premier music store in Southern California for decades. It was a special store and a place to go for tickets, sheet music, LP's and 45's, tapes (8 track and cassette). They also sold TV's and musical instruments. It It was the first music store to seal record albums in cellophane and put them in display racks for customers. It was also the first to have demonstration rooms for listening. Wallich also owned created Capitol records. My dad has been a recording artist for Capitol records since 1952. He would go into Wallichs, see his records on display and then walk upstairs to Capitol offices. The Original Capitol Records recording studio was located on Melrose next to Paramount Studios. . They eventually moved to the Capitol Tower in 1956 and the old studios became Dot records. As Capitol was being built my dad watched as the building was inspired to represent a stack of records. His Gold record is still in hallway next to The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys. Not too shabby dad. Wallichs closed in 1978. Hopefully Capitol Records will stand forever. Below are the listening booths circa 1956.
Eddie Cochran and Sharon Sheeley shopping for records at Wallichs Music City at Sunset and Vine in 1959...
When this photo of me standing in our driveway in BH was taken during the 1970s, we still had JJ Newberry, Food King and a local Home Silk Shop. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly would say hello to you waiting in line at the post office. You'd pass by Edward G Robinson walking his dogs, and Doris Day riding her bike. Freight Trains were still plowing down Santa Monica Blvd with the smell of fresh Wonder Bread on board and Helms Bakery Trucks brought milk to our door steps. Robinson's, Bonwit Teller, The Broadway, Bullock's, and The May Co. were the high-end stores of the day, and Rodeo Drive was not yet a tourist trap. We instead had reasonably priced boutiques and 'mom and pop' shops where everyone knew your first name. I believe this 70s ensemble came from Toby's on Beverly Drive. (My mother recalls seeing Natalie Wood there). We had neighborhood joints and local restaurants like Tony Roma's, R.J's, Ah Fong's, Wil Wright's, La Scala Boutique, and S…
For our July issue of Los Angeles Magazine we explore how the 1980s fundamentally changed L.A. It was the era when colors were bright, hair was big, and punk and new wave fashions ruled. With the help of movies, music, and something called the 1984 Summer Olympics, the city and its fashions became the center of the universe. I am thrilled to have been selected to write about Melrose Ave for a two page spread on pages 110 and 111. The issue is now available on stands. This is a further and more extended look into that colorful ave that helped define the '80's in Los Angeles.
Robin Young and friend taken by Suzan Colon, former writer at "Star Hits Magazine".
By 1984 it was the pinnacle of the
trendy punk rock influence and new wave scene in Los Angeles stretching from
Fairfax to La Brea.
Dozens of off beat independent businesses and forward thinking boutiques
dominated the Avenue and over night these old rundown…
The Legendary Past and Celluloid Future of Tower Records on the Sunset Strip
By Alison Martino
Photo: Robert Landau
It’s impossible not to think of Tower Records when referring to the Sunset Strip. It’s even more impossible to accept that the beloved store once located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Horn Avenue is no longer in business.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers💔signing autographs at Tower Records in Los Angeles, 1976
I recently had dinner with a friend not too far from the old Tower location. As we were paying our bill, we discussed what we should do next. I joked that we should walk down to Tower Records and browse through rows and rows of LPs and cassettes, then head across the street to Tower Video to rent the latest release (most likely on VHS).
I wish it wasn’t just a fantasy. You see, Tower Records was more then just a record store, It was a musical rite of passage. It’s where kids graduated to die-hard music fans. I spent my very first allowance money on Blon…