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...
VINTAGE LOS ANGELES: FISH SHANTY AND THE KOOKY WONDERLAND THAT WAS RESTAURANT ROW
La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard used to be a playful pocket of themed eateries, amusement parks, and nightclubs By Alison Martino
Established in 1950 by the Smith Bros., the Fish Shanty was classic West Coast kitsch. Located at the intersection of La Cienega Boulevard and Burton Way, it was known to Angelenos as "the restaurant that swallowed you whole,” and nothing thrilled me more as a child than walking through the jaws of the Shanty’s whale façade or hiding under his fin, which was made out of thousands of tiny, ocean-blue, midcentury mosaic tiles that sparkled during sundown like the crest of an effervescent wave. (It will be forever preserved on film after being used as the entrance to a British club in the 1965 black comedy, The Loved One.)
Photographs of the La Cienega Smith Bros. Fish Shanty restaurant interior. Handwritten descriptions by Birdie Smith in the Margin.
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…
What’s changed—and what hasn’t—about Santa Monica’s outdoor mall by Alison Martino
This modernist outdoor space was once home to Sears and Woolworth’s ($11.98 for a pair of Wallaby’s!) plus dozens o mom-and-pop shops, which made it unique. The list of smaller businesses included Kress’, Lerners, Hartman’s, Bartons Candy Store, Leeds", The Smuggler, The Silver Cup Diner, Nana’s, Texas Records, the Music Box, Apollo Electronics, Out of The Past, Muskrat, The Midnight Bookstore, Bay Music (which sold musical instruments) and Ralph’s market, which later became “Europa,” where my mother purchased the most beautiful lace curtains. When I became older, it was all about the "3 2 1 Club". Good times! (Still trying to hunt down a photo).
"Chuck's Bike O Rama" and the Magic Shop from the film
Some of you also might remember seeing this record store in "Pretty In Pink". John Cryer did his best impersonation of Otis Reddin…