Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tower Records

Anthony Tommasini remembers:

Older record collectors have memories of wonderful, quirky independent stores run by managers who were passionate, if opinionated, about the music they sold. I remember when Pamela Dellal, a good mezzo-soprano based in Boston, worked as a saleswoman at the Harvard Coop in Cambridge in the early 1980’s. I used to call her the czarina of classical music at the Coop because she was so informed, efficient and forceful in her recommendations.

For many years Tower Records at Lincoln Center has been the closest New Yorkers have had to those small shops of earlier times. This is a paradox, I know, since the company, which opened its first store in 1960 in Sacramento, grew into a bullying retail chain that pushed out independents. Still, because of its location, Tower Records at Lincoln Center was a mingling place for classical aficionados. There, music students, opera buffs, contemporary-music devotees, everyday concertgoers and, now and then, well-known artists would bump into one another and talk shop.
Requiem for a Store’s Dying Classical Department (New York Times, registration required)

Related post
Record stores (The Relic Rack, Sam Goody's, J&R)

comments: 2

CJS said...

I remember Pamela, though I seldom shopped for music at the Coop (too broke). I likewise remember when the great blues/jazz guitarist and singer Geoff Bartley ran those same sections at the Coop, and they were fantastic.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for the comment, CJS. I too remember how good the Coop was when I lived in Boston (early 1980s).