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Michelle C

The Record Rack

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Being a typical teen in the fifties I liked music. We lived on Sul Ross near W. Alabama and Shepherd. One of my favorite haunts was the Record Rack record shop. I bought a many 45 and 33 1/3 records in that shop. I was there so often that I got to know the owners personally. John and Helen Flintjer (I think that is the correct spelling) were great people and we stayed in touch over the years. We reconnected later years when we all belonged to the car club Convertibles of Houston. They sold the record shop either in the seventies or eighties and it lasted for quite a few more years. A couple of years ago during a visit to Houston I drove by the old location and it was no longer there. It was an old shop and was first opened in the forties. It was sad to see it gone. I am sure that others from that area also remember the Record Rack.

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In a strip center on the SE corner of Shepherd and Alabama - looks like the center may still be there.

 

As I remember, it was where Jenni's is.  Right next door, out of the picture to the right, was one of the early locations of Frenchy's.

 

I remember The Record Rack well though I only went a couple of times.  I got all the free records I could handle through my job.  Met the owner, chatted with him about new releases and what was selling but didn't remember his name.

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i thought bruce godwin owned record rack in the late eighties/early nineties; he was either an owner or manager of numbers too.  i bought many of my hard to find industrial and club music cds at record rack. 

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i thought bruce godwin owned record rack in the late eighties/early nineties; he was either an owner or manager of numbers too.  i bought many of my hard to find industrial and club music cds at record rack. 

 

That is correct. Bruce Godwin owned the place in the 80s/90s. I went there many times.

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I wasn't aware of the earlier history of the Record Rack, so thanks for posting this, Michelle. It was definitely the place to go for club/dance/electronic/industrial music in the 80s. 

 

@brucesw: a Chinese restaurant called the Hunan Dragon preceded Jenni's in the spot at the end of the strip center. Record Rack was closer to the opposite end of the center, I believe where the car title/payday loan place is in the Google Street View link you posted. 

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^ I'll have to defer to others who were there more often.  It's been 40 years and I was only there 2-3 times at the most.  The more I thought about it the more I thought it was a bigger space than Jenni's.

 

I wasn't aware the place had lasted into the 80s and 90s.

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In the 80's, The Record Rack and The Record Exchange (later Sound Exchange) was where I bought all my music because Sound Warehouse didn't stock groups like Cocteau Twins and David Sylvian. Bruce was a great friend and I hated to see his store close. But then again, it was inevitable due to the wonderful option of buying CD's from Amazon. Would I be able to walk into Best Buy and buy the latest album by The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, The Tangent or other progressive rock albums? I think not.

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Woah, I used to go to Record Rack all the time in the 1980s. I had no idea the place had been there since 1957. There was another great record shop on Westheimer across the street from the little Antiques Mall near Lanier Middle School. Does anyone remember what that place was called?

Edited by Retama

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Record Rack it is now a smoke shop I think.  That use to be the best place to get records in the late 90s I got so many good deals there.  In the early 2000s it was sold and the new owner tried to turn it into a rap hiphop vinyl record store that did not last a yr. 

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My aunt and grandmother owned homes at the corner of Sul Ross and Greenbriar. When visiting, I would walk over to Cactus Tapes & Records on S. Shepherd. I believe it had been an A&P grocery at one time. Neat place with an incredible selection. Remember how good a record store used to smell? Perhaps that was just ventilation from the head shop! Demeris Barbecue and a Coney Island hot dog establishment were also across the street. 1970s were a fun time. 

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Music quality was exceptionally high in the 70's and 80's, then went downhill thereafter. The combination of deteriorating quality and technology that enabled easy duplication unfortunately put record stores into a death spiral. I spent a lot of time at Cactus Records and the Record Rack and as a result I still have a great collection of both albums and singles that goes back to about 1964. Fortunately I never got into tapes. 

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I was in college starting in the mid 80's to late 80's at UT but grew up in Houston going to clubs such as Power Tools, NRG, Red Square, Numbers, Xcess, 6400, etc. I used to always go into Record Rack every weekend to see friends and say hello to Bruce and buy and listen to the newest club music on the scene at the time. I would literally spend hours in there. I especially loved the rare Razormaid albums and hard to get industrial and electronic items that dj Michael DeGrace played at the clubs that only Record Rack seemed to carry. I will never forget when I came home one time while I was in Houston on a weekend break going into Record Rack and buying a very rare 12' record by the group Call it Heaven called "Feeling Like a Stranger" which cost me $200 for one record. My mother freaked out bigtime! lol.

 

When cd's first started to get really popular in the late 80's  and were replacing the 12' records they were selling there, I knew it was only a matter of time before not only the scene would change but that the music itself would change. And then it happened with the early 90's and the grunge scene with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice N Chains, Soundgarden, etc becoming so popular and the club music I grew up on and loved so much just seemed to die. I went back a couple of times into the store after I graduated college and moved back to Houston and though I loved seeing Bruce still there, it just didn't have the same excitement or ambience as it did when I was in late high school to my college years. I loved Record Rack but it was never the same after the late 1980's. Not the same feel, not the same crowd in there and of course all the music I grew up loving replaced by rock and grunge. Hated seeing it close after being an institution for all those years. I'm 53 years old now but I will always cherish my memories of the great times I had in that store, the friends I made, the crazy and very late nights out on the club scene during those years and of course the legend himself Bruce Godwin. Thanks for making those years the best years of my life. 

Edited by John Davidson 23
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1 hour ago, John Davidson 23 said:

I was in college starting in the mid 80's to late 80's at UT but grew up in Houston going to clubs such as Power Tools, NRG, Red Square, Numbers, Xcess, 6400, etc. I used to always go into Record Rack every weekend to see friends and say hello to Bruce and buy and listen to the newest club music on the scene at the time. I would literally spend hours in there. I especially loved the rare Razormaid albums and hard to get industrial and electronic items that dj Michael DeGrace played at the clubs that only Record Rack seemed to carry. I will never forget when I came home one time while I was in Houston on a weekend break going into Record Rack and buying a very rare 12' record by the group Call it Heaven called "Feeling Like a Stranger" which cost me $200 for one record. My mother freaked out bigtime! lol.

 

When cd's first started to get really popular in the late 80's  and were replacing the 12' records they were selling there, I knew it was only a matter of time before not only the scene would change but that the music itself would change. And then it happened with the early 90's and the grunge scene with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice N Chains, Soundgarden, etc becoming so popular and the club music I grew up on and loved so much just seemed to die. I went back a couple of times into the store after I graduated college and moved back to Houston and though I loved seeing Bruce still there, it just didn't have the same excitement or ambience as it did when I was in late high school to my college years. I loved Record Rack but it was never the same after the late 1980's. Not the same feel, not the same crowd in there and of course all the music I grew up loving replaced by rock and grunge. Hated seeing it close after being an institution for all those years. I'm 53 years old now but I will always cherish my memories of the great times I had in that store, the friends I made, the crazy and very late nights out on the club scene during those years and of course the legend himself Bruce Godwin. Thanks for making those years the best years of my life. 


I have 2.5 crates full of Razormaids! All the chapters, die cuts, and class-x plus most of the rest. Joseph Watt came over to my house for a party a couple years ago and signed a few of them. We played them all night and he told stories about each song. 😄

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