For our Curious New Mexico project, Marino Johnson asked us to look into a music store in the North East Heights of Albuquerque that has been around for 28 years. Reporter Kenneth Ferguson found that in a day of music downloads and mobile devices, stores that sell music in classic forms are not as common as they used to be, but still have a loyal following.
Charley’s 33’s and CD’s remains vintage in digital world
By Kenneth Ferguson / NM News Port
While many have left vinyl albums behind, James Montoya, a customer of Charley’s 33’s and CD’s in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights, continues to add to his vinyl collection and help keep the vintage music style alive.
“I still have all my listening equipment from the 70’s that I got in Germany, I am very lucky, vinyl music sounds better to me,” Montoya said.
Colleen Corrie began working at Charley’s 21 years ago when it was Charley’s Records and Tapes, and has been the sole owner for nearly nine years. Charley Andrews, the previous owner, sold Corrie the stocks in the business and allowed her to keep Andrews name while trading in tapes and records to 33’s and CD’s.
The 4,600-square-foot store near the intersection of Menual and Pennsylvania primarily offers music on CD, vinyl record, and cassette. The company also offers vintage clothes, turn tables, incense sticks, vintage games and other novelty items.
The bulk of Charley’s business comes CD and vinyl record sales.Corrie said the vintage nature of Charley’s is the atmosphere the store is trying to create.
“There are fewer record stores all the time both in Santa Fe and Albuquerque,” said Steve Terrell, a political reporter for the Santa Fe New Mexican who also writes a music column that has run for the past 26 years.
As it has done in the past, Charley’s this year will take part in Record Store Day, the largest celebration of record stores around the country.
The employees at Charley’s expect a line to start forming hours before opening the store as it has in years past. Days like this help smaller stores that still sell records stay in business.
“We are a vintage type store, we go for that idea, I am exploiting it, we are going for that theme.” Corrie said.
The store is open seven days a week and Corrie believes the bulk of her business comes from the traffic traveling on Menaul. Despite being open every day, Corrie only has three employees and herself on staff.
“You have to specialize, people swear that vinyl sounds better and they like the way the needle sounds, if you specialize in that it helps your business,” Terrell said.[/text_output][share title=”Share this post” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true”][/vc_column][/vc_row]