If it weren't for its primo location on busy Western Avenue, Beverly Records could be passed by virtually unnoticed. Its mundane exterior and practical marquee don't do the place justice. Then again, the store has been in business since 1967, when today's mundane and practical was that decade's hottest trend. But those who opt to judge this book by its cover will find a surprising interior.
Rows of vinyl look as if they have been shelved and re-shelved frequently during the past 38 years, as every album is perfectly categorized alphabetically and by genre. The merchandise has the appearance of being strewn haphazardly about, but this is just the aftermath of the avid album collector voraciously rummaging through racks and racks of records looking for that perfect addition. Overall, the place's "lived-in" quality extends to the familiar, musty smell of vintage, going one step further in proving the shop's authenticity.
Beverly Records specializes in vinyl, especially oldies, and houses a vast collection that includes 45s and 78s. Beverly Records also sells new and used CDs and is breaking into DVD as well. A separate karaoke section offers equipment available for rent or sale; you'll find everything you'll need to ape the vocal stylings of your favorite performers, new and old. The shop provides a DJ referral service for DJs who are not connected with Beverly Records. In addition, the store sells and repairs turntables and also has sheet music for sale.
Everyone at Beverly Records has been around a long time and is very knowledgeable about music and collecting. If you don't see what you're looking for, the staff is happy to hunt down anything and can usually produce any request in record timeóno pun intended. A word to the wise: When planning a trip down to Beverly Rare Records, be sure and set aside a good chunk of time for browsing. Like any old-school vintage or resale shop, you have to dig to find the buried treasure.
Centerstage Reviewer: Amy Wilschke