When I was 15 years old something grand happened in my town of Escanaba, Steve and Sue Seymour opened a record store they named the Record Rack! This was the best thing EVER in da 1980’s. I know every generation thinks theirs is the best but ours was the first to really get the newer ideas like the Record Rack. The alternative was Woolworths and Shopko. Where you could get some awesome deals by the way, but it didn’t have the same atmosphere as the Record Rack had. There was just something about walking in the door, hearing music play, and looking through the album selections while wearing your fedora hat and your shoulder pads. Our hair was ratted with Aqua Net and no one cared if you smoked cigarettes in the store. This was our time. The best time in history and it was made even greater by the introduction of the Record Rack! This shaped my whole teenage years. This made my life worth living. This gave me something I couldn’t have at a time when it wasn’t readily available. Come on! This is a time before the internet was popular, only the rich had cell phones, and a time when the best thing you could own was a walkman!
My friends and I hustled to get a look and were amazed by all the vinyl they had! What an amazing concept. We so needed this in my generation. It was hard to find certain bands at Shopko. Here we could get Duran Duran, WHAM!, Dire Straits, A-Ha, Motley Crue, and so much more like Jazz records, man.
The Record Rack became a teenager’s hangout where the music flowed and you were able to find anything your heart desired on cassette tape or vinyl record. There is nothing like the sound of 33 1/3 rpm record playing in its scratchy sound. That was what our albums were 33 1/3. Our 45’s, as we called them, were for a single song! We even had 12” singles that were the longer versions of a single song.
They were the best people ever! They could order us those rare albums from Canada and the UK. I had found out that Duran Duran had an album that only was made for England, the Seymour’s ordered it for me and within 2 weeks, I got the call. There was that special album that was only released in the UK. Oh my joy! The excitement of hearing a different version of an album! That is what makes your day as a teenager.
My friend Amy had heard of a band from Canada called Platinum Blonde. You betcha, the Seymours obtained three of their albums for Amy. We went back to her house and listened like mad men to their songs! The three albums were, Standing in the Dark, Alien Shores, and Contact. She even bought Edie Brickell & New Bohemians album from there. Now you want to talk about a sound. That is one great band!
My friend Dave, who has always wanted to be my boyfriend, bought me an album there and brought it over to my cousin Bobbi’s house. Bobbi even said it was my favorite band and I would love it.
I loved it. I couldn’t wait to get money. Everything I earned would go to a new album and I bought it at the Record Rack. On July 25, 2015, the Record Rack will be closing its doors forever. This is going to be a very sad day for all in Escanaba. This is a part of everyone’s fondest memories. We all wish Sue & Steve a wonderful retirement! I will forever be grateful to having the Record Rack and giving me the gift of music.