Sometimes I think I like record STORES more than the records themselves. The characters that run them are favorites of mine.
I took these photos during one of the last years the store was in business. Richard Wozniak opened up his record store in 1956, it was THE record store in Duluth until Musicland moved in sometime in the 1970s. The first time I made it up to YaH was in 1981 on the way to a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters. Mr. Wozniak was then in his early 60s. I bought a copy of Desmond Dekker’s “The Israelites” on 45 there. When I made it up there as a sales rep for ADA in 1996, he was in his late 70s. I had to wake Richard up- he was slouched over the counter snoring- just to buy some records from him. The store was very pink, and there were cut-out hearts taped all over the boxes of records. My friend Ryan had a look at the inventory that was “upstairs” & “behind the curtain”- off-limits for normal customers- he said there were bars of soap wrapped up in among the records everywhere. So here was a record store that was pink & smelled nice- atypical, huh? Many of the fixtures in the store were set up for display at The Minnesota History Center about ten years ago. The guys at The Vinyl Cave in Superior Wisconsin eventually bought all of the inventory when Richard retired, it is now for sale in the other Port City across the bridge, right downtown Superior (I drove by last weekend, looks nice, but it wasn’t open). By the way, if you’re in Superior, try Julie’s Reasaurant for breakfast down the road, you won’t be disappointed!