It was my good fortune to accompany my wife to New Orleans, one of the most food crazy cities in the world, where she attended a three day business conference. This gave me some free time to explore the French Quarter, not only for food, but for records. I knew that the great historic city of New Orleans, the ‘Birthplace of Jazz’, Blues and Zydeco, would have to contain some record stores.
This town is overflowing with musicians, performing in a myriad of clubs, bars and street corners. It is inescapable and delightful. It’s as if music is as necessary as breathing. Eating my way through the historic French Quarter, I came upon Peaches Records store on N. Peters St., lots of new vinyl and reissues with a smaller section on used vinyl.
Another location was the Beckham’s Bookshop at 228 Decatur St. You enter into this dusty looking anti-diluvium shop faced with a myriad of shelves and boxes of old books. “Where are the records”, l asked. The owner directed me to the stairway in the back to the third floor and was told to turn on the light switch when I got there. And, turn it off when I left. Climbing this creaky old wooden stair proved to be worth it. Here was a large selection of mostly classical records in boxes and shelves in a somewhat dusty and gloomy atmosphere. This was a place to look for gems and at $2.00/record.
I wish I had more time and a larger suitcase but it was all I could do to fit the records I bought. It’s always a blast making discoveries like these stores and seeing that vinyl is very much alive. I know there are more record stores here but they will have to wait for another trip. So, if you’re ever in New Orleans, visit these places and discover some on your own and let me know about them. Now, for some more beigniets and a café au lait at Café du Monde.