Re: Rose Records on Wabash
Date: February 16, 2015 09:18AM
I have many fond memories of Rose Records. That was THE store to go to to find the record you wanted. They not only carried about the biggest selection of domestic records you could find in Chicago, they also carried a few imports, and that was sort of rare in those days. When I was a kid in the 'sixties, I would sometimes call up to see if they had a certain LP (and, because of my high voice back then, the salesperson would usually say "I'll check on that, ma'am"), and then have my dad, who worked nearby, go and pick it up.
About the big catalog mentioned in the original post, I believe that was the Phonolog catalog. It was at least as huge as large as a big-city phone book, which listed not what was available in the store, but what was in print and available to be gotten. I seem to remember there being blue pages and yellow pages.
Later, when I attended college in downtown Chicago (1977-81), I would go to Rose on Wabash at least every other week. At that time, it was two floors, and there was a staircase leading to the second floor, which, as I recall, was all cut-outs (discontinued) LPs.
Later, (maybe in the late '80s/early '90s?), they expanded to three floors, and put in escalators.
In the late 1970s, I struck up a friendship with the salesperson who was the "soundtrack LP guru" there, Dennis Petersen. He survived the Rose/Tower changeover and was there to the last dying gasp of the store a few years ago. What a great guy! He knew everything about movie music. If you're not a soundtrack fan, you might not understand, but at one point he gave me his home phone number; that was like Heifetz giving his phone number to a violin novice. I am happy to say that I became his friend. We had dinner at his house, we had dinner at my house. We would discuss soundtrack music for HOURS on the phone.
He died a few years ago. I still miss him, his friendship, and his knowledge of film music. I also miss Rose/Tower Records. It was always better to go there and scout around their inventory in a record/CD store to see what was new, than to try to peruse what you might want on the internet. On the internet you have to type in what you're looking for; at a record/CD store, you just flipped through the bins, and saw what was new and important to you. Sometimes, by accident, you saw something you never thought even existed.