The next place on my list of record shops I was going to visit during my stay in Chicago was Beverly Records. It was recommended by Brad from People's Records in Detroit. Located outside the downtown area at 11612 South Western, you definitely need a car to get there. And without my trusty GPS, I would probably still be circling the area. To be quite frank, it's in the middle of nowhere.
Esthetically speaking, Beverly Records is certainly not the most attractive place and nothing really prepares you for what you are about to see inside. I have frequented many record shops in my life, and I consider myself a flea market connoisseur but this was a shock. I thought that People's Record in Detroit had an impressive selection but this place rivals it.
If you feel adventurous, love treasure hunting and have hours to spare, this place is definitely for you. It feels a bit chaotic at first but once you get used to your surroundings, there are gems to be unearthed. Don't go looking for a soul 45rpm section because you won't find any. But if you're looking for a group or singer in particular, you're in luck. Every record is alphabetized.
My problem is that I want to discover artists I've never heard of before. So when I inquired one of the owners about his filing system, he directed me towards a few rows of unsorted boxes of 45s. When I asked how much the records were, he simply said: "If you buy more than 10, it's 3$ each." At first, I thought that 3$ was a bit excessive but if you choose wisely, you can end up with records that would otherwise sell for substantially more.
So I randomly pulled out a box, sat on the floor and started pulling out every unusual label I came across. Don't expect records in mint condition because you might leave with nothing. The final count was 40 or so records in fair condition. I feel like I just scratched the surface of that place. Time was running out. I had to drive back to my hotel room to get ready for the English Beat and Bad Manners concert.
Was it worth it? You tell me...
Soul and R&B:
Lonnie Mack - Chicken' Pickin' - Fraternity Records
Micheal - The C.O.D's - Kellmac Records
I Got Love - The Intrigues - Yew Records
I Bet You Get The One (Who Loves You) - Detroit Emeralds - Westbound Records
My Wife, My Dog, My Cat - The Maskman & The Agents - Dynamo Records
But It's Alright - J.J. Jackson - Calla Records
Appreciation - The Ad Libs - Share Records
Music - The Festivals - Smash Records
Barefootin' - Robert Parker - Nola Records
The Wash - Branda & The Tabulations - Dionn Records
Skinny Legs and All - Joe Tex - Dial Records
Soul Serenade - Federalmen - Steady Records - Promo Copy (actually a Rocksteady track)
Let a Woman Be a Woman - Dyke and The Blazers - Original Sound Records
There It Goes Again - Barbara and The Uniques - Arden Records
She Can Give You Fever - Ernie Tucker - Earth Records
Keep It To Yourself - Raeletts - Tangerine Corporation Corporation
Cracker Jack - Mickey and His Mice - Marti Records
Dawn Is Breaking - New Colony Six - Centaur Records
Bird Dance Beat - The Trashmen - Garrett Records
Fire Ball - Mercy - Sundi Records
Walk Away Renee - The Left Banke - Smash Records
I See The Light - The Five Americans - HBR
Go Back - Crabby Appleton - Elektra Records