You searched for:

Start over

Narrow Search

Best Place to Buy 78 RPM Records 

Jazz Record Mart

27 E. Illinois
312-222-1467

jazzmart.com

Back in the mid-90s most local music stores heeded the consensus that vinyl was dead and stopped carrying it—not an unreasonable decision, particularly considering that the major labels had abandoned the format. But a few shops, like Reckless Records and Dr. Wax, refused to give up on LPs, and now the ones that survived are having the last laugh as vinyl sales surge.

But even those holdouts look timid next to Jazz Record Mart, which has brazenly ignored the vagaries of the record business, not only maintaining a huge inventory of LPs during vinyl’s fallow years but continuing to sell records in the long-extinct 78 RPM format. According to manager Ron Bierma, the store has around 20,000 78s in stock. Though most are jazz, there’s also plenty of pop, blues, R & B, gospel, ethnic music, and spoken word. The baseline price is $2.50, but rarities can fetch much more; the store recently sold a 1924 disc by the Wolverines, the band in which Bix Beiderbecke was first recorded, for $95. The best day to browse is on Saturday—that’s when Bob Koester, the store’s sole proprietor since it opened in the late 50s, is usually around. He often hangs out in the back playing 78s for his own amusement on a separate sound system, and if you go find him, you can listen too. The format accounts for less than 3 percent of Jazz Record Mart’s sales, but Koester is still acquiring new collections, typically at a rate of maybe ten sizable caches a year.

Critics' Picks

Best Pop-Up Vintage Shop

2132 W. Fulton St. 312-226-2221
Tie between Revision Home and An Orange Moon continue

Best Neighborhood Garage Sale

Newgard Ave. between Devon Ave. and Pratt Blvd.
Newgard Neighbors Sale continue

Best Thrift Store

610 E. North Ave. 630-337-1467
Jubilee Furniture Co. in Carol Stream, Illinois continue

Best Rock 'n' Roll Garden Designer

Julia Adams, SummerSweet Garden Design continue

Best Place to Get a Vintage Hairstyle

4755 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-506-7870
Tigerlilie Salon continue

Best Place to Buy Size 16 Jeans

2048 N. Damen Ave. 773-772-7429
Vive la Femme continue

Best Place to Swap Black T-shirts With Dudes

2221 N. Western Ave. 773-486-8888
Dudes Black T-Shirt Swap continue

Best Mall

900 N. Michigan Ave. 312-423-1568
900 Shops, 900 N. Michigan, Chicago continue

Best Place to Buy 78 RPM Records

3126 N. Broadway 773-404-5080
Jazz Record Mart continue

Best Art Sale

1957 Sheridan Rd. 847-432-1888
Recycled Art Sale at the Art Center, Highland Park, Illinois continue

Best Cheap Tickets for Great Seats for Broadway in Chicago

24 W. Randolph St. 800-775-2000
Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre continue

Best Last-Minute Theater Tickets

205 E. Randolph St. 312-334-7777
Harris Theater for Music and Dance continue

Best Film School

28 N. Clark 312-332-0707
Columbia College continue

Best Dance School Everyone Thinks of as a Music School

4544 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-728-6000
Old Town School of Folk Music continue

Best Dance Class

1439 W. Wellington Ave. 773-512-7384
House Dance at Breakdance Chicago continue

Best Place to Buy a Restored Schwinn Cruiser

Mike Mitchell restores Chicago-made Schwinn models from the 1960s and ’70s and resells them at Randolph Street’s Chicago Antique Market and out of his garage in Oak Park, Illinois. continue

Best Pharmacy

845 N. Michigan Ave. 312-280-1220
Carnegie Sargent's Pharmacy & Health Center continue
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)