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Jan 112013
 

Johnny Winter (Bing images, no other attribution)

Legendary rocker Johnny Winter “Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo”will be playing at Toads Place in New Haven, tonight, Jan. 11, but before he takes the stage, his manager has arranged for a meet and sign event in Orange.

Winter will greet fans at Merle’s Record Rack, 307 Racebrook Road, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Merle’s, which celebrated its 50th birthday last summer, is sort of legendary itself, and the management felt honored to get the call from Winter’s “people,” stating, “It’s great that they thought of us.”

Originally Published on: Dec 27, 2012 @ 3:11 p.m.

Aug 112012
 

A big golden anniversary celebration is planned for Saturday

Originally published Aug 8, 2012 @ 0:20

Back in 1970s when Merle’s Record Rack was located in the open air Connecticut Post Mall I’m pretty sure it was there that I strolled inside and bought my very first Dave Clark Five album “Glad All Over.” (c1964 with babysitting money).

I remember that there was something forbidden about the place, the groovy psychedelic black light posters, the far out mushroom shaped candles and the hinky idea that hippies might come in with their long hair and bell bottoms — oo, heaven forbid! (My parents influence on me at the time)

When it left the mall, I actually missed Merle’s, the smell, the uniqueness. The only place that comes close to that atmosphere is Group W Bench in New Haven.

When it moved to Orange in 2003, my son and I went inside and he found some great LPs (Those are vinyl records, kids) and I got my coveted 45 RPM copy of Mason Williams’  “Classical Gas.” — Best Song EVER.

On Saturday, Aug. 11, Merle’s Record Rack will celebrate its “Nifty Fifty” 50th anniversary at 307 Racebrook Road, Orange.

The celebration includes a one-day sale from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Live bands of various styles will play throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

Here is the lineup:

12-1 Johnny Trips Experience

1-2 Native Mode

2-3 (To be announced)

3-4 Mark Rosenberg

4-5 Maxx Explosion

5-7 Rum Runners

Merle’s opened in 1962 in New Haven, when vinyl was all the rage. Reel to reel, 8 track, and cassette tapes saw their hey day during the past 50 years as well. Michael Papa bought the store in 1984 and has kept it alive through the digital age, still selling all the other mediums for old timers like me that have tape players and a cabinet full of LPs that still occasionally take a spin on the record player — there’s nothing like the hiss of a needle gliding over the grooves on a vinyl record.

Papa credits the commitment to customer service for Merle’s continued success. As I mentioned before, I went in looking for a copy of the original “Classical Gas” and sure enough, Michael found it for me within seconds.

So if you’re a regular customer or if you haven’t been there in a while, come on in this Saturday for the Golden Anniversary, share your memories and take a stroll down memory lane in the magical land known as Merle’s Record Rack.

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