Peaches Records & Tapes: Warm Memories Of A Fallen Giant

The huge chain record store was a joy to visit.

By , Columnist

Years ago, in a time when record stores ruled areas of your hometown, a large behemoth of a store was formed. Known widely, Peaches Records & Tapes was created to be more than those local small record shops—it was designed to swallow them whole.

The goal? To be the one place that you would ever need to go to get all of your music, and anything related to it. Peaches Records & Tapes had a store in just about every large city across America. Finding one wasn’t hard. One you had the general location of one, it could easily be spotted by the large wooden LP cover constructs that adorned the building.

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Peaches Records & Tapes was a one-stop shop similar in scope and size to a modern day grocery chain store. Not only did the store have a massive selection of LPs and tapes within the cozy confines of its walls, they also catered to other various other needs of the music fan. If you needed a ticket to an upcoming concert, Peaches had a station to sell them to you.

A Peaches store contained nearly every album that you might be looking for. If they didn’t have a title on hand, it wouldn’t be long before they were able to acquire it for you. You could browse for hours in the many rows of various genres of music.

There were impressive displays of imported titles, especially those that came from the UK. LPs and current, spindle-holed singles from hot UK bands were plentiful. There wasn’t a Top 40 from the UK or the US that the store didn’t carry.

PeachesCrates.jpgThe distributed staff was a knowledgeable one. Most could answer almost any question you threw at them. All could recommend something that might be of interest to you. These wandering hordes of wonderful lovers of music made the store visits unique. Adventurous music lovers were often rewarded by a single visit. If you were a serious student of rock and roll, Peaches Records & Tapes was your school.

Peaches carried a wide supply of album-related goods. LP washers, plastic-lined inner sleeves to protect your LPs, and wooden crate kits to store them in were a notable part of the stores’ allure. And if you loved the store as many did, you could wear your allegiance by purchasing branded caps, canvas bags, sweatshirts, hoodies, and various styles of shirts and tops, all with the Peaches logo. Everything you bought was placed in similarly branded sturdy orange plastic bags. Peaches was proud of its place in the world of rock and roll.

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Peaches stores were also places where you could meet and greet famous musicians of the day. There were few that didn’t visit one of the many stores in the chain. In fact, many, if not all, of the stores had cement blocks in the front that had the handprints and autographs of rock stars, not unlike the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Peaches Records & Tapes was not the only chain in existence. There were many. But none held the sway that Peaches held over the years when they were open. But change is a bitch. Eventually, the chain underwent bankruptcy before closing their doors for good. What they left behind were the shells of their housing, and a multiplicity of warm feelings from those who used to haunt their aisles. I was one of them.

I miss Peaches Records & Tapes.

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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