On April 16 The Exclusive Company in downtown West Bend will be a part of a nationwide celebration called Record Store Day – a day to celebrate music.
The Exclusive Company, 144 N Main Street, will team the celebration with the store’s 55th anniversary. The event will feature local bands and in-store deals.
Back in the day record stores around the Milwaukee area included Musicland at Bayshore Mall in Glendale, Peaches on Silver Spring Dr., Radio Doctors on 3rd and Wells St. and Mainstream Music on Milwaukee’s East Side on Murray.
In West Bend, it was The Exclusive Company. Many head bangers, dudes and hippie chicks from around the community have chimed in to recall their Solid Gold K-Tel and Ronco record days. The following memories are from an article I wrote in 2010.
Joe Huber – West Bend had a number of record stores. Loomans & Hicken had a record department in their store on the west side of Main St. They also had a record department in their store when it fronted Hawthorne Dr. (( Loomans & Hicken relocated quite a few times, starting in 1959 as Loomans & Hicken Radio and TV at 249-251 S. Main St. In 1963 the shop moved up the street to 130 N. Main and then in 1969 the store reversed course and moved south to 410 Hawthorn Dr. Loomans & Hicken wrapped up business in 1976 at 1325 S. Main St.))
Jerry Mehring – The main record store in West Bend in the ‘50s and ‘60s was Plischounigs located on Main St. next to the Mens Apparel store. There was a gift store on the first floor and the record department was on the lower level.
Betty Christen – I bought my first LP, Moody Blues, Nights in White Satin, at the Electric Banana (that’s right) in Bemidji, Minnesota. The store was located about a block from the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. It had curtains of beads dividing the sections of the records and a lot of incense burning. There was a turntable where you could give records a listen. I am pretty sure I was carrying a purse made out of old blue jeans.
John Kleinmaus – Back in the ‘60s during my teen years when all the kids were buying the rock n roll records, but I loved the classical and instrumental albums. Orchestra leaders such as Percy Faith, Bert Kaempfert, Paul Mauriat were some of my favorites. I still have some of those old 33 RPM records. I bought most of the records at the old Woolworth Dime Store in Milwaukee. There were a few stores where you could go into a small room and preview the album on a record player. Purchasing an album at that store cost a little more than at the dime store.
Record Store Day at The Exclusive Co. in West Bend is Saturday, April 16 from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Hours : 8:00am – 8:00pm
-50% off pre-owned CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and video games priced $19.99 or less
-40% off novelty items
-25% off t-shirts
-15% off pre-owned vinyl
-10% off posters
-10% off new CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and vinyl (excluding RSD 2016 titles) with a donation of three or more non-perishable food items. All donations go to the West Bend Full-Shelf Food Pantry – helping people right here in our community.
-Free Jimmy John’s subs (limited quantity)
-Double reward points on all purchases (only on RSD)
Photo courtesy Kirk Dyken