The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


August 17, 2013

Joe's was at center of record stores

Long before the existence of the iPod or MP3 players, phonograph albums and 45s were the way to listen to music in the comfort of your home.

At one time, the city of Anderson had a variety of record stores that sold the latest hits from rock 'n' roll, soul, pop, country, and gospel recording artists. For over 50 years, faithful customers kept local stores in business before bidding farewell to their beloved vinyl.

Perhaps the most popular record store of all was Joe's Record Shop. Located on Meridian Street in downtown Anderson, Joe's (as regular customers called it) sold not only records but an array of instruments to aspiring rock 'n' rollers or the already classically trained musicians.

Joe's kept a vast inventory of guitars, amplifiers, and drums, plus hundreds, if not thousands, of albums and 45s. Customers looking to buy records were allowed to listen to the product on a turntable before purchase. And it was the same with instruments. Jam sessions took place in the music department where guitarists plugged a new Fender Telecaster or Gibson Les Paul into a Vox amplifier to emulate Keith Richards' classic intro to "Satisfaction" or George Harrison's defining work on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

During the 1960s, on any given Saturday afternoon, downtown Anderson was abuzz with local teens. After catching a movie at the Paramount, State, or Riviera Theatre, it was off to Joe's Record Shop to see what new discs were in stock.

Owner Joe Pike was a well-loved and respected man who became as iconic as his record store itself. From his humble beginnings at Music Treasures, Pike operated one of the most successful downtown businesses for over 40 years.

Originally, Joe's was at the corner of 13th and Meridian before moving to the vacated Montgomery Ward's building just north of the State Theatre. (Montgomery Ward's found a home at the newly-opened Mounds Mall in the mid-1960s).

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