New York is known as the city that never sleeps and to cater to such a city, there’s a lot of place open late if not all night. I thought it might be fun once in a while to go somewhere at midnight and see what’s happening. To kick off this series, I’m going to go to a record store I visited when I was doing MAD, called Colony Records. When I originally went there, I just kind of stumbled on it and didn’t know the history behind the store. The original Colony Records was founded by Harold S. “Nappy” Grossbardt and Sidney Turk and was located at Broadway and 52nd Street. The store kept late night hours, making it popular with musicians and the late night shift in Manhattan. It moved into the famous, Tin Pan Alley Brill Building in 1970 and that’s where it still operates. Some of the famous clientele that have walked through the doors here include: Benny Goodman, Chet Baker, Madonna, Elton John, John Lennon and Michael Jackson. It’s a little after eleven, so let’s hit the rode and see what midnight is like in Colony Records.
It's kind of a miserable rainy night out tonight.
And through the magic of the internet, we're magically transported to the corner of 49th and Broadway, home of Colony Records.
Colony Records has been housed in the legendary Brill Building since 1970.
Let's go in and check it out.
Here's the front half of the store...
And here's the back half of Colony. Let's go exploring this place.
Let's take a look at what's in the front glass display case.
There's plates with original John Lennon art on them.
Directly above is a Kiss plate and memorabilia.
And below is the guy often known as the 57th Beatle, Beaver Cleaver. I think he went on to drum for Spinal Tap.
Richard works in sales here at the store and is very knowledgeable in the history of Colony Records.
He wanted to show me an album that has a historical significance to the store.
The album is called, "The Bebop Singers," and the in the center photo behind singer Joe Carroll is the corner of 49th and Broadway before Colony Records moved in. The ground floor space where Colony is now was a restaurant called, "Turf" and above it was a nightclub called, "Bop City."
Next Richard took me over to the book section of the store to show me another photo from a photography book.
This is a photography book showcasing the work of legendary New York photographer, William "Popsie" Randolph.
And here's another classic photo of the corner where Colony Records eventually ended up in. Richard told me that the floor above Bop City were music publishing offices thriving off Tin Pan Alley tunes.
Richard had to get back to work, so I roamed the store on my own. Check out the vintage TV Guides.
Here's some rare Beatles memorabilia on display at the back of the store.
Blowin' in the display case, a signature Bob Dylan harmonica.
Fun in Alcapulco with Elvis. Thank ya...thank ya, very much!
Colony Records is the largest seller of sheet music in the world.
"Hooray for Hazel" by Tommy Roe. Ha, I had this 45 as a kid.
I love this Gilda Radner poster!
Bethany was working the front counter. She's worked at Colony for about a year and a half and is an actress who's done some off Broadway work. I'm holding onto this photo, maybe I'll be able to sell it to TMZ one day!
1619 Broadway (@49th St.)