February 24, 2018

The record stores

Toon Shop record bar

You remember them: brick-and-mortar buildings, staffed by knowledgeable music lovers, where you bought black plastic slabs in big picture sleeves. You might even catch a recording artist performing in store or just browsing the shelves next to you.

Several veterans of Caper’s Corner and Penny Lane have appeared on local radio recently, reminiscing about those times.

What were your favorite record stores, where were they and what do you remember buying there?


  1. I was an employee of Pennylane, Streetside and Mark’s Records. Fondest memories: selling concert tickets at Mark’s for mega shows like Summer Jam.
    Always enjoyed showing people alternatives, like indie bands, jazz fusion and later new age music.

  2. Fred Burke says:

    No one has mentioned “Mr Z’s record store that was in downtown KCMO in the 50s-60s. This is Fred Burke lead singer from The Fabulous Cinners and before that the Shadowmen. Mr Z’s was an awesome record store that was located in downtown KCMO near the Bonds Clothing Store, Note: There was a big clock that stood outside the store near the curb, don’t know if that clock is still there. Many musicians bought and listened (in boothes with headphones) many a records from here, Just a little more info for you Rick.

  3. Mike Golden says:

    I remember Caper’s Corner and a host of other record shops (7th Heaven did records back then too). I really liked Peach’s Record stores with all the crates. I too have several original WHB Top 40 Survey sheets. They usually had the lyrics to top 40 songs on the back. In 1963, ’64 and ’65 WHB ruled the airways, and was probably their greatest years, mine too!

  4. Larry Pollard says:

    Early on there were 2 Toon Shops. One in P.V. KS and one at The Landing located at 63rd & Troost. The partnership split and one partner, John Routh, took the Landing location becoming Routh Music Center. I worked there from 1964 to 1967. We sold instruments, accessories, radios & televisions, personnel giving lessons and a large record department. One of my responsibilities was spinning 45’s for customers and selling records. I remember sending my sales list every week to WHB to help determine the ranking of the Top 40 which was based on sales from many stores that sold records. When “Satisfaction” hit the airwaves that song became my number one seller for 6 weeks running but it would never take over the top spot at WHB. During that time I had a conversation with Johnny Dolan as to why the snub for “Satisfaction”. He informed me confidentially that the station’s general manager felt the lyrics were suggestive and as long as he ran the station that song would never be number one. I can’t recall the GM’s name but if I could he doesn’t deserve being mentioned.

  5. My step-grandma and Ben Asner started Mr. Z’s Records. I used to go there every other weekend and collect 45’s to play on my RCA Victor player when I was just a little kid.

    Years later, as a Midwestern sales rep for Warner Brothers Records, I payed a visit to Ben at Capers Corners. He remembered me, and said he couldn’t believe we had connected again after all these years.. It was a great reunion. Music has always been such a part of my life.. Ben was a great guy..


  6. I remember Love Records in Westport. I lived down around there with a band I played in at the time called Balance.

  7. Phil Manuel says:

    Anybody remember the name of the music instrument store in a house around 38th& Main, in KCMO.

  8. Mike Geier says:

    Who can forget Ben Asner greeting everyone at Capers Corners with “Hello, God Damn it…how are you God Damn it?”

  9. Spent many evenings in ’69 and ’70 hanging out with Ben Asner at Capers Corner. A couple of Saturdays we boxed up records and took them to Things Unlimited in Westport to sell. Our “pay” was taken out in records of course. Great times and some great records. Still have one of Ben’s business cards-“Jobber”.

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