Melody Records - Chico, CA
If you ever find yourself in Chico - which is about halfway between Sacramento and Redding - I command you to go to Melody Records. You don't need the address, just go to downtown Chico and you'll find it. I would give a link to the website, but there isn't one. Somehow, the store has managed not only to stay open, but has maintained its old-school, incense-scented, record store ambience despite the ravages of time and fashion. The store has been in downtown Chico for at least twenty-five years - maybe even fifty. For all I know, Ray, the owner and proprietor, came out west during the gold rush in a covered wagon full of used records. I lived in Chico during the late 80's/early 90's and spent a great deal of time and money in the store. Back then, there were four record stores in the 3-block-long downtown Chico area. The students of Cal State Chico had a strong and long-standing tradition of selling their records and CD's for beer money. Since mp3's have no resale value, the other 3 stores have shut down. God only knows what those poor students of today are selling for beer.
Fifteen years after I moved away, Ray still remembers me. That's either really good customer service or gratitude that I spent enough money in his store to pay for his house and put his kids through college.
The store has moved a few times over the years, which is the best I can do to segue to some trivial knowledge I would like to share. The space that the store now occupies was once a live music venue called "The Whispering Clam." The first time I saw the Cadillac Tramps was in that room. As you can imagine, it was quite cozy. I also saw Royal Crown Revue there - twice. They played to an enthusiastic crowd of about 10 people and liked it so much that they came back a short time later and played for about 20.
Chico, don't be discouraged. The man he ain't so hard to understand.