Tuesday October 24, 2006

Blue Note Records

Blue Note Records

Blue Note Records sits just off 163rd street on 15th Ave in North Miami. Back in the early 90’s, it was an absolute palace. I used to work at a Peaches around the block, and we’d send people there all the time for anything we didn’t carry. And honestly, it still has a lot of the same charm.


The inside bears an uncanny resemblance to the cover of that Shadow album — here’s one place that doesn’t particularly cater to DJs, but where records outnumber CDs. I browsed around, hoping to find something that prominently featured the color yellow. No luck with this or this. They do, however, still have very strong Jazz, R&B, and Hip Hop sections, about in that order.

rhythm and lunchboxes

Not to mention knick-knacks. Really, this is the place to come if you want to stumble onto something you didn’t know you needed. Like a Bee Gees lunchbox. Or that Stevie Wonder CD. The typewriter’s not for sale. Wait, you don’t have Songs in the Key of Life? Get down there right now and grab that copy. Quick!

Blue Note Records

Back in its heyday, Blue Note used to take up this whole building, holes in the wall connecting separate rooms. The middle section was full of jazz records and a lounge, and the far end was full of rock, broken down into about five different sub-genres. At some point, I think they actually took over part of a warehouse space down the street. Then Amazon came along and sort of changed the world for independent (and not so independent) record stores. A few great ones are still thriving in Miami, though, and Blue Note is worth a visit if you’re in the neighborhood.

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  1. dig    Tue Oct 24, 09:37 AM #  

    i purchased many jazz records, there. the used to have a 3 lp for $10 bin.
    the jazz is annexed to a warehouse down the street, toward the train tracks.

  2. srcohiba    Tue Oct 24, 03:29 PM #  

    I remember that place, but my hang out was actually Yesterday and Today Records in the 80’s early 90’s on Bird Road. They had all the old used vinyl (and later cd’s). Before that in the 70’s, I used to go to a place on 8th street and 62nd called Lee’s Music Center. Great place that had all the original Beatle and Beach Boys (and others) LP’s and 45’s. It was heaven.

  3. ESC    Tue Oct 24, 07:56 PM #  

    Great place! There use to be a place up 163rd called Open Books & Records owned by Leslie and I believe she later sold the place. She then had a small section in Blue Note. It was mainly rare rock, punk, & hardcore vinyl. It was great. I still have my 7” hardcore collection. Yesterday and Today Records was another great spot.

  4. I was there    Wed Oct 25, 05:45 PM #  

    The owner of BlueNote lives in my brothers neighborhood….he hands out business cards to the neighborhood kids to bring home to their parents in order to buy their record collections…he then sells the stuff at a 500% mark up.

    I love the store and its history, but prefer to dig for my vinyl at thrift shops and yard sales.

  5. OD    Thu Oct 26, 12:25 PM #  

    I’m so glad Blue Note is still around…And I feel kind of guilty I haven’t been there in ages;and yes…the Internet ;with Amazon,EBay and other
    methods of obtaining music have taken its toll
    on my brick and mortar record store visits.
    (In addition to the fact that my interest in collecting records has subsided quite a bit
    since life begin feeling less enjoyable)
    Blue Note as well as Yesterday & Today,Open Books on 163rd and the original store in Dania..Y&T Records(An offshoot of Yesterday & Today)..Record Liquidators next to the humongous Peaches store on 163rd…I always felt so welcome at all of them…The stores had that
    cozy feeling..small places chockfull of records
    everywhere…walls,counter,,,there wasn’t a single inch of space wasted!
    If I had money I never left any of the stores without buying something!
    I knew the owner’s names…some of them remembered me by name too!
    And most of the stores helped foster the local music scene in the late 70’s and early 80’s by
    prominently dsplaying the flyers and records from
    the local bands….

  6. Cata    Sun Nov 5, 12:12 PM #  

    I was in Miami in the year 2000.
    I stayed near from this record store and I loved it, and still love it.

    I’m comming back this summer, I hope I can visit this store again. Its really cool.

    Cata from Chile

  7. Leslie    Sat Nov 25, 04:00 PM #  

    Hello Alesh Houdek,
    Thank you for the cool article you wrote about Blue Note Records! We really appreciate it. Great web site as well. We’ll be checking in on it and reading what you’ve found interesting to mention. Feels good to be remembered (Open Books and Records). Michael Dean works here part time for those of you who remember Yardbird Records. Richard Ulloa of Yesterday and Today still pops in from time to time. Evan Chern has the ongoing incarnation of Yesterday and Today Records on Bird Road west of the Palmetto.
    Our Jazz Annex is closed. All the good stuff from there has been brought to the main store.
    So come on by and say HI!
    All the best! Leslie