Friday, September 24, 2010


Before the iPod, there was the CD player.

Before that, there was the cassette tape.

Before that... There was the phonograph.

There are those whose mission is to bring the record back.

Harold Gold and his wife, Max, used to own Fantastic Records in Ardmore. It was a full-service music shop that specialized in old LPs. This was one of the regular haunts of my teenage years, and I sometimes wonder if Harold can remember that annoyking kid with glasses coming in every week asking about a new Todd Rundgren album.

A few years back, on a trip to Philly, I stopped by Plastic Fantastic and found that it had closed. I was sad, almost as if a part of my childhood had died.

I found out a couple of years ago that Harold and Max had resurrected their business in neighboring Bryn Mawr as Gold Million Records. They no longer offer digital music, but their collection of older forms is better than ever.

"We carry no CD's, and no DVD's. But we do carry reels and 8-tracks here. And, of course, vinyl is our specialty," says Harold Gold.

With half a million albums in stock, chances are they have anything you're looking for. They sell online and ship worldwide. What most people see as digital music's improvements, they don't agree.

"Digital music takes out the warmth. It takes out and cleans up all of the imperfections, all the idiosyncrasies of the music. Unfortunately it takes out a lot of what makes the music what it is. People are losing that in the transition."

Gold Million also offers what they call Cool Stuff Made From Records...unique gift items made from actual L-P's and album covers.

"We've created tissue boxes, jewelry boxes, desk accessories, home d├ęcor and fashion accessories made from original records."

The Beatles are the shop's number-one sellers, but jazz and classical also do well. And yes, some artists still release on vinyl.

"A lot of the new releases is on a higher-quality, thicker vinyl."

They also have a limited number of high-end music souvenirs like autographed guitars. The shop is at 851 Lancaster Avenue in downtown Bryn Mawr, open Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, phone 610-525-4500, or access their online store at

While I have not yet had the opportunity to visit the store, I am a semi-regular online customer, and recommend them highly.


  1. I had my first record player when I was 16 yrs, I have never been without music. the past four years I have had an Ipod and wouldn't be without it. I take it when out walking and it helps me along life;s way.
    Enjoyed your post most interesting.


  2. Yvonne-

    I, too have an iPod for portability, but could not live without my turntables and CD players.

    Hopefully, you still find time to listen to music on a "proper" system, as the iPod really does decrease the sound quality.

    My next two posts will get into this....

    Thanks for the comment,


  3. McLC ~
    I love Gold Million Record's coat of arms with the thingy in the middle for adapting 45s to a stereo spindle. (What the heck's that thing really called anyway? They were usually bright yellow.) Anyhow, that's a clever design.

    Has anyone ever figured out why they didn't just press 45s with an LP-sized center hole so one didn't need a "thingy" in order to play it on a standard turntable? What was up with that? It's almost like there was a conspiracy between the record labels and the thingy makers to sell us thingies. Were the record labels getting a kick-back from the thingy manufacturers, or what? (OK, maybe I'm just too conspiracy-minded, ...but really, WHAT WAS UP WID DAT?)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'