Record Stores

February 7, 2019

Get your Vinyl Kicks on Route 66

Bound for Glory is a book and vinyl store that also features a large selection of vintage rock collectables

Crate digging in Tulsa, Oklahoma leads to a treasure trove of vinyl, music memorabilia and some phenomenal hamburgers

I’VE BEEN TO OKLAHOMA a few times, and to Tulsa specifically only once, which didn’t allow me time to really explore the city, but I was hearing cool things about the town. As I had to be in the Tulsa area for family stuff, I decided to spend a few extra days and investigate their vinyl offerings. Among other claims to fame, Tulsa is the home of a good stretch of the famous Route 66, with its neon signs, killer food, art galleries, antique emporiums, and, as you may have suspected, record stores. What better way to “get your kicks” than record shopping. Several of the shops are located on the Route, otherwise known as 11th St., and the others aren’t too far off. I came with high hopes and was not disappointed.

Tulsa is relatively unknown as a destination for record collectors, which I hope to rectify with this article. I quickly realized I could and would spend many extracurricular hours digging through crates. One could easily blow a few hundred dollars in any of the shops I will mention here, so a word to the wise: be careful, plan accordingly, and try to spend quality time in the shops, and perhaps prepare a list of vinyl you’re hunting for. Most of these joints also buy vinyl so if you have some to let go of, try one of these out.

Mammoth Comics also carries reasonably priced used vinyl

Mammoth Comics also carries reasonably priced used vinyl

The first store I ventured to was probably the oldest in town, Starship Records and Tapes (1241 S. Lewis; 918-583-0638), which is a magical place that felt like I was back in 1967 (that’s before I was born, by the way, so that’s some serious wizardry). Starship carries all sorts of music-related stuff, vinyl, posters, t-shirts, and must be the premier head shop for the county, if not the state. It says it right there on their shirt: “Tulsa’s Headkeeper.” First landing in 1972, the old Starship left their former spot (a cute house next to the Bama Pie factory on 11th St.), a half a mile south, and moved into a much larger location, a galactic hanger if you will. Staffed by super friendly guys, with stellar musical knowledge, they carry a wide variety of musical genres, and much of the vinyl is newly pressed. They carry a ton of new releases too, but the crates are loaded with vintage, gently used wax. Spending time here was definitely a blast!

After I got some grub at the phenomenal Ty’s Burgers, I hit Josey Records (1020 S. Rockford; 918-398-6588), which is a little closer to downtown on 11th St.. This is a nice, bright and clean store, well-lit and almost too sterile for me, but the place looks brand new, so give it time to build up some rock ‘n’ roll patina and I’m sure it will become a beloved shop. The vinyl is arranged by genres, though the arrangement is somewhat hard to follow. That said, the inventory here is large, mostly consisting of newly pressed vinyl and by new bands. They also have a good selection of local vinyl, which was a big plus for me, and a bunch of cassettes. In addition, they have quite a hefty stash of 45s along the back wall, and I found some cool garage tunes Ca. 1965 there.

Moving east on 11th St., away from downtown, I hit a few blocks that were just a goldmine for vinyl and eats. The first was Mammoth Comics (4622 E. 11 St.; 918-836-9636), in a block-long strip mall, and run by Shawn Mears, who’s been in the comics biz for many years. In a secret side room of this comix emporium, one is struck by long shelves of reasonably priced used vinyl of all genres, as well as a ton of audio equipment and turntables. Next door to Mammoth is Bound for Glory books (4624 E. 11th St.; Facebook page) which is basically half books, half vinyl, and a ton of other awesome vintage rock collectables, like shirts (rare Spinal Tap and Butthole Surfer shirts adorn the wall), vintage clothing, zines, and numerous crates of punk and jazz records. Established in 2016 and owned and operated by Kris Rose and Dave Dean, BFG is the ideal community hangout spot, and staffed by super cool volunteers like Lizzie and Duckie. Most of the shop’s proceeds go to paying the rent and supporting local causes. BFG stands apart from other shops as they have all-age shows weekly, which always start at 7pm, and are always free (all donations go to the traveling bands). In-store reading and kicking back is encouraged with couches galore and just an overall supportive space, with killer tunes playing. Woody Guthrie would love this place. Don’t miss this spot.

Blue Moon Discs is loaded with music memorabilia

Blue Moon Discs is loaded with music memorabilia

Just east of Bound for Glory, and next to Generations Antique Mall (another vinyl mecca; I got a mint Damn the Torpedoes for 5 bucks!) is Tally’s Cafe, where I got some fries and a Coop F5 IPA (made in Oklahoma City and damn tasty) before hitting some other shops. I happened to be here on Elvis’ birthday, and unbeknownst to them, they sat me in the Elvis booth. I felt somewhat honored, and slightly creeped out.

Down to road about a mile from these stores is Blue Moon Discs (2606 S. Sheridan; 918-742-3474), another shop that’s relocated a few times since the early 1990s. Owner Warren Showman is a mellow guy, with a thorough knowledge of what’s in stock, both new and used items. This place is a treasure trove of hidden gems, so save some funds for this visit. It is loaded to the gills with music memorabilia, and Warren would love you to take some off his hands.

I saved Gardener’s Books and Music (4421 S. Mingo Rd.; 918-627-7323) for last, and it was probably good I did, because I had already run out of money and I surely would have gone into debt if I had started here, being a lover of both vinyl and books. They specialize in books, but have every form of media imaginable. It’s all used, but they have so much, in their 23,000 square feet of media bliss, that you really could get lost in this place. You might want to set one day just to live here and dig to your heart’s content.

Sadly, I didn’t make it to Spinster Records, (11 E. Brady St.; 918-794-7881) in downtown Tulsa’s Brady Arts district, but heard cool things about it. It’s kinda upscale, but worth perusing their used vinyl section. They have in-store performances and lotsa new vinyl. Also, they have new stereo systems and tables for sale, with a very insightful staff, so if you’re looking to upgrade or try new, undiscovered bands and sounds, check this place out.

I should say, I visited several antique malls while in Tulsa and found some cool treasures at them as well. Plus, there are many on Route 66, so bring an extra suitcase, or just buy one at Generations Antique Mall like I did. In closing, all you dear readers, if you plan on being in the Tulsa area, do hit some of these places up and show them your love. We need more Tulsas in the world. ‘Til next time, this is Skip at Lost Wax signing off.


  1. Skip, thanks for the good reviews ! I order the vinyl for Starship and stock the selection at Mammoth as well. Thank you for taking the time visit the shops in Tulsa and write us up. Hopefully you can make it back soon !. Make sure to hit Blue Moon Discs and the Flea Market when you do. Until then happy digging, cheers !

  2. Glad you liked the article. I just realized as I was visiting that I needed to celebrate these shops, and hopefully turn some collectors on to them. Definitely a bunch I missed, but I plan to return. Peace!

  3. JDTUL

    Cool article. Asking for some advice here. My Dad passed away last year and on the first anniversary I went home and began to take stock of the record collection he has. I counted 30 boxes and crates of LPs, some of them sealed, many not. All kinds of music … Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Beach Boys, jazz, rock, orchestras, comedy, such a wide variety. Our first inclination is selling to a collector who would appreciate what’s there. How do you go about determining fair market value for these records?

    • Skip Buhler

      Sorry for the delay, and sorry to hear of your dad’s passing…. 30 boxes! Sounds like you’ve got a lot of vinyl to deal with. Depending on where you live and what vinyl shops are near, you could put an ad on craigslist, asking a flat sum for the whole lot, or you might take one box into one shop and just get an idea of what they will give you for it. You would be wise to first get a friend, child, etc, and together compile a list of all the records, and note the general condition of the sleeve of each. Once you have that, it will be easier to apply it to craigslist, or to take in the list to your local shop, and get some feedback. Hope this helps. Best of luck!

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