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Sounds Familiar, 422 Bush River Road: Early 2000s   19 comments

Posted at 1:50 pm in Uncategorized

At one time, Sounds Familiar had quite a little record store empire. They had locations on Parklane, Garners Ferry, Colonial Life Boulevard, Harbison and in Myrtle Beach. There was a period of time when I really liked to go to their stores (especially the Myrtle Beach store) becase they had lots of interesting "import" CDs. (And if you don't understand the difference between import CDs and "import" CDs, I'm not going to explain it here.). They also had a very good selection of Beach Music LPs and CDs as well as a nice stock of used recordings.

Unfortunately, the industry began to change radically as first CD duplication technology and tnen Internet downloads began to take off. All record stores were hard hit and Sounds Familiar was no exception. I believe the Myrtle Beach store was the first to close, followed (I think) by this one and then the one on Harbison. In the case of this store, it can't have helped that it was just across the street from the larger and more esoteric Manifest location in Boozer Plaza.

The locations on Parklane and near Garners Ferry continue to soldier own. I was in the Garners Ferry location last week, and it appeared to be doing OK, if not great, but the last time I went by Parklane, it seemed to me that half of the floor space was just empty.

The state of the record store industry is one of those things I'm ambivalent about. I hate to see places where I found a lot of great music close, but on the other hand, I'm not going to stop ordering music online either.

UPDATE 28 June 2012: It turns out that this strip mall is actually listed as 422 Bush River Road rather than having a Colonial Life Boulevard address. I have updated the post title to include the correct street address. I should also mention that all Sounds Familiar locations have now closed (and can be found in the alphabetical closings list).

Written by ted on July 8th, 2008

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19 Responses to 'Sounds Familiar, 422 Bush River Road: Early 2000s'

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  1. Don't forget that they were originally located in Bush River Mall. I remember that store had what seemed to be a little more floor space, and it did not hurt that I could visit Land of Oz either before or after Sounds Familiar. Actually, I think the Bush River Store did very well also because of the proximity of the theaters. Although, like you mentioned, record stores in general have suffered. Also, the parking to this store was awful.

    I really liked the Myrtle Beach store because of all the memorabilia that they had on the walls.


    8 Jul 08 at 2:46 pm

  2. Actually, I had totally forgotten that. Decker Mall had some kind of record store too, but I'm reasonably sure it wasn't a SF.

    Yes, the parking was very bad


    8 Jul 08 at 3:41 pm

  3. They also had a sounds familiar at Woodhill mall. It moved to Rosewood and last time I checked it's still there. The Decker Mall record store was called Flipside. I think it closed around '85. I bought the first tape that I ever bought at flipside (Van Halen 1984).

    Mr Bill

    11 Jul 08 at 9:33 am

  4. Yeah, 'Rosewood' was the street I couldn't think of so I had to say "near Garners Ferry".

    I thought Woodhill Mall had a 'Record Bar' like Columbia Mall?


    11 Jul 08 at 9:47 am

  5. They may have at some point. I always rememeber it being SF. I used to love Record Bar. Oh they also had a SF on Parklane near the mall.

    Mr Bill

    11 Jul 08 at 10:15 am

  6. sorry forgot you mentioned the Parklane one.

    Mr Bill

    11 Jul 08 at 10:15 am

  7. The coolest thing about Sounds Familiar was the return policy on cassettes. I remember my brothers cassette player ate my copy of Janes Addiction's Ritual de lo Habitual like a week after i bought it. I brought it back and they looked at the little hand written sticker on the case and handed me over a new copy of the tape without any hassle. I still have some cassettes (someplace) with those little hand written stickers on them.


    20 Aug 08 at 4:26 am

  8. The Parklane store is the last one open and it will close in 2009. Pete Smolen gave it his best effort and heart but now admits that there is no future in music sales. His Ripete business is actually doing quite well.


    4 Oct 08 at 2:17 am

  9. Woodhill Mall had a Sounds Familiar and that store housed the main office and was moved to Rosewood Dr. The Decker Mall store was moved to the location that is pictured. I know I helped moved both stores to those locations. I also worked at the Parklane Rd. store for about 6 years.


    24 Jan 09 at 2:11 pm

  10. Flashback !!

    I seem to remember the Sounds Familiar on Garners Ferry was originally located in the Landmark Square Shopping Center before Woodhill Mall was built. Can anyone verify this?

    Terry Edwards

    25 Jan 09 at 6:11 pm

  11. I always thought Sounds Familiar was way too expensive. Even their used to stuff was high.

    Mr Bill

    26 Jan 09 at 1:49 pm

  12. I was a loyal SF customer (Woodhill) and shopped there for many years, from childhood until college. I spent quite a bit of cash and always liked that location. Then came 1994 when a friend and I happened into the Co. Life Blvd. location to browse. We looked for awhile and I contemplated buying a John Lee Hooker cd (picked it up, carried it around, and returned it to the rack). After we walked out, some jackass male employee (I know you're out there) followed us out of the place and accused me of stealing the cd. After raising my shirt, demonstrating my innocence, and getting furious, I vowed never to darken the door of an SF location ever again. . . and didn't. I'm glad this location shut down, may it rot there for all eternity.


    29 Jan 09 at 12:42 am

  13. The Woodhill Mall Sounds was located in Landmark Square.


    29 Jan 09 at 12:59 pm

  14. Landmark/Woodhill Mall/Rosewood store history:

    Landmark Square is located across from the VA Hospital and yes, SF's first store opened there in the late spring or summer of 1976.

    I remember, initially, riding my bike with one of my older brothers over there to buy albums (vinyl) for $3.99 and $4.99. They moved from the Landmark Square location to Woodhill Mall (which did have a Record Bar next to Kenny shoes (which later became Foot Locker, just across from the Chick-fil-A). SF took over the old Record Bar location (wooden front facing w/multi-colored stained glass in the door) and later moved slightly down to the left of the mall to the corner store spot next to an upscale women's clothing store until around 1989/90, when they moved to Rosewood Drive (where they remained until closing in Feb. 09).


    11 Mar 09 at 7:34 am

  15. So there *was* a Record Bar in Woodhill, and it *became* SF. No wonder it's confusing.


    11 Mar 09 at 10:52 am

  16. I was about to say.. Record Bar was the original Record store at Woodhill when it opened back in 1978. You had Decker Mall and Bush River Mall both opened at the same time. Sounds Familiar was at Bush River Mall going down from the Theaters which was down the hill inside from Richway. Then you had Land Of Oz and some other stores which I dont remember then Kroger's which became Harris-Teeter before it turned into Burlington (I think). Then Richway closed or was bought out by Gold Circle, then it became Target then they moved to Harbinson..and that's when BRM fell down on hard times. Does anyone remember Mr. Donut that sat out in front of BRM on top of the hill on Bush River Road..they were really good I thought.


    3 Jul 09 at 8:23 am

  17. I camped out at the Sounds Familiar down from Midlands Tech at the Bottom of Rosewood near Garners Ferry , to get tickets to the Gins-n-Roses/Metallica show at Williams-Brice Stadium back in 1990, or 1991. Anyway, it was great. I met a lot of cool people. I was fifth in line. Before tickets went on sale in the morning, the SF employees came out and took everyone's name who stayed all night. Then, once the tickets went on sale, they ran off all of the tickets together, instead of having each person come in individually to get tickets. That way, we were guaranteed awesome seats. I ended up being third row dead center. Metallica's base was so strong and I was so close, that it made my heart palpitate. Seriously. Anyway, my point is that the Sounds Familiar crew looked out for us, and did us right by the way they ran the tickets. RIP!!!


    29 Jun 12 at 3:24 pm

  18. ooops, should have been Guns -n- Roses.


    29 Jun 12 at 3:24 pm

  19. palmettopanic, sounds like a group that takes care of their customers and I'm encouraged by that..if you go to the Alphabetical closings page at the top, you can find listings on the other Sounds Familar locations except for the Harbison store that is now The Vitamin Shoppe


    29 Jun 12 at 3:41 pm

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