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School Kids Records & Tapes, Harden Street and Main Street: 1980s   14 comments

Posted at 10:30 pm in historic,stores

I've written about The Record Bar, Budget Tapes & Records, and Coconuts Music. School Kids is yet another record store that isn't around anymore.

As I recall it, the Harden Street location was in the same block and on the same side of the road as the old Eckerds and that hot-dog place that used to be at the corner of Harden and Greene. I can only definitely remember going there once, while I was living on campus in the early 80s. In those days, I had very little money given that I had no job and was on the "ticket book" plan for meals, so my usual destination when I would go record shopping was Papa Jazz used store, and after that, Peaches. I can only recall School Kids in kind of a negatively-defined way. I just remember thinking something like Hey, this place isn't as good as Peaches. It was certainly a smaller store than peaches, I remember that for sure. As for the other, who knows what I would think nowdays? My tastes have certainly expanded, and the store must have had something to keep it going a block from Peaches. (Although I suppose in the end, neither chain did..)

I see from the Yellow Pages ad that there was also a Main Street location. I don't believe I ever visited that one. Mapquest says it's in the first block of Main, near and on the same side of the street as the old Capitol Restaurant. I'm a little fuzzy on what's in that block now, but it wouldn't surprise me if the building were gone. At any rate School Kids has long since graduated from this vale of tears.

Written by ted on October 19th, 2008

14 Responses to 'School Kids Records & Tapes, Harden Street and Main Street: 1980s'

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  1. So, ted, where'd you get the old phone book? I'd love to get one. Or even just see yours.

    Dennis

    20 Oct 08 at 1:40 pm

  2. I'd like to have some "real" ones (ie: Bellsouth/Southern Bell "Greater Columbia"), but it appears, very surprisingly, that these are almost impossible to find, even online. This one is an old USC Campus directory my father saved from the 1980s.

    ted

    20 Oct 08 at 3:30 pm

  3. Great, as usual, Ted
    I'm gonna’ get my neighbor to scan
    that logo and make up some tee shirts
    .. I remember them, but never shopped
    there .. only Record Bar, for whatever
    reason. neat to note that there's
    another “record exchange” place in the
    ad right below it ..don't remember that
    one .. have you done “Peaches”?

    Fish

    21 Oct 08 at 10:24 pm

  4. Yeah, I noticed that other exchange ad, but I can't for the life of me remember that store at all.

    I'm going to do Peaches at some point. I keep thinking that I've got one of their logo-ed bags still around somewhere, but it has yet to turn up.

    ted

    21 Oct 08 at 11:03 pm

  5. Fish - I think you could use this .jpg for your shirts
    http://flickr.com/photos/losttulsa/152058054/sizes/o/

    Dennis

    22 Oct 08 at 8:48 am

  6. wow...so neat to read something about this place. We use to cut school at Dreher High, 84-85 and go down to School Kids to listen to music...what memories....

    kelly

    11 Dec 08 at 3:02 pm

  7. School Kids was owned by Dan Douglas. A great guy. Bought all my stuff there in the mid- late-'70's. Dan then turned it into a small little bar called the Elbow Room. I tended bar there for a year or so. He expanded it gradually, then sold it. It stayed Elbow Room for a while then became something else.

    Bobby

    15 Jan 09 at 10:54 am

  8. Regarding the Vinyl Emporium, I remember a record shop that was on the block where Harper's is now called X Records, which I believe became Manifest, before it subsequently moved to Main Street. Maybe the Vinyl Emporium was the precursor to X Records?

    CJD

    2 Feb 09 at 11:24 am

  9. X-Records moved to (roughly) where Speakeasy is now and became Vinylove before it closed. I don't believe there was ever a direct connection with Manifest, although I'm guessing Ron and Karl knew each other at some point, as Amy worked for Ron at X-Records.

    E.C.

    16 Jun 09 at 3:19 pm

  10. There was a "School Kids" record store in the shopping center next to Irmo High School around 1990.

    Reedrow

    23 Sep 09 at 4:48 pm

  11. There was also a School Kids Records & Tapes on Fairfield Road (and probably was the last one open for a long time in Columbia) in a shopping plaza, right across from Alcorn Middle School back in the 80's to the mid 90's, I remember buying Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" on 45rpm when it first came out.

    Joey

    22 Feb 11 at 12:34 am

  12. The original School Kids was on the corner of Green and Harden in an old gas station building. Very popular in the mid 70's because of their selection and prices. Most of their records (vinyl 33-1/3 LPs for the younger readers) were priced at only $3.99 (they were $5.99 and up everywhere else). It was small but it was the bomb for teenagers living on allowance.

    Ned Harkey

    24 Dec 11 at 11:19 am

  13. School Kids was owned by Dan Douglas and for a long time was managed by Lyman Wray, who later went into the banking business. His friend Frank ? also worked there as did Anthony Mack, former student body president at Benedict. Other significant employees were Laverne, who died much too young of ovarian cancer, and Will Salley. School Kids did not have the alternative cachet of Budget Tapes and Records or Manifest but sold the latest, and a fairly deep catalog, for much less than Peaches Records which (to me) always had more of a corporate feel. I remember the Ramones had a record signing at School Kids when I worked there, which was exceedingly cool! Joey Ramone wore the same t-shirt at the record signing at School Kids as he did that night in a concert on Huger St., and later on when we took him to Group Therapy! No pretentions!

    Allen Roberson

    21 May 15 at 2:47 pm

  14. Funny, I have not noticed this post before. Concerning the comment made by E.C. 16 Jun 09 and CJD 2 Feb 09 about
    X- Records. X-records was right next door to me when I opened my first Car Stereo Shop in Five points back in the early 80's. Ron owned X-Records and he and I had some good times partying together. January of 1984 the property that Harpers now sits on was sold, we lost our lease and the old gas station that my stereo shop was in and the building X-Records occupied was torn down to build Harpers.
    X-Records moved into a building on Saluda Ave. next to the SCN bank. I think it was the same building Blue Sky's Gallery was in. One had to walk down a long hallway to get to X-Records. Ron was doing a little DJ'ing for WZLD Radio at the time and I do not remember what happened to him or X-records after that. I do remember Ron saying the new location was not nearly as visible and sales had dropped off.
    I had already opened a second stereo store on the corner of Beltline and Two Notch where my sales increased 10 fold, so I was okay.

    Rick

    21 May 15 at 4:47 pm

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