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Sounds Familiar, 38th Avenue North & US 17 Business Myrtle Beach: 2000s   4 comments

Posted at 1:52 am in Uncategorized

I've written about Sounds Familiar before, as the chain has been contracting ever since the digital age started. This particular store, in Myrtle Beach a couple of miles above Myrtle Square Mall, was my favorite location. It was not as large as the Rosewood or Parklane stores, but for some reason, the selection seemed to skew slightly more to stuff that caught my eye than other SF locations. For one thing, this store seemed to be the boldest in the chain as far as stocking "import" CDs went. I know I bought a number of Beach Boys / Brian Wilson "imports" there over the years including the imfamous Pet Sounds stereo sampler. Also, as might be expected for the Myrtle Beach store, they had a very good selection of "beach music" (which has no connection to The Beach Boys [other than a Carl Wilson solo song "What You Do To Me" having a brief run on the beach music charts]). In fact the whole chain had excellent beach music sections due to owning the Ripete record label, but beach music in the Myrtle Beach store was always stocked in depth.

One of my favorite touches at this store encapsulates both why I liked the place, and why the chain eventually failed -- someone had taped a faded cartoon to the cash register there. It probably came from a record-store trade magazine originally, and had a customer asking a record-store counter clerk Can you special order this out of print record for me? with the clerk responding Yes! And I can raise the dead as well.

I liked the attitude that pasted up that cartoon -- willing to poke a bit of fun at customers without the fear that someone's nose would be put out of joint. But the fact was that by several years before the store closed, any customer could special order an out of print CD from Amazon or elsewhere, and the record-store business model just didn't make sense anymore.

Written by ted on February 19th, 2009

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4 Responses to 'Sounds Familiar, 38th Avenue North & US 17 Business Myrtle Beach: 2000s'

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  1. I worked at this Sounds Familiar, #3, for eight years. I got a laugh out of your recounting the cartoon on the side of the register. In my years there, we had to replace the register twice. And, in replacing it each time, much care and concern was put forth in retaining that cartoon on each new register. You're right, it did point towards the attitude of the place, and the fact that we never took ourselves, or our customers, too seriously.


    29 Jun 10 at 10:47 am

  2. My wife, our son and I lived in Pawleys Island from 2000-2002 and we used to take weekly pilgrimages up to Sounds Familiar after discovering it shortly after moving to the area. It was one of my favorite music stores of all time and I fondly remember the owner, Jeff Roberts giving me free "import" (wink, wink) CDs from Richard Thompson and Stevie Ray Vaughan as a token of his appreciation for spending $50 to over $100 nearly every week there. I also remember Bo, who I think was the manager, and Shane giving me great recommendations for Americana/Roots music, which I was just getting into at the time. When we came back to visit the area in 2005 I was heartbroken to hear that it had closed. And worse yet, I never got to see Jeff again before he passed as we never came back to the area. RIP, Jeff, you were a great guy with a generous heart and great stories to share about music.


    16 Jan 17 at 2:53 pm

  3. I grew up in NMB and traveled south to visit this location many, many times in my youth in the 90s.

    Justin B

    19 Jan 17 at 7:43 am

  4. I was always treated similarly at the sounds Familiar when it was in Bush River Mall. I was in there at least once a week checking out the new releases and would usually end up buying two or three albums. The guys behind the counter always dropped a freebie or two in the bag along with the purchase. Usually something by local artists or something kind of obscure but they were free none the less.


    19 Jan 17 at 11:54 pm

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