By AURELIO JOSE BARRERA
EAST LOS ANGELES — On a recent afternoon Could It Be I am Falling in Love by the Spinners played at the Sounds of Music on Whittier Boulevard. The 1973 hit was released only a couple of years after Carlos Reyes bought the record store – then known as Hollywood Discount Records – from former Los Angeles disc jockey Dick “Huggy Boy” Hugg. I remember that back then the store was filled with vinyl records. Now, most of the music sold is on CDs, but Reyes, who still owns the store, continues to stock a great selection of original and re-issued vinyl LPs and many boxes of loosely organized 45s.
Back in the 70s, the Sounds of Music at the corner of Whittier and La Verne Avenue was a regular stop on my visits to the boulevard. My cousin Martin and I would take the Kern Avenue bus to Whittier Boulevard and walk east. I could find Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep and Rolling Stones while Martin could find The Delfonics, Richie Valens and Thee Midniters. The store is still filled with a huge variety of genres of music. You can find Tex-Mex, Punk, Oldies, Hip Hop, Mariachi, Disco and so much more.
While I was looking around at all the posters, t-shirts, banners, stickers, posters and collectables, a customer entered and asked Mario Reyes, the owner’s son, “Is that your ’60 parked outside? I have a ’59” A real sense of community and its history filled the store as they talked about their Chevy El Caminos and other classic cars from the Eastside. The place is not only full of old memories, new ones seem to be made every time one walks into the Sounds of Music.
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