Real fans of phonograph records in the 70s learned that retail stores weren’t where the real gems were found. Those could only be discovered at the independent places. One such legendary audio oasis was the Record Stop in Ronkonkoma.
The Record Stop opened in 1974, owned by a man named Bruce Berg. It offered all the hard to find vinyl you could ever hope for, putting places like Sam Goody to shame.
For over 40 years, the Record Stop sat at 279 Portion Rd, just across from the Agnew and Taylor Hardware store. The store enjoyed an enormous following among local music fans and had a reputation for being able to find just about any music you were looking for.
Many can attest to looking for a particular record for years before finally getting their hands on one at the Record Stop. After a while, you just stopped going anywhere else.
And then the unthinkable happened. Almost four decades after selling its first record, the store closed in 2010. Loyal customers were distraught but Berg moved the operation to a warehouse in Shirley and continued to serve his customers in an online capacity until he retired in 2015.
Long Island is missing so many great places from the 70s, but I’m happy to report that this story has a happy ending. Bruce Berg’s son Jeff is now the new owner of Record Stop and re-opened the famed music store nearby in Patchogue on Railroad Avenue.
Granted, if you used to walk to the old store in Ronkonkoma, you’ll have to travel a bit farther, but it’s sure nice to know that there are a few things from back in the day that have hung around.
Did you ever buy any vinyl from the Record Stop. Were you a regular? I’d love to hear all of your memories in our comments section below.
The most amazing record shop. I’d find my way from Sayville when I ever could could convince someone to drive me. They had imports and bootlegs. Tapes of live concerts of your favorite band not bailable anywhere. Before the internet age and YouTube you were kinda stuck with Record World type shops with mostly official releases. Record Stop had the obscure stuff. It was Disney Land for music lovers.
Next time on the Island I’ll stop by the new shop in Patchogue.
Grew up in Farmingville and used to ditch classes when I was in Sachem HS and hang in the Record Stop. Bought a lot of vinyl there in the late 70s-early 80s. I refused to shop at Sam Goody-Bruce was the man!
Been there a few times. My Friend lived seconds from the place. There was a bar(think its still there-diff name) near it. Had a good selection and spent a good amount of time I there. Glad to hear the legacy has been carried down to the son.
Yes I am one or the regulars that was there at least once a week. I now shop at Jeff’s store.
Went there often with my older brother in the late 1970s…we would ride our bikes there on Saturday morning and buy all of the Beatles bootlegs we could afford! The bootlegs were kept in a section at the back of the store. It was all very exciting…great stuff for two young Beatles fanatics1
Bruce owns a new shop in Charleston Sc… it’s also a great shop!
the first pic is the Eastport store, and me in front
Thank you. I did not know that! Do you happen to know when the Eastport store opened, and/or closed? I’d love to include that information in the article.
I was home, pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen, raising our children, while all this was going on and My crazy music-obsessed husband Brucie was inspiring teens for decades at Record Stop.
I used to go to the Record Stop in Eastport on my bike in the mid 80’s a ton of times! Purchased some of my favorite albums there! Quadrophenia, Blue Brothers, Los Lobos, etc
Record Stop was at 279 Portion Rd but Agnew & Taylor is not across the street. What was across the street was a shopping center. The shopping center had Buy-Rite Liquor, Grand Union, Cheap Johns, A movie theater, a post office etc.. Agnew & Taylor is on the South East corner of Hawkins Ave and Portion Rd.
Exactly! Agnew & Taylor was several blocks west- at Hawkins Ave. I know…I’d spend my allowances at A&T buying nails and tools, to perpetually build tree-houses.
I bought albums from the Ronkonkoma Store in late 70s.Then I bought cds from you store in Mastic/Shirley Store.You bought all my albums back in 2015.Now I have also bought stuff from your Store in Patchogue. Your old man was great to deal with .Geno