Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Folk for sale

Curtiss hopes to pass Folk Arts Rare Records on to someone “who would keep it going.”
Curtiss hopes to pass Folk Arts Rare Records on to someone “who would keep it going.”

If things go the way Lou Curtiss hopes, by the end of summer, he will have handed the keys to his Folk Arts Rare Records shop over to its new owner, whoever that may be. He made a soft for-sale announcement on Facebook in recent weeks but admits he has not yet set a price or even consulted a business broker to determine what that may be. “I got several reactions on Facebook, everything from people saying ‘Don’t close’ to people offering to buy the shop.” So far, no real cash offers. “I’d like to see someone come in who would keep it going,” he says. “But I’m not gonna rush it.”

Place

Folk Arts Rare Records

2881 Adams Avenue, San Diego

A winner in the Lifetime Achievement category at the 2000 San Diego Music Awards, Curtiss began selling records in San Diego almost a year before the British Invasion. He first opened up in the building that Gelato Vero now occupies on Washington and India streets in July of 1963. “We were there for five years. Then we moved up to Hillcrest for another five years. We did store concerts there. We had Tom Waits play for us.” Is Waits still in touch? Curtiss nods. “I hear from him once a year.”

Folk Arts moved again up to Adams Avenue. After 27 years went by, a Curves Women’s Fitness came along and offered Curtiss’s landlord more money. It will have been almost a decade since he lugged everything to the opposite end of Adams Avenue and set up shop in a similar street-facing bungalow. “I will never try to move that many records again.” He counts 15,000 of them at present, with thousands more tapes, cassettes, and CDs in the musty crate digger’s paradise. Why the sale?

“The basic thing is my wife wants to retire. She’s a microbiologist. She’s got her doctorate. And we both have to work to make the rent on this place.”

In the download age, is Folk Arts still a viable enterprise?

“Yeah, if the buyer lives frugally in the beginning. But you’ve got to learn the business.”

For example, he says, “If someone comes in and they’ve got all of the 101 Strings albums, and they want to sell them to you, you’ve got to act depressed.”

What will Curtiss do in his retirement?

“I figure I’ve got a book in me after 48 years in the record business.”

He’ll continue to host his Sunday-night radio show on Jazz 88, and he won’t be a stranger to the shop.

“I’m happy to train the next owner and shop-sit the place,” he says, “if they want me to.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The Tobacconist: Stogie story

His job is to sell pleasure and desire, cigars “hand-rolled tenderly by beautiful women on their thighs.”
Next Article

The unsinkable Linda Broyles

“I mean, when they said I couldn’t go home, I could see Coronado!”
Curtiss hopes to pass Folk Arts Rare Records on to someone “who would keep it going.”
Curtiss hopes to pass Folk Arts Rare Records on to someone “who would keep it going.”

If things go the way Lou Curtiss hopes, by the end of summer, he will have handed the keys to his Folk Arts Rare Records shop over to its new owner, whoever that may be. He made a soft for-sale announcement on Facebook in recent weeks but admits he has not yet set a price or even consulted a business broker to determine what that may be. “I got several reactions on Facebook, everything from people saying ‘Don’t close’ to people offering to buy the shop.” So far, no real cash offers. “I’d like to see someone come in who would keep it going,” he says. “But I’m not gonna rush it.”

Place

Folk Arts Rare Records

2881 Adams Avenue, San Diego

A winner in the Lifetime Achievement category at the 2000 San Diego Music Awards, Curtiss began selling records in San Diego almost a year before the British Invasion. He first opened up in the building that Gelato Vero now occupies on Washington and India streets in July of 1963. “We were there for five years. Then we moved up to Hillcrest for another five years. We did store concerts there. We had Tom Waits play for us.” Is Waits still in touch? Curtiss nods. “I hear from him once a year.”

Folk Arts moved again up to Adams Avenue. After 27 years went by, a Curves Women’s Fitness came along and offered Curtiss’s landlord more money. It will have been almost a decade since he lugged everything to the opposite end of Adams Avenue and set up shop in a similar street-facing bungalow. “I will never try to move that many records again.” He counts 15,000 of them at present, with thousands more tapes, cassettes, and CDs in the musty crate digger’s paradise. Why the sale?

“The basic thing is my wife wants to retire. She’s a microbiologist. She’s got her doctorate. And we both have to work to make the rent on this place.”

In the download age, is Folk Arts still a viable enterprise?

“Yeah, if the buyer lives frugally in the beginning. But you’ve got to learn the business.”

For example, he says, “If someone comes in and they’ve got all of the 101 Strings albums, and they want to sell them to you, you’ve got to act depressed.”

What will Curtiss do in his retirement?

“I figure I’ve got a book in me after 48 years in the record business.”

He’ll continue to host his Sunday-night radio show on Jazz 88, and he won’t be a stranger to the shop.

“I’m happy to train the next owner and shop-sit the place,” he says, “if they want me to.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Two poems by Julia Wehner

A reminder of how richly good it is to feel, and to live
Next Article

Building paradise in San Diego

Mission Valley, Tijuana gardens, Otay Mesa, downtown skyscrapers, One Paseo, Rancho Santa Fe mansion
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close