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Folk Arts V

Former radio records-keeper Boyle buys the Folk Arts stock, reopens in new locale.
Former radio records-keeper Boyle buys the Folk Arts stock, reopens in new locale.

“Right here? This is the shop’s fifth location.” Earlier this summer, Brendan Boyle bought out Folk Arts Rare Records, founded nearly half a century ago by Lou Curtiss. Inside the new location on El Cajon Boulevard in North Park, the only thing missing is the man himself and the funky old-house clutter that most shoppers and friends found part of the charm. Otherwise, the new store is part crate-digger nirvana, part Folk Arts museum.

Place

Folk Arts Rare Records

3072 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego

“Sam Chatmon” — Boyle points to one of the many vintage photos transplanted from the old house that garnish the new walls — “that one was taken in the Folk Arts shop in Hillcrest. It was open from 1972 to 1977. Here’s Tom Waits at the same store. Here’s one of Smokey Rogers from the Bostonia Ballroom. Lou used to watch Smokey’s TV show. Later, they became friends.” The tradition continues: a visitor recalls having similar talks with Curtiss over the years at his different locations, inspired by these same old photos and show posters. So far, Boyle thinks he has less than half of the memorabilia displayed, all of which he points out is still owned by Curtiss. “It reduced the asking price of the store to let him keep the memorabilia.” Besides, it was the substantial record inventory that drove the sale and required the most attention.

“I started going through the stuff on July 7. It was a big job, and it was kind of complicated. I looked through every single record in the store.” Boyle says he worked days and nights, culling out duplicates and records he deemed in un-sellable condition. “I rented a storage unit, and I filled it to the brim with crates of records from the store. I’ll be bringing in 200 newly priced records every day. That’s my goal.”

Boyle is 32. He lives in North Park. “I worked at a community radio station in Davis [California] for seven years. They had a huge album library there. That’s where a lot of my education came from. I also have a lot of experience selling records.” But, why move the entire store? Boyle says there were problems with the old house. “There was no wheelchair ramp, and, there was no air conditioning.” Any haters? “No. The exact opposite. A lot of people have stopped by and said how happy they are that I’m keeping it alive. Lou and Virginia are both onboard. He’ll probably be running the store from time to time.” Curtiss, 75, closed the deal with Boyle at the end of June. “My goal is to keep the store alive and make a modest living. If I can’t do that, then it won’t work out.”

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Mission Valley, Tijuana gardens, Otay Mesa, downtown skyscrapers, One Paseo, Rancho Santa Fe mansion
Former radio records-keeper Boyle buys the Folk Arts stock, reopens in new locale.
Former radio records-keeper Boyle buys the Folk Arts stock, reopens in new locale.

“Right here? This is the shop’s fifth location.” Earlier this summer, Brendan Boyle bought out Folk Arts Rare Records, founded nearly half a century ago by Lou Curtiss. Inside the new location on El Cajon Boulevard in North Park, the only thing missing is the man himself and the funky old-house clutter that most shoppers and friends found part of the charm. Otherwise, the new store is part crate-digger nirvana, part Folk Arts museum.

Place

Folk Arts Rare Records

3072 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego

“Sam Chatmon” — Boyle points to one of the many vintage photos transplanted from the old house that garnish the new walls — “that one was taken in the Folk Arts shop in Hillcrest. It was open from 1972 to 1977. Here’s Tom Waits at the same store. Here’s one of Smokey Rogers from the Bostonia Ballroom. Lou used to watch Smokey’s TV show. Later, they became friends.” The tradition continues: a visitor recalls having similar talks with Curtiss over the years at his different locations, inspired by these same old photos and show posters. So far, Boyle thinks he has less than half of the memorabilia displayed, all of which he points out is still owned by Curtiss. “It reduced the asking price of the store to let him keep the memorabilia.” Besides, it was the substantial record inventory that drove the sale and required the most attention.

“I started going through the stuff on July 7. It was a big job, and it was kind of complicated. I looked through every single record in the store.” Boyle says he worked days and nights, culling out duplicates and records he deemed in un-sellable condition. “I rented a storage unit, and I filled it to the brim with crates of records from the store. I’ll be bringing in 200 newly priced records every day. That’s my goal.”

Boyle is 32. He lives in North Park. “I worked at a community radio station in Davis [California] for seven years. They had a huge album library there. That’s where a lot of my education came from. I also have a lot of experience selling records.” But, why move the entire store? Boyle says there were problems with the old house. “There was no wheelchair ramp, and, there was no air conditioning.” Any haters? “No. The exact opposite. A lot of people have stopped by and said how happy they are that I’m keeping it alive. Lou and Virginia are both onboard. He’ll probably be running the store from time to time.” Curtiss, 75, closed the deal with Boyle at the end of June. “My goal is to keep the store alive and make a modest living. If I can’t do that, then it won’t work out.”

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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
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