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Counter Culture 007: The Musical Box

The Musical Box is a 4th generation, family run record shop based in Liverpool which recently celebrated it’s 76th birthday. The shop has been within the same family and building since it opened in 1947.

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🤔 Who should be on the next CC feature?

Have you ever had any encounters with famous musicians or bands visiting your store?

“Just recently we had a surprise visit from Elvis Costello & Diana Krall which was lovely! Also Craig Charles and Chris Amoo to film a segment for the Eurovision song contest which was amazing as we all love Red Dwarf and The Real Thing! We’ve been fortunate enough to be visited by many other great musicians over the decades such as Rory Storm, Pete Best, Alvin Stardust, Mel C, Ian McNabb, Ken Dodd, Joan Regan, David Guest, Holly Johnson, Garry Christian, Tony Crane to name a few! During the early 60’s a group of girls were in the shop and screamed “that was the Beatles!” as two young lads walked out the shop after buying a copy of Merseybeat magazine, we never found out which two it was and doubt we ever will but we would love to know!”

What is the rarest record you have ever come across in your store?

“During Christmas of 2021 we were sent a 1/50 acetate record of HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) personally from Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release. There were only 50 acetates made, 25 were gifted to record shops and 25 were given to charity. We were so fortunate to have receive one, still blows our mind! “

What is it about your store that makes it special?

“The Musical Box was established in 1947 and is a 4th generation, family run record shop. It’s the oldest record shop in Liverpool and is one of the oldest record shops in the world, it’s remained within the same faimly and building for 76 years. Co-owner Diane worked in her mother Dorothy’s shop from the age of 13-82, Tony who now runs the shop started working in the shop age 12 and has worked there for over 50 years.”

Have you ever organised any unique events or themed parties in your store to celebrate music?

“We held a party last year to celebrate the shops 75th anniversary milestone with live music and had visits from all our friends, family and Liverpool radio DJ’s which was super cool! We’re looking at hosting another party soon for the grand opening of our second shop floor which we have been working on for nearly a year. We took on the monumental task of renovating our first floor stock room which used to be Dorothy’s old living room into another shop space so we are able to put out more stock as we have way too much! We’re in the process of completing the finishing touches, it’s should be open within the next month!”

Do you have any stories of customers who have become regulars and formed lasting friendships or connections through your store?

“The Musical Box has always been social hub for music enthusiasts to come and enjoy / discuss all things music! Our customers always get talking with one another when they visit and often become good friends and even go to gigs together forming long lasting friendships. The social aspect of going to a record shop and being able to be introduced to other bands / artists gets lost when simply clicking ‘buy’ online. Some of our customers have been visiting us since as early as the 50’s and are still good friends with each other today!”

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