Shangri-La Records, 1916 Madison Ave., Memphis Tennessee 38104
One of the country’s best (it made Rolling Stone’s 2010 best of list) this Memphis institution resides in a house filled to the brim with records of all genres. When the store was originally set up, it featured sensory deprivation flotation tanks and brain tuners – googles and head phones that played music with flashing lights. Needless to say, this version of the store tanked (sorry, couldn’t resist) but gave birth to a great record store (two if you count Goner, its Memphis offspring). It will take quite some time to dig through all the store has to offer, particularly if you want to try your new finds out before purchase. Local Memphis records are featured too, as you will see from the pictures below. While in Memphis, don’t forget to listen to some live music. From time to time, you’ll find some on the porch.
I’ve seen records of all shapes and sizes in my travels, but this was truly a first – a record album that came with playing cards!
Here’s a story from the Memphis Daily News 30 Years of Shangri La from March 30, 2018, interviewing one of the store’s owners about the store and its history.
And here’s another, from the Memphis Flyer, Shangri La Turns 25 from November 2013, with a picture of one of the store’s owners, Jared McStay, wearing one of their cool t-shirts. By the way, if you are going to Memphis and looking for what’s playing in the clubs, the Memphis Flyer is the publication for you – it comes out on Wednesday, and lists who’s playing in town.
And here’s YouTube video from Eso Getting To Know Shangri-La that will give you a good idea of what the store is all about.