Merle’s Record Rack – 307 Racebrook Rd., Orange, Connecticut 06477
Vinyl Seeker ventured to Connecticut (our 16th state for those counting at home) to check out the best record stores the state had to offer. First up on our tour was the venerable Merle’s Record Rack. In addition to lps, Merle’s also sells 45s, 8 tracks and stereo gear (which he’ll fix if you’re in the need). But best of all, to me, was his collection of old and unique music playing devices (pictured below). I decided on an Emerson 888 “Explorer” nevabreak pocket radio (of course its broken, but I knew that when I bought it) and some nice picture sleeve 45s (including Don McLean’s American Pie). All in all a great collection of what can we find. Worth the trip to see what you can dig up.
Wanna go? You can find Merle’s Record Rack on our Record Stores Map
Here’s a picture of the store’s owner Mike Papa (who is not named Merle) who has been working in this store for 35 years. A nice guy who’ll be happy to discuss music with you.
And here’s a link to an article that appeared in the New Haven Register in August 2017 Merle’s Record Rack in Orange marks 55 years as vinyl sees resurgence interviewing Mike Papa about the store and its history.
Merle’s Record Rack made this article from Connecticut Magazine published in November 2016 of their 8 Favorite Record Stores Around Connecticut.
Here’s a video of the store, with an interview of its owner and several customers so you can see more of what it has to offer.
And finally, a video of the late great Johnny Winter at the store talking with Mike Papa. If any of you don’t know, Johnny was one of the all time great blues guitarists.