Woojae Julia Song, a photographer and reporter with Catchlight Local, a nonprofit news organization focused on visual journalism, recently interviewed Black business owners and entrepreneurs for a series about the Paycheck Protection Plan co-produced by Catchlight, the nonpartisan government watchdog organization Better Government Association, suburban weekly Village Free Press and Austin Weekly News.
As part of her reporting, Song interviewed and photographed Marie Henderson, who owns Out of the Past Records, 4407 W. Madison St. Henderson opened the store with her husband Charlie in 1986. Marie’s story didn’t make it into the final edit, but we felt readers would draw inspiration from the interview nonetheless. We’re publishing an excerpt from that interview as this week’s West Side Lives.
My husband and I have owned about 10 stores. We closed them down and combined them into two before combining them into this store in 1986. We called it Out of the Past Dusty Records, because we stayed close to the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s music.
We basically deal with old music. We do some new music, but we basically deal with old music. We have clientele from Europe, including Germany, and England. Different countries. Some people who come in I’ve gotten to know them real well.
A lot of people still want that old music. So, we decided to keep it as it was — as an old record shop where people could come in and browse around, look for what they want and ask questions. My granddaughter and another gentleman are the two that handle everything in the store and they’re very good at it. People have come to love them, because they’re keeping to the old, traditional music.
I love my old music — from Doo-wop, to R&B dusties, to old Jazz and some classical music. We’re a dealer of old music.
I’ve had two floods in my basement and have lost thousands of records down there. I try not to put anything down there, because of the flooding in that basement. But I’d say we have over a million records in the store.