Best Selection of 45s

As anyone who has ever bought vinyl 45s through a site such as eBay can attest, the experience doesn't always deliver on the promise of convenience. Descriptions of goods as “mint” or “near-mint” become highly subjective behind the cloak of anonymity. Luckily for us, there's Mr. C's Rare Records, which boasts an impressive collection of 45 rpm records numbering in the tens of thousands. Owned by Everett “Mr. C.” Caldwell, the store is remarkable for its tiny-square-footage-to-massive-inventory ratio. It overflows with a maze of bins and features an entire wall of square cubbies jammed with vinyl singles. The staff is friendly and amenable to customers pulling stuff off shelves for a closer look. If you can't find something, ask, as they often have what you're looking for in the back. Ever wanted to get a copy of the Fleetwoods' song “Come Softly to Me,” the one that never made it to the Stand By Me soundtrack? Mr. C's has several, varying in price from $8 to $15. You'll also find Shirley Ellis, the Honeydrippers, Sam Cooke and a bunch of stuff you didn't even know you wanted. Yes, it will cost you more, but you won't have anyone to blame but yourself if you purchase damaged goods. Besides, which vinyl connoisseur doesn't enjoy the tactile pleasure of thumbing through stacks of music to find a hidden gem? With a reported 60,000 singles in the store, chances are good you'll find something you like.

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