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Does This Thing Still Work? Recalling the Ernie November Record Club

SiouxFalls.Business, used with permission
SiouxFalls.Business, used with permission

I ran across this post from SiouxFalls.Business about the purchase of the building that was the former site of Ernie November records.

It triggered a memory of walking into the iconic West 12th Street store when it first opened back in 1983.

I have a specific recollection of buying my Ernie November Record Club card. I was number 301, I believe. My brother Aaron had visited a few days before me and told me about the club, which gave you a discount on purchases.

He was forever able to claim the victory of a double digit Ernie’s card over my pathetic 301.

It was a wonderful place, filled with new music you’d never heard of, long rows of new vinyl and some cassettes. Posters, wall tapestry, sandals made from used tire treads, various things to burn for ambience, stickers and a lot of other merchandise that you couldn’t find anywhere else.

It had an underground or subversive feel that teenage me found alluring.

You can still find that general atmosphere at the current Ernie November location on 2135 S. Minnesota Ave. But the notion of record store where you learn more about the world is a thing of the past. You know, what with the Internet all.

I still have my card, though.

Not sure if owner Steve Merry still honors it, but I’m going to stop in and try. I need some stickers and maybe a Bob Marley T-shirt.

Jodi Schwan of SiouxFalls.Business will be my guest on The Patrick Lalley show on Tuesday.

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