Wallichs Music City

Wallichs Music City was a record store[1] in Hollywood, California, USA, founded by Glenn E. Wallichs,[2] that also had stores in West Covina,[3][4] Lakewood,[5] Canoga Park, Costa Mesa, Torrance, Buena Park,[6] and Hawthorne[7] from 1940–1978 and was one of the first to display cellophane sealed albums in racks.[8] Wallichs stayed open until 2 a.m.[9]

Glenn Wallichs[]

Glenn Everett Wallichs was born August 9, 1910 in Grand Island, Nebraska,[10] to Union Pacific accountant Oscar Wallichs. In 1926, the family moved to North Hollywood. In 1932, Wallichs opened a radio shop in Los Angeles, later opening five other shops in the area. In the mid‐1930s, he started two recording studios.[11] In 1940, Wallichs opened Music City, at Sunset & Vine. In 1946, Wallichs left the business to his brother Clyde.[12] Glenn Wallichs died in 1971,[10] and Wallichs Music City closed in 1978.[13]


External images
image icon Wallich's Music City, at Sunset and Vine, Hollywood 1953, by Sid Avery
image icon Wallichs Music City with Capitol Records on the 2nd floor, circa 1946[14]
image icon Eddie Cochran shuffling through albums at the Wallichs Music City

Wallichs Music City was located on the northwest corner of Sunset & Vine and operated from 1940 to 1978. Owner Glenn E. Wallichs, along with Tin Pan Alley songsmith Johnny Mercer and ex-Paramount movie producer Buddy De Sylva, had founded Capitol Records,[15] starting in a small office on Vine Street in 1942[16] and then moving to larger offices above the store in 1946. After Capitol Records moved to the Capitol Tower in 1956, the offices became the home of Dot Records.

In an era when most recorded music was sold through mom and pop stores, Wallichs Music City became the premier record store in Southern California and the world's largest specialty record store.[17][18][19]

As the market for recorded music evolved during the 1950s and 1960s, it was a source of tickets, sheet music, vinyl (initially 78s, then LP's & 45's) and tapes (8 track and cassette). They also sold TV sets and musical instruments.[20][21]

It was one of the first music stores to seal record albums in cellophane and put them in display racks for customers to browse.[8] The racks were tabletop height trapezoid-shaped browser boxes (designed by Capitol Records' Frederick Rice) that allowed the covers to be viewed like a card index. The store was also the first to have demonstration booths for listening to records.[22]

The store became a hub of the L.A. music scene.[23] Music fans flocked there to meet artists like Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Johnny Mercer and Nat King Cole to have them sign sheet music of their latest hits. Frank Zappa worked part-time there in 1965 as a salesman in the singles department.[24][25] Radio ads featured Wallichs, who would sing the jingle "It's Music City" (to the first notes of "Rock-a-bye Baby," with the following four bars covered by a jazz ensemble), followed by news of specials, upcoming events, etc.[19]

In 1963, the vocal group The Pleasures recorded the song "Music City" as a tribute to the store.[13]



  1. ^ "Wallich's Music City - Former Sunset And Vine Location In Hollywood". rockandrollroadmap.com. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Apply for a Trademark. Search a Trademark". trademarkia.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Wallich's Music City West Covina Location Of Famous Record Store". rockandrollroadmap.com. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  4. ^ "WHEN WE WERE HOME: Wallich's Music City". westcovinalapuentebaldwinpark.blogspot.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Wallich's Music City Woodland Hills Location In Topanga Plaza". rockandrollroadmap.com. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  6. ^ Sam Gnerre (11 July 2015). "Wallichs Music City Opens For Business In Torrance". blogs.dailybreeze.com. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Songs in the Key of L.A." songsinthekeyofla.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Record Store Day Rejoices With Last Shop Standing". grammy.com. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Wallichs Music City - Collection Connections". collectionconnections.com. 12 September 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Glenn Wallichs (1910-1971) - Find A Grave..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  11. ^ "GLEN E. WALLICHS, MUSIC EXECUTIVE". nytimes.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Wallich's Music City". morethanredcars.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  13. ^ a b Roberts, Randall. "With Amoeba Records' Hollywood location in limbo, what's the fate of music retail on Sunset?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Water and Power Associates". waterandpower.org. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Capitol Records -". johnnymercerfoundation.org. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  16. ^ "The Record Company Headquarters that Revived 1950s Hollywood with Iconic Architecture". archdaily.com. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Wallichs Music City". Duke Digital Collections. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  18. ^ Alison Martino (7 July 2011). "Want to buy a record with Mel Blanc at Wallichs Music City / "Vintage Los Angeles" on Facebook". Retrieved 6 August 2018 – via YouTube.
  19. ^ a b historycomestolife (19 January 2014). "Wallach's Music City Sunset and Vine early 1950s". Retrieved 6 August 2018 – via YouTube.
  20. ^ "Remembering L.A.'s First Great Record Store, Wallichs Music City". lamag.com. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  21. ^ Alison Martino (10 June 2015). "Wallich's Music City at Sunset and Vine early 1950s". Retrieved 6 August 2018 – via YouTube.
  22. ^ "Crowd of teenagers enjoying music in Wallichs Music City ~ Hi Res #90158631". pond5.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  23. ^ Daze with Jordan the Lion (21 September 2017). "#411 WALLICHS Music City & Capital Records (9/21/17)". Retrieved 6 August 2018 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ "Wallich's Music City - Zappa Wiki Jawaka". wiki.killuglyradio.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  25. ^ Zappa, Frank. The Real Frank Zappa Book. London: Picador, 1989. p. 61

External links[]