Friday, January 11, 2013

Sally's Place: A Special Music Store

Sally's Place, on the 2nd floor at 190 Main Street.
picture courtesy of Dan Woog
I've wanted to write about my local record shop, Sally's Place (190 Main Street, Westport CT 06880 203-454-0303) since I began this blog but could never write a piece that I was happy enough with, one that provided the proper understanding of just how special the place really is in this age of the internet and on-line music. How to let people know about the amazing collection inside, not only of jazz but of opera, classical, show music, rock, folk, zydeco, and on and on. But it is the jazz collection that stands out, because first and foremost Sally is a jazz fan. She comes by that naturally, as a classmate in high school of Horace Silver, as a friend of label and club owners and frequenter of the jazz clubs in New York City, just a train ride away, and from being there to close down Bradley's in the wee hours. She has stories galore about the shows, the people, and the clubs, and counts among her friends some of the major names in the arts who made Westport an the surrounding towns their home -- Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward have a prominent place on her walls and in her heart, but also Dave Brubeck, Alan Arkin, John Scofiled, Adam Nussbaum, Benny Wallace and so many others. She has fans all over  the country who once lived here and still keep in touch and call for music they know only she can find, and  musicians who found a place to hear music growing up and are now prominent players. When you've been on Main Street for over 50 years and in your own store over 25 selling music and doing what you love best, life is like that.

I was so pleased today to read in one of the local blogs about Sally ( , and even more pleased to find a short film about her that captures her essence and the essence of the store by Claire Bangser, one of her many loyal customers and evidently an aspiring film-maker.  Sally doesn't like publicity much, and hates having her picture taken, so this tribute is extra special and is a wonderful insight into "Sally's Place," which I hope you all get to visit sometime. I am glad I waited to post -- I could never have done her justice like Claire does.

Enjoy the film -- here is the link, which is also in Dan Woog's blogpost:

Sally's Place is a home to music-lovers and a community for us. I wish everyone could have a place like this and a Sally White.

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