A CERTAIN Herald writer recalls, as a music-crazed teenager in the early 1970s, writing an eager letter to Gloria’s Record Bar, one of Glasgow’s best-known music stores. The letter said that he was hoping to visit the city soon, and would it at all be possible for the music shop to send him an advance list of its LPs?

The polite if slightly bemused reply said that, in essence, they had much more stock than could realistically be itemised but that the writer was welcome to visit at his convenience. (Which he did, more than once).

Gloria’s had an interesting beginning. Back in 1956, Mrs Betty Blint’s dress shop in Battlefield, Glasgow, was struggling. Her daughter Gloria (the Evening Times reported in 1970, when this picture was taken), received record tokens as a present, and when she came home with records, the penny dropped: why not sell vinyl in the shop?

Ten of the then most popular 78s were consequently displayed alongside the dresses, and a trend was born. The stock of vinyl grew rapidly. The dresses stopped being sold.

Tape cassettes and acoustic guitars were added later.

It could be slightly chaotic when someone wanted to listen to the latest Frank Sinatra record while someone else asked to hear the newest Rolling Stones single. So the Blint family bought the shop next door, turning it into a ‘pop shop’. The original unit housed the ‘adult record shop’.

“Now the records don’t get mixed up and the customers don’t get in each other’s way. Everyone is happy”, said Gloria’s brother, Howard.

Among the artists whose records were sold by Gloria’s in 1970 were Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Ten Years After, Pink Floyd, James Taylor, the Grateful Dead, Van Morrison, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, the Everly Brothers – and, yes, Frank Sinatra, to say nothing of Nancy Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Chacksfield, Mantovani and Sacha Distel.

Tomorrow: Gloria’s, 1971