Harry’s Music Store Now Open

During the 6 months Harry’s Music Store was closed—they moved down the street to 3270 Waialae Ave—Aloha Got Soul received a lot of traffic from web searches like “harry’s music store is it open yet”.

It’d finally open, folks. According to their website:

“Thank you so much to our loyal customers, friends, and family for waiting so patiently as we set up our new store. A lot of time and energy has gone into building our new home. We are very happy with what we have accomplished, and we hope that you will be too. Please join us on Saturday, July 7th as we celebrate the grand opening of our new store and open our doors to welcome back  all our friends and family.”

Harry's Music Store: Now Open
Harry’s Music Store: Now Open

The new Harry’s Music Store

Harry’s Music Store is now in a brand new building (their previous location was at its last moments), and there’s plenty of free parking at the new storefront.

Plus, I think they are selling vinyl records at the new shop.

I pulled up to Harry’s at 5:30pm a week after July 7th. The store was closed, but I snapped a few photos of the interior and peered inside. I think I saw some vinyl in there, but I’ve yet to step inside the new location so I’m only 50% sure. „hat I saw could’ve been music books, but then again, it’s pretty hard to mistake 12″ x 12″  shapes for anything but an LP.

Has anyone been to the new Harry’s Music Store location at 3270 Waialae Ave?

A peek through the front window reveals a clean, spacious interior. Do I see records? Maybe.
A peek through the front window reveals a clean, spacious interior. Do I see records? Maybe.

The old Harry’s Music Store + free music

I gained a lot of press from the internet world for my 1x10x100 mixtape series, which curated the 100 vinyl records I bought at Harry’s in January for only $10. Listen to the 1x10x100 mixtapes now.

Check out photos from the clearance sale at Harry’s:

Read: “Harry’s Music Store Closing, Reopening

Free Mixtape: 1x10x100 (Harry’s Music Store)

One store, ten dollars, one hundred records.

That’s what this free mixtape is all about. It’s called 1x10x100, and you can download it here.

No, you won’t find any Hawaiian music on this release, because 1x10x100 sings to a different tune—it’s an ode to Harry’s Music Store and the soulful vinyl records that populated the shop’s record bins.

1x10x100: Free LPs at Harry's Music Store
1x10x100: Free LPs at Harry’s Music Store

In January 2012, Harry’s humble music shop held a massive clearance sale. Vinyl LPs and 45s were practically free.

Over the course of one weekend, I spent a total of $10 and scored nearly 100 records: soul, funk, disco, pop, jazz, fusion. I walked away enlightened by my experience, and I want you to hear what I found.

1x10x100: 45s at Harry's Music Store
1x10x100: 45s at Harry’s Music Store

1x10x100 is a glimpse of the scores of soul music available in Hawaii music stores during the late 1970s and 1980s—and today. The mixtape gives record collectors who are digging in Hawaii a 60-minute slice of what they might find.

1x10x100 is a showcase not of Hawaiian music, but funky, groove-laden cuts from mainland groups that no doubt influenced a string of artists here in Honolulu (and thus generating local music like this).

Plus, 1x10x100 is another excuse for me to share great music with you.

Download 1x10x100 now.

1x10x100: Harry's Music Store Mixtape
Click the image above to download 1x10x100: Harry’s Music Store Mixtape

Here’s a sample of the mixtape (there’s 17 tracks total):

Tell me what you think!

Comment below, send a note on Facebook, or make a small donation.

Harry’s Music Store Closing, Reopening

For nearly 65 years, Harry’s Music Store has given the greatest gift to the local community that any business ever could: the gift of music.

This family business serves Oahu residents as the go-to shop for everything musical. The now closed (and soon re-opening) Harry’s Music Store encompasses 10,000 square feet and even more instruments, sheet music, vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, song books, and some of the island’s most knowledgeable and influential musicians and tastemakers.

The closing and re-opening of Harry’s

Next month, the shop is moving down the street to a location that’s about one-tenth the size of what it is now.

It’ll be the third time Harry’s Music Store has moved since opening 1946. It’s first location was just across the street, but the iconic green building in Kaimuki is the distinctive characteristic that most people remember Harry’s by.

Harry's Music Store
The distinctive storefront on Waialae Ave.

“The gaudy green, two-story, 55-year-old-plus building, with its chipped paint, crumbling walls and large puka in the ceiling—where an elevator was supposed to have gone—exudes character.

‘When people walk in this door, they don’t come as a person who just happened to pass by,’ vice president Alan Yoshioka said. ‘They come from Ewa Beach, Kaneohe or Kailua,’ looking for specific items.” — Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 23, 1996 

The clearance sale: everything must go

Harry’s is moving down the street, but they can’t take everything with them. So what’s a business to do? Move out inventory, quick.

So the music store hosted a 3-day weekend clearance sale with ridiculously low prices (records were cheaper than toilet paper, @shackwax said).

After spending three days digging through the albums for cheap—cheap!—records, I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t ever been to Harry’s before, because I had come across some fantastic albums.

I frequent Jelly’s and Hungry Ear Records (and thrift shops, too), but for some reason I always thought Harry’s was strictly devoted to instruments and songbooks, not vinyl records.

The massive weekend clearance sale at Harry’s Music Store proved me wrong. What I found were dozens of handfuls of quality soul and funk albums and singles. Jackpot.

Harry's Music Store Closing Clearance Sale
Harry’s Music Store Clearance Sale. LPs were 5 for $1 on Friday, 10 for $1 on Saturday, and free on Sunday.
A happy customer at the Harry's Music Store Clearance Sale
A happy customer at the Harry’s Music Store Clearance Sale
Dedicated collectors wait for Harry's to open on Sunday morning.
Dedicated collectors wait for Harry’s to open on Sunday morning. Practically everything was free.
Harry's Music Store is closed, and will reopen in February.
Harry’s Music Store is closed, and will reopen in February.

Unfortunately the bins didn’t offer any Hawaiian music (maybe other local collectors picked it clean before I arrived, but I doubt there was much to begin with). Fortunately, I’ve increased the size of my record collection at a bargain price—about 10 cents a record!

Meet Alan Yoshioka

Aside from the records, I wanted to find out what the rest of the store was like, so I introduced myself to vice president Alan Yoshioka and asked him to give me a quick tour.

Alan’s footprint in the local Hawaiian music scene spreads wide and far. He’s one of the originators of the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, Hawaii’s most prestigious music awards.

“I think about 100% of Hawaii’s musicians know me,” he told me. It’s probably true, because although Alan’s role in the Na Hoku Awards goes unnoticed if you’re attending the ceremonies, this man works harder than most throughout the year to prepare for the show.

Alan Yoshioka of Harry's Music Store.
Alan examines my business card.
A painting of Harry's Music Store by Vel Tong, 1999.
A painting of Harry’s Music Store by Vel Tong, 1999.
Alan Yoshioka of Harry's Music Store.
Alan Yoshioka of Harry’s Music Store talks about the history of the shop.
Storage areas = curious wonders. What can be found in here?
Storage areas = curious wonders. What can be found in here?

I told Alan I like the music of Hawaii’s 1970s and 80s music scene, like Kalapana and Mackey Feary.

Mackey Feary? You know, I was at Kalapana’s first record release show and I remember saying, ‘Who are these guys?’ Nobody had heard of Mackey or the rest of the guys before. In fact, I remember most of the media not being there because Kalapana wasn’t so well known at the time.”

A lifelong legacy

Harry’s three nephews, Alan, Glenn, and Clayton, have been with the shop since its early beginnings.

The year 2012 marks a new beginning for Harry’s Music Store, which will continue to supply the instruments and instructors necessary to the survival of Hawaii’s musical legacy.

Psst. Want to hear some of the music I found at Harry’s? Check out this free mixtape.