Charlie’s Records: One Nation Under A Groove

Charlie Nicholson stands in front of his store off 50th and Classen Circle. Photo by: Hannah Colclazier Photography.

I may have a new favorite record store. Scratch that; I have a new favorite record store. Actually, I have a new favorite store. Or, I have a new favorite store besides Second Chance Books and Comics, which I visit probably between 1 and 3 times a week. (I like to think of it as my own personal Cheers. I’m not quite Norm yet…maybe Cliff Clavin, or more likely Frasier).

I have seen the future of my next obsession on which I will spend too much money: buying albums on vinyl that I most probably already have on CD and cassette tape.

Charlie’s Jazz-Rhythm & Blues Records, owned by Charlie Nicholson is located at 5114 Classen Circle, just a stone’s throw from the 51st St. Speakeasy. If you haven’t been to Charlie’s, you’ve been doing yourself a disservice. It’s located close enough to OCU that I felt an incredible sadness when I entered the store yesterday, because I didn’t know such an amazing store that caters to at least 85% of my musical tastes was so close. I spent three long semesters as a music performance major at OCU, during which I went through an almost pathological obsession with jazz, fusion, funk and soul from the ’60’s and ’70’s.

I didn’t have any cash on me yesterday when fellow OKC.NET editor Helen Grant and I went to Charlie’s, which may have been a good thing. I was frothing at the mouth when I saw their collection of records. I was so excited about the store, I went home and played guitar for around two hours, something that has grown increasingly rare in the last few years. You see, I learned to hate music in music school, and have barely played guitar since I left OCU for OU.

I can’t wait to go back to Charlie’s, hopefully with both cash and a healthy level of restraint. Listening to Charlie philosophize on the joy, community, and karma music can bring, and excitingly discussing Jaco Pastorius and Marcus Miller with Charlie’s colleague Rusty Moye made me feel something I haven’t truly felt in a long time. It made me nostalgic for the days when I would listen to music for hours at a time in my room at my parents’ house, reveling in Miles, Coltrane, Mingus, and Herbie Hancock, loving their licks, riffs, hotness, coolness, their inside jams, their outside jams, and everything in between. Charlie’s may become much more than a record store to me; like the protagonist in Gladys Knight’s transcendent classic Midnight Train to Georgia, I feel like I’m going back to find a simpler place and time. Today is the first day in a long time I can honestly say this since before I started music school: I love music.

Go visit Charlie’s Blues, Jazz, and R&B at 5114 N. Classen. His store is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 12pm to 7pm. They’re closed Sunday and Monday. For more information call the store at: 405-879-2240.

Photo By Helen Grant.

Photo by Helen Grant.

Photo by Helen Grant


Photos by Helen Grant

Photo by Helen Grant.

Photo by Helen Grant

Photo by Helen Grant.

4 comments to “Charlie’s Records: One Nation Under A Groove”
  1. Pingback: OKC NET Features Hannah Colclazier Photography | DC Wedding Photography

  2. I wish I was a more excellent writer so that I could do proper justice to the experience had at Charlie’s Jazz, R&B shop. How bout this; you now that transcendant feeling you get when the music is hittin your soul in just the right place? You know how it kinda leaves you a bit at a loss for words because you feel so touched, blessed & human? Charlie’s music shop is ALL about the music, the humanity & the love. Charlie & Rusty are the BEST in creating what a record shop should be, personal, highly informative & FILLED w/ good vibes. I wish to God I lived closer to OKC but I had the pleasure of capturing a bit of this feeling on film while I was shooting a documentary through town in 2007. Nothing but love, -=Charlie Pecoraro

  3. Charlie’s is food for thought, music for the soul, and memories that last. A timeless place. The best jazz and blues store in the southwest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *