Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Marietta's Sweet Melissa Records

Marietta, Georgia is a small town twenty minutes from Atlanta. If you've been to Atlanta you're probably familiar with the Little Five Points neighbourhood, with Criminal Records and a great used record shop around the corner from each other. You wouldn't suspect to find yet another amazing record store twenty minutes from the city, in the back of an antique shop, but that's exactly what happened to me on a recent southern sojourn.

Sweet Melissa's antique shop is full of model planes, post cards, furniture, and military memorabilia. Finding a few gems in a dollar bin at such a shop would not be such a shocker, but Melissa carries a wide selection of vinyl used and new and the quality of her collection is on par with standard bearers such as Toronto's Rotate This. Considering the size of Marietta (population 58, 748), and the difficult times many record shops are having, finding Sweet Melissa's record shop was a little surreal.

The highlight of the visit was finding a copy of The Kinks "Arthur" with the Queen Victoria paper doll inside, I also picked up Leonard Cohen's "Songs From a Room," The Cramps "Songs The Lord Might Have Taught Us," and from the dollar bin, Hank Williams' "I Saw The Light," Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman," and Sweet Melissa threw in Prince's "Dirty Mind" for free. I almost bought a Sonny Boy Williamson record, but I wasn't sure which Sonny Boy it was- the guitarist or the harmonica player- so I didn't bite. There were lots of blues records, new indie/pop records, and collectors items aplenty.

When I left Sweet Melissa Records to join my parents for lunch across the street, a man at the next table spotted the square bag under my arm and asked what records I'd found. He was in town for a business lunch with a colleague, so he didn't know about Sweet Melissa's shop. When he saw the Cramps record, he asked me, "Do you know who produced this? Alex Chilton. Have you ever heard of Big Star?" As it turns out, the friendly fellow- A.J.- hosts a community radio show on WWOZ in New Orleans. You never know who you're going to meet in America.

You can visit Sweet Melissa Records online at:

Happy Listening,

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