Reid's Records, a one-stop shop for the gospel experience, will close after 75 years of family-owned business in October, Berkeleyside reported Tuesday.
The southwest Berkeley store, reportedly the state's oldest record shop, opened on Sacramento Street in 1945 to serve the East Bay's swelling black community. Diara Reid, daughter of the founders Mel and Betty, blamed gentrification and black depopulation for Reid's diminishing clientele, adding "no one buys CDs anymore."
Reid's was closed when a reporter visited during regular store hours Wednesday morning, a "For Rent" sign posted in the window of the two-story building. Choir robes hung on a rack behind the security gate, and a hopeful customer waited more than 30 minutes before driving away.
Reid's, as East Bay blues and jazz scribe Lee Hildebrand has written, opened in the emerging market of what was then called "race music."
In the 1950s Mel and his uncle Paul Reid partnered to promote gospel concerts at the Oakland Auditorium (later named for industrialist Henry J. Kaiser), presenting stars such as James Cleveland, The Staple Singers and the Rev. C.L. Franklin, whose revue included his teenage daughter, Aretha Franklin.