Shake Rattle & Read Used Books & Records at 4812 North Broadway in the Uptown neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago is closing after celebrating half a century in business in January. DNAInfo Chicago’s Josh McGhee first reported on this development on November 19, 2015.
Mr. McGhee wrote about Shake Rattle & Read’s history and imminent closure in greater detail on December 7, 2015 and updated the story on Saturday, February 13, 2016. Originally known as The Book Box, Ric Addy acquired the store from his sister and brother-in-law twenty years after they opened it.
At that time he received the keys on January 1, 1986, the walls were lined with bookcases and the middle was filled with book boxes. Having worked at record stores in Chicago and Evanston, and as a D.J., he had a personal collection of approximately 5,000 vinyl record albums, about half of which he put up for sale in the shop after he cleared the book boxes and acquired wooden bins from a record store that was going out of business.
When Borders had a superstore at Broadway and Lawrence (in a former Goldblatt’s Department Store building), it helped Addy’s business, but that superstore closed in 2001 (about ten years before Borders Group filed for bankruptcy and closed Borders and Waldenbooks). It also hurt his business that the Uptown Theater next door at 2812 North Broadway has never re-opened.
Further, the young audiences who see performances at Aragon Ballroom and the Riviera Theatre now grew up streaming music and have virtually no interest in purchasing second-hand compact discs. Addy estimated about 10% of these youths who stop by Shake Rattle & Read have an interest in vinyl records. He’s seen interest in the collection of music memorabilia for sale go up and down in cycles over the past thirty years.
Over the third weekend of January (Friday, January 15, 2016 to Monday, January 18, 2016), Addy celebrated his sixty-fourth birthday and Shake Rattle & Read celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation, as related on the store’s Facebook page. During the 50th Anniversary Sale, new vinyl LPs were 25% off and used books, magazines, and vinyl LPs were 50% off.
Addy revealed to McGhee that in retirement he will receive approximately $800 per month from Social security, which is not enough to live on, so he will continue selling merchandise online through eBay and Amazon after he closes the store. On Facebook, Addy stated he will depart Chicago when he retires.
According to the Reader’s Michah Uetricht, Addy will move to Florida. Mr. Uetricht also stated, in his article, posted online on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, that Shake Rattle & Read will close this spring.
Shake Rattle & Read is located a few blocks west of Montrose Beach in Lincoln Park and a few blocks east of Saint Boniface Catholic Cemetery. It is around the corner from the Aragon Ballroom on Lawrence Avenue and the Lawrence Stop on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line “L” (elevated train).