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Oklahoma City record shop keeps the music spinning

John Dunning, who owns Trolley Record Shop in Oklahoma City, has been collecting records and memorabilia since 1964. He recently opened a shop in Oklahoma City's historic Gatewood district after purchasing a huge collection at an estate sale.
by Robert Medley Published: July 22, 2012

Across the street from what once was the University Station Interurban Trolley Line stop in the historic Gatewood neighborhood, John Dunning is tucked away with some of his best friends.

There may be more than 100,000 of them.

Dunning, 60, said the records he has collected are his daily companions. And he has yet to count all of them.

His Trolley Stop Record Shop is his latest depository for all things he acquired a taste for on the evening of Dec. 6, 1964.

That night, 13-year-old Dunning was with friends at the Oklahoma City Municipal Auditorium when the Dave Clark Five, direct from England, introduced him to live rock 'n' roll. His seat that night cost $4.50.

His investment in music started then; his collection is worth a whole lot more today.

The record shop, 1807 N Classen Blvd., is open seven days a week and has seasonal record swap events with live music.

“You come in here and look at these (records), and it's like seeing old friends,” Dunning said.

Music, memorabilia

In the 1970s, Dunning was one of the operators of The Prairie Lady music venue on NW 39. He restored the Owl Court former motel on Britton Road and still owns it. He also owns the Western Trail Trading Post on N Western Avenue.

Now in the Gatewood district, he has parked most of his collection in a building that was Ike Hall Real Estate, Insurance and Bonds for many years in the mid-20th century.

There is Oklahoma history within those walls on shelves and boxed up in Dunning's shop, like a record album titled “We Love Folks” from the 1960s recorded by music duo and furniture salesmen Jude 'n' Jody.

An original poster from the 1964 Dave Clark show in Oklahoma City hangs near the front desk.

Some of the rare records by Oklahoma artists may not be for sale. But most everything else is.

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