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.
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.
“I enjoy owning it while it's here,” Dunning said.
The shelves hold a stack of Sun Records 45s, including Carl Perkins' “Honey Don't.”
There is sheet music to Ricky Nelson's “Lonesome Town” and a rack of Hit Parader issues and other bygone music magazines that targeted teenagers.
Andy Griffith's “Just For Laughs” album is on a rack and one hallway is full of 78s with rare children's sets. Dunning estimates he has more than 100,000 45s still in boxes.
Fans of vinyl
Record collecting continues to be trendy, said Dunning, who has had the itch since that first live rock 'n' roll show.
Younger fans of vinyl walk through the doors daily, he said.
Visitors might find the 1960 Gardena label 45 RPM from Paul Revere and The Raiders “Beatnick Sticks,” or a Stan Purdy and his Orchestra recording of the “Mike Hammer” theme song.
Some people collect records for the artwork on the album covers, he said.
Dunning said his grandfather A.R. Daugherty got him hooked on collecting rare items.
Daugherty was into antiques.
“He dragged me around to shops all over Oklahoma. He loved Oklahoma history,” Dunning said.
About eight months ago, Dunning got a tip about a large cache of records at an estate in Yukon. He jumped on it and is still sorting through what he bought.
“I love oddball stuff. Stuff that baby boomers saw that their parents had growing up,” Dunning said.
His records are sold at affordable prices — most of the albums are about $6 — with the condition of the record determining the worth.
For Dunning, the store is keeping his love of music in good condition.
“It's a lot of fun,” he said. “It's just loads of fun to come here every day.”