Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Echoes of Rainbow Records

The warm sound of a former OKC classic



 

As a kid, I routinely struggled to choose between the immediate gratification of spending my allowance on a Mars Almond Bar after school and the longer-term satisfaction of saving it up and buying Cher’s latest record on a weekend trip to TG&Y. As an adult, I got incredible joy from walking into Peaches Records at NW 63rd and May, Randy’s Music & Movies in Edmond and Sound Warehouse in the old Lakeside Theater. But the pièce de résistance was Rainbow Records. The original store opened at NW 23rd and Classen in 1975. It soon expanded to other locations on N May, SW 74th and Penn and eventually in Norman.

“My first job was at Sound Warehouse,” says Scott Booker, a former manager at Rainbow Records. “But I loved Rainbow because it was so much cooler. They sold both new and used records, posters, everything. I shopped there all the time, and finally they asked me if I wanted to work there.”

The store had already been in business about a decade when Booker joined the team in 1985. In those days, Madonna, Tina Turner and Wham! were burning up the charts – but so were alternative bands such as REM, Sonic Youth and a new local group called the Flaming Lips.

“That’s where I first met them,” Booker says of the Lips. “Members of the band shopped there all the time, and they had released their first album on a small independent label. They were definitely on their way up.”

Rainbow Records had a wide selection and was also a place for music lovers to just come in and hang out, he said.

“Customers would come to shop, of course, but it was also a place to talk about and learn about new songs and artists. Someone might come in and want an album by REM, and I would say, ‘Yeah, that’s a great album. But have you heard of this group? Listen to it and see if you like them.’ That’s something you just don’t get today when you go to stores like Best Buy.”

Today, vinyl has found new life among millennials, who are discovering the joy of placing the needle on the record and hearing the warm sound like no other format.

“If you love music, or a particular artist or band, you want to feel connected to them,” Booker says. “CDs and MP3s don’t give you the same feeling as vinyl. If you’re young and into Taylor Swift or somebody, you can hold their record in your hand. You can look at the cover, which is a piece of art itself. You can hang it on the wall if you want, and that’s something you could never do with a CD. I’m happy vinyl is back, and I think it will stay around a long time.”

These days, Booker manages his former customers, the Flaming Lips. He’s worked for the band for nearly 30 years now, and loves what he does. But thinking back on his early days at Rainbow Records still makes him happy.

“When I first heard you were doing a story on Rainbow Records, I smiled,” he tells me. “Those were good days. I work for the Lips now, and it all started at Rainbow. Together, we have all lived out our rock and roll dreams.”

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Weekend 101

See what's up in the 405!

TERRITORY AHEAD

The Grave of an Honest Man Stories in Stone: George Lowrey

A Life in Paint

The arresting, brilliant and often controversial work of Oklahoma artist Jeff Dodd in on display at Oklahoma City University for a very limited time.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

January 2020

No Events
No Events
No Events
No Events

This quintessential New Orleans musical institution guarantees an electrifying night of music! The group will perform songs from their most recent releases as well as traditional New Orleans...

Cost: Varying

Where:
McKnight Center Performance Hall
419 S. Monroe
Stillwater, OK  74074
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

An opera for our time. This stirring work delves into the life of Jim Thompson, the real-life Vietnam veteran who was the longest-held prisoner of war in American history, and the issues he faced...

Cost: $35-$50

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Painted Sky Opera
Telephone: 405-594-8300
Website »

More information

By Tom Cipullo An opera for our time. This stirring work delves into the life of Jim Thompson, the real-life Vietnam veteran who was the longest-held prisoner of war in American history, and the...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Painted Sky Opera
Telephone: 405-594-8300
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

We're poppin' champagne on the patio this Saturday and raffling off a bottle of Perrier-Jouet valued at $300! Come pre-party with us and DJ Catherine Ouellette from 6pm-10pm -...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel
1, N Broadway Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »

More information

An opera for our time. This stirring work delves into the life of Jim Thompson, the real-life Vietnam veteran who was the longest-held prisoner of war in American history, and the issues he faced...

Cost: $35-$50

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Painted Sky Opera
Telephone: 405-594-8300
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags