Brothers Wayne and Gary Johnson began re-selling albums in 1979 after attending one of the legendary record swap meets in the Capitol Records parking lot in Hollywood. What began as a hobby more than 35 years ago quickly turned into a business when they were virtually forced to open a store, if only to house their growing collection!
Rockaway purchased Rainbow Records, a small well-known record store in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. They now started selling new and used records and cassettes in addition to collectibles. Rockaway grew so quickly that they had to move 2 more times, finally settling into the present Silver Lake location in 1992.
While many independent record stores (and most chains) in Los Angeles have closed, Rockaway is flourishing. Wayne and Gary are aggressively acquiring extensive record industry collections and purchasing personal collections of CDs, records, DVDs, concert-related items, tour programs, toys, as well as rock ‘n’ roll promo items and collectibles. Frequently paying five and six figures for valuable collections, Rockaway has paid $600,000 for a single collection of vinyl and $150,000 for a CD collection.
“It’s remarkable to reflect on founding Rockaway Records over 35 years ago and to have actively witnessed the evolution and revolution of an entire industry in a mere three decades. We’re extremely proud of our success and know how fortunate we are to be not only weathering a difficult economy, but continuing to make key acquisitions and grow during such a volatile time,” said Wayne Johnson, co-founder Rockaway Records. “While we have seen a number of our independent peers come and go over the years, what we offer is more unique than any big box retailer could ever possibly undertake. We are continually looking ahead and plan to not only remain relevant in years to come, but aggressive in the retail marketplace. Trends come and go everyday, but real style and substance is always rediscovered. We feel that moment everyday we open our doors.”
Not only are collectibles in demand for their novelty, but also for their potential appreciation. One often-overlooked area is music memorabilia. These collectibles have yielded some impressive returns. The Johnson brothers are known throughout the world for their honesty and for paying the fairest prices for records and memorabilia. They regularly travel the United States and overseas to purchase private collections and make certain that sellers receive the highest market price.