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Featured this month month Joe Nardone of Gallery of Sound.

Joe Nardone Sr.
Joe Nardone, Sr. of
Gallery of Sound

If you long for the days when the record store was downtown and had on sale the latest album from your favorite recording star, then you will want to get to know PRIMO advertiser Gallery of Sound.

The company founded by Joe Nardone, Sr., and today managed by him and his son Joe, Jr., is first and foremost a retail store, with several locations in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Nardone traces his family’s roots to the province of Naples. Just like the Italian city, his record store Gallery of Sound has something for everyone. The store has a massive inventory of musical recordings in all mediums including CDs, DVDs, tapes and good old vinyl. Gallery of Sound’s online outlet ranks as one of the most comprehensive in the country. It all comes down to a passion for music. That gives the Nardones an advantage over the competition. You can find Gallery of Sound’s ad on page 15 of PRIMO’s spring first edition 2012.

For PRIMO readers in love with Italian music, the great crooners of the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, Gallery of Sound is the place to shop. The record store has an immense selection of records, albums, CDs and DVDs of the likes of Frank Sinatra, Vic Damone, Perry Como, Jerry Vale, you name them! Not only that, Gallery of Sound also features an impressive array of music from contemporary Italian singers and musicians.

Recently, PRIMO interviewed Joe, Sr., to get an idea of what it is like to run an independent record store today, and what it takes to compete successfully against large online venues and national chain stores.

What led you to start a records store?

It was a natural for me to get into the record business. I was a musician and had a rock n roll band called JOE NARDONE & ALL STARS. We played all over the East Coast, but mostly in Wilkes Barre - Scranton area. We played for 10 years at an amusement park ballroom, Sans Souci Park, during the summer months and brought many acts to appear with us: Dion & The Belmonts, Mitch Ryder, Danny & The Juniors, Bobby Darin, and many more, but the most famous was Neil Diamond. We had him three times. He’d drive in from Brooklyn with his guitar and my band would back him up. Great memories. We made three records on a national label with the biggest hit we ever had, "Shake a Hand" which is the title of our CD.

What is most impressive of Gallery of Sound is its extensive collection of music. Just how big is the inventory at Gallery of Sound? 

We pride ourselves in having a "deep catalog" in all categories....Rock, Rap, Country, Italian, Irish, Polish, Broadway, Jazz, Children's, Oldies, Doo Wop, etc. This is why we have been able to stay in business while many record stores are closing. The big box stores like Best Buy, Walmart, Target, K Mart and others can't come close to our selection and service.

Provide us with highlights of some of the Italian and Italian American recording artists you have; especially those that people can't get any place else.

When it comes to Italian music, in addition to Italian American singers like Dean Martin, Jerry Vale, Al Martino, Sinatra, Connie Francis, Joni James, Vic Damone, Sergio Franchi, we also have Claudio Villa, Domenico Modugno, Sergio Bruni, Renato Carosone, Robertino, Adriano Celentano and more. Because some of the true Italian singers do not have full CD's available we stock many compilations with a variety of these names on the packages that are usually two and three CD sets; and not at high import prices, but in the $9.00 to $15.00 price range for two and three CD packages.

Do you sell a lot of vinyl records and albums? They seem to be making a comeback.

Yes, we are selling a ton of vinyl! My son is very active in our business and we participate in what is called "Record Store Day." He buys "new" pressed vinyl and buys and sells used vinyl. There are people that want to clear out their attics and basements and we buy all we can get...and sell all we can get in all four of our stores. We have two in Wilkes Barre, one in Scranton and one in Hazleton. We are selling easy listening LP's for one & two dollars. For example, a whole bunch of Sinatra went out yesterday, each at two dollars!!! The rock n roll, which the "kids" are buying sell for a little bit more, depending on the condition. Record Store day is a national event where major companies press special editions on vinyl and are only available at independent record stores and not a box stores. Just Google Record Store Day. It's a major event! The re-pressed new vinyl is costly at anywhere from $15 to $25...but worth it!

Connie Francis and The Rat Pack That's Amore'
Andiamo Bobby Darin


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