Have you ever been to a restaurant where they not only remembered your name but they remembered how you liked your food prepared and what salad dressing you prefer? It makes you feel at home doesn’t it? Well, Birdland Music is such a place for music lovers. Barry Friedman and the gang at Birdland have a way to make you feel like family. It’s been said that if you have been in the store twice Barry remembers your name and if you have been in there three times he knows what you like. Music stores like that are hard to find with all the big chain stores.
When you visit Birdland Music you will not only find all the latest and the greatest but can find the stuff that has been missing in your collection for a long time. Quite often I have browsed through the thousands of titles to come across something that just blew me away at the very thought that I was holding it in my hands. (Oh man… a copy of “Fanny Adams” can you believe this!) Not only will you find what you are looking for but Barry is a data base of musical knowledge that could fill your hard drive. I have tried to stump him. I can’t do it. He may be part machine, I don’t know. Barry has surrounded himself with a great crew also. You presently have Kip Ludwig who is the 12″ Vinyl King (Birdland has the biggest selection of 12″ vinyl in the state.), Craig Cope, the Rundgren, Prince, Pop and Zappa fanatic, Ian Allen for trip-hop and alternative, and Caroline McDonald our “Heavy Metal Rock Goddess”.
Birdland Music started in the late fifties on Church Street in Norfolk. It was named after Charlie “The Bird” Parker. It was famous for finding Jazz that no one else seemed to carry. Tom Friedman bought the store in 1968 and moved it to Kempsville a few years later. Birdland has been a family owned business for over 40 years. Barry Friedman started working there when he was only 14 years old. When Tom opened the store his philosophy was to know your customer and to work very hard to always provide what they need. He believes that hard work goes further than hype and that commitment has kept Birdland in business longer than any other music store in Tidewater. Once Birdland Music donated over 500 titles to the libraries aboard aircraft carriers Roosevelt and Kennedy while they were in the Persian Gulf. They had heard from customers that the men often complained that there wasn’t an abundance of good music on board so the team at Birdland decided to do something about it. That’s my kind of music store.
Don Womack – Rabid collector of music and webmaster for RELOAD (http://www.710.com/reload/)