For this installment of 360°Sound’s CD Junkies series, we caught up with soul and R&B aficionado Louis Garcia. The California native, who now resides in North Carolina, runs the Instagram account @record_collector_nc, where he regularly posts selections from his extensive CD and vinyl collection. Garcia, 59, features many excellent CD compilations, from classic ‘60s Motown hits to synth-heavy disco-funk from the likes of Midnight Star and S.O.S. Band.
Louis Garcia: Clemmons, North Carolina
How long have you been collecting CDs?
Since 1986, when the format was new. I had four CDs before I ever owned a player. One friend gave me The Supremes Greatest Hits (my oldest CD) for my birthday and told me that she gave it to me because she just knew I would have a CD player soon.
About how many CDs do you own?
Early on, it was the cleaner sound and convenience – no more turning over the album. It was also great to be able to take them with me on a car ride. They also take up less space.
What are some of your favorite genres and who are some of your favorite artists?
I primarily collect R&B from the ’60s to ’80s. I also enjoy some gospel, pop and country.
My favorite artist by far is Diana Ross. I’m also a huge fan of all the classic Motown artists like Mary Wells, The Marvelettes, The Temptations, The Miracles. Solar Records is another favorite label (Shalamar, The Whispers, Carrie Lucas, Dynasty). Most of those albums have been issued on CD and I’ve purchased all of them.
You’ve posted a lot of great R&B/soul CD compilations on your IG. What are some of your favorite comps that you’d recommend?
I have been able to purchase some great collections that I don’t think would ever have been issued were it not for this format. The Complete Motown Singles series comes to mind. I would never have been able to find or purchase all those 45s. I’m just grateful that I have the chance to listen to this classic music. I have the first 11 volumes in this series.
As far as ’80s music, my favorite series are Nighttime Lovers and Masterpiece, issued by PTG Records (vinyl-masterpiece.com). Both are up to 30 volumes and I have them all. Great music from the ’80s, a lot of which I never heard before.
Do you have any particularly rare CDs?
Not sure how rare any of my CDs are. I don’t ever sell them or track their value. From what little I’ve come across, I think some of my early Motown CDs are worth some money. For example, the expanded edition of The Supremes’ Where Did Our Love Go seems to sell for some big bucks on eBay. Also, the twofers that were issued in the late ’80s seem to be pretty rare these days.
Yes, definitely. Streaming is good in some situations, like listening to music while at work. I’m the kind of person that needs to have a physical product. I enjoy reading through the booklets and seeing the pics of records or album covers. I especially like it when the CDs are printed with a recreation of the original record label artwork. Makes me feel like I’m buying a record. I’ve never been a fan of downloading music, doesn’t work for me.
Do you plan to continue adding to your CD collection? If so, what are some CDs at the top of your want list?
Right now I’m waiting for a few CDs to show up in the mail. I’m always shopping for more music, whether it be a CD, album or cassette. I don’t really have a list. I usually just come across something that I wasn’t aware of, or something that I want to add to my collection.
What are some of your favorite ways to buy CDs and favorite music retailers (online and/or brick and mortar)?
I always prefer shopping at local record stores (Earshot Records in Winston-Salem). I also do a good amount of shopping online with Dusty Groove out of Chicago. They have a great selection and mail order service. Since moving to this area from California a couple of years ago, I have found so many more places to buy music. Seems like antique stores, consignment stores, and the like have a great selection. Most of the time it is albums, but on occasion, I do find some great CDs for a great price.
You can follow Garcia on Instagram at @record_collector_nc. Stay tuned to 360°Sound for more exclusive interviews with CD enthusiasts from around the world.