Facebook Photo Spins Journalist Back to Dad’s Bronx Record Store

A picture worth a thousand LPs.

KCSunshineBandLogoSpotted on Facebook by former Houston Chronicle staffer Alan Bernstein’s brother, the circa-1943 photo of Allerton Avenue in the Bronx shows a row of buildings, one of which has a sign dangling above that reads ‘Music Records.’

Per a blog post by Bernstein, dad took over that very store five years later and ran it until the turn of the 1960s. From a media connections point of view, there’s much more to the photo, as Bernstein reveals a little later:

The photo turned up at a recent reunion of residents of the hulking co-op apartment complex seen in the rear of the picture. According to online sources, [Whitman] Bassow was a New York journalist when he took the photo. Later he became Newsweek magazine’s correspondent based in Moscow, reporting on the Soviet Union. I became a journalist after graduating from college in 1976.

My father told us many times about realizing sometime around 1960 that communists were meeting upstairs from the music store. He had been a civilian draftsman for the Navy during the big war and certainly had no empathy for communism during the subsequent Red Scare that seized our country’s conscience. Some of the communists had dropped into the store to convince my dad that the Soviet Union was utopia. He enjoyed calling the FBI to report on their doings.

To see the photo in question, check out Bernstein’s article. He shares many more memories involving the Bronx store and a second one operated by dad in Hialeah, Fla., where one part-time employee would go on to later front KC and the Sunshine Band.

Image via: heykcsb.com