Another business that fits nostalgic Route 66 is set to open next month on the famed Route in Historic Downtown Sapulpa. “Gone But Not Forgotten” takes over the former Gabe’s Office and Print Shop building at 108 E. Dewey. Most recently it was The Rustic Chic Boutique.
The business is being put together by and around the collection of Raymond Beck a retired Tulsa car dealer. He boasts the biggest collections of 45 rpm vinyl, 33.3 albums and, yes, 78s. When up and running, the store even hopes to market the portable record players that offer all three speed options for around a $100.
“I believe I have more than a million pieces of vinyl,” said Beck, 65 who has been collecting records since he was 12.
He has all the Sun Record releases of Elvis — his favorite recording artist of all times — as well as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee and Carl Perkins from the famous Memphis, Tenn. studio run by Sam Phillips. Beck says he may have the largest Elvis record and memorabilia collection in the world.
“vinyl is coming back,” Beck said of record interest. “There are lots of traders and collectors.”
He said store management may buy and trade, but the main thing is to liquidate Beck’s collection. Veronica Anderson will manage business.
“They can buy the whole collection, the whole store,” he quipped. “Everything’s for sale. Even the signature guitar auctioned off on the 20th anniversary of Elvis’ death. Some Elvis items are displayed belonging to others, i.e. concert tickets for Elvis’ 1956 Tulsa engagement where he met with fan club members at The Mayo Hotel.
“There is no other place like this one is going to be,” Beck said. “Customers will hear live music and an Elvis impersonator or two.”
And no doubt stories of some of the rich and famous the collector has come to know over the years — entertainers and athletes.
Ken Hollingshead, local muralist, did the sketches of Elvis and Mickey Mantle on the front windows.
Beck was a close friend to Mantle, as he was to other baseball greats — Stan Musial, etc.
Records are just one part of what will be for sale. The business also will be offering Beck’s Baseball Card Collection — millions of them, and rare ones — many autographed.
Beck believes he has the largest baseball collection in these parts.
The store also will offer other collectibles — coke machines, jukeboxes, guitars and all kinds of memorabilia. On display will be the outfit worn by Sean Connery in the movie “The Medicine Man.”
Beck said the historic building is a great fit for his collection. Gabe Gierhart and his family published The Democrat News from this location. Beck has inherited a good number of the newspaper.
Plans are to maintain store hours Monday through Saturday. Area promoter and friend Billy Parker has been invited to help with live music and “blast from the past” events at the store.
Just a couple of other interesting things about Raymond Beck. He is a champion professional poker player and on the World Series of Poker circuit is the first recipient of the World Poker Open championship title, 2000 at Tunica, Miss. He has played all over the world and regularly at such places as Reno and Las Vegas.