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About Dusty Groove

There have been plenty of highlights in our history. Here are some of the most memorable moments.

December 1995 Dusty Groove history The idea of an online record store is conceived by two Chicago crate diggers, on their way back from a massive buying trip — stuck in a snowstorm in the mountains of Pennsylvania.
April 1996 Dusty Groove history Dusty Groove opens for business at — run as a part-time hobby out of an apartment on Chicago's south side.
August 1996 Dusty Groove history Dusty Groove's online business becomes so popular, the company becomes full-time — hiring its first employee, and moving into a back-alley office with very low rent in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. The space is very hard to find, and was previously used as an apartment by a low-profile prostitute.
December 1996 Dusty Groove history The first of Dusty Groove's monthly in-person sales. Local interest in the website led to Chicago demands to buy records in person — so Dusty Groove began to open its office for one Saturday afternoon every month.
August 1997 Dusty Groove history Business is great, and Dusty Groove is bursting at the seams of its back-alley office — and moves to the Wicker Park neighborhood at 1180 N Milwaukee Ave. The new space is loft-like, on a second floor — and is better suited to work as a store and an office for a website. As a result, Dusty Groove begins to open every week to the public on Friday and Saturday afternoons.
July 2000 Dusty Groove history Dusty Groove is bigger than ever, has really outgrown its space — and purchases its own corporate headquarters on Ashland Ave. The three story building allows for much more efficient service for internet customers, but will also allow for a ground-level storefront as well.
April 2001 Dusty Groove history Dusty Groove moves into its new space at 1120 N Ashland Ave. The building houses a store that is now open from Thursday afternoon through Sunday — as well as a "walk up" window that allows local Chicago customers the chance to shop online, and pick up their orders any day of the week. But by the end of the year, the popular store is open seven days a week — a big leap for a company that still does most of its business online. Both Chicago customers and out of town visitors had requested more regular hours — and we were only happy to accommodate.
September 2003 Dusty Groove history An ill-fated move leads us to start UHF Comics — our own comic book shop, both online and as a Chicago store. We quickly learn that we're better at music than comics, and close up shop without doing too much damage.
Early 2007 Dusty Groove history Dusty Groove begins its own record label — reissuing titles licensed from Universal and Sony Music. The response is great — even for the weird titles we love so much.
April 2008 Dusty Groove history Record Store Day comes our way — the start of a great run that would draw big crowds for lots of wonderful releases for years to come.
October 2008 Dusty Groove history The massive financial crisis hits — and we have our worst winter in decades. We brace for the worst — and soon rediscover just how much we love this place, and work harder than ever to make Dusty Groove a company that will survive anything that comes our way.
February 2009 Dusty Groove history Used CDs join the racks next to rare LPs and other vinyl — making a big shift for Dusty Groove. In the wake of the recession, so many great CDs went out of print that we decided it was time to start handling used CDs with the same care we brought to records.
Summer 2010 Dusty Groove history The start of a great new trend for Dusty Groove — our participation in local Chicago events and festivals — including the excellent Renegade Craft Fair, pop-up stores, and other special record-selling moments.
September 2010 Dusty Groove history Rolling Stone names Dusty Groove the #3 Record Store In America, which is followed by similar placement on other lists from Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Readers Digest, and others.
Winter 2010 Dusty Groove history One of our biggest buying seasons ever — and the beginning of an era that has Dusty Groove acquiring large collections from around the globe. Our buyers had always traveled before — but they really start to branch out to large institutions and archives that bring us some of our grooviest records ever.

October 2012 Dusty Groove history We shorten our name — from the previous Dusty Groove America to just Dusty Groove. Most folks had taken to just calling us by the shorter name anyway — and we felt that it was time to become a bit more international.
Summer 2013 Dusty Groove history A massive overhaul of the Dusty Groove website, and the start of a big run of growth. Dusty Groove is now easier than ever to access on phones, tablets, and other devices — paves the way for lots of new features and expanded music to come.
Spring 2014 Dusty Groove history Our annual garage and sidewalk sales proved to be so popular that we opened up a giant Bargain Basement — filled with thousands of LPs, CDs, 12" singles, and 45s all at rock-bottom prices and only available in our Chicago store — where we've been adding hundreds of new titles every week.
Spring 2015 Dusty Groove history We complete a remodel of our Chicago store that expands floor space by a third and gives us room for up to 50% more records and CDs — so that we have room for all of the top-shelf collections we've acquired throughout the past year.
Summer 2016 Dusty Groove history We celebrate our 20th birthday by throwing a giant block party in Chicago — and by giving away a lots of goodies to our customers online.

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