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Record Store Which Served South Coast For More Than A Half Century Closes

Final customers at Peacock's Record Bar in Oxnard Friday

It’s a record store which opened in Oxnard when Elvis was King, in the 1950’s. It was there for the Beatles, and the changing sounds of the 1960’s. And, when the Rolling Stones and other bands dominated the music of the 70’s, Peacock’s Record Bar had the 45’s, and albums.

The little shop has been bringing music to Ventura County for more than a half century. But, over the weekend, the tiny shop on Fourth Street in Oxnard, no bigger that a donut shop, closed its doors for what may be the final time.

Richard Ordaz has owned Peacock’s for the last two decades. Ordaz says Peacock’s actually started as part of a diner owned by Richard Peacock in the 1950’s. Ordaz bought the store from its second owners some two decades ago. The store has survived over the years due to a small, die hard group of regular customers, like David Gonzales, who’s been coming here since the 1990’s. It’s a place where you can find racks of CD’s, bins of final albums, and yes, even cassettes…remember them? Gonzales says the story has lots of otherwise hard to find music. You wouldn’t find Taylor Swift, or Justin Biber music here.

Peacock’s developed a niche during the last 20 years, specializing in old school R & B music. Matt Chance, who works at Peacocks, says people come here looking for older, hard to find albums.

Ordaz says like the big chain record stores, technology has hit the little mom and pop record stores hard. Music downloads have hit mom and pop stores, making it difficult to compete. He says the store was barely paying its bills every month, and the recently, the building was sold, and he was told there would be a major rent increase. Ordaz says he had no choice but to close.

But, while the store’s owner says Peacock’s is now officially closed, he’s hoping to make a comeback. Ordaz took what’s left of the story’s inventory home. He’s looking for a smaller, less expensive location in Ventura County, where he’s hoping to reopen.

Ordaz admits it’s hard to give up on his passion, and the many friendships it’s brought him. He says while he loves music, the friends he’s made are the best thing about the store.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.