Norman Isaacs, Record Collector
by Andrew Shilling
Jan 23, 2013 | 14082 views | 1 1 comments | 699 699 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When the rent got too high in Manhattan’s East Village, Norman Isaacs picked up his record collection and moved the store to Brooklyn in hopes of a new start.

“The landlord raised my rent from $6,000 to almost $13,000, and this is not a high-profit business,” Isaacs said, surrounded by walls of vintage vinyl, CD’s and DVD’s.

Still catering to the crowd of nostalgia collectors since he started the business 20 years ago at Cooper Square, Norman’s Sound and Vision is now located at 555 Metropolitan Ave. in Williamsburg.

While the store only draws a handful of customers a day, and has seen an 80 percent cut in sales since his move last April, Isaacs remains confident that it is only a matter of time before people catch on and business thrives yet again.

“Financially it’s not really a rewarding industry,” he explained. ”It really is more of a labor of love than anything else.”

Before the music business, Isaacs traveled the world taking photographs for travel magazines, newspapers and stock agencies.

“I had enough,” he said. “I had just gotten married and I didn’t want to travel anymore. I didn’t want to have to work for anybody else, and the only thing I liked to do besides travel was music.”

Starting with the Miles Davis classic Kind of Blue when he was just 14-years-old, his own personal record collection has grown to 3,000, which doesn’t include the thicket of vintage LP’s available at his store today.

“Music was always one of the driving forces of my life,” he reflected. “Who knew 50 years ago this stuff would actually be of any real value.”

Today he sifts through records brought in by his customers, redeveloping the connection with the next generation of music lovers, which he says is undeniable.

“Once you feel the music, it’s hard to just not move to it,” he said.

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Nancy Gardella
April 27, 2013
Hi, are you the Norman Isaacs I met in the Village when I was a freshman at NYU in 1967?