Concord history — From radios to records, Earl’s store was in tune

Concord history — From radios to records, Earl’s store was in tune

Concord history — From radios to records, Earl’s store was in tune
Recording artist Frankie Avalon visited Elmer Earl’s Concord store because of high record sales there. (Photo courtesy Concord Historical Society)

CONCORD, CA (Jan. 29, 2024) — Elmer Earl was a simple music store owner who built a successful life in Concord.

He came here in 1933 after he received a letter from the owner of a little radio shop inside of Keller’s hardware store.

His sister introduced him to Mildred Squire, who attended Cal Berkeley with her. They fell in love and got married in 1936. They moved to a house on Galindo Street and had their only child, Evelyn. He then built their home on Sutter Street.

After working in his little shop in the hardware store, he opened Earl’s Radio and Electric Shop in 1946. He built it himself at 1919 Salvio St. and worked there until he retired in 1977.

Elmer loved tinkering with radios and anything electric and slowly got into photographs, records and musical instruments. He was known for helping school music programs and selling records.

He was tickled pink when Frankie Avalon came to town. The singer had contacted him because Earl had sold so many of his records that he just had to see this little store.

House moves

The family had their house moved to California Street after developers bought them out to build Park and Shop. But he ended up having to sell the house to other developers who built apartments. They moved to Euclid Avenue, where he stayed until he died in 1984 at age 90.

Even though he had to move two times because of Concord’s redevelopment and growth, he loved being a part of the community.

Evelyn graduated from Mount Diablo High School in 1961. She later came back to Concord and has been here since. She has three children, one who still lives in Concord.

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Carol Longshore
Carol Longshore

Carol Longshore has been a Concord resident since 1950. She is a community leader and past president of the Concord Historical Society. Send comments and suggestions for future topics.