It’s an unassuming little shop—just a bunch of racks in a small room, hooded by a plain green awning out front. But the framed platinum and gold CDs that line every bit of available wall space hint at this little store’s clout. Opened in 1989, The Music Experience was a key retailer for many of the classic nineties rap and R&B labels. Its charming and friendly owner, Dedry Jones, routinely draws the likes of John Legend and Patti LaBelle for live shows on the South Side he simply calls “The Experience.” Plus, the racks still have a lot to offer: besides all the latest releases, there’s an extensive back catalogue of R&B, gospel and rap, mostly on CD. The vinyl collection is nothing to write home about; although the store was once a hot spot for local DJs, the digitization of DJing has meant a sharp drop-off in vinyl traffic. But for anyone looking for some hits and dusties in a laid-back atmosphere—and an opportunity to chat with Jones and the musicians that sometimes make an appearance here—The Music Experience is a good bet. (Benjamin Rossi) -
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AMusicExperience.com is our on-line presence where you can get music news, read reviews, see videos, hear new and/or interesting music and purchase music that you may have trouble finding where you live. The Music Experience and Track One Records (our initial store) have been featured in Billboard Magazine, Urban Network Magazine, The Network Magazine, Business '96, Rolling Out Magazine, AFIM Magazine, The Chicago Defender, The Chicago Tribune as well as other publications.
The Music Experience's noted signature event is The Experience which celebrated its 10th Anniversary in August of 2012. To date, there have been 92 Experiences featuring everyone from Will Downing (the "first" Experience artist who has been featured 6 times) to the iconic group, Earth Wind and Fire.
Through the years, retailer Dedry Jones was awarded the first Retailer Award from Frontier Marketing, the first Horizon Award from WEA Distribution for future legends in the retail industry, CUMA's Retailer Award, Urban Network's Retailer of The Year Award and Urban Network's first Most Innovative Retailer in the USA Award. The Music Experience was also nominated for 2007's NARM Small Division of the Year Award.
"The Music Experience is the best place to shop. The owner Dedry Jones is very knowledgeable about music. His recommendations are right on point. If you don't live near the store, he'll ship your purchase to you. Dedry's customer's service is excellent. If you ask his opinion about a CD, you'll get a truthful answer. One of my favorite record stores, I never leave his store without at least a couple of CDs in my hands."