Places that Matter

Mooncurser Records (former)

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Mooncurser Records (former)
Mooncurser Records (former)
Important store for record collectors and musicians
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Please note: Mooncurser Records closed, ca. 2006.

Mooncurser Records is one of City Island's fascinating destinations, and the kind of specialty music store that attracts music aficionados from the New York region and beyond.

 

Traveling down City Island Avenue past seafood restaurants and antique shops, in a strip of the Bronx far removed from the crowded city streets of the Hub or Southern Boulevard, is an unassuming storefront that hosts Mooncurser Records. Above the steps and front door is a large vinyl record, the only clue to the treasure that is housed inside. Mooncurser Records is a record collector’s dream. It was established in 1991 and holds over one million LPs (78s, 45s, 33s, and 16s [valued by collectors] and over 12,000 song sheets from as far back as the 19th century. Inside are shelves upon shelves of records--Latin music, jazz, rock, country--something for any music lover.

Mooncurser Records was founded by Roger Roberge. A lifetime music buff, his children remember that he played music from the moment he awoke until he went to sleep at night. There were music speakers in every room, even installed in the shower. Roger, who passed away in the summer of 2004, worked for the American Foundation for the Blind for 50 years, electro-plating records. After his retirement in 1975, he and his family opened an antique shop on City Island. They started the antique shop in the 1970s when City Island was a thriving artist community. Lining a few blocks in the middle of the island, antique shops, photograph shops, and restaurants abounded, the piers were open behind all the buildings and people were able to fish all day long, and the street was packed with people from morning to night.

After coming across a large collection of records one day at a sale, Roger steadily began to devote his business to selling records. In 1991 he moved a few doors down to a larger site (the current location), and recreated the interior from scratch. His son, Dennis, a carpenter, built huge shelves to hold the merchandise, which Roger would obtain from traveling to sales, auctions, antique shops, and private collectors almost every day.