The mural of a single Joshua tree at sunset sets the stage for the new record store in town — High Desert Records in Yucca Valley.
Owner Carol Schofield is a veteran in the trade and High Desert Records is her fourth record store.
“There is definitely a buzz going around with people talking about the opening,” she said. “People have been coming in.”
Schofield opened her first record store at age 23 with a couple of friends in San Francisco. As a young woman, she spent most of her time at the beach.
“I had no ambition except rock ’n’ roll,” she told the Los Angeles Times in a 2013 interview. “I didn’t want to work.”
In the ensuing years, she has owned record stores in San Francisco’s Castro and Mission districts and Sacramento. Her most recent venture was Foothill Records in La Cañada Flintridge, which she owned for 12 years.
Vinyl is in a renaissance and Schofield hopes to attract local music enthusiasts looking for a rare record, or maybe even a CD or DVD.
High Desert Records features music from across the decades by artists including the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Jefferson Airplane, Cher, Roy Orbison, Loretta Lynn and of course, Elvis.
Schofield is especially interested in buying record collections featuring blues, jazz and surf music.
“We’re buying large record collections,” she said. “I collect all genres.”
Schofield, who grew up in the Bay Area, moved to Yucca Valley a year ago this June and said she can see enormous opportunities in the small town. She believes growth is on the horizon, especially with the influx of tourists making their mark on the area by visiting Joshua Tree National Park.
The 2.9 million people who visited Joshua Tree National Park in 2018 spent nearly $146.5 million in communities near the park, according to a new National Park Service report.
Schofield planned to be on the main highway and had a muralist paint her storefront to attract some of these visitors. She also hopes to snag a section of the local market and people from the lower desert.
After opening Foothill Records in La Cañada, she started a record label called MsMusic Productions.
“I’ve had it 17 years this coming year,” she said.
Under that label, she has produced more than a dozen albums, including “Yo Ma Ma,” which features music by Stephen Kalinich and Jon Tiven. Kalinich, a poet, and Mark Linett, a sound engineer, both worked with the Beach Boys and now work with Schofield on her label. Her friendship with Kalinich has led to collaborations on other albums, including “California Feeling” and “California Christmas Feeling.”
High Desert Records’ official grand opening date has not been set yet, but Schofield said she’ll be ready to open once she’s set up the final details inside. Rolling Stones posters colorfully decorate the walls at the new record store. One is from Nov. 9, 1969, and is priced at $150.
In glass cases, Schofield displays Rolling Stone magazine covers from 1969.
“It is a full-on collector’s haven,” she said.
Her record prices vary and depend upon the value of the albums.
“My style has always been negotiable,” she said, adding that reasonable offers will always be considered.
The business is located at 55700 Twentynine Palms Highway. For information, contact Schofield at (818) 415-5012 or email@example.com.