CLIFTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s the end of an era for a local record store that specialized in Doo-wop music. Ronnie I’s Clifton Music is shutting down after 40 years of keeping its customers dancing.
Ronnie Italiano opened the doors in 1972. He died four years ago and the changes in music and the economy are forcing his widow to shut down.
“It’s sad. It’s tough but times have changed. The economy has hit us hard. I can no longer keep the store,” owner Sandra Italiano told CBS 2′s Cindy Hsu.
The store will close on March 23. Loyal customers are coming by with flowers, hugs and a lot of heartache.
“I’m very sad. I’m almost in tears now. It’s the end of an era,” said customer John McGill.
“The only way I can describe it, it’s like losing a family member,” said customer Michael Colorundo.
Italiano says although the store has to shut down, she’s hoping the love of Doo-wop stays alive.
“No matter how small or how big a production, it’s very important for this art form,” she said.
Two members of the group “The Solitaires” tell Hsu they’re working on it.
They started in 1953 in Harlem and they’re still performing today. Their biggest hit is the song “Walking Along,” which put a smile on Hsu’s face and, a miracle she calls it, got her to dance.
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