Virgina Chavez, Lillian Sneed, Vince Chavez
Norwalk Records Store
Inside Norwalk Records
The entire Urban Kings Music Group family would like to send our most deepest apologies to Ms Lillian Sneed. Ms Sneed passed away last week at the age of 82 years young. Lillian has been a huge part of music, owning and operating one of the biggest record shops around, not just in Southern California, but nationally. Lillian has built Norwalk Records, and made the shop known for its hard to find Oldies and R & B.
Norwalk Records has been around for over 50 years, established in 1965, and managed to stay in its original location. Lillian was very bright and had a great memory. Customers would go into her store, say a few lines from a song, or hum the melody, and Lillian was able to find the song, even if it was on a compilation album. We all respect Lillian not only for her being an exceptionally lovely person, but because what she has done for our local music community.
Many people didn’t know this, but Lillian also owned and operated a record store before Norwalk Records, which was called Auction City Records, with her first husband Arthur Walker, which was located at an open air carnival on the streets of Studebaker Road and Firestone Blvd. Richard Sneed first worked with Lillian and her husband at Auction Records in 1959, but left in 1965 when he joined the military and went to Vietnam. Richard returned after she divorced Walker and together they opened Norwalk Records on Firestone Boulevard.
Norwalk Records first started as an inventory of records, from 45 RPM singles and 33-1/3 albums, to the then new 8 track tapes. From 8 tracks then came cassette tapes, then eventually to CDs. Norwalk carried all types of music, from Oldies, R & B, Funk, Old School, Latin, Hip Hop, Rap, Soul, and more. Norwalk was also a huge supporter of independent local artists, giving artists an outlet and a chance to have their music sold at Norwalk Records.
“This place is iconic”, said Johnny Estrada,50, of Whittier, who ha shopped at the store since 1972. “There isn’t any other store like this, especially in the Chicano culture, It is the only place to find the Oldies and R & B, which we grew up listening to, and Lillian had the songs before they were hits on the radio”.
There will be a public viewing for Lillian at 2 P.M on January 5th at Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries in Cypress, California. She will always be known as “The Queen of Norwalk Records”. Ms Lillian Sneed is survived by her husband, Richard, her children William Walker and Diana Jean Conenna, Six Grandchildren, and Three Great Grandchildren.