I started a vinyl collection a few years back, mostly relying on friends and neighbors to give me some of their old records. Once I started going out on my own and finding stores here and there, I was hooked. Half-Priced Books always had a little record section, but their vinyls were usually torn up and were only good for folks on a budget.
I then started going to a few others in Houston (I still hadn't visited Black Dog yet) and found them to be a bit overpriced and pushy. When I'd travel in California, I'd go into any record store I came across and would be blown away by their selections, price, and knowledgeable, friendly staff. I longed for that in Houston.
Then, one day, I was headed over to Star Pizza when I saw Black Dog nestled off of a one-way street. I couldn't resist my urges, and I pulled in. Boy was that a good idea.
The first face that greeted me was...well, a black dog's. A beautiful chocolate lab was sleeping near the front of the store, along with a yellow lab. I was then greeted by two men I knew would become my favorite record store owners ever.
As I perused the racks, I was amazed at the depth and quality of their stock. It was as if they only accepted the best vinyls from sellers, and found the best prices to sell them back to us. They also had a ton of cds, shirts, posters, old magazines, etc. I'll never forget walking out of that store with about 15 records, some old LIFE Magazine issues covering the break-up of the Beatles, and a giant white bumper sticker with the store's logo on it.
I have been back to that store several times a month for some time now, and that white bumper sticker has graced the back of my car on every trip. And for good reason. You will not find a friendlier owner, cleaner atmosphere, and better selection anywhere in Houston, hands down. I would give Black Dog 100+ stars if I could.