Brook­lyn record store records a come­back.

Nor­ton Records sur­vived Hur­ri­cane Sandy and has made a come­back, like vinyl it­self, with a brick-and-mor­tor store.

Metro USA (New York) - - Front Page - NIKKI M. MASCALI @MetroNewYork For more in­for­ma­tion on Nor­ton visit

Hur­ri­cane Sandy bat­tered much of New York City, but one of its lesser­known vic­tims was a Brook­lyn mu­sic la­bel spe­cial­iz­ing in rock and rock­a­billy sounds re­leased on vinyl records.

Af­ter the Oc­to­ber 2012 storm roared through, Nor­ton Records in Red Hook was flooded, its in­ven­tory de­stroyed and its fu­ture un­cer­tain.

“We lost vir­tu­ally all of our stock,” co-founder Miriam Linna said. “I think at that time it was a quar­ter of a mil­lion records.”

But the la­bel that pro­duces cur­rent artists and re­leases clas­sic reis­sues weath­ered that storm, and has with­stood oth­ers.

More re­cently, it in­cludes the 27 inches of snow that fell on New York the day af­ter Linna and her hus­band and co-founder, Billy Miller, opened their first record store in Jan­uary.

But ad­ver­sity was noth­ing new for the cou­ple — both mu­si­cians — whose la­bel has stayed afloat, even through the so­called death of vinyl in the 1990s and into its steady come­back.

The most dev­as­tat­ing loss, how­ever, did not in­volve the la­bel it­self. Last Novem­ber, just a few months af­ter the Prospect Heights record store opened, Billy Miller died, af­ter hav­ing lost a leg in his bat­tle with mul­ti­ple myeloma.

Linna con­sid­ered clos­ing the Wash­ing­ton Av­enue record shop af­ter that. They had opened it, in part, so that Billy “could hold court and just talk records with peo­ple,” she said. “His whole life was built around telling peo­ple about records — our la­bel

ex­isted to bring mu­sic that was un­known or lit­tle known that we were en­thu­si­as­tic about.”

Friends and fans urged her to keep it go­ing, and she has. The store sells mostly vinyl records, but also has CDs, books and on its web­site, high­lights the two-dozen artists whose mu­sic it has re­leased or reis­sued.

Linna said she and Miller had al­ways per­se­vered.

Af­ter Sandy, Linna said her hus­band set a goal “to get a small, lim­ited quan­tity of our la­bel back within a year, and we pretty much reached that im­pos­si­ble goal.”

By early 2016, the 30-year-old

Nor­ton Records was again re­leas­ing mu­sic and was ex­pand­ing. That was helped in part by vinyl record sales, which rose 26 per­cent last year.

To­day, Nor­ton Records — and Linna — shows no signs of slow­ing down.

The la­bel will re­lease “Kickin’ Child,” the lost 1965 Columbia record­ings of Bronx-born Dion DiMucci, the for­mer teen idol bet­ter known as just Dion, on May 12.

“We lost vir­tu­ally all of our stock.” Miriam Linna


Owner Miriam Linna stands out­side Nor­ton Record Shop in Brook­lyn.

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