We are deeply saddened to announce that San Diego music icon Tomcat Courtney has passed away at the age of 91. As a young man growing up in Texas, Tomcat was immersed in the Blues music world of the 1940’s. He befriended and performed with a countless number of music legends, including T-Bone Walker, Lightnin Hopkins, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tampa Red and Muddy Waters. His tales of working the rowdy juke joints of this era were extraordinary. Tomcat overflowed with patience, passion & charm. He was the kind of person who would sit and chat with you for hours. In the 1950’s Courtney performed regularly with the great Smokey Hogg and his brother John. He headed to the west coast in the 1960’s, playing in bands with Little Johnny Taylor, Freddie King & Lowell Fulson. Tomcat first performed at Folk Arts Rare Records just two weeks after his arrival in San Diego in 1971. He and Lou Curtiss became fast friends, and Courtney performed at many of Lou’s festivals & concerts for decades. This began a new chapter in which Tomcat became a San Diego Blues treasure. He had a weekly residency at Ocean Beach’s Texas Teahouse from 1972 to 1992. And he never let his age keep him from performing. He’s be all over town, playing late into the night at spots like the Turquoise Cafe, the Ken Club and Proud Mary’s, which also hosted his very celebratory annual birthday parties, the last one being his 91st Birthday Party on January 23, 2020. Whether the crowds were large or small, Tomcat was always 100% himself and an absolute joy to spend time with. He will be dearly missed by so many, but he lived an extremely rich life. Thank you Tomcat, for being you.
Although we’ll be closed, we’ll still be actively buying record collections 7 days a week! All you have to do is call us to set something up, (619) 282-7833. Our job is to safely accommodate your schedule!
Folk Arts’ last days of business at 3072 El Cajon Blvd will be Thursday, Friday & Saturday, October 29th through 31st. It was a great run with oh so many memories, but we’re also very excited about the possibilities of the future.
We’ll be working hard throughout the month of November with the hope of being open 7 days a week at 3610 University Ave by Thanksgiving weekend. This is the same location of our partner store, Jupiter Records & Tapes. Both stores will be uniting under the legendary Folk Arts Rare Records name.
Thanks as always for all of the support! Stay safe!
Folk Arts Rare Records:
Folk Arts will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.
Otherwise we’ll be open 7 days a week, 10am-6pm (often 7pm) through the rest of the year, including New Year’s Day.
11/29: RSD Black Friday! Open 9am-7pm
11/30: Small Business Saturday! Open 10am-7pm
12/15: The Rent Party! Folk Arts DJs spin for a cause at The Whistlestop, 4-8pm.
Jupiter Records & Tapes:
Jupiter will be closed Thanksgiving Day and will maintain its regular hours of Thurs-Mon 11am-8pm except where noted here:
Dec. 24: closed
Dec. 25: closed
Dec. 26: closed
On Small Business Saturday (11/30), Jupiter will be open from 10am-8pm, with coffee for sale and a motherlode of high quality new arrivals!
Saturday, April 13th
Record Store Day at Folk Arts Rare Records and at Jupiter Records & Tapes
Folk Arts Open at 8am with tons of RSD Exclusives!
Marcelo’s Food Truck Arrives at 6am!
DJs out front 11am-2pm!
11am: Thousands of Fresh used 45’s at both stores!
Both stores will have an exclusive RSD Cassette Release! All Roads Lead To Me is a virtually unknown, exceptionally rare, bedroom electro EP from 1987, available only at Folk Arts & Jupiter!
Live at Jupiter:
12-2pm: Johnny High Hat
DJs all day long!
DIY Zine produced by Teros Gallery available exclusively at Folk Arts & Jupiter!
9pm: After Party at Teros Gallery with Cruz de Navajas (Mexico City) and more!
Happy New Year! With the addition of Alejandra Frank from Teros Gallery to the Folk Arts team, Folk Arts is now open 7 days a week! Alejandra will also be handling most of the New Vinyl ordering duties going forward, so be on the look out for her curated picks to be hitting the shelves in the weeks & months to come!
Now Open 7 Days A Week!
10am-6pm (often open as late as 7pm)
Folk Arts Rare Records will be closed starting December 24th and will be back open on Wednesday, January 2nd. We wish everyone a joyful Holiday Season full of happiness with friends & family, and we are very much looking forward to the New Year ahead.
Folk Arts will be open at 9am for this coming RSD Black Friday. We’ll also be pricing tons of quality used New Arrivals throughout the day and will be breaking out some serious gems for Small Business Saturday. The store has also been restocked with hundreds of killer records. Here’s a list of all of the titles we’ll have in stock for RSD Black Friday:
31st of February – S/T
Cannonball Adderley – Swingin’ in Seattle Live at the Penthouse (1966-1967) (2 LP)
Ad Libs – Presenting … the Ad Libs
Anthrax – Kings Among Scotland (3 LP)
David Axelrod – Earthrot (2 LP)
B-52s – Cosmic Thing
Bauhaus – Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape
Blue Oyster Cult – Some Enchanted Evening (2 LP)
Breeders – Safari EP
Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo (Legacy Edition) (4 LP)
Cheap Trick – The Epic Archive Vol. 2 (1980-1983) (2 LP)
John Coltrane – Selects from Both Directions at Once
Alice Cooper – Live from the Astroturf
Cornelius – Ripple Waves
Chris Cornell – When Bad Does Good (7-inch)
Czarface – Dog Days of Tomorrow (7-inch)
Eric Dolphy – Musical Prophet: the Expanded NY Studio Sessions (1962-1962) (3 LP)
Dead Kennedys – Iguana Studios Rehearsal Sessions
Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (Picture Disc)
Dio – Holy Diver Live at 35
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Stranger Things: Halloween Sounds of the Upside Down (Picture Disc)
Duke Ellington – Duke Ellington Plays with the Original Motion Picture Score Mary Poppins
Flamin’ Groovies- Live in San Francisco 1971
Flaming Lips – The Mushroom Tapes
Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band – Almost Acoustic (2 LP)
Bobbie Gentry – Ode to Billie Joe
Germs – What We Do is Secret
Jose Gonzalez – Veneer (15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2 LP)
Gravediggaz – 6 Feet Deep (2 LP)
Green River/U-Men – Sub Pop Holiday (7-inch)
Herbie Hancock – Flood (2 LP)
Jimi Hendrix Experience – Burning of the Midnight Lamp Mono EP (7-inch)
Iggy & the Stooges – Rare Power
Blind Lemon Jefferson – Black Snake Moan/Matchbox Blues (78 RPM)
Joan Jett – Bad Reputation
Robert Johnson – Cross Road Blues/Ramblin on My Mind (78 RPM)
Durand Jones & The Indications- Live Vol. 1
Etta Jones- A Soulful Sunday
Kidz Bop Kids – Kidz Bop Christmas (2 LP)
Madonna – Ray of Light (2 LP)
Ahmoudou Madassane- Zerzura- Orignal Soundtrack
Kacey Musgraves – High Horse Remixes (10-inch)
Judas Priest – Rocka Rolla
Lebron Brothers – Psychedelic Goes Latin
Paul McCartney – I Don’t Know/Come On to Me (7-inch)
Jim Morrison & The Doors – An American Prayer
Outkast – Rosa Parks
Phish – Slip Stich & Pass (2 LP)
Pride – S/T (David Axelrod)
Rage Against the Machine – Live & Rare (2 LP)
Keith Richards – Run Rudolph Run
Ramones – Live in Glasgow Dec. 19, 1977 (2 LP)
Rockabye Baby – Tom Petty
Royce Da 5’9 – Death is Certain (2 LP)
Todd Rundgren – Something/Anything? (2 LP)
Songs: Ohia- Love & Work- The Lioness Sessions (purple vinyl)
Lindsey Stirling- 7” Holiday Picture Disc
Taylor Swift – Red (2 LP)
Taylor Swift – Speak Now (2 LP)
Talking Heads – Remain in Light
Too Short – Get In Where You Fit In (2 LP)
Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses 25th Anniversary Edition (3 LP)
Type O Negative/Trivium – Side by Side/I Don’t Wanna be Me (7-inch)
Muddy Waters – More Muddy “Mississippi” Waters Live (2 LP)
Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, James Cotton – Breakin’ It Up, Breakin’ It Down
Weezer – Africa (10-inch Shaped Picture Disc)
Hank Williams – First Recordings, 1938 (7-inch)
Paul Williams – Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (
Various Artists – Feelin’ Right Saturday Night: the Ric & Ron Anthology (2 LP)
Various Artists – Fritz the Cat (Picture Disc)
Various Artists – Jazz Dispensary, Purple Funk Vol. 2
Violent Femmes – Permanent Record (2 LP)
Wurm – Exhumed (2 LP)
Frank Zappa – We’re Only in it for the Money (Picture Disc)
Zombies – Odyssey & Oracle (Picture Disc)
Lou Curtiss Remembrance and Celebration
A Memorial for San Diego music icon Lou Curtiss will be held on Sunday, November 18 from 4-8pm at the Royal Palace Banquet Hall in El Cajon, the same building that once was the legendary Bostonia Ballroom. Lou Curtiss passed away at his home on July 9, 2018.
Lou Curtiss had long wanted to host an event at the former Bostonia Ballroom space. We’ll be honoring both his wishes and this historic space, which hosted just about every Country music star of the 1950’s & 60’s. And we’ll also be honoring the unparalleled life & legacy of Lou Curtiss, who at the age of 12 was lucky enough to see Hank Williams perform at the Bostonia.
The format for the event will be an “open mic” music making festival, in which anyone is invited to sign up to perform a song or two in honor of Lou and/or the Bostonia. Please bring your instruments. You can also feel free to share some stories instead of performing a song. Parking is widely available at the venue. This will be a potluck celebration of life, so please feel free to bring a dish. Beverages will be for sale at the bar.
We hope that many people will want to attend this one of a kind event. I’m sure Lou will be smiling down on us, as we have finally organized something special at the old Bostonia Ballroom. This event is open to the public.
Musician Deke Dickerson will be presenting a half hour talk about the history of the Bostonia Ballroom, while showcasing his collection of rare color photos of Country legends playing at this historic venue.
Sunday, Nov. 18
The Royal Palace Banquet Hall
1340 Broadway, El Cajon, CA 92021
Please visit Folk Arts’ new partner store Jupiter Records and Tapes, located at 3610 University Ave in City Heights
At Jupiter Records and Tapes we aim to create a space that is accessible to anyone and everyone. We strive to be a beacon of creativity, expression, and culture. This is a safe space and no suppression of one’s individuality shall ever be permitted. In encouraging ones self expression, we offer a public, and absolutely free, DJ booth. This is a permanent fixture in our store and is available anytime during business hours. One simply writes their name on the chalkboard with no prior experience necessary. It is for anyone with a desire or interest in playing records to be broadcast throughout the store. Not only is spinning records fun and engaging, it is a practical means of therapy and escape from a world that does not always offer support and encouragement for those interested in artistic expression.
In addition to providing our city with a safe and inviting space, we offer tens of thousands of records, CD’s, and tapes at an affordable cost in attempts at excluding no one from access to wonderful music of all forms. This is a place that satisfies collectors of all experiences and tastes. While maintaining affordable prices there is a standard of quality that can be ensured. We stock a massive amount of music that range from classic titles to works that defy classification. At Jupiter Records and Tapes we are constantly evolving and progressing in our efforts to provide beautiful San Diego with a unique environment that is welcoming to absolutely anyone. We will maintain our promises of safety and encouragement with a positive attitude that makes a visit to our store as enjoyable, interesting, and comfortable as possible. Through our doors there is something for everyone. We hope to see you soon!
We regret to bring the very sad news that Lou Curtiss passed away on Monday, July the 8th. He died peacefully at his home at the age of 79. Lou was one of the most passionate & knowledgeable people you’d ever meet. He was a force to be reckoned with, dedicating his life to the preservation of music. His depth of knowledge about American music was astonishing & unparalleled. And he had thousands of fascinating stories to share with the many people he loved. In addition to running Folk Arts Rare Records for 47 years, Lou organized 56 ambitious music festivals and was a much loved San Diego radio DJ for decades. Lou’s rich life included lots of political activism, working for the preservation of the arts & music and volunteering in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement. He dedicated thousands of hours to the archive work in his vast & impressive Lou Curtiss Sound Library. Lou truly committed his entire life to the love of music, positively affecting countless people along the way. We will miss you dearly, Lou, and we’re sure you’re currently picking and grinning with good friends on the other side. We will keep you informed of Memorial plans. As for now, you can feel free to come down to Folk Arts to share some Lou Curtiss stories. I’ve got many. Rest In Peace, Lou. You were truly one of a kind.