By Tom Marker

By now listeners of ‘XRT are aware that we’ve been around for 40 years. There’s another Chicago area location for music that was also born in 1972 that is currently in a struggle for survival. Let’s recreate the final scene from It’s A Wonderful Life and help Val Camilletti’s record store survive.  Val’s Halla Records in Oak Park is hurting and could use your help. Stop for a minute and imagine what life would be like if Val’s had never existed!

Val’s has been a gathering spot for music fans through so many decades and so many changes. Music is such an important part of our culture and counter-culture and Val has been there providing a place where music fans can gather and feel connected to others fans with similar interests. From the days when the latest Chicago music was being released by John Prine, Steve Goodman and Bonnie Koloc, through the eras of Jazz Fusion by Stanley Clarke and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, bands from down yonder like Marshall Tucker and The Allman Brothers Band, New Wave and Punk, hair bands, Metal, Muddy Waters, MTV bands, and, well you get the idea. Generations of music fans have found a musical home at Val’s Halla.

Val’s love of all sorts of music, her musical curiosity and her breadth of musical knowledge is what has kept her store not just afloat but relevant through all of these years. Now, things are getting tough. She has a smart plan for the future but the bills are mounting and she needs help to get over this current hump and on the the next phase. All of the details of how you can be involved are included in an excellent article in the Oak Park Wednesday Journal by Anna Lothson. Please go HERE now!

Just like in It’s A Wonderful Life, let’s help Clarence the angel get his wings, let’s help save a beloved cultural institution so that this season we can run through the streets of Oak Park just like George Bailey: Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan! Merry Christmas Val’s Halla!


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