13 thoughts on “SE Hawthorne Boulevard

  1. The Cup & Saucer Cafe occupies the space where the cleaners sign is on today’s photo. Its trendy paint job has been defaced with garish graffiti.

    The well-used 1966 International – Scout at the stop sign on SE 36th Ave was an ideal vehicle to have in Portland; the woman driving and her son were ready for anything.

  2. After I got my first good job in the late 1970’s, I splurged on a stereo component system at Hawthorne Stereo for about $1200.00. That place was like a candy store.

  3. Mike: Do you remember the specifics about the components (brand name, amp, speakers, etc)? I remember buying a pair of Kenwood headphones there in 1977 and I was in Heaven listening to my old hard albums such as Aerosmith, Rush and Zep. Indulge us! TY

  4. So… Fred’s Sound of Music says they have been in the same location since 1948… so were they originally called Hawthorne Stereo? And if so, when was the name changed to Fred’s Sound of Music?

    There is a Hawthorne Stereo in Seattle… is that the former Portland Hawthorne Stereo? Did Fred have a business partner who took the name with him to Seattle and then Fred rebranded?

    Hawthorne Stereo in seattle is on roosevelt way…

    Anyway… I have done business at Hawthorne Stereo in Seattle and at Fred’s Sound of Music… Hawthorne Stereo is a bit more upscale and the folks are a bit friendlier… Fred’s Sound of Music is one of those stereo places where if you’re not spending 10k on speakers, they look down on you and offer the least in the way of customer service… if you are a big spender… they will go all out…

  5. Hawthorne & Fred’s were two separate businesses that happened to be in the same area much as there were other clusters like camera stores. After Hawthorne moved to Seattle I enjoyed visiting them there.

  6. ah ha! thanks for the knowledge! i thought that the former hawthorne stereo location was the present fred’s location but upon closer inspection it appears they were neighbors separated by a store front or two… hawthorne stereo says they started in 1946… 2 years before fred’s sound of music… originally it appears that fred’s was a repair business… so it makes sense that he would locate close to where what he was repairing was being sold…

  7. William: I gotta stretch my memory a little here.. I believe the receiver and turntable were Pioneer- middle of the line. The speakers were Kenwood and must have weighed 25-30 lbs each. I also picked up a Sherwood dual cassette unit that I used to make my own tapes so I could listen to them in my truck. Most of Portland radio was commercial then. Except for Kink, KVAN and some stuff on KBOO. KGON used to be great when they were new and had few listeners. I learned a lot about non-commercial music by going to Music Millenium and listening to Kink’s Lights Out program.
    On a side note: Around the same time, I lived shared a house with some guys off 38th and Division. One of them was a waiter at Victoria’s Station and made really good money off tips. He spent a lot on stereo equipment at Hawthorn Stereo. He soundproofed his small room quite well. Listening to his expensive system in a sound proof room was an experience! I cannot verify if weed and blacklights were involved..

  8. i should add that many of those kenwood and marantz units being sold at the time out of hawthorne stereo now fetch a premium in the used audiophile world… especially the marantz gear…

    in fact there’s a place down in california that specializes in gear from that era… and it’s not cheap!


  9. I think the customer service at Fred’s is excellent. We went in to find inexpensive used components and not only got a good deal on them, but because we were limited to public transportation to get them home to the southwest side of town, they delivered them free.

  10. Back in the day…
    There was a guy (wont mention name) he worked there who made and sold blueboxes.
    Despite warnings, ended up caught. He tried working a plea with proscecutors disclosing random stereo customers names as bluebox buyers.

  11. @Mike $1200 in 1978 (you said late 70’s so I picked ’78) is the equivalent to $5100 in today’s dollars. Must have been one heckuva first job! 😉

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