To develop and sustain a piece of Oak Cliff history as a resource for media literacy and cultural study, while preserving, restoring, and making available to the public an archive of music and film.

Our mission is to save a historic record store in the heart of Oak Cliff and convert it into a sustainable, non-profit, shop and media library; with videos, records and other physical media for sale and loan. We hope to engage the local Oak Cliff arts community through in-store concerts, art exhibits, and other special events.

History

Ten Records, established in 1956 by J.W. “Dub” Stark,  is the longest-running record store in Dallas. In 1963, Officer J.D. Tippit made a mysterious phone call using the store phone shortly before he was allegedly killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, making Top Ten the last public place he was seen. The phone survives and is on display near the cash register. The shop has been a staple for the Oak Cliff neighborhood since its inception, and has a strong history of supporting local and DIY music.

Mike Polk (owner since 1979) planned to retire from daily operations of the shop in late 2017. Fans and Oak Cliff stakeholders created a non-profit to sustain the shop as a combo music & film store, archiving center, and membership library. Mike is still actively involved.

In mid-1956, J.W. “Dub” Stark moved what had once been Katie’s Davis Street Records to 338 W Jefferson and named it Top Ten Records. The space had previously been occupied by two appliance shops – Duke Doyle’s and Hamilton’s (as well as a sewing machine shop), and retains the Philco sign and shelves from Hamilton’s tenure.

Over the years a number of musicians visited the shop, including Jim Reeves, Ray Price, Conway Twitty, Sonny James, Kenny Rodgers, Ernest Tubb, and Anne Murray. In a 1991 article in the Dallas Morning News, Mr. Stark recounted a near miss: “I sold the most tickets — about $1,500 worth — to Elvis’ show in Fair Park [11 October 1956; advance tickets cost $1.25 each]. He was going to come by to thank me, but when he stopped in at the Beckley Street Restaurant for a sandwich, they mobbed him, so he didn’t make it.”

The shop has served as a box office for the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, Will Rogers Coliseum, the State Fair Music Hall, and KNON. Shows included Mahalia Jackson, the Tijuana Brass Band, Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars, Herman’s Hermits, and Aretha Franklin.

Mike Polk, who had started working in the shop when he moved back to Dallas to take care of a relative, bought it from Mr. Stark when the latter decided to retire, around 1980.

Donate


As a Texas non-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status, all donations made to Top Ten Records are tax-deductible.

Mail a Check

Prefer the old-fashioned way? Here's our info...


Top Ten Records
338 W. Jefferson Blvd
Dallas, TX 75208

Donate Online

Donate any amount instantly and securely for free, through PayPal


Donate through PayPal

Other ways to contribute...

Music Donations

We accept all formats, as long as they are in decent condition. We accept most genres, but particularly appreciate music from Texas-based bands.

Video Donations

Video donations of any format are accepted. We are always looking for historical local video footage to add to our archives.

Local Artists

We are always looking for local artists who would like to collaborate on in-store performances, or special events.

Team Members


Board Members

  • Barak Epstein – Texas Theatre, Oak Cliff Film Festival, Videotex Systems
  • Daniel Boom – KNON / Oak Cliff DJ Legend
  • Jess Garland – Community Liaison w/ Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Musician, Educator
  • Mike Polk – Top Ten Records Owner (1978-2017)
  • John Salvie – Tech Consultant, Community Activist

Advisory Committee

  • David Sedman – Associate Dean, SMU Meadows School of the Arts
  • Mary Katherine McElroy – Archivist & Database Management
  • David Robledo – Non-profit Consultant
  • Skye Malish-Olson – Dallas Museum of Art
  • Jeremy Spracklin – Moving Image Curator, G. William Jones Film & Video Collection at SMU
  • Aaron Garcia – Small Brewpub
  • Ben Jousan – Half Price Books, Tuesday Night Trash Curator
  • Alicia Sherrod – Graphic Designer
  • Mike Morris – Dallas Medianale, Media Educator
  • Jason Reimer – Texas Theatre, Oak Cliff Film Festival
  • Jim Reid – 16mm Collector, Projectionist
  • John Slate – Dallas Municipal Archives
  • Ashton Campbell – Film Producer
  • Hallie Reiss – Archivist, Jerry Bruckheimer Films
  • Perren Gasc – DBA Real Estate
  • Todd Levin – Centennial Real Estate
  • Dave Chaos – KNON