Open for Business: Peoria record store owner pushes through health scares, pandemic to keep tunes spinning

Open For Business

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – At the age of 73, Craig Moore has always been surrounded by the sounds of music. His dad bought him his first record player in kindergarten. 

“Those were magic, you know. What came off of those records just was amazing. And whatever it was about that, it stuck,” he said.

The gift sparked Moore’s passion to play music. He joined a rock and roll band in the 1960’s. But it was where Moore went during that time that spotlighted another passion of his.

Moore said, “Any band I was ever in—if we traveled to a town, the first place I went was the record store. I’d find the record store and go there.”

That’s when the wheels started spinning for Moore. In 1984, he opened his own record store on Main Street in Peoria. In 1998, he expanded to University Street, calling the store Younger Than Yesterday.

“I thought it would be cool to be that sort of grouchy guy behind the counter who knows everything about [records]. You know and maybe I’ll put up with you and maybe I won’t.”

craig moore

But fast forward to 2020, the coronavirus pandemic and shutdowns hit. They took a toll on business and Moore’s health. He explained that he was in the hospital with temporary amnesia for two days at the end of March.

“The neurologist says that that was stress I wasn’t even aware of and it just hit me and I was like sort of disconnected for a couple of days,” Moore said.

Months later, Moore said he also underwent a second open-heart surgery in October. But neither health scares nor a two-month long shutdown could stop Moore from pulling out all the stops.

“I never shut down a day in my whole life. You know, I never ever—I never missed a gig. I never cancelled a gig,” said Moore. “When I opened the business, it was open seven days a week.”

He’s been able to sustain the business through mail orders. Concerned, but determined, Moore is pushing through and singing the praises of his customers. 

“The reason I have a record store is people. You know, the reason I play in rock and roll bands for most of my life is people. You know, I like people and we have a good time in here.”

Younger Than Yesterday is located at 2615 N. University St. in Peoria.

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