In rotation: 2/12/18

37 Years After It Opened, Bill’s Records Is Still Special: On a chilly Sunday morning, Bill Wisener turns on the “open” sign at his vinyl record store, one of the oldest in Dallas. You’ll recognize Wisener’s shop when you spot the red “Bill’s” sign hanging outside the store, which is nestled next to Poor David’s Pub on Lamar Street in Dallas’ Cedars neighborhood. Wisener is answering phone calls behind the cluttered counter near the front of the store. Music enthusiasts from all over the U.S. call 73-year-old Wisener every day to ask about the stock of vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, concert posters and pins, original paintings and other treasured music memorabilia in his store and on his eBay account. He’s sold vinyl records for 46 years, so he has extensive knowledge of popular music. But Wisener is not a walking, talking iTunes algorithm.

The sun sets on 60-plus years for this Fort Worth record store fixture: Record Town, one of the nation’s oldest vinyl record stores and a survivor of 60 years of change in the music industry, is moving from its original South University Drive location. And it may be changing hands…TCU students in the 1950s and 60s frequented Record Town for the latest vinyl releases from Elvis, the Everly Brothers or the Beatles. Now the couple’s son, Sumter Bruton III manages the store. He graduated from TCU in 1968, according to TCU Magazine. The iconic Record Town sign with Nipper the RCA dog in the middle hasn’t lit up for six or seven years. Now it appears the sun has set on the six decades the unassuming retail fixture spent in the same spot.

Hometown Business Connection: Tune Town: MANKATO , MINN. – Tune Town in Old Town hasn’t always been in the same place, but it’s been a fixture nonetheless for audiophiles in southern Minnesota. “I started Tune Town on October 1st, 1993 in Faribault, Minnesota. In 1997 we opened our second location in Mankato by the college in University Square. We were there for ten years, and then we went to the River Hills Mall,” said owner Carl Nordmeier. For a short period they even had a third store in St. Peter. But then Napster and digital downloads happened. Record stores throughout the country disappeared…It was tough going at first, because a lot of people thought we just closed,” said Nordmeier. But they were still open. And now actually growing, thanks to good ol’ fashioned analog.

Celebrity Handprints Surround Tulsa Store: TULSA, Oklahoma – 40 years ago, a Tulsa record store had visiting musicians create some lasting memories in the sidewalk around the store. The store is gone, but the handprints and autographs are still there. Now, a building rehab project has fans concerned about those celebrity handprints. Building owner Terry Palmer said a facelift is long overdue. It is now the home for Ehrles Party Supply, but forty years ago it was the home for Peaches Records and Tapes. “Recording artists would come by and put their hands in concrete just like they do in Hollywood,” said Palmer. Almost 40 years later, they’re still there. Some names aren’t memorable, but some like Mickey Gilley, Hank Williams Jr., Ray Price, and 38 Special are.

The vinyl record comeback is alive and well in the two-state: AUGUSTA, Ga. — More and more of our music is going digital, but one form of medium is making quite the comeback. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, digital forms of music (streaming and downloads) make up more than 80% of revenue. CD sales have been in a downward spiral over the years, it’s getting so bad that, according to Billboard, Best Buy is reportedly pulling CD’s off their shelves some time this summer. Digital may be dominating, but shipments of vinyls have increased. That trend is evident here in Augusta as well. Local record stores have a pretty steady stream of shoppers coming in for phonograph records (and surprisingly cassettes).

Sorry Spotify, you can’t seduce me with your streaming ways: I don’t use Spotify. Well, not like most people do. Sure, I have it on my laptop in case I need to play something I don’t have but I avoid it like the plague. You see, I’m of the old-school mindset that the music you own says a lot about you and the stories attached to your music is part and parcel of those records…By buying the music we love, we also tend to attach memories to a lot of those experiences. I can pull out my vinyl copy of R.E.M.’s Chronic Town EP and remember riding my bike to Rave On Records in Wheaton, IL to buy it. When it came time to buy R.E.M.’s “Murmur”, Rave On was out of stock but Flip Side, also in Wheaton, had it. The beat-up “Tattoo You” LP I listened to last week was purchased at Blue Sky Records in Glen Ellyn, IL at the same time I bought Van Halen’s “Diver Down”.

Art & Vinyl: Artists & the Record Album from Picasso to the Present: Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present Art & Vinyl, an exhibition examining the ways in which artists have been drawn to records and their covers as mediums for original works of art. Comprised of more than one hundred often rare and important examples, this will be the first in-depth exhibition to focus on works of art created specifically for an album, composer or musician. Seen together, the albums span seven decades and a staggering array of conceptual strategies, and sketch an idiosyncratic history of art from the mid-20th century to the present.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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