In rotation: 2/11/19

Glasgow, SCT | Glasgow Fopp saved from closure after customer outcry: Fopp on Byres Road will stay open after being marked for closure in a deal to save HMV. A Glasgow branch of the Fopp record stores on has been saved from closure after an outcry from customers and musicians. Fopp on Byres road was to be one of 27 stores closed as part of a deal which saved the collapsed HMV business. Customers and musicians alike hit out at the decision to close the store. However, after negotiations an agreement has been reached to save the popular record store. A spokesman for HMV said: “This is the best outcome for everyone and we are delighted to share the good news with all those who have been so supportive over the past weeks. “There has been a huge amount of goodwill and a tremendous groundswell of support…”

Glasgow, SCT | A double album of memories: looking back at our love affair with record shops: The anguish that greeted the news that the Fopp record store in Glasgow’s Byres Road has been closed was a reminder of the emotional attachment that many of us have to such places. The shop was one of those earmarked for closure after its owner, HMV, was itself rescued from collapse this week by Canadian music entrepreneur Doug Putman. Of the chain’s 127 stores, 100 will continue to operate, safeguarding nearly 1,500 jobs. The shuttering of the other 27, including Fopp Byres Road, and HMVs in Ayr and at Braehead, means the loss of 455 jobs, to be followed by 122 warehouse jobs in the weeks ahead. The hashtag SaveFoppByresRoad quickly flourished on Twitter. “An absolute institution and an cultural and musical oasis in the west end of the city, enriching, edifying and bringing sheer joy to sooooo many people’s lives at affordable prices,” wrote actor Gavin Mitchell.

UK | HMV’s new voice is relishing the fight to save all the stores. ‘Vinyl nut’ Doug Putman takes on the landlords and says he’s hopeful for the Oxford Street flagship. The new owner of HMV is hoping to reopen the chain’s flagship store on Oxford Street, and is in talks with landlords on the rest of the 27 outlets which closed down earlier this week. Doug Putman, the 34-year-old boss of Canada’s Sunrise Records, rescued 100 HMV stores from administration, beating off a bid from Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley. But branches such as Oxford Street, with higher rents, were not included in the deal. Speaking to the Guardian, Putman said he was optimistic that these outlets could be reopened: “Where certain stores have closed, our public have really rallied around and I credit that with some of the landlords coming back to us,” he said. “They can see how much support we are getting.” …“Our goal is to keep all 127,” he said. “I think there’s hope [for Oxford Street]. We would love to keep it open, it is such an iconic store. We would even be willing to keep it open and lose money. Customers love it.”

Cardiff, Wales | The story of the UK’s oldest record shop Spillers and the woman who saved it from extinction. Spillers is thriving and it’s thanks to Ashli Todd. It may have only taken a little over 35 years, but I’m finally about to experience something which was once a source of endless fascination. Then, as an eager young music fan experiencing my own musical rites of passage, I regularly visited Spillers Records to buy the latest eagerly-awaited seven-inch single or album. On every visit, the back room of the shop – famed for being the world’s oldest record store – provided endless fascination. It was where the staff would disappear before re-emerging with your chosen prized item. It was a place that held mystical qualities for this young record purchaser. Although I never saw it, I figured it was some sort of Aladdin’s cave, a glittering treasure trove of vinyl.

Berkeley, CA | Reid’s Records To Close After 74 Years. Berkeley record store helped bring gospel to the Bay Area. For decades, Reid’s Records, a black-owned gospel record store on Sacramento Street in Berkeley, spread the good news of gospel music. But times, and tastes, have changed—and the owners know it. Over the years, sales have slowed to a trickle. But Reid’s is not just any record store. Its owners brought rising young stars, like a 17 year-old gospel prodigy named Aretha Franklin, to play shows in the East Bay. It’s no wonder the shop has endured—fortitude runs in its roots. Reid’s Records was co-founded the legendary “Rosy the Riveter”: 97 year old Betty Reid Soskin, who is currently the nation’s oldest actively serving National Park Ranger. Reid’s is now run by Diara Reid, who told KCBS Radio that the store has lost its footing in a digital world. “Technology has just taken away the physical product that we sell,” she said.

Beloit, WI | Music Junkies seeking out vinyl records: After collecting dust, many people threw out their records and transitioned to cassettes or CDs. Boy, do they regret that decision. The popularity of vinyl records has exploded over the past decade, and music fans are more eager than ever to support shops like Tin Dog Records. “Being able to touch a record offers such a different experience for music fans instead of just downloading a song,” said Tin Dog Records co-owner Jason Staack. First opened in 2014, Tin Dog Records, 312 State St., has always been a go-to for finding a mix of affordable records, according to local music fans. The downtown Beloit shop offers mostly used vinyl targeted towards the casual and beginning collector. Many albums are priced from $5 to $15. “We hear a lot from customers that they’re mad about having gotten rid of their old records…”

Oakland, MD | Sipside Lounge set to open in Oakland Feb. 15: Sipside Lounge is set to be the newest destination spot in Oakland, with its opening planned for 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. Owned by Pat and Barbara Franc, the lounge at 119 South Second Street is the “twin” shop to their Flipside Sounds vinyl record store, which opened in July right next door. “We wanted to create a very unique, relaxing and fun place for people to gather in a music-themed lounge in a historic building — filling a need for downtown Oakland,” Pat Franc said. His hopes are that the two businesses will enhance each other. “Both places are designed to help people reconnect and travel back in time with some of their favorite music memories from an old record or the radio,” he said. In fact, there will be common hours when customers can access each business from the other side through shared glass doors. Promotions are also planned from time to time. “We hope our customers, especially local residents, will feel that Sipside is their place — where they are known, welcome and comfortable,” Franc said. “It’s an ideal complement to Flipside Sounds where vinyl records, music accessories and more are featured.”

Manchester, UK | Man stole rare vinyl records – including The Smiths, Radiohead and Run DMC – from pal of 20 years while he was abroad. Paul Spencer appeared before magistrates to admit one count of theft. A man ended up in court after stealing a number of vinyl records from a pal who entrusted him to look after them while he lived in Canada. Paul Spencer, 46, from Salford, appeared before magistrates to admit one count of theft. He disputes the value of records while he stole. The case was adjourned for another hearing where evidence will be heard. Some of the vinyls [“Vinyls” is not a word. The plural of vinyl is in fact “vinyl.” —Ed.] said to be stolen include records by The Beatles, The Smiths, Morrissey, Stevie Wonder, The Specials, Run DMC, Radiohead, The Ramones, Otis Redding, the Sex Pistols and James Brown. Manchester Magistrates’ Court was told that Spencer’s friend Sean Crossey went to live in Canada, and he left his treasured music collection with the defendant, a friend of 20 years.

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