In rotation: 11/5/19

Oak Park, IL | Iconic Val’s Halla Records To Close After Nearly 50 Years: “Val’s has been a huge part of so many people’s lives over the decades and we’ll never see its like again,” management wrote. An iconic Oak Park business is planning to close its doors. Val’s Halla Records, which has been a beloved spot in the city for nearly 50 years, announced Saturday that it will close at the end of November. The news came in a heartfelt Facebook post from the record store’s current owner, Shayne Blakely. He wrote, “It breaks my heart to announce this but unfortunately Val’s Halla will be closing it’s doors at the end of the month. ” He added, “Val’s has been a huge part of so many people’s lives over the decades and we’ll never see its like again.” The post prompted a flood of comments, with many customers asking if they can do anything to help the store stay afloat. “The damage is done,” Blakely wrote. Other fans of Val’s Halla Records wrote that they were “devastated” by the news of the store closing.

Corvallis, OR | Happy Trails turns 45: Happy Trails Records, the venerable Corvallis music shop, quietly celebrated its 45th anniversary Friday. No balloons, no 45% off sales … not even a poster on the windows of the store at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Third Street. The store does still have a basket of free condoms on a table just inside the door, but they weren’t part of the celebration. Owner Doug DiCarolis, who’s been involved with the store for 34 of those 45 years, did advise the steady stream of customers Friday of the anniversary, but otherwise it was business as usual for the store. And business is OK these days, DiCarolis said, although anyone who has tracked the record industry over the past 45 years knows there have been some fat and sassy years … as well as some down times. “It’s amazing that we are still here,” DiCarolis said. “It wasn’t easy. There were some extremely lean times, times in which it was hard to be able to pay the bills.” The bottom for DiCarolis and his small shop that focuses on new and used vinyl but also sells CDs, was the 2005-12 period. “That was really, really difficult,” he said. “I sold my house to keep the business going. That got rid of the debt. Then people started buying records.”

Missoula, MT | Missoula’s Rockin’ Rudy’s Record Heaven expands amidst record revival: Rockin Rudy’s Record Heaven has been bringing music to Missoula for the past 30 years and with the recent resurgence in vinyl sales, the record store has a new chance to expand. The store first opened its doors to the public back in 1982 and now — decades later — and after quite a few movesm it’s found a new home at 845 Ronan Street. Scott Storer has managed the store for 10 years, and grew up in Missoula in the ‘80’s. He says it’s nice to be off a commercial strip. “Most of those stores went out of business or kind of got phased out in the 90’s, but I think Missoula really has the support to have these neighborhood stores start popping back up,” Storer said. Alicia Webster says she visits record stores with her dad every time she’s in town. “It’s pretty therapeutic. You’re always going to find something, because there’s something for everybody,” Wesbter said.

Leeds, UK | Vinyl Variety: Late Night Legacy Lead Us Around Leeds’ Top Record Shops: Ryan Kitto (vocals), Rob Orange (guitar), Kyle Metcalf (bass), and Andy Hounslow (drums) are the four capable men who comprise Late Night Legacy. The Leeds alternative rockers bring a highly energetic perspective to their songwriting and performances, influenced heavily by bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, Rival Sons, and Royal Blood. The guys have been on quite the upswing in popularity lately, thanks to hard work and solid music as evidenced by recent singles “Paddy” and “Blame.” Thus far, the group’s touring has taken them across the UK, not to mention headlining Monmouth Festival in front of 8,000 fans, and playing sets at both Camden Rocks and Kendal Calling. Obviously, the band is not unfamiliar to the demands of playing in front of audiences in the thousands, which has only contributed to making them better musicians. Being from Leeds, the members of Late Night Legacy have had the opportunity to really connect with a dynamic musical culture, one in which music is still appreciated…

Parkersburg, WV | This is Home: Area record collectors: Music collections that are seen as well as heard. Something that began to fade away in the 1980s, when vinyl LP’s began to give way to tapes and compact discs-and, especially in the 2000s, when music came not from what is known as “physical media”, but from computer downloads. Still, the people helping to keep records alive are the ones who embraced them in their youth. “I’ve been buying records for over 50 years; I’m recently retired, and now, I have the time to invest in my hobby, my passion,” says local collector and seller Brian Worstell. “So now, I spend my days cleaning and readying vinyl records for record shows… When you look at the time you put into it, it’s more a labor of love. I like meeting people, and talking about the different artists and the different records I have for sale…”The record revolution doesn’t just end with the 30-40-50 (year-old) crowd,” says Aaron Whited, who organized the recent record collectors show in Parkersburg. “Those people are having kids, and those kids are grown up and growing up with this. Half of the people I buy and sell with are my age or even younger.”

Sex Pistols God Save the Queen A&M single sells for £13k: A rare copy of the Sex Pistols’ single God Save The Queen has sold for £13,000 at auction. The single was originally recorded for A&M Records in 1977, but the label dropped the band before it was issued and most of the copies were destroyed. Martin Hughes, of Wessex Auction Rooms near Chippenham, said: “It’s a holy grail item… and as far as I can tell it’s never been played.” In near mint condition, it is among the most valuable vinyl discs of all time. While other records have since sold for considerably higher prices, the Pistols disc remains among the most sought after artefacts of its kind. It was pressed for A&M in March 1977 but withdrawn within days after the band were sacked because of their notorious behaviour. Shortly afterwards it was re-released by Richard Branson’s Virgin Records to coincide with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. It officially reached number two in the UK charts, despite being banned by the BBC, and is believed by some seasoned rock observers to have been the “real” number one, outselling its nearest rival by two to one.

Fort Wayne, IN | Vinyl setting new sales records: Before there were eight-track tapes, before cassettes, before CDs, waaay before digital music, there were … records, thin platters of vinyl etched with patterns that could be reproduced as sound on a device called a record player. Records were a hassle. They had to be constantly cleared of dust and lint – carefully, because they were prone to scratch. They tended to warp if not properly stored. And changing a record on a record player required effort – after a few songs, you had to turn it over, sort of like grilling a steak.Still, there was something about records that all the playlists of Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music haven’t been able to replace. And now, “like an aging rocker,” the Economist magazine reported, “vinyl is making a comeback.” In 2005, the Economist reported, just $14 million worth of records were sold. Records are still a tiny portion of the U.S. music-sales pie. But this year, the British news magazine reported, “they should reach $500 million and exceed those of CDs for the first time since 1986.”

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