In rotation: 12/2/19

Muscle Shoals, AL | Vinyl LP fans line up for Black Friday Record Store Day: Luke Newton knew exactly what he wanted on Friday’s Black Friday Record Store Day and lucky for him, the only copy of the Jerry Garcia Live box set in NuWay Vinyl was waiting for him when he entered the store. The Florence resident was among about 10 people in line waiting for the store on Woodward Avenue to open at 9 a.m. Black Friday Record Store Day is similar to the Record Store Day typically held in the spring but takes and offers re-issues of music not previously available on vinyl and other limited edition items. “I got here about 8 a.m.,” Newton said as he was leaving the store. “This is the first time this has been released on vinyl and I had to get it.” Newton said he was heading home to listen to the five-LP set. NuWay Vinyl Manager Kirk Russell came outside and offered a few ground rules to the waiting customers, such as no multiple purchases of a single item. Then he opened the doors.

Goshen, IN | Goshen’s ‘Record Store Day on Black Friday’ offers alternative to shopping experience: As some shoppers waited in line for doorbuster deals at big-box retailers Black Friday, others also stood in line in the name of tradition and for the love of a good vinyl record. At about 7:30 a.m. Friday, a group of six friends huddled together in front of Ignition Music Garage in downtown Goshen. The group first met because of a shared love for vinyl records and are a part of an “exclusive” vinyl record fan club that meets monthly. On Friday, three of those friends stood in line at 5 a.m. and, as the cold morning progressed, more joined in. Together they cooked breakfast, drank coffee and talked about what records they were hoping to get when the doors opened at 8 a.m. for Record Store Day on Black Friday. …The group of friends has been carrying on the tradition of showing up early at the record store at 120 E. Washington St. for about five years. They say they do it not to get a jump-start on getting a unique record at a good price, but also because it’s what they love to do.

Charlotte, NC | Shoppers Have Eyes on Vintage Vinyl for Record Store Black Friday: Some shoppers spent hours in line on Record Store Black Friday to get their hands on some rare vintage vinyl. The annual event celebrates independently-owned record stores across the country. Music fans get a chance to buy limited releases from older artists to those currently topping the charts like Lizzo. Experts say millennials are bringing back a passion for records as well as turntables. One fan from Statesville says it’s just about loving good tunes. “You know, you can download a song and put it on your phone, but you don’t touch it. You know, it’s like the thing that made you love music to begin with. You could open up the album and read the credits and see the pictures and all that stuff. You don’t get to do that with a digital download. You see a picture on your phone. It’s something to be able to read it and touch it and pull the excerpts out and ah you know. It’s more than just the music I guess,” customer Brice Reese said. Some of the albums will only have a few hundred copies nationwide. Store owners say the limited releases sell out quickly.

Bethlehem, PA | Vinyl lovers celebrate Record Store Day at Lehigh Valley shops: If you’re over 40, stepping into the Compact Disc Center in Bethlehem may trigger the long-forgotten joy of searching for an album you didn’t even know you wanted. The store, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, smells pleasantly of incense and is stacked with boxes, bins and shelves of records, compact discs and cassette tapes just waiting to be explored. And there was a lot of exploring going on in such shops Friday, one of two days set aside each year for Record Store Day, which celebrates the unique culture of the nation’s 1,400 independently owned record stores. Eager shoppers lined up well before the 8 a.m. opening at the Bethlehem shop in hopes of being the first to snag a coveted Pearl Jam vinyl and a recently released Louis Armstrong album recorded at Muhlenberg College’s Memorial Hall in the 1950s. “Listening to vinyl is not a background thing; it’s a foreground thing,” said Mary Radakovits, who co-owns the Compact Disc Center. “It’s an experience. You have to jump up and flip it over. You are listening intently … it’s the statement the way the artist wants you to hear it.”

Rochester, NY | House of Guitars Celebrates Record Store Day: It was a packed house at House of Guitars for National Record Store Day. Music lovers traveled from across the state for the special occasion. Business was booming at the popular store and museum on Black Friday, as dozens rushed to celebrate and support the culture of independently owned record stores. Co-owner Bruce Schaubroeck described what appeared to be trending this year. “A lot of Vinyl is hot,” said Schaubroeck. “Vinyl is making a strong comeback. People are buying turntables, reintroducing themselves to the warm sounds you got in Vinyl, the big pictures and artwork and descriptions of the songs and bio’s about everybody on the inside. People are revisiting that.” Record Store Day brings together music fans, artists and musicians as record companies across the world gift participating locations with a variety of limited edition releases. This includes CD’s, Vinyl’s, LP’s and more. All up for grabs, on a first come first serve basis.

Fenton, MI | Vinyl, once a retro thing, is viable business again: Record sales growing while CD sales are stagnant; streaming is still king of all media. “How is there music on this flat black disc?” This question propelled 28-year-old Fenton resident Peter Putnam on a 15-year obsession with vinyl records. It started with studying Thomas Edison’s phonograph, which led to him digesting the science, math and technology behind this enduring music medium. He now has about 2,500 records, which he plays with his Teac TN300 with receiver and speakers. Putnam said vinyl is his primary way of listening to music. Of his titles, many are out of print. He feels a bit like a music historian or even archeologist. He has mainstream music and even single recordings of a Detroit band from the 1950s, who never released another physical album. This hobby started as a “nerd thing” in middle school but is now not only cool again, but also a viable part of the national music business.

London, UK | Pinner author’s quest to visit every secondhand record shop in the world: An author from Pinner has published a book this week. Vinyl Countdown by Graham Sharpe was published on Thursday(November 28) and is a blend of memoir, music, travel and social history, which follows Graham’s quest to visit every secondhand record shop across the globe. Graham Sharpe’s vinyl love affair began in the 1960s and since then he has amassed over 3,000 LPs and spent countless hours visiting record shops worldwide along with record fairs, car boot sales, online and real life auctions. Stories in the book include the author giving Elton John his first significant media break, Elvis Presley costing him his job, how he ‘invented’ betting on the Christmas number one, and his close friendship with Screaming Lord Sutch. Vinyl Countdown will appeal to anyone who recalls the first LP they bought and any music fan who derives pleasure from the capacity that records have for transporting you back in time.

Shetland Islands, UK | Living the dream: Clive the ‘music man’ looks back 40 years after opening first record shop: “I don’t think I can remember a single day in the Commercial Street shop that we didn’t sell an AC/DC album.” Clive Munro knows Shetland’s music tastes better than anyone. He would, of course, because he reckons he sold local people “well over a million” singles and albums over three decades back when buying physical music was a part of every day life. It was nearly exactly 40 years ago – on 8 December, 1979 – that the music lover, rudderless after graduating from university in Aberdeen and back home working for P&O, opened his first record shop in Lerwick’s Burns Lane. Surprisingly, given its somewhat admittedly mundane nature, Clive must have one of the most evocative and nostalgic first names in Shetland. …Clive was, of course, the man behind Clive’s Record Shop – Shetland’s premier music shop, which closed in 2011 in the advent of digital music and online powerhouses like Amazon, leaving a big gap in the local market.

Grantham, UK | Popular record store relocates to Grantham town centre: A popular independent record store has relocated to new premises in the centre of Grantham. Gordon’s Records, which specialises in vinyl records, CDs, diecast models, DVDs, books and collectables, relocated to 22 Westgate earlier this month. Gordon Staniland, of Allington, originally opened Gordon’s Records in The Old School, in Station Road, Grantham, seven years ago but outgrew the space and needed larger premises. Since opening three weeks ago, Gordon has been pleased with the support. He said: “It has been good so far. I have still got all my regulars but have had some new faces too as now I have foot traffic which I didn’t have before. Customers have a lot of variety here including some bargains in our £1 and £5 sections.” The 76-year-old has enjoyed turning his passion into a business. He added: “I’ve always loved records and used to sell them at car boots. Customers love records for their artwork and pictures. It’s also a piece of nostalgia.” Gordon, who has also worked as a DJ since 1966 and owns a gardening business, added: “We have a mixture of customers of all ages.”

Bradford, UK | The Record Café celebrates five years on North Parade: A popular and world-renowned Bradford bar celebrated its fifth birthday over the weekend. The Record Café has made it to half a decade in its humble spot on North Parade, despite the struggles of others in the city and industry. In that time, it has become an integral part of the city’s makeup winning several prestigious awards over the years, including Bradford CAMRA’s Pub of the Year twice. Owner, Keith Wildman, even says he has customers come from all over the country to visit his niche, unique take on a bar. Over the birthday weekend, Hebden Bridge’s finest purveyors of quality apparel – HebTroCo – were selling limited edition “vinyl, ale and ham” socks all weekend. This perfectly encompasses what The Record Café is about. A place where you can sit and have a pint, eat good meat and buy a record at the end of it all. Still, a lot has changed in five years.

Flint, MI | Jack’s Record Stache brings nostalgic wax to downtown Flint: Jack’s Record Stache, a new shop that sells vintage and new vinyl, is celebrating its grand opening in downtown Flint with a free concert at the Local 432 on Friday, Nov. 29. Jack’s Record Stache, located at 124 West First Street, is the brainchild of two Flint natives — Brandon Trammell, 43, and Jerry Crago, 37. The shop, which features more than 4,000 records, was started in honor of Jack Cusenza, the late father of Crago’s childhood friend. Cusenza’s collection of more than 150,000 records was given to Crago and Trammell after he died in 2017. Crago said he remembers visiting Cusenza’s house and seeing the library walls stacked with records. The two men took on the challenge of going through and organizing the massive record collection. “We started taking them to record shows to get an idea of what we were sitting on,” Crago said. The two men chipped away at the record collection for nearly a year before they decided to do something more with it.

Rush Singer Surprising Drummer Offer Revealed: ‘It’s Time.’ Legendary Rush frontman and bassist Geddy Lee took to social media via Instagram to celebrate the vinyl release of his first solo studio album – My Favorite Headache, released on November 14th, 2000. The album was released on Record Store Day this year and Lee also took time to celebrate that album being released alongside other albums from Jack Black and Tenacious D, Todd Rundgren and others. This Geddy Lee sad boat accident was revealed last week. “It only took around 20 years to finally see a vinyl release of MFH! Not only is it awesome to hold a “proper” sized Album cover in my hands but nice see this remastered work available in all the indie record stores…gotta keep the mom and pop shops going for both music and books! These are the places I spent much of my youth wandering around looking for overlooked gems! Some cool new RSD gems released today alongside My Favourite Headache caught my eye…Jack Tenacious D….Todd Rundgren…Patsy Cline…Zappa.”

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