Author Archives: TVD HQ

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.

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In rotation: 2/9/18

Spun City: Elvis, the Patron Saint of pop culture and Poplar Avenue, has left the building. It is with melancholy that I find myself saying goodbye to Spin Street. Walking through the big record store at Poplar and Highland felt like walking through a time capsule, but with a slightly B-grade movie atmosphere. The store’s odd array of eclectic items carried a silent scream against pragmatism and reinforced the efficacy of pop culture: An authentic Star Trek lamp in the shape of the Starship Enterprise, a red-hot lava lamp, slightly frightening-looking bobble-heads, giant house slippers in the shape of a Marvel comic book hero, a retro record player, or the old, crumbling tattered record covers of Isaac Hayes.

Medway Music Fair records for sale and supporting local bands: Medway bands will have a new platform to boost their profile this weekend in the shape of a good, old-fashioned record fair. Recollect Music Fair holds its first event at MidKent College in Medway Road, Gillingham on Sunday, February 11. Organiser Graham Sage is inviting bands to sell their CDs and merchandise free of charge alongside the usual stall holders. Formerly the owner of Recollect Records in Strood, Graham shut up shop four years ago but has continued to run Recollect Music Fairs at Rainham Mark Social Club, until redevelopment at the club forced him to move. Extra space at the new venue inspired him to bring in a new twist by creating a platform for bands to reach a new audience.

Check Out this Beatles-Themed Vinyl Jukebox get Designed and Built: Designing a vinyl jukebox based on the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club might not sound like it would be that hard, but when you watch this guy get into it you get the idea that it’s anything but. The amount of detail that goes into this thing is intense. The cutting of the pictures to make sure that they’re to the proper scale and will fit precisely where they need to is something that seems like it’s no big deal for the designer, but it’s likely that he’s been doing this kind of thing for a while and could do it in his sleep. Watching how quickly and accurately me moves to render each picture and design component in the manner that it’s needed is something I tend to enjoy watching since the craftsmanship is fun to see.

The Beach Boys release ‘Pet Sounds’ in ltd. ed. colored vinyl LP: This week, The Beach Boys’ acclaimed 1966 album, Pet Sounds, will be released in a limited colored vinyl LP edition by Capitol/UMe. Limited to 2,000 copies worldwide and available exclusively from The Sound of Vinyl, the collectible special edition presents the classic album’s stereo mix on a 130-gram LP pressed on split translucent yellow and green vinyl…The Beach Boys’ 12th studio album, Pet Sounds is of one of popular music’s most influential and universally-acclaimed albums. Since its original release on May 16, 1966, the masterpiece has reigned at the top of countless critic and fan polls, maintaining its timeless rank as one of popular music’s most-cited influences.

Eastside Guide: Where to Buy Vinyl Records on the Eastside: rom East LA to Echo Park , the following is a list of record stores on the Eastside that are worth checking out if looking to add to your growing vinyl collection or starting one.

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TVD Radar: Elvis Presley: The Searcher vinyl soundtrack in stores 4/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | This spring, the three-hour, two-part documentary Elvis Presley: The Searcher will peel back the legend of The King of Rock and Roll to focus on Elvis’ evolution as a musician and a man. The Thom Zimny-directed feature uses rare footage and new interviews with those who knew Elvis best to share the stories behind the songs that made him famous.

The soundtrack to Elvis Presley: The Searcher showcases Elvis’ most enduring hits, powerful performances and rare alternate takes, from his early blues and country-influenced recordings to his final 1976 recording sessions at the Jungle Room in Graceland. The soundtrack will be available on April 6 as an 18-track overview on CD or 2LP. A 3CD deluxe version adds 37 additional Elvis cuts, original score compositions by Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, plus songs that inspired Elvis, from R&B and country classics to his mother Gladys Presley singing at home.

This soundtrack features 18 songs as heard in the film including familiar hit recordings (“Heartbreak Hotel,” “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”), powerful vocal performances (“That’s All Right,” “Tomorrow Is a Long Time,” “Trouble/Guitar Man”) and rare outtakes (“Suspicious Minds,” “Separate Ways”).

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In rotation: 2/8/18

Could CDs soon go the way of the cassette tape? CEDAR RAPIDS – Eight track tapes and audio cassettes are two once-popular music formats that faded away. And could compact discs, or CDs, be the next to get replaced. A worker at Record Collector in Iowa City checks in a used CD sold for resale. A national music industry publication says retailer Best Buy could stop new CD sales this summer. Reports that one national retailer plans to stop selling new CDs in stores this summer is raising that question. A report by the music industry publication Billboard claims Best Buy has told music distributors the company plans to pull CDs from store shelves July 1st…Bobby Larson, owner of Record Collector in Iowa City, says some music formats disappear only to reappear with new enthusiasts. One example in the music business is the sale of vinyl LP records.

Best Buy may be done with CD’s, but this Springfield music store isn’t: SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Stick It In Your Ear has been a Springfield staple since 1993, and they say if big box chains like Best Buy are ready to give up on music CD’s, then that just means more customers walking in their Walnut St. doors. “It’s kind of bittersweet, I guess,” store manager Erik Milan said. “Because it’s sad that [CD’s are] leaving on that level, but it’s great for us because they’re not going anywhere from our store. We’re only getting more and more, so it’s only going to be better for us.” Best Buy announced this week that CD’s will be off their shelves by this summer. Milan says that CD’s are one of the most popular formats in their store, but admitted that vinyl records are No. 1.

Best Buy Will Stop Selling CDs This Summer: The CD, which revolutionized the music industry in the late 1980s and early 1990s, could be on the way out…The threats to the CD format come as music streaming continues to explode in the music industry. Revenues from streaming music services accounted for 62% of the total market for the first half of 2017, according to newly-released numbers from the RIAA, the music industry’s U.S. trade group. Physical sales, which are comprised of both CDs and vinyl albums, made up 16% of the overall revenues. Revenues from shipments of CDs were down 3% to $431 million, while vinyl albums were up 3% to $182 million.

Independent Dubuque music shops say CDs not dead yet: John Hackett, who has owned and operated CDs 4 Change since 1998, has adapted to the recent uptick in popularity for vinyl. At one point in the 2000s, Hackett recalled, he exclusively sold CDs. Now his inventory is split about evenly between CDs and vinyl. Hackett acknowledged the rise of streaming and digital downloads has taken a substantial bite out of physical sales. “It has made a huge difference,” Hackett said. “You can go on YouTube and click on a song and listen to it without paying a dime.” Hackett suggested Best Buy’s decision to abandon CD sales could be a boon for stores like his. He noted that Best Buy often sold the items as a loss leader, luring customers into the store in hopes that they would buy something else.

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TVD Radar: The Essential Eric Andersen in stores 3/30

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Author of such nonpareil songs as “Thirsty Boots,” “Blue River,” “Violets of Dawn,” “Close the Door Lightly When You Go,” and “Is It Really Love at All” among many others, Eric Andersen is one of the greatest singer-songwriters to emerge from the fabled Greenwich Village folk scene of the ‘60s. But the one thing missing from his catalog of recordings is a true, career-spanning anthology chronicling every phase of his multi-faceted career.

Now, Real Gone Music, in association with Sony Legacy and the artist himself, presents The Essential Eric Andersen, a 2-CD, 33-track set that spans 45 years, ten different labels, and 18 different albums in offering the definitive look at his body of work. The highlights are too numerous to list but here are a few; the retrospective fittingly begins with two solo tracks from his 1965 debut Vanguard album Today Is the Highway before touching on such career standouts as his Blue River album (represented by four tunes including “Is It Really Love at All” and the title track with Joni Mitchell), its follow-up Stages (five songs including “Time Run Like a Freight Train” with Dan Fogelberg on background vocals), the tapes for which were lost for two decades before being found in the Columbia vaults, and even an unreleased track, a cover of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” featuring David Bromberg on dobro.

Disc two leads off with several tracks from Eric’s Arista recordings including live takes of “Thirsty Boots” and “Violets of Dawn,” and then features collaborations with fellow legends Lou Reed (“You Can’t Relive the Past”), Richard Thompson (“Hills of Tuscany”), and Rick Danko (“Keep This Love Alive” and “Driftin’ Away,” with the Danko, Fjeld and Andersen band), as well as other recent recordings made in Europe.

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In rotation: 2/7/18

A guide to record shops in Cambridge: For the past few years, we’ve been bombarded with news stories telling us that vinyl records are finally making a comeback. In 2016, the tides fully turned as records overtook CDs as the most-sold physical form of music in the UK. If you’re looking for vintage and rare classics to add to your collection, or are just looking for the best new releases to put on your turntable, here are the locations in Cambridge you should visit…Hidden away towards the end of Mill Road, Relevant Record Cafe offers an extensive range of new release and collectable pre-owned vinyls ready for you to buy. Before you even enter the store, a quick glance on the Relevant website will show you all the staff recommendations of the best new music- so you can try before you buy.’s new ‘Two Nick’s’ music podcast: Talking vinyl with Gotta Groove and Wax Mage Records & more: Tucked within St. Clair-Superior’s Tyler Village, Cleveland’s Gotta Groove Records pressing plant churns out more than a million records a year. Founded in 2009, the factory is responsible for making vinyl records for everyone from your favorite local bands to international acts. Gotta Groove is also home to another project that’s garnering national attention in the art and music world. Employee Heath Gmucs is the founder of Wax Mage Records, which makes experimental, one-of-a-kind hand-poured vinyl at the Gotta Groove headquarters.

Musical mystery: Record collector seeks info on Athens-based single: Have you ever heard the song “I Was Wrong” by The Rocking Reactions? What about its flip side, “Wednesday Night”? If you haven’t, don’t worry; it’s likely not many people have. However, a local record collector would like to know more about it. Michael Sharritt said he found the record in a local store. It immediately caught his eye because the 45-rpm single originated here. The red Star Records label also says the song was produced by Athens-based Crown Productions. The only other information it contains are the names of the songwriters — Ray McCafferty wrote “I Was Wrong,” while “Wednesday Night” was penned by McCafferty and Steve Howard…There seems to be little known about Star Records or Crown Productions, however.

A record label is about to start shipping vinyl copies of NASA’s famous golden records: After years of effort, a group of music aficionados is finally bringing the full auditory experience of NASA’s famous Voyager golden records to turntables all over the world. NASA debuted its golden records — an album of messages, images, and audio meant as a record of Earth for aliens — before the nuclear-powered Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes launched in 1977. Though they weren’t the first golden rockets sent to deep space, the records are considered the most ambitious time capsules of their kind…The company already shipped backers some 10,000 early copies, but the $98, three-vinyl-LP box set is now available for sale to the wider public. According to Ozma Records’ sales page, the remastered golden records will begin shipping in mid-February.

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TVD Radar: Leo “Bud” Welch documentary
Late Blossom Blues DVD in stores 4/20

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Award-winning feature-length doc by Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer traces the final years of the Mississippi bluesman whose recording career began at age 81; reminds us it’s never too late to live one’s dream.

When 81-year-old Leo “Bud” Welch from the Mississippi backwoods released his debut album Sabougla Voices in 2014, it took the blues world by surprise: Where has this guy been the last 60 years? Why has nobody ever heard of him before? When he started playing 10-15 shows every month, even receiving invitations to Europe and Africa, more questions arose: How is this possible for a guy his age? Who makes all these shows happen?

Answers are given in Late Blossom Blues, a feature-length documentary about the bluesman and his very late rise to stardom. It’s the quintessential blues story — a story about poverty, about work in the cotton fields and the woods, about the Lord and the Devil, and of course a story about life that reminds us that it’s never too late to live your dream.

Late Blossom Blues will be released in the U.S. on DVD through San Rafael, Calif.’s City Hall Records, with an in-store street date of April 20, 2018. Amazon will stream the documentary on that date as well.

The film follows Leo and his friend and manager Vencie Varnado, a Gulf War veteran, as they balance the tight rope between business and geriatrics, between jet lag and sound check. It also paints a heartwarming portrait of Leo’s small hometown Bruce, Miss., where Leo’s daily life is still untouched by his late global fame.

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In rotation: 2/6/18

Hinckley record shop going strong after 40 years, Nervous Records is popular with teenagers looking for classic rock and pop on CD and vinyl: A vinyl and CD albums shop in Hinckley has created its own record in reaching 40 years in business. Gordon Hayes, 65, has run Nervous Records in The Lawns as a one-man band since January 1978, when he moved in with a group of friends to rent the property. He said the major change he has seen while running the shop came in the mid 80s when CDs took over, but then there was a recent swing back in the popularity of vinyl, with more and more young people visiting the store. Gordon said: “My average customer in the past would be aged 35 to 50, but now a lot of young people and teenagers come in, looking for mostly classic artists from the 60s and 70s.

Hundreds gather for Gosport Record Fair: Music enthusiasts from across the area flocked to Gosport over the weekend for a celebration of classic records. A record fair took place at Gosport Discovery Centre on Saturday, with hundreds of people turning out to browse music and memorabilia. Record sellers from across the region were invited to showcase their collections, with records on sale for visitors. Music enthusiasts Steve Mickleright, 59, from Gosport was there on the day. He said: ‘I like the late 70s and early 80s music the most, so that’s what I’m looking for at the moment. ‘There seems to be quite a large variety of things here, and is certainly the busiest record fair that I have been to in a great many years. ‘I think the appeal for records comes from the feel of them – there’s a story on the cover and they feel great to hold.’

Vinyl collectors gather in Gastonia: Record collector David Turner helped to organize the local event to bring together others who share the same passion, giving them an opportunity to trade and purchase from one another. Turner began getting serious about collecting vinyl about four years ago. He’s amassed a collection of around 5,000 records, picking them up at vinyl swaps, estate sales, record stores and other locations. About a year-and-a-half ago, he hit a vinyl gold mine on a trip to Asheville. “I took a Ford Ranger truck and bought 1,800 albums from a guy in Asheville for $80,” he said. “If you ever want to know how many albums will fit in the back of a Ford Ranger truck — 1,800.”

Record Fair a hit with Bolton music lovers at Market Place Shopping Centre: Music lovers headed down to the Market Place Shopping Centre to browse through rare albums and singles at the Record Fair. Store owners and collectors from across the North West set up shop outside Debenhams on Saturday to show off their vast array of musical treasures. There were about 8,000 LPs ranging from £2 to £400 for people to browse through as well as hundreds of CDs. Organiser Adrian Melling, aged 58, said: “We do this about twice a week and we all love doing it. Comparatively this is a small gathering for us, sometimes we can get 35 dealers. “But we love coming to this area because it is in the centre of the Market Place and we get a lot of passers-by who are shopping around. “So we are really pleased to be here and we have a great turnout in Bolton every time.

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TVD Radar: The Thousand Incarnations of The Rose: American Primitive Guitar and Banjo (1963-1974) in stores 3/23

VIA PRESS RELEASE | On March 23, Craft Recordings will release The Thousand Incarnations Of The Rose: American Primitive Guitar and Banjo (1963-1974) on 2LP, CD, and digital.

This new compilation celebrates the groundbreaking, inventive approach to traditional instrumentation brought forward by an impressive group of maverick artists whose interpretations of folk, blues, and traditional song gave rise to one of American music’s most unique and influential stylistic schools, known today as American Primitive. Featured artists on the compilation, which serves as a “Who’s Who” of the genre, include John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho, Harry Taussig and more. The two-LP vinyl edition features deluxe gatefold packaging, and a tipped-in booklet containing new liner notes by compilation producer Glenn Jones and illustrations by Drew Christie. The CD configuration comes housed in a softpack and features a booklet containing both Jones’ notes and Christie’s artwork.

The Craft Recordings release comes in connection with a three-day festival by the same name, The Thousand Incarnations of the Rose, which promises to be a music festival unlike any other. Taking place at multiple venues in Takoma Park, MD from April 13th – 15th, the festival brings together for the first time more than 25 acoustic fingerstyle guitar and banjo players from every era of the American Primitive/Guitar Soli movement and every corner of the United States; pairing legends such as Peter Lang, Max Ochs, Harry Taussig, and Peter Walker with modern day heavy hitters like Glenn Jones, Marisa Anderson, Daniel Bachman, and Nathan Bowles.

There will also be documentary screenings and rare footage of John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Jack Rose, plus panel discussions with scholars and musicians. It is only fitting that Takoma Park, Fahey’s boyhood home, will host the festival this year, which commemorates the 60th anniversary of his very first recordings.

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TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new and FREE tracks received last week to inform the next trip to your local indie record store.

Boy Rex – Golden Standard
Jason S. Matuskiewicz – Can We Put Out The Flames?
Moon Darling – Don’t Rise
Margaret Chavez – Call For Cull
Jared Saltiel – Wayward Queen
Felsen – Vultures on Your Bones
The Incredible Vickers Brothers – In Memory
Blind The Thin King – Hail The Newborn Killer
Nathaniel Bellows – Keep in Mind

UB40 featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey – She Loves Me Now

J Hacha de Zola – My Special Angel
Oberon Rose – Tell Me All About It
Echo Bloom – The Duke
Le Rug – Gloss
Reigen – How to Make Love
Corina Corina – BAR$
BIJOU – Gotta Shine (ft. Germ)
Sonny Side Up – I DK U (ft Yung Skrrt)

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