I think it was the Bee Gee’s Staying Alive that first graced my record player. Fond memories there.
April 19 happens to be World Record Store Day, which began in 2007 as a way to celebrate independent record stores and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1,000 independently owned record stores in the U.S. and thousands of similar stores internationally. There are Record Store Day participating stores on every continent except Antarctica.
This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities.
Locally, we used to have one or two independent record stores in Rockland and Camden until they moved on. Do you remember the Camden record store Wild Rufus? Originally started by Matt Brown in 1979, it changed hands with Byron Greatorex and then later, by Nathaniel Bernier, who went with the times and made the store digital. Well, Byron is back and better than ever with a small grassroots shop of his own in the back of Merchant's Cooperative (the antique store next to Camden House of Pizza). The tiny independent record shop is called Spirit of Sound Records and he specializes in rare and unusual vinyl. He's a jazz aficionado as well, so you can find some rare jazz there.
“Records have held up over the test of time,” said Greatorex. “You have beautiful sound quality along with something you can hold in your hand and some neat artwork. A lot of young people who do digital downloads are very interested in vinyl for those reasons. There’s a renaissance happening with vinyl being put out by the new bands right now, so it’s an ongoing venture I’d say. It never really has gone away. In the mid-1990s, it looked like it would fade out when the digital stuff came in, but it really never gave up.”
And if we’re going to celebrate the record, we can’t bypass the cassette or the Walkman.
For more information about World Record Store Day visit: recordstoreday.com