Vinyl makes a comeback: Record Store Day celebrates independent music stores

record store day 2013
Special to The Sun
Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 02:30 PM.

In 2007 Record Store Day was established to celebrate the unique culture of more than 700 independently owned record stores around the United States. And after just a few years, small, independently owned record stores — like Central Square Records — are happy to see their stores crowded with customers eager to get their hands on limited release vinyl ranging from Grateful Dead to Grizzly Bear as well as miscellaneous items such as books, DVDs and even a few cassettes.

As iTunes, mp3s and illegally downloaded music replace CD players, independent record stores have suffered over the years. Thanks to the nationally recognized Record Store Day, local music stores are revered.

Ed Jack, manager and owner of Central Square Records, has been celebrating Record Store Day at his store since 2009. Over the years, he has seen the number of enthusiastic customers, waiting to get in the door, multiply.

"We open an hour early at 8 a.m. In the beginning there were about 5 or 6 waiting on the front porch," he said of the April 20 event. "Last year we had 45 to 50."

Record Store Day has become a great tradition for customers and record store owners, Jack said. By now, his customers anxiously await the third Saturday of April to see what goodies they'll need to fight for. For owners, there's a sense of camaraderie between the few and far between record stores.

"Independent Record stores reflect our own communities. They're cultural jewels," he said. "Each one is unique. Customers can get to Central Square in the morning and head to Revolver in Pensacola and buy something different. We're all in the same army."

Each store celebrates Record Store day differently. At Central Square, you can expect some giveaways (record totes, label samplers and T-shirts), live music (Chris Alvarado, Cody Copeland and Gileah & the Ghost Train) as well as a wide range of vinyl. The store will also hold a drawing for a test pressing of J.J. Grey’s new album, "The River," which they will give away at the end of the day. 

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