NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – People often say everything eventually comes back in style, and decades old music media are making their return, too, like records. This year, on National Record Day, the newfound popularity of records for the younger generation is something record store owners are looking forward to.
“Grabbing a record, it’s work. You gotta open it up, put it on the platter, drop the needle down onto it, so it kinda gives you a more personal listening experience,” said Joshua Buck, State Street Records owner.
The first vinyl record was released in 1948, and their popularity has ebbed and flowed over the years.
Today, vinyl sales are making a comeback. In 2020, vinyls outsold CDs for the first time in 34 years.
“I think people wanna slow down. I think people realize the time you have is limited in this life,” Buck said. “I think youth culture now, they never got to experience the 90s or the 80s or even the 70s, and so they’re going back and they’re revisiting all this technology.”
And it’s a new generation of listeners.
Buck says he sees kids bringing their parents to the record shop just as much as parents are bringing the kids.
“Music is timeless. Music is ageless, and it brings lots of people together to enjoy it,” Buck said.
New stores like State Street Records are popping up, but record stores didn’t go anywhere over the last several decades. Places like Record Connection in Niles have stood the test of time, having been open more than 40 years.
“We still do everything almost exactly the same. We still hand-write a receipt. We don’t have scanners here,” said Jeff Burke, owner of Record Connection.
A big shot in the arm for new and old stores is National Record Store Day, which is held twice a year.
July 17 will be the second one of 2021.
“We receive product that is limited, exclusive to these stores and a lot of it is just small, small allocations and some of it is never done again, so you kinda have instant collectibles,” Burke said.
Only certain stores get record day releases. Record Connection is one of them.
They have 2,000 of those new records to be sold on National Record Store Day.
“There’s some real good jazz records. There’s soul, there’s hip hop, there’s country, you know, you name it,” Burke said.
Even though record sales are up, Burke says he wants to see it keep soaring.
“We’d like to see 50 mill, 75 mill, then it’d really make me believe that it’s really here to stay. It’s not a fad,” Burke said.
National Record Store Day is Saturday.
At State Street Records, they’ll have records that the owner is pulling from his own personal collection.
They’ll be open 1 to 8 p.m., and at Record Connection, they’ll have live bands along with those record store day releases.