Record Store Day returns this year on Saturday, April 22, growing steadily and reaching more and more music fans each year. Record Store Day was conceived at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding the nearly 1,400 independently owned record stores in the US and the thousands of similar stores internationally. There are Record Store Day participating stores on every continent except Antarctica.
Sparked by a comment by Bull Moose employee Chris Brown that something could be done along the lines of Free Comic Book Day and with inspiration from a brainstorming session during a record store owners’ meeting in Baltimore, Record Store Day was officially founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner, and is now celebrated at stores across the world, with hundreds of recording and other artists participating in the day by making special appearances, performances, meet and greets with their fans, the holding of art exhibits, and the issuing of special vinyl and CD releases along with other promotional products to mark the occasion.
Each store holds their own party for the day, to celebrate the perceived individuality of each store, and the place it holds in its community. Although Record Store Day, the day, only occurs once a year, Record Store Day, the organization, provides promotions, marketing, and other opportunities for stores throughout the year, maintaining a website, social media and other means of promulgating its views about the value of independent record stores. Record Store Day is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Dept. of Record Stores, along with the Coalition of Independent Music Stores and the Alliance of Independent Media Stores.
“Music is an important part of our culture,” said the late Chuck Berry, “and record stores play a vital part in keeping the power of music alive.”
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. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities which are programmed independently by each store include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on.
“Record stores keep the human social contact alive it brings people together,” says Ziggy Marley. “Without the independent record stores the community breaks down with everyone sitting in front of their computers.”
A Record Store Day participating store is a stand alone brick and mortar retailer whose main primary business focuses on a physical store location, whose product line consists of at least 50% music retail, whose company is not publicly traded and whose ownership is at least 70% located in the state of operation. In other words, we’re talking ’bout real, live, physical, indie record stores, not online retailers or corporate behemoths or chains.
There are a lot of stores that participate in Record Store Day and those stores are all INDEPENDENT, which means not only are they not owned by a corporation, they aren’t run or influenced or told what to do by the folks at Record Store Day either. They have complete control over their stock, store policies and which promotions they participate in. Any piece (commercial or promotional) on the Record Store Day website is available at some stores, but other stores have probably chosen not to carry them. Which is totally their prerogative.
Be sure to CALL AHEAD and CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL STORE. Being mentioned on the Record Store Day website should not be taken as a guarantee that something will be available at all stores listed on the site. Grimey’s biggest celebration of the year features over 450 RSD releases, an all-day concert festival in the back lot, food trucks, craft-brewed beer, and a Sidewalk Sale with thousands and thousands of $1 LPs and CDs. The Groove will also have concerts and food trucks, as many participating stores will have live music. Belmont University’s student-run Boulevard Records at 2006 Belmont Blvd. is planning activities for customers also; call (615) 460-8533 for details.
Here’s a partial, unofficial list of Record Store Day participating stores in the Multicultural Media Group newspaper readership areas across the state:
Boulevard Records, Belmont University, Nashville, TN
Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Nashville, TN
Fond Object Records, Nashville, TN
Grimey’s, Nashville, TN
McKay Books, Nashville, TN
The Great Escape Charlotte, Nashville, TN
The Great Escape Nashville, Nashville, TN
The Groove, Nashville, TN
Third Man Records and Novelties, Nashville, TN
CD Warehouse, Madison, TN
The Great Escape Madison, Madison, TN
CD Warehouse, Hermitage, TN
Record Store Day Spotlight:
Boulevard Record Shop
Boulevard Record Shop, a vinyl hot spot across from Bongo Java and Local Honey, is taking part in Record Store Day with new vinyl records and live performances. Boulevard Record Shop is located at 2006 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212. For Record Store Day, the shop opens at 9 am on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017. Live music acts will perform from 11-3 pm. There will be a special ticketed live show from 6-10 pm. 10 Dollar Wristbands are available the week prior in store for the ticketed show.
“We’ve been planning for this day since last semester,” said Jacee Badeaux, manager of Boulevard Records, when asked about the event. “We have a bunch of exceptional acts playing, and we ordered special edition records just for Record Store Day. To say that we are excited is an understatement!”
In addition, there is a giveaway for a rare vintage edition of The Beatles White Album that is in Mono and in mint condition. Vendors include Switters Nitrogen Coffee and Krave Beef Jerky. This is a massive feat for a business that is completely student-run and began in August of last year. The Lineup announcement will be published on Boulevard Record Shop’s Facebook and Instagram pages.