If the smoke clears on April 20 and you are not too busy celebrating actor Crispin Glover’s birthday, do yourself a favor and buy some music from a small-business owner on Record Store Day.
Since its creation by a handful of independent record store owners in 2007, Record Store Day has become a global event to promote both independent record stores and the resurgence of vinyl records. Dozens of artists such as The Black Keys, Calexico and David Bowie will release material exclusively for Record Store Day.
Former White Stripes guitarist Jack White is the official ambassador for Record Store Day. Ever since his popularity surged among fans and critics alike, White became an advocate for vinyl records, analog recording equipment and independent record stores. His efforts are spearheaded by Third Man Records, White’s own record label located in Nashville, Tenn.
“As Record Store Day Ambassador of 2013, I’m proud to help in anyway I can to invigorate whoever will listen with the idea that there is beauty and romance in the act of visiting a record shop and getting turned on to something new that could change the way they look at the world, other people, art and ultimately themselves,” White said in a statement on recordstoreday.com. “Let’s wake each other up.”
Eric “Elvis” Jones is the owner of Revolver Records at 9 E. Gregory St. in downtown Pensacola. Since Revolver opened in October 2010, it has become known as the hip place for new releases on CD and vinyl.
Over the past few years, music lovers, including Jones, have struggled to determine why a once outdated medium such as vinyl has become such a popular trend.
“No one knows, which is kind of the beauty of it,” Jones said. “You can kind make an educated guess. Vinyl has been around since the late 19th century, [thanks to] Thomas Edison. They tried to kill it for a couple of decades and it didn’t work.
“At least for now, it’s here to stay.”
Another local store participating in Record Store Day is Remember Wynn on 7007 Lanier Drive off Creighton Road. Remember Wynn is known as a vintage record store that specializes in the classics such as, The Beatles and Eric Clapton, which is a healthy contrast to Revolver, which mainly specializes in new releases.
Earl Wynn opened the store five years ago. Wynn is a collector of music, hitting up yard and estate sales in search of classic music and outdated equipment like turntables and reel-to-reel players. His collection grew so big that he enlisted his good friend Jackie Seale to manage the shop. Seale said the collection is so huge that four storage units hold all the music and classic machinery that can’t fit into the three-room store.
“It’s a good place because everybody still loves 70s and 80s rock ’n’ roll, more than anything,” Seale said. “Earl’s been collecting for a long, long time. It’s just unbelievable with the collection that he has.”
Like Jones, Seale attempted to describe the resurgence of vinyl in a digital world.
“I think it’s because of the sound,” Seale said. “It’s more romantic. It’s cleaner. Once you upgrade and get decent equipment and stuff, it just sounds better. There is no doubt about it.”
Both stores will open at 10 a.m. on Record Store Day and will have numerous discounts on both CDs and vinyl records. Revolver Records and Remember Wynn are the only stores in Pensacola participating in the global event. More information on locations of stores and artist releases can be found at recordstoreday.com