Saturday is usually that special day at the end of the week reserved for sleeping in, seeing friends, and
tinkering with odds and ends in the garage. That is, unless it’s the third Saturday in April and you are a vinyl music maven who is aching to add a prized gem to your collection. So you set the alarm and sleepily head to the closest record shop to stand in line – and make a few friends – as you await the beginning of Record Store Day.
“Last year, the first person got here at 5:30," says Chris Haner, manager of Green Light Music near Drake Road. "And then the people in line – those guys have a blast. They’re out there, hanging out, and they’re talking and they’re trying to stay warm. They’re out there for a few hours, so you get to know who you’re standing by a little bit.”
His store, along with The Corner Record Shop on West Main, are active participants in this year's event, which is being observed nationwide April 19. In its seventh year, the Day helps to shine a light on independent music stores by celebrating the classic vinyl record.
Corner Record Shop Manager Sean Hartman says that days like this are great for bringing in new listeners.
"Either they have that one release that they just feel like they gotta have, maybe they're just starting their collection, maybe they're just coming in to see what all the fuss is about," he says of the newbies. On Record Store Day over 400 special albums and re-issues will be released, ranging from The Allman Brothers, Sam Cooke, Devo, and even late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia.
Both stores will also have free giveaways and DJ’s spinning through the day. But quantities on these special editions are limited, so it's important to arrive early.
Both Hartman and Haner say that on Saturday, quantities will be limited.
"We don't know what we get until it shows up," says Haner. "And you can only buy one item per title for the day and after that whatever we have left over then you can buy as much as you want."
Adds Hartman: “If you’ve got one specific release that you really want to get ahold of, you’re gonna want to get here early. We’re gonna have people probably lining up by 6 am or earlier. Fourth Coast is also going to be here giving out free coffee and baked goods in the morning, so if you’re standing in line we’ve got some refreshments for you, if you weathered the cold.”
Even though Record Store Day is definitely a big promotional event and an economical boom for stores, Hartman hopes that the customers who come in can see past the hype and into the appreciation of vinyl records.
"I feel like there's a good amount of people who are buying a record just to go home and frame it - that defeats the point! The biggest thing that we like to look is having people come in on Record Store Day, and then start having people come back every week after that, and getting excited about new genres and getting excited about stuff that they haven't heard before," he says.
Both stores will be opening their doors at 9 a.m.