Vinyl records died in 1993. At least, that’s what the numbers suggest. The venerable format that began in 1948 apparently met its equal in the late 1980s, as the CD and cassette market plummeted vinyl sales, practically wiping them out in the early 1990s.
An unlikely and unintentional alliance between indie punk rockers, hip-hop record players and audiophiles has supported the vinyl market and helped it survive and enter the internet age. As mainstream music shifted from being a physical product to the ethereal realm of digital downloads, vinyl records began to make an inexplicable comeback.
Over the past decade, vinyl has managed to overcome obstacles and become viable again. Vinyl sales in 2015 reached nearly 12 million units. Although this is an increase from previous years, it is still only a fraction of the entire music industry. Is the current trend just nostalgic fad or does it have real stamina? In order to answer this question, it’s time to turn to those who know her best, vinyl collectors.
Owner, Grantski Records
At 26, Evan Grantski is part of the ‘millennial’ demographic of music lovers who grew up in the digital age after vinyl originally fell out of favor. He not only owns a vinyl collection, but he also just opened a record store on Central Avenue in June of last year. It’s one thing to join the vinyl craze as a collector and quite another to embrace it as a business venture in 2016.
âI always had to go out of town to find new records,â he says. “I knew other people in Augusta had the same problem, so I decided to open my own store.”
As a millennial who owns his own vinyl store, he has a unique take on the vinyl resurgence and some of his views are quite surprising.
âYes, it’s a fad for some,â he admits. âHe won’t continue to grow like he is now, but I think he’s going to stabilize and stay. There will be no decline like before.
Grantski sees the interest in vinyl as a reaction against a music industry that did not care about music lovers for years and only saw them as consumers. He feels that people who prefer vinyl are those who prefer quality over quantity. This is a fact that seems to challenge age groups or other demographics as he sees a wide range of people visit his store.
âReal music lovers will do their best. It’s like a religious experience.
Executive Director of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau
You might recognize Randy DuTeau as the sweet-mannered, enthusiastic chef of Columbia County CVB, or even as an accomplished athlete, but did you realize he was once a punk rock kid in the 1980s?
DuTeau has a huge collection of DIY punk rock singles and albums that fills an entire shelf, reading like a who’s who list of mid-80s underground rock: Husker Du, Minutemen, 7Seconds, Bad Brains, among many. ‘others. When asked why he keeps them, his enthusiasm for music is more than evident.
âThis is who I am,â he says, pointing to the collection. According to DuTeau, the music we listen to shapes us and makes us who we are. The spirit of doing it yourself and being independent came from the underground punk movement, and DuTeau is a shining example of this mentality.
When asked why vinyl occupies a place above the digital realm, he says digital music is too practical and impersonal. âYou can’t dive in,â he says. âThe vinyl has artwork and cover art. On iTunes, you don’t get anything. You don’t understand the concept of an album because it’s too easy to skip.
NBC News 12 26 | News presenter
Local news anchor Richard Rogers still remembers getting his debut album. He holds a copy of Santana’s legendary album âAbraxasâ. “I got it for 1 dime from the Columbia House Record Club,” he says with a smile. The impact of owning this first record still remains decades later.
Rogers actually has two separate record collections in his house. One is his own collection of classic rock from the 1970s and to the present day, while the other belonged to his older sister, who died several years ago. His collection contains rock and pop music from the 60s, and he keeps it separate to honor his memory.
Although Rogers has a special place in his heart for his
vinyl, he hastens to point out that he has no prejudices of format. âI adopt new technologies,â he says. “I just added CDs and digital to my collection, and I haven’t given up on vinyl along the way.”
And, he also passes this musical passion on to his two children, both of whom now attend university. He claims they both have their own decks and
frequently loot his music record collection. Rogers sees the resurgence of vinyl as a positive thing and is happy to see a new generation embrace the format he grew up with.
Columnist for The Chronicle of Augusta and Director of Media and Marketing for the Georgia Cancer Center
It should come as no surprise that The Chronicles of Augusta Longtime columnist and music critic is said to have a large and eclectic music collection that spans multiple genres. But Steven Uhles has his own way of adding new music to his vinyl stash.
âI have to ask myself, ‘Is this a vinyl number, a CD number or do I want that on my phone,â he said thoughtfully. “How do I want this? “
For Uhles, vinyl is about property and longevity. He decides whether or not he wants something on vinyl based on his attachment to music.
“Do I want this to be an integral part of my life?” ” he asks.
Uhles believes the appeal of vinyl is how it touches the senses. He claims that you can’t just hear it, see it and touch it, but it takes it a step further.
Owner, Vintage Ooollee
For Augusta’s vintage memorabilia queen, Ooollee (aka Caren Bricker), vinyl is all about nostalgia and its connection to the past. His collection of 70s rock and pop records is reminiscent of the music of his youth.
âThe vinyl touches me inside because of the memories,â she says.
Ooollee recently embarked on a new project where she listens to her entire album collection alphabetically at home in the evenings a few nights a week, even if that requires sitting down to songs she doesn’t know or that she particularly likes. While performing this exercise, she discovered that some recordings evoke forgotten memories of people and places from the past.
As for the current vinyl resurgence, she finds it appealing and hopes it will force people to slow down in our fast-paced, on-demand world.
“Everything is in a hurry, hurry up and hurry up,” she said. It is important to take the time to slow down and just listen to the music.
Jazz of the Garden City
Jazz musician Karen Gordon is a unique record collector in that she willingly has nothing to play her records on. She’s a self-described wanderer on vinyl that doesn’t own a turntable, but instead relies on the availability of friends who do. Not being able to listen to her records regularly isn’t a problem for Gordon, as she still finds inherent value in the record itself.
âI see the potential and the possibilities,â says Gordon. âThe disc establishes a link with the artist and a link with the past. “
While this might sound very esoteric, it speaks to another aspect of vinyl as a physical artifact. Gordon sees his jazz collection not only as music, but also as a historical record of the people who created it. It is something that she can touch and keep as a memory. It is heartwarming for Gordon to know the music is there and waiting for her to listen to it when she gets the chance.
Owner, Sky City & Soul Bar
As a nightclub owner and concert promoter, music is the lifeblood of Coco Rubio. It doesn’t just define who he is, it’s his line of work as well. Vinyl has always been a part of her life and her livelihood, and it is a pervasive element in her everyday existence. His vinyl collection is extensive and touches almost any genre you can imagine. And even though vinyl is an integral part of his life, he is still fascinated by it.
“It’s like magic,” said Rubio after reflection. âI’m just thinking about how it works. The music is on a long groove throughout the record. It is something magical.
And, like Steven Uhles, he also refers to the olfactory nature of vinyl records, in this case new vinyl records instead of old ones. To demonstrate, he reaches for the coffee table and grabs a new unopened record from a band called Futurebirds. He runs his fingernail along the seam to open it, pulls out the disc and sniffs before putting it back on.
” You feel it ? There is something about being on vinyl that makes it a ‘real’ record, âhe says. “The size of it, feel it and put the needle on record …
It is special.
Assistant Professor of Communication at Augusta University
As Augusta’s resident film guru, it’s fitting that Matthew Buzzell’s first foray into vinyl collecting was tied to his love for movies. After a brief search in his living room filled with vinyl records, Blu-ray boxes and movie posters, he pulls out a small miniature car.
“When I was 9, my parents gave me this Corgi James Bond Aston Martin with an ejection seat,” he says. Naturally, this led to his first official music purchase: the “Goldfinger” soundtrack. “I would put the record on and play with the car.”
Although he was briefly “wowed” by the allure of CDs in college, he never lost his obsession with vinyl. Over the years he has continued to enrich his collection, focusing in particular on the elusive foreign soundtracks.
For Buzzell, the love of vinyl is about finding an emotional connection. âIt’s not enough to have it. It must be an art that touches me emotionally or sentimentally.
He’s excited to see a new generation come to vinyl and thinks the new trend has some long-term resistance. âIn this day and age when things live in the cloud, people want to hold onto something, they want a memory of the experience,â he says.
Where to buy vinyl records in Augusta
2126, avenue du Center
822 Broad Street
859 Â½ rue Broad
2nd & Charles
2834 Washington Rd Ste Q2