by Savannah Evanoff
To record store owners and lovers, nothing quite compares to the first moments after a needle hits vinyl, creating a soothing crackle as a record makes its first rounds.
Record store owners and vinyl record enthusiasts will celebrate the musical phenomenon for the 10th annual Record Store Day on Saturday. Many independently owned record stores will officially participate in Record Store Day, offering exclusive vinyl record releases and promotional materials such as CDs and T-shirts and hosting giveaways or special events.
FWB Vintage Records in Fort Walton Beach, Central Square Records in Seaside and Revolver Records in Pensacola are among the official participants in the holiday. For a list of the 2017 Record Store Day exclusive releases, visit recordstoreday.com.
Edward Jack, manager of Central Square Records, said the store’s owners, Tom and Jenny King, make a point to celebrate the holiday there every year. In previous years, more than 75 people waited on the porch for it to open, he said.
“It’s just a fun day to celebrate what we’ve done and really see how appreciated we are by our customers and friends who come in,” Jack said. “We just make it a big, daylong celebration.”
Although many people are repeat Record Store Day customers, Jack said the day is not just for record collectors. The store will offer starter record player kits including a turntable and powered speakers for those interested, he said.
“We convert a lot of people that day,” Jack said. “They see the magic, the momentum and the energy in the store that day. We get people into vinyl … They see the fervor and the passion of people that do collect vinyl.”
Tim Willi, owner of FWB Vintage Records, said he’s excited to officially participate in Record Store Day this year for the first time. The store sees people from all over the country, including vinyl record dealers who always mention the holiday, Willi said.
“Every one of them says I have to do it,” Willi said. “If I’m not doing it, I’m missing out. This one event is what’s been driving vinyl, so how can I not participate?”
Willi has ordered 400 exclusive records for the holiday, though he did not order any 7-inch releases, he said. He will offer free giveaways and sell custom FWB Vintage Records Record Store Day T-shirts and T-shirts featuring St. Vincent, the indie rock musician named the official 2017 Record Store Day ambassador.
The most popular inquiries about exclusive releases at FWB Vintage Records regard Paul McCartney’s “Cassette Demos,” a limited-edition cassette the store will offer.
Jack foresees popular offerings will include The Beatles’ 7-inch “Strawberry Fields Forever”/“Penny Lane,” David Bowie’s “Cracked Actor” (Live Los Angeles ’74) and for new-music enthusiasts, The Head and the Heart’s “Stinson Beach Sessions,” he said.
Along with a selection of exclusive releases, Revolver Records will also feature live music on Record Store Day featuring Precubed, an indie band, and Kent Stanton, a solo acoustic artist.
Edward Smith, owner of Jazz in Fort Walton Beach, said his store will celebrate in a different but “very special” way. Although it won’t offer exclusive vinyl records listed on the Record Store Day website, he will place his entire record inventory on sale, he said.
“I’m putting every record in the store on sale for 50 percent off,” Smith said. “That includes LPs, 45s and 10- and 12-inch DJ singles. As long as it’s a record, it’s 50 percent off.”
Vinyl has a special place in everyone’s past, including his, Smith said. He has listened to vinyl records since he was 16, indulging in jazz and big band music, he said.
“I have a spot in my heart for vinyl,” Smith said. “It’s really nice and warm when you listen to it. CDs will never have the warmth of a record.”