Record Store Day: earth's vinyl days

On April 21, the fifth annual Record Store Day will get off to a rockin' start when doors open in about 1,000 record stores in some 20 countries.

Record Store Days

You remember records, right? Not only are the big 12-inch albums and 7-inch 45s still among us, but so are their landlords, old-fashioned independent record stores, which celebrate their own special day every spring. On April 21, the fifth annual Record Store Day will get off to a rockin' start when doors open in about 1,000 record stores in some 20 countries.

From Tulsa to Tokyo, San Diego to Sydney, the gritty neighborhood purveyors of the petroleum platter will party with contests, free giveaways, in-store performances by local faves and big stars, and exclusive limited-edition 45 and LP releases. Among those are new singles by Coldplay, Florence + the Machine, Bruce Springsteen, Arcade Fire, comedian Jimmy Fallon, and many more. Exclusive Record Store Day LPs will include new 12-inch vinyl pressings from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and The Black Keys, and rarities from jazz icons Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck.

Billboard magazine attributed a seismic 182,000 unit sales to last April's Record Store Day. Rocker Jack White exhorts the rock troops to "show respect for the tangible music that you've dedicated your careers and lives to, and help It from becoming nothing more than disposable digital data."

And speaking of analog, music producer Gary Calamar and Billboard writer Phil Gallo have penned a 240-page companion piece to the annual event, Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again. It combines a timeline of the evolution of recording media – from Edison's wax cylinders to today's MP3 files – with affectionate portraits and reminiscences of America's iconic record shops and chains, some now defunct, some just plain funky. We meet up in the listening booth at Hollywood's long-gone Wallich's Music City to spin the latest from Nat King Cole and Elvis Presley before skipping a half century ahead to pack in like sardines with adoring fans at an in-store performance by Sir Paul McCartney at Amoeba Music, the largest record store in the world. (It's also known as "Godzilla" by the scores of indie record stores it has driven out of business.)

Dusty Groove of Chicago, Denver's Twist & Shout, Grimey's of Nashville, and Minneapolis's Electric Fetus won't hold out forever. Make a pilgrimage April 21 and pay your respects. To locate an indie record store near you, go to

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Record Store Day: earth's vinyl days
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today