Vinyl: It's bad for couches and good for music. On April 21 independent music store in the U.S. and around the world celebrate the 5th Annual Record Store Day. Record stores will be hosting live events including artist appearances.
Chris Brown conceived the idea for Record Store Day. In 2007, Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner created the first Record Store Day "as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally," according to Record Store Day. Record Store Day occurs on the third Saturday of April annually.
What is a record store - besides the obvious?
Record stores are not just places to buy music. They are meeting places for like-minded people. An independent record store has its own culture and local connections. It's a place for audiophiles to find rare imports or copies of their long lost favorite vinyl records.
According to Record Store Day, a record store is defined as a "stand alone brick and mortar retailer whose main primary business focuses on a physical store location, whose product line consists of at least 50 percent music retail, whose company is not publicly traded and whose ownership is at least 70 percent located in the state of operation," or in other words, a locally-owned store that you can walk into, not log onto.
What's a vinyl record?
"The vinyl record is a type of gramophone record, most popular from the 1950s to the 1990s, that was most commonly used for mass-produced recordings of music" according to The Record Collectors Guild.
Record stores and sales, by the numbers
1.6 -- Percentage music sales were up in 2011.
14.2 -- Percentage vinyl sales also rose in 2011.
2,000 -- Number of independent records stores open today.
39 -- " Album sales at independent record stores increased over 39 percent the week of Record Store Day (April 16) from the prior week -- an increase of 180,000 units -- and 12.7 percent compared to 2010."
1930 -- The year "RCA Victor launched the first commercially-available vinyl long-playing record."
7 inch (17.5 cm) / 45 rpm EP -- a vinyl format introduced to compete with the 12 inch (30 cm) / 33⅓ rpm LP. "For a two-year period from 1948 to 1950, record companies and consumers faced uncertainty over which of these formats would ultimately prevail in what was known as the "War of the Speeds"' according to the Record Collectors Guild.
On April 19, 2008, Metallica helped the crowds celebrate Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco, Calif. On April 21, 2012, Jazz/Funk legend George Freeman performs at 4 p.m., at Dusty Grove in Chicago. For more information on live performances on Record Store Day, look for the participating independent record store nearest you.