Last Friday, roughly 25 people lined the front of independent record store Graywhale Entertainment in Ogden. On the surface it seemed like just another Black Friday crowd, but to these passionate vinyl music collectors, it’s about one thing: Record Store Day.
Officially launched in 2008, Record Store Day was created as a way to show appreciate for local and independent record stores worldwide. Record Store Day is celebrated twice a year, once in April and also during the biggest retail-shopping day of the year: Black Friday.
Music lover Kylee Hallows has worked at the Ogden Graywhale since 2009. “There’s a lot of exclusive products that Record Store Day has launched,” Hallows said. “It’s a campaign really to revive the record industry as far as buying physical copies. It’s like a rebellion against digital (music).”
Piracy has been a major issue in the music industry for many years. Despite this, vinyl record sales have risen substantially.
“(Vinyl) has come back so strong so I can’t agree that it’s just a trend,” Hallows said. “It feels different, it sounds different …there’s something about looking at every bit of it rather than listening to just a digital file.”
Hallows believes the future of vinyl collection is in good hands thanks, in large part, to Record Store Day. “We see a lot of young kids,” Hallows said. “I have 10 year olds who come in here with their parents to buy Record Store Day stuff … The Record Store Day thing really has made people start to care about vinyl again.”
Plain City resident Heidi Bitton showed up to Graywhale on Record Store Day to support local business. “I try to support local business as often as I can,” Bitton said. “I was happy to see such a crowd.”
As a collector of vinyl records, Bitton was surprised to find out about the Record Store Day event. “I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even know it was Record Store Day,” Bitton said. “It was great finding out how many bands are releasing on vinyl, and all the rereleases from classic bands.”
Bitton enjoyed the experience of celebrating a love for vinyl records with others. Bitton said, “It was cool how passionate the other customers were about their vinyl, almost like a secret brotherhood they have going on. There were a couple guys who had driven down from somewhere in Idaho just for this. (They’re) truly dedicated vinyl lovers.”
Vinyl enthusiast Randy Griffith is a self-proclaimed record store hound and major collector of vinyl records. Griffith, 58, has amassed a collection of nearly 4,000 vinyl LPs. Clutching a limited edition copy of “Roy Orbison at the Rock House” Griffith checks to see if he has the lowest available number of the 3,000 worldwide copies. Griffith said anyone born before 1975 would remember the organic rise of vinyl records. Griffith said, “We all grew up listening records on a record player and it sounds so much better than a CD … the record really puts a whole different phase on it.”
The multinational retail chain Urban Outfitters recently laid claim to being the largest distributor of vinyl records. This is a sentiment unshared by Record Store Day supporters.
“To me this whole rebellion is about not shopping at those corporate places. It’s about supporting your community that’s around you.” Hallow said, “(Graywhale’s) a part of the Ogden community … It’s about making a connection with your community and I don’t want to live in a world that doesn’t have something like that.”