Remembering record stores.

At one time, there were plenty of record stores all over town. Only recently did I realize their disappearance over the years.

When I was growing up, I went along with my father to a record store that actually sold vinyl records. He purchased the soundtrack album to Saturday Night Fever, which came on two LP’s. I will forever be haunted by the brand-new smell of the album after the plastic wrapping was removed, which really added to the fresh sound of the music.

I also remember the time when record stores sold cassette tapes, even as compact discs began to take over the music media industry. I would walk into a record store and find the inventory of cassette tapes along the wall and the CD’s displayed in bins throughout the rest of the store. I built quite a collection of cassette tapes, most of which I still have today. And yes, I still have the dual cassette deck to play them on.

I remember a lot of the record stores that were around town, especially at the malls. In fact, it was the main reason for my going to the mall in the first place. One of my favorite record stores was Spec’s, which had a large enough inventory for me to find what I was looking for. Sam Goody was another favorite place to shop, along with Record Town. I also liked visiting Peaches, whose stores always had that unmistakable smell of incense sticks on sale there. They too had a large selection of music.

These days, record stores just aren’t as commonplace as they used to be. Spec’s has long since gone, and so has Peaches. The mall near me that once had both Sam Goody and Record Town has seen them both disappear. I don’t know which malls still have record stores anymore, but I’m sure it would mean a longer drive. Yes, Walmart may sell music CD’s, but it’s just not the same as visiting a standalone record store. It’s depressing to see this era of history come to a premature demise.

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