Graphic: Teneille Craig for Okayplayer.com
These Black-owned vinyl record stores are sure to have something you’ll want to add to your collection.
Small businesses throughout the United States are suffering amid the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, particularly record stores. Deemed non-essential businesses, most record stores are closed during this time and are therefore losing out on sales. As a result, these stores are in jeopardy of closing and never opening up again. Even institutions like Amoeba Music face possible closure during this time.
Nevertheless, record store owners are still trying to get product in the hands of vinyl heads across the country. Thanks to the internet and social media, a store’s collection can be viewed from the comfort of one’s home and, amid the pandemic, stores are offering news ways to deliver, whether that be curbside pick-up or local delivery.
This is the case for a handful of Black-owned vinyl record stores in the US. In the past, these stores were commonplace, with anywhere from 500 to 1,000 Black-owned vinyl record stores existing throughout the South in the ’60s and ’70s. The decline in Black-owned vinyl record store, like those of other record stores, is the result of a few factors: the rise of retail chain stores; the evolution from tangible to digital forms of music; technological advances in music-playing devices; and, of course, the ever-increasing cost of maintaining a store.
Many Black-owned vinyl record store that persisted for decades have since been closed. Reid’s Records, reportedly California’s oldest record shop (it first opened in Berkeley 1945), closed its doors last year. Still, record stores continue to crop up across the country, and a handful of those stores are Black-owned.
Amid the pandemic, people are finding comfort in nostalgia. Vinyl provides that — the vintage warmth of the music that comes as soon as the needle hits the grooves offering an escape during such a trying time. If you’re in search of new and old vinyl to cop, here are 10 Black-owned record stores to support during these times.
Brittany’s Record Shop, Cleveland
Photo by Brittany Benton
Genres: Hip-hop, reggae, soul and jazz, as well as dedicated Brazilian, Latin and Afro-funk crates.
Price range for records: Used vinyl, $4 – $10; new vinyl, $15 – $30
Where to view what’s available and purchase:brittanysrecordshop.com
Ways to receive purchase: E-commerce, in-store pick-up, domestic and international shipping.
“Really, anything funky and soulful gets play here,” Brittany Benton said of her record shop. Opened on March 21, 2018 —DJ Premier’s birthday — Brittany’s Record Shop offers used and new releases (scrolling through the shop’s Instagram account shows everything from Kaytranada’s Bubba to Isaac Hayes’Black Moses), and even if the shop doesn’t have what you’re looking for, Benton will try her best to get it.
“I also special order by request so if there is something I wouldn’t typically stock at the shop, I’ll get it for a customer if I can,” she said. “I just want to make sure that I’m putting records that people want in their hands.”
Offbeat, Jackson, MS
Photo by Alden Kirklan
Genres: Strong focus on hip-hop, soul, and jazz, but carries all genres.
Price range for records:$1 – $100+
Where to view what’s available and purchase: offbeatjxn.com
Ways to receive purchase: Curbside pickup, $14 flat rate shipping, andfree shipping for orders over $75.
Owned by Phillip Rollins (also known as DJ Young Venom), Offbeat was first opened on May 17, 2014. A glimpse of the store’s website shows that it offers new and old releases, reissues, and pre-loved (used) records, as well as comics and designer and import toys.
Serious Sounds, Houston
Photo by Marketta Rodriguez
Genres: R&B, soul, jazz, gospel, blues, zydeco, Southern soul, rap and hip-hop.
Price range for records: $5 – $35
Ways to receive purchase: Only curbside pick-up and mail orders at the moment.
Marketta Rodriguez first opened Serious Sounds on December 14, 1991, and the record store has been serving Houston since. In 2016, the store even served as a meet-and-greet for Kirk Franklin fans when the gospel star was promoting his Losing My Religionalbum.
“I’m really a niche, relic, dinosaur store, but hey — there’s a need and I fill it,” Rodriguez said.
Jampac Records, Monroe, NC
Owner Walter Gibson pictured inside Jampac Records. Picture courtesy of Gibson.
Genres: All genres including rock, R&B, gospel, folk, hip-hop and rap, big band, jazz, show tunes, and soundtracks.
Price range for records: 25 cents – $350
Ways to receive purchase: Curbside pick up, local deliveries, and shipping for free on orders that are $50 or more.
The almost 35-year-old Jampac Records initially started in a building about as big as a closet back in 1986, before taking on the location it has been at since 1994. The fact that owner Walter Gibson owns everything from 12″ singles to 78’s is a testament to his store’s longevity, which primarily specializes in records from 1899 to 1995 but also carries new releases from time to time.
JB’s Record Lounge, Atlanta
Owner Jonathan Blanchard pictured inside JB’s Record Lounge. Picture courtesy of Blanchard.
Genres: R&B, soul, jazz and Afrobeat, with a pretty good selection of everything else.
Price range for records: $1 – $100
Ways to receive purchase: All orders will be mailed via USPS with $3 shipping within the United States. Free Shipping if you purchase two or more items.
Nestled in the back of 640 West Community Cafe is JB’s, a record store owned by Jonathan Blanchard that originally began as a quarterly crate-digging party in Blanchard’s basement. In 2017, Blanchard moved JB’s from his basement to where it’s located now, where he not only sells records but he hosts events, too.
Re-Runz Records, Orlando, FL
Photo courtesy of Ed Smith.
Genres: Soul, funk, classic rock, jazz, R&B, blues, gospel, disco, hip-hop, rock, and reggae.
Price range for records: $2 – $400
Where to view what’s available and purchase: Online at Re-Runz Records’ Discogs account.
Ways to receive purchase: In-store pick-up (locals must have a purchase invoice), mail order.
Ed Smith opened Re-Runz in 2016, but has been an avid record collector since 1974 and seller since 1985. Prior to Re-Runz, Smith also operated another store similarly-named Re-Runs Records from 1990 to 2000 that primarily sold CDs. Smith comes from a musical background: aside from being a musician himself (the multi-instrumentalistgot his start as a 15-year-old touring on the Chitlin Circuit), his brother, the late Cleon “Fly” Smith, was a singer who shared stages with James Brown and Kool and the Gang.
Halsey & Lewis, Brooklyn, NY
Photo courtesy of Sonya Farrell
Genres: All —reggae, soul, hip-hop, dance, pop.
Price range for records: $5 and up
Ways to receive purchase: Curbside pick-up, local delivery for purchases over $75, and shipping.
In 2017, Martin Brewer and Sonya Farrell opened up a little shop called Halsey & Lewis (named after the cross streets it resides on), which has since become known not only for its selection of vinyl but vintage objects.
“We aren’t into the minutiae that some of the extreme vinyl junkie collectors are,” Farrell told DNAinfo in 2017. “We are interested in listenability and covers in decent condition.”
Moodies Records, Bronx, NY
Photo of Moodies Records owner Earl Moodie Sr. by Riaz Phillips
Genres: Dancehall, hip-hop, reggae, soul.
Price range for records: $5 and up
Where to view what’s available and purchase: Call Moodies Records to inquire — (718) 654-8368
Ways to receive purchase: Call Moodies Records to inquire — (718) 654-8368
Moodies Records first opened its doors in 1982 and has since become a musical institution in the Bronx, with people from Germany, Kosovo, Japan, and other parts of the world visiting the record store. Despite having to relocate to another spot in the borough in 2013, Moodies continues to be a mainstay. It even made an appearance on the late Anthony Bourdain’s TV seriesParts Unknown, serving as the backdrop to a conversation between Bourdain and DJ Kool Herc for an episode dedicated to the borough that birthed hip-hop.
Freshtopia, Norfolk, VA
Owner DJ Bee aka Beesusthedj. Photo by Keja Reel
Genres: All genres but lean heavily to hip-hop, soul, funk, and R&B.
Price range for records: $1 and up
Where to view what’s available and purchase: freshtopiava.com (only some of the records are viewable on the website), Freshtopia’s Instagram account (they accept DMs and emails for records) and eBay account.
Ways to receive purchase: Free shipping on select items. Local customers can come in and dig or do drive by pick up.
Philadelphia native DJ Bee (aka BeesustheDJ) opened Freshtopia in January 2019, which serves as an apparel and vinyl store (45s, 12″ singles, and albums), as well as houses a fully-functioning radio station. As a member of the Skratch Makaniks DJ Crew, it’s not uncommon to see Bee spinning live or hosting his radio show Da Block from his shop.
HR Records, Washington, D.C.
Photo courtesy of Charvis Campbell
Genres: Jazz, soul, and R&B.
Price range for records: $1 and up.
Ways to receive purchase: Local delivery and mail order.
Home Rule Records was opened by Charvis Campbell back in April 2018 and continues to cater to fans of jazz, soul, and R&B music, primarily offering old records at affordable prices. (The store has a large budget section of records ranging from $1 to $5.)
*This post was originally published in May 2020 and will be continuiously updated to reflect new record stores.
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Ultimately, there are four key factors to consider: how rare the record is, what condition it's in, how old it is, and the current price of similar copies. In the sections below, we'll walk you through all of these factors to help you get a sense of how to evaluate the albums in your collection.Where can I sell records for the most money? ›
The best places to sell vinyl records online are eBay and Discogs. These are the two big 'go-to' platforms. The eBay vs Discogs debate is a big one amongst record collectors, with pros and cons to each. There are also some other alternative options listed below.Can old records be worth money? ›
The average eBay selling price for vinyl records is around $15, though values can range from 50 cents to $50 or more. Some vinyl records command spectacular fees. An original copy of Frank Wilson's "Do I Love You" can be worth up to $40,000, for example, while Elvis Presley's "Good Luck Charm" can net up to $20,000.Who is the target market for vinyl records? ›
Most vinyl record customers are male (61% of the market) The largest segment of vinyl customers is aged between 45-54 (29% of the market)How can I get the most money for my vinyl records? ›
You can sell vinyl records directly to collectors or to a store. Selling directly to collectors will typically net the most money, though it can take longer to sell. Selling to retailers and other stores is faster, but you'll get less money since they need to resell at a profit.Who will buy records? ›
Some popular record stores with a nationwide presence are:
- Dusty Groove.
- We Buy Records.
- Hard To Find Records.
- Starry Night Records.
- DJ Records.
- Amoeba Records.
- SELL Vinyl.
- Shake It Records.
Data on vinyl album sales in the United States from 1993 to 2020 shows consistent growth since 2006, and in 2021 a total of 41.7 million vinyl albums were sold, up by over 50% from the previous year according to Statista.com.What is the rarest 45 record? ›
God Save the Queen, 1977 (Single)
This single, in particular, has very limited copies since it was cancelled by A&M Records. If you want to get your hands on one of the 15 (supposed) copies in existence, you must pay $12,000 to $20,000 for each.
The official Discogs App is the best way to catalog your music collection, find that hidden gem, check pricing and buy music from the world's largest discography of physical music. Search millions of artists and albums. Find an album by its barcode.Are old 45s worth anything? ›
Rock and roll and R&B 45s with picture sleeves that were pressed in the 1950's have a value of at least $10, with many being valued at more than $100. EPs were only made in the 50's and 60's. Rock and roll and R&B 45s with the cardboard sleeves are worth at least $20, with many being worth more than $200.
A Billboard analysis shows that Amazon is the largest seller of vinyl in the U.S., with about 12.3% market share, followed by Urban Outfitters with 8.1% market share.Is vinyl still popular 2022? ›
Popular on Variety
U.S. recorded-music revenue climbed 9%, streaming revenues are up 10% and vinyl sales soared a whopping 22% in the first half of 2022, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America's mid-year report released on Wednesday.
Those who have recently purchased a vinyl album are most likely to be aged between 45 and 54, apparently. In fact, those in the 18-24 age group are the least likely.What is the best vinyl record ever? ›
- Kate Bush – The Hounds Of Love. ...
- Miles Davis – Kind of Blue. ...
- The Doors – The Doors. ...
- Fleetwood Mac – Rumours. ...
- Michael Jackson – Thriller. ...
- Oasis – What's The Story Morning Glory. ...
- Neil Young – After The Gold Rush. ...
- The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers.
Keith Skues (born 1939): 250,000 items, mostly vinyl records kepts at his home.What is the most successful record of all time? ›
Michael Jackson's Thriller, estimated to have sold 70 million copies worldwide, is the best-selling album. Jackson also currently has the highest number of albums on the list with five, Celine Dion has four, while the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Madonna and Whitney Houston each have three.Are records worth more unopened? ›
Because the condition of a record is held to be important by collectors, the ideal example of a record to own, in the eyes of many collectors, would be one that has never been played at all. Because of this, collectors will often pay a huge premium for sealed, unopened examples of records they are seeking.Are old 33 records worth anything? ›
If the record is in good condition (and note that some records/genres/artists are more popular, and would be worth more), it will probably be around $15-$20. Special editions, signed or rare albums will fetch higher dollar amounts, even up to several hundred dollars.What 70's albums are worth money? ›
- WHO DID IT? – The Who (Track 2856 001, 1971) ...
- THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD – David Bowie (Mercury 6338 041, 1971) ...
- DARK SIDE OF THE MOON – Pink Floyd (Harvest SHVL 804, 1973) ...
- NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS – Sex Pistols (Virgin V2086, 1977)
Under the traditional recording agreement, recording artist royalties usually range from 10% to 25% of the suggested retail price for top-line albums (although many record companies have begun to compute royalties on the wholesale price).
NAME YOUR PRICE: In general, expect records to be $1 apiece at an estate sale, although I've seen them for as little as $. 25 and as much as $75 for highly collectible albums. It never hurts to offer less—at worst, they say 'no' and you pay full price.How much does an artist make from a vinyl sale? ›
The percentage that you receive for each album sold is a negotiating point, but typically it can fall anywhere between 10% and 20%. Most new artists get a royalty percentage at the low end of the range, and 10% is common.Is there a app to sell records? ›
You can list and sell your own copies through DISCOGS as well. By the way, I believe just about any record that's ever been printed can be found on DISCOGS. If it's ever been sold, someone has listed it on DISCOGS. DISCOGS is a totally free app for iPhones and Android devices.What is the fair price for used vinyl records? ›
In general, new records often range from $10-$40. When it comes to used records, most stores have $1 and $2 bins you can dig through for cheap vinyl, and interesting finds. Well-known or slightly better quality used vinyl often sits between $5 and $15, while rare used vinyl can go for hundreds of dollars.Is reselling vinyl records worth it? ›
Yes, vinyl, styrene, and shellac phonograph records are all good for reselling. That is, if they're in good shape, and are titles that people want to buy.How long do vinyl records last? ›
Your vinyl records can last anywhere from a year or two and up to well over 100 years. If you're aiming for the latter, it really comes down to how well you care for your record collection.Are old vinyl records coming back? ›
Even though vinyl was popular in the 80s, its return is not caused by the adults who lived through this era, but rather by the young-adult demographic. Since young people have their music digitally, vinyl has become a novelty.Is vinyl becoming popular again? ›
Vinyl sales in the United States
And not only that, LP sales jumped by more than 50 percent in 2021, surpassing both digital and CD album sales. According to MRC Data, 41.7 million LPs were sold in the U.S. last year, up more than 45-fold compared to 2006 when the vinyl comeback began.
33, 45, and 78 RPM is the speed at which the most common commercially available vinyl records spin at represented in revolutions per minute. The records themselves are often referred to by their speed.What was the first colored vinyl record? ›
In 1963, they released Bobby Vinton's “Blue on Blue” single and album (of the same name) on blue vinyl — probably the first LP on colored wax. Shelby Singleton's S.S.S. International issued blue promo singles for country acts in the mid-'60s; at the same time, Sun Records made some yellow promo singles.
He said that on average a rare jazz 78 might sell for $1,500 to $5,000, whereas sales for a comparable blues record would start at $5,000. Blues music is in part mythological; its legend involves sweltering juke joints, homemade whiskey and Faustian bargains at rural crossroads.What records from the 50s are worth money? ›
- Charlie Christian. Jazz Immortal. ...
- Elmore James. Dust My Broom / Cat Fish Blues. ...
- Edgard Varèse Complete Works Of Edgard Varèse, Volume 1. ...
- The Thelonious Monk Quintet. Straight, No Chaser / Four In One. ...
- Johnny Smith. Jazz At NBC Series. ...
- Various. ...
- The Quintet. ...
A larger hole allowed the sudden rotational forces to be distributed over a greater distance (π x 1.5; about 4.712 inches), reducing wear and allowing the hole to stay rounder longer. This was especially important for the jukebox industry.Which Beatles singles are valuable? ›
- Let It Be (Parlophone P-PCS 7096) 1970 $1,100. ...
- THE BEATLES Abbey Road (Parlophone P-PCS 7088) 1969 $1,190. ...
- BEATLES Abbey Road (Parlophone P-PCS 7088) 1969 $1,700.
The 7 Inch (or “45”) is the most common form of vinyl single. At their peak in the 1950s and 60s, the 7 inch helped fuel the early years of rock and roll culture thanks to their relative affordability compared with expensive 12 inch LPs.What does LP stand for? ›
LP stands for 'Long Play. ' These are longer than EP's, originally needing two vinyl per release until the 33 1/3rpm 12-inch record was released.Where is the largest record store in the US? ›
Bananas Music, Florida, USA
In business since 1977 Bananas takes up a total of 17,500 square feet and also claims to be the world's largest record store. Situated over two buildings one of the building is the All Vinyl Warehouse which houses more than 3 million pieces of vinyl.
From a technical standpoint, digital CD audio quality is clearly superior to vinyl. CDs have a better signal-to-noise ratio (i.e. there is less interference from hissing, turntable rumble, etc.), better stereo channel separation, and have no variation in playback speed.
Usually, if the master tapes are in good working order and have been looked after over the years, the best vinyl reissues will come from the original master recordings. These can sound just as good as the original pressings.Why does vinyl sound better? ›
The sound of vinyl records arises because the grooves on the record allow for an open, resonant quality. Conversely, digital formats by their nature compress sound, disallowing the open space that allows the warmth, richness, and depth to arise.
The best places to sell vinyl records online are eBay and Discogs. These are the two big 'go-to' platforms. The eBay vs Discogs debate is a big one amongst record collectors, with pros and cons to each.Why do people still listen to vinyl? ›
With vinyl, you get an analog sound that reverberates and creates a warm sound you can't find in any other medium. The music and vocals or closer to the way artists sound live, with a lossless format that isn't overly compressed.
Until the recent rebound, annual vinyl LP/EP shipments never got higher than 3.4 million in 1998, ultimately cratering at 900,000 in 2006. If vinyl died at a certain time, you could say it was either in the late-'80s — when the music medium suffered its first massive blow — or the mid-'00s, when it reached its nadir.Is there an app to find value of vinyl records? ›
The official Discogs App is the best way to catalog your music collection, find that hidden gem, check pricing and buy music from the world's largest discography of physical music.Are records from the 1950s worth money? ›
Rock and roll and R&B 45s with picture sleeves that were pressed in the 1950's have a value of at least $10, with many being valued at more than $100. EPs were only made in the 50's and 60's. Rock and roll and R&B 45s with the cardboard sleeves are worth at least $20, with many being worth more than $200.How do I tell if an old vinyl albums worth money? ›
- Autographed. An autographed record is more valuable because you double the market for it: Both record collectors and autograph hounds will be willing to pay for it. ...
- Rarity. The harder it is to find a copy of that record, obviously the more collectors will pay for it. ...
There are only two known copies of Do I Love You (Indeed I Do), a rare 45-rpm Northern soul track by Frank Wilson, one of which sold for $37,000 in 2009. But the fact that only two copies of the original 7” on the Soul label have ever materialised has long made it the holy grail of Northern soul collecting.