Seth Voorhees

Record Store Day Draws Music Lovers to Denton Store

We all know Black Friday is a big shopping day. But it's also a big deal for music lovers. Record Store Day sent many North Texans looking for musical rarities -- on a format once left for dead.

Black Friday lines are nothing new. But the folks who got up early to wait for a Denton record store to open weren't there for the bargains.

“I’m here to hopefully score the re-press of the Smashing Pumpkins album,” said Cash Bailey, “Limited edition."

He and others are enjoying a resurgence -- of a classic format. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, the sale of vinyl records grew by 12-percent in the first half of this year.

“That was the thing with vinyl. You had the big picture of the album cover, you got to hold it,” said Bailey. “It was a piece of art."

Record Store Day promotes the celebration of music, and is designed to boost business at independently-owned stores like Mad World Records, which had been located on the square in Denton since 2011. When owner Mark Burke opened at his original location, in Carrollton in 2003, vinyl was an afterthought.

“I didn't sell records much,” said Burke. “I had them, but didn't sell them much."

Record stores in general are a rarity -- driven out of business in recent years by big box stores, and a shift to downloadable and streaming music.

“That was really bad for small businesses,” he said. “A lot of them gave up. Just went away. And even a lot of corporate stores that sold things at retail had to go away too."

But in recent years, something happened -- vinyl started making a comeback.

“Kids got into it,” said Burke. “Teenagers and early 20's, which hadn't happened in a long time."

Last year, physical copies of music began outselling digital, for the first time since 2011. However, compact disc sales continue to nosedive -- dropping by nearly 50 percent -- as more people get their music from streaming services like Apple music and Spotify.

Burke says independent record stores can offer more personalized customer service, such as ordering product they don’t have in stock. Some shoppers still enjoy the idea of spending time in a store, looking for that rare find.

For many, a newfound appreciation of vinyl records adds to the experience.

“I like the fact that people are into it again,” said Burke. “It's really neat.”

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