There was a day, oh, a century or so ago, when the introduction of a fancy, pricey, and oh-so-sparkly phonograph, complete with giant horn, was quite the event in the life of a family.
Neighbors might come from streets away, just to marvel. And everyone wanted to try dropping the needle, just once.
Then record players became ubiquitous and that initial novelty-induced thrill faded, a little.
The thrill is more than back, though, these days, and that's good news for vinyl enthusiasts everywhere. Thank Record Store Day, in large part, for banging the cause's drum. Of course the celebratory day, which fell on Saturday, April 19 this year, isn't solely about vinyl; CDs and tapes get the love, too, as do all things to do with the mom-and-pop local record-a-terium.
But vinyl's been having its day in the sun, again, over the last decade, meaning that the re-introduction of a phonograph into the family home is once again an event to draw the neighbors. (Which, in this day and age, basically translates into Instagramming the heck out of your new record player.)
A number of Southern California shops participated on April 19, including Factory Records of Costa Mesa, Atomic Records of Burbank, and Gimme Gimme Records of Los Angeles. You can nab the full roster here.
All sorts of convivial events, specials, live performances, local shop-oriented haps went down. The great Wayne Kramer was set to swing by Long Beach's own Fingerprints to gig it up, guitar-style, at 5:30 p.m. on April 19. (He also planned on releasing his first jazz record, too, in honor of the day.)
Excellent, soul-stirring stuff.
Record Store Day is a reminder that these storefronts exist throughout the year, assisting regulars and new customers in their quests for the best tuneage.