It is that time of year again.
Yes, it is the upcoming celebration of Record Store Day, which this year occurs on April 20, 2013.
Record Store Day is observed and celebrated nationally and internationally on the third Saturday of April each year. Its purpose, as conceived by independent record store employee Chris Brown, is to celebrate the art of music and the independent record stores which refused to give up on the record format, or black vinyl as I like to call records. The day brings record stores, fans, record collectors, audiophiles, musicians, and record labels together in the United States and around the world in a cultural and commercial celebration of the record, be it the 45 RPM, 78 RPM, or the more well-known 33⅓ rpm microgroove vinyl record.
Record Store Day was officially founded in 2007 by Michael Kurtz, Eric Levin, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner, with April 19, 2008 as the first year the day went public. It is now celebrated globally with hundreds of recording and other artists participating in the day by making special appearances, performances, meet and greets with their fans, the holding of art exhibits, and the issuing of special vinyl (like the EP albums, the 180 gram virgin vinyl albums, some in limited music releases, or the more hard to find original master recordings of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab releases) and CD releases along with other promotional products to mark the occasion.
RSD honors a medium which started in 1877 (with the phonograph, aka gramophone) and the LP (long-playing record) records that started out as shellac discs, and eventually became vinyl discs.
Record Store Day has music celebrations at record stores across America, with some bands appearing as scheduled, or showing up in surprise performances. There is merchandise to be bought or won as prizes. Every year there is an ambassador, often from a well-known, or not so well-known recording group. This year’s official ambassador will be Jack White of the White Stripes. Their album Elephant will be reissued in a 10th anniversary edition LP, with black-and-red vinyl on one side, white vinyl on the other.
The list of releases for 2013 can be found here.
Many independent record stores will offer 7″, 10″, and 12″ releases, both old and new. Also up for purchase will be very hard to find releases, some which have yet to be released on CD. Some records will be re-released to celebrate 20TH-, 30TH-, or 40TH anniversaries. Many records can be had for as little as $1.00, while some may sell for as high as $100 or more. Records of all genres will be in the bins encompassing jazz, blues, disco, rock-and-roll, big band, gospel, as well as themes and soundtracks from famous motion pictures.
There will be something for everyone, be they an old pro with a respect for records, or a new convert who realizes the beauty of analog groove modulation.
So, do try to participate in Record Store Day.
The treasures you find may be momentous, and it could be the start of a lifelong journey of a love affair with a medium that has been around since 1926.
Camden, New Jersey: Victor Talking
Machine Company, July 14, 1926.
Motion Picture, Broadcasting
and Recorded Sound Division (59)