Friday, July 22, 2011

Vinyl continues its comeback with record show next weekend

When I worked at The Record Exchange from 1995 to 1999 a few of my co-workers would head to Hillsborough for a record show each year. As you'd expect we were all music geeks. I would regularly buy rare vinyl and European singles (mostly trying to complete my collection of Siouxsie & the Banshees b-sides) from an online store outside of D.C., but never made it to a record show. Nearly fifteen years later cd sales may be slogging, but record buying is hot again. Hence the Record and CD Collectors Show that will take place Saturday, July 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Plaza Hotel Carowinds (3965 Foothills Way in Fort Mill). Vendors will offer a mix of rare vinyl albums and 45s, CDs, DVDs, and memorabilia. Admission is free and patrons are encouraged to bring vinyl for sale or trade.

The show is the brainchild of Mount Holly native Greg Neal, a collector who has been selling vinyl on eBay and at shows around the Southeast for the last decade.

“The turn-out at these shows and interest shown by my fellow dealers and customers in having a show here in Charlotte encouraged me to establish a show in this region,” says Neal, who works at Manifest Discs. Neal says although he’s only active as a seller in the Southeast that record shows are growing in popularity around the country. Its not just older collectors who are continuing to buy vinyl, but younger customers too. He mentions selling a Grateful Dead album to a ten-year-old at a show in Atlanta, for instance.

There is certainly something special about vinyl. Even though I may already own an album on cd seeing the enlarged artwork and feeling the weight of records in their sleeves (especially if its nice and heavy) is always tempting. I find myself thinking, even though we own three broken record players, wouldn't it be nice to have the new National on vinyl too? Of course there are advantages to the sound as well.

Collectors can find out about more shows in the US and Canada here. For Neal, who left Charlotte in the `70s and returned in 1993, his involvement in the vinyl resurgence is like coming full circle. “I was the general manager and buyer for the first independent CD store in Los Angeles, the legendary C.D. Banzai store in West L.A., so in an ironic sort of way I was present at the death of vinyl and am now involved in its resurrection.”


  1. Charlotte used to have a record show up until about 2000-ish, there might have been a few years in the 90's that it didn't exist. The guy who ran it also runs the Greensboro and Raleigh shows, but ended the Charlotte show because of slacking attendance. The Greensboro show last Winter was packed.

    So glad the world class town of Charlotte can join Greensboro and Raleigh in acceptance of the arts.

  2. During my Record Exchange days (92-94), the Holiday Inn on Woodlawn hosted most (if not all) of the record shows that would come thru. Can't tell you how much money I spent in those things...happy times...