Rochester Needs an Independently Owned Record Store!
Rochester wants to be hip. Rochester wants diversity. Rochester wants to be known as a 'cool' place to live and work. Rochester wants it's residents to 'Shop Local'. Rochester doesn't have an independently owned record shop in town. I Wonder why?
When I first moved here in Aug 2003 Rochester, Minnesota had an independently owned record store in the Crossroads Plaza. (it's been so long I've forgotten the name) Not long after, maybe on my third visit to the business I discovered that they were on the verge of closing up shop. I would eventually ask one of the employees....."why are you closing"? The clerk simply muttered....."Rochester residents don't support us". (I was shocked)
Granted, the music industry has changed dramatically over the last 15 years, but I certainly thought the allure of vinyl records & CD's would never completely disappear. Brick and mortar Big-Box retailers now own what is left of that local market , barely! On-line retailers are now king with regards to selling music, on both hard media, music files and streaming services. However, I still believe there is a place in this marketplace for a 'niche retailer' who knows their product, their clientele, and knows the history & educational value of such a retail shoppe. Do you agree? Disagree?
Record Store Day is NOT just for old hippies and/or new hipsters. If run correctly and marketed properly a record store could draw from many miles around Rochester, especially on Record Store Day. It could also be a place to find that 'very special gift' for that music lover in your life. A vinyl record can even be considered an heirloom to some. I can easily spend a couple hours anytime I visit one, just browsing usually. (I know, I'm a freak)
So, this question must be asked: is it the overall business climate here in Med City? No? Yes? I have traveled to Mankato, La Crosse, and St Paul on Record Store Day in the past, and you know what? Those same shops are still OPEN, up and running, and meeting the needs of their local clientele. You think that QUESTION might make some bristle here? If so, why? Enlighten me!
There are some recording artists themselves who enjoy doing impromptu shows and appearances in record stores. Real LIVE GIGS....just like yesteryear! Hell, I even met Ozzy Osborne in a record store back in '93! Does that still happen? You betcha it does Minnesota!
As of late, Country Artists like Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Charlie Worsham, The Cadillac Three, and even Dolly Parton has a Record Store Day Item this year, and many other have participated in the past.
Vinyl Records are NOT going away anytime soon. Just ask any Merch - Manager on any major country tour. Most are busy as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest! (I know you get a visual with that description)
In closing, if you know of an entrepreneurial-type that has some vision, or thinks outside-the-box please share this blog-post with them, or contact me via my BIO page and I'll be more than happy to investigate more on my own, or even make a call or two if you have some usable contact information.
If I sound like an old, disheartened baby-boomer wanting to cling to my past my retort is a simple, YES! But if you were an owner/operator of a local, independently owned Record Store in Rochester, MN you would have earned some of my hard-earned dollars today! Peace.........out
Steve Richards ~ Quick Country Weekends
Here's a nice 'score' by my fellow Church Choir (fan club) brutha Dan Allgeier from Buffalo, NY
CONTENTS OF ABOVE:
Eric Church's album Caught in the Act Live was released on special edition red vinyl and included a special RSD EXCLUSIVE T-shirt offer for fans.
SIDE A: 01 Before She Does 02 How 'Bout You 03 Drink In My Hand 04 Over When It's Over 05 I'm Gettin' Stoned
SIDE B: 01 Creepin' 02 Keep On 03 Sinners Like Me 04 Longer Gone 05 Those I've Loved LP 2
SIDE C: 01 Country Music Jesus 02 Pledge Allegiance To The Hag 03 A Country Boy Can Survive 04 Homeboy 05 Lightning
SIDE D: 01 Lotta Boot Left To Fill 02 Smoke A Little Smoke/Sweet Leaf 03 These Boots 04 Springsteen/Born To Run