I Miss Record Stores


I’m a big fan of Amazon. You can find virtually anything from music to books to movies to electronics and appliances. I think you can even order groceries there now. But I miss record stores.

I don’t even mean places like Borders that sold books and music and movies. I mean places that sold music. Period.

Granted, there are one or two record stores in Nashville– one that actually sells honest-to-goodness vinyl records like in the ye olden days. But those are on the other side of town from where I live. Not the most convenient places to go browsing.

I remember one particular music store chain called The Sound Shop. There was even Memphis-based chain in Memphis called Cat’s Music that had both new and used music.

I loved checking out the new music releases as well as hunting through the bargain bins. I especially remember seeing ads for a new Grateful Dead album coming out on October 31, 1989. I don’t know why I remember that specific memory from 25 years ago and not what I did last night, but that’s how my brain works, apparently.

I read somewhere that Vince Gill said that one of the reasons that music feels so disposable these days is that you can pay the same 99 cents for a song that you would pay for an app on your phone that makes fart noises. So much for incentives to be creative.

I believe that music more than any other form of media can trigger memories in vivid detail. I can hear a song on the radio or from one of my own personal plethora of CDs that I have accumulated over the years and instantly remember exactly where I was and what I was feeling when I first heard it.

Maybe record stores (along with bookstores) will make a comeback some day. I hope so, but I’m not overly optimistic.



3 thoughts on “I Miss Record Stores

  1. Was Sound Shop in Mempgis??? I found my old In Utero CD and there was a Sound Shop sticker on it. I was working temporarily in Memphis at that time.

  2. Sound Shop & its sister store Music 4 Less was originally owned, and operated by Central South Music Sales in Nashville. In 2002 a failed merger deal led to ownership of the stores being transferred to Value Music Concepts based in Marietta, GA, and a new company name was used for a while; Value Central Entertainment. Value Music Concepts already owned, and operated Music For A Song, and Spin Street stores when this merger began. Central South still exists as a Christian music distributor in Nashville.

    Cat’s Music & DVDs (formerly Cat’s Records & Tapes) was owned, and operated by Music City Record Distributors in Nashville. Music City Record Distributors acquired the PopTunes Music stores in the Memphis area. They also had Monster Music stores in South Carolina.

    Both companies are now out of business.

    The former President, and Vice President of MCRD formed a new company after MCRD went out of business to continue operations of the last 2 Cat’s Music stores, and the last Monster Music store. Last I checked, the South Carolina locations of Monster Music, and Cat’s were still open.

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