By Savannah Bennett, Staff Writer —
Records have been around for years – over 100 to be exact. The phonograph which is the earliest form of a record player or turntable was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison.
The turntable, which plays records as we know them today, gained popularity in the 1950s and continued to grow until the late 1980s when they were replaced with audio cassettes and then CDs.
CDs were able to contain more music in a smaller disc without the need to flip it over like records. With the advances in technology of the 21st century, many thought records were becoming obsolete.
However, in 2007 a spike in records sales occurred and that spike has continued to grow today. Recent artists are releasing their music on vinyl records, and records stores are beginning to pop up more frequently.
Rachel King, senior from Chattanooga, has been listening to records for about five years.
“I think they’re starting to become more mainstream with the resurgence of things that are vintage being more ‘in style’ than it used to be. Kind of how clothing styles come back,” said King.
King first started listening to records when her mother found her old record collection. Records were something that meant a lot to her mother so she bought King her own turntable.
“I like the feeling of nostalgia when I listen to those old records, and the way it sounds,” said King. “It’s more intentional than pandora or something.”
Mariah McCreary from Chattanooga started listening to records about four years ago. Similarly to King, McCreary’s father brought home a box of his old records from her grandmother’s house.
“I enjoyed the experience I shared with my dad as he told me which ones he listened to the most, how you could tell by examining the worn down grooves.” Said McCreary. She then began to become fascinated by records.
“I then started exploring the timeline of the music, seeing how one band influenced so many others,” said McCreary “This inspired many hours wandering around a record store to find those hidden gems, looking for that ever elusive ‘B side’ song you heard influenced by this weeks favorite band.”
McCreary has now started her very own record collection, which includes her fathers records, and some new ones she’s found along the way.
“I think records are becoming more mainstream because people are rediscovering an old way of expressing themselves. Most of the people I meet that also collect records collect those albums that truly mean something to them,” said McCreary.
Gina Micolo, store manager of Winder Binder, a book, art, and music store that features records from Chad’s records sees a wide variety of people pass through her store.
“It’s a wide range, its anywhere between teenagers, I would say upper high school, to people in their 60’s and 70’s who want the nostalgia of the records,” said Micolo.
Micolo has worked at Winder Binder for five years and she has noticed the uptick in younger people buying the records.
The records at Winder Binder are on consignment. They mostly sell vintage records that typically stop after the 1980’s when records were at their prime.
“We carry mostly classic rock, jazz and things like that.” Said Micolo. “People want things like Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac, but also things that they recognize that their parents had when they were kids.”
Records are a way for people to not only connect with the past, but learn more about the world in which their parents grew up in. Music is a way to connect with one another, and records offer a taste of nostalgia.