Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#41: Vintage Vinyl

One of my favorite hangouts of all-time just happens to be at the Delmar Loop. I'm usually guilty of not buying anything, but glancing through the hundreds of popular and obscure record albums in the store. For those that don't know me well, I am a lifelong music enthusiast, and I have been collecting records all of my life. I don't even know how many I have! But I'm always up for anything that looks or sounds good.

There actually used to be a second location in Granite City for a long time, but it closed down in, I believe, 2007. Possibly because of the deterioration of the steel community, I don't know. I actually did like going to that one as well. There is one thing I do miss: when The Point (before Emmis bought them) used to play their commercials with Papa Ray voicing them. VV would sponsor their drive-time game, Trivia From Hell. And Papa Ray would just have the weirdest voice and advertising pitches, such as 'Ordering your music over the phone is like telephone sex...'. Don't judge, this was 1995! The record/music industry has changed so much since then. Actually come to think of it, that was almost 19 years ago! Dang I feel old.

Anyway, with the music industry on life support, it is awesome that Vintage Vinyl is still standing. It may as well be known as the only neighborhood record store in St. Louis. The only other one I can think of is Euclid Records, which is a little more South. There was also Webster Records (in Webster Groves), but that one closed within the last two years. The millenials are now buying their music digitally, or streaming them. It's too bad they missed their chance on what it was like buying the physical copy of their favorite musician/artist. However, the good news is, vinyl has been making a sneaky comeback, thanks to millenials. I've got a lot of different theories on this, but nevertheless I am so happy about that. I just think that generation is curious about the retroness, and maybe, about what their parents listened to back in the day. Heck I don't know.

Vintage Vinyl does play an important part in U. City, as it has helped build and shape the Delmar Loop. Every year, since, I believe...probably 2008 or 09, they have hosted Record Store Day, which has brought several record buyers and collectors together for that special day, usually in April.

Also, several bands (nationally and locally known) have done 'in-store' appearances and performances in the store. The Flaming Lips is one of them.

The other sides of the cake are pictured below. It is a nice, fitting tribute to 250 years of producing the best music to come in and out of St. Louis. The white keys on the bottom represent the artists, musicians, venues and organizations that have given the city its unique sound. The piano keys on the cake read: Chuck Berry, Johnny Johnson, Grace Bumbry, Twilight Tuesdays (History Museum), Fontella Bass, Scott Joplin, Bach Society, Tommy Bankhead, St. Louis Chamber Chorus, Pee Wee Russell, Kiel/Peabody Opera House, Bessie Smith, 5th Dimension, D.H. Peligro, College/University Choirs and Orchestra, Shottinger Music, Michael McDonald, The Isley Brothers, Willie Mae Ford Smith, handbell choirs, Robert McFerrin, Sr., St. Louis Cathedral concerts, Willie Akins, KFUO-FM/Radio Arts Foundation, Gaslight Square, church choirs, Jazz at the Bistro, St. Louis Symphony Chorus, Stan Kann, The Pageant, In Unison chorus, St. Louis Blues and Jazz Hall of Fame, Whitaker Series (Missouri Botanical Garden), Powell Hall, Javier Mendoza, Union Avenue Opera, Blues on the Landing, St. Louis Children's Choirs, Josephine Baker, Sheldon Concert Hall, Bob Kuban, community choruses, Nell Carter, Ambassadors of Harmony, Muddy Waters, Touhill Performing Arts Center, Tina Turner, Donny Hathaway, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Muddy Blues Festival, Fabulous Fox, American Chamber Chorale, Nelly, Opera Theater St. Louis, J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts, St. Louis ragtimers, MUNY, Bach at the Sem, Miles Davis, Kilgen Wicks Pipe Organ companies and Christine Brewer.

Please note: there are at least three more independent record stores that go by the name 'Vintage Vinyl', such as in Saskatchewan, New Jersey, and Evanston, IL.

Here's an episode of KETC Channel 9's Living St. Louis focusing on Vintage Vinyl (sorry, could not get the link to work):

As of 4/30/2015, the cake is still on display outside Vintage Vinyl.

Vintage Vinyl on Twitter
Official website

6610 Delmar, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63130
Cake artist: Mark Tillman

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