In the age of Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal, one might not expect a spinning disc of wax to mean much in a high-tech industry like the music business. Yet vinyl records have been making a comeback for over a decade.
On Sunday, Nov. 11 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Musical Roots Productions will be hosting the Carrboro CD and Record Show. There will be 42 tables full with CDs and vinyl records at the show.
Gerry Williams owns and operates Musical Roots Productions, a company that produces music festivals and events while selling CDs and vinyl records. Though Williams closed Musical Roots’ physical location in 2000, he continues to sell music online and run the Carrboro CD and Record show twice a year: once in the fall and once in the spring.
Montgomery Morris has been going to the show twice a year since briefly after he graduated UNC in 2005.
“It’s got sort of a reunion vibe, because it’s all of these record enthusiasts who only see each other twice a year,” Morris said.
Morris said he purchased a record player “before the vinyl boom” when vinyl records often cost a dollar or less.
“There was just tons of really cheap vinyl, and you could get pretty much whatever you wanted for really cheap,” Morris said.
Morris explained that vinyl records have become much more expensive since the mid 2000’s when he first started collecting them because of an increase in collectors. Since then, Morris said he’s amassed a collection of several thousand vinyl records.
Williams echoed that vinyl has become much more expensive since its recent increase in popularity.
“The records they make are generally pretty expensive, and I’m not sure why that is, probably just greed, but they don’t need to be as expensive as they are. I think that’s why people like record shows, because you can find a nice used copy of a record sometimes for one quarter of what the brand new one that they’re producing today costs,” Williams said.
Ethan Clauset, owner of All Day Records, said that longevity is a common reason people choose vinyl records over other ways of listening to music
“There are records that are 100 years old that you can still play. CDs, I’m not sure what the upper range on their lifespan is at this point but I think generally if you’ve got a CD that’s like more than 20 or 30 years old it might be getting close to the end of its life,” Clauset said.
Digital music, which may be the longest-lasting of all forms of music storage, can fall short of vinyl in some respects. Clauset said digital storage requires large amounts of electricity, and the files need to be converted to different formats again and again to maintain the file.
"A record you can just stick on the shelf and it’ll last in theory forever as long as it’s in a good climate,” Clauset said.