Vinyl boom alive and well in western Ky. as two new record stores prepare to open
The warm, vibrant crackle of vinyl records is steadily making a comeback, and far western Kentucky collectors will see a pair of new record shops open this weekend in Paducah and Benton.
The sale of vinyl records has consistently grown over the last two decades as new generations of music fans have started collecting. Billboard reported that more than 43 million new vinyl albums were sold in 2022 – which marked the 17th consecutive year of growth for the format and the largest total since at least 1991. Statistics released by the Recording Industry Association of America also indicated growth as revenue from vinyl sales grew by more than 17% in 2022, reaching $1.2 billion.
Murray has been home to Terrapin Station for more than 35 years, but no other store that specializes in new and used vinyl records has found success in far western Kentucky in recent years.
This continued boom in the record business across the U.S. – and the appetites of vintage record collectors – inspired Greg Terry to open Timeless Vinyl in Paducah.
“Records are going up in value. Some of these records that were, you know, $4, $5 or $6 are now $40, $50 or $60,” Terry said. “Plus, just everybody likes to kick back and put on a record and maybe smoke a cigar or have a glass of bourbon or what have you and just relax to vinyl.”
Terry plans to stock his shop – located in the Lone Oak area – with “a little bit of everything,” including new vinyl records; used records, cassettes, CDs and 8-track cartridges; rare music memorabilia; and audio components. He aims to sell used and new records from a wide array of genres, including punk and psychedelic rock.
“We're going to have a great selection of records – any kind of media – but more so the audio components and the memorabilia. Some of [it has] been collected over the course of 25 years and a lot of it from England,” Terry said. “We are going to specialize in everything.”
The memorabilia is being stocked by Joe Boswell, the proprietor of Boswell’s Coins & Currency. Boswell, a Kentucky native who lived in England for more than four decades, has amassed a collector’s treasure trove of Paul McCartney and Beatles memorabilia, in addition to other vintage rock and pop paraphernalia.
Timeless Vinyl will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, starting on Nov. 4.
One county over, Kent Henry is preparing to open his own small record shop off of Benton’s downtown square.
“Vinyl is something that's tangible that I've always liked since I was a kid. I pay more attention when I put a record on than just want to listen to a song on the radio or something. It's something to look at and touch and feel. I feel like [other] people have that same sense – especially young people that are finding their own musical path – that they are taken to vinyl.”
The Marshall County shop will offer used and new records in addition to audio components, musical instruments and accessories. Though Henry plans to carry a variety of genres in his used bins, he is hoping to keep his modern Americana selection stocked for fans of artists like Jason Isbell, Tyler Childers and Margo Price. He also plans to give discounts to active and retired military members and customers under the age of 21.
Benton Vinyl will be open Tuesday through Saturday, with weekday hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Its grand opening Saturday, Nov. 4, will feature refreshments and a live jam session. All attendees are invited to bring instruments of their own to play along.
“I want everybody to feel welcome here,” Henry said. “I enjoy hearing people's stories about music they like and shows they've been to, and it's a real treat to share with people and just build relationships over music.”