The music industry is always evolving, and along with it, the various formats for listening to music. The past few decades have brought us eight-tracks, records, cassettes, CDs and MP3 players. While many of these formats have faded away, one is feeling a resurgence.
According to Allan Miller with the Disc Exchange, vinyl sales are on the rise with just as many customers under the age of 30 as over. "Vinyl is increasing more than any other department in the store. We also have used vinyl, which a lot of stores do, but we also carry the new vinyl. A lot of reissues are coming out all of the time."
How has vinyl survived in this digital downloading age? Many record stores attribute it to a warmer timbre.
Jay Nations of Ravens Records and Rarities prefers the sound of vinyl to many of the newer formats.
"People want something real. I've yet to meet anyone that remembers the first CD they ever got, but everyone remembers the first record they got. There's something about the whole analog experience. I've got a tube system at home and some old school equipment from the 1970s and it sounds as good as anything I've ever heard."
Probably the strongest evidence of vinyl's staying power is the fact that East Tennessee doesn't have just one, but several stores that still carry records. Stores like Lost and Found Records, Wild Honey Records and The Rhythm Section are examples of stores that have catered to record lovers for years.