Reviving Records: Four Shops for Vinyl in Ohio
I've always loved vinyl records, and I grew up listening to rock and folk music with my parents (with Bob Dylan and John Lennon being the voices of my childhood). Warm weather meant a car ride in rural Ohio, the radio turned up, and noisy sing-alongs with my hands hanging out the windows. As I got older, nothing could beat the crackling sound of vinyl after you put down the needle, the few moments of silence before a record starts to play. When I got into high school, my parents grabbed their box of old vinyls from the attic and passed it on to me. I spent hours locked in my bedroom, picking through records and listening to The Doors: Greatest Hits and Cat Steven's "The Wind."
In honor of National Record Store Day on April 22, I decided to head out to a local record store in Columbus to see what I could dig up. Used Kids Records, established in 1968, used to be located on High Street across from The Ohio State University's campus. They've moved to a larger building on Summit Street now, just minutes from the old location.
When I first walked in, it felt like my childhood dream come true. The bins at Used Kids are overflowing. There are records on the walls, on the shelves underneath the bins and in crates on the floor. Near the back of the store, there are two rows of bins called "Dollarland," which is divided into different genres of music. They've even got a corner where you can buy old record players and stereo sets. If you look underneath the rows of shelves, you might even find a crate of records on sale for five dollars.
I spent a long time poking around my childhood favorites before I began looking through Dollarland to see what I could find. My best friend found a record of poetry readings, and I found a few Diana Ross albums in the soul section. I even saw a poster for a folk music sing-along event taking place in the store. They have sections for every genre of music and a great selection of newer artists.
Used Kids Records is definitely a must-see for music lovers in central Ohio. But if you don't live in the Central Ohio region or you're up for a road trip, here are some other record stores in Ohio you should check out:
A post shared by Blue Arrow Records (@bluearrowrecords) on Mar 18, 2014 at 11:49am PDT
Blue Arrow Records in Cleveland is just down the street from the Beachland Ballroom, one of Cleveland’s authentic rock and roll experiences, and right next door to a vintage store. Look for the turquoise blue arrow pointing towards the front door; you can’t miss it.
A post shared by Blue Arrow Records (@bluearrowrecords) on May 1, 2015 at 11:05am PDT
First things first, when you enter Blue Arrow Records, look down. The floor is covered in colorful, laminated album covers. You could spend hours hunting the floor for your favorite LP. But don’t forget to look around at the records that are actually for sale. The staff is very knowledgeable and more than willing to help you find a hidden gem. Hang out on one of the couches, look through the albums, and check out the t-shirts and posters on the wall.
A post shared by Blue Arrow Records (@bluearrowrecords) on Jun 23, 2016 at 4:57pm PDT
Blue Arrow Records also participates in the Waterloo Alley Cat Project, so cats are a common sight in the store! One might just pop by the checkout counter as you make your way out.
Photos courtesy of the Blue Arrow Records Facebook page.
A post shared by Shake It Records (shop&label) (@shakeitrecords) on Nov 12, 2016 at 10:45am PST
Known as one of the best record stores in the country, Shake It Records is a complete music experience located in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati. Musicians passing through (or sometimes local artists) put on live performances in the store. The store is two floors, with their incredible vinyl selection taking up most of the bottom floor. In addition to vinyls, they sell CDs, books, posters, t-shirts, toys, and more. They even sell stereo equipment!
Their selection changes weekly, and on National Record Store Day, don’t be surprised if you see a long line trailing out the door. As the most established record store in Cincinnati, Shake It Records is definitely a must-see to add to your music lover’s bucket list.
A young lady bought her first turntable here today. Her mom recorded the moment outside with a photo. Basically, everything about it was awesome and we can't wait to see them again. #ShakeItRecords #Cincinnati #Northside45223 #recordstore
A post shared by Shake It Records (shop&label) (@shakeitrecords) on Mar 22, 2017 at 4:51pm PDT
A post shared by Culture Clash Records (@cultureclash) on Jan 26, 2017 at 9:20pm PST
Look for the flying saucer on the side of a little white building, and you’ll know you’ve made it to Culture Clash Records in Toledo. After Boogie Records closed in 2004, Pat O'Connor created Culture Clash Records in West Toledo. Stocked with new and used records, this Toledo gem feels like stepping back in time, from the wood-paneled walls to the old album covers filling the shelves. You can even sell or trade your own records, and if there's something special you want, ask the employees! They can fulfill most special orders within a few days.
And every Sunday at 6:00 p.m., they host a radio program called, "On The Radar," on 100.7 FM - Toledo's Zone. The program includes interviews with local bands and a segment about weekly new releases at the store!
Whether you're a fan of the classics or looking for something new to listen to, these record stores in Ohio will give you and your music loving friends something to sing about. For more information about National Record Store Day, visit their website and check out their list of record stores in Ohio.