The Vinyl Underground
Shedding light on Milledgeville’s humble but ever-blossoming support for vinyl records
Leon Scott and his 1857-patented phonautograph paved the way for what was soon to become the vinyl record.
First released in 1901 as a 10-inch disk, records dominated the music market for more than 70 years. With the arrival of cassette tapes in the ’70s, record sales began to decline dramatically. Since then, the record has evolved from a fragile dinner plate capable of producing around 60 minutes of recorded song to the petite digital MP3 devices of today, capable of producing more than three days of straight music.
But for many, that entrancing, un-digitized sound of the record is too sweet to resist, ensuring the eternal survival of the record. Many theorize that it was the new, crisper sound produced by playing old vinyl records on a new record player that helped the small community of modern record collectors grow. Whatever the reason, students are not shy of the vintage vinyl.
Senior political science major Daniel Grizzle has a collection of about 12 to 15 records in addition to a new record player. His collection is a conglomeration of all walks of music including classical, bluegrass, rock and even a few newer indie bands. Grizzle believes that there is something to be said about the superior sound quality of vinyl.
“Records produce a neat, crackling sound and also an all-around hollowness that is hard to match,” Grizzle said.
Old Capitol Treasure, located in downtown Milledgeville, easily has one of the best selections of vinyl records. Neatly organized in the back right of the store, the records offer many genres from classic rock and soul to classical and jazz. An entire era of brilliant music will flash before your eyes as you sift through hundreds of authentic, mint condition records, with many of them still unopened in their original packaging. Tina Turner, Aerosmith and The Who are a few among many exalted artists available.
Mollie Vandiver, Old Capitol Treasure’s owner, says Georgia College and Georgia Military College students come in regularly to buy records. Vandiver updates her record collection frequently.
“People come here about once a month from other nearby cities just to see what new records we’ve got,” Vandiver said.
These hardcore vinyl collectors provide hope for the continual preservation of this coveted sound.
Samm Severin, a senior creative writing major, has recently sparked a glimmer of hope by starting a smaller, but essential record sales operation. It is called Q & I Records, and is located in The FolksArt in downtown Miledgeville. Severin’s inspiration comes from hearing the stories of K Records and Discord Records. She likes the company’s “do it yourself” approach, and their decision to do something – anything – to improve local communities’ music and culture appreciation.
“It just seemed so simple to me: if you want your community to have access to culture and you have the resources with which to help provide it, it just seems like common sense that you would want to do it,” Severin said.
Q & I Records is a fairly new operation with plenty of room to grow and spread local music. Severin is currently looking to sell the EP’s of any local bands who are looking to get their name out to the community at Q & I Records to help maximize the local music scene.