VINYL RECORD COLLECTORS PRESERVE THE LEGACY OF LOCAL MUSIC STORES
Vinyl album sales have increased 15% in 2018, with 16.2 million records sold, according to Nielsen Music. Unfortunately, the growth in sales has not prevented independent music stores from closing down within our communities. The recent shutdowns are due to larger retailers, like Barnes and Noble, now stocking vinyl records, the popularity of e-commerce and rising rent. To preserve the music left in our neighborhoods, Tasha Digital - also known as Analog Lady - is visiting local record stores, interviewing store owners and exploring their music collections on camera.
Harmony Records used to be located in the heart of the Parkchester section of the Bronx for 60 years until the property was sold and its store was forced to shut down at the end of 2015. Months before Harmony closed its doors, Tasha got a piece of history and video memorabilia, as featured in her latest episode of Conversations in Analog.
“The name ‘Harmony Records’ comes from the fact that music brings people together. No matter where you're from, what you do or your ethnic background, music unites and it’s a universal language,” said Glenn Velger, former owner of the now closed record store. “At least we still have the video footage, thanks to Tasha.”
Tasha first heard about Harmony through E52BEATS, her Maschine instructor who has a massive vinyl collection. On the hunt for Minnie Riperton’s albums, she reached out to Velger, who confirmed via email that he had a few of her records on hand. Tasha made her way to Unionport Road, right off of East Tremont Avenue, to visit Harmony for the day. While she searched through the vinyl selections, Tasha interviewed Velger and they discussed Riperton, Hip-Hop samples and break beats, music biographies and more. Watch the episode below.
Unfortunately, this is not the first record store that has since closed its doors since Tasha walked through them. Back in 2014, Tasha interviewed Mike Millsap - the former owner of Tasha’s Music City in San Diego - right before he closed the brick-and-mortar store due to rising rent. They spent the day talking about the shaky vinyl record industry, while looking for some of her favorite albums. Now Millsap’s vinyl collection is in storage, while he enjoys retirement.