SOUTHERN LIVING Apr 18, 2015: The 5 Best Record Stores in the South

by Hannah Hays

Jack White’s Third Man Records may be the South’s most recognizable record store, but smaller vinyl Valhallas can be found all across the region. To name our five favorites, we asked the help of Reed Watson, a co-manager of Florence, Alabama-based record label Single Lock and drummer for Belle Adair, who spent a decade working in record stores including Pegasus Records in The Shoals. (Full disclosure: he’s also my boyfriend, who has a collection large enough to open his own store.)

 

eoamfullview-675x451Photo courtesy of Light in the Attic

End of All Music – Oxford, Mississippi
Mississippi is the birthplace of America’s music, and this store’s deep collection of blues, gospel, and soul echoes that. Their Record Store Day Special, a spoken word album by legendary Oxford writer, Barry Hannah, also reflects the state’s rich literary history. But the present is also given just as much shelf space as the past. Started by one of the co-founders of record label Fat Possum (where The Black Keys got their start), the shop is also the best place to find the South’s newest indie artists.

 

IMG_4008

Horizon Records – Greenville, South Carolina
One of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic shop owners in the country, Gene Berger started Horizon 40 years ago underneath his mother’s yarn store after he dropped out of college. Now housed in a former Amoco gas station, it has become a community center for Greenville’s music scene. His curated collection of jazz and classical is unrivaled in the Southeast.

 

15538

Photo courtesy of Memphis Daily News

Shangri-La Records – Memphis, Tennessee
Whether you’re looking for Elvis’ Sun Records recordings or Stax hits from Rufus Thomas or Otis Redding, even newer Bluff City artists like John Paul Keith, this grey house in midtown is the place to find Memphis music. For serious collectors, their rare records collection is worth the trip. Last time we visited, we spotted a sealed promotional copy of Prince’s Purple Rain.

 

dscn3274

Domino Sound Record Shack – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans staples Dr. John, Professor Longhair, and Irma Thomas are all here, but so is the South’s largest collection of reggae and international vinyl, especially records from Africa. Their homemade mix tapes on actual cassettes range from Ethiopian wedding songs to zydeco tunes.

 

grimeys-8672_mwb
Photo courtesy of Nashville Scene

Grimey’s New and Pre-Loved Music  – Nashville, Tennessee

There’s a certain expectation for a record store in Music City, and Grimey’s lives up to it with hundreds of thousands of albums across every genre from country classics to metal and a regularly-stocked selection of new releases. Downstairs, the shop’s venue, The Basement, hosts some of the best in-store performances in the country. Ryan Adams’ Pax-Am band and Natalie Prass are next up on their calendar.

  • Classical piano master and musical alchemist LANG LANG makes his PEACE CENTER debut on February 27th! YES!
    CALL 864-467-3000 OR VISIT www.peacecenter.org FOR DETAILS & INFO! If one word applies to Lang Lang, to the musician, to the man, to his worldview, to those who come into contact with him, it is “inspiration”. It resounds like a musical motif through his life and career. He inspires millions with his open-hearted, emotive playing, whether it be in intimate recitals or on the grandest of stages – such as the 2014 World Cup concert in Rio, with Placido Domingo, to celebrate the final game; the 56th and 57th GRAMMY Award two years in a row, where he performed with Metallica and Pharrell Williams; the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where more than four billion people around the world viewed his performance; the Last Night of the Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall, or the Liszt 200th birthday concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Charles Dutoit which was broadcast live in more than 300 movie theaters around the United States and 200 cinemas across Europe (the first classical music cinema cast to be headlined by a solo artist).
  • ODDISEE takes us on another epic hip-hop journey with “The Iceberg,” out 3/10. It’s a social, personal and political work that seeks some answers within the chaos.
    The prolific MC, producer and musician Oddisee's new album, ''The Iceberg,'' is a plea for humanity to dig deeper in search of understanding and common ground. ''The Iceberg'' is a distillation of stereotypical tropes in hip-hop and beyond, 12 tracks about money, sex, politics, race and religion that appear superficial until his multi-dimensional lyrics unfurl to expose the complexities of individuality and identity: How we see ourselves and how others see us. Deeply soulful, and shot through with jazz, go-go, gospel, thick r&b and hard beats, the album is a timely, poetic statement.