It seems like every couple of years you see another article about a business model that is going away because of the internet age. While movie rental stores and book stores are slowly dying off, the once thought terminally ill independent record store has not only held on but grown because of the increasing popularity of vinyl. Nashville is no exception. With a nickname like Music City, it's no surprise there's always a market for records and the presence of two major colleges in the city ensures a thriving used music scene as well. If you're planning to stop by Nashville, here are three of the best new and used record stores in town.
While most of Nashville's tourist business keeps to Lower Broadway, ask any local and they'll tell you a visit to Nashville isn't complete without a trip down 8th Avenue to Grimey's New and Pre-Loved Music. The store's founder, Mike “Grimey” Grimes, is a long-time insider in Nashville's local music scene that his store has become the consensus hub for audiophiles looking for the pulse of what's hot in the local clubs. Grimey's carries plenty of hits but the store has made its mark by having the biggest collection of local artists of any store in town. Grimey's also regularly hosts in-store appearances and performances by national and regional acts.
The Great Escape's two Nashville area locations are a bargain shopper's dream. Used books, movies, comics, and collectibles all line the walls of their massive stores. But it's the huge collection of used music on vinyl, CD, and even cassette that draws the crowds. Relying heavily on students from Vanderbilt and Tennessee State University, The Great Escape is Nashville's biggest music trading post, with students and more than a few local musicians bringing in their old collection and trading it for store credit to build a new one. There are bargains to be had at The Great Escape, but with such a wide collection, you'd better watch your budget because it's very easy to walk out of The Great Escape with an armload of vinyl and a wallet full of air.
Third Man Records may be the newest and the smallest of the three record stores listed here, it is probably the best known to people outside of Nashville. That's because of its owner, rock superstar Jack White and the Third Man Records Rolling Record Store, which can be found parked at festivals around the country. Founded in 2009, Third Man Records shares its physical space with the offices of the Third Man Records label, photo studio, a small performance venue, and and analog recording studio. Third Man Records is as much a destination as it is a record store, but there's plenty to love inside the store as well. White has worked to push the boundaries of what can be done in the vinyl medium, and many of these innovative album designs are available at the Third Man Records location.