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Record Stores Prepare For A Rush From Vinyl Diehards

Saturday is a sort of national holiday for record collectors:  it’s Record Store Day. First held eight years ago, Record Store Day was created to boost traffic in local record stores with the release of special, limited items. The sorts of things record collectors geek out about, like different colored vinyl or reissues of obscure albums. WFAE’s resident record geeks, Marshall Terry and Sarah Delia stopped by Lunchbox Records in Charlotte to see how it’s preparing for the big day.

Scott Wishart looks like the type of guy you’d expect to run a local record store--he's even wearing a shirt that says "Support Your Local Record Store!" He's had a record label, worked at another record store for eight years before opening his own, and started playing in bands when he was fifteen-years-old.

Wishart opened Lunchbox Records around the same time Record Store Day began, which he says has changed a lot. 

"The first year there were 25 releases. This year there are about 400. It's a blessing and curse," Wishart says.

The work begins at the first of the year. It takes a few months to figure out what his very passionate customers want and what will actually sell.

Wishart says he tries his best to get all the releases.

"Generally we get 95 percent of them. Some things are so limited we can't get them...It's a roll of the dice."

One of the big ticket items this year is the White Stripe's 2005 album Get Behind Me Satan.

Wishart says customers look forward to Record Store Day, and sometimes emotions run high.

"I’ve had people get mad and storm off. Couple of years ago, there was a Dave Matthews Box set that came out. They only made 500 copies. Pretty much every store got one. Dave Matthews is a pretty big band. The problem is we get one and everyone is trying to get it. They blame us, not the people who only made 500 copies," Wishart says.

So, if you’re dead set on a particular Record Store Day release, you better get there early. Wishart only allows a certain number of people in at a time to make sure things don’t get too claustrophobic. Lunchbox Records is opening at 9:00 Saturday morning. They usually open at noon on Saturdays.

Click here to find a list of other Charlotte-area record stores taking part in Record Store Day

Sarah Delia covers criminal justice and the arts for WFAE. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.
Marshall came to WFAE after graduating from Appalachian State University, where he worked at the campus radio station and earned a degree in communication. Outside of radio, he loves listening to music and going to see bands - preferably in small, dingy clubs.