Johnny's In Darien Gears Up For 'Record Store Day'

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Johnny Konrad of Johnny's Records in Darien said that Record Store Day has become the busiest day of the year.
Johnny Konrad of Johnny's Records in Darien said that Record Store Day has become the busiest day of the year. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

DARIEN, Conn. -- Record Store Day has become the busiest day of the year for Johnny's Records in Darien, and owner Johnny Konrad said it is only getting more popular.

"It's phenomenally busy. We've been getting phone calls about it for months. It gets bigger every year," Konrad said.

Record Store Day will be held nationwide this year on Saturday, April 19. The tradition started in 2007 as a way of celebrating independent record stores and vinyl recordings. Record companies release special vinyl editions of all genres of music, from classic rock like Jimi Hendrix and the Doors to new music like One Direction. Konrad said that last year there were about 325 records released for Record Store Day. This year that number has increased to more than 600.

"It's had a major impact on the future of the record industry," he said. "Vinyl has been growing astonishingly. A few years ago everybody thought the record industry was doomed, but vinyl has given it new life."

One major reason that vinyl has grown in popularity is the quality of the the sound, Konrad said.

"Analog really sounds better than digital."

Another reason is that album cover art looks a lot better on large records than it does on CDs. He said that people like to collect music and album art, but that it is not as satisfying on the smaller CDs.

"The artwork on record albums is so beautiful. It's really an unrecognized form of art," Konrad said.

As more and more people buy their music on vinyl, he said that bands are starting to come around to the format's popularity. The Grateful Dead was one of the first bands to embrace Record Store Day, and this year will be releasing a recording of a live 1979 show from Hampton, Va.

"It's been getting really big for years," Konrad said. "A lot of people didn't believe it, they thought it was a fad and that it would go the way of the hula-hoop. But it's not a fad, people are really into vinyl."

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