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Mid-Missouri Vinyl Lovers Gathered in Columbia to Celebrate “Record Store Day”

Kyle Cook, left, is recording Jason Smith's, right, purchases in a log book. The counter of Hitt Records is cluttered with dozens of vinyl albums.
Nate Brown
Hitt Records co-owner Kyle Cook, left, logs purchases for customer Jason Smith on June 12, 2021. One of Smith’s acquisitions was “The Truth” by Prince. “Support your local record store and local stores in general,” said Smith, who was one of the first people in line on Record Store Day.

On June 12, vinyl music fans worldwide descended on their neighborhood record stores for Record Store Day. Folks stood in lines throughout downtown Columbia to snag a special release: Maybe the live six-LP box set from the Grateful Dead or the acoustic set by Prince – pressed on purple vinyl, of course.

All in support of their favorite artists and local record stores, including: Hitt Records and Slackers. Due to social distancing and global production issues, there are two Record Store Days this year. The next one is July 17. To learn more, visit https://recordstoreday.com/NewsItem/9578

 A line forms to enter Hitt Records early in the morning on June 12, 2021.
Nate Brown
A line forms to enter Hitt Records early in the morning on June 12, 2021, which was Record Store Day worldwide. Co-owner Kyle Cook estimated 40 to 50 people were waiting in line by the time the store opened at 9:00 a.m.

Kyle Cook, co-owner of Hitt Records: So, I'm one of the two owners and here we are on “Record Store Day.”

“Record Store Day” is great for independent record stores – it drives business to a lot of places that have a hard time in the past, getting a lot of people to come in, and it's just one of those things that started small and now here we are almost 20 years later.

And it's really cool to see how many people come out for it – both locally and from far and wide. For us, it's a really big deal.

At 8:30 [a.m], I think there was like five people outside and by the time I looked out at 9:00 [a.m.] there were probably between 40 and 50 people waiting out there.

So, this is the first time since COVID that we've even like entertained having a line, but it was kind of cool to see to look out there and be like, “Oh, my god, it feels like, you know, two years ago, all of a sudden.”

Raquel Rickey, with her Record Store Day purchases in hand, flips through Hitt Records’ regular stock before heading for the front counter.
Nate Brown
Raquel Rickey, with her Record Store Day purchases in hand, flips through Hitt Records’ regular stock before heading for the front counter.

Jason Smith: I'm in line for Prince and a couple of other albums. Prince has always been a favorite artist for myself and my brother and sister who are older and got me into Prince, so it's a nostalgia thing.

Mp3 and CDs, of course, are easier to carry easier listen to, but buying vinyl – I only really buy the artists that I really like and want to support., you know, it's a unique thing to have and sort of collect, and it can be a talking piece.

Raquel Rickey: I'm just very excited that Record Store Day is, you know, still going on, and especially with the way things have been the past couple years. So, I'm very happy to be out here and see so many people enjoying it.

Austin Taylor, left, and Cameran Knipp, right, sit on the ground outside Slackers in downtown Columbia - waiting for it to open on Record Store Day.
Nate Brown
Austin Taylor, left, and Cameran Knipp wait outside Slackers on June 12, 2021, for the store’s 11 a.m. opening. The two earlier visited Hitt Records, which opened for Record Store Day at 9:00 a.m.

Austin Taylor & Cameran Knipp:

Austin: I live about 30 minutes from here, and I'm just here to buy records for her. It's not even for myself. I am actually looking on picking up Taylor Swift – it's Taylor Swift and Haim’s “Gasoline,” and there's a few others that she's looking at. So, it's kind of one of those we're going to split up in the store and, of course, find which ones we need and head on our way.

Cameran: I'm very happy I picked up the “k bye for now [(swt live)]” by Ariana Grande on vinyl.

Austin: This my first experience doing any of this because I'm not really into the vinyl records. I'm into music, like I like listening to music, but she's clearly into the vinyl records and looking for exactly what she wants. So, it's pretty entertaining.

Cameran: I'm just really excited to go home and play them.