Vinyl is back and it’s big. In 2016, vinyl sales hit 25-year high thanks, in part, to Record Store Day and the retail shops selling records. The deaths of music icons – David Bowie, Prince, Sharon Jones, Glenn Frey and others – had fans and collectors investing in keepsakes. Even with the advent of cassettes, CDs, DVDs and iPods, diehard audiophiles held tight to cherished collections of 78s, 45s and 33s. Cruising the racks, admiring the artwork, unwrapping the plastic and letting it spin—records provide a nostalgic journey for every generation. Sacramento boasts a superb selection of record stores. Used or new releases, a new generation of listeners is vinyl’s lifeblood.
My Sacramento - Cactus Pete & his 78 RPM Record Roundup
Put another spin on the vinyl world every Tuesday night at the Hideaway Bar & Grill. Record lovers come for more than dive bar aesthetics. Local artist and audiophile Cactus Pete (Stegall) has been spinning 78s and selling his signature cactus cut-outs for years.
In Pete's own words: KRAK Radio use to sponsor concerts at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. The last vestiges of the country shows, it was a long list of Nashville musicians. I only started collecting 78s in 2010 – they took me back to those days and the roots of two genres I’d been listening to, country and jazz. I started playing 78s at The Hideaway and The Golden Bear and friends started coming out. Now I’m a fixture and have quite a following even with some younger fans. I’m the only one who’s doing this. Local record store owners hook me up with records and I regularly go crate digging at thrift shops. I actually believe the 78s (shellac records vs. vinyl) have better sound than LPs – the speed has a lot to do with the sound quality. I’m representing the original frontier when they started recording. I’m glad “vinyl” is back, it’s a revolution! People are responding to our heritage and all the great music.
Where to Spin
Brooks Novelty Antiques & Records
1107 Firehouse Alley, Sacramento
Sacramento’s record store old-timer. With more than 100,000 vinyl albums, audiophiles from around the world seek out Brooks Novelty and Records tucked away on Firehouse Alley. There’s also a cool collection of pinball and slot machines, neon signs, and old toys.
Delta Breeze Records
1715 10th Street, Sacramento
Christened in West Sacramento circa 2014 by record hawkers Rick Daprato and Ben Johnson, their Midtown digs opened late 2017. Collection includes the usual suspects – jazz, blues, rock – plus a sentimental selection of children’s 45s. Used turntables sold and repaired.
2500 16th Street, Sacramento
Sacramento’s largest independent music, movie, and video game store. The newest of Dimple’s seven stores pays homage to the once iconic Tower Records location. Remastered and period labels feature rock, pop, soul and blues. A one-stop shop, checkout their retro-style record players and turntables, huge selection of tchotchkes and new or used books.
2475 Fruitridge Road, Sacramento
Here to help records find good homes, Phono sells underground heavy metal, foreign punk and the weird and obscure. Sizeable $3 Budget Section has great titles. Lots of DIY CDs, cassettes and vinyl from local musicians. Pop-culture magazines, pin ball, foosball and free root beer.
Kicksville Vinyl & Vintage
1104 R Street, Sacramento
At the WAL Public Market, get kicks and kitsch at Kicksville. Vintage accoutrement from classic hi-fis and tune totes to posters and 45 picture sleeves. Thousands of labels include rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, punk, R&B, hip-hop and more. Curated collection of 45s across all genres is Sacramento’s largest.
MediumRare Records & Collectibles
1104 R Street, Sacramento
The museum-style boutique features high-quality vintage vinyl and rare rock artifacts. Peruse exhibits and displays of iconic bands such as The Beatles, Beach Boys and Elvis Presley. Obscure recordings by local Sacramento artists and cool portable record players.
11th Annual Record Store Day – April 21, 2018
In 2007, Dilyn Radakovitz, owner of Sacramento-based Dimple Records, helped craft this yearly celebration. Nationwide, 700 record stores sell special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products made exclusively for the day. There are Record Store Day participating stores on every continent except Antarctica.
Originally published in Visit Sacramento guide. Read the digital version online!