When Thomas Edison invented the phonograph on August 12, 1877, little did he know just how much influence his “Talking Machine” would have, not only in the music industry, but in pop culture as well. Records are a part of the music of the ages and it is up to us as individuals and retailers, not only to enjoy our favorite recordings, but to preserve them as well; thus Vinyl Record Day was born.
Vinyl Record Day is celebrated on August 12th (or the first Saturday following the 12th) and was conceived and brought to the forefront by vinyl enthusiast and vinyl record historian Gary Freiberg. I spoke with Gary about the meaning of Vinyl Record Day and how we can help to as individuals and what retailers can do to help preserve this timeless medium and international treasure.
“Vinyl Record Day is about celebrating vinyl records and the public should take notice of this special day. Invite friends and family over for a barbeque, maybe form a block party and play records, think records and talk about records and what they mean to each of us individually and culturally,” explained Gary.
Gary went into further detail, “Whatever the feel good aspects of Vinyl Record Day are, a retailer will ask how will this help my bottom line? Vinyl Record Day can get free publicity, it puts a good face on a business within their community and is a reason to have something special at the location: a parking lot sale, entertainment, store specials are great examples. I would hope the industry would become more involved with Vinyl Record Day so that, not only are the goals of Vinyl Record Day spread, but that people trying to make all or part of their living with vinyl could be part of an industry and not scattered individuals. We need to have a cohesive national impact as the milk industry did with their “Got Milk” campaign. I truly believe that Internet and traditional brick store owners could benefit financially, and in the case of brick store owners, in their communities by being part of Vinyl Record Day. Another important goal of Vinyl Record Day is to preserve the cultural influences, the recordings and the cover art. We also hope to increase awareness that economics prevents companies from transferring everything on to compact discs.”
A very dynamic and immensely important point Gary talked about is that only 5% of our musical history has been transferred to cd, so it is out responsibility to preserve this medium. Maybe your grandfather, sibling or cousin released a record and, although it may have not made the “top ten,” it is our music and some of these wonderful recordings cannot be found anywhere else. For instance, I own a vinyl copy of a Spiro Agnew speech and one of our most revered presidents John F. Kennedy has released several recordings, as have other influential and historical figures.
Additionally, Vinyl Record Day is a nonprofit organization that aims to educate the public and encourage all of us to preserve these international audio treasures. It is also a marketing opportunity for any vinyl record retailer.
“Vinyl Record Day is focused on educating the public that this timeless medium is in our hands, don’t leave the preservation of vinyl to fate. Vinyl records represent historical audio documents and just as we preserve historical literature, we are the custodians of this audio history. Vinyl Record Day is more than one day a year set aside for celebration, it is also for the industry itself,” acknowledged Gary. ”
We also discussed past celebrations, from the inaugural Vinyl Record Day in San Luis County, California and the international support and attention that Vinyl Record Day receives as well.
“Vinyl Record Day hopes to continue to educate the public on why and how to care for a record collection because these collections are not only a part of who we are individually, but to assure that future generations will not lose a vital link in recorded history,” related Gary.
As an avid vinyl record collector, I truly enjoyed my conversation with Gary, who is very passionate about the cause. Vinyl Record Day is a nonprofit organization that needs the help of all of us, consumers, collectors, musicians, retailers as well as the record companies. So, as you celebrate Vinyl Record Day this August, think about the history, preservation of the format and enjoyment you receive when listening to your favorite records. For more information and how you can help as an individual, please visit the website, http://www.VinylRecordDay.org and let Gary know that you endorse all of his efforts.
(You may even donate your record collection to Vinyl Record Day and you can receive full value as a tax write-off. Vinyl Record Day needs money to promote, not only Vinyl Record Day, but can help retailers in their own business endeavors)