“I went down to the sacred store, where I’d heard the music years before….” as one of the lines reads in Don McLean’s “American Pie.”
To many young people, the “sacred store” has to be explained, but to most people who grew up in the 20th century, it was a common place, the neighborhood record store, where people went to hear music, buy music and talk about music.
It was part store and part community, where the clerks played the music that their customers liked and where you could translate the experience of what was heard on the radio into what you could bring home and play for your family and friends.
It was where you could find the latest compact disc, but was more the home of the record albums and 45rpm singles, which actually held two songs. And as 33 1/3 was reportedly killed by the compact disc and the compact disc is being run out of the market by digitally downloaded music, the “stacks of wax,” the vinyl records, never really went away.
But for Dale Noelting of Cranberry, who was shopping recently at the Pittsburgh Record Show in Bridgeville, “vinyl still lives and it has been resuscitated by new artists. They have given it life because they want the best sound quality possible and only vinyl can give you that. But it is not to say that technology, which we thought was one of the reasons vinyl became a backwater, is a bad thing.”