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In Focus: Vinyl records live in Pittsburgh

“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.”