College students have been drawn to the music of the generations before them for decades. Many college towns have a local record store where students can unwind after a long day of classes, work on homework and listen to some throwback tunes. The nostalgia for browsing through a record store like their parents did draws generations together.
I’m personally an old soul, and I love some good throwback music. Many of my friends call me “Grandma Beth,” and my family often asks me if I know any songs that are top hits from today—the answer is most likely no. I got into buying records because all of the artists I enjoy listening to initially recorded their music on vinyl, so I enjoy hearing the original sound of their music before it all became digitized.
I have shopped in records stores in New York and New Orleans, and I have been all over the states browsing through record stores, but some of the greatest vinyl finds I have found were in thrift stores and shops around Mississippi.
Laurel has a bingo lounge and thrift store called NUTS, where I have found many gospel records for $1. Southern Antiques in Laurel is made up of boutique and locally made items, in addition to booths owned by local people. Many of the booths have vinyl records with the prices ranging from $1-$15 depending on the artist and the quality. At Southern Antiques, I have found many Elvis and soft rock classics.
Like Southern Antiques, The Atrium in Meridian offers boutique and locally made items along with antiques. The location is an old furniture store’s storage building that has been converted into a marketplace.
Most Southern Miss students go to the popular thrift store in Hattiesburg, The Lucky Rabbit. Although the store is only open the first weekend of every month, the thrifted gems you’ll find there are worth the wait. I have found a Peter, Paul and Mary album from here, and there are so many booths that carry records for you to choose from. While T-Bones Record Store is not a thrift store, it is definitely a local favorite for vinyl. T-Bones offers a wide range of vinyl from new releases to oldie but goodies. The section I love to browse is the preloved vinyl, where you can find many excellent quality records for $3-$10.
Here are some tips for a fruitful record shopping experience:
1. Know unpopular genres of records, such as classic country and southern gospel, are always cheaper
2. Know the value of the record you’re interested in.
3. Be sure to check for cuts and grooves in the record.
4. Always check to see if the record is warped.
It takes a little time digging through the records to find that perfect record, but it is way better to waste time than to waste money on records that would cost you anywhere from $25-$40 on Urban Outfitters or Ebay. Shopping local for vinyl records can lead you to unique finds without spending a fortune.