May 23, 2024

Randy Plavajka | Banner Tom Allen, owner of Groover’s Physical Music in Riverside, labels and prices a collection of records he recently purchased. Allen sells a variety of genres and said he has more than 200,000 records in his personal collection he has to keep in two separate storage units nearby.

Decade-long increase in vinyl format signals stay

Randy Plavajka | Banner Ramal Cole, store clerk at Groovers, said rock ‘n’ roll is the best-selling genre.
Randy Plavajka | Banner
Ramal Cole, store clerk at Groovers, said rock ‘n’ roll is the best-selling genre.

Record sales have been on the rise for the past decade and for the first time in history, older music— anything older than 18 months — is outselling new music.

Older music has been trending throughout the nation, bringing a wide age range into local record shops in search of classic music.

Groovers Physical Music, Riverside’s home for classic vinyl records located at 215 W. Big Springs Road, houses one of the widest selections in the Inland Empire, ranging from classic jazz and blues records to more modern rock ’n’ roll releases from the past 40 years.

Tom Allen, owner of Groovers, opened his record store on April 16, 2011, which coincidentally was the date of Record Store Day, and sells primarily from his own vinyl collection.

“I’ve been a record collector my whole life,” Allen said. “I have a couple hundred thousand records.”

Groovers store clerk, Ramal Cole, said rock ‘n’ roll, soul and jazz are the top sellers he sees customers buy.

“The majority of the customers are college-aged kids,” Cole said. “There’s a lot of older folks who come in to get stuff that reminds them of their youth.”

Allen said everyone wants Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, but for the most part it is a diverse spectrum, including one young boy in search of Speedy West, a musician from the ’50s.

“I’m one of the few people in town who actually has the original vinyls,” Allen said. “I do have reissues but most of my stuff are the originals.”

Allen stands behind everything he sells because he said it is important to him to have the customer leave feeling happy about his or her purchase. He brings valuable records into the shop upon request.

“There’s nothing that compares to a good clean record with a nice sound system to back it up,” Allen said.

As the younger music-loving audience continues to discover and buy vinyl records, new artists such as Adele and Twenty One Pilots have released albums on the premium format.

Allen said he prefers to only sell older music and prefers to point customers in search of new music to Mad Platter, another Riverside record store.

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