Michigan’s Oldest Vinyl Record Store
However, despite the day meant for people to tour all their local record stores, August 12th, 2020 is National Vinyl Record Day!
According to National Day Calendar, the day was founded by Gary Freiberg in Los Osos, California to commemorate the day Thomas Edison invented one of the most monumental inventions of our time, the phonograph, back in 1877.
Of course, music has changed, our medium in which we consume it has changed but vinyl still holds a place in our hearts.
My boyfriend, Jordan, and I found an old, giant record player on Facebook Marketplace and I honestly think we love it and finding vinyl to play on it more than some people love their own children.
That love for vinyl is proven right here in Michigan by the state's oldest, still-running record store, Gerry Dodd's Record Shop in Grand Rapids.
According to Rapid Growth Media, what is now known as "Dodds" actually was Cole's Record Shop until Gerald Dodds purchased it in 1951 and for 30 years operated in various areas of West Michigan before settling in downtown Grand Rapids.
It is now under new ownership, has been reorganized and re-branded a bit by Reverend Charles Preston Smith who also turned the shop into a museum titled "Rev Charles' Museum of Music and Memorabilia."
To make a long, beautiful story a bit shorter, Smith aquired the store after he made quite a lasting impression on Dodds and his family one record store day, so much so that when Dodds' health was declining, they asked Smith to take over.
“When the family contacted me they said, ‘Why is it you think you should have this?’" Smith recalled to Rapid Growth in 2014, "My only thought was there’s Amway, there’s Van Andel and there should be Dodds. So why can’t it be a museum?”
Over the years, Smith has added a lot and done some things to continue to make Dodds still a relevant staple in the Michigan music scene.
Smith says he cleaned up the place, started sorting and trying to turn the place into less of a place to simply buy vinyl but a place for "memorabilia, creative genre sections and a monument to local history."
As of National Vinyl Record Day in 2019, Dodds was still going strong and even featured on West Michigan local news channel WZZM 13.
According to the shop's website, due to COVID-19, they do remain closed to walk-ins but still do offer up some history for you to enjoy.
So, on this fine National Vinyl Record Day, either get out and get yourself some new (to you) records, peruse the stores and reminisce or dive into your own collection. Today is all about the incredible music vinyl has and always will give to us.