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'Vinyl is seeing a real resurgence': 32nd biannual CD & Record show held in Carrboro

The Carrboro CD & Record Show was held at Carrboro Century Center on Sunday, April 2, 2023. The biannual show is cherished by its participants, vendors and customers alike.

On Sunday, April 2, the Carrboro Century Center featured tables of record vendors from noon to 6 p.m.

According to the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, the 32nd Carrboro CD & Record Show had over 40 tables with new and used CDs, vinyl records and music memorabilia. 

A customer at The Carrboro CD & Record Show reads the title of a vinyl record on Sunday, April 2, 2023.

Gerry Williams, the event host, said he began collecting vinyl records in 1960 and owned a record store in Washington, D.C., before moving to Carrboro in 1995. Williams said he started the show in 2004 as an annual tradition. The show is now held twice a year. 

“What I do first is contact my regular vendors," he said. "So a couple of these guys have done all 32 shows with me, or getting close to it, so they get first choice of their regular table."

He said he then he pulls from a waiting list of other vendors. About five vendors in each show are from the waitlist, he said. 

Some returning vendors own their own record stores, including Jon Treneff of Tarboro, N.C. Treneff said he and his wife own a record store called Country Feedback and use record shows as an opportunity to promote and advertise.

“It’s fun for me to get out of town and go to places and talk to other people in the game,” Treneff said.

Meanwhile, vendors Mark Chiodini, Shane Luke and Amy Singleton said they were record collectors who frequented the Carrboro record show for decades before receiving a table when spots opened up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We tried to bring '70s and '80s things that are sold a lot that people really want in their collection. And we also brought some compliations and some soundtracks for movies,” Chiodini said.

Shane Luke and Mark Chiodini are from Mebane, N.C. but travel into Carrboro biannually to participate in the CD and Record show. They dream of opening their own brick and morter music shop in Mebane, but until then, they collect vinyl records and participate in pop-up events across the state.

Although there are frequent longtime visitors, Williams said he has seen the crowd diversify in age and gender in recent years.

"When I first started, the show was mostly older guys like myself who were buying and grew up with records, but it's changed a lot in the last 10 years or so with a lot of high school-age, college-age, men and women coming in and shopping,” he said.

Alex Ng, a UNC graduate student, said she lives in Carrboro and has familiarized herself with local record stores as well as the Carrboro CD & Record Show.

“I feel like record collecting is really fun — it just feels like more of an event, so you can do it with people,” she said.

Similarly, recent UNC graduate Cailyn Domecq said she brought her friend, UNC senior Deeksha Mittal, to explore the show for the first time upon seeing an advertisement for it outside.

A young woman sifts through a box of records at The Carrboro CD & Record Show on Sunday, April 2, 2023.

Mittal, who bought her own record player a year ago, said she likes vinyl records more than CDs because they sound better than a phone or speaker. 

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Both the aesthetic and improved sound quality of vinyl is something Williams said he suspects has kept the format relevant despite the emergence of newer music technology.

“Now that vinyl is seeing a real resurgence in the last 10 years, I think that a lot of people just appreciate the package, which is easier and bigger and more attractive than a CD," he said. "And a lot of people, myself included, believe that a lot of vinyl sounds better than the CD does."

Domecq said she does not have a record player but enjoys looking through record covers because of the nostalgia it brings.

“I'm a big music fan and grew up with my dad having a bunch of records," Domecq said. "So I just enjoyed the process of flipping through."

@DTHCityState | 

Bobby, a vendor at The Carrboro CD & Record Show, spins a record on Sunday, April 3, 2023. His vendor booth was backdropped by an array of vinyl on display.

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