April 18th, 2008
02:15 PM ET

Support your local record store

Saturday marks Record Store Day. Its founders say it’s an opportunity to celebrate the culture of the mom-and-pop record stores across the country.

It’s also an opportunity to have a big party. Many of the more than 450 stores taking part in Record Store Day are throwing a celebration. Watch what Record Store Day is all about

Record Store Day co-founder Eric Levin, owner of Criminal Records in Atlanta, Georgia, says the idea was spurred by the notion that independent record stores are becoming extinct – often taken over by large retail chains or vanishing entirely. But Levin says that’s not the case. While some stores do go out of business, he says, many are a strong part of the community - releasing records, hiring musicians and participating in local events.

And Record Store Day is garnering support from some major names in the music business. American heavy metal band Metallica is launching the day with an event at a local record store near San Francisco. Log on to recordstoreday.com and you’ll see a listing of events taking place on April 19, in addition to testimony from musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Ben Harper on why record stores are essential.

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Joan Jett, known for “I Love Rock N’ Roll” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” puts it this way on the Web site: “Any artist that doesn't support the wonderful ma and pa record stores across America is contributing to our own extinction.”

Nowadays, of course, a growing number of people get their music online. Some may have never set foot in an actual record store. But, says Atlanta musician Shannon Mulvaney, there’s a big difference between sitting in front of a computer listening to music and walking the aisles of the local record store, sifting through vinyl and CDs where you are surrounded by “music geeks.” It’s not just bits and bytes in a record store – it’s music, with all its colors.

So take some time Saturday and drop by your local platter seller. You don’t even have to be a music geek to do so.

- Lila Eidi, CNN.com Senior Producer, Digital Content

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