Archive for Independent Music Retail

Blast from the past

Big Daddy Blue blues music

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Here it is as promised. More info on my two cassette releases, Big Daddy Blue “His First Recording” from 1993 and Big Daddy Blue “King of the Northeastern Blues” from 1994.

The title of the second may sound a bit hyped to some, but, more than a boast, it was intended as a play on the titles of other traditional blues performers who often attached some similar grandiose description to their names—King of the Delta Blues, King of the Texas Blues, King of the 12-String Guitar, etc.



I was living in the Poconos in northeastern Pennsylvania at the time, so I figured “King of the Northeastern Blues”


Anyway, I had a small psychotically dedicated following, did two live radio spots one for WVIA in Pittston and another for a defunct station that no longer exists, and had the tapes for sale in Tie-Dye Dave’s Hippie Gift Shop (now Dave’s Unique Gifts and Novelties) and a few other regional outlets. 


In fact, I think ol’ Dave may still have some of those tapes or may have sold them in the interim since I admit I was not much good at regularly servicing my retail accounts. Wasn’t much of a business man in those days, just a dumb kid barely out of college.


So that’s the story. Questions are welcome, and I still have a closet full of inventory since I ordered much more than I needed. There was another recording too by the “Buck Hill Ramblers” a traditional country, cowboy and bluegrass duo of which I was one half. Again, a small dedicated following and some gigs.


Once I can figure out how to get some of this stuff on line I most likely will. Perhaps as part of an on-line independent record store, a companion to this site, that I’ve been kicking around. More on that later…


Suggestions for that venture and what you’d like to see? E-mail me!


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Tips for running an independent record store

How to successfully run an independent record store

Independent record shops are alive and well in downtown Urbana and Champaign, Ill. according to this walking tour by Leah D. Nelson of Buzz Weekly.

“People still like buying stuff like this at stores rather than online,” Jeff Brandt, owner of Exile on Main Street in Champaign told Nelson for the story.


Maybe so.


The Coalition of Independent Music Stores, including retailers like Plan 9 Music, Richmond, VA (early store pictured above), is dedicated to the survival of independent retailers in the face of challenges from the Internet and big discount chains.


Here, from music business coach Joe Taylor Jr., are some tips for successfully running an independent record store in your hometown:

  • Position (yourself) as an expert in one or more specific niches. When folks think you’re THE destination for emo/jazz/metal/reggae/yourgenrehere, you can go deep and superserve a grateful customer.
  • Focus on special events. Make the store a destination. Create lots of in-store concerts, signings, listening parties, and anything else that can get folks out at lunch time, after work, or around shows (if the store’s near a venue).
  • Make it easy to do business. Offer online presales with in-store pickup. Blog about upcoming releases and special events.
  • Create a space that’s fun to shop in. Ditch the fluorescent lights and use warm gallery bulbs. Make it easy to browse and listen to songs. CLEAN THE STORE, so folks won’t mind spending time there.

Here’s more on the indie retail scene from


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