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RSD IN THE USA: Record Store Day celebrates decade of fans supporting indie music outlets

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
Justin Sowers, the owner and operator of Guestroom, prepping the week ahead of RSD.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Kind of like the way parents hurriedly bustle to make sure all those shiny presents are put under the tree before the kids wake up bright and early on Christmas morning, the staff of Guestroom Records will be up most of the night Friday getting their store ready for a similar holiday celebrated by music fanatics all around the world.

If it’s the third weekend in April, that must mean it’s time once again for Record Store Day, an annual worldwide event designed to “celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store.” And this year is even more special as RSD celebrates its 10th birthday. Justin Sowers, the owner and operator of Guestroom, has been there since the beginning of Record Store Day and can’t believe how much it has grown over the past decade.

“We’ve participated in every one and a decade later…it is such a bigger deal than we ever imagined,” Sowers said. “I mean, with the first one, we didn’t even really know what they were trying to do; it’s amazing to remember that when this first started, there were like fifteen 7-inches and now there’s like 3,000 releases. We never expected how big it would become, but it’s become quite the animal.”

Calling it an “excuse to throw one of the biggest parties of the year” at the store, Record Store Day will be celebrated at both Guestroom locations, 3701 N. Western Ave., and 125 E. Main Street in Norman. In addition to the hundreds of exclusive RSD titles, there will be a 1,000+ unpicked used record sale, free beer from COOP Ale Works, DJs in the morning and, at the Oklahoma City location, a showcase from Psi Labs Records.

“We try to make the biggest deal out of it,” Sowers said. “We’ve got our system worked out. We’ll have a lot of customers here, but we also order more of the releases than anybody else. We hooked up with everybody and ordered almost everything. It’ll be a good time, even if it is a little crowded.”

While Sowers himself is excited for the third volume of Big Star masters, customers have been asking and calling about limited edition vinyl releases from the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, the Doors, U2 and even a reissue of the Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane” 7-inch. “Don’t worry,” Sowers said, “We’ve ordered them all.”

“It’s just a great reminder for everyone that record stores are still here and they are still important,” Sowers added. “And, even more than that, it gives us a chance to appreciate our customers. We always try to have a great sale and have all the best exclusives and the free beer, of course…it’s just a way for us all to come together and celebrate the world of records.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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