The 5 Best Record Stores in the South

April 18, 2015 | By | Comments (13)
Photo: Shangri La Records

Photo: Shangri La Records

Jack White’s Third Man Records may be the South’s most recognizable record store, but smaller vinyl Valhallas can be found all across the region. To name our five favorites, we asked the help of Reed Watson, a co-manager of Florence, Alabama-based record label Single Lock and drummer for Belle Adair, who spent a decade working in record stores including Pegasus Records in The Shoals. (Full disclosure: he’s also my boyfriend, who has a collection large enough to open his own store.)

EOAMfullview-675x451

Photo courtesy of Light in the Attic

End of All Music
Oxford, Mississippi 

Mississippi is the birthplace of America’s music, and this store’s deep collection of blues, gospel, and soul echoes that. Their Record Store Day Special, a spoken word album by legendary Oxford writer, Barry Hannah, also reflects the state’s rich literary history. But the present is also given just as much shelf space as the past. Started by one of the co-founders of record label Fat Possum (where The Black Keys got their start), the shop is also the best place to find the South’s newest indie artists.

Photo courtesy of Memphis Daily News

Photo courtesy of Memphis Daily News

Shangri-La Records
Memphis, Tennessee

Whether you’re looking for Elvis’ Sun Records recordings or Stax hits from Rufus Thomas or Otis Redding, even newer Bluff City artists like John Paul Keith, this grey house in midtown is the place to find Memphis music. For serious collectors, their rare records collection is worth the trip. Last time we visited, we spotted a sealed promotional copy of Prince’s Purple Rain.

DSCN3274

Domino Sound Record Shack
New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans staples Dr. John, Professor Longhair, and Irma Thomas are all here, but so is the South’s largest collection of reggae and international vinyl, especially records from Africa. Their homemade mix tapes on actual cassettes range from Ethiopian wedding songs to zydeco tunes.

Photo: Nashville Scene

Photo: Nashville Scene

Grimey’s New and Pre-Loved Music  
Nashville, Tennessee

There’s a certain expectation for a record store in Music City, and Grimey’s lives up to it with hundreds of thousands of albums across every genre from country classics to metal and a regularly-stocked selection of new releases. Downstairs, the shop’s venue, The Basement, hosts some of the best in-store performances in the country. Ryan Adams’ Pax-Am band and Natalie Prass are next up on their calendar.

Photo: Carolina Postcard

Photo: Carolina Postcard

Horizon Records
Greenville, South Carolina

One of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic shop owners in the country, Gene Berger started Horizon 40 years ago underneath his mother’s yarn store after he dropped out of college. Now housed in a former Amoco gas station, it has become a community center for Greenville’s music scene. His curated collection of jazz and classical is unrivaled in the Southeast.

More stores worth a visit

Deep Groove Records in Richmond, Virginia
Vertical House Records in Huntsville, Alabama
Wuxtry in Athens, Georgia 

 

 

COMMENTS

  1. Bob Sylvester

    The biggest and undisputed “Best in the World” is in the South. Banana’s records. 3+ million in stock. St. Pete Florida. Yeah. Florida is in the South.
    http://www.musicfinder.com

    April 20, 2016 at 9:00 am
  2. gary L Finkenbiner

    It is good to see many cool stores. Since their seems to be many more than you might know, let me add another store to the list. Kilgor Trouts Music & More in Myrtle Beach is a great store with A VERY LARGE inventory of used and new. We have been in business for 10 years here.

    April 19, 2016 at 6:41 pm
  3. Cory Taylor Cox (@corytaylorcox)

    Grimey’s, Shangri-La, & The End of All Music +++ haven’t been to the others yet. The Groove Nashville and T-Bone Records Hattisburg are great too.
    Thanks for the article, keep on supporting, buying, creating, hustlin’

    February 5, 2016 at 11:17 am
  4. Haywood U. Buzzoff

    Manifest in Charlotte.

    January 15, 2016 at 9:26 am
  5. hiphopanonymous

    Sorry @Bryan, but BJ’s in Greenville is just not good. I live right by it and the record selection is highly lacking. In the 90’s I would’ve loved it for all of the cd’s, but nowadays, no bueno. If you’re the B in BJ’s, I’m sorry to point this out, but there is a TON of room for improvements. People can’t forget about Horizon because it’s just that good of a store.

    April 24, 2015 at 10:02 am
  6. David Intrator

    Graveface Records and Curiosities in Savannah GA

    April 22, 2015 at 5:13 pm
  7. The Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard Tours a Vinyl Pressing Plant + New Album Release | Everything Country

    […] of plastic pellets to your turntable. Sound and Color comes out today. Pick it up at your local record store, or order it at their […]

    April 21, 2015 at 3:50 pm
  8. Arthur in the Garden!

    Left out Skool Kids Records in Raleigh, North Carolina

    April 21, 2015 at 3:45 pm
  9. The Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard Tours a Vinyl Pressing Plant + New Album Release | Southern Living Blog

    […] humble pile of plastic pellets to your turntable. Sound and Color comes out today. Pick it up at your local record store, or order it at their […]

    April 21, 2015 at 3:01 pm
  10. Jeff

    You Did Not even mention Papa Jazz in Columbia SC. Papa Jazz has been around since 1976! How could you not mention a Record shop that has been around that long!

    April 21, 2015 at 6:13 am
  11. Bryan

    You want a record store in SC forget about Horizon records go to BJ Music in Greenville and in Spartanburg they have Thousands upon thousands of albums great selection very knowledgable owners and have been in business since the early 70’s… Trust me you won’t be disappointed!

    April 20, 2015 at 9:37 pm
  12. Suzannah

    Deep Groove in Richmond, VA should be on here!

    April 20, 2015 at 10:35 am
  13. Noel2010

    Really nice list here… glad you mentioned Domino in N’Awlins. That is one of my alltime favorite record stores.

    April 19, 2015 at 7:20 pm

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