DALLAS - There are more ways than ever to listen to music these days, but one of the fastest growing is to kick it old school! That’s right, vinyl record sales were up 51% in 2014, according to Nielsen Media.
CD and digital downloads, down 9% and 14% respectively.
Stanley Getz has been making vinyl since back in 1974, long enough to read vinyl’s obituary more than once.
“They’ve been talking about the demise of vinyl since the 70s,” he says. “It’s never really gone away.”
The vinyl boom has put a serious strain on the record presses that create the albums. There are only 16 in the country. The only one in Texas is A&R Records right here in the Big D.
“The demand is incredible. It's probably tripled,” says Getz. “Somebody comes in and places an order. It's probably three to four months before we complete it. It used to be six weeks.”
The process for creating an album hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years. Each album is still inspected by hand.
“You look to see if there are any scuffs on it or it may have a chip on it,” says Getz. “Somedays we'll have a machine that runs terrible. It'll get 20% rejects. Other days you may get 5%.”
The reject rate is in part because the equipment hasn’t changed much either.
“You're dealing with breakdowns just about every day. There is always something happening,” says Getz. “All of the machines have their own personalities.”
Despite the increase in business, record manufacturers aren't exactly rolling in the dough.
“The overhead is pretty horrendous. The materials and the utility costs, it all sort of does the same thing no matter what.”
But Getz is still in the groove.
“It's all I've done all my life. The variety of people the variety of music, it's an interesting business.”