HURST -- Old trends tend to come back around at some point, but usually not with technology--you won't see anyone carrying around the giant cell phones from 30 years ago! But one exception is vinyl records, as evidenced at this weekend's DFW Record Show at the Hurst Conference Center.
Record sales in the U.S. have increased every year for the past 12 years, going from 900,000 to more than 14 million, and that demand drove the twice-annual event to expand from one day to two for its latest edition.
"The thrill of the hunt is the big draw," says co-promoter Brad Milyo. "There are a lot of people here who are just looking for that holy grail for their collection."
So why the continued rise in popularity? What they lack in portability, they make up for in other areas.
"There is a different sound to records," notes Milyo. "A lot of people will say it's warmer and richer. I, personally, love hearing the cracks and pops that you don't hear on a CD."
And he adds some people don't even buy records for the records.
"A friend of mine came yesterday simply to buy albums for the cover art. He said, 'I don't care what's inside it or what the music is. I collect cover art.'"
But there's a nostalgia factor, too--not just for how the music is heard, but for the physical connection it creates across generations.
"Nobody in the future is going to discover grandfather's downloads in a box in the attic," says longtime local rock DJ George Gimarc. "That heritage will never be known."
The DFW Record Show takes place each January and August but is just one of many record events in the area. If you've got a stash that you're looking to sell or to add to, Milyo recommends visiting multiple shows and/or stores as appraisals are very subjective and inventory can vary greatly among vendors. You can get an idea of what some are worth at this website.