For the Record: Ashley Street Station opens vinyl shop – Valdosta Daily Times

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Updated: December 24, 2022 @ 2:36 am
Hole in the Wall’s record collection has been four years in the making.
Bryan Gay, owner, said Hole in the Wall lives up to its name by being a treasure trove of vinyl for local artists.

Hole in the Wall’s record collection has been four years in the making.
Bryan Gay, owner, said Hole in the Wall lives up to its name by being a treasure trove of vinyl for local artists.
VALDOSTA — For the last two years, memory lane was the only trip many people were taking, and Hole in the Wall Records Shop has flourished into a nostalgic destination.
Having run Ashley Street Station, a live music bar, for the past 11 years, owner Bryan Gay said opening an adjacent record store just “made sense.”
“We are a music bar. My father, my relatives are all musicians. One of the reasons we did a music bar here was because there weren’t a lot of musical, touring acts coming through and then that bled into the record store. We didn’t really want to do the record store at first,” he said.
With the closure of Valdosta staple Red Door Records in late 2017, Gay wanted to keep that community alive.
“It was more important for Valdosta to not, not have a record shop, and that was where that conversation came in with Jordan (Ganas) of Red Door saying they weren’t gonna open up. That means the city wasn’t gonna have a record (shop). and that’s where me and my head bartender sat down. We were like, ‘Can we do this?’ That’s where we started building the idea because we didn’t want to go backwards.”
Gay started acquiring records at estate sales and auctions, acquiring other music mediums of the past such as CDs, cassette tapes and the Sony Walkmen.
Other rare finds include clothing items, such as a cropped T from the 1999 AMA Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, the world’s largest amateur motocross race.
Gay said if there was one bright spot of the pandemic, it was being able to convert the extra bar space into the Hole in the Wall store and stock the collection he and staff had been building for nearly four years.
The shop has been open since January and while there are plenty of “oldheads” who enjoy the blast from the past, a huge chunk of the store’s demographic is college students.
“I would say right now, in vinyl sales overall, in the U.S. and especially around Christmas time, hundreds of thousands of people give record players to kids, especially college kids,” he said.
“I mean I would say 30% of the students here have a record player, when it was probably 3% 10 years ago, and it’s slowly growing more and more. Just look up the numbers. People are also realizing that it sounds different and really picks up the different instruments as opposed to digital files.”
According to Gay, sharper quality of the original press records the shop has adds to consumer appeal, making such records sell for $500. Represses are more economical, ranging from $25-$75.
“What truly sets us apart from more mainstream stores like Target that sells records is that we’ve got quite a bit of original press. A lot of record stores don’t carry original press like that. We have people who drive here from Jacksonville, Brunswick and even Atlanta who come all the way here just to spend big money on these original presses,” he said.
“Record shops are kind of like a hometown grocery store compared to the big box stores. Yes, the bigger stores do have what’s popular, but a lot of them have represses and don’t branch out to other genres. We have pop, rock, reggae, Calypso, Latin, jazz and gospel. We get asked quite a bit about gospel records. and your record store wouldn’t be complete without a section dedicated to your local artists.”
The Rolling Stones, Prince and Yellowcard are among the artists on the stands at Hole in the Wall, 607 Baytree Road.

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