New vinyl record store opens in Uptown Greenville – The East Carolinian

Partly cloudy skies. Low 32F. Winds light and variable..
Partly cloudy skies. Low 32F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: December 17, 2022 @ 5:45 pm
Visitors in the Alley Cats Records shop browse through the various records.

Visitors in the Alley Cats Records shop browse through the various records.
Since Oct. 15, locals can purchase some of their favorite albums at Alley Cat Records in Uptown Greenville, North Carolina.
David Brown, the owner of David’s Used Books and Records, has relocated the records section of the store to 205 E Fifth St. in Uptown Greenville to create more space for the record collection, countless vintage posters of a variety of artists and much more leg room for music aficionados to browse comfortably, he said.
Brown said he began working at David’s Used Books and Records over 10 years ago when he built bookshelves for the owner, who also happened to be named David. A recent East Carolina University graduate with a lot of free time, Brown offered to stick around and help the previous owner with the day-to-day operations of the business, he said.
“I was like, ‘Hey do you want me to stick around? I can give you a hand with this,’” Brown said. “So I was actually already working at the bookstore. He was focusing on books, so what I started doing was focusing on records. I said, ‘Hey let me actually try to get some better records in here.’”
Because of the previous owner’s family obligations and home life, Brown said he started contemplating buying the business. Along with other factors, Brown said one of the more convincing ones was that the pair shared the same name, which meant he could swiftly and comfortably take over without having to change the sign. On Nov. 1, Brown celebrated 10 years as the business’s owner.
Brown said the collection grew from many visits to thrift shops and other vintage stores, but it was the help of an old high school friend that allowed him to get records from more popular artists in his possession. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles are artists whose albums he was able to obtain with his friend’s help, he said.
“I bought it just at the right time. If you look, vinyl really started getting popular again around 2011-2012,” Brown said. “It just continued to grow and grow and it finally got to the point where I was like, ‘I think we can do another one.’”
Jeff Blinder, Brown’s employee, collaborator and friend, said he’s been a local music promoter in Greenville’s underground music scene for around 20 years. Blinder said that he’s coordinated shows at Nash’s Hot Chicken, Molly’s Community Cafe and other venues and hotspots around town and he’s also recently booked a show at the record store, where they hosted rock band Maddy Walsh and the Blindspots.
Blinder said he came to Greenville in the early 2000s and noticed flyers promoting shows all over town. Months later, when summer hit, Blinder said he noticed that all of the flyers disappeared. Blinder said he decided to fill that local entertainment void and established Spazz Presents, hosting shows in venues and houses, even his own. He said he also created Spazz Fest, which is a local multi-day music and arts festival he founded 14 years ago.
“That was me deciding that I guess I’m gonna have to do it if no one else is doing it. I just kept it going and kept my fingers in the pot. Greenville got very well-known on the underground circuit specifically from 2006 to about 2015,” Blinder said. “People say ‘Greenville used to be a great music city’, it’s been a great music city, it’s just been underground. If you know underground, you know about Greenville, North Carolina.”
Once Brown started hosting record shows to sell records and help promote David’s Used Books and Records, Blinder said he contacted Brown and made him aware of the week-long festival, inviting Brown to come along with his records.
Jim Dean, a Greenville resident, said that he has recently grown interested in collecting vinyl records and that Alley Cat Records arrived at the perfect time, as he is an avid listener of classic rock and the store has a plethora of classic rock records.
“I could spend hours and a big chunk of my paycheck here. I mean, I’ve got hundreds, maybe even thousands of classic recordings nine or 10 minutes away from my house,” Dean said.
He inherited his uncle’s record collection, Dean said, after his uncle passed away in 2012 and that Alley Cat Records has motivated him to look through the collection and search for any “hidden gems” his uncle might’ve owned.
The front register of Alley Cat Records is coated with flyers and events happening in the Greenville area, and Brown and Blinder said they have more shows in development that locals aren’t going to want to miss.
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