Nashville has no shortage of record stores, for obvious reasons, and when you hit turn down Broadway you will find more vinyl than you can shake a record needle at.
Lawrence Record Shop at 409 Broadway in Nashville is so large that you might actually stop and stare with your mouth open for a moment–it’s 180 feet of wall-to-wall LPs and 45s. It’s an impressive collection of vinyl, and it seems to stretch on to infinity when you’re standing in the front of the store for the first time.
As you might guess, this store is overwhelmingly country-oriented. Just look at this row of vinyl records stretching all the way to the back of the shop, and yes–they’re ALL country:
Turntabling isn’t realllly interested in country music. In fact you might say that thanks to a childhood filled with mandatory AM radio listening crammed wall-to-wall with Ray Stevens, Ronnie Milsap, and the cringe-making ever-present Oak Ridge Boys, there’s a definite ALLERGY to country round the old Turntabling office.
But since WTF album covers are a passion round here, country records must not be overlooked–and with so many twangy LPs on hand it’s damn near impossible NOT to find a good variety of laugh-inducing album art.
Lawrence Record Shop is not only a great place for country vinyl collectors to fill the gaps in their collections, it’s also a Mecca of mind-numbing WTF album covers.
In the midst of all this, there was a decently sized soundtrack section which featured some eyebrow-raising titles including The Dark Crystal, the soundtrack for the Irwin Allen laugh-fest The Swarm, and even a copy of Buck Rogers In The 25th Century.
This store is definitely worth a look in, even if you’re just a curiosity seeker who hates the sound of a twangy guitar. It’s right next door to the legendary Ernest Tubb Record Shop, so chances are you were headed to that part of town anyway if you’re not from Nashville.
While it’s true that some would say that the t-shirt message, “Nash Vegas” is precisely what’s WRONG with Nashville, you can’t deny that the southern-friend veneer of Broadway in general is pretty fun–at least as a mere country music tourist, more than amused at the down-home quality of the genre. Sorry folks, give me technology, city noise and scary movies with subtitles.
I shudder to think what the locals make of the Nash Vegas notion, but who knows? Maybe everyone in town is all about the cowboy boots and a ten-gallon hat. I somehow doubt it, if Jack White’s Nashville-based Third Man Records is any indication. White might have allied himself with one of country music’s darlings, but I view their work together more like southern gothic, for some reason.
There’s definitely much more to Nashville than Ernest Tubb…but as my first stop on the Nashville leg of Vinyl Road Rage it was pretty fun to enter the honky tonk heart of darkness–briefly.
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