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Randy’s Records still spinning in Salt Lake after 35 years

Shopping » Black Friday deals are part of a revived record-buying industry nationwide.

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Paul Helms, of Murray, came into Randy’s Records last week hoping to fill holes in his collection. He is a wedding DJ on the side, and collecting records is a hobby, something he has done at Randy’s since he moved to Salt Lake City in 1999. Under his arm was "Sticky Fingers" — complete with the real zipper.

Another customer was Tim Buys, who recently moved to Salt Lake City after living in Amarillo, Texas. With Justin Townes Earle and Roots vinyl albums in his hand, he tried imparting the importance of vinyl to his 3-year-old daughter, Morgan,but she only appreciated one aspect of records: "I like when it spins," she said. "I like to spin, too."

At a glance

Randy’s Record Shop

Where » 157 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City; 801-532-4413; randysrecords@gmail.com

When » Tuesday–Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m to 6 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays

Randy Stinson’s desert-island artists

Bob Dylan

Thelonious Monk

Roy Orbison

Dave Brubeck

Traveling Wilburys

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Summer of ’69 » Stinson came up with the idea of opening a record store while stationed in Vietnam in 1969.

Once home in Salt Lake City, he bought an old house in the Avenues, intending to turn it into a record shop. But zoning rules changed, blocking Stinson from opening a shop in the neighborhood. Over the years, he continued to buy and collect records.

Stinson finally opened his shop in 1978, and he has been in business ever since, although there were times when he came close to bankruptcy, he admitted. His two biggest regrets in life are the two records he wishes he had held on to, but at the time, he needed cash to pay the bills as the CD market started encroaching on his business in the dark days of the 1980s.

The first record was a rare Beatles single with the A-side "Anna" and the B-side "Tell Me Why." A record collector bought it off Stinson for more than $10,000.

The second was an equally rare early Beatles record, titled "Introducing … The Beatles," that contained the tracks "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You." That, too, sold for more than $10,000.

Stinson still remembers the first record he ever bought. It was a copy of Santo & Johnny’s "Sleep Walk," an instrumental steel guitar-based song. Now, there are scores of cardboard boxes in his back office — more like a warehouse — still waiting to be processed and put into circulation. Stinson estimates he has 200,000 albums in his collection, with all except a very few to be on sale at one point or another. Those very few might involve The Beatles.

Make Randy an offer he can’t refuse, but I want to warn you: He isn’t as hard-up for cash as he used to be.

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