Vinyl Revival: Block Street Records to Open Nov. 24

Vinyl Revival: Block Street Records to Open Nov. 24

Staff Photo Nick Brothers
The goal of Block Street Records is to stock a wide variety of genres and albums new and old, said Wade Ogle, the owner.

Upon entering the still-in-progress record store, the feel of what the store would become was already beginning to present itself. The place felt bigger and more spacious thanks to the owner’s decision to knock out the previous store’s overhang and an empty hallway next to the property. The wood from the hallway was repurposed into a rack that spans the length of the store to hold more than 3,000 records. The sky blue walls made for a welcoming atmosphere, and above the glass display counter rested a sizable poster of the artwork for Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

At the central record player in the store, a Rolling Stones record was spinning. At the singles and EPs section, Kevin Blagg worked through a pile of vintage vinyl, cleaning each by hand and organizing them in alphabetical order, preparing them for customers to browse. This kind of care appears to be the approach the group behind Block Street Records is taking, and they want to “do it right.”

On Nov. 24, Fayetteville will see the return of a new record store coming to 17 N Block St., the exact location where Sound Warehouse operated for 30 years next door to JR’s Lightbulb Club. Unfortunately, the Washington County Sheriff’s office had to seize the property and close down the store for failure to pay rent and state taxes for the property for several months.

When the spot opened up earlier this year in September, Wade Ogle, co-owner of JR’s Lightbulb Club, saw the opportunity to revamp the space into a new record store. The grand opening will be Dec. 6, and will feature the music of the Dumptruck Boyz from 6 to 7 p.m.


Staff Photo Nick Brothers

“It all sort of happened serendipitously,” Ogle said. “We weren’t sitting on a plan or had saved a bunch of money to start a record store. It came together kinda quickly. We’ve only had possession of the building for about four weeks.”

There won’t be regular shows at the store, but occasionally there will be a few in-store intimate concerts as well as various events. The store will also be connected to the Lightbulb Club, allowing for patrons to hang out in both establishments. On Fridays and Saturdays, the store will close at midnight.

“We’re on a shoestring budget, and we’re going to do the best that we can,” Ogle said. “We know good music, and we know a lot about music. I’ve got an initial staff that knows good music, and we’ll be a really friendly place where all genres are appreciated. There’s a definite focus on new and used vinyl. It’ll just be a local music shop.”

The plan is to feature a large collection of A-Z rock and pop followed by jazz, blues, country, various artist, folk, and holiday music. Additionally, there will be sections with the store’s hand-picked records from the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond, as well as a rack dedicated to new releases and new finds. There will also be a CD and cassette section, as well as singles and 45s for sale. Some vintage and new turntables will be for sale as they are in stock, and the staff will be able to help set up any newcomers to vinyl and answer questions.

With the two nearest dedicated record stores to Fayetteville being Tulsa’s Starship Records more than 100 miles away and Little Rock’s Arkansas Record-CD Exchange about 180 miles away, having a local record store open up again comes as a relief to local vinyl enthusiasts.

Stephanie Bolin, who organizes Vinyl Night every Thursday at Lightbulb Club, said she’s looking forward to having a place to hang out and talk about records.


Staff Photo Nick Brothers
Along the southern wall of Block Street Records, a wooden rack holds more than 3,000 records.

“I’m excited to have a record store again,” she said. “It’s something definitely Fayetteville has been missing. I think it’ll be way better. The owner, Wade, has a really good taste in music. I’m excited to see what they’ll have. Sound Warehouse didn’t have the variety.”

Although records themselves are considered retro in an age of iTunes, Google Play and Spotify, record sales have been growing strong within the past decade.

Between 2002 and 2012, national vinyl LP sales increased by 250 percent, while total recorded music shipments had dropped nearly 50 percent, according to data collected by Despite the increase however, in 2013, vinyl albums accounted for just two percent of total album sales in the U.S., while CDs (57.2 percent) and digital albums (40.6 percent) were the majority of music sales.

Chris Selby, known for Clunk’s Hungry Express Wagon, owned and operated Clunk Records in Fayetteville from 1995 to 2005. The store focused on CD sales and carried a variety of indie vinyl. The rise of iTunes, the iPod and file sharing were some of the main factors in having to close down his store, he said.

“Now, all the dominoes are falling,” Selby said. “Everything with the Internet and streaming against CD’s, that battle has been fought and something you hold is gone. But that’s why the record store will work. There’s never going to be less people buying records than there have been over the past 10 years. It’s got its following and it’s going to be steady.”

What vinyl excels in that other media such as CD’s and MP3s lack is the physical presentation and pure, analog sound quality, Selby said.


Staff Photo Nick Brothers
Kevin Blagg moves through a collection of vinyl singles and EPs, cleaning each one and organizing them in the racks. There will also be a CD section. At the time of the photo, the staff used paper markers to section off the CDs, which are planned to be replaced with permanent holders.

“It’s like a ritual-type thing,” he said. “It’s something nice. Someone puts that much work into putting something nice and beautiful together, and you put it on a turntable and watch it spin — rather than bluetoothing your phone to your PT Cruiser stereo. It’s pretty much the opposite of that.”

Ogle said his favorite record would be The Doors self-titled debut LP.

“I’ll listen to any format, but I definitely prefer vinyl,” Ogle said. “It’s the aesthetic of the record itself. It’s the sonic quality of it, the tactile aspect of being able to hold something. If a person owns a thousand downloads, that’s cool. But if that same person has a well-curated collection of a thousand records, to me that’s impressive.”

For more info and updates on Block Street Records, follow them on Facebook at

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