WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — An annual event observed across the nation that highlights local, independent record stores is set for Saturday, April 22, 2023, and the only record store in Wichita Falls is taking part.
Record Store Day celebrates the unique culture and community of independent record stores and supports these small businesses in the face of competition from online retailers and streaming services.
The annual celebration of all things vinyl was started by musicians in 2008. Many record labels and artists release special vinyl and CD editions of their albums exclusively for Record Store Day, making it a highly anticipated event for music enthusiasts. These limited edition releases are often highly sought after and can become collectors’ items.
And if you want to find vinyl at a locally owned record shop in Wichita Falls, there’s only one place to go.
Warbonnet Records opened in late 2020 in Wichita Falls in the KPC Shopping Center at the corner of Kemp Boulevard and Hampstead Lane.
About seven months ago, Bill Lemmon bought the store from its original owner after he and his family relocated from Wichita Falls.
“We’re just trying to keep the vinyl record industry alive here in town,” Lemmon said.
Warbonnet Records is one of just two locally-owned record stores in Texoma. The other is located in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Today, vinyl is more popular than its ever been, outselling CDs for the first time since the late 1980s this year. As the love for buying and collecting records grows among music fans of all ages, days like Record Store Day mean more now than they ever have.
“So Record Store Day was started to help the brick-and-mortar record industry,” Lemmon said. “It was started as a bunch of artists that would just make drops only for independent record stores.”
This year, Warbonnet is gearing up to go all-out on one of its biggest days of the year.
“We’re gonna have some drawings. “We’re gonna draw for turntables, a lot of records, t-shirts, posters, that sort of thing,” Lemmon said. “We’re gonna have free food and drinks out here.”
But the main draw that brings collectors every single year is the selection of special releases of records, dropped exclusively for Record Store Day, that can only be found in a physical storefront.
“These are things that are just not going to be available online or at the big box stores,” Lemmon said.
Artists releasing exclusive Record Store Day vinyl this year are the likes of Stevie Nicks, The Black Keys, and of course, Taylor Swift.
“Number one title so far is Taylor Swift’s Folklore,” Lemmon said. “We expect those to sell out.”
Those who aren’t after that exclusive vinyl will still have plenty of options on Record Store Day, and every day, for that matter.
“You’ve just got thousands and thousands of records to choose from,” Lemmon said.
Record Store Day takes place on Saturday, April 22, 2023, beginning when Warbonnet Records opens at 11 a.m. Lemmon said customers have already told him they plan on showing up to the store to stand in line as early as 6 a.m.