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Sunshine Records

Records are making a comeback in the new year to a new generation as Sunshine Records opened its doors.As one of two stores in Tyler that buys, sells and trades old vinyl records, Sunshine Records managed to bring back the look and feel of the typical 70’s record shop.”As a kid, I loved the vibe you got from walking into a record parlor and seeing wall to wall racks of records, posters plastered on the walls everyone from the Rolling Stones to Prince,” Don Gray, Sunshine Records owner, said. “I just knew I wanted to capture that feel and essence for when people walked in they see what I saw.”The store provides customers with a diverse collection of 45’s, 78’s and albums in rock, soul, blues, old school hip-hop, to punk, country, and even the Beatles. “SR has a little bit of everything, it just depends on what in particular you are looking for and how much time you have to look for it,” Gray said. Prices range from $3 to $10 depending on the rarity and popularity of some of the records. “Vinyls should be affordable for as long as they have been around, so I sell them at reasonable prices even though some can be resold online for quite a penny more,” Gray said. “But some come at a greater price and some are priceless because it would take a lot for me to part with my ‘Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die’ album.”Sunshine Records started on a whim.”I have collected tons over the years from yard sales to people just giving me old records. It got so bad to where storage became a problem,” Gray said. “I remember passing by SR’s current location and thinking what a cool spot for a shop. It’s right on a busy corner. Then one day I drove by and a ‘for rent’ sign was up so I made a u-turn in the middle of the road and bought it on the spot.”SR’s inventory grew from a past time and hobby of collecting records.”When I wasn’t working, I was hunting for new records. I never imagined running a business selling them, especially now. It was my passion not a business plan,” Gray said.Gray has turned that passion for collecting vinyls intoprofit, as he steps out from retirement to bring back the sound of current music on dated discs to a generation for whom portability of music is everything.”Records, most people in my generation don’t remember anything before cassettes. We prefer music that can travel and songs at our fingertips, not music limited to one room,” Maverick Cooper, TJC freshman said.However, others still find listening to the classics in their original form and format to be authentic to the lyrics itself.”I just purchased a record player and I find it more appropriate to be playing The Monkey’s and The Beatles than an IPod,” Justin Howard, Sunshine Records customer said. “Records give me a quality and sound even Apple can’t provide.”For more information on Sunshine Records concerning hours of operation and merchandise contact Don Gray at (903) 740-0946.

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