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Montana record store sees vinyl sales grow exponentially

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Posted at 12:09 PM, Mar 14, 2023

BILLINGS - At Cameron Records on Central Avenue, you’ll find everything from Pink Floyd to Taylor Swift.

The store has seen a record number of sales each year since it opened in 2019.

Nationwide, sales of vinyl records recently surpassed CD sales, and that's no surprise to Cameron Records owner TJ Goodwin.

“At any given day, we’ll have between 10 and 15 thousand records in the store,” Goodwin said.

Cameron Records is a haven for vinyl record hobbyists, and the old pastime has new life.

Goodwin said record sales topped more than 40 million nationwide last year.

“This has not just been an uptick over the last couple of years, it’s grown 10%, 14%, 15% over the last few years. It’s been exponential,” said Goodwin.

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He’s seen that growth at his own shop.

“It’s driven not just by people who love records, but young people who have never experienced the format,” Goodwin said.

Billings resident Lance Lundvall saw the decline of vinyl, when CDs and even cassette tapes began to replace the technology, and he said Monday was excited about the comeback.

“If you had asked me if records were going to be popular 20 years ago, I would have laughed ‘cuz you couldn’t find them anywhere,” said Lundvall.

What’s happening now is music to his ears. Lundvall started collecting records just a couple of years ago and now has more than 500.

He’s at Cameron Records nearly every week adding to his collection.

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“I’ve always got the option to play my phone for my music as well. But to me, there’s nothing like turning on the turntable and sitting back and relaxing and listening to music,” Lundvall said.

It appears he’s not alone as there’s now something for everyone in terms of record selection.

“What’s neat about vinyl records now is it’s no longer just old classic rock that’s on vinyl. Now almost every new release comes out on vinyl,” said Goodwin.

What’s old is now new again, and Goodwin is certain that record sales are only going to grow.

“When someone only grew up with digital music, they don’t have that physical music identity. And I think that’s why vinyl is so popular with young people. It gives them a musical identity that they can show physically,” Goodwin said.