Vinyl collecting virus bites two local record collectors

Few collectibles can speak directly to their owner like a vinyl record, emitting the fundamental human art form of music.

It’s this elemental nature of music along with the warm, full tones and tangibility of vinyl that hook record collectors like Mark Maybrey and Tom Coleman.

“My first recording experience was Elvis””Hound Dog’ and ‘Don’t Be Cruel,” Maybrey said. “My mom was an Elvis fan. We played it until it was worn down the middle. My first 45 was “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night. And from then on – I grew up in the late 60s and 70s, vinyl was king – I kept buying vinyl, listening to it.

“It faded a bit. When I moved to Muscle Shoals, around 2012…I found this…former father-son record store and found (a) monthly get-together. J probably had two tubs of my personal (records) and then I went crazy. In 2012, you could find vinyl everywhere — before the big boom — in thrift stores, antique stores. And I went from these two jars and now my collection is approaching 7,000 records.”

Maybrey has said his first love was the blues and then classic rock, but as he worked in record clubs and organizations, his musical interests expanded to include psych rock and jazz, which came to him. presented by other enthusiasts. The social aspect of music sharing has not only allowed collections to grow, but also communities.

In 2017, a year after moving to Hot Springs, Maybrey organized a group of vinyl collectors called the Hot Springs Spin Doctors, inspired by the monthly get-togethers held at the Muscle Shoals record store that reignited his passion for collecting vinyl. discs.

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“We’re going to revitalize that and start over here – COVID threw us for a loop and we didn’t have a good big spot because we usually have 18 or 20 people showing up. So we’re going to be here with the Spin Doctors,” Maybrey said.

“And Beau and Tom, since they’re gracious to let us use their facilities, they’re going to be bringing albums from their personal collections. And we sit and listen and then just talk about the album. There’s a lot of back and forth, people bring stuff.”

Coleman is the owner of Downtown Record & CD Emporium, a new record store on the lower level of the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa, 239 Central Ave., which just opened in August and held its grand opening Sept. 2.

“I think anyone who owns a record store was a collector first and is still a collector. Some people built up their collections to start their stores, but really, if you think about it, every record here makes part of my collection,” Coleman said.

“I sell some, new stuff comes in. There’s always the part of your collection that you never sell – it stays with you and travels with you and it goes from store to store, decade to decade in my case” , did he declare. .

Coleman caught the vinyl collecting bug in the late 60s and early 70s, becoming a fan of British bands like the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and the Kinks.

“They just did it for me. I couldn’t get enough. And so I found myself looking for anything they could do,” he said.

The hunt never ends for vinyl collectors, with the passion sometimes turning into an obsession, Coleman and Maybrey said.

Every record collector has their “holy grail”, as Coleman puts it, and one of his is an extremely rare album.

“… came out in 1970 in England. It was by a band called Room, the album was called ‘Pre-Flight’, and it was just this amazing collection of progressive rock, psychedelic, even a bit of English folk, and it’s all done – not just skillfully, but with a masterful touch… just this amazing record that nobody bought,” he said.

“By some estimates it sold less than 200, 300 copies. It absolutely went under the radar. And now this record today, if you can find one — I saw one there just a month ago…$7,500,” he said.

Coleman finds himself forced to rummage through record stores in every town he visits in hopes that one day he’ll flip through records and find the album, or the other “holy grails” that have eluded him.

“Sometimes you have to be a little careful when you’re shopping, because no matter how much money you have in your pocket, if you see something and you have to have it – if it’s the money rent, if it’s your electric bill — this record goes home with you,” he said.

“You know, with every new generation, there are phases. Everybody was into streaming and everything was very convenient, but the main thing is that they were missing the ritual – the ritual of vinyl…you can have CDs that sound absolutely perfect flawless but in the end maybe the music wasn’t meant to be perfect maybe it was meant to feel like you’re sitting in the room with the musician.

The Hot Springs Spin Doctors will reunite at the Downtown Record & CD Emporium on Friday, September 30 at 6 p.m. All are welcome to stop, listen to music and chat with other enthusiasts.

Mark Maybrey presents his limited edition 50th anniversary album “Green is Blues” by Al Green; note that the recording itself is green and blue. – Photo by Andrew Mobley of The Sentinel-Record
Photo Tom Coleman shows off his Suns of Arqa album ‘Revenge of the Mozabites’, a record a friend presented to him years ago. – Photo by Andrew Mobley of The Sentinel-Record
Photo An original pressing, left, of Al Green’s “Green is Blues” album and a 50th anniversary limited edition. – Photo by Andrew Mobley of The Sentinel-Record
Photo Elvis Presley’s debut album, one of thousands of records in Mark Maybrey’s collection. – Photo by Andrew Mobley of The Sentinel-Record
Photo Wilburn Burchette “Open the Seven Doors of Transcendental Consciousness”, one of the most trippy albums in Tom Coleman’s collection. – Photo by Andrew Mobley of The Sentinel-Record

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