Record Store Day was an immediate smash at Mills Record Company. In 2013, when the shop was still crammed into 1,000 square feet in Westport, the line formed hours before the doors opened. Inside, it was shoulder to shoulder.
Things are less cramped at the store’s new 6,5000-square-foot space, but the crowds are no less enthusiastic.
This year, Record Store Day is April 13. Among the 375 special releases are a collaborative album by Fela Kuti and Roy Ayers that’s been out of print for 40 years and Prince’s The Versace Experience: Prelude 2 Gold, a rare recording originally released on cassette in 1995.
Judy Mills, owner of Mills Record Company, told us about the rise of records and what Record Store Day means for music lovers.
For those people who are new to vinyl, it can seem a little intimidating — like it either takes a lot of money or knowledge to get into. What would you say to those people?
You don’t need tons of funds at all. There are so many great records at so many different price ranges. If you’re working around a budget, come in and we will help you find some great stuff without going into debt. The other thing: Buy records for the music. There are people that buy records for the collectability and they don’t open it, and that’s fine, but I want people to buy a record for the love of it. I want them to listen to it and listen to it a lot.
Can you share some pro tips for getting what you’re looking for on record store day?
We order so much, and most people that come to see us are not disappointed. I order multiples of everything. We’ll also be restocking throughout the day. We get so much that it can’t all fit out there, so as it runs out, we’ll bring out more.
Research the Record Store Day list and see what sounds good to you so you know what you’re looking for when you get here. The website has lots of info, and it shows how many copies are made. We have that list in the store, and we also publish the list of everything we received the day before Record Store Day because occasionally, things do get pushed back or canceled at the last minute, and we don’t want people to wait in line for something that doesn’t exist.
And we understand that not everyone is there for the new releases. We’re going to bring out over 2,000 choice used records, and we’ll have everything from $1 records to rarities.
Can you tell us what the day means to you?
Record Store Day is about supporting vinyl culture. Let’s say you’ve never been to a record store. There is a place that you can go to, and someone there is going to tell you about music, and they can recommend new music that you like. It’s not about a curated playlist based on an algorithm. It’s a conversation and shared interest and shared enthusiasm. It’s keeping the discovery of new music alive and human.
GO: Mills Record Company, 4045 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. millsrecordcompany.com.
Store opens at 7 am on Saturday, April 13, with coffee and doughnuts. The day will feature six bands on two stages, including Chicago folk-rocker Bill Mackay, Kansas City soul ensemble The Freedom Affair, and Brandon Phillips and the Condition.
Other KC record shops with Record Store Day events
►The Vinyl Underground
at 7th Heaven | 7621 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Mo. 816-361-9555
Opens 7 am
►Vinyl Renaissance & Audio
7932 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kan.
Opens 9 am
Featuring live music
►It’s a Beautiful Day
3918 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 816-931-6169
Opens 8 am
1814 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo.
Opens 7 am
Featuring live music, DJs and giveaways.
►Records with Merritt
1614 Westport Road, Kansas City, Mo. recordswithmerritt.com
Opens 7 am
Featuring live music, beverages, snacks and giveaways.
1830 Locust St., Kansas City, Mo.
Opens 8 am