By Meg Berno
Posted On: Aug 28, 2020
I've always loved vinyl records, and I grew up listening to rock and folk music with my parents (with Bob Dylan and John Lennon being the voices of my childhood). Warm weather meant a car ride in rural Ohio, the radio turned up, and noisy sing-alongs with my hands hanging out the windows. As I got older, nothing could beat the crackling sound of vinyl after you put down the needle, the few moments of silence before a record starts to play. When I got into high school, my parents grabbed their box of old vinyls from the attic and passed it on to me. I spent hours locked in my bedroom, picking through records and listening to The Doors: Greatest Hits and Cat Steven's "The Wind."
Whether you're adding to a current collection or starting a new one, these Ohio record stores are sure to be a hit.
NOTE: Please check directly with the places before your visit to stay up to date on all safety precautions and learn more about the guidelines surrounding COVID-19 here.
Used Kids Records in Columbus
Used Kids Records, established in 1968, used to be located on High Street across from The Ohio State University's campus. They've moved to a larger building on Summit Street now, just minutes from the old location. The bins at Used Kids are overflowing. There are records on the walls, on the shelves underneath the bins and in crates on the floor. Near the back of the store, there are two rows of bins called "Dollarland," which are divided into different genres of music. They've even got a corner where you can buy old record players and stereo sets. If you look underneath the rows of shelves, you might even find a crate of records on sale for five dollars.
I spent a long time poking around my childhood favorites before I began looking through Dollarland to see what I could find. My best friend found a record of poetry readings, and I found a few Diana Ross albums in the soul section. I even saw a poster for a folk music sing-along event taking place in the store. They have sections for every genre of music and a great selection of newer artists.
Credit: Blue Arrow Records, Facebook
Blue Arrow Records in Cleveland
Blue Arrow Records is just down the street from the Beachland Ballroom, one of Cleveland’s authentic rock and roll experiences, and right next door to a vintage store. Look for the turquoise blue arrow pointing towards the front door; you can’t miss it.
First things first, when you enter Blue Arrow Records, look down. The floor is covered in colorful, laminated album covers. You could spend hours hunting the floor for your favorite LP. But don’t forget to look around at the records that are actually for sale. The staff is very knowledgeable and more than willing to help you find a hidden gem. Look through the albums and check out the t-shirts and posters on the wall.
Blue Arrow Records also participates in the Waterloo Alley Cat Project, so cats are a common sight in the store! One might just pop by the checkout counter as you make your way out.
Shake It Records in Cincinnati
Known as one of the best record stores in the country, Shake It Records is a complete music experience located in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati. The store is two floors, with their incredible vinyl selection taking up most of the bottom floor. In addition to vinyls, they sell CDs, books, posters, t-shirts, toys and more. They even sell stereo equipment!
Their selection changes weekly, and on National Record Store Day, don’t be surprised if you see a long line trailing out the door. As the most established record store in Cincinnati, Shake It Records is definitely a must-see to add to your music lover’s bucket list.
Credit: Culture Clash Records, Facebook
Culture Clash Records in Toledo
Look for the flying saucer, and you’ll know you’ve made it to Culture Clash Records. After Boogie Records closed in 2004, Pat O'Connor created Culture Clash Records. Stocked with new and used records, this gem feels like stepping back in time. You can even sell or trade your own records, and if there's something special you want, ask the employees! They can fulfill most special orders within a few days.
And every Sunday at 6:00 PM, they host a radio program called, "On The Radar," on 100.7 FM - Toledo's Zone. The program includes interviews with local bands and a segment about weekly new releases at the store. You can also check out the "On The Radar Podcast."
If you're looking for more vinyl, here are some other record stores in Ohio you should check out:
Credit: Brittany's Record Shop, Facebook
- Brittany's Record Shop in Cleveland
- Haskin House Records in Portsmouth
- Apollo Records in Chillicothe
- Records Per Minute in Columbus
- Spoonful Records in Columbus
- Main Street Vinyl in Hamilton
Whether you're a fan of the classics or looking for something new to listen to, these record stores in Ohio will give you and your music loving friends something to sing about. Interested in checking out more record stores in Ohio? Then check out this list from Record Store Day.