Yes, you can buy vinyl and CD’s on Amazon, but why are record stores thriving? It’s the human interaction around a passion like music that can never be replaced by the internet or compressed music formats. Bart Stinchcomb, the founder of Bart’s records, sculpted a business from love. When asked about the highlights of owning a brick and mortar music store for twenty-five years, Bart has some easy answers:
- His wife. Christina came walking into Bart’s early location near Nick and Will’s looking for her lost dog. But he actually got her number when she came back and placed a special order for “Kind of Blues.”
- “All the people! What a joy! What a blast!” Bart has kept in touch with each and every employee.
- The old “in stores” where musicians played to intimate crowds inside the store. One such exchange that touched him deeply was a late night conversation with Sam Bush and his wife, Lynne in 2006, telling stories of Bill Monroe.
- His kids grew up in the store. First they were captive in play pens and then they made “houses” under the storage bins, stopping by after school and finally working there as their first jobs.
- Landlords who were like family. Anne Beck and Carter Dorrell who owned the Pearl site (where Ozo’s coffee is now) were like family, dropped by plates of cookies at Christmas time. Very special people.
- The human interaction has been priceless. Bart says that he has customers who come in and remember that Bart sold them their copy of Abbey Road and the year. You can’t get that on Amazon. Music connects us.
- And finally to see the legacy live on with the new ownership. He has found a new owner in Will Paradise who has so much enthusiasm and love of music.
We love you, Bart! Thanks for all you’ve done to make Boulder a great, very human place to live.