Vinyl Still Sells in New Orleans

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Some music fans are still loyal to vinyl. In New Orleans, sellers of vinyl records are continuing business even after some of their stock was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

JOHN YDSTIE, host:

Despite these high-end stereo trends, there are some audiophiles who still go for the old stuff.

(Soundbite of music)

You can listen to, Dap Walk, by Ernie and the Top Notes on your iPod, but collectors treasure it on the original vinyl.

Mr. BARRY SMITH (owner, Louisiana Music Factory record store in New Orleans): I'm very low-tech myself, and I know as far as our customers, we still do quite well with the records upstairs.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Barry Smith owns the Louisiana Music Factory record store in New Orleans. He's had a brisk business this week during the Jazz and Heritage Festival. He just sold a Dap Walk 45 for $100 bucks.

Mr. SMITH: Admittedly, overall, it's probably, you know, no more than ten percent of our overall sales. I mean, definitely the CDs are more what people buy. But I have a lot of hardcore customers who want any of the new releases that come out of there on vinyl they'd prefer to have them on vinyl. That's for sure.

MONTAGNE: Barry Smith sells vinyl in a small office, but one where wall-to-wall racks hold around 50,000 records. Some of that stock was damaged by Hurricane Katrina, and Smith says there're only a couple of stores left in New Orleans selling vinyl at all.

Mr. SITH: Well there's definitely a lot less out there. Unfortunately, a lot of people lost their collections during the flooding. We're a little different than other stores, and we managed to get a lot of collections. We do them on consignment, and so just word has gotten out, and so we're lucky to get some pretty quality collections that way.

Mr. YDSTIE: The Louisiana Music Factory drums up business another way during Jazz Fest. They feature live music in the middle of the store. You can't do that with the old stuff.

Ernie and the Top Notes last played Dap Walk more than 20 years ago.

(Soundbite of "Dap Walk" by Ernie and the Top Notes")

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm John Ydstie.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

(Soundbite of "Dap Walk" by Ernie and the Top Notes)

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