SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Syracuse Vintage Vinyl may look like another little hole-in-the-wall shop on the busy West Manlius Street, but the sounds of country, rock, blues and pop from every mid-20th century classic fill your ears.
For owner Tom Little, it can’t get any better than this.
“Attitude, ya know,” Little said. “Perception, ya know. Perception is everything, ya know. My life is good, ya know. I get to do my own thing, which is pretty awesome, ya know. No boss.”
A big reason for his ease just four years into running the vinyl shop is the explosive return of the physical album. Last year alone saw 42 million vinyl records sold, a 54% uptick from 2020 and the 16th straight year of growth.
Bessie Beneway, whose record collection numbers more than 600, stopped by the shop to try and push that number higher.
“There’s something really nice about owning something and just being able to hold it in your hands,” Beneway said.
She’s a DJ from Philadelphia, driving across the Atlantic and Northeast finding new album shops just like this one, and, according to her, it’s all about the charm.
“It’s also really fun to have an experience with purchasing music as opposed to just paying a monthly subscription,” Beneway said. “It’s nice to, like, create a connection to record stores you go to.”
This connection may be why vinyl is unusual in its recent success. CDs, the musical titans of the early 2000s, have plummeted 90% from their original height of sales.
“I’d say it’s 10 records for every one CD,” Little said. “Maybe 20 records for every one CD. CDs are like, dead, ya know. CDs, you’re lucky to get two bucks for a CD.”
So no matter what comes next for Little and his shop, he insisted he’ll keep “going with the flow.”