OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - For those who grew up listening to their favorite tunes on a record player, an Ocean Springs store offers a step back in time.
Vinyl records were popular for many decades, but by the early 1990s, digital media and CDs had gained a large enough market share to knock the records out of the mainstream. Now a new generation is getting to know vinyl thanks to Maynard's Music Store.
Gabriel Kmiec didn't grow up with a record player in the house. He said after hearing the sound of the needle, he was feeling the groove.
"It's only been over the past year or so that I've been listening to vinyl," said Kmiec. "That's actually thanks to my friends that I've been hanging out with. They collect vinyl and we'll hang out and we'll listen, and it's just a very different experience. It feels more intimate. Like you have the music there with you."
The turntable is the star at Maynard's Music in Ocean Springs. Maynard is the name that owner Jeremy Menard used during his days as a DJ. He said he never planned to turning his passion for music into his own business.
"I was in radio for a long time, almost 20 years, and I had accumulated quite a bit of music. Records and CDs and tapes," Menard said. "I had all this stuff sitting in my garage. I ended up not being able to find another job about five years ago. My wife said 'you have enough to open up your own store.' She was right, so that's exactly what I did."
Although Menard also sells CDs and cassettes, he said there is something special about vinyl.
"When you grab a record, you have something to hold and feel and look at, and that's why it's called an album. With a download, all you have is a file on a computer you can just listen to with your headphones," Menard said.
He said not only do some music lovers prefer the sound of records; they also enjoy collecting the elaborate album covers.
"I think album art is very lost. It probably hit its peak in the 70s. Today, all you have are digital pictures on a computer," Menard said.
To locate those hard to find albums for his customers, Menard buys and trades with individual sellers and spends time looking on the Internet and at estate sales.
"I have the blues. I have folk. I have comedy from various eras. Any genre you can think of, I have some of it or a little bit of it in this store," Menard said. "How we listen to that music has changed over the years, but the feeling and emotion is still the same."
Maynard's Music is located on Government Street in Ocean Springs.