By Anna-Claire Terry
“To me, there has always been this romantic connection vinyl gives to music because it puts you as a part of your music. You start the music yourself, you put the needle down on the record. There is something very grounding about sitting and listening to a record instead CDs or online music.” So said Allie Fox, owner of Music Town Records.
In February, when Fox began to feel it was time her days as a stay-at-home mom come to an end, she opened the record store in Downtown Opelika. Fox said when vinyl records started making a comeback, she knew it was time to follow this dream she had had since childhood.
“I grew up listening to vinyl, and we have always had it in our house,” she said. “My dad used to take me shopping for vinyl records.” Fox’s love for vinyl records began at five years old when she purchased the Muppet Movie soundtrack. An aspect of vinyl that Fox said she believes to be one of the reasons for the big comeback is being able to physically own your own music instead of obtaining it all digitally.
According to Fox, her store has become a hot spot for teenagers.
“Kids today are starting to like it and understand it. It’s cool again, and they’re even starting to discover their parents’ old vinyl,” she said.
Music Town Records also offers locals the opportunity to listen to local bands while they use the listening pit to practice, entertain and “jam out.” Her goal is to cover the walls of the store with autographed records from all of the local bands that perform there. “We love to hear artists play their own music,” Fox said.
The record store may appeal to the younger crowd, but there is no specific age group that makes up the majority of Music Town Record’s customers. Fox said this is why Opelika is the perfect fit for her business. There was no local record store before Music Town Records, and she wanted to attract people of all ages.
“Owning a business here has been great because Opelika is more of a locally owned place and everyone supports the local economy,” she said.
According to Fox, she would not be where she is today without the support of her husband Kyle and his “whatever makes you happy” attitude.
“Also, my dad,” she said. “Without him, there would be no record store because I wouldn’t even be into music at all. He took me to my first concert and got me interested in music.” Her father, Tommy Fox, still supports his daughter’s love of music by working in her store with her.
Allie has plenty of plans for the store’s future, but said she is concentrating on getting through her first holiday season in retail.
“Right now, I’m just focused on giving Auburn and Opelika a place where there is actual music,” she said.