Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Iowa Retailer Now Claims Over 1 Million Vinyl Records In Stock

Council Bluffs business has just gone over the one million mark.

That must surely be a record.

Make that records with an 's.'

Staff photo/Josh White - Gail Andersen and his grandson, Gavin, check the condition of several old 45’s during a Friday afternoon trip to Kanesville Kollectables. Andersen has been sifting through records at the store since the early 1980’s. "We have a million in stock," said Tim Behrens. "A million and counting. We've got so many you can't go through in one day."

Behrens is the owner of Kanesville Kollectibles, 530 S. Fourth St., and a visit there is like strolling down memory lane.

There are 78s, 45s, LPs (long playing) records galore, some dating back to 1900.

Vinyl records are still popular, Behrens said. In fact, new vinyl LP sales increased some 300 percent in 2007, he said.

"People like vinyl," Behrens said. "Every big name group puts out vinyl LPs. There's a sound you get on records you can't get on IPODs. It's a fuller sound."

Since the first of the year, Behrens said he has purchased some 35,000 records, mostly from people who are downsizing personal collections. Practically every day, someone will come in with a box full of records, he added.

There's something for every musical taste at Kanesville Kollectibles.

Like Frank Sinatra?

"There's a lot of his stuff," Behrens said.

There are as many as 50 albums of the Beatles, he added, and even though Elvis Presley had outsold the Beatles worldwide 3-1 over the years, his customers purchase more records from the Fab Four than the King, Behrens said.

He does, however, have an extremely rare album Elvis recorded early in his career on the Sun Label. That sells for $300.

Rock 'n roll, jazz and blues are the records that sell the most, Behrens said. Among the fastest sellers for rock 'n roll bands are Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young and Jimmy Hendrix, Behrens said. Among country artists, George Jones, Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash are the big sellers, he added.

As expected, with more than a million records, there are forgotten artists, the unusual and the unknown. For example, Jackie Gleason is famous around the world for being a legendary comedian on television and in movies. Perhaps unknown to many, Gleason was also a band conductor. Behrens has a wide range of Gleason's albums.

"He must have had 50 albums," Behrens said.

Those who remember Mitch Miller and the Gang - seen weekly on NBC - can relive those memories with Behrens' collection. He also has rare music by Johnny Burnett and the Rock 'n Roll Trio.

Besides records, there are also plenty of videos and DVDs.

But, music is only part of what people can find there. Located in the 10,000-square-foot building is a whole room where 25,000 books are available, along with magazines and 20,000 comic books.

Behrens started his business in 1978.

"This is our 30th anniversary," he said. "We buy, sell and trade."

[Daily Nonpareil]

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