The brothers Blase, Jim and Darren, dropped by WVXU's studio last week and talked with Elaine Diehl about their eclectic, nationally-recognized Northside record store that's celebrating its 20th anniversary the month of March.
During the interview, they talk about how the store was started and how different the record store experience is for a customer as compared to clicking on an i-phone or computer to buy music. They mention that coming into the store opens up new possibilities for purchases folks might not have been aware of on a phone or computer which may narrow their searches.
Shake It also has a record label with plans for more releases in the future. Darren also talks about his fascination with the history of the Ohio Phonograph Company, and Jim shares their desire to share the history of Cincinnati music. The difficulties encountered with trying to get the rights cleared for reissued material is also discussed including a compilation of Cincinnati girl bands they've worked on for years.
Darren & Jim also share their memories of starting Shake It Records' inventory with their own collections. And now, they're going into friends and customers' homes who have passed away looking at their record collections which their families are trying to deal with. There are many older record collectors who are now downsizing their collections for any number of reasons. Shake It is also selling turntables as a way to reach out to the younger collectors of vinyl. And, they've added books to the inventory as well which they find on house calls.
Darren shares his work on an area in the store with displays of Cincinnati music memoribilia and collectibles including King Records, business cards, contracts, acetates, session logs, cancelled checks, stationery, and much more. For example, when it's Lonnie Mack's birthday, they can put up a Lonnie Mack display. He says, "It's history by non-historians...is what we want to do."