Photo courtesy of Mills Record Company

Long-time listeners and eager newcomers will tell you: Kansas City is in the midst of a vinyl revival. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why Kansas Citians are so enthused—some might attribute it to nostalgia, insisting that collecting records brings them back to a simpler time, one where everyone rocked bell bottoms and Leif Garrett was a bonafide star. Others may insist that with digital music so omnipresent, there’s comfort in a turntable’s warm, scratchy sound. Regardless, the number of KC record stores has steadily increased in the last few years, leading to the establishment of new hubs for live music, local flavors and vintage LPs.

Here are some of the best places in town to find vinyl:

Celebrate KC’s Vinyl Culture

Despite its Dallas heritage, Josey Records has quickly become rooted in the burgeoning Kansas City vinyl scene. Just around the corner from Crossroads KC at Grinders, visitors browse the brick-walled record shop in search of rare albums from decades long gone while those just entering are greeted by shelves stocked with the latest releases. Record players are positioned throughout the store for eager shoppers to sample sounds. And thanks to a whopping 6,500 square feet of space, Josey is a natural venue to host release parties, live shows and First Fridays events. 

Photo courtesy of Josey Records Kansas City.

Plug in to KC’s Music Scene

Center stage is only a few feet away at Westport’s locally-owned Mills Record Company, one of Kansas City’s most popular spots for live music acts from in and around the area. Lovers of rock, jazz, hip hop and more line up out the door to catch a show featuring the next great group in any given genre. The new storefront is twice its original size and dedicated to shoppers both tracking down freshly-pressed records and proponents of the previously-owned LP. Plus, if the store doesn’t carry what you’re looking for, they’re more than happy to place a special order to get it in your hands ASAP. 

Photo courtesy of Mills Record Company.

Get Equipped

Vinyl experts will tell you: your equipment can make or break a record’s sound. Thankfully, Vinyl Renaissance & Audio in Overland Park has you covered. In addition to its vast array of new and used records, the music merchant sells anything from state-of-the-art turntables and speakers to vintage record players, making it easy for users to deck out their digs and maximize their listening experience. Don’t fret if you’re new to the game. Renaissance’s sales staff is comprised of experts in writing, playing and recording music, so they know how it should sound. 

Hidden Treasures

Embedded among the multitude of antique shops and knick-knack stops in the West Bottoms is R.B. Martin’s Vintage, a family-owned and operated used- and restored-items store that boasts a significant cache of records from the ‘70s and ‘80s.  Those in the market for old-school clothes and quirky housewares flock a block north of Sprint Center to Topsy Turvy, a retro boutique that includes an excellent collection of used LPs. Meanwhile, across town at Prospero’s Books on 39th Street, you’ll find a trove of vinyl treasure in the upper levels of the three-story building. 

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