Day Trips

Bill's Records has been a dynamic part of the retail record industry for 31 years

Day Trips
Photo by Gerald E. Mcleod

Bill's Records in Dallas has been a dynamic part of the retail record industry for 31 years; a little thing like the Internet hasn't changed that. Despite the evolution of the business, Bill Wisener remains a nationally recognized walking encyclopedia of what's rare and beautiful about music.

Bill's career in the industry began by hocking used vinyl records at a flea market in 1973. Eight years later, he opened a record store in North Dallas that became an institution of higher learning and shopping for audiophiles for 26 years. The 8,000-square-foot retail space attracted hundreds of shoppers each day.

By 2007, the traffic had greatly diminished, and Bill's Records moved from supermarket to Quickie Mart size as downloads replaced hard copies. The shop specializes in rare and hard-to-find recordings for the remaining vinyl purists. Everyday he gets calls from people selling their record collections. "There's more sellers than buyers," he says of record collectors.

Ironically, the Internet that nearly killed his business now helps him survive. Most of his sales are through eBay. "The Internet has reduced the value of the most popular records to near zero because there are so many available," Wisener says, "while it has increased the value of the rare stuff."

Bill's Records is at 1317 S. Lamar in Dallas next door to Poor David's Pub. Wisener can be reached at 214/421-1500.

1,070th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bill's Records, Bill Wisener, Poor David's Pub, record collectors

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