Fans of Randy’s Record Shop can now take home a piece of history from the now demolished Gallatin landmark.
The Sumner County Museum is selling 500 bricks from the West Main Street store, which were donated after the building was torn down in late March. Each one is numbered and comes with a plaque and commemorative box for $25.
“We all wanted for Randy’s to be saved, but unfortunately it was not,” Sumner County Museum Director Ryan Baker said. “Luckily, the owners were conscientious enough to save (the bricks) and make sure they went to a place that could benefit from them.”
So far, more than 25 bricks have been purchased since they went on sale last month. Money raised from the fundraiser will be used to support the museum, which is located in Gallatin and contains items from across the county.
Started by music business entrepreneur Randy Wood in 1944, Randy’s Record Shop was originally located on North Water Avenue in downtown Gallatin before it later moved to West Main Street. The store was considered at one point to be the world’s largest mail-order record business of its time with 500,000 records sold each year.
In July 2018, the roof of the former record shop was found to have partially collapsed.
A nonprofit was later formed by a group of local citizens who spent nearly two years trying to raise enough money to save the building from demolition. However, attempts to collect enough donations to pay for the estimated $1 million project were unsuccessful.
The building was described as “one of the most important sites in the musical history of the region,” according to Gregory Reish, director of the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University.
“The impact of Mr. Wood’s endeavors… are almost immeasurable, helping to establish middle Tennessee as an epicenter of the American popular music industry in the postwar year and launching careers of numerous country, bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, blues, ragtime and pop artists,” Reish wrote in a letter regarding the fate of the former record shop in August 2018.
Wood also founded Dot Records in the late 1940’s, which recorded many popular artists of the day including Johnny Maddox, Pat Boone, Billy Vaughn, Anita Kerr, Barbara Mandrell, Ray Price and Tab Hunter.
The label was sold to Paramount Pictures in 1957 and produced more than 1,000 albums before it was eventually closed by ABC Records in 1978, according to the New York Times.
To purchase a brick from Randy’s Record Shop, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-451-3738. They can also be purchased at the Sumner County Museum, located at 183 West Main St. behind Trousdale Place in Gallatin, on Mondays or Fridays from 9:30 a.m. until 3:45 p.m.