For the record: Owensboro vinyl collector finds his audience thanks to the Youtube channel | Characteristics
Owensboro record collector Melinda Murphy has successfully turned her passion for collecting vinyl records into a thriving YouTube channel that allows her to connect with other enthusiasts around the world.
“I discovered a whole vinyl community there, tons of people,” she said. “It was a great way to meet new people and talk about music. That way I don’t have to disturb my friends here in the real world. I can talk to people via YouTube.
Today, her channel has 17,500 subscribers and features videos on topics ranging from how not to get scammed to pressings of an album that sound best.
While her collection now numbers around 2,000 vinyl albums, Murphy said it was around 2017 before she really dedicated herself to building her collection.
“I was buying a few records, but I didn’t have a good turntable and my records were skipping and they didn’t sound good, so I kind of walked away,” she said. “Then in 2017 for Valentine’s Day, my husband surprised me and gave me a really nice turntable. That’s when it really blew up for me.
During this period, Murphy built up an impressive collection of nearly mint albums. Some of his favorites include Van Halen, Bob Dylan and the Beatles.
Murphy releases what she says is the rarest album in her carefully curated collection, a copy of the infamous 1966 Beatles album “Yesterday and Today.” While at first glance, the album does not seem too controversial. The cover photo features John, Paul, George and Ringo with a large steamer chest against a white background, but there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
“For this particular album, they had just done a really weird photo shoot and the Beatles were getting these kind of album covers, so they wanted to do something different,” Murphy said. “This photographer brought these plastic dolls, meat and they had butcher’s coats.”
Known as the “Butcher’s Cover”, the album’s original cover shocked audiences and the albums were pulled from store shelves. While the majority of album covers were destroyed, some record companies had other ideas.
“A few plants had an idea, let’s save some money and just keep them and just stick on the picture,” she said. “It is what it is.”
Murphy said she’s seen changes in the vinyl industry since she started collecting seriously, especially in regards to the cost of albums.
“There are a lot of good things happening, but there are also negatives, like the price that has gone up, which makes my record collection more valuable, but also the records that I’m looking for are also more expensive,” said- she declared.
A great example of this is the classic 1977 album “Rumors” by Fleetwood Mac.
“In 2017, it was a lot easier to get the Rumors album from Fleetwood Mac than it is today,” Murphy said. “Before it was like a $3 record and now it’s a $20 record.”
Murphy said that while she’s been a serious record collector for about five years now, her love of the format dates back to childhood.
“When I was about 4 years old, my parents separated and one of the things that I think kind of helped me get through that, and get through that, was I was going to the living room, where my mom had this big stereo console,” she said. “And I would play his records all the time and just have a good time. I remember I would dance to the fast songs and then when something slowed down I would pick up an album cover and look at it, so I always liked the format.
When CDs became the desired new music format in the late 1980s and 1990s, Murphy said it just wasn’t the same.
“I loved the album covers with the great art, I loved reading the lyrics and seeing the pictures,” she said. “After the vinyl was kind of pulled out and the tapes and CDs came in, I always felt like something was missing, it just didn’t feel as good.”
Murphy said his best advice for anyone getting into the record collecting hobby is to not get too financially involved.
“I would say they need to start slower because of the prices,” Murphy said. “Don’t go into debt buying these records. All these really cool reissues are coming out, really good stuff that sells out really fast, don’t get too caught up in that. Part of it is part of the fun, but have a budget and don’t overspend.