66 Reasons to Love STL: No. 51, Vintage Vinyl

 In Culture

Phillips 66 recently launched the “66 Reasons to Love Saint Louis campaign,” a city-wide scavenger hunt of the city’s most beloved shops, eateries, sports venues and culture spots. In parternship with the campaign, we sent our editorial interns out on the town to experience a few of the spots for themselves. Be sure to check out the incredible list yourself, take a pic and check in on social during your visits with the hashtags #STL66 and #contest for a chance to win free gas (!) for 66 months. – ALIVE Editors

It was a partly cloudy day, complete with Midwest humidity, as I strolled down the Loop’s Delmar Boulevard during my lunch break. I could’ve stopped and had a burger at the infamous Blueberry Hill (No. 56) or grabbed a caffeine jolt at Blueprint Coffee (No. 19), but I opted to spend the hour I had diving through boxes of records, Vintage Vinyl. I learned quickly that an 60 minutes wasn’t long enough: From the $1 bins full of old treasures to the plastic-wrapped new releases, Vintage Vinyl’s selection is comprehensive (to say the least). And although CDs weren’t around when the store opened in the fall of 1979, Vintage Vinyl expanded their wares to include the newfangled discs as well.


Tom Ray and Lew Prince started selling records at the Soulard Farmer’s Market (No. 48) back in 1979, then upgraded later that year to a small building on Delmar where they could grow and harvest a greater crop of records. Upon hiring their first employee, they began their expansion into what we know today as Vintage Vinyl in the Delmar Loop: a St. Louis music scene staple.

Me in front of Vintage Vinyl.

It’s no wonder that this remarkable record haven would land a spot on the list of places to love in St. Louis. You can spot the iconic pink-and-black logo plastered on guitar cases, car windows, and storefronts across the city. And if you have a music question that’s been begging for an answer—and you don’t trust what Wikipedia has to say—the staff at Vintage Vinyl will probably be able to help (and serve up some education while they’re at it).

A favorite St. Louis tradition among musicians and music lovers alike, Record Store Day is a perfect day to visit the shop. Catch an in-store show from a great local act while finding some deals and steals along the way. And remember, even when your wallet doesn’t agree with your indulgence, go for it: As Vintage Vinyl founder Tom Ray once said said, “Music will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no music.”

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