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Backbeats Records brings vinyl back to Posey County

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By Rachel Christian

Posey County vinyl junkies and music lovers now have a record store to call their own.

Backbeat Records and Just Looking Antiques is a combination shop that opened up on Main Street in New Harmony earlier this summer. The store is owned and operated by husband and wife Don and Rebecca Boskey, who relocated their 2-in-1 store from Central Illinois.

Backbeat Records specializes in high quality used vinyl, and also carries used CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks and a variety of other music-related items like sheet music, posters and vintage music magazines.

“I tend to carry things that I enjoy listening to,” said Don, who said he favors rock and jazz, but also has country, blues and other genres. “We carry a lot of the classics, but you honestly never know what you may find here.”

As an example of the record store’s eclectic selection, Don pulled an album off the shelf labeled “Calls of 34 Frogs and Toads of North America and Canada.”

“I just saw that and thought ‘Well, that’s something you don’t see every day,’” he said. “That’s what I mean – there’s a little bit of everything here.”

Records are priced based on condition and availability. There are around 5000 LPs and 1500 45s to choose from, although newly pressed records are not among them. Backbeat Records does not sell any music instruments or stereo equipment at this time.

Don, who was born and raised in Chicago, considers himself a lifelong music lover. He began collecting vinyl records as a teenager, and said that when his friends started ditching their LPs and 45s for cassettes and CDs, he held on to his record collection. He continued to add to it over the years until his wife, Rebecca - who managed an antique store in Illinois – suggested he put a portion of his massive collection up for sale in her shop.

“His floor space upstairs was getting new customers and lots of traffic,” Rebecca said. “I told him it might be a good idea to start purchasing records to turn around and sell.”

Rebecca has worked in the antique business for 34 years, and taught Don the ropes of how to grow his product by scouring estate sales and auctions.

As vinyl continues to experience a strong resurgence, Don admitted that he’s glad he held on to his old records. A new generation, intrigued by full fidelity sound and a tangible way to play music, are frequent visitors to Backbeats.

“Some people come just to bring their kids and show them what a record looks like,” Don said. “People who are into this stuff are really excited we opened.”

The storefront formerly served as an antique mall where Rebecca rented out two spaces. The couple first discussed moving to New Harmony about three years ago, but were waiting for a large enough space to open up.

“I had stopped here on a way back from a trip to Tennessee, and I really loved the town,” Rebecca said. “We decided we wanted to move here and set up shop.”

When the former antique mall owner decided to sell the business, the Boskeys bought it from her. Five vendors from the antique mall still rent space at Just Looking, along with Rebecca’s own collection of vintage items and books.

For more information on Backbeat Records and Just Looking Antiques, stop by the shop located at 514 S. Main Street or visit the Facebook page, Backbeats Records Store.