CLEVELAND - The vinyl LP is alive and well in Cleveland, Ohio -- and beyond. There are plenty of those big 12-inch records lying around at garage sales and thrift stores around the world, but it's new vinyl we're talking about. And more and more of it is being made right here in Cleveland.
Vince Slusarz decided to take a break from being an attorney. His love for music directed him to New Jersey, where he purchased old record pressing equipment. Once he got the almost extinct equipment working again, Gotta Groove Records was born.
Digital music is here to stay. But there are a growing number of consumers looking for the old analog format.
"Vinyl record sales have increased year after year since 2006. 2011 was roughly 35 percent higher than 2010," said Slusarz, owner of Cleveland's Gotta Groove Records.
Gotta Groove manufactures records for artists all over the world. He does significant business in China, Canada and Australia.
Customers can email their music to Slusarz via the Internet. He then converts the music and presses it into a vinyl record. Customers can also send their graphics and artwork over through the web. Slusarz takes care of it all, right down to the shrink wrap.
Just a few miles away in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood, many of the vinyl records manufactured by Gotta Groove are being sold. The Loop sells coffee and tea downstairs, but their upstairs is vinyl heaven. Old and new vinyl alike can be found here.
"People want more to represent their music collection than CDs or MP3s. People want a physical representation – something they can hold on to," said Michael Pultz, music manager at The Loop.