Lubbock's oldest record shop standing strong despite drastic music changes

Lubbock's oldest record shop standing strong despite drastic music changes

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's been a Hub City original nearly 40-years-old and its the go-to place to find records and vinyls, but with people's listening habits constantly changing it has led some people to turn their backs on these timeless pieces.

So the owner of Ralph's Records said the power of music has lent a hand in his store's success.

"I love (vinyls), I love everything about it," Doug Stapp, owner of Ralph's Records, said. "The feel, the touch, the smell, everything inside of it, the sound, being able to share it with my friends, everything, I love music."

Stapp is living his dream. He is surrounded by hundreds of thousands of records every single day and the dream started when he was a kid.

"I started as a teenager and I started hitting record shops when I was a kid living in Albuquerque," Stapp said.

He started working at Ralph's Records 24 years ago, but it was 37 years ago when it first opened its doors as a small collection. Now its bigger than anything Doug could imagine.

"CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, video games, comics, loads and loads of vinyl, music everywhere, cassettes, 8 tracks," Stapp said. "You name it, anything music or media-like, we got it."

As time went on and the music industry started to turn its back to vinyls, Ralph's Records took to what it does best.
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"You have to carry on with your original business plan which is records for us," he said. "We love music and we're never going to stop doing that."

Stapp says change was never an option because music has always been the key to this business.

"We've never changed, we're always a music store, we're always going to be a music store," he said. "We just opened up avenues for everyone else  and that's in part to our customers telling us what they want."

It also doesn't hurt that Stapp wasn't the only one with love for records.

"We have customers who'll spend four or six hours in here," Stapp said. "We have people who bring their pets with them, and they hang out, sitting on the floor with records, its great."

As for the future of Ralph's Records, Stapp says that all depends on the customers.

"Listening to our customers, we'll never ever stop being a record store," Stapp said. "That's who we are that's who we will always be and if customers lead us into different things, we'll happily carry on with them."

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