By Carly Thompson
Editor in Chief

Vinyl records have had a major comeback. In 2022, vinyl records outsold CDs by 8 million which hasn’t happened since 1987. Record sales have been increasing for the past 16 years.

Coleton Hines, a Hutchinson sophomore, has been collecting vinyl records since eighth grade. That was when he found his taste in music and got hooked on vinyl records.

Hines’ first record was “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. His collection is up to about 300 records and counting. The collection ranges from psychedelic 60s to 90s grunge. 

In no particular order, Hines’ says his favorites include “Highway 61 Revisited” by Bob Dylan, “The Last Waltz” by The Band, “American Beauty” by Grateful Dead, “Europe 72” by Grateful Dead, and “Deja Vu” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. However, it depends on the day what music he gravitates towards. 

Hines has been asked on several occasions why he spends the money on vinyl when Spotify and YouTube are free. He said that with records comes more of an experience while listening to the music. It gives him something in his physical possession instead of just a digital format. 

“Between linear notes and accessories like posters or memorabilia and the record itself, vinyl creates moments,” Hines said. 

He participates in the local vinyl community in Hutchinson that meets once a month for a record swap. They buy, sell, and trade their vinyls amongst each other.

Hines doesn’t know if vinyl will stick around for good but he knows that he will “be that old guy still listening to records down the road.”

Rex Cheever, Research Coordinator at HutchCC, has been fascinated by vinyl since his childhood. For him, nothing compared to the warm sound and distinct sound of instruments on the records.

“As I got older and music formats changed to cassettes and then CDs, I still had a love for vinyl and continued to buy 45 rpm singles and albums when I found them at yard sales or music stores,” Cheever said. 

In the early 2000s, Cheever decided that he was going to collect every pop single that charted the Billboard Top 40 from 1980 through 1989. After he collected those, he moved to country music. His collection expanded to include any pop or country song that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1980s. 

Since then, he has enjoyed finding music and artists that may not have been big hits but are still great songs. Cheever can find something he likes in every genre and his current collection consists of around 25,000 45s and 6,000 albums. 

“There is a thrill when I find something on my want list while ‘crate digging’ knowing I get to enjoy the music and get one record closer to completing my want list,” Cheever said. “I can go to the shelf and randomly pick a record to play and for 30-45 minutes I can relax and enjoy the music.”

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