Lee’s Records and Tapes To Close After 25 Years


Tuesday, November 30th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Music lovers have browsed the bins of Lee's Records and Tapes for more than 25 years now, searching for the music that meant the most to them. The store’s owner, Jim Smith, says his own passion for records is what started the business, after his wife Donna told him it was "time to face the music." "It started in the den of the house,” remembered Smith. “Then moved to the garage. The garage filled up, and she said 'do something with this.'"

The Smiths have done a lot with the huge collection of 45's and LP's. And although vinyl records have all but vanished, the appreciation for them hasn't. Record collector Corda Underwood still plays early rock and country 45's. "There are very few albums in which I like every song on the album,” says Underwood. “And with 45's, you can pick them out, stack them and play them. I still got a record player that'll do that. A lot of people don't,” she said.

Smith says that's a pity. He pointed to some choice collectibles, colored vinyls among special 45 package collections. Smith’s looked just about everywhere for those kind of records. He says there are sound reasons why vinyl records still are better than CD's. The artwork for albums is one thing. "But a lot of vinyl collectors will tell you it's the warmth of the record,” he said. “You feel like you're there."

The Smiths say it's been a wonderful way to make a living, and they've met some fascinating folks. "Well, there’s one thing about music,” Smith noted. “It calms all beasts. We've had some characters come through that door. But we all share the same love, music. "

Lee's will close Thursday, December 23rd. The Smiths plan to travel and continue enjoying their record collection.