Long Live the Vinyl Store
Strictly Discs is a music lover’s dream. For owner Ronald Roloff, it is a labor of love. A Monroe Street neighborhood staple for the past nineteen years, Strictly Discs is a pioneer of the independent new and used compact discs and record stores in Madison. It was one of the first to buy and sell used compact discs and records, as well as the first to display listening stations to allow customers to try before they buy.
Roloff started selling vinyl records about sixteen years ago. Starting with his own collection, he has grown the inventory to more than eighty
thousand titles today, utilizing space on both the main floor as well as the basement. “We had to get creative in our storage,” he says. “Vinyl is as popular as it’s ever been, and while downloaded music has proven to be a good source and convenient, nothing replaces the sound quality of records.”
In 1995, Strictly Discs became a member of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores, one of forty establishments in the United States. Popmatters.com named it one of the top independent music stores in the country, located in one of the key markets and stores that act as liasons between the record labels and consumers.
While many large record and compact disc store chains have gone out of business, Strictly Discs is still thriving. “The large chains were built for convenience and for mostly the casual music enthusiast,” says Roloff. “Once the technology moved from compact discs to digital music, many of those stores folded. We have remained successful because of our great location and area, our multiple sources to listen to and buy music, and our appeal to the die-hard music lover.”
Long live vinyl.
Derrell Connor hosts “Outreach” on NewsTalk 1310 WIBA, pens a column for Channel 3000 and freelances for Madison Magazine.