Wyatt Earp Records was one of the last actual record stores standing in Genesee County prior to it's doors closing for good in December of 2011. The business will soon re-open a physical store, but this time with some new features and a Downtown Flint location.

As an avid music junkie in the early to late 90's, there were plenty of places you could go to pick up CDs. There were, however, very few places where you could find rarities, imports, vinyl, live albums, bootlegs, etc. In fact, I only knew of two -- one on Dort Hwy. that only sold hip-hop and rap albums (now it's a carpet store) and Wyatt Earp Records, who had everything.

The one on Dort (I can't, for the life of me, remember the name of that place) closed long ago, as did my love affair with rap music, but Wyatt Earp Records was still around, to my surprise, when I returned to Flint -- after a six year absence -- in 2007. Even though you could get most of the things that initially brought me through their doors on the internet (bootlegs, rarities, etc.), they still had a ton of great stuff you couldn't get anywhere else in Genesee County like vinyl and obscure rock and hip-hop albums as well as local music. Call me "old school," but I like to own a physical copy of a CD with the artwork and all of that. Buying something on iTunes just never does it for me.

Unfortunately, co-founder Al Steele had to close up shop on their Corunna Rd. location after just over 30 years of business. Unlike the mid-90's, when there were dozens of places to go buy physical copies of albums, audiophiles were then left with only two real options -- that place in the Genesee Valley Mall that still charges $22 for a new CD (like it's still 1995) and Best Buy, whose selection has been whittled down to a much smaller offering than it once was. Of course, there were resale shops as well -- Jellybeans, for instance -- but it's just not the same as having a cool, locally-owned record store.

According to an announcement made on the 32nd Anniversary of their initial opening (which was July 22, 1981) via the Wyatt Earp Records Facebook Page, the store will re-open a new location in Downtown Flint, which is honestly a much better location. The previous spot, as cool as it was, was a little out of the way for me personally. The new Downtown location, the exact address of which is still unspecified, should be a perfect fit and is just what we need in that area. In addition to all the great bonuses the shop had previously, there will now be room for in-store performances (very cool) and they may even add a recording studio to the mix. Another feature that is sure to cause some local buzz is that the store's record label will press vinyl for local artists who build a following. You won't get that in Walmart's "music section" or on iTunes.

The new location is set to open doors on November 15th, 2013 and will be open 11a - 7p Monday through Saturday. We'll get you more details as they become available. In the meantime, you can place orders via the Wyatt Earp Facebook Page or by calling (810) 733-1031 -- a system that has been in place since the physical store closed.