CD Central celebrates 20 years

By Ramsey Mullins

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CD Central, Lexington’s oldest and largest new and used independent music store, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The popular music store on Limestone Street near campus has marked the occasion with giveaways and special promotions, including a dollar CD sale.

CD Central opened in 1995 on Barber Street in South Hill Station and moved a few years later   to its current location on Limestone Street.

In the beginning, CD Central carried only compact discs, but the north-campus staple has expanded its merchandise over the years to include an extensive collection of vinyl records, turntables, stereo equipment, T-shirts and posters.

Owner Steve Baron has seen a revolution in the music business and stayed profitable.

“We’d sell a ton of stuff before people had the ability to stream and download music,” he said. “New stuff would come out on Tuesday, and we would have midnight releases people would line up for.” A rekindled interest in vinyl records within the last decade has played an important role in the business’ success.

“I never imagined that vinyl would be such a big part of our business,” Baron said. Vinyl records account for about 50 percent of CD Central sales.

Jon Kennedy a communications major at UK said, “I love to go to CD Central. They are hip to the revival of vinyls which I really enjoy.”

CD Central has weathered the storm of free, online music downloads and lasted this long by meeting its customers needs, Baron said.

“We carry the stuff people want and try to be price-competitive,” he said. “People want to shop local and we don’t think they should have to pay more to do so.”