CD Central celebrates 15th anniversary with music



By Zach Walton

Lexington’s resident record store celebrated its 15th birthday on Saturday the only way it knew how— with music.

CD Central celebrated its 15th anniversary in conjunction with Record Store Day by having local bands perform and hosting a store-wide sale in appreciation of the customers that have created a culture around the local store.

In retrospect of the event, owner Steve Baron looked back on the origins of the store as a place that catered to the used CD market. He said the store has grown to accomodate almost every music demographic.

CD Central was founded when the majority of record stores sold mostly new CDs and there wasn’t really a market for used CDs. Baron saw this as a big growth market and opened CD Central with 95 percent used stock.

In the past 15 years, the store has grown and has been able to appeal to a broader audience with the addition of records, DVDs and posters.

“We moved to our current location in 1999, we were able to spread out and get bigger,” Baron said.

With its location next to UK’s campus, Baron views the store as a great market to appeal to college students, but they’re not the only people to shop at CD Central.

“We get people from all over,” Baron said. “We get people in their 30s and 40s, older folks who get jazz here. There’s a broad cross-section to appeal to. We’re the only record store in the New Circle Road area so we can serve UK but much more.”

The store had its true anniversary at the end of March, but with the inception of Record Store Day three years ago, Baron moved the anniversary back in order to celebrate them together.

“We created our own holiday to remind people that record stores are still around,” Baron said.

With 15 years behind them, Baron looks to an uncertain future but hopes that CD Central will be around for another 15 years.

“I don’t know where we’ll be 15 years, let alone five years, from now,” Baron said. “Music distribution has changed with fewer record stores as a result. Any good city should support one good record store; we want to be that store.”

The employees share a similar sentiment, as Michael Lunsford and Matt Jordan will tell you.

“We provide an alternative to a pretty mainstream town,” Lunsford said. “You can find things that are only here. We also support local bands.”

“I was shopping here as a freshman and I was just getting into smaller bands,” Jordan said. “The employees encouraged my musical development. It’s a place where like-minded people come to gather.”

The music scene is constantly changing, but CD Central will keep the music playing for students and the community for years to come. Lunsford hopes the scene will continue to foster music lovers like him.

“We’re all music geeks here,” he said.