AMES, Iowa -- Back before Pandora, Spotify, or YouTube Red, many people used record players to listen to music. The device was originally a phonograph and was first invented by Thomas Edison back in 1877. Later, it evolved during the 60s, 70s, and 80s before bowing out with the incoming digital CD players.
For one Ames man, the record players never really went away. George Noble opened a record shop called Vintage Vinyl in the town of Jewell for about eight years to sell off remaining LPs as everyone was getting CDs.
“I had a company come to me and rented a 2 x 2 space in my store to sell off records,” said Noble. “We were selling a lot of records for a while.”
George moved on from records and record players for a few years while working for the post office full time. After retirement, though, his passion returned.
“In the 70s 80s as I was growing up in high school, I can remember going back and going to record stores in Burlington every few weeks and pick me up 45 records at $0.99 a piece,” said Noble. “Back then it was a big deal, you could get some of the newest releases and get singles. I never really got into LPs until probably later 80s.”
George now likes to collect and fix old record players, 8-track players, and cassette decks. He also collects and sells LP records from a variety of eras and genres. His big passion is repairing the old record players.
“I have always enjoyed working with my hands on turntables or mechanical equipment,” said Noble. “I just like opening one up that's got a problem and having to figure out what it is that is making it not work.”
Vintage Vinyl is open one weekend per month at the North Grand Mall in Ames. Noble does work on record player repair from his home. He can be reached at 515-708-1707.