Local record shop Studio Records, 320 S. Trenton Ave., celebrated its first anniversary this summer in the throes of the pandemic.
Thankfully, owner Mike Nobles says the store has been able to stay open with precautions in place. Masks are required, disposable masks and hand sanitizer are available to customers, and Nobles lets in six people at a time and sanitizes surfaces frequently.
Nobles, a Tulsa native, opened the store in May 2019 after retiring from the music industry. He worked for Warner Music Group for 30 years, traveling around the country. “I’ve been in the record business since I was a teenager, and so this was this is a logical next step.” He also ran a record store in college.
Studio Records strives to be accessible to all types of music lovers, from old-school crate-diggers to teenagers buying the latest hip-hop album, Nobles says. “It’s really a diverse group of people that are into vinyl now, and we’re trying to serve everybody’s needs instead of just one subset,” he says.
The store — one of the houses on South Trenton Avenue formerly owned by Leon Russell — is three rooms, each organized by genre and alphabetized. Labels for Oklahoma artists are yellow so customers can easily support locals.
Studio Records gets new releases on Fridays, and Nobles is always looking for used vinyl. “That’s the hardest part of this business — keeping good-quality stuff in,” he says of used records. Nobles often posts the new used arrivals on Instagram, @studio_records_tulsa. In addition, thousands of titles are available for purchase at studiorecordstulsa.com and can be shipped or picked up curbside.
This year’s Record Store Day events in April were canceled because of COVID-19, but Nobles says three events will make up for it. One was held Aug. 29, and others are scheduled for the end of September and October. Follow Studio Records on Instagram for updates.