The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Greensboro’s Best-Kept Secrets: My Favorite Things Records

Nestled between two hair salons in a block of Glenwood Avenue shops, My Favorite Things Records offers a surprisingly expansive array of records considering its size. Outside the dark purple storefront, record store volunteers sit on a vibrant red bench enjoying the signs of spring.”It’s almost a creative outlet,” said volunteer Kyla Purtell, who made the signs. “(The owner, Jackson Lee) is really open to us trying new things.”

The interior of My Favorite Things (MFT) is even more colorful than the outside, with homemade signs announcing records for as cheap as a dollar.

The store seems like the perfect place to spend an afternoon, so it is not surprising that five or six people like Purtell are willing to volunteer at MFT to keep it open.

“I think it’s a really great resource to have in the community,” said Kevin Hunson, another volunteer. “You can get really good records here for reasonable prices.”

After opening its doors almost a year ago, MFT is looking to expand to selling custom-made bicycles. MFT is already set up to fix record players, and the store is used as a practice space by some local bands.

Jackson Lee, who started the record store, also books shows at MFT. Before the record store was started, a small group of people discussed turning the location into an artists’ space.

“I thought the space could be used more widely than what they were talking about,” Lee said. “If somebody gave me $5,000 I could really turn that place around.”

Though MFT may struggle to stay afloat financially, Lee and the volunteers are thrifty and creative enough to cut costs when possible. They inherited their cash register from a record store that closed down recently.

“Everything’s built out of trash wood,” Lee said. “I think there’s about $100 of wood in there that we had to buy. Greensboro has always been attractive to me because you can afford to do (things like this).”

My Favorite Things, which Lee sees almost as a brand connecting different projects, will eventually include local crafts for sale at the store, and shirts and buttons reading “Greensboro Motherf***er” are already available.

A big upcoming concert to celebrate National Record Store Day on April 17 at 3 p.m. is on the schedule, and a show at MFT on April 7 featured five bands, including Guilford College’s own Stoned Fox.

“They have a wide array of records available, not just one genre,” said junior Emily Martin, who plays in Stoned Fox. “I booked a show there and (Lee) was really open to me booking a really abrasive noise show. He was really trusting of me and letting me take the lead with what I wanted to do.”

Hunson explained that there are lots of reasons to stop by MFT or to volunteer there and also emphasized the store’s expansive collection. He pointed out that they offer a lot of Motown and soul music but also have many other options available.

“It’s really nice blasting music at the Methodist Church (across the street) all day, or just opening the door and playing some good funk,” Hunson said while Des Ark’s “Battle of the Beards” drifted through the store and down the block. “I go out (to Guilford) for bonfires so y’all got to come down here to the city. (My Favorite Things) is a nice place to come, hang out, and talk.”

While some naysayers might argue that records are the mark of a bygone era, MFT and other record stores in Greensboro stand as a testament to the fact that many people still listen to records. In fact, MFT is getting ready to celebrate their one-year anniversary, suggesting that the medium may be making a comeback.

“CDs were wrong from the beginning,” said Hunson.

But even if you plan to stick with your road-trip-mix CDs and don’t own a record player, My Favorite Things is still an excellent place to stop by, listen to music, go to a concert, hang out in the front, or even have your bicycle tuned up.

Though MFT has a number of dedicated volunteers, Lee said they could use more, and suggested Guilford students could intern at the store.

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