Record man of Richmond provides decades worth of memories through music

Record man of Richmond provides decades worth of memories through music

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Sometimes, it's fun to take a trip down memory lane.

Walter Smith has helped many people take that trip through music for nearly 50 years now, not just in Central Virginia, but all over the world. At 75 years old, Smith says he has no plans to stop anytime soon.

Step inside Virginia's Memory Lane Records, and you'll step back in time, whether your time was around the early 1900s or the 1950s and beyond.

Walter is also known as the "Record man of Richmond."

One look around the store in Henrico shows you exactly how he got his name.

"We probably have close to a million of all genres," said Smith. "We have the old 78s. We have some cylinders which pre-date that, and then we have a tremendous amount of 45s and albums."

Smith has been collecting and selling records for 48 years now, and it all started with his love of music during his teenage years.

"I was a guitar player. Did a little singing," said Smith.

That "love" eventually blossomed into a global mail order and retail business, which does a lot of big business online, especially these days.

"Vinyl is coming back. People are realizing the sound on vinyl is superior to CD, and it's good for business," said Smith. "A lot of the people that got rid of their turntables and stereo equipment are now looking to buy it back because they're buying records again."

It is music to this record man's ears.

After all of these years, it keeps him going strong, knowing that he is bringing back old memories for some, and helping to make new memories for others.

"Someone has been looking for a record for 40 years or somebody remembers something from their childhood or their class reunion, and it just makes people happy to finally find what they've been looking for," said Smith.

The store also sells lots of stereo equipment and even offers restoration services.

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