Fort Worth

The sun sets on 60-plus years for this Fort Worth record store fixture

The sun has set on Record Town's University Drive location. Will it come back to life in another location?
The sun has set on Record Town's University Drive location. Will it come back to life in another location? Courtesy

Record Town, one of the nation's oldest vinyl record stores and a survivor of 60 years of change in the music industry, is moving from its original South University Drive location.

It's changing hands, too. But the new owners say the Bruton family, which has owned the store since it opened in 1957, will retain a share of the store's ownership.

A "for lease" sign went up last week on the store at 3025 S. University Drive. Bill Mecke and musician-turned-real estate developer Tom Reynolds, both "Record Town people" for more than 20 years, have bought the store.

They are planning to move it to the Near Southside, on a new strip of retail locations attached to condominiums being built along St. Louis Street.

Record Town will stay in its current and original location through at least March, Mecke said in a telephone interview. He said the new location would likely open in April.

Moving and changing hands. Open through March at this location. UPDATED:

Posted by Bud Kennedy on Saturday, February 10, 2018

"Overall we're extremely excited to be moving the store and to be able to carry on the legacy of Record Town," Mecke said. "It's part of Fort Worth history."

Record Town celebrated 61 years in the same strip across from the TCU campus on Feb. 2. The store does not have a website, or even a computer. Mecke said the Texas Music Office has confirmed that Record Town is the third-oldest record store in the state.

It is currently owned by Kathleen Bruton, 93. She opened the store with her late husband, Sumter Bruton Jr., in 1957. Sumter Bruton III and his mother will retain an ownership stake in the store, as will another longtime manager, Gerard Daily, Mecke said.

Sumter Bruton.JPG
Sumter Bruton III has managed Record Town since 1968. Rodger Mallison Fort Worth Star-Telegram

TCU students in the 1950s and '60s frequented Record Town for the latest vinyl releases from Elvis, the Everly Brothers or the Beatles.

The iconic Record Town sign with Nipper the RCA dog in the middle hasn't lit up for six or seven years. Even though the sun is setting on six decades spent in the same spot, the landmark will apparently live on.

"The biggest thing for us is carrying on the legacy of Record Town in Fort Worth," Mecke said.

Matthew Martinez: 817-390-7667; @MCTinez817

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538; @BudKennedy