GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Time is running out to save a piece of Gallatin history, but preservationists aren’t giving up.
The Gallatin City Council voted last week to tear down Randy’s Record Shop in 90 days. The decision has members of the Historic Randy’s Record Shop Foundation stepping up efforts to restore the building.
Johnny Griffin has set up a booth at the Sumner County Fair this week. He hopes to spread the word about the foundation’s plans for the building.
“If I can get some donors with some money to save this building, we can save it,” said Griffin, who is a life-long Gallatin resident. “There is so much history in this building that needs to be saved.”
The two-story building on West Main Street is falling apart and has a caved in roof. It is currently blocked off for safety reasons.
Randy’s Record Shop opened in 1946. During the 1950’s and 1960’s it was the largest mail-order record shop in the world. The owner, Randy Wood, also founded Dot Records which featured artists like Pat Boone and Lawrence Welk. Wood also sponsored a late-night radio show on WLAC out of Nashville.
“If it hadn’t been for Randy Wood and what he did,” said Griffin. “You wouldn’t have the music you have today.”
Griffin said the spot is known throughout the world, and he has fond memories of it growing up.
“When I was in high school everybody saved their money to go to Randy’s Record Shop,” recalled Griffin. “When you went down there, people were lined up to get a record.”
The shop closed in 1991 and has been vacant ever since. Wood passed away in 2011.
Griffin said he would like to see the building restored, and turned into a record shop again. It would also feature rotating museum exhibits. He believes it would attract tourists from around the world.
The effort to save the building started last year with a GoFundMe account.
The Historic Randy’s Record Shop Foundation is working to secure its 501(c)(3) status, but has not finalized the process. Griffin believes once the designation is complete, donations will start coming in.
The initial goal is to raise $200,000 to handle immediate repairs for the building. Griffin estimated the entire project could cost around $1 million dollars.
Checks can also be written to Historic Randy's Record Shop Foundation and mailed to Historic Randy's Record Shop Foundation, P.O. Box 8047, Gallatin, TN 37066
For more information visit: https://historicrandysrecordshopfoundation.org/