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For the Record: Forever Young Records

Spacious record store sells a large selection of, well, everything.

TAYLOR ECKSTROM (LEFT) AND OWNER DAVID ECKSTROM of Forever Young Records. Photo courtesy of Forever Young Records

TAYLOR ECKSTROM (LEFT) AND OWNER DAVID ECKSTROM of Forever Young Records. Photo courtesy of Forever Young Records

2955 S. Highway 360
Grand Prairie, Texas 75052
(972) 352-62993

Forever Young Records has been in business since 1984 in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Family owned and operated, Forever Young strives to have a large selection of music at a reasonable price. Although the store location has moved several times in the past 24 years, it has settled in a large, 11,000-square-foot building located in Grand Prairie, Texas, just 30 minutes west of downtown Dallas. As one of the few independent record stores still in business in the DFW area, Forever Young has managed to expand not only the size of the store, but the store inventory, as well. And the store carries new releases as well as classic vinyl from the age of the ’30s and ’40s. With more than 250,000 new and used CDs, LPs, DVDs, cassettes, 45s, music posters and unique music memorabilia — even reel-to-reel tapes — how can any music enthusiast go wrong?

What was your first job?
David Eckstrom:
Religious gift store in Palm Springs, Calif.

What was the first record you ever bought?
Smothers Brothers’ “Aesop’s Fables.”

When did the idea of owning your own record store first occur to you?
In 1981, I began selling LPs at our local flea market “Traders Village.” I sold LPs there for 3½ years … every weekend.

What is the history of your store?
Opened in October 1984 in Irving, Texas. Opened a second location in 1989 in Arlington, Texas. Purchased 1 acre of land in Grand Prairie in 1998, and built a 13,000-square-foot building facing the freeway. Added a giant jukebox as a store entrance and opened the new (and now only) location in March 1999.

What do you specialize in?
Deep catalog of both CDs and albums.

How has the music retail market changed over the years?
: My competition has gone out of business (Tower, Virgin, Sound Warehouse Music). Most customers purchase CDs now. Import dance 12-inch singles have disappeared.

Have you noticed a resurgence in vinyl-record sales?
Not really … we have always had steady vinyl sales … I have noticed an increase of titles issued on vinyl. We buy any and all vinyl titles offered to us from the record labels. Right now, that’s about 300 new titles a month.

What does your store offer that few, if any, others do?
We have a high quality, large selection of new and used vinyl.

We have a separate “Record Collectors’ Den” where the LPs sell for $50 and up.

What changes has the store gone through over the years?
Very little … except for the increasing size and selection.

Who are some of your favorite customers from over the years, and why?
Kelly, my Beach Boy collector and car repair guy. Marcus, the hard-working LP hunter. Jay, our Glenn Miller and Patsy Cline box set collector. Mychal, our security guard customer who loves his music.

What was the biggest day the store ever had?
We grossed over $15,000 the Saturday before Christmas one year.

Ever had anybody famous come in and shop at your store?
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. We had an “In Store” with Davy Jones of the Monkees. Does Insane Clown Posse Count?

What is the future of record stores like yours?
As long as turntables are manufactured — good!

What’s the rarest record you’ve ever had in your store?
Bob Dylan’s “Freewheelin’” with the four deleted tracks.

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
“I need 2000 copies of Roy Orbison’s ‘Only the Lonely’ ” … Part of a stockbrokers’ convention packet.

What advice would you have for people who want to own a record store?
Start off with as much inventory as possible in near mint condition. Don’t sell your product too cheap; remember, you are actually selling a service of handling what your customer wants. Keep your overhead as low as possible, and try not to borrow money. Live off your cash flow!

NEW items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
• Get a Goldmine collective on The Beatles, "Meet the Fab Four CD"< • Get the new John Lennon book: "John Lennon: Life is What Happens, Music, Memories & Memorabilia"

• Buy the brand new edition of "Goldmine Standard Catalog of American Records 1948-1991, 7th Edition"

• Order the latest Ozzy book,"The Wit & Wisdom of Ozzy Osbourne" (estimated ship date: 9/30/2010) Very witty. Very funny. Very Ozzy.