When he was 8 years old, Steve Warrenfeltz bought his first 7-inch 45 rpm record with money he received for his birthday.
His love for vinyl continues to this day.
“Early on, I noticed a difference in how the song sounded when it was on a record versus a cassette or an 8-track,” Warrenfeltz said. “It was far superior to me coming off a record.”
Warrenfeltz, owner of Kiss The Sky record store in Batavia, hosts a monthly series at The Venue in downtown Aurora called What’s on Your Turntable? During the hour-long show, he talks to guests about their record collections.
During his next show at 7 p.m. April 21, he will interview Kiss The Sky customer Ted Rzeszweski about his record collection. The show streams live from The Venue and can be viewed on The Venue’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Warrenfeltz is involved with the nonprofit Fox Valley Music Foundation, which operates The Venue.
These days, there are many ways to listen to music, including online music streaming services. He believes records continue to offer listeners more.
“Digital is too pristine,” he said. “Analog is sound waves. Digital is sound bites.”
Not surprising, he has a large record collection.
“I have about 5,000 records,” Warrenfeltz said. “They’re in my living room, my dining room, my bedroom, everywhere in the house, really.”
Records are more popular than ever, as sales at his store show.
“Our record sales versus CD sales is about 95% records, 5% CDs,” Warrenfeltz said. “When you really want to listen to something, when you want to sit down and really enjoy an album, yeah, you can put on Spotify, but it’s not the same. You put on a record, it sounds better and you get to look at the album cover.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has seen a younger generation of people coming into the store to buy records.
“That’s what changed during the pandemic,” he said. “Kids started coming in to buy records. We couldn’t keep turntables in stock. They’re staying home listening to their parents’ stereos and going, ‘This is cool. What is this?’’'
His two grandkids are among those who love records.
“They are 20 months old and I gifted them a record player,” Warrenfeltz said. “And they are all into music.”
During one of his recent shows, Warrenfeltz interviewed Batavia High School student Mason Moenter about his record collection. He was impressed by Moenter’s musical knowledge.
“There’s some other young kids that come in here that I would not hesitate to have on the show,” he said.
Information about The Venue is available at its website, themusicvenue.org.