The Keystone Record Collectors Club
There are many unique and interesting organizations in Central PA that participate in the celebration of music, but one of my favorites is The Keystone Record Collectors Club. The KRC has the distinction of being the largest, longest running organization of its type in the world. Since its humble beginnings in 1979, KRC has attracted collectors from all over the world to monthly music swap meets, and has had dues-paying members from as far away as Scotland.
These music aficionados, who have always enjoyed the club policy of free admission, converge on the Continental Inn, in Lancaster, PA on the second Sunday of every month to create a “happening” which the casual observer may have a hard time comprehending. Whatever your musical preference, there is always a good selection each month. You can find everything from pre-war 78’s to newly released CD’s and DVD’s. Recent shopping trends have gone to niche collecting, such as jazz and blues music, although R&B, doo-wop and soul are still quite popular.
You’ll find not only a wide range of ages digging through bins of vinyl and CD’s, but even more interesting are the conversations that can be heard throughout the show. A lot of the vendors/members are extremely knowledgeable about the music they sell and you can end up learning more about an artist or genre by just striking up a conversation. Most people, whether buying or selling, are passionate about “their music” and will not hesitate to share their views and opinions about artists of interest. You can often see “Newbies” or casual buyers fingering through a crate nearby and can’t help but to lean into the conversation to hear the pontifications and knowledge being expelled from seasoned collectors.
One of the great benefits of the show is the deals you can get. There are a lot of independent record shop owners who come to buy merchandise and it’s not uncommon to find tired old dealers who can be easily convinced into a deal. Especially towards the end of the show, when the last thing they want to do is haul thousands of records back to their vehicles!