Downtown Windsor’s Dr. Disc will celebrate Record Store Day

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It may be more convenient than ever to listen to music online, but Dr. Disc Records of downtown Windsor continues to serve those who prefer to listen to music with something tangible.

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On Saturday, the city’s oldest music store will celebrate International Independent Record Store Day.

“I think Windsor is just a town that loves music,” said store manager Aimee Charette. “We’ve had a dedicated clientele through thick and thin.”

“Over the past approximately 10 years, we have experienced a renewed popularity of vinyl. But there are some people who have never stopped collecting. The love of our customers allows us to continue.

Liam O'Donnell (left) and Aimee Charette (right) of Dr. Disc Records in downtown Windsor show off vinyl merchandise in preparation for Record Store Day on April 23rd.  Photographed April 20, 2022.
Liam O’Donnell (left) and Aimee Charette (right) of Dr. Disc Records in downtown Windsor show off vinyl merchandise in preparation for Record Store Day on April 23rd. Photographed April 20, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

Once a Southwestern Ontario franchise, the Dr. Disc brand dates back to the 1980s.

Liam O’Donnell took over the Windsor location in the early 2000s – and he’s been spinning local decks ever since.

The mainstay of Dr. Disc’s merchandise continues to be vinyl records, as well as new and used CDs, new and used movies on Blu-ray and DVD, and various music products.

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“I think Liam is the master not to give up things,” joked Charette. “It clings and does not abandon physical media.”

As to why there is still an audience for the records, despite online listening platforms such as Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and many others, Charette thinks there is no debate: the vinyl sounds better.

Plus, recordings are cooler than streaming. “It’s so visual to have this album cover in your hands. It’s like an art object.

Aimee Charette, manager of Dr. Disc Records in downtown Windsor, puts a LP on a turntable on April 20, 2022.
Aimee Charette, manager of Dr. Disc Records in downtown Windsor, puts a LP on a turntable on April 20, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, customers new and old can experience exclusive releases and enjoy in-store goodies.

Charette said the giveaway items will include a limited number of specially designed gift certificates and tote bags, as well as copies of the original promotional poster for Record Store Day at Dr. Disc.

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The poster created by Greg Maxwell to promote Record Store Day at Dr. Disc Records in Windsor, 471 Ouellette Avenue, April 23, 2022.
The poster created by Greg Maxwell to promote Record Store Day at Dr. Disc Records in Windsor, 471 Ouellette Avenue, April 23, 2022. Photo by Greg Maxwell /Windsor Star

Created by Greg Maxwell of theuglyvision.com, the poster features a drawing of singer and actress Olivia Rodrigo wearing the iconic makeup of Gene Simmons of rock band KISS.

Charette said she and other store staff were surprised when Gene Simmons himself shared the poster on his social media earlier this month.

“It took us by surprise,” said Charette. “Our jaws are somehow fallen.”

  1. A fan in the crowd sings Happy Birthday to KISS lead singer Gene Simmons as he performs with his band at Caesars Windsor on August 25, 2017.

    Photos: Rock legend Gene Simmons celebrates at Caesars Windsor

  2. Liam O'Donnell, owner and operator of Dr. Disc.  is presented to the company's Windsor downtown Monday, March 5, 2018.

    Downtown Windsor is still music to the ears of Dr. Disc Records

  3. Liam O'Donnell, owner and operator of Dr. Disc in downtown Windsor, prepares for the Record Store Day celebrations on April 22, 2017.

    Dr. Disc Records Windsor continues to move and roll

And while Simmons recently declared that “rock is dead,” Charette thinks Dr. Disc Records will endure.

“To everyone’s amazement, this persists over time, with the support of the community,” Charette said.

“We have even seen a transformation of our clientele. It’s really cool to see the influx of new customers — lots of young people.

Dr. Disc Records is located at 471 Ouellette Avenue. Special hours this Saturday are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular weekly hours are 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays.

For more information, visit www.drdiscrecords.com.

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David H. Henry