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Record store 'Down in the Valley' celebrates 50 years as Golden Valley staple

Record Store Day this weekend isn't the only thing Down in the Valley is celebrating. The Golden Valley record store is marking 50 years in business.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minnesota — Music lovers all across the world will be visiting independent record shops this weekend in celebration of Record Store Day on Saturday, April 23. 

A record store in Golden Valley has even more reason to celebrate as it marks its 50th year in business. 

Down in the Valley, located off of Highway 55 in the Golden Valley Shopping Center, opened in 1972. 

The late-founder, Steve Hyland, was 21 when he opened the store. He invested $1,000 into the business, using it to visit Lieberman Records and buy boxes of records to stock the shelves of his new store. 

"My dad would always bring us home a different CD a couple times a week. So we always had like all the new music from the promos they would get," recalled Taryn Hyland, Steve's daughter. 

Credit: Taryn Hyland
Down in the Valley opened its doors in 1972.

Taryn and her brother, Brandon Hyland, grew up in the record store and started working at Down in the Valley as teenagers. 

The siblings took over Down in the Valley in 2016 after their dad died from cancer complications. 

"Most people have been to Down in the Valley once or twice, and it's pretty cool to see a lot of people bringing their kids in here that have shopped in the past. It's pretty amazing," Brandon said. 

Throughout its 50 years, the store has been in three different locations. 

"Almost every day someone comes in and they go, 'I remember the old location when it was across the street. Aww those were the times,'" Taryn said. 

Despite how much the industry has changed, the store is staying busy with the resurgence of vinyl records. 

Credit: Heidi Wigdahl
Brandon and Taryn Hyland

"If you told me 15, 20 years ago that we'd be sitting here in 2022 and vinyl would be our number one category, I'd say you're nuts," said Scott Farrell, general manager. 

Farrell has been working at Down in the Valley for the past 25 years. 

"50 years is kind of mind-blowing, especially through some of the tough years. In the digital age, CDs declined and we really had to diversify. As you see our stores today, not just music. That's one of the reasons that we were able to survive during those leans years in the late 2000s," Farrell explained. 

The music and gift shop even sold waterbeds and plants for a time in the 80s. 

They had to adjust again during the pandemic, focusing more on online sales. Even though they're back open, they're still dealing with supply chain issues. 

"It's taking a long time to get records pressed. So stuff is out of print longer, when normally we would be able to order anything for anyone if we didn't have it in stock or we'd be able to restock pretty quickly," explained Steven Williams, music buyer and assistant general manager. 

Credit: Heidi Wigdahl
An inflatable Godzilla currently sits on the store's roof, something the original owner used to do back in the 70s and 80s for big sales.

Record Store Day, which started in 2008, played a big role in the vinyl resurgence. It's also the biggest day of the year for Down in the Valley. 

An inflatable Godzilla currently sits on the store's roof, something Steve used to do back in the 70s and 80s for big sales. Brandon and Taryn found the same one to put up for the fiftieth anniversary. 

"It's an incredible milestone. I can't believe we've made it 50 years," Brandon said. "Just want to thank all the people that have supported us over the years."    

Record Store Day is on Saturday, April 23. Down in the Valley will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. but a line starts before the doors open. 

They also have locations in Maple Grove and Crystal. 

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