Salem’s Soundtrack: THE RECORD EXCHANGE AT 50

Music has been a constant force that has brought individuals together since its fruition. Whether it be jazz, soul, folk, rap, hop-hop, or a plethora of other genres, we can all agree that music can change the energy of the space that it occupies. This year, on Record Store Day we are taking a moment to appreciate a local icon that has been promoting positive vibes through music for over 50 years. This year, on Record Store Day we tip our hats to The Record Exchange.

THE RECORD EXCHANGE has been a musical mainstay for locals and visitors alike for 50 years, continuing the legacy that began with its founder, Ross “Skip” Kolhonen. In 1974, after completing graduate school, Kolhonen turned his passion for music and record-collecting into a business, which eventually became a staple of Salem’s music scene.

Image by the Record Exchange, Ross “Skip” Kolhonen

What sets The Record Exchange apart is the store’s curated collection of new releases, quality used records, and collectibles, plus CDs, cassettes, and DVDs. Whether you’re a vinyl purist or a digital devotee, the shelves at The Record Exchange cater to every musical palate, and offer a place to connect with friends and fellow music lovers.

Image by the Record Exchange,  Paul, Colette and Jimmy

The Record Exchange is not just a local treasure but also one of the oldest record stores in the country. The store continues to draw crowds during events like Record Store Day and new and special edition album releases.

Following Kolhonen’s passing in 2017, longtime employee and close friend Paul Bazylinski assumed ownership of the store, ensuring that the spirit and passion behind The Record Exchange would continue to thrive. As the store celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it stands not only as a repository of musical treasures but as a living testament to the dedication of its founder and the ongoing importance of music to our community.

Image by the Record Exchange,  Paul, Colette and Jimmy

So, today and every day we encourage you to take a stroll into the Point Neighborhood here in Salem, MA to explore the bustling arts and culture section that the neighborhood has nurtured. Make sure when you stop into The Record Exchange you say hello to Paul and his team to congratulate them on 50 years of light and positivity through music.

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