Bruce Smith, a man who surrounds his world with music, is the owner of freelance record company Cassidy Collectibles. Smith dove into the music scene at an early age and has been buying and selling records since the early 1970s.
“Jimi Hendrix was my big hero growing up,” Smith said.
With a degree in music from the University of Arizona and experience playing instruments in bands throughout his schooling career, he started picking up records in middle school.
“Initially, just like everybody else, I picked up records and played the heck out of them until they were worn out,” Smith said.
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Smith worked in construction while in high school, then as a general contractor for two years and eventually taught high school history from 1995–2013, but he stayed focused on the music business as a side job.
Cassidy Collectibles sells records out of Smith’s home near the UA, and in the last four or five years, he has focused on making records his main source of income.
“Back then, it was initially just like a hobby, and over time it’s become more of an actual financial endeavor,” Smith said.
There is a big online market for records, according to Smith — mainly on E-bay but also on sites like Discogs, a music and media database and marketplace.
Another way to acquire records is to travel around to yard sales and estate sales, according to Smith, who also uses word-of-mouth as a source of buying collections.
“There’s a million places to get records,” Smith said. “Yet finding good records and valuable records is a lot of work.”
The Tucson Record Community, made up of more than 50 “hardcore” record buyers and sellers, all know each other.
One of those sellers is Old Paint Records, located on 201 North Court Ave., owned by Kevin Mayfield and Lana Rebel.
Zia Record Exchange and Wooden Tooth Records are also a part of this community.
This buying-selling community is seen at most record events in town, including Hotel Congress’ HOCO Fest, as well as estate sales.
Old Paint Records had a table at HOCO Fest and runs a shop in downtown Tucson.
Lana Rebel, owner of Old Paint, goes to events and deals records in Tucson, explaining, “We really like music and are kinda nerdy about it and want to open people up to music that we are turned on by.”
The record scene is open to all ages, according to Rebel and Smith.
“As far as people who buy records, it’s all over the map,” Rebel said.
Old Paint and Cassidy Collectibles receive a diverse clientele, which leads to relationships.
“I probably make more connections at our yearly record sale,” Smith said. “Sometimes it's the only time I’ll see a person that is a record collector.”
The Record Show is a yearly event put on by Cassidy Collectibles focused on selling records from many vendors in one place.
The show is entering its 13th year, with Smith scheduled as the host. The event started at the Plumber and Steamfitters Hall on Tucson Boulevard then moved to Freeway and Grant Road. This year, the event takes place at the Fraternal Order of Police Hall.
Smith has confirmed seven dealers, including himself, who will be at the event.
“In the past, we have had dealers from as far away as Colorado, dealers from New Mexico, one time from Texas and of course Phoenix and Tucson and Cottonwood," Smith said.
The Record Show is scheduled for Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., but there is a 7:30 a.m. early entrance, with a slightly higher entrance fee for those who say “I got to get there early and dig through everything.”
Early entry is $8, with regular entrance set at $4. With a mini-poster available around and on the Cassidy Collectibles Facebook page, the regular fee is half off.
“There is going to be literally a ton of records there,” Smith said. “I’ve had 6-7 tables with records there.”
The show tries to include all genres of music, from folk to classic rock, to jazz, to country and much more.
“It’s fun to see that slice of culture represented by the music,” Smith said.
The Record Show is Saturday Nov. 11 and will have dealers from all over the Southwest selling records, CDs and music memorabilia.
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