Fat Hippy Is the Newest Record Store Day Participant

Record Store Day returns Saturday, April 20, and this year’s crop of exclusive vinyl records again includes some rarities, demos and remastered albums that will have collectors lining up before the stores open their doors.

The day is meant to boost independent record store owners, with bands and labels releasing exclusives only to participating stores on that day.

In the Mahoning Valley, the big dog of the day has always been The Record Connection, in Pine Tree Plaza, off U.S. Route 422 near Niles. It still is, with owner Jeff Burke offering RSD products in two large tents, as well as in his store. Live music will be part of the proceedings, with Candace Campana, the Labra Brothers and Angela Perley.

Fat Hippy Records

But the newest store to get in on RSD is Fat Hippy Records, located in a small plaza at 7188 Warren Sharon Road in Brookfield.

Fat Hippy will have a very wide selection of RSD releases and live music by a group of local musicians who are going by The Fat Fest Band for the occasion. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Zac Younkins owns the store, which reflects his lifelong love of music and record collecting. He can be found in the shop every day, talking music with customers.

The 2010 Brookfield High School graduate opened Fat Hippy Records last year and moved it into a larger space in the plaza a few weeks ago. This will be the store’s first Record Store Day.

“We will have a lot of [Record Store Day] exclusives,” he said. “I tried to stock everything in limited quantities.”

The shop features a large variety of pop rock, singer-songwriter and ’90s rock albums. “That’s my biggest section,” Younkins said. “I also have a good selection of metal, punk, indie, soul, jazz, country and reggae, and I have a separate psychedelic section, which is something most places don’t have.”

Fat Hippy is the Kent State University grad’s first business, but he has always been immersed in recorded music.

“I’ve been a music lover my entire life,” he said, although he does not play an instrument. “I had a radio show at Kent State, and that’s how I dipped into the music community. I would promote a lot of underground artists on my show, especially underground hip-hop. That’s one genre that I’m very into, but I’m really into everything.”

Younkins started collecting vinyl when he was in high school. “My grandfather sold vinyl at flea markets, and that’s how I got into it,” he said.

He still buys used records on a regular basis for his own collection and for resale in his shop.

As Younkins developed a presence in the Kent underground music community, he also bought and sold vinyl in the college town.

After moving back to Brookfield, he launched with his own collection, and also new releases.

“There are a lot of mom-and-pop record stores around [the Mahoning and Shenango valleys], but not around here,” he said. “It’s a good location. I have customers coming in from New Castle and all the way to Pittsburgh.”

Fat Hippy also sells cassettes, which Younkins said is making a comeback, especially among young buyers.

He also offers T-shirts with his store’s logo – a likeness of his face and hair superimposed on a circular backdrop that mimics the Looney Tunes cartoons symbol.

Younkins designed the logo – making himself a walking, talking marketing tool for the shop.

“I came up with the concept, which is similar to Porky Pig popping through, like on the Looney Tunes show,” he said, and hired an Atlanta-based artist to create it.


Here’s a look at what some other local record stores are doing Saturday (or Sunday) for Record Store Day.

The Record Connection: The Record Connection in Pine Tree Plaza, U.S. Route 422 in McKinley Heights, will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 20, with merchandise in two large tents in the parking lot and also inside the store.

All Record Store Day releases will be available inside and in the tents.

Vendors will include Pick Me Up Coffee, Judeye’s Radio Hoop handmade items and Modern Methods Brewing.

The event will include live music, starting with Candace Campana & Her Band at 10:15 a.m., the Labra Brothers at 12:15 p.m., and the Angela Perley Band at 2:15 p.m.

A pizza party will begin around 2 p.m.

Melusina Records: The shop, which recently moved to 81 E. State St., Sharon, Pa., will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The shop is on the second floor of The Lofts in downtown Sharon. The shop will offer RSD releases specially picked for its customers.

The Exchange: The shop at 6020 Youngstown-Warren Road in Niles is an official Record Store Day participant and will have a selection of new RSD releases on sale Saturday.

State Street Records: While not an official participant in Record Store Day, the shop at 429 E. State St. in downtown Salem will sell all used records and T-shirts at a sharp discount, with a buy four, get one free deal.

Cycle Breaker’s: The record and tapes shop, located inside Westside Bowl in Youngstown, is not an RSD participant. But it will offer merchandise at a discount from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at its warehouse space in the Ward Bakery Building, 1024 Mahoning Ave.

Geo’s: The shop at 228 W. Boardman St., downtown Youngstown, is not an RSD participant but will offer all merchandise at a discount Saturday. “We have a lot of rarities and imports,” said owner George Case. The store will offer some RSD titles in the future “that will appeal to our customer base,” Case said.

Pictured at top: Zac Younkins in his new shop in Brookfield.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.