Charleston record store 52.5 Records reaches year 12 this Saturday!

A haven of recordings, books, DVDs, and know-how on Upper King Street, the store celebrates a cool birthday all weekend. The local independent shop opened its doors for the first time on February 21, 1997 at a small space at 52 1/2 Wentworth St. In 2000, the shop moved down to a location at 75 Wentworth Street, just a block off of King Street.

Proprietor Clay Scales (pictured) reopened at his third location on Upper King (the old Peggy Dress Shop at 561 King St.) early in 2007. He and the staff plan to host a weekend’s worth of specials. “As part of our celebration, we will be hosting a food drive to benefit The Lowcountry Food Bank,” says Scales of the event. “The goal will be to collect 630 cans of food [12 x 52.5 = 630 … ha!]. We’ll also be giving away a pair of tickets to see Ryan Adams & The Cardinals in concert at the PAC on March 11. Donate, and register to win.”

Non-perishable food items may be dropped off during regular business hours, Feb. 20-22. Specials during the day include 52.5% off any used CD, LP, or DVD for each item donated, and/or 12% off any new CD, LP, DVD or book.

On Sun. Feb. 22, the celebration and food drive continue with two sets of live music (“on the rug”) from Carolina mystery band Birdsmell (* it turned out to Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell) and local indie folk-rock quintet Autumn Gold. Music starts at 8 p.m. “Only 52 people will be admitted, so donate early and donate big,” says Scales.

Call Scales at the shop at (843) 722-3525 and sing “Happy Birthday” (Beatles-style, of course) when you see him. See for kicks.

(bottom photo by Leslie McKellar)

** City Paper covered this event in the Concert Reviews and Scene sections in the Wed. Feb. 25 issue. Here are some additional snapshots from the Sunday evening in-store gig (photos by T. Ballard Lesemann):

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