Staying Power: Everybody's Records keeps the groove alive through 36 years of music industry changes

What does it take for a family business to survive and thrive for 25 years or more? Our weekly  feature shares the secrets to success of local businesses with staying power.

Everybody's Records

  • What: Local, independently owned, full-service record store specializing in a wide variety of new and used albums, CDs and cassettes. 
  • Where: 6106 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati (Pleasant Ridge)
  • Founded: June, 1978, by Marilyn Kirby
  • Number of employees: Two full-time, four part-time


Back in 1978 vinyl was king. CDs, MP3s and streaming technology were not even a glimmer in the eye of the most forward-thinking record executive.

That was the year Everybody's Records  opened its doors to Cincinnati’s music-loving population.

Back in the day, the store specialized in buying and selling records and cassettes for cash or trade. In time, it expanded to include new albums and cassettes and quickly established a reputation as arguably the best record store in the area while maintaining independent ownership. 

After 36 years of music industry changes, Everybody's is still grooving.

Meet the Boss

A self-described music lover, Woody Dorsey says he and his employees share "a passion for music bordering on a sickness."

Q & A with Woody Dorsey

1. Who are your customers?

Music lovers! From high school kids coming in to start building their collection to baby boomers filling in the gaps in their collection. Simply people who cherish physical part of holding and owning music. People who cannot fathom holding up their IPod and saying this is my music collection.

2. What's great about doing business in Pleasant Ridge?

The best thing about being in Pleasant Ridge is the bond with the neighborhood. You become a part of the neighborhood identity. People ask where Pleasant Ridge is and someone will say, "Do you know where Everybody's Records is?" as a landmark for the Ridge.

A few summers back, there was talk of Walgreens buying the building and the community rallied around us to stop it. No words can describe our gratitude to them. Cincinnati has always been underrated for the passion of music. Plus the history of King Records.

3. What's challenging about doing business in Pleasant Ridge?

I really can't think of anything except the usual minor stuff like parking.

4. What has proven to be the key to your story's longevity?

First and foremost is customer service. People tend to think record store folks are hipsters with a cooler-than-thou vibe. We just try to promote a laid-back experience. We also provide a wide variety of music. Best part is when someone walks up and says "I can't believe you have this."

5. Fill in the blank: "I bet you didn't know...." about Everybody's Records

We have folks from all over the world walk through the store--Japan, Russia, Germany. And that we give away music on our Facebook page.

Connect with Everybody's Records

(Photos courtesy of Everybody's Records)

You can follow WCPO contributor Kevin J. Hines on Twitter: @KEVINVENTION

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