Toadies’ frontman Vaden Todd Lewis | Photo Credit: Juan R Govea
By Juan R Govea
A packed crowd filled the aisles of Panther City Vinyl on Saturday, July 14. Vinyl gawkers flipped through the store’s collection of EPs, LPs and CDs, while record gurus took a gander at collectables and chatted with owners Dan Lightner, Ted Stern and music store prodigy Ken Shimamoto.
The grand opening marked Panther City Vinyl’s was an eventful day in Fort Worth’s South Side on Magnolia Street. Three local acts captivated the audience: the experimental rhymes of Tornup, the rambunctious stylings of Mean Motor Scooter, and special headliner Toadies/Burden Brother’s front man Vaden Todd Lewis. Lewis played a much-anticipated acoustic set to end the day’s events.
Fans munched on Salsa Limon dishes as local hip-hop artist Tornup blasted grooves and manned the musical decks to kick off the celebration with the help of Martin House Brewing who provided local brew for the crowd of more than fifty patrons.
Lightner has been in and out of the music retail business working at Fort Worth’s Sound Warehouse, Warehouse Music, and Dallas’ Tower Records. Growing up listening to bands like The Toadies in the 90s Lightner says he had always talked with employee friends about opening a record store.
Mean Motor Scooter | Photo Credit: Juan R Govea
Panther City Vinyl carries a wide variety of genres including pop rock, reggae, jazz, hip-hop, country, folk and soundtracks on vinyl LPs. The store is currently in the process of expanding their hip-hop and rock sections.
“The store carries collectables in vinyl including albums like Dark Side of the Moon and a limited edition punk album by Public Image,” Lightner said.
The store has a local music section containing LPs from Fort Worth troupes like Mean Motor Scooter, Henry The Archer, and Siberian Traps. They plan to continue expanding that section going forward.
“We signed our lease in 2017 and predicted construction in September, but construction took more time than expected, so we started as a pop-up store between King Tut and 1506 W. Magnolia,” Lightner said. “Once we get our inventory on a database we will more than likely sell online through the website.”
Lightner says the store is in the process of talking with bands for more record store shows. He and Stern agree the store is looking to attract seasoned collectors and younger enthusiasts alike.
“There is a lot of appreciation for music and more people are realizing that records sound better than a cell phone,” Lightner said.