Meet Our Friends: Marty Key

Steady Sounds is an independent all-vinyl record store in Richmond, VA, serving as a mecca for record collectors both locally and across the nation. Owners Marty and Drew have curated a collection of rarities, funk, jazz, hip-hop, punk and mainstream vinyl. A lot of old school funk and soul gets played here at Ledbury (blame our parents/Northern Soul nights in London’s East End) and Marty has spun classic 45’s for a handful of our events. The guys also kindly let us to use Steady Sounds as the location of May’s Short Run Shirting photo shoot. Afterwards, we caught up with Marty on what it’s like to own a record store and life in the music business.

What made you want to open a record store?

I love music, I love records…records are the best. That’s why I opened a record store.

Where did the name “Steady Sounds” come from?

My partner Drew and I went through a whole list of names and we settled on City Sounds. One day, “Steady,” just popped into my head and we changed the name right before we opened.

What was the first record you bought?

I think it was Goofy Gold, a K-Tel style collection of novelty songs.

What is the most rare record you own?

I own several 45’s where there are only a few known copies. One of my faves is “The Deceptions on Peace.”

What are your top 5 favorite records?

Tough one…always a tough one. Husker Du Zen Arcade is up there on the list. Syl Johnson “Is It Because I’m Black” is another solid LP. There are just too many good records to make a top 5.

What makes records so special?

Records are tangible. They make sense. There’s nothing like holding a record and just knowing that it has passed though so many hands…musicians, collectors, etc.

How do you choose which records are best for your store?

Well, the records tend to choose us. As for what we stock we try to carry a bit of everything. Our tastes are a bit eclectic and tend to move towards the underground but we still try to get mainstream releases in.

What is your favorite type of music to spin?

When I DJ I mostly spin funk and soul 45’s, but I love to dust off my old punk and hard core records every once in a while.

Best DJ moment?

Getting to DJ between sets for the Numero Twinight Revue in Brooklyn.

Who are your three favorite local musicians?

Pen Rollins, Adam Nathanson & Ed Trask

There is so much hoopla surrounding sampling and copyright. Any thoughts to share?

I say go for it, there needs to be more sampling. Just make sure the right people are paid.

Steady Sounds is open Monday-Saturday, 11-6pm. If you’re ever around Richmond, be sure to stop in and say hello while picking up some vinyl to add to your collection. You can even order records on the internet! While you’re at it, be sure to check out Steady Sounds on Facebook, Twitter and tumblr.

2 comments

  • Cheers for a great interview. JEERS for telling us the hours and to “stop in,” but not including the address…or even the neighborhood.

    • How neglectful of us! Our apologies!

      Steady Sounds is located at 322 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220

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