11 Days of Christmas: Wuxtry Turns 40

Photo Credit: Matt Hardy/file

As the Flagpole staff takes a much-needed break over the holidays, we’re reposting 11 of our most popular, most important, funniest and/or otherwise noteworthy stories of this most dismal of years. Look for a new post each day through Jan. 2.

One could say—fine, I’m saying it—that the Athens music scene has east and west poles, not north and south: The 40 Watt Club at Washington and Pulaski, and Wuxtry Records at Clayton and College. At one of these places (or in the few blocks in between) is where most of the great music in this town has been made and heard for decades.

The venerable record store, which has nurtured former clerks and future stars like Kate Pierson, Peter Buck, Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton and John Fernandes, turned 40 this year:

Forty years is rare in any industry. In this particular field, it’s nearly unheard of: Wuxtry is the oldest still-operating record store in the state of Georgia. (It’s one of two still operating in downtown Athens; the equally essential Low Yo Yo Stuff is the other.) As downtown has filled with chain stores and student high-rises, other independently owned businesses have either shuttered their doors or relocated, unable to maintain in the new reality. Yet Wuxtry endures, a beacon of cool amidst a sea of change.

Here’s to another 40 years.