Many claimed a major piece of music history was just too damaged to be saved. Now, a group has work underway in the fight for Randy's Record Shop in Gallatin.

Nikki Nobles can't help but smile listening to a very old radio broadcast of her dad, legendary WLAC DJ Gene Nobles. 

"He started in 1943 and retired in 1972," said Nobles, thinking back to her father's time as one of the original DJs who introduced rhythm and blues music to WLAC. 

"The rhythm and blues, you could feel it in your soul," she said. "It had a message."

"Here he and Randy are at a banquet," Nobles continued, lifting another picture out of a stack.

The picture featured Gene Nobles and Randy Wood, a close family friend who ran Gallatin's Randy's Record Shop, once the world's largest mail-order record store. 

"It's a historical place for Gallatin," said Nobles.

From when she was a little girl, Nobles vaguely remembers the glory days of the shop on West Main Street. She said that's why it's so sad for her to see the state of the building now, long empty with water damage and a roof that's collapsed. 

"It's like losing part of your childhood," she said. "It's really sad. I thought 'there goes a lifetime of memories.' The older you get with some things, you reach for more attachment to memories."

Fearing the building could be demolished, a Historic Randy's Record Shop Foundation has come together and is hoping to become a non-profit. Several members are hoping to purchase the property from the owner.

The property owner hired Charles Curtis Construction to brace the walls Wednesday. A fence has also been placed around the property, and some neighboring businesses have relocated.

Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown told News 4 imminent danger concerns are being met with this work, and the council will revisit what will happen to the building.  

Several city officials have claimed the building isn't salvageable. A warning about the building's safety from the Gallatin Fire Inspector remains attached to the door.

For Nobles, the place is a reminder of the days her father worked with Randy Wood and did radio spots on WLAC for the shop. She wants to see it saved.

"It excites me to think that getting Randy's Record Shop restored brings back the legacy of part of what my father's done in life," she said. "I would be thrilled to take some of my family down there and say, 'this is where your grandfather worked and where he started businesses and friendships.'"

A petition to save Randy's Record Shop can be found at

The latest on the Historic Randy's Record Shop Foundation can be found at

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Forrest Sanders is an award-winning reporter, videographer and editor at News4.

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