These Are the Exclusive Releases for Record Store Day 2019

Blaze at Atlanta-area store destroys thousands of vinyl records

For more than a decade, Bob Johnson has been sharing his love of vinyl with music fans in Georgia.

Johnson owns His Rock Music, which he originally opened in Dawsonville, then moved to Cumming five years ago.

The store — and Johnson’s vinyl collection — has been in the process of relocating to downtown Cumming, when it caught fire last week.

» RELATED: Record store owner loses thousands of albums in devastating fire

The space at 318 Dahlonega Highway, slated to be Johnson’s store’s new location, erupted in flames last Friday and destroyed nearly 4,000 records, CDs, and musical equipment. Johnson said he estimates about $30,000 worth of merchandise was destroyed.

According to Channel 2 Action News, the fire began in a storage closet of an adjoining store. 

However, the community was quick to pitch in. Shortly after the blaze, a GoFundMe campaign was started by a member of Johnson’s church to help him recover some of his losses.

In the last three days, the campaign has raised more than $2,200.

“No amount is too small, and all proceeds will go towards helping restore His Rock. Please consider donating and sharing with the community he loves,” a post on the crowdfunding site reads.

» RELATED: Following fire, Paris on Ponce owners launch fundraiser to rebuild

Blake Bassham, who donated to the fundraising effort, said he played music at the record store many times when he was in high school. He said the store’s absence will be felt by local musicians.

“Bob is one of the great leaders in our community through His Rock and I hope he can continue providing such great value to our community,” Bassham wrote on GoFundMe.

» RELATED: 8 Atlanta record stores for the true vinyl love

Johnson said the support from the community has been overwhelming.

The store was slated to reopen on Jan. 25. The building has insurance to rebuild, but Johnson won’t be able to recover his lost inventory because he hadn’t yet secured a certificate of occupancy. 

But for Johnson, he said this won’t be the day the music died — he said he hopes to rebuild his collection and once again open shop somewhere in 2020.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.