At least 3,700 record stores have closed around the country since 2003, according to market research firm Almighty Music Marketing.
Illegal file-sharing, MySpace, band camp, social media outlets, and the overall digitalization of the music industry have displaced the traditional record store as the place where Americans get their music.
To remind people of the stores' continued relevance and importance, a few music fans conceived Record Store Day about five years ago. It will be celebrated again Saturday at some 700 independent record stores around the country, including 20 stores in Maryland, according to the "holiday's" official website.
Most places celebrate Record Store Day by releasing special vinyl editions and hosting live performances.
At Atomic Books in Hampden, Celebrated Summer Records will have 50 copies of a one-sided 12-inch single by the Baltimore metal band Pulling Teeth. The $15 single will be sold only on Saturday and is limited to one per person. It's sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The store will also have 30 copies of a limited-edition vinyl version of "Time And Pressure," an EP by the Baltimore punk band Mindset. There will be other releases on hand that will be sold exclusively Saturday.
In addition, the store has pledged 10 percent of earnings Saturday to the American Red Cross' relief efforts fund for Japan.
Other labels and musicians are also celebrating the day by releasing special editions. Merge Records is reissuing, on CD and vinyl, "Here's Where the Strings Come In," by indie band Superchunk. And SubPop Records is releasing a compilation CD that features 19 tracks by Blitzen Trapper, Fleet Foxes and Baltimore's own Lower Dens, who contributed a new song, "Deer Knives."
Scores of other major artists have releases that day too, including AC/DC, Foo Fighters, R.E.M. and recent chart-topper Adele.
Fans of Fells Point's Sound Garden wondered on Facebook if the store would have all of those releases. The store assured them: "Looks like we will have just about everything … we got our orders in very early."
For a list of all the day's special releases, visit recordstoreday.com/specialreleases. A list of Maryland stores participating Saturday is at recordstoreday.com/venues