Portrait of couple in a record store.
Before the internet made it easier to get any vinyl record in the world you wanted instantly with a click of the button, there was a different process. In New York City, places like A1 Records, Academy Records, The Sound Library, Turntable Lab, Rock and Soul, Tropicalia In Furs, or Big City, among many others, were staffed with knowledgeable record heads who helped you along with your vinyl quest. While shopping and digging through dollar bins, you often ran into other DJs, collectors and music lovers.
Frequent said store enough, and you became part of the store’s community. The respective owners and record store clerks got to know you and your buying habits. They would recommend certain albums to you when you walked in. A real life, tangible, streaming music service tailor made to your turntable needs, way before online algorithms rewrote the rules.