There’s a new bright spot on Broadway; literally. Standing out with its bold blue and orange signage is Blue Canary Records. Brian Cook opened Blue Canary Records August 5th with pronounced, unmissable style. “The design is a continuation of the inside. But we didn't want it to look exactly the same, and we wanted to draw some influence from Columbus of yesteryear because there's some great design influences from the 70’s in Columbus in downtown that a lot of people don't know about, but I remember as a child. So we went with a little mixture of our design, and then the Moving Man building from the 70’s which had similar rainbow-like arrows,” said Cook.
Cook converted the former All State narrow office space, 13 feet wide and 250 feet long, into a record store brimming with nostalgia that has a room in the back for live music performances. A mural covers the entire left wall energizing the space and setting the tone. The designer of the Blue Canary logo, Mike Jones, recommended Atlanta muralist George F. Baker III for the job. Baker took Cook’s color scheme and ran with it, painting the inside mural along with the outside touches that make Blue Canary’s storefront really pop.
Cook’s passion for records began only a couple of years ago when he first started collecting during the pandemic. When stores began reopening, he remembered what a joy it was to flip through records in person, but was having to travel elsewhere to find record stores. “It weirded me out that we’re the second largest city in the state and we didn't have a record store. And it made me wonder why that was and really drove me to learn more about the business and if it could work. And I ultimately decided there's no reason it couldn't,” said Cook.
Cook always imagined having a space for live music in the store with a vision to utilize the space in a way that makes sense, not just for him, but for the people that would be in the store. He wants it to be a comfortable environment and a place where people can come and hang out, talk about music, listen to music and get together to create music. He put a lot of energy into the technical design of the space to ensure musicians could get a really good sound out of the room and even be able to record. Blue Canary even kicked off its grand opening with live music and Cook plans on much more to come.
Blue Canaary has something for everyone to discover with a mix of new and old music on vinyl, CD’s and even cassette tapes. There is even a white board up front where Cook takes requests. “I’m at this wonderful intersection between people who remember records from their childhood, and people who are getting into them now. There’s this mixture of heavy nostalgia and the excitement of novelty coming together which is a really cool place to be. Music is a universal thing. I just enjoy being here to help facilitate that a little bit,” said Cook.
Coming up for Blue Canary Records is a Halloween Bash set for Saturday, October 28th. The event will have a costume contest and three bands are set to play. After that, Cook plans to set a schedule that will be featured on the website as well as announced through social media for all future events. “I really want Blue Canary to become a part of the fabric of Columbus and be here for years and years and every week everyone knows something is happening at the record store,” said Cook.
Location: 1250 Broadway Suite B, Columbus, GA 31901