Music City Magic Maker
Manager and 'Indiepop Princess' Anna Lundy keeps plates and records spinning at Grimey's
For nearly a decade and a half, Grimey’s New and Preloved Music has been a mecca for record-loving locals and visitors alike. Comprising Grimey’s, Grimey’s Too, Howlin’ Books, and the original Basement, the Eighth Avenue South Grimey’s campus was a player in both the city’s music scene and its tourism industry.
As the store prepares to move to a new location on Trinity Lane in East Nashville, manager Anna Lundy has been and will continue to be an integral player, helping to ensure a transition that preserves, as she puts it, “the magical vibe” of the Eighth Avenue location, while capitalizing on everything the new spot has to offer: plenty of parking, a lively, engaged new neighborhood and, perhaps most importantly, more space for records and live events galore.
Lundy first came on board at Grimey’s in mid-2004, just as the store was moving to Eighth Avenue from its original home in Berry Hill. She’d met Grimey’s co-owner Doyle Davis at a record conference in Atlanta a few years prior, and he reached out to see if she’d be interested in taking Grimey’s to a new, higher level.
“I went and met him at the little store in Berry Hill, and he drove me over to the spot on Eighth Avenue and said, ‘Hey, can you imagine a record store here?’” Lundy remembers. “And I said, ‘Yes, absolutely.’”
At the time, Lundy was working at the now-defunct Tower Records, where she’d been for about nine months, following a yearlong stint at the also-defunct Spun Records, owned by Café Coco’s Chuck Cinelli. Lundy’s first job upon moving to Nashville in 2002 was also at a record store: The Great Escape.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Lundy earned a degree in women’s studies and English literature, working at Knoxville record shop the Disc Exchange for three out of her four undergrad years. Her experience led Lundy to a career in record stores in Nashville. As manager of Grimey’s, Lundy wears many hats, and her breadth of knowledge and experience is essential to both the store’s day-to-day operations and its bigger-picture plans for growth. “I spend a lot of time communicating with vendors, distributors, record labels, and folks that we’re setting up events with,” Lundy says. “I’m one of the buyers for the store so I have several accounts that I order from regularly. I also coordinate the majority of the events we hold in the store. I correspond with customers who email the record store with questions. I assign daily tasks for our staff to do and make our schedules.”
With her long record-store tenure, Lundy has weathered many changes, particularly as the music industry has shifted from CDs to digital downloads to streaming over the last two decades. Though such trends have sparked fears of a dying music industry, Lundy’s firsthand experience fuels a belief that there will always be a market for physical music, and a need for community record stores.
“It has been really interesting to see the conversation go from being, ‘Burning CDs is killing the music industry,’ to, ‘Downloading music is killing the music industry,’ to, ‘Streaming music is killing the industry,’ while all the while being a physical retailer,” she says. “But ultimately I have seen that people continue to buy physical media, even now. Grimey’s would not have grown in the way that it has in these years if that weren’t the case.”
And the proof is in the pudding, as Grimey’s’ move to a larger location proves. While Lundy admits she’s a bit nervous at the prospect of moving from such a well-known and loved location, she is primarily excited for all that the new Grimey’s has to offer staff, customers, and the city’s music community.
“I’m looking forward to being able to do what we’ve done and not be held back by too little space, the close quarters we had in the store and that we’re experiencing right now as we have shoved Grimey’s Too back into Grimey’s,” she says. “The new store is beautiful. We’re really happy with the vibe, with the neighborhood, with the other businesses that are already open or are opening on this campus. I think we’re going to be able to harness that Music City magic here like we did there.”