About Variety Records
Edna Lentz was a visionary in a time when vinyl was the format in which everyone listened to their favorite tunes. Edna’s husband had passed in 1965 and she wasn’t going to just sit back and watch the world spin. In the years leading up to 1965, Columbia, TN had a record shop known as Earnest Tubb II. The shop was a subsidiary of Earnest Tubb Records in Nashville, TN. Edna approached the Owners about buying the store and they agreed to sell. She simply bought the inventory and immediately opened the doors under the new name Variety Record Shop. We asked why she named it Variety and she said she never really put much thought into the name. She just knew she would be carrying a variety of music. It did not take long for Edna to build a huge customer following. She was always up to date on the latest artists and hits. In those days it took a little more effort to stay current but she was a respected source and everyone who shopped at Variety Record Shop knew that she would steer them in the right direction. She knew her stuff! She said it was simple really. Just read Billboard Magazine and stock the store accordingly. She continued to own and operate the store for 30 years. She adapted to the markets demands and ever evolving formats of music media and never skipped a beat. She competed with huge box stores and won. She sold music and concert tickets and was very successful in doing so. It wasn’t unusual to have music enthusiasts set up camp outside her Downtown Columbia location for new releases or concert tickets. She was a household name in our community and Variety Record Shop was the hub for all things music. And then, just like that, she said it was time to call it quits. So after 30 years of providing our community with the gift of music…. on August 31, 1993... Edna Lentz closed the doors at 24 Public Square for what she thought would be forever.
So what happened between Variety’s closing date of August 31, 1993 until today? Well let’s just say A LOT! In particular the evolution of various multi-media music formats including the non-social environment of internet and other digital downloads. Most importantly our community has been starving for that locally owned record shop. It’s the place where music enthusiasts can avoid the hustle and bustle of a swarming shopping mall and simply stroll into their own local record shop….that’s right…their store and actually physically carry on a conversation with other people who love music.
Flash forward to August 31, 2013. Twenty years later to the day, Variety Record Shop, the reincarnation of Edna Lentz’s Variety Record Shop, celebrated its Grand Re-Opening in the very same location in which she served our community for over 20 years. As of today 24 Public Square Columbia, TN has once again become Downtown Columbia’s heartbeat. Variety is back and with even more to offer than ever before. We now carry music memorabilia, vintage furnishings, new and vintage turntables and much more. Most importantly we are dedicated to providing the hottest new and pre-loved music. Most of all we are proud to offer a vast majority of our music exclusively on vinyl. Vinyl has and still is making an incredible comeback. For the seasoned music enthusiast maybe it’s a throwback thing. For the younger generation of eager audiophiles it’s a wholesome experience. Whatever the case It is pure, punchy and powerful. Why just hear music when you can listen to it on vinyl?!