Oh kids, gather 'round your radio for a tale of the good ol' days.

There was a time when your "record store guy" was one of the most important people in your life. They were the bridge between what was hot in the underground and what was rockin' the radio. They knew what people were buying when the release dates were and in many cases knew the tour dates and sometimes even promoted the shows.

From 1988 to about 1998, University Records was directly across from Texas Tech University. Down the street was the original Ralph's Records, but they specialized in used stuff. University Records was where you went to find out what the hottest new stuff was.

Let me put this another way. You may remember how Hastings' music department was 10 times cooler than Walmart's. Well, your local new music dealer, in this case University Records, was 10 times cooler than that.

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You could walk into University Records and find punk, metal, and other genres that the chain stores, including Hastings, did not stock. You could talk to someone who could tell you about some new music instead of just pointing to where it was.

University Records was where 94.5 FMX got the bulk of its CD collection, too. When the CD revolution first hit, the record companies were a little stingy about sending stuff out (at least until the pressing plants got caught up), so University helped us to get digital more quickly than other radio stations.

One other small item. University Records was also one of the leading stores that backed a new band called Nirvana. University sold gobs of Bleach and the single "Sliver." When it came time for Nevermind to drop, University was one of the few places that actually had it in stock because they had ordered tons of copies while the chain stores were playing wait and see with the release.

These are just a few of the reasons why University Records was one of Lubbock's Best Things Ever.

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