Focused on Mississippi: Little Big Store

Focused on Mississippi

RAYMOND, Miss. (WJTV) – People often shop for an ‘item,’ but it’s what that item represents that they are really looking for. For instance, people may buy music, but what they want is to recreate a mood or place that piece of music represents to them. Maybe it’s because they sell music at The Little Big Store in Raymond, which makes it such a big deal.

“Oh, I think the first people had music. They were beating on the side of a cave, or a rock or something. People have always wanted to make music,” said Betty Strachan, owner of the store.

Betty has plenty of music to choose from in her record store, mostly albums.

“People say, and I know, that a vinyl record is the best sound, because it’s not in a digital format. It’s analog like the way we talk and the way we hear.”

For a while, vinyl lost its favor and was overtaken by CDs. But it’s as popular now as it was when it was the only way you could buy music.

“You need to come in on a Saturday and watch people just digging through the records,” said Betty.

You can download music nowadays and never have to go anywhere to buy an album. So why do people go to the store in Raymond? It’s not just people from here, but all over the world. The reason is simple; the music isn’t all you have when they have an album. You get to own something you can touch, not just hear.

“Holding the album and the art work of the album, and the interior and who played what – you don’t get that with a download. The album is like a stamp or a coin. It’s something to collect and something to have.”

There are those albums that are valuable, not for the music but for the art mostly. But there’s the music, and the music is more than just so many words and notes.

“It is more than that. It is a mood.”

And a memory of a place, a person or a time long gone, but trapped in vinyl.

“I mean there’s times when I have to have music. Well, most every day. I have to have some music,” stated Betty.

She said the Little Big Store has faired well during the coronavirus pandemic. She stayed busy. There were few other places to go, but I think it was people reaching back to a known era; back when life was safe.

 The Little Big Store is in the Old Raymond Depot between Hinds Community College and downtown Raymond.

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