When Bill Wisener died in January, many mourned both the loss of a local music scene icon and an institution, his shop Bill’s Records.
Now, the owners of Josey Records, Waric Cameron and Luke Sardello, are buying what remains of the business, Cameron tells the Observer.
Josey is a favorite spot for vinyl collectors. Through the years, the store has expanded to become the largest record shop in North Texas, after acquiring the space next door to their original Farmers Branch location, bringing the total size to 25,000 square feet.
Josey also has opened satellite stores in Tulsa, Lubbock, Kansas City and Sedalia, Missouri. Early this year, they debuted their first vinyl release as a label, a single by the Bastards of Soul.
In 1981, Wisener opened the original Bill’s Records at the corner of Spring Valley and Coit roads in Richardson. He later expanded the businesses by opening his shop in the former Northwood Hills 4 movie theater.
In the ‘80s and ‘90s in particular, Bill’s became a popular spot for vinyl collectors, aspiring musicians and teens.
In 2007, Bill's moved to the Cedars, next to Poor David’s Pub. His store remained a spot for pop-up performances by international artists.
Cameron says that he worked for Wisener during the store's "heyday."
"When we decided to open Josey, we reached out to Bill to let him know that we were opening in honor of him," he says. "That if we could capture just a short moment of what we experienced throughout those years working for Bill we would consider it a success. Because every day at Bill’s was Record Store Day."
Now, Cameron says, he and Sardello have acquired Wisener's online store and the contents of his Lamar Street store, which will be on sale at Josey.
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"We reached out to Bill’s family about their plans for the store and inventory. After meeting and a discussion on our history with Bill, they saw us as the best fit to carry on Bill’s legacy through Josey, in which we couldn’t be more humbled and grateful."
The Farmer's Branch location of Josey will pay homage to Bill's by displaying the store's sign on one of the walls.
"Bill understood how powerful music was and how it brought people together," Cameron says. "He passed that along to us as he was a mentor and father figure to us and many others around us."