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Music Store Sets Beat for Austin Music Scene

Music thrives in Austin, Texas, where the industry brings in around $1 billion to the city every year. Musicians flood the city in droves and nearly every night there are live performances. Over the past three decades, one music store, Waterloo Records, has presided over the growing music scene.

"I'm not a music maker myself, but I love sharing music that I love with other people and so working in a record store just fulfilled that desirable thing to be able to share music," said John Kunz, the owner of Waterloo Records.

Everything musical can be found at Waterloo, including CDs, books and tickets to area concerts.

"Since moving to Austin and working at Waterloo, I've met customers who are musicians, workmates who are musicians. And then going to those shows I've met other musicians that know about Waterloo and are excited that I work here," Chaquita Smith, one of several musicians who work at Waterloo.

Austin's music scene has grown since Waterloo opened in 1982.

The annual South by Southwest festival in March is now one of the biggest music events in the U.S., with about 2,000 performers.

And a national TV program points a weekly spotlight on Austin.

"In 1982 there was no South by Southwest yet. Rhe TV show Austin City Limits was pretty much still just an infant; there was no Austin City Limits Festival. And those are all things that really catapulted the global awareness as the music Mecca that I think it is," Kunz said.

Kunz says that’s good for music lovers.

And good business, too.

"I love it. I've been coming here for 30 years almost I guess. Having lived in San Francisco for quite a while and then coming back to Austin, this is one of the biggest things I missed most about Austin," said a female customer.

And Kunz hopes the music will keep bringing his customers back for more.