What the troubled world needs right about now, says Orlanda Hedgepeth, is a little bit of compassion and a whole lot more music.
"If more people listened to more music, the world might be a better place," said Hedgepeth, 52, a District resident and librarian who turned a passion for music into a record collection with thousands of titles.
Hedgepeth was among hundreds of Deadheads, Bach buffs and jazz hounds who gathered for yesterday's Vinyl Event Record Convention in Silver Spring's Armory Place on Wayne Avenue.
The eight-hour show brought 53 dealers and collectors together with music lovers looking for long-lost classics of every musical stripe.
George Gelestino, one of the promoters, said he has produced shows for a decade, attracting as many as 1,700 people who refuse to cave in to the craze for compact discs.
"Compact discs have pretty much taken over" from records, Gelestino said. " . . . And you'll never be able to get a lot of the older music because they're not going to produce CDs for anything that doesn't sell 100,000 copies."
The show primarily offered used records, with prices ranging from two-for-$5 for well-worn musical dogs to $350 for a clean copy of the John Lennon and Yoko Ono collaboration adorned with the couple's nude portraits.
Also on sale were CDs, cassette tapes, posters and even "men's magazines" featuring photos of female singers.
Gelestino and several other dealers said they see all kinds of people at the shows, and what they're looking for is not always predictable: "housewives looking for David Bowie records, people with spiked hair looking for Perry Como records," Gelestino said.
Anne Cole, 31, a librarian from Beltsville, proudly sported a black leather jacket emblazoned with "Godfathers" in honor of a British rock-and-roll band.
"I've been going to hear bands for a long time, and when I first saw them at the 9:30 Club two years ago, I knew that was it," Cole said.
Cole said she has several T-shirts and posters promoting the band, as well as all the group's albums, including "Birth, Schoolwork & Death."
Pat Moffitt, 47, a Californian in Washington on business, said he has searched far and wide for a recording of Beethoven symphonies "that just isn't going to show up on CDs" because it used instruments copied from the 200-year-old originals. He's still looking.
Although Moffitt said he is encouraged at the "fairly oddball stuff" coming out in CD, he still has a soft spot for old-fashioned vinyl.
"That's what I grew up with. I've been collecting since I was 6, 7 years old," Moffitt said.
The Count, a dealer from Philadelphia, said he too began a collection at an early age, eventually carving out a living buying and selling LPs at 60 shows a year.
The Count's 7- and 10-year-old children have developed a taste for something more contemporary than his 7,000-title collection of R&B releases.
"They prefer Michael Jackson and some of the rap music that's out," he said.
Rich Ranno, a musician from New Jersey, was selling tour passes gathered by musician friends when they go on the road.
"After you've bought every record, every magazine, every poster, that's when you buy the passes," Ranno said. They go for $10 and up.
Keith Muffitt, 52, of Rockville, is a collector at the moment but figures he may eventually become a dealer.
Sifting through a case of movie soundtracks, Muffitt said he has a collection of a "couple thousand" records.
"When I retire, I might get interested in doing something like this," Muffitt said. "Mainly what I'm trying to see is if what I've got is worth anything."