The story behind Vertical House Records—5 things to know

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The faces behind the records are the faces behind Vertical House. (Vertical House Records)

Vertical House Records is a big name in the Huntsville community—and for good reason.

It’s a music lover’s paradise run by two awesome people. We talked with Andy to find out more about the story behind the record store, and it made us love Vertical House even more than before (if that’s possible).

1. Andy and Ashley are the husband and wife team behind it

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That’s how we feel about Vertical House. (Vertical House Records)

Andy and Ashley’s story starts before they ever said “I do” and started a record store. Andy was born in Huntsville, and Ashley’s father’s military career brought her to Huntsville in her early years. When they were teenagers, they broke into the local music scene.

“We have both always been huge supporters of local music in this town and started booking shows in our teenage years.”

Andy Vaughn, owner

The two met in 2005, but they realized they had, “been in the same room multiple times over the years.”

2. This is a “dream job”

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A groovy atmosphere. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

After they “officially” met, Ashley asked Andy was his dream job would be. His answer? Owning a record store. Apparently dreams do come true.

But let’s back up. Andy graduated with a degree in graphic and web design, and was following a career path in that field. Ashley was with Crash Boom Bang Theater at Flying Monkey Arts Center. After participating in Saturday Art Markets at Flying Monkey and hanging out at Lowe Mill, the two thought that the location would be perfect for their dream record store.

So, when a space opened up at Flying Monkey, they went for it.

“Ashley encouraged me that we should just go for it and open up a spot! It worked!”

Andy Vaughn, owner

3. The name comes from the idea for the original location

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Rows and rows of records. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

So, why the name “Vertical House”? Originally, Andy and Ashley planned to open their record shop in their house—and on the second floor. Hence, the name Vertical House.

That exact plan didn’t quite come to fruition, though. In 2007, they opened their record store into Lowe Mill. It was only 200 square feet—but it was on the second floor.

“Since then, we’ve moved several times around Lowe Mill but finally have our dream spot here in Railroad Room 9!”

Andy Vaughn, owner

And now, Vertical House is an iconic name in the Huntsville community.

4. The two big things that Andy loves about the business

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It doesn’t stop at records. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Since they opened over 15 years ago, Andy has loved having his dream job for two big reasons.

“Meeting other music nerds and listening to records all day long!”

Andy Vaughn, owner

He enjoys helping those “music nerds” find some of the coolest records.

“There are so many albums out there and I still come across stuff I’ve never seen before. It’s also super cool when someone finds their ‘white whale’ record in our shop – I know that feeling all too well, so it’s rad to be able to facilitate that for others!”

Andy Vaughn, owner

Speaking of cool albums, let’s look at some of the ones that they’ve come across over the years.

5. They’ve found some incredible records

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At the edge of Lowe Mill. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

In over 15 years of running a record shop, chances are, you’re going to come across some greats. Here are a few of the ones that stick out to Andy.

  • Autographed Townes Van Zandt “For The Sake of the Song” on Poppy Records (it even had a flier inside from when he played at the Kaffeeklatsch in Huntsville!)
  • Original pressing of The Zombies “Odyssey and Oracle” on Date
  • Original pressing of The Psychedelic Sounds on the 13th Floor Elevators on International Artist
  • Original pressing of The Kinks “Village Green Preservation Society” on PYE
  • Original pressing and a promo copy of Rodriquez “Cold Fact” on Sussex Record

Ready to find some cool records of your own? Here’s where you can find Vertical House.

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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