Nits Nats Music celebrates 40th anniversary

By Bill Harris, Owner
Nits Nats Music

1969 was the year that man landed on the moon, the Beatles still ruled the music world, the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival captured the imagination of young people across America and Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5 released their first album.

1969 was also the year that saw the opening of Henderson’s Nit Nats Etc. The very first Nits Nats Etc. was actually located in downtown Oxford. Original owner Cheryl Brown Hawkins saw the business through many changes and locations. Nits Nats soon opened a location in the Henderson Mall on Dabney Drive and spent many successful years there. In the 1990’s, Nits Nats also operated Nits Nats II in Oxford. The Henderson store moved from the mall to Dabney Exchange next to Subway and then in 2004 moved to the Corbitt Shopping Center next to Bullocks Engraving.

In 2005, Cheryl and her husband Phillip concluded that 34 years was enough and decided to close when current owners Bill & Aileen Harris stepped in and took over the business. According to Mr. Harris, the first couple of years were made quite difficult by several relocations including a nine month stint in Louisburg.

The store had five locations in the first 22 months of new ownership, including two locations during the nine months in Louisburg. None of this moving about was our idea. When we got the store, the first thing that happened was that the building was sold to BB&T. That set the course for the next few months. We became quite good at packing up on Saturday and Sunday and reopening somewhere new on Monday.

Two years ago, during another search for a location, Bill stumbled upon the current location at 1646 Parham Street in a building which was then occupied by a mortgage company and a flower shop. Although the store is a tucked away off the beaten path, most people know where it is after two years in the same building.

We aren”t as big as we used to be or need to be but, the place has some character and, most importantly, it feels like a record store.

Nits Nats Music will celebrate its 40th anniversary throughout the month of August. The observance will kick off on Friday, July 31 with an in-store appearance by legendary gospel singer Gary Mason. Mason is known for his many gospel hits including “Walk Like Him” and “I’m Tired”.

We are fortunate to have someone of his stature to be in our store for the our 40th Anniversary. In addition to Mr. Mason, we will give away a $40 gift certificate every week during the month of August. Forty years is a long time for a business to be around, and it wouldn’t have happened without people ICheryt & Phillip Hawkins, who kept this place on the straight and narrow for over 30 years, all of the employees who have come and gone, and, most of all, the wonderful customers. They are the true stars of the 40 years Nits Nats has existed.