Waterloo Records

Kunz & Waterloo Records History & Timeline

January 1973
John T Kunz - UT student - part-time job at Disc Records / Highland Mall (now ACC)


Kunz promoted to manager at Disc Records


Kunz promoted to manager at Zebra Records / UT Campus area


Louis Karp becomes manager at Sound Warehouse (Burnet Rd)


Kunz becomes Area Manager of 3 Austin Disc Records & Zebra Records stores


Kunz promoted to Regional Manager over 13 Texas Disc & Zebra Record stores

Karp moves to Telluride, CO


Hastings buys Disc & Zebra stores - Kunz returns to be Disc/Highland Mall Mgr

April Fools Day 1982

Kunz resigns to open own store, tentatively named Eclipse Records
Karp returns and opens Waterloo Records at 221 South Lamar Blvd

April 1982

Kunz and Karp begin talks regarding cooperating as Austin's 2 new indie record stores

July 1982

Kunz shelves his own store plans, partners w/Karp to expand Waterloo Records & promote concerts
2 former chain store competitors are now indie record store partners!


Waterloo in its 1st year wins the Austin Chronicle’s “Best Record Store” award!


Waterloo expands again - adds video partners & VHS video rentals

Karp sells Kunz his 50% to start hospital video rental stores & promote concerts
He later joins Whole 
Foods Market in both TX and CO, then retires in 2022.
Kunz & Karp remain close friends to this day, even over the span from TX to CO


Kunz co-founds Watermelon Records label with Robert Earl Keen & Heinz Geissler


Kunz expands Waterloo with move to 600 North Lamar Blvd


Waterloo expands CD inventory & opens vinyl annex store (now Lululemon)


KGSR debuts broadcasts CD charity series - Waterloo sells 1615 CDs, donating $5,300+


Waterloo adds north room & a performance stage - vinyl annex becomes video annex


Waterloo partners with Austin City Limits for joint store in new Austin airport (ABIA)


Waterloo partners with ACL Festival for its festival music store


Kunz helps co-found HAAM with Robin Shivers – The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians


Kunz marries Kathy Marcus in a surprise wedding at the Broken Spoke, w/ the Joe Ely band on
the stage, celebrating the double vinyl, 33 1/3 Anniversary of  him selling LPs in Austin & their
1st date (but it was double date w/opposite partners no less) - Marcus is also the Waterloo VP


Waterloo’s 25 th Anniversary - parking lot concert with Omar & the Howlers w/ Jimmie Vaughan


Video annex closed - video inventory sales absorbed by CD store
Waterloo partners w/the nation’s best record stores (CIMS) to build out a transactional webstore

April 2008

Waterloo and its indie store partners co-found Record Store Day, going semi-global year one!

Record Store Day (RSD) goes global across 6 continents in just 2 years


After 65+ releases, Watermelon sells to Texas Music Group, & Kunz resigns from Watermelon
Spoon debuts their “Transference” release on Waterloo’s parking lot, prepping for SXSW
Waterloo Day Party concerts in our parking lot debut during SXSW


Kunz is honored w/ the music industry’s 2015 “Independent Spirit Award”, along w/ Jack White.
Waterloo partners with Honda to produce music festival tent stores in New York, Atlanta & Austin


KGSR (now ACL Radio) concludes its broadcast CD/LP series with Volume 26
Total Waterloo donations over 26 years = $1,000,000+ (w/ 250,000+ CDs/LPs sold)

March 2020

Covid shutdown begins with the cancellation of SXSW ’20 – online & curbside pickup orders only


Covid recovery year – baby steps as Waterloo attempts to safely return to normalcy


Waterloo celebrates its 40th Anniversary winning its 40th consecutive “Best Record Store” award
in the Austin Chronicle Music Poll
Waterloo resumes FREE in-store performances w/ Ray Wylie Hubbard


Waterloo celebrates RSD’23 as its most successful sales day ever over its 41 year history!

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