Local stores see rise in demand for music

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Thursday's sudden death of pop legend Michael Jackson created a run on his music, causing many local stores to sell out and driving a spike in Internet sales.

"With the tragic death of Michael, we are sold out currently," Augusta Best Buy Manager Steve Maxcy said Friday morning.

Mr. Maxcy said the store sold out within an hour after the singer's death was announced, which is typical after an artist's death. He expects a new shipment of Mr. Jackson's music to arrive today.

Both Target locations in Augusta, on Robert C. Daniel Parkway and Washington Road, also sold out. The King of Pop's music was also gone at Wal-Mart locations on Bobby Jones Expressway and Washington Road by Friday morning.

Jessica Crout, a worker at the music store FYE at the Aiken Mall, said a lot of people came in Thursday night to purchase Michael Jackson CDs in addition to DVDs of his concerts and music videos. She said she expected similar demand Friday.

"A lot of it is he passed away and it kind of takes them back," Ms. Crout said of why people are snatching up such items.

Ed Girardeau, the owner of Vintage Music in Aiken, said on Friday morning that he hadn't seen the same demand, but he expects that will change.

"I would think that that would pick up (in the next few days)," he said, adding that he has some Michael Jackson records, including Thriller . "I wouldn't be surprised at all if somebody came in looking for the record (Thriller ) just for the sake of having it."

Mr. Girardeau said he found out about Michael Jackson's death after closing his store Thursday.

"I will always remember what I was doing and the fact that my wife called to tell me this," he said. "I think that that will rank right up there" along with the deaths of other music legends such as Elvis and John Lennon, he said.

Within hours of his death Mr. Jackson's music was not only the best seller on Amazon, but the pop singer held the top 15 spots in the music category. He also held the top five positions in the television and movie category.

Mr. Jackson also shot to the top on iTunes, where his records claimed the top five spots.

Reach Greg Gelpi and Preston Sparks at (706) 724-0851.

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