Wuxtry Records (copy)

Wuxtry Records will celebrate the first-ever reissue of R.E.M.’s debut 1981 single tonight by playing a recorded performance, holding a raffle and serving food and beverages. (Photo/Reynolds Rogers)

Wuxtry Records will celebrate the first-ever reissue of R.E.M.’s debut 1981 single “Radio Free Europe (Original Hib-Tone Single)” tonight at the record store, according to a press release.

Those who visit Wuxtry today and pre-order a copy of the reissued 7-inch single will receive admission to the festivities, which start tonight at 11 p.m.

Complimentary pizza and beverages will accompany Wuxtry owner Dan Wall’s original recording of R.E.M.’s debut performance at the 688 Club in Atlanta in 1981.

Between 11 p.m and midnight, Wuxtry will host raffle prize giveaways. Prizes include limited-edition R.E.M. posters, T-shirts, a special R.E.M. cassette player and a reproduction of R.E.M.’s 1981 demo tape.

At midnight, everyone present will receive their copy of the single.

An Athens band to the core, R.E.M. and Wuxtry Records share a dovetailed history. Wuxtry hired Peter Buck, co-founder and lead guitarist of R.E.M., in 1978. During his time working at the store, Buck met and built a friendship with Michael Stipe who became the lead vocalist of R.E.M.

After recently celebrating 45 years of “buying, selling and trading” records in Athens, Wuxtry celebrates a new 40-year milestone, welcoming R.E.M. back to its shelves with this special reissue of the band’s debut single.