Skip to comments.Collector doesn't want these tracks in the trash
Posted on 08/16/2010 10:16:25 PM PDT by thecodont
For the record, "Music Man Murray" has tried his best to keep his rare 400,000-album collection intact.
Murray Gershenz has spent 72 years amassing his music trove, after all. He has century-old operatic performances captured on Edison cylinder tubes, 1930s-era Big Band crooners on fragile 78-rpm discs, early rockers on 45s, show tunes on LPs and pop artists on cassette tapes and CDs.
The collection is crammed into homemade shelves in a two-story cinderblock building on Exposition Boulevard, as well as two nearby warehouses.
Last summer Gershenz, 88, announced his intention to close his walk-in and mail-order record business so he could focus on a budding career as a character actor. He said he hoped to find a museum or college willing to acquire his $3-million trove.
That hasn't worked out, he said. So his next stop could be the dumpster.
"Selling individual records isn't paying the rent," Gershenz said. "I've found about five people with an interest in the collection. But they want me to give it to them. I really can't afford to do that. This is my life's work."
Gershenz is a onetime St. Louis Opera singer and synagogue cantor who opened a used-record shop in Hollywood in 1962. As his collection grew, he moved it to the West Adams area in 1986.
A music collector since age 16, Gershenz had hoped that his son Irv Gershenz, 53, would eventually take over the shop. The younger Gershenz, a musician and artist, continues to handle online record and album sales. But he does not have the time to run the business full time, he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Murray Gershenz, 88, known as "Music Man Murray," has decided to sell his Los Angeles record store to pursue his new career in acting. He's also trying to find a buyer for his rare 400,000-album collection. He has spent 72 years amassing his music trove, which includes 1930s-era Big Band crooners on fragile 78-rpm discs, early rockers on 45s, show tunes on LPs and pop artists on cassette tapes and CDs. (Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles Times / June 20, 2009)
I don’t understand what she sees in the cantor.
Well, he is a great singer.
Big deal, if I had a voice like that I could sing too...
I’m sure there is someone in this world who would buy that collection. Ebay would be worth a try... He would just have to stipulate that the items won’t be shipped. LOL
His collection is just a bit bigger than mine. Actually, If I had won the mega gabillion lottery,I would probably give him a jingle. What a collection of long ago, lost recordings.
He’s probably got Apollonia and Prince, too!;) (if you don’t remember the 80’s, you won’t get it;)
A budding career as a character actor at age 88? Starting kind of late, isn’t he?
Maybe he should check with the Smithsonian.
Bad marketing strategy. Does he think non-profit museums and colleges are made of money? Of course they want it donated.
He could sell them. But he would have to give up a big commission.
What a great post. Thanks for sharing. I have just shy of 20k, and that takes upa lot of room. Put that collection on the ‘bay and sit back......
I thought my mother’s 3,500 old LP records collections (1930’s thru 90’s) was big (fortunately she indexed it), plus my 1,000 45’s and 300 LPs, plus my sisters hundreds or thousands of 45s/LPs including the early British 60’s stuff, but this man has us all beat by light-years.
God bless him for his love of music and a desire to preserve it for future generations.
It should go to the Smithsonian for reproduction or a conservatory or university that could properly preserve it yet make it available to the public.
Most records do not sell that well on ebay anymore. There are not a lot of new record collectors showing up these days, and the ones that do collect them, usually start to realize how much space they take up when their collection gets into the mid thousands. They usually slow down their collecting at that time. If you have to move, you find out how heavy a few thousand records are. LPs are kind of a pain to ship, and you REALLY have to be extra careful wrapping and packing 78s if you want them to arrive intact. This guy will be lucky if he finds someone to pay him a decent price for his records.
I looked for a vcr not long ago and found none ... record player? needle?
There are over 100 current manufacturers of turntables, who are currently in business, and most offer several models. There are also over 100 manufacturers of phono cartridges, and a similar number of companies making phono preamps.
Check it out:
This collection is quite salable. Many dealers would buy it at wholesale.
His problem is, that he does not want to take the wholesale price, which is about 10-12% of retail, but expects dealers to pay full retail. Obviously, they’re not going to do this, because they can’t make any money that way.