Murray Gershenz – “Music Man Murray’ – died of a heart attack at 91 years old on August 28th. He was the oldest record store owner in Los Angeles, opening up his store in 1962 on the corners of Western Avenue and Santa Monica Avenue. He had been trying to sell his store and record collection for years, and it was finally bought by a buyer from New York. It took several trucks to take away the 300,000 plus records from his enormous collection. I had the honor of photographing him and his store on Exposition Boulevard for this project. He told me many stories about his long standing relationship with Louis Armstrong who used to write him from tours overseas to ask Music Man to check to see if he has or can get a specific record for him. Music Man let me take pictures of him holding postcards written to him personally from Satchmo. They were old friends. Murray reminded me of a grandfather type, from New York, Jewish, interested in people and what they did. He was not pretentious. He was very kind and took a long time with me and with our writer Rebecca Villaneda who interviewed him. She also recorded his interviews, which we may put on the blog at some point. He will be in our book, and the section on him and his store can be viewed in the Sample Pages section. He will be missed.
LA Times Obituary and article