The Music's Over

but the songs live on

Archive for the ‘Retailer’ Category

RIP, Bobby Robinson (January 7, 2011) Prolific R&B Producer & Harlem Record Store Owner

Posted by on January 7, 2011

Bobby Robinson
April 16, 1917 – January 7, 2011

Bobby Robinson was a pioneering R&B and later, hip-hop record producer, as well as a longtime record store owner.  He opened Bobby’s Record Shop in 1946, making it the first Black-owned business on Harlem’s famous 125th Street.  The store and cultural landmark remained open until he was forced to close in 2008 due to his landlord’s desire to raze and rebuild at that spot.  As a producer, Robinson had a hand in creating a string of R&B and hip-hop hits that stretched from the early ’50s through the mid ’80s.  The list of greats that he enjoyed success with includes Gladys Knight & The Pips, Lee Dorsey, The Shirelles, Elmore James, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Kool Moe Dee, and Doug E. Fresh.  Bobby Robinson was 93 when he passed away on January 7, 2010.

Posted in Hip Hop, Producer, R&B, Rap, Retailer | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

RIP, John Olsson (October 28, 2010) Founder Of Olsson’s Books & Records

Posted by on October 28, 2010

John Olsson
DOB Unknown – October 28, 2010

Photo By James A. Parcell (The Washington Post)

John Olsson was a longtime music retailer who started his career at Washington DC’s Discount Records in 1958.  In 1972, he left to open his own store which, after he expanded into books, was called Olsson’s Books & Records.  With nine stores at its peak, the eventual chain claimed nine stores and over 200 employees.  It was easily the DC area’s most popular music and book retail destination.  In 2008, Olsson closed the chain due to economic factors beyond his control.  On October 28, 2010, John Olsson passed away.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Posted in Retailer | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (August 10, 1993) Oystein Aarseth aka Euronymous / Norwegian Black Metal Musician

Posted by on August 10, 2010

Euronymous (Born Oystein Aarseth)
March 22, 1968 – August 10, 1993

euronymous_05Oystein Aarseth, known to fans as Euronymous, was the founding guitarist of Norwegian black metal band, Mayhem.  Formed in 1983, the band went on to become one of the most influential Norwegian bands of the scene.   The band was as controversial as it was popular, due in part, to their violent stage show along with the suicide of lead singer, Dead (Per Yngve Ohlin), and murder of Aarseth.  It was rumored that Aarseth ate part of Ohlin’s brain upon discovering his lifeless body.  He publicly denied that claim.   During his career, Aarseth also opened his own record shop and mail order business as well ran his own label, Deathlike Silence Productions.  On August 10, 1993, Oystein Aarseth died as a result of numerous stab wounds sustained during a violent confrontation with fellow musician Varg Vikernes.  Although he claimed the 23 knife wounds was self-defense, Vikernes was convicted of murder and sent to prison.  He was released on parole in May of 2009.

What You Should Own

Click to find at

Posted in Metal, Musician, Record Label, Retailer, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (July 6, 2008) Ann Spencer Gates / Boston Disc Jockey; Matador Records

Posted by on July 6, 2010

Ann Spencer Gates
March 25, 1959 – July 6, 2008

spencerAnn Spencer Gates was a Boston area disc jockey and later, publicist for Matador Records.  Moving from Buffalo to Boston for college in the late  ’70s, Gates soon had a radio program on MIT’s hip WMBR radio station.  She, along with friend Lisa “Sheena” Bucholz hosted “The Mystery Girls” where they were one of the first to champion such local bands as Lemonheads and Mission Of Burma.  By the late ’80s, Gates was living in New York City where she went to work for Matador Records as a publicist, working with such acts as Liz Phair, Pavement, Cat Power and Bettie Serveert.  Ann Spencer Gates died on July 6, 2008 after a long struggle with breast cancer.

Posted in Punk, Record Label, Retailer, Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Died On This Date (May 5, 2004) Coxsone Dodd / Legendary Reggae Producer

Posted by on May 5, 2010

Clement “Coxsone” Dodd
January 26, 1932 – May 5, 2004

coxsoneCoxsone Dodd was the pioneering Jamaican DJ and producer that many credit for early development of reggae and ska.  Dodd’s career in music began at an early age when he would spin records at this parents’ store.   He grew that into a popular sound system business, employing the likes of Lee “Scratch” Perry an U-Roy to run the sound systems.  Having spent some time in the United States, Dodd featured early American R&B records, first introducing many Jamaicans to the music.   Realizing that he couldn’t keep up with the local demand for new music with imports from the States, Dodd decided to start his own record label and shortly thereafter, open his Studio One recording studio.  Over the next two decades, Dodd would produce and release some of reggae’s greatest songs and albums from such artists as Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Sugar Minott, Ras Michael and Horace Andy.  To many, he was to reggae what Berry Gordy was to R&B, and his “studio one sound” would become the blueprint for ska and rocksteady.  Dodd died of a heart attack at the age of 74.

Posted in Producer, Record Label, Reggae, Retailer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (April 30, 2010) Gil Ellman / Big Band Musician & Instrument Retailer

Posted by on April 30, 2010

Gil Ellman
August 28, 1925 – April 30, 2010

Gil Ellman was a big band musician and longtime Chicago area musical instrument  merchant.  Ellman began his life of music as a youngster when he learned to play the saxophone, clarinet and flute.  His skills developed so well, that when he hit high school, he became its concert master.  Shortly after graduating, and at just 18 years of age, Ellman opened his own shop where he repaired radios and such.  He later became an an instrument tech, working with the likes of Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey when they came through Chicago.  Ellman played in the Coast Guard Band during WWII and continued to play in local groups well beyond that.  Over the years, he shared the stage with such legends as Patti Page, Milton Berle and Ronald Reagan.  In 1958, he opened Ellman’s Music Store  which remained an area institution up until the time of his passing.  Gil Ellman was 84 when he died in his home on April 30, 2010.

On May 7, 2007, Ellman was interviewed as part of the National Association of Music Merchants’ Oral History program.  Click here to view a 2 minute segment from his interview.

Thanks to NAMM Historian, Dan Del Fiorentino for the info and clip.

Posted in Jazz, Musician, Retailer | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (April 20, 2010) Hutch Carlock / Music Retail & Wholesale Pioneer

Posted by on April 20, 2010

Elbert “Hutch” Carlock
DOB Unknown – April 20, 2010

Hutch Carlock was a longtime music wholesaler and retailer based in Nashville, Tennessee.  In 1953, Carlock invested $500 to start Music City Record Distributors which eventually became one of the largest music and video wholesalers in United States.   In those early years, he distributed such labels as Atlantic and Mercury, but when the labels evolved into their own distribution companies during the ’70s, MCRD became a wholesaler.  In 1974, Carlock opened the first Cat’s Music store which would become one of the most successful music and video chains in Tennessee with upwards of 30 stores.  Carlock was all but retired from the business by the early ’90s, with his sons taking over the company.  Most of the stores have since closed due to the downturn in music retail.  Hutch Carlock was 86 when he died of heart failure on April 20, 2010.

Posted in Retailer | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (April 14, 2009) Jim Price / Music Retail Veteran

Posted by on April 14, 2010

Jim Price
DOB Unknown – April 14, 2008

Jim Price was a much respected twenty-year veteran of the music retail industry.  He started his career as a store director for the legendary Peaches chain in Ft Lauderdale, FL.   Most recently he was the Director of Purchasing for the Alliance Entertainment Corporation, or AEC where he was considered a mentor to his co-workers.

Posted in Retailer | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (April 5, 2008) Jim Bonk / Music Retailer

Posted by on April 5, 2010

Jim Bonk
DOB Unknown – April 5, 2008

Jim Bonk was a marine who had just returned from Vietnam when he went to work for the Camelot Records chain in 1968.  Bonk rose through the ranks to President of the retailer by helping build it into a powerhouse chain of 364 stores.  To his coworkers Bonk was an inspiration, and to his colleagues throughout the industry, he epitomized integrity.  Jim Bonk passed away after a long battle with cancer on April 5, 2008.

Posted in Retailer | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (March 19, 2008) Sam Weiss / Music Industry Veteran

Posted by on March 19, 2010

Sam Weiss
September 19, 1926 – March 19, 2008

Sam Weiss was a pioneering music industry veteran.  He began his career in the jukebox industry and moved on to the label side when he co-founded Old Town Records in 1953.  It was one of the great early R&B and doo wop labels and home to the likes of the Earls and the Capris.  Later that decade, Weiss started Win One-Stop, which soon became one of the leading music wholesalers in America.  During the ’80s, the Win became the first one-stop to break into the home video market and was the first to sell music and video into drugstores and other non-traditional music retailers.  Weiss also founded the Sam and Nervous record labels.  Sam Weiss was 81 when he died of natural causes on March 19, 2008.

Posted in Record Label, Retailer | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »