"Music Man" Murray Gershenz Dead at 91
Veteran L.A. used record store owner and more recent character actor "Music Man" Murray Gershenz passed away from a heart attack on August 28th. For 50 years Gershenz ran a used record store in Los Angeles. More recently he found late-in-life fame as a comedic actor in films like "The Hangover" and "I Love You, Man" as well as in many commercials and on TV shows like "Parks and Recreation", among many others.
However, his first love was records, of which he owned some 300,000 including Edison cylinders, 78s, 45s, reel-to-reel tapes and of course vinyl LPs.
In recent years Gershenz tried to sell the collection, which he valued at $3 million dollars but he could find no takers even as he lowered the price to $500,000 and then to $250,000. There were two big problems: one was finding someone with the room (plenty of collectors have the money) and the other was that much of the collection was never catalogued and Gershenz didn't have the money himself to pay for it to be catalogued.
Last June he finally found a buyer from New York who sent four tractor trailers to haul away the collection. Gershenz would not identify the final price or the buyer but he said he expected the collection to remain intact.
I was surprised the records didn't end up on Salina, KS. I know two New York record collectors with the resources and desire to buy such a massive record haul. I recently emailed one to ask if he was the buyer but have yet to receive a reply.
Meanwhile if you do a web search you can watch online the documentary "Music Man Murray" produced by Richard Parks, whose father Van Dyke, I'm sure you know.
RIP "Music Man" Murray Gershenz we all appreciate and admire your obsession/affliction and we have no doubt the vinyl was a contributor to your long and happy life!
Alev ha-Sholem Murray Gershenz!