"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!

oregonpapa's picture

I would stop into his store from time to time. You could usually find that rare record that you could find nowhere else. The prices were WAY too high though. It was fun looking at all of the cool vintage audio pieces he kept at the store ... all gathering dust. Marantz, MacIntosh, Patrician speakers ... filthy, dusty ... and just waiting for the right person to pay the exorbant cost of restortion.

elliotdrum's picture

 In the early 60's I started going into Music Man Murray's store when it was on Santa Monica Blvd. near Western Ave in east Hollywood. I went there after my drum lessons at Drum City also on Santa Monica Blvd. It was a large store with an amazing amount of product. The hard part was finding a record in good condition. I was a teenager and I didn't feel that Murray liked kids very much. I'm sure he was a nice guy but I don't remember that we ever hit it off.I actually did not see very many people in his store ever because of his attitude I suppose. Anyway I thought it was a front for a illegal business. I guess I was wrong about that.                

                                No More Moving Stock.............RIP Murray!

oregonpapa's picture

Besides tons of records, there were vintage audio gear sitting around the place as well. The record prices were WAY too high and the place was a real mess. Kinda like dumpster diving ... but that's part of the fun, no?