Canada's Sam the Record Man Passes Away
The man behind the successful Canadian chain was Sam Sniderman, who passed away on Sunday at 92 years of age. He may be gone but he has left his mark on this world.
In 1976, he became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1976, was given the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the Juno Awards in 1989 and then was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association Hall of Fame in 1997.
In an obituary written by Michael Hollett, it said: "Sniderman was a keen fan of Canadian music and made sure this country's artists were always featured prominently in his stores. Sam's even had significant space for indie Canadian acts in addition to the country's established artists."
Sniderman was born in Toronto and quickly showed his industrious spirit. He first began selling records out of his brother’s Sniderman Radio Sales and Service store in 1937, opened a second location within a furniture store in 1959 and then combined the two in 1961. By the end of the decade, he had opened over 100 locations across Canada.
Anyone who has ever heard the Barenaked Ladies song “Brian Wilson” is familiar with the line "Drove downtown in the rain, 9:30 on a Tuesday night/Just to check out the late night record shop." They were, of course, referring to Sniderman’s store on Yonge Street in Toronto.
Unfortunately, as online piracy and digital music grew, Sam the Record Man stores began to close and by 2001, it was declared bankrupt. It was the end of an era.
Sam Sniderman is gone but his contribution to Canada’s music industry will never be forgotten.
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