In rotation: 3/6/18

Founder of Tower Records dies at 92 while drinking whiskey and watching the Oscars: Russ Solomon, the music-loving visionary who built a global retailing empire and the most famous company in Sacramento history, died Sunday night. He was 92. Solomon was watching the Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night when he apparently had a heart attack, said his son, Michael Solomon. “Ironically, he was giving his opinion of what someone was wearing that he thought was ugly, then asked (his wife) Patti to to refill his whisky,” Solomon said. When she returned, he had died. Russ Solomon was the founder and guiding force behind Tower Records, the chain that revolutionized music retailing until it was swamped by iPods, big-box stores and other dramatic changes in the industry. Tower went out of business in December 2006 after a second stint in bankruptcy.

Fans light up social media with farewells to Sacramento legend Russ Solomon: Sacramento lost a legend Sunday. Tower Records founder Russ Solomon died in Sacramento while watching the Oscars and drinking whiskey, according to his son, Michael Solomon. After news of his death spread online, friends, fans and others took to social media to bid farewell to the visionary.

Southwark’s vinyl shops on record, New book traces history of UK’s, and borough’s, record shops: Journalist and self-proclaimed ‘music obsessive’ Garth Cartwright started researching his book, Going for a Song: a Chronicle of the UK Record Shop, in 2009. He said: “When the financial crash saw big high street music retailers go bust, it seemed like the end of the record shop era. The book is a story of how music got sold and how certain key shops came to define music throughout the 20th Century. “And now, with the vinyl revival, new record shops are opening in places like Peckham, which has long been a centre for reggae records from the Caribbean that you can’t get anywhere else.” The UK’s oldest known record shop still trading is Spillers in Cardiff, founded in 1894.

Blacker Dread: the record store owner who became Brixton’s hero, Blacker Dread is credited with keeping youngsters out of jail: He has recorded with the biggest reggae artists of the past 50 years, performed for Nelson Mandela on his state visit to Britain, and for more than two decades ran a record store in Brixton that became a social hub and safe house for London’s Afro-Caribbean community. Yet the judge who sent him to prison in 2014 dismissed his life as a “failure”. Blacker Dread, real name Steve Burnett-Martin, is now out and so, too, this week is a feature-length documentary about his life by Molly Dineen, a Bafta-award winning film-maker. Being Blacker, which Dineen filmed over a three-year period, is a close-up on Brixton’s Jamaican community and the man who unintentionally became its kingpin. “There was never a point when I said, OK, I’m going to be that person, that voice. It’s just something that happened,” says Blacker.

Preserving Music History, Museum plans display of legendary record company artifacts: SAN BENITO — For nearly 30 years, the big steel record presses captured the music that has helped the city earn its mark as “the home of conjunto music.” At the legendary Ideal Recording Co., the two Finebilt presses produced the music of some of the legends who pioneered the genre born on the Texas-Mexico border and honed in the city’s cantinas. Since Ideal closed 30 years ago, the presses have languished in storage, draped in plastic wrap. For 17 years, Rey Avila has dreamed of showcasing the antique record presses in the Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame and Museum. But cramped quarters forced him to keep them in storage.

This guy uses old vinyl records to make gorgeous Bluetooth speakers, and you can buy one: Bluetooth speakers and all that other fancy new tech are sweet and all, but don’t you kind of long for the days of vinyl records? Things seemed so much simpler. If only there was a way to combine vintage vibes with modern functionality. Well. The founder of Vinylux, a vintage vinyl design company, has paired with Uncommongoods to put a new spin on those beloved records of yesterday and put them to use in our Spotify world. Behold: Bluetooth speakers made from actual vinyl records. Previously a successfully funded Kickstarter project, these gramophone-inspired creations take real vinyl records (that may have been collecting dust otherwise) and transform them into the speaker itself.

Tennessee Museum Donates Record Collection to University: A Tennessee museum has donated more than 3,500 vinyl LPs and 1,200 78 rpm records to East Tennessee State University. A Tennessee museum has donated more than 3,500 vinyl LPs and 1,200 78 rpm records to East Tennessee State University. The donation was given to the Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies program in the university’s Department of Appalachian Studies for preservation and study. The rare, vintage records were donated from the Appalachian Cultural Music Association and its Mountain Music Museum in Kingsport. Museum Executive Director Rick Dollar says the collection was given to the museum several years ago, but it doesn’t have space for them all. Dollar says the museum wants to see the records used for educational purposes.

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