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Sam the Record man dies at age 92; ran iconic chain of music stores

TORONTO – “Sam The Record Man” Sniderman, who founded the iconic store that became a hub for Toronto music lovers, has died at age 92.

A statement says Sniderman passed away Sunday, surrounded by loved ones.

Sniderman opened his flagship store on Toronto’s Yonge Street in 1959.

The famed shop — with its huge flashing red neon record signs — closed in 2007, seven years after he retired.

A major promoter of Canadian music, Sniderman was a Member of the Order of Canada, an inductee of the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. He also received a Governor General’s Award and Honorary doctorates from Ryerson University and the University of Prince Edward Island.

Known widely as Sam the Record Man, Sniderman and his brother, Sid opened a small store on College Street in Toronto in 1937 and together they built a chain of Sam the Record Man stores that spanned the country.

“Sam was the last of the great Canadian showmen that were able to establish themselves as household names purely through the force of their personality”, said Brian Robertson, a close family friend and Chairman Emeritus of the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

“He was a mentor to literally hundreds of Canadian artists and musicians and the Yonge Street record store and Sam’s presence there was the centre of the Canadian music industry’s universe for over three decades.”

The family says a service will be held Tuesday, and that a memorial service will be announced for October.