Once upon a time, Sam the Record Man stores dotted the Canadian landscape. Growing up in Winnipeg, there were no fewer than four stores, one at each point on the compass. I spent untold hours browsing the location in the Garden City Shopping Centre, a place to park me when my mom took my sister for lessons on the Yamaha Electone.
Later, when I moved to Toronto, one of the first places I headed was the Yonge Street store. Not to buy anything, mind you. I just wanted to see those famous spinning neon records.
But then the chain fell on hard times around the end of the 20th century and within a few years, it was gone, a victim of the digital age. No more Sam the Record Man.
Well, not exactly, There’s one store left, still open, still selling music. The Globe and Mail pays a visit.