Record Store Day Reading: The Last Sam the Record Man Standing

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.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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