Canadian record store mogul Sam Sniderman passed away yesterday at the age of 92.
Sniderman was better known as Sam The Record Man. He began by selling records out of his brother’s radio shop and eventually owned record stores across Canada including one in Thunder Bay. If you visited Toronto anytime between 1961 and 2007 and walked down Yonge Street you could not have avoided the large neon sign on top of his flagship store.
Unfortunately, Sam’s could not adapt to the digital age and he had to declare bankruptcy in the early 2000s. The Yonge Street store would reopen but closed for good in 2007. The building was sold to Ryerson University. It has since been torn down and a student center will eventually open in its place. There are plans to include the large Sam’s neon sign in the new building.
I frequented Sam’s on my many visits to Toronto over the years. My greatest memory of Sam The Record Man came in 2004 when I went in to buy a CD called Everything in 3 Parts by The Golden Dogs. The reason I remember this purchase so well is because my younger brother Micah played bass on this album. There’s nothing like buying a CD which contains the work of your immediate family.
I leave you with Sam The Record man commercial from the late 1980s featuring Sniderman and his signature phrase, “I said it. I did it.”
He most certainly did.