The Tower Records chain went out of business in 2006 but Solomon continued, opening R5 Records in L.A. even though the digital download revolution was killing the physical music business.Three years later, he ended up selling the store off.
The Tower Records founder died at his Sacramento home on Sunday (March 4th 2018), with his cause of death thought to be a heart attack.
Under the direction of Mr Solomon, known to some music industry observers as "King Solomon", its stores modelled themselves after supermarkets, piling items on the floor and keeping their doors open until midnight in the era before the Internet made any song available at any time. While Tower Records sadly folded in 2006, its influence can not and should not be lost on the history books as evident in the 2015 documentary All Things Must Pass. The sole brick and mortar Tower Records thrives to this day in Tokyo, Japan.
In fact, after you're done watching the doc, take a trip to your local record store and talk up the clerk about their latest recommendations.
"RIP Russ Solomon founder of Tower Records and reason that most people in my age range own a lot of the music we dig", tweeted Marc Masters?, music journalist and author of "No Wave". Tower gradually established itself as a nationwide chain and became the dominant music retailer in the USA from the '70s to the '90s.
The obvious choice was, of course, San Francisco. The company assets and website were sold in 2006 and the Tower name lives on as an worldwide franchise and separate online store.
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In 2015, actor Colin Hanks directed a documentary on Solomon's life, All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records. "I miss record stores".
Russ Solomon is survived by his wife of eight years Patti Drosinsm and his two sons Michael and David from his first marriage to Doris Solomon.
"I'm sure he'll go down in history as having the greatest record store chain in the world", Michael Solomon said.
Donio said: "I am so lucky to have known and worked with Russ during my almost 30 years here at the Association".
Solomon largely devoted himself to photography after Tower's demise, exhibiting portraits of Sacramento artists whose work he had collected over the decades.
He said: "His own contemporaries would think The Beatles were madness, but he loved it".