Russ Solomon, founder of Tower Records passed away Sunday at the age of 92. According to the Sacramento Bee, Solomon died while watching the Academy Awards ceremony at his Sacramento home when he apparently suffered from a heart attack.
"Ironically, he was giving his opinion of what someone was wearing that he thought was ugly, then asked (his wife) Patti to refill his whisky," Solomon's son, Michael Solomon, said. When his wife returned, the music retail legend had died.
He first began selling records as a 16-year-old in Sacramento at his father's drug store. He opened his first stand alone store in 1960 and then eventually moved that original shop into its own building in 1965. In the decades that followed, he built a chain that expanded throughout the United States with locations across the globe.
Tower Records revolutionized music retailing until digital music took over the business. The company went out of business in late 2006, following two bankruptcy filings -- the first a prepackaged Chapter 11 in February 2014 and then a Chapter 11 filing on Aug. 20, 2006, that quickly turned into a Chapter 7 liquidation.
"Russ was a true renaissance man; he will always live in me heart," former Universal Music Group Distribution CEO Jim Urie said of Solomon in an email to Billboard.
R.I.P Russ Solomon.