Tower Records founder Russ Solomon dies at 92
Russ Solomon, founder of the one-time music superstore Tower Records, has died.
Solomon died at his home in Sacramento, Calif., on March 4 at the age of 92. He had a heart attack while watching the Academy Awards on television, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Tower Records revolutionized music retailing until digital music took over the business, according to Billboard, which described Solomon as “a larger than life character, with a personality as charismatic as many of the rock stars whose records he sold.”
Solomon grew up in California during the Great Depression and dropped out of school by the age of 16, when he began to sell used jukebox records from his father’s drugstore.
He opened his first Tower Records store in Sacramento in 1960, which grew to 200 stores in 15 countries. The stores stocked as many as 125,000 titles, virtually all of the popular and classical recordings on the market, according to The New York Times.
Tower went out of business in 2006 after going into bankruptcy for a second time and being forced to liquidate. Solomon had never taken the company public. Not selling stock “was the dumbest thing I ever did,” he told The Times.
A year after he closed Tower, Solomon opened a store called R5 Records in Sacramento in the same location as his first store, and even used the Tower color scheme of red and yellow for his new logo. Solomon sold it after three years to a local music chain, which sent him into retirement.
—JTA News and Features
Frieda Horowitz, of Virginia and Pompano Beach Fla., died March 3. She was 98.
Horowitz was born in 1920 to Isadore and Dena Scharf. In 1941, she married Eugene Horowitz, and they were together until his death in 1978. She is survived by her three daughters, Donna (Donald), Barbara and Linda; grandchildren Roz, Andy, David and Robert; great-grandchildren Thomas, Emily, Ada, William and Richard; sister Dorothy.
Horowitz is predeceased by her husband, Eugene; siblings Jack, Bertha, Lou, Sunky and Esther; and grandson Gary.
Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care
Herbert A. Shapiro
Herbert A. Shapiro, of Grasonville, Md., died March 5. He was the beloved husband of Louise Shapiro; devoted father of Mark Shapiro, Marcia Shapiro, Lawrence Norman and Rona Shapiro; loving grandfather of nine and great-grandfather of two.
Contributions can be made to Temple B’nai Israel in Easton or to Dr. Evan Lipson Melanoma and Immunology Research at Johns Hopkins University’s Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, P.O. Box 17029, Baltimore, MD 21297.
Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
Bruce Alan Smith
Bruce Alan Smith, of Rockville, died March 2. He was the beloved son of Eileen and the late Edward Smith; loving brother of Michael (Valerie) Smith and Larry (Alexa) Smith; cherished uncle of Olivia, Jackie, Carrie, Maddie, Katie, Brett and Lyndsey. Contributions can be made to the American Heart Association. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
Kenneth Earl Stroud
Kenneth Earl Stroud, of Springfield, died Feb. 21 of diseases related to the chemical Agent Orange. He was 74.
Stroud was born to Burrell and Claudia Stroud in Deep Run, N.C. in 1943. He attended North Carolina State University, where he was chapter president of the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha. He then enlisted in the Army, where he was commissioned a warrant officer. He served in the Vietnam War, earning three Bronze Star Medals for valor and the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service.
Stroud then returned to the United States and married Sheri Ratick. The couple moved to Omaha, Neb., and later Washington, where Stroud served as a special agent with the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command. He left active duty in 1974 to pursue a career with the federal government by becoming a special agent with the Defense Logistics Agency. He later worked as regional inspector general for investigations at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the regional inspector general for investigations and headquarters operations at the Department of Commerce. He retired in 1988, but worked as a white collar crime lecturer, expert and consultant for another 22 years. The Strouds were members of Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria.
Stroud is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sheri Ratick Stroud; daughter Dori Kukawa (Karl); granddaughters Dru and Georgia; sister Clara Muriel Barwick; niece Alexis Welch and many cousins, great-nieces and nephews.