Music Man Murray is the name of a record store in Los Angeles, though the moniker also belongs to the store’s owner and operator, a lovable and inspiring man named Murray Gershenz. He’s a record collector of the highest order, whose personal stash swelled to the point that becoming a vinyl vendor was the only possible (or practical) outcome. That was over 50 years ago. In the time since, Murray and his store of half-million LPs — valued at close to $3MM — have lived out the line graphs we’ve all seen with respect to record sales. Record Store Day is everyday for Murray, but since we’re sitting here in the wake of vinyl’s version of a Hallmark holiday, it’s a proper time to look at the various facets of its attendant culture, and in the case of Murray, of a way of life being outmoded. You may recognize Murray from his recent successes as a character actor in films like The Hangover or shows like The Sarah Silverman Program, jobs he takes to pay the bills because his store barely breaks even. After watching director Richard Parks’s touching short film, which has just been made available to the internet after a successful film festival tour, you’ll know Murray even better for the content of his character (and his LP bins). In documenting Murray’s story, Parks frames issues related to physical media in a digital age, but also those of fathers and sons and the power of art to shape a life. Music Man Murray traces these lines of thought with a deft, buoyant, often humorous touch, capturing Murray’s magnetic warmth and obsessive intellect, honoring a man whose charismatic manner is the only thing larger than his vinyl trove.
All of which is to say: This is recommended watching, and it’s here, below.