At age 88 Music Man Murray is selling his collection of 300,000 records, tapes, and CDs, and closing his shop in order to pursue a career in acting.
Inside an unassuming building in West Adams lies a treasure, okay, make that two treasures. Music Man Murray, and all of Music Man Murray's music.
Murray Gershenz fell in love with music innocently enough.
"I bought an old 78 and played it until it fell apart, and then I was addicted," according to Music Man Murray Gershenz.
That love became a hobby. That hobby became a business.
"I sang professionally for many years. That's what I really wanted to do when I was young. I wanted to be a famous singer," says Music Man Murray Gershenz.
Murray's talents, 88 years later, are still as sharp as his appreciation is deep. Murray is a music collector, and a music historian.
Murray Gershenz has been collecting LPs, 78s, 45s, cassettes, CDs, and reel-to-reel tapes since he was 16.
His store on Exposition Boulevard opened in 1962, and is filled a collection of 300,000 pieces of music.
"This is probably one of the only places left where you can find music of every genre, music from every point in history," says Music Man Murray Gershenz.
His collection included rare 19th century Edison cylinders, to some of the first, flat records ever made in 1895.
The shop holds only a fraction of the whole collection, which Murray is now shopping around.
"I'm hoping somebody will take it as is. There must be somebody out there who appreciates it and will be able to make it live," hopes Music Man Murray Gershenz.
But after 72 years of collecting and loving music, Murray says it's time to move on. The time, the effort, the rent, and, oh yes, his acting career, are getting in the way.
"I'm always the old guy. I'm either the cranky old guy, or the sweet, loveable grandfather. They won't give me the part of the young lover. I want that part, but they won't give it to me," says Music Man Murray Gershenz.
Right now Murray is hoping to land a benefactor with the cash to pay for his life-long love of music.