Music Man Murray

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Friend of the Rumpus Richard Parks is Kickstarting a documentary short about “Music Man” Murray Gershenz, LA’s premier rare-vinyl dealer.

He’s put his entire collection up for sale at $500,000 — much of it is literally priceless, but he originally valued it at $5 million. However, so far he has not found a buyer. Parks hopes that this film will draw attention to Gershenz’s dilemma. As Parks says on the Kickstarter page for this project:

We’ll see how treasured these recordings are to this man — not as fetish objects, but as valuable pieces of cultural goods. We’ll learn about the history of Murray’s Los Angeles and the record business, which is at its absolute nadir. And we’ll follow Murray as he pursues his latest dream: a career as a character actor (he’s already scored parts in feature films including The Hangover, and on Mad Men and House).

The film will imbue objects we tend to dismiss as monetarily worthless with fresh cultural and historical meaning, and restore dignity to a serious man who has made records his life’s work. Music Man Murray is intended for a wide general audience, and anybody who wants to hear some of these records played for possibly the last time ever.

To me this looks like a solid project: check out the trailer here. Funding closes on February 6.


Jeremy Hatch is a writer, musician, and professional bookseller leading a cheerful, aimless life in San Francisco. He is the Junior Literary Editor of the Rumpus and has a blog which he updates once in a while. More from this author →