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  • Remember Sam The Record Man?
  • David Crighton
  • Landmarklocal landmarkmissing torontomusicradioRyersonSam The Record MantorontoYonge Street

Remember Sam The Record Man?


 Sam The Record Man by David Crighton

Sam The Record Man

Crightonism: This artwork/print was commissioned by Roblan Distributors who handled all the records that went through Sam the Record Man. They wanted prints for the owners of the other Sam's that used to be around southern Ontario. My fee was half in cash and the other half was records. So just wrote up a list of about 200 albums and had an instant record collection. What a hoot is was to bring them all home at one time!

Around that time I sold a few copies to Capitol Records Canada and they gave me a load of various artists record labels so I could glue them onto the Sam's print which I had printed so the disk on the art was the right size. It helped me sell lots of Sam the Record Man prints over the years. I later made the art the right size so I could glue on real CD's which were quite popular too. I haven't figured out how to attach an MP3 yet :)

The Facts:  It was there in the 1960's that the spinning record was added to the signage. Later, in the 1980's the second spinning record was added making it one of those most recognizable signs of its era. The sign has been featured in movies, (The Incredible Hulk), TV shows (Flashpoint), And in local music videos. In 2001, the chain filed for bankruptcy due to the changing nature of the music industry and internet music downloads.  In 2007 The Iconic Flagship store was closed. In 2008, Ryerson university acquired the building and plan to turn the location into their Student Centre. There have been talks to incorporate the Iconic sign once more into the structure. However, the future of sign is still yet to be determined.

Did you know?: There is still one Sam the Record Man location left. It is in Quinte Mall, Belleville, Ontario

Crightonism:  What do you know - I lived just north of Belleville for years.

Sam the Record Man via the Torontoist

Pam's Memories: "I have so many memories of Sam's that's it hard to pick one to share - but here's one.  I was about 14 or 15 and wanted to find a really special record for my Dad.  He and I shared a love of music and spent countless hours listening to each others music (well, it was harder to get him to listen to mine but he finally did...after that transforming moment when Paul McCartney sang yesterday on The Ed Sullivan Show, many of our parents started to pay attention).  Dad's music was swing, jazz and Dixie Land and he knew all the studio musicians by name - and so did I.  I went to Sam's and asked an employee whether they had any records by Jack Teagarteen, Stuff Smith or....I hit the jack pot.  Stuff Smith, a jazz violinist that preceded Jean Luc Ponty and Stefan Grapelli, had recorded "Black Violin".  My Dad was totally thrilled when I gave it to him - and so I was I.  It's a great album and a cherished memory."  ~ Pamela

Share your memories of "Sam The Record Man" with us below!  We'd love to hear them. 


  • David Crighton
  • Landmarklocal landmarkmissing torontomusicradioRyersonSam The Record MantorontoYonge Street

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