No music. No Life.

“No music, no life.”

With that statement, Tower Records declared itself more than just a music store. From its founding in 1960 until its closure in 2006, Tower was a gathering place, a library, a barometer of cultural trends and one-time icon of the U.S. retail market.

Ultimately, the Tower Records business model—large stores with deep music catalogs—couldn’t compete in the age of digital downloads and discount retailers. But the spirit and history of this pioneering music store can live on. In fact, an effort to preserve the Tower experience is currently underway in Sacramento, California, the birthplace of Tower Records.

In 2009, founder Russ Solomon donated over 200 boxes of Tower-related history—artwork, photographs, memorabilia, awards, business records and correspondence, office furnishings and even the neon signs from the first stand-alone store—to the Center for Sacramento History. The Tower Records Project, a campaign to fund the preservation of Russ’ gift and make it publicly available, has kicked off.

But this project will not succeed without your help.

In the coming months, we’ll be asking for more than your financial support. We’ll want your Tower experiences, photographs and mementos to round out the story of Tower Records. Whether you worked or shopped there, we want to hear from you. Your invaluable contributions will help paint a complete picture of Tower as it was: a cultural epicenter, an extended family, a way of life and a scene unto itself.

For more information please contact the project organizers: info@sacramentohistoryfoundation.org

Sign up for Tower Records Project updates.


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