Friday, December 9, 2016

River Records owner Jerry Gibson killed during robbery

Sadly beloved record dealer Jerry Gibson was killed Thursday night at River Records in Memphis. 
According to Action News 5, gregarious Memphis record dealer Jerry Gibson was shot and killed around closing time last night at River Records on South Highland, apparently the victim of a robbery. Police are currently looking for witnesses and combing through security camera footage to identify possible suspects. Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers in Memphis at (901) 528-CASH.

Today music fans everywhere are mourning the loss of Gibson, the outgoing and uproariously funny music man who ran the popular collectibles shop packed tight with vinyl curios for decades. Longtime River Records customer Greg Cartwright (of Reining Sound) is paying tribute to Gibson by playing the music Jerry loved on 103.3 Asheville FM's "In The Box" from 11am to 1pm this afternoon which you can stream here.

Wrote Cartwright:
Today's show is dedicated to legendary record shop owner Jerry Gibson who died tragically yesterday during a robbery at his store in Memphis, TN. My home town. Perhaps legendary seems too grand an adjective for a man who ran a record store, but he was known the world over. On a personal note, he afforded me the pleasure of sharpening my ear and my taste for music on the best collection of used inventory I've ever had the pleasure of digging through. To this day, the best. Thanks Jerry. 
There are two themes for today's show. Part 1 will be Teen 45's from the late 50's and early 60's. Part two will be bubblegum pop from the late 60's and early 70's.

Much like Cartwright who now lives in North Carolina but would still stop by River Records whenever he was back home, just about every serious digger I've known who has passed through Memphis over the last 25 years has made a point of visiting Jerry at River Records. And after crawling on hands and knees for hours sifting through thousands of unpriced, unsorted soul, R&B, funk and gospel 45s piled floor to ceiling, they would then have to deal with store's wisecracking owner.

Jerry would astutely size up his customers and their prized discoveries to arrive at a price based on current market value and his own personality assessment using key information gleaned from his checkout interview. Your chat with Jerry could last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour beginning with a discussion of your place of origin, employment status, family situation, travel plans or the weather and ending with why you're interested in the records you've brought to the front desk. "Well, well, well, I can't say this one looks familiar to me," Gibson would chuckle, "but since you've got four more copies here, you must think pretty highly of it, son!"

For all those who scored big at River Records over the years, there's a way to give back.
Regular River Records customer and Gibson pal Parker Hays has started a Go Fund Me campaign to help out Jerry Gibson's family during this very difficult time. Jerry had no life insurance so any contribution would help with funeral costs.   

Commercial Appeal River Records Owner Killed Thursday
WMC Action News 5 Beloved business man killed inside Memphis record store

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