TORO has been covering the beautiful and talented women of the world for years. For all the guys who feel left out, we celebrate all that can be done by the stronger, dumber sex.
Sam Sniderman, Record Man
Good luck finding a picture of Sam Sniderman not grinning. The entrepreneur and life-long supporter of Canadian music radiated warmth and gentlemanly charm, as virtually every obit has pointed out this past week. The founder of Toronto’s legendary Sam the Record Man store and advocate for Canadian content laws in broadcasting passed away at the age of 92 on September 23, outliving his flagship store by five years.
Sniderman launched Sam the Record Man as an extension of his family’s radio business in 1937. By the peak of music retail in the mid-‘90s there were over 130 Record Man stores across Canada. The chain was known for its wide selection, reasonable prices, Boxing Day blow-out sales and, perhaps most of all, the iconic neon “spinning discs” signage at its Yonge Street location. For locals and frequent visitors, there was no better way to determine if an American movie had been filmed on our turf than seeing those discs standing out in the background.
When music downloading and online shopping arrived Sam’s was an early casualty. The company declared bankruptcy in 2001 and by 2009 all but one of its independent franchises had closed (one remains open in Belleville, Ontario). Thanks to public support the Yonge Street building and disc display were declared heritage sites and, though no longer lit, remain untouched today.
Thanks for the music, Sam the TORO Man.
Morrissey, Good Samaritan
When former Smiths frontman Morrissey makes headlines, it’s usually because he’s opened his mouth. The outspoken singer has earned praise and condemnation for his frequent, acerbic remarks on animal rights, English politics and cultural issues.
Thankfully, some positive Morrissey news broke this week. While shopping at a New York bookstore the singer reportedly came to the aid of an elderly woman who suddenly felt light-headed and fell to the floor. Though the woman was unhurt Morrissey made sure she regained her balance and collected her belongings. Though apparently recognized by onlookers he left the store without comment.
While he maintains an open boycottof touring in Canada we must give credit to his act of chivalry.