The legacy of Tower dates back to the 1940s when founder Russ Solomon began selling records out of his father’s drug store at the corner of Broadway and Land Park Drive in Sacramento. In 1960, Solomon expanded operations to the Sacramento suburbs, giving rise to the first Tower Records store on Watt Avenue.
In the years that followed, additional stores opened around the Sacramento region (including K Street in 1974), making the bright yellow and red Tower logo a familiar fixture on the city’s landscape.
Tower soon arrived in big cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, and eventually to 200 stores around the globe including Japan, England, Ireland, Canada, Israel, & Mexico -- each with its own personality and cast of characters. In 1983, the company began publishing a national music magazine, Pulse!, which contained artist features, record reviews and industry interviews.
Tower Records was the place where musicians gathered and shopped, including Elton John, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Bruce Springsteen, among others. Many artists worked at Tower before making it big including Slash from Guns and Roses and Dave Grohl of Nirvana and The Foo Fighters.
The magic of Tower Records, Tower Video, and Tower Books, was the uniqueness of each location. Tower was a rare gathering place, an extended family, a library full of experts, and a barometer of cultural trends.
Solomon was featured in the 2015 documentary, All Things Must Pass. Solomon was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Music Business Hall of Fame in 2018.
September 22, 1925 - March 4, 2018
NO MUSIC, NO LIFE
What started as an idea to bring a classic delicatessen experience to the Sacramento region by three organizers of the Jewish Food Faire (Jami Goldstene, Lydia Inghram, Sheila Wolfe) developed into Solomon's Delicatessen when Andrea Lepore joined the effort and created the concept to honor Tower Records and founder Russ Solomon. Bringing the team behind The Red Rabbit (Sonny Mayugba, Matt Nurge, John Bays) and adding in acclaimed executive chef Aimal Formoli, Solomon's Delicatessen was officially launched! Solomon's, like Tower Records, is a community gathering place with soul where music and culture is celebrated and everyone is welcome.
No Bagels, No Life
Historical photos courtesy of the Center for Sacramento History, Tower Records Collection